아이리스 / IRIS - KBS2

Kim Hyun Joon and Jin Sa Woo are best friends who were brought into a top secret organization known as NSS by analyst Choi Seung Hee and Park Sang Hyun. Hyun Joon and Sa Woo both fall in love with Seung Hee when she first profiles them. Their lives are changed forever when Hyun Joon is given a solo mission in Hungary. Hyun Joon later tries to find out who set him up and to figure out what IRIS is and wants.
Lee Byung Hun
as Kim Hyun Joon
Kim Tae Hee
as Choi Seung Hee
Jung Joon Ho
as Jin Sa Woo
Kim Seung Woo
as Park Chul Young
Kim So Yeon
as Kim Sun Hwa
as Vick
Hyun Jyu Ni as Yang Mi Jung (NSS staff, best Korean hacker)

Ok yes I know that this was released in 2009. Yes I know that everyone sang it's praises as being totally, fabulously, awesomeness wrapped up in a tight little 60 min or so package. But honestly I never watched it. The main subject just never really seem to grab my attention. I was worried that I would get bored by it and truthfully sometimes there more hype there is about something, the worse it is.

So with that being said I will share with you what I thought. First in some sense I was right. I thought there were some parts that just seemed to drag on for me. Conspiracy....blah...blah... story....conspiracy..betrayal.....blah blah. Pretty much like that. Sometimes I think that because of certain reasons drama series seem to be way too long. And the vice versa is true, sometimes it should be longer. In this case I think that it was a tad too long. A lot of what transpires in the middle could have been condensed instead of dragging out the story line. (Case in point they basically took all the episodes and made a 2 hour movie for the Japanese release and it still made sense.)

The story is about a two men and one women who work for an intelligence agency. Basically Kim Hyun Joon doesn't remember much about his childhood and comes to find out that the missing pieces have to do with a much bigger conspiracy involving both North and South Korea and in some ways the world, codenamed Iris. He becomes a part of NSS as well as his friend Jin Sa Woo. But the path of the NSS takes them down two entirely separate paths testing their friendship and their beliefs in the people they work for. Now throw in a mutual love interest Choi Seung Hee who is their immediate boss, and you have a story line.The love story of course takes a back seat to the conspiracy as it should, but still is an important part of the story.

Now if you heard about this series you heard that Big Bang's current hottie member T.O.P. played a role in this story. T.O.P. plays the assassin Vick. (I'll admit it was this that finally convinced me to watch this series.) While his role isn't a big one, let me just say that he does excellent with what he's given. He was a believable cold-hearted killer who did so not for the pleasure, money or because he liked it, he killed just because he could and he was told to to obtain whatever was needed at the time. He has no remorse or feelings about it one way or another. He was raised and trained to be a killer and simply that's what he was. (I have to say he did shock me with the last person he killed though, I kinda thought he wasn't acting with her.) BUT if you are going to try to watch this just for Vick aka T.O.P. don't. He has maybe 45 mins total (maybe a little more) of screen total in the whole series and is only in a handful of episodes. You will be disappointed and I wouldn't recommend you watch for that reason solely.

I have to say that when Vick was on screen the action was more lively and I found myself rooting for the bad guy. (Twisted I know.) I think that if he would have been an more active antagonist in the story, it would have added a lot. I'm not just saying this because I'm a fangirl of T.O.P. but rather the story needed an active agonist to spice things up, as it was the antagonist was group and always hidden in the background cutting any action that could have taken place in half.

All in all as a fan of shoot 'em, blow 'em up movies this series fell a little flat. Despite the high budget and exotic locations, it seemed to drag in most portions. Literally only paying half-hearted attention to some things in the middle I still knew what was going on as it was rehashed over and over. I think that less episodes and more money spent on action sequences to keep it exciting would have helped. I wouldn't watch it again, but I don't regret watching it.

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I Need Romance

This bubbly, Sex and the City-esque drama tells the story of the love lives, careers, and families of a group of twenty-and-thirty-something friends. I Need Romance stars rising film actress Jo Yeo Jung as In Young, an independent, lovable woman struggling to survive in modern-day society. In this endeavor, which she tackles with confidence and grace, she's helped by friends Seo Yeon (Choi Yeon Jin) and Hyun Joo (Choi Song-hyun of Prosecutor Princess). Kim Jung Hoon, much-loved for his Goong role, returns to dramas after a two-year hiatus as her love interest. From the writer and director behind such lovely, solid romantic comedies as I Love You and My Sister-in-Law is 19, respectively, this is a witty and charming affair, the latest in a series of dramas such as The Woman Who Wants to Marry to depict the struggles of contemporary women.


Ok so let me start off by saying that this show in many reviews is either a hit or a miss. When I say hit, it's an all out I love this show, the ending was so great, everyone should watch hit. OR it's a miss. A complete What were you thinking?! How could it end like that? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! adhfsa;lkfhdsaklfh;dsalkjgh MISS.

So then the question is where do I fall? Well let me first start by saying the show should have been titled "I need a Clue" not "I need Romance" or even "I need a therapist" would have worked. I'll get to why I feel this way here in
a short bit.

