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Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching

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…

 

stroopwafel

Catch the Ghost: It really feels like Moon Geun-young’s been gone for ages, much longer than the actual four years she’s been on hiatus. I’m happy to say she’s back in top form in Catch the Ghost. She’s so charming as Yoo Ryung and the chemistry between her and straitlaced Kim Sun-ho is fantastic. There’s something really fresh about the humor and energy in this show, even though they play with a lot of tried and true concepts. For instance, I love that Moon Geun-young’s not just wild and reckless because she thinks she’s above the rules. Breaking the rules is more like a workaround to get results and justice for victims. Kim Sun-ho doesn’t play by the rules because he’s a stick in the mud, or values process over people, it’s just that for cops, breaking the rules can have deadly consequences. Even with the comedic highs, the murder mystery has my attention and looks so creepy. Fingers crossed that the show will keep going at this pace!

When the Camellia Blooms: Oof, this show. This week’s episodes were especially good–but especially hard to watch. I’d been wondering about Hyang-mi and Dong-baek’s histories since early on in this show, and finally learning about Hyang-mi’s life broke my heart. She’s such an interesting character, so alike yet so different from Dong-baek. Both of them have been through the wringer, but have come out the other end as such different people. I know Hyang-mi hasn’t been the greatest friend, but she and Dong-baek have a connection that runs deeper than a friendship. I didn’t quite see it in the earlier episodes, but they really are a family; forged by love rather than made by blood. Despite what you may do to each other (or take from each other), you can always return home. It was a good week for bonds; it was beautiful to see Pil-gu softening a tiny bit towards Yong-shik. As for Jong-ryeol, it’s funny, I find Jong-ryeol to be an insufferable jerk…but I’m still rooting for him to figure out a way to be a dad and be a presence in Pil-gu’s life. I’m thinking a nice, friendly co-parenting environment with Dong-baek and Yong-shik (and maybe even Jessica).

 

mary

Tale of Nokdu: THAT YUL-MOO REVEAL. It’s not just the position (which we already suspected to be quite high) but just… that 180-degree shift in personality is shocking. Sure, it makes for a good story. If we’re having political strife, a power-hungry logical madman is better than grumpy ministers in white robes plotting against a useless king. But I’m still mourning the loss of the clueless, pining yangban who cooks the most wonderful things, only to have everyone except Dong-joo eat his gifts. And though I’ll never forgive him for the widow village massacre (I kept hoping they’d all be secret warriors like the whole Muweol Corps *cries*), it does make for great angst that he accidentally ordered the almost-death of the only person he cares about. Villains served with a huge side of angst are my thing. So I’m mad, but the hooked kind of mad. *adds Yul-moo’s self-destruction to the Why I Love This Show list*

Great Escape 2: I picked this up again after a long hiatus which makes for a perfect watch because it’s fresh AND familiar at the same time. Even if I ended up with the episode about exorcisms, I couldn’t stop laughing. I forgot how hilarious it is to watch Dong-hyun jumping at the smallest things then making excuses for his scaredy-cat behavior. I’m gonna miss this gang when I run out of episodes to catch up on. Can 2020 come real quick? Not the responsibilities and deadlines, please. Just the awesome shows. (What d’you mean time doesn’t work that way?!)

 
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Beautiful Love, Wonderful Life: No matter what the show throws at me, I can't feel empathy for the eldest sister. Her mother-in-law is horrible and has no right to treat people like she does, but the eldest sister doesn't show real sadness for her husband in coma state. He cheated on her, yes, but their married life wasn't a happy one. I simply think every one of them is awful in their own way.

Catch The Ghost: Sometimes I think dramas really want to impress with their premiere and they go overboard. The over-the-top scenes, especially with the pink scooter, went for too long and Moon Geun Young's character is too reckless and doesn't think enough before taking action, even if she's a rookie. The Subway mystery and her sister's disappearance (well, death) could be interesting. The subway association she talks about could help resolving this mystery. Previous inspectors even started questioning themselves. For now, I like Kim Sun Ho's character the best. He's grumpy but his heart is at the right place. Wearing his father's clothes for his mom was sweet. I actually pity him for having such a tiring partner and going through his misadventures after the Grasshopper case. I wonder if the Grasshopper knows the Subway Ghost.

Extraordinary You: Is Ju Da becoming aware or has she been for a long time? I don't think her smirk means she's evil because someone could think "Take that!" in this kind of situation without having bad intentions. Seeing how disappointing she was when Do Hwa ignored her, I think she likes him more than Nam Joo (as a friend or more). Haru's disappearance and "lost memory" felt a bit too convenient at this point of the story. Kind of like stopping Dan Oh's and other characters progression in changing their fate. We get to see more of Kyung in the shadow and his doubts about his life until now are great! How much of it is true? He was also weirdly nice on stage, if I was a reader I would think he's up to something.

GTO (1998): I found out about Jdramas (and overall dramas) thanks to the anime and manga GTO. I loved Eikichi Onizuka so much that I was anxious a real life version of him so I watched Gokusen instead. I'm mentally prepared now and watched four episodes in 380p (good quality for that time lol). Verdict: I like it a lot. I fell for Onizuka all over again and the readjustments to make the story more appropriate on screen are great! Some camera work isn't obviously that great, especially for some close-up and fight scenes, but it doesn't stop me from enjoying the story. The cast is doing good and I don't feel like it's a manga adaptation. Onizuka is awesome 😍 I didn't know a 16-year-old Oguri Shun was in too. It's weird to see him that young haha

Leverage: The team is working this time to get the hacker's money back. It's ironic to see a swindler being swindled lol Tae Soo has a hard time after his son's death and I like how we still see the grieving process. The women seem to have a blast playing their characters. The crazy actress could be my favourite one and her acting lessons paid off. Did they add a puppy to make Kim Kwon's character adorable? Because it may work on me. The antagonist around the end of episode 4 made me laugh since he reminded me so much of a cartoon villain with his altered voice and invisible face lol I would have liked a less cartoonish villain tbh.

My Country: on ep 7. I'm only waiting for Nam Jeon finally die. If the king finds out he planned to kill him, he sure will be murdered. Sun Ho can use that to his advantage I think. If someone else tells the king, he could end up dead (which won't happen yet).

Ore no Hanashi wa Nagai (If Talking Paid): I thought the daughter was bullied in school so I'm relieved it was "only" a heartbreak. Mitsuru and her have my favourite relationship so far. He's a an uncle she can confidently open up to. Her mother really can't understand her. Speaking of her, I think the morning coffee ritual Mitsuru and her mother had isn't a problem. I see it as a way for them to bond, not an activity that prevents Mitsuru from getting a job.

Secret Boutique: I can't understand what Jung Hyuk truly wants. It seems like he has his own agenda but I can't figure out what it is. Or I'm just thinking too much. I liked how Hyun Ji kind of made both Sun Woo and Jenny spend a relaxing time together. Those smiles should appear more on screen (you hear me Sun Woo?). Ye Nam met her father and it could be interesting to see her go against her mother. She isn't that good at playing mind games but maybe joining hands with Jenny could be a great teamwork. Or she will be stubborn and act like she's a legitimate child.

Tale of Nokdu: Now that we know Yool Mu's real identity, I hope he won't just be a one dimensional bloodthirsty prince. It seems like he genuinely likes Dong Joo but jealousy could make him harm her. His rival for the throne is his love rival too, so that will make things worse. I think Nok Du is the king's son but I can't understand why he would kill him. Is the king so scared of losing his throne that he wants to make sure nobody - of legit right - takes his place before he decides himself? Unless we get revealed that the older brother is actually the king's son, I don't see how Nok Du and Dong Joo can have a happy ending. I don't know if it's because the actor playing the older brother often had character dying or with a tragic life, but I think he could get killed.

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When The Camellia Blooms: Hyang Mi... Poor girl spent her last 24 hour away from her family (Dong Baek and Pil Gu) and knowing her backstory was awful made me wish she had a last happy moment in Camellia. I don't think Heung Sik is the culprit because the voice on the didn't like his. I just can't figure out whose it is. Maybe someone related to Heung Sik and that's how Young Sik will find the culprit? YS was cool with his drone but claiming being PG's dad made me irritated. I think the writer can't distinct a father's role and a romantic partner. Jong Ryeol is awful to DB and his wife (I felt sad for her only existing as Mrs Kang Jong Ryeol). However, Pil Gu should be able to decide to see him or not. I keep Ja Young for the last because she's awesome and should quickly divorce her husband.

The Running Mates: This week's episodes were about a care center for children and adults in it were horrible. I smelled from miles away their would be sexual harassment, sexual assault and mistreatment involved.

