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Premiere Watch: Circle, Fight My Way, Lookout

Tomorrow should be a very interesting day, with three competitors launching all at the same time and doing their best to command the most eyeballs right out of the gates. Technically, only two are direct competitors since tvN’s drama airs an hour after the rest, but it’s still going to be a fight to see who garners the most interest and the biggest piece of the pie. All three new shows are quite different in genre and approach, so on the upside, we can start the week with a little variety.

Moreover, today’s crowded premiere schedule also coincides with Whisper’s finale week—which means we’ll have yet another premiere joining us next week with the launch of My Sassy Girl. But first things first!

 

Circle (also Circle: Two Connected Worlds)

Time slot: Monday & Tuesday
Broadcaster: tvN
Genre: Sci-fi, mystery
Episode count: 10

Reasons to watch: There are a lot of factors that make me anticipate Circle’s premiere, like the fact that it stars commanding young actor Yeo Jin-gu (Jackpot), who is great in everything, and Kim Kang-woo (Goodbye, Mr. Black), whom I have realized I like very much when he’s playing intense types, villains, or characters with zero romantic storylines. There’s also the experimental split structure that I find interesting, with one part taking place in the present and the other in the future.

But really, it’s the drama’s straight-up sci-fi classification that has me the most excited, because dramaland just doesn’t do enough straight-up sci-fi (what sci-fi it does attempt is often tempered with other genres, like vampire thrillers or time-traveling romances). Also, the last series with a strong, clear sci-fi bent that I can think of was also from tvN and ranks as one of my all-time favorites, Joseon X-Files. So I’m looking forward very much to watching this plot unfold about aliens visiting Earth, and seeing through the dual timelines how that develops over the course of 20 years. I don’t expect romance or comedy or horror or thrills, just a single, high-concept narrative that is told in what I hope is a crisp, short-n-sweet story.

(Note: Originally announced as 12 episodes, I’ve seen recent articles also cite 10 episodes. I’m not 100% certain what the true final count is, but heads up in case this number changes again.)

 

Fight My Way

Time slot: Monday & Tuesday
Broadcaster: KBS
Genre: Romantic comedy, drama
Episode count: 16

Reasons to watch: Okay, so Park Seo-joon (Hwarang) doesn’t always pick winners (see: Hwarang), but he does have a pretty good track record of solid projects and he generally does well in them with his warm, relatable appeal; Kim Ji-won has proven herself playing strong second leads (Heirs, Descended From the Sun) and is finally getting her big break as leading lady. I’m eager to see them both on their own merits and as a couple with hopefully strong chemistry as they bicker and fight along the way to finding love.

The premise is fairly low-concept, so it’s difficult to predict how the drama will feel based just on the plot description of young adults struggling in third-rate lives, who’ve given up on ambitious dreams and have few prospects for a better outcome. (The drama seems to have dropped the title’s pun on the word third-rate (sanmai) but the idea of third-rate is still baked into the premise. I suppose the fight (ssam) pun is less esoteric, and as a bonus it’s still applicable to the concept of struggle.) When done right, this kind of youthful coming-into-adulthood story can feel poignant and universal, and the show feels like a refreshing gust of wind, with some parts comedy, some parts romance, and some parts personal growth.

 

Lookout

Time slot: Monday & Tuesday
Broadcaster: MBC
Genre: Action, thriller
Episode count: 16

Reasons to watch: If I had to bet, I’d call Lookout the underdog of this trio (although don’t hold me to that prediction because hey, sometimes you just can’t tell what audiences will like). It’s not because anything about the story is unappealing—it’s got underdog triumph written all over it, and vigilante justice can have a strong feel-good attraction to it.

I think the show will depend on the chemistry of the so-called Lookouts, the ordinary folks who come together to catch criminals when the system fails them, and on the upside we have a good mix of personalities: Lee Shi-young (My Beautiful Bride) as an ex-detective who loses her daughter; Kim Young-kwang (Man Living in Our House) as a cold prosecutor with a hidden agenda; Kim Tae-hoon (Fantastic) as the righteous, idealistic prosecutor; Kim Seul-gi (Second to Last Love) as a young woman who turned into a complete recluse after falling victim to a crime; and Key (Drinking Solo) as a friendly genius hacker. The group is just different enough that I can see them clashing at the start, but with conflict paving the way for a satisfying process of coming together.

I like Lee Shi-young best when she’s being badass (probably because she projects badass so strongly in her real personality), and it looks like she’s got some spiffy action scenes for us—I expect good things from the Two Weeks director! Man, did that guy know how to create heart-pounding sequences and nerve-racking cliffhangers. Dramas that focus too much on institutional corruption can get frustrating for me, but under strong direction, they can be suspenseful and dramatic. I’ll cross my fingers.

