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Dramabeans Podcast #16

It’s a jam-packed podcast this time around, as we whiz through a full slate of dramas past and present. Let’s dive right in.

 
Podcast #16

Running time: 69:19

In which we:

  • Discuss Gu Family Book and Suzy as a leading lady, with comparisons to Jeon Woo-chi;
  • talk about You’re the Best, Lee Soon-shin’s narrative flaws, family drama pacing and Ojakkyo Brothers, and why this is better enjoyed as a fast-forward drama (10:55);
  • briefly cover Nine and why it was enjoyable but not addicting (17:24);
  • discuss That Winter, The Wind Blows in a nutshell and why it didn’t float our boats (19:10);
  • move on to Mandate of Heaven, the reason the side characters trump the main romance, and how it exceeded initial expectations (20:31);
  • give our first impressions of Jang Ok-jung (26:00);
  • move to currently airing shows like I Hear Your Voice with a brief sidebar on Heartless City, the acting of its leads Lee Bo-young and Lee Jong-seok, and why it seems like a promising new selection (29:50);
  • touch upon Dating Agency Cyrano and its fun, brisk rom-com vibe (36:44);
  • cover Shark, Kim Nam-gil, and his pornstache of shame (39:38);
  • talk about Monstar, its refreshing vibe and quirky heroine, and its thoughtful incorporation of musical numbers (45:36);
  • lament the downward trajectory of 1 Night 2 Days and wonder at which point one gives up on a show (51:44);
  • mention broadcaster trends and the directionlessness of Barefoot Friends (1:02:05);
  • and wrap up with thoughts about our recent(ish) Dramabeans Meetup (1:03:22).

[ Download podcast | Mirror ]

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Songs Used in Podcast (In order of use)

“Fate” by Sweetpea
“사랑이 불어온다” (Love blows in) by Lee Ji-young from the Gu Family Book OST
“몰라 몰라” (I Don’t Know) by Tahiti from the You’re the Best, Lee Soon-shin OST
“뜨거운 안녕” (Warm goodbye) by Moon Myung-jin from the Mandate of Heaven OST
“뚜벅뚜벅 또각또각” by The Hi-Lights
“천국과 지옥 사이” (Between Heaven and Hell) by BoA from the Shark OST
“시간이 흐른 뒤엔” (After time passes) by Yong Joon-hyung and BTOB from the Monstar OST
“Bye by bye” by Clinch

 
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Been waiting since forever for a podcast! Thanks girls! I definitely think Lee Soon Shin has been lacking in the plot development. Too much old people talking about the same things they've been talking about and not enough relationship development with the sisters and their lives. And yet I still watch....

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Ummm, please watch Ep 30 of YTBLSS. You'll take back your words. *still in drama heaven*

raw http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=82QONvY361w

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I agreeee~ I haven't really forgiven the show yet for the past 20 episodes or so, but if this is how the rest of the show is going to be, it sure is a nice start! I think I even managed not to fast-forward this time.

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Ya, finally the show gives Earnest Bot a chance to act, and boy, is it enjoyable to see! Love his range of facial expressions, the little changes, the richness of them all! Love him!
I haven't forgiven the show for the past 20 eps either. MR yelling at everyone is hard to take! I still FF thru her scenes.

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yesssssssssssssssssssssss

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Finally we are getting a podcast after a long time!!
Thanks.....

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YESSS A PODCAST. T__T <33333 Thank you!

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Downloading podcast.., I need fun while driving to work tmr.
Thanks girls ;)

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YES! I legitimately squealed when I saw a new podcast was up. Haha.

Your podcasts are the best. If I had a wish, it'd be to have podcasts every week. :) Yes? I'll buy you the drinks to stay awake. Just saying.

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Yeay, a podcast! :)
And I'll be honest, I skipped the podcast to Mandate of Heaven to hear about your impression (since it's the only one I'm watching now). And let me join you in squeeing over Lee Jung Hwan and Woo Young, javabeans... They are just the cutest couple ever! And the awkward, shy Jung Hwan just rocks my socks off :D

Will go back and start the podcast from the beginning... :)

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GFB - I agree on the drop in aesthetic quality in GFB. I missed those beautiful shots they had in the first 2 episodes, well, when I was still watching it anyway.

