Showing posts with label Moving (Kdrama) 5 || 4.8. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Moving (Kdrama) 5 || 4.8. Show all posts

09 October 2023

K Drama Review: Moving (2023) 5 || 4.8

K drama time has considerably lessened because of college basketball season and our son's newly-imposed sleeping arrangements here at home. Watch parties are now mostly limited to weekends. So while this drama is really, really interesting, it took us a bit of time to finish everything. But in a way, that helped me hold on to this drama a little bit longer too. 


Moving tells the story of different individuals born with extraordinary abilities - a guy who flies (Zo In Sung as Kim Doo Sik), a woman who has extra strong vision and hearing (Han Hyo Joo as tonkatsu restaurant owner Lee Mi Hyun), an extra strong guy who never gets hurt and can regenerate (Ryu Seung Ryong as fried chicken restaurant owner Jang Ju Won), a strong and fast guy (Kim Sung Kyun as supermarket owner Lee Jae Man), and a guy with electrical powers (Cha Tae Hyun as bus driver Jeon Gye Do). Earlier in their lives, most of these people have met as intelligence agents. They've gone their separate ways as they went on hiding after realizing that the government was taking advantage of their abilities. Their lives get intertwined again later on as their children meet and a purge of retired intelligence agents with abilities like them begin. The story takes us through how our superheroes do everything in their power to protect their children, how they guide their kids as the latter's own abilities are slowly awakened, and how they fight together to evade the exploitation of the government and other evil forces from outside. 

The Cast

This show's cast is perfect. Everyone - the villains included - are great fit for their characters. 

After seeing Han Hyo Joo in quite younger roles in Happiness and 20th Century Girl (and Hometown Flex and Oppa's List hihi), it was interesting to see her in a mommy role. And I'm not just talking about mom to a toddler, but a mom to a full-grown man. I love seeing Han Hyo Joo embrace her real age. And it was even more amazing to see her play the role so well. She was perfect as the overprotective Lee Mi Hyun who was ready to pack up and go anytime she senses trouble for her and her son, Bong Seok (Lee Jung Ha). She was so good in hiding her identity too. Who would've thought that this tonkatsu restaurant owner was actually a sharp shooter. I like how Han Hyo Joo chooses her projects so well because we're always in for a treat whenever she has a new show. 

Although one of the marketing points for this drama was having Zo In Sung on it, his fans should temper their expectations because he only appears towards the end of episode 7. And while he would have a couple of episodes about his story, his character was not as visible as the others. 

But I guess that's the thing with great actors. They make the most out of whatever screen time you give them. And it was evident in how In Sung portrayed the role of elite black ops agent Kim Doo Sik who later on married Mi Hyun. Although we've seen him on Escape from Mogadishu, this was our first Zo In Sung drama. We did see some episodes of Unexpected Business on TV and I must say that I love how totally different his variety show serious persona is from his drama persona. Despite only seeing him for limited episodes, I saw how super wide In Sung's range of emotions was as an actor. He was so multi-dimensional - caring and sweet and protective around Mi Hyun (and even his partner Ju Won), defiant against his bosses, and totally badass in the battlefield. I wish he'd make more dramas so we can see more of him. 

And I loved Mi Hyun and Doo Sik's chemistry. I liked their chill vibe. They didn't need to do anything romantic because they managed to make me feel their connection just with their smiles and the twinkle in their eyes. I loved every minute of their awkwardness, cuteness, and giddiness as they slowly realized that they liked each other. And most of all, I loved how their love story kept on defying the odds. I'm guessing that no matter how many times they part ways, Doo Sik will always find his way back in Mi Hyun's life. 

Although we've had some Ryu Seung Ryong sightings before (20th Century Girl, Extreme Job, Jirisan, and My Love from the Star), this was the first time that we had a serious look at him. And it can actually be argued that he is this show's lead actor. He was probably my favorite character too. How can you not love a giant/monster who never gets hurt and who's so strong but who is ever so gentle especially when it comes to his wife (Kwak Sun Young of Hospital Playlist 1 and 2 and Encounter) and daughter, Hui Soo (Go Youn Jung). His tears and breakdown scenes were all so heartfelt. I super loved Jang Ju Won and I would definitely be on the lookout for Ryu Seung Ryong's future dramas. 

