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Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching

How did the finales stack up for you this week? There were a number of shows to say goodbye to, and I’m always surprised by how differently I’ll feel about a show at the beginning and at the end of it. Were there any dramas that you were particularly sad to part with, or have you already cleared the way for something new? –girlfriday

 

girlfriday

Currently recapping: Seven Day Queen

Lookout: I liked that the team suffered a loss—it seemed more realistic that way, and I think losing one of the good guys helped make the final episodes weightier, and the sendoff more poignant. I just wish the final face-off had been more interesting (or remotely believable), because for the life of me I didn’t understand how a teenager could outsmart seven good guys and a bomb squad. I’m pretty sure at least three of them were smart, and the rest had guns! That kid tried my patience, but everything else about the show was so fun, and snazzy in a way that didn’t feel empty.

Suspicious Partner: I would’ve enjoyed this more if it had ended two weeks ago, because the final quarter felt really slow compared to the rest of the series. But one of the things I ended up loving was the frenemies-turned-friends arc for the girlfriends, because sassy Ji-hae was a hoot, and I would’ve loved more of their roommate hijinks. For me, Suspicious Partner worked well as a romance and not so well as a legal thriller, so the mashup wasn’t as smooth as I would’ve liked, and I’m not all that sorry to see it go. But Ji Chang-wook and Nam Ji-hyun should totally date in real life.

Fight My Way: I really enjoyed the small stories and the everydayness of four friends going to work and figuring out relationships and messing things up while finding their place in the world. It felt normal and comforting, and even though I think success for our characters came a little too easily plotwise over the course of our drama, I never felt that it came easily character-wise—looking back on the years they’d struggled in the past made their successes feel rightfully earned with every drop of sweat accounted for. This show just hit a really relatable note for me, and it got extra points for always bringing the funny.

Bride of the Water God 2017: They’re still depending a lot on the fish-out-of-water setups to carry the drama, which isn’t a bad thing, but I am curious about where we go from here. I did get excited when Ha-baek powered up and got to be a flashy superhero (for a good minute), so I’m looking forward to the fantasy going full-steam ahead.

The Best Hit: I’m getting super invested in this loveline, which might be a dangerous thing to do, except I can’t help it. Yoon Shi-yoon just keeps doing swoony thing after swoony thing, and there’s no way out. Help.

 

HeadsNo2

Woman of Dignity: Once I gave up on the idea of the show being a satire, it became a bit more bearable. I’m realizing that while I personally don’t enjoy it all that much, it’s still telling a coherent story, which counts for something. It’s a story I feel like I’ve seen before in a million other iterations, and I’m not exactly sure why this specific story needed to be told, but I have a feeling things will pick up once Ah-jin’s relationship with Ki-ho gains more momentum.

My Sassy Girl: Normally I try to write these blurbs shortly after watching the episodes because I have a goldfish memory, but I didn’t this week, and now I can’t think of anything to say about this show. Something about a Ghost Mask that unfortunately reminds me of Joo-won in a role he’s so far been unable to top? All I got from these episodes is that Jungshin is taller than everyone. I was seriously hopeful that they’d find a brilliant way to use him by making him Ghost Mask, but that’d mean they’d have to 1) break their cardinal rule of not making him a meaningful part of any scene, and 2) make an actual effort.

Forest of Secrets: You know that feeling you get when everything and everyone is just so good that you start to worry, because if they’re that good, then Chungmuro will take them away and never give them back? Maybe this is just me being paranoid, but Bae Doo-na is such a revelation in dramaland (even though she has a very successful film career) that I know this is one of those lightning in a bottle situations that won’t happen every year. The last drama she did was in 2010, and it’d be a disservice for her to do a drama that’s of poorer quality than Forest of Secrets now… but that’ll be such an impossibly high bar that I’m trying to soak in her performance—and everyone else’s—while I can.

Ruler–Master of the Mask: At least Yoo Seung-ho’s back from army and won’t be going anywhere. It just makes me sad, because he can be so amazingly compelling in a sageuk role (I still remember Warrior Baek Dong-soo fondly), but this role just gave him too little to do. There was so much potential for this entire show, but at every turn, the writers took the path of least resistance, leading to undercooked characters and storylines. Guess you can’t win ‘em all.

 

chickachunga

Currently recapping: My Sassy Girl

Fight My Way: Overall, I really enjoyed this refreshing, realistic, and modern rom-com. Loved the zippy and oftentimes poignant writing as well as the cast, and I loved laughing with the motley crew every week. The only aspect that I wasn’t satisfied with was the Hwang Bok-hee storyline; it really wasn’t necessary, and I just think it’s a stretch for a mom that’s been MIA for all of Ae-ra’s life to suddenly be so chummy with her so quickly. Anyway, I burst out laughing when Seol-hee’s burly brothers appeared, and I’m probably going to miss sweet and quietly strong Seol-hee the most. Fight My Way wasn’t perfect, but it did consistently bring a smile to my face.

Forest of Secrets: Sometimes, when I love a show so much, I save it and delay watching it, and that’s precisely what I’m doing with Forest even though it sounds counterintuitive. Gah, I love it so!

