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K-Drama Couch: “Memories Of The Alhambra”, “Children Of Nobody” & “Priest” Make Enthralling Finales

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It’s triple treat finales for the first batch of 2019 Korean Dramas!

The flow of 2019 Korean dramas looks keen to showcase brilliant productions. We have just started this season’s K-drama land parade tip off, yet the bar set is pretty high already.

Aside from hitting three finales of thrilling dramas which were smartly penned, a new record cable network viewership rating has also been set.

Memories of the Alhambra, Children of Nobody, and Priest just concluded its runs with solid fan bases’ support. Furthermore, Sky Castle dethrones Goblin as the highest-rated cable drama, notching 22.3% national viewership rating.

K-Drama Couch Roundups: Nov 2018 Wk 4Dec 2018 Wk 1Dec 2018 Wk 2Dec 2018 Wk 3Dec 2018 Wk 4Jan 2019 Wk 1, Jan 2019 Wk 2

Here is the current roster of 2019 Korean dramas currently airing.

MON-TUE

My Lawyer Mr. Jo 2 (KBS2)

Less Than Evil (MBC)

My Strange Hero (SBS)

The Crowned Clown (tvN)

Clean With Passion For Now (jTBC)

WED-THURS

Liver or Die (KBS2)

Children of Nobody (MBC)

The Last Empress (SBS)

Encounter (tvN)

FRI-SAT

Sky Castle (jTBC)

SATURDAY/SAT-SUN

Memories of the Alhambra (tvN) *Finale

A Promise to the Gods (MBC)

Fates and Furies (SBS)

Priest (OCN) *Finale

2019 Korean Dramas

Browse through the highlights of this week’s airing 2019 Korean Dramas.

*Covers January 14 to January 20, 2019.
*Note: weekend and daily dramas not included in Hellokpop’s weekly roundup coverage

MON-TUE

My Strange Hero (SBS)

It’s a shower of sweet romance for the love couple of My Strange Hero, but unfortunately it’s short-lived. Se Ho threatens to expose their relationship, leaving Soo Jeong with no choice but to break up with Bok Soo.

The Wildflowers are motivated more than ever to study just so they can bring up their class average. On the day of the results, the entire school is shocked that Seung Woo from the Wildflower class beat everyone including Chae Min and finally became the top student. The average of the Wildflower class went up to over 50 as well. Se Ho makes everyone repeat the exam, but still gets the same results, Chae Min slid to the 5th position.

Bok Soo and the rest are working hard to gather evidence especially after Teacher Park is forced to resign.

Soo Jeong and Bok Soo reminisce over surprising Se Ho for his birthday nine years ago. Se Ho remembers it as well, and it looks like he’s starting to thaw. However, his mom tries to remove him as school chairman, but he reveals to them that he was aware of how they are gaining enormous amounts of profit from the school. As a result, they decide not to remove Se Ho after he stabs his mom in the back.

Chae Min’s mom gets the final exam questions from Principal Kim, and gives it to her son to memorize in order to regain first place.

Se Ho is showing that he’s not someone to mess with, but hopefully he continues to soften up more and turn over to Bok Soo’s side before it’s too late for him.

READ RECAPS: Episodes 1-4, Episodes 5-6, Episodes 7-8, Episodes 9-10, Episodes 11-12, Episodes 13-14, Episodes 15-16, Episodes 17-18

The Crowned Clown (tvN)

The Crowned Clown

Photos from tvN Facebook Page

Week two of this historical drama picked up where it left off on its pilot week. Ha Seon returns to the palace and is back to playing the role of a King. Royal Chief Secretary Lee asks the reason for him to come back and he says he wants to take revenge on Shin Chi Soo’s son for what he did to his sister. The Secretary tries to find Ha Seon’s sister and uncle, but he already has them hidden away in fear that the Royal Secretary would hold them hostage. Ha Seon also realizes that he needs to learn how to read and write Chinese characters in order to prevent discovery, so he asks his eunuch to teach him.

