Renseignements

  • Dernière connexion: il y a 11 minutes
  • Genre: Homme
  • Lieu: Australia
  • Contribution Points: 7 LV1
  • Rôles:
  • Date d'inscription: octobre 2, 2020
  • Awards Received: Flower Award2
Complété
Chijo no Seppun
37 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
par Zogitt
janv. 25, 2023
10 épisodes vus sur 10
Complété 4
Globalement 8.5
Histoire 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.5
Musique 8.0
Degrés de Re-visionnage 9.0
Cette critique peut contenir des spoilers

How can you tell it is a romantic J-drama? Shhh! Don’t interrupt the skinship.

In J romance dramas we trust. I do declare! The Japanese really know how to deliver a short, nice, easy-binge drama that just seems to hit the spot.

There is no point in calling out the drama for being shallow or one note. Let’s be honest, most of this type of j-dramas can be summarised on the back of a small napkin. This is also the difference between a j-drama and a similar Korean show. The Korean version will overthink and overwork the plots and probably add a lunatic killer, just because. On the other hand, an equivalent c-drama will be stretched to 40 episodes, and we shall pray for deliverance from the endless angsty tropes and breakups. Not that j-dramas don’t have tropes, there are plenty. However, they are usually under a tight rein and the plot is distilled into a set of key markers so that we get what is needed just at the right juncture.

For this drama, the plot can’t be simpler. We start with a cohabitation trope between two long lost high school classmates. This is signed, sealed and delivered within the opening minutes. The rest of the show is all about how the ML confesses (repeatedly) and pursuits the FL tirelessly. All the while chipping away at her armour and make her fall in love with him even though he is the one who is obsessed with her for 10 years.

Before you jump to the conclusion that he is some kind of psycho with despicable design on the poor hapless FL, you need to take a chill pill. ;) What you will find is a ML who is totally devoted to the FL and pretty much worships her. It is also important that he respects her and will do anything to please her and protect her. All this is done in an open and adorable way. He certainly has no problem telling her how he feels. It took a little longer for the FL to reciprocate though.

Needless to say, he yearns for her, but he is willing to wait for her to accept him first. When that happens, it is on for young and old! Our skinship quota went into orbit. Don’t get me wrong. It is not sleazy nor egregious. They accept that physical intimacy is an important part of a healthy relationship. FL went from being unsure and timid to being quite bold.

Like other similar j-dramas, we see a steady progress in their relationship. There are lumps and bumps along the way but they work to overcome them as a couple. Communication is the key. They are also sensitive to each other’s feelings and will act upon signs before they fester into sores.

Most importantly, the ML helps the FL to thrive and embrace the world beyond books. There are many sweet and swoon worthy moments. Don't judge this show by its poster. ;)

If you are a romantic looking for a straightforward, swoon-y show then add 1 extra point to the score. Seriously, if you feel jaded after watching a disappointing or just plain exasperating “romance” drama, just fire this up and lose yourself in it for a few hours. This show will make you believe in true love again. Highly recommended.

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Complété
Flight to You
34 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
par Zogitt
janv. 12, 2023
39 épisodes vus sur 39
Complété 4
Globalement 8.0
Histoire 7.0
Acting/Cast 8.5
Musique 8.5
Degrés de Re-visionnage 7.0
Cette critique peut contenir des spoilers

Fasten your seatbelts. Turbulence ahead.

The pairing of the leads got me interested in this drama and the setting within the Chinese aviation industry hooked me.
The meet-cute is fairly tropey. Ice king boss meets sassy female pilot. Totally works for me. :)

What is more challenging is the work environment. It is next level misogynistic. Initially, I thought it must be overstated for dramatic reasons then I found out that there are less than 1000 female pilots in China! There is definitely a glass ceiling.
To add to her woes, the main antagonist wants to drive her out of the company. She did well with the support of her mentor (ML aka GnT) and overcomes obstacle after obstacle. Her steady career progress is mirrored on the romantic front as well. The ML was initially cool and distanced, but he soon grew fond of the FL. The FL is definitely in the driver seat in this relationship. She made some bold moves in pursuing GnT. The Show is heading in the right direction and it looks to be a worthy contender for the top shows of 2023. Then episode 24 happened.

For reasons unknown, the writer decided to forego all the gains thus far and make the second half full on melodrama. So much angst . . so much. The ML ended up behaving irrationally when he is the most rational character in the show. He was a Noble Idiot and managed to hurt everyone close to him for zero gain.

If that trope is not enough, the Show added a poorly constructed mid-air medical drama to push the plot along.
When you consider international aviation is one of the most regulated industries in the world with many cross checks and rules, the use of this subplot is baffling. There are so many holes and discrepancies, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
The show then doubles down on the perturbation by bringing FL's onerous mum into the fray. This unruly mess drags on for several episodes (too long) which adds to my growing dismay. Why Dear Writer? Is it to pad out the length or is it some kind of script crib sheet?

The Show finally starts to reverse course at the EP.35 mark. Everyone gets a redemption, Oprah Winfrey style.
Even though things are looking up, GnT still suffers from a bad case of confession-itis. The air is filled with expectations but nada on the action front. It is exhausting to watch the “will he, won’t he” line plays out once again.

We finally get the true confession in ep.37 but it was done in a weird setting. It made sense to him (and to the writer) so who are we to judge? My opinion of the Show is yo-yoing all over the place by now. It is hard to ignore the shambolic mess dropped on our laps between ep.24-36. We are given plenty of positive hints that things will get better but the spectre of the last few episodes haunts me.

Ep.38 is all about fan service. Hallelujah! However, I can’t help but feel like I'm watching a To-do list being ticked off. We have a bunch of unrelated clips tying up loose ends then a random time skip to the next event. It ticked all the boxes but a weak narrative, nevertheless. BTW, the skinship quotient went from 0 to 100 in one scene but fades quickly as well. The progress of the 2CP is on steroids and feels kooky.

The Show had a last go at an angsty subplot at the start of ep.39, but a HEA ending was never in doubt. To be honest, the ending is fluffy and innocuous but that's about it.

