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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…

 

tccolb

People With Flaws: I keep coming back to this show despite its, well, flaws. The romance between Ahn Jae-hyun and Oh Yeon-seo has been pretty frustrating thus far and I’m just holding onto the hope that the show provides a satisfying resolution at least. On the other hand, I really enjoy the relationship between the siblings. Even though Oh Yeon-seo is the one who runs the household, I love how the two older brothers support and protect their family. There’s a lot of heart in their performances and the two are really carrying the show for me.

Chocolate: Although it was nice to finally, finally get some development in the main romance today, Jang Seung-jo continues to impress me with his character. In many ways he’s still the little boy that we see in flashbacks, unsure about his relationship with his cousin, and upset and hurt by everything that’s happened. However, his character has shown a lot of growth and I loved his line to Yoon Kye-sang about what Yoon’s mother would have truly wanted for her son. I hope the show brings happiness and peace for Jang Seung-jo’s character, but I’m worried about which direction the show will go now with recent revelations.

 

quirkycase

Currently recapping: Diary of a Prosecutor

Stove League: We had another interesting issue pop up for the Dreams who never have a shortage of problems. Seeing as my country doesn’t have mandatory military service, I can’t say I entirely get the seriousness of Robert allegedly dodging his service. But it’s clearly a fraught issue with serious cultural ramifications. I get why he was hesitant to come back to Korea and face the public and how he could feel guilty (even though he didn’t have much of a choice at the time), but I’m still a bit confused as to the logistics. He’s a US citizen now, right? If he’s no longer a Korean citizen, wouldn’t he have to be treated exactly like any other international player? That one reporter brought up serving in the military now, which makes absolutely no sense if he’s no longer a Korean citizen. I’m pretty sure you can’t just serve in a foreign military since that might be a teensy bit like treason. So I’m a little confused as to what people expect him to do. Either way, seeing as he’s been officially brought in as an international player, he should be treated exactly the same as others in his position. Not that I foresee that happening.

No Second Chances: Okay, Hae-jun’s mom needs to chill and stop framing Bak-ha for stuff like it’s her pastime. I’m glad Hae-jun doesn’t give her a pass just because she’s his mom–she’s super shady and needs to be held accountable. As hard as it is to accept, he’s starting to see that. But poor Bak-ha can’t catch a break. Her resiliency and hard work, though, are impressive. I love how matter of fact she is about everything. It’s nice to have a female lead who is so mature and proactive. She’s really helping Hae-jun to mature, too. And he finally admitted his feelings! I’m curious what she’ll do about it. Her crying on the phone the second she heard his voice was telling, but I imagine it’ll be hard for her to accept her own feelings. I have a feeling she’ll feel guilty for liking someone, although I hope she allows herself to be happy. Plus, Yeol-mu’s already got Hae-jun wrapped around his tiny baby finger, so Bak-ha doesn’t have to worry about that.

 
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I have zero knowledge nor interest in baseball but I decided to binge the first five episodes of Stove League on New Year's Eve and it was the best last-minute decision I've ever made in 2019. As soon as I finished the first five episodes, I wanted more. Stove League gives off a 90's sports anime vibe and I love it. Episode 6 highlighted the Baek Brothers, Young-soo's past, and how he decided to overcome his disability. The latest episode may not be as intense as the previous ones but the heart it has made this my favorite episode so far. Can't wait to watch episode 7!

It was fun to see Dong-shik's growth in this week's episodes of Psychopath Diary because he is really good at "acting as a psychopath." Who would've thought that In-woo would fall victim to the person he was trying to shape and frame as a monster? Also, Chil-sung is the best sidekick.

Although last week's episodes of No Second Chances was slow and there was no Baby Yeol-mu on sight, I still loved the episodes due to Hae-joon's significant growth. I totally did not expect the confession scene, but seeing that we're halfway already, I think the writers know that we need to have the Bak-Hae couple cuteness ASAP. I screamed so loud when Hae-joon was finally going against his mother but when Hae-joon was looking at his family photo with Yeol-mu and Bak-ha while smiling, I screamed even harder.