On a hunting trip, the Lord favored by the Queen Dowager, has plans of killing the King. Shin Chi Soo’s son accompanies Ha Seon on this trip, and in his rage, he almost shoots him with an arrow. Instead of killing him, Ha Seon fires but only to rattle Shin Chi Soo’s unsuspecting son. At the same time, an arrow also misses Ha Seon, and that is when they realized someone is still out there who wants the King dead.

The internal court also has a power struggle of their own. The Queen Dowager and Shin Chi Soo want to dethrone the Queen. Both think of ways to succeed but they failed as Ha Seon is able to find out a way to counter attack. The Secretary visits King Yi Heon, and he is devastated to learn that the King has completely lost his mind. He keeps on saying that he can hear his dead younger brother begging him for help.

Just when they want to bring back King Yi Heon to the palace and to end Ha Seon’s role play, Secretary Lee finds him full of blood from stabbing his ear – to stop hearing his brother’s voice. Deciding that the King is no longer fit to rule, Secretary Lee brings Ha Seon to a cliff and tells him it is the day he will die. He stabs Ha Seon in the chest to recreate the King’s scar and says Ha Seon the clown is dead.

Clean With Passion For Now (jTBC)

O Sol and Sun Gyeol officially start their relationship and they’re enjoying the thrill of their first love. They’re doing everything they can to make it officially known to their family and friends.

Sun Gyeol refuses to let O Sol out of his sight and makes sure she stays right beside him. She goes to the columbarium to visit her mother where she introduces Sun Gyeol as her boyfriend. She also brings him home to introduce to her family.

The CCTV footage of the parking lot incident has been with Secretary Jang all this time. She watches from afar as Sun Gyeol and the rest of the cleaning crew hand out fliers looking for witnesses. She decides to give it anonymously to O Sol’s family.

Sun Gyeol’s grandfather doesn’t approve of them being together, because he plans to name Sun Gyeol as successor to his company. In order to do that, he must have his grandson cured of his mysophobia right away.

*Episode 14 did not air this week.

WED-THURS

Liver or Die (KBS2)

Our downtrodden Poong Sang struggles to keep his family together as Boon Sil ups and leaves. Joong Yi embarasses her father in school and refuses to respect her dad at home, because she thinks they’re getting a divorce.

In a dramatic scene, Boon Sil tells Poong Sang she has been sick because her entire body hurts. She shows him the amount of medicine she has to take. Poong Sang’s heart breaks as she laments about the sacrifices she has made since being married to him. Because of his wife’s emotional and tearful outburst, Poong Sang finally musters up the nerve to tell his siblings that they need to move out.

Hwa Sang tells Ji Ham’s wife about the affair.. Ji Ham tells his wife that he wants a divorce. Then she goes to the hospital, and slaps Jung Sang. She tells Jung Sang that she refuses to give Ji Ham a divorce, and slaps her in front of everyone in the hospital.

Jin Sang causes trouble with the woman he was having an affair with. The husband demands compensation from Poong Sang before he reports his brother to the police. Poong Sang has no choice but to forcibly get the bankbook from his wife to pay off the husband. Wae Sang witnesses the payoff and beats up Jin Sang. (side note: I really can’t stand how irresponsible and insensitive Jin Sang and Hwa Sang are)

Poor Poong Sang is basically a pushover for both Hwa Sang and Jin Sang, who are both leeches. He allows them to do everything they want, and never lets them take responsibility for anything. As a result, everyone else suffers because of Poong Sang. Joong Yi overhears her parents talking about Poong Sang asking his wife to get an abortion. Meanwhile, Poong Sang is apparently sick, but doesn’t tell anyone in his family.

