Potential scandals are never far behind when you’re married to The Crown and the drama’s sophomore season wasted no time by opening with what seemed to be a tiff between the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. However, the Duke’s free-spirited ways were but a mere fraction of the monarch’s problems during the first decade of her reign. There was the uncle who palled around with Nazis, a tempestuous younger sister, prime ministers plagued by health issues when backed into a corner, the Suez Crisis which threatened British credibility as a world power, the Profumo affair and a frosty first meeting with a famous First Lady. Through it all, Elizabeth II maintained a steely composure to give the country and her family a much needed stability.
One of the recently concluded dramas I followed this year revolves around the premise of forgiveness and living your life to fullest. A far-cry from the technical jargon of Circle, Reunited Worlds deal with normal people whose lives changed because of an accidental death twelve years ago. What’s even more baffling is said dead person returns one sunny day looking very much like his nineteen year old self.
Yeo Jin-goo plays the aformentioned character, a student named Sung Hae-sung, whose death left behind four younger siblings now estranged and living their own lives. His high school friends have become professionals and it is through their help that Hae-sung navigates this temporary lease on life to correct mistakes from the past.
I initially expected tear-jerking episodes from start to finish but the writer was able to navigate equal parts of drama, comedy, romance and a bit of murder-mystery to keep the plot interesting. Can someone cast Yeo Jin-goo in a rom-com next time? Poor guy must’ve exhausted his tear ducts with his last two series.😂
- I am a big fan of dramas with a strong friendship core and Reunited Worlds gave me that with Hae-sung, Jung-won, Ho-bang, Jin-joo, Tae-hoon and Moon-shik.
- Who knew a love line would develop between Ho-bang and Jin-joo? They were always a hoot together.
- Seeing the siblings slowly patch things up was cathartic. I thought Young-jun would never come around but thankfully he stepped up at the right moment.
- I cannot stress enough how music is oftentimes the saving grace of a series so I’m happy the show’s OST delivered songs worthy of a constant loop on my playlist.
- YEO. JIN. GOO. ‘Nuff said.
- No one really made a big fuss about Hae-sung’s return save for Ho-bang, Hae-chul and Jung-won. If a loved who died suddenly came back, I would be asking all sorts of questions. Hah!
- Moon-shik was terribly underused. He maybe tactless but he was a great sounding board for his friends.
- For all that he’s done, I thought Chairman Cha got off way too easy. Asking for Hae-sung’s forgiveness won’t solve the years he lost because of the accident.
- And really, no interactions between Min-joon and Tae-hoon after the revelation that they are brothers? I would’ve appreciated an extra scene or two showing them bonding rather than have Hae-sung and Min-joon talk about it. Pfft!
The dramas that premiered in May nearly had us up to our eyeballs in determining which ones to prioritize.😂 While Suspicious Partner and The Best Hit are giving me my necessary rom-com fix, Circle has emerged as a surprising favorite with its sci-fi/procedural thriller approach. The story offers a glimpse of a future where human emotions are controlled and memories are manipulated for a Utopian society. It’s an ethical dilemma that affects our core characters as they discover how 2037’s Human B system had its humble beginnings as a beta project back in 2017. In fact, its germinating phase may have started as early as 2007 when an “alien” appeared in the lives of Woo Jin and Beom Gyun.
So what makes it a drama worth checking out?🤔
It’s the perfect hybrid of all K-drama genres we’re familiar with. Not only does Circle deal with the staple family issues, it also throws in a little bit of romance and sci-fi with a procedural twist on the side.
When we decided to switch to sageuks after watching contemporary K-dramas since last year, one of those I had been favorably considering was Hwarang. A fictional adaptation set during the reign of King Jinheung, it tells the story of how an elite group of young men rose among the existing factions of Silla to become the royal family’s fiercest ally. Throw in a love story or two and you’ve got yourself the perfect formula for a compelling K-drama. So why did the ratings reflect otherwise?
For a series that highlighted six young men in its promotional materials, the plot was heavily focused on three people only. Had they fleshed out each guy’s backstory it would have shown how effective the cast were as an ensemble. You also had unresolved plot lines (fainting spells and paternity, to name a few) which the writer failed to address as the series concluded. Simply put, there were a lot of wasted opportunities to polish what was otherwise an entertaining pre-produced K-drama.