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I went to comment on the Catch the Ghost thread and couldn't bring myself to spoil the party, because everyone else was so excited about it. I did feel like they went overboard in the first episode especially. Both seemed a little awkward in their roles. In second episode they each had some better moments. mainly when they were apart. Kim Sun-ho and his mom were the best thing so far, so precious. I hope they continue to dial back the zany and dial up the humanity.

Also agree about Hyang-mi (Camellia) and Yul-mu (Nokdu) and Ju-da (Extraordinary You). To me that tiny smirk was the equivalent of sticking out her tongue at the bullies. So what? How does that make her evil? It just confirms that she's aware and also trying to take charge of her own fate.

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I did feel like Moon Geun Young had a harder time to adjust to her character and I agree about the second episode being better. Once the leads are alone or not in duty, they aren't in high tension and shows depth. Go Ji Suk visiting his mom was my favourite scene! I hope they will put those kind of scenes more. It seems like the show wants to have deep messages. When the guy said it wasn't as if he killed someone and Yoo Ryung told him he was wrong he killed her mentally.

Ju Da in the shadow is just not a Candy. She reacted like a normal person who put up with a lot of crap and saw karma (well, Nam Joo) get back at people who made her suffer. I'm quite excited to see what she will do.

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Amazing that you keep up with so many shows. How do you do it? I have managed to only keep up with 5 at most.

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I watch episodes on the day they are subbed. Since I wake up early I have time to watch one (or two) episodes and other episodes are for the evening.

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I don't think I can top you but it's helpful thank you.

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I'm not full caught up on Camellia but from what I see, he isn't just wanting to be a father to Pil Gu. For some reason, he acts like DB also has to take him back. How can you co-parent with someone that doesn't respect you? He is so selfish and I feel like if there was no Yong Shik, he wouldn't be interested in either of them. He has to grow up if he wants to be a part of his son's life. If Pil Gu knew what he's saif to DB, I'm pretty sure hell fight his dad.

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@mango @ives97
If your show is exploring family, then a fundamental part of that is what is it to be a parent (particularly fraught in SK culture).

If YS is excluded from being a "parent" to PG because he is not blood related...we have an issue (adoption, remarriage, children of widows and orphans are doomed to be fatherless in a society that sees fathers as providing the bones - and their clan).

Can you see DB ever accepting a man who wouldn't offer to be a parental for PG...who wouldn't treat him as other. When this show said YS who'll embrace all of DB...it meant all and that always included PG. PG's rights and ability to choose is another issue all together.

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What I meant is that YS doesn't have to fulfill PG's father role to be DB's partner. Of course, he has to care for him if he wants to be a part of DB's life. However, JR is there and can be a father to PG (he wants more than that but let's focus on the father status). YS can be an other adult PG can count on, not one of his parents, but just as important to him. They could create a special bond that's actually not a father-son but just as important.

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@mango
I think we maybe discussing the same thing with different definitions.

..."a special bond that's actually not a father-son but just as important"..

Isn't that the part of being a non-biological parent. The bond that is important is not blood (YS faking that would only weaken the relationship with PG). It's that, no matter what, you are there. It is the difference between even an uncle and a parent. There is no time-out and even when a child has done wrong you will stand beside them...and in the "parental" mode take responsibility.

I think in SK Dramaland where clan,obligation, and inherited dept subtly underpins everything, it is the tying "biological" to parent and the forced distance between "biological" v "non-biological" that makes 2D1M so cutting.

It is a deliberate cultural forgetting that every father-son relationship is different..because if you define parent as father-son it allows the blanket exclusion of any difference just normal life creates. (YS a case in point - his father died...yet he and his mother were labeled)

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I can get what you mean now and I agree! The thing is I hope JR can still have a place in PG's life even if YS will be there for him too.

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@mango
I can only imagine how JR's head and reality must be spinning. Imagine finding out you had a child 8 years later.

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Yes, in Tale of Nokdu, I think there is still a tiny amount of hope that it is the older brother that is the king's son. Until we get confirmation of the identity from the guy who saved the king's baby, I'm holding out. That is really the only person who can say for sure.

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I try hope we will get a bigger hint on the king's son identity in upcoming episodes!

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Nailed it with Haru’s memory loss. I didn’t think about it while watching but it’s just a more creative way to add an amnesia storyline. I still love the show but painful.

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I just hope the show will give a good explanation for the memory and the reappearance.

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Hello!

The only drama I’m watching is Extraordinary You and I’ve been loving it!

I’m wondering if Ju Da is self aware as well? It’s pretty much been confirmed that both Haru and Dan Oh are from a different manhwa and recycled..

*POTENTIAL SPOILER*
I’ve read from other comments that the description of her character on the MBC website is she’s a crafty person in the Shadow...
*END*

It would be interesting if Ju Da might’ve had something to do with them being recycled into the new manhwa... She could’ve been jealous of them both and want to take their roles of main characters from them.
I’m still iffy on the Writer and their intentions.. is there actually a Writer in the midst or is someone in the manhwa manipulating everything?

Love speculating, even when I’m completely wrong! My imagine runs kinda wild when I wait for episodes haha!

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I want to believe every character in the manhwa don't have bad intentions and are just confused in trying to change their fate. Although what you said about Ju Da made me even more curious about her.

I wonder how the writer deals with everything going on in the manhwa. Is he/she rewriting redrawing everything? What does he/she do when something is happening in the shadow?

This show really makes our brain work a lot!

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JAPAN

IF TALKING PAID - 8.5 out of 10. This show has won my heart. Uncle-Niece pair. Bro-sis pair. Mother-son vs. Mother-daughter act. Brother-in-Laws pair. Simple yet awesome. Highly satisfied so far.

Motokare Mania 7/10- Its cliche but then its not. Concept of the show is good but execution tells you its merely a fiction. @atz
I'm enjoying this. Actress

Nippon - 4/10 This overly dramatic humour show is a good disappointment. Still Kaku Kento is trying.
Junichi 4/10 - same old story. a guy multiple women and some overt changes in their life. meh . dropped

Edgy Daughter Holy Mother 7/10 - Boring a bit slow but still easy to watch edgy teen. Mom-Daughter fight starts.

Scams 7/10 - 9 episodes . 22min episodes. Highly entertaining. Add to watch. Real life scams turned into fiction.

Kingdom - 7/10 - - Great manga - Superhit disappointing movie. Kento really needs to attend acting school or atleast any theatre ready to accept him. Yoshizawa Ryo did well. Story is rushed and lacks depth. Story looks at part quite disjoint. Actions scenes are good but look more effort from director than actual action taking place.

Masami Nagasawa look - beautiful and cool but has not much screentime and is there to prop up both heros. Even Masami's action scenes are shoot nd cut from angle where no viewer can feel satisfied.

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Korean - 2019 is trying to prove me wrong. 2nd half is far worse than 1st half.

Wagebond - 3/10 - When someone gonna start a petition against this trash?
Catch 3/10 - horrible show. Poor Male actor. I like him but his selection of scripts is atrocious. This kind of female main leads have ruined the reputation of heroines. Not anything to expect from writer at all.

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I think there have been some good Korean dramas this year: One Spring Night, Sky Castle, He is Psychometric, My Fellow Citizens, Perfume, Kingdom, the Watcher, Justice, Her Private Life, Rookie Historian, Secret Life of My Secretary (my husband liked this better than me), WWW, Class of Lies. There are others that I enjoyed, and reading comments on dramabeans, I would say others enjoyed too.
I think maybe your expectations are higher than mine.

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Agree with your assessment of VB and Catch. However VB is still getting decent rating, I am not sure why because I have dropped it since ep 2. Catch is horrible, I like MGY but I may have to drop this one too... For Japanese, are you watching Funkan no Marigold?

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@akikoz motokare mania has a short male character. Good to see that.
CHINESE -

Mountain - Skip watch - this trash - 4/10 - same old story. literal porn.
Hot Blooded Youth - this actor always have same arrogant expressions. 1st episode was good from CN pov
The man who - started it. no views

Indian - Leila - gives you a picture of present world 7/10

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We finally finished King's Avatar this week and we both (my son and me) enjoyed it a lot till the very end (the last episodes were quite thrilling!). True, there were some overdramatic parts here and there that we were not keen on... but the characters and the general spirit of camaraderie and team work completely won us over. Plus the humour 😁 ... we laughed a lot. There was also a nice balance between respect and making fun of each other among the pro-players. And yes, there was no romance... but... as a seasoned kdrama watcher I found my ships anyway and secretly supported them 😊.

I also tried to finish Let Me Hear Your Song... but... I...just...could..not. What a pity of characters (and actors) who started with a spark (and music!)... and then fizzled out into a boring fest...

