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Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching

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…

 

girlfriday

Currently recapping: Hwayugi

Jugglers: I wasn’t as invested by the end, mostly because the last arc involved taking down baddies who were cartoonishly simple and not worth all that screen time. But it ended the way we all hoped, with plenty of rah-rah team moments and cuteness from the couple, so I don’t have any big complaints. Overall it was very even, consistently light and fluffy all the way through and pretty episodic, almost like a sitcom, which made it an easy show to reach for every week.

I’m Not a Robot: It took me a really long time to watch the finale, probably because all of the conflicts I actually cared about had already been wrapped up. I didn’t mind the cutesy filler too much since our couple was happy, but I was waiting for some kind of major robot-centric point at the end, and it never came. That was a tad disappointing, but my main takeaway from this drama is that Chae Soo-bin and Yoo Seung-ho are endlessly likable, and I would watch them in anything.

Mother: Damn, this is good. The directing is amazing, as expected, and the story is difficult to watch but riveting at the same time—I had to brace myself before pressing play but then I couldn’t look away once it started. I’ve only seen the first episode, which was a slow burn of eerie tension, as we learn piece by piece how badly this little girl is being treated at home. But by the end of the hour I was desperate for Lee Bo-young to take her away, so mission accomplished.

Radio Romance: Yoon Doo-joon and Kim So-hyun are very cute together onscreen; I just find it hard to believe whenever she’s running around mixing drinks at parties, because that image is jarring to me. But when she was being berated for TRYING to become a main writer, you’d better believe I was on her side and cheering for Yoon Doo-joon to do something about it. I don’t like how cold he is, but then they went and put him in a hanbok for his drama-within-the-drama shoot, and I instantly forgave him for everything. Apparently I’m easy like that.

 

TeriYaki

Black Knight: I was drawn to this drama by the visuals of Kim Rae-won (he’s never looked better) and was hooked by his abiding love for Shin Se-kyung. This man knows his heart and I appreciate that the show hasn’t seriously threatened the bond between their characters. Now that Kim Rae-won knows the truth about his past life and the part that Seo Ji-hye played in it, his rejection of her has completely pushed her over the edge. Sharon takes the adage, “If I can’t have him, no one can,” to a whole new level. I’m looking forward to an epic confrontation before Su-ho and Hae-ra get their happily ever after.

Just Between Lovers: This has been a haunting drama to watch and I had to pause for a few weeks because it was too difficult to get through. I caught up to Episode 13 this week and was impressed once again by the naturalness of the relationship between Won Jin-ah and Junho. Joo-won’s disappointment over their romantic connection only underscores their made-for-each other bond. The sweet moments between Kang-doo and Moon-soo are what keep me going because these two lovebirds aren’t home free yet. As this drama illustrates all too well, just because they deserve some happiness, it doesn’t mean that Kang-doo and Moon-soo will get it.

 
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this week i just watch JBL in the span of 24 hours, merely before the last ep sub come out. best decision in my life. what a beautiful story between Gang Doo and Moon Soo. a beautiful fate came from disaster is something i never expected. bravo Writer. did we know what drama this writer has written before?
its a shame that this beautiful gem aired at new time slot and late night at that.
still waiting NIF2 to complete broadcast next monday, Poor Anru tho. getting a husband like Yuanqi.

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I'm glad to hear JBL stayed strong until the end...The writer also helped write Secret (2013).

Ah nooo I've been *spoiled* on NIF2! I'm on episode 13. Are you saying Yuanqi turns bad? I had a feeling he would though. Such a beautiful wig too... sigh.

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the one with Jisung and Hwang Jung Eum?!! wow, this writer love this kind of the story. didnt this writer wrote Mask or this this another writer?

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Well, according to what I've read there were 2 writers on Secret... The main one (Choi Ho Chul) is indeed the writer of Mask. The assistant writer of Secret (Yoo Bo Ra) now worked solo on JBL - I will definitely check out her drama specials.

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WOW NO WONDER WHY I LOVE JBL SO MUCH

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Really..?? This is the same writer who wrote “Mask” because I really love that drama. Thanks for this info..

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I am waiting for the end too,
Anru is conflicted since Pei'er told her and I think they both sincerely like each other but love is not the only goal they both share.

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Oh no, i didn't hear, going to watch NIF2 too.. never don't understand yet, pray I'll forget abt this when I watch till there =p

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Really wished DB has recapped JBL! So we have a dedicated place to get thru the gut wrenching moments together. The show gives that slow-burn feeling that I get when I watched a good human jdorama back in the day. Though the lack of spoiler was good as it really kept me on the edge on whether it would end well or not...and sometimes it was so hard to watch as you were wondering if these poor puppies would ever catch a break (I almost had to pop over to soompi to make sure cos I don't think I could handle it if things ended badly) Stellar cast and cinematography! Look forward to more work from Jun Ho as well, it really was a breakout performance!

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@moomincandylalala
We do have a dedicated thread for JBL. It's not to late to join in the party if you still want to relive the moments of this show. Come on over!

http://www.dramabeans.com/2017/11/bound-by-tragedy-healing-through-love-in-jtbcs-just-between-lovers/comment-page-10/

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@growingbeautifully Ahh...thanks!! Beanies always find a way. Where have I been? Now I feel like that ghost that's been living under a rock! (is it too early for this kind of joke?) ~~~
I'm just saying JBL deserves a page for each episode cos it's that good!

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Of all the airing shows I am only left with "Mother", which I couldn't watch this week because of work. But in a light moment of a break, guess what I started again?? Yes, Just between lovers 😂... I am not even laughing,I am smiling but this show also makes me cry a river, why would I want to go through it over again?? You guys can tell.
Mother also makes me cry and fear, by the way. I will keep it up next week, when my work is done.
Oh my... I need something like IANR again, in order to balance my tv mood, but there is nothing out there anymore 😞.
It's ok though. JBL and mother will make me suffer with some kind of masochistic joy...
Have to go to work even Saturday and tomorrow too... you beanies enjoy the weekend. 😊

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Have you seen the original Japanese version of "Mother?" It's an absolute must watch when you are done with the K-version if you haven't seen it.

We are quite similar when it comes to balancing heavy and light dramas.
If I don't like what's currently showing I'd go back and watch my favorite episodes
"Love in the Moonlight" "My Girl" "Legend of Hyang Dan" "Age of Youth" "My love from Star" "Sassy Girl" (the movie) "Goblin" "Ghostess" "Queen In-hyun's Man etc or a variety show.

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I have not watched the original Japanese Mother drama, no. I think I will, as you suggested.
In regard to the shows you mentioned, I have only watched my love from the stars.
Taste might be similar, but we have watched different shows?? Or maybe I simply fave watched less than you?? It doesn't matter.
From the list you wrote, I would have to Google them and see what I find attractive.
Oh, I forgot, I watched the sassy girl, the movie, once. Yeah, that one I know. It was good, sweet and crazy 😂

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Similar with heavy dramas and the need for balance.
We might not like the same type of lighter dramas.

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You're brave, I can't deal with Mother's intensity right now. I'm saving it for a time when I'm mentally more stable and happy.
I usually watch a lot of melos but lately I haven't been able to handle them very well, so I keep postponing watching them.. I did the same with Just Between Lovers, I watched the first 2 eps and even though I liked it a lot I felt that I'd be crying too much over it so I paused it indefinitely.

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Yeah, it is better to stop if you think you cannot bear it.
For me, it is interesting because I am the opposite: normally I don't like melos at all. My style is romcoms (INAR), comedies (like waikiki right now), and some action once in billions of years (healer), but ironically, even though I have a difficult situation at the moment, I am totally embedded in the worlds of Mother and Just between lovers, tears inclusive. Maybe I need to cry a little bit and it makes more sense to cry with them... Maybe. But yes, that is a matter of feelings and endurance somehow.

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totally agree! it was a wonderful watch beginning to end.

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I'm currently watching Hwayugi and Radio Romance only. (And of course my weekly variety shows) But I was totally cheering for Kim So Hyun as well when the writer sunbae was being a little biatch and then Do Joon's character came out of nowhere like yasss.

I honestly don't think I'll be able to watch Mother at all T_T. I saw little clips on Instagram and stuff and from those 1-minute clips, my heart broke. I think I'd be a disgusting mess if I actually watched the whole show. I'm not mentally strong enough for that.

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I had the same feeling as girlfriday for mother. It's really riveting once u start ep 1. The shots feel so cinematographic, like watching a movie

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It does look beautiful and well directed, but I, unfortunately, would not be able to sit through the abuse scenes. I would be depressed for a while even though it's a drama. so better for me to just stay away lol.

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If you can survive the first 2 episodes of "Mother" the rest would be easier to watch once the child is removed from her abusers.
The rest would be the two of them on the run and mother daughter bonding etc.

