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Premiere Watch: Individualist Ji-young, Ruler, Suspicious Partner

With all these dramas ready to air, in the works to air, or currently airing, we realized it can be tricky keeping up with the actual premiere dates of all the new shows. It seemed like it would be helpful to give everyone a last-minute notice right before new shows launched, since I know I never like it when forgetfulness leads to missing something new.

Hence this “Premiere Watch,” which we’re using to alert you to the three new shows airing this week, one each on KBS, MBC, and SBS: the short drama Individualist Ji-young, historical melo Ruler–Master of the Mask, and upbeat romance Suspicious Partner. Let’s see what the week has in store for us!

 

Individualist Ji-young

Time slot: Monday & Tuesday
Broadcaster: KBS
Genre: Drama
Episode count: 2

Reasons to watch: This looks like a quirky and heartwarming oddball romance with an edge, and it’s that edge that has me intrigued. The teasers showed a dark, troubled undertone for the character played by Min Hyo-rin (Persevere, Gu Hae-ra), who lives as a “perfect individualist,” meaning with zero relationship ties to anybody else. Her life seems anxious and moody, and at first you think that makes her the complete opposite to Gong Myung (Drinking Solo), who’s a bouncy, enthusiastic puppy of a young man who can’t live without affection. But he’s suffering just as much an affliction as she is, since going without human contact actually produces serious emotional consequences for him. I’m expecting a story of warmth and healing as they find each other and perhaps find a better middle ground for themselves.

In the tradition of many Drama Specials and mini-dramas, Individualist Ji-young has a low-budget, lo-fi vibe that I find appealing in its understated way. Sometimes that minimal production value can be a detriment, but then again, sometimes you can find gems among the mini-drama subgenre, so I’ll be hoping for a pleasant surprise here.

 

Ruler–Master of the Mask

Time slot: Wednesday & Thursday
Broadcaster: MBC
Genre: Historical, mystery, melodrama, romance
Episode count: 20

Reasons to watch: I know better than to pin all my hopes for a show on the cast, but I can’t help but be swayed by the Yoo Seung-ho/Kim So-hyun match-up here (of Remember–Son’s War and Bring It On, Ghost, respectively). They’re both exceptional young talents from back when they were playing the younger counterparts of everyone under the sun and often stealing the show. (This marks Yoo’s fourth or fifth time playing a king!) Now that they’re young leading stars, I can’t wait to see them tear it up in an intense romantic melo as young lovers turned vengeful enemies (at least on one side—she’s driven by revenge when he becomes responsible for her father’s death).

The story sounds like there’ll be a heavy political component with the shadowy secret society, but the producers seem to know that the young cast is the source of all the buzz, and I expect a lot of work will be put into building up their youthful backstories (all the better to rip our hearts when those bonds are tested by tragedies and challenges). I’m still deeply skeptical of L (She’s So Lovable) having such a prominent role, especially since it pits him directly opposite Yoo Seung-ho when he starts out as the prince’s stand-in and then grows ambitious to claim the throne himself—but if I have to watch with one eye closed, I’ll do it. I also hope the two directors will be able to use him effectively; neither PD has wowed me with past works, but I’m putting an asterisk next to PD Noh Do-chul—his recent dramas haven’t been much to write home about (Twinkle Twinkle, Mother’s Garden), but he did helm old favorite Soulmate, which I always thought was quite smartly directed.

 

Suspicious Partner

Time slot: Wednesday & Thursday
Broadcaster: SBS
Genre: Romantic comedy
Episode count: 20

Reasons to watch: I have a lot of hopes for this show, and am trying not to let expectations get ahead of me. First off, I keep hearing about how Ji Chang-wook (The K2) and Nam Ji-hyun (Shopping King Louis) have such amazing chemistry, and it’s something I can picture readily so I’m impatient to see it in action. She’s one of those actresses who can make any character endearing; she brings a winsome sunniness to her roles. While Ji Chang-wook has done light, comedic roles early in his career, he’s been doing so much serious and action-y roles lately that I feared he’d get typecast as the broody lone wolf. Not that he’s bad at brooding, but he’s got a really sweet wide smile (circa Sons of Sol Pharmacy, Bachelor’s Vegetable Store) that hasn’t been on display much lately, and I’ve missed seeing it.

But this is a case where the cast is just a small reason for my interest, because I’m more drawn in by the writer’s involvement; Kwon Ki-young wrote the small but much-loved mystery-thriller-romance I Remember You (as well as the SBS drama All About My Romance). That drama mixed its genres skillfully and created some memorable characters whose story arcs made my heart pinch with emotion. Directing is PD Park Sun-ho, who doesn’t have any solo credits but did co-direct on Legend of the Blue Sea and Jackpot.

Mostly, this looks like a boisterous, fun kind of rom-com, and I’m really ready for a show like that. Assuming it’s good, of course!

 
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Thank you for this!

I'm so psyched for Ruler, two more days!

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Same! Can't wait

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I guess "can't wait"is going to be our language until these dramas actually start...Can't wait!!!😅

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Hahaha. I'm going around saying can't wait for everything lol. I just hope those don't turn into "can't wait for it to be over!" Lol.

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I was psyched, (and still am), but as I was refreshing naver tv to watch live update videos of Rebel that just aired an hour ago, every video finished with this trailer. As a commenter said, I watched constantly scared the scene between Gildong and Garyung would be rudely interrupted by Yoo Seung Ho's face.

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I am also looking forward to this drama, but will try to check out the other two shows.

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20 episodes each for Ruler and Suspicious Partner?! 😱 I thought it was 16.

Thank you for this post!

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WOW. I want it shorter too.

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I was only expecting Suspicious Partner to ne short, but as for Ruler I think it's okay

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40 episodes for both now -_- Cut up into 30-35 lengths.
I hope it doesn't hurt the flow of the show much, when a channel decides it wants more money and cuts up episodes of a show so it can air ads in between @[email protected]

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I remember you is one my favourite drama and I adore the leads too so I'm most excited about that one. I wish it was a 16 episode drama though.

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I will be forever thankful to that drama for introducing me to Park Bo-Gum. Still can't believe that boy actually made me sympathise with a serial killer.

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SPOILER ALERT for the above comment.

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There were even moments I sympathized with Lee Joon-Ho. I mean, I would never want to run into him in a dark alley and he was evil; but his life was whack and he sincerely thought he was making the world a better place most of the time.

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IRY! Ahhh, so much love that underrated show :'))

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I have been on a k-drama slump since Goblin and Fairy ended in January. I am happy that now I have shows I look forward to seeing. I will definitely check out Ruler and Suspicious Partner! I simply cannot wait! I hope these two will be good and will finally get me out of slump.

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Yes, I already marked Ruler–Master of the Mask and Suspicious Partner as shows to watch! Now I just need to clone myself!!

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HAHA. They're both on my list too! Seriously cannot wait! Tell me how, after you've done it. So I can clone myself too! ;)

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Or, Hermione's TimeTurner necklace should come in handy too...

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Oh, speaking of clones, don't forget to watch Duel! 🤣

I'm just teasin' ya, but it does look good, though. That one airs in June, so no rush.

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True. Will add that to my June list lol.

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Wookie! YSH! Aah, the dilemma. This is one of those times I'm really glad I don't live in SK.

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Yay! This is very helpful! Thanks @javabeans

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Don't forget Ruler has Heo Jun Ho (Beautiful Mind) as the antagonist! Every great King needs a scheming arch-nemesis, and this one is going to be so awesome, in the worst way possible!

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*high fives michykdrama*

The good news is that you won't have to write any medicaps for RULER. "Look, Mom! No neurology!" ;-)

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Haha. Those were a labour of love! I'm still debating if I should watch this because gosh it sounds so angsty!

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I can't agree more. Heo Jun Ho as an antagonist just made it perfect.

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I really can't wait for 'Suspicious Partner' and 'Ruler Master Of the Mask'.... it's gonna be amazing ryt?

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It better be amazing...right?

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it seems you read my mind.... and it's totally rocking!!!!

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Ruler will lead in ratings... K-ahjumas love this sad face actor, YSH

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mostly curious about the individualist drama. btw I saved the picture on my Kdrama sweater board, hope you dont mind.

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Hi redfox. I'm pleased you mentioned your sweater board because I couldn't remember who had posted about it. Is there a link?

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it is the oldest comment on my fan wall, but here is a link again:
https://www.pinterest.com/redfoxestonia/korean-drama-sweaters/

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Thanks for that!

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I kind of want to get started on Ruler of the Mask but recently I've been veering a lot to romcoms because they're just so easy to watch... I don't need to turn on my brain for those! Heavy political plots usually give me a tendency to fast forward.😪

But I'm definitely going to be catching the premiere of Suspicious Partner. I hope it'll be as fun as it looks!

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Thank you Javabeans🤓

Looks like I'll have drama filled weeks from this week on then. Think I'm going to try and watch all three if I've got the time🙃

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Thank you for the reminder.am waiting for all them

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I am so excited with all these new shows! Although I'm not quite sure how to squeeze in all these dramas in my list. But I will definitely watch Suspicious Partner! I want to see Ji Chang Wook in a good drama again. Hopefully, this show won't disappoint me.

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Nam Ji-hyun has such a bright happy smile.

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Yes! This post is everything I needed and just haven't realized yet, thank you~~
(except for suspicious partner, which I'm actually so looking forward to that it's impossible to forget <3)

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* Computing if this will fit in my 4-dramas-&-1-variety-show-only self imposed limit *

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I'm so excited for all these new dramas!

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I have been wishing for some kind of "premiere watch" (without knowing what to call it) for SO LONG! Thank you! It seems like I always manage to miss something.

Now, how to go about getting enough time to watch everything...?

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Oh, also, since I happened to be looking at the currently airing list earlier and noticed it, is there a reason why "Thief-nom, Thief-nim" isn't in the post? Is it because it starts over the weekend? Just curious~

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I'm so excited for this month. The premiere of these shows are so close I don't even know where to start. I'm probably going to have to pace myself with all of these shows (Ruler, Suspicious Partner, and Individualist Ji-Young) along with along with (Fight My Way, Dual, Circle Lookout, 7-Day Queen, and My Sassy Girl) Which ones are you looking more forward to?

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Along with is supposed to be written once

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Thanks for the reminder about SEVEN-DAY QUEEN. I knew there was a sageuk I was missing. I just noticed in AsianWiki that the English title has been changed to QUEEN FOR SEVEN DAYS, and the premiere is May 31 at 10PM on KBS2.

I have a note to myself for variety drama THE BEST HIT to debut in May or so with Yoon shi-yoon and Kim Min-jae, but haven't heard a peep since girlfriday reported back on March 16.

I'm also keeping an eye out for preproduced sageuk KING LOVES, which is supposed to air on MBC in 2017, according to AsianWiki. Siwan, Hong Jong-hyun, and Yoona are in it.

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I wish I could have time to follow them all! May should be a good k-drama month :)

For sure I'm going to follow Ruler of the Mask and Suspicious Partner. And I'm also looking forward to Third-rate my way and My Sassy Girl later in the month.

Dual also seems to be a good thriller, following Tunnel, and 7-day Queen is another Segeuk..

To many new dramas, too little time!

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This is such a great idea for a feature! I love the reminder and the very helpful details (number of episodes and days airing) right up front! So I hate to ask for more...but I will be greedy anyway. Could we add a section for places it will be streaming and/or subbed? I have a hard time sometimes finding things like the web dramas, and if it's possible to know if there is a legit source before it airs, that would be handy.
I realize that not everyone is watching from the same region or even in the same language (sub-wise) but at least on here we are all commenting in English so that would be a commanality.
Maybe the varying degrees of legality in some sites would make this hard. It could also be that the Chief Beans also don't want to be seen as promoting one site or business over another even among the legal sites....
But it would be nice🤞.

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Nice new feature! I like it.

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So many drama, so little time! Should keep in mind that Lookouts is also premièring in May, the 22d.

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My eyes are peeled for a Shin Dong-wook sighting. ;-)

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What a dillema! Will I get enough sleeps for the upcoming Wed and Thu?

Because of "Ruler", I searched YSH's former works, and I ended up watching "The Way Home". That simple movie touched my heartstrings. He's so annoying in the beginning the way he treated his Grandma, and slowly he started to understand and love his Grandma. I was tearing up when he's teaching his Granny to write.

He's a good actor even when he's a kid.

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16 years of acting is no joke..

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So useful. Thank you.

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Ruler will be such an amazing drama..watching the trailer, i got the same vibe as i've watched The Princess Man's and Moon Embrace the Sun..can't wait for this

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god I really dont know what I am more excited for....

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Thank you, JB.

This feature a gem! I get a heads up on what's airing next and reasons to watch them. If the what and the why don't come packaged together like this, I'll most prolly miss them. Not the sharpest tool in the shed. 😉

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This premiere watch is a good idea :)! Thank you!

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I've been waiting to watch Ruler and Suspicious partner for the longest but why do I feel like it caught me off guard??? Maybe theres so many new shows coming up my mental schedule has been all over the place...

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Thanks for the heads up, javabeans! With all the preemptions recently, the finales of several shows have been postponed. I've been hanging by my thumbs for months to catch Shin Dong-wook's return to acting in LOOKOUT -- assuming I survive the ending of REBEL.

I appreciate hearing about INDIVIDUALIST JI-YOUNG, as I've watched quite a few of the short TV movies and drama specials, and have been impressed overall with the quality of the stories, the casting (often with excellent veteran actors), and the performances. I'll be keeping an eye open for subtitles. In the past, drama specials have gone untranslated, which is a pity. With the shorter format, there's no room for pointless wheel-spinning. The result is a wish for the production to have been longer to allow for more character development, back story, etc. Leaving the audience wanting more is often a good thing.

RULER is shaping up to be a good ride. It's reminding me a little of a younger version of MASQUERADE, but with a side of romantic revenge to go with the political machinations.

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Oh my! Now that you've mentioned Masquerade, I am imagining how great it would be if YSH actually acts both the prince and the pauper!

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Duh! How did I forget Lee Byung-hun played both roles?! I'll have to chalk it up to REBEL overload. ;-)

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Thanks @javabeans. You just made me more impatient but i like it. Can't want!!!

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Out of these premieres, I was interested in Suspicious Partner the most, but I’m kinda fatigued by all the dramas I’m currently watching. Last week was a bit of a break due to the pre-emptions, but I was a little bummed about my favorite shows being delayed. And I still fell behind on other shows.

And Fight My Way is definitely on my must-watch list, which premieres on May 22nd so I'm gonna make room for that.

I think I'll wait and see how the 3 dramas above turn out before trying them.

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Was trying to remember when Fight My Way comes out. Could have sworn it was this week. The 22nd can't come soon enough.

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I think it was originally suppose to premiere this week, but then the delays happened.

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I could kiss you for this!!

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Thanks team DB for the new feature. It's very much needed indeed.:) Myself i had to rely on the fan comments of the Open Threads to know which drama will air and when. But it only works when there's already a fanbase excited to see the drama. So i usually miss little and short special drama like Individualist Ji-young.

I'm really drawn to the main female character: i can relate a lot to her feelings and attitude, which were mine at the same age. And still are but less intensely. It feels like this drama might raise a lot of emotions on a personal level ( if only because the words of her therapist in the individual teaser about not being able to help someone who lies to herself struck a chord with me). That's the kind of stories i wish we could see develop into a full drama...

I've never seen the main actress in anything, but i hope she will find a way to make this character hers and to make us feel it. Ji-Young has the potential to become a favourite, so i keep my fingers crossed.
Excellent song choice for her teaser; it's been a very long time since i heard anything from Nirvana, so, I forgot about this song. The lyrics hurt in a good way.

Looking too for the chemistry between the leads, not for the romantic potential, but because i like that they are opposite and yet have complementary "disorders". I really love those stories where the main characters, who are treated by the society like outsiders and can't fit in, learn and heal each other, despite the gap between them. It makes me smile and gives me hope, that not being conventional doesn't mean you won't a place, friendship/love with support/attention/care and a little bit of serenity .

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Wed-Thu
1. Mystery Queen
2. Ruler–Master of the Mask
3. Suspicious Partner

*faint*

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when you know you're gonna be drawing in dramas and you're loving it...

than you remember you have exams coming up :'(

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20 episodes each? I can't do it with the amount of shows I'm watching (and planning on watching) already... ahh why do they make these shows so long 😭😿

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Yes, Ji Chang Wook, come back to my screen!

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So many dramas to watch but so little time *sigh*
"Suspicious Partner" is the one I'm looking forward to watch the most, it's seems like an easy watch and the scriptwriter did "I Remember You" which i loved so i can't wait for Wednesday.

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Only watching Chicago Typewriter at the moment...Definitely excited for Suspicious Partner (Wookie in a romcom paired with the lovely Nam Ji Hyun), pondering on whether I should watch Ruler or not (Myungsoo is sure pretty but acting wise *meh*) and will probably add Seven Day Queen + Fight for my way to my watching list.

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Thank you for the downvotes XD It seems I've fallen victim of some L fanatics :/ Don't get me wrong, I love Myungsoo (he is a wonderful performer) but not as an actor. Still I wish him all the best!

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use My Drama List. Add new dramas, as they are announced, to your On Hold list; and, when they start airing, a red 'airing' note appears right next to the titles on the list so you can edit them from the On Hold List to the Currently Viewing List. I cannot live without it!

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Ooo, this feature is a great way to highlight upcoming dramas!

Ruler looks good (Kim So-hyun!) but ah, I'm not sure I'm in the mood for a melo so I'll tune into the first few recaps for the time being. I'm feeling more of a Suspicious Partner vibe so I'll probably check out the first few episodes of that!

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Thanks so so much! I was just thinking how I'm going to keep track of all the new dramas and was having a look at the currently airing drama list. This is just perfect! thank youuu! :D

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Thank you javabeans! Great article :) I want to watch them all, but I'm leaning towards Ruler for now >.<

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Lol, I initially thought "Premiere Watch" meant somehow all of us watching the new shows live and chatting about it on here.

Anyways, the first one sounds interesting and w/ only two eps–I can handle that! Maybe.

I'm definitely excited for Ruler! Nuff said.

Still kinda iffy about the plot of Suspicious Partner, but I'll check that out, too. So many new shows, so little time!

What else is new, right?

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Concerning Individualist Ji-young - I just watched the first episodes of it and I'm sad that it isn't a 16 episodes drama. It was so good! This casting plus the set up could have been really good even for a much longer format.

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Ah,all three shows actually look good and can't wait to see them all!!!I must say i was waiting for Ruler for such a long time mainly because of Yoo Seung Ho yet i got a bit more swayed towards Suspicious Partner lately,sorry Seung Ho,Noona has a big heart and can handle various dramas at once!!!

In another note i hope L's acting got better in this time spam

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Can´t wait for wednesday!! Ruler I´m waiting for you :)

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