TV shows I completed or caught up on in 2019

Last year, I didn’t manage to watch as much TV as I would’ve wanted to. Especially towards the latter half of the year. I just didn’t have the time or energy to commit to a series. Looking back at my TV tracker however, I noticed that I managed to complete or catch up on more series than I thought I had. Here’s what I watched, and what I thought of it.

I started off 2019 by binge-watching Tidying Up With Marie Kondo. This might be the most adorable reality show I have ever seen. Mario Kondo seems like the kindest and most understanding person. If everyone in the world was a bit more like her, we would live in a better place.

🌟 I would give Tidying Up With Marie Kondo 4/5 stars

I then continued to binge-watch What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim, which managed to climb up my list of favorite K-dramas I’ve seen so far. It’s about a boss who depends on his secretary for literally everything, until she tells him she is resigning. It was fun, sweet and adorable.

🌟 I would give What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim 4.5/5 stars

After that, I finally watched the last few episodes of Because This Is My First Life. While this drama wasn’t bad at all, and I rather enjoyed the performance of Jung So-min, this show failed to capture my attention. I liked it while watching but never felt like it was one I needed to return to.

🌟 I would give Because This Is My First Life 3/5 stars

Continuing the trend of binge-watching K-dramas, I went on to watch Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo which I really enjoyed. It’s a show centered around sports which is usually a true hit or miss for me. What I loved most about this show is that the female main character is a competitive weightlifter and the guy is a swimmer. A female weightlifter? YES PLEASE.

🌟 I would give Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo 4.5/5 stars

After finishing that one, I decided it was time to tackle one of the most beloved K-dramas of all time: Coffee Prince. This is about a girl who starts to work in a coffee shop, and falls in love with her boss. The only downside is that everyone thinks she’s a boy. What I loved most about this show is that it shows the guy recognizing his feelings for her and wanting a relationship, even though he thinks she’s a guy and always considered himself straight.

🌟 I would give Coffee Prince 4/5 stars

After all the Korean shows, I decided to go back home and watch a Belgian show. I watched the entire first season of De Luizenmoeder in one go, which is a comedic show centered around the life of parents and teachers in an elementary school. It’s absolutely hilarious, and so relatable!

🌟 I would give De Luizenmoeder 4.5/5 stars

Back to Korea we go, because I watched the Netflix show Romance Is a Bonus Book afterwards. This is a show I actually had to wait for, as Netflix released 2 episodes per week and I was hooked a few episodes in. I hadn’t watched a show weekly in months (years, even?) but I couldn’t help myself. Every episode just had to be watched immediately. This is a show about a woman who tries to join the workforce again after being a stay-at-home mom for years, now being divorced. It’s set in a publishing house, has a friends-to-lovers relationship and has healthy communication and little to no relationship drama. It’s perfect.

🌟 I would give Romance is a Bonus Book 5/5 stars

The previous show made me an enormous fan of Lee Jong-suk, so I immediately started watching one of his “older” shows, called WW – Two Worlds Apart is an action-packed show in which the main character’s father creates graphic novels. The world inside the graphic novels come to life, however, and whatever he writes happens. The main character falls into the story and saves the male character, which sets off a chain of reactions.

🌟 I would give W 4/5 stars

After Korea, I hopped over to China by watching Put Your Head On My Shoulder. This is definitely one of the most adorable romance shows I have ever watched. It’s about a girl who studies accounting in university but actually wants to work within marketing and advertising, and a physics student at the same university. They end up sharing an apartment so the girl can easily go to her part-time job, and fall in love. The soft boy easily wins over the “best friend” who took her for granted for years and I am LIVING for it.

🌟 I would give Put Your Head On My Shoulder 5/5 stars

Obviously, I couldn’t go through 2019 without watching the latest season of Stranger Things as soon as it was released. My love for this show is no secret, and I happened to adore season 3. I actually liked it better than season 2, although nothing can top the brilliance and atmosphere of season 1.

🌟 I would give Stranger Things Season 3 4.5/5 stars

Then, I watched the entire first season of Jinn. Jinn was a new Netflix release, and if I’m not mistaken, their first Arabic Original Show. I was excited to watch this because Netflix branching out of English shows and actors is always something I want to see. However, this show is kind of ridiculous. After watching it, I saw a lot of comments online that the Arabic speech and sentences in this show make no sense. That no one would actually speak like this. Then I found out that the writer is American. So no thank you.

🌟 I would give Jinn 2/5 stars

After watching Jinn, I finally gave in to my brother’s reminders to watch this show and I started La Casa de Papel (or Money Heist, for the English speakers). In Europe, La Casa de Papel is one of the most popular tv shows. The majority of people I know have watched it, and those who haven’t at least know about it. After watching a YouTube reaction video, it appears as if this is not very popular in the US? Which is RIDICULOUS because this is one of the best shows ever. Also, don’t watch the dubbed version. Just use subtitles. You need to listen to the original Spanish…

I never actually said what this show is about but it follows a group of people who have taken codenames (city names) and are robbing The National Mint in Madrid.

