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Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching

How did everyone’s dramas stack up this week? Any big duds to avoid, or hidden gems you’ve unearthed on dusty old hard drives that you care to share? The constant turnover in dramaland is so relentless that I can’t remember the last time I went back and watched something old, but I’m about to have a big W-shaped hole in my heart very soon, and I could use some recommendations to stave off the impending withdrawal. Friends help friends get over an addiction by getting them addicted to something new!* –girlfriday

[*Not actual advice to be applied to anyone in any real-life situation, ever.]

 

javabeans

Currently recapping: Moonlight Drawn by Clouds

Fantastic: I will never not find it funny when actors act like bad actors, and Joo Sang-wook does a pretty fantastic (hur) job at playing the vain foot-actor looking for any opportunity to look pretty. The cast is solid, and I particularly like the ladies’ friendships, so here’s to hoping the show maintains its cheerful vibe.

Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo: I find IU adorable in this, and her modernisms and fish-out-of-water foibles often make me laugh out loud. But I find myself increasingly annoyed when the show spends too much time away from Lee Jun-ki. When he’s front and center? I’m all eyes and ears. When he’s offscreen? First of all, why would you do that, and second of all, what is this nonsense? *throws remote*

Drinking Solo: Ha Suk-jin is so good at playing these teeth-grittingly annoying jerks, but I’m counting on this show to turn him around. Hopefully sooner than later! The characters all seem quirky and interesting, and I like that while the show has those mouth-watering eating and drinking scenes characteristic of the Let’s Eat franchise, the focus on the drinking at least cuts down on some of the gratuitous extended food porn. I can only take so much meokbang without breaking down into late-night drama-induced binges!

W–Two Worlds: I’ve been a little less engaged lately with all the twists upon twists, and anything with Dad just confuses me, but now that we’re so close to the end I do find myself wildly curious to know how things will work out. I’m mostly feeling confident that I’ll be satisfied with the ending, but bracing for that possibility that it may not. In which case, next week’s post oughtta be interesting.

Uncontrollably Fond: I cried a bunch in the last two episodes, and actually found the finale more satisfying than the rest of the show put together. If the rest of the drama had been about this kind of angst — heart-wrenching, but with a purpose — rather than the pointless, wheels-spinning-in-place kind, I would have liked this drama a lot more. It’s too bad the writer dragged out needless aggravation for so long and refused to give us hardly any time for narrative satisfaction, or couple moments, or interactions highlighting love over bitterness and anger. I’m glad for Kim Woo-bin that he acquitted himself well, and Suzy… is still really pretty.

 

girlfriday

Currently recapping: W–Two Worlds

Cinderella and the Four Knights: I had to wait SEVEN episodes to see Jung Il-woo smile? That is downright criminal.

Moonlight Drawn By Clouds: Javabeans asked me this week whether I was exaggerating about this show making me cry. My answer: “No, I really cry! When I watch this show, I become twelve and I feel EVERYTHING.”

Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo: It still seems like Lee Jun-ki is in one drama and everyone else is in a different, less interesting drama. I would gift the king new golden earrings if he’d just ship the younger half of the princes abroad for a while, and free up some precious screentime.

Jealousy Incarnate: Only Jo Jung-seok could make a man’s battle to wear a bra so real, desperate, and hilarious. The pace of this show is slow, but I’m starting to like the family drama setup where eeeverybody is related to everyone else.

Drinking Solo: There’s a great low-key vibe to this show, and a focus on the everyday concerns of young people trying to figure out life. I’m especially drawn to the students’ stories and the world of Noryangjin, which I’ve always felt was portrayed in movies as some sort of purgatory between youth and adulthood.

Infinity Challenge: Among some of my favorite recurring specials on this variety show is Muhan Company, in which the cast does sketches about everyday office workers. This year they did a thriller mini-movie penned by Signal writer Kim Eun-hee, with cameos from Lee Je-hoon and Kim Hye-soo, along with supporting actors from Misaeng, and frequent guest G-Dragon. It wasn’t as good as the musical special they did last time, but Misaeng-meets-action-movie was a good meld, and the cameos were a fun treat.

 

gummimochi

Currently recapping: Running Man

The Good Wife: Mid-series update: This show continues to be solid on all counts of the drama trifecta. Yoon Kye-sang is amazing. Jeon Do-yeon knocks it out of the park. Yoo Ji-tae is such a good baddie (or is he just trying to be a good daddy?) that I question everything that comes out of his mouth.

Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo: Love, love, love. I’ll say it now and forever—Lee Jun-ki was born for sageuk. Pair that with a driving cello track to take me away, and… you have me. Sure this show has its flaws with the in-your-face close-ups contrasted with some shaky camera moments, and I wish that Su experienced more culture shock, yunno, given the fact that she’s in an entirely different era, but this scarlet heart will keep beating steadily for one prince for the rest of my days: Kang Haneul.

Jealousy Incarnate: Gong Hyo-jin is winning in virtually all of her projects, so it’s no surprise that I love her here too. There’s a lot of envy to go around in this show, but my eyes are laser-focused on Go Kyung-pyo, who is just all kinds of wonderful.

Moonlight Drawn By Clouds: This show has something special. Cute, breezy, and entertaining, each hour seems to zip by, and at the end of every episode, I’m left wondering: “Wait, it’s over already?” This series doesn’t quite have my heart, but I fully acknowledge that The Park Bo-gum Effect is a real thing. His acting is mesmerizing and poignantly subtle, and the look in his eyes commands my attention. But it seems I’ve caught Second Lead Syndrome real bad this cycle, because I absolutely adore Jinyoung.

W–Two Worlds: I still can’t believe this show is ending next week. If there’s something strange in my world, who am I gonna call? Park Su-bong! If there’s something weird in my webtoon and it don’t look good, who am I gonna call? Park Su-bong!

 

odilettante

Currently recapping: Fantastic

Monster: The nice thing about this show is that even when you don’t watch it for nearly two months, the plot is such that you can pick it back up no problem, without feeling like you need to refresh your memory of what has already happened in the previous thirty episodes. In the space of a week, I’ve managed to marathon my way to only being a few episodes behind, which might not exactly be something to be proud of, since I could have used that time to complete another entire drama. Probably the better decision would have been to abandon it back at Episode 30, but I’ve finally reached the point where Park Ki-woong has good hair and gets to rock his Shunji scary eyes, so I’m not backing down now.

Drinking Solo: Based on my mild disappointment of Let’s Eat 2, I had no expectations about the show except that Key was going to be a delight (and he totally is). But I’ve surprised myself by how much I enjoyed the first two episodes. It feels more like a Japanese drama to me since it’s rooted in a workplace slice-of-life ensemble rather than a quirky love triangle. I’m hooked for now and happy to cheer on Hana as she does her best to succeed.

 

hanshimi

Cinderella and the Four Knights: OMG. This is my ultimate guilty pleasure. It’s hitting all of my sweet spots and favorite tropes in the simplest, breeziest, most satisfying way — the independent and willful girl setting the spoiled rich boys on a path to goodness, the silent protector oppas, the rags-to-riches storyline, etc ad infinitum. I don’t need my brain for this — just my pure, little-girl heart. Some parts make me cringe in total embarrassment, and nothing that happens is surprising in the least, but the show is carried by surprisingly solid acting (Jung Il-woo and Park So-dam are wonderful, of course, but I’m surprised by Ahn Jae-hyun’s chemistry!!) and just a pure fun element that covers up the awkward directing and music.

Suki na Hito ga Iru Koto: Another jdorama! Another story with piles of pretty male characters! LOL. I probably shouldn’t say much about this, because (1) I’m only two episodes in, and (2) I’m actually trying to watch it in Japanese without subtitles for study purposes, so I’m sure I’m missing like 40 percent of each episode. But Kiritani Mirei is hilariously charming as always, as is the chemistry of her reunion with Yamazaki Kento. The food-centered plot is another trope fave of mine, and coupled with the sprinkled-in life observations, I’m having a lot of fun with it so far.

