A veteran war soldier suffering from PTSD who refuses to seek medical help finds a regular day job as the personal bodyguard of Home Secretary, Julia Montague.
I like the show. It’s short, fast-paced, well-written and has a nice group of characters that balances each other throughout the story. The premise isn’t really new – with a war veteran trying to find his place again in normal society while combating his post-mission trauma and grappling to salvage his marriage.
Conspiracy is a major theme throughout and I think the six-episode series delivered it really well. Tension was up, political drama on point, and the attempt to romance, though in the guise of an affair, is interesting – something that played well in adding to the intrigue. (And I liked the chemistry.)
For the cast, Richard Madden‘s a champ. He brought out David Budd’s character well – a mix of angst and determination fueled by a very strong sense of duty.
And yes, he looks stunning in a suit!
While I see the storytelling as linear it didn’t appear predictable. It can appeal dragging at first but once I started getting into the story, I just felt like I need to see how it play to the end. And that I did.
So will I be recommending this? Yes, if you’re up for this genre!
Despite my personal bias on any shows starring Lee Joo – Gi, I’d say this doesn’t come close to his ‘better’ works.
Apart from the mainstream premise of the show, the ever -popular revenge dynamic, Lawless Lawyer also failed to provide that gripping amount of tension, drama and conflict crucial to sustaining the story’s spirit.
I don’t have anything against the acting. In fact, I thought they did really well on their respective roles. Lee Hye Youngwho played the role of the master antagonist of the show, Cha Moon Sook, was especially good. Really good.
But there’s a limit to how much you can do with good acting. At the end of the day, it’s how the story unfolds that create a significant impact on the show.
Also, I get why the ‘romance’ aspect is added to the story. But I just don’t feel its necessity. The story can do just fine without it. Not to mention the lack of chemistry between Bong Sang-pil and Ha Jae-yi.
But then again, this could just be because of the storytelling.
I was in elementary when the Taiwanese version of this series aired on our local TV.
And because online streaming was not predominantly popular at that time, watching every episode is imperative to make sure you don’t miss anything. That also means half-running my way from school to our home just to keep up with this daily viewing appointment. #nostalgia
So when I heard about this 2018 remake, I decided to give it a go. But it wasn’t until the original Chinese airing has released its 15th or 16th episode that I started with the first one.
And ‘just one episode’ easily turned nine.
As of this writing, I in fact just finished the 22nd episode!
Of course, I’d be lying if I say that I don’t have my biases. The Taiwanese version left a huge impact, and it is almost natural to compare the two. A given.
And I’m happy to say, that this remake did really well – did even better on some scenes.
THE CAST is just stunning! I like them! I especially love this new version of HuaZe Lei played by rising star, Darren Chen!
He is legit adorable. Cool, aloof, distant and weird but someone who’s impossible to ignore. You know what I mean? (…now I’m making myself too obvious…)
As for THE OST, I didn’t like it that much. But after some successive exposure episode after episode, it has come to grow on me. Coen Wang shares this easy lyrics of the song:
I find it a light-hearted variation from the original’s more mature appeal, and I’m all in for it! The pacing is also a bit faster but it’s fine seeing that the quality of storytelling isn’t sacrificed. The narrative is consistent, a bit bland on some scenes, but likable in general!
Few more episodes and this will be over! I bet none of us is ready to say goodbye just yet.
I am not ready. Are you?
And what’s your impression? Let’s hear ’em on the comments!
Imagine how difficult it is to hide something from the people you trust and spend the most time with.
Love, Simon is a gentle reminder that we all have that something we keep to ourselves – something we wouldn’t want others to know, but at the same time hope that others would accept as part of who we are.
In Simon’s case, it’s the fact that he is gay. And while he is blessed with a loving family, it didn’t stop him from hiding his identity most likely because of fear.
And it’s a fear, a lot of us, I think, is familiar with – which makes Simon’s whole predicament highly relatable.
A list of it will probably look like this:
He fears to let his father down. For someone who’s obviously family-oriented, finding out how his only son is gay might be disappointing.
He fears the change that could happen in his relationships with friends. They’ve been friends for long. So why tell the secret just now and hide it for years?
He fears the stereotype/stigma at school. He’s not yet ready to be an outcast!
But then of course, this is just me trying to get into Simon’s shoes. The list of reasons could go more.
Anyway, we could learn a thing or two from how the story panned out.
First, hiding secrets is never easy. A no-brainer.
Second, choose your friends wisely.
Third, keep your social accounts access private. You’ll never know who’s snooping around – intentionally or unintentionally.
Bottomline, a secret is something personal. Revealing them is up to us and could use some good timing. Love, Simon is a fine story. The narrative was simple. And while predictable, it still manages to pull out that familiar tug in one’s heart – especially to a sentimental like me.
So in a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest, I’m giving this show an:
I haven’t seen the anime nor read the manga version of this show so I watched it with no prior reference to anything.
And I should say it’s a nice standalone film on its own.
Set in a world inhabited by a number of Ajins – half-humans gifted with extraordinary ability to regenerate, thus making them somehow immortal.
Apparently, not all of the ‘Ajin’ are aware of their identities. The government publicly advertises their so-called ‘protection program’ for these beings, though, in reality, they hold them captive for research.
The research, of course, is far from ordinary. If any, it can be equated to torture.
The Stellar Cast
I’ve always been very mindful of the casting as they impact the overall delivery of the show. In this film’s case, they’re just brilliant. This is setting aside my personal bias to Takeru Satoh.
Gou Ayano, who played as the main villain Sato, was ‘ideal’ for the role. From his facial expressions to his natural bearing and voice, they all spell out terror – something that gives out this ‘run and hide‘ feeling when he shows up and looks at you with a smile.
