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…
My ID Is Gangnam Beauty: Aw, it was a cute watch that ended satisfactorily, and I’m pleased with the show and happy I saw it. I do have quibbles that never built up such momentum as to prevent my enjoyment of the show, but are quibbles enough to have kept it from being as well-rounded and fully executed a vision as it could have been. I appreciate the perspective the show built in Kyung-seok, making him impervious to the power of beauty and not all that interested in what it meant, but I also felt like it was completely unrealistic to have him be so disconnected from the concept itself. I get that his perspective is the ideal we should aim for, to value people for who they are and not what they look like, but it actually bothered me with how blase he seemed regarding how other people felt about beauty and how they valued it — because whether or not we should judge people on how good-looking they are, we live in a world where it happens to us constantly, and it’s either naive or insensitive to make it seem like it’s petty or wrong of people to care about something that so significantly affects how we are treated. That this comes from somebody who is so beautiful as to have strangers literally tripping over themselves to bestow privileges upon him for his beauty feels like rubbing salt in the wound. That said, super-cute show that raised some great points, even if it didn’t answer all of them.
Thirty But Seventeen: What a delightful little show. It never stepped outside expectations but I feel so satisfied by the journey the characters went on, and because the story focused on growth for all of our characters who were emotionally stunted or stalled for one reason or another, the romance could remain uncomplicated, which was a nice bonus. Shin Hye-sun really carried the show. She could’ve been too juvenile or unbelievable as a 17-year-old waking up in a 30-year-old’s body, but I found her so naturally endearing in this role, and her growth into adulthood felt truly earned by the end of the series. And it was just so great to have a hero who supported her decisions, rooted for her to stand on her own two feet, and encouraged her to live life at her own pace, even if that meant taking the long way around. We could all use that reminder once in a while. Because that adulthood shit is hard, yo.
The Guest: I alternate between shouting “hallelujah” and “hold me” during this show because my masochistic side loves having the pants scared off me. It’s the type of horror story that can’t be found in Hollywood. So far, Kim Dong-wook seems to be the glue holding the strands of the ghost, Catholic exorcisms, and police investigations together. I’m looking forward to seeing more Kim Jae-wook though because other than the actual exorcisms, he hasn’t had too many scenes that show off his dynamic range of acting (and killer cheekbones).
My ID is Gangnam Beauty: Aww it was a cute show while it lasted. I liked their cute romance, even though Cha Eun-woo remained a beautiful wooden board throughout. I felt like the impact of Kang Mi-rae’s plastic surgery really didn’t carry through the entire show, although she did reach an important interpersonal victory when she publicly confessed her relationship with Kyung-seok. Surprisingly, I think I was more invested in the development of the antagonist Hong Soo-ah than anyone else’s. She presented such an interesting second lead, who had these insecurities that drove her to almost psychopathic tendencies. I would definitely watch another drama with a main character like Hong Soo-ah. She kinda reminded me of Lee Da-hae’s character in Miss Ripley, who was also manipulative and greedy due to how she grew up, and although that show was all over the place in execution and story, the character was compelling and unique.
100 Days My Prince: When I saw that EXO’S D.O. was set to star in this drama, I knew that I would have to check it out. I confess that I have a soft spot for the boys of EXO and I’m excited to see D.O. as the main male lead. As I took in the beautiful costumes and scenery, I asked myself, “Why don’t I watch more period dramas?” Then swords were drawn, arrows began to fly and the bodies started to pile up. Suddenly, I was reminded why sageuks don’t regularly appear on my screen as my hands flew to my eyes. It’s not the sageuk genre in particular, I just don’t tolerate violence (blood) very well and I also have a lifelong aversion to Westerns and war movies for that very same reason. In spite of my squeamishness, I liked the premise of a childhood romance that promises to come to fruition in adulthood, in spite of numerous obstacles. The pull of D.O. is strong for me, so I may just cover my eyes through the bloody scenes and tough this one out. After watching the first two episodes, I had to watch the music video for “Call Me Baby” (for the umpteenth time) to make up for the clashes that I witnessed. Classic EXO always helps!