 

SailorJumun

Fantastic: Joo Sang-wook’s portrayal of an arrogant bastard never ceases to amaze me — he just gets so into it! I got a peek of that in Birth of a Beauty, but he really ups the cheese factor here. I feel like I should find him unbearably annoying like the heroine does, but he’s just so freaking funny to me. I don’t know how I feel about the cancer plot yet, but I’m getting good vibes from the drama so far, so I’ll stick with it for now.

Moonlight Drawn By Clouds: Okay, I totally take back what I said about Moonlight being a cotton candy show, because, oh my gosh, it seriously takes my breath away. The delightful humor is still there (yay) but now the show’s starting to mess with my emotions and it ain’t afraid of holdin’ back. It’s the friendships that really get to me, and I love that with every relationship, there’s this sense of rich history behind everyone’s eyes. I look forward to interactions between the trio Yeong, Yoon-sung, and Byung-yeon the most, along with the main couple, of course.

W–Two Worlds: I don’t think I’ve ever screamed this loud at a cliffhanger before (apologies to my poor neighbors). You couldn’t scroll down just a little bit, Crazy Dog?! I’ve had enough stress with this show as is!

 

Laica

Moonlight Drawn By Clouds: Oh, the pretty. This show is so enjoyable to watch that even though it’s got every cliche of a crossdressing romance and then some, it still keeps me engaged. True, the heroine has been nursed back to health, rescued from danger, and saved from scolding and/or discovery so many times by the male leads that I’ve lost count. Still, the emotional beats feel honest, and all three leads have the acting chops and chemistry to pull off their often predictable and cheesy Significant Moments. I’ll admit I’m more forgiving when it’s Yeong doing the hero thing rather than Yoon-sung, and not just because of my biased love for Park Bo-gum. Yoon-sung is starting to show signs of typical second-lead pushy niceness, and I’m allergic to pushiness, no matter how well-intentioned. On the other hand, I just want our prince to find his happiness, preferably with a smack-talking former eunuch at his side. (Please don’t tell me history doesn’t treat him kindly. I have no knowledge of this particular historical figure, and no desire to be enlightened.)

Five Kids: I was a little late starting this show, but two-thirds of the way through its 54-episode run, I’m surprisingly still watching. I started it partly because it’s by the writer of the I Need Romance series and Discovery of Romance, and like those, it’s refreshingly lacking in hysterics or makjang twists, which is rare for this type of family drama. I love that despite some typical mother-in-law craziness, there are no real villains in this story; the conflict is caused by human failings like selfishness, which are so much more relatable than birth secrets or evil chaebols. Plus, Yeon-tae and Sang-min are too adorkably cute for words!

Twenty Again: I finally got a chance to watch this, and it’s every bit as warm, funny, and adorable as I’d heard. Choi Ji-woo and Lee Sang-yoon make an adorable second-chance couple, but what I ship the most in this show is Ha Nora and her true self, reuniting after twenty years of being estranged. Seeing her regain her confidence and her dreams feels like taking a deep breath after holding it for ages.

 

TeriYaki

Jealousy Incarnate: This show was just what I was hoping for once Wanted ended — lighter material and characters that pull me into the story. Pyo Na-ri is such an underdog, but I’m looking forward to seeing her luck change. Second lead syndrome is something I usually don’t experience, but I think this drama may be an exception. Add in some hilarious side characters and this show has me laughing out loud.

Cinderella and the Four Knights: This twist on a classic story, pairing a wide-eyed optimist with four impossibly stubborn men, brings new meaning to TGIF. I can’t wait to see how Bodyguard Lee reacts the morning after his embarrassing vomit attack. Park So-dam is perfect as the girl the Kang cousins can’t help but love. I just want to see Ha-won get her happy ending and for Hye-ji to get professional help for being a stalker.

Second to Last Love: This story of two mature, single people finding their way to one another in spite of their fears felt kind of slow-moving to me at first. What seemed to be a weakness of the show instead reinforces the cautious trajectory of the two main characters. Ji Jin-hee contrasts Go-shik’s uptight public persona with an increasingly flustered private one. The drama illustrates just how messy life can get. Now that I’m used to the slow pace, I’m onboard with this show.

Laurel Tree Tailors: A 50-episode drama is a big commitment and I can’t say I’ll stick with this one, but the cast is hard for me to resist. Unfortunately, there have been so many characters to introduce that after four episodes, the main characters are just barely crossing paths with one another. My main concern with this drama, other than the length, is the main female character played by Jo Yoon-hee. So far, it’s obvious she is not the sharpest pin in the pincushion. I fast-forward through most of her scenes and unless the character becomes more likable, I will probably drop this show.

 
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I’ve been seeing a lot of criticisms for Scarlet Heart: Ryeo’s choice of background music and OST, and how fans are saying it further exposes the weakness of the direction, and hence pretty much ruins the drama (or not, I’m being dramatic here). A lot of beanies have been half wondering (and half cursing), “Who is the music director here and why do they still have their job?” And that got me thinking, the synergy must not exist only between writer and director, but also between director and music director. This is because appropriate choice of OST and judicious use of background music made all the difference to get the overall mood of the drama. The same scene will be felt differently when inserted with different background sound (but we all know this already, thanks to Park Do-kyung)

That begs the important question, where are the good music directors, what are they doing now and can they still save SH: Ryeo? For research purposes, I looked back on all the dramas I’ve watched in the past, which in my opinion had great music, and found out who the music directors are. Coincidentally, the same names keep popping up and therefore I will share this piece of information, so that we can all appreciate the great work of dramaland’s music directors.

1. Kim Jun-seok and Park Sung-il
This talented duo did Monstar, Misaeng, and Signal. (Yep, I’ll let you take that in for a minute). The music is top-notch in all three dramas, despite being different genres. PD Kim Won-seok must be a fan of them, or vice versa, because they’ve worked together three times now; and not without good reason, as I mentioned the synergy between director and music director just clicked for them. It worked wonderfully every single time. Note that W – Two Worlds only has one half of this duo (Kim Jun-seok) and no PD Kim Won-seok, which must be one of the reasons why W is missing the magic touch and doesn’t charm me completely.

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2. Nam Hye-seung
The more I look up this music producer, the more in awe I am of her remarkable talent. I daresay she’s one of the elites in the industry, tackling almost all genres successfully and stamping every drama she has worked on with her own unique trademark, so much so that you can always recognise her work the moment you hear the music playing in the background and think “The music director must be Nam Hye-seung” before you even look at the credits.
I will categorise her past projects based on genre:
a) crime thriller/noir: TEN and TEN2, Nine, Cruel City, My Beautiful Bride
b) romantic comedy: Queen In-hyun’s Man, Flower Boy Next Door, I Need Romance series, Witch’s Romance, Discovery of Romance, Bubblegum
c) melodrama: Angel Eyes, My Beloved Eun-dong, Memory, The Good Wife
d) sageuk and fusion sageuk: Mandate of Heaven, The Three Musketeers

With this impressive resume, it’s no wonder that I’m a fan, because although I’ve dropped some of the above titles for various reasons, bad music is never one of them. She’s never afraid to utilise the voices of quirky, non mainstream artists and personally composed the background music pieces which are always appropriately selected and perfectly inserted to suit the scene (Remember the angsty violin in The Good Wife? And don’t get me started on the instrumentals in Cruel City, which still give me goose bumps to this day). Lastly, who, but a genius, would have the idea to convert the trendiest k-pop tunes (ala Hyuna and Crayon Pop) into gukak (Korean traditional music) for The Three Musketeers?

Her dream is to wear a pretty dress and walk the red carpet at an international film festival as a movie music director and she has been practicing her acceptance speech just in case she wins an award, LOL. I’d say with her talent that day may not be too far away. Unfortunately, she can’t save SH: Ryeo because she’s currently busy doing Jealousy Incarnate.

3. An honourable mention goes to Gaemi (Kang Dong-yoon) who did Dream High, Secret, Bridal Mask, Punch, Hogu’s Love and the blockbuster Descendants of the Sun. Although it’s not my personal favourite, at least in the case of DoTS he gets the big-name artists, delivers monstrous ratings and is selling the OST like hot cakes. However, as he’s currently working on the competing drama in the same timeslot (Moonlight Drawn by The Clouds), obviously he’s not available either, conflicts of interest and whatnot.