Two parting thoughts; I thought macular degeneration is incurable but I'm too tired to argue. The whole D191 (a thinly disguised C919) storyline is the biggest PPL I have ever seen! It was jingoistic and flag waving but you have to give them credit for trying. ;)

Acting from the leads are good. The FL is certainly given the more challenging role. The ML is handsome and a seasoned actor. He definitely has a workout on his stoic poses. The support cast are mostly one dimensional. There is “growth”, but it is fairly predictable and a means to an end.

I did enjoy most of the show. It has its moments, and the first half is certainly engaging and eye-opening. If it has stuck to the original aviation focused plot and office romance all the way through, it would be on a winner. Instead, it took us down a long and tortuous path which adds little to the proceedings. The fan service in the end might placid some viewers who just want to ship the CP’s and swoon at their belated sweet moments. To me, that’s a sneaky way to paper over the disappointing melodramas that came before.

It could and should have been better. Peace out.

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Country Diary By Chance
43 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
par Zogitt
sept. 29, 2022
12 épisodes vus sur 12
Complété 0
Globalement 9.0
Histoire 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Musique 8.5
Degrés de Re-visionnage 9.5

A simple, wholesome tale beautifully told

This Show is tropey. There! I said it so let’s move on. :)

There is not a great deal of innovation regarding the setting or the narrative but there is an undeniable charm to this tale. The ensemble cast is well populated by the standard clichés. Hard working farmers, nosy neighbours, cute kids roaming free around the village. Of course, there are dramas within the village and without, but they are mostly storm in a teacup just to add a bit of spice to the proceeding and give us a bit of the backstory.

The main focus of the show is the love line between the city vet who was tricked by his grandfather to take over the rural animal hospital for a few weeks and the young policewoman who is super helpful and the focal point of village life. Needless to say, their interactions and chemistry drives the show.

As I mentioned before, the story is quite simple and tropey, so it was fortuitous that show was only 12x30 mins episodes long. With such a short runtime, it motors along and doesn't drag. Nothing is left to fester for long and resolution is always around the corner. All the swoony moments are turbo charged.

Acting wise, it is more than acceptable. The ML is a bit stiff and reserved, it could be due to his storyline and a lack of acting experience. He does warm up a great deal later on. The FL was just so sweet and wholesome. You really want to give her a hug and make sure she has a happy ending because she deserves it. She also have an infectious smile.

All in all, a lovely watch and perfect for binging. It is very sweet and romantic without being overly artificial. It is swoon worthy and uplifting if you are feeling down. This show is not about manufactured angst, high dramas or convoluted plots so don't expect any. It will bring you moments of simple joy and contentment. That is good enough for me. :)
Highly recommended.

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The Inextricable Destiny
27 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
par Zogitt Flower Award1
nov. 6, 2023
26 épisodes vus sur 26
Complété 7
Globalement 7.5
Histoire 7.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Musique 7.0
Degrés de Re-visionnage 7.0
Cette critique peut contenir des spoilers

All aboard the angst train. This is going to be a bumpy ride!

This show started light-heartedly. A bit of awkward meet-cute sets up the love line between our OTP. I have to give credit to the FL for her portrayal of a 16 year old even though she is 30 in RL. In fact, most of her roles tends to be in that late teens to early 20's range.

While the romance is a slow burn, it is engaging and quite cute. It did turn dark when the FL "accidentally" poisoned the ML. He fell into a coma for a long time and when he woke up, he has the mind of a child. That is a shock for all concerned because he was an intellectual giant before the accident.

This brought about the second phase of their relationship. In his dim-witted state, he latched onto the FL like a chick onto a mother hen, In turn, she dedicated all her efforts to cure him and be with him. Around this time, the show really went to the dark side. The melodrama dial is turned up to the MAX when the FL's whole family was killed. It is excessive, but not 100% shocking when you consider the historical setting. It was designed to hit us with the feels, and it works.

I'm shipping the OTP at this point because they both suffered so much and yet they are trying their best to be happy in their little world. However, the show starts making questionable decisions from this point onwards. They piled on the angst and dragged out the ML’s plot. While his childlike innocence was a novelty at first. It went on largely unchanged for 1/3 of the entire run. What was cute earlier is now wearing.

If that is not enough, the moment the ML recovers his memory and mental capacities, he plays the noble idiot card. As expected, the OTP suffered even more. I still don't quite understand his logic. At first, he thought she has feelings for her senior. However, after she clarified the misunderstanding and declares her undying love for him, he continues with the charade even though he is in pain and pining for her. The brakes are off the angst train by now.

There are a number of opportunities to reunite the leads. The show could have profited from their love and longing. Hit an emotional high and gift us some much-needed fan service. Alas, it was not to be. I'm not going to spoil the last few eps, but let's just say the writer doubled down and went all-in on their sufferings.

Before we all reach for the Suicide Help Line, the writer parachute in a happy ending but it was literally in the dying seconds of the show. There is no preamble nor extra fan service. The scene is so contrived, I'm speechless. I can only imagine the writer being told by the upper echelon to cough up a happy ending or else. In hindsight, maybe it'd have been better if the writer decide to die on that hill and insists on delivering a torture porn unto the bitter end. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Acting wise, the cast did ok. The FL was in her element. The ML is handsome and not too wooden. I like his earlier portrayal of the man-child. However, the same-y role becomes boring to watch eventually. The ensemble cast is standard issue for a costume drama of this ilk.

I was ok with the angst . . up to a point. It is that type of show after all. However, the last few episodes really throw everything at the OTP including a weaponized kitchen sink. We have all manners of weird plot twists inserted solely to pull the leads apart even though they more than earned their rights to be together. That was too much for me. I am posting a lower score as a warning to others. Peace out.

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One Thousand Dollar Lawyer
49 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
par Zogitt
nov. 13, 2022
12 épisodes vus sur 12
Complété 0
Globalement 7.5
Histoire 7.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Musique 8.0
Degrés de Re-visionnage 6.0
Cette critique peut contenir des spoilers

CODE BLUE! CODE BLUE!

Writing this review is like writing an obituary.

The Show showed great promise in its infancy. Adolescent was a blast and overflowing with energy and potentials.
We went on wild rides with some interesting and engaging characters. It was lawyering without the law. Creative writing at its whimsical best. We get hints of a dark backstory but that only served to whet our appetite.

