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Showing posts with label TV Series. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TV Series. Show all posts

Monday 15 January 2024

'Soundtrack #1’: A Symphony of Friendship #WebSeries #Review

January 15, 2024 0 Comments

"Soundtrack #1," a Korean web series streaming on Disney+ Hotstar, unfolds a heartwarming tale of friendship, music, and the delicate dance between platonic and romantic relationships. The show, featuring the talented duo Park Hyung-sik as Han Seon-woo, a photographer, and Han So-hee as Lee Eun-soo, a lyricist, takes viewers on a nostalgic journey through nearly two decades of shared memories and creative collaboration.

‘Soundtrack #1' stood out to me for weaving a tale that transcends time and summarizes the depths of connection between two long-standing best friends. At the core of this exceptional drama is the beautifully portrayed 19-year friendship between the two protagonists, a narrative thread that binds the entire series into a harmonious symphony of emotions. From the very first episode to the poignant finale, the audience is taken on a mesmerizing journey through the highs and lows of a friendship that defies the passage of time.

At its core, "Soundtrack #1" revolves around the lives of two inseparable friends, Han Seon-woo and Lee Eun-soo. Their relationship takes a turn when Seon-woo moves in with Eun-soo to help write a song, thus embarking on a musical journey about one-sided love. The narrative beautifully navigates their individual pursuits in photography and songwriting, providing a rich backdrop for the evolution of their relationship through flashbacks.

Seon-woo, portrayed by Park Hyung-sik, harbors a long-standing love for Eun-soo but refrains from confessing his feelings to avoid jeopardizing their deep-rooted friendship. However, as the series unfolds, the delicate balance between friendship and romance becomes increasingly challenging to maintain. Han So-hee's portrayal of Eun-soo brings depth to the character, highlighting the intricacies of her internal struggle as she grapples with the evolving dynamics of their relationship.

One of the standout features of "Soundtrack #1" is its ability to encapsulate the essence of a nearly two-decade-long friendship. The series adeptly weaves together flashbacks and present-day moments, providing viewers with a comprehensive view of the characters' shared history. This nostalgic journey serves as a powerful backdrop for the emotional complexities that arise as Seon-woo and Eun-soo navigate the uncharted waters of romance. The series acknowledges the complexities of relationships, the inevitability of change, and the bittersweet beauty of letting go.

The chemistry between Park Seo-joon and Kim Ji-won is nothing short of extraordinary. Their on-screen dynamic is imbued with genuine warmth that makes their friendship believable and relatable. Whether they're sharing laughter, navigating conflicts, or finding solace in each other's company, the actors bring authenticity to their roles that elevate the viewing experience.

The music in the series serves as a captivating element, mirroring the emotional highs and lows of the characters. The individual career efforts of Seon-woo and Eun-soo in the realm of music and photography offer a unique lens into their bond, showcasing how their creative pursuits are a reflection of their personal emotions as well.

The series delivers a narrative that is poignant, authentic, and deeply resonant. Ji-hoon and Min-ju's 19-year journey is a symphony of emotions, a testament to the enduring power of friendship. As such, it emerges as a heartfelt and resonant web series that seamlessly blends the worlds of friendship, romance, and music. The performances of Park Hyung-sik and Han So-hee bring authenticity to the characters, while the narrative skillfully captures the nuances of evolving relationships.

Whether you're a fan of Korean dramas or simply looking for a series that tugs at the heartstrings, "Soundtrack #1" should undoubtedly be a delightful addition to your watchlist. Especially so, if you love the Friends-to-Lovers trope in romances.

Happy Watching!

Friday 24 November 2023

5 Reasons Why You Should Watch the K-Drama “Healer" - #FridayFeature

November 24, 2023 0 Comments

Asian dramas have taken the world by storm; K-dramas in particular. One that stands out as a must-watch for any Asian drama enthusiast is "Healer." If you are new to the world of K-dramas (or Asian Dramas) I need to put a disclaimer for you - this one is going to ruin you for a while. I know, because I started my Asian Drama journey with Healer and it took me a while to like anything else. It is THAT good. 

“Healer” is an action-packed series with an amazing romance running in parallel. It is sure to keep you hooked from the very first episode. Whether you are a newbie to this world of dramas, or a veteran - “Healer” is a must watch for you and I will give you 5 reasons why without too many spoilers!