And so the search continues for the next music director to save SH: Ryeo, or if I’m being completely honest, LJK and KHN.

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This post got me thinking about the musical choices that characterized Coffee Prince and Cheese in the Trap. I would have been excited if the director announced she's taking on a youth sageuk like Moonlight or Moon Lovers, but she dropped the ball on Cheese so...

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You mentioned both my favorite OSTs, both Coffee Prince and CIIT are the ones that I remember, despite of course several shows having had good soundtracks. What utterly fantastic music direction.

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He really has a good ear for music and it shows in those two shows. So many underground gems!!!

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Nice post! The music director for Jealousy Incarnate, Nam Hyeseung, is genius.

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Props on the research here! Also, would be a great larger thread or DB post! We pay so much attention to what's on the screen that we often don't pay attention to the work that goes on behind the screens and that's where a lot of the magic is made! Great post.

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Lovely post.
Another talented music director I'd like to mention is TEARLINER. I think his most recent work was on Cheese In The Trap. I think of the thing that makes me keep going back to Cheese in spite of the infamous derailment of the plot( Plot? Not even plot. I think it was more of balance) is, among other things, the music.
The emotions are still there and the music perfectly compliments them beautifully.
He has also worked on Coffee Prince, Heart to Heart. I think he mostly works with the director of this dramas and here's where Music Director and PD are in synergy. She has this Slice-of-life, slightly quirky directorial touch that his prowess and knowledge of indie music just enhances wonderfully.
Listening to Tearliner, it's obvious he knows music. Sometimes even background BGM, by that I mean the barely heard and often muted music playing in places like Cafes, Restaurants, Workshops make me head straight to Google for a download and that says something.
You know, I think that in the past, I've underestimated the power of music in movies and television, even radio shows until recently.
Often times, the music helps to make certain scenes memorable. Remember the beach scene in Coffee Prince and the piano Azure Ray song that was playing? Bursting of feels. Say what you will about the quality of The Vampire Diaries, but the have music that always goes perfectly for scenes. What about One Tree Hill? The movie, The Gladiator and its score? The Passion of Christ, off the top of my head, In CITT that meet-cute btw Yoo Jung and Hong Seol when they took a picture at that flower( tree?), it was Tearliner ft Taru's Drizzling Love and the light slightly funky vibe just reflected on the screen e.t.c
I mean kdramas make a big deal about OST and for good reason. So thanks for bringing up this important topic.

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Another great example of frequent PD-music director collaboration! I suppose when you`re a director with a distinctive style, you`ll want to keep working with the people that understand your style and can express it well. I didn`t watch both Coffee Prince and Cheese in the Trap so I`m not familiar with Tearliner but judging from other beanies` praise,this music director must be worth the attention

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Thank you for this post! Seems like there's some soundtracks I need to look into after this XD

I think the music director for SH wanted to incorporate the "fusion" aspect into the bgm and ost for the drama - and hence added more modern music and chose an unusual sageuk singer lineup (rappers?). YG's financial influence probably played a large role in deciding that as well.

However, that desire ended up being the music's weakness. It's cool if he wants to do something new with soundtracks, but it still needs to fit, and the sageuk aspect just makes things more difficult. At the very least, they should have incorporated more "fusion" elements into the actual drama (the only obvious thing other than time traveling was the astronomer and his airplane, which in my eyes, didn't work at all either) - without it, the music just stuck out even more.

This time, I think choosing the more traditional route worked out.

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chuno was an action sageuk and had a great OST, where one of the best songs was a rap (or sounded extremely rap anyway). i don't think they sang in english, but i remember the goosebumps. that was one hell of a soundtrack.

also, arang and the magistrate had a rap song - mask dance, i think. loved it.

these two are just off the top of my head - if i try hard, i think i'd remember a lot more. it isn't the rap, it might be the actual songs and/or use of english.

but for ML:SH:R they need epic - at least for the LJK parts. the soulful music of the bath scene opening was pitch on.

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MC Sniper's raps were used in CHUNO, ARANG, and FAITH... and I loved all of them. The lyrics fit the scenes so well. I'm not a fan of rap. -- but MC Sniper floats my boat.

FAITH drove me nuts, but the OST kept me coming back for more. The orchestral and choral tracks were epic...

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Chuno's OST is great, and I liked the MC Sniper song too. My favourite of the lot is actually the one by Gloomy 30s, called 바꿔. So much swashbuckling oomph.

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this duo collaboration between SM -Yg really giving a disaster in 2 different thing...
SM with the actor(hello baekhyun..hope seohyun is better)
YG and his "musical influence"(give your artist a comeback YG!!)

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aaaaaa, i love "Jealousy Incarnate"s background music and i love her. but the question is who did ohya?

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The music director for OHYA is Uhm Ki-yeob, who also collaborated with the PD for Marriage, Not Dating. You'd remember that some of the OSTs for MND were inserted in OHYA "for funsies" and I think the director was just being cheeky trying to link the two projects. I think we can expect the return of this collaboration for PD Song Hyun-wook's next project Sensitive Boss.

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I was just about to ask the same thing, on who did OHYA's OST! ^^

The bg songs still resonate with me and and I never get tired of hearing them, esp Ben's Like a Dream and Jung Seung Hwan's If It's You ♥

The duo who did Misaeng and Signal.. just wow!

Thanks M3LON4 for the info, it makes me appreciate the music that makes a drama special!

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I'm wondering if you also know the music director of The Princess's Man? That drama was and still is the definition of perfection in all aspect for me.

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Lee Ji-yong did The Princess's Man, and the background music in that one was perfect, indeed. His previous credit includes Joseon Gunman so I think sageuk is his playground.

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Took the words out of my mouth. The music director is such a genuis. Till this day, I get chills listening to the OST playlist.

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Oh my goodness, OST for Princess' Man and Joseon Gunman are just splendid. I think Joseon Gunman is probably 1 of Lee Jun Ki's best works

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Wow, Nam Hye Son! Such a diverse resume. With varieties of genres, she is quite accomplished!!

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I still bop to Signal OST. Jang Ok Jung OST was good too

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Thank you very much M3LON4 for your very informative post. It totally deserves a topic on its own. Now I remember that the thing which drawn me wholly into Queen Seon Dok was its opening theme. I felt like I was transported back to Silla era and felt all its glory. And then entered Bidam (Bidam, oh my Bidam), the rest is history. Queen Seon Deok's OSTs are among the best in sageuk dramas. Who could forget Lady Mishil's haunting theme? Glorious, glorious music. Now I might have to go watch QSD again.

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Don't quote me on it, but I've actually heard that the background music for SH:R in certain scenes has been different depending on what version of the show you're watching.

For instance, in episode 4 in the scene where Wang So follows Su and is wavering between helping her carry the basket, those watching directly from SBS (or the ripped version of it) heard an instrumental song, while those watching on Youku/OneTV/Dramafever heard a song by Akdong Musician.

Considering how much music can influence the audience's perception of a scene, I'm not a fan of this 😕

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I hope not ! I mean why would they even do that ? Do two kinds of editing, what purpose would it even serve !?
I knew ost was bad but never thought it would be a song from akdong musicians? I have heard couple of their songs and they are quirky good. But to use songs and artists like that to a sageuk, how can someone even come up with this bad idea !

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I can vouch for this. I watch it on YouKu cause it's the fastest option for me and also cause I can read Chinese. The music is seriously so off in the YouKu version but then I decided to watch the same episode but the SBS version, it was perfectly fine, no weird pop songs, tons of instrumentals instead. Today's episode (6) was even worse! After watching the YouKu one, I decided to check out the SBS version and there were a lot of differences, in the sense that some scenes that was present in the YouKu one was missing in the SBS version and vice versa. While it didn't make any alterations to the overall plot of the episode, I have to admit that the SBS one was better in the sense that it flowed better and the story was clearer.

I think this is attributed to the fact that the version distributed to YouKu (and probably OneTV and DramaFire too) was the initial edit, and the one airing on SBS is the final cut that the production team revised after receiving the feedback and criticism from the viewers. Clearly the people at SBS are trying their best to improve the editing of the drama but it would've been nicer if all the versions are the same.

