Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching
by DB Staff
Merry whichever-seasonal-festivity-you-celebrate! Hope your end-of-year holiday season has been warm and fuzzy, and that your drama-watching has been happily satisfying. Or maybe you’ve taken a break to spend time with people instead, which is probably a good idea too. Me, well, there’s no curing the addiction, so the dramas play on. –javabeans
Currently recapping: Legend of the Blue Sea, The Lonely Shining Goblin
Hwarang: I wasn’t entirely sure how I felt about the show heading in; I felt tentatively positive after the first episode, although I don’t quite love this kind of jokey period modernization for a sageuk that’s capable of carrying a lot of heart. It’s what a think of as a Shrek-like view of the past, where we have anachronistic modernisms that are meant to be cheeky fun. But I actually found that there was more meat and depth in the second episode, and thought we could do away with the jokey tone entirely, because Park Seo-joon is showing signs of heart-tugging emotion, and the main trio are interesting characters on their own. As for the pre-produced question, I do think it’s safely better than Moon Lovers on the production value front. It isn’t, at least, a hot mess.
Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim: This show reminds me of Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho, in a good way, in that both shows took the everyman’s side in the myriad injustices suffered against the corrupt elites of the world, and raised your blood pressure a little while the little guy suffered, but only just enough to make the turnaround really satisfying. Neither show was that complex about the conflict—rich people awful, poor people deserve better—but both shows are great at concocting that gratifying comeuppance.
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: Nam Joo-hyuk being jealous of Ji-soo was my favorite thing this week, which was a week with a lot of highlights to choose from. Generally Nam Joo-hyuk being jealous is adorable, but what I particularly enjoy about this romantic awakening is that the characters are pretty mature about their reactions to their feelings—they feel things, they communicate with each other, and then they take action. How refreshing is that!
Entourage: There’s an old Korean term that describes constant tribulations as encountering “mountains after mountains,” which, in Entourage’s case, is more like molehills after molehills. Every episode cliffhanger makes me laugh from the extra-dramatic touch, when really, you’re thinking, “Oh this again? Just make the damned movie already. Or not. Whatever!” I may have stood up and done a little cheer when Ho-jin finally told Young-bin off—although, as usual, I expect the show to deflate that situation right away and take care of it in the most anemic way possible.
Father, I’ll Take Care of You: Why did I randomly decide to pick up a fifty-episode weekend drama with a million cast members? I DON’T KNOW. It’s probably mostly because of Park Eun-bin, and a tiny bit because I’ve been eager to see Lee Tae-hwan take on a leading romantic role after sidelining in W and Come Back, Ajusshi, and then the show launched these two into a loveline so immediately that I was suckered in right away. I didn’t know why he was already looking at her with moony calf eyes from Day 1, but I’m eating it all up—especially when they later realize they’re in-laws and he seems extra bummed about it. I don’t even worry about the not-even-that-incestuous relationship because a show this simple and light is going to take care of that problem neatly (I’d bet on birth secret)—it just might take forty episodes. But while I watched all the family stuff at first to get a sense of who’s who (there are too many characters!), I find myself fast-forwarding every other storyline, even Lee Soo-kyung’s.
Currently recapping: Legend of the Blue Sea, The Lonely Shining Goblin
Solomon’s Perjury: The opening was slow, but it’s a thoughtful show with some dark and unusual characters and a compelling mystery, and I expect it to really take off once the students begin to actively investigate their classmate’s death for themselves. As a start, I’m glad that we could connect emotionally to the budding friendship between Kim Hyun-soo and Seo Ji-hoon, because they’re the most familiar to me from previous dramas, and their tentative new friendship was the one bright spot amidst all the darkness at this school. If they can solve the case and survive the rest of high school and graduate as friends, I’ll be a happy camper.
Hwarang: I was a little worried, but you know what, it’s fun and zippy and not really as slapdash as the teasers made it seem. Park Seo-joon is a natural and the story is already engaging right out of the gate, with a good conflict between the two leading boys who cross paths at a crucial juncture (with promise of bromance and angst to come!). I could really do without seeing Sung Dong-il for the millionth time this year though. It’s starting to confuse me, seeing him all week long in concurrent dramas, being nice and then evil and then evil’s doppleganger, in and out of prison in Silla, Joseon, and chased by cops in Seoul. Stop making my drama worlds collide.
Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim: Thank goodness for the MERS scare. The narrative ploy was obvious, but I totally didn’t care because it got everyone to forget about appearances and just cut to the heart of their feelings. Their hand-holdy, huggy, kissy-face feelings, all of which were well worth the wait. Sometimes, you just need a little death scare to push you past your fears. And your supposedly debilitating PTSD, apparently. *shrugs* Welp, there’s no backing out of this now, sunbae!
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ‘nuff said.
Currently recapping: Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: After all those heavy episodes with Bok-ju feeling depressed because of Jae-yi, I was happy to see moments where she seemed like her old self, especially with her new oppa, Ji-soo. His humorous cameo this week was exactly what this show needed to jump-start it back to its cheerful spirit. I’ve also decided a jealous Joon-hyung is my favorite type of Joon-hyung. All those meta references to them looking alike, implying that they might be family (part of the Moon Lovers family), were golden!
Hwarang: Kwang-soo was the best part of the pilot episode — I wish he had a longer cameo arc. Goguryeo gets so much love from drama-makers (e.g. Jumong, Ja Myung Go, Sword and Flower), but personally, I think Silla was the more interesting kingdom, socioculturally. So I came in with certain expectations for this drama, but unfortunately, my enjoyment of this adaptation’s modern fusion portrayal of Silla is being marred by my materialistic tendencies to notice Park Seo-joon’s weird rat-nest hair. Typical K-drama addict problems…
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (December 17, 2016)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (December 10, 2016)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (December 3, 2016)
- 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)