In fact, I consider him as a necessary element in bringing out Takeru Satoh‘s own character. They balance each other’s roles, which I saw as a crucial element in the film’s execution.
What I like best
Izumi and Tanaka’s fighting scenes
Were highly physical. Contrary to the main character’s battles, these supporting characters engaged in hardcore hand to hand combat which I like considering that I’m fascinated with fist fighting. Tanaka (played by Shirota Yuu) and Izumi (played by Rina Kawaei) seemed to be an unlikely match in battle with their differences in physique, but it’s stunning to see them go all out against each other and be on equal standing.
Had I seen the anime or read Ajin’s manga, I might have a different take, but as of this writing, I’m pretty much satisfied with the delivery. The premise was presented well, though it still left questions. The character motivations were reasonable and humane, too.
I can’t say I felt attached to the characters, nor have I rooted anyone on the show since the characterization was not fully developed, but I still had a good time watching it come to a resolution.
Takeru Satoh was the initial reason why I decided to give this a try, but the movie did well in encouraging me to go ahead and watch the anime series.
I’m interested in what you think about this show. Any thoughts?
I’ve long been a fan of crime & mystery drama series so it’s fair to say that I have my own bias when picking shows in a pool of good ones this season.
Deception, an American Series created by ABC network, was my pick 2 weeks ago and I’d say it’s one of the shows on top of my list of recommendations at least for this season.
There isn’t so much terror and bloodshed on it like my other favorites, The Blacklist and 24, but it sure has one unique allure that sets it apart from the rest – magic.
And while others might contest how the series potentially destroyed the mystique of magic by showing how one trick is done and all that, I’d say it’s fairly logical and entertaining.
I could say a couple of things that I like best about it but here are the key points:
Family Intrigue – with members from past generations apparently growing up as magicians and most likely something more.
Cameron and Jonathan – I just find the contrast so appealing in so many aspects.
Storytelling / Delivery / Execution – Can’t say anything bad about it. The narrative was consistent, easy-to-follow, but not boring – engaging.
Mystery – With the FBI involved, we can expect crimes committed after crimes, yet we also see a significant buildup of mystery the more we learn about the characters involved. And damn if it’s not intriguing.
All these things considered, and I highly expected ABC to give us more!
But then again, they say don’t expect so you won’t get hurt.
Deception, apparently, will not have a second season and I just cannot wrap my head around it yet.
I mean, it’s probably not the first show that suffered the same demise in the industry. But still why?! After giving us that ending, just why?!
It holds more promises than how it started. Revelations led to us, having more questions – understandably- and that twist at the end is a vivid cue to what’s coming next.
But then what, there’s no more?
I’m not an expert and this could just me ranting my disappointment for a good show thrown away.
It has potential.
Casting may not be stellar, and yes, Cameron and Kay may not have that romantic chemistry a lot may have hoped for but guys….even without the romance, the show can hold its fort just well.
Anyway, there are several forces at work in producing the show.
So while I’m convinced how the show needs more, it’s up to the hands of the makers.
It deserves more. The series is set at a time when the X-Men are gone and when a significant number of mutants are living alongside humans in what started as an obviously strained civil relationship.
And in a society where ‘the gifted’ are considered dangerous, criminals even, it’s only a matter of time before you see this group of individuals rise and challenge the status quo.
More than that of a series that showcases unique superhero skills and cool fighting scenes, The Gifted is a story of family, self-acceptance, and respect. It presented really well that one thing a lot of us can relate to – the desire to prove ourselves and just how much are we willing to sacrifice for it.
What I like
Mutant Underground Leadership
With special mention to Polaris (Emma Dumont) and Johnny (Blair Redford). As the known leaders of their underground network, both displayed authority and influence like no other in the show. But setting their top-grade skills aside, their characters are also few of the most humane on their bunch.
I also think Emma and Blair were excellent picks for their respective roles.
The Von Struckers
For a family that’s been through some sudden, surprising revelations even on the pilot episode, the Von Struckers fairly stood their ground for better and for worse. Reed and Cait (Stephen Moyer and Amy Acker) showed admirable resiliency that helped even out the stark differences of their children, Andy and Lauren (Percy Hynes – White and Natalie Alyn Lind)
Speaking of Andy, I’d say he’s easily secured the special spot as my favorite character in the show, but I’ll save the details for another post.
Together they did really well amidst everything. And apparently, there’s something more to their lineage than just random luck.
Good characters will still be bad unless the story delivery is good. And I’m glad this show didn’t waste their fine cast’s potential. The narrative was clear, backstory of each character, though still shady, were decent. Besides, we can use some mystery.
The focus of the story which revolves around the opposite sides of humans and mutants provided the necessary tension to propel the story forward.
Something quite lacking
Several things were left unanswered and there were still missing pieces of the puzzle. Given that we have a bunch of unique characters on scene, it’s vital that each is provided with their own story to tell. This makes them relatable – understandable.
While the main characters were given decent foundation for why they became who they were, there remains a significant portion of their identities that are left to be discovered. This isn’t totally a bad thing, though. Apparently, a 2nd season’s on the way and it’ll probably set things clearer by then.
Namely, the Sentinel Services. They’re the supposed ‘good guys’ who are tasked to maintain peace in the community, but whose real purpose is to capture mutants and lock them up in a cell, justified by the premise that mutants bring harm to the general public.
While they do have the motive and logistics to up their game, they did feel lacking. The ongoing project at Trask was promising, but its real potential is left to be tapped.
For a series that features a lot of characters with distinct skills, The Gifted pretty much introduced everyone well. There were minimal screen time for some, but it didn’t reduce their significance in the story.
Writing and delivery was consistent, which makes it an easy story to follow and a highly likeable one!
In a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest, I’m giving The Gifted a