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Ugh, that sucks ☹ it's like we're basically watching a rough draft.

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Where do you watch the SBS version besides dramafever?

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Good music producers? I will add

4. Oh Jun-seong (City Hunter, Master's Sun) - he makes the most amazing scores that fit the mood of the drama perfectly (Sad Run from City Hunter, all the instrumentals and first ending theme in Master's Sun) , and I think he'd have been a great choice for SHR because he really does seem to have a knack for music that heightens the mood of a scene.

His last drama was actually Lee Jun-ki's previous one, Scholar Who Walks the Night - and I loved the background scores on that as well as the early OSTs. Unfortunately, I think sloppy production hobbled him - I remember complaints about the instrumental score being too loud in episode 1, and a horrible English-featuring OST much like the one blighting Scarlet Heart, making its way into the latter half of the drama (the G.Na 'Don't Cry' one, good god I had a full-body cringe over that one).

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Thank you Pogo ! I was looking for city hunter and master's sun too ! I absolutely adore both the ost !

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Great inclusion,I love Oh Jun-seong too. Sad Run is still on my playlist. I dropped MS and SWWTN after the first episode (just not my cup of tea) so I can`t vouch for the music there,but there`s a lot of goodwill left from City Hunter`s OST.

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Oh Jun-seong is one of my favorite composers now, K-drama or otherwise. I'm willing to watch a drama he wrote the score for, even if there's nothing else about it that pulls me in. :)

That said, the music direction for Healer was also very good, even though it wasn't as unified as a score written by one composer (I don't know if Oh Jun-seong is always the music director when he's the composer, but I'm pretty sure he actually wrote the scores for the above mentioned shows, including the vocal tracks.) Also, tip for those who don't know: if you see a track attributed to "Green Cacao," that's OJS as well. :D

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@ M3LON4 - I couldn't agree more about the importance of good music in a drama. The bad music absolutely KILLED Doctors for me long before I got bored with the show itself. The forced "comedy" music had me screaming at my computer. Music really makes a difference. Look at how perfect it is in Moonlight Drawn by Clouds However, Signal takes the cake and I shall now check out works by the Music PD duo you mentioned. Thank you!

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SIGNAL is one of my all-time favorite Kdramas, and the mesmerizing OST is a big part of it. It prompted me to dig around on YouTube to find other versions of some of the songs.

신중현 - 나는 너를
[Shin Jeong Hyun, b. 1938 - "I'm Yours" live, 2011]
https://youtu.be/VYSrnrINOj8

나는 너를 , 정차식 (시그널 ost)
[Jung Cha Shik: I Will Forget You - live w/violin - SIGNAL OST]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPz6Rl0lpEw

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Thanks for this. I'd lost the link to the Shin Jung-hyun version. I wish Ask a Korean would continue with his 50 Most Influential K-pop Artists list. He's just reached the top 6 - The Legends and I'm so curious to see who's on it. Seo Taji and the Boys of course. Big Bang? Shin Jung-hyun has to be at the very top as the godfather of Korean rock and psychedelic music. He was arrested, banned from performing and suffered for his art but persevered. He's one of 6 musicians, including Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan, to receive a Fender Custom Tribute Guitar. Jung Cha-shik's version is so perfect for Signal - evocative, nostalgic, bittersweet but with an ominous and unresolved edge. It's always good to go back and appreciate the original though.

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Thanks for mentioning the music directors! I'm still not over Signal and ended up purchasing the OST, it's the best I've heard for a long time. They're the Han Zimmer's of Korean OST.

It makes me wonder who was behind "I hear your voice" and the recent "Age of Youth" which I liked as well. I wish there was more information on these music directors/producers.

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For Age of Youth, the music producer was Lee Nam-yeon, another elite who's mainly involved in movies, but is occasionally lured into dramaland by PD Ahn Pan-seok and they've worked together on I Heard it Through the Grapevine, Secret Love Affair and A Wife's Credential. Impressive, huh?

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That is super impressive. I knew there was a reason I loved Age of Youth's music haha. Secret Love Affair and Heard it Through the Grapevine are both superlative in that regard, and A Wife's Credentials has one of the best kdrama soundtracks of all time imo. Whenever I hear Daydream Believer now I think of that drama.

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Wow I had no idea and it makes sense now. That's why Ahn Pan-seok is the best of the best!

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Impressive indeed! Thanks for sharing <3.

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Thank you M3LON4!!

I have been having this thought all last week. With such a nice bgm of moonlight drawn from clouds to the fantastic music of W and then contrasting it with Moon lovers - I was really confused. On how such a huge production failed to get a decent music director. Thanks for the list again !

And I have to mention Nam Hye Swung, I have seen cruel city once and probably have never heard the OST again but just seeing it mentioned here brings me back the feels I had for music while watching it ! It was SO good ! I can't believe I don't have it in my playlist ! This is such a great comment !

@JB/GF - could you girls do a post on all these behind the scenes geniuses? The cinematographer, the music directors, the editors ! I often wonder about cinematographers, I mean kdramas these days look more and more gorgeous. For example, the final scenes of moonlight drawn from the clouds, both of them riding off to sunset. It was just perfect !

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Healer soundtrack which comes on when PMY trips on the bus and JCW catches her. That soundtrack still gives me goosebumps. It really matched the scenes in the drama.

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i second that! this is a wonderful post and really makes me remember some of those soundtracks. thank you for this info M3LON4. i hope jb and gf will take you up on your suggestion!

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Hey, I really have to second (or third or whatever) the request for JB/GF to post more info on "all these behind the scenes geniuses", especially on the musical side! So often I've caught refrains of different musical styles in OST's and so wanted to know who and where they came from, but until now, reading these posts, had no idea where to go to look for this kind of information. So yeah, I can glean some of what I want to know from the Beanies posts here, but would really like to learn more. Please, Dramabeans?!!!

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That's such a great post M3LON4. I've loved the music specially the instrumentals of all of these music directors but have never really checked that who is the genius behind them. I really like the duo and nam hye sung, she's doing a wonderful job with JI.

This makes me think who was the music director of one of my favourite instrumentals in kdramas i.e. Falling for innocence, loved the bgm there.

Music sets the mood for the entire show and though I do like 1 or 2 instrumentals in SH, I really dislike the osts. I think it is best to stick with instrumenals in sageuk.

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Kim Jun-seok (one half of the duo) was responsible for Falling for Innocence :)

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Woah!No wonder why I liked it. Thank you so much M3LON4, you've done a thorough and through research. ☺

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me too! i really love the instrumentals in OSTs, especially the saeguk music. oh heck, all of them. sometimes i buy the OST just for the bgm!

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Hey, thanks for such a great post, and especially for mentioning Nam Hyeseung. I didn't know the music director that has impressed me so much is female haha XD She did the OSTs for Cruel City and I was absolutely floored. When I watched The Good Wife, a few episodes in, I noticed the distinctive style and guessed that it must be her behind the score, and I was right!

Do you happen to know if The Good Wife instrumental OSTs have been released? It's been more than 2 weeks since the drama ended but I can't find it anywhere, even on Korean music portals like Melon. I absolutely love the OSTs, I want that angsty violin OST and the melancholic guitar one so so bad :(

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I too was initially under the impression that the music director who did TEN, Cruel City and My Beautiful Bride (such dark shows) must be a male. Imagine my surprise when I was reading interviews and the article referred to "she" and "her". More reasons to fan-girl :)

Unfortunately I don't know if and when The Good Wife's OSTs are going to be released.

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Thanks for replying! I guess that you speak Korean? That's why you can find out about these music directors and read their interviews. I'm very interested in reading about them and their work too but there's hardly any English sources :( I tried searching for Nam Hyeseung on google once and nothing came up :|

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@M3LON4 - awesome post, thanks! About time someone writes at length about Korea's supremely talented music directors and/or composers. Some of my favourite OSTs are from "Damo", "Chuno", "49 Days" and "Emperor of the Sea" - would you know who are the music directors of these dramas? Many thanks.

