Dramabeans Podcast #22
by | July 19, 2014 | 64 Comments

New podcast, finally! Fyi, we decided not to rush through a dozen shows at once this time (because that’s stressful), so we’ll be putting out another podcast shortly (as in, sooner rather than later) to cover the rest of the shows we haven’t mentioned yet.

Podcast #22

Running time: 1:10:11

In which we:

  • Begin with Secret Love Affair;
  • detour with comparisons to Wife’s Credentials and JTBC’s stylistic choices, as well as tvN’s niche (7:15);
  • return to Secret Love Affair and its pop-culture reach (12:44);
  • move on to Golden Cross and how it held up as a Count of Monte Cristo narrative, with a very brief detour on Joseon Gunman, how we recap certain types of shows with exposition, and villains (14:23);
  • talk about what we wished Gap-dong had been and how the acting outstripped the plot (24:30);
  • revisit some of our favorite parts of the unexpectedly pleasant Witch’s Romance and talk about the evolution of the noona romance (35:05);
  • discuss A New Leaf and Kim Myung-min’s acting style (45:32);
  • scratch our heads over Doctor Stranger’s mishmash of a story (50:40);
  • and wrap up with You’re All Surrounded (57:35).

Names mentioned: Kim Hee-ae, Yoo Ah-in, Kim Kang-woo, Jung Bo-seok, Lee Joon, Kim Ji-won, Uhm Jung-hwa, Kim Myung-min, Kim Sang-joong, Lee Jong-seok, Jin Se-yeon, Cha Seung-won, Lee Seung-gi, Go Ara, Park Jung-min, Ahn Jae-hyun

[ Download podcast | Mirror ]

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Songs Used in Podcast (In order of use)

“Time” by Every Single Day from the Gap-dong OST
“내가 미쳤지” (I Was Crazy) by Tritops from the Golden Cross OST
“Rush” by Every Single Day from the Gap-dong OST
“마녀의 일기” (Witch’s Diary) by SPICA from the Witch’s Romance OST
“Stranger” by Bobby Kim from the Doctor Stranger OST
“You Are All Surrounded” from the You’re All Surrounded OST
“그대만 보여요” (I Only See You) by Kwon Jin-ah from the You’re All Surrounded OST


64 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. OMG

    YAYE!!!!! PODCAST!!!!!

    off to listen!!!!!

    • 1.1 OMG

      Guys…i feel ya aboyt Jin Se-yeon! She needs to stop acting! or at least needs to stop being a lead actress. rumors are that she had a sponsor behind the scenes and that’s why she keeps getting these lead roles!! Im so glad i skipped that show!
      Loved Secret Love Affair and Witch’s Romance!

      • 1.1.1 moonlight

        People often work their ways from the bottom to the top but for whatever reasons Jin Se Yeon works her way from the top to the bottom. #JUSTSAYING

        • Squibbles

          I can’t even seem to like Jin Se Yeon in variety I watched her in Running Man episode 198 and was sad that she won because she did practically nothing in the whole episode. I find her acting even worse than some of the idols such as IU and Jung Eun Ji.

          • Mandy

            I don’t think IU and Eun-ji are bad actresses. They have screen presence and are quite endearing in most of their roles. Sometimes, idol =/= bad actress. People like Shin Se-kyung, Han Ga-in, Jin Se-yeon keeps getting lead roles when they suck, whereas there are some very talented idols out there who deserve the credit they get.

            I think comparing IU and Eun-ji to JSY is degrading the other two. I’d compare her with Suzy but Suzy has charisma that makes her charming and likeable – like in DH and GFB. So JSY is in the bottom of the barrel.

  2. Dorotka

    I’m so happy! I was afraid that with your regular column the podcast would disappear… and here it is! Great!

    I’m packing all day as tomorrow we are moving 1200km for our 6 weeks holiday stay… so now I’m looking forward to listening to you tomorrow when driving through the heat in the car.

    PS I know I’m very ungrateful when I just got a brand new podcast… but… could there also come a podcast with your minions?? I’m so curious about them!!! ;–)

  3. Chandler

    Thanks so much!!! Love your podcasts 🙂

  4. flamingotamer

    Yay!! Thanks a lot! Excited!