Black Dog may be a slow-burn show, but I love how it not only shows us Ha-neul's journey into becoming a teacher but it also dives deep into the teaching system in SK, the teachers in it, and how faulty it is. I love it whenever Ha-neul was interacting with the College Advisory Group, with Ji-sun (who I really miss), with Teacher Yoon, and with her student Yoo-ra. While Hae-won and Ha-neul mirror each other's situations, Ha-neul is the only one growing and doing the right things not just for other people, but also for herself. We must protect Ha-neul at all costs.

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Since I'm still on vacation, I have also decided to slowly re-watch my favorite show from 2016, Age of Youth, to revisit the show, see if it aged well, and to also make some GIFs. Episode 1 still hits too close to home, as I still felt the same while watching it. I still hated Ye-eun and clapped so hard when Eun-jae threw her bag out of the window, but like Yi-na, I kinda wished it was Ye-eun who was thrown since she's the sinner! It is now 2020, I just re-watched episode 1, but my heart is still with Song Ji-won.

I also marathoned Bok-soo's Back/My Strange Hero while waiting for all of the ongoing shows I'm watching to release this week's episode. Whenever Yoo Seung-ho smiles, I also smile, BUT whenever Kwak Dong-yeon is in pain, I am also in pain. Last year's trend of beta male leads and alpha female leads is heavy on this show and I am here for it. Soo-jeong's growth both as a person and as a teacher was remarkable since I started the show feeling 0 sympathy for her to completely loving and being amazed by her. The students of the wildflower class were lovable but the character that I loved the most was Bok-soo's Mom.

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BOKSOO BOKSOO BOKSOO!!!

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K. Revenge is the best!

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Age of Youth was one of my first dramas and is still a fave (both seasons). In its honor I am now slow-watching "Melo is My Nature", which I have realized I need to watch when I am highly attentive or I miss most of what's happening.

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Melo is My Nature is another favorite of mine! It's such a good show that my inattentive self can watch through the whole show without missing a thing!

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the mere mention of age of youth and song jiwon makes me feel emotional. simply my all time fave drama and all time fave character

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Park Eun-bin made the character Ji-won even more special. I want to watch more works of AOY's writer because she's been missing in Dramaland since AOY 2 finished :(

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Park Eunbin became one of my ultimate fav actress after watching AOY. I JUST LOVE HER. What other dramas were written by AOY's writer?

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@crescendo The dramas I know are Wild Romance and White Christmas, but she also wrote some fun old movies such as Love so Divine, My Tutor Friend, and Too Beautiful To Lie (which is a personal favorite).

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I agree with what you said about, Stove League, Psychopath Diary and Black Dog. I don't expect Stove League to make me emotional at least not yet. I can't wait for the next episode either.

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Stove League has a heart and although we get emotional bits here and there, I believe we'll really get emotional near the end of the show. Fingers crossed!

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I recently watched Age of Youth as well- as my brother says, it still slaps. Song Ji Won is the best!!!

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3 years later and the show still slaps. It aged very well.

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2020 starts with Cricket

JAPAN

Follow Saretara Owari - 7.5 out of 10. 15min entertaining episodes. This i call social friends. Though they act like they are such good friends.

Eat and sleep at Camp - 8 out of 10. title and high rating tells everything.

KOREA

Diary of a Prosecutor - 7.5 for 2 weeks. eagerly waiting for upcoming ones.

Hot Stove League - 7 for 3rd week. Many issues with this show(from story to plot to characters) but still better than average. kdrama

Trash Land - 4/10. headache in its own right.

MOVIES -

Until i meet September's Love - 7/10 Only a naive person would be affected by these kind of movies. rightly aimed at teenage audience craving corny romance.