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Chuno: Choi Chul-ho, who's active in the early to late 2000 with Goodbye Solo, Style, Great King Sejong, Conspiracy in the Court, You've Fallen for Me, and Evasive Inquiry Agency.

49 days: Park Se-jun, and he has quite the mixed list of credits: Lovers in Paris, Lovers, On Air, You're Beautiful, Brilliant Legacy, My Girlfriend is a Gumiho, A Gentleman's Dignity, The Chaser, Gu's Family Book, Empire of Gold, Heirs (WHAAAATT...), Sly and Single Again, Hyde Jekyll and Me, and The Girl who Sees Smell.

Damo and Emperor of the Sea: both done by Lee Pil-ho, who also did Fashion 70s, Seoul 1945 and Beethoven Virus.

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Choi Chul-ho?!

No wonder the score for Sassy Go Go was so perfect (and I am in forever SWOON mode over the whistling tune aka Hold On There) - they had a music director who knew his stuff!

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@M3LON4 thank you so much for the quick response. As suggested by Kestrel above, your post would make a great stand-alone post on DB so that it can gain a wider audience.

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M3LON4 <3. It's nice to talk about people behind the dramas . We don't give enough credit to music directors, producers etc who work just as hard to make a dramas/films enjoyable for us.
I wish some of these drama awards would recognize them more than those best couple, hot actor etc which I find pretty silly.

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I had a lot of fun researching for this too, a lot of "That's why..." and "No wonder..."
I consider what happen behind the scene as important as the trifecta (writing, directing, and acting) that's more tangible for the viewers, and yes to more award recognition. These people deserve it.

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Wooooow, look at the reaction to your post, M3LON4! Beanies have a lot to say about OSTs, there was a similar explosion in music-related comments in Friday's OT. It sure sounds like you are the person who has the skill to blog on this topic, or maybe better yet to become a Minion to do it here? But I bet DB has already thought of that, right guys? Right??

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I'm glad that what started as #OperationSaveOppa and simple curiosity could incite such an enthusiastic discussion, it shows that beanies are not here just for the pretty, but that true drama fans do care about the blood, sweat and tears spent in producing a great drama.

Thank you for the kind words, it's certainly a great idea for DB to do a feature post on this topic, considering there's a lot of interests. Music and drama are two of my favourite things so naturally I'm drawn to drama OSTs. However, I don't know if I am the right person to deliver it, because I don't have a degree in music or anything so I won't be able to elaborate on the technicalities of a music score, for example. But just like any average viewer, I would know if the OSTs enhance the viewing experience, distract from it, or are just plain vanilla so as to be unmemorable.

The information that I shared above is mainly obtained from Google, but it helps that I can read and understand Korean, since the sources are mainly in Korean.

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Thanks for your survey of director-music director partnerships and their OSTs. It really goes to show the difference inspired music selection -- and its seamless integration -- can make in the viewer's enjoyment of a drama or film.

After watching OH HAE YOUNG AGAIN, I concluded that the sound effects were practically a character in their own right. The same can be said for OSTs and BGM, too.

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Love love this post. Do you happen to run a blog? If you do, I'd love to be a reader haha

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Great post! Personally Miss Korea and MBC's Pride and Prejudice are two OSTs I really love.

And wow, Nam Hye-seung's credits! MBB was amazing.

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The scores for Arang and the Magistrate and Empress Ki were beautiful--lush and atmospheric.

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Thanks M3LON4 for your post on this. Big fan of a lot of the OST's, instrumentals, and music arrangements mentioned in the discussion: Monstar, Misaeng, Signal, Queen In-hyun’s Man, Flower Boy Next Door, I Need Romance series, Discovery of Romance, My Beloved Eun-dong, Memory, The Good Wife, The Three Musketeers, Cruel City, Heart to Heart, Chuno, Arang & The Magistrate, Faith, City Hunter, Master’s Sun, Falling for Innocence, My Beautiful Bride, My Girlfriend is a Gumiho, A Gentleman’s Dignity, Miss Korea, etc.

A Eureka moment — learning the names of the kdrama music directors who have left us with the discovery of great music additions to our playlists time and time again!

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For those who are curious, the music director for SH: Ryeo is Choi Sung-kwon. He has worked with PD Kim Kyu-tae in That Winter, the Wind Blows and It's Okay, It's Love.
His most recent completed project is Uncontrollably Fond.

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Really?! That guy is good too. Not amongst my favourites but I do end up liking a few of his osts. But I guess he has little experience with sageuk. That said a few instrumentals are good, only of they start usibg them instead of the osts.

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This is such an interesting convo I learned so much.

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"But I find myself increasingly annoyed when the show spends too much time away from Lee Jun-ki. When he’s front and center? I’m all eyes and ears. When he’s offscreen? First of all, why would you do that, and second of all, what is this nonsense? *throws remote*..

Not another CITT disaster i suppose.. nah... they wouldn't dare, would they?

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They definitely wouldn't dare, but my god am I feeling the loss whenever Wang So is not smoldering up my screen. I've heard that this is LJK's last sageuk for a while, please say it aint' so Lee Jun Ki?

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I mean, he's done four sageuk dramas in as many years and we fans want him back in a modern role sometime but nooooo don't stop doing sageuk!

He said he was getting too old to play a prince, but there are plenty of other roles he can play, I mean Song Il-gook and Jang Hyuk are older than him and still happily doing sageuks.

I wish he'd try a romcom sometime though, if he's looking for a non-sageuk. Now that he's definitively established his sageuk and action chops, I would love to see him revisit a little of his My Girl-era cheese, not sure which writer I would trust with it though.

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Ah just the thought of seeing him all pretty in modern clothing makes me super excited.

I would prefer it to be in the style of the Cosmopolitan shoots though, and please for the love of God and puppies nothing like the mess that was Kim Tan's wardrobe in Heirs, which I am convinced is one of the reasons I had to drop that drama. I just could not take LMH seriously when they dressed him in all the fugly sweaters. Maybe it was to distract from his beauty??

I have no doubt that LJK's looks can overcome similarly bad wardrobe choices but pleeeeeeease pick a modern drama where you get to wear clothes as cool as you LJK!!

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His wardrobe in Two Weeks was pretty nicely on point, though - yay for leather jackets!

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He said he was getting too old to play a prince, but there are plenty of other roles he can play, I mean Song Il-gook and Jang Hyuk are older than him and still happily doing sageuks.

You're reading my mind again, pogo! Considering that JH's earlier sageuk roles were pretty much all commoners or ruined yangban up until his turn as Wang So in SHINE OR GO CRAZY, there could be some attractive underdog roles just waiting for LJG. Or maybe a nice rom-com along the lines of WINDSTRUCK.

I haven't yet watched JANG YOUNGSIL with SIK yet, but am looking forward to his performance as the Thomas Edison of Joseon.

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re: your last sentence - most definitely not, they'd never dare. Not with Lee Jun-ki!

That said (and I have to put my fangirl instincts aside here and look at the story so far), if they tried something like that, I believe it'd at least be more consistent with the story presented so far on our screens, than what happened with CITT i.e. the first half feeling like a jarringly different drama from the second thanks to, well, you know.

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They wouldn't dare do that to LJK! I too totally felt the absence of So on my screen in the past eps and it sucks! I just know he's there somewhere being awesome,so I take comfort in that idea. lol

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Well, he had to go get fitted for his pretty new clothes and practice how to do his hair perfectly :)

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No...this is not another CITT disaster. If you will watch the c-version of Scarlet Heart, the 4th prince also has lesser screentime compared to the 8th. Things will change once they start fighting for the throne, or should I say when the main girl started to have a change of heart.

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You never realized how many dramas you're watching until you have to comment on each one in one post. HAHA

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This is so true! Its like an emotion that you just have to get off your chest or it'll bug you and keep you up all night.

Dramabeans is like my batcave. A place where I can let off some steam because my OTP played a game of noble idiocy, a place where I can read other peoples creative perspective, a place to read hilarious comments, snarky remarks, awesome comebacks and brilliant recaps. Its a place where everyone seems like a familiar face and no one is ever the odd one in the group. Its my batcave because I have secret identity but then I don't really have to play pretend. Its a happy place where happy people belong! #proudbeanie

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TOTALLY!