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Nope

There is lots of heart warming scenes that still make you cry.

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I had 3 Monday/Tuesday dramas and 1 Wednesday/Thursday and now I only have Radio Romance. What to do with my time now? Time to rewatch Reply 1997, I guess!

I'm kind of sad Mysterious Ilseung is over. It felt like a 50-episoder to me because of its makjangness and mediocrity, but it only ran for 20. I liked Yoon Kyunsang in it, hope he comes back soon.

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@blnmom,

I watched TWO COPS and DOUBTFUL VICTORY, too, and used to get the baddies confused. Poor Il-seung / Jong-sam reminded me of Job, and the body count was distressing. The show had its moments, but not enough of them. If some of the tail-chasing had been chopped out and the length trimmed, it would have been better. They did manage to pull a few fast ones towards the end. Here's hoping Yoon Kyun-sang lands a happy-go-lucky role to offset the travail of this one. I've posted some thoughts on the finale on the last published recap.

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Ha, Job is a good comparison. Anything bad that could happen to this guy did.

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Yoon Hyun Sang gave this really subtle, understated performance with a great deal of gravitas in the middle of all this ridiculous makjang. It was weird. My one takeaway from this show was that I hoped my gentle giant would get some loving and I may or may not be volunteering for that difficult task.

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@leetennant,

You're right about Yoon Kyun-sang's performance being subtle and understated. It was easy to overlook in the midst of the three-ring circus, especially when the Men In Black and assassin Baek Kyung were chasing him.

I was peeved, but not too surprised, that Jong-sam got sent to jail yet again. It's not as if it were his idea to impersonate agent Oh Il-seung in the first place. Jong-sam didn't have much choice in the matter if he wanted to live, IIRC.

Maybe YKS chose this drama for the opportunity to work with a bunch of great veteran actors. I really enjoyed Park Hee-won's performance as Inspector Park. Jang Hyun-sung and Choi Won-young were dandy, too. Lim Hyeon-shik is one of my fave character actors, and I enjoyed his turn as the forensic pathologist. I just now read that Jeon Kuk-hwan (President Evil) had played Choi Young in SIX FLYING DRAGONS. I didn't recognize him, but had marathoned 6FD a year ago before REBEL. Ah, it all makes sense now. ;-)

I'm hoping that the big guy will pick a non-underdog role next time. And that he definitely gets the girl, too. One who won't keep beating him up, even if only playfully. If you promise not to smack him around the way Jin-young does, I'll see what strings I can pull to assist you. ;-)

[A little while later]

"Good morning, LeeT.

The actor whose picture you are looking at is Yoon Kyun-sang, whose most recent character, Kim Jong-sam, has been framed and sent to jail for a murder he did not commit. His biological father, a corrupt former president of the republic, has been trying to kill him for years.

Your mission, LeeT, should you choose to accept it, is to provide safe haven and a false identity for the actor until he takes on a new persona with more fortunate karma.

As always, should you or any of your DramaBeans cronies be caught by rabid fangirls, the secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions. This tape will self-destruct in five seconds."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4y9NtHlJvbY

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There was this amazing scene between Il Seung and Inspector Park in the penultimate episode after he kidnapped Manager Lee. It was beautifully acted and full of quiet emotion.

But it was in the same show that had not one, not two but THREE birth secret plot lines, innumerable trucks of doom and a badass female lead cop that they repeatedly damselled. Half the plot was driven by people walking in and just taking unsecured evidence from the police and prosecutors. Not to mention the number of times bad guys ran away while the cops stood there looking confused. The directing, in particular the blocking, was noticeably bad on more than one occasion.

And then they had scenes like that and I remembered why I stayed around till the end.

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@leetennant,

That was the scene in the interrogation room, right? It was terrific. The quiet intensity was very moving. In the earlier face-off between Jong-sam and his father, it was also low-key and intense. I didn't think Jong-sam would shoot the old coot, but kept my fingers crossed until he was out of the woods after he tricked Daddy Dearest into confessing.

[I am a bit confused. Was the super-duper watch a Dick Tracy Wrist-Radio that uploaded the confession to the cloud or something? I couldn't figure out why Lee didn't try to take or break the watch to prevent release of his confession. It wasn't clear to me from Agent Ki's Q-spiel exactly how it operated. -- Thanks.]

Some of Jong-sam's earlier scenes with Ddakji were quite touching, but they were so long ago I'm having difficulty recalling them. I was glad to see him (or his ghost) again as the snowflakes fell.

The scene of Inspector Park and his wife breaking the news to little Kang that his old partner is the boy's biological dad is loving, conflicted, and very moving.

The loyalty and caring between agents Kwak and Ki was touching in its own way. Kwak took the rap for his younger colleague the same way Jong-sam took the rap for DDakji. Too bad they were batting for the wrong team.

I agree that the show has a split personality. At times it's been so campy I thought I was watching a comic book. And then there are interludes of lovely, deftly-nuanced acting. It frustrates me that they get lost in the makjang horsing around.

I'm still glad I watched.

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@pakalanapikake

Yes I was referring to the interrogation room scene. I think it was one of the best in the show.

Re the recording watch: I know, right? He even says "I have recorded you confessing on this watch" and then he gets overpowered and just leaves the watch on his wrist. It's not the first time this show made me go "huh".

I feel like there were some great ideas in this that didn't get teased out enough. Instead they threw in every makjang "twist" they could think of. So the show was bipolar. Maybe the first third was well planned and then they had to write in a rush? Either way, it had a lot of unfulfilled potential. I should write fan fiction on it.

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@pakalanapikake

Mission accepted. While I understand that dialogue is not usually entered into in these circumstances, I'm assuming that my mission parameters do not preclude me helping him through this difficult time in whatever way I see fit.

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@LeeT

Whatever it takes, kiddo! ;-)

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Return - this is not my usual drama preference. I generally stay way from murder/mysteries/crime... but I decided to pick this up in the midst of a mini-slump and I'm hooked. It's not recapped here, which I'm quite sad about because I'd love to read recappers' guesses on where the mystery is going. But Go Hyun-jung as the attorney is amaaaazing and I want to her when I grow up. (A little too late to wish this). It's fast paced and keeping me on my toes! I like!

Radio Romance - Also picked up this new show despite thinking that KSH looks way too baby faced and the first two episodes were much better than expected! My only gripe is it is a little 2008 - so many wrist grabs, so many angsty alpha male scenes. The ironic thing is that those scenes are the ones that make hearts flutter (or mine, at least), so I'll give it a free pass. It's all cute and funny and I can't wait for more!

Hwayugi - Ugh, I need to know what happens. This is the only drama I'm livestreaming now and it's killing me. I need a happy ending for our monkey and Sun-mi!

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I am watching the same three. Very different genres and there are (minor) things I do not like about each of these three dramas but I greatly enjoy every single one of them. They are definitely worth our time and I hope for really good ratings for them (well, Return is already doing quite well)

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I catch up return last night and I like how they make the mystery go further by introducing the character in a natural way.
I know there is something wrong with the cleaning guy who turns out to be a doctor and like the comment that I saw, this can be a show when Oh Tae Suk find out how he becomes a murderer.

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Hwayugi. Following like crazy. Couldn't wait for the live show.

Black Knight. Doesn't really entice me anymore but since I've come so far, I just want to know what's the ending.

Brilliant Legacy. Such an old show but since I adore Han Hye Joo, and I want to see another Lee Seung Gil show. So, anyway I binge-watched and finished it even before the next episode of Hwayugi comes on. Tsk. But Brilliant Legacy is a good show. Can't say much about the acting of the two main leads but they've come a long way from then till now.

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I love Brilliant Legacy!

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Shining Inheritance is one of my favourites - it was entertained every second when I was watching it, even with the annoying villains! The love story was so cute.

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Hi Beanies! Here’s what I watched this week:
*Just Between Lovers: I loved it! I’m not a very emotional person. I mean I am a super sensitive person, but I only cry when things happen directly to me. But this drama made me feel things, too many things, and I’m glad that I watched it because the story and character progressions were great. Episode 15 was good (I mean the whole drama was consistently good, so it was expected), but I was a little put out that this time it was Moon-soo who wanted to stay away. I just wanted more fluff, but I just knew it wasn’t going to last long. Episode 16 wrapped things up well. And I was a mess! I cried sooo much that I couldn’t help, but just laugh out loud because I never cry when I watch things. My sister and mom were surprised as well because they knew I wasn’t even emotional that day and it was a rare sight to see, lol. Goodbye Gang-doo and Moon-soo! May you live a beautiful life together.
*Nigeru….(We Married As A Job): I loved BTLIOF and when people mentioned the similarities between it and this Japanese drama, I decided to check it out myself. I chose a great one as my first Japanese drama to watch. I definitely see why they were mentioned together, but I totally see it as two completely different things. I really liked the little reality game shows they played throughout the drama, they were so funny.
*Variety: I was very entertained by Running Man’s episode this week. With so many prison shows, I liked the concept they used. How can tofu be so funny and touching at the same time. I am still loving and laughing out loud at Master in the House. These guys are great together! Of course, Night Goblin makes me hungry, but I hate waiting in lines so I don't think I'll ever be first in line for anything. It's nice to live vicariously though😊.

