Another weekend, another check-in. How’s your week of drama-watching been? Just when I feel like I’ve cleared my plate and can breathe again, a new wave comes rolling in, and just like that I’m drowning in more episodes. I mean, it’s a happy sort of drowning, but sometimes I wish we could hit the pause button and take a little breather. I know that’s always an option, technically, and I could just take that break myself… but then what would I do with all the shows I’ve missed?! Ah, the life of a drama addict. —javabeans
Currently recapping: Legend of the Blue Sea
The K2: I tuned in to the last two episodes expecting a mess or a joke, but I actually found them to be pretty exciting, with a finale full of action, twists, character moments, and even poignancy. Of course, some plot points veered on absurd, and the politics and the shadowy consortium felt cartoonish. But because it was packed with character motivations, I was still pulled along as we came to the big climax. It made me disappointed that the rest of the show wasn’t like that; the first and last several episodes felt a cut above the rest. I do feel like there was a good drama in The K2… somewhere… It just suffocated under tons of filler, excess, and Subway ads.
Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim: I’d thought our Teacher Kim would be a benevolent, eccentric genius, but I’m happier having him be irascible, hot-tempered, and just as in need of growth and attitude adjustment as our two younger doctors. I like that every character is emotional and messy, and it makes me eager to see them clash and fight and push each other into being better versions of themselves. Also, the chemistry between Yoo Yeon-seok and Seo Hyun-jin is sizzling and that’s fun.
The Man Living in Our House: I can’t for the life of me understand why this couple can’t just be together, and why there’s all this angst about not being together. They should really just be together. Why aren’t they together again?
1% of Anything: I loved his reaction to Dada being in danger, because it was gratifying to see a hero take no nonsense from a second lead for once, and be so determined to get justice for the wronged. Things did slow down a bit with the ending of the contract, but for once I completely agreed with the reasons, and appreciated the time we got to see the two living their lives, missing each other. It just feels so true to life and natural, which is this drama’s charm (and probably why I keep thinking Ha Suk-jin and Jeon So-min must be secretly dating, because they make the characters’ connection feel so lived-in and true).
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: It’s too bad it’s up against such stiff competition, because this is a charming little coming-of-age show, and I think it’ll continue to be both charming and little. I can’t begrudge Legend of the Blue Sea for taking most of the attention and ratings (I really enjoyed that show too, and thought it was deserving of its ratings), but it just means Bok-ju will be our scrappy underdog fighter, which seems fitting.
Entourage: This show suffers from a fundamental flaw of format: It’s just too darn long. The American show clocked in at half an hour, so it was easy to follow the breezy, meandering pace of the boys as they flitted from one adventure or mishap to the next, and it all got resolved (or blew up in their faces) in thirty minutes. By dragging episodes on to an unnecessary 75 minutes, what should be simple, light conflicts (Will Young-bin do the movie? Will he convince the director to cast him? Will So-hee call him back?) become dire and momentous in a way that feels blown out of proportion or, worse, tiresome.
This Week, My Wife Will Have an Affair: This show snuck up on me, because I didn’t think I’d like it as much as I do. It’s heading in a direction I didn’t anticipate, but it handles its characters smartly and interestingly, and I’m really responding to its dryly dark sense of humor—sometimes it’s outright funny, sometimes it’s cutting. But the big question on my mind is: Were we even meant to like Song Ji-hyo, even a little? (That isn’t to say her character isn’t layered or going through things or painted with realism. That’s all fine and good. But she’s frustration times twenty.)
Currently recapping: Legend of the Blue Sea
Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim: I love it when Han Seok-kyu and Yoo Yeon-seok fight! And I love it when Yoo Yeon-seok and Seo Hyun-jin fight! And I love it when Seo Hyun-jin and Han Seok-kyu fight! Okay, so that’s everybody. But there’s just a lot of good antagonistic chemistry here. At least I only want one of those couples to fight and then kiss?
The Man Living in Our House: I was happy about the romance progressing, but the decision to finally move on their feelings had the side effect of making me wonder why they weren’t already together—the logic in this show is flimsy at best, but I overlook a lot because of the cute couple. It’s a good thing they were extra cute this week.