There's just too many good things in this community. Since I'm no good in words like you Yoyo.... VIRTUAL GROUP HUGS! hihihi

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love your comment and i so agree! i could not LIVE without Dramabeans! could NOT! and i love all the creativity of the beanies and their comments. not to mention loving GF and JB and the crew!

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So well said, Yoyo---thank you for your words about our Dramabeans batcave! I can't match what you said and wouldn't try because you expressed everything so perfectly---count me in as a proud and happy beanie.

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Aw! Yoyo, that was beautiful.

And you're a part of the Batman is his true identity side of the fandom? High five!

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I'm with you on Scarlet Heart and Lee Jun ki. After the second episode I stopped watching live despite the simultaneous livecast in my country and I just wait for the next day to watch only the scenes with him in it. Hopefully he'll get more screentime soon as his relationship with IU develops so that I can go back to rewatching live. They owe us half the screentime to make up for the fact that we can only stare at half the pretty face. 😟

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Moonlight is messin' with ma feeling too! It's cliché but my heart ache so bad for the characters

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I seem to keep ffwding JSW in Fantastic.. unless he is with the leading lady. He is too over the top for me. Plus I just love Taehoon. He's perfect and JSW can't even compare rn. I love the ladies tho. Their friendship is everything. Seoul's in-laws are poison and Ji-soo is a puppy. :)

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This new crop of dramas are pretty good (though I'm sad at watching W end and saying good bye to LJS and his wardrobe).

Jealousy Incarnate: Jo Jung Seok is something.. he is a jerk and yet hilarious with his stupid antics.

Scarlet Heart: Javabeans had it down perfect. As long as I'm watching Lee Jun Ki, I'm enjoying this drama but the moment he isn't there, I don't know why I'm watching this and when he's gonna come back.

I am planning to watch Cinderella because predictable is not bad if it's satisfying.

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Yes for suki na hito.. I enjoy that dorama so much. I wish you guys watch C drama called just one smile is very alluring aka love o2o.

I watched some dramas you guys mentioned above. Dropped two or three. And will drop another later.

W got boring. Scarlet, my bad, i compared it with the original one sooo soon or later im gonna quit watching, depends on the story later. Still watching fantastic and drinking solo but not sure how i feel about it. UF was such an old recipe, this kind of drama only worked 10-15 years ago when winter sonata was on the top.
2nd to last love and cinderella, i dropped it.

My current faves are only moonlight and tailor. Tailor with 50episodes, hmm.. Im not good in keeping the commitment but im not bad either.
Jealousy got all the hyped. Fave casts and romcom but everybody related to each other makes me sign. Too much stories in one drama. But ghj and jjs save it with their hilarious comical acting. Gonna continue it.

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OMG Yui!

Me!! Me!! I'm watching Just One Smile is Very Alluring aka Love o2o. Reasons why I love it:

1) Yang Yang. Need I say more? I've never known who he is and don't really like Chinese dramas but he nailed the Da Shen/Lao Shan/Xiao Nai role for me with his complete calm and coolness, plus gosh he's so darn cute/good looking! One of the best looking Chinese (or any culture) actors I've seen.

2) The friendship! Between the girls and between the guys, they are always there to support each other! This drama really brings me back to college days and reminds me how important friendship is! REAL friendship!

3) How the guys will always protect their bestie's "wife" Wei Wei, online (reel) or in real life. Anyone who dares to bully Wei Wei will mean bulling their bestie Lao Shan and this is NOT to be tolerated! Love them for always taking care of the girl no matter what.

4) How Yang Yang's Lao Shan trusts his "wife" Wei Wei no matter what! Makes me re-think what true love is. He adores and dotes on her, and appreicates that she is intelligent (top scholar), kind and truthful. A real gem.

Only minor thing I have complaint about is how skinny the lead actress is....... Other than that, the drama is one of the most addictive I've ever seen in my life (that's saying a lot coz I've watched lots of Jdramas, Kdramas and series from the USA etc.) and changed my perception on modern Chinese college students and enterpreneurs.

Glad you liked it too!

And yes, wish you guys in DB try this drama out!

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I tried it LoveO2O, and really disliked it - disliked it alot. They're in college, but the level of gossip and maturity is at the high school level for most of the characters. I like video games but just can't relate to having feelings for someone you play video games with and don't even know in real life. And hard to be vested in what happens in a video game. Like who cares....

If you really wanna watch a good mainland chinese drama - and this is the only chinese drama I recommend at this time - it would be Nirvana in Fire. Unlike the drama above, it's smart, makes sense, there's a lot plot, and intrigue.

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Nirvana in Fire is Lang Ya Bang right?

Agree that Love O2O is very light-hearted and can be ridiculous sometimes. But this is the genre, so don't take it too seriously. I find it refreshing because it deals with online game and real life, and I've never watch anything that blends these 2 before (ok plus the EYE CANDY kekeke). Just drool and kyaaaa over Yang Yang.

I know China has a lot of heavy-weight good (epic) dramas and sometimes I find that the reasons precisely why I don't tune in to those are 1) too lengthy; 2) too political; 3) too heavy and maybe 4) too serious.

Everyone's taste is different I guess.... BUT having said that, Nirvana in Fire is in my to-watch list from China (1 of the very few) because of the hype.... Since its LONG, I really hope I get the mood to start^^

Thanks for recommending it!

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If you like light Chinese dramas, I heard My Amazing Boyfriend and Love Me if You Dare are both popular and fully subbed on Viki. Haven't watched either, but they seemed to be well liked by the international audience. Ode to Joy is another one that's relatively popular, where the female friendships are the center of the show.

Nirvana in Fire (and you're right, it's called Lang Ya Bang in Chinese) is actually relatively light compared to traditional historical C-dramas, but I find it quite well-adjusted for an international audience. Just to warn you that the love line is very secondary to the story, and the most emphasized relationship are friendships and that of loyalty between a man and his country.

Since I'm native Chinese, I tend to be pickier with C-dramas, and I would say the best ones are mostly un-subbed unfortunately. It's true that China excels the most in heavy, plot-based dramas, especially historical ones, but they tend to require a certain level of mental investment to get absorbed into the story.

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100% agreed. Love020 and Nirvana Under Fire are on opposite ends of the spectrum, genre only a very small factor. Nirvana is one of my alltime favourite dramas. It's epic, but not on a colossal scale like three kingdoms or other empire-building series. The premise is not exactly groundbreaking, but the acting is very good, the writing is tight and intelligent, the cinematography and costumes are gorgeous. I haven't read the novel but heard great stuff. (I am eager to watch Tribes and Empires: Storm of Prophecy, but I'm scared I'm being fooled by the epic trailer. Some Chinese drama trailers are deceptively good but I've been burned in the past so I'm being cautious this time round).

Love020 (the series) is juvenile in comparison. However, I can understand why it's loved by some people. Unfortunately Yang Yang nor video games do anything for me. (KO and Hao Mei's relationship does, but their screentime is so little that I wish someone could identify those episodes so I don't have to waste my time). On the otherhand I like the tone of the movie version of Love020 (based on the trailer that is).

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Another Nirvana In Fire fan here, absolutely love the drama, will rewatch again and again.

Oh so that's the English name for the promoted Chinese drama I sorta see everywhere. There is quite a hype for it right now. I'm trying not to get my hopes too high either, what if all the promo is just a facade? There are alot of Chinese dramas being made all the time but truly good ones are hard to find.

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I watching both suki na hito and love 020 aswell!!

Love 020 was great but I did feel like they wasn't much story considering its 30 episode drama.

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"Friends help friends get over an addiction by getting them addicted to something new!"
In my case it's sisters, one sister got me addicted to Gilmore Girls and Friends, then another sister helped me get over those by getting me addicted to Bones, a third sister then introduced me to Buffy (that was a serious addiction), but I can forgive her now because she also gave me the cure in the form of Korean Dramas and here I am to stay :)

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Gilmore, Friends, Buffy.........all my favorites. They don't make those kinds of shows anymore, what a pity.

