[Discuss Away!] Jinxed at First, Alchemy of Souls, Narco-Saints, Little Women

It’s been a pretty quiet break, but I’m back with another post! This time, I share my thoughts on dramas that I’ve finished — some I talked about previously on this blog and some I am posting about for the first time. So with that, let’s get started!

Jinxed at First

Oh, ‘Jinxed at First’, what happened to you?

I know that sounded a lot more serious than it actually is, but the question does ring true to an extent. Although not the most exciting and compelling drama, ‘Jinxed at First’ had an interesting premise and opened with a light-hearted story and characters. I was pleasantly surprised with how fun and adorable the drama was to watch, especially with our main characters Seul-bi and Soo-kwang, and I enjoyed watching the two get closer and eventually become lovers. However, things changed for the worst when the drama got lost and confused and turned into a full 180. Before I knew it, the drama turned full makjang and there were a bunch of not-so-fun twists and turns. I can at least give the drama ~some~ credit for sort of warning us before the full transformation: the drama turned makjang any time there were scenes with the father while the drama tried its best to maintain its more cheerful side with Seul-bi and Soo-kwang. Eventually, the drama turned serious and dramatic and it just wasn’t as fun to watch anymore.

Given that the drama wrapped up a while ago meaning my watch of the drama ended around that time, I don’t have too many memories of the drama. It was fun while it sort of lasted and it’s not a drama that I was completely invested in or bummed out on. The drama started great and unfortunately didn’t act upon its full potential. Sounds like I was the one who was jinxed in the end.

Alchemy of Souls

Similar to ‘Jinxed at First’, I also don’t have too many memories or thoughts of this drama. There’s a season two coming out in December that won’t feature female lead actress, Jung So-min, which makes sense considering she was playing Mu-deok whose body was inhabited by Nak-su (originally played by Go Yoon-jung). Therefore, the second season will resume with Go Yoon-jung as the female lead, but it does make for an interesting thought what will happen if Jung So-min were to make an appearance given that she’s the missing daughter of the Jinyowon family.

By the end of the drama, I didn’t have too many thoughts on it, but something that did pop out to me was the directing. The writing isn’t the greatest and there were many rules, history, and context in the Songrim and Daeho universe. I think the drama could have been elevated a little bit more if the directing allowed it to. Don’t get me wrong, the drama looked fine and was a visually appealing drama, but I also couldn’t help but wonder what the drama would have felt like if, say, the director of ‘Goblin’ directed this show. It would probably look a lot better and also be able to mask and cover up just how busy this drama was.

Overall, I might give the first few episodes of season 2 a try but won’t be afraid to drop it if it doesn’t entice me.


Hwang Jung-min? Ha Jung-woo? Park Hae-soo? Count me in!

Except.. I wanted out halfway into the drama. One of the most painful experiences ever as a K-drama enjoyer is watching a drama with a talented, star-studded cast unable to tap into its full potential. And maybe it might have just been me as someone who’s not that much into drug-smuggling operations and drug lords, but I wished I came out of this drama feeling a bit more invested and satisfied.

There was nothing big from the drama that stood out to me and maybe that was due to the high expectations that I had of the drama with the packed cast. But at the same time, when you have both A-list actors Hwang Jung-min and Ha Jung-woo, you have high hopes because it’s Hwang freaking Jung-min and Ha freaking Jung-woo (not to mention Yoo Yeon-seok was also in this!). Even with the underwhelming directing, all the actors in the show did a great job and portrayed their characters just fine. It was also interesting how it was Hwang Jung-min who played the antagonist while Ha Jung-woo played the protagonist. Maybe it’s because the image of Ha Jung-woo in his break-out movie ‘The Chaser’ is still so vivid and clear to me that I had to remind myself he was playing the protagonist in this drama, lol.

Regardless, I expected a bit more with a star-studded cast and Ha Jung-woo’s comeback drama in more than a decade (his last drama series was back in 2007). I’m not as surprised that Ha Jung-woo took on this drama given that he’s collaborated with the director a few times before, but their movies were better than this drama. While I wouldn’t be opposed to another drama series with Ha Jung-woo, it might be better to just stick to movies in the meantime.

Little Women

Oh man oh man, this drama was not one that I was expecting to watch but ultimately finished. It was a pleasant, pleasant surprise. I originally had no plans to watch this drama, but when you have nothing else to watch while you’re at the gym, you get kind of desperate. Such was the case with me and I went into this drama with no expectations. Well.. actually, scratch that. Given the title of the drama, I was expecting the drama to model a similar premise to the book or even to the movie adaptations of the book, but the Korean drama was its own version set in its own universe.

Starring Kim Go-eun and Nam Ji-hyun along with ‘Squid Game’ superstar, Wi Ha-joon, the drama follows three sisters and their individual lives interconnected with a wealthy and powerful family with a mysterious history. A major theme throughout the drama is also the concept of money and just how much more convenient one’s life could be with money. But in the act of going after money, are you also willing to give up your values, beliefs, love, and family? Or in the case of Nam Ji-hyun’s character, In-kyung, what do you do when you’re the underdog and you’re going up against a family riddled with money, wealth, power, and influence? ‘Little Women’ dives into these questions and so much more and even if it wasn’t the most ground-breaking or enticing drama that I’ve watched, it did just enough to keep you watching.

I found that ‘Little Women’ started off a little too slow for me, but overtime, managed to successfully maintain a mysterious pace that kept you wanting to watch. It had this magnetic pull where you couldn’t keep your eyes away even if the content on the screen wasn’t the most interesting or fascinating. It was slow but steady and those are the most dangerous types of dramas to me. Perhaps, that’s one of the biggest things I appreciated the most about this show now that I’ve finished it. It was stable the entire time; the tone and pacing of the drama was consistent so I was intrigued the more I watched the show.

While I enjoyed the themes and concepts that the drama explored through the lives of our 3 sisters, I also really enjoyed just how everything was interconnected. They were each busy doing their own thing and living their life the way they wanted, but they were all still connected to the same family. It all tied back together and I liked how the 3 sisters were a tiny speck in a universe that they managed to overcome and handle in the end. The other aspect in the drama that I really enjoyed was In-joo and Do-il’s relationship. The show did a fantastic job of keeping Do-il’s character ambiguous; you could never be too sure if he was in it for the money or love. And maybe it was because of that mystery and uncertainty that I enjoyed watching the two characters interact with each other. The romance wasn’t too obvious and loud and didn’t take up too much time and I thought it was a nice little sprinkle to everything else that was going on in the drama.

It’s rare for dramas to hold on strong especially once it hits the middle point of the drama at around episode 7 or so, but ‘Little Women’ managed to hang on tight and hung on well. It’s just a shame that the drama couldn’t manage to pull through until the very end. There’s plenty of shows and movies out there with a bad or underwhelming ending that sometimes ruin the show and movie itself. I wouldn’t go that far to say that this notion applied to ‘Little Women’, but I do wish the final episode stayed truer to its colors. Regardless, for what it was and for my non-existent expectations going into the drama, I was pleasantly surprised with the ‘Little Women’ experiment. Much better than I expected, but not as satisfying with its finale. Oh, and also, I will never see orchids the same way ever again.

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