I’m officially addicted to Netflix. Not sure when it started, but I’ve been binging show after show, and maybe it’s getting slightly out of hand…
no regrets. Still, I’ve discovered some hidden gems that I doubt I would ever come across.
Ayumi is a pretty and popular high school student who suddenly switches bodies with her unpopular classmate, Zenko, after witnessing her apparent suicide. As Ayumi looks for a way to get her body back, she gradually understands the reasons behind Zenko’s bold decision. The story focuses on unravelling Zenko’s past and current struggles.
Switched is short but manages to deliver quality content on dark themes: broken familial relationships, social anxiety, and depression. However, it also focuses on self-love and that happiness comes from within.
Ayumi and Zenko are very different in looks and personality. While Ayumi is pretty, Zenko is considered ugly and has been bullied because of her appearance. Ayumi is bright and cheerful, while Zenko is closed-off and negative.
As Ayumi lives Zenko’s life, she learns that even if it’s only one person, having someone by your side can save you.
In contrast, despite being in Ayumi’s body, Zenko realizes that becoming someone else will not make her happy, and she must face and overcome her inner struggles.
Of course, there is a happy ending. I love the friendship between the protagonists afterwards. Though, if there’s ever a second season, it would likely focus more on romance.
I Can Hear Your Voice
After witnessing his father’s murder, Park Soo-ha develops an ability to read people’s minds. High school student, Jang Hye-sung, is a witness. Despite the murderer’s threats, Hye-sung testifies at the trial. That day, she became a target.
Many years later, Hye-sung is a public defender and finds herself involved with Soo-ha once again. With his ability, Soo-ha helps Hye-sung in her trials while discovering the true reason why his father was murdered.
I Can Hear Your Voice is romantic, mysterious, and is a little quirky. While I enjoyed the mystery and Soo-ha and Hye-sung’s chemistry, the highlight of this show for me was Hye-sung and Do-yeon’s relationship development.
Do-yeon is Hye-sung’s classmate who accused Hye-sung of intentionally setting off a firecracker at her face, thus damaging her right eye. The two girls always had an unhealthy rivalry going on. Due to Do-yeon’s lies, Hye-sung gets expelled from school and her mother loses her job as a maid at the house.
Hye-sung and Do-yeon were witnesses to the murder of Soo-ha’s father. Both girls had wanted to come forward, but only Hye-sung was courageous enough to testify while Do-yeon had run away. Since then, Do-yeon felt ashamed and said that Hye-sung witnessed her most cowardly moment.
Many years later, Do-yeon is a prosecutor and goes against Hye-sung who is a public defender. While the girls have not forgotten about their past, they ultimately put aside their differences.
Do-yeon’s character, while obviously meant to be evil, represents a gray area of human motivation. She stops at no cost to get what she wants, yet you can’t help but love her character. Pitting her against Hye-sung, who wants to see justice served no matter what is very entertaining.
Gryffindor vs. Slytherin, anyone?
Never Have I Ever
After a terrible freshmen year, Devi Vishwakumar is determined to change her social status. It’s an American high school story that focuses on grief, loss, friendship, romance, and acceptance.
When I decided to give this a shot, I had no expectations. And I came out wanting more. The show felt down-to-earth, very relatable, and gives you a good feeling. Also, the themes are one thing, but I am amazed at the character depth with such a short series.
We obviously see a lot of Devi, since she is the protagonist. However, the writers dedicated one episode to Devi’s frenemy, Ben, and his social struggles and vulnerabilities.
The show also explored Eleanor and Fabiola, Devi’s two best friends, and their familial and identity struggles.
I also loved the diversity. This goes beyond just having diverse actors. It also involves cultural references. Paxton, the school heartthrob, speaks Japanese at one point and has a Korean fansite. Ben knows a little Chinese. BTS was even mentioned. These are small things, but something that I felt happy about.
Another aspect I enjoyed was Paxton’s character. Known as being the “dumb” jock, his character isn’t exaggerated or stereotyped. If the show gets a season 2, I would love an episode just on his character.
What Are You Watching?
I’m always looking for something to watch. Let me know if you have any recommendations or if you watched any of these amazing shows.