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The cast dancing at the end of every episode of We Married As A Job was toooo cutee ^-^

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Yes it was!

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Personal Opinion - Nigeru still is far better than that typical kdrama.

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I agree wholeheartedly.

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omg yes this week's running man episode had me cracking up it was so funny throughout, especially when they were playing the lying game in the car

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I laughed so much as well. What I really liked about this episode is that everyone seem to have equal amounts of screne time and they were all on top of their game funny:)

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I decided to go back in time and picked up FATED TO LOVE YOU. Oh...that smile and the laughter.

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Meaning to watch that drama forever since i watched Jang Nara in Go back couple.

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In case you haven't got too far, be warned: it is a bait-and-switch story. Smiles and laughter pretty much stop after episode 8 or so...

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That was one of my first kdramas, too cheesy and makjang for me at the time. But Jang Hyuk and Jang Nara were so good.

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I'm only watching Mother currently. This drama is essentially about women, women as mothers, daughters, and sisters. And I love that focus on essential relationships between women. Plus, because I watched the Japanese version already, I'm loving the differences in certain character arcs. I loved how they introduced a doctor who also loves birds like Soo jin, I'm already shipping them. It's nice to see people who have unique hobbies and interests bond over those interests, plus he is such a nice guy. Though narrative is still quite tense, and there is lots to happen. I'm loving the pace and direction of the drama.

And recently, I have been binge watching older 2000 dramas. I finished Taiwanese drama autumn's concerto 2 weeks ago and was surprised to find myself finishing all 34 episodes. Despite it being old, I have to say it was an engaging drama though of course, there were cliched tropes here and there as usual. Though one thing that this drama did really well is that it had beautiful ending for all its arcs, meaning character behaved like adults and talked through all their issues in the end giving a closure to all their problems. It was refreshing to finally have a drama satisfy me with those long and open conversation about feelings, contemplation, and regrets. Even the supposive evil people had their closure and changed for the better, so I was feeling wonderfully satisfied after finishing this drama. After that I started 1% of something 2003 version and watched 15 episodes of it before I had to skip to the end, though it wasn't because of the drama per-say, I pretty much ran out of time to watch the last 10 episodes. But, I loved the slow pace and greater exploration of Dada and Jae in's relationship dynamics here than in the modern version, Jae in was especially was showed to be a flawed person with his anger issues though with other redeeming qualities. I also loved the extensive family scenes. It was different treatment of the show altogether.

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Just like you said, I remember to like autumn concerto for the payoff.
It was sad but rewarding.

For 1% of something, it was kind of weekend drama so they need to flesh out every aspect of the family, hehehe. I like when they bring their gf to the family and jae in family is like "but they came from the same family?"

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Everyone has good things to say about Autumn's Concerto and it's on Netflix. It's definitely on my 'to watch' list.

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I watched Autumn's Concerto last year and it is one of my favorite drama ever. You can't help but root for OTP and the way the drama is devided in 3 arcs showing different stage of their relationship was well crafted.

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3 days after watching the end of Just Between Lovers and I'm still struggling to let it go. It's funny that while I was watching this show, I enjoyed it but thought it was too depressing and slow-paced to want to watch again. But now that it's over I'm left with this aching satisfaction from it and have this strong desire to start it all over again just to savor it properly once more. Although I knew from the opening credits sequence that this was inspired by real tragedies in Korea, I didn't learn until the end that the mall collapse itself was an actual event and the story just hits me that much harder from it. This may not be a perfect show or one that's always on-the-edge-of-your-seat entertaining, but I feel like it's a show that's worth watching if only for the various messages the writer tries to get across through it. I think this drama was probably the writer's "baby" in the sense that she put so much love and care into telling the stories she wanted to tell with it, and I'm so glad that a great production crew and cast brought this heart-wrenchingly beautiful work to life for us all to enjoy <3

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I have the inkling to re-watch Just Between Lovers too, so as to savour it as you said. While it's about healing from a tragedy and I really like the story set up that practically almost every character is affected by that tragedy that change all their lives one way or another, the story is so engaging that I find it very easy to watch.

The two leads nail their roles almost to perfection. Junho just shows he's got what it takes to be a top actor. Kim Jin-Won wows me especially considering this being her first drama. Hope she will continue to have good projects.

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Won Jin-Ah ;-)

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Wow! This is Kim Jin Won's FIRST drama? She's adorable in JBL. I get sucked into her emotions easily and she's not the meek female character who doesn't speak her mind when necessary. She picks when to speak and when not to for each situation. Gotta admire that! I'm watching Hello My Twenties and the hoobae of the group is ticking me off with her slouching. LOL The contrast!

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Yes, it's Won Jin Ah's first drama. Amazing isn't she?

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The only show I watched this week was "Mother" and I can honestly say that it is hitting the right spots. The acting, the pacing, the music and cinematography. While I have enjoyed every episode so far I have to admit that episode 3 is currently my favorite. It hit all the emotional spots perfectly. The character development is good so far for Lee Bo Young's character. Her past has started coming back, and she is going to have to meet it head on and it is and is going to be a heartbreaking ride.

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I should say only new show as I also watched JBL.
*SPOILER AHEAD*
While I did like the story I have to admit that it suffered on the second half. GD getting a fatal condition was in my opinion so unnecessary for the story. While they did kind of hint it towards the beginning of the show they left it for the very ending and so much was happening already that throwing that just seemed again in my opinion an overkill (no pun intended). Why couldn't the show just center on them meeting survivors and the families of victims and healing through that. The characters in this drama were written beautifully the chemistry between Junho and WJA was great as was the acting but the story was somewhat lacking. It showed so much promise but it just didn't get there. Maybe I am just being harsh maybe I had my hopes and expectations too high, but that is just my personal opinion. I think my main problem is that everything was left and crammed in the ending. Also I get that this is a melo but now I am just going to think that this director loves bringing as much pain as he can to his main male leads
*cough*Kang Ma Ru*cough* XD. Also another thing from this director he loves to leave everything for the end and then rapidly tries to solve everything, at least it was a happy ending :).

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One last thing if you can go vote for Juhno at the soompi awards for idol actor. He is not even top three and is losing against V and Kai.

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I had the same feelings.The show completely lost its own premise n 2nd half and became another generic romance. This happens pretty much with every kdrama. they usually have 5-6 episodes content and then they stretch it 16-20 dramas.

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I'd beg to politely differ on GD's condition being unnecessary. One of the things I liked the most about this show was how each of the main leads had their own "demon" of sorts that the accident brought to the surface and that they needed to overcome in order to move on from the tragedy. For example, MS had an inferiority complex. Even before the accident, she was jealous of her sister and believed her mother loved YS more. As a result, she not only suffered from survivor's guilt because of YS and SJ's deaths, she had a deep down hatred for herself that truly believed she should have been the one to die and kept that pain internalized because she felt she wasn't worth it. Meeting GD and working on the memorial helped bring that truth to the surface for her and she finally learned that it was okay for her to be loved and to let herself be happy and love in return.

For GD, I believe it was his lack of ambition. Whereas MS turned the blame inwards and kept it hidden within her, GD was the opposite in that he blamed the world for stealing away his father and sole dream of becoming a star soccer player and expressed that with anger and living recklessly. He felt that his life was in essence already stolen from him and so he chose to live carelessly seeing no point to living anymore and blinding himself to the fortunes that he still had. I thought it was fitting that just as he found a purpose and desire to live again and realized just how much he still had despite what he lost, he was faced with a harsh slap of reality in the face- that the one that had been stealing away his life was himself and he had to pay the price for that. His spared life in the accident was a gift but he failed to fully realize that until his liver problem put death at his front door. Therefore, that miracle in the end was his second chance and he was able to recognize that and learn to not take it for granted this time.

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@Hobakky
Great analyses and so succinct!

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I like your point. But i don't think they execute it coherently. They are just execute it in uninteresting manner. The change of their wake up call up is too formulaic to make me feel something of their character development. In order words. Love conquer all mantra. muahhaha

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I saw your review on MDL yesterday.

And about that text wall of china.- Similar arguments can be made for any drama. That doeasn't make them good or coherent. Just throw few buzzwords here and there, write sonnets about lousily written cardboard cut characters and portray like content is some masterpiece.

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@catocat : wow, you actually read my review... I though there is no one who will ead it, LOL... I don't know, I start to smell the pattern the more I watch alot of drama.

