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…
Because This Life Is Our First: The main romance is really the highlight of the show (and of dramaland at the moment), but I do think this show has done a really lovely job balancing it out with the concurrent relationships going on with the two friends, giving everyone depth and fully lived lives that make the situations feel genuine. In a lot of dramas my interest flicks off when we move away from the main couple, but here I find myself invested in all the stories and pulling for everyone. It’s so oddball to see a married couple in the very beginning stages of dating, but I like how that weird juxtaposition forces introspection and action—these two never just fall into things easily and naturally, do they? It’s part of their quirky charm.
Go Back Spouses: I can see my second-lead ship sailing away, but that doesn’t mean I won’t enjoy the petty squabbling between the two boys as they fight over Jin-joo’s affections. I feel like things are both bleak for our main couple and yet also starting to see glimmers of hope, mostly because they’re just barely starting to actually communicate. They were so bitter in the original timeline that it seemed healthier for them to get new starts, but if they can actually correct some of their source issues—paradoxically, back in the “past” before they would have occurred in this reset timeline—I feel like it’s the best thing to a do-over that they can get.
20th Century Boy and Girl: There’s so little angst here that when the show tries to drum some up, it feels weirdly overblown, because the actual source of the conflict is so simple. I cannot imagine how there are four episodes’ worth of material still left—and with the crazy quadruple-header coming next week, I wonder if the drama knows how it’s filling all that time, either. This show is so good-natured and sweet that it’s a shame that it’s also boring.
Witch’s Court: I love that Yi-deum is still her irrepressible self, and she is remarkably likable for someone whose ethics are always toeing that line, veering on the edge of going too far. I actually prefer this setup, out of the prosecutor’s office and going at it from the other side, where her experience as a former prosecutor gives her a hefty advantage. Mostly, I’m waiting to see how the romance finally shakes out, since they’re still at philosophical odds, though the sharp edges have worn down now. Can we get some movement on that, please?
Currently recapping: While You Were Sleeping
Go Back Spouses: This is adorable. I’m only four episodes in, but I love Jang Nara in this role, and the show is like rom-com comfort food. Usually time-warp dramas are unbalanced because only one character is going back in time, but it’s so great to see both leads back in their youth and living it up, determined to do things right this time. And I’m already falling for the second lead! I’m doomed.
Temperature of Love: It was a depressing week for Temperature of Love. My wants for this show are very simple: I watch this drama to see two people in love. If they’re falling out of love, what the hell am I watching for?
Mad Dog: Woo Do-hwan being a part of the Mad Dog family is so delightful. It’s everything I wanted and more. I can’t believe it took so long for them to get here, but I love how squishy he is with the boys, and he’s starting to get really swoony with Ryu Hwa-young. I always knew you were a marshmallow!
Because This Life Is Our First: This drama is just the right amount of thoughtful, while still maintaining its light, funny, breezy tone. I feel happy and a little bit wistful when I watch it, and I wish I could bottle that feeling.
Because This Life Is Our First: I chose a great week to catch up on this show because this week was so darn cute. After thinking that Se-hee was an emotionless robot for so long, this week really caught me by surprise in the best way possible. I loved the poignant poetry that narrated Se-hee and Ji-ho’s courage to shift their platonic relationship to a more romantic one, with the emotional weight unexpectedly carried by Se-hee. All the cuteness was topped with ajumma-dressed kimjang Se-hee and horny Ji-ho—both had me rolling in laughter.
Witch’s Court: I’m taking my time with this one because it’s not the most riveting show. Even though we’re mostly guaranteed justice for the victims, the cases are always so icky to watch and sometimes timed too perfectly as plot devices for Yi-deum’s storyline. I like Yi-deum as a character, with her sharp tongue and stubborn nature, and I really like Jung Ryeo-won in the role because she embraces the unlikeable aspects of the character very well. But I am in no rush to catch up. When I run out of things to watch, I’ll get back to this show.