🌟 I would give La Casa de Papel 5/5 stars

After Spain, I went back to China to binge-watch Go Go Squid, another drama to add to the favorites list. This follows a talented computer major who falls for a CTF player /owner of a CTF club. At first, I wasn’t quite sure because she seemed to like him for no reason other than his appearance. After a while, though, I became so attached to all the characters! I’m not just talking about the two main characters but also about her best friends, the players in his club, etc. Their relationship turned out so sweet as well.

🌟 I would give Go Go Squid 4/5 stars.

Lastly, I watched seasons 3 of both Skam France and WTFock. Both are remakes of the original Norwegian show Skam, which I absolutely adored. WTFock is the Flemish adaptation (Belgian), which I was hesitant to watch. I’m not really used to watching shows in my own language, especially ones about teenagers, so I was afraid it would end up being cringy. I fell in love with both adaptations of season 3, however.

🌟 I would give both Skam France and WTFock 4/5 stars

Those are all the shows I either finished watching in 2019, or caught up on! Obviously, I watched a few more shows but haven’t completed them yet. I’m quite pleased with this years’ TV watching, I seem to have visited quite a few countries through TV.

What did you watch in 2019? Have you watched any of these shows?

Why you should watch La Casa de Papel right now (if you haven’t already)

Today’s post is dedicated to La Casa de Papel, a Netflix show I absolutely adore. You might know it as Money Heist instead, since Netflix seems to believe you need to have an English title for it to be popular abroad.

la casa de papel

Title: La Casa de Papel (2017)
Country: Spain
Creator: Álex Pina
Episodes so far: 22
Rating: ★★★★.₅ – loved it

A mysterious man, known as “The Professor”, is planning the biggest bank heist in history. To carry out the ambitious plan, he recruits a team of eight people with certain abilities who have nothing to lose. The goal is to enter the Royal Mint of Spain in Madrid, the capital of Spain, and print €2.4 billion. To do this, the team requires eleven days of seclusion, during which they have to deal with elite police forces and 67 hostages.

my thoughts on june 19

Today, I want to share my thoughts on why everyone should watch this show (if you haven’t already, of course). I know it’s quite popular in Belgium, but I don’t know whether that is true worldwide. Let’s talk about one of my new favorite shows!

You should watch it right now because…

⭐️ season 3 will be released tomorrow. On July 19th, Part 3 of the series will release on Netflix, and I can’t tell you how excited I am about it. That means it’s the perfect time for everyone to either start the show, or catch up, because it’s the type of show you’ll want to binge-watch immediately. I watched the second season in a matter of days, which is quite the feat considering how little time I’ve had to myself lately.

⭐️ heist story. If you know me, then this will come as no surprise. I absolutely adore heist stories, whether they are in novel, TV or movie format. The fact that this show centers around a heist in Madrid was the reason I first started watching. If you love heist stories as well, this is the perfect show for you.

⭐️ action-packed, never a dull moment. The first 2 seasons (22 episodes) all take part during the heist, in a timespan of 11 days. At first, I expected it to be quite a slow-paced one, because there’s only so much you can do with 22 episodes on 11 days. However, the show managed to keep me clustered to my screen the entire time. I was never bored. Instead, I found myself fearing for the characters and rooting for them the entire time. I believe the way it was edited plays a large part in making it feel more dynamic and fast-paced.

⭐️ characters you’ll fall in love with. I always seem to root for the criminals, and this is no different. As you’re spending so much time with these characters in a closed environment for days on end, you get to know them pretty well. There are 8 members of the team, and the Professor, and all of them have time to develop their characters. Some more than others, sure, but you’ll end up getting attached to all of them.

⭐️ past and present intertwined. The series switches constantly between the heist taking place and the planning process. As events unfold in the present, their level of  planning and organization reveals itself. This made every twist more exciting to me, because I couldn’t wait to find out how much of the possible outcomes they had foreseen/anticipated.

I honestly can’t recommend this series enough. If you haven’t watched it, for some reason, please do so. Soon, you’ll have 3 seasons to binge-watch! I can’t wait to watch the new season tomorrow, even though I might not be able to actually start it when it’s released. I’m going to try my best and avoid spoilers!

Have you watched La Casa de Papel? Are you excited for season 3?

my thoughts on put your head on my shoulder (thoughts on TV)

put your head on my shoulderPut Your Head On My Shoulder (2019)
Country: China
Genre: drama, romance
Rating: ★★★★.₅ – loved it

As Si Tu Mo’s graduation is nearing, she is confused about her future plans. She tries out all sorts of things all the time and is unable to make her own decisions. Her ordinary days are suddenly shaken up when the genius Physics student Gu Wei Yi appears in her life. The two accidentally end up living together and chaos begins.

