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…
Arthdal Chronicles: I’m stuck in a love-hate relationship with Arthdal. I hate the odd-numbered episodes but love the even-numbered episodes. Overall, I can’t shake this lingering sense of disappointment–the show could be much more than it is. The drama isn’t bad exactly, it’s more that the weak episodes make the great stuff feel a bit underwhelming. Whenever my interest starts to wane, the next episode has incredible movement that just draws me back in. Episode 4 was packed with information and plot development, so much so that I’m both excited and worried that the next episode won’t be able to deliver (I have to add, I full on cackled when I saw how Eunseom managed to “meet” Sanung). No promises that I’m in for the long haul, but for all its flaws (cheesy special effects and low-rent costumes), the show has excelled reeling me in with its characters, mythology, and world. Tanya and Eunseom are coming into their own, so maybe the show will too?
Angel’s Last Mission: Love: I’m so fond of this show and digging *almost* everything about it. From Ice Queen Yeon-seo, to Kim Dan’s almost-but-not-quite human reactions, to the “I’m a bitch but I do a mean ballet performance, YOU WILL LOVE ME” challenges, to the plot twist that Auntie is just a scheming hardworker who’s now being tortured by her psychopathic daughter. I’m even having fun playing spot-the-Healer cast, thanks to the PD. (Anyone else remember angel grandpa as the Sniggering Secretary with OCD?) I have to say though that this show’s interpretation of God is abhominable. It’s like the writer skimmed through the Old Testament and took inspiration from all the smiting and banishing and angel-wrestling in there and missed the parts about mercy and love..? I’m half-ignoring the mythology, and half-hoping that this is deliberate and there will be a reveal later that Angel Hoo has been misinterpreting orders all along. But it’s a tiiny hope.
Rescue Me 2: I almost wish they didn’t brand this as a second season because except for the religion-as-a-scam theme, they are totally different shows and I love them for different reasons. In Rescue Me 2, I don’t care much about the slow-moving fake church story but I’m enjoying the village shenanigans a lot. I said bad things about Min-cheol last week which made it sound like I hate him when it’s the opposite. I love how terrible he is. I love all the scenes when he’s walking around and the crowd parts or the cops trip over themselves trying to put a safe distance between them (except for Chief). I cackle when the villagers talk a big game when Min-cheol isn’t there then turn into meek lambs when they see his shadow. I just like the characterization of the whole town. It’s very true to life. They’re all going at each other’s throats one minute then sharing chicken soup the next. They’re frustrating and gossipy and terrifying when part of a mob but they’re caring and loving when pulled out of it. There’s this thing they do in front of Min-cheol that makes me laugh every time. When they catch him doing something bad and stand a safe distance away, all “I know you stabbed someone to death, but I’m older and I’ll nag you even if it kills me.” It’s like someone challenged OCN to do a slice-of-life show and this is the result.
Lookout: First, a prayer circle for Kyung-soo who’s caught between two warring noonas. May he someday find a bit of solitude and a lot of appreciation for always saving the day. Next, a cackle (or several) for the delicious twistedness every time Soo-ji throws a wrench in Do-han’s plans. I know, I know, Do-han is bringing down the Big Bad, but I’m gonna enjoy his suffering while it lasts. If you’re gonna use traumatized people as unwitting chess pieces for your revenge, you deserve aaaaaaall the headaches that come when they start not acting according to plan. I can’t wait until Soo-ji catches you. I hope you’re wearing your most expensive suit then. Heehee.
Angel’s Last Mission: Love: This doesn’t fill the hole in my heart left by My Fellow Citizens (which is why I’m currently listening to “Snowflakes” on repeat), but it’s a bittersweet love story with a dark fairytale feel that I’m really enjoying. Let’s leave aside the muddled mythology, because it’s clearly gotten away from the writer; the heart of this show is Yeon-seo, and she is everything. Shin Hye-sun is luminous, enraged, vulnerable, icy, distraught, majestic and prickly by turns—and sometimes simultaneously—and she is always gorgeous. Every role she does shows us that her range as an actor is even greater than we’d realized. L still flails a bit too much, but he’s adorable in this role of a naive angel who is powerless to resist falling for Yeon-seo (who could?). This week was painful because we saw their brief halcyon days together come to a wrenching end, but I think it’s fitting that they had to each find their feet alone before coming back together. The scene where the older angel is vanished into dust was shocking, but the old lady’s final moments were very sweet, showing Dan that loving someone is never a waste—and also giving him his first experience of human grief. Dan is very far from the good but rather flippant being we met in episode 1. I’m looking forward to how Dan and Yeon-seo will deal with the truth about Dan’s past, now that he’s discovered it. And I’m dying to see Yeon-seo’s reaction when she finds out he’s an angel. I find it interesting how this show can be very idealistic and tender-hearted while also containing a lot of darkness. So far it’s managed to balance the tones well, but I have a feeling Kang-woo’s about to go off the rails, and I hope the show doesn’t lose its way when that happens. (I do want to see him get throughly trounced by Dan though, so let’s hope that happens.) This isn’t a perfect drama, but it’s rare in that it consistently surprises me—I have no idea where this is leading, and the jaded critic in me loves that.
The Secret Life of My Secretary: Thank the Lord, HE KNOWS. I found episodes 21 and 22 unnecessary and frustrating (and complete filler), but I’m glad Min-ik finally knows the truth about “Veronica,” even if the show had to make him find out in a truly awful way. Also, WHY WOULD HE EAT THE PEANUTS?! Heartbreak is painful enough without anaphylaxis. (This is even more perplexing than the fish CPR—at least that was funny.) I’m glad he laid out to Gal-hee in brutal detail exactly why what she did was so hurtful to him, although seeing him crying like a child nearly did me in. I do think the device of Gal-hee’s dead mother being a sort of counseling angel for her is one of the smarter things the show has done, because those conversations have been our main window into Gal-hee’s feelings of guilt and inner conflict, thus allowing us to maintain some empathy for her despite how terribly she’s behaved. After the truth comes out, once again she’s able to make her (weak) excuses to the audience via her mother, that she was so drunk on the idea that Min-ik might have real feelings for her that she didn’t realize how being deceived would make him feel. (Okay, girl. I still feel like your idea of “this has gone too far” comes at a point so beyond normal boundaries that it might as well be at the South Pole.) And it’s a relief that Veronica finally came to her senses, but I resent her for prolonging the agony. Both of these women need a sensible friend or two. So I’m glad Gal-hee is miserable, she entirely deserved to get fired, and I’d appreciate if these two made up next week to take down the evil secretaries so that I can get a full finale week of googly eyes, hugs, and confessions of love.
Currently reviewing: The Secret Life of My Secretary
One Spring Night: I am enjoying this show so much it’s to the point where I’m counting down the hours on Wednesday and Thursday till the next episode is posted, and then the hours till I can clear off my to do list and watch it. But I almost love it so much I don’t want to watch it — first, because I don’t want it to end, and second, because I’m a tiny bit worried it’s not going to live up to my expectations. I admit, I was beginning to feel like the plot was getting stuck a little, but this week in episodes 7-8 (or 13-16) things started to move, and I realized again that the show knows what it’s doing in terms of pacing, so I should just sit back and enjoy. Interestingly, it’s becoming so much about external versus internal pressures, much like Pretty Noona. I’m curious where it will go from here. But really, how can little Eun-woo, with that haircut and dinosaur obsession, not melt every heart?
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (June 8, 2019)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (June 1, 2019)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (May 25, 2019)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (May 18, 2019)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (May 11, 2019)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (May 4, 2019)