Hot Gimmick - 3/10 shoujo manga to live-action - Shoujo trash to live-action. It makes me furious how resources are wasted on such a trash media. This kind of media causes heartburn. It amuses me how come shoujo aime at teenage female audience keeps on producing this kind of trash for years.

Farewell Song - 6/10 - half watched - Nana Komatsu. meh. less interested. gonna skip watch.

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Considering that I only watch Crash Landing on You. It’s pretty much a depressing week for me

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Usually for me also, but this time Live Up To Your Name came on Netflix, so I'm getting my daily dose of that while waiting for my other shows.

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Black Dog (Episode 5-6)
I have a theory about Teacher Ji: given that he used to be under Sung Soon’s group, he may have realised how relaxed they were and thought that they weren’t able to help him aggressively push for the permanent teacher spot, hence, he decided to try his luck out with Teacher Song but then met another obstacle in Teacher Moon, which led to his passive aggressive moves currently with Ha Neul. But maybe given how he held a grudge against her by association (also now the advanced class thingy) he probably doesn’t deserve much sympathy for the hostile school environment he’s under.

Crash Landing on You (Episode 1-6)
I wasn’t really interested in this drama at first until I saw some comedic clips online. My thought was: oh maybe it’s not that grim with the North Korea setting and it’s a parody of the stereotypes that we’ve seen online. I even wondered if it was all a coma-like dream after the tornado disaster and the experience being stuck in North Korea would be cathartic for Se Ri. Of course, that was too good to be true, as the introduction presented family and army politics at one go and is now going into the same-old love triangle and denial phases. I will still watch it, albeit with the fast-forward buttons.

Chocolate (Episode 9-10)
And the drama trope strikes again with some terminal illness that befalls our female lead! On top of that, the hospice is now threatened by the rich family (even if wicked Grandma dies, there’s still the others), but I have hope in that Jun will step up to help Kang in defending it. His bickering dynamic with the nurse was a breath of fresh air from him having to resolve family fights and you can see how he can smile genuinely at the hospice despite the tension with Kang (no love triangle please). Cha Young’s brother was a surprise this week with the genuine concern: will he now be chaotic good?

Psychopath Diary (Episode 13-14)
Even though I’m glad that the trash has taken itself out once more this week (last week being Daddy Killer summoning a Truck of Doom for Corrupt Cop and this week being In Woo shooting Daddy Killer), it’s so frustrating to see the writer randomly bring back In Woo’s stepbrother just to advance the plot. In fact, it feels like the writer suddenly remembered the supporting characters and scrambled to give them some screen-time to fulfil the contract they had signed. I find it also rather laughable that the leads suddenly became so smart but yeah penultimate week magic yadda yadda yadda.

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Happy New Year, everybody, whenever and wherever you celebrate it! May 2020 bring you good dramas and better real life moments! Been away for New Year's Eve, so drama watching was pretty much limited to sneaking some late night episodes on Viki using my phone... Which I used to watch 11 episodes of ENCOUNTER/ BOYFRIEND!
Random thoughts:
-What a beautiful idealised Cuba! Want to go there!
-Park Bo Gum is the sweetest lovey-dovey puppy, already knew it, but it's always nice to watch him, bonus point for drunk Bogummy
-Secretary Jang and Daechan are delightful
- This drama isn't exactly reinventing the wheel, but it's such a soothing watch, it feels like self-care.
Since I came back, I watched PEOPLE WITH FLAWS, episodes 11-12. Episode 11 was super sweet, I don't care much about the OTP, but the cast ensemble is great, the older brothers rule and Mikyung is my new girlcrush

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Almost forgot! Watched episode 1 of Crash Landing on you! Dramaland NK looks super fun, and omg!, now I understand all the fuss about Hyunbin - it's the first drama I see him in (*fans self)

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Yes to Hyun-bin! He is definitely fan worthy in this one! I've seen him in other things, and he hasn't really effected me. But this character is swoony and I catch myself ogling him in each episode.

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I'm rewatching Encounter, as well!