1. Unconventional Protagonists: 

Our male protagonist is Seo Jung Hoo (played by Ji Chang-Wook) is a chameleon of sorts. He is a ‘night courier’ who runs unconventional errands for money. At first glance, he is not your knight is shining armour. But he is someone who plays any role required convincingly - from the night courier who is an expert in martial arts to a scaredy-cat reporter to a son trying to find out about his past. Our female protagonist is Chae Young Shin (played by Park Min-Young) is a fiery but ‘failed’ reporter. She aspires to be the best yet puts other people’s safety before her own aspirations. She is not fearless, but she is someone who do what is necessary despite her fears.

2. Well-Developed Characters:

It is not just our protagonists and antagonists that are well developed in the series. Each character brings in something to the plot. 

For instance, Kim Moon-Ho (played by Yoo Ji-Tae) is an ace reporter who refuses to access certain resources that are available to him because his sense of honour tell him that those resources are tainted. He is haunted by the past and wants to do what’s best for the victims even if it means that he has to go up against those close to him. Then there is the character of Chae Chi-Soo (played by Park Sang-Myeon) who through his actions show how blood doesn’t matter to be a family. His kind moments with his adoptive daughter will touch the audiences heart and ultimately is what shaped our female protagonist. 

Overall, there is a diverse set of characters who add depth to the over all plot.


3. Intriguing Plot and Thrilling Action:

The story revolves around secrets from the past of a group of friends, that not only affect the cast of characters in the present, but also the political situation of the country. As the characters dig up the secrets, they realise what they are really dealing with. The fight scenes involving Ji Chang-Wook are stylish and exciting enough to make you want to see more action sequences. The romance element of the story really works because of the chemistry between the characters is palpable as they really compliment each other.

4. Heartwarming Romance:

If the action sequences and the mystery angle of the plot gets your blood roaring, the romance in the series will get your heart thumping. If you are someone who loves ‘love-at-first-sight’ tropes, only then maybe this may not be your cup of tea. Our protagonists fall for each other slowly and steadily. They build a camaraderie that is bot fun and sweet. Their personalities are so different, yet similar at places that really matter. As a viewer, you will hoot and cheer for them to be together.

5. Memorable Soundtrack:

I don’t think I will ever be able to listen to ‘Eternal Love by MLTR’ and not think of this series ever again. Other than that ‘I will protect you by Ji Chang-wook’, ‘You by BEN’ and the Healer theme song just adds to the overall ambience of the series in a way that it is impossible to separate them.

Bonus Reason: Ji Chang-Wook! Yes he is easy on the eyes as most asian drama heroes are. The reason why I like him is because he is an expert at micro-expressions. Small things that he does in his acting really make you involved in the story telling. 

“Healer” is a favourite among K-Drama enthusiasts because everything about the series just falls into place to take the audience on a journey of action, thrills, heartbreak and love. I assure you that once you start the series, you will not be able to stop. Happy binge-watching!

Monday 20 September 2021

'You're a #feminist icon, Rafael.' - #MyFriendAlexa #MondayBlogs

September 20, 2021 27 Comments

I started watching Law & Order: Special Victims Unit after reading Piu’s post about her favourite TV shows. And once I started watching, I was hooked!

SVU, as the name suggests, is about special victims and mostly known as the sex crimes unit. In the first season we find out that it is a unit made up of agents who join it voluntarily. Once you know that, and watch a few of the episodes, you have a certain amount of respect for the agents who work there. It is not easy to handle the cases that they handle and then go back to normal life. It is no wonder that most of the agents who work there are single. After the kind of crimes, they deal with every day – the fact that some of them still believe in decent humans is nothing but a wonder to me.

As the seasons’ progressed, I collected quite a few favourite characters. Olivia Benson, the face of the series, is an amazing character. The amount of compassion she has for each victim, the way she turns up at her job day after day with all heart is really amazing! There’s Odafin ‘Fin’ Tutuola who his just there, every day, doing his job and a background that he doesn’t talk much about. Then there is Dominick Carisi who enters the scenes with an attitude that has Olivia Benson asking, ‘Carisi, remind me why you're SVU, again?’

Carisi’s response was:

I worked Homicide, couple years. It's the women who get you. I mean, they're dead, but their hair's clean, they're nicely dressed, they're made up. And that means their husbands, or their boyfriends did it. It's like they knew. They knew it was coming. They don't even look surprised.

And the way he says it – it surprises you and he grows as the show progresses.

But the one character that will stay with me even after the show is over is Rafael Barba, Assistant District Attorney. Barba is introduced to the audience in Season 14 as a recurring character and then becomes a part of the main cast till Season 19.