Jung Sang realizes her twin sister told the wife of Jin Ham about the affair. Hwa Sang acts all spiteful, and is gloating because finally realizing the perfect sister isn’t so perfect after all. She pulls out all the insults and throws it at Jung Sang, who takes it all but tells her not to tell Poong Sang. Jung Sang tries to break up with Ji Ham, but he pleads for her not to. But his wife still refuses to divorce him. When he leaves their home, she slits her wrists to scare Ji Ham.

Poong Sang finds out about Jung Sang and confronts her angrily. He goes to Ji Ham’s wife to beg for her forgiveness. Hwa Sang leaves home after Poong Sang gets mad at her for what she did to Jung Sang. Boon Sil consoles Poong Sang, while he cries about Jung Sang. Poong Sang  tries to do everything to help Jung Sang. While he tells her he loves her the most, Hwa Sang overhears him.

Children of Nobody (MBC) *Finale

Children of Nobody

Images from MBC

Cha Woo Kyung confronts her stepmother about his sister. Her stepmom continues with her lies. She says she sent her sister to a family because she was very difficult to deal with. Red Cry advises Woo Kyung not to believe everything her stepmother says, and finds another way to search for her sister’s corpse. Ji Heon has to let Yoon Tae Joo go as he has no evidence to identify him as Red Cry.

Meanwhile, Woo Kyung forces herself to tell Se Kyung the truth after the stepmother collapses. She wants her to help convince their mother to agree to the transfusion, although Se Kyung is not a willing donor. Woo Kyung asks Ji Heon about the best way to hide a body, and he tells her it is somewhere near and a place where the culprit can easily see. She goes to their old house and finds the blueprint of their current home. There she discovers that the fire place is not in the original plan. She destroys the fireplace, digs, and finds the bones of her sister.

Woo Kyung goes to the hospital and brings her stepmother home. She shows her the bones, and her stepmother finally admits to the truth. In her anger, she picks a hammer, and tries to wield it against her stepmom, but her dead sister appears and holds her hand. She calls Ji Heon and tells her she found her sister. Red Cry is trying to persuade Woo Kyung to judge her stepmom, and she says ok. They plot to kill her, but it is all a plan to capture Red Cry in the act. At the precinct, Yoon Tae Joo admits to everything.

The Last Empress (SBS)

I have this cute love-hate relationship between The Last Empress. The dysfunctional royal family in this series actually makes more sense and going to a more well-rounded character redemption than Sky Castle which has been sharing the same tone and prototype as the SBS mid-week high-rating series.

Also, it always hits high notes on the ending of the second part of the weekly story. Week 3 of January episodes has had Oh Sunny and Woo Bin continue on winning Emperor’s Hyuk on their side by utilizing her growing fondness toward the empress.

Queen Mother schemes another plan to banish Sunny in Princess Ari’s study partner event. But Woo Bin and Emperor Hyuk have Sunny’s back. Learning from Princess Ari’s mother about her conspiracy with Queen Mother on the death of Empress So Hyun, the emperor vows not to take the same path again.

All are well in the plan. However, Chief Joo finally sneaks Yu Ra out of the asylum, and is being kept by Queen Mother. But, the biggest reveal is the previous Empress’ death being alluded from the pages of Crown Prince’s book. Read by Hyuk in a media event arranged by Queen Mother, former Empress So Hyun’s father also appears to confront the family who killed his daughter.

Encounter (tvN)

Encounter

Will Soo Hyun succumb to the pressure of her relationship with Jin Hyuk? This week, Encounter‘s heroine resolved one problem, but got confronted with another.

Convinced that his love will never change, Jin Hyuk bravely proposes for future mornings of being together with his woman. However, Soo Hyun’s conviction is being challenged by the woman closest to her man’s heart.

Encounter Recaps: Eps 1&2Ep 3Ep 4Ep 5Ep 6Ep 7Ep 8Ep 9Ep 10Ep 11Ep12Ep13Ep14

FRI-SAT

Sky Castle (jTBC)

Sky Castle

It was truly an emotional chapter for Sky Castle families on its ninth week.

