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Open Thread #583

Happy Friday everyone!

Here is your Open Thread, which is here for you to chat about anything you want, whether it be drama-related or not. Nothing’s off-topic here! Spoilers may be rife, so proceed accordingly.

 
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How come Boyfriend is only getting better and better??? When or how will it fall???
I hope not. It is, so far, the best drama in the second half of 2018.
Let's see what happens next 😉

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It's ridiculous that it's so good still! ;)

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I must say that Boyfriend is holding up pretty well for a show with very little plot. Unlike with other shows with slow-going romances, I'm not bored at all. I hope it can maintain this with the nicely nuanced characterization.

I've never had 2nd lead syndrome before, but in this show, I'd really like for the ex-husband to have a less lonely ever after, for being the (so far) sweetest, most sincere and helpful (although unloved) ex I've ever seen in a kdrama.

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You are tempting me to watch for Jang Seung Jo. Man, I am a sucker for unloved nice guys.

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I am loving all the nuances in Boyfriend. The drama is made with so much care and continues to give the warmest hugs to us viewers!

I am not so sure that JSJ will stay sweet and nice judging from his planned confrontation with PBG at the bus stop this week. Whatever happens it does look like he genuinely wants his ex-wife to be happy despite having to suffer alone.

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If he doesn't stay sweet, I'll just ignore it and rewrite his part in my head.

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Not only an unloved but a pretty good looking nice guy! I hope he will not become too unpleasant or not change at all except to be sweeter.

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You need to give in. I even have SLS to a degree. He is a sweetie, a ruthless sweetie, but underneath that cold exterior is a cup of hot chocolate.

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Hot chocolate? Resistance is futile, isn't it?

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Not only hot chocolate, but hot chocolate loaded with marshmallows!

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I liked him so much as Second Lead in Familiar Wife and was very pleased that he got his family back in the last timeline. That warm feeling has spilled over into Boyfriend! 😂

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Gosh an SLS hot chocolate will make me watch anything

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I'm only watching for Jang Seung Jo. @outofthisworld he doesn't really get much time.

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Awww...If I do, it will be the same. So, is my love for him enough? I've finished binge watching Sky Castle to current subbed eps so I just might.

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The drama is pretty enough, but his character and the driver/fairy godfather are the characters that interest me.

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He’s been on my radar since Familiar Wife and I don’t understand how an insanely good looking and talented actor like him keeps being cast as a second lead?

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He's 37 and seems like he appeared on small screen just 4 years ago. Maybe industry is only interested in young debutants? I read somewhere that he was in theater but can't remember the source.

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There was a time this year where many dramas were being promoted as healing dramas. I dont think Boyfriend was promoted as such, but episode after episode, I find myself relaxed and in peace. This is a healing drama for me.

The beautiful locations are the places I would go to to decompress and finder solace I'm hoping this would continue. I'm hoping we will not have angst in the next few episodes. I want to start new year stress free.

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@drawde2000 I think timing-wise in Boyfriend, it's hard to avoid the angst. It's just about the time when the higher conflict kicks in!!! Too many minutes of pleasant, warm moments will get me nodding off, I'm afraid ... especially with the jet lag.

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So far I am kind of trusting the writer not to avoid the angst, but to give us a relatable and smart solution to them, just like until now.
For instance, the success of the end year's ball could make it easier for JH to come back to Seoul to a deserved and respected position in the PR department.
I don't want the evil (the mother and ex mother in law) to stop being evil, I want them to be stop by reasonable and smart means, so that they have to swallow their own bile but stay put.
There are very few dramas where you can get such smart turn of events, so I am not really thaaaat optimistic, but it would come pretty nice here, it would match with the elegance and tone of our story and leads so far 🤓

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I'm loving this too, and how the mother's are realizing slowly that being obstructionists is tearing their families apart.

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Hi Everyone and Happy OT!
I'm happily back from a short but refreshing trip to South Island, NZ. It was a pretty good vacation, although of course I'd have liked to have spent a longer time (more nights per location) and (ahem!) less money than I did, there. I was one of the lucky few in our group who enjoyed all my meals and stayed awake longer to feast my eyes on the amazing views all around us.

One thought that came to me was it was a pity that there was only a single sized portion for all food orders. We really could have shared most meals and still been stuffed! We did try once to suggest that less food could have been served, but only got bemused looks. Even the one scoop of ice-cream I ordered almost floored me (and sadly some of it did hit the floor!). My guide laughed and said that I'd got half the tub of ice-cream on my tiny cone.

Anyway I had a great time. We almost had to cancel our helicopter ride, but didn't in the end because the clouds cleared, we had a trek and a jet boat ride with lots of info on our surroundings and I must have been the oldest rider on the luge down or rather up the mountain in Queenstown.

I'm glad to have gone and glad to be back, except for the humidity over here and the jet lag after just a few days!

Til next week, here's wishing a Happy, Healthy and Blessed Christmas in advance to all who celebrate it!

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Your trip sounds fun! NZ is a beautiful place, I did a two weeks tour in South Island many years ago. The scenery was amazing indeed.

Talk about meal portions, I have the same issues in certain places. On the flip side, imagine how teeny weeny our portions must be to our tourists. With inflation, every thing gets downsized.

Well, one thing that we can beat most in is our humidity! In my recent trip to South Africa, I got sunburnt which almost never happens to me, even when I went Maldives last year. With temperatures like low 20 degress celcius(which to Singaporeans is very cool), I forget the intensity of the Sun. I don't perspire either so I spent easily hours outdoors in oblivion. Here, I will be running to hide in an air-conditioned place whenever I can.