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Actually, Girlmore Girls is going to be back with new season.

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I know, I'm super excited but also a little apprehensive. Fingers crossed that it will live up to the original (and give us a more satisfying ending!!)

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What are u serious?!! Gilmore girls has another season. Wow so many new season from old shows first prison break and now Gilmore girls.

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do you know where can i watch gilmore and felicity online?.

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@Ema Gilmore Girls is on Netflix, and I think Felicity was too but I'm not sure if it still is

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And most importantly, the genius writers are back from season 1-6. The last season, is the season we shall not speak of.

Yay! Gilmore Girls! Can't hardly wait!

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YAAAS Gilore Girls!!

And..unpopular opinion time but...TEAM LOGAN FTW!! (If she must end up with someone...I'd be good if she didn't too :) )

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Ugh. Too excited = typos.

*GILMORE Girls.

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Nooooooooo!! Team jess lol 😁

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haha I know it's not a popular opinion but I liked Logan a lot, too—Dean was a terrible boyfriend (he was so possessive! and he was always so angry when rory didn't seem as into him as he was into her! and the worst part is that no one noticed; Lorelai and everyone acted like he was always this great guy, but I never really liked him), and Jess was a jerk, too (although he was much better when they were all older). Logan and his rich friends were kind of obnoxious but idk, I still really liked him haha.

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Team Jess all the way! Milo Ventimiglia was once the love of my life. And that time he thought the uniform at Luke's was a backwards baseball cap and flannel. Oh, and when he stole school baseballs because it wasn't a heavy crime but annoying enough to get attention. Oh, and of course when he mentioned writing in the columns of books being a way to get to know someone's true self. Always wanted to do that but it messes with me optically. And then when he actually wrote a book! Ugh, I wish The Subsect existed in real life.

Team Logan is far behind Jess but still second. What? He was almost perfect for Lorelai Jr.

Then, Team Tristan. Mainly because I really wanted them together that season. And because I want to see how they could match in the present.

Team Marty because I freaking love him. And why couldn't they just date? Wae?!

I guess Team Dean is a possibility. Just don't expect me to be happy.

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GILMORE GIRLS!!! Love love love!

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I have to answer the GG call!

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I love Friends, Buffy and Bones so seems like I'll like Gilmore Girls, too. Maybe I should give it a try someday when I feel like I need a new show to marathon.

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Second lead syndrome is a real thing lately; I can't choose between the lead and second lead.

Fantastic
Hae-Sung vs Joon-Gi

Moonlight
Crown Prince vs Yoon-Sung

Jealousy Incarnate
Hwa-Shin vs Jung-Won

Moonlovers
Except for Lee Jun-Ki. He always wins in sageuks.

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I can't pick up my pace so I ended up watching a drama again when I'm not supposed to.

So I started watching Coffee Prince. Yep. I've never watched it before. I'm currently in episode 5 and I find it okay. It could be because of the time gap. I think my younger self would have enjoyed it more. Seriously though, why are the characters so gross? I don't think I'll be eating black bean noodles for a while. Eunchan is the most believable girl-pretending-to-be-a-boy I've seen in a kdrama. Gong Yoo is amazing and I love it when Lee Sungyun smiles. The other girl though... I would just never get characters who leave their lovers with no reason whatsoever then they think they can just come back years later and the person would accept him/her back. Like really? I know it's still too early in the drama but ugh. I just don't like characters like this.

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Yoon Eun Hye is really believable as a guy. I was recently unpacking and I stumbled across my dvd for Coffee Prince and it was the picture with all the princes on it. I turned and said to my sister " look at the poster, would anyone think that there was a girl in this picture? ". She was like "kai, they really tried in this movie, she gave her all in this".
She removed her vanity for this project. I was really shocked to see her glamorous and sexy side in real life. Plus * spoilers but not really* it has one of the best makeovers in the end. Realistic and not overboard. Just muted, a fitted T-shirt, jeans and slightly longer hair.

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Yep. At times, I really saw her as a guy. She did really well.

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Coffee Prince takes exactly 5 episodes to really gel together, so don't worry, the story only gets better from here! It's my number one kdrama of all time, but I recognize it was a little slow to establish itself in the beginning. I hope you enjoy it.

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Oh, thank you! I'm glad to hear that. More motivation to finish it.

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It gets better because she's going to be his wing-man! And the coffee shop... I don't remember what happened when but sorry if I'm spoiling it for you. Great show, may rewatch one of these days.

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Seriously though, why are the characters so gross? I don’t think I’ll be eating black bean noodles for a while

this is why I could not even watch it back then. I heard it got many praises here and there, but every time I see someone brings it up, the gross parts always pop up. I guess I'll never be able to watch it lol.

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@earthna,

Congratulations! You're in for a treat. I first watched it last winter, and rewatched it two months later. The characters are memorable, and I really hated to get to the last episode.

The OST and background music is terrific. IIRC, there's also a special episode with finale BTS. Be sure to check out the DB recaps... And if the music grabs you, there are dedicated posts on that, too.

As for the grossness... I think it's part of Eun-Chan's protective coloration as well as a "guys will be guys" thing. It cracks me up that her sister calls her "hyung."

The old "girl who eats like a horse" schtik was also employed in THE KING'S DAUGHTER, SU BAEK-HYAN. Picture Seo Hyun-Jin in Three Kingdoms soldier drag... and she really is starving.

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Coffee Prince is such a treat - it started my love for Kdrama.

And yes YEH is amazing, she really acts like a boy and it impressed me to end with her talent and commitment. I got my husband to rewatch it with me few months back and he has to confirm it with me if she's really a she.

Speaking of CP, I heard KYJ from Moonlight watched CP for her role and I can see some of it mirrored in the way she speaks in lower voice and that cute nose-crunching thing when she talks.

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LOL earthna, thanks for reminding me why I stopped eating jjajjangmyun! I can't even watch someone eat it onscreen anymore but had forgotten why and CP is the reason. Crack me up!
But I do envy you the pleasure of watching every other part of it for the first time. Oh! It's the BEST.

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W–Two Worlds: Still really enjoying this show, although not quite as much as I loved it before. I remember the feeling I had at the end of episode 4 (basically me spewing a bunch of incoherent words at my TV tbh) and wish I was still feeling that OMGEXCITED about this show, but hey, I still look forward to it every week. I can't believe we only have one episode left! Also, Lee Jong-seok is pretty.

Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo: Surprisingly, I'm really enjoying this. I started it on Sunday and basically marathoned all 5 episodes so while I did have a vague understanding that episodes 4 and 5 were much more enjoyable and well-done than the first 3, the exact line wasn't as clear to me. I just though, "Oh, it's getting better the more I watch! Good!". Kang Haneul is pretty. IU is adorable. I love So. \^O^/

Master's Sun: I've been meaning to watch this one for AAAAGES. C'mon, it's the Hong sisters, Gong Hyo-jin, So Ji-sub, AND *gasp* my fave, Seo In-gook?! I love the tone of this show. I'm only 4 episodes in but I think it blends the comedy and "horror" wonderfully. Gong Hyo-jin is KILLING IT on all levels tbh.

High School King of Savvy: Another one I've been meaning to watch, purely because of Seo In-gook. Lemme tell you... I heard this drama was funny, but I didn't expect it to have me in stitches THE WHOLE TIME. I'm serious, I probably laugh out loud throughout this entire show. 6 episodes down just between yesterday and today and I honestly almost want to slow down to preserve it. SIG's acting in this is a little bit genius. I obviously love him big time, but most of the other roles I've seen him (and loved him) in have been on the more serious side. I've never seen him act quite like this (but to be honest I could say that about EVERY role he takes on, each performance is more unique and charming than the next) and I am just having a blast watching this.

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Yay for another fan of High School King of Savvy. Seo In Guk is really amazing in all the roles he takes up, but he was the most adorable in this one. When you are done watching the show, do check out a video that a fellow beanie-Asmara- made on youtube titled "If Min Suk was my boyfriend". The vid has all the cute SIG scenes of the show in one place!