  5. Zo

    Yes, I’m so happy. I totally checked this site at the right time.

  6. Carole McDonnell

    yay!!! been waiting. gonna set up a nice bath and listen. thanks!

  7. Saya

    podcaaaaaaaaaaasssssttttt been waiting for this for so long!

  8. beansprouts

    Do I hear a bit of an aussie accent perhaps?

    • 8.1 katlyn

      as an Australian, no?
      Very American.

      • 8.1.1 beansprouts

        Haha high-five me too!
        After listening to this one for a while I change my mind but I swear was listening to one of their older ones and I definitely heard some dulcet Australian tones. Very communitychannel like.

  9. August

    Thanks for the Podcast.

    Secret Love Affair – People tend to focus on the affair between Oh Hye-Won and Lee Sun-Jae, but for me – it was the music, artistic look/feel, and styling of the drama that was most memorable. How beautiful and heartbreaking the language of music can be as a form of communication between people. Music knowledge and music literacy was weaved into the drama’s storyline. Musical instruments whether front and center or in the background were always on display in the drama. What a welcome sight to see – the main lead actor and actress showcasing their real life talents and accomplishments playing the piano.

    Golden Cross – Intense, thrilling, and riveting melodrama until around episode 15 or 16. Jung Bo-Suk’s character Seo Dong-Ha was a sight to behold from the beginning till the very end. Kim Kang-Woo’s Taekwondo moves, action sequences, and high kicks were always fun to gaze at.

    A New Leaf – Different in that it was intellectually appealing and the amnesia trope was definitely not cliché. Disappointed about the episode count being reduced from 18 to 16 episodes. Great performances from Kim Myung-Min and Kim Sang-Joong. Fond of the bromance between Park Sang-Tae & Kim Seok-Joo. The strained father & son relationship of Kim Shin-Il and Kim Seok-Joo was compelling.

    Doctor Stranger (aka Doctor WTF) – 20 hours wasted and not worth it…Just avoid this drama! It’s unfortunate that Lee Jong-Suk, Park Hae-Jin, and Kang So-Ra will forever have this drama on their resume.

    Instead just spend the time watching Heartless City (aka Cruel City). This is a worthwhile and memorable 20 episode drama about a Doctor (aka The Doctor’s Son/Baksa Adeul/Jung Shi-Hyun) forging his way through life and its hardships while embedded in the midst of undercover agents.

    You’re All Surrounded – Glad I watched it although the writing was weak in some areas and it didn’t take full advantage of its cast. Lee Seung-Gi, Cha Seung-Won, and Seo Yi-Sook had the most memorable and emotionally layered characters. Regrettably, Oh Yoon-Ah’s character was under-developed.

    Jin Se-Yeon – Thank you Javabeans & GirlFriday for your comments. Nice to know others recognize and share similar opinions about how important acting, casting, and writing is to a drama.

    You briefly touched upon recent villains, for the next podcast I would like to request a shout-out to Daniel Choi for his awesome acting as the villian Kang Dong-Seok in Big Man.

  10. 10 kanz

    Finally, new podcast!!! Love to see it back…
    Anyway do you guys have any plan to talk about Empress Ki?? The show never even mentioned here (unless in news).
    Anyway thanks for the podcast!

  11. 11 OnAQIHMHigh

    Yay!! I love listening to your podcasts 😀 something to keep me busy on my annoying ride with the TTC >.<

  12. 12 raindrops1

    Let’s me echo the shouts of Yay!!! for a new podcast. A great way to spend part of my weekend is to listen to your thoughts on the various dramas. Happy to hear that another one is soon to follow. Double yay!! Thank you!!

  13. 13 TiaC

    Yes!!! I love the podcasts!

    I also just wanted to say how much I loved your breakdown of the JTBC/TvN identities. It almost seems like JTBC is fashioning itself as the HBO/FX/AMC of South Korea – a place where smart writers and directors can create complex characters and not dumb them down for broad audiences (needless to say that I am exactly the audience for their series and LOVED Secret Love Affair).