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The weather was mostly great, because it was cold, and like you said, we were out 'too long' in the sun and getting burnt without knowing it.

The one thing good about our humidity is that my skin is starting to 'recover'. I already suffer from dryness, but despite moisturiser and sun block I always get strange, roughness all over after just a couple of days.

The child in me says I'd like to go back there over and over again, but the adult reminds me that it's not all that feasible! 😆

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Yes, humidity isn't all bad. I was looking like those biltongs when I came back - browned, dried and shriveled.

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LOL!

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HAHAHA @outofthisworld
Dried and shriveled is my permanent state living in a dry climate.......except I'm paled, not browned.

I do spray facial mist frequently in my furnace-blasted workplace in the winter and receive curious looks from people around me who are not accustomed to such treatment.😭

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@kimbapnoona Facial mist? Brilliant! Why not?

I am terrible at any beauty regimen, even something as basic as applying moisturizer on my face! I have a collection of face masks in my fridge from a shopping spree in S.Korea 6 years ago. Maybe they have fermented. Only when I am in a dry climate like during a holiday, then I will faithfully apply these stuff. Even if I forget, my skin reminds me!

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Fermented facial masks? I love it, @outofthisworld!
BTW why hasn't any company come up with kimchi facial mask yet with all the heath benefit this cruciferous vegetable provides? It is abundant with vitamins, possibly counters the effect of radiation, and fights cancer!
*heads to the fridge to ponder my million-dollar idea*

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@kimbapnoona Just like how they discovered that rice water is beneficial for the skin and SK was invented, we might be on something new!

More kimchi face slapping! How about that?

Your face will not just glow from the fury of emotions but from the radiance of bio ingredients derived from fermented vegs!

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I wonder what the tagline should be for our kimchi face masks, @outofthisworld?
How about this:
Makjang your skin. Enliven your face

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@kimbapnoona Excellent tagline!

Now, we need funds to bring mass produce and market our product. Shall I
- take on another job on top of the other 9 that I have right now?
- use my house deposit?
- beg from my rich but estranged mother-in-law?
- borrow from a loan shark with my kidney as the collateral?
- do all of the above?

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ROTFL and I appreciate that you are committed to the business like a hardworking candy who is not afraid to get kimchi slapped once or twice by life, @outofthisworld. But I am onboard with the product. I firmly believe that our fermented goodness will make any woman look like she has a birth secret!

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Glad that you enjoyed NZ (and proud that you took your time for meals and sightseeing, because why else would you travel?)

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Travel gives me a fresh perspective on stuff I thought I knew or that I've taken for granted. It also puts in perspective my knowledge of myself and what it takes for me to be able to keep travelling into my dotage!!

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Ah, the south island - spent a month there and loved it! I think I could move to Queenstown. Did you visit Omaru and the blue penguins? Lovely vacation spot, that's for sure. I remember how good the coffee shops were. Sounds like you did a lot and had a grand time. Merry Christmas to you as well!

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We did manage to see nesting Blue Penguins in the Conservation Reserve and 3 Yellow Eyed Penguins who were in 'hospital'. In the wild they are hard to come across. Caught a glimpse of the Kea at Hokitika. The next nearest we got to 'try' to at least see some of the less visible native wildlife, but in captivity, was at a Kiwi Centre. However, the time was too short *sob*

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Don't move here. It may look pretty but it's the most expensive place in NZ, it has no community and poor infrastructure. Visit here only. Trust me. I was born there.

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LOL. Well, I have to admit that it was not inexpensive. Yes, it's a great place to visit. Wish I had unlimited time and funds to make a yearly return.

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Yeah, it won't happen, but I did enjoy visiting, that's for sure.

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Your trip sounds fantastic! Glad you had a wonderful time! Merry Christmas to you too!

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You were... here??? O_o

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@sicarius Where exactly are you in NZ?

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I live in Arrowtown... lol

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Whoa, I visited there, too. Isn't there a licorice shop there? And I still track down Manuka honey and know what strength (or rating) to look for.

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@owl22 Dang, another beanie missed~
We have a sweet shop here yes haha.

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I spent my birthday in Arrowtown :)

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@sicarius @owl22 I was at Arrowtown on Sunday. Watched a family of 3 panning for gold. The mother told me she had no clue what they were doing, LOL. I found it hot in the sun and took refuge under trees.

The sweets I bought were not from the Sweet Shop at Arrowtown but from the Victorian precinct of Oamaru. I wanted to try Sherbet Lemons... was that Dumbledore's favourite sweets?

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I am AMAZED. The speed or the way DB designed to keep ugly comments out.

This week, frustrated by our female lead in Memories of Alhambra, I wrote not a few unflattering opinions of the actress. That must have gotten someone's goat which was not expected. My notifications tell me that this person went to length to create a username which literally told me I suck. However, clicking on it doesn't open to his/her comments or user page. Then it went *poof*!

Thank you DB!

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HAHAHA was this person's username OutofthisworldsuckslikesheisOutofthisworld?

We often rejoice the niceness of this community, but we don't acknowledge the DB staff enough for diligently taking out the garbage! I echo Outie's appreciation to you, @mary and DB tech team!

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It was far more simple but said enough, haha.

DB is not just diligent but super fast or there's some username which instantly triggers a shutdown of the account. Whatever it is, I am with you on being more appreciative of DB staff.