Watch it here!


my thoughts on june 19

I stumbled upon Put Your Head On My Shoulder in my recommended videos on YouTube, and decided it was worth a shot. Weeks later, I find myself thanking YouTube because I’ve found another drama I adored. I don’t often watch shows where I have to wait for the next episode to come out, but that was the case with this one. Each Friday and Saturday at 2PM (my time zone), two episodes would be released. So you had to wait a little less than a week but you did get 4 episodes a week.

I haven’t seen many people talk about this drama, which is why I wanted to make sure to do a ‘thoughts on TV’ post on it.

What I loved about the show

⭐️ a main character I admire. I truly think Si Tu Mo is a heroine I could get behind. She’s trying hard to get a job in a field she wants to work in, even though her educational background doesn’t fit with it. She works hard when she finally gets a chance at an internship. She has a crush on her best friend, but doesn’t let him get away with taking advantage of her feelings or taking her for granted. She loves her friends, and supports them always. I absolutely loved her.

⭐️ soft boy! You all know how much I love a soft boy. Gu Wei Yi is such a kind person, and is the perfect love interest (in my opinion). He tries his best to do things she likes, to learn more about her interests, and to communicate in a way she understands. It’s all the little things that she doesn’t necessarily pick up on, but he tries so hard to make her happy.

⭐️ two people who are very different, falling in love. When I talk about being very different, I mean it in the way they process the world and communicate. Si Tu Mo is a very creative and outgoing person, who values relationships and communication. Gu Wei Yi is a scientist, and more quiet. He isn’t really used to expressing his thoughts and feelings, and struggles with communicating them to others.

⭐️ the best friend (who doesn’t deserve her) does not end up with Si Tu Mo. That’s not a spoiler, since you can tell from the poster and the description of the drama that the relationship will focus on Si Tu Mo and Gu Wei Yi. However, at the start of the show Si Tu Mo is very hung up on her best friend, Fu Pei. He takes her for granted though, and does not treat her well at all. I’m glad that this shows there’s no excuse for it, and you will lose the girl if this is how you behave. Sometimes, the best friend really doesn’t deserve the girl.

⭐️ don’t let go of your dreams because of a relationship. This is such an important message to me, so I’m glad this drama included it. I don’t want to spoil anything for you all, but they have to make a decision for their careers and lives that will make their relationship harder. Yet it’s an important opportunity, and I love the way they dealt with it.

⭐️ no tons of unnecessary relationship drama. I really hate having to watch the main characters get together only to have them separated an episode later. That’s not the case here.

There really wasn’t anything about this drama that I didn’t like. I’d highly recommend it, if my description sounds intriguing to you. It’s easy to watch as well, since they are all subtitled and available on YouTube! I will say, this is a very cute and bubbly show. If that’s not something you like, you won’t be able to watch this. I feel like I’ve gotten quite used to these types of shows because I’ve watched quite a few Asian dramas now, but I know not everyone will like it.

2018 ranked | TV shows I watched

It’s time for my second installment of ‘2018 ranked’, this time focused on TV shows. Now, I’ll set some rules for this edition of ranked. I can only use TV shows I either completed in 2018, or watched a large chunk of last year. I can’t count ones I only watched a few episodes of, because I think that’s a bit unfair. I’ll add whether I’ve completed them or not after the title, so you’ll know. Let’s get to it!

Disclaimer: there are really no shows on this list I didn’t like at all. If I don’t like a show, I won’t continue watching it, and I surely won’t finish it. 

Rich Man, Poor Woman – completed
Out of all the TV shows I watched/completed, this might have been my least favorite one. Sorry, Suho! I certainly didn’t hate it, because I gave it around a 3/5 stars. I just didn’t feel much chemistry between the main characters, which is pretty crucial in a drama for me.

Boys Over Flowers – completed
I would have loved this more if I had watched it years ago, like everyone else did. However, years ago I wasn’t even aware of the existence of K-dramas. Instead I watched it in 2018, after watching a modern, Chinese reboot of the story. As I don’t have the nostalgic link, and knew what would happen in the story already, I just didn’t fall in love with this.

I Am Not a Robot – completed
I actually truly enjoyed watching this show. The reason it’s not higher on the list, is that I had genuinely forgotten I watched it in 2018. To be fair, I watched it in January which is a pretty long time ago. I would still recommend it!