The Show matures with a 2 episodes arc of flashbacks which tells the origin story. It was bittersweet and hard hitting. It is meant to set up the last third of the Show for an impactful finale.

It was a mystery at the time why the tone and writing of the storyline changes drastically after the flashbacks. I know the phase “lost the plot” is cliché but I can’t think of any other way to describe the next few episodes. The Show dialled up the slapstick at the cost of narrative logic. It is fun to watch for a while, but it leaves me scratching my head.

I then started to hear about the Show being cut down from 14 to 12 episodes even though it was rating through the roof. However, any talk of a second season was quashed. News of cancelled screening and weird substitutions began to flood the news feeds. To say the fans are confused and upset is an understatement. Then came the rumours that the writer-nim has a fallout with the production company and there were chattering about shenanigans regarding multiple rewrites and rejections. It sort of fits in with what is happening but it is cold comfort. One suggestion is the writer-nim objected to the overuse of PPL and changes to the original plot for mass appeal. I'd agree that the PPL goes way beyond the bottles of water in the fridge trick. It was literally baked into the script. We have the leads ordering take-outs and then leisurely eating and commenting on the meal. It is totally egregious.

The next couple of eps felt rudderless. There are signs of life here and there. There are important revelations, and the plot moves along. At the same time, some subplots also disappeared even though you can sense why the writer-nim included them in the first place. They were discarded unceremoniously. By this stage, the Show was on life support. Ep.11 was a filler with little substance. It took 60mins to do what should have taken 10. This is a sad waste of screen time when you consider it is the penultimate episode.

By the time the finale arrives, I watched it with trepidation. Of course, we wanted a good and satisfying finish, but we also know the clock is ticking.

The final episode is rushed, there is no other way to say it. Everything that needs to happen, happened. It feels heavily scripted rather than clever and nuanced. It is like watching a checklist being ticked off. It got the job done but the Show deserved better. The “epilogue” on the island is unnecessary and out of place.

In terms of acting, the ML was outstanding. The first 2/3 of the Show really showcased his talents. He has great presence and comedic timing but when needed, he can bring on the feels too. His acting in the titular role is what hooked us. It is disappointing that it becomes more like a caricature towards the end.

I feel sorry for the FL. She was not given a fair go with her role. She has the visuals and is a competent actor in her own right but she is always Robbin to his Batman. There was a hint of attraction between the leads at one stage, but it is nixed after the flashback episodes. The SML was a complete waste of a role. There is a hint of a decent subplot in the beginning but it went nowhere and feels superfluous in the end.

It is a real shame that the Show declined in such a way. It shows all the signs of a smash hit in the making but has been brought low for some nefarious reasons. If it was delivered in full and as intended, it could have been an easy 9. RIP.
Rewatch is fairly pointless. Peace out.

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Love Me Like A Child
21 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
par Zogitt
août 14, 2021
29 épisodes vus sur 29
Complété 0
Globalement 9.5
Histoire 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Musique 9.5
Degrés de Re-visionnage 9.5

A beautifully crafted romantic drama that recharged my spirit

Chinese rom-coms can be tropey and full of clichés. Those seemed to come from a well thumbed playbook that have been passed around the writer's guild. While its root is in that muddy pond, this show rose above it like a lotus flower.

Let's be honest, the plot of this show is quite straightforward. There are no big stars nor dramatic breakups. The ending was never in doubt and it was set in a provincial city.

I believe the ML is a newcomer and while he still have some rough edges, his natural presence and energy was perfect for the role. I have, more than once, found myself smiling like an idiot at the screen when he just radiated happiness. The FL is not an A-lister but she have been in various shows. She did very well playing a conflicted soul who was trying to choose between happiness and conformity. The CP has oodles of chemistry and some of their little cute acts were truly swoon worthy (not to mention the real romantic scenes). There is a good amount of skinship and that's because the ML can't keep his paws off the FL. Woof!

The support cast is wonderful. Most are older actors and I have no doubt some were locals. The script did not relegate them to the background but they have prominent roles and fully fleshed out back stories. It was a joy to see their banters, their support and shared wisdom when the CP needed them the most. Their acting were so good that they made you understand why some motifs actually became clichés. The writer really knew how to hit you with the feels. Not dramatic dam buster type but scenes that you can relate to and share their emotions.

BTW, most rom-com will cast the 2FL as the antagonist who will stop at nothing to tear the CP apart. Our 2FL started off like this but by mid show, you began to empathise with her as you get to know her. You will cheer her on and wish her the best by the end of the show. That is an amazing way to write an oft one dimensional character. Bravo, writer, bravo!
I also loved the vignettes of the CP growing up together that start each episode. Some were hilarious and one in particular was heart breaking.

The pacing of the first 3/4 of the show was good. Not rushed but plots were developed and progressed steadily. My only criticism is that the last 10% of the show did coast along. All the sub-plots were wrapped up neatly. Rainbows and sunshine blessed the land. As someone who enjoyed the show I cannot complain but I can see some viewers might find it slow going and a bit of self indulgence.

The OST was great. Worked really well with the scenes. The title track was written specifically for the show and not some generic love song. The production value was generally high and it probably helped that it was not set in Beijing or Shanghai which would have ballooned the production costs.

Not everyone will love this show but if you appreciate a good romance then please give this a go. This is a beautifully crafted romantic drama. You won't be disappointed.

UPDATE: I re-watched this show after a year and I'm happy to stand by my original review. However, after a long discussion with my good friend @Love movies, I have gained more insight into this drama. We agreed that to truly enjoy this show, it must resonate with you and that is not a given. Initially, the Show can feel a bit directionless and some characters are deeply flawed which can be a turn off for some. However, if you preserve, you will find a diamond in the rough. This Show is not about flashy set pieces nor crazy plot twists. It is about relatable people doing their best to find love, happiness and have a meaningful life. There is a lot of raw energies and emotions. I can relate to that and it lifted my spirit.

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La Science de l'Amour
21 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
par Zogitt
avril 8, 2023
24 épisodes vus sur 24
Complété 3
Globalement 9.0
Histoire 8.5
Acting/Cast 8.5
Musique 8.0
Degrés de Re-visionnage 8.5

One of my personal favourites but might not be yours

My humble apologies as this review is not in my normal style. I did start to write the typical review but after several paragraphs, I had to stop. I was doing my usual breakdown of the plot, discussing certain scenes and review the acting when I realised that I'm not making sense why I like this show so much. So let's try something different . . .