    • 13.1 Muenchabench

      Ditto your thoughts. I’m decidedly not in their demographic (but loved Secret Love Affair anyways) but think it would be amazing if Javabean’s experimental idea came to fruition.

      Also (and I believe someone mentioned this in the OT), most power profressions (Lawyers, Doctors, CEO’s) aren’t played by people whose brains are still developing, so wouldn’t it be cool to tell stories of people outside the 20-30 year age range.

      It was sad to here of all JTCB flops, hopefully SLA will attract new talent for future shows!

    • 13.2 August

      @ TiaC, Muenchabench, & other fans of Secret Love Affair

      It may not be everyone’s cup of tea due to its subject matter, but it was refreshing to watch a smart career minded leading lady outside of the 20 – 30 year age bracket exuding confidence and sex appeal that oftentimes we just automatically accept as the norm from male counterparts in dramas.

  14. 14 crazedlu

    Yeesh. Yeah, Jin Se-yeon needs to stop landing leads. Wtheck, Productions. She is AWFUL at acting. I cut her some slack in “Gaksital” because it was here first outing as a lead (and she wasn’t a noona to Joo-won, lol), but time and projects have shown she is a terrible actor and should stop landing roles, especially leads. Eck. She seriously brought the crashing plane that was “Doctor Stranger” down faster than it was falling.

    And seriously, Lee Jong-seok came out with scratches. His performance knocked him down on my Actors I Think Are Really Good list. Noooo. Also, since “Doctor” and “High School King of Savvy” was airing at the same time, I finally checked out “No Breathing”, and Seo In-gook outshined Lee Jong-seok BY FAR. I get that Lee Jong-seok’s character in “No Breathing” was more mellow and tamed, but uhh, yeah… check it out yourselves. Ha. I know in an interview Lee Jong-seok had noted Joo-won’s performance in “Good Doctor” as a sort of inspiration to be a better actor (part of the reason I, personally, think he took up “Doctor” because of its interesting premise and genre as a spy/medical drama), but he couldn’t really manage as well as I’d hoped he would. I know it was largely because of the insanity of the script and his terrible leading counterpart, but also because he just couldn’t quite make me root for his character or even Lee Jong-seok as Hoon. Sad! Please pick a better project with a better leading lady and own the role, Lee Jong-seok! I still really like you! Lol.

    The next podcast should be good. There are dramas I’m following now that I’m actually enjoying and think are written well. Ha.

    • 14.1 bashful

      I maybe recalling it incorrectly but I thought I read somewhere that sometimes Actors do not know (or choose not to know) in advance who will be their fellow (co-lead?) actors in a drama when they accept a role. I don’t know if this is the case with Lee Jong-seok. Also, isn’t the character that Jin Se-yeon played originally offered to Park Min Young? I also don’t know if Park Min Young could have made a difference. But still I would not find fault with Lee Jong-seok’s choosing a drama which turned out in the end to have cast actor(s) and have hired writer(s) who did not deliver.

      • 14.1.1 crazedlu

        Not his fault, definitely. But he didn’t deliver either. And though he, nor I, am involved in the casting of other characters, I can still hope all the stars align for him in his project. ~

      • 14.1.2 KDaddict

        Definitely not his fault. Who could have acted their best when performing opposite Jin SY? You need to have a partner w passable or believable acting to get into the proper frame of mind.

    • 14.2 pogo

      Lee Jong-seok did his best, and the project must have looked perfect on paper when he signed, even without the script fully done – the PD had a long string of hits to his name, and the genre mashup seemed interesting.

      BUT he couldn’t fully sell the romance stuff. It’s hard to take him seriously when he’s all ‘Jaehee-ah’ and Jae-hee is pretty much a block of wood. Dr Stranger could have got plenty of (coherent!) story material out of the spy and medical angles alone, the first love stuff was actually unnecessary no matter what some people claim. He’s still a good actor, a very good one even, but it just goes to show even he can’t rescue a show where so much is flawed. Though I think the ones who really got cheated were Park Hae-jin and Kang Sora.

    • 14.3 kanz

      Yeah, right, I like LJS but I like Hoon only when he’s cute/doing aegyo. I also watched No Breathing and Seo In Guk definitely better than LJS.