 
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Goshhhh... I'm loaded for Monday & Tuesday lol

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same feeling! I was saddened with Tunnel's finale but Im glad that there are new shows to watch out for..

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If I have to have a day overloaded, I'm glad it's Mon/Tues--I can always use an extra reason to wake up on Mondays, ya know??

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I am all over Fight My Way. I love the premise, plus, It looks like the cast is having fun shooting it, which should show in the drama, right???

Whatever the case, I've already fallen hard.

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Yeah me too! Out of these premieres I am looking forward Fight My Way the most!

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Me too.. I really wish Fight My Way to be good and not disappointing like Uncontrollably Fond (too much hype and supposed to be youthful story but ends up too slow and melancholic)

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I feel like there hasn't been a lot of hype for Fight My Way. My feeling is that it will be a good drama, but with low ratings- similar to Radiant Office and Bubblegum. I really like the teasers so far.

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I think it is quite hyped but not to extend of how UF was hyped- maybe Park Seo Joon and Kim Ji Won not the same level of Kim Woo Bin, Suzy (in term of popularity and hallyu star status). I think it has the potential to at least stay in double digit or become the sleeper hit like Chief Kim if the plot is good to watch, esp Whisper is about to end.

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Gaahh, I'm right there along with you.

For some reason, I missed the fact that Kim Sung-oh was part of the cast, but now that I know... I'm anticipating the show even more. His comedic acting is gold, I can't wait.

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They all look great ! I don't know which on I will watch first.

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I don't know if I want to treat Fight My Way as an I'm hungry AF meal and just go for the meal or treat it like a tasty desert I've been craving. Meh, I think I'll go with it first just incase anything happens to turn me off from watching it.

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*dessert, oops. lol.

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@Wishful Toki just asked for this 😌

Thanks @javabeans💜

I am excited for all three shows which will start tomorrow! Upcoming week will be so buzy for us.

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That was seriously the fastest wish I was ever granted. Thank you javabeans!

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I'm still confused when Shin Dong Wook dropped out of Lookout? Wasn't he rumored to be in it?

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I'm not sure why you think he dropped out. According to the official site's character map, he's playing the half-brother of Kim Young-kwang's character.

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Oh! With the teasers and trailers I kept up with, he was nowhere to be found. So I thought he didn't continue it.

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He makes his appearance in the highlight video, so no worries. :)

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Thanks for that news on Shin Dong-wook, orion. I figured the powers who be may be avoiding hype overload. What a refreshing concept. ;-)

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I forgot he was in it!! Now this drama list is like caviar to me... *heart eye*

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Oh, he was there, alright. looking like he barely aged a day since a last saw him in Soulmate.

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Ahh, another wave of new dramas! My Sassy Girl airs next week and I'd be watching every timeslot starting next week. Because I really like the casts, and also, I can't not give any one of them a try, especially when most of them are highly anticipated, and I can't predict who will be the winner and how good/bad their plots are going to be. No matter what, I think I am really going to be busy with catching up with every dramas (as if I haven't been already, hahah xD)

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There is something I have been wondering... Will Fight My Way and Lookout follow Wed-Thurs' new dramas' way of airing, splitting their episode into half?...

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im not sure about lookout but kbs hasnt decided on split episode yet so fight my way will be as usual

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I kinda hope not--it's sorta annoying and gets me all confused about what episode I'm actually on.

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Love this new feature post. thank u.

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Aaah! Finally! I was lacking a Mon-Tues drama and now there are three!! Be careful what you wish for!! :D Not that I am complaining :P

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Waiting for Circle! Whether 10 or 12 episodes, this looks to have tight storytelling and great acting. Fingers crossed!

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MBC script contest only take 4 first script eps to award, so script can weaker in the middle and the end just like Radiant Office.

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More time! More time!

With all the new dramas, this is what I need!

Looking forward to checking out the new shows.

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I think Circle will stay the same 1-2%. Even the story is good but it doesnt have enough buzz for people to pay attention.

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If it gets strong word of mouth, I could see it going a bit higher. It might turn out too niche to do that well though.

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Or the lack of sci-fi options in the kdrama landscape could lead a good number of people to tune in? Alien invasions creep me out, but whole emotion-regulation-to-form-a-crimeless-society reminds me a little of one of my favorite animes- Psychopass- so I'm going to tune in.

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TvN is quite neglected some of their drama this year, maybe spent too much on Goblin - so lack of budget for promotion for other drama like Chicago Typewriter, Circle and upcoming Secret Forest. Casted top actors also cost more.

Now it depends on word of mouth. I only wish the quality is good regardless of the rating.

