Seo In Guk ‘Best of the Best’ K-Drama Roundup

Well, I’m pretty devastated that we’re losing yet another 1987 (my birth year as well!) actor: Seo In Guk. (Why does it always seem like your favorites are all going at the same time?)  The adorable and charming singer/actor, will be signing up for his mandatory enlistment on March 28th. And cue the cry heard around the world. (That’s mine if you haven’t figured that out already.) It’ll be a long two years without him as I’ve really taken a shining to In Guk in the past two years.

So in an effort to honor his work until he returns to us on the small screen again, I’ve put together a post with my top three favorite dramas of his. They’re all a little different, so I hope you can all find something to watch and enjoy. Also, they’re not listed in any particular order. Not going to pick favorites between these three. It’ll be messy and you don’t want me to go there.

Note: I’ve only included dramas I’ve personally watched and re-watched. 

Shopping King Louis – Seo In Guk plays the quirky and fashionable Louis. He’s been raised in a very sheltered environment at his grandmother’s behest. Due to his upbringing, Louis doesn’t really have much of a life, so all of his energy is spent shopping — hence the title ‘Shopping King.’ One day, he ends up in an accident that causes him to lose his memory: retrograde amnesia. The story really begins when he meets the strong, determined, hard working and kind Bok Shil who takes Louis in. Together, the two help each other. It’s mostly cute and quirky, but there are some nice serious moments that shine in this series. If you’re looking for something more uplifting, this is your drama. You can read my spoilery overview of Shopping King Louis here.

High School King – This was my very first time watching Seo In Guk. It tells the story of an eighteen-year-old high school senior who is a star ice hockey player. One day, Min Hyuk’s brother convinces him to masquerade as his older brother at the company he’s just got a job at. I always love roles where actors play double duty with two characters as it really shows off their acting abilities. Like Shopping KingHigh School King has a lighter, quirky element to it. Min Hyuk also struggles to be in two places at once, which is comedic as we watch him run back and forth. The only thing that will be hit or miss in this drama is the romance between our leads. I won’t go into details, but there are two camps: too uncomfortable to ship or two adorable not to ship.

I Remember You / Hello Monster – If you’re watching Voice or you’re just a fan of a good crime/police drama, I Remember You is a standout drama for Seo In Guk. It’s darker; it’s definitely gritty. The themes and general darker tones are much more on point with the likings of Voice, but don’t let that deter you. The acting is phenomenal and memorable here. And while the content isn’t for the faint of heart, we do get a broody and intelligent Seo In Guk if that helps. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, Park Bo Gum is in this, but I promise his character is much, much different from Moonlight Drawn By Clouds. Here are a few posts about I Remember You: here, here, and here.

And there you have it! Seo In Guk’s done some great work in the past few years. I don’t think there’s anything I’ve watched of his that I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed. When he leaves, I will be watching Squad 38 to bring me comfort. And who knows? Maybe this summer I’ll binge watch these three beauties with my bestie so that I get her hooked on another one of my favs. Sound like a plan?

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K-Drama: ‘Shopping King Louis’ Series Overview

2016 has been good to drama fans. In fact, it’s been so good that I’ve been miffed at my inability to do episode recaps. Plenty of other bloggers do some great recaps, so I didn’t mind it so much, but this was a drama I wish I could have talked about from week to week. That said, we’re focusing on a brief overview of Shopping King Louis and some of my thoughts. It’s not a proper review — it’s more or less a bunch of my thoughts on the series in general and how it impacted me. Many spoilers are ahead. Please keep that in mind before clicking the link below. Thanks!

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10 More Reasons Why You Should Be Watching ‘I Remember You’

 

Last night, I Remember You’s sixteen episode season, sadly, came to an end. While I’m mourning the loss of yet another Seo In Guk drama, I thought the best way to combat my feelings was to whip up another ‘1o Reasons’ post. I enjoyed this drama from beginning to end, so I hope that if you weren’t convinced by the original 10 Reasons list, that you’ll give the show deeper consideration after reading this one.

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10 Reasons Why You Should Be Watching ‘I Remember You’

If you haven’t heard of I Remember You yet, that’s okay. Today I’m going to give you plenty of reasons why you should be watching this one. If you’re still not convinced, don’t fret. I will probably put together another list once this drama wraps up on Tuesday. If this drama manages to end as strongly as it started, that means a part 2 will be in your immediate future.

1. Let’s talk flashbacks. While I love stories that delve deeply into the past through flashback sequences, it’s not always a successful or enjoyable attempt. In I Remember You, the flashbacks are poignant, emotional, and relevant. It does an excellent job at creating a foundation for the characters we’re meant to care about. You might even develop interest and/or emotions in characters you least expect.