      Re: Jin Se Yeon, someone should make her take some acting lessons before taking new project. I saw her two dramas, Five Fingers and Dr.Stranger and she’s terrible in both with really minimal expressions and acting ability. If only my Oppa weren’t in those two dramas. I would give her chance if she improves herself. But sadly, 2 dramas after Five Fingers and she’s still so bad.

      • 14.3.1 mizzy

        nope ljs is good in every drama but there are times that he just in the right track, but I think he is much much okay than SIG, acting wise, I wis SIG, and LJS in different genre, DS is literally bad, but still top the ratings… Jin Se Yeon is just bad..

    • 14.4 feelgood

      its true that jong suk is weak in No Breathing because the character sucks big time and the main focus there is Seo In Guk, but the way Seo In Guk overreact made me swear in front of my t.v. he is good but not as good as jong suk, I never like how he cries and also because DS is bad it doesn’t mean the actor is bad. He did his best, and also the critics said that its the series that rediscover LJS. Watched your facts lady.

  15. 15 Mandy

    Thanks for the pod cast guys, I always enjoy hearing from both of you! I think most of the dramas since YFAS has sucked big time – at least to me. There are some that are decent/good-ish like YAAS, FTLY and Gap-dong but mostly everything has been so bad its puling me out of my kdrama addiction.

    The thing about dramas for me is that it needs to have heart, whether or not the writing and acting sucks. I can be perfectly in love with a badly written ones as long as they hook me emotionally. Nothing has been able to do that recently so I’m doing a marathon of older dramas I haven’t seen instead.

    But just to comment on Dr. Stranger – I can’t believe how bad it got; and I was just reading recaps. I’m not sure what the writer was aiming for but whatever it was, he/she gave up half way through. It’s a pity because other than JSY, this one initially looked like it had a good cast with likeable actors. I never quite got on the LJS ship, but now I’m not even going to try and like him. He was forgettable and at points overacted in trying to sell his character’s emotions. I’m sure it has a lot to do with the writing, but I felt everyone didn’t do well with their roles. Even PHJ – who was my favourite guy in YFAS – felt slightly out of touch.

    I’m just hoping we have a better second half from here on. There isn’t one drama I’m really looking forward to with Night Watchman looking like a doozy and Nodame looking like a hot mess before it even starts. There isn’t even a Hong Sisters drama to save my year. /sigh

    • 15.1 pogo

      The thing about dramas for me is that it needs to have heart

      YES. A thousand times yes! (this is kind of why I’ve stuck with Triangle for so long, I admit it)

      Dr Stranger, along with its lack of logic, also suffered from a lack of heart, there was something so paint-by-numbers about it right from episode 2 and that didn’t change when the crazy hit.

      • 15.1.1 samsooki

        Pogo –

        Interesting you feel that way!

        I actually agree with Mandy and you about the principle (about heart), but vis a vis Dr. Stranger, I felt the exact opposite.

        From the point of view of Park Hoon, I sort of felt that his whole life was about heart (no pun). His central premises were about his search for Jae Hee (and his mom) and protecting his (and his father’s) wish to remain a doctor. Everything that Park Hoon did or wanted to do stemmed from those premises.

        Where was the heart lacking?

    • 15.2 ill

      I like LJS a lot because he acts from the heart, I thinks after Secret Garden. Prosecutor Princess being not the lead of the drama and still make the viewers see and focus on him, he is really not forgettable you might not like him, but that is just some of the few who will said that 🙂 Move on from DS and stay away from Jin Se Yeon kekekeke…. and the writer.

    • 15.3 Lulu

      What’s funny is i dropped YFAS because I didn’t really feel an emotional connection to it. For me, YFAS was obviously very well produced but with only Jun Ji Hyun/Cheon Song Yi giving me life. I was more drawn to Miss Korea because in comparison to YFAS it hooked me emotionally and had alot of heart. It was literally central to the plot.

      • 15.3.1 Zombie Cha

        I never saw Miss Korea but My Love From Another Sta was great. Kim Soo Hyun and Jun Ji Hyun make a good couple butI liked her more than him. Just better acting I think.