On paper, this is a mid budget, college romance with no big name actors. AKA a B-grade c-drama that is turned out by the dozen every year to feed the programme scheduling beast. I would go as far as saying that it is better than a typical idol drama but still hardly a top tier show.

Now that we have laid the cards on the table, please indulge me with a bit of subjective rambling. ;)

As a college romance, my expectations are quite low. I’d be happy with a decent filler while I wait for the next blockbuster release. What I didn't expect is to binge watch all 24 episodes with barely a pause. I still can't quite quantify the reason why I liked it so much but it just clicks with me. May be a lot has to do with the script resonating with me. I was fully invested in their lovelines. Even the little acts of love and kindness feel just right to me and spark joy. I actually watch with anticipation which is rare these days. Meet Yourself was the last show that touched me in a similar way but that show is S class.

Similarly, the acting of the leads resonated with me. Yes, their characters are cliches. The usual feisty FL and ice king ML but there is depth to their characters. Both have damaged psyches due to their upbringing and the breakup of their family unit. They have a fear of abandonment and while the FL hides behind a facade of exaggerated cheerfulness, the ML learns to show no emotions as a way to survive living with his demanding and abusive mum.

While many shows have used the fate card to tie the leads together which usually involves some form of childhood entanglement or accidental encounters that are nothing more than contrivance, this show actually sticks the landing. The leads' childhood friendship is quite poignant and has a long lasting effect on both of them. How they resolve their historical misunderstanding is beautifully done. Once again, this is a very subjective point. Some might see it as dribble and a blatant act to tug at our heartstrings. That is a fair call and I can only say that it works for me.

I am also surprised that the 2CP is good as well. They are not the lazy pairing of the typical BFF's just to fill the quota and use up some screen time. Their romantic journey is heartfelt and I can ship them wholeheartedly.

Both CP’s have great chemistry and a decent amount of skinship. Once again, they just appeal to me. I like how they complemented each other. They're provide each other with what their SO is longing for.

Of course it can’t be all rainbows and unicorns. There are some narrative issues. For instance, while the show is angst lite, it is not all smooth sailing. Although none of the protagonists are really evil, their actions still have a significant impact on the leads and their friends. Yet they are readily forgiven and everyone just carries on as if nothing has happened. That doesn’t sit comfortably with me. Some of the side plots are meaningless and some of the support roles are straight out of central casting. I don't mind them in the bigger scheme of things but others might take umbrage.

I can see the good and the bad of this show. They are not dissimilar to other shows. Yet, it hits me in the feels like few others. So my score for this show is more subjective than usual. You might have a different opinion and I respect that.

I am happy to recommend this show but your mileage may differ.

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My Uncanny Destiny
20 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
par Zogitt
févr. 6, 2023
24 épisodes vus sur 24
Complété 0
Globalement 8.5
Histoire 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.5
Musique 8.5
Degrés de Re-visionnage 8.5

Buckle up for a zany joyride

When you read the synopsis of this show, you would assume it to be a cheaply made, quickly produced filler to slot into a gap in the schedule. It could have been such a show, but it is so much more!

The show is a Chinese costume drama set in a mythical past where the country was divided in a number of warring states. Two particular city states have been at war for years due to some misunderstandings. I won’t bore you with the details as it is quite convoluted and contrived.

On the surface, the plot sounds like the usual palace intrigue, fight for power trope with a dose of romance. What I didn’t expect is a cheeky farce that works like a treat. It is over-the-top, manic, chaotic and racy. The narrative just has this devil-may-care attitude. Time and again I would think “they can’t do this” or even WTF but that’s exactly what happens. A lot of the times, it is for laughs but sometimes it is for the shock value as well. You can’t predict how far the show will push a particular line.
Is it a perfect script? Not by a long shot. There are tropey and confusing subplots as well as its fair share of plot holes. What saves the show is its internal core logic. There is a solid narrative thread that runs through the whole show that is unwavering so that the behaviour of main characters are consistent even though some of the split second action/reaction can be kooky and unpredictable.

Even as I wrote this, my mind is in turmoil. I would recall a cringey moments that made me facepalm and then a LOL gag would pop into my head only to be replaced by a really sweet, swoon-y moment. By all that is holy in dramaland, this show should not work but it does. It buoys you along with its manic pace and you are all in or you are out.

Another surprise is the company of young actors. They are not well known but the ensemble certainly made up for that with a great deal of commitment, solid acting abilities and decent comedic timing. By the halfway mark, you are so used to their antics that you just accept what they do as the norm, warts and all. The standout here is the FL, Zhang Yue Nan. She was the focus of many threads, and she shines while playing a variety of roles. The SFL, Fan Wei, is good as well. She plays the villain, twice and to good effect. Consider she is in her 20’s and only had a handful of support roles, this is not a bad effort. The ML’s are good and handsome, especially Yan Zi Xian. He can anchor a scene with his presence. However, a lot of the time, they play second fiddle to the strong FL’s. There are rough edges with some acting and overacting is to be expected in a comedy. It is all part of the bigger picture, and you have to cut them some slacks.

The various CP’s have good chemistry and they don’t shy away from skinship. Nothing more than kisses and hugs but they did it with some passion.

Another positive is the lush settings. The court set is of high standards and costumes (generic era/locale) are certainly a cut above average. Overall, it is a solid production. The minor negative is the dubbing. I’m not sure if the whole show is dubbed or if some of the actors dubbed themselves. The sound is patchy in the beginning but got better towards the end. It is a minor issue, but you notice improvements as the show progresses.

The ending is very good and consistent. We are rewarded with some fan service and most of the threads are closed satisfactorily. It doesn’t feel rushed while leaving its fans in a happy place.

I won’t say that it was love at first viewing, but it definitely grew on me. I can recommend this show and with a run of 24 x 30 mins episodes, it is not a huge time investment.

Sadly, this show will probably disappear into the Great Web Void soon as it won't be heavily promoted. That will be a shame.