We also can smell it in the way the actor uttering their line. Actor is also human, they know better when the script start doesn't make sense or doesn't add anything significant. At times A great actor can cover a lack of script and elevated their character than it's suggested. But alot of time, lesser actor will start to less care about adding depth, often coasting and trying too hard . .

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I don’t think the actual plot point was unnecessary per say, but I do think it was prolonged, which in my mind created for more angst than necessary - And then like you said, the resolution was crammed in the final 15 min or so. It’s a minor niggle, but I did feel it resulted in a finale that was of a lesser quality than the rest of the drama. But that’s just my opinion. Still, the show will undoubtedly be listed as one of my faves for 2018, as the message it relayed remained poignant till the very end - overall, a well crafted show with superb acting and cinematography.

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Note: I was referring to the final ep only, as (for me) ep1-15 was perfect!!

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I think it was one of the few dramas where I would have liked to see more of the corporate intrigue because they managed to make it feel really important. There were lives at stake and it wasn't just some family feud as it is in most other dramas.

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Well... You just can't blame director Kim Jin Won shi directly... He is just coincidentally meet with the writers who are like to throw histrionics to their male lead. LOL.... "San Ma Ru" The package say hi *wing wing*

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Starting 2018 with "Return" & "Mother".

Return: This was an unexpected hit for me. Didn't plan to watch it but I got bored so I decided to check it out for Go Hyun-Jung. I really like it. Lots of twists and I'm liking that the pacing is fast. Acting is phenomenal, especially Bong Tae-Gyu. My only criticism is the editing. It's not quite polished and it can ruin the flow.

Mother: Came with high expectations and I was not disappointed. I really like the cinematography and directing.

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Just finished MAWANG / THE DEVIL / THE LUCIFER, and it was dandy. Not for the faint of heart, but an excellent meditation on revenge. The OST is wonderful.

Also wrapped up DOUBTFUL VICTORY.

MONEY FLOWER winds up this weekend. It has been a blast with an excellent cast. Jang Hyuk has been knocking it out of the ballpark. I can't predict how this finale is going to play out any more than I've been able to anticipate the serpentine machinations of the hero and his antagonists.

Currently watching HWAYUGI, and have been enjoying it.

Will be tuning in to RADIO ROMANCE.

Looking forward to SHOULD WE KISS FIRST and GRAND PRINCE.

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On my fan wall I posted the 5 OSTs and all the instrumental music (27 pieces!) I could find from MONEY FLOWER. The music in this drama is terrific. Enjoy!

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Not watching much of anything, just waiting for the good stuff to start (Mystery Queen 2, Should We Kiss First); will be picking up Mother soon since I loved the original so much.

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Wishfultoki's self-treatment for Slump:

1) no more forcing myself: I need to watch the finale of Just Between lovers but will wait until I'm in the mood. It was a good show, I just need to sit down. Spoilers actually motivated me.
2) switch to Chinese drama: Nirvana in Fire 2.
3) watch with a buddy for support: I started NIF2 with mom. I probably sound like a nerd all the time by saying 'this is connected to something in NIF1'. We made bets whether our theories are correct lol. I'm at episode 13 and she binge-watched the rest of it without me. Thanks mom.
4) go back to my to-watch list: I was quite entertained by Bottom of the Ninth Two Outs. Thanks to the 'in defense' post by @mihoo. It felt modern while still giving me 2000s nostalgia. Unfortunately I'm an inpatient person when it comes to friends-to-lovers dramas, and I skipped to the ending after episode 12. I liked how they talked about the difficulties of being more than friends, but overall the heroine was really wishy washy.
5) Choose a drama that is being recapped. I have not watched a drama that is being recapped since BTIOFL ended, and I miss that. I might try Radio Romance though I will drop it like a hot potato if it's mainly fluff. I'm also easy when it comes to YDJ in hanbok.

Side effects include drowsiness, increased appetite, pale skin, thirst, dreaming about oppas and addiction to the fanwall.

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> I probably sound like a nerd all the time by saying 'this is connected to something in NIF1'.

hahaha you are fine, when I watch it, I said something like "that's jingyan old house that tingsheng's dad chose for him, perfect for tingsheg's family"
"they referred MCS as that guy"
"they mentioned jingyan as good emperor"

I also really like Tingsheng and the emperor relation, in NIF1 the prince are always at odds with each other but seeing how caring they are [except the past laiyang's prince] feels so good, like "oh jingyan, your son turn out well, even tingsheng, tingsheng is a great dad"

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I’m kind of bummed that so few shows are being recapped now, the chances of reading recaps for whatever I happen to be watching have gone down dramatically.

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Just curious, is “Mother” not getting recapped? It’s not on the currently recapping list.

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No, LollyPip just did the first episode, which they sometimes do. She said that she is still watching it though.

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I was watching mother - Does anyone get uncomfortable FOR the children who play the roles of victims of physical /sexual abuse?

like i know that the crew takes special care of the children... And these stories need to be told.. But still when the child is too young, even acting might traumatize them...

If i have kids, i can never imagine allowing them to act in something where they are to be part of a scene of sexual abuse...

I don't know - it's just making me so uncomfortable thinking of the child actors

On topic - just watching hwayugi... And return..

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I remember reading somewhere that there was psychologist? on the set for hye na to get counseling for before and after the scenes. So the mother team has been prepared at least in that way. And unfortunately, child abuse is the reality of life often times around the world, so It can be an important way to spread awareness despite it being such an uncomfortable thing to watch.

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I once read somewhere that in dramas about abuse or worse, they shoot the child scenes unchronologically, with the other person in the scene saying lines different from the script to avoid giving them a very clear idea of what is actually happening. Then they shoot the adult parts with the child absent, and merge and edit the scenes in the edit-room.

Of course the article I read wasn't specific to korea or any country, neither was it a set rule. But if this is actually done, then a thousand more kudos both to kids and the directors who can wring your heart in such dramas!

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she says in an interview that she enjoyed playing the scary scenes a lot , she is very smart and goes to an acting school and receives therapy so all is good

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@bips99 February 2, 2018 at 9:03 PM

Re: care of child actors

Two years ago I stumbled across the excellent interview that Ms. Baek Ji Yeon conducted with Gong Yoo. The beginning of it dealt with his 2011 film, DOKANI / SILENCED. Right at the start, she asks him about the child actors and concerns for their well-being. He explains in great detail how those concerns were addressed during filming. It's a wonderful and moving interview. I'm grateful to the volunteer(s) who did the English subtitles.

DOKANI / SILENCED was adapted from a novel based on a true case of child abuse at a school for the deaf. The perpetrators got off with light sentences, and were allowed to return to the school. GY's supervisor during his military service gave him a copy, and he was so affected by reading it that he researched it – and found out that it was based on an actual case. He discussed the possibility of making a film with a producer during his enlistment, and made the movie after his return to civilian life. DOKANI / SILENCED rocked the nation when it was released.

GY stated that filming some of the scenes was upsetting for him. He was able to watch the film only once -- when it was screened for critics -- because it still shook him up so much four months after filming it. He noted that the cast and crew were greatly concerned for the well-being of the child actors. He wryly said that although the senior actors and director, etc., were concerned about possible future repercussions in their lives, the kids blew it off and said it was just acting.

The entire interview is top-notch. GY's comments on the burden of sensitivity necessary for him to be an actor, what sounded like perfectionism, and the frustrations of living in a fishbowl, were very touching. Interviewer Paik Ji Yeon did a lovely job. Her warm conversational style and sincerity were
a refreshing switch from some of the clueless and confrontational interrogations I've seen on US
TV. If I weren't already a fan of Gong Yoo, this interview would have turned me into one.

People Inside, episode 119 (air date 10/09/2011)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61CD6mAO-yE

Note: Because of copyright issues with background music, a brief segment of of the audio is missing late in the interview.

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My respect for Gong Yoo increased hundredfold after learning the story behind the making of this film, but when I saw this interview, and heard the concern and care the crew took of the child actors, it increased even further. This film is a tough watch, and I can only imagine how difficult it was for the cast and crew to act out those scenes. But knowing it resulted in a real change in the laws of South Korea makes one realize the power that artists can wield.

Gong Yoo seems like good people, and hopefully the frenzied media and fan attention is no longer overwhelming and he can live somewhat more normally. I'm still waiting for his next project.

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@egads,

I'm glad you found the interview interesting. I had exactly the same response after watching it.

MOTHER sounds like another show that deals with real life stuff that is all too often swept under the rug. If the cast and crew of DOKANI / SILENCED were so careful with the way the filming was done, I'd like to think that MOTHER's cast and crew are doing likewise.