MoH (again, lol) - Although I like the comparison of Jung Hwan and the prosecutor, I'm just worried that he'll end up like the prosecutor.

1N2D - Oh gosh, I'm just sad at where it's going now. I missed the earlier episodes with Bird PD as well (when strictly talking about season 2). New PD is on a mission of ruining the show right now.

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Yeah, guys, you did not mention your meetup, I was so curious. thanks for all the comments.

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Thanks for the Podcast, been waiting forever for this!

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GFB-I agree with Gu Family Book's decrease in camera quality. They literally spent 2 months on the 2 episodes in beginning that they could've spent getting ahead in episodes. YW was definitely a character I would've rooted for on paper but there is a bit of a disconnect with her on screen. Suzy is trying but I still see her as Suzy.
JOJ- I actually liked it in the beginning because I'm not too familiar with Korean history, but now its become makjang ok jang.
IHYV- I love the cute as well and loved how they did the flashbacks. That flashback really got me connected to all those characters. I think LBY is best at all these sassy characters. Never really paid much attention to LJS before this drama, but now I'm really starting to fall for him.
Cyrano- I like it but I'm not exactly emotionally connected to it yet.
Heartless City- I like it but there's soo many characters and the different code names that it's a bit hard to keep up with. Soo many people died already and JKH is sooo hot.

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Heartfelt thanks. I always, just always, enjoy listening to these, not just for the insights but the laughs, and also the laughs, hehe. It is very much appreciated! <3

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I loved NINE! But it did drag in the middle.

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Aww I was really looking forward to you guys discussing Incarnation Of Money. Anyways, thank you for the podcast! (:

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I've been waiting for this!!! Thx :D can't wait to listen to it ;)

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WOO HOO!!! Something awesome to listen to on the plane this week... other than the usual voices in my head. :P Kamsahamnida!!!

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Thanks for the podcast. I especially liked your discussion on Monstar (I love the quirky female lead) and how you have plans for another meetup. Hope to see you then.

Also loved your non-ost music selections!

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YAY PODCAST YAY.

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I was eyeing DB since i noticed you mentioned podcasts on your twitter yesterday. I don't think there's such a thing as too long of a podcast. I love hearing what you guys have to say, the more the better!
Do not watch/finish JOJ. Save your time.
Really enjoyed this podcast, it's always nice to hear what you guys have to say on currently airing shows that you're not recapping or shows that have wrapped.
It's amazing how i look at this list and realize that i literally am following (or finished) almost all that you guys have talked about. Crazy how much k-dramas you can watch..at once.

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woops, double comment below from me. please ignore!

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i tried patiently to see if JOJ would get better and it didnt...its almost the end and it weird - i had a crush on Yoo Ah In in the beginning and now I think he's just scum! weird right?!

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hey, you can't call it diverse, when WE dint show up. :P
i really wanted to!

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I was eyeing DB since I noticed you mentioned podcasts on your twitter yesterday, JB. I don't think there's such a thing as too long of a podcast when were talkin about k-dramas here. I love what you guys have to say, the more, the better!
Really enjoyed this podcast, it's always nice to hear what you guys have to say on currently airing shows that you're not recapping or shows tht have wrapped.
It's amazing how I look at this list and realize that I literally am following(or finished) almost all that you guys have talked about. Crazy how much kdramas you can watch...at once.
Oh, and don't watch/finish JOJ. Save your time. Just not worth it.

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Totally love what you pointed about Soon Shin.. too many annoying things for the few good things. I never thought about JH like that. I guess, it didn't bother me.. there's other worse things to worry about in that drama.

I Hear Your Voice.. I'm loving it. Granted that I went in hoping to like it, but I'm happy it delivers.

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I wish more people watched Queen Of Office.

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Me, too. I liked it a lot!

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Thank you for this podcast. I get so giddy when I see you have posted a new one. I am off to listen and enjoy.

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Thanks for the podcast!

Meet-up envy! Javabeans and girlfriday, if either or both of you come across the pond, I hope you'll have an afternoon to spend with beanies in the UK.

I offer up organising services! (as long as it doesn't involve alcohol) For the love of DB!