      • 15.3.2 gg

        I guess it may be hard to feel emotionally connected to a 400 year old alien, but I think the fact that YFAS was poking fun at the drama industry through all those meta jokes, the fact that Kim Soo Hyun made his alien character so believable, and that the drama could even deliver a message at the end (which is to cherish every moment with your loved ones), was something not every drama these days can achieve all at once.

        • Lulu

          I actually loved the drama at the beginning before the romance aspect started. I was more into Jun Ji-Hyun’s character than KSH’s so when they started getting romantic and the comedy took more of a backseat, it just wasn’t as compelling anymore and I started to lose interest. I wanted to join in on the fun but couldn’t force it. I did love how they poked fun at the korean acting industry too.

  16. 16 earthna

    I’m going camping and it takes an hour to get to the campsite so thank you for this! I totally agree about Jin Se Yeon. I don’t know. There’s something about her that I don’t like. Even in Running Man where she doesn’t need to act, she’s still not likeable to me.

    Spinach made Witch’s Romance extra great to watch. I didn’t expect to enjoy it too, actually. The chemistry between Uhm Jung Hwa and Park Seo Joon totally carried the show.

    What a relief that I didn’t watch Gapdong and Doctor Stranger!

    So I take it that you’re not watching Yoona’s street? I’m only in episode 3 right now and I quite like it. I just can’t share my feels with anyone. ><

    Looking forward to the next podcast!!

    • 16.1 coby

      yea.. I just watched that Running Man episode and even on that she doesn’t shine. I wonder why she is getting a lot of project though.

    • 16.2 mystisith

      Yoona’s street is the best drama airing right now, all things considered. Never boring, well written and acted. Quality entertainment. The subs are arriving slowly and the lack of idols don’t appeal to audience: That is sad. I’m the first who complains about bad dramas but good ones exist if you try to get out of your comfort zone. People should give them a chance.

      • 16.2.1 fan

        I am enjoying YooNa’s street too. This dramas is so different because it is about underdogs in the society (and romance is at its minimum)- ex gangsters, pickpockets, unemployed, bar girl etc, going about their lives.
        These all sorts of people, living in one house, face some pitiful conflicts continuously (very tiny spoiler, – like one character doing prison labor because she did not have $1000 fine to pay for selling fake vigra to old folks ) and barely get by, yet take care of each other and bond which is something truly special.
        Depressing at times, yet it does not forget to have some funny stuff. There is no exciting cliffhanger, or cuteness-overload romance, but it feels so real. You feel like you know these people and really exist in somewhere in your neighborhood (in broad sense).

        It’s a pity sub is too slow, but hopefully when it gets all subbed more people have chance to check it out and enjoy.

  17. 17 Ppasun

    Secret Love Affair – Sadly I am old enough to know how difficult it is to break out of the cage that is one’s life b/c no matter how stifling it is, it also feels the only safety one knows. I feel that this drama has shown the fierce struggle of a woman to break free and eve though at times it was suffocatingly slow, finally when she looked up at the sky with a faint smile, the huge sense of liberation I felt …. One of the best dramas this year IMHO.

    Kim Myung Min – I have not seen every drama and movie KMN has been in. But there was this old drama called “More Beautiful Than a Flower” (꽃보다 아름다워) penned by No Hee Kyoung in which he played star crossed lovers with Han Go Eun. The best No Hee Kyoung drama I’ve ever watched and the romance between them is poignant.

    • 17.1 fan

      second to ‘More beautiful than flower’ comment. KMN was not lead, yet his character was poignant. This drama had low rating (But that time I read that casts were encouraged by the higher-ups for its good drama contents). It had one of the most memorable scene I will say -Mom with dementia put the Mercurochrome (Korean calls it ‘red medicine’) all over her chest, saying it hurts when her daughter gave her grief.

  18. 18 pogo

    Gap-dong – I couldn’t agree more, the acting was pretty much all that kept this worth watching, and YES, it did feel like the writer went with an ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ approach to sticking all the case studies and psychiatric terms they could, into the story. Lee Joon did great and does a very convincingly scary psychopath, but I agree with you that after a point, Kim Ji-won’s character’s extreme naivete makes no sense (same with the chicken race! what was that?!). If Ji-wool was played by any other actress I’d probably be annoyed to death by her, so it’s to Kim Ji-won’s credit that I like her at all.