I, too, am looking forward to Gong Yoo's next project, all in his own sweet time. ;-)

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I've yet to see Silenced but I've meant to for years because I've heard nothing but praise for the movie. It was on Netflix for a while but doesn't seem to be anymore, but I'll make sure to track it down and give it a watch. I've also bookmarked that interview to watch afterwards, so thanks for the link!

Before Mother aired I read this article on Soompi:
https://www.soompi.com/2018/01/17/lee-bo-young-states-chose-new-drama-mother-speak-child-abuse/

About filming the abuse scenes, Lee Bo-young said, “I was worried that she might be scarred or shocked by the things she has to go through in the drama. I thought a lot about how we should carry out the filming. I discussed it with the staff, and we made sure that she receives counseling after filming abusive scenes so that she knows to separate the drama from her real life. Thankfully, she’s a very mentally strong person and she’s doing fine.”

That was a relief to read. This article was a large part of why I so looked forward to Mother. Lee Bo-young has really gained my respect.

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I actually sought out more information about the film while I was watching it (I had to stop halfway through--it's difficult in its realism), and found this interview then.

@mindy I'm relieved to hear they are taking care of the child actor on the set of Mother. I'm waiting to watch this one as JBL was limit for trauma for awhile.

@pakalanapikake, I am impatiently waiting for Gong Yoo. He better be developing something besides ads right now. Not that his photo shoots aren't nice, but they aren't very fulfilling for this fan.

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@mindy February 6, 2018 at 6:22 PM

Thanks so much for that pointer. I've posted it on my fan wall.

I still have yet to see DOKANI. But it's on my list. One day.

The state mental hospital near where I lived was the site of adult sex abuse scandals, so the movie hits close to home. In its day (it was built in the late 1800s), it had been a cutting-edge, progressive institution, with its own farm. I belonged to a 4-H square dance club that met on the grounds. Occasionally we'd dance with the young residents.

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I watched Doubtful Victory to its ridiculous end but other than that I am watching nothing... yet. I will start Radio Romance. I'm still recovering from the INAR feels, despite being slightly disappointed with the final episodes. And by slightly, I mean slightly. This was still one of the best shows ever made. Like @girlfriday I was disappointed the robot plotline was wrapped up so quickly and anti-climatically.

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CURRENTLY WATCHING.
+ Hwayugi (2017) (10/20) ~ Airing.
Lee Seung Gi as Son Oh Gong is pure magic! The developments in the in romance were needed, but I wonder how this will affect the relationship going forward.
I still feel this drama is tonally uneven, but it’s still a lot of fun!
+ Radio Romance (2018)(2/16) ~ Airing.
Wasn’t expecting to like this drama at all, but with the opening episodes I’m intrigued enough to keep watching. I recall watching Yoon Doo Joon in Splash Splash Love. I don’t recall him ever being this magnetic. The way his character Ji Soo Ho looks at Song Geu Rim is transfixing. Even in the first episode, he looks at her with such longing. It will be interesting how this romance shakes out, but I’m in because of Doo Joon.
+ Return (2018)(10/32) ~ Airing.
This drama is remarkably well written and executed. The four friends are such twisted characters, who are used to bending the rules in their favor. Each episode thus far has provided for some amazing double takes. This drama keeps me guessing.
+ Mother (2018)(1/16) ~ Airing.
Just watched the second episode today. This drama is so well done, but the story is so difficult to watch ...
+ Stranger (2017)(2/16).
Finally getting around to this drama. The pilot wasn’t really grabbing me like I expected, but that all changed in the second episode. The shots that they capture in this drama are so striking. I absolutely loved the scene where Hwang Shi Mok was reenacting the murder scene over and over again was fascinating. Can’t wait to continue this one!

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I just can't get motivated by the dramas out now. Watching Hwayugi, of course, and Radio Romance. But the drama scene just seems so...unexciting. I'm basically just waiting for Mystery Queen 2. And really hoping Pretty Noona Who Buys Me Food is adorable.

So I have turned to watching older shows like Which Star Are you From? Master's Sun, Vampire Detective, Bubblegum and Wild Romance. (Don't judge my love for Lee Dong Wook!)

Just waiting for something exciting!

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Hwayugi 👍👍👍 😁
Mother 👍👍👍 😨 😰

Doubtful Victory Watchable/mediocre. I thought the first part of ep 39 was a low point. Did anyone think the good guy was actually going to shoot the bad guy in cold blood? In a kdrama? Did anyone not guess that he was recording the conversation/confession? That the gun was empty when he dropped it and let the bad guy pick it up? Come on, show, at least try.

Cross Dropping unless I get really bored: Ep 1 was lots of same-old like I've seen a million times.
Radio Romance 👍👍👍 😁 a keeper. Also lots of same-old, but it's got Kim So-hyun, and I've only seen her a half million times.

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"Did anyone think the good guy was actually going to shoot the bad guy in cold blood? In a kdrama?"

A few episodes before, I thought that was where this was heading. I would have kind of liked a kdrama to go there. When he said, "I'll try the law and the media and if they don't work I'll kill you" I was watching him try the law and then the media and, hey, they didn't work. He was already on death row for a crime he didn't commit. It would have been far more interesting if that's where this was going.

Instead it was like the worst version of Star Wars ever.

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Is cross bad? I'm actually looking forward to it since It's tvn, so usually it's better than network drama. What makes you drop it?

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I didn't like it, bad cliches and the lead is supposed to be a genius, but missed very obvious things. I also found the supporting cast and female lead 10x more interesting.

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I didn't think ep 1 was terrible, just stale trope-salad. But if it had been my first kdrama ever I might have thought it was fresh and original and wonderful.

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Basically Doctor Stranger with organ traffickers instead of North Koreans. The second episode was better but I’ll be dropping it if it doesn’t pick up soon.

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I don't really what to think about it, I will wait the 2 next episodes maybe drop. I'm not is about the genius side that bothered me but more like the hero as no moral at all

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@kafiyah bello @lordcobol @chingumode @kirika
Thank you all. I will check it the first and second episode. There's not many offerings in dramaland nowadays so at least I got to check whatever it offers me.

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Just Between Lovers - 7/10. This the best score i can give. By episode 14 i was ready to throw out Kang Doo for some entertainment but he convinced me in ep 15 that he needs to be alive. Pretty mediocre Kdrama. By 2nd half it had played almost all melodrama cliches convincingly. It was long, boring and without any aim or objective. It forgot its own premise in 2nd half and languished around typical annoying and nonsensical dramas and hush ups. Total waste of an oppurtunity. I never felt emotional in any bit of scene. Lot of it was just cooked to easily serve the audience. I'm being far too generous giving it a 7.

KAKEGURUI - The madness is here. 8/10
Princess Jellyfish aka KurageHime 8/10 This we call a story

Iron Ladies - another meh taiwanese drama. time pass 6/10

Lion Pride - another meh taiwanese drama. time pass 6/10

Mr. Right - Another crap Chinese drama 4/10. Skip most of the scenes. annoying characters and too strong of Muh china, my chinese pride.

Liar Game Vs. Liar Game - If you manga manga action then Japanese version is the best. If you want a bit more tone down happenings Kdrama version is better. Both heve their own merits but i will show my bias and pick Liar Game Japanese Make the "original one" overall better Tv media.

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Seirei no Moribito - 8/10
Denai Shoujo - 7.5/10
Anone - 7/10 - better than the rating i gave.
Five - japanese drama - crap 4/10
Where the Lost ones go - Chinese 6.5/10

Radio Romance - 4/10 Someone bring back writer into present. Every generic avg. element present in 1st week itself. As i said yesterday who takes on these kinds of scripts and give temporary job to these hack of scriptwriters? Its like there is no writing left in korea. Either they copy/paste japanese content or recycle their own content of early 20's.
Story and characters both are below avg. and almost scrap.
Kim so Hyun looked good but what can be done about her character.
Namaste dude need to be punched. His attire surely gets +1 from me.

Return - I don't want to watch -ve content in this winter season but show is by far better than other korean shows. ongoing one. 6/10

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i watched Denai Shoujo for Shuhei.. it's cute so far but the girl who plays Ai kinda irritate me sometime lol

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Huh gud havent watched korean.. japanese v is awesome ( liar vs liar)

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Thanks for your info on Liar Game vs Liar Game. I'll probably start with the Japanese version. Princess Jellyfish sounded interesting so I'll try that too!

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Princess Jellyfish is funny. I enjoyed the movie. Just finished Ep. 1 . 👍

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Yassssss someone else is watching Princess Jellyfish!

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can you recommend me some good japanese drama? nowdays i'm into Japanese drama again because of shuhei lol..

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I Am Not A Robot - What's better than the drama? The BTS. Watching all the BTS to get me through the drama withdrawal and it feels like season 2. Almost.