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I love this community’

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So interesting @outofthisworld. There is an auto-screening mechanism in place looking out for nasty trigger words, but I'm not sure if this only takes place before the posting goes through and it's all manual checking after posts are in. There are hundreds (maybe into a few thousands) of posts coming in each day. Well done DB!

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Hi Everyone! I hope you are all doing well today.

It's the holiday season and I hope it's been an enjoyable one for all of you. To all the Beanies who celebrate Christmas, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas next Tuesday!

The Last Empress - Our fellow Beanies were right, once you start this one you can't stop watching! ..... And I think the entire cast is having just as much fun as we are watching them!

Happy To Die - I have to say, for whatever reason, I wasn't expecting Lee Roo-da to fly off the building rooftop. ..... I still have to watch this week's episodes.

SKY Castle - Just when you think it can't get better, it does! ..... I'm finding it quite interesting that it never seems to cross Han Seo-jin's mind just how uneven she is in her attention towards her two daughters and the effect it's having. Also interesting is the way she pushes the envelope with her new neighbor Lee Soo-im, who, if she wanted to, could reveal all she knows about Seo-jin. ..... On a different note, the tutor continues to intrigue as the woman with the unknown agenda.

Room No. 9 - Yay! I was finally able to get back to this one and watch two more episodes. I'm still trying to finish before the year is over, but we'll see. ..... When the baddie meets face to face with Hwa-sa, I was wondering if he really thought there was anything he could say to her after putting her in jail for 34 years. That he has the gall to even show up in front of her is just beyond words.

That's all for now. Everyone take care and and have a great Friday!

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I think the cast can all proudly put "slapping skill" under qualification on their resumes after The Last Empress.

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New life goal: putting "slapping skill" on my resume

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@kimbapnoona Heh! No kidding!

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I saw an interview w the actress who stars in the new film "If Beale Street Could Talk", who has on the "special skills" area of her resume that she can belch on demand. And then she demonstrated it. Maybe slapping really is a special skill for actors 🤣

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That's hilarious, @bbstl! Although I sometimes fantasize about practicing my poor slapping skill on people who purposefully belch around me especially while I'm eating!

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I hope this doesn't happen very often, but it's one way to improve the slapping! A bad slap is a terrible thing 😉

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Hi koran,
I'm amazed that once again you and I are watching completey diferent dramas but together. Makes me realize how many dramas there are on air! (My list is below, truly, they are ALL different than the ones you are watching!) I am tempted to start the Last Empress, maybe over the Christmas break. Have a merry one!

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Hi @owl22! You're right, there's been a bounty of dramas lately. I wish I could get to them all, at least to check out an episode or two, but that's just not possible. Luckily, there's something out there for everyone, so I'm thankful for that!

The Last Empress is turning out to be a little fun show. It's a bit over-the-top, but it works here! Hopefully you can give it a try during your break and see what you think. Have a merry holiday also!

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I should watch the finale of Room 9. I found the body swap believable. What i found hard to believe was how everyone took it all so casually after the first instance of unbelief.

Where are you watching Sky Castle? Does it have another name?

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@scifiwritir Regarding Room No 9, right? Everyone took it as "it's-no-big-deal-this-happens-all-the-time" kind of a thing .... or something along those lines. I figured people would be asking more questions about the whole incident, but maybe that's just me and what I'd be asking.

Regarding Sky Castle, you can find it on ondramanice. Check out the show and see what you think. It's turning out to be a not-to-miss drama, it's that good.

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Hi @korfan , our watching list is almost the same except for Room no. 9.

I thought i couldnt stand The Last Empress till ep. 48 but look at me now just finished with ep 19-20.. i guess i cant stop because the unreasonable storyline which now getting worst 🤣🤣🤣 is my source of amusement ! I need it to bring myself out to light after watching Children of Nobody

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Hi @ryunami! I'm barely on ep 12 (ep 6 old count) of The Last Empress and it's already been one fun ride! I've been reading all our fellow Beanies' comments so I know more amusing stuff is coming up. I'm looking forward to it! I suppose we're in the mood for something like this so we're joyfully watching it to see what happens next!

I barely got back to Room No. 9 in an attempt to finish it before the year is over. No idea if that's going to happen though. Although I've read positive comments about Children of Nobody, I think this one is going on the list to watch at a later time. It does sound like a serious watch though.

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Thanks to Netflix, I am working my way through a huge backlog of dramas that I, previously, had no access to. Finished My Girlfriend Is A Gumiho recently and tearing my through Heirs right now. I finally and totally get why it was such a monster hit at the time. It forsakes originality to lean in hard on the tropes but it does deliver. It is extremely entertaining and problematic. I have gone back and read Dramabeans recaps of it and the issue of how woman are depicted is 100 times worse 5 years later. The scene where Kim Tan and Choi Young Do are playing tug off war with Eun-sang in the middle of the road, I just wanted her to push both of them onto on-coming traffic. So conflicted about all the issues I am having with it but how much I am still enjoying it. Sorry for being 5 years late to the party. :-)

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The Gumiho one is evil. It was the first k-drama I ever watched, and my addiction has been downhill from there.

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On the other hand, I totally detested - and still do - Heirs.

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Hi all:

Well, let's see. It's bleak and rainy outside and i'm trying to be good on this intermittent fasting diet since the doctor says i'm diabetic and have high blood pressure. Mercifully, dramas exist to either calm me down or stress me out.

Fluttering heart was kinda meh but i gotta hand it to the actress who played the evil second lead. Heroines being all victimmy and old secret that hardly matters....well...nah.