    I actually liked Lee Joon and Kim Ji-won’s scenes together, particularly the first kidnapping, because I thought they played off each other well, but after a point, her trying to retrain the psychopath as human just has me scratching my head. even like the art therapy scenes, but god this show could have been so much more.

    Dr Stranger – couldn’t agree with you guys more and certainly agree that that actress should just not act, or not take lead roles anyway, but I really hope her fans (who blame the second lead and her shippers for everything wrong with the drama via fanservice, and apparently don’t get that there would never have been any second lead ship if your first lead was even halfway capable at acting) do not find this entry or don’t get to that part of the podcast anyway. They’d go batshit, and I don’ t want that in the podcast comments.

    (and please, please god, no more lead roles for her. I keep saying it but South Korea has too much talent for it to have to settle for such mediocrity, it’s not even like she’s popular or something). Also can Lee Jong-seok have better luck with his next drama?

    • 18.1 Unholy

      Contrary to what you believe, people actually acknowledge how limited JSY is. What aggravates us the most, is it’s one thing that she’s lacking and the character itself is woefully dreadful, but for them (the second lead ship) to forcefully insert their ship to the drama only serves to compound its problems, which ultimately just wasted screentime that can be used elsewhere, like say, plot development? And really, blaming her for shipping the second lead is kind of counterproductive, assuming that you genuinely liked KSR.

      JSY should have never taken this project. It’s stupid and she got stupid bashing in return. She was way better in her previous drama. I couldn’t imagine that she had to stretch herself thin just to land this stinky role.

      • 18.1.1 pogo

        idk, the constant blaming of the second lead ship fans for the ruin of the series is odd to me, considering that the time spent on that would have been used on the Masterchef: Surgery Edition competitions, Evil Old Politicians Plotting, Jae-hee the Kidney Spy, and Zombie Cha The Broken Record…….all of which sucked even worse than Soo-hyun and none of which had anything to do with Soo-hyun.

        As for Jin Se-yeon and her ‘stinky role’ that she ran out on Age of Feeling for….well, karma’s a bitch. She just got her lack of talent called out repeatedly, which is hardly bashing, just an opinion that a lot of people shared.

  19. 19 moonlight

    People often work their ways from the bottom to the top but for whatever reasons Jin Se Yeon works her way from the top to the bottom. #JUSTSAYING

    • 19.1 Swimmy

      Idk what you’re talking about. Fyi even at such a young age, she started out doing modeling work and cfs at the same time as LJS, then she lands a supporting role in some movie, and stars in a tv family drama w/ jin hyuk. It’s not until last year that she got her break through which was Gakistal. So get your fact straight, cause it looks to me like she has gone through what any other hard working actress went through.

      • 19.1.1 Zombie Cha

        Really? She didn’t debut till 2010 and did all of two supporting roles before scoring lead roles in all dramas after that. Starting in 2011. Get your own facts straight.

        It’s unusual for a rookie actress to get this many breaks this fast without any visible evidence of talent. it’s not like she was a popular child actress either.

        A lot of other young actresses also work hard, and unlike her they show good performances and don’t run out on their projects to film other dramas. And yet, they don’t score lead roles but she does? It’s suspicious.

    • 19.2 mizzy

      hahahahaha the humor, I love it…

  20. 20 coby

    podcast! yay! this will save some space on my hard disk! Gapdong and Dr. Stranger. I was hoping they will discuss Triangle because I am considering to see it.

    I’m disappointed with Golden Cross I liked the 2/3s of it though. I stopped watching it till episodes 14 and when I watched again nothing much changed. I agreed that Terry Young’s appearance came late and maybe that’s why I felt that it was stationary at some point. The last scene breaks my heart. Wish he could have his family complete again.

    Witch Romance is wonderful. Yes, we still have to see a noona romance show that will tackle real noona romance issues. Most noona romance shows ends with a happy ending. And I have to remind myself that its only a show.

    Looking forward for another podcast.

  21. 21 Hana

    Thanks for the podcast gals!