Radio Romance - Saw the first 2 episode. Not digging it as there were too many jarring questions at the back of my mind when I am watching it. I feel like the script writer is trying too hard to set up all these circumstances and that's just what it feels like - so set up. It doesn't feel natural. Probably not gonna stick with this. Really wanted to watch KSY though.

Strongest Deliverymen - Yes, picked this up to tide me over INAR as well. What a difference this compared to Radio Romance. It hooked me in right away, without any questions! And how cute was Kim Sunho here?! I didn't even know he was in this drama. Added bonus and serious SLS. Sighh...

Hwayugi - I love the myth and the world constructed within this drama. I never know what to expect every week hence making me look forward to watching an episode, but not eagerly anticipating it.

My Golden Life - the plot finally picked up as everyone regained their humanity. I want to see an epic showdown between chaebol grandad vs. everyone else. With only a handful of episodes left, I just know it will be a rush to the ending after it dragged for so long in the middle.

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Kim "Dimples" Sunho as the troubled chaebol is amazeballs. SD is a great show!
Chae Soo Bin has had good taste so far - Sassy GoGo, Moonlight, Rebel, SD and INAR... I am excited to see what she'll do next.

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I was on edge all Monday over JBL. I ended up waiting and watching the last two episodes on Tuesday.

I think, narratively speaking, there were quite a few holes in this drama. Is Gang-doo still suffering from PTSD? Why did Director Jeong suddenly become likable? Etc. The last two episodes were beautiful but also very exhausting. I honestly don't think it was necessary to put Gang-doo through the liver failure plot. They could've focused on the flashbacks and voices, or shown us how GD and MS stabilized their relationship. On the other hand, the whole liver transplant imbroglio gave us a great opportunity to see how much GD and MS have grown together and how much they love each and how much they're loved by those around them. I do wish we got more happy stuff (5 minutes at the end of episode 16 is not enough!), but in the end it makes sense that they focused on the hardships (certainly more in keeping with the show's tenor). Overall, I'm very happy I watched JBL and I'll definitely watch anything Junho or Won Jin-ah are in.

I watched the first episodes of Radio Romance. I'm not *that* impressed so far, but, then again, I rarely am after the first few episodes. I'll watch a few more and decide whether or not it's worth sticking around.

I'm watching "Kill Me, Heal Me" and a Taiwanese drama called "Lion Pride". The former is good; the latter, well Yen Tsao is very nice to look at...

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It's interesting that you thought he became likeable. I've read a few comments about that too. I don't think Director Jeong became likeable at all throughout the course of the drama. His last scene showed him to be just as obnoxious as ever, just possibly happier. I honestly wish that Mari would find a better man, but I guess there's no accounting for taste, and if anything he has always sincerely liked her lol.

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I was actually talking about his younger sister (prolly should've looked up her name but I honestly can't be bothered). It seemed like they tried really hard in the last few episodes to make her seem likable by having Joo-won and Gang-doo up to her. Idk about anyone else, but I really can't understand how Joo-won could genuinely be nice to her (I can understand not being mean to her, but he was never especially mean tbh).

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She's the smartest person in that family. She's the one who could get things done. She was brought back by her brother to help joo won and she has done it very well.
She's also pretty and chic. I have no reason not to like her 😁

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Yoojin? I actually thought she was likable way before the end of the show... as soon as we got the scenes where she was defending Kangdoo or where she rejected Joowon for being a creep.

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Oh yeah. Right when she rejected Joo-won’s advances my respect for her shot up and I really started liking her. Many of her actions still were for her own self-interest (and she was not ashamed to admit it), but she also truly seemed to want to do good for Kang-doo as well.

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This! I wanted a tad more of the “happy” stuff, not necessarily of the main couple, but just the characters in general and the outcome of their healing. It was all a bit too neat and step-by-step narrated in montage form - the writing wasn’t as tight for the final ep, I feel. I look forward to watching it again though, who knows, maybe I’ll view it differently on second viewing.

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I am only watching Radio Romance and Hwayugi for now; and since my drama schedule is not tight right now, I am able to watch variety shows that I had put in the back burner for a very long time, i.e. Youth Over Flowers: Africa... it's better late than never, right? hahaha

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Hwayugi: Though I feel like the writing and directing could use some finessing, I am delighted with the story and the characters. I do hope there will be more action going forth, now that Sunmi seems to be taking ownership of her powers and her man...err monkey god! You go get it!!

Radio Romance: Liked the first episode, but was disappointed with the second. The drama is probably still feeling its way, so I'll give it another week. I'm in love with Yoon Park and his PD Lee character. Is it the facial hair or just his weirdness? And yes, Yoon Doo Joon in a hanbok is no joke.

Greatest Love (episodes 5-10, rewatch): I'm in love. Of all the Hong sisters' works, I think it may be the funniest and most swoony. I feel like that "Dugeun Dugeun" song is imprinted on my heart too. Watching that Lee Seung Gi cameo (in ep 9) as a two-faced diva of an actor was hilarious, especially in light of CSW and LSG's current roles in Hwayugi. Still trying to one-up each other!

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oh so sweet....I love greatest love...Its one of my all time favourite drama...Now I feel like binge watching it again.....

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Right now, I'm watching Black Knight, Return and Misty.
BK is not as bad as most people assume it to be, it has an interesting plot and a unique-in-its-own-way storyline. It really took a lot of self-control to not reach into the screen and slap Sharon senseless. She's such a horrible human being and I applaud the actress playing her character.
Return is a pleasant surprise. I guess the whodunnit plot has its thrill because the drama keeps you guessing each episode.
For Misty, I had already planned to watch it when I started seeing the teasers but boy, the first ep was enough to get me hooked. I also like how its rated 19+, feels like we don't get enough of those in dramaland. Also, Misty's doing really well in terms of ratings (3.5%)

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Second episode rating is %5,07.
I loved Misty so far.

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Goodbye JBL, it was a beautiful journey. Unlike some of the comments I might be one of the few that didn't mine KD's "last minute" disease. It didn't feel unrealistic that someone who lived his life that recklessly, taking painkillers without prescriptions would end up with a busted kidney. Tbh the show has been hinting at that since the beginning, grandma kept telling him to stop taking them and to let his pain out instead, and with no granny to give him placebos he ended up taking real, strong painkillers. It's a nice little PSA about how important prescriptions are if anything lol,and also quite a real problem that relates to the poor who can't afford healthcare and have to resort to back alley drugs. It took me back to granny talking about people dying bc of poverty. Even the 'miracle' he got was rooted in realism imo. He was a fatal patient, and fatal patients would shoot straight up in the transplant list, so it made sense that if a donor came along he'd be the one to get it. And the stress on his miracle coming from someone else's pain really brought home the idea that happiness and sadness are things that go together. KD was a person who thought happiness has passed him by, and to give him that miracle to me is to give hope to many others like him that might be watching. The drama doesn't address whether his PTSD still happens but I imagine it does just that he's accepted it and learned to live with it.

I also don't really feel like not showing us the memorial was a plot hole. The memorial isn't the end game of the story, what's more important is the healing and closure it brought to not just KD and MS but also the rest of the survivors they met, and I thought that was done well. In a way, it gave cadence to the idea that the memorial wasn't for the public or even us as the viewers. It belongs to the victims and the survivors of the tragedy.

I don't think the drama is perfect by any means, and the length or slowness of it is really up to personal tastes, but in terms of the story it was trying to convey I think the cast and crew did a wonderful job. I feel like the writer has taken really great care in telling this drama in the most realistic way possible. But the main point of the drama was to convey hope and healing, and yes, they've definitely achieved that for most of its ardent followers. And if anything, this drama gave us strong! Female! Lead!, Feminist! Male! Lead!, men who understands consent and personal space, respectful protrayals of mental health and PTSD, women with agency and men who respect them for it, and a whole lot of heart and I should stop now before I was even more lyrical about it.

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I can't like your comment so I just wanted to say 100 thumbs up! I loved everything that you said and feel like you took the words right out of my mouth :) I really think that some of the greatest aspects in this show were the smaller details so I'll help you wax even more lyrical about it. Strong female lead (actually I think almost all of the females in this show were pretty strong and admirable), a male lead that respects women, the portrayal of disabilities, the portrayal of foreigners and the poor, the challenging of the stereotype that men and women can't be friends without sleeping with each other, the metaphorical punch in the face to the corrupted higher-ups that use money to make a pretty memorial with flowery words to appease the public of their crimes and then proceed to commit the same mistakes again, Sang Man and Gran's words of wisdom... I'll stop here for now XD

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Nicely written! 👍🏼

And I agree with pretty much all of it; except I just wish the narrative sequence could have been handled a little better. It’s the only qualm I was left with by the end.

- whilst I understood Moon-soo’s grieviences and her decision to stay away from KD, I also felt it to be a little repetitive and that it could have been resolved a few scenes earlier.