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I noticed about the lack of promotions for Circle

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too bad because it's good. And the ratings were very decent.

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I have to agree. The anticipation and buzz for this drama is really low, so I won't expect anything ratings wise. Even Kim Kangwoo avoided talking about the ratings during the presscon. I just really want a good and solid story for Circle. And hopefully, if the story is good it would spread out through word of mouth like Reply 1997.

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MONDAY is packed! And I still haven't caught up with Whisper.... Probably one that is better to marathon.

Oh, I didn't realize Circle could be only 10 episodes. The sci-fi genre is uncommon and a tough one to tackle. I hope they have enough time to tell a satisfying story. Excited for this drama though. Don't know much about Yeo Jin Gu (cept I heard he is good), but Kim Kang Woo is great. Liked him ever since I saw him in Missing Noir M.

Fight My Way!!! So hyped for this show. PLEASE DELIVER. I hope the ratings for it will be decent since youthful dramas don't tend to have high ratings. And I think it will be tough since this show will up against Whisper's final episodes.

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You should watch Kim Kang-woo in Story of a Man. Blew me away there.

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I was about to mention that and it's still my favorite Kim Kang-woo show.

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Thanks to you and Kiara for the recommendation! ^^ I haven't heard of that drama. Will add it to my long to-watch list. xD

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Joseon X-files was only 12 episodes and it was fantastic. Even more challenging as a sci-fi sageuk.

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Ah true! ^^ Been meaning to watch that drama.

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so much to watch!!!! Will start Fight my way for sure.

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Circle intrigues me! I do love a good sci-fi show. Sadly, I don't have time to fit that along with Lookout... or maybe I'll make time somehow, haha.

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That's how to describe Yeo Jin-goo. He always have a commanding presence for such a young actor and hell to the yes he is good at everything.

Lee Shi-young needs a good drama. "Beautiful Bride" was a one man show. Kim Moo-yul overshadowed everyone else.
I hope this is her turn to shine.

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So many shows, so little time. Is sleep necessary?

Looking forward to all of these, but especially can't wait for Fight My Way. The Park Seo-joon/Kim Ji-won pairing looks awesome. I'm hoping for a Bottom of the 9th vibe, with those two growing into feelings with age. Though really I'll take any kind of friends to lovers combo.

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If my track record is anything to go by.... no. Sleep is strictly optional. Monday nights about to get wild, amiright??

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I'm going to give all three a chance, but I'm most looking forward to Fight My Way, followed by Lookout. In both cases, I'm excited because of an actor, Park Seo-joon and Kim Young-kwang respectively. FMW has a leg up because I adore Seo-joon--although I still haven't seen She Was Pretty yet, 😣--and "friends turned lovers" is one of my favourite subgenres. He isn't the only one who picked a lemon or two from time to time though, so I'll give him a pass on that. Park Hyung Sik bounced back pretty ok, arguably.

I don't get the hate that Seo-joon gets, but hey.

I'm interested to see how Circle turns out, but that's what I said for all the other non-love story shows that I never ended up making much of a dent into. It might make matters worse that all of these premiers are on the same freaking day.

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It never seemed to me that Park Seo Joon gets a lot of hate. It doesn't seem like people feel strongly about him one way or another, like other actors in his age group. But sadly, that also means he doesn't stand out as much despite giving solid and consistent performances.

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I really can't type today. I meant to say I don't understand the hate that Kim Young-kwang gets. That's what I gathered from comments etc. from Sweet Stranger and Me/The Man Living in Our House.

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I think he acting isn't all that bad. Not great, but not as awful as some make it out to be.

I do admit that there is something about his face that feels a little smirky and snooty. And those ill-advised interview comments he made years ago about how he will automatically dislike people based on looks didn't help. It can be difficult to separate personal feelings about the actor from the acting.

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I always love Park Seo Joon, although I couldn't finish Hwarang, but I heard some fans praised his performance on that (and said he acted better than Park Hyun Sik) already made me happy, because mostly I heard praises for PHS.

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I'm excited for everything but i know i'll be busy so i can only watch one, so tomorrow i'll have to choose.

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i hardly know any of the cast in circle except yeo jin goo( who is awesome by the way) but i love alien shows..so i will be giving circle a try....i will definitely be watching fight my way..not so sure about lookout

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Yay, the new dramas are almost here! Will definitely be checking out all three tomorrow, although like quite a number of folks here, I'm looking forward to Fight My Way the most. Fingers crossed!

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I plan to watch Circle and still haven't been interested to the other competitors yet. I don't know why. I love Kim Ji Won and Park Seo Joon, Lee Shi Young and Kim Young Kwang... and even Shin Dong Wook (God knows I miss him since the end of Falling Stars). Maybe it is the descriptions or the promotional posters that haven't been able to hook me yet.