Nokdu - who would say that the best love triangle will be between Nokdu, Yul Moo and... Aeng Du 😂😂 She is sooo swoony over "her" Joseon Chef 😁😁
(But then ep 6 continued and ended... and I'm not sure I like what happened... and what was revealed...).

Extraordinary is still my extraordinary crack... so good and so unpredictable... and completely sucking me in. Also... I found the BTSs 😍😍😍

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What happened to all my emojis?? 😱😨

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Ohhh those were emojis?! I was trying to read them and decipher the secret code hidden! 😂

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Hahaha 😂😂
I don't know what happened, they were there when I posted it and then it suddenly changed...
Should have been:
😁
😊
😂😂
😁😁
😍😍😍

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So I recently finished My Ahjussi...

I was extremely skeptical that I would enjoy the show. I knew that it was a critically acclaimed show and received lots of love here on Dramabeans and Reddit but that doesn't mean that I would love it. I dropped Misaeng after 2 episodes because it was so boring, despite many others loving it. Nearly every kdrama I have watched has romance in it, with many of those being comedy too. The dark and depressing tone of My Ahjussi just didn't appeal to me and the premise of a 21 year old girl bonding with a 40 year old man over their problems seemed boring and stupid.

I eventually caved it to all the comments telling me to watch it. Besides, I'm a massive IU fan and loved her in Hotel Del Luna so I thought it would be good to see more of her in a show.

So I started ep 1 and the contrast between this and Hotel Del Luna was so jarring it was almost hard to watch. From beautiful, dazzling, funny and cute IU to poor peasant, sullen and never smiling IU, it was literally worlds apart. But I was intrigued nevertheless, so I decided to keep watching.

Soon one ep became two and before long I was binge watching this show like crazy. I was waiting for show to drop off and lose its quality but it never did, in fact it got better as the story progressed.

I'm so glad to have been so immensely wrong about this show. It is an absolute masterpiece. I take back everything I said before and eat humble pie 😂😂

The acting was superb by everyone. If I hadn't just seen Hotel Del Luna, I would have been even more surprised by IU's performance because it is significantly better than all her previous performances. A genius casting choice by director Kim Won-seok.

A good thing to note about the acting is that sometimes less is more. Lee Sun Kyun was told to not be very expressive with Dong Hoon, which he found to be frustrating but it worked out so well in the end. IU's blank canvas face perfectly conveyed Ji-an's apathy and indifference towards life and others.

This show is full of symbolism and meaning, in fact it's so easy to miss it. I could rewatch the entire show again and would pick up things I didn't notice on my first watch. Thanks to the fansite givemeslippers for shedding light on the symbolism and meaning of important scenes.

Another thing that makes this show so smart is that its deliberately ambiguous. Did Dong Hoon divorce with Yoon Hee? Did Dong Hoon ever have romantic feelings for Ji-an? Will these two get together? Based on the cues the show has presented us, you could argue for or against both sides easily, which is brilliant.

I found the blossoming relationshio between Dong Hoon and Ji-an to be so engrossing, despite previously thinking that it would be boring. Ji-an falling for him makes so much sense because he is the first person in her life (apart from grandma) to show her what it means to be human and to love.

My Ahjusshi reminds us what is really important in life - our relationships with other people. And the core message of the show; be nice to others and be a decent person, is so simple yet so beautiful.

10/10 show would highly recommend 🥰Watching this has been one of the greatest decisions I have made this year.

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If you liked Ahjussi so much, give Misaeng still a chance 🙂
It has the same PD and so also beautiful shots and lingering moments of the characters and situations. I still remember one scene when nothing was said, but all was clear from the looks and tiny gestures of the people around... I cried...

(I also remember that first two episodes was a depressive and difficult watch for me and I nearly dropped it... I'm so glad I didn't).

(Also, the show introduced me to Byun Yo Han! 😍)

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I was about to write the same. Misaeng is a comparatively lighter watch than My Ajusshi so you'll definitely like it beyond those two episodes because they are depressing. Also the show has a good dose of humor. Just try to make it past ep 4 and you'll watch the rest too hopefully.

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I stopped watching Misaeng 10 minutes into the premiere episode! I had entirely misjudged what sort of show it was. Luckily I returned to it and the series became one of my favorites. You really do need to get beyond those first 2-3 episodes, though.

I tell people that My Ajusshi is the best television series I've ever seen. It sounds like hyperbole but I just can think of a series that tops it.

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I am a huge "My Ajusshi" fan. So I loved your comment. So happy to find someone who liked this show as much as me (or us fans)😍😍😍😍 And yes, it is a show to rewatch. It is so clever, so ambiguous, so touching... I always have less words because it teaches something so profound, that it is difficult to explain.

Now, I couldn't watch Hotel de Luna, because I reject watching anything containing occult, ghosts and such things, but I bet Lee Ji eun did a great job over there too.

Anyway, congratulations on having watched the masterpiece My Ajusshi is. 🎊🎉🎇🎆

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It took me three tries to get past the first 3-4 episodes of Misaeng and I was so glad I pushed and finally got there because it was really worth it. (I also took a couple of passes at My Ajusshi before making it through the whole show.)

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I have yet to watch My Ahjusshi but I also loved IU in The Producers. She is the main reason why I enjoyed that drama. Her character, Cindy, is one of my most favorite.

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I didn’t manage to finish watching Misaeng as well. I might try again. Didn’t know they had the same PD 😅

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I rate Misaeng among my top dramas. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Yet I could never get past Ep 1 of My Ahjusshi.

Arthdal is also by the same PD by the way, go figure. I don’t know what he was thinking during that one. 💥

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Didn’t finish Arthdal too😣. Looking back, I think I was excited to watch Arthdal because of the PD (after very much enjoying My Ahjussi), but after a few episodes, I simply gave up. Not even Song Joongki could redeem that show for me.

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Not even SJK could redeem that show... *nods*

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I'm reminded of this years 'Dazzling/Radiant' (depending on which site streams it). It was a 12 episode series where the viewer didn't know til the end of episode 10 that you were watching something extraordinary! That's a long time to have faith is a series you're watching. The final two episodes played like almost like a standalone feature film.

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"This show is full of symbolism and meaning, in fact it's so easy to miss it. I could rewatch the entire show again and would pick up things I didn't notice on my first watch. Thanks to the fansite givemeslippers for shedding light on the symbolism and meaning of important scenes."

Yes to this! You can enjoy this show as it is presented, or you can go a little deeper and find a different layer of enjoyment. It truly works both ways. :) I'm so glad you reported back.
https://givemeslippers.wordpress.com/2018/11/01/seeing-through-a-glass-darkly/

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Agree! And isn't it what we do when we discuss literature? Just one good well written novel can give you so much insight every time you read it! To give you few examples: Daniel Deronda from George Eliot, North and South from Elizabeth Gaskell, David Copperfield from Charles Dickens, The Focault's Pendulum from Umberto Eco... I mean, there is a Jane Austen subject in Oxford University and they only do (I imagine) the only 6 Jane Austen's novels and nothing else for at least one semester!! And those novels, you can read them many times and always find something new that you didn't get before", and although you know the end, it is always worth to read it all again.
I feel, honestly, the same happens with very few dramas, and My Ajusshi is one of them. I wish I could read the original script. At least, I would be able to know then some things I can now only imagine that they happened before and after the show 😉😉😉😉

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I loved this show. How I wish it would be picked up somewhere legal.

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Good news! Viki has just picked it up!
https://www.viki.com/tv/35740c-mr-lonely

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This makes me so happy! Though why did they change the name?

Yay!

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Misaeng drastically improved after the first several episodes. (The first two episodes in particular were weirdly misleading in tone/character, I thought.) Now it is one of my all-time favorites.

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VAGABOND
Your logic says no, but your heart tells the opposite. This drama is just fun!
Also, I get the second couple vibe from the North Korea defector and pretty assassin. Looking forward to see them kisseu or do whatever to confirm my suspicion.

THE TALE OF NOKDU
I didn't expect Yeol-mo would become a villain. I already had a crush on the actor 😢He really has this classic look, handsome face with dark complexion, that really fit in to sageuk. I hope he will get more sageuks in the future, preferably the serious ones like Three With Deep Roots.

EXTRAORDINARY-YOU
God knows why I keep watching this drama (Oh please, of course it's Lee Jae-wook!). I can't stand love triangle, but I can handle this one because I'm mostly annoyed by the female lead. So I don't care whether she will end up with Haru or Baek Kyung. In fact, she can have Haru, I will keep Baek Kyung for myself.

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Tale of Nokdu I was pretty surprised by the 180° turn of some characters, it was a little bit too sudden for me.

Flower Crew: Joseon Marriage Agency Usually I like second couple but in this case really not, I really don't like the second female lead.

