I have not had the opportunity to really explore all that Netflix has to offer, but since I have a few days off, I decided to cast my net and see what I could find. Here are three shows that I think are a great catch and one that you might want to throw back.
Ashes of Love
Ashes of Love is a Chinese drama that is addictive enough that I had to read the book to find out what happened when I first watched. I was watching on YouTube until the subs ran out. I was thrilled to see it on Netflix! I can now watch the end to see if it stays close to the book or not.
This fantasy drama stars Deng Lun (Sweet Dreams) and Yang Zi (Ode to Joy). Jin Mi (Yang Zi) is the daughter of a heart-broken flower goddess. On her deathbed, in order to spare her daughter the pain of love, the goddess feeds her daughter a pill to keep her from loving and then seals her in a water barrier. The young girl grows up unaware she is the daughter of a powerful goddess; she thinks she is a grape spirit. One day (4,000 years later) the water barrier is broken by the second son of the Heavenly Emperor, Xu Feng. He is injured, but Jin Mi (the daughter of the goddess) saves him. Eventually Jin Mi also meets the first son of the Emperor and a love triangle is created. Of course, Jin Mi is not capable of love, so this creates an obstacle greater than any water barrier. What could possibly go wrong?
Misaeng is a Korean office drama with a stellar cast and such honesty in its storytelling that my friends working in Korean companies tell me they could completely relate. This is among my favorite dramas despite the fact that it is not a typical romance or even a revenge drama (the kind I typically enjoy). Kang So Ra, Yim Siwan, Byun Yo-Han, and Kang Ha Neul deliver memorable performances. If you just read the summary that basically says it is a slice of life of a group of 20-somethings trying to make it in a multinational company, you may not stop and watch. I encourage you to click play. This is one not to be missed!
This is a Korean high school drama but is not fluffy. It’s the story of an investigation into a student’s mysterious death by his classmates. There are some solid performances put forth by a number of young actors. Kim Hyun-Soo (not to be confused with Kim Soo Hyun or Kim So Hyun) has played the younger versions of actresses in Tree with Deep Roots, Gaksital, and My Love From Another Star; she really shines as the leading lady in this drama. In addition, Seo Ji Hoon (Mama Fairy and the Woodcutter, School 2017) and Jang Dong Yoon (Mr. Sunshine, School 2017, and Just Dance) stole many of the scenes for me.
I love the way the students work together to solve the mystery and I found myself pulled in from beginning to end. Drama Geek watched and reviewed this last year, so if you want a deeper look, you can read her review here.
What to throw back
The Legend of the Naga Pearls (movie)
I really tried to look past the first scenes with the buffoonish antics of the male lead with his armadillo-like companion animal with flatulence. I really was hoping it would get better. The introduction of Raven (Crystal Zhang), our leading lady with stellar martial arts skills, made me sit up a bit and pay more attention, but even some awesome fight sequences could not save this movie for me. (If you like Crystal Zhang, she was pretty fabulous in Go Princess Go. Sadly, I do not see it on Netflix, though.) I suppose I can say I did learn something while watching. The armadillo-like creature is likely a pangolin and not a real armadillo. My son walked by and asked why there was a farting pangolin on the screen. This was my first exposure to this scaly anteater, so I mistakenly assumed it was an armadillo. So, see? It’s not like it was a wasted two hours after all!
So, there you have it. If you have a Netflix subscription and are wondering what to watch and what to steer clear of, I humbly offer these suggestions.
Let me know if you take my advice and whether you agree or disagree in the comments!
Until the next net cast,
Dramas with a Side of Kimchi