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Lucky With You
26 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
par Zogitt Flower Award1
janv. 23, 2022
40 épisodes vus sur 40
Complété 0
Globalement 6.5
Histoire 6.0
Acting/Cast 7.5
Musique 7.5
Degrés de Re-visionnage 6.5
Cette critique peut contenir des spoilers

Tales of messy relationships in a topsy-turvy world

This review will contain A LOT of spoilers. You have been warned. :)

TL;DR: Oddly constructed rom-com that is weak on rom and com. A lack of direction and focus compounded its woes. Not recommended.

As with many contemporary rom-coms, this show started out with a promising idea. A rich, handsome troublemaker being protected 24/7 by an attractive, no nonsense, female bodyguard. Lots of opportunities for witty banters and close quarter actions, you'd think. It was a love-hate relationship from the start.

A decent show can become a problematic one when missteps are compounded. Let us apply the matrix to this show.
* Lack of Direction
What is this show about? Is it a rom-com? A family melodrama? A revenge drama? Business/crime thriller? At times, the show was all of the above and more. It really packed in a lot of subplots as if the writer was throwing mud at the storyboard and see what sticks. With that many threads and plots fighting for space, the main OTP plotline is sidelined without much progression.

* Lack of Focus
Case in point, most of the rescue missions were very elaborate and consumed a fair amount of screen time but it showed little return. It showcased how brave the ML is but also his recklessness and not being a team player. The people rescued or even the team members were just extras on the set. We know nothing about them, and they played no part in the rest of the show. Ditto the elaborate night race. It only served to give the FL street creds but all the people there were all forgotten by the next scene. Lots of other scenarios were thrown at us just to make a quick point and just as quickly forgotten.

* Illogical Plots and Actions
The company just carried on after the thieve of 20 million yuan (half their cash reserve), . The police did nothing. The top-level staff shouted at each other for a few minutes and it was business as usual. Another example, showing up with an expensive necklace for SFL1 in front of a crowd of squealing actresses. Why? The kidnapping in the final episode. (facepalm)

* Too Many Cooks
This is a common problem with c-dramas. When 1 CP is not enough, make it 5!
Let’s count;
CP1, ML (Johnny Huang) and FL (Wang Li Kun). Their faces are on all the posters
CP2, ML’s father and FL’s best friend (a drill instructor)
CP3, ML’s best friend and a waitress at his restaurant
CP4, FL’s mom and dad who are divorced
CP5, ML’s father’s assistant and the company’s accountant
SFL1 is a young actress (complete stranger), SFL2 is a rich b!tch from hell (old family friend), SML (FL’s college era ex-BF).
Collectively, we have crushes, unrequited love, love triangles, autumn-romance, push-pull, separations and more. This sucked the oxygen out of the OTP’s storyline, and the show suffered. (See Lack of Direction/Focus)
All these antagonists/protagonists lead to. . .

* Muddled view of Love
It is not unusual for the love line of the leads to be angst filled but this show brings home the bacon.
Both SFL1 and 2 subplots started with the ML leading them on so that they thought he was interested in them. Old trope but it was done in a very ham-fisted way and highlights the foolishness and naivety of the ML.
SML was a pest and just won’t take no for an answer.
The show suggested that ML5 was using FL5 to further his revenge plot but we are told it was true love later. Really?
Speaking of true love, the show gifted us a tropey romantic scene in the rain with a glowing merry-go-round as the backdrop. There were tears, rejection but ultimately, reconciliation and declaration of love. This is CP1, right? Wrong. CP2 got the special romantic treatment. Who is the OTP in this show?
CP2 was an autumn-romance with an age difference of 29 years! Not that I have anything against age gap love as long as it is believable but the meet-cute was a game of golf and lunch. Put together with the hint that he just wanted a bit of fun on the side, and she giving off gold digger vibes (no hint of that beforehand), it just screamed WRONG. Luckily, she came to her senses but later we were supposed to believe it was true love, again.
In the meantime, CP1 and CP3 are stuck in a quagmire. CP1 did eventually became official at the end of ep.38 (out of 40) with a hug and the CP3 was a nod and a wink in ep.40. The show really have problem closing deals.

* Lack of skinship
Some commentators suggested covid restrictions, but I don’t think so. If you were looking for kisses, there were none. Nada, zip, nuthing. There were a couple of hugs. Actually, CP5 was shown making out in the stairwell once but it was oddly unromantic and seemed to support the coercion theory. I discounted that.
Please, don't even dream of an intimate scene. This show is more chaste than some religious dramas. :)

* Lack of Character growth/whiplash changes
The FL was a cold, calm professional from start to finish.
The ML was an irresponsible rich heir and Johnny Huang did not play that convincingly. In short order, he reformed into a nice, upstanding man. In essence, he played himself as he did in other dramas. Is that growth?

Most of the other characters remained largely unchanged. The only exception is the ML’s father. Oh boy, did he change! He went from a ruthless businessman, controlling father and a boar of a man to become a nice, gentle, fatherly figure in the space of 1 episode. Cue death bed conversion to Born Again Nice Guy™ in ep.35. Never too late.

The show is not unwatchable, there are good bits. I just felt detached and despondent as I watched. The various romantic subplots were flavourless and underwhelming. The business subplots insubstantial. I almost dropped the show a couple of times.

Thankfully, there was a dramatic change in tone and direction in the last 10 episodes. It really felt like a different show, one that finally have a clear purpose and direction. Did someone whispered something to the writer?

The last few episodes were fan service. All the loose ends were tidied up. Unicorns were roaming free. The attempt at some drama/action in the last episode was a bit laughable (see Illogical Plots). Those last few episodes are the saving grace for me, but the damage is done. It was hard to ship any of the CP's and that is the kiss of death for a romance drama.

OST is serviceable but repetitive. Rewatch? When I get a big slice of that 20M yuan.

Take heed fellow viewers, I gave you fair warning with is missive. Watch this at your own peril. ;)

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West Out of the Yu Men
18 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
par Zogitt
oct. 9, 2023
38 épisodes vus sur 38
Complété 0
Globalement 8.0
Histoire 7.5
Acting/Cast 8.5
Musique 8.0
Degrés de Re-visionnage 7.5

Indiana Jones has a love child with Laura Croft in the 5th dimension

By rights this show should be a hit because the leads are superb actors and who doesn’t like an adventure romp.