Between – still watching
The first show on the list I haven’t actually finished watching. This is a Taiwanese drama about a ‘sandwich girl’. Always stuck in between people and situations. The reason this is quite ‘high’ on the list despite not have watched it in its entirety is because I can relate to the main female character in her work life. The feeling of always being stuck between your boss and colleagues, wanting to do your work well, not really knowing how to say no to more work…

Uncontrollably Fond – completed
Did I ugly cry at the end of this series? You bet I did. I first started watching this because of Suzy, who plays the main character in this show. She’s absolutely fantastic in it, by the way. It’s the story of a famous actor and the producer who is making a documentary about his life. Except there’s way more to the story than that. Of course.

Read my full thoughts on Uncontrollably Fond here.

Something in the Rain – completed
Something in the Rain was one of the cutest shows I’d seen in a long time. It’s about a woman who reconnects with her best friends’ little brother when he comes back from the US. Instead of the little boy she remembers, he’s now a charming and kind adult, and they develop a wonderful relationship. I love the fact that this story focused on their relationship instead of their getting together. It showed a healthy, adult relationship and I can’t praise it enough.

Read my full thoughts on Something in the Rain here

Meteor Garden – completed
I’m still not sure where to put Meteor Garden on this list. I recognize that it has its flaws, like a lot of TV shows do. But it’s also one of the only shows on this list I’ve gone back and rewatched multiple times? Surely that means I love it, right? Anyway, this is a remake of a remake, and it’s still worth watching. It’s a Chinese drama set in college/university.

Read my full thoughts on Meteor Garden here.

Just Between Lovers – completed
The best way to describe this show, in my opinion, is quietly beautiful. It’s nothing showy or spectacular, but it managed to blow my mind anyway. It follows two people who have lost loved ones in the collapse of a mall – two survivors of the collapse, in fact. There’s so much hurt and grief in their lives, and both of them have so much love to give. I wanted to wrap these characters in a blanket and protect them from the world.

Read my full thoughts on Just Between Lovers here

Suspicious Partner – still watching
Another show I haven’t finished watching yet! I love it so much already though, that it deserves a top spot on this list. I think it’s the combination of a lawyer drama + murder + conspiracies + romance that drew me in here. I’ll gather my thoughts on the show later when I’ve completed it and write a ‘Thoughts on TV’ post on it, but for now all I’ll say is that I would highly recommend watching it.

Queer Eye – caught up
You knew this would be on the list, didn’t you? I binge-watched this show in about a week – yes, both seasons in a week – because I just couldn’t stop. This is so much more than a makeover show. If you somehow haven’t watched it, please do. I never thought I would end up loving it, because I don’t really watch much reality TV. I ended up giving it a try, binge-watching two seasons, and crying my eyes out.

You – still watching
The last show on this list I haven’t finished watching. I binge-watched the first 6 episodes of the show immediately after its release, because it was one of my most anticipated Netflix releases. I couldn’t really get in to the book this is based on, but the trailer of the show looked epic. The first episodes were incredible, and I can’t wait to see how the season ends.

Sense8 – completed
There’s no doubt in my mind that Sense8 was the best show I watched in 2018. I had seen season 1 before, but binged season 2 and the movie-length episode that finished the series off in 2018. Every single TV show on Earth should see this one as an example to be followed. That’s all there is to say, really.

This was clearly the year of Asian dramas. I’m going to try and balance my TV watching a bit more this year. I’ll still watch a bunch of Asian dramas, but I also want to watch others. There’s a Spanish show that has been on my to-watch list for ages, as well as a German one, and the hundreds of British/American shows on my to-watch list haven’t disappeared either, of course. Have you watched any of these shows? Which shows did you love in 2018?

My thoughts on Boys over Flowers | Thoughts on TV

boys over flowersBoys over Flowers (2009)
Country: South Korea
I watched it on Netflix
Episodes: 25
Rating: 6/10 – I liked it

Set at a famous high school for the super-wealthy, this is a puppy love story centered on a poor girl and the F4 gang of rich kids headed by the rough and fearless Jun-pyo Koo.

Geum Jan-Di (Hye-seon Ku) is a girl from a poor family but has an unrivaled sense of optimism and drive and is by chance admitted to a prestigious private high school.

There she meets the infamous group of four astonishingly good looking and rich boys who are known as F4. The group’s leader is Koo Jun-Pyo (Min-ho Lee), who is a spoiled heir to world-leading conglomerate Shinhwa. He is joined by mysterious and breathlessly handsome Yun Ji-Hu (Hyeon-jung Kim), So Lee-Jeong (Kim Beom), and Song Woo-Bin (Kim Jun). Their love story moves from Seoul to New Caledonia to Macau.

my thoughts on - review black (1)

Please don’t kill me for this review. I know this is one of the most loved K-dramas out there! I know that so many people adore it. I’m already scared to write this review since I gave it 6/10. However, as you’ll see in my review the reasons I didn’t end up loving it are mostly circumstantial. If I had watched this drama under different circumstances or in a different situation, I might have loved it.