    I just realized that Jin Seyeon was in MBC’s sageuk The Duo. She played the teenage version on Han Ji Hye’s character.. But she looks different last time… Something about her look, probably because she was like 16 or 17 at that time, saw her earlier clips and her appearance in Taxi with the other teenage stars, I think that she had a job done..

    It’s not a major one, I believe only a minor double eyelids operation.. It makes her eyes bigger…

  22. 22 captaincrunch

    Yay, a new podcast!!!! :’)

    In the past I was willing to cut Jin Se Yeon some slack because she’s young and relatively inexperienced. In Bridal Mask she was already showing her limitations, but I put that down to flat writing for her character. But in Inspiring Generation and DS she hasn’t showed any improvement – rather, I think she’s got worse. She’s completely unconvincing in emotional scenes + unfortunately she has no screen presence/charm to make up for her lack of actual skill. There are far more talented young actresses around who could have played these roles better than her imo.

    Luckily for me she’s good at picking bad projects, so hopefully I won’t see much of her in the future.

    I thought apart from Wild Chives and Soybean Soup, jtbc have been doing really well with their programming this year. Especially with their Mon/Tues shows, which have been grabbing higher ratings than tvn’s. I totally agree with you about them carving out a niche for themselves – I wish they’d be a bit daring too, actually. But I generally love the stuff they put out – their shows are more realistic and hyperactive than the ones you get on the big 3, less about instant viewer gratification and more about actually telling a story about people that feel real. They do have duds too – the handbag drama was absolutely dreadful, lol. Her Legend, I think?

    But yeah, keep doing what you’re doing, jtbc. I love Yoona’s Street!!

    • 22.1 captaincrunch

      Oops, I meant less hyperactive. /sigh

    • 22.2 Chandler

      Yoona’s Street is worth the watch. It’s really one-of-a-kind so it’s a bummer that only a handful of people watch it 🙁 I haven’t watched many other jtbc shows, but this one grabbed me from the start 🙂

  23. 23 Ace

    Aside from the fact that I think JSY is boring (see RM), her character in Dr. Stranger wasn’t likable for me from the time she reappeared in Hoon’s life for the same reasons GF said. Jae-hee was fine, but Seung-hee is hateful. I didn’t like & trust her so it was disappointing that Hoon trusted her when there was Sora’s character who was better (initially). The show has lots of things not going for it plotwise so I thought that rooting for Hoon and Soo-hyun and the possibility of them getting together in the end would’ve at least made me continue watching it. I feel bad for my favorite director because he’s really good but no matter how good he is,the writing killed his efforts. It’s not the most disappointing show for me though since I didn’t get to finish it and my engagement fizzled early on.

  24. 24 magnus

    The Taiwanese version of Witch’s Romance did a much better with the relationship issues due to age difference in the later half and I loved it as a noona romance but the first half of Witch’s Romance was more enjoyable for me. They’re both good in their own rights and I think where one succeeded the other faltered and vice versa.

  25. 25 samsooki

    A little harsh on Dr. Stranger?

    Can a drama be fun and interesting, and not necessarily be 100% coherent? Unlike (what seems to be) everyone else, I never got caught up with details and the plot points that seem to have caught up with the drama.

    For the record, I watched it over the course of 3 straight nights, between about 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., and maybe I didn’t have enough time or sleep to parse and analyze the drama as well as others.

    But at the same time, I found the story lines to be strong enough and linear enough. There are three stories, intertwined.

    1. The main story of the boy turned doctor, who is seeking to hold onto the only things that matter to him: his doctor-ship, his love and his mom.

    2. A secondary story of the main foil is one of pure revenge, about a boy who lost his parents and is seeking to bring pain down about the ones he deems responsible.

    3. The third story is political, and deals with the decades of internecine Korean politics – the rise of a politician naked in his ambition to rule.

    Those are the stories, and each story taken separately makes sense.

    I would not say that it is 100% logical, but rare is the show where logic rules the day. Every movie every made has continuity issues and questions like “If Aragorn always had an unbeatable ghost army at his beck and call, why couldn’t he just unleash that army about a few weeks earlier and just beat Mordor without losing a single non-ghost life?” But nobody complains about that, so why should I let that bother my enjoyment of the movie?