Revelations keep on pouring in as Ye Seo’s medical school admission problem aggravates situations; even when the true colors of Coach Kim is out in the open.

Woo Joo’s parents struggle to find evidence to clear their son’s name on Hye Na’s murder. Seo Jin’s family is aware that it was instigated by Coach Kim. As Coach Kim uses a strong leverage to keep Ye Seo’s family silent about the case, emotional outburst sporadically moves coming from all the families involved.

While Sky Castle has merits of its own which are mainly streaming from the impeccable cast portrayals, the plot yarning has always been why I can’t fully empathize to the characters.

I enjoyed the neat arrangement of the problems, but the focal problem spinning it is still something that does not make sense for me.

SATURDAY/SAT-SUN

Memories of the Alhambra (tvN) *Finale

Memories of the Alhambra

It was a thrilling finish to Jin Woo’s story. Albeit a safe landing, the momentous highs mattered more.

Memories of the Alhambra Recaps: PremiereEp3Ep4Ep5Ep6Ep7Ep8Ep9Ep10Ep11Ep12Ep13Ep14, Ep15, Finale

A Promise to the Gods (MBC)

A Promise to the Gods

Images from MBC

Just when I am starting to warm up to Na Kyung and trying to see things from her perspective, she goes and prove once again how selfish she is. After knowing Na Kyung’s secret, father and son have a heated argument. Jae Wook tries to convince his father that they have kept the secret for so long because he wants to save his family. The elder man refuses to acknowledge Jae Wook’s reason.

Na Kyung, unaware that her father-in-law already knows Joon Seo’s birth secret, hands out reports on the projects her office is working on. Jae Wook’s father is punishing Na Kyung for her deceit, and when she confronts him, he blatantly tells her he already knows everything. He says to Na Kyung that he sees through her, and the reason she easily agreed to have Hyeon Woo in the family registry is because of her intent to take over the company through his grandsons.

Feeling cornered, Jae Wook suggests they move out, but Na Kyung refuses. She tells Jae Wook that her job and being a mother to Joon Seo make up her identity, without those, she is nothing. Suddenly, a thought pops into her head, and she remembers there is something she only knows concerning Hyeon Woo. In her excitement, she blabbers in front of Jae Wook that she already figures out what to do.

Meanwhile, in Ji Young’s house, she discovers that Hyeon Woo thinks he already relapsed. Ji Young panics and pleads Min Ho to talk to Hyeon Woo for him to agree to an examination. Hyeon Woo initially refuses because he does not want his parents to go through the same ordeal. Min Ho tells him it is more painful for them as parents knowing that Hyeon Woo wants to suffer alone. He agrees, and they visit the doctor the following day.

After the examination, Hyeon Woo leaves to see Jae Wook, and he wants him to promise that if something happens to him, he must not allow Joon Seo to be hurt. He says to his father that even if he relapses, he does not want Joon Seo to save him, as the ten years his younger brother gave him is already enough. Right after Hyeon Woo tells his father to allow his mother to see Joon Seo from time to time, he collapses.

Ji Young and Jae Wook find out that Na Kyung already knows about Hyeon Woo’s condition. Jae Wook gets angry after realizing she is planning to use Hyeon Woo’s relapse. At their house, he angrily confronts Na Kyung, and she tries to lie about her motivation. He tells Na Kyung that he will not allow her to use his sons, and he will do everything he can to ensure, even if it means taking her parental rights over his son Joon Seo.

Fates and Furies (SBS)

Cha Hyun finds the Tae Oh’s letter, and discovers that Hae Ra was sent by Tae Oh to In Joon to destroy him. Tae Oh explains that he got the letter a year ago when an unknown woman wanted him to find Hae Ra and destroy In Joon. She promised to do the rest. She also mentioned it was because of Hyun Joo, Hae Ra’s sister. Tae Oh tells Cha Hyun that In Joon may have been involved with Hyun Joo. She goes to In Joon  and gives him the letter.