Mama Fairy is an okay drama. I like the idea of the second lead getting the girl (Hope the trend continues in Feel Good to die) but i have to say that this drama is a case of a writer simultaneously working too hard on one part of a story while working too little on the other part. On the one hand, the myster/history of the love triangle heavenly court business might have been better if the writer had shared some more of the truth with us viewers. We don't have to be in the dark just because the story characters are. The mystery would have been lessened but we would have had to deal with knowing Miss Fairy was being so wrongheaded. And that would've been interesting. And on the other hand, those three fairy friends were so useless to the overall plot. Basically, balance was needed all around. I still like the story but the writer in me just gets annoyed at stuff.

Feels Good To Die is just a solid perfect drama. I still am hoping the second lead gets the girl. It's been a while since a drama's ending fulfilled me or even the drama's potential so i'm hoping they don't mess up.

Encounter/Boyfriend is good but that actress is playing it too cold. I can't warm to her.

Trying to get into Strange Hero. A struggle. But i had a hard time getting into Thirty but seventeen and Twelve nights...so maybe i should just sit myself down one day and force myself to watch.

Not sure why fate and fury stopped for a while. I like it makjangy glory. Coffee, do me a favor is okay but merely okay.

Anyone watching Just Dance?

Loving my chinese dramas. Ever Night is seriously good. Trying to watch A Flowing River. Saw "What she had on the table" on netflix.

Just recently rewatched one of my favorite Jmovies, called Forget me not (You whom i promised not to forget) and once again loved it. It's on youtube and blurry but it touched my heart.

That's about it. Am awaiting kingdom.

Happy weekend, all.

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I am watching Just Dance (I am at episode 4-5)! :)

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Yes, Feel Good to Die is divine! My friend has been a big fan of Kang Ji Hwan and I can see why. She lamented that KJH has aged recently but it is his acting chop that truly matters.
I find that BJS and LRD are best described comrades in fighting and I wonder if LRD would be interested in BJS as her romance partner. I do also like to see the second leading man gets her but the last esp was all about BJS! Oh, well.

As for Boyfriend, I just cannot find the sparks and attraction between the two.

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PBG is so pretty and there is a stiffness in the interactions when what i want is for the story to soar. But, I'll pretend her cold character isn't bothering me. I want to get past the puppydog look on his sweet face and the cold sorrow on hers. More nuance necessary i think. But the drama is so wellwritten that....

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I see our vindictive second lead and our cantankerous boss as being made for each other. Love starts with hate sometimes...at least in dramas.

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I'm finding the female character depiction in Boyfriend rather stiff too. But she's super reserved and has been all her life. I don't think that would change just because she likes someone, she's going to suddenly act more boisterous or smile more. PBG has enough smiles for the both of them and I think I'm fine with that!

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#teamKangTeamJang

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I just looked back over the dozen or so recent (made since 2014 or so) Chinese dramas I started, and realized that I have not ever finished a single one of them. The highly increased censorship I think has really brought the quality down. The last one I finished was "Finding Mr. Right", from 2013. It's free if you have Amazon Prime https://www.amazon.com/Finding-Mr-Right-Tang-Wei/dp/B071KGX5MV

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If you start Ever Night, you will probably finish it. It's the third drama i have actually finished. The others being Eternal Love (because it was just so silly) and Ashes of Love (because it was silly and tragic and mythic.) Ever Night is solid and magical. A really well-written story.

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forgot to say..oooh yes oh yes, KJH is such a great actor. Humor, pathos, tragedy, cruelty, all done so well. And when he goes all "sincere" you can see his heart.
Love him.

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The drama that KJH was in that made my heart break was, 90 Day, Time to Love. I don't think I've watched another drama he's in since then.

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I've been thinking a lot about this in the last week...

Many people strive to be "conscious consumers" - making informed choices as to how and where they spend their time and money. For some, it is a priority to patronize companies that are environmentally-friendly. For others, it may be a choice to buy (or not buy) based on political leanings of a company's owners, or choosing not to participate on a social media platform based on concern over speech-related issues.

Given a lot of the news regarding China in recent months, with the internment of Chinese Muslims in Western China (this week it was reported that at least one US sportswear company is a client of the factories that use these people as slave labor!) and the crackdown on Chinese Christians (with people being imprisioned and churches being disrupted), the constant government surveillance of their people, and the nightmare of the Chinese implementation of a Black Mirror-style social points system....it's causing to me to reconsider watching Chinese shows on Netflix and Viki.

If everything that comes out of China wasn't so tied into government control, it would not be as clear of an issue to me. But I've got this nagging feeling that however small of a contribution it might be, that each of us who watches a Chinese show on platforms that have licensed them are helping to enable the current situation in China.

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It’s a complex issue, for sure, but I tend to think of the “little people” that depend on these entertainment forms for their own livelihood and their family’s success: set designers, make up artists, boom operators, caterers, lighting directors, who have little to do with the political climate or religious persecution going on there. However, if it bothers you to consume this content than it’s your prerogative to avoid doing so.

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Lately it has gotten much worse. Was cruising YouTube and came across a clip of a new Chinese show where the romance (believe it or not) started out at a Chairman Xi "appreciation party". Wall to wall red flags and the like.

I keep up with many bloggers and vloggers in China, and over the past few months many are in the process of getting out, saying it is becoming untenable. Many are married to Chinese, so can't be an easy decision. I personally know of 5 that have moved to Taiwan.

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I also recommend watching Eternal Love and Ashes of Love. Ashes of Love is my personal favorite.

