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…
Let Me Hear Your Song: I’ve only seen episode one so far, but the show hasn’t quite hit the “must-watch” mark for me. It’s not terrible, it’s more that the show’s elements and acting feel out of sync with each other. Everyone seems to be acting in a different genre of drama, with Kim Se-jung in a coming-of-age drama, Yeon Woo-jin in a psychological thriller, Song Jae-rim in a comedy, and Jiyeon in a weekender. That said, there were plenty of fun moments in the first episode, and I never knew I could enjoy off-key singing so much. Though I’m not on the edge of my seat in anticipation for the next episodes, my interest has been sufficiently piqued so I’ll be watching for at least a little while longer.
A Moment at Eighteen: I can’t get over how much I love this show and how talented the cast is. Every emotional beat, each story arc, and narrative choice is just so sure-footed and real. My heart hurts and flutters all over the place during episodes. The fluttering is easy to explain:
a heart murmur the budding romance between Soo-bin and Joon-woo and the sweet friendships between the students. And how could I not hurt for Joon-woo and his loss? Even Hwi-young–despite the terrible things he’s done and will likely continue to do–has my sympathy. Nothing can excuse what he’s done but that doesn’t stop me from feeling just awful for him and his abusive family situation. I want someone to stop him (and help him) and I hope he doesn’t destroy himself and the people around him while he attempts to maintain his perfect image. I might have feared for the old Joon-woo, but the new Joon-woo is slowly opening up and growing more assured while staying his quiet, sweet self.
Rookie Historian Gu Hae-ryung: I will admit that I’ve never found Shin Se-kyung a particularly interesting actor so this drama wasn’t high on my watch list. But then when @mary mentioned how much she’d enjoyed it, I gave it a chance and I’m so glad I did. I’m having so much fun watching this, and Shin Se-kyung is so good here. It’s been surprising how well the drama executes familiar tropes and turns some of them on their head. For instance, I’m used to seeing royal brothers who are at odds with each other, eager to amass power and ascend to the throne. It’s delightful that our royal princes here aren’t sworn enemies, but two brothers who genuinely care about each other. It makes for a more interesting dynamic and more time can be spent on developing Hae-ryung’s romance and delving into her work as a royal historian. I know that the romance is a big part of the plot, but I’m more invested in Hae-ryung’s career (for now at least). It’s no question that she has the intellect to be a historian, but it’s also obvious that her sense of justice won’t let her remain an impartial observer, so where does that leave her?
Currently recapping: Rookie Historian Gu Hae-ryung
Be Melodramatic: ‘Fess up, Beanies. Which of you authorized JTBC to make a show about us? The opening scene where our main gang was watching a drama’s ending and arguing about the literal, personal, and future implications of it was like a beer-and-pajamas version of a K-drama forum. Be Melodramatic did great in introducing everyone’s backstories in under 60 minutes (take note, tvN!) thanks to the show’s masterful directing. It’s zippy and hilarious but also knows when to pause to let you mourn the girls’ pain or revel in that short burst of happiness in their lives. And I’m thankful for it because with the girls’ backstories, this could easily turn into a sobfest. Thankfully, it doesn’t. It’s just like a jaded, grown up Age of Youth. Which, ♥♥♥. The only downside is I’m already attached to these ladies and know I’ll be in a sad funk after we say goodbye to them when the show ends.
Great Escape 2: I had great expectations for the prison escape. The scale! The genius of an actual prison break! But it ended up being the most lackluster challenge so far. It even put me on a Great Escape hiatus. I liked that they’re connecting past challenges to the present, but these two episodes lacked the puzzle-solving and jaw-dropping eureka moments that’s characteristic of the show. Jang Jangval practically fed them the whole escape plan. The team’s involvement was limited to stealing uniforms and a walkie or two. I think it would’ve been better if the team was locked up inside Jang Jangval’s old cell and had to decipher the mad scribblings of a guy which turns out to be elaborate plans for an escape. It doesn’t help that they failed ten seconds after they started, too. Too much meh setup, zero payoff. I almost wish they let Kang Ho-dong off a little bit with the searchlights so we can get to see the rest of the plan’s execution, because the sets of this show is one of the awesome things about it. Also, I really just wanted to see P.O gagging on the fake corpses. *pouts*
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (August 3, 2019)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (July 27, 2019)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (July 20, 2019)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (July 13, 2019)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (July 6 2019)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (June 29, 2019)