Cha Tae Hyun's (My Sassy Girl and The Producers) role here was quite minimal. He didn't even have an episode dedicated to him. But no role's too big nor too small for great actors. And Cha Tae Hyun was able to keep his funny vibe while also showing us a bit of his dramatic side as the nice and caring bus driver Jeon Gye Do. He was totally unrelated to the other main leads as his only connection was with Bong Seok and Hui Soo. But that was enough to get him involved and to step up voluntarily when his help and powers were needed. 

Special mention to the super cute cameo of Kim Jun (Hospital Playlist 1 and 2, Money Heist: Korea 2, and Summer Strike) as the young Gye Do. 

Just like Cha Tae Hyun, Kim Sung Kyun's (D.P. 1 and 2, Hospital Playlist, Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo, Reply 1988, and Reply 1994) role here was limited too. But at least he got a dedicated episode. Again, Kim Sung Kyun showcased how talented he is in this show. He did everything so well as Lee Jae Man, a man branded as an idiot but who actually possesses extraordinary strength and speed. He may look like a fool who does not know a lot, but he knows his mission in life is to protect his family, especially his son Gang Hoon (Kim Do Hoon). This was definitely another superb performance from Kim Sung Kyun.

I love seeing actors whom we've seen when they were just starting out get more substantial and prominent roles later on. And that's the case with Lee Jung Ha (Run On and Nevertheless) and Go Youn Jung (Law School). 

It was nice seeing these two as sweethearts Bong Seok and Hui Soo. I found their story/chemistry like a junior version of Mi Hyun and Doo Sik's - even if feisty Hui Soo looked so much better than awkward Bong Seok. I loved how they naturally gravitated towards each other. Their friendship felt so real - they were chill but they were always there to console and comfort each other. I liked that cute moment when Bong Seok sweetly turned on the lights in the entire school building just so Hui Soo won't be training in the dark. And the funny effect Hui Soo had on Bong Seok. And the powerful scenes where they revealed their powers to each other and how they looked out for each other after that. Oh and I also liked Hui Soo's awkward first meeting with Mi Hyun. :D

I have no doubt that bigger things await these two. I'm already looking forward to Go Youn Jung's Hospital Playlist spin-off. 


I loved this drama's very compelling storyline. Yes, it's mostly a superhero drama but it also has a little bit of everything to keep you hooked - romance, family, friendship, action, comedy, drama, etc. I sometimes daydream about how it would be cool for this show to grow in an Avengers kind of way. 

I loved how the stories were woven together so well that despite the numerous storylines, you won't really get confused. We're first taken through the kids' stories then their families' back stories were presented separately. Everything was integrated later on as the show went back to the main story and we're presented with the bigger picture. 

I enjoyed all of the back stories but some stood out more than the rest. Like Mi Hyun's. I liked how she and Doo Sik go way back - from her first (but failed) mission, even if she didn't know about him yet. And how they finally met and that very, very deep connection they forged. 

I also liked Ju Won's. I loved how he was the epitome of a gentle giant. It was cute to see a gangster turned girl dad who was a huge crybaby. His wife described him perfectly - he was monster-like (like Hulk) but deep down he was a really, really good guy. His love story, like his partner Doo Sik's, was also cute and interesting - especially the awkward way he pursued his wife. And how they always supported each other. And that life-changing moment when his story intersected with Doo Sik's. 

Although short, I also enjoyed Choi Il Hwan's (Kim Hee Won of Angry Mom, Misaeng, My Love from the Star, and House on Wheels 1 and 2) back story. It was nice see the high school teacher reminisce about all the special students who were under him, starting as far as Gye Do. 

Yes, the show slowed down a bit when it went back to the past. And Oppa was sad because it meant less screen time for the kids. But everything was so cleverly done that you won't really mind at all. The timing was perfect because at that point, the story and the characters were more or less established. And you were probably dying to find out how things got to where they were at present and how their lives intersected. And how the show masterfully and creatively brought us back to the present with that poignant scene where Hui Soo remembered her mom smiling at her after they got involved in a car accident that killed mom. 