Ah, wishful thinking~

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Yeah count me in as well :)

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Out of all I love, That Winter The Wind Blows the best. brilliant acting and awesome chemistry between the leads. I'm following all the dramas you've mentioned except NINE and Cyrano Dating, those two i dropped after the first episode. I'm liking I hear your voice at the moment, lets see how it goes... Heartless City, Shark, JOKJ ,Gu family and Monsters are enjoyable to watch.

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Squeee! An indication of a good Sunday :).

I wish I was 3 years older so I couldve made it to the meet up :(. It broke my DB-loving heart! I hope you guys have another one in NYC when I'm of age to attend!

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I actually had time today to listen to your podcast - and enjoyed !\

I was thinking the Seyi (Monstar), is different, as you mentioned, and a bit hippie- ish. Definitely a hihg school Bohemian in the making. Is there a term (Korean or otherwise) that describes that unassuming hippie style
for the 21 century? Kind of the polar opposide of idol. (Loved when Idol walked away from her saying how can you understand what I mean when I don't uderstand myself right now?) Seyi bridges the different personalities, not only to herself, but with each other. It takes someone with her unaffected personality and non-agenda to do that.

i hope Barefoot Friends can get it together so that is can last - right now it's teetering on rapid distinction, but I do like the potential (or it's just the YSS and KHJ factor that keeps me returning).

Thanks for the fun today!

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i watch Barefoot Friends
for Yoon Shi Yoon & Hyuk Jae (EunHyuk)
most of the time i push ''ff'' button
except YSY & EH scene

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I have not even listened, but I am thrilled. Ha. Thanks for the podcast!

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thanks....i havent listened yet but m excited...there are a boat load of things to cover...YAYE!!!!!

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not sure if it's been asked before but is there a way to make the podcasts not require Flash? pretty please with a cherry on top?? :D

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Download them via the Mediafire link!

Alternatively, you could get an add-on to your browser that allows you to download the media content, I think?

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Yay!!! And all my favorite dramas too!

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Awww, I am so sad that you don't love Heartless City, for me, I think the show is going to turn out to be one of the best kdramas I've ever seen. It's such a rare gem. I hope the show continues to do well.

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I went into Cruel City fairly excited because everyone was buzzing about it on OT, and it certainly lived up to the hype for me - episodes 3 and 4 had endings that had me gasping out loud, and that has not happened in ages in a kdrama!
I was afraid Nam Gyuri would turn out to be the one sour ingredient after seeing her in the first two eps, but once she's integrated into the story proper, she really works. As for Jung Kyung-ho.....what a way to make your post-military comeback. His character makes me shiver, I will probably never look at him the same way again.

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I went into Heartless City not expecting anything, because of Nam Gyu-ri. But she had such few scenes in the first few episodes, that by the time she does get into the story proper, I didn't mind it. She does work and she has improved. But so far, I'm much more invested in Doctor's Son/Shi-hyun, than I am in any other character. He is so scary and a very tragic character, I think.

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Yay, wanted to add more love to heartless city. I've caught up to the recent episode.
It really is well done. Also, i have yet to see a k-drama that focuses on the drug market so i was already interested going in. Nam Gyuri was the only thing stopping me from watching but i have to admit i wasn't much bothered by her (yet). I appreciate that she took on this project and that she's improving.
With shows like this i think if we get any more sentimental it just kind of throws off show's groove. I just feel like it's out of place for a show that dark. I like how we get just enough bits to care(flashbacks to his childhood, his connections to the other drug lords, his unexpected relationship with kyung mi(our heroine's older sis)), etc. But not so much that it ruins the tone/mood this show's got going on.
If this show keeps on the same path, i think it'll be one of the best made k-dramas this year. And the true underdog.

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Totally agree with you about how too much sentimentality will throw off the show. I have to confess I'm a bit disappointed that the drama went and undercut the Doctor's badassery with the flashbacks. It works to humanize him, but at the same time I just want an unflinching, complete anti-hero, not a watered-down one. I still love his character so it's ok for now, but no more softy past memories please!

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Yay..... For Heartless city love!

This drama is soooo awsome

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adding to the Heartless City love. Shi-hyun totally rocks my socks and world. And Jung Kyung-ho... just wow.