Here’s what I liked about the show!

⭐️ the story itself. I know it may seem like a dumb bullet point, but I don’t care. In itself, I love the story. It’s filled with tropes and cliches I happen to adore. Girl from a poorer family gets in to a private school and ends up pissing off the most popular and rich guy in school – the leader of the so-called F4. Obviously, they end up falling in love. I’m a sucker for hate-to-love stories.

⭐️ backstory of the side characters. If you’re unaware, this is not the only adaptation of the shojo manga that exists. In fact, there are many. I liked that this one had a more elaborate backstory for Yun Ji-Hu.

⭐️ enemies-to-lovers. Like I mentioned before, this is one of my absolute favorite tropes in romance stories. I’m such a sucker for it, and this show is no exception.

Now, on to what prevented me from loving this show.

💥 it wasn’t the first adaptation I watched which means I already knew what would happen. One could argue that you can always tell what’ll happen in these dramas, which is true. Most of them have a HEA-type ending. However, I knew most details of the story already so nothing ever surprised me.

💥 an ‘older’ version of the story. No, I’m not saying that you can’t love older shows. After all, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Veronica Mars are some of my favorite TV shows still. However, the remake of Boys Over Flowers I had seen prior to this one was released in 2018 which means that it’s an extremely modern and relatable take on the story. That’s not this show’s fault at all but it did leave me less connected to it. Like I mentioned at the start, the reasons I didn’t end up loving this are mostly situational. If I had watched this when it first came out, or even before watching Meteor Garden, I would have loved it more.

💥 the acting. I wasn’t a huge fan of the acting in this show. It felt a little bit over-the-top, especially Hye-seon Ku’s portrayal of Jan-Di. I’ll definitely try more of her shows in the future, just wasn’t a big fan of her in this one.

There you have it, my slightly controversial opinion on Boys over Flowers. As I mentioned a few times, I didn’t end up loving it due to the circumstances I watched it in. I’m sure I would have loved it more if I had seen it in 2009 – or simply before watching the most recent remake. Have you watched this show? Is it a nostalgic one for you? Let me know (and please don’t kill me)!

TV shows I need to watch in 2019

I saw Destiny at Howling Libraries make a list of 10 TV shows she wanted to watch in 2019 last December, and thought it was a great idea. There are so many TV shows on my to-watch list, whether that’s on Netflix or the tracker I use. Sometimes it gets overwhelming, and I can’t decide on a show to watch when I finally have some time. In order to get rid of that overwhelming feeling, I thought it a good idea to create a list of 10 shows I want to prioritize this year. Let’s take a look at my to-watch list for 2019!

iZombie season 3 & 4
I have recently rediscovered my love for iZombie through a rewatch of season 1 and the majority of season 2. I was obsessed with this TV show sometime in the past few years, but never actually made it far into season 3. Since this is the only zombie-related show I’ve ever truly loved, I want to actually catch up with it. So this year, I’m planning on watching the third and fourth season.

Stranger Things season 3
They just announced that Stranger Things will be returning for its third season on July 4th, and you best believe I will be there to watch it as soon as possible. Probably binge-watch it, to be honest.

La Casa de Papel season 1
I have heard nothing but amazing things about this TV show, and it’s one I want to watch in the upcoming months. It’s a Spanish show about a group of robbers who carry out the most perfect robbery in the history of Spain and steal 2.4 billion euros. I adore heist stories, and I’ve been wanting to watch some more foreign shows so this one is right up my alley.

Dark season 1
I started watching Dark a while ago, but never actually made it past the first episode. It’s a German show about a boy who goes missing, and whose disappearance may be linked to one of another boy decades ago. Something about it all happening again? I have no idea what that means, but I’m eager to find out.

The Good Place season 1, 2 & 3
I did watch the first season of The Good Place when it first came out, but I think I should rewatch it before continuing on. I do remember the big reveal at the end as well as some minor details, but I feel like that’s not enough to truly enjoy the second season. So many people are obsessed with this show, and I need to be added to that list. Besides, I love Kristen Bell.

You season 1
I guess I have a head start here because I’ve already completed 5 out of the 10 episodes so far. I watched them at the end of December, when the show released on Netflix. This is one I do want to finish soon, especially because I’m already halfway through the season.

This is one of the most well-loved and famous K-dramas yet, and I haven’t watched it. I think I’ve been intimidated by it, simply because so many people adore the show. I want to get over that irrational fear in 2019, and finally watch this.

(Hotel) Beau Séjour
I find it embarrassing how many Belgian shows I haven’t watched yet, considering I am Belgian. This seems to be one of the more famous ones, which Stephen King really seemed to like. From what I can tell, it’s about a girl who wakes up to discover she’s been murdered, and her struggle to find her killer.