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Hi Carole, I'm interested in the jdrama you mentioned. I haven't watched one in ages. Hope your diet gets the diabetes under control and that you feel better. Sunny but bitterly cold here; I'm gearing up for Christmas but it will be quiet this year as I'm not traveling as usual. Have a great weekend, too~

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Forget me not? It's a movie. Seriously sweet. The cdrama is on netflix and so good. I've been catching up on my jdramas on netflix. Thanks for the hope.

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Useless three fairy friends -my thinking exactly. I just feel bad about Mama Fairy because I like the lead actress a lot. I enjoy Just Dance and Strange Hero - cute, funny, heart-warming. And I like fate and fury (so far) because I loved the leads in their last drama Cunning single lady.

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@scifiwritir I certainly wouldn't mind if the second lead ended up with the female lead in Feel Good To Die.

Have a good weekend also!

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A group of us gather on the Just Dance Ep. 1-2 recap to discuss the drama.

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Hello Beanies!
I think most of you must be in cold places today but here the heat is crazy, to distract myself I'm voting for some new categories we didn't have in the official poll. Feel free to add any if you wish.
Happy Holidays!

Best Writing - Prison Playbook
Best Cinematography - My Ajusshi
Best Ensemble - Prison Playbook
Best Twists - Money Flower
Best Pet - Peng - 30 but 17
Best Inanimate Object - It's a tie between Monkey King's Spy and INAR's cleaner
Best Mane of Glory - Secretary Kim's ponytail
Best Start - Memories of the Alhambra
Best Finish - I'm Not a Robot
Best Couple that Never Was - Pig and Zombie Girl - Hwayugi
Best Scene Stealer Character - Jang Seung-jo - Money Flower
Best Psycho - Kim Moo Young - HMSFS
Best Crazy Mother - Lee Mi Sook - Money Flower
Best Cameo - Jang Geun Seuk - Hwayugi

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It still cracks me up that JGS cameoed as a peacock holding a peacock feather.....What person would walk around with a strand of his hair in hand? 😆

My favorite cameo in 2018 might be Kim Min-seok in The Beauty Inside where he and Lee Min-ki has such chemistry in merely one episode!

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Best cinematography: Mr. Sunshine

I haven’t seen enough dramas to vote on the rest and nothing really stood out. :/

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I like your categories and especially completely agree with best writing and best start. Gosh, Memories of the Alhambra taught me how wrong I was about me not liking a gaming genre. Fun list!

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lol Best Mane of Glory. It is a shame we didn't have many Saguek to have this category in DB year-end choice. Hope for better year next year.

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Glad you included Prison Playbook in these! The official DB polls don't recognize Prison Playbook because it was mostly a 2017 drama, but I personally watched it in 2018 and it's winning everything for me.

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It's not fair to judge a drama before it has finished so for me it should in this year's poll.

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I'm liking your list @lixie! Particularly Best Pet and Mane of Glory. Peng was just a cute little button and Secretary Kim's ponytail definitely gave many of us hair envy! *laughing*

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@lixieI'm Not a Robot deserves awards for many reasons and I'd definitely give them one for NOT ending with the OTP standing at opposite ends of the driveway smiling at one another.

Continuing our shared admiration of Money Flower, I nominate MF for:

Best Weird Energy Between Opposite Gendered Actors: Jang Hyuk and Lee Mi Sook. Weirdness further enhanced retroactively when the two then co-starred as (secret) mother and son in Greasy Melo.

Best Men's Haircut: Jang Hyuk is fearless about wearing unflattering haircuts. But in MF, his hair was flawless—a perfect cut with just a touch of tousled length on top, cute sideburns, faded nicely in the back with just enough product to hold it together.

Best Eye Acting: Jang Hyuk in everything—Money Flower, Greasy Melo, Bad Melo.

*oops* My bias is showing.😜 What can I say, it was a good year for that shexy ahjusshi.

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Correction: Bad Papa (not Bad Melo, heh)

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Thanks for reminding me that I still need to finish Money Flower!!

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Second you on Best Twists in Money flower. I really like how it was atypical of revenge dramas. The pace was slower, almost reflective, so you could appreciate all the complex scheming and planning that went in.

My fave cameo has to be Yoon Sang Hyun in Terius for his half mad scientist half naggy Ajumma with a soft spot for Bon character 😂😂😂

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I very rarely am able to join the Open Thread because Friday is usually my busiest day at work, but heck yeah, today I am on winter break and hello Beanies!

Christmas is next week but I barely started my Christmas shopping for the extended family. Why can I not just get Viki subscription for everyone? 😭(no one watches dramas in my family....double 😭)

As a kid growing up in Taiwan, I love my red envelops stuffed with cold hard cash (seriously, what is not to like?) I still shake my head in dismay at the thought that my American nephews and nieces don't seem to be excited by the idea. Sigh.

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I like them excited about the red packet, but not too demanding! 😆

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HAHAHA the wonderful thing about red envelops is that no one supposes to open this present in front of the giver so I would not have to bare witness their disappointed faces . 😂

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Funniest or saddest (depending on how you look at it) red packet experience was when a perfectly well meaning friend thought she had put money in and gave out those packets to my kids. They came home to find the packets empty!!! She'd grabbed the wrong lot. But we never told her. 😇

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ROTFL @growingbeautifully! How sweet of you not telling your friend.....I would have been mortified!
Also, giving kids empty red packets might be the Chinese version of lump of coal! 🤣

True story: last year my husband special ordered some Irish peat briquettes for his brother-in-law who is from Ireland as part of his Christmas gifts. My hubby thought it was a great idea because:
1) homeland
2) nostalgia
3) winter
but maybe not surprisingly, my sis-in-law gave us some very strange looks. 😂

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LOL @kimbapnoona Your husband literally gave your sister-in-law lumps of coal!!! What a hoot!