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With no Hyun bin in Crash Landing on You to distract me, I have started many new dramas this week. ;) I had to say I never really liked him in Secret Garden, tolerated him in Rampant and MoA. But he has simply stolen my heart as Captain Ri, I mean yes I do eye rolls on the troupes and some scenes (Paragliding I am looking at you) but Captain Ri has silently crept up my heart. Maybe it's the stoic face which can turn to a pouting boy in an instant. Damn the capitalistic heart.

With the slow week, I binged Chocolate, I didn't know that this show will break my heart this much. each and every story in the hospice is poignant. The slow-burn romance, even though not prioritised in initial episodes, I am currently looking forward to finding it progressing.

Hot Stove League and Black Dog are the other ones I binged this week. and I have to say I am hooked. Hopefully, all TV dramas will finish satisfactorily.

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I binged Chocolate on new years day as well. Holy crap, I cried so many times. I often stay away from really sad dramas (life is hard enough) but something about this one keeps pulling me in. Great job by all the actors.

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I liked Hyun Bin in The World They Live in with Song Hye Kyo but I don’t like SYK’s character there.

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It's a very old drama, isn't it? Maybe I'll give it a try

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Family + traveling = not much time for dramas. Luckily some didn't air this week 😆
Still enjoying Crash Landing, Never Twice and People with Flaws.
And on Monday... Kim Sabu 2 is coming!! 😍 (Hopefully @michykdrama will join with her fantastic medicaps!!! 💕)

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Woah... Romantic Doctor Kim season 2 starts this week?! I have died and gone to drama heaven

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Yes! Starting 6th of January!
They already aired some intro + summary of season 1 last week (though I haven't yet had time to watch it).

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What a fantastic Christmas present!!!
(I'm Spanish, Christmas ends with Epiphany, hehe)

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I literally started the new year rewatching The Mummy, a classic among my friends. Apparently I did not remember my first watch because I blocked out the scarabs. I hope I can spend the rest of the year trauma free, because I have had more than my share of it in the first two hours of 2020. I probably might have liked it more if I was not such a scaredy cat. Kudos to Beni Gabor and Jonathan, now I understand why we love weasels and scoundrels! 😆

I am stuck on episode 17 of No Second Chances. I had hoped for a mini Christmas holiday binge, but it has been a lot busier around here than I first anticipated. However, I am giving myself a well-deserved break tonight and maybe tomorrow as well, so I might catch up a bit...or not, I cannot predict my future self. 😀

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Oh the scarabs were disturbing.

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O'Connell???!!!! Benny!!

My family rewatched The Mummy as well recently and I was delighted when Rachel Weisz's character said the words 'Flim Flam' - I will now be adopting this saying in my daily life.

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Stove League has my interest. I read Ep 6 got 14% rating. It must be good. I can't wait to watch it later, together with ep 7 😆.

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Oh it's good.

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It may be the best show running now.

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Namgung Min made office life interesting in Chief Kim and now he’s doing it for pro sports. That show is written well and has some very good acting as well.

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It's so good. I'm enjoying every bit of the show.

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Still on kdrama slump.

I'm watching Netflix's Messiah this week. I liked the terrorism/CIA aspect of the first few episodes, along with the holy miraculous things . But now they are currently in Texas, and it turned into normal family drama. I am still struggling with the message that Messiah is trying to impart on the audience, but I will continue watching.

I finished Disney's The Mandalorian last week. I love the season 1 ending. It ties loose ends the way I wanted it to. Had an excellent visual effects and slick action sequences. And Baby Yoda lives!! Yehey!

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First WWW of the year! 🥳🥳

HOT STOVE LEAGUE: I really like it now, especially the latest episodes that addressed military service.

CRASH LANDING ON YOU: Waiting for the next episodes. I need more ducklings scenes.

PSYCHOPATH DIARY: I was bored so I randomly started this. And behold, this scaredy cat has already watched 4 episodes. I don’t think I’d watch it if Yoon Shi Yoon wasn’t the lead though.