 

tineybeanie

Fight My Way: Ae-ra and Dong-man’s reason for breaking up was such a non-issue. His dream to be a martial arts fighter and his love for his craft is such an integral part of who Dong-man is, that if Ae-ra wants him to give that up, she’s essentially telling him to stop being himself. Without how fighting has shaped his identity, Dong-man wouldn’t be the man that Ae-ra loves today so it’s a catch-22 scenario. Does she want the real Dong-man or just his shell? Ugh, and the deus ex machina resolution of his tinnitus seemed too convenient; I think instead of suddenly barraging us with a whole bunch of birth secret reveals in the last episodes, it might have been better to explore the wealth of conflict related to how physical disability could prevent dreams from happening, and that would have been a much more nuanced and complex arc than this general upward easy trend we’ve been seeing in their trajectories these past weeks. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good happy ending, but it just feels so much more gratifying when there are substantial obstacles that are overcome to get to it.

Seven Day Queen: Binge-watched. Loved it until midway and it became an angst-fest with the heroine acting like a noble idiot. There’s sometimes such a huge contrast between the tone of the show, from a cheerful flirtatious vibe between the lovers and then the torture and death of other characters that the rapid transitions seem jarring. But, I must say, this sageuk’s hanbok game is on point. Compared to Hwarang, Rebel, My Sassy Girl, and numerous other sageuks I’ve watched this year, Seven Day Queen is killing it in the elegance department.

 

Laica

Currently recapping: Forest of Secrets

The Best Hit: I finally got a chance to marathon this one last week, and it’s so funny and cheeky and full of love! The characters are loveable and hilarious, and I love all the little meta nods to 1N2D. I do wish that the show hadn’t decided to go for the love triangle between father, son, and Woo-seung, though—it’s weird and uncomfortable, and it kills my hopes for a bromance between the two guys. I was a bit baffled and dismayed by the repeated obvious rom-com tropes that seem to be following Hyun-jae and Woo-seung like flashing neon signs indicating Destined True Love… until that La La Land parody, which makes me think this may all be a misdirect, and that we’re being trolled in the most epic of fashions by Yoo PD and Cha Tae-hyun. And if that’s the case, I would be delighted (and laugh my rear off).

Father Is Strange: Oh, poor Joong-hee. It makes it even worse for him to find out the truth after telling his mom that he was happy with his fake family in a way he never was in her house. To find out that the father he believed in so much was actually lying to him the whole time must feel like the worst kind of betrayal. I’m frustrated by Dad, who should have followed his conscience and confessed a long time ago, but I’ve been steadily growing angrier at Mom, who continually emotionally blackmails her husband, and thinks that protecting her kids’ reputations is more important than making up for the psychological trauma they’ve caused Joong-hee by stealing his dad’s identity. “I’m a terrible woman, and I’ll pay for my sins in hell” is not a blanket excuse you’re allowed to use so that you can trample on others’ rights, not even if those crimes were committed in the name of love.

Lookout: What an intense ride! I marathoned most of it, which made the twists and turns super enjoyable (and way less stressful), and then watched the last two weeks’ episodes as they aired. I loved how gripping and unpredictable the show was from the very first frame. Everything up to the congressional hearing was awesome and satisfying, but Se-won’s kidnapping derailed the plot. All of a sudden trained cops and vigilantes were making stupid decisions and getting completely played by Psycho Junior—and that made the ultimate tragedy more frustrating than heartbreaking, because it didn’t feel earned. Nor did I feel like we got a good explanation of where the rest of our Lookouts ended up after that time jump. Are they secretly employed by the government? Still on the lam? Still, the drama was action-packed, emotionally engaging, perfectly scored, and incredibly well-acted, especially by Lee Shi-young and Kim Young-kwang, who killed it. I’m just going to imagine that one day, Suji will meet the two people she misses the most, waiting for her in heaven so they can finally be a family. *wipes tear*

Fight My Way: Aww, it’s over. I’ll miss these lovable, gorgeous, heartwarming idiots. The last few episodes didn’t have the electric, heart-pounding feels of the first half, but the show left me with a warm feeling and I was happy with where the characters ended up—so I count it as a win.

 
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These days, Habaek-nim and DaBong have me entertained through the week. ?
I can't believe that The best hit is about to end, what am I going to do without my weekly dose of Yoon Shi Yoon?? ? He is being so funny, so swoony, and DaBong's personality is so uplifting...I need him to come back with another project asap.
And about The bride of the water god, it's being very entertaining, and even if I find the first episodes a bit slow, I have warmed up to the lead couple, their personalities complement well and they have sweet chemistry, so I am looking forward to see some progress in the romance department more than I am interested in Habaek finding his way back to heaven (although I expect that this matter will allow us to see how Habaek matures and earns the title of king of the gods...).

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I am sad that Fight My Way ended. But its been a good run. I really liked the fantastic four and sorta felt that the ending tied up all lose ends well.