Catch the Ghost It was funny but I would like they tune down the humor a little bit.

When the Camellia Blooms Too many dramas, I'll catch up later.

Extraordinary You My favourite!!! But I missed spunky Danoh.

Secret Boutique Jenny and Sun Woo really needed a Lee Hyun in their life! I love her character! She looks stunning in new style.

Beautiful Love, Wonderful Life I really want/need Chung Ah to fight her sister, Sul Ah. Sul Ah is awful with her...

My Country: The New Age Stop hurting them! Please 😥
It was cute to see Seolhyun saying her ears were so red furing the kissing scene, they had to take a break :D

The Lies Within For a wife who is worried about her husband, she doesn't really help the Police...

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I also really dislike the second female lead in Flower Crew. Heck, I dislike the Main Female lead just as much if not more! I don't know why I am still watching this mess but I am too far in now to quit with just 2 weeks left. Probably gonna hate myself later. 😣

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In Flower Crew, I love the 2nd couple, can't stand the first. Gga-dong is the problem; she is crass, fickle, and has a sense of entitlement. I find her extremely off-putting. Her romance with Hoon seems contrived. OTOH, Do Joon and Lady Kang absolutely sizzle! Can't wait to see where that goes.

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I got tired of sulky Dan-oh real quick XD

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Catch the Ghost: The first episode, especially, was a bit all over the place and it has a zany kind of humor, but it also has a lot of heart. I already care about the characters so that's good.

Extraordinary You: I thought this week's episodes dragged due to the Haru plot. Joo Da’s smirk was my favorite part of both episodes.

When the Camellia Blooms: Hyang Mi had such a sad life and sad final day.

My Country: Jang Hyuk. Fans myself! I’m glad he's finally interacting with all three leads. I can't take Hwi and Hee Jae's scenes seriously.

Pegasus Market: Oh, the smiles at the end of Episode 5. I loved the villain making his way through the security system lol.

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Vagabond logic out of the window but it's a whole lot of fun!!! My brain says what on earth is happening but I keep coming for more~ as of ep 11, I'm glad bullet chicken ahjumma is still in the drama and KTW is shining bright as ever. Ahahahaha 🌻

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Leverage – Lee Dong Gun brings weight to every drama. His grief was palpable and grounds the whole show giving it heart. The rest of the cast, whom I’ve only thought of as mediocre in other works before this, are all bringing their A-game here. I’m really digging the group dynamics. More importantly, the setup was believable and his thirst for revenge was justifiable.

Pegasus Market – Market De Luna, with inane comedy.

Golden Garden – Has the most original, elaborate and keeps-one-guessing birth secret(s) ever.

Flower Crew – Gae Ttong is a noun – for someone who is wishy-washy and falls in love easily with a matchmaker.

Tale of Nokdu – Way to make me care about the palace politics by throwing in that unexpected twist. Up until now I haven’t even been paying any attention to the palace scheming. And I agree with Mary that it was just too drastic of a 180.

Beautiful Love, Wonderful Life – Zero motivation to press play on last week’s episodes. The noise and chaos level of this demands high tolerance which I am just about out of.

Vagabond – I live for the moments between Lily and NK hitman. And dead chief not dead? I don’t even know what to feel anymore. Is it too much to hope that all the passengers on the plane was actually not dead as well?

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"Market De Luna" LOL

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Not many people seem to be watching Flower Crew, maybe because two problematic fusion sageuks airing is one too many. I dropped Tale of Nokdu to watch Flower Crew, and I will slog through but it is getting very draggy and annoying; once again, a drama is withholding vital information from a main character to generate dramatic tension, and it is just lame and frustrating. Tell GD that Son is the king, already! Having her just stupidly moon over the matchmaker, without understanding the greater ramifications of her choice, makes her seem childish and inconsequential. And I am not buying the love story, at all. I can see how she could fall in love with the matchmaker, but as for him, all she brings to the table is cuteness, loyalty, and enthusiasm. He could just get a pet.

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While i dropped flower crew to watch tale of nokdu and I don't regret it. From your comment, it seems shes dating kim min Jae. What happened to the king

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He is left a sad and lonely and friendless royal. He cried a lot, poor little sod.

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Also watching: Tale of Nokdu

Pegasus Market (Episode 5)
Okay, you got me with the cliffhanger. Although it feels like Bok Dong or Suk Goo are the ones who had hidden the real contracts away, I’m suspecting it’s actually Mi Ran: she’s definitely swapped sides to Bok Dong (it is mildly funny how I can’t tell which side Suk Goo is on) and she certainly would have anticipated some trouble with the new spy. The show never fails to dial up the comedy with the villains getting some moments as well: super ironic how the subordinate went through all that military-style training when Young Goo himself ended up doing all the hard work to steal the contracts.

Extraordinary You
I do have a mini bone to pick with how the show has portrayed characters becoming self-aware, for instance, how was Baek Kyung able to just find the comic book so easily? What triggered Joo Da to become self-aware? At this stage, it’s also questionable as to how far Baek Kyung’s brother and Sae Mi are also aware. It’s a little bit iffy as well considering that Dan Oh’s initial self-awareness that started off the story has gone relatively unexplained so far. I do think this will be probed in the second half of the story, but I can’t stop worrying that the story might end up spiralling out of control.

Melting Me Softly
The motivation behind that sudden kiss doesn’t sound super ridiculous on paper, but the execution of it was just super ridiculous with the leads nicely getting lost in the woods together. While I can get behind Mi Ran’s desire to kiss anyone before anything untimely happens, I have a harder time understanding Dong Chan’s falling in love. We’re being told he feels responsibility for her and suddenly he’s off the deep end like any drama lead. Otherwise, the rest of the show will just remain terrible and I’ve made a conscious decision to just zone out and just accept the absurdity of all the villainy.

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Melting My Brain doesn't seem to be bothering with character motivation. Or believable romance. Or multi-dimensional villains. Or science. But I do wish I had their ice concession, I'd be a millionaire.

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Hey, we pick on the same bone! I am also curious about the character's self-awareness issue. The thing is, I've been so worked up about the show I hunted the webtoon series; and it seems like the drama is drifting away from the webtoon's story.
If I'm not mistaken, in the webtoon version it was Michae (the mysterious dried squid cook) who was a recycled character from the writer's previous manhwas. And at one point of the series, he stated that being recycled over and over again makes one eventually realize that his/her life is just part of a written script. So... i guess eventually ALL 'recycled' character will experience self-awareness???? Does it all come down to how long have their character been created by the writer?

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When the Camellia Blooms: The latest 2 episodes were the best so far! So much has happened in them! I feel really bad for Hyang-mi. They used to be school friends too! Looks like the show will stay dark for awhile but totally enjoyed the short funny scenes like the baseball match! I somehow cant understand Yong-shik's mothers issue with them and find her unreasonable.
Lucky Romance: It was drama-crack for me and I enjoyed it overall. I was being really understanding and sympathetic of Bo-nui up until she ran away after that horribly unimaginative car of doom hit Su-ho. After that she lived with her sister, met Gary several times and took up a teaching job but only stayed away from Su-ho. What the? Didnt she think she would be unlucky for them too? Her logic made no sense. And not so much as an apology to him in the end. I was really happy Su-ho confronted the astrologist and caused him to stop his business, but some shaming and disproving would have been fun there too. The last few episodes just brought the show down. Going through the recaps to see others views on the show, and I see people share the same opinions. Also I feel it isn't her but her boss who is a bad luck charm.
Fight for My Way: Rewatched it and appreciated it more than the first time. Choi Ae-ra is such an amazing character!

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For the second time in my Beanie life I am able to comment here! :D
Last year 30 but 17 had the honors. I am currently obsessed with Extraordinary You, caught up to episode 7. I have fangirled enough on my fanwall, so I'll stop here. Hopefully I can watch and comment more often in the future! ;)

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This week was full of mother-daughter drama watches, so I’m just going to tell you my mom’s (hilarious in my opinion) reactions~

When the Camellia Blossoms : she giggles whenever Yong Sik is on the screen, a first for any character in a show. I think Kang Ha Neul has cracked her to become her first bias, which is ironic considering he is my little sister’s long term acting bias ~ I guess we are genetically wired to like him 🧐 Also YS continued gossip sessions with the neighborhood ahjummas keep us in stitches, the Ahjummas vibe, from their makeup to the practical/tacky clothes, to their vicious words are all in sync with my mom’s aunts that I grew up with. The fact that my mom was raised in a small town by a single mother, even if it was in the US, likely makes the whole story of DB more relevant to her as well.