What attracted me to this show was the fact that it was very "Sex in the City-ish" in the description. Well I'm a fan of Sex and the City for the most part, so I decided to give it a chance. We start off with In Young basically finding out a bunch of stuff her boyfriend is hiding from her. I'm not talking little, I'm talking he made a movie, got paid a ton, bought his own house and went to a premiere without her and she found out when her friends asked her cuz it was in a magazine STUFF. Yeah that happens in like th
e first couple of episodes. I don't try to give spoilers, but seriously it was such a crappy thing to do I was in shock. The bad part is that at one point or another we have all been In Young. She supported her boyfriend as he rose to the top, but to do so she had to give up her dreams to support him. Now the question becomes since he's there will he keep her or toss her aside? It's also a matter for In Young who has another would be suitor who basically adores everything about her. It's not just a physical thing, literally he picks her up when she's down, is patient and asks very little except for her to be happy. Oh and throw in a hottie that is acting in In Young's man's next film and you have yourself a love square.

Now like I said at first I totally understood In Young. I've been there when a romantic relationship morphs into friendship, but you pick up and move on. If the list of cons in a relationship outweigh the pros, it's time to take the friendship and cash out on good terms. Through the whole show, In Young basically rehashes what is wrong with her boyfriend, all the while pining away for him and being jealous. Just when you think she has moved forward and on with her life, BAM she's back where she started. No rhyme. No reason. (well the reason was so weak and lame. There is basically no reason.) She's
a weak willed, confused heroine at best. While sometimes she seems to be growing, give her an episode and you'll see that she was really just faking you out to make you keep watching.

The funny part is that you would think that her friends would encourage her to move on with her life. But instead make a big deal about being there for each other no matter what. (Sorry but if I was making the BIGGEST mistake of my life I would hope my friends would love me enough to tell me and kick my butt to see reality.)

The only saving grace of this show was actually In Yo
ung's friends. Not that they were the best of friends to her, but their stories were worth finding out about. While one is the "Samantha" of the group being very lose moral wise, you find out there's a hidden sorrow there and it plays out and resolves itself on screen. Sometimes almost comical and at others heartbreaking. The lesson being there that women always seem to blame the other woman, while in reality the man is as much to blame (and in some cases, like this one in my opinion, more so.) The other friend is the "Charlotte" of the group. She is in love with being in love, but wants it to be absolutely perfect. Again after a major turn in her life, she once again finds the faith in herself to move on. Her journey is more comical than heartbreaking. The situations she finds herself in just made me laugh and shake my head. The side stories in this case definitely stole the show, while the main story line stalled and was repetitive.

By the end of the show I was loving the friends, but at the same time restraining myself from throwing the remote at my TV. You literally waste 16 episodes for the heroine to end up right where she started. If you watch the first episode or two, you don't need to watch the end. TRUST ME. While some may argue that this is a story of forgiveness, I would argue it should have been a story about growth and the strength to move on. Sometimes there's just too much that has been said and done, or not done to resume or find what was lost.

If you are looking for a main story about strong wom
en and love, this is not the show for you. If you want to watch the side stories and fast forward through a lot of wasted time, this story is for you. While the love interest is from Goong so definitely eye candy, I would just suggest that you re-watch Goong instead.

The only reason it's getting two is because the friends saved some of the story line...or it might just have gotten a negative popcorn. ~ONYX

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Paradise Kiss- Live Action


Keiko Kitagawa Yukari 'Caroline' Hayasaka

Osamu Mukai Jouji 'George' Koizumi

Yusuke Yamamoto Hiroyuki Tokumori

Shunji Igarashi Isabella

Kento Kaku Arashi Nagase

Aya Omasa Miwako Sakurada

Natsuki Kato Kaori Asou

Hitomi Takahashi Yukino Koizumi

Shigemitsu Ogi Joichi Nikaido

Michiko Hada Yasuko Hayasaka

Let me just say that I am a huge fan of Ai Yazawa. I love NANA and second is Paradise Kiss. I loved the story of Yukari and George. I have to say that the ending was very disappointing and I was definitely of the 'I don't like this' variety but I learned to live with it. The lesson being not everything is a happy ending, sometimes beautiful memories are all you are left with. BUT the romantic in me wanted MORE. I wanted the happy, love conquers all ending. I needed it. So I never re-read it. I watched the whole anime as well knowing that at the end I would be sad. (I have to say that this is kind of funny as in NANA Hachi and Takumi are my favorite couple/characters. Their life is anything but easy and there are tons of problems. It's not the perfect happy ending for them, but to me they seem almost more realistic that way. And I can see myself as Hachi doing the same exact things. Her philosophy of love should be understanding and compromise and Takumi's being honest from the get go. He loves her but work will always be more important than her in some sense. But you can feel that he loves her and well that's all I'll say cuz I could go on forever.)

Anyway on to the live action of Paradise Kiss. Based around Yukari who is a very dedicated student and the designers of Paradise Kiss. While in the manga the story really revolves around the group, in the live action it really focuses on George and Yukari, their background and life, and then sub plot would be Paradise Kiss. But that change is ok. George's reality check on Yukari helps her find herself, and in return she teaches him that it's ok to love. They still are a part of the fashion grand finale, working their best to win the grand prize. Yukari is still trying to find out who she is and battling her mother in the process, but relaying on George as well to give her the unwanted advice she needs. The scene with the wardrobe and Yukari touched me so much I cried. I will say this as well.

THE ENDING IS DIFFERENT. Not what you would expect, but good none the less. Give it a watch, like the first NANA the live action definitely delivers. While not very long, does seem to cover the manga very well (as the manga wasn't very long either). BUT don't expect it to be a exact copy, because like book adaptations it never really is.
~ Onyx

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