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@wishfultoki,
I am glad you joined the PD party! Like you YSY is brought me to this drama. I haven’t seen this week’s episodes.

With QUEEN: LOVE AND WAR on hiatus last weekend I was hoping to finish the fantastic MISAENG this week. Alas tvN's episode length (1:20 or so) make it impossible for me to watch 2 episodes on one sitting. The good news is that I am at episode 20-final and will watch that tonight.
I was trying to wrap up MISAENG so I could get a jump on ROMANTIC DOCTOR, TEACHER KIM (another 20 episoder) before RDTK 2 airs.

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@marcusnyc20 Yoon Shi-Yoon is doing great, as expected. This drama allows him to really show what he can do. We know he play bumbling funny characters well, and he also showed a dark side in NOKDU FLOWER. I don’t think anyone could play Dong-Shik like him, with the quick transitions from hilarious doofus to equally hilarious (but also chilling) psychopath wannabe.

I’m so jealous that you get to watch MISAENG for the first time. I absolutely love that drama. 😊

How is QUEEN so far? I was waiting for a few more episodes before trying it.

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Myself, I really like Queen and glad it's back on schedule today (well, waiting for Viki subs.)

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STOVE LEAGUE - totally surprised me with such heart-tugging scenes between the main lead and his disabled brother. Its so uplifting to watch the characters rise above their disabilities if only they are given the chance. I love this show.
PHYCHOPATH'S DIARY - I feel the show is being rushed now that it is on its 14th epi. In Woo has now openly become the evil person that he is. My favorite character remains to be the side kick of The fake killer.
CRASH LANDING ON YOU - I remain mesmerized by Captain Pouty and his ducklings.
BE MELODRAMATIC - Started this because of the raves. I love the music, the script and light banter between the characters. I am watching just because some of the shows I am currently watching have not been subbed yet.
I am not sure if I will be putting some in the back burner. Too early to say, and too late for some.

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I will tell you Be Melo will only get better. But then, I'm not objective: it is one of my fave dramas of the year.

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Half my shows are cancelled this week, but here we go anyway~

Diary of a Prosecutor: It's fairly average at the moment, but I can only see the ways in which it will improve. If the last four episodes set the story and the conflicts up, then from now on I expect a satisfying follow through!

Black Dog: There's just so much heart in this one. The cast is so great that they make the more mundane moments of life in a school engaging. It's a slow burn, but a rewarding one.

Crash Landing of Love: This week I really felt that the story had come together, and predictably that was all thanks to Kim Jung-hyun. When all the main characters can play off each other, this drama sings. Even if the plot is complete nonsense.

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Crash landing on you: There's depth to the story, enough to keep me. But I gotta say I'm not enjoying this as much.

Black Dog: This show is a gem. I love Haneul.

Diary of a prosecutor: I enjoy our clashing leads and the humour is right up my alley! There were no episodes this week tho!

Stove league: We need more episodes!!

Never twice: I fell in love with park se wan and kwak dong yeon here. With every episode Bak Ha and Hae Joon's screen time has been increasing so I find myself forwarding fewer scenes or is it that other cast members have grown on me!?

Just Dance: Another gem. Binged watched in 2 days!. There's so much heart here and jang dong yeon and park se wan's chemistry was great! My takeaway: happiness isn't necessarily found in your dreams! It's found in relationships and it really is on you, if you want to find happiness you'll find it anywhere!
I have one question thou, what about Hye Jin!?

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I think we made up a happily ever after story for Hye Jin where she gets her life back on track, it just takes her a little longer.

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In my mind I keep referring to it at stovetop league. Clearly I know zilch about baseball. Yet I’m loving this show. Is nam goong min determined not to take romantic lead roles though??? This one doesn’t seem to have a romance angle

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Yupp. Right now it seems like the hoobae has a crush on Park Eun Bin's character!!