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I would love a red envelope.

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*hands @egads a fat red envelope stuffed with one appreciative kimbap 💖*

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*sends @kimbapnoona a handwritten thank you card because mom didn't raise an ungrateful animal*

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What kind of job is it where Friday is the busiest? Friday should be a day for winding down to the weekend 😜. Glad you can join this week.

Does your nephews and nieces' non excitement anything to do with things going cashless? It does feel different to receive red packets with cash. The day where 'red packet money' gets transferred via apps will probably come soon if it hasn't already!

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Interesting.....they do ask for gift cards, but I think they just don't really know what to make of Benjamin staring them down 😅

They are also raised in a family culture that is accustomed to rip layers of pretty packaging to get to a gift so perhaps the solution is to put a pretty bow on top of the envelops?

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Ah and to answer your question @outofthisworld, I teach and I am an orchestral musician so my Fridays are filled with couple classes, lessons, and often evening rehearsals or performances!

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Really? My sister is an orchestra violinist. I’m a pianist but not with an orchestra. What instrument, may I ask? (You don’t have to answer if I’m being too nosy.) I won’t ask which orchestra, I will just imagine whenever I go to an orchestra concert that one of the players is the infamous kimbapnoona.

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Not at all, @blnmom! Many Beanies know that I am a clarinetist and reside in the eastern part of the US. Hehe I still have yet to meet a Beanie irl so you might be the first! 😆And hurray to fellow Beanie musicians!!

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Wow! I am in awe. I always am of people blessed with artistic talents. Now, I am curious - what kind of musician are you? I always picture you as jolly, laughing all the time.

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Hahaha @outofthisworld I wouldn't say I am blessed with artistic talents but rather just stubbornly sticking with what I love doing! 😆I am a clarinetist and mostly plays in the "boring" classical genre. I am not sure about jolly, but I think most of my students view me as a strange blend of tiger mom who call out their occasional bullcrap *snickers* and an ahjumma with crazy antics who tease them to no end *cackles* 😅

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Hello to you too @kimbapnoona! Good to see you on the Open Thread!

And if I may say, I'd love to receive one of those fabulous red envelopes. Perhaps one day your nieces and nephews will change their minds!

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*fingerhearts at @korfan*

Hehe, hopefully they will change their minds very soon so they can give their auntie a little break from shopping so she can watch more of her dramas! *shudders at my long drama backlog*

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I still give red envelopes to my younger cousins at Christmas.

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We only got red envelopes for Lunar New Year, not Christmas... hm... did we get cheated? 😂

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Sounds like it! My grandparents gave us money for every occasion!

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Hahaha @cherryinbloom I say now as an adult if the young'uns ever ask you for red envelops other than during Lunar New Year, you may free to use lines like "back in my days, I never got any........"

Like @ally-le's, my family does give red envelopes for EVERYTHING.....new year, birthdays, weddings, new births, you name it! What an awesome tradition of efficiency!!

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Happy weekend, Happy Christmas, Happy 2019 Beanies!

I shall start with the bad things of the week: I got the news this week that my temp contract ends next week. I was employed to replace an injured administrative employee until she was deemed healthy enough to come back to work, and it looks like she will be back in January. Even though I was suspecting it and knew things could suddenly change, it still feels bittersweet. I still have a couple of days left to tidy up my work in between the Christmas holidays and New year’s eve, and some staff gatherings to enjoy. After that, it is back to the frustrating same old job hunting and uncertainty. I will need my own advice to make the best of life more than ever in 2019.

Which brings me to the good stuff: My 2018 end of the year review got published this week! It was a sequel to my 2017 piece, and both pieces are some sort of therapy for me to deal with being unemployed and enjoying life. It is nice to receive so much support and understanding from Beanies who read and commented. I even got an offer to turn it into a trilogy next year! Which means I should start brainstorming about what I want to accomplish in 2019, so that I have something to write about. ;)

Last weekend my Korean exam got postponed, so I binged the first 4 episodes of Dancing Sport Girls and am already planning the next K-drama after finishing it since it is only 8 episodes. What a gem.

Oh and another good thing are the free days and holidays of course!

I really should start studying now. My Korean exam is tomorrow and I have been excelling in useful procrastination all day! :P

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@turtuallysarcastic Yes, tell me about useful procrastination. I need to feel that I've not wasted most of my day!!! I had a to do list with lots of serious things to do... I accomplished maybe 2 of those things and was then usefully employed in catching up on kdrama for the rest of the day, 😋 😊 so that, you know, I can comment with some 'accuracy' on the currently airing shows. Very important task, being 'accurate'. 😏

All the best in your job hunting and enjoy these halcyon days of free time to binge watch dramas!

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Congratulations on the published review! And hoping for great stuff for you in the new year.

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Yes to a triology! 🤣

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Congratulations on being published again! And I’ll pray you find a position worthy of you next!

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I echo Ally's prayer. May you find a more permanent position in a place you enjoy working (and may it happen quickly). I was so happy to read your year end review piece. Good luck with your Korean exam.

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Happy Holidays !!!! \o/

Since I'm young, I love Christmas : food, decorations, songs, gifts, lights etc, so I'm completely excited and I'm still looking forward to giving the gifts like I was 5 years old :D

So I wish you a happy Christmas everyone in advance :)

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Happy Holidays to you too!