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The thing about Jung Kyung Ho is that he's not that physically attractive, but his acting, and the way he carries himself as a MAN makes him so hot. I love guys like that. Kind of reminds me of Joseph Gordon Levitt, who is plain looking but such a sweetheart. On the other hand, some actors like Mr. Hand Towel Song Seung Hun are visually gorgeous but I can never get behind their characters and connect emotionally.

Heartless City, hwaiting!

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Totally agree. It's the way Jung Kyung-ho carries himself in the drama that makes Shi-hyun so riveting, and he doesn't even have to do the tough, machismo act. I just can't take my eyes off him when he's on screen, and when he's not, I find myself anticipating his next appearance. Jung has been explosive in the drama so far and I'm loving his interpretation of Shi-hyun. I can't imagine another actor playing the role.

People like Hand Towel (can't bring myself to call him an actor) are just scraping by because they can't act and can't connect emotionally with their characters. Actually, I don't even find Hand Towel good-looking.

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Thanks for the podcast guys! I do agree on GFB, the first two episodes were so gorgeous and epic that I hoped the drama would keep that tone, but I feel like it doesn't balance its fluffier, lighter moments and its weighty dramatic ones too well and there's also the problem of the non-action re: the book itself- I can deal with the less pretty camera, but not with a draggy (if still cute, mostly) show. And the Suzy/Han Ga-in comparison is dead-on, they're both actresses who never really become their characters but get by being pretty - there's a certain lack of soul in the performance that fails to make it convincing. And the same goes for Park Min-young too, though she's somewhat better as an actress - it just feels too surface sometimes.

I Hear Your Voice - I'm glad this one is getting some love, I've said it before but it's definitely the best show on network tv right now. I wasn't expecting anything but fluff, but this feels like it won't be completely predictable, and I adore all our lead characters so far, which is good.

Monstar - it's funny you guys mention it as a sort of more mellow School 2013, because I feel like School 2013 did have a different tone from most high school shows/was a wee bit more low-key. It was still clunky in places, yes, but I do think ditching the lovelines gave us a show that deserves to be counted as great. I love love LOVE the vibe and characters of Monstar, and I hope its quality holds steady all the way through because tone-wise, it does feel like a step on from School 2013 and I really like the performance of the two rookie leads so far (and I hope we'll see more of the side characters, but maybe that is too much to hope for with just 7 episodes left?)

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Aww, the way you talked about Heartless City reminds me of how Roger Ebert rated Godfather Part II only 3 stars. Maybe it'll grow on you when more episode come out?

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It's really interesting how differently you guys view Kim Nam Gil's acting in comparison to how the Vault views it. Since the part of his acting you like is what the Vault abhors and the other way around.

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Okay. I don't often listen to these Podcasts, but I wanted to today.

-GFB: I think Suzy is an okay actress, but I'm not watching this drama, just reading the recaps, so I haven't really seen her in action. When I decide to watch it, I'll probably like it more.

-YTBLSS: I'm not giving up on this drama, but I haven't watched any of it since ep. 22, because I've been watching other stuff, too, but since you guys aren't recapping it, I'll have to catch up. I really enjoy it, so I'll continue with it, no matter what.

-MOH: Such a great show. Jung-hwan is awesome, and my favorite character. I really hope he doesn't end up like Prosecutor from City Hunter. That's my worst fear.

-HC: I'm enjoying this show a lot, but it started off really slow. It's getting better as it moves into the main story, but there are a lot of characters, and a couple have already died off or lost relevance. I'm mostly interested in the male lead, because he has a very well thought out back story, and there was a twist to it that I did not expect, revealed at the end of episode 4. If you're watching it, you know what I mean. I'm gonna continue with this show, too.

-MS: Monstar is a surprising (in a good way) show. I didn't expect much from it, because of the idol male lead, and it being a musical, but I am happy to say that I love it. Even the character Seol-chan is starting to grow on me. The idol who plays him really fits the role, too. The female lead, Se-yi, is cute and quirky and just adorable. The ending of episode one really got me on board with this drama, too.

-BF: I'm still watching Barefoot Friends. It doesn't really have a concept, or it's abandoning the one it started out with, and, while that does irritate me, I don't really mind. I just enjoy watching it. I love the cast members, and I like Eun Ji-won, so if he joins, I'll be happy. I laugh a lot watching this, so I'm continuing with it, too.