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Haha for the stovetop league. I also got used to that name of the drama around a week ago.
I think there might be a 1% chance of this show having subtle romance angle. But i dont see it happening from the episodes currently aired. I really want him to be in romantic role. He is such a charming actor.

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The more accurate title would have been HOT STOVE LEAGUE, which refers to what happens with baseball teams (or is talked about) during the period between when the season has ended and Spring Training begins. This happens during the late fall and the winter- hence the reference to the "hot stove" (to heat the clubhouse or the room where the sportswriters work- and hearkens back to the earliest days of professional baseball- which started in the late 1860s).

Soon- in about 5 weeks- we will hear some of the most wonderful words in all of sports: "Pitchers and Catchers Report". Our hearts, chilled in the damp and cold of winter, suddenly leap with hope- for these words mean that Summer Is Coming (pitchers and catchers report for spring training before the other players).

That said, I too am a little perturbed with Nam Goong-min's lack of romance. How could his character not notice the adorable Park Eun-bin when she is right there in front of him? Is he blind? It seems stupid to me and a real missed opportunity for the writers.

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@oldawyer OldLawyer,
I've only seen ep. 6 raw, so don't know what was said between kid bro and his former sister-in-law, but they seemed to be on very friendly terms.
Methinks that Baek Seung-soo may have split with his wife when Young-soo got injured -- perhaps out of noble idiocy. I think he met with her in the opening episode, and they seemed to me to be on good terms. So it doesn't surprise me that the GM is oblivious to Se-young.

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Thank you for that hypothesis- which makes a lot of sense.

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@oldawyer OldLawyer,
You're most welcome. ;-)

I'll post a few more impressions of STOVE LEAGUE below.

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That’s his ex wife? I thought an ex gf

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@dramamad,
According to DramaWiki, she is GM Baek's ex-wife.
https://wiki.d-addicts.com/Stove_League

I like how they list the cast, give short character descriptions, and group them in relation to the team.

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I want to sail the Se Young- Jae Hee ship. Their banter is cute and they look good together. Though he and Se Young share the same passion for BB, Seung Soo is way to serious he does seem to find it very difficult to let out a genuine smile. Nam Goong Min is playing his character too uptight.

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I think he needs to stop feeling guilty before trying to fall in love. He seems to focus only on his job. But I'm still believing there is a hope for them!

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With no CLOY & finishing VIP ; I’ve started Stove League (It’s good so far), Designated survivor (Excellent. It’s a bit complicated for me so I have to take some time to figure out what is going on. But I really really Ike it. I haven’t seen the original but this is great. Also Son Seok Goo ♥️ I can’t wait to see what he does next 😍 ) & Go back couple (I picked it up to balance DS thinking it was gonna be light & fluffy but JNR keeps making me cry, so far so good.

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@quirkycase For Stove League as far as military service is concerned. I thought the reporter meant: why doesn’t he give up his American citizenship & serve now

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That definitely could be what she meant, but giving up his US citizenship doesn't mean he'll automatically be granted Korean citizenship again, which is why I was confused. Also, he's already been signed as a foreign player, so wouldn't that invalidate his contract? Really, the whole thing just sounds like a nightmare of bureaucracy. I'm clearly overthinking this, but as someone who's gone through visa processes in two countries, I couldn't help but get stuck on the bureaucratic process side of things 😄.

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Yeah definitely a headache. But given the media attention it would probably be easier. It’d be also easier since he plays sports, I find that everything is made easier for professional players by everyone be it media, justice, administration & co as long as they win.
He’d have to go through punishment for not serving in the first place I imagine also.
As far as his contract is concerned it doesn’t matter since he’d have to serve as fast as possible I guess.
It’s giving me headaches as I keep writing.

Visas are horrible process.

It reminds me of a famous singer I think who ran abroad to avoid serving & that got completely exiled for the country & that can’t go back.

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Very true about things being easier for professional athletes (and entertainers). He might well be spared the horrors of visa/citizenship us regular people go through...

