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…
Currently recapping: Hwayugi
Woohoo Waikiki: What a bunch of knuckleheads. Adorable, hapless knuckleheads without a clue how to live life, but that’s pretty much the charm of this show, isn’t it? I’ve only seen the first episode so far, but I like the trio of friends and the way they rib each other like real bros. The secondhand embarrassment is strong in this show, so if you have a low cringe threshold, fair warning. But I found their mundane mishaps hysterical, and the girls are just as funny and weird as the boys, which I really like.
Radio Romance: Didn’t it seem a little too early in the show to be pulling the trapped-together-all-night-on-a-remote-island trope? Maybe it came too soon, or maybe this hero just confuses me. Because every time I think he’s becoming nicer and letting down his guard, he counteracts it with some jerky move, like he can’t decide which personality to go with on any given day. But then every time he does something swoony without taking the credit, I’m on his side again. Sigh, K-drama heroes.
Cross: The concept of slow-burn-revenge-thriller (along with the gorgeous few minutes of the first episode) had me excited about what this drama was potentially going to be. But then it settled into what felt like a standard medical drama that I’ve seen a dozen times before, complete with overly graphic depictions of surgeries for my wimpy taste. I tried giving this the four-episode test but I realized I had no desire to sit through endless surgeries and other medical issues with the vague hopes that I’d eventually be rewarded with some quality revenge.
Misty: I started this with no real expectations except to kill time while I waited for other shows to start, but ooohhh, I love it. Everything feels so tightly put together—the script, cinematography, music, and, of course, the acting. Kim Nam-joo is such a class act, bringing a weighty realness to her character that could tip so easily into the overly melodramatic as her life falls apart, or too far into the woodenness of an ice queen. Before the first episode even ended, I was ride-or-die for Hye-ran, and I plan to be that way until the end.
Woohoo Waikiki: I can’t decide how I feel about this show yet because I’m still rewatching all the scenes with Park Sung-woong. The comedy sometimes feels a little too over-the-top and potentially more annoying than enjoyable, but manages to juuuuust pull back in order to let some of the humanity shine through. I do wish it felt more cohesive than a series of jokes strung together.
Mother: It’s so good! I’m addicted. Lee Bo-young is fantastic as always. It’s like she’s Seo-young again except with mother (hur) issues, and Heo Yool is precocious beyond belief. The complex topics regarding domestic abuse, neglect, enabling by authorities, and etc. is fascinating to explore. And the psycho serial child-killing boyfriend is a compelling villain. I can’t wait to see more. I half-wish that I had waited until the series was over to begin it so I could have binge-watched it. But it’s no longer a possibility as I wait every week to see more of the fast-moving plot unfold.
Woohoo Waikiki: This show will give you baby envy for days. Sol is so adorable and they’ve done a good job of catching her cute (or judgmental, but still cute) expressions every time our silly trio does something stupid. But regarding our heroes, does anyone else find it weird every time Tae-swoon blows up at his friends? I can’t help but think that he’s the maknae of the lot because of his last project, School 2017. Whenever his character throws a fit at Sohn Seung-won and Lee Yi-kyung I’m confused why they’d cower when they could just smack him in the head and be done with it.
Misty: This show is gorgeous. (I’m not saying that just because the first 3 episodes are R-19!) We start with our heroine at the top of a cutthroat industry, so you know there’s going to be a fall from grace really soon, but she’s so ruthless and smart about holding on to her throne that I’m not worried how she’ll get all of it back. I’m just here to watch all her enemies get their comeuppance. And also pick up some tips on how to be talented AND cunning while looking as fabulous as Kim Nam-joo.
Just Between Lovers: Me while watching Halmeo’s arc: “Help! It hurts! Someone get me out of this pain train!” Also me: *presses play on next episode*
Black Knight: That ending…wasn’t what I expected or wanted and frankly, I’m shattered. It feels like the main character of the drama was Sharon after all, because her actions had a permanent effect on Su-ho and Hae-ra that changed everything. I think the writer could have been more thoughtful of the fans who dedicated twenty hours to a drama whose main draw was the eternal love of the OTP. While that love endured to the end, it wasn’t as satisfying as it could have been. In spite of my disappointment with the conclusion, I’m still mostly happy with the drama overall, mostly because of the performances by Kim Rae-won and Shin Se-kyung. Kim Rae-won’s performance was subtle and restrained, yet powerful. Shin Se-kyung was more subdued than she was in Bride of the Water God, even though she was still the perky half of our lead couple, and I thought her Hae-ra complemented Su-ho perfectly. I liked them together so much in the beginning and wish that the story hadn’t become so Sharon-centric. Sigh.
Radio Romance: I decided to check out this drama and I’m in for the long haul. I didn’t see any trailers or promotions ahead of time, so I was surprised by the couple at the heart of Radio Romance. I was expecting cute but was quickly drawn in by the traumatized Su-ho. What changed him from the smiling teenager of the past to the repressed adult who crosses paths again with Geu-rim? His wicked stepmother must be behind his transformation but seeing Geu-rim again has awakened something inside of Su-ho. I’m looking forward to his path to independence and self-determination with the plucky Geu-rim to inspire him.
Cross: I’ve been in a bit of a mini-slump so far this year but this drama is grabbing me in a big way. I’m really digging the whole messed-up pseudo-family dynamic between Go Kyung-pyo and Jo Jae-hyun, and their constant battling makes for an excellent vehicle for the complicated questions of morality they’re tackling. It’s maybe a little bit problematic that Go Kyung-pyo can apparently just openly attempt to murder people by giving them toxic drug combinations while at least two other doctors know what he is doing, but at least that just means we’re getting doused with even more tension. Because boy this drama is just dripping with intensity at every second. It’s fantastic. I hope they can keep it up.