Seven Day Queen and Forest of Secrets are my current faves. I find myself anticipating each episode. And I am impatient to find out what happens next.

Since both are not particularly light, I discovered Wednesday 3:30pm (which was recommended by dear @chingu. Thank you!). I've only seen the first 3 episodes and love it already. I am waiting for a free time this week to marathon the next 17 eps. Can't wait! ?

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And ofcourse...Bride of the Water God is a fun watch. I didnt expect to like it so much with the mixed reviews. But I do.

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Love Fight My Way! Ended with less of a bang than it started with but was still very good. Currently finishing up Man to Man...i had high expectations for this and its just not as good as I wanted.

Im gonna try and catch up on some older dramas but this next crop of dramas is trying to stop me from doing this!! KDRAMAS, why u do this to me???

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This was a really crazy week for drama with 3 of my shows ending: Fight My Way, Suspicious Partner, and Rush to the Dead Summer. Absolutely loved the first two. The last show was a C-Drama that seriously drained me. Taken as a whole, RthDS was quite good. It was a little to true to how life can be which made it frustrating to watch at times. The many, many, many flashback didn't help matters much.

Bride of the Water God is now the only currently airing that I'm watching now. I'm loving this show. After episodes 3 and 4, I wanted more, and I wanted more there and then. Hoping for the best with that show.

There are a couple shows that will be coming out next week. Let's see which ones survive my watch list.

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I'm gonna miss Fight my way so much!!! ???

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Seven Day Queen for me...nothing else. Will go back to Cdrama after....Eternal love is next.

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Watching Bride of the Water God. Waiting a week is too painful so filling the void by watching manga of the same title. Not at all same but just the title and the concept of water god I guess. I am particular about who is playing a lead role .. unless I connect with them I can't invest my time on every drama... so Bride of the Water god for now.

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Fight My Way: I knew we'd get a happy ending for both our couples. I have really grown attached to our Fantastic Four during the run of this show, so I'll be missing them for sure. I enjoyed the character development and how each managed to overcome the challenges that have been making them stagnant, unable to achieve their dreams. Felt that a lot of things were kinda thrown in last minute, but at least things ended up on a feel-good note.

My Sassy Girl: Really felt GW's guilt and turmoil over what he did as a kid to lead to the queen's disposal... I guess things won't be nice and rosy anytime soon for our leads who have just averted separation with Prince Dalhan gone...

Ruler - Master of the Mask: Whew... This mess finally ended. The crown prince was prettying much carrying this show with HG, who did way more than GE. We had such a strong cast, yet the writing was so poor that no one had much to do and the threats/urgency waned over time. Hope YSH gets cast in something else for me to watch soon.

Bride of the Water God: Quite liking the hijinks so far and loved the scene when HB finally regained his powers momentarily. It's interesting to see our heroine's backstory being peeled back in layers as various incidents take us back in time to reveal her childhood and suicide attempt. Finally get to see Krystal and Gong Myung. Let's hope they add to the plot.

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Goodbye Lookout and Fight My Way -- I loved you both and you will be missed! Can't believe I won't be seeing more of the these series' awesome foursomes this week, the Lookout ending gives a cliffhanger feel that makes me think season 2 is a possibility though!

I stopped watching Ruler and Suspicious Partners midway and followed only the recaps in DB. Glad for the happy endings. And I will miss JCW! *sobs*

I'm really getting into The Best Hit lately but I think I'm in the sinking ship of Wooseung and Hyunjae. Like JB, I think its inevitable but I can't stop swooning over the pair! YSY is love! Who can resist him??

I honestly don't know what to watch after Lookout and FMV -- I'm scared to try School 2017 because I feel like my love for Jang Yoon Doon will make me ship him with the lead girl who I feel will end up with the bad boy this time. Reunited Worlds looks interesting but I'm not particularly keen on anything coming out this week.

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Forest of Secret (Stranger) is sooooooo good!!!! I love everything about it. A strong smart female lead played by the amazing Bae Doo-na! A male lead I want to root for and love, Cho Seung Woo. The two have a compelling relationship that is subtle and mature. They are a match in style and respect, and its believable because i suspect they are this way in real life. BTS scenes show a cute friendship/co-worker relationship. I like these two too much to let go in a few weeks. Not many dramas are this great. Not many can make me obsess this much. Story might not be epic or publisized to the point of overexposure like ahmm...DOTS or GOBLIN, but its worth every minute of viewing time on story alone and bonus with the best actors.

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Oh wow I had a severe cold last week but ... I apparently forgot to watch most of my shows last week.

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i respect your opinion tineybeanie, but imo even most of us who wacthing 7dq think chae kyung is the best heroine in kdramaland this year. I was shocked when you said she's noble idiot, i was like "WHAT? noble idiot?? chaekyung???whattt?!", but yeah that's your opinion, i can't help it.

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I'm watching Forest of Secret and i can't agree less how exciting the story unfolds.. it's been awhile watching these 2 actors back in the small screen. JSW last drama was 14 Days God's Gift and ofcourse Bae Do Na.. They are the reason why im looking forward every weekend

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