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…
Life: I keep seeing this drama as a palace political thriller in disguise (which makes me want to see the writer tackle actual palace politics in her next drama, having stuck to contemporary corruption thrillers like Forest of Secrets). It’s perhaps the one way you could make a drama without a central plot actually riveting, because it becomes this game to see each greedy power-mongering doctor rise and fall, only for the next one to take his place, while our righteous heroes remain in the background to step forward (hopefully?) at the last moment and prevail (hopefully?). I also find Jo Seung-woo’s character more fascinating the more we see him put under pressure by the chairman, because he isn’t the ultimate evil — heck, I don’t think he’s evil at all. It’s more like we’re watching this brilliant man toe the line between being a benevolent ruler or a corrupt tyrant, and I’m rooting for him to let his better nature prevail.
My ID Is Gangnam Beauty: I just picked this up this week, so I’m way behind but I like it enough to suspect I may be caught up fairly soon. I find the heroine’s position quite interesting, having wanted all her life to be treated as normal, only to find that once she gets surgery so that she can join the ranks of the rest of society, she’s so beautiful that she’s overshot and treated differently by everyone because of her beauty. I’m sure Aesop had a fable about that. Our resident Mr. Broody is shaping up to be the poster boy for the tsundere hero, and I find myself swooning in some parts and wishing in others that he were a more interestingly complicated character. I can’t wait for two-faced, snake-like Soo-ah to get her comeuppance, and just hope it won’t take all series long. My bloodlust must be sated, and the sooner the better.
Let’s Eat 3: Wah waaaaah. I knew the ending would be rushed—because how could it not be when your lead actor has two days to film an unexpected finale before rushing off to army duty—but even with my expectations set low, I was so disappointed that we got such a lukewarm send-off. Our hero spent the entirety of the season mourning and getting over his last love rather than focusing on his new love interest, which only seemed to worsen in the last two episodes when he actually confronted his heartache. That’s setting yourself up for failure if I’ve ever seen it. Look, would it have killed you to say something along the lines of, You were my first love and I was too chicken-shit to say it when I was twenty? She said it to you! I would’ve settled for a “Me too!” I ask for so little, and yet…
Mr. Sunshine: Okay, I did like seeing everyone come to Yoo Yeon-seok’s rescue when his life was at stake. I just wish the friendships were more overt in this drama, but I suppose the weird three-way frenemy-mance wouldn’t be nearly as funny if they acknowledged that they were friends? Mostly, I’m concerned that there aren’t that many episodes left, and everything seems to be pointing to a tragic end for… well, everyone.
Thirty But Seventeen: It’s a good thing the characters are so freaking cute in this, because man is the plot frustratingly simple and slow. Dancing around one secret for this long is bound to frustrate anyone, and I consider myself on the forgiving end of the spectrum because I like the leads and the setup so much. But listen, enough is enough. Out with it! The truth will set you free! Or at least curb your constant panic attacks!
Your House Helper: I was happy with the way the show dealt with the sexual harasser storyline… until it brought him back into a Da-young’s life and decided to frame his “crush” on her as real—and somehow harmless. NOPE. Also, I’m a little let down by how lukewarm and almost… familial(?) Da-young and Ji-woon feel with each other now that they’re actually an item. I’m surprised because I really found them so cute before, and I thought they had chemistry! Maybe it’s because, despite how much screen time has been devoted to Ji-woon’s tragic backstory, he somehow still feels a bit like a cipher. Also, this weird storyline that the disappeared ex-girlfriend is Cute Bartender’s estranged mom, and he’s become a low-key villain? Not a fan. I want more adorable healing-via-cleaning interludes.
Thirty But Seventeen: The drama continues to both make me laugh and make my heart feel squishy and vulnerable. I continue to wish for the characters’ secrets to be revealed at greater than a snail’s pace.
Your House Helper: The broadcasting interruption couldn’t have come at a worse time because it took two weeks to get through the final two episodes. I was not a happy camper but the finale more than made up for my frustration. The final hour proved to be an emotional one; I spent most of it with a lump in my throat or tears in my eyes. Amazingly, by the end I had a smile on my face, certain that our characters were finally poised to make the most of their futures. Everyone was stronger, happier, and more confident, including the house helper who brought everyone and everything together. Believe it or not, this was the first time that I watched a drama that starred Ha Suk-jin, but it won’t be the last.
Be With You: I’ve been in a bit of a drama slump so I decided to choose a movie this week and settled on Be With You. So Ji-sub plays against type as the quiet and shy Woo-jin, a widower struggling to raise his young son. They both do their best to deal with the huge void that Sohn Ye-jin, as the wife and mother, left in their hearts and in their home. As if in answer to prayers, she reappears one day but has no memory of their lives together. It’s a sweet story and the movie takes its time to tell of the special love between Woo-jin and his wife. There were some surprising twists towards the end that brought the narrative into focus and shifted the entire mood of the movie.