Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching
by DB Staff
How was everyone’s week in dramaland? I fully intended to watch more of the new shows this week, but real life got in the way, darn it all. Tell us how the new dramas stacked up against the rest, and what I should add to my watchlist that can’t be missed! –girlfriday
Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: Going into this drama, I thought Ji-soo was great casting because of his history of playing the backup dude you feel for, but I only have eyes for Park Hyung-shik in this one. Things are getting swoony, and I love it.
Father, I’ll Take Care of You: I like that the brothers’ storyline has taken center stage, and that it’s an uphill battle for them to figure out what their relationships should be. Also, it gives us less time with the screechy Mom/grandma/sister characters; I was so aggravated when they berated Hyun-woo for daring to yell at an elder when that elder was responsible for his father’s death. I’m telling myself it’ll be extra satisfying when they finally get the whole story, but until now I’m doing my best to tune them out.
Father Is Strange: So far this tone is really working for me: This show isn’t without its annoying characters, but for the most part everyone in the main cast is sympathetic and interesting, and their interactions are good-natured. I’m assuming Lee Joon’s birth secret has to be a misunderstanding, but for now I’m curious to see how he fits into the bustling clan. GIven how lonely he seems, it can only be good for him, right?
Three Color Fantasy: Queen of the Ring: I feel like this drama was trying to be progressive and open-minded about beauty standards, but it made such a point of saying that he thought Kim Seul-gi seemed pretty to him because he liked her, and not that she was actually beautiful in her own way. This show treated beauty like a hard-and-fast rule, as though Kim Seul-gi would never be seen as attractive by anyone but the two guys who fell for her personality, and that they were special for seeing past her ugly shell while the rest of the world still thought her ugly. It didn’t set well with me all throughout the show, and when it ended on that note, it soured the rest of the experience for me.
Defendant: Overall a very satisfying and addictive ride, but I was disappointed by how easy it all seemed in the end, for Ji Sung to just suddenly catch all of the breaks and make all of the right moves to finally defeat Eom Ki-joon. Obviously I would’ve been even more upset if he hadn’t gotten justice, but I thought a few twists would have served the story well in the final quarter. It wasn’t a very complex story, but it sure was fun to watch.
Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People: The romance kind of happened too quickly, but it was so cute that I found myself not caring that it was suddenly dropped into our laps. When Chae Soo-bin thought she couldn’t be loved because she was just a plain Jane, my heart went out to her, and now I won’t be satisfied until they get married and have a whole gaggle of freakishly strong children.
Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: Be still my fluttering heart.
Tomorrow With You: It took me a really long time to get through last weekend’s episodes, because it seemed really dumb of Lee Je-hoon not to suspect worse of his evil ex-employee, and then also dumb of Shin Mina not to share that she might suspect him of murder! It was just a very frustrating week for the good guys.
Youn’s Kitchen: I thought it sounded a little nuts of Na PD to just drop actors off on a tropical island and make them run a restaurant for the first time in their lives, but apparently this is possible. The show mostly rides on Yoon Yeo-jung’s sassy charm, while Jung Yumi is adorable and Seo-jinnie is his usual self. Mostly though, I’m watching it thinking that a tropical vacation would be really nice right about now.
Radiant Office: This is a bit of a weird watch for me, since there are things about the show that I genuinely do like, and while there aren’t parts of it I don’t like, I’m surprised to feel this ambivalent in only the second week. I can kind of see what we’re building up to with Woo-jin and Ho-won’s relationship, but maybe this is all just stemming from my disappointment in seeing Ha Suk-jin play the same character again. Or maybe I’m just unfairly comparing this office drama to Chief Kim, which delivers on the gags a little less awkwardly. Whatever the case, I’m not tuning out anytime soon.
Chief Kim: It’d be easy to dismiss Chief Kim for being too wacky to deliver on its more serious beats, except that it actually manages to handle both sides of the emotional spectrum surprisingly well week after week. I can think of so many shows where the wacky, offbeat humor felt like something just thrown in to break the melodrama up (especially when weird musical cues are thrown in to tell us that This Is A Hilarious Moment), but the humor is such a part of Chief Kim’s identity that it’s impossible to think of it without all of the gags. And while it’s easy to throw jokes at us, the best thing about these jokes is that they land every time, and manage to even be relatable despite the oddity of the situations going on. This production knows exactly what it is, which is why I’ll be sad to see this one go. Also: PUPPY YUL IS BACK!
The Liar and His Lover: I’m trying so very hard to see Lee Hyun-woo as an adult who’s capable of living in his own house, but he still looks like he belongs in high school. However, I’m excited to see him in a role with a little bit of meat on it, since I still remember his stunning performance in Equator Man. I tend to shy away from cold, douchey male leads, especially when the heroine is the equivalent of a bundle of puppies, but I can see how the dynamic is going to work for the dramatic angle later. The editing’s a little all over the place, but otherwise, this seems like it’ll be a winning addition to the youth drama genre.
Defendant: I’ll admit to being the teensiest bit disappointed with the way Min-ho’s story wrapped up, since it felt like they kept him in the game long past his expiration date only to take him out with a newfound sense of sentimentality that we hadn’t really seen from him before. I would’ve preferred it if Jung-woo had actually managed to break him mentally, even if he kind of did, though he used a character that seems to have been written in just for the purpose. But that’s all small stuff compared to how the show managed to keep us on the edge of our seats week after week, and not without a little bit of irony—how funny was it that they used a toy Truck of Doom to torture the guy who’s been using a Truck of Doom to kill people with impunity all series long?
Perfect Wife: What is this show? The revenge scheme, or whatever it is, got much too complicated as of the fourth episode, and they just keep piling weird absurdities on top of weird absurdities. So Eun-hee not only married the heroine’s first love for revenge, but she hired a girl to break up the heroine’s marriage because she’s been in love with her awful, awful husband all along? So she invited the couple to stay in her house and also maybe wants to purloin their kid because…? That the show keeps managing to one-up itself on the twists isn’t necessarily something we should be lauding, because if that’s all it took, then M. Night Shyamalan would still be considered a hit filmmaker.
Radiant Office: Only two episodes in, but I am hooked! Finally a 2017 k-drama that grabbed my attention from the pilot. Not sure why Ha Suk-jin was cast to play the same iteration of the grouchy boss (see: Drinking Solo), but I’m here for Go Ah-sung who is doing an excellent job of tugging at my heartstrings, much like Im Shi-wan did in Misaeng. I get Misaeng vibes from this, which are certainly very good vibes to have, and Hoya and Lee Dong-hwi perfectly complete the temp trio who just can’t catch a break.
Currently recapping: Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People
Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: Kyahh~ yes! The romance between Park Hyung-shik and Park Bo-young is finally heating up. To be honest, I could completely do without the Bridestealer bit, or even Ji-soo’s character (I know it’s a shock to me too because I thought I could love him in everything). But the heart of this drama is really Bong-soon, her tight-knit family, her growth with Min-hyuk’s support, and the juxtaposition between her and Min-hyuk’s own background. Of course their family is not perfect, but whose is? The warmth and loving relationships, that’s shown right along with the flaws and emotional hurdles, are what’s really driving me to check into this show every week.
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (March 18, 2017)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (March 11, 2017)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (March 4, 2017)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (February 25, 2017)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (February 18, 2017)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (February 11, 2017)
Tags: 1 show to rule them all, Chief Kim, Defendant, Father I'll Take Care of You, Father Is Strange, Perfect Wife, Radiant Office, Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People, Strong Woman Do Bong-soon, The Liar and His Lover, Tomorrow With You, What We're Watching