Holy cow, it’s December! When did that happen, and why wasn’t I informed? All this talk of first snow in dramaland should’ve been a dead giveaway, I suppose, but I’ve been in some serious denial about the end of the year approaching. Alas, time and dramas wait for no one! Tell us what you’re watching lately, and how you plan to wrap up your drama-watching year—one last hurrah with a show you missed, or has a shiny new drama caught your eye? –girlfriday
Currently recapping: Legend of the Blue Sea, The Lonely Shining Goblin
Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim: This show is so weird, but I kind of love the bizarreness. When “Hey Jude” played and everything went slow-mo as all hell broke loose, I died laughing—and that moment actually was the tipping point when I decided I would go with the show wherever it went. I still don’t care about the battle between the two hospitals (within only one of the hospitals), but the characters are weird and the tone is weird and it’s great. I loved when both boys were getting all dramatic on Seo Hyun-jin, and she basically rolled her eyes and called them children.
Night Light: This week got quite interesting with the relationship between the two ladies, and the dynamic is shaping up to be fascinating. I liked seeing UEE’s admiration (near-hero worship) actually making a dent in Lee Yo-won’s ice layer, and I find it very interesting how Lee Yo-won seems to appreciate and like UEE, but gives her absolutely zero benefit of the doubt. Jin Gu’s character (sadly! Very sadly!) bores me, but the women are going to make this sizzle. And man, don’t I wish I had a mentor handing me thousands of dollars and teaching me how to spend frivolously like it’s a life skill I need to learn. *dreams*
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: Aw, it’s so sweet and heartfelt. I do really enjoy it, even though I have to periodically pause my screen because there’s only so much secondhand mortification I can handle at a time. I have nothing in common with Bok-ju, but her life and day-to-day struggles are so universal and true to real life that I don’t doubt a great many of us see ourselves in her. I’d like my playful, hot swimmer admirer to show up any day now, please.
Entourage: I keep watching this. My overall impression of the show has not changed in weeks, but either the show is getting better at moving plot along, or I’m just getting more used to and therefore fond of the characters, in the way that you sort of start liking those annoying neighbors you used to find a pain who are now at least sometimes fun. I do think that Jo Jin-woong’s firing and Seo Kang-joon’s show of loyalty were crucial to bringing me back to liking them, because it gave them more than flashy surface to their characters.
This Week, My Wife Will Have an Affair: Ah, I love this show. I’m almost even sad it’s ending this weekend, although I am equally relieved, because this 12-episode length and current place in the story give me hope that this might actually be that rare perfectly paced drama. Boa and Lee Sang-yub were utterly charming in last weekend’s episodes, and I love that they seem perfect for each other in ways that go beyond attraction and intellectual compatibility—they actually also work very well as a family unit, and that’s a really heartwarming thing to see. Yoon-ki, eh, well let’s just say I’m hoping his wife’s revenge is epic.
Currently recapping: Legend of the Blue Sea, The Lonely Shining Goblin
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: This show is like a straight shot of sunshine right to the veins—I find myself looking forward to every new episode because I know it’ll put me in such a good mood. Until this week, I was all about the bickering immature friendship. Then, the friendship was invaded by new fluttery feelings, sprinkling every hilarious interaction with a giddy dose of romance, and now I can’t get enough of it.
Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim: The situations are ridiculous on this show, but it’s acted and directed so well that I’m glued to the screen for the whole hour. It’s also nice to watch a drama where they’re not afraid to make characters unlikable at times, knowing that there’s more to be gained in the long run if everyone is flawed in complex ways (especially when I end up liking everyone again by the end of the episode anyway). Okay, so maybe they don’t need to be so deeply, deeply flawed, but it sure makes for good television.
Entourage: Finally, some drama up in this drama. I don’t expect this show to suddenly change and learn how to mine its own conflict properly, but I’m much more interested in what happens to our characters now that the fancy power agent is out on the street and down to one client. That puts Seo Kang-joon’s flighty actor in direct contention with Jo Jin-woong’s survival, and that’s something I want to watch.
The Man Living in Our House: I want to stop being annoyed at the couple for not being together when they so obviously want to be together. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that a story that begins with noble idiocy will beget more nobility and more idiocy. I just don’t know why they won’t go with the easy solution. I mean, what’s one more contract marriage at this point?
Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim: I know this is a weird reaction to have, but the hero worship going on between Seo-jung and Teacher Kim actually makes me think less of both characters. Obviously, she’s very principled and believes in Teacher Kim completely, but when it’s to the extent that she’s apologizing over and over again for inconveniencing him when someone’s got a knife to her throat, it’s too much. I want her to find her own identity and sense of self.