You ladies are awesome, and I hope to one day go to one of the Meetups.

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I agree that Heartless City started off a little slow in Episode 1. With the way the show introduced the characters, it seemed that Lee Jae Yoon was the main character, I wasn't really hooked until 30 min into the show when Jung Kyung Ho showed up and started kicking a**. The first episode did give a relatively superficial introduction to the characters and focused more on the action, but I'm really glad that the later episodes do a great job of establishing the characters' background, especially b/w Paksa and Auntie, makes me really connect and root for JKH's character.

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Exactly. Character introductions were scattered and spastic in the first episode, so I wasn't sure at first who's side I was supposed to be on. Then Doctor's Son shows up, totally kicking a** (as you said) and just being awesome, and I was like, "Now here's a guy I can get behind and root for." He's just awesome. And totally hot, but that's not really important, is it? Oh who am I kidding! It's totally important! LOL.

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Thanks for the podcast, it is informative and fun.
Any pics from NY Dramabeans Meetup?

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Yay podcast! I love hearing you guys drama-talk. :)

I was nodding so much over YBLSS. It's not a bad show, yet. But the slow bits are so slow and the balance of cute to angst has gone completely off kilter. Also, there are too many foolish characters getting too much screen time, which can be a bit nails-on-the-chalkboard.

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thanks for the podcast ladies!

i am not as annoyed as most with LSS. its a family drama so i am not so put off that the romance bits are doled out so stingily. my whole family is watching and we do feel the characters, while annoying and selfish are all believable. as for what you said about junho, i feel the same. you girls are absolutely right though that ojakgyo is better and balanced the humour, the cute and the heart and melo much better

i felt exactly the same as you do on nine. conceptually interesting and story intriqued me enough to complete it but zero emotional investment in any of the characters for me. only in the story and how they were going to wrap things up.

i am starting to like i hear your voice after epi 2. i initially didnt like the female lead character but am warming to her now. but the surprise for me is jung seok - i didnt enjoy school 2013. i couldnt relate to al their angst i suppose and didnt care too much about the characters - again another show i completed coz i wanted to know what happens in the end. in this drama, he is shining. i like him playing cute and swwoning than broody i suppose.

somehow i dont like lee bo young but i may be biased coz of her last drama - my daughter seo young - which i really disliked. she is sooo cold. like nicole kidman. but in this drama, i am starting to warm to her to.

i LOVE epi 1-4 of monstar. epi 5 dropped a little, i feel, the standard and the magic but am hoping the rest of the series will be as engaging. idol boy has screen presence even though his acting has a limit too (you mentioned that in suzy - but i cant see any good acting in suzy - i only see suzy when she is supposed to be acting!). its a simple coming of age story perhaps but the delivery of the story is what makes it special.

despite the lack of concept, i am loving barefoot friends. mainly coz it is making me laugh out loud. and in epi 8 - laugh till i cry. so, am really hoping it continues. i feel a sadness for dropping 1n2d - some misplaced sense of loyalty but its not good enough anymore :(

thanks for sharing about the DB meetup too. ahhh, feels good to be able to chat about the dramas.

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You know what or who jun ho and his focus only on soon shin reminds me of most? Han kang in 49 days. That guy also had nothing to do but to figure out what was happening with the female lead. And he was supposed to be this great architect and owns a restaurant that no one else bar the characters in the drama patronized!

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Love these!

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Thanks for the podcast but I wish you had also covered Cruel Palace, Ten 2, and Queens Classroom. *Sad face*

I haven't watched GFB since ep 14 I guess I'm not missed anything. I haven't watched YTBLSS because I was worn out from Madame Butterfly which was a similar 50ep family drama. All that plot dragging wore me out and I knew YTBLSS will also drag.

I haven't finished That Winter, I think I'm in ep7 but I may finish before the years end. I don't know what happened but I felt disconnected from it.

I watched JOJ until ep4 I don't know if I will finish it since I don't like the progression.

I haven't started Cruel City and Shark but they are at the top of the list.

I like Monster so sweet but I can't seem to like the male lead. His ego just rubs me the wrong way. But I really love the female lead.

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All the bad comments on suzy's acting i dont get it. And its annoying cause it kills the viewing pleasure since i dont really notice the flaws. Shes actually an okay actress for an idol-actress. Not very good but not bad either.