- KD’s illness and miracle cure was also nicely handled, I just wish it’d happened half way through the ep, as opposed to wrapping it up for us in the end through a 10 minute montage (ideally another ep, or 20 min would have been nice)

- moon-soo’s stubbornness in wanting to take KD to a motel was also a little concerning. I understand why they included the moment narratively speaking, but emotionally, it didn’t do anything for me aside from emphasise their potential separation (the man was on the verge of death, she was left alone at the end of the sequence, it was sadness all around - just felt a little jarring). The scene afterwards however, was PERFECT, and that brought out all the right feels. The motel scene could have been a playful montage at the end.

Arghh, it’s minor, I know, and for that reason I didn’t want to post these points on the main JBL thread, coz I didn’t want people to think I was being petty or taking away from the fun - lol but I had to let it out somewhere. Either way, it’s still a fab drama, one I look forward to re-watching.

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I was very happy with the finale, but I agree with you about the narrative sequence. A little tweaking in Ep. 15 and 16 so the rooftop scene happened earlier and there was more time for the aftermath could have made a good finale even better. There were a couple things I would have liked to have seen. For instance, a scene of KD in therapy after the transplant for his PTSD and dependence on painkillers.

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There were a couple things I would have liked to have seen. For instance, a scene of KD in therapy after the transplant for his PTSD and dependence on painkillers.

Ah yes, that too! 👍🏼

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Argh, I misspelt *grievances* - my bad. And “could” should have been “would” in the first paragraph - clearly I wasn’t thinking straight! 😅

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I am watching only 2 kdramas - Mother and Return. Looking to pick up another - should I wait for Waikiki(the teasers look absolutely fun!) or try Radio Romance first?

Mother I really like how the drama delve into different issues besides relationships between parent and child. It's handled in a quiet and understated way unlike the typical kdrama.

It's quite different with Return. I've things to pick on this show like the inconsistent tone and the acting. I never had problems with Lee Jin Wook although I've read more than a fair share of criticisms of him. Somehow in this one, he seems to stand out like a sore thumb. Maybe it's due to the way his character is written. Example: In last week's episode, he sees a group of thugs heading his way while his car stopped at a red light. His character cursed at how slow the light took to change to green instead of speeding off. I had a nice laugh though.
I found myself missing Choi Jin Hyuk as the the detective in Tunnel.

It's not just Lee Jin Wook, I even had problem with Park Ki Woong. It's not huge but I have this weird habit of picking on an actor's unique mannerisms. Most actors have them, very few are blessed with none i.e. they morphed into any character without any distinct mannerism. Even Lee Bo Young who I am liking now in Mother has her own very unique style. In the drama, she's perfectly cast for her role. I won't be surprised if other viewers like it but for me, I'd rather an actor who is like a blank canvas and takes on whatever shape and color the role requires. The person I like best in Return is Bong Tae Gyu although his character is the most detestable. It's role which can be easy to overact but he doesn't. Shin Sung Rok is at his usual brilliance in being the most evil one, switching between a loyal friend in one moment and one who'd stab you in the next.

Still, I find my continuing with Return(up to ep 9) because the show has done quite a good job on the mystery front.

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I want to watch Return so much, but there are moments that are directed so badly they put me off, or they just feel way exaggerated. plus the main actress, can´t stand her face at all.

everything I want to watch, the subs come out so slowly.

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**Dramas
* Just between lovers ep15-16 : “can’t a melo have a happy ending ? please~” that was my post last week, now I can say : thank you Writer-nim, a sad ending would have spoiled the whole drama. I loved it, thank you drama 🎵In this sad story, You are my beautiful comfort, You came to me one day🎵 😘
*Radiant office ep11-16 : commute drama and sometimes at home, I liked it a lot , it was a good ride , serious moment talking about job hunting, terminal illness, but also funny moments with Ho Won personality hahaha. I’m glad Dr Seo has a chance to learn the job at the end instead of being such a despot. Thank you drama, jalga 😘
*Waikiki : ok it hasn’t even aired yet but with the trailers , I already got back my Tae Fever. Can’t wait to watch it 🤗
**K-shows
*Infinite challenge e555 : One hour before the job special : I haven’t had time to finish it, Yoo Jae Suk’s part was so funny, he’s such a scaredy cat , he might have run as much as Jung JunHa during his marathon 😂
*I live alone e230 : Kian84 trying to be a cool Sunbae but nobody answered the phone 😂 , Park Na Rae learning martial arts was funny , *I might be the type to tap even before it begins 😂*
*1n2d E201 : abroad for the 10th anniversary : I Haven’t finished the ep, JBL got in the way and other things (lol it’s the same from last week) Kazakhstan’s team quiz with the 3 sisters was so funny 😂 , when you think Jung Joon Young lost he used his ring , lol ! Cuba’s team the two pirates were so weak hahaha, the members teasing them was funny and seeing Yoo Il Yong PD in summer clothes omo omo 😍

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DB,will you be recapping mother?

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I think they’ve decided not to continue. Saw her comment in the previous post somewhere. I am sad because that’s the only way I could follow the story. I cannot watch it myself due to its sensitive subject.

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seriously the show is not hard to watch
its just the first ep a little

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What could be easy for you might be difficult for others, but thank you for the assurance. I might try skimming and see whether to truly watch or not.

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They wont recap it. Maybe we should open up a fan thread so that we share our thoughts by ourselves, just like the beanies did with just between lovers. 🤓

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Just Between Lovers: on ep 10. I just want to say how much I love Na Moo Hee ❤ The last scene of everyone visiting her in the hospital was so heartwarming !

I'm Not a Robot: on ep 28. Yes ! That's it ! OTP is back again !

Hwayugi: I'm so happy to see Sam Jang and Oh Gong together again but I still fear for their upcoming faith every time bells are ringing. Also let Buja and PK be together !

Love Returns: on ep 54. I'm going to murder Inu, her dad and Busik. I feel like watching a telenovela again ! I have a bad feeling for Mrs Kim. I hope she's going to wake up.

Dragon club - Childish Bromance: It's finally ended ! I loved the friendship of the 42 years old men and their different customers with different stages of friendship.

Kimi wa Petto (2017): I binge watchedt and it was really great! ! I understand why some Beanies said it was kinky. It is ! I wished the part with Senpai would have stopped when he left Japan and that the story would focus on Momo and Sumire as a couple in the last part (that was my favorite part in the manga).

2 Moon the series: My first BL drama. Hmm... I can't take seriously all slow motions. I only watched the first episode so I still don't know if I like it.

Iron girls: Taiwanese drama about three female friends in their 30s working at the same beauty agency. The vice president has been with her boyfriend for eight years and meets a younger man with amazing painting skills. The General Manager doesn't want to have serious relationships, so she just enjoys being with different men and has a son. The other is married and seems to lead a perfect life with her husband but it's not what it seems. I love female centric dramas and even more when there's friendship involved. There is only 3 episodes but the chemistry of the female lead and the young man is great. I won't comment on her boyfriend because you will see why I don't root for him.

See you in Time: Taiwanese drama about a cyclist receiving receiving texts from the future. It happens just when he tries to revive his grandpa's cycling team and meets the daughter of the team's former coach's daughter. It is funny to see cycling being so dramatic. Well, that's why it's called drama. It's quite entertaining at least until ep 4 (where I am).

I can't hug you: Chinese adaptation of the webtoon Untouchable. So far It's watched 3 episodes. Since it really follows the webtoon's plot, I hope the ending won't be as... draggy as in the webtoon.

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If u want a good bl watch addiction or heroine... two moons is 13 yr old teenage drama stuff...

On another note..i m amazed how bad thai dramas r.. they r stupid.. ex ept for a rare few like sawang biang.

I m only refering to direction...character personalities..

Otherwise most characters act non real... d way they react to situations..n dialogues in general

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Thanks for your recommendation !

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After all the dramas I watched had finished, I picked up a Chinese drama called Mr Right. It's the only thing I'm watching until new series start.

I had to force myself to watch the cringe-worthy Belgium episodes. There was the moment where I thought everybody had been killed (it's not that kind of drama) but apparently they were all just passed out drunk, and I was pleased that they'd gone to Antwerp in the one week of the year that it's warm enough to go to a wedding in a bikini. The lead girl did say that not all Belgians were horrible (or something like that) - so that was nice. Being originally from the country next door, I was happy to hear that.

But in all seriousness, after those 4 episodes, it became really rather good and very interesting in its depiction of relationships. Some of the male characters show some disturbing behaviour (that they think is romantic) and totally get called out on it! When they think it's a very good idea to slash a girl's tyre because then a guy can fix it and get talking to her, the main girl actually says: can you imagine how scary that must have been for her? Also the main girl is seeing a dodgy guy who is completely gaslighting her. How he's manipulating her is worrying because she's going to be in a tough spot when that relationship ends.