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He would not have to give up his US Citizenship to serve- the US citizenship simply means that he is not legally required to serve in the ROK military.

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Thanks for the rectification.

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@quirkycase Your comments regarding both shows are spot on. Regarding Robert-hopefully it will be answered in the next episode. I haven't watched it yet so I don't know (I was busy watching the last few epsiodes of dance sports girl🙈)

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9.9 BILLION WON WOMAN: Everybody knows about the toxic money but not about its true owner. I see a real twist coming up as FL is reverting to her street-wise past.
HOT STOVE LEAGUE: The writer is beginning to peel back the barrier layers for Min's character which is interesting since the owner is about to strangle his ability to make the club successful.
CHOCOLATE: Throwing in a random birth secret into family politics does not help the real true, slow moving plot line of CY and Kang deep connection which is like watching cheese melt on toast. The show has really hit a chord on how food holds personal memories.
CRASH LANDING ON YOU: Of course there had to be a dramatic (and anticipated hero moment) to keep Seri from leaving NK and the good Captain.

On New Year's I traditionally watch an anime. This year I watched "The Garden of Words", a 2013 Japanese anime drama film written, directed and edited by Makoto Shinkai. It is a short film which has a very simple plot but show's Shinkai's remarkable skills as a realistic animator.

I also started to binge watch "Fun Restaurant" variety series. Celebrity food porn competition show.

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Garden of Words is a lovely slow breath of greenery. Makoto Shinkai is an amazing storyteller.

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It has some of the best background artwork I've ever seen, and the leads are some of my favourite of Shinkai's characters!

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Psychopath Diary - ep 13 and 14. The two episodes flew by this week. The drama has been full of twists and turns, thrills, laughs, and heart and often all in the same scene. Dong Shik calling in that threat was simultaneously spit-take hilarious and heartmelting. Dong Shik won't beat In-woo just because he's freakishly lucky sometimes. It would be because his goodness has won the love and affection of all the people around him, and they will go to bat for him.

Chocolate - ep 10 and 11. I think this drama benefits from timing. It's the perfect Friday/Saturday evening in the wintertime drama. End of the week is also the perfect time to cry over that South Korean+Vietnamese couple last week, Cha Young's description of what chocolate means to her, and Kang's flashback to Fisherman Uncle. Sometimes the drama has moments that don't make that much more sense than stumbling into Hyun Bin's doppelganger in North Korea, but it's got all these other little moments that feel so real and tangible.

Story of Yanxi Palace - up to ep 8. Started this to watch with my mom. It's 70 episodes, so may watch a batch every so often. It's stressful sometimes watching so many of these ladies scheme, but the heroine knows how to scheme right back. She knows when to quietly set things in motion so that the villains tie the nooses around themselves (so delicious to watch!) and when to make an outright threat.

Instead of Tipsy Why Not Get Drunk - up to ep 22. Continues to be cute with a sprinkle of thrill. Also surprisingly well-paced. Like it seems like it makes sense that it is a 25 episode (each 40 minutes) drama.

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cute with a sprinkle of thrill

@asianromance—That sounds irresistible. Adding to my watch list!😉

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The thrill doesn't happen till later. The drama is about 95% cute. I find this to be one of the better modern C-rom-com-dramas. It knows when and how far and long to deliver the tropes so as not to push the viewer past their patience.

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Black Dog This drama is really good! I love the College Advisory Team. They really care about each other and about their students. They're not afraid to confront their colleagues to say the truth.

No Second Chances I liked how Hae-joon confronted his mum. He's brave because it must be difficult to see that your own mum is not a good person.

Stove League I really liked how Baek Seung-Soo says simple things but they always are true. Lee Se-Young is learning from him very fast :D

Chocolate I need happiness... just a little bit...please...

Crash Landing on You This drama is really fun to watch. The humor, the characters, the plot, all is very well balanced.

