Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching
by DB Staff
So, what are we all watching this week?
What kept you reaching for more (or agonizing when there was no more), and what made you want to throw your remote through the screen? Time to weigh in…
Father Is Strange: It’s over and I have so many feelings and so many things to say. I may have to let them out in a bigger post (…when the fourth dimension opens up and hands me some extra time), but for now I’ll just say that I was almost obscenely happy with this show as it ended, and will miss it dearly. I would have watched it for another year, and now I feel like I’ve lost a family. *tears*
Age of Youth 2: It’s as cute as ever—or maybe even cuter this year, with a brighter vibe and a slightly more comedic bent. I love how much of a prickly pear the new housemate is, and am looking forward to seeing her softer, nicer side emerge despite her intentions. It’s kind of like those thrillers when revenge goes awry (say, the hero falls in love with his enemy’s daughter), mixed with slice-of-life storytelling and sweet everyday foibles. All things I love!
Rescue Me: I hate the cult people SO, SO much, and they make my blood boil almost so hot that I can’t stand to watch. But then Sang-mi asserts herself despite the oppression or Sang-hwan’s doggedness gives me a sliver of hope or Dong-chul breaks my heart all over again, and I can’t look away.
Criminal Minds: There are so many types of criminals in this world that it seems needlessly limiting to focus every episode on a new serial killer. It has a desensitizing effect, to the point where I get bored watching people murder and torture victims, because all the cases start to feel the same. Can we mix things up a little, people? I dunno, throw in some human traffickers or dogfighters or fraudsters?
Reunited Worlds: This show feels like it was written by a 10-year-old imagining how adults act. People say things and react to situations, and I’m thinking, “Uh, that’s not how people are!” And while I’m still pulling for Hae-sung in a general sense, it really bothers me how he swoops in with big life decisions for other people and just tells them this is how they’ll do things now, and everyone lights up happily and agrees to it (see: previous note about 10-year-old logic driving the plot). The only reason I’m not actively infuriated by his vaguely paternalistic attitude is because I see this as the fault of a weak writer and not, say, a message the drama actually intends to convey.
School 2017: This couple is even cuter when they’re apart, privately squeeing to themselves over each other. The way Eun-ho lights up when she’s in love just brings me joy, and Tae-woon’s victory dance is my new favorite thing. So embarrassing. So, so cute.
Rescue Me: Yesss, the bromance is back! I know we still have a long way to go before the broken friendship between Taec and Woo Do-hwan is truly healed, but I was just so happy that they were speaking to each other again, even if it was to exchange blows and air out their resentment. If I’ve learned anything from watching years of School, it’s that sometimes boys just need to fight it out.
Live Up to Your Name: Wait, so Kim Nam-gil actually plans to stay in the future? But… that would alter the history of medicine! Also, did he have to be so drastic and cut his hair? I mean, it’s not like I was watching this show for the mane of glory, but…
Falsify: I thought this latest case was a little too easy for the good guys, so I liked the twist that they had been set up from the start. I just hope that the drama doesn’t get too swept up in a chase for one bad guy, because at the end of the day, what I care about is how things go down at the big national newspaper and the future of journalistic integrity, not the prosecution of some corrupt dude.
Reunited Worlds: Oh, so you managed to succeed with your food truck in about a week, and now you’re just going to open a new restaurant? Just like that? This show makes me facepalm, hard. I know it’s a fantasy drama, but it’s a fantasy in ways I was not expecting.
Age of Youth 2: The laughs on this show always come from unexpected places, and I really appreciate that. The second season feels more tightly written and funnier overall, and I’m excited for romance to start complicating our girls’ lives even more.
Falsify: Yes, it has its roots in the corrupt state of the media today, so that’s relevant enough. But everything else is just too easy. Our hero started out looking for a tattoo he assumed meant something, and it does(?), though I wonder where the case would stand if the tattoo had said “Mom” with a heart around it instead. But instead of doing real sleuthing, all the heroes have to do is conveniently find this tattoo symbol in old pictures, which conveniently screams IMPORTANT EVIDENCE. Why are the villains, the secret forces behind everything, staging such an elaborate cover-up that’s alarmingly simple to trace? Tattoo removal is a thing, especially if you’re a hired assassin who needs anonymity above all things.
The King Loves: I’m so confused about whether or not we’re supposed to like and/or be rooting for Won at this stage of the game. Part of me thinks that there’s been some sort of failing, since the drama would be most effective if both romantic rivals were just that. It’s admittedly different to have the female lead start out loving the second lead, but I’m getting terrible Moon Lovers flashbacks and how badly that second lead ship crashed and burned, so I’m worried that they’re going to pull something that will make us dislike Rin, allowing Won to swoop in and steal the girl. I really, really hope that doesn’t happen.