De Ridder season 1 (maybe 2 & 3)
Another Belgian TV show I have never watched. All I know about this one is that it follows Helena De Ridder who is a pubic prosecutor in Gent. I know, so many details, right? I’ll give it a go and watch season 1! If I like it, I want to watch the second and third seasons too.

What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim? 
Another K-drama on the list! If you’re curious why I don’t include seasons here, it’s because Asian dramas rarely have more than 1 season. This one doesn’t appear to be an exception. It’s the story of Kim Mi-so who decides to resign as the secretary to Vice Chairman Lee Young-Joon after working for him for 9 years.

100 Days My Prince
The last show (and last K-drama) on this list. I don’t tend to watch Korean period dramas, and I’m not entirely sure why. I’ve mostly stuck to ones that play out in a modern setting. The reason this is on my list? EXO’s Kyungsoo.

I want to prioritize these 11 shows and watch them throughout 2019. If I happen to have more time and watch others as well, great! If not, these are the ones I need to focus on. Have you watched any of these? Do you have some shows you really need and want to watch?

My thoughts on Something in the Rain | Thoughts on TV

something in the rainSomething in the Rain/Pretty Noona Who Buys Me Food (2018)
Country: Korea
I watched it on Netflix
Number of episodes: 16
Rating: 8/10 – really liked it!

When a single career woman reunites with her best friend’s younger brother after he returns from three years of working abroad, their efforts to reconnect grow into romance.



my review

I’ve been enjoying writing these ‘Thoughts on TV’ posts because it allows me to take my mind off books for a while, and talk about the dramas I’ve been watching lately. I have to admit that this show is a tad fuzzy in my mind when it comes to what happened each episode because I binge-watched this. I just didn’t want to stop watching! I mean, that’s a good sign, right?

I’ll keep the same format for all my ‘thoughts on TV’ posts in the near future, because I’m quite enjoying the bullet point style. It really helps keep my thoughts concise!

Here’s what I loved about this show.

⭐️ portrayal of a healthy, adult relationship. I know I made that sound incredibly boring, but you can’t imagine how happy this made me. The fact that these two were friends for years first, how they fell in love with each other, and most importantly how well they communicated was so wonderful to witness. There was no toxic behavior, no alpha male stuff, and no guy screaming in the girl’s face. They have a healthy relationship and clearly care for each other so much.

⭐️ honestly, Joon-hee is the dream guy. Can I have one too, please? He’s kind, funny, respectful of her dreams and career, helps her stand up for herself, and is simply always there when she needs him. Plus, he’s so handsome…

⭐️ not having to wait 14 episodes for them to get together. I like that this was more of a story on their relationship, rather than one about their journey towards said relationship.

⭐️ addictive. This show was fantastic, and I couldn’t make myself stop watching. I binged the episodes and went to bed so late (for me, at least) because I just had to keep going.

⭐️ sibling relationships. In this story, Jin-Ah is best friends with Joon-Hee’s sister, and Joon-Hee is Jin-Ah’s brother’s best friend. Sorry if that seemed complicated… Anyway, there siblings are a huge part of their lives, which is clearly represented in the show. I have a brother too, and am lucky enough to have a good relationship with him. That’s why I appreciate it when I see it represented in a show.

⭐️ talks about sexual harassment at work. Look, we need to talk about this. I love that it showed how Jin-Ah stood up for herself and her colleagues, and spoke up about the inappropriate behavior of her bosses. The way they acted absolutely disgusted me, and I’m glad they didn’t just let it pass. Yes, she suffered consequences from speaking up. But that’s reality too.

There is something I didn’t really like about the show, however. I guess it’s more something I don’t understand, rather than something I don’t like.

💥 I didn’t understand what the big deal was. They keep their relationship quiet because they’re afraid their loved ones will be against it. And they are. I have to admit that I don’t understand? They’re both adults, make each other happy, and have a healthy relationship. So she’s a few years older than he is? So what? It’s not even that big of a difference… I don’t understand how you could choose to not support a relationship like theirs.

I would highly recommend this show! It’s so adorable, wholesome, and sweet! But also with some drama and fights, and a cold shower of reality. It’s made it up my list of favorites, and I’m definitely going to look up what other shows the actors play a role in.

My thoughts on Just Between Lovers | Thoughts on TV

just between loversJust Between Lovers/Rain or Shine (2017)
country: Korea
I watched it on Viki
number of episodes: 16
rating: 4/5 stars – really liked it!

The story of two individuals who lost their loved ones in an accident and try to carry on with their lives as if they are not in pain.

Lee Kang Doo (Lee Joon Ho) dreamed of becoming a soccer player, but an accident ended those dreams. His father died in the accident and he broke his leg. Lee Gang Doo spent 3 years in rehab. Now, he doesn’t have anything and just wastes his days. Lee Gang Doo then meets Ha Moon Soo (Won Jin Ah).