When Barba first shows up, he is almost ruthless – with the reputation as someone who will take on the toughest cases, even the ones that no one else will touch. He slowly warms up to the SVU and develops a good friendship with Olivia Benson. He is ruthless – he pushes the members of the SVU, the suspects and sometimes even the victims to get the results that we want. At the same time, he can also be calm and composed in the courtroom. Some of my favourite scenes involves him being extremely quiet and calm when the defence attorneys are ripping the witnesses apart and using the dirtiest tricks in the book. 

I liked him from almost the beginning, but as the show progressed his character arc grew by leaps and bounds. Everyone on SVU do their best to make the world a better place by placing their faith in the victims and then fighting to put the perpetrators behind the bars. But then Barba doesn’t just do his own job but goes one step further!

In Flight Risk (Season 19, Episode 11), a flight attendant is raped by the pilot, and the company not only covers it up but forces the flight attendant to continue working with him in close quarters despite promising her otherwise. Once SVU manages to put the pilot away for rape – this is a (slightly paraphrased – as much as I can remember) discussion that Olivia Benson and Barba has shortly after:

Benson: Putting away a single pilot rapist isn’t enough?
Barba: No, it's not. The whole culture has to change. All the people who enabled Captain Carter should be in that cell with him.
Benson: Yes, they should. But unfortunately, being sexist, misogynistic pigs isn't a crime.
Barba: It should be.

Barba goes on to hold a grand jury  to charge the airline company with grand larceny. It is his way of trying to make a difference - by trying to change the law that lets people look away and pretend that nothing is wrong. He knows that it is a long shot; that he can only try and probably not be able to make such a huge change in his lifetime, yet he fights for it anyway.

So, when Olivia Benson says,
'You're a feminist icon, Rafael', I could only agree enthusiastically and applaud 'Rafa' in front of the screen.

Knowing that someone like him is a part of the judicial system would bring hope to everyone and I’d love to have someone like him in my life.

But Alas! He is just a fictional character!!

I am taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter’s #MyFriendAlexa.

Monday 26 July 2021

My Favourite Shows

July 26, 2021 0 Comments

If one can get paid to watch TV shows (not daily saas-bahu shows), I would be a multi-millionaire. This love affair started with Vampire Diaries; we are still passionate lovers even after 10 years. 

Disclaimer Alert: I am in no way claiming these are the best shows ever made or other shows are not good. All I want to say is that these are my favourites.

Without any delay, let’s talk about my favourite TV Series:

Modern Family: Modern Family is about three families from California trying to deal with their kids, quirky spouses, and jobs in their own unique ways.

It was a summer evening around 7 years back and I was lazily surfing the internet and came across this show. And voila; I am was in love right from the first episode of the first season. 

My most favourite episode is the Punkin Chunkin from season 3. 

And the most favorite quote from the show is….

“There are dreamers and there are realists in this world. You'd think the dreamers would find the dreamers and the realists would find the realists, but more often than not the opposite is true. You see, the dreamers need the realists to keep them from soaring too close to the sun.”

Person of Interest: Former CIA agent Reese, now presumed dead; and billionaire software genius Finch join forces as a vigilante crime-fighting team. 

Though this show was started in 2011 and ended in 2016, I saw it in 2019. And to my surprise, I loved it so much that I binged watched 103 episodes. There are very few shows where all the seasons are well made, this is one of them. 

My favourite quote from the show is….

"Maybe it's up to me to do what the good people can't. Or maybe there are no good people. Maybe there are only good decisions."

Law & Order: SUV: A special victims unit of NYPD detectives solve sexual assault, child abuse, and rape cases based on real crimes. 

This show is on its 22nd season and I have seen all the episodes of all 22 seasons. This is one of the shows which is still able to hold its good storyline even after so many episodes. 

My favourite quote from the show is….

“Some things, you can put them behind you…but they do change you.”

Evil: Psychologist Kristen Bouchard reluctantly works together with David Acosta, a priest in training, to investigate and find a logical explanation for every supernatural occurrence within the Church.

This show gives an X-Files vibe and I love the grey area it’s exploring. And I love Mike Colter. 

My favourite quote from the show is….

“There’s no such thing as good and evil, black and white. There’s only gray. There’s only what a man can stand.”

Billions: This Showtime drama pits billionaire hedge-fund manager Bobby opposite the U.S. Attorney for New York. 

This show is a character study. All the characters are very well written and well developed. 

My favourite quote from the show is….

“Get good at letting go, which is a different kind of freedom.”