Extraordinary You: a few minutes before Kyung started questioning his memories, their reality, etc., my mom did. Her theory was that they are real people who had been trapped in an unreal world by an evil madman aka the author. Sadly, for the facts of their existence, I don’t think that’s the case.

Tale of Nokdu : lots of talk about Joseon clothing and the likelihood that they reuse costumes for different historical dramas just as the BBC does for their period dramas (there’s a certain yellow dress that has done the rounds in Jane Austen movies). We were shocked by the fiery ending, and I was also shocked by my mom’s laughing “I guess we will have a setting change then.” Heartless mom... (she also asked if Dong Joo was likely to die from being choked, I assured her of the main character status protecting her)

Vagabond: highly considering dropping, especially now that...

New Country: I started this with my mom, during Nokdu she was lamenting watching quality historical dramas so I told her we could try the newest serious one on Netflix. She gasped during the first scenes, “look at that lighting, look at that detail! It’s like they are using new technology compared to watch we just watched!! (Nokdu & EY).” Needless to say, we are three episodes in and properly hooked.

I think that’s all I’m watching?

Oh! I binge watched all of Fight My Way again, and gosh, I just love that drama. I’ve ranted too much already about it so that’s all I’m going to say here ~

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You are so lucky to be able to watch with your mom. Thanks for sharing her reactions.

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^_^ Yes, I do love watching tv with her ~ I always make a point of watching dramas on her tv screen when I’m at her home, because she told me it makes her feel involved even if she’s not watching the show (she was technically doing paperwork during the EY and Nokdu watches, but that’s how I trick her into watching shows with me).

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Your mom’s extraordinary theory is so black mirror! I love it!

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That is very true! She’s watched more of black mirror than o have, so it makes sense ~

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I forgot to add that she insisted I look up the ost for My Country, she said she wanted to know if it was one of the music groups I liked singing.

All that to say, we are now fans of Jung Seung Hwan.

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I want to be kdrama buddy with your mom! I think we'll get along well. 🙂

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Me too! are you close to Oregon by chance?

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Nope. I am in California.

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Oh dear, I hope you are doing okay with all the fires going on!
I'd love to send some rain to CA but we aren't getting much here either.
Stay safe!

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@stpauligurl
Thank you! I am doing fine (as you can see I am hopping by DB all the time 😋). Unfortunately I can't say the same for fellow Californians who are affected by the fire.

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So your mom gushes about technical details. If she can tolerate zombie movies, I highly recommend Kingdom on Netflix. I, myself, did take a long time deciding if I should watch it. But it is has a refreshing concept in a way, plus, the cinematography is really, really, awesome. You should try it.

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She is actually a horror fan, unlike me. I’ll suggest she watch it when my sister is over (she’s a scary movie/kdrama fan). (I guess the love for scary movies skipped me in the family)

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Extraordinary You - can't wait for the next episodes, the plot is unpredictable, but so far chugging along nicely. Dan Oh is a little overdone, but I still like her. It is amazing how Haru blossoms from boring extra to a swoony lead. Nam Ju and Eo Ju is spot on with their lead characters, along with Do Hwa as the reluctant second lead.

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Tale of Nokdu That twist! I appreciated that the drama wanted to do something differently in that sort of fusion youth sageuk genre, but I wasn't in the mood for it. It felt sort of "gotcha!! TWIST!" to me.

Extraordinary You So in love with this series. It's not just the writing, but the cast, directing, lighting, and music and how they come together to form this entrancing but mysterious world. I think it also really knows how to introduce all the various twists. Dan-Oh and Haroo pull on my heartstrings like no other couple.

Rookie Historian Gu Hae-ryung I compare it to a warm cup of tea on a winter's day. It isn't something that makes me want to binge, but I enjoy watching it a lot. I just finish the part where the king is bullying our heroine, and in the end, it revealed a less scary side to him, which was a nice surprise.

Be Melodramatic Another drama that I'm slowly watching. I actually accidentally started the first episode again by accident and then kept watching it instead of tuning in to the next episode on queue. Great rewatchability!

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Warm cup of tea comes close to describing the all-over warm feeling O had on finishing Rookie. Maybe warm cup of tea on winter day while sitting in patch of strong sunlight, warm all over.

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* I, not O. Having a serious issue with typos this morning. Huff.

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Regarding Be Melo: I soo agree. I have never rewatched a drama while it airs except for Be Melo

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Catch the Ghost: 8.2 Kim Sun-ho's comedic approach was fine in Strongest Deliveryman, but awkward fit for a serial killer show. There was one new character in day 2 who hasn't added anything to the story so far -- if they don't have something good planned (besides killing time and being sentimental) it could drag the show down a lot. The rest was good. Liked the pink scooter.

Vagabond: 7

Running Investigators: 5.7

My Country: 7.5 Palace politics are better than Nokdu (so far, although Nokdu is picking up). Action less absurd than Vagabond.

Melting Me Softly: 5.0 Has it's moments with the fish-out-of-water encounters with data caps, smartphones, etc., but still doesn't quite work.

Leverage: 6.4 Day 3 was mostly boring setup. 4 was better.

Tale of Nokdu: 7.0

Extraordinary You: 5.5 Fun concept has faded into boredom. Haru's cycle this week seemed like filler.

When the Camellia Blooms: 6.0 "Family" squabbles. People experiencing & talking about hardships. It's sad when the countdown to a murder is the fun part.

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Yup, the serial killer and comedy were an awkward fit, but I blame the writer/director more than Kim Sun-ho. Mom may not have added to the ghost story, but she kept KSH's character from being one-dimensional. I loved their time together. It worked better than the rest of the story.

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Re: Palace Politics in MC. I actually really enjoy the actors playing all the ministers and politicians and so I really am sucked into the inner political struggle here. I even mentioned it to my husband last evening after seeing Episode 7. This show has a very special place.

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On EY - yes, I also had a feeling like that. Like what does Haru’s disappearance contribute to the rest of the story? How are they going to make sure that if they try to change the story again, that the same thing just won’t happen?

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I am really loving Leverage and Lee Dong Gun is so good in it! I expect to start Catch the Ghost soon as I really expect Kim Sun Ho to be back on top form here. I loved him in Fastest Deliveryman, 2 Cops and especially his romantic turn in You Drive Me Crazy! But I felt worn out by his same comedic acting in 100 Days My Prince and Welcome to Waikiki 2, so I really hope to rekindle my love for him with Catch the Ghost.

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Melting Me became bearable last week. Fingers crossed that it continues to improve.

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Ehem... the last episode did get the viewers hot and bothered ;) My gosh, JCW still got it.

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Extraordinary You Episode 8 - Although my interest in the show sort of dipped in episode 7, I’m back to liking it in episode 8! Amnesia remains the trope I dislike the most and although the manhwa has the same amnesia plot as well, I cannot ever warm up to it. And I did miss my over the top, hyper, extra girl Dan Oh; she turned into a leaky faucet, so that added to my lack of interest in ep 7. But something about Haru in ep 8 - he had that kind of longing for someone he didn’t understand - that got me and my heart shred into pieces 💔 That library scene was melancholic yet beautifully captured. It hurt me that he was in that kind of state. Their story from another lifetime has caught my interest too. And Joo Da! Girl, she was the great twist this week. I hope we’re back in full swing next week with less angst, no more amnesia trope, more fluff, more spunky Dan Oh, and more unveiling of stories in Secret and Flower!

I saw this posted on fanwall, I think Melome posted this(?) and I cannot stop watching it. The OST is so good, it perfectly matches the scenes they used.

🎵 To me, you are my first love everyday....🎵

https://youtu.be/Fpz7Ft5Rymg

Arsenal Military Academy Episode 39 - I’m very close to the ending. I might finish it this weekend and I’ll be very sad when that happens. This is slow burn, but I fell for these characters. It’s hard to write in words how much I love them. My manchild boy, Gu Yanzhen, is so reliable when push comes to shove. He’s ready to jump in with no hesitation, uses his influential name to help a friend in a heartbeat. I love that he appears immature on the outside but brainy when need be. I particularly loved that group attack they carried out against some influential people. He played a big part in planning and execution, and I... just couldn’t be prouder of him. He definitely doesn’t joke around when life is at stake. When they found out that their Sergeant put them out in the battlefield as scapegoat, he justified with his team that it’s better they were used or else Sergeant would have found somebody else! Like! 💁‍♀️ He’d rather take the fall than have someone else experience it! 😭 How can I stop myself from loving him more?

Xiang Xiang, although romance is not a priority for her which makes me love her more, but I legit had tears in my eyes when she said to her best girlfriend that she is falling for Gu Yanzhen 😭😭 His efforts certainly did not go unnoticed. He was always there wearing his heart on his sleeve and Xiang Xiang could see this very well. Yanzhen, it’s been a tough road for you, but stay positive, she’s getting there! Jiayou! 👊

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I really liked the soldat trainee team. They started by being opposed but they finally get to fight together :)

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And how everyone pitched in to execute the plan. Well, not so much on Li Wenzhong’s part, but oh wells. He seems to be getting a story of his own too.