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Merry Christmas to you, Kurama!

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Thank you @growingbeautifully and @owl22 :)

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@kurama, wishing you a magical Christmas week! 🌲☃️

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Thanks for the Christmas wishes @kurama! Hope you have a Merry Christmas also!

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Thank you @bbstl and @korfan :)

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Merry Christmas! I love it too!

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Thank you @ally-le :)

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Well, next week it's Christmas.
and like the song says: "So this is Christmas, and what have you done?"
My answer is a little complicated.
I finally started my Masters degree in what I wanted, but now I feel guilty cause it's another year with no job.

Hopefully next year will bring good news to all college students around the world :)

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no job remark pierce the heart. Being financially independent what everyone should strive for.

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Working on your master's degree is a job in itself. Good luck! There's plenty of time ahead to make money.

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Quick holiday greetings today {{waving}} ~

With Memories of the Alhambra I’m feeling uneasy; Encounter (Boyfriend) – impatient; My Strange Hero – unfair; Coffee, Do Me a Favor – lightly on board; Fates and Furies – intrigued.

The bean count votes and favorite dramas voting by category are fun, thanks db for keeping the ball rolling. There are SO many dramas to look forward to already in 2019, wow, can you believe it?

Have a great week and Merry Christmas beanies! ♥owl

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Unfair re Strange Hero? Because of the injustice toward the character? See...that's why i've avoided it. I can't take the pain.

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Yes, but I still recommend it. And that's my comment halfway through, so there's still room or justice to prevail.

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If the writer doesn't mess it up, I think actual revenge is afoot. And the humor makes the pain bearable. In between all that, the lead is an actual hero of sorts as well...

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@owl22 I've been curious about Fates and Furies, but I haven't heard/read too much about it. How is it?

Merry Christmas to you too!

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I've seen 5 or 6 episodes and am interested enough to stick with it. So far I'd give it a C+, something like that, which is borderline and means I could drop it if it gets (yawn). :)

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@korfan—I'm also watching the weekender Fates and Furies (called Fate and Fury at Kocowa, which has subs much faster than Viki) and I'm really enjoying it. I've seen all six 30-minute episodes so far (last week was pre-empted by soccer) and I’m enjoying it.

It's a high-quality production with solid actors with good chemistry. As a designer, I also enjoy having a look into the world of shoe design. (All the women wear stilettos though, which is nuts but that’s almost become the norm in k-dramas.)

And—note to @kimbapnoona and @egads—the slapping is *kisses fingertips* mwah! In dramaland, does no one ever ask, “Why the hell did you do that for?” Like most k-dramas, people in this drama have dreadful peripheral vision so you never know when someone’s going to suddenly slap you OR grab your wrist just as you’re putting some torque into giving a slap of your own.

Revenge loco loco melo melo
Show looks like a whole lotta people are going to be getting their revenge on. The love quadrangle involves Goo Hye-Ra (Lee Min-Jug) being hired by Jin Tae-Oh (Lee Ki-Woo) to lure Tae In-Joon (Joo Sang-Wook) away from his contract-fiancée, Tae Jung-Min (Park Soo-Ah), who was Tae In-Joon’s ex.

It all sounds cray-cray but the warmth between the OTP make their scenes a sea of tranquility by comparison.

They still got it
I love watching actors with great chemistry across multiple dramas. Almost 5 yrs have passed since Cunning Single Lady but Lee Min-Jung and Joo Sang-Wook still sizzle. (LMG’s son is three and JSW’s wife had a baby this summer—right as his Grand Prince ended—so I think this is his first post-baby drama.)

Lee Min-Jung is somehow even more beautiful and does a lot of good eye acting here. Her character is a little more aloof than Joo Sang-Wook’s, who is fighting for his independence from his horrid chaebol family and yearns for a sense of home. Man, he’s really good at yearning. Watching him fall in love is bittersweet because y’know it’s all going to turn to mud.

Nasty lady and her ex-boo
How do we know Contract Fiancée Jung-Min’s a nasty lady? Her wears red lipstick. Really red lipstick. She does most of the slappin’, wrist grabbin’, wine goblet breakin’ and naked chest strokin’. We don’t know her side of the story yet, but her history with Tae-Oh looks heartbreaking. And she’s got one of those old-fashioned-looking gold telephones on a tall stand next to her freestanding egg-shaped bathtub.

The Ex Tae-Oh is a bit of cipher at this point but I must credit his mastery of the male psyche, which makes him a masterful manipulator of people in general.

Fate or fake?
The show’s marketing describes Hye-Ra’s creating “fake fate” with In-Joon. Three hours in, I argue that they are fated. Their first meeting is absurd as is the unlikely coincidence of their shared passion for shoes. And more fate draws her into his world and she ends up saving his ass...

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[cont.]

... she ends up saving his ass twice when they’re still just acquaintances.

Bad relations
It wouldn’t be a melo without shitty relatives but Show has been judicious with their screen time. Chaeobol Dad’s shouty and loutish. In-Joon’s the second son of a chaebol family. His older prick half-brother is actually the child of his father’s mistress. In-Joon’s mother died at some point and the mistress became the legal second wife. Prick Brother emotionally abuses his sad-sack wife while Mistress Step-Mom literally smacks her daughter-in-law and withholds visitation with the woman’s daughter. Sad-Sack Wife seems to be cooking up her own revenge so I’m hoping for a huge Schadenfreude payoff by the end. And there’s an entitled younger sister who blames other people for her bad judgement.