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I'd have to disagree with your comparison of Suzy to Park Min Young. I'm not saying Suzy's super, super awesome in Gu Family Book. But she is better and more compelling as an actress than PMY. Suzy's definitely doing more than just getting the job done, IMO.

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I don't like Park Min-young's acting, but even watching her is less of a chore than watching Suzy struggle with all modes besides 'cute'.

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So much fun!! Thank you ladies, you always rawk <3

Loved that you covered so many shows in this, and (selfishly, coz I haven't gotten around to so many of the new shows) I liked that it was very spoiler-light.

I also just wanted to take a moment to salute you ladies, for doing what you do for us, on top of living your probably very full lives. Thank you so much! *blows kisses & sends virtual hugs*

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Thanks for the podcast it was really a fun listen.

Of particular interest to me was the fact that you lectured at Wesleyan University just before you had the get-together in New York.
I wish that you had announced it here on DB - Wesleyan University is only 10 minutes from my home. It's been a number of years since I've audited a class. You guys just missed having me as a stalker for the day!
:-)

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Thanks for the Podcast, been waiting forever for this!

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Thanks ladies!
Your convo is always fun to listen too.. ^^

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yay! podcast!

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Thanks a lot! I have been listening to some old ones last days... and now I have a new one! Great!

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Washing windows was definitely way pleasanter with your podcast on.

I'm not watching GFB. I saw pieces here and there and it just didn't interested me enough. Thus I can't comment on Suzy's acting there. But from her former works I personally prefer her to Han Ga In. I think Suzy and Park Min Young are quite similar. They both have some inner cuteness which can balance their weaker acting moments. I don't find that in Han Ga In.

Lee Soon Shin felt like they changed the writer in the middle. I still hope the cuteness and original characters come back.

Heartless City – I watched only first 15min. Was amused by placing the plastic on floor before that “talk”. Not sure if I will continue, I'm more a rom-com person. And a softie...

I Hear Your Voice is slowly winning my heart. I'm still a bit confused about the rules of the mind-reading, though it is not a big issue. What I like on this show is that I like to have all the characters on my screen, even the evil ones. No FF. And I totally ship Suha and Hyesung. Their dynamics is just perfect. Sorry Kwanwoo...

Monstar was a surprise for me. I just tried because I needed some lighter stuff in RL and I totally fell in love with it. I like the mystery around the characters and how connected they probably are. And the songs are nicely integrated. Oh, and Seol-chan's fantasies are pure gold :--)

Any chance of having a meet-up in Europe?
Like when visiting the set of the FG4 show for a study research??

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Definitely keep on watching Heartless City, you haven't really seen the episode yet until Jung kyung Ho shows up. The rest of the show isn't as gory as that scene.

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Do give at least the full first episode of Cruel City a try (I'd argue you really need the first three to get a picture of how things connect) but if it's not your cup of tea, that's fine.

GFB is probably my biggest disappointment this year, but frankly I think the present-day dramas airing right now are miles ahead of the sageuks - Monstar, I Hear Your Voice, Cruel City and even Cyrano are definitely better-written even if they'll all probably be buried in the sageuk season deluge.

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Thanks for the new podcast. It's always interesting to hear your thoughts on dramas I'm watching/not watching/just reading recaps of.

Love Monstar, Cyrano, I Hear Your Voice. I actually like Suzy better than PMY and I don't think she's as bad as HGI. I just think that it was too soon to cast her as lead, and in a fantasy-sageuk no less, but it doesn't take away that her character is kick-ass and awesome.

Not watching That Winter was a good choice for me for the same reasons that you mentioned. And KNG's pornstache is like another character of that show, hehe.

I like Seol-chan. His idol character may have been done countless times but the idol-actor does it in his own way that he totally owns it. The OST of Monstar is awesome! I liked School 2013 in its own heavy-handed way. ;)

Nine should've been shorter, but overall it was good. Heartless City started off slow, but it's getting more interesting now and I'm definitely one of those that will not look at Jung Kyung-ho the same way ever again. For the first time, I'm thanking God for the army and the mandatory shower scenes. Also, re-watched The Great Gye Choon-bin after marathoning HC and can't believe that's him!

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No mention of IU?

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