The holiday season is coming up, but I’m still making sure to carve out some time to watch recently released or currently airing dramas and movies! In this post, I’ll be sharing my thoughts and opinions on some of the latest work that I tuned into. Let’s goooo!
Behind Every Star
I wanted to like this one more than I did with the first two episodes. Starring Lee Seo-jin along with Joo Hyun-young (AKA the nation’s best friend, Dong Geu-rae-mi, from ‘Extraordinary Attorney Woo‘), there were plenty of reasons to give this drama a try. As it seems a bit more lowkey compared to other dramas, I thought it could be one of those sleeper dramas that turn out to be a pleasant surprise but just doesn’t gain as much traction. While I can’t say with certainty what the success or direction of this show will be, I’m also a bit sad that I didn’t enjoy this drama as much as I wanted to or was hoping to.
There’s only been 2 episodes out so far out of 12 so there’s obviously so many more stories, cameos, and information that’s going to be revealed later on down the line. However, I can’t say with certainty that I was the biggest fan of the first two episodes. The beginning of a drama is always tricky because it sort of sets the tone for what to expect later on in the drama, but at the same time, it really doesn’t so you’re left sort of just waiting. ‘Behind Every Star’ shows you the literal meaning behind its title with the first two episodes focused on a different celebrity/star. It follows an entertainment company that works with a bunch of different celebrities and judging by what we saw with the first two episodes, there might be many more cameos/appearances from different actors in later episodes (Cho Yeo-Jeong appeared in the first episode; Lee Hee-jun and Jin Sun-kyu showed up in the second). I think if there’s any exciting about this drama, the cameos would definitely be one of them.
The other aspect that I was sort of intrigued by was the relationship between Joo Hyun-young’s character, Hyun-joo, and young actor Eun-gyul (played by Shin Hyun-seung). Right off the bat, the two emitted great chemistry with each other and they also met on such cute conditions. Of course, episode two shows that it’s not going to be as smooth and easy as it seems as a huge revelation is made at the end of that episode, but I did find the two cute together with their interactions. I guess the other intriguing aspect would be the relationship between Hyun-joo and Lee Seo-jin’s character, Ma Tae-oh. The drama hints that they have some kind of connection with each other before working together at the same entertainment company, but they keep their relationship under wraps and keep it as a secret from everyone else. It’ll be interesting to see what the history and background behind their connection is.
‘Behind Every Star’ isn’t a bad drama by any means, but I do wish it had a little bit more flavor and ‘oomph’ to it. It seemed a bit dry at times even though it should have been a more entertaining drama given its premise, the characters, and the location that the dramas takes place in (the entertainment company). You have everything sort of set up for you and there’s so much potential to explore and do more. After finishing the first two episodes, I finally realized what would have made ‘Behind Every Star’ an even more entertaining watch for me. As of right now, it seems a bit dry and cut-throat; it’s a bit too straight to the point with all the comedy and humor and cameos and stories. But what would have made this drama stand out even more was if it adopted a style and tone similar to ‘Welcome to Waikiki.’ A bit more sitcom-y. A drama that doesn’t take itself seriously. A drama that amps up the humor and comedy with every passing episode. A drama that doesn’t try too hard or doesn’t do too much.
The bright side to all of this is that ‘Behind Every Star’ is only two episodes in. It would help if the drama picks up its pace and builds up some momentum, but if it keeps up at the pace that it was at with the first two episodes, I’m afraid that the drama will be surrounded by untapped potential.
‘Glitch’ is another drama that I really wanted to like or wished I liked more. With this being Jeon Yeo-been’s first drama since hitting it big with ‘Vincenzo‘, there was some well-deserved anticipation and excitement for this show. She’s been a favorite actress of mines since I saw her in ‘Be Melodramatic’ so there was something to look forward to with ‘Glitch.’ It’s safe to say, Jeon Yeo-been delivered and did not disappoint, but I unfortunately can’t say the same about the drama.
Similar to ‘Behind Every Star’, ‘Glitch’ had an interesting premise and storyline. It follows Jeon Yeo-been’s character, Hong Ji-hyo, who tries to track down her missing boyfriend with the help of a UFO-watching club. UFO’s, aliens, a mysterious cult, a team of odd misfits — there are so many compelling components to this drama. And yet, it was just sort of that for me.