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: I’m always happy to have another feel-good campus drama in my life, and this one is buoyed by a very cute heroine and some great friendships, and driven by a classic underdog theme. I like Lee Sung-kyung as this character, even though she still looks like a model to me, and while I have yet to really warm to Nam Joo-hyuk in anything, I much prefer his lighter side in roles like this than his attempt to be dramatic in Moon Lovers. *shudder*
Entourage: I’m frankly okay with just watching the boys hang out and shoot the breeze to some degree without a strong plot, because that’s pretty much how the original series went. But I would like to care more about the romance storyline in this remake, because it could be decent, except they cast Ahn So-hee and she’s so uninteresting that I don’t understand why Kang Haneul and Seo Kang-joon would be fighting over her.
This Week, My Wife Will Have an Affair: I’m still catching up on this show, but I was thrown to realize that it was an adultery drama after all. I fully expected Lee Seon-kyun to have overreacted and be the cause of his own downward imaginary spiral, not actually discover his wife’s affair! I came here for the comedy, but now I’m scared there will be tears. Are there tears? Is it safe?
The Man Living in Our House: I’m still enjoying this cute show, but for some reason it was a struggle to get through the past couple of episodes. Maybe I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind, or maybe the angsty back-story and kisses aren’t as interesting to me as the fun bickering and banter from the earlier episodes.
Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim: Each episode so far feels like it’s been directed by a completely different person, which makes it hard to settle on exactly what kind of vibe it’s going for. Is it a classic melodrama, filled with tragic backstories, revenge, and big-city egos? Or is a quirky fish-out-of-water dramedy, filled with a lovable cast of misfits? I dunno, but provided the show continues to give me that delightfully weird small-town vibe (with the bonus of the always-amazing Han Seok-kyu), I’ll continue to watch.
Legend of the Blue Sea: JEON JI-HYUN <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
Currently recapping: Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: Hallelujah~ a sports youth drama with a funny plot and a cast of competent actors. This is an absolute gem! For the first time, I’m totally digging Lee Sung-kyung and her band of weightlifting musketeers. The whole gymnastics vs. weightlifting feud, I get it. It’s like the traditional schoolwide rivalry between the cheerleaders and math nerds except on an Olympic scale (and yes I was a math nerd so I get to say we’re nerdy). I was surprised to find the drama so likable. It’s airing at the same time as Legend of the Blue Sea (which is the heavily promoted blockbuster fantasy-romance drama by SBS), so I don’t expect the ratings to be amazing, but watchability-wise and plot-wise it seems like Weightlifting Fairy is off to a solid start.
1% of Anything: Finally, I’m caught up on this show. The whole turning Tae-ha to Jae-in’s side—that was a good move. It stayed consistent with Tae-ha’s character from the original, and it side-stepped the commonly used Evil Cousin-Love Quadrangle trope. Now, I’m wondering what else there is to explore. They’ve already resolved most of the biggest conflicts: Jae-in and Da-da falling in love, Tae-ha and his schemes foiled, and Joo-hee rejected by Jae-in. There are still two more episodes left… please don’t be filler!
Father, I’ll Take Care of You: Definitely better than Gap-soon, but then again, the contents of a get-well fruit basket would probably be more interesting than Gap-soon. It’s not what I expected though. Lee Soo-kyung, who I thought was the main actress, has yet to make her appearance, and things have taken a sinister turn with Kim Jae-won’s sauna of death. But Park Eun-bin and Lee Tae-hwan are lighting up the screen with their respective cute, if a tad formulaic, characters. Go FITCY!
Legend of the Blue Sea: I’ve had very little time for dramas lately (*single tear*), but you better believe I made time for this. I shamelessly foam at the mouth for anything that has to do with mermaid folklore, so Legend of the Blue Sea seemed like a real treat. The first episode didn’t blow me away like I wanted it to, but I immediately fell in love with Jeon Ji-hyun as this giddy little mermaid. And thankfully, the next episode picked up and even showed some signs of a potential crack drama. It was zippy and fun, and full of great little moments with our couple (I died from that bicycle chase scene, ha). I just hope we only go up from here… I’m giving up precious sleep for you, Show, so don’t let me down.
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (November 12, 2016)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (November 5, 2016)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (October 29, 2016)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (October 22, 2016)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (October 15, 2016)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (October 8, 2016)