While You Were Sleeping: I forgot that this week was the finale, mostly because this show had been pretty stagnant for the past few weeks. I’m sure the storyline would have felt fresher if we didn’t have the dreams spoiling some critical moments, making the show pretty anticlimactic. But this finale surprised me with Chief Choi. His tragic storyline was arguably the most powerful and quite a tearjerker, especially with Lee Jong-seok crying his sad tears. But overall, the sweet romance, friendships, and Mom with the random English exclamations truly made this a pleasant watch.
Mad Dog: Insurance fraud isn’t the most gripping topic, but Yoo Ji-tae’s intense resolve somehow convinces me that they’re very important. I’m mainly watching for the undercover missions and the chemistry between Woo Do-hwan and Ryu Hwa-young.
20th Century Boy and Girl: Hmmm, maybe it’s a good thing that this show is ending early. There’s not enough conflict for me to keep interest for an entire hour. Although, I’m really digging that side romance between the flight attendant friend and the cutie-turned-ugly doctor. For some reason, it reminds me of My Name Is Kim Sam-soon. A lot.
Witch’s Court: After the climax of last week, this week was a bit of a snoozefest, but I’m glad Yi-deum is on her way to getting her mojo back.
Mad Dog: Woo Doo-hwan, I’m in it for you. Please have an epic epilogue where you and Ha-ri have a soccer team’s worth of cheeky and sneaky Olympic medalist children.
Revolutionary Love: I’ve been sick so I was late starting this one, despite it being my most anticipated out of the current batch of shows. I was hoping for something like Siwon’s character from She Was Pretty, this time as the lead of a crackling rom-com, but alas, this drama does not live up to its potential. It’s not a complete loss—it has likable leads, a cute premise and a talented cast, but the writing falls short just enough that we’re left with mediocrity. I’m still watching, because every week gives us a couple of really good scenes, and I love the camaraderie of the underdog cleaning crew; I’m also enjoying Siwon’s performance as Hyuk, who is open-hearted and generous almost to the point of imbecility. I need that kind of optimism in my life right now. But I am sad at the loss of the wacky, heartwarming rom-com I was hoping so much for.
Because This Life Is Our First: 2017 has given us some great dramas, even some unexpected near-masterpieces like Forest of Secrets and Live Up to Your Name, but this is the one I needed, and the one I’ve been waiting for all year. When it first started I watched up to Episode 4 and stopped, because it was so perfect and I was so excited for the rest that I wanted to make it last, in the ridiculous way I do sometimes. This week I watched five episodes in two days, gobbling them up almost uninterrupted. If this show continues this way to the end, it’ll earn its place on my personal top ten. I think what I love most about it is that the writer doesn’t hold back on the story for the sake of furthering the plot or creating conflict; the characters have the conversations they need to have, and act in the ways that feel authentic to them, exactly when it makes sense and not a moment later. And that makes them feel so alive and real.
My Ugly Duckling: Who knew that a show about four old ladies watching their unmarried celebrity sons fool around on camera would be the perfect thing to watch while convalescing in bed? These moms tell it like they see it, and it’s hilarious to see them at once sighing over their “old” bachelor sons’ immature antics and in the same breath defending them against the MCs’ teasing. Former basketball star Seo Jang-hoon is my new favorite variety personality, and I’ll never listen to a Kim Gun-mo song the same way again.
1 Night 2 Days Season 3: No celebrity death has ever hit me this hard before, so I was both dreading and anticipating the in memoriam episode they did for Kim Joo-hyuk. It was lovely and sensitively done, and even more devastating than I expected. (Especially those video messages from the other members at the end… God.) Maybe it’s because of the nature of the kind of program 1N2D is, but his time on it made me love him so much more than his acting projects. The show wasn’t the same without him, and this world won’t be the same either, without our lovely, generous-hearted, beautiful Gutaeng Hyung. Rest in peace. ♥
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (November 11, 2017)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (November 3, 2017)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (October 28, 2017)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (October 20, 2017)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (October 14, 2017)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (October 7, 2017)