I'm still expecting it to go totally crazy, I'm still in the first third of the drama, but I thinks it's very good so far!

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eVERYTHING IS WRONG WITH Mr. Right. I've mentioned it in my comments. That muh China crap of 1st few episodes is sure shot ultra cringe material. State propaganda.
show is terribly written. Be prepared as future episodes are torturous and will enrage to maximum level.

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Oh, that's a shame. I hadn't read your comments when I posted mine. I really liked it from episode 5 onwards, it thought it has something interesting to say about dating and relationships. I have watched other shows that have gone bat-shit crazy from ep 20 or so, so I guess I'll drop it as soon as it goes of the rails.

I did have to check how long they were going to be in Belgium for to see if I could face it and yes, those parts were absolutely awful. I think I can just laugh about it (like with INAR's Evil White People) and know that US & European cinema and TV has done the same thing, the other way round for decades.

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I am extremely curious about its depiction of Antwerp and Belgium in general. I think they were here for three weeks to shoot, so I doubt theres a lot of Belgian episodes.

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I have no idea why they were in Belgium. It was just really strange. It involved a weird wedding at a hotel pool, armed cops and monks singing Vader Jacob. Seriously, it was beyond weird.

Oh and this will amuse you (as I think you actually know something about Antwerp) the main character seemed to think that Antwerp is in the French speaking part of Belgium.

I double-checked and they were on the plane back at the end of episode 2, so you're right, there aren't many episodes. It does have some very pretty shots in the opening credits

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I might watch the first two just for laughs. I want to see how my one home country depicts my other home country.

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@Cloggie February 3, 2018 at 9:51 AM

I have no idea why they were in Belgium. It was just really strange. It involved a weird wedding at a hotel pool, armed cops and monks singing Vader Jacob. Seriously, it was beyond weird.

ROFLMAO again.

It was Tuesday. (So it must be Belgium.)

I know this because the answer is not "42." ;-)

Monks singing "Frère Jacques"? As a Gregorian chant? In a tap-dancing chorus line?

What, no penguins!?

It sounds as if they're channeling Monty Python. ;-)

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@cloggie—I agree with some of CatoCat Drama Kun’s brutal assessment of Mr. Right upthread but you can still count me as a fan. I actually love a lot of Mr. Right and I still recommend it—with a caveat. It’s absolutely riddled with maddening subplots that undermine the core relationship and yet, there’s still much going for it. The two leads are great together, the costumes are gorgeous, and the high production values make their world appealing. Plus the hate-to-friendship-to-love dynamic is my ultimate catnip.

Given the high quality of actors, my disappointment with Mr. Right is two-fold:
(1) The core love story has a taste of the zippy Golden Age of Hollywood screwballs I adore. But rather than focus on the primary couple, the story injects an endless string of external conflicts to the point of exhaustion;

(2) Given that external conflicts drive the story, they’re made worse coming in the form of laughably tiresome tropes. (I’m looking at you, Gu Yao: Bitch in Sheep’s Clothing, a Yandere archetype pulling the Gazelle Gambit. As Beautiful as she is, GY pretty much stinks up the screen from Ep. 23 +. )

Actors Jin Dong and Jiang “Maggie” Shuying share a crackling chemistry as dentist Cheng Hao and hotel manager Luo Yue. While many Chinese netizens are maddened by CH’s “weakness” or passivity, I can empathize because I’ve been him and I love people like him. Despite his charm and obvious expertise, Cheng Hao holds his most intimate feelings deep in his heart. At one point he says something like, “I regret exposing my feelings only to be pinched for your amusement.” I love Luo Yue’s “lethal tongue”, her resilience, and her style. Thank God she’s not entirely the Broken Bird and Damsel in Distress. I was touched when she finally acknowledged how much she treasures their friendship, despite this coming at the cost of Cheng Hao confessing his romantic feelings. Because dramaland!

The advantage of a 45-episode count is that the OTP is given time to cultivate a love built on shared trials and tribulations in addition to mutual attraction. Sadly, the series is going to stretch this courtship to the very end. I seriously don’t expect a confession of Twoo Wuv until the closing credits but I’m okay that. I can’t help but root for their slow-burning love and I cheer at how they enrich each other’s lives.

While I’ve relished all their shared scenes, I think episodes 28-29 really showcases how much they cherish one another. It’s a perfect antidote to the soul-crushing ending of ep. 27.

A note on the scenes filmed in Belgium and Las Vegas. Despite those scenes being filmed in situ, there’s still a sense of things being a little off. In Belgium, I didn’t hear a lick of Dutch (even in the background) and why is Luo Yue’s boss in Antwerp a North American? Why do the American uniformed cops sound so fake and wear their hats in doors? Why does nobody mention that California is a...

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... Why does nobody mention that California is a no-fault divorce state and it’s absurd for a partner to demand 100% (!!!) of all assets? Anywhoo.

The extravagant episode count of C-dramas keeps me to one per quarter. I’m relieved Mr. Right ends next week and I’ll make a point of avoiding live broadcasts of Chinese dramas in the future. I’m just too susceptible to appealing OTPs and cliff hangers that draw me in day after day. Back to real life.

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ha ha - I haven't got to the Vegas bit yet. There is some Dutch in the background in Antwerp, the friars in the brewery bit sing a Dutch children's song. As I said to @saturtledaisy the girl seems to think that she's in the french-speaking part of Belgium so I reckon she got fired because she doesn't know what language they're speaking in a country where language can be very politically-divisive.

At least I'm now doubly forewarned that my positive impression of eps 5 - 12 is going to be brutally crushed by what's going to happen afterwards. I'll be ready for annoyance, craziness, tiresome tropes, soul-crushing and (potentially) addiction. I'll update you next week about my roller-coaster of emotions - or maybe at which episode I finally gave up. It might end up on my very long list of dramas I never finished.

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See for the language thing I bet its because they mostly brough their own translators instead of relying on local ones (i know this for a fact) and I guess French-Chinese just seemed easier, reality be damned. Its hilarious the cops all spoke French though. In very Flemish-nationalist non-French Antwerp.

As for the dancing monks @Cloggie mentioned earlier, I guess they sang Father Jacob because the Chinese have a childrens song to the same tune (about tigers with no ears or tails), I guess they bonded over that one song in common in their drunken stupor. At least the monks spoke Dutch?

I also know there were more ... controversial scenes in the script (or so I've heard) and I'm glad they got scrapped.

I guess this is how people from Asian countries feel when they watch Hollywood movies that take place in Asia.

I am not sure if I want to keep watching the show, but I had a good time with eps 1-2! (I lost it during the scenic car ride scene when they drove into a one-way street at full speed without cropping the sign out at least)

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They could have avoided all of this if they'd just gone to Brussels, then they could have spoken any language they wanted!

I also don't know why they didn't just have her drink something when the guy tries to convince her to, then get pulled up in a drunk-driving accident. The cops could have got their breathalysers out instead of their guns. But realism be damned!

And yes, I got a deep newfound understanding over the last year of what people from Asian countries must feel like all the time. There's probably a scene in a Hollywood movie somewhere of someone getting a job in a hotel in Hong Kong and being smug that they can speak perfect Mandarin.

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I can't even be mad at them speaking the wrong language considering American movies cast random asians for the entirely wrong nationality all the time. If they don't just use white people instead.

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@cloggie,

I was pleased that they'd gone to Antwerp in the one week of the year that it's warm enough to go to a wedding in a bikini. The lead girl did say that not all Belgians were horrible (or something like that) - so that was nice. Being originally from the country next door, I was happy to hear that.

ROFLMAO! I'm not watching this show, but have seen a few Chinese dramas with cringetastic interludes.

Operative words: Antwerp. wedding. bikini.

Thank you for making my day. I laughed until I cried. Consider my funny bone tickled. ;-)

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@saturtledaisy,

And thank you, too, for your comments and "local color." For what it's worth, I'm a fan of Belgian Trappist ale. Yay, Chimay!

One of our cousins belonged to that order in the US. I was surprised to learn that the abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts now brews patersbier. ;-)

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Well, I'm learning an awful lot about the world by watching this drama!

Another thing I learned was there cannot be very many Chinese people because they all keep meeting people they know. I have to admit that I was surprised, but considering the number of random relationships between the different characters, I had no choice but to draw this conclusion.

I used Venn diagrams and Bayesian Probability theory and calculated that, based on the many ways in which everybody is connected in this drama, there are fewer than 8,451 Chinese people in the world! That must surely be true. Also Beijing can't very big because if you help someone out by the side of the road, that's the ex-wife of someone you know as well as your best friend's childhood crush. #epiccoincidencefail

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*laughing, bent over* Faaaaaaated Loooooove. Just finished the last episode. I guess it's a "happy ending" but still feels like a kick in the teeth. Tables are being flipped over all across China too.

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