Episode 40 - Xiang Xiang is soooo awesome. Getting into the lion’s den on her own, fighting her way through to save XiaoJun 😍😍 She’s amazing. Was this the same girl who came last in physical training?! Yes I know she is great in martial arts, but what she showed there was more than that. And when she got kidnapped! She’s no damsel in distress, so Yanzhen worry not!

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"Catch the Ghost" - I enjoyed the first two episodes because despite the fact that the zany humour can be too much at times it also has plenty of heart and the emotional moments land. I wish the female lead would have a bit more consideration of how her actions can affect her colleagues,but her intentions are good so I think the two leads will balance eachother well.
"Strongest Deliveryman" - just finished it, and it turned out to be a lovely drama. It helped a lot that the side characters were well fleshed out and it was easy to root for the friendships and camaraderie. Kim Sun-ho was the breakout for me with his portrayal of Oh Jin Gyu, I think he was better here than in Catch the Ghost so far (not that he is bad in Catch the Ghost) but really I liked just about everyone in this show.
"When the Camellia Blooms" - I'm about to watch episode 12. Only complaint is that I think they should handle better the matter with Pil-gu's dad and his role in his life.

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I liked Strongest Deliveryman in its time. It was very warm, indeed. Glad you liked it.

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Hi @blu3butterfly, Aidualc.
STRONGEST DELIVERYMAN was the first drama I watched in sequence after reading the recap and comments. It was a great journey. Go Kyung-po gave a wonderful performance as Kang-soo. Lol I followed him to CROSS but the less said about that drama, the better. I figure GKP has five or six months left on his military enlistment so hopefully we will be seeing him sometime in 2020.
However, the big surprise in SD were the breakout performances of second leads Kim Seon-ho and Ko Won-hee.
Those bickering two stole the show. They were great.
Unfortunately I don’t think I can work in CATCH THE GHOST right now.

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Go Kyung Pyo as Kang-soo was very wholesome. I'd say he didn't have as much chance to steal the show because Kang-soo was a nice guy from the begining so there wasn't much room for character growth, but in the case of this show that wasn't a bad thing. I liked him since his side role in Operation Proposal so I hope he gets more lead roles after the military.

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I think the custody issue is being handled very realistically in When the Camellia Blooms: angry kid, manipulative parents, a lot of resentment and selfishness being thrown around. When everyone involved can claim some sort of "right" you need a mediator, and of course there isn't one.

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I agree that it's realistic in a way because in real life parents can be petty and not think about what's actually best for the child, but I want my drama characters to do better. When it comes to the parenting bit they are all kind of in the wrong. But there are still plenty of episodes left so I'm sure they will learn to co-parent.

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@stroopwafel, I agree that WHEN THE CAMELLIA BLOOMS was figurative open-heart surgery minus the anesthesia this week. I had long suspected the situation between Dong-baek and Hyang-mi. As bad as Dong-baek had it, at least she got off to a solid start with her mother. As for Hyang-mi, talk about a cautionary tale. And in his own way, Lord No was also deprived. Emotional deprivation afflicts nearly everyone in this drama.

‘Home is the place where, when you have to go there,
They have to take you in.’

-- Robert Frost, "The Death of the Hired Man"

For me, that about sums up Dong-baek and the Camellia, and maybe even Ongsan as well. Meanwhile, Go Du-shim is killing me with her perfectly-nuanced portrayal of Yong-shik's mom.

I haven't seen this week's installment of PEGASUS MARKET yet, but it continues to give me a pause that refreshes. Its hapless main villain is currently appearing as the ruthless chief baddie in FLOWER CREW: JOSEON MARRIAGE AGENCY. Speaking of background revelations, we got a surprising one in FLOWER CREW. I'm enjoying the show, even as I cannot quite figure out what's in store for any of the characters I give a fig about.

MY COUNTRY continues to enthrall, especially now that Jang Hyuk is getting more screen time. Friday's episode included a spell-binding face-off between him and Ahn Nae-sang that had me jumping up and down. Sun-ho's back story came into focus last week -- with the added treat that Kim Kang-hoon, currently playing Kim Ji-suk's Mini-Me son in CAMELLIA, knocked it out of the park as Woo Do-hwan's younger self. Speaking of Sun-ho, I cannot get a handle on his game plan. I'm about to rewatch ep. 5 in preparation for @lollypip's dandy recap and the ensuing discussion.

THE GREAT SHOW wrapped up in a good way, which I commented on in last week's final review by @saya. Song Seung-heon fired on all six in this engaging tale of underdogs and a family of choice that bears more than a passing resemblance to the one that has formed in CAMELLIA.

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@pakalanapikake, do you think DB and HM recognized each other from the past? The way they played this, it seemed to me that they had no idea that they had gone to school together -- and that actually was refreshing, that their relationship was based on their adult interactions and not on their fated-to-be-together childhood acquaintance.

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@lindag latebloomer,
That is how it initially appeared to me. But after this week's episodes, I'm not so sure. It's almost as if Dong-baek recognized Hyang-mi's ch'i -- or maybe a mannerism. Or could it have been the blank look that emerges in her eyes? I'm looking forward to the recaps to see what I've missed. The devil is in the little details.

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The actress playing HM did a wonderful job, I think. Her arc was heartbreaking to watch.

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I agree, @hebang. Son Dam-bi has been a revelation as Hyang-mi. She's usually so understated that it's tempting to write her off as an emotionally-damaged and/or morally-compromised individual. She just plays everything even closer to the vest than Dong-baek does. And her arc is heartbreaking. She never, ever had a snowball's chance in hell.

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I thought Hyang-mi might have recognized Dong-baek, but yeah the recaps would make it clear.

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It's possible that Dong-baek could have been playing dumb to spare Hyang-mi's feelings, yet still watched out for her.

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Hmm..did The Great Show has the same nuance as When Camellia Blooms? I tried watching the first few episodes but haven’t managed to follow through

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I don't think so. Great Show is definitely lighter. They brought up a couple good issues, but did not go deep enough. Plus, it delves more into election politics in the later half of the show.

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A big NO. The Great Show had about as much nuance and serious issues as a huge pile of meringue. One of those shows you watching while you are folding laundry.

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@mrsdimple,
No, the vibe is very different. I only meant that underdogs banded together in synthetic families of choice. There's also a parallel with shunning people who have unfortunate lives, as if they'll infect others with some kind of disease that compromises one's social standing.

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@pakalanapikake,
Re CAMELLIA. This week’s episodes were tough watching.
One of my rules of life is: “There is more to the story”. With a person’s life experiences or even the events of the day, there is always more to the story so hang loose.
O/T. I mentioned this in this week’s O.T. I just found out that 4 episodes were added to CAMELLIA making it 20/40 rather than 16/32. I am really concerned how that will affect this drama.
We all know that adding episodes does not necessarily make for a better drama.
Frankly, I thought with everything brought out this week, writer-nim was setting things up for an interesting finish (or landing if you will).
What concerns me is that we will start to see a lot of filler and long drawn out gazes etc.
Any thoughts?

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I agree. I like the show enough to keep watching (mainly for Yong Shik), but it didn't gripe me until this week. I am afraid the extra 4 episodes will be filled with JR-Jessica-DB-YS family makjang. But hey, if they give me more YS and PG, I won't complain.

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@msrabbit,
I can definitely do without more Jessica. But I'd be thrilled to see more Scary Ex-Wife Esq. -- I love her. And more Deuk-soon, because Go Du-shim is terrific.

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O yea. And also, show us Young Shim. 😉

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@msrabbit,
I'm beginning to think that Young Shim is a Macguffin or a running joke, and that we'll never actually see her.

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@pakalanapikake I got the same feeling regarding Young Shim. But one can hope... 😋

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@pakalanapikake and @msrabbit,
I am looking forward to a cameo appearance for Yong Shim and dog and puppies.
Iirc YS is a woman, right?
If YS is male I wouldn’t be surprised to see the King of Cameos himself: Lee Joon-hyuk (1972).
A few weeks ago I started MISAENG and there he was in a cameo appearance in episode 1.

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@marcusnyc20 Bong Soo. I think Young Shim is a woman. At this point, I'll take anyone! Just show it to us already! 😜

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@marcusnyc20 bong-soo October 27, 2019 at 10:36 AM, @msrabbit,

I think it would be a hoot if Lady Hae (Wang Wook's wife) from MOON LOVERS had a cameo as Young Shim. ;-)

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Yeah, I was dismayed when I heard about the extension. How do you stretch the story out without making it seem stretched?