They have oodles of charisma, and their chemistry will keep a house warm in the dead of winter. There is a catch though. The world building in the first half of the show is problematic.

It leads us into a fantastic parallel world, but it also left us with more questions than answers. On the surface, the parallel world is unique and interesting, but it is like the shifting sand our leads travel through. It is an unstable base to build a civilisation if you don’t create some solid foundations. There are plot holes and inconsistencies galore. It was okay in small doses but as the plot deepens, it begs more questions. The show ploughs on regardless. It is not until ep.20 when we finally get a long winded exposition on how the world came about but even then, it was more a history lesson than any practical information.

Here lies the fundamental problem with this show. To sustain the fantastic setting the writer used every trick in the book. It is closer to a xianxia drama with cars than a contemporary adventure a la Tomb Raiders. This means all kinds of magical macguffins and invented lore are used to sustain the narrative.

This is a double-edged sword. It allows access to all kinds of wondrous situations, but you can tie yourself in knots if you don't have a deft hand. The protagonist needs a flying horse to get out of a tight spot? There is one grazing right there! The antagonist needs an evil doppelganger? There's one in the bag. Sometimes it can feels like cheating.

It is no surprise that the plot gets more and more convoluted as the show progressed. Is it class struggle, power play, love triangle or historical feud? It is raining revelations, expositions and flashbacks in the second half. Some are true, others are red herrings and false memories. We don't have a clear picture until the last few episodes.

End do cometh to us all. As ending goes, it is serviceable, but it feels flat. The resolution doesn’t make a lot of concrete sense. Yes, one side won but how this can leads to eternal peace is more than a bit vague. It is too facile. We are then told the whole show is just a richly embellished fable even though the characters are driving modern cars and using cellphones. Also hinting that the HEA ending is just our wishful thinking. Nice. Did the writer just gave up?

Nevertheless, kudos to the production team and ensemble actors for their dedication as shooting on location must have been a real challenge. The desert landscape is harsh but starkly beautiful. Who needs CGI when nature provide something that eclipse our imaginations.

In the end, it is a rollicking escapist romp. It is action packed, cheesy, tense and swoon worthy but it also has a lot of world building issues and plot holes. I would have stayed for the leads alone but it does test my patience at times. You really need to switch off your frontal lobe to truly enjoy this show. Beers and pizzas help too. Peace out.

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Zui Shi Ren Jian Yan Huo Se
17 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
par Zogitt
avril 2, 2023
23 épisodes vus sur 23
Complété 0
Globalement 9.0
Histoire 8.5
Acting/Cast 8.5
Musique 9.0
Degrés de Re-visionnage 8.5

A lovely healing drama with bonus puppies

The meet-cute is the usual enemy-to-lover trope. The initial impressions of the leads are also quite stereotypical. Ambitious FL with a chip on her shoulder meets a cold, talented ML. We soon find out that they are actually decent people but both have damaged psyches. They might display a brave front, but their wounds run deep and they suffer in silence. There is a vulnerable individual behind the tough exterior.

The Show could have taken the easy road and rely on tropey plots and cliché characters but thankfully it didn’t. It does stray close to some timeworn scenarios at times, but it managed to use them to its advantage.

I appreciate that the story is more complex than at first glance. The writing is layered which makes the narrative more engaging and thought provoking. The characters also have more depth and they are relatable. With only 23 x 30 minutes episodes, the pacing is good and there is no lag.

I won’t give away the interesting plot twists. Let’s just say that it is a nice mix of romance, humour and angst. The found family theme runs deep and resurface again and again.

The chemistry of the leads is very good. The romance appears to grow organically, and not artificially sweetened. There are some skinship. It is not very passionate but it is good enough.

It is not all smooth sailing though and there are some misunderstandings and rash decisions. They are resolved relatively quickly and are not allowed to fester. The best part is that the two leads complemented each other so well and each provide the other half what they longed for. The other CP's are the usual pairing of secondary characters but at least you don't feel that they have been forced together for no reason.

Acting is solid. There are no big-name actors here. The ML is a new idol turn actor with this show being his first starrer. I have to say that he impressed me. It is a measured performance. His role is made a little easier by being stoic and reserved in the beginning but he does expand his range as the show progresses. The FL also did well and turned in a decent, anchoring performance. The support cast generally pull their weight and rounded out the ensemble nicely.

The Show also shares duty as a docudrama about aging traditional artisans and the accelerated decline of their arts in the age of fast fashions. It did get a bit jingoistic towards the end but at least it is self-aware enough not to push through a flag waving but illogical resolution. The ending is balanced and consistent with the overall narrative flow. The added bonus of a decent amount of fan service is appreciated. I also like the fact that neither of the leads have to give up their dream/ambition. There is a middle ground as long as both parties are willing to work hard at it. I admit that I was pleasantly surprised by the nuanced writing so kudos to the writer!

While it is not a high budget production, they did used their resources wisely. The rural locations are beautiful and full of character. The post production and cinematography combined to give us some memorable and poetic scenes. It certainly exceeded my expectations. The OST is pleasant and worked well with the ebb and flow of the scenes.

The Show is a surprisingly good healing journey and an ode to the aging master crafts people. Both the journey and the destination are enjoyable. Recommended.

P.S. The puppies are so cute, but someone should have told them they don’t stay puppies forever. But hey, who wants to be a killjoy. ;)

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Crazy Love
23 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
par Zogitt
avril 27, 2022
16 épisodes vus sur 16
Complété 0
Globalement 8.5
Histoire 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Musique 8.0
Degrés de Re-visionnage 8.0
Cette critique peut contenir des spoilers

An edgy black comedy that ended up with pink frills

The initial setup of this show is hardly original. Nasty, cold hearted boss making all his employees’ life miserable. His worst victim is his parade of secretaries whom never lasted more than 3 months before they are driven to despair. That is until the FL arrived at the scene and managed to stick it out for 1 whole year. In that sense, it was almost like a Shakespearean play of revenge where a conga line of people all wanted to harm the ML either for real or at least play out some fantasy to get redress for past wrongs.