Hannibal: Based on the Thomas Harris novels “Red Dragon” and “Hannibal,” brilliant forensic psychologist/cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter.

This show portrays serial killing like art and I simply loved it (FYI, I am not a serial killer, not even one in making).

My favourite quote from the show is….

“An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is a normal behaviour.”

Mindhunter: This crime drama follows two FBI agents who essentially write the book on criminal profiling in the late 1970s by interviewing serial killers. 

Well, I am fascinated by serial killers and this show is brilliant, to say the least. This show is based on a time when the “Serial Killer” term was not even coined.

My favourite quote from the show is….

"We're All Our Own Prisons. We Are Each Our Own Wardens. We Do Our Own Time. Prison Is In Your Mind."

Honorable Mentions: 

The Handmaid's Tale, Prison Break, 24, Mad Men, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Family Man, Dark, House of Cards, Paatal Lok, American Crime Story, Ted Lasso, Sherlock, The Americans, and many more. 

Happy Watching

Tuesday 5 May 2020

A Widower and a Sad Afternoon

May 05, 2020 13 Comments

It was just another Wednesday afternoon during the lockdown. I was about to finish cooking and start cleaning the house. I was sweaty, irritated, and hungry when my husband decided to call me at the top of his voice. I responded to him with the normal frustration and he told me Irfan Khan has passed away. I was not expecting this. My first reaction was that this must be fake news. But to my utter disappointment, it was not, and I felt so gloomy for the rest of the day. 

Later in the afternoon, I was watching one of his old interviews where someone asked him about his most difficult acting jobs and Irfan Khan mentioned two names: Life of Pi and In Treatment. I had never heard of “In Treatment” TV series and started watching it immediately (what better way to honor his memory other than watching what he considered one of his most difficult acting jobs). 

In Treatment is an American HBO drama which was produced and developed by Rodrigo Garcia. It is about a psychotherapist, 50-something Paul Weston, his weekly sessions with patients, as well as those with his own therapist at the end of the week. The series debuted in January 28, 2008. 

I have only watched the part in season 3 where Irfan khan played a 52-year-old widower Sunil,  who was transported to New York from Calcutta following the death of his wife. His new life entailed him living with his son, daughter-in-law and their two young children. 

Sunil is not only depressed by his wife’s death, but he is also deeply wounded by his son’s decision to marry an American woman and angry at what he sees as his daughter-in-law's insensitivity. He is extremely disappointed with his son’s American lifestyle and thought process where he chooses his personal happiness over family respect and pride by marrying an American woman. 

I cannot express how much I got affected by this. Saying 'brilliant' would be an understatement. 

Sunil’s (Irfan Khan) son Arun/Aaron and his wife guides him to see a psychologist since he is finding it difficult adjusting to his new life in America. Sunil refuses to take a bath or eat, and doesn’t maintain proper personal hygiene. Sunil also displayed deeply resentful behavior towards his daughter-in-law and probably has some unresolved sexual tension towards her. 

As the series progresses, we learn more about Sunil, his lost love, a tragic suicide, and an unborn child. The series is portrayed as a mystery drama, where you can say for sure something is hidden but can’t exactly figure out what it is. The ending of the series is unpredictable and leaves you with a heartache. 

Irfan Khan portrayed the character of Sunil with so much ease that it seems like the audience is witnessing a real counseling session. On the surface when the audiences see Irfan’s character, he comes across as depressed. However, as we get to know more about him, there is an undertone of anger (second stage of grief), sexual tension, and huge guilt building up over time. 

Sunil is an extremely complex character. He was probably brought up by narcissistic parents who hammered a false sense of family pride before anything. For him, putting his family's pride before his happiness is a sign of a disciplined life. As such he resents his son for marrying someone he loves instead of the girl Sunil and his wife choose for him. In reality, he resents himself for not fighting for his own love; he didn’t even think of fighting and accepted the fact that marrying someone from his caste is the best thing to do. As a result, he was responsible for a death. 

All these issues from his childhood and past combined with his recent loss of his wife and moving to America became an unbearable situation for him. 

What will he do to resolve this? The story offers an answer in the end.

While watching, I saw Sunil, (not Irfan Khan) a middle-aged Bengali, his struggle, hopes, dreams, and an endless quest for a disciplined life. And that is the brilliance of Irfan Khan’s acting. You don’t see him; you see the character he is playing. That is the true nature of an Actor.

I will miss him, as will the film industry and people all over the world. I want to finish this with a dialogue from his movie ‘Life of Pie’: 

"I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go, but what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye".