Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching
by DB Staff
Checking in for another weekend wrap-up! It feels like it’s been the longest week ever, and I can’t figure out if keeping track of all of the dramas ever is what makes it feel so long, or if having lots of hours of drama goodness helps make the time fly by. Well, in either case I suppose I count myself lucky; there are worse ways to spend a week! –javabeans
Currently recapping: Seven Day Queen
Circle: I love how each character’s desperation and yearning grows deeper the closer we get to uncovering the truth, and that it brings together people who might otherwise never see eye to eye, like Joon-hyuk and Ho-soo. When Ho-soo became the voice urging them to press on, and asked to return his memories if his sacrifice resulted in their erasure, it was such a lovely thematic way to come full circle (ahem) with his character. As for that cliffhanger, I’m dyyyying to find out if they finally find Woo-jin, but also a little scared on behalf of his loved ones what revelations that might yield.
Father Is Strange: For the first time ever, I’m enjoying the clashes between a bride and her shrill, fussy mother-in-law. Unni is so self-possessed and capable (with an impish side that relishes winning) that it’s hilarious to see her mother-in-law flailing to try to get the upper hand, only she never will because her daughter-in-law will always outsmart her. Maybe it’s because it’s all done in a good-natured way that I find this funny and not upsetting. Meanwhile, I hate that Joong-hee is going through such ultimately needless anguish over his fauxcest crisis, but his ensuing effort to get close to his father and brother did give us a rewarding bit of male bonding.
The Best Hit: I groaned a little when it was revealed that Woo-seung’s hidden talent was an undeveloped knack for songwriting, because that falls so neatly in line with our current world of idols and agencies. It’s so convenient. But I’ll put aside that minor complaint because it does provide a glimmer of hope that the rooftop bunch can still find success in their dreams—not exactly the way they imagined, but maybe in an even more rewarding way.
Suspicious Partner: I was dying for our team to catch the killer because he seemed so smug and it seemed so unlikely given his cleanly covered tracks. But then he got attacked by someone who probably wronged him badly in the past and never paid for it, and now I’m feeling all sorts of indignation on his behalf, even though yes, he’d killed a bunch of people and is planning on killing more. I almost want our lawyers to help the killer achieve his revenge first and then turn him over for his punishment, because knowing what’s driving him makes it feel unfair for that other bad guy to be out running free.
Lookout: I initially expected our Lookouts to be a team of damaged people who would unite in purpose and become a heartwarming surrogate family. That’s sort of true for our core three teammates, but I find it unexpectedly satisfying to see the tension between them and the Boss, and how they aren’t automatically on the same page even if they’ve been working together all this time. The grudging teamwork keeps things tense, in a good way.
Woman of Dignity: Okay, I think I get what this show is going for now—I wasn’t necessarily drawn by the plot, but curiosity over the tone is what had me tuning in. And oddly, though it may be uneven in places, I do like the deadpan sense of humor and the ridiculous characters—they aren’t absurd by being over-the-top, but they definitely feel absurd. Kim Sun-ah for sure isn’t playing a funny character, but I did find humor in how she worked the family with her bumpkin-y cover. I can’t say I really care about the whodunnit, but if I keep watching it’ll be for the tone, which I find dry and potentially acidic.
My Sassy Girl: I was prepared for more serious turns, since rom-coms often shift from heavily comedic to more melodramatic as the show wears on, but I find myself wishing the shift weren’t quite so extreme—that it were less outlandish in the beginning, and less straight now. Just as it found a sense of emotional grounding (which I appreciate), it completely lost its sense of humor. I like the characters more now than I did at the start, but the drama feels like it has become more generic, and lost what made it its own thing. I miss the stupid-funny!
Fight My Way: Well, finally! I know I said I would love to see this couple being friends for a while, but I actually think they left the friend zone a long time ago and have been dancing around in the romance zone without actually doing anything about it, and that frustrated me. I still really dislike the second couple storyline even though I think they’re both decent people who care about each other and deserve good things. I just don’t really care to see this relationship play out, because I keep thinking they should just break up, figure things out, and then decide whether they want to get back together. Offscreen.
Currently recapping: Seven Day Queen
Duel: Eep, more clones?! I definitely like where this is going, namely that I don’t know how many versions of this guy there are walking around, or who the original one was. All I know is, when our clone started to have memories from a past he couldn’t have been alive for, I went from casually watching to going, Gimme more episodes!
Fight My Way: This drama just makes me happy. Why is it that every time this hero says things like “I want to hold your hand” or “I want to kiss you,” it makes me more fluttery than the actual handholding or kissing? Oh and I really love gruff, overprotective Dad, all tatted up and willing to go to the ends of the earth to cheer on his daughter. He’s the best.
Circle: I’ve been preparing myself for the possibility that the brothers will never reunite in the future timeline, but now that we’re closing in on the final week and everything has been building towards this moment, I can’t contain my expectations anymore and will be so disappointed if I don’t get an epic reunion. I’m scared! What if it isn’t awesome?
Suspicious Partner: I almost wanted the team to suffer a death in order to really raise the stakes, because I’m not that invested in the mystery/killer portion of this drama. But I really do adore the lawyer Scooby Gang, and the happy moments they shared this week were pretty great. And hey, if it takes a happy team to allow for date night and other romancey developments, I vote for a happy team.
Lookout: The backstory I’ve been waiting for finally came this week, and I was not disappointed. It only made me more curious about the prosecutor and the priest, whose broken bromance makes me instantly more invested in their story. Now that the Avengers have finally assembled (in their hostile, double-crossing way), I hope to really dig into everyone’s pasts and watch them turn into a little family of their own.
The Best Hit: I’m super excited by the possibility that our rooftop sadsacks could band together through music. I hope that’s what’s in store (are there enough episodes for that?), because while the hijinks are awesome, that would truly make my day.
Forest of Secrets: In two weeks, Forest has officially become my favorite amongst all the currently airing shows. For a drama about a hero who can’t feel emotion, it certainly packs a wallop in the pathos department, and the quality is just out of this world on all fronts. The character work both Jo Seung-woo and Bae Doo-na are doing is phenomenal, and the overall mystery is actually mysterious and super compelling. I’m so lucky I’m watching this as it airs, otherwise I’d lose a whole lot of sleep.
My Sassy Girl: So the overall plot and pacing has improved, not quite enough to be compelling, but we’re at a better place than when we started. But the thing that’s getting to me the most is Joo-won, because I’ve seen him be absolutely brilliant before. I’m not getting much from him here, and I’m wondering if it’s because he’s got so little to work with as Gyun Woo. Sure, he’s rational and principled, but what else? His scenes are mostly just of him looking passively as action happens around him, which is just a shame, since he’s such an excellent talent and we’re about to lose him for two years. Maybe when he comes back, he’ll pick better projects.
Woman of Dignity: Now this is a curious case, because I had close to a flat-out negative reaction to the first two episodes. If it’s trying to be meta and satirical, I don’t see it. If it’s trying to be dead serious as something-like-but-not-necessarily-a-makjang, I guess I see it, but even weekend makjangs know what strings to pull to get you invested, whether for good or ill. I’m willing to give some leeway because of the director and Kim Sun-ah’s performance, but so far, meh.
Circle: Bravo to the show for perfectly executing the moment where Woo-jin saw the direct effects of the memory-altering technology. That look he gave Bum-gyun when Bum-gyun was at his purest and most joyful encapsulated every conflict the show has presented so far with its moral gray areas, enough for me to wonder if the technology would be so bad if people had the free will only to use it on themselves. Is it an all-or-nothing scenario, or can there be a middle ground? (And am I a terrible person for asking that?)
Currently recapping: Duel
Super Family 2017: On the one hand, I love every time they manage to get in a silly reference to Park Hyuk-kwon playing Gil Tae-mi. The meta on this show is so delightful and ridiculous. On the other hand, why does a sitcom make me cry more than a standard tear-jerker?!?!? The moment Chun-il began to sob, I suddenly started to tear up, and the tears didn’t stop until after the episode was over. How will Chun-il and I manage without the calm reassurance of Manager Choi each week?
The Best Hit: Woo-seung is my hero. It’s a mystery to me how she gets through each day while dealing with the ridiculousness of a clueless time-traveling pop-star on top of everything else, but I envy her strength of character. I also wouldn’t mind the accompanying crush from cutie Ji-hoon, just sayin’.
Currently recapping: Circle
Fight My Way: I squeal too much for this drama. I love how the main loveline is not necessarily based on an instant attraction that cannot be explained, but rather a slow deepening connection that resulted from years of support and friendship. The way Ae-ra and Dong-man are rediscovering each other all over again as potential mates is so cute because they’re so awkward and real-life about it. I have revised my opinion about Joo-man. He’s poop. If his aspirations in life are to be a show-off about his success, that’s completely fine, but abandoning his 6+ years solid, steady girlfriend to do so without even talking about it, that’s not okay. He’s being a coward for lying to her about the new intern girl, and he’s also being a bad partner by not taking an active role in making Seol-hee feel secure in their relationship.
Circle: Man, this show sure knows how to do cliffhangers, and I can’t tell whether I love it or hate it. I knew the hour was coming up on Tuesday’s episode and I was willing for it to just go on a couple more seconds to reveal maybe-maybe-not future Woo-jin (it’d better be him, Show). It’s a strong lead into finale week, and I look forward to the bad guys getting their comeuppance and our twins reuniting (hopefully, please, I beg you), though I am torn that we only get two more episodes.
Seven Day Queen: So Yeonsangun KNEW that toady minister ordered his brother’s assassination all those years ago!? Eugh, you can go join Yeok in that corner, and preferably work it out before coming back to jointly grovel in front of Chae-kyung. I get why the brothers are both acting like they are, but I know they both have it in them to do the right thing, and the fact that they’re choosing not to is so aggravating. I love that Chae-kyung and her father are essentially their moral compasses, and I hope her suffering doesn’t last too long ‘cause it hurts to watch.
Suspicious Partner: Ohthankgod, I would’ve been so, so upset if Chief Bang had really ended up dead. Otherwise, I kinda wish our second lead prosecutor was smarter, because I’m nervous having her try to out-wile our murderous maniac. It’s unlikely to happen, and meanwhile he goes free to target the rest of our favorite ragtag gang of lawyers.
Forest of Secrets: Lol, this show is awesome in terms of quality, but I just can’t help but laugh at the amount of sass our emotionless prosecutor is just throwing out. I’m not even sure it’s intentional, which makes it even funnier. Oh man, I never expected to giggle so much at a legal thriller this serious.
Woman of Dignity: What a weird show. Each character feels like they’re living in a different genre, and it’s kind of disorienting. I can’t tell whether I like it or not yet. Also, is it bad that I’m not hating Jung Sang-hoon’s character in this, cheating and all? He’s just so horribly dense and simple, and coupled with those caterpillars for eyebrows, I can’t take him seriously enough to dislike him, even when he’s a philandering bastard.
New Journey to the West 4: Yaassss, the boys are back!! I love this group of manchildren to death, and I can’t wait to see more of them goofing around Vietnam. Also, I died in the first episode when Ho-dong repeated Ji-won’s name nearly 200 times during their buffet game. I’m saving that clip for rainy days when I need a quick laugh.
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (June 17, 2017)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (June 9, 2017)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (June 3, 2017)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (May 27, 2017)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (May 20, 2017)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (May 13, 2017)