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I thought the show was always intended to be 20/40 episodes. I've had that pacing in mind since the beginning.

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@csmith CS,
Gee, the only references I've seen about episode count have been for 32/16. As long as there is enough good, high-quality story for the drama's duration, I'll be happy.

One thing that has messed up the resolution of a couple of Kdramas I've watched are preemptions that threw off the show's timing, especially when what was supposed to have been an overnight cliffhanger dragged on for a week because there was only a single episode instead of two. On top of that, I think it was CLEAN WITH PASSION FOR NOW that was preempted for two weeks. Way to kill the momentum.

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I thought so too. I’m pretty sure mydramalist had it listed for 20/40 from the beginning so that’s always what I was expecting.

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Yes, that's where I saw it, too. I don't think these are going to be tacked on episodes of filler... at least I really hope not!

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@Mel, @csmith CS,
Wow. I wonder why AsianWiki and DramaWiki stated otherwise. Anyway, if it really has been set for 20 eps. all along, that's a good thing, as long as there's enough story to go that distance. With all the weird doings in Stepford Ongsan, we will need all 20 episodes. Now I'm crossing my fingers that Writer-nim continues to successfully subvert the usual tropes. This is the doggonedest Kdrama I've seen in a spell. Manseh!

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@marcusnyc20 bong-soo,
Thanks for mentioning the extension. Yikes. I was all set for WHEN THE CAMELLIA BLOOMS to wrap up in two weeks. I'm leery of adding that many more episodes so late in the game. Or maybe it had been decided a while back, and they're only getting around to announcing it now? Writer-nim can't go back and bury clues at this late date -- unless that's what has been happening in the flashbacks. Hmmm.

BTW, I totally agree with you about "the rest of the story." Sometimes you have to hang by your thumbs for the story to unfold in its own time and manner. And other times, it's a matter of awaiting the disclosure of a character's past. I had gotten the impression that Hyang-mi was damaged goods, but there's a whole nother dimension that came out of left field.

Right about now, I'm missing the joyfully lovestruck Yong-shik. But he's running true to form as a bloodhound hot on the trail of truth and justice. -- So when is he ever going to investigate the puppy paternity case??

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-Ha! The puppy paternity case = ep. 37-40

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A big YES on the portrayal of Yong-shik's mom in CAMELLIA; a really well-written part and played perfectly. This isn't the shrill eeeevil MIL - this is a woman naturally frustrated with her son getting involved with a woman with a LOT of unresolved issues and lacking the personality and skills to handle them herself. No mom wants their child sucked in to a never-ending drama, and I find it interesting that I identify a lot more with her (I too have children in serious relationships, one married) than the couple in love. Forty years ago I would have hated her for making poor DB cry again...

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I really wasn't understanding why she was so angry when she knows her so well and they are best friends but I get it now. Thanks!

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@pakalanapikake
This show!!!!

It didn't do the usual add-on/ surprise twist out of left field. It never punked us...it had been like we were looking at light dancing on a pond, and all the show did was let the sediment settle and we saw what was lurking under neath all along.

Has there ever been a show where so much of life's struggle has been felt not via the leads? Hyang-Mi, Deok-Soon, and Ja-Young have never overplayed it and simply let these tensions bubble under the surface...So when the drama pulled back and we saw deeper into these people, every struggle, every wish was grounded and these women just let it play so internally.

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@SadKDramaLama,
CAMELLIA has been great because of the way it reveals glimpses of everyone's lives. Even banty rooster Lord No is more complex than he seemed at first, and a lot more pitiful. There's lots of quiet desperation to go around. Your "light dancing on a pond" with the muck settling below the glistening surface is most apt. At least I can console myself with the thought that beautiful lotuses emerge from the muck at the bottom.

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@pakalanapikake
You slay me.

..."At least I can console myself with the thought that beautiful lotuses emerge from the muck at the bottom"...

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@SadKDramaLama,
Transmutation of muck into beauty parallels Yong-shik's relentless positivity and Dong-baek's persistence in the face of difficulties and social opposition. Or maybe it's a matter of turning lemons into lemonade? ;-)

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@pakalanapikake
It also just hit me....I was so scared that this show would ultimately reinforce "sad story" "filial piety" tropes. This week put that to bed.

We see no amount of filial is a magic protection - for some it is a warm home, for others the burden is crushing. The subtle differences in the parallels between DB, Hyang-Mi, and Deok-Soon are minor but with such suffocating results.

We see that it is the big difference in DB and HM's filial burdens...OMG...my heart. To see her love for a brother when she has known deep down must abandon her. She knows from experience skeletons float and never go away.

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@SadKDramaLama,

I totally concur re: filial piety, and hasten to
include Dong-baek's mother in the comparison. We don't know why she was so secretive. I suspect that she was protecting her child from a dangerous father. Mom may just be crazy as a fox.

The revelation about Hyang-mi got me right between the eyes. Talk about the "sandwich generation," with grandma and kid brother to provide for. She's even more of a survivor than Dong-baek. When Dong-baek was young, she didn't have a sibling to watch out for. Also, she had seven relatively good years with her mother before being sent to the orphanage. Hyang-mi apparently never got even 5 minutes of nurturing, yet was expected as noona to take care of dongsaeng. (Did Dong-baek know about baby bro? It will be interesting to find out.) It looks as if Hyang-mi did the best she could with the limited (and horrible) opportunities she had. How she has lasted this long is beyond me.

I can't help but think about Pil-gu's outburst at Dong-baek about having to protect her being too much for an 8-year-old -- and then consider what Hyang-mi had to do when even younger than that.

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OMG....Hyang-mi trajectory was there all along. I had not seen it but you called in in Ep03

..."touch of Ophelia madness"...

WTAF - you nailed it...That ties in the:
- Drowning, Denmark, and the Brother who went to Europe. It is beautiful that it was there all along in Son Dam-bi's performance.

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I like that definition of "home". Now, I have to go and find that book! 😄

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@lexyk,
I'm so glad you liked that quote from one of American poet Robert Frost's poems, "The Death of the Hired Man." The poem is about an old farm hand who has become too old and feeble to work, but returns to the place where he had last labored during the hay harvest. It was written circa 1905, before tractors replaced horses and mules, especially on the smaller farms typical of New England. Back in the day, teams of men and boys would use pitch forks to heap up a towering pile of loose hay on a wagon, and then take it to the barn and pitch it up into the hayloft. Silas also dowsed for water with a forked branch of hazel, and dug ditches to improve the drainage in pastures, which was probably not very good because of the clay soil that prevails in many parts of New England. He left his employer, Warren, in the lurch at the height of haymaking season (the origin of the phrase "make hay while the sun shines" -- as you can't cut and dry hay when it's raining, and once it cures, you have to get it into the barn pronto to keep it dry; if the hay gets wet it can later spontaneously combust). Silas returns to "mend fences" with his employer before he dies. He also frets that he has not passed along his practical farming skills of dowsing and haymaking to his younger team mate, a college student. Hyang-mi left Dong-baek in the lurch, too -- but returned because she had nowhere else to go, and Dong-baek was just glad she came back. Acceptance, redemption, forgiveness, facing the music, bequeathing skills and knowledge to the next generation -- all of these are themes common to the poem and the drama.
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44261/the-death-of-the-hired-man

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Death_of_the_Hired_Man#Themes

About Robert Frost
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/robert-frost

Here's another of his beloved poems, that you can also listen to:
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44272/the-road-not-taken

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Beautiful poems. The definition of home, what it means, I’ve seen in so many places, so many times. It’s lovely.

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Wooow! Thanks so much for putting it in context for me @pakalanapikake. Seems like a sad story/poem. Thanks for the links too 😉

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"The Death of a Hired Man" is one of my favorite Robert Frost Poems. Robert Frost wrote a number of poems in this style: The poem is actually a dialogue between a farmer and his wife. Very few poets are capable of successfully writing poems that are also dialogues.

Of course, 'The Road Not Taken" is his most famous poem.

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@pakalanapikake, am not watching the drama, but appreciate your introducing folks to poem--not a Robert Frost poem that many can get through, so I also appreciate your mentioning specific themes, giving readers a few footholds into the piece.

Robert Frost is not one of my fave poets, but he is a poet, not just a hack so thanks as always for any cross-cultural references.

And speaking of cross-cultural references, I'm reading Kim Man-Jung's THE NINE CLOUD DREAM (Fenkl trans). Pretty wildly weirdly interesting!
(is the above graph not appropriate for here even tho my comment starts by responding to your infusion of poetry into DB? should I have separated it and put it in a Friday Open Thread?)