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I'm so happy that Circle is only 10/12 episodes - hopefully it'll translate to tighter storytelling. I love YJG (he is ridiculously good) but recently his tv choices have been disappointing and haven't made the most of his talent. Finger crossed this will. If it could be half as good as Joseon X Files... I would love it!!

I'm tentatively excited for Fight My Way too. I haven't liked PSJ's recent dramas but I remember enjoying him in Witch's Romance and One Warm Word. The rest of the cast seems solid too. I haven't seen much of Kim Ji Won but we need more promising young actresses to rise so I'm happy she's finally got her first lead role. I'm hoping this will be more slice of life/embody a lowkey kind of charm like Age of Youth. Also the best friends to lovers trope is my favourite thing ever, so if this disappoints I will be so mad lol.

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My monday and tuesday slot is now SUPER busy. I didn't realized that these three will air all at the same time, in all similar schedules. Soo. How do I get Hermione's time turner.

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As if I didn't already have enough shows to watch *cries*

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New feature seem really helpful for me, I am the one who need suggestion for choosing this slot
Thanks for your recommendation

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The one I'm really looking forward to is Circle. The split premise is really cool and plus, aliens. I'm sold!

Fight My Way, I'm kind of ambivalent about. The teasers look really cute so far but it's not a show I'm dying to watch. But who knows? Maybe I'll end up watching it once its done.

Lookout, I'm probably going to pass on it. I've had my fill of shows which deal with law and order and the crooked justice system. Maybe some other time?

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I'm in a for light-hearted shows this spring-summer. I was busy with my crime dramas these past few months except for Mystery Queen.

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I feel like I'm watching/will be watching every single drama airing in May... they just all interest me! But where do I find the TIME to watch them all?!!

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SO PSYCHED

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Thanks for another great Premiere Watch(TM), javabeans! It did its job: CIRCLE wasn't on my radar at all. It's up against LOOKOUT and Shin Dong-wook's return to acting, along with a passel of other shows that have riveted my attention. The title didn't grab me at all. Now that I know it's a short sci-fi series with Yeo Jin-gu, I'll find a way to squeeze it in. I loved his performance in ORANGE MARMALADE. ;-)

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It's going to be a very good month. I love every single one of the leads. This drama season was created for me, I think!

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Nooooooooooooooo

I forgot about Circle. Why can't the good dramas pace themselves to fit my schedule? 😅 For a while there I was only watching Father is Strange and I had so much extra time.

On a side note, I just noticed that the list of Currently Airing Dramas is back on the sidebar! Yay! Thank you!

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Really like this new feature. Let's me know what to look forward to. Hope this will become a regular post!

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Are these tears of joy or stress that I'm crying? Idk

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Looking forward to Fight My Way and My Sassy Girl. Finally some light-hearted comedy dramas coming my way, along with The Best Hit.

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Ooh, I forgot about My Sassy girl. Looking forward to that too.

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This will be an exciting week!!

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I'll definitely tune in for Fight My Way, I find the teaser cute and Kim Ji Won&Park Seo Joon extremely adorable.

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So excited for Circle. There needs to be more purely sci-fi kdramas.

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Sometimes a kdrama that's only 10 - 12 episodes long is just what's needed and better because of it.

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Agree.

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I am wherever Yeo Jingoo is so... Circle, go, go, go!!! I just really want a good and solid storyline... from what I've seen so far the acting from the cast looks great and I was so thrilled by all the teasers. Good luck, Circle! My entire money and fortune is on you. :D

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I still haven't decided which one to watch first yet. #Stress.

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I'll watch Lookout first because that's the show I'm most curious about.

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Eotteokhae! (if I spell it right) How will I be able to marathon some finished dramas if there are new, interesting shows like these? 😭😭 My life purely revolves on kdramas now. No time to go out. Hahaha! 😂😂

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How am I catching up with all of this new dramas? Should I throw out my social life for them? XD

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I am going to watch Circle and Lookout since I like the premise.

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I'm looking forward to all three. With seven days queen, the best hit and duel premiere next week, and currently watching suspicious partner and my secret romance, guess I will just say goodbye to my bed

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Oh and I forgot to count variety show as well since I also watch 2 days 1 night and may26 premiere of highlight's vlive music-slip show. Great time to be a kdrama fan

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2017 is Daebak! <3

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Love all three, but am biased towards Fight My Way because of KJW's first leading role!

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I am SO excited for all 3 of these! I went to not having any dramas I was interested in to a drama overload!

My to watch list:

Man to Man
Tunnel
Suspicious Partner
Ruler: Master of the Mask
Fight My Way
Lookout

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