What happened next is dark, zany and over the top, but it worked because it was done with a lot of manic energy and running at break-neck speed. You just don’t have time to ask questions. It was a wild ride to say the least. However, that ride did not last. Around the halfway mark, the pacing and tone of the show began to shift. It coasted for a bit as it shifts gear and recalibrates. By the end of the show, it is a completely different beast. This may be a good thing for some viewers, but it can be problematic as well. If you start watching this show because of the leads, then there is no issue at all. They have great chemistry plus a nice amount of passionate skinship. However, if you stumbled onto this show and was hooked by the crazy, fast paced story then how it morphed into a fluffy romance might leave you scratching your head. On the other hand, if you were put off by the dark whimsical plot and dropped the show then you would have missed the swoon worthy love line that blossomed later on. It is a weird juxtaposition of genres but you have to give the writer-nim credit for trying something different.

Now, back to the main revenge theme that is the backbone of this show. It is ever present and drove a lot of the plots forward. However, it is a double-edged sword. It worked in the subplots and there were many of them. From silly voodoo doll action to inflicting serious bodily harm, just about anything goes. Nevertheless, I thought the overarching central plot is weak and out of proportion when the full reveal happened towards the end of the show. The Show would have us believe that the main antagonist was a mastermind that plotted his revenge for years and has many resources at his disposal that he can manipulate public opinion and pay for others to do his dirty deeds. Yet he blames the ML for ruining his life?! In all honesty, I don’t buy that. The antagonist is living well, and he certainly doesn't seemed to be hung up about his reputation so why play such a long game and devote so much energy to it. It is not as if it is a family feud or the cliche “you killed my father!” storyline. It did make the grand reveal somewhat lame. The ML certainly didn't understand the motivation and neither did I.

Acting is great from the leads. They demonstrated a wide range of skills especially the ML, he raced through several different personalities during the show so kudos to him. The FL was also very good and she is tough but deep down is a sweet and caring soul. The support casts were solid but the writer-nim gave them exaggerated roles so overacting is the norm. They all earned their keeps. SFL was no wall flower even though she is beautiful and I confess to having a bit of second lead syndrome.

To complete the transformation of the show, the final episode is total fan service. It was the most leisurely strode down Closure Lane I have seen for a long time. The writer-nim lovingly closed all the threads and ticked them off her list. Not that I'm complaining because it was so nice and sweet. She paid attention to minor subplots that would have been forgotten by most shows. It was sugar overload but if you ship the OTP then it would just be the icing on the cake. Speaking of OTP, the 2OTP is cute and sweet too and provided some early distraction from the endless revenge action.

To be honest, if it started as a rom-com with just the boss/secretary plot, it probably would have faded badly because the love line is fairly standard. It is the crazy momentum of the first half that carried it over the line.
OST is nice and easy on the ears. Rewatch is there depending on whether you like sugar or spice. ;)

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My Lovely Boxer
12 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
par Zogitt
oct. 3, 2023
12 épisodes vus sur 12
Complété 0
Globalement 9.0
Histoire 8.5
Acting/Cast 9.0
Musique 8.5
Degrés de Re-visionnage 8.5

Hard hitting drama that punches above its weight

The start of the show is impactful and really hits you in the feels. There are so much latent angst and comments on our value system. Does winner really take it all?

This show is not for the faint of heart. There are angst and pain on multiple levels, both physical and psychological. It impacts on an individual as well as societal level when it broadens to involves organised crime.

There is a hint of Itaewon Class in this show even though the core subjects are quite different. The David vs Goliath battle is all too real. I must give credit to k-dramas for their ability to make this type of impactful drama without padding it out with meaningless tripes.

This is not an idle boast as acting, writing and direction are all top-notch. Key actors put up wonderful performances. These are demanding roles. Most of them are flawed, damaged, and hurting. The direction is great. It is effective both for the pensive scenes as well as the action scenes. This is rounded out by a script full of textures and nuances. The show’s main theme of healing is universal though. It is not hard for this drama to resonate with its audiences.

To emphasize this point, the show is full of confrontations. Both in and out of the boxing ring. There are lots of metaphors and life lessons to work through as we peel back the layers. Of course, it would be a rare k-drama to do without any romance, and this is no exception. There are several, both past and present but the one between our leads is the most poignant.

While the pacing overall is good and lively, it does slow in the last quarter. The earlier build up to the big fight seem to deflate the closer it got to the actual event. This is to be expected as the show must shift focus to address the match fixing plot. However, the resolution offered feels superficial. Consider the ML is a hapless victim for the bulk of the show, his one-man crusade completely turns the tide and supplants police investigations. It is too fantastic to be believable. Of course, that is not the end of this sorry saga. This is when the show goes all in for the impactful and explosive finale. To say the show hits you in the feels would be like calling Ali just a bruiser.

I really don’t want to spoil the last episode, so I’ll just say go watch it. However, the actual last few minutes feels a bit disjointed. It is as if the ending was changed due to reactions after test screening. Watch it and see if you agree with me and my friend, Love movies. ;)

It is only 12 eps long and it is more than worth your time. Acting, production and OST are all a cut above. Rewatch is possible but I think a highlight reel will be more palatable for me as I need to watch my blood pressure.

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Not Others
17 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
par Zogitt
août 23, 2023
12 épisodes vus sur 12
Complété 4
Globalement 8.0
Histoire 7.5
Acting/Cast 8.5
Musique 8.0
Degrés de Re-visionnage 7.5
Cette critique peut contenir des spoilers

I wish this was a J-drama

Yes, I know the title will raise an eyebrow or ten. It is intentional because while the show is good, it has issues with pacing and the quantity and quality of plot materials. Please allow me to explain.

The show starts with an odd couple trope. The mother had the FL when she was still in high school, and we see flashbacks of those trying years. It helps to illustrate her struggles and how she overcame the challenges to build a life for herself and her young daughter. Overall, it is impactful and well done but you have to paste the odd bits together to get the full picture. To say the duo have a love-hate relationship is an understatement.

There is no doubt this is a female centric drama. The mum is involved in about 60% of the plots. That is fine because she is a good actor in a strong role. However, if you expect the younger FL to be the focus then you will be disappointed.