    The biggest thorn in most people’s sides appears to be the character of Jae Hee/Seung Hee, who waffles like she was created at IHOP. But she was not critical to the story – her existence was critical (see story line #1), but she herself was not. In other words, it mattered not whether she was a NK spy doppleganger, the best anathesiologist in SK, Song Jae Hee, Han Seung Hee, or whatever. Whatever she was, Park Hoon was willing to accept her. And since Park Hoon was willing to accept her, then I am okay with whatever she was planning on being in a particular episode.

    Anyway, I’m happy to sing Dr. Stranger’s praises. It was good enough that it kept me going for 3 straight nights, despite the wife+3 kids and a heavy workload that is and always will be ongoing. That’s gotta stand for something – maybe the drama isn’t as bad as people think it is.

    I wonder whether people get this idea that a particular drama or two is fashionable to bash, and then it is a free-for-all on who can score the most points. While the mirth factor is certainly evident in the snark, I am always wondering whether the snark is a really a cover for a lack of quiet contemplation that might lead people to discover that maybe one can watch dramas with the heart rather than the brain, and the world won’t end. Obviously, I am not speaking about JB or GF (as we have had that conversation more than few times and I…

    • 25.1 samsooki

      … I know better than most that their analysis is always heart 진실된 마음 first).

      Anyway, given the near unanimity of opinion, perhaps I was blinded by this particular drama and it is not as good as I think it was?

      Then again, what is a drama other than a story (or stories) to enchant and enjoy? More than most, Dr. Stranger did that for me. And for that, I am grateful and happy.

    • 25.2 Ace

      I’d have to disagree about Jae-hee not being critical to the story and I can’t accept that Hoon was willing to accept her whoever she is/was. Except for Jae-hee/Seung-hee/Jin Se-yeon I never minded the other stuff happening.

      I found this show entertaining too but not enough to finish. Though I have plans of doing so this year just because I already downloaded the episodes and think it a waste of space if I don’t finish.

      Even if I hated that one thing in the show, I didn’t read the comments in the recaps or commented myself except on the last episode (saying I really hoped Seung-hee died). After a certain show last year which was continually bashed after every episode recap, I quit reading the comments section on shows I’m okay with but got a lot of hate.

      After listening to the podcast I realized that I prefer an entertaining show (albeit crazy like Heirs & DS, or just fun and interesting like Emergency Couple) than a completely boring one (in my opinion) like 3 Days, Gapdong, Miss Korea, God’s Gift, etc.

  26. 26 cali

    RE: a witch’s romance

    i was actually happy that dong ha went back to med school. i know the reason he left was the trauma of his old gf flower orchid thing? it was a source of healing. and he just goes back to med school, but he may not finish? idk i might have just interpreted it differently.

    and if i brought home someone fourteen years younger… i’d be bringing home an 8 year old.

  27. 27 panda

    i love Cha Seung Won

  28. 28 AnotherFan

    Wow. I have to say I am not at all on the same page about Secret Love Affair, and honestly disappointed at the way you girls wrote it off..

    I am not into cougar/love affair/older-woman-younger-man stories, but this is not what this drama is about. It’s more of the journey and internal struggles of the female lead who essentially experienced a mid-life conscience break, where she gets the chance to look back at her adult life and tried to figure out what she really wanted and how she would live out the rest of her life. It just so happens that the trigger of it all was through this not so legit/moral love affair.. And the masterful use of classical music was front and center and the show made no apologies about bringing that to the audience in each and every one of the episodes and it was really a integral part of the experience.

    It was masterfully directed, very well acted and the story was cohesive and logical without any trace of the over-the-top staging. Loved this show and for me, it sits at the top amongst all the best k-drama shows.

    • 28.1 Christina

      Totally on the same page with you concerning Secret Love Affair. I know one of the complaints was the slow pace and minute attention to small details, but that’s what made SLA unique in my opinion.If this was only a show about an extramarital affair, I wouldn’t have watched at all. What I enjoyed is how they took the world of classical music and made it personal and showed these two people who had an extraordinary connection through music. Not an easy feat considering I’m not the biggest fan of classical to begin with.

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