Ha Moon Soo makes architecture models. Ha Moon Soo also endured through the same accident that killed her younger sibling. She has suffered from guilt that she survived. She has lived her life earnestly, while suppressing her feelings. After meeting Lee Kang Doo, Ha Moon Soo begins to express her hidden feelings.

my review

I should’ve written this months ago because I binge-watched this series in May and the details of it have escaped me by now. However, I do remember how it made me feel which is why I still wanted to devote a post to the series.

Let’s start with the things I loved about this series.

⭐️ emotional impact of this story. The lives of the main characters had been so sad up to this point, and it’s interesting to see how they both dealt with it. Moon Soo by making architecture models and ensuring buildings won’t collapse again, and Gang Doo by doing his best to simply survive and drowning in guilt. It’s an emotional story, and you’ll become so attached to the characters by the end of it. I wanted to hug everyone, and just wrap them up in a blanket and keep them safe.

⭐️ Lee Jun-ho. There, I said it. This man is not only incredibly handsome, he’s also a great actor. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Won Jin Ah’s performance too! She portrays Moon Soo really well. But Jun-ho is just so… beautiful.

lee junho in just between lovers

⭐️ not too much unnecessary drama. Mostly because the show only has 16 episodes. However, that’s one of the things I love most about it. There was a clear story to tell, and they didn’t prolong it to make more money. They stayed true to what was needed. There weren’t 5 additional episodes to up the romantic tension, and I thank them for it.

⭐️ showed how complicated family can be. Family can be complex. First of all, we have the family we were born into. Like it said in the description, both Moon Soo and Gang Doo have lost loved ones. It has created a sense of guilt within both. Why did they survive when so many people didn’t? What would happened if they had made one different choice? Losing loved ones changes family dynamics. You can’t help but blame yourself and others, and that creates a strain on your relationships. But there’s also a chosen family, which becomes clear in Gang Doo’s story line.

⭐️ romance. I’m a sucker for a wonderful romance, obviously, and this one was so cute. Maybe it’s because I adored Jun-ho as Gang Doo? I don’t know, and I don’t care. I loved it. He seems so kind and gentle.

Usually, I also go over the things I didn’t love in the series. I honestly can’t remember disliking anything about this show? Aside from the heart attack it nearly gave me by the end of it… So no dislikes for today! Maybe if I re-watch the show one day, I’ll have something to add here.

Please give this show a try! It’s emotional, beautiful and you’ll end up binge-watching it. 

My thoughts on Uncontrollably Fond | Thoughts on TV

uncontrollably fondUncontrollably Fond (2016)
Country: Korea
I watched it on Netflix
number of episodes: 20
rating: 4/5 stars – really liked it!

People change but can the heart adapt? Sin Joon Young (Kim Woo Bin) and No Eul (Suzy) were inseparable and very much in love in their younger days. But uncontrollable circumstances separated them and they went their separate ways. Joon Young is now a superstar actor and singer, while No Eul became a producer-director of documentaries. When their paths cross again years later, Joon Young discovers that No Eul is now a very different person than he remembered — materialistic and willing to do anything to get ahead. Is there any hope for Joon Young and No Eul to rekindle their past relationship?

my review

Uncontrollably Fond had been on my to-watch list for a while, mostly because I love Suzy. It follows 2 main characters in their twenties, one a producer and one a famous actor. No Eul is a producer of documentaries who gets fired for taking a bribe in the first episode (seriously, not a spoiler), even though her bosses have done the same. She desperately needs the money, however, and can’t afford not to take it. Joon Young is a famous actor who has just received some less than great news. Through some circumstances, No Eul has to convince Joon Young to let her make a documentary about him.

I quite liked the way I did my previous #thoughtsonTV review, so I’ll keep the format similar. Let’s talk about the things I liked first.

⭐️ the acting. Seems straightforward, no? I adored the acting in this show. I didn’t cringe, nor did I feel awkward at times. Yes, that has happened with other shows! I especially loved Suzy because her character changes so much over time, yet she played both versions convincingly. In high school, she was an incredibly selfless person and always gave away everything. Now, she’s desperate for money and doesn’t care whether people know it. It’s a big change, but she did it so well.

⭐️ the chemistry and romance. If you know me, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of hate-to-love or enemies-to-lovers stories. This one is most definitely a hate-to-love. They don’t really like each other, especially in the current time line. No Eul needs this documentary though, and Joon Young has his own reasons too. So they work together, but bicker all the time. The back and forth banter… I live for it.

⭐️ family. You’ll also see family show up in the things I didn’t like about this show, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. No Eul’s relationship with her brother is so adorable. She does her best to take care of him, and he takes care of her in his own way. He’s so wonderful!! Also, No Eul’s best friend is basically her family at this point.