Of course, there are male leads, and they are very good actors, but their roles are firmly in support. This is particularly true for the mum's partner. He is totally devoted to her and he is the nicest guy. Our younger OTP took a long time to get going. It definitely started as a love-hate thing. This is where my remark about j-drama becomes more pertinent.

The show did suffer from mid show drag. The pace slowed and our couples are dancing around each other in baby steps. On top of that, the show digs deep in the box of tricks and fishes out a murder mystery to fill the gap. This is why I said I wish this was a j-drama. Japanese usually do this type of female centric dramas better without having to shoehorn in unnecessary (aka murderous) side plots.

Let's call a spade, a spade. The heinous act was egregious. The poor victim is basically faceless and portrayed in a bad light. The murderer was just a shady figure in the dark. We never truly understood his motive. As soon as he is caught the plot terminates. They could have substituted any lesser crimes and still keep the plot flowing.

The use of such lazy devices is now my pet peeve. The target is always a young woman. It is mostly done to inject some (unnecessary) shock/horror. If we are lucky, it serves a purpose, otherwise it is just a momentary distraction. Of the 3 k-dramas I watched recently, this has one murder, Behind Your Touch has at least one and My Lovely Liar scored the trifecta. I don’t know how young Korean ladies can sleep peacefully at night.

If we take away the murder, we are left with a straightforward girl power motif. We certainly see good interactions between the female characters. Sisters united - will not be defeated! This extends to the unconventional ending. Yes, some are disappointed with the arrested OTP development and a lack of skinship but I can also see why they ended the show this way.

The writer used the last 2 eps to reinforce a couple of key messages. The found family you choose is more important than the family you were born into. The older ML rejected his manipulating parents, again. The sad passing of the grandma spotlights a brother who cared nothing for the old lady in life but wants her money in death. The final scene in the hotel is particularly poignant because the FL found out that the old lady actually adopted her mum so that she really is her grandmother rather than just a term of endearment.

The ML played the noble idiot card so that the FL can go back to the HQ without hindrance. It was a lie and it went down like a lead balloon. He knew it and so does the FL. The quick kiss from the FL on the day of her departure sealed the deal. He also said that he will wait for her. That is quite swoon-y without being too lovey-dovey. That's not his style.

The mum showing up at the airport was total self indulgence. She is happy to live her own life but it is a comfort to have a partner you can lean on at the same time. Win-win.

Our CP's giving each others space and respect their SO's decisions is enlightening. Yes, it wasn't quite the grand romantic gesture we had hoped, but in light of the prevailing messages, it is an appropriate and fitting finish.

Acting is solid from the experienced ensemble. OST is pleasant. Rewatch is possible but a low priority.

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We Started Dating From Marriage
14 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
par Zogitt
janv. 7, 2021
35 épisodes vus sur 35
Complété 0
Globalement 7.0
Histoire 6.5
Acting/Cast 7.5
Musique 7.5
Degrés de Re-visionnage 7.0
Cette critique peut contenir des spoilers

This show is all about relationships and it is love-hate for me

Dear Diary, I just had a lightbulb moment while watching Begin Again. I just realised that the show was designed to present us with a series of beautiful, happy or swoon-worthy moments like sugar highs and we shall want more. Unfortunately, for some of us, this will feel superficial when the highs wore off.

The show started well and promisingly. It wore the rom-com tag with pride and it left the viewer with little doubt that the show was light-hearted and fluffy. The OST is full of happy little tunes and zany sound effects to help us to spot any double entendre. The writer flipped the usual marriage contract trope and made the FL the instigator and she was smart, head strong as well as the powerful CEO of a large corporation. The ML was a sweet, gentle soul in contrast. There was good chemistry between the OTP but it was not without issues. The meet-cute was good and the pace was cracking in the first few episodes. However, once the show started to go on rails then the weak story telling began to show. One such issues was an odd tonal misalignment. As I mentioned before, the show took its rom-com root seriously. It seemed hellbent on being funny and light hearted even though when you look at the themes that were touched upon it was anything but. There was PTSD, unrequited love, one sided crush, obsession, revenge and stalking, etc . They are hardly trivial matters but the show muted their impact. You can feel an unease and a discord building under the cheery veneer if you bothered to look.

By the mid show mark, the corporate world of the FL has collapsed due to the shenanigans of a revenge plot. However, while it was presented to us as a surprise twist, it was telegraphed to us earlier on. In a sense, it was a tell-tale sign of the writing. Almost everything about the show was very transparent and shallow. Lots of tropes were used and most characters were one dimensional. Some did play for laughs but the lack of depth was telling.

The wheel really came off when the FL played the noble idiot card around the 2/3 mark. Why writers insist that running away from someone who truly loved you is the best way to bring them happiness and peace. Really?! In this case, it was even worse as a child was involved. As other reviewers have mentioned, she could have simply accompanied the ML overseas but that would be too logical.

Then the magical unicorn joined the cast. There was a SIX years time skip and the show basically used a 5 year old boy as the Deus Ex Machina to reset the show. Sunshine and happiness returned to the blighted land and we rejoiced!

However, there was little character development in the mean time and nothing was really addressed. In fact, the show basically spent the first episode after the time skip to berate the FL (via her friends and family) for being a noble idiot. If it was such a bad idea then why use it as a plot device? When you consider the script even had the ML telling the FL upon their reunion that he didn't change his phone number for 6 years and she pointedly said that she didn't either then why didn't they just call as they were obviously still pining for each other. Not only the OTP had a reset, the 2OTP (the author) had a reset and started their courtship again when nothing happened for 6 years?! The 3OTP pairing (the actress) was a waste of time.

Honestly, the last 10 episodes were done like a string of scenes designed to give us the feels or make us swoon but barely advanced the threadbare plot. It walked the same grounds of the earlier episodes. Sure, the little boy stole the show and the couple moments were sweet and the ML will make you swoon. It was so light that it could have lifted the Hindenburg. The revenge plot resurfaced briefly but it was poorly handled and strained credulity.

You'd either love this purely for the feels and sweet moments and ignore whatever else was going on and you will be happy. Or if you watch this with critical eyes then you will hate how the poor script was veneered over by "Mills and Boon" moments and ultimately leave you with a hollow feeling. Maybe re-watch the last few episodes if you needed a sugar hit.

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