First Impressions: Just Between Lovers, Hwayugi

Happy New Year everyone!

We’ve got a number of premieres last December but as much as I wanted to write my First Impressions for these new dramas, the late subtitling made it impossible. I’m not very certain what’s causing the delay but rumor has it that it’s because VOD platforms are buying cable dramas thus the issue. Because of this, my short reviews will come once hard subs are available. Without further talk, here are my First Impressions of Hwayugi and Just Between Lovers.

Hwayugi (A Korean Odyssey)
Network: tvN
Genre: Rom-com, fantasy
No. of Episodes: 20 (70 minutes per episode)

Hwayugi is one of the most highly anticipated dramas of 2017 for a number of reasons: First, it’s Lee Seungi-gi’s first ever drama post-military enlistment; second, it’s the Hong Sisters’ drama comeback; and lastly, it’s star-studded having the likes of Cha Seung-won and Lee Hongki. It’s based on the Chinese mythology Journey to the West, so having a little research on it would help. Basically, it’s a drama about fighting demons lurking here on Earth. It has plenty of interesting characters and an intriguing plot. Lee Seung-gi and Oh Yeon-seo displayed promising chemistry early on. Cha Seung-won, of course, didn’t disappoint in breathing life to his character. The special effects and props were hits and misses, it’s sometimes cringe-worthy. For me, it’s at its finest during its spooky scenes because they really creeped me out (check the ones involving the ghost teacher and the wooden doll bride).

Verdict: The production was marred with controversies, from poor editing to a staff accident, that the broadcast got delayed over and over, but for the love of all the effort the Hong Sisters gave into the world-building for Hwayugi, I think it deserves a watch. Follow Maknae Ahjumma as she delivers an episodic reaction to this fantasy drama here on Ahjummamshies.

Just Between Lovers
Network: jtbc
Genre: Romance, melodrama
No. of Episodes: 16 (60-75 minutes per episode)

True to its promo, Just Between Lovers is a drama about people who harbor pain inside them and their healing. If Hwayugi was grand and animated, this drama was quiet almost throughout its first two episodes. The characters are all connected by an accident in the past that are still haunting them at present, causing them grief and resentment. Won Ji-ah was very excellent in her acting given she’s a rookie while Junho managed to remain charming despite his hot-headed character. The two actually look alike. The cinematography was executed perfectly to give that melancholic mood, as well as the soundtracks.

Verdict: This drama is sadder than sad. If you’re too happy at the moment and missing that heart-wrenching feeling, then tune into this one ‘cuz it has all the makings of a good melodrama.

Now, for my final ranking:

1. Hwayugi
2. Just Between Lovers

What do you think of these new dramas? Let me know in the comment section!

<< K-Drama Reaction: Hwayugi | Episode 1
<< Lee Seung-gi finally seals comeback with fantasy romcom Hwayugi
<< 2PM’s Junho bags first lead opposite rookie Won Jin-ah in new JTBC drama

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