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…
The Great Seducer: The premiere was effective in setting up the tempest in a teapot feeling, where everyone in this very tiny world is on the verge of a colossal breakdown, and what they truly desire is simmering just beneath the surface. They captured the tone nicely, though storywise I feel like we’re having to make a lot of assumptions to fill in the gaps. Woo Do-hwan is magnetic, which is a surprise to no one who’s seen Mad Dog or Rescue Me, though it wouldn’t hurt to make him a little (okay, a lot) darker. Moon Ga-young is my favorite character so far, but you know, I always liked Blair best in Gossip Girl.
Mystery Queen 2: It cracks me up that the cop keeps telling himself that Ajumma is in love with him, while he’s the one who’s always trailing after her and getting jealous and overprotective. It’s cute, especially since she was always chasing after him to join in on cases in the last season. I just wish the pacing of the cases would fit the hour-long episodes better, because they feel like they just trail off without proper endings or cliffhangers, which is such a wasted opportunity.
Radio Romance: Dramaland has done the dating-a-top-star storyline so many times now that you really have to put a new spin on it to keep it fresh, but Radio Romance is doing the stock version with rabid fangirls and some press releases, and I don’t know that it has much of a point. I like them together, but what’s the conflict, exactly?
My Husband Oh Jak-doo: Yiee~ a contract marriage! I love that it’s not two enemies forced by the press or their parents to sign the contract. It’s just two people who need help and want to help the other person at the same time. And for a couple who promised to keep things strictly business, they sure care for each other a lot outside of contract hours. I just wish they didn’t give Oh Jak-doo a makeover to signal a Big Change. Can’t he just stay forever as the fussy mountain ajusshi who pretends to hate kimchi so Seung-joo can eat it all?
Mystery Queen 2: Show, I want to love you, but I don’t know what anyone is doing at this point. Last season, we know Wan-seung was looking for his first love while Seol-ok was clearing her parents’ names, and we have all these cases in between to connect the dots or add a new member to the Seol-ok Squad. This season is a parade of interesting characters that seem to have no purpose except to have their five minutes of funny. Please get some direction soon. I’m not gonna leave but I do like to know where we’re going.
The Painter of the Wind: This show reminds me of Dae Jang Geum. From the genius student with unorthodox answers that everyone hates and secretly envies, to the equally genius mentor who’s secretly mourning the death of their best friend—not knowing that said friend’s kid is their current protege, to the king who wants to stamp out corruption but gets stymied by a court of angry beards, to the gisaeng falling madly in love with the cross-dressing heroine… Okay, that last one wasn’t from Dae Jang Geum, but The Painter of the Wind is so good at making each painting contest suspenseful while dispensing sage advice that I don’t mind watching it nine years late. It’s like the show is so old, it feels like a totally new show again.
That Man Oh-soo: It took four episodes, but all four of the main romantic leads are now firmly in place and it seems I have a double case of second lead syndrome to contend with. While Lee Jong-hyun (Oh-soo) and Kim So-eun (Yoo-ri) are convincing as opposites repeatedly drawn to one another, they really click with their second leads. Kim So-eun is reunited with an old school friend while Lee Jong-hyun meets a cool and sophisticated chaebol who seems like the perfect match. That Man Oh-soo will have to work hard to convince me that Oh-soo and Yoo-ri really belong together.
My Husband Oh Jak-doo: After Marriage Contract, I am a UEE fan, but I couldn’t get onboard with Manhole. I had to give her newest drama a try and I’m really happy that I did, because My Husband Oh Jak-doo deftly blends her comedic and dramatic skills. She convincingly portrays a strong, single, career woman who falls apart after suffering a life-changing trauma. Enter Kim Kang-woo as the “husband” from the country, whose true identity is a secret, and it looks like their journey to a genuine romance is likely to be dangerous, as well as interesting.
The Great Seducer: Wow. The trio that headlines this drama (Woo Do-hwan, Kim Min-jae, and Moon Ga-young) really delivers on the sizzling chemistry. They are young, beautiful, wealthy, and oh-so-dangerous when they feel wronged, and their parents give them so many reasons to feel that way. Four episodes in and I’m very impressed with Moon Ga-young’s performance as Choi Soo-ji, who manages to make me feel both sorry for her and afraid of her. I know this is a troubled bunch, but is it wrong that I want to see them make their parents pay for the years of neglect?
Misty: I have so many questions and there are only four episodes left! With Hye-ran’s trial underway, the truth about Kevin Lee’s death will (hopefully) finally be revealed but I get the feeling that Tae-wook is hiding something. If that’s true, I hope that it’s nothing that will keep him and Hye-ran apart. The one thing that I want the trial to reveal once and for all is how much these two love each other, and I think we are seeing hints of that already. My burning questions have to do with Eun-joo, who has proven time and again that she is not to be ignored. Did she ever tell her husband about their baby, and if she did, what was his reaction? How does she know the significance of that Bob Dylan song? Eun-joo remains a troubling common denominator who seems to have plenty of secrets of her own.
The Great Seducer: I’m so happy that the sexy Cruel Intentions vibes are intact. But did they maybe make Shi-hyun too sympathetic too soon? I wanted some real heartless bad boy scenes… and now I just feel bad for complaining about getting to enjoy broody Woo Do-hwan.