Legend of the Blue Sea: I wasn’t as into the show as I hoped I’d be last week, but this week, everything changed. It’s fun and cute and crack-y and delightful now, even with all the unanswered questions. I wonder if we can all agree that blowing money on a foreign shoot for the first few episodes is never a good idea, though. I feel like we could have gotten much more done if we’d just focused on the characters more than the flashy scenery, but c’est la vie. At least it’s super fun now.
This Week, My Wife Will Have an Affair: I fall more and more in love with the directing with each passing episode. Yoon-ki belongs in a different show (one I would never watch), but the Joon-young/Bo-young couple is aces.
Oh My Geum-bi: This small show manages to be so profound each week that it honestly leaves me in awe. Daddy Hwi-chul and Geum-bi are my new favorite OTP—he may not deserve her, but he sure as hell needs her.
Entertainer: After finishing it, I feel a bit bad about how violently (…and vocally) I disliked aspects of this show. The final two episodes were actually really endearing and heartwarming (and sufficiently bromantic), and that low-key ending suited it so much better. I still think pushing the romance early on was a misstep, and that 18-episode run stretched an insufficient plot too thin—there just wasn’t enough of it. Still. Good ending, and I’m ready for Ji Sung not to be woefully misused anymore.
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: Awwwww this show! It’s so cute, I like it so much! I neglected starting it sooner because I’d forgotten that it was from the High School King of Savvy/Oh My Ghostess writer! The biggest and most pleasant surprise for me is Nam Joo-hyuk. I remember him in Who Are You—School 2015, and…they are not good memories. Like, there was that episode he spent Brooding, and I laughed for ages over his I Am Reflecting Deeply face. I liked him better in Cheese in the Trap; it’s so good when actors get better. He’s shown so much more nuance and emotion already as Joon-hyung, and his unstoppable-puppy mode when he’s anywhere near Bok-ju is so, so adorable. And I love the flavor of the friendship between Bok-ju and her girlfriends, too, although I could do without the meanie mean-girls, mopey moping ex, and irritating body stereotypes. Those bits aside, just about every moment of this show puts me in my happy place. Happy happy happy.
Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim: I picked this up because I heard it was moody and thrilling, and of course I thought, yes please. So I blitzed through every available episode… and I think I love this show. Weirdly, I don’t quite like any of the main trio, but their ambiguity makes them exciting to watch, and now I’m rooting for them out of curiosity and fascination. Even the inter-doctor politics have a serrated edge that keeps things from getting dull. It’s all mind games and maneuverings, just how I like it: dark and cerebral, slashing fast, and cutting deep.
Currently recapping: Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: So adorable. The jealousy! The feels! After Shopping King Louis ended, I needed something sweet in my life, and found Bok-ju. Joon-young’s elementary schooler mindset when it comes to his infatuation with Bok-ju is both endearing and entirely frustrating. The character developments and subplots transition so naturally — I can totally imagine this actually happening IRL. Well apart from all the coincidental raining and wrist-grabbing (which I have never actually seen happen outside of dramas…).
Night Light: Womance and girl power. It’s the latest trend in Korean dramas (Fantastic, Age of Youth, One More Happy Ending), but few do it as well as Night Light. Although Jin Gu’s performance is top-notch, his character’s lingering lovelorn feelings cannot hold a candle to the fiery chemistry between Yi-kyung and Se-jin. Their mentor-apprentice dynamic is one that I did not expect would work, but does so deliciously.
Legend of the Blue Sea: Now that Joon-jae is an awkward Daddy Long Legs who’s in denial about his feelings, he’s so much more likable. I love how Chung’s genuine innocence and her open heart have completely blown past Joon-jae’s cynical guardedness and he just wants to make her happy. Even if that means using his con artist powers for (gasp) good. I do hope some of our questions about mermaid lore and what the rules actually are get answered soon, though. Also, the Magical First Snow of True Love is really working overtime in this show. Still, the ridiculous elements in this drama make me laugh rather than drive me up the wall, so I don’t mind them too much. It helps that for the most part the show doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Woman With a Suitcase: I had a few episodes left and I finished them this week, and I have to say this show really went out with a whimper. It wasn’t a terrible show and was even quite watchable, but it’s a shame that such a talented cast wasn’t given a chance to shine in the way they had the potential to. The romance also acted like it was going somewhere… and then ground to verrrry slow roll. (Kind of like a heavy suitcase, hur.)
Signal: I know. I can’t believe it took me this long to start watching it either. You guys were right, IT’S SO GOOD.
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (November 26, 2016)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (November 19, 2016)
- 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)