⭐️ fighting the wealthy and privileged. A large part of this show centers around a wealthy man who has manipulated and bribed his way out of punishment and justice. I hate the fact that there are people out there who are so rich they are basically untouchable, and I wish I could tear them down one by one. That’s why I love that this show addressed the power of the wealthy, and how they try to fight it.

⭐️ full of emotions. That was me by the end of this series. I cried my eyes out. I’m serious… It’s not like the ending is a surprise, because you can guess what happens from the beginning! Yet there I was, sobbing. By the way, knowing what will happen does not detract from the story at all.

What didn’t I like about this show?

💥 ‘why we can’t be together logic’ I have some patience while watching TV shows, because I realize they need to increase the tension and leave the people wanting more. At some point though, I got so frustrated! I don’t want to spoil anything, so I can’t say why but I just didn’t understand their reasons not to be together, and to push each other away.

If it wasn’t obvious already, I highly recommend this show. Be prepare to bawl your eyes out at the end of it though. I warned you!

My thoughts on Meteor Garden | Thoughts on TV

meteor gardenMeteor Garden (2018)
Country: China
I watched it on: Netflix
number of episodes: 49 (DVD/Netflix version)
genre: romantic comedy
rating: 3.5/5 stars – I liked it

An ordinary girl is admitted to the most prestigious school in the country where she encounters F4, an exclusive group comprised of the four wealthiest and handsomest boys in the school – Dao Ming Si, Hua Ze Lei, Xi Men and Mei Zuo.

Shan Cai is an 18-year-old girl from a family that’s barely able to make ends meet. Due to a turn of events, she gets accepted into a school that only accepts the upper class elites. She immediately clashes with her classmates especially Dao Ming Si who is spoiled, arrogant and a bully. She remains defiant even after becoming a target of a series of pranks intended to torment her and just when she’s about to give up, Hua Ze Lei always seems to show up to lend her a helping hand.

Eventually, the four boys begin to acknowledge Shan Cai’s unyielding personality that is like her namesake which is that of a weed that can never be brought down. She also begins to see the good in the boys, which paves the way for friendship and an eventual romance.

my review

If you’ve never heard of Meteor Garden before, it’s a Chinese drama that centers around Shan Cai who goes to university for the first time. She wants to study nutrition, so she can help her family with their restaurant and improve their dishes even more. When she attends the school for the first time, she learns about F4. They’re a group of 4 guys, who are incredibly popular. They are the top of their class, rich, and handsome. One day, Dao Ming Si (one of the F4 members) steps on Shan Cai’s phone, breaking the screen. She confronts him and asks him to apologize. That’s where her relationship with the guys begins.

There are some things about this series I truly loved, and some I didn’t like. Let’s get started on the things I loved.

⭐️ friendship. I am a big fan of friendships in media, because my friends are so important to me. Every time a show centers around a friend group, I’m already intrigued. I enjoyed the friendship between Shan Cai and her childhood best friend who works in the same store as she does, the friendship between the F4 guys, and especially the friendship between Hua Ze Lei and Shan Cai.

⭐️ romance. While I did have my problems with the romance, I found myself shipping it anyway. They’re so cute! Actually, I was torn when I hit the middle of the show. I wanted her to be happy with Dao Ming Si, but I also wanted her to be with Hua Ze Lei. CHOICES.

⭐️ family. I’m lucky enough to be very close to my family, and have a good relationship with them. That’s why I love watching family dynamics on TV. I enjoyed how Shan Cai’s parents were so proud of her for getting in to the school and the dishes she made. I also loved Dao Ming Si’s relationship with his sister. She loved him so much, and tried to protect him without coddling him at the same time.

⭐️ addictive. I know this sounds weird, but trust me. This series is so addictive. I start watching it one evening in my hostel while traveling, and ended up watching 5 episodes in a row. I stayed up for hours just to watch this.

Now for the things I didn’t love…

💥 it was too long. This series could have been 25 or 30 episodes instead of 49. Honestly, at some point I got really annoyed. How many bad things can happen to one couple?? I’m not used to Asian dramas being this long. The majority of dramas I’ve watched had 20 to 35 episodes and I feel like that’s a great length for a storyline like this one.

💥 alpha male/aggressive behavior. This happens so often in these dramas, and I’ve learned to deal with it. That doesn’t mean I have to love it though. If you’ve seen an Asian drama, you’ll probably know what I’m talking about (not that Western shows don’t have these problems): grabbing and dragging the girl by the wrist, caging her in, yelling at her instead of talking to her, etc. It’s not healthy, everyone. It’s not.

Ultimately, I enjoyed watching this show. I binge-watched it, and have zero regrets. I’m still a little bit in love with Hua Ze Lei… Have you watched this show?