Allies
It’s a relief that the OTP has allies. Chosen family and trusted colleagues help create some pockets of safety in this melo world.

The business of design
The office politics and business of design have potential to be really interesting. Keeping mind open in that regard. I scoffed, however, when Contract Fiancée invites herself as an Art Director at In-Joo’s company. That doesn’t ****ing happen. She’s a journalist and television host, for crying out loud. What does she know about design, project management, or managing creatives? *yeesh*

Lookin’ lush
They’re doing a lot of night shooting and the cinematography is excellent. Like other melos I’ve seen, they really play the theme music hard. I wouldn’t be surprised if they end up having only one song for the whole 10 week series.

A note on the music.
I’m intrigued how k-dramas will complement a Western pop song with a Korean artist of a similar flavor. For example, in Terrius Behind Me, Norah Jones’s Sleepless Nights prepares us for Suran’s 눈부셔 (Dazzling) gorgeous, slightly husky voice.

Fate and Fury does the same, in reverse. When I first heard the title OST by Aaria, her voice reminded me of a James Bond theme song. It isn’t until Ep. 7 (2:17) when I finally made the connection. As Tae In-Joon and Goo Hye-Ra share drinks and reminisce at a local joint, Adele's 2008 Make You Feel My Love plays as diegetic background music. Hye-Ra calls attention to the song and talks about how it was popular when she was a studying design in Italy. (You’ll only hear it if you watch on Kocowa. Viki has some generic muzak in its place.)

If you like a good melo, I recommend giving the first 4-6 hours a go. I’m having fun so far.

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Now that's thorough!

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Correction: Artist's name is Aalia.

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Correction: Contract Fiancée's lipstick isn't red. It's a not-good shade of magenta. Really magenta.

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Just started The Protector this week and dropped it an hour ago. It's my first Turkish drama and I have high hopes since Turkish drama has been very popular for the last few years. Maybe I pick a wrong one, but The Protector is not good. The dialogue is cliche, the action is scene is terrible. The leading man is hot though, but he's alone not enough to keep watching.

Beanies, just a quick question. I want to start Tientsin Mystic, is it worth my time?

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OT Week 97! The holidays are upon us! Merry Christmas to those that celebrate! This week has been a blur with preparations, but I did manage to keep up with the shows I’ve been watching and also may have picked up another one!

LoveO2O is our “family watch” which we finished this week. My daughter is enthralled with this one and rewatches episodes now that she’s out of school for winter break. She loves the gaming aspect, and thanks to this, I now have a larger gaming vocabulary to apply to Memories of Alhambra. Although the leads are pretty and the gaming is fun, this watch is really mundane for me, and I really preferred A Love So Beautiful. I don’t know why, but the leads were just not very sincere or believable in my opinion. How can Nai be so perfect and Wei Wei so meek? I also wanted to see what happened to K.O. and Mr. Girly, because the show was implying a lot and we never saw the resolution there—they even moved in together. But my daughter loved it, so it was fun watching it with her.

Boyfriend/Encounter remains what I look forward to every week. Wednesdays are my long days, so it’s a well-deserved reward. And the subbing team for this one on VIKI is SUPER FAST! I could watch it during the day if I wasn’t working. And after yesterday’s episodes, I’m in this one for Park Bo Gum (as if I was ever NOT in this one for PBG)! But Song Hye Kyo just doesn’t pull me into this one. Her character is SO reserved, even when she’s seething mad. I do love how she is defending him and looking out for him as he is looking out for her though. The writing is still really good here. And the pace is relaxed, which I really appreciate.

Memories of Alhambra is a show that I think I like. I really think Hyun Bin is doing an amazing job as a tortured, revenge-stricken, anti-hero who may be close to insanity. The game is as much a character as he is and I like this too. I’m still on the fence about Park Shin Hye though. I think she’s a good actress, I just need more of her on screen to see what’s there though. Her role is so fleeting in this show so far.
And a rabb.it watch show, My Strange Hero was a surprise to me. I’ve seen two weeks of episodes now, and I like all the actors in this one equally. The story is very kdrama, it’s familiar, so I’m liking that—this is why I fell in love with kdramas in the first place.

Conversation-time (actually, not a conversation but a note):

“Dear Mom and Dad,
Brother and I fed Bo-gummy today.
Love, Daughter”

Me: Sweet kids! [I’m still not used to that cat’s name because when I hear or see it, my heart has palpitations.] Also me: This is the closest we’ll ever get to feeding a celebrity.

Moral of the Story: Name your pet your bias and you will get more joy out of feeding them.

2nd moral: I love my kids.

3rd moral: Happy Holidays, Beanies! So thankful for you!

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I watched 020. It was fun. Towards the end i fastforwarded to get through. I think i have yet to finish it. Somehow the descriptions of upcoming episodes on Netflix always kill my desire to watch stuff because a one sentence synop often doesn't show all the good stuff one is missing.

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I tried really hard to finish Love 020, but it was so sugary sweet and... a little bland? The male lead is written as the perfect boyfriend and I find that a little boring as a character.

I would have finished it, but stopped when the male lead hacked into the heroine’s computer and read her private correspondence, and that was shown in a positive light because he was *so* worried about her 😑 Found it really hard to root for him after that!

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I love your kids too :) I watched Love 020 and enjoyed it, but I kept thinking the female lead was way too skinny.

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I thought the same. I’ve never seen such skinny legs!

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Hmmmmm. I'm thinking of getting a second cat but I need a name that begins with "B". First cat's name is Bbobbo. You may have answered my question.

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BbinBbin would be adorable.

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