Meanwhile, Hae Ra is doing an investigation of her own. She then finds out that her sister was pregnant, and may not have committed suicide. Hae Ra thinks that it was In Joon who got involved with her sister. Jung Ho got her sister pregnant, though, not In Joon – in her “accident”.

Sun Young discovers an audio file in the Han mansion. In the file, she hears what In Joon’s stepmother and half-brother talk about Hyun Joo, who can also be heard from the audio. Sung Sook catches her in the room, but Sun Young manages to escape. 

Because he is starting to suspect Hae Ra, In Joon asks Hae Ra about their wedding. Hae Ra seems indifferent and cold, so he asked why she wants to marry him. Hae Ra couldn’t give him a straight answer. In Joon kisses her, but she pushes him away, bids him goodbye, and leaves.

Fates and Furies is getting more exciting each week. It’s safe to say that I’m invested in the drama, but out of all the ongoing schemes and deceits, In Joon seems to be the only innocent one. Everyone else is out to get rid of him that I am really feeling sorry for him. The latest discovery of Hae Ra not being honest may just turn him into a villain, or he may continue believing what he chooses to believe out of his love for Hae Ra.

Priest (OCN) *Finale

Priest

Photos from OCN Facebook page

The unknown disease infects a lot more people in the hospital. As the hospital has been put on lock down and a quarantine has been initiated, the members of 634 Regia track the whereabouts of Sister Lee Hae Min. Young Pil is the first member to arrive at the sanctuary. He takes a picture of the dagger which the nun gave Oh Soo Min in his dream and sends it to the team.

However, he gets caught and has one radio silenced. This worries the rest of the team, and they also go to the sanctuary. The group decides to go in different directions to find Yong Pil. The demon plays a trick on them, which causes the group to separate. Detective Koo and Miss Shin make direct contact with the demon, and receive the demon’s breath.

Still suspicious of Sister Lee, they doubt the words of Father Antonio. After proving that none of them is the energumen, they figure out their next move. Father Antonio reveals that the dagger can be used to kill the demon, but it must be done by stabbing the energumen. Father Moon and Oh Soo Min object but pretend to agree.

The 634 Regia plans to steal the dagger and exorcises Ham Eun Ho. Oh Soo Min is able to get Ham Eun Ho out of the hospital and performs an exorcism. However, Oh Soo Min is still unable to get the demon’s name. He is also having flashbacks of Eun Ho’s first exorcism that makes him vulnerable to the demon’s power.

Ham Eun Ho has a moment of clarity, and begs Oh Soo Min to kill her for the sake of all the people back at the hospital. She gets out of his binding, grabs hold of the dagger, and stabs herself.

Shocked, Oh Soo Min renounces his faith and becomes the devil’s worshipper. The team is able to send Ham Eun Ho to the hospital, while Father Moon traps the possessed Oh Soo Min.

Father Moon utters the name of the demon, and with the help of Sister Lee and Oh Soo Min (through the recording), he casts it out. As a result of his possession, Father Oh Soo Min forgets everything he remembers about his past with Ham Eun Ho, while she regains her memories. She is now part of the 634 Regia, and vows to keep their past a secret.

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ABOUT THE WRITER

abbyinhallyuland reads and sleeps a lot when she is not traveling. Her calendar reminders are mostly K-Drama broadcast schedules and birthdays of her favorite Korean actors. Promoting K-Drama watching as stress therapy is her life advocacy. She is fond of Spencer Reid, Gregory House, Kenshin Himura, Starwars saga, Haruki Murakami and Hunter x Hunter.

Recommended Korean Dramas: Reply 1988, Nine, Misaeng, Gaksital, Discovery of Love, Because This is My First Life, Descendants of the Sun, My Love from the Star, Healer, Punch, You’re Beautiful, Coffee Prince, Princess Hours, The Greatest Love, Sungkyunkwan Scandal, City Hunter, and The Smile Has Left Your Eyes.

E: [email protected]

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