Starring: Park Min Young | Go Kyung Po | Kim Jae Young
Thoughts: I told myself I wasn’t going to start another airing show but I always go back on my word when either Park Min Young or Go Kyung Po are concerned. And this time it’s both of them. I’ve only seen the first episode but that one 70-minute episode was chocked full of so much exposition I was reeling. But it also opened so many questions for the future. Like, “Is this a serial killer subplot?” “Why am I attracted to a potential murderer?” “Why is Park Min Young’s face different in every scene?” SO MUCH TO UNPACK! The concept feels fresh and has a nice twist on the idea of a contracted relationship. Part of me wonders if she is just a committed call girl without the sex. But even if she is, I’m here for it. Get your coin girl. One of my favorite parts is I can’t tell you who the lead or secondary lead is because I can see the potential with either. But at the end of the day, my favorite ship is going to be the one between Choi Sang Eun and Woo Gwang Nam, her gay ex-husband slash roommate slash soulmate. Give me more of them.
Genre: Wuxia, Romance, Comedy, Fantasy Origin: China Episodes: 36 Air-date: Aug 7, 2022 – Aug 29, 2022 Starring: Yu Shu Xin as Orchid, Dylan Wang as Dongfang Qing Cang, Zhang Ling He as Chang Heng | Xiao Run, Xu Hai Qiao as Rong Hao
OHMYGOD who is this? The infamous ghost of Sugar Baby’s past. Hahaha. Surprise! It is me and I am back with a review too. Hold the applause. Anyways, it was a rough summer guys.. The whole astrology shit is true. Saturn, Mercury, they were all beating my ass. I actually fell into a dark pit of a drama slump. The only Asian drama I was watching was Lie To Me and Jang Bo Ri because of Lazy Unnie and Nat. I don’t know which drama put me in the slump but I know which one got me out of it.
I am going to offer complete transparency here, I had no intention to ever watch this drama. I wasn’t too keen on it simply because I was not the biggest fan of either leads. I have seen both in things before and found them to be equally meh at most. I started this drama simply because it was so hyped up and Marian, who I trust dearly with chinese drama recommendations, said this was the first xianxia she has truly enjoyed since Ten Miles of Peach Blossom and I really had to see it for myself. I started watching this drama without even knowing what the premise was, I just dived right in prepared to be a hater like Dongfang Xun Feng. Imagine my shock when I couldn’t stop watching. I tore through twenty episodes in like two days. I was eating this up yummy yum yum. So let’s get into this review.
I always have a hard time reviewing these type of stories because there is just so much going on and to cover thoroughly would have me here forever. We’re going to do a simple like vs dislikes.
Cinematography: First and foremost , I loved the costumes and the visual effects used here. Yes we had our typical dark and lights, but it was so complimentary and pleasing to the eye. One of my favorite scenes in the entire drama was the final battle scene.
Chemistry: The chemistry here was insanely good and I am not just talking about Esther and Dylan’s chemistry. The whole cast worked so well together that it was phenomenal to see.
Acting: Because the chemistry was so good, the acting did what it needed to do. There was no obvious gap in either direction. Everyone was very evenly matched and it worked well. Standout for me was Guo Xiao Ting and I am so interested in seeing more of her. I was also very very pleasantly shocked by Esther.
Plot: Honestly, the reason I stuck around was when the body swapped happened, that was my ‘oh that’s different’ moment and then when a certain scene happened with Ronghao, I was like damn. Those were the truly standout moments for me. I also enjoyed that we had a full story that was told with Ronghao.
Pacing: Now, as is the downfall with many a cdrama, and many a xianxia, the pacing was tiresome. I was pumped up and powering through all the way to episode 25 and then I staggered and went to watch something else. It was dragging a bit. There were stretches of episodes that were just not necessary and that is the problem with making a story 36 episodes when it doesn’t need to be. You could tell they were at their wits end, stretching and running that script to the ground.
Plot: The pacing issue and the plot issue go hand in hand. Lots of fillers. Listen, as much as this is easy to watch and very predictably story to follow, other than those two standout moments, I listed everything else was as expected. It got annoying seeing the long episodes of nothing really happening. It was also a bit frustrating as a viewer to already have solved certain things and waiting on your characters to catch up to it. I was especially turned off by the whole twin sister plot line. Completely unnecessary.
Overall, as you can see, the likes are greater than the dislikes and like I said, I was properly obsessed when I first started this drama as well. It took me out of the drama slump and it is worth rewatching. I really really enjoyed this one. I also have a new found appreciation for Esther. Worth the hype for once.
Sometimes, a second season is really needed. In To my Star’s case, you may have wondered if there was more story to tell after our mains got together at the end of season one. The answer to that is yesssss. All the things I loved about season one were still there; the chemistry, the cinematography, the nuggets of comedy. But in season two we are welcomed to more angst but part of me wonders if they even should have had it.