Another thing I liked about the show were the fight scenes. They were all so badass - from the Frank  (Ryoo Seung Bum) storyline who was sent to purge the retired agents, to Ju Won's scenes with the gangsters, that operation to hunt for the North Korean spies, the chaotic demolition protest involving Jae Man's wife, and of course Doo Sik's attacks in North Korea. Everything was so credible. The show definitely didn't hold back when it came to violence. Oppa even described it as Kill Bill-ish. 

And the little plot twists here and there were so clever too. Like how Doo Sik orchestrated his arrest so the NIS would get off Mi Hyun's back. 

My most favorite aspect of the show is probably how it seemed to be taking swipe at society's lack of inclusivity for divergents. Yes, the drama took it to extreme levels by including divergents with supernatural powers but when you look at it, their situations all seem the same. They face a lot of challenges. They are judged, ridiculed, bullied, ostracized, and discriminated. And yet, people in power who can help them turn a blind eye on all of these. Our divergents have no choice but to be repressed and feel suppressed because society expects them to hold back and control themselves. They lose their self-esteem and they feel bad about themselves. In extreme situations, the powers that be exploit our divergents and they are manipulated to fit the authorities' needs. And when they're no longer useful, they're purged. 

I liked how the show emphasized the need for people who will advocate for divergents. The way Mi Hyun did everything in her power to hide and protect Bong Seok, defend him, and when it was really time for him to break free, to be there to guide him. That was a very heartbreaking scene between Mi Hyun and Bong Seok when the latter wanted to fly and explore while Mi Hyun was scared he'd end up like his dad. How Mi Hyun wanted to let him go but she knew the trouble it could bring. How the weights he had to wear so he won't fly away were no longer just shackling him down physically but also emotionally like when he couldn't rescue Hui Soo. And how it's important for divergents to get support so they can find their way, similar to how Ju Won was always getting lost. 

And how the divergents gravitated towards each other. How they found comfort in each other - Mi Hyun and Doo Sik, Doo Sik and Ju Won, Hui Soo and Bong Seok. 

I liked how the show made them look normal. That they're not weird. They're still humans, albeit with special abilities (I loved how the show didn't need to rely on special gadgets or suits to give our lead actors super powers!). And that all of us, no matter how plain we may feel, can be special too. 

I loved that additional plot twist in the end where the North Koreans were involved. It was so thrilling to see who outnumbered who in that final battle in the school. And amazing to witness how the kids were now strengthening (and awakening) their powers. 

From the start, it was evident that the South Korean group would prevail because they were motivated by love and that strong desire to protect each other (parents and kids). Unlike the North Korean group, who seemed liked GMOs to me. 

It was just funny that despite all the chaos, Bong Seok still found a way to confess to Hui Soo. I can't wait to see how powerful their kids would be. :D And I just wondered if the NIS had something to do with the fact that the police were late on the scene. 

It was great to see parents and kids teaming up together - Gang Hoon and Jae Man and Mi Hyun and Bong Seok. I was so proud of how Bong Seok saved his mom. He was like Doo Sik 2.0. And how he carried his mom the way she used to carry him when he was small. 

I admit though that the North Korean super being (Kim Joong Hee of Mr. Sunshine) was a let down. He was defeated so easily. 

In the end, I loved how everything went well. Hui Soo comforting the North Korean giant (Park Kwang Jae of Big Mouth) who ended up as her dad's restaurant assistant. The North Korean flying guy (Yang Dong Geun) who freed Doo Sik. And the North Korean boss (Park Hee Soon of My Name and 1987: When the Day Comes) who sacrificed himself so flying guy can live. And of course how Doo Sik found his way back to his family. I loved how even if they were on different sides, everyone wanted peace and they were still humane. 

Yes, I would have wanted closure on Hui Soo and Bong Seok. I have no doubt that their stories will converge again in the future. But are we going to see that? The story can be complete as it is. But the epilogue gave us so many cliffhangers that I can't help but yearn for a second season - we have a new NIS head (Park Byung Eun of Seobok and What's Wrong with Secretary Kim) who hates both Doo Sik and Mi Hyun, Frank who's alive but is declared missing, an Elias being called up, etc. Although the creator's not sure about what lies ahead for this series, I can't help but look forward to a part two where the kids all have better grasp of their powers. But even if I don't get that, I'm still happy that we, Asians, have this drama that can really compete with Western shows. 

Oppa says..5.

Noona says...4.8.