Friday, April 26, 2013

Incarnation of Money Final Episode 24 Review

Hwang Jung Eum as Bok Jae In and Kang Ji Hwan as Lee Cha Don

I loved Incarnation of Money. From the very beginning it was an exciting ride filled with laughter, action, and romance. The final episode was jam-packed with these features also. In the last episode everything comes to a head. The bad guys, Ji Se Gwang (Park Sang Min), Kwon Jae Gyu (Lee Ki Young), Eun Bi Ryung (Oh Yoon Ah), and Go Ho (Lee Seung Hyung), receive their punishment, and the good guys end up happy.

In a strange way, I was relieved that Ji Se Gwang remained evil and unrepentant all the way to the very end. I find it nauseating when the villain suddenly realizes they were wrong the whole time and then everyone becomes friends. If you've watched this final episode like I have then you'll know Ji Se Gwang was no where nearing becoming Lee Cha Don's (Kang Ji Hwan) chingu. Se Gwang was publicly outed as a murderer and nearly killed by his accomplice Kwon Jae Gyu when he made his last attempt to escape and finish his revenge by killing Cha Don (aka Lee Kang Seok). In the end Se Gwang was killed by poison administered by Bi Ryung just like Cha Don's father. Honestly, I felt a bit bad for Bi Ryung at the very end because she was just a dumb, materialistic woman who got caught in Se Gwang's trap.

Even though this drama's title alludes to the religion of those who worship money as god, I think the major ideological theme is about the fine line between righteousness and corruption. Many of the characters involved in the plot of the murder, and the sins that followed it in order to cover their tracks, were people who held power and the trust of the Korean population. It seems the deciding factor between one being righteous or corrupt is their ambition. How far is a person willing to go in order to obtain power and, thus, people's trust? Is that person looking to succeed for evil or selfish purposes (Se Gwang)? Or is he trying to find justice (Cha Don)? In this drama the root of the corruption is centered on one man (Se Gwang) while in reality it's not as simple. Generally corruption is a large-scale issue involving the morals of society. This is where money comes in. Because Cha Don's father treasured money more than people, the entire revenge plot began. Here's the kicker, though, Se Gwang ended up becoming more like Cha Don's father than Cha Don himself. Se Gwang lost sight of the importance of family, friends, and love and became a heartless man without a hope for redemption.

Now, on the lighter side, Cha Don and Bok Jae In (Hwang Jung Eum) were married in the end! God, I loved Jung Eum as Jae In. Instead of her normal ditsy character, Jae In transformed from a spoiled girl into a strong business woman. Cha Don, Jae In, and her mother were all able to learn what Se Gwang never could, the importance of people. Jae In loved Cha Don, but took care of her own problems regarding the business and her family. This drama proves that an OTP can be formed without the cliche falling-in-love scenes that too many Kdramas use. I currently have no negative criticism about this drama or it's final episode. The wedding in the end was a sweet union between a man who learned that through tragic events can come happiness and a woman who realized her own value as an equal to the man she loves.

Please watch Incarnation of Money with English subtitles on

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Best Korean (and Taiwanese!) Dramas to Watch When You Want to Cry

I don't know about you guys, but sometimes it feels good to just completely let go and bawl your eyes out.  This is especially true when you're not crying about something horrible happening in your own life, but about something horrible happening to beautiful Asian actors. I have come up with a list of a few dramas to watch when you are looking to cry your eyes out. So get your box of tissue, roll of toilet paper, or whatever you use to blow your nose ready because it's time to start the water works. Note: this list is a work in progress because I am always finding new dramas to cry about so I will update it periodically.

I'm Sorry, I love You
There once was a hot ahjusshi and a sad woman who looked like a little girl. This drama is the epitome of melodramatic Asian entertainment. If you don't cry while watching this, then I don't think you have a heart. Watch it on

49 Days
This drama is about what happens after death and death's devastating affect on those who remain living. The beautiful lead actors give heart-wrenching performances and the plot of this drama is so unique that it lays the perfect foundation for complete emotional immersion into the world between life and death. Watch it on