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Yeah, it was the same for me with Scarlet Heart - the 'oh hey. this is getting good!' feeling that started coming in around episode 3 and definitely set in by 4.

and Master's Sun is SO MUCH FUN. I really want So Ji-sub and Gong Hyo-jin to do another drama or movie or something, they are my favourite Hong sisters couple ever.

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Master's Sun in fantastic. Glad you're enjoying it so far.

Happy viewing!

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I adore SIG, but I waited quite some time before I watched High School King. This drama surprised me. I did not expect that this drama will make me cry and tug my heart. It's funny, but it has heart. I absolutely love Gramps and Dad.

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Gramps is the most adorable grandpa I've ever seen in dramaland. ❤️

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I knew I would like Grandpa from his vert first scene where he was just casually eating an entire plare of cookies LOL.

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High School King is one of the most hilarious shows I've ever seen and I liked that it stays funny all the way through. The standard rom-com pattern of starting funny and ending in a string of tearjerker episodes and !!drama!! has always irked me. This show has its very good moments of poignancy and emotional conflict, both inner and outer, but it never gets too overbearing, seamlessly meshing the fun and the heart and not sacrificing one for the other. And you have to love how committed SIG and LH were to their roles. They were both a riot. And the 2 friends. And Grandpa. Even Jin Woo. I think you can tell how much I loved this!

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And the awesome thing about Savvy is though it's a comedy, it can really pulled your heartstring and cry your eyes out in some scenes.

And Min Suk - Gramps are ❤

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Watching Scarlet Heart, Jealousy Incarnate, W, and Fantastic. Cinderella if I'm bored lol. JI is my FAVE show at the moment. Really loving it. It's a classic underdog story with a Bridget Jones type romance that I can't wait for the show to fully explore. Jo Jung Suk and Gong Hyo Jin are absolutely wonderful in this. My weekdays are busy again!

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Also, while I think the directing and editing criticisms for Scarlet Heart are spot on, I still don't get the level of bashing this show and its actors (barring Lee Jun Ki and Kang Ha Neul) got, it honestly does not deserve such bad ratings but many on here have already defended it so I'm going to leave it at that. Whatever, I'm enjoying the show and the cast and can't wait for the romance/love triangle to heat up!

W sadly has lost its steam for me, which I never thought I'd say given how much I enjoyed the first several episodes. But idk, somewhere along the new Kang Chul storyline the story and romance slowed down too much for my taste. Old Kang Chul, despite being impulsive and a little callous had a much more exciting plot line than new Kang Chul. And the romantic scenes have become scarce too. What's up with that? LJS and Han Hyo Joo have electric chemistry, why not milk it for all its worth? This is suprising to me especially since this is the same writer for Queen In hyun's Man, who definitely took advantage of Yoo Ina and Ji Hyun Woo's chemistry. So what happened to W? I mean in the first half we got so many good kisses, and we know this writer doesn't shy away from kisses! Ergh, I'm confused and slightly frustrated even though I am still watching and enjoying the show, though with much less fervor than before. I'm just hoping the final episode is at least good. Sigh.

Loving FantastiC, especially Park Shi Yeon and Jisoo's budding romance. Hope her in laws get their comeuppance, and her SPOILER *****, ******** husband too!!! 😠😠

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Seul's husband and his family are the worst! Where is a truck of doom or a Subway foot long with salmonella when you really need it?

I'm hanging on hoping for some serious retribution for them.

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LOL @ "Subway foot long with salmonella"!

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I'm loving Sul and Sang Wook's situation...so cute! Her hubs and in-laws are some of worst in dramaland ever.

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Oh my gosh, you're right about the lack of romance in the last few episodes of W.... I think I missed that. LJS and HHJ have great chemistry.

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I'm waiting for W to end before I start to watch it , but I'm glad to read that they have toned down the romance scenes. I absolutely LOVED Nine , but Queen In Hyun completely turned me off with the excesive romance and kissing. It felt adolescent to me, too much kissing and too much lonely crying, and a very thin plot.

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Wow, am I glad to hear your reactions to "W"! I thought there was something wrong with me in watching a show I truly loved at the outset, but now have found myself not so "invested" in as I had before. I mean, I'll never quit it, but where did the "pizzaz" go? Maybe I should have watched it all at once and not have had the lag time between episodes? But no, don't think that's it---feels like the show needs to get it's "groove" back, like ASAP!

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It started with the exemption of W during the Rio Olympics...the need to re-watch Pinnochio was so great that I ended up marathoning all the episodes one late Saturday night.
As I fell more and more in love with Moonlight Drawn by the Clouds,I decided there just wasn't even Bo Gum in my life and there I went, watching Answer me 1988 into the wee hours of the morning.

Watching that, I felt the urge to watch Lucky Romance again just to get in more doses of Ryu Jun Yeol but I resisted.

But watching last week's episodes of Moonlight and Moonlovers sent me into a frenzy of drama watching and soon I had watched all of I Remember You (scary but cute Bo gum!) and then Scholar who walks the night.

With W ending this week, I am sure you will find me watching I Hear Your Voice this weekend to fill the Lee Jong Seok shaped hole in my heart. And we all know that my resistance to watching Lucky Romance again is crumbling as we speak.

Oh, the life and trials of a K-drama addict.

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I would love to say "Been there, done that" but sadly (not really) I am still doing the same. I finished re- watching Answer Me 1997 because I was missing SIG so much and couldn't really wait just for like 20 days(10 now) for Shopping King Louie.

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I re-watched Pinocchio too and I need to do another to get my LJS fix now that W is ending. I can't believe it will take about another year before we get to see Jongsuk back on the small screen.

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Moonlight is my no #1 obsession right now (will King Louie took the throne from Crown Prince Yeong though?)

And these spoilers on my insta feed for episode 7 is killing me! Does anyone know which site release eng-subbed shows the fastest?

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I'm still wondering what would had been. I think Uncontrollable Fund could had been a great melodrama if the story half way had turn around love, forgiveness. I would had love to see more about the interactions between KWB and his mom, even to see the brothers together, and finally Suzy and KWB together longer than just 2 episodes, and maybe see a time skip of a few years and see her be a successful if not someone that everyone respect as a PD, Would had been nice to see KWB mom and Suzy to see these 2 ladies together talking about life and there are stronger because KWB was part of their life.

For Scarlet Heart, I wondering if the first episode instead introducing all princes together at the bath house if PD and writer had introduce one or two at the time acting more mature less childish at different locations the viewers may have not been turn off and would had been less critical about their acting.
Music on this drama doesn't affect me as much as I live in a modern area and is hard to think about half siblings getting married.

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I'm totally agree with JB about Scarlet Heart . I really need more Lee Jun Ki 😭

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I'm still watching way too many dramas. I wanted to drop Fantastic but then Jisoo showed up. Then Cinderella, but now Jung Ilwoo is all smiley and cute. Argh.

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I'm thinking of dropping Cinderella and marathoning either Moonlight or Jealousy Incarnate to get caught up.

The female second lead in Cinderella is driving me crazy and the plot direction of the last two episodes is downright frustrating.

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I agree with you on the second female lead in Cinderella. That girl makes me scream bloody murder and makes me throw things at my laptop screen. I can't stand here. Makes me hate her more because after all the obsessiveness and stalking, there is a great possibility she'll end up with HM. Why? Why? Whyyyyyyy? 😭

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*her

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Oh.. I'm not alone, I seriously want to swear at her whenever she appeared in my screen. People who cast her is the biggest sinner

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I am loving Scarlet Heart Ryeo so so much!!! And I love it when historical dramas add modern music in. I was pleasantly surprised when that happened in Arang! Which also had Lee Jun ki! The raps with the lyrical just gets to me. I miss Faith and Arang with their fantastic background music and osts.

I'll keep rooting for you Ryeo!!! Fighting!!! ❤❤❤

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Arang and Faith actually did a good job of incorporating modern music in fantasy sageuk - Scarlet Heart otoh, the OSTs themselves are badly composed, sloppily inserted and takes the viewer right out of the setting.

It's not really about the mere fact that they're using modern music, it's that the execution is terrible.

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