2. Seo In Guk. I’m sure this is as biased as I can get, but I find Seo In Guk’s character, Lee Hyun, to be phenomenal, enchanting, and intelligent. It’s a huge departure from his days of playing Min Suk in King of High School. This guy is confident, broody, lonely, and occasionally cute when he’s experiencing things he never has before. It can’t be such an easy process when Lee Hyun’s character isn’t one that expresses different emotions noticeably, so Seo In Guk’s subtle attention to detail reels me straight into the heart of his character.

3. The plot. Okay, Okay. While one might argue that the plot isn’t exactly the most original offering in k-drama land, it’s still handled nicely. While there are more than plenty of cliffhangers to send any k-drama fan into a tail spin or coma or possibly both, it’s also been a fairly balanced drama. It seems we’re learning something each week, and I think that’s an important factor to remember. You might not learn a lot, but there is always something to learn — whether it’s a life lesson, hidden truths a character’s kept buried, or something else entirely.

4. A slow burn romance. I know as well as any drama fan that a slow burn romance can be just as frustrating as it’s rewarding. If you appreciate a slow burn romance that is somewhat on the back burner to the rest of the plot, I Remember You will be the perfect speed for your romance-loving heart.

5. Jang Na Ra. I’m not that familiar with this actress, but she brings life to her character. Sure, her character is surrounded by mostly men at work, but Cha Ji An is strong, determined, and good at what she does without having a mean, elitist attitude. The best part is the subtle character growth you’ll notice with this character as she learns from Lee Hyun (Seo In Guk). She shares a lot of commonalities with Lee Hyun, which helps make their connection stronger.

6. Park Bo Gum. He plays Jung Sun Ho, who is a lawyer. His character is very standoffish and calculated, but the more that he interacts with Lee Hyun, the more you never want it end. Ever.

7. The soundtrack. I probably mention this in every top 10 list, but that doesn’t diminish its relevance. I Remember You has some great music that pair very well with its scenes. I’ve included one of my favorites if you want to feel out what the drama’s music is like.

8. The plot twists. Who doesn’t appreciate a drama that handles plot twists with care? I admit, it’s refreshing to shake things up once and a week, but what I like most is that this drama isn’t chock full of plot twists. That may make it seem predictable to some, but I find it refreshing to be able to follow a drama and piece things together along with our characters. One of my favorite things to do with this drama is to try and play detective and see if I can figure out the answers before our lead characters do.

9. Marathon worthy. This drama has all the keys to being marathon-worthy. If you can’t handle cliffhangers, wait until Tuesday night and you can binge-watch to your heart’s content.

10. A focus on forensics. Don’t expect CSI level forensics in this drama, but there is enough to set it apart from other “cop/detective” dramas I’ve watched up until this point. For that reason, I think that gives this detective drama a little advantage over some of the other choices.

Note: Keep in mind that this drama isn’t perfect. It’s been very enjoyable for me and I thought it would be great to share with those of you who have watched You’re All Surrounded and are fans of the detective drama.

 

K-Drama: I Remember You

Dear readers and fellow drama lovers,

Can I start out by saying how addicted I am to this drama? I keep thinking of Seo In Guk as the adorable hockey player from King of High School who plays double duty as his older brother at an office, but I Remember You actually makes me feel like I’m watching him act for the very first time. I don’t mean that his acting is poor; I simply mean that Seo In Guk has shown such a great ability here that I don’t even think of his previous dramas when I watch him on the screen. Half the time I forget that it’s actually Seo In Guk — that’s how immersed in the story I become. There is so much rich depth to his character that it’s really hard not to be enamored by him.

So, without dropping spoilers, I will just recommend this drama. I Remember You is dark, gritty, and has an intense psychological thriller aspect to it. It’s the kind of drama that gives you tiny bread crumbs that keep you wondering how everything could possibly fit together. Is everyone who you think they are? Who can you trust? It prompts so many questions that I’m often left waiting for the inevitable plot twists.

So, if you like your dramas light on the fluff, you just might be onto something with I Remember You. I had my reservations as I have very selective taste with darker dramas, but I’m on my edge of my seat in anticipation. Two episodes a week isn’t even enough for me. I’m not sure how the native ratings for this show are performing, but it’s just really well done, and I think it deserves some much needed recognition.

You can easily draw some similarities between I Remember You and You’re All Surrounded, but I’m only making that connection to point out that both shows do have some similar themes and set ups. If you’ve watched You’re All Surrounded, it’s hard not to subconsciously make the connections, but I will say that enough of the story seems different enough for I Remember You to stand on its own.

So far, eight episodes have aired and you can watch all of them at viki.com. This is a perfect opportunity to have a weekend marathon and catch up. And, even if you’re up to date, it’s an even better opportunity to re-watch some episodes and try to play detective and piece things together just like these characters.