Summer Fever
This is the first Taiwanese drama that I really loved, and it initiated my Tdrama obsession. I describe this drama as a miracle because it appears, on the surface, to be an ordinary story of young summer love, but it becomes a beautiful account of a woman's struggle to live and love. I cried so hard while watching this one night that the next morning my eyelids were so puffy and crusty that they would barely open. I had to use the cold spoon treatment to lessen the swelling. I promise I'm not being dramatic. Also, I listen to the opening and closing themes from this show almost every night. They are amazing songs. Watch it on
Nice Guy
This drama ends up on a lot of my lists mainly because it's so great and all-encompassing. The push-and-pull love story between the two leads is emotionally draining, but their shared fate keeps them together and makes for a glorious tearjerker. Watch it on
Fated to Love You
This Taiwanese drama begins with an over-the-top story about two people who slept together completely by mistake. I wasn't fully convinced of their love at first, but this show took me by surprise. Episode 12 is so sad it will break your heart. Unfortunately the last half of the drama drags on for way too long, but there are enough good scenes in this drama to make up for the unnecessary ones. Watch it on

Full House
This is one of those unfortunate tales of two people who are forced together, hate each other when they have a chance to start something, and then love each other when it's extremely inconvenient. Song Hye Kyo and Rain make such a gorgeous couple that it's easy to forgive their naivety in the beginning. I cried a lot while watching this mostly out of sheer frustration and sadness for them. Watch it on

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

That Winter, the Wind Blows Final Episode 16

Zo In Sung (Jo In Sung) as Oh Soo

Before I really delve into this drama, I want to get my two main critiques out of the way. First, I think 16 episodes was not long enough for this particular story to unfold. I don't think that Oh Soo and Oh Young shared enough sweet, intimate moments or enough painful moments for us viewers to really build a strong emotional attachment to them as a couple. If this drama had 20 episodes, I think we could have also seen more of Jin Sung (Kim Bum) and Hee Sun's (Jung Eun Ji) characters and their cute romance. Kim Bum and Eun Ji are two popular actors who are building quite a large fan base, but neither of them had more than a few minutes of screen time per episode. As for my second critique, I wish That Winter, the Wind Blows would have kept the same feeling of the first 3 episodes throughout the entire show. Those first scenes were  pretty but had a dark, twisted side lurking beneath the softness that the show's aesthetic displayed. To me the later episodes relied heavily on the typical Korean drama tropes like the sick person in love, the evil mother (or mother-like figure), the self-sacrificing bad guy, and the jump through time in the last episode in order to sort things out without really explaining anything, and it lost the magic I felt during the first week it aired.

Song Hye Kyo as Oh Young
Now let's discuss the final episode. It began in a rather gruesome fashion. Oh Young was bleeding in a bathtub after just having cut her wrists, and Moo Chul (Kim Tae Woo) was stabbed by a thug and proceeded to violently break the thugs shoulder and arm. Of these two bloody scenes only one is fatal, and I am sad to report that Moo Chul died. Even though he was a bit of a douche, I liked him. He was busy protecting everyone without taking any credit for it. Again, his character could have seen a lot more development had there been 20 episodes in this series. But, the important thing about the first part of this episode, I suppose, is that Oh Young survived that bloody night, and, happily her surgery a few days later.

Of course she forgave Oh Soo for lying to her about being her brother. He was the first person who came into her life and really had fun with her and made her feel loved and happy. Even though Secretay Wang (Bae Jong Ok) had taken care of Young for most of their lives, Young didn't trust her because of the deceptions she carried out surrounding her sight. I had trouble believing the resolution of Secretary Wang returning to Young because I'm not sure how Young found the strength to forgive her, and I felt the plot line involving her, Myung Ho, and the company was left unresolved.

Kim Bum as Jin Sung and Jung Eun Ji as Hee Sun
The ending that came about in the final 10 minutes of the series was a happy one for most characters. After stabbing Oh Soo to save his family, Jin Sung moves to the country with Hee Sun to live the simple life away from the city and gambling. We see this after the show jumps about a year into the future. At this point Oh Young has survived surgery and can see. Her vision isn't perfect, but it looks like a soft filter from Instagram so she seems to be pretty satisfied with it. And after a fake-out conversation between Jin Sung and Hee Sun that makes it sound like Oh Soo is dead, it is revealed that he is serving tea near Oh Young. At first I had a horrible thought, "Oh no. He better not have lost his memory." Thank god they didn't use that trick again because Oh Soo and Young needed another hot kiss to end the drama. On that note, another positive thing to add about That Winter, the Wind Blows on top of my many critiques is that Zo In Sung and Song Hye Kyo shared some soft, sexy kisses in the final episode, redeeming them from the forced kiss that happened a few episodes earlier.

Soo and Young, fighting!
Don't forget to download the beautiful and addictive That Winter, the Wind Blows OST just click here!

Watch That Winter, the Wind Blows with English subtitles


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