Rescue Me: Absolute crack. I really love Sang-mi as a character, because it would be so easy for us to hate a character who’s in such a constant state of victimization were she played by an actress who couldn’t get that inner steeliness and resilience across. What I love even more is that the show’s set her up as someone who’s desperately in need of rescuing without sacrificing her as an individual, because we know who she is and how strong she is, but this situation has gone beyond what she can handle—especially if it involves a future being “married” to a creepy cult leader. C’mon, Taec, get to rescuing!
Manhole: I feel like the number one issue that plagues a story that relies on the hero to keep going back in time to fix his problems is that they eventually start running out of new and different scenarios for him to face. Pil is such a failure at life, which I still find weirdly endearing (Soo-jin’s inability to believe in his feelings without having him literally spell it out for her is a bit tougher), but I miss the absolute craziness that led to Pil coming back to the future as a gangster. Can we have more of that?
Live Up to Your Name: When the show has cute moments, they’re super cute and fun. But I’m pretty hesitant about where the story is going and how easy it was to set Im up with his new life, a process that took all of a day, since that means the end of our fish-out-of-water shenanigans. If nothing else, please don’t turn into an old-fashioned East vs. West medical drama. (*Gets Third Ward flashbacks, fails to see the meaning of life anymore*)
Three Meals a Day: Yay, another season! I love having this low-key show playing in the background while I’m cross-stitching. Seeing the swanky upgrades, including the compact car and actual refrigerator makes me think the boys have got it too easy this season. It’s nice seeing that Jackson has a family of her own, but I still feel like the goats don’t have enough space to freely roam. The idea of Lee Je-hoon sitting in a corner peeling peanuts still makes me giggle. But the highlight still rests with Mongie and Koongie, who by some unknown heathen magic, let their human dress them in little hats and adorable sunglasses.
Rescue Me: This is the only drama in this cycle I’m current watching. Summer is usually the time for dark dramas with spooks and chills, and this one is dark, eerie, and gets under my skin in such a good way. Maybe it’s the direction, maybe it’s the expertly placed music, or maybe it’s Dong-chul, whose heartache tears at my heart. Woo Do-hwan is a ready-made breakout star of 2017. Watch out, world—this kid is going places.
Currently recapping: Strongest Deliveryman
Manhole: I liked this show a lot more when it was a WTF zany comedy. Now that it’s trying to take itself seriously, my attention is seriously wavering. Now that Pil’s no longer acting like his usual frenetic mess, he’s become quite the, uh, pill. (Sorry, Jaejoong—you’re still super pretty, though!) I couldn’t believe how Pil judged Jin-sook for not delivering his letters to Soo-jin. Apparently having a magic manhole that allows Pil to alter history and do all sorts of absurd things to prevent Soo-jin from marrying the pharmacist gives him some sort of moral high ground. Soo-jin and Jin-sook should just forget Pil-the-pill and realize that they deserve someone better to love—like each other. (Please tell me I’m not the only one who thinks UEE and Jung Hye-sung have incredible chemistry—they need more scenes together!)
Currently recapping: Manhole
School 2017: Hyun. Tae. [s]Woooon. ♥
Currently recapping: Falsify
The King Loves: Meep. What is happening? Who is in charge? I’m so confused… so why is Rin up for execution again? Gah, noninteresting political things keep on happening onscreen when I just want more cute Rin-So-ah moments.
Currently recapping: Live Up to Your Name
Father is Strange: Aw, it’s over! I’m going to miss this family dearly. Hye-young was a powerhouse in that courtroom scene—I loved all of the Byun/Lee clan by the end, but Hye-young is definitely my favorite. I hope this leads to another great role for Lee Yuri, because she killed it. I also loved that every couple had a satisfying, happy ending, each in the way that was suited best to them. How perfect was Joong-hee’s “simple but special” proposal, and that hug Dad gave him in the kitchen afterwards? And what better way to end this show than with the most long-overdue wedding of them all, between the mother and father whose hearts warm and shelter this entire bustling clan. I pretty much spent the last thirty minutes of the final episode bawling. That ending dance felt not just like a celebration of Mom and Dad’s marriage, but a farewell party for a cast that genuinely had a blast together for the last six months.
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (August 26, 2017)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (August 19, 2017)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (August 12, 2017)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (August 5, 2017)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (July 29, 2017)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (July 22, 2017)