At the beginning of this, we are treated to a compilation of sweet moments between Seo Joon and Ji Woo. They were living up to their best boyfriend’s status and everything seemed well. Turns out, that not everything you see is what is true. There is a big breakup that serves as the main conflict in this season. Ji Woo did my boy Seo Joon dirty and left him on his birthday and basically went off the grid. Seo Joon starts having trouble at work because he’s preoccupied with finding his now ex and seeing what went wrong. These scenes really made me sympathize with Seo Joon because you saw how happy he was just being with Ji Woo but there was something we were missing obviously.
When Seo Joon eventually finds Ji Woo in his old hometown, the rest of the episodes are a hilarious mix of the small town adjusting to both Seo Joon and Ji Woo and them trying to see what happened. They felt the need to throw in Ji Woo’s ex-girlfriend in the mix and for once, I didn’t get that real love triangle vibes. It was mostly a device to focus on Ji Woo’s past traumas and how they affect him in the present. What I appreciated the most was the increase in skinship and actual attraction between our mains. You could tell there was some real love between them but they just were having a hard time trying to focus on how to be together.
I have to say really liked season two better than one. The drama that was added felt more natural than in the first season and you could tell the actors themselves felt more comfortable with their characters. Again, I’m a sucker for a good kiss scene and we got a few of those. But even the long stares were enough to get the heart pumping. Thank you to the producers for making this a little longer and giving us an extra episode to really fall in love with both of them.
If you had told me that I would fall in love with this little Korean BL Web drama, I would have called you a liar. From the story to the just subtle acting, all of this just worked in its favor. No wonder it got a second season. the story is basically an opposites attract between a celebrity going into hiding due to scandal and a chef just running from his past. They even have one of my favorite tropes: forced cohabitation! Kang Seo Joon is our actor in need of someplace to stay and his CEO sets it up so he stays in the same home that our Chef Han Ji Woo is living in. Even though it is a clear example how sometimes introverts and extroverts shouldn’t live together, they overcome some of the obvious challenges and even a romance starts to build.
What really drew me into them as a couple was the tom and jerry energy they exuded but it wasn’t over the top. Until it happened, I really didn’t think that Ji Woo was going to fall for Seo Joon’s charms. But how could you not? Even with the typical kdrama trope of adding characters with some trauma they must overcome, it wasn’t always in your face. Almost everything about this drama was done in a subtle yet powerful way.
The cinematography was even on par with the subtly of the show. The hues of a lot of the scenes seemed almost muted but it made for a more natural experience. I appreciated that the show didn’t take itself too seriously either. Although it was short, it was filled with comedic moments between our main couple and even our supporting ones, especially Seo Joon’s boss Kim Pil Hyun. The only drawback I felt was the end of the show conflict. It felt forced and didn’t really fit into any narrative. I know that it is a must to show some divide between our mains so they could come back together and have a happy ending, but I felt like it could have been done better.
If I went into this when it first aired, I would have been sad because I wanted more from this short drama. It was refreshing to watch a BL without the usual toxic tropes that come often with others within the genre. The forced love triangle was not here. No hyper-focusing on sexuality either. It was more an issue that Seo Joon was a celebrity than the fact that he wanted to be with Ji Woo. All I could have asked for was more kisses. I’m a sucker.
There are those shows that are complete imposters. Cutie Pie is one of them. There is a reason why the synopsis is so short because honestly, this show was about nothing. I watched the whole thing and was even being diligent about watching weekly until I couldn’t take it anymore. The plot made no sense and I couldn’t even really tell you about it. All I can gather from it that it was a long PSA about marriage equality covered in some light soft core porn. Not even lying. But let me get to the good stuff before the unreasonable.
Chemistry. There was no lack of chemistry between our leads. Between the heated looks and steamy kisses full of all the tongue, no one really cared what they were talking about, which was a whole lot of nothing. It started off with an interesting premise because I didn’t see the arranged gay marriage thing before. But I should have known with the forced cohabtation and just full on sex scenes that this wasn’t going to be about the plot. Once I realized that I wasn’t going to get clear answers to why Hia Lian was so secretive and why Kuea was even trying to hide this rebelious side of him, I just waited for the steamy stuff. Even the second lead couple had undenialble chemistry but this wasn’t these actors’ first time being paired up. Only thing that frustrated me about them is that I STILL can’t tell you why they were having issues. Like maybe I blacked out during that explanation.
Music. Outside of the hidden not so hidden agenda of the show, it felt like a very long music video for our stars. I get that Keua was a musician and that Nunew is a very talented singer, but some of the musical numbers went on too long, no matter how good they were. After the first two, I kinda skipped through them.
Ultimately, I am surprised I finished this because I’ve dropped shows that weren’t this bad before. The only way I can recommend this show in good conscience is if you don’t care about plot. This is a good show to just watch pretty boys kiss and make heart eyes at each other.
Hello! Yes, this is not a figment of your imagination. This is a new post in like, a month? Maybe the combination of vacations, depression, or maybe picking BTS as a song of the week broke us. But either way, I’m going to tackle the first week of July’s new music. And maybe the universe said fuck you and gave me all the things.