The beginning felt a little slow for me and took a little too long to set everything up. I wished the pacing was a bit faster in the beginning because I found myself losing interest with each passing episode. Of course, things got more interesting once the team set out to search for Ji-hyo’s missing boyfriend together and we followed the team on their interesting adventure. I’m just a sucker for any drama where it’s centered around a team that works together to accomplish a mission or goal so I enjoyed watching the dynamic between the team members and their antics. The UFO cult(?)/church aspect of the story didn’t interest me as much as it’s something we’ve seen before in K-dramaland, but my interest and attention did raise when Ji-hyo’s relation and connection to the cult was revealed. That part was definitely exciting and got me tuned back into the drama once again.
Overall, I was tuning in and out of ‘Glitch’ and made the mistake of going into it with some kind of expectation or excitement primarily due to Jeon Yeo-been. The production quality was strong, the acting was good, and the drama had components and parts that made it an intriguing and mind-blowing watch at times. It’s not a drama that I will ever re-watch or visit, but I didn’t finish the drama wishing to get back 10 hours of my life. I guess that’s good, right?
20th Century Girl
Man, this movie was like love at first watch for me. I loved it so much that I watched it another two times shortly afterwards. It’s been a while since a movie has made me feel this warm, cozy, fuzzy, and heartbroken all at the same time. Although I didn’t enjoy every second of this movie, I fell in love with the movie within the first 30 minutes. ’20th Century Girl’ was such a pleasant watch and it’s a movie that I can see myself re-watching many more times.
Since I liked this movie so much, I’m thinking of creating a separate post dedicated to it. I’m still debating if I want to do a recap or a more in-depth review, but nonetheless, ’20th Century Girl’ captured me in more ways than one. I actually had no expectations going into this movie. I had heard about it, but I didn’t care for it much. I don’t follow Kim Yoo-jung’s career nor was I interested in the story or the rest of the cast. But wow, it didn’t take me long to become intrigued and to eventually fall in love with it. ’20th Century Girl’ isn’t the most groundbreaking or mind-blowing watch given its premise and story, but that’s what I liked about it. I miss movies that are simple and packed with cute and innocent interactions between our two leads that reminds you of your first love and your crush and all that puppy love. ’20th Century Girl’ does such a wonderful job at capturing the nuances and details of first loves and crushes and relationships and watching the two leads interact made me feel all gushy and giddy inside. I was getting butterflies in my stomach watching them; I was the one giggling and laughing with every interaction. I was the one blushing.
I loved that the movie threw it back to the 90’s which in a way gave me ‘Reply 1994’ and ‘Reply 1997′ vibes. Very old-school. Very laid-back. Very retro. Kim Yoo-jung’s family in the movie owns a VHS store. She wore striped long sleeves in the movie. The movie is so sentimental and nostalgic and I’m such a sucker for that stuff and a sucker in general for these old-school movies. I wished there were more actually because ’20th Century Girl’ felt like such a breath of fresh air. Another thing that made the movie work really well was the chemistry between Kim Yoo-jung and Byeon Woo-seok. The two actors individually seem like the type to have chemistry with their co-stars so it didn’t come as a surprise that they matched so well together on screen. I actually didn’t know I would enjoy this couple as much as I did so their pairing was a nice surprise. Also, in regards to Byeon Woo-seok, I’ve only seen him in one other project which was ‘Record of Youth.’ I didn’t think too much of him in that drama, but after watching ’20th Century Girl’, he’s definitely climbing up on my list of actors to keep an eye out on (plus it also helps that his appearance on ‘Running Man’ was entertaining and funny as well!).
While the movie focused on relationships and crushes and puppy love, it also touched on other concepts related to family and friendships which I really appreciated and loved. The movie carried a bunch of different lessons and messages and served as a good reminder that family and friends is just as important as love. The three are essential in life and our characters, especially Kim Yoo-jung’s character, was surrounded by that throughout the movie. Overall, I spontaneously gave ’20th Century Girl’ a watch and came out of it loving it and wholeheartedly enjoying it. ’20th Century Girl’ definitely makes for a heartwarming watch in the 21st century.