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@isbjorn,
Thank you so much. I'm glad you appreciated mention of "The Death of the Hired Man." It felt apropos for Hyang-mi's homecoming after she absconded with the "clams" in Dong-baek's box of abalone. It's like the parable of the Prodigal Son. Dong-baek would have killed the fatted calf to celebrate her friend's return to the fold, but time ran out.

When Robert Frost wrote the poem, most Americans still lived on farms or were not far removed from rural life and subsistence agriculture. They would have known the references. But more than a century later, that is no longer the case for Americans, let alone foreigners who had never been to New England. Without context, the poem is impossible to understand.

Thank you for mentioning Heinz Insu Fenkl's new translation of The Nine Clouds Dream by Kim Man-jung. It’s fine to mention it here because it exemplifies the metaphysical “dream record” that crops up in Korean literature and drama. It sounds like a dandy volume with a good introduction and translator's notes. (I was a translator in a past life, so I get excited by background and context that aids in understanding literature in translation.) The Asian Review of Books article on it is very informative, and twanged a neuron.
http://www.dramabeans.com/members/pakalanapikake/activity/927424/

Several years ago I started reading the novel after it was mentioned in a lengthy discussion of Mugyo / Muism, kishotenketsu [4-act structure without conflict, as is used in manga], dream record, and nunchi in relation to OH HAE-YOUNG AGAIN in the episode 16 & 17 recap threads. Learning about these subjects drastically improved my understanding of Kdrama and Korean culture. I’m indebted to Beanie Kim Yoonmi for generously sharing the information.
http://www.dramabeans.com/2016/06/oh-hae-young-again-episode-17/#comment-2280371

FYI: The Literature Translation Institute of Korea offers a free digital edition of James S. Gale's 1922 translation of The Cloud Dream of the Nine here, the first rendition of the novel into English:
https://books.google.com/books?id=_47KDQAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

Thanks again for touching base. Don’t stay a stranger. ;-)

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@pakalanapikake,
The intro, notes, and other supplementary material in Fenkl’s translation are incredibly helpful, esp. for someone like me who is not really familiar with Korean culture (esp. as it relates to/is entwined with Chinese culture and history). The more I watch Kdramas, the hungrier I get for more—more dramas, more history, more poetry. I am familiar with many of the Chinese poets Kim refers to (Li-po, Wang Wei, Tu Fu), and it was fun seeing them crop up now and then in the story. Also, Fenkl gave supplementary notes situating the poets in time and history (Tang dynasty). Because the book was actually written in late 17th century, there were several oblique references to what was going on in Joseon at the time—and because of some of the dramas I’ve watched & reading I’ve done while & during—I actually knew a bit about King Sukong, Lady Jang, and others. Which made the reading that much more fun.
As a translator, you should read the Translator’s Notes if nothing else. It is fascinating! It’s very short, but—wow!—does it give one an appreciation for what Fenkl had to deal with and what he was reaching for. Amazing.
I thank you so much, as always, for your suggestions above. I will definitely check them out. Even though I am not watching CAMILIA, and didn’t watch OH HAE-YOUNG AGAIN, I’m sure the comments will help me in my (not very disciplined) quest for understanding K culture, dramas, etc.
The Asian Review of Books article on Kunmong, if I remember correctly, while informative, does not do justice to the novel. I really think you’d love it—which I know is presumptuous to say, so maybe I should revise that to “your scholarly translator’s mind and your Kculture heart will probably appreciate it”?). I just finished my first quick read—trying not to pay attention to the end notes (but failing miserably)—and my initials come-aways are it is a flawed hero story with echoes of the Odyssey for Western reader, a wild roller-coaster of a ghost-apparition-who’s who story, a mash-up of Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism, a whirlwind of sex, sex, sex, and lot of music (which if I remember, you’ve been a fan of since you were a wee Hawaiian flower—or maybe a Jersey girl with aspirations to Hawaiian flower¬–dom?). Thanks again!

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Update:

I thought I would bust a gut while watching PEGASUS MARKET ep. 6 this evening. Kim Byung-chul is the bee's knees, with a take-no-prisoners approach to sales and marketing -- and retro taste in music and hot pants. Holy cow.
http://www.dramabeans.com/members/pakalanapikake/activity/912192/
Lee Dong-hwi as Manager Moon waxes eloquent in a manner that had me in stitches. This show is so far out, it's in. It helps balance out the gravity of the overthrow of Goryeo in MY COUNTRY, and the disturbing aspects of life in Ongsan in WHEN THE CAMELLIA BLOOMS. No Rx needed for this weekly attitude adjustment.

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I do wonder how they could get someone to even play this role of Bok Dong? He is just so .... weird. LOL. I thought I would bust a gut too. But that moment at the end between Bok Dong and Seok Goo though... ❤😍😍

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@msrabbit
If you let it be, this show is just :D

Kim Byung-Chul (I think I will now forever remember him in those white tights - OMG...Flashdance complete with boombox on the shoulder). Each week he makes me see his weird is just being more human[e].

I think for SK audience, it is like a beautiful moment in opposite land. It takes everything you are not meant to do and says it's ok - those can work too.

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Oh, I adore Pegasus! 😍 I can't wait to see how Bok Dong is going to up his game. LOL.
Just wondering how they convinced KBC to accept this role when the script is just super crazy. Hahaha.

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I loved Pegasus Market and how it manages to dole out the heart moments in spite of the nonsense and hilarity. I was giggling the minute Jung Bok Dok's feet appeared in the white sneakers and white stockings to that music. Oh Gosh... I'm still grinning just thinking about it!

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@growingbeautifully

Just curious. Is it actually "in spite of" or is the heart "because of" its nonsense and hilarity?

To me, it's like the "BlackBooks" ep where Manny swallows "The Little Book of Calm." Sadly it may just be that our best selves are often a hilarious mismatch to real life.

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OMG, @pakalanapikake, after barely skimming anything on DB for months, I check in to see if anyone mentions what is going on with MY COUNTRY (later for that), and what do I see but you quoting lines from a poem! A real poem too. Wow, you are amazing.

Don’t know if you remember me, but we’ve connected a bit on DB over the past few years—usually with me asking you questions (which you have almost always—always?—been gracious enough to answer).

I’m a bit embarrassed that I praise you every time I mention you, but you deserve it, so . . .

To get to my question re MY COUNTRY: Netflix has not put up eps. 13 & 14 this weekend (it is now Nov. 17). Do you have any idea what is going on? Wikipedia sez 20 eps for the show, IMDB 16 (I think). It is possible that its ratings were not high enough & it’s been cut off here?!!

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@isbjorn,
So good to hear from you. It's been a while since we last talked. ;-)

Funny you should ask about MY COUNTRY eps. 13 & 14 because I posted on their absence in What We're Watching #179 (11/16/19) some hours before I saw your post:
http://www.dramabeans.com/2019/11/team-dramabeans-what-were-watching-182/#comment-3556347

I don't think the drama has been suddenly canceled. There have recently been preemptions of other dramas for baseball games. It is nuts that there hasn't been some kind of notice about it. -- Shoot. I just looked up JTBC's schedule, and ep. 13 looks like it aired on 11/15 @2250, and ditto for ep. 14 on 11/16. I give up!
http://jtbc.joins.com/schedule/20191115

I've commented on the drama at the start of that thread #31, and have been doing so in the recaps, but not so much lately. I may have commented on Open Thread within the past few weeks -- but that may have been on WHEN THE CAMELLIA BLOOMS.

The episode cut has been discussed in the MY COUNTRY recap threads, and I think also in Open Thread and/or What We're Watching a couple or weeks or so ago. I was confused because I had initially seen it listed as 20, but by the time it premiered, it was shown as 16. WHEN THE CAMELLIA BLOOMS threw me for a loop because it was initially listed for 16 episodes, but somehow morphed into 20.

I'm glad you enjoyed the poem "The Death of the Hired Man." I'll respond to your other post above. Let me just say that one of my majors was English Literature, and I'm kind of pedantic. I've always liked that line about home, and didn't know the origin until I searched for it. I'm a native New Englander, and the conversation in the poem sounds like my grandparents, great-aunties, and other elders talking around the dinner table when I was a kid. Not the subject matter itself, but the tone, rhythms, and phrasing of their speech. ;-)

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After finishing Graceful family I hunted down a melodrama from last year. 'Tempted', basically another telling of 'Dangerous Liaisons'. The quality of the show's higher than I expected, the cast is all very pretty, and there's not much to obviously dislike about the show (which is high praise). Plus the cast includes Kim Seo Hyung, the evil tutor from SKY Castle.

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Graceful family
Finally watching this and what can I tell you??? I like that it is giving me s