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Oh Chocolate gave me my happiness :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfnwGD6pKCc

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Crash Landing on You: 8.4

Stove League: 8.2 Day 5 was their best yet -- it seemed like a bit of a convoluted trick to get a Korean guy for the team instead of a genuine foreigner, but I guess wee should welcome any trick that means less screen time for the lame foreign actors that we see in other kdramas. Day 6 was more typical-kdrama-ish, and I don't mean that in a good way.

Kpopalypse’s 30 favourite k-pop songs of 2019: 6.0 If I actually cared much about music this might rate a 10.0 if I agreed with him, or 0.0 otherwise. As a temp replacement for shows that took the week off it's better than watching paint dry.

Veronica Mars: 9.5 Finished season 2 rewatch. There's a good Trump line in the final episode.

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Kpopalypse's opinion is pretty funny to read :D

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I can't believe you watched Veronica Mars this week! So did I! I binged the whole first season, and I was enormously happy with it - Kristen Bell was predictably awesome and everything was perfectly plotted. Something that I was really pleased with was Wallace. At first, I expected him to just be a throwaway character, so Veronica could exposition his the school worked. When that was proved wrong, I expected him to be a two-dimensional sidekick who only exists to help Veronica's cases along. But no! They addressed the fact that she constantly asks him for favors and gave him his own arc! It was phenomenal.

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Thanks, @lordcobol and @frabbycrabsis for reminding me to put Veronica Mars on my must watch American TV list. I loved the original show; Kristen Bell is one of my favorite actors—she's solid gold.

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We actually have the entirety of VERONICA MARS on DVD.

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I only have the first 2 seasons. That's how I've been rewatching.

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Crash Landing: I miss it this week. A couple times in the previous eps when they're on the train or in the hotel reminded me a little of 30/40s movies. The only thing is the show is really setting us up for heartbreak isn't it? It is spending so much time on the N. Korean ducklings and Ajummas that it is going to hurt to separate again.

Chocolate: Kang is going back!! It's because of a sad reason (of course) but he is going back! And cooking?

Stove League: this is reminding me of how sad I was that Pitch was canceled. I dont follow sports but the stories surrounding a sport team can be so heart tugging and/or thrilling, especially if the action is filmed well. I haven't got there yet but I can see dodging the military being a HUGE deal. I think there are even Korean/American idols who have chosen to serve even though they didn't have to?

Never Twice: oh, I like seeing the guests at the inn slowly turn into a family. I wonder by the end how many people our heroine will have headbutted? And is it bad I want to cheer when the Chaebols get beaten up?

My Fellow Citizens: I had forgotten all about this show until the Dramas Over Flowers Year End Yak. I said it last night but this show is delightful. Fast paced, like the editing, great use of music, and interesting characters. I know Siwon's character will have the main arc, but I love our badass FL (so good) and our Michael Corleone inspired baddie.....I had to look at her age like 5 times because sometimes she looks like a schoolgirl which works for this character. Oh, and his family and neighbors?? The fake war stories? So fun.

My Strange Hero: I think show finally hooked me when Bok soo went back to school. I'm a bit more interested in his relationship with his nephew than the romance at this point, but I dont dislike the heroine which I was worried about. I do think I connect with the actress more in her younger storyline than in her present one, but hope that changes.
It makes me laugh that Kim Mi-Kyung is Bok soo's mom, because everytime they do a close up of his eyes it reminds me of her character in Oh Hae Young. When as the mom she gets mad at Eric's character and tells him basically to always look down because his cow eyes are a lie.

Special Labor Inspector, Mr Jo: I'm still in the beginning eps, but I'm falling for our hero. His former student and daughter expect so much from him it makes me wonder who he used to be. I didnt know if he was going to make it up those stairs but when he saved the kid from doing something irrevocable I think i cheered out loud, though that CEO would of deserved it.

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I feel exactly the same with Never Twice. I found myself less FF when the main couple or the old couple are on screen, and I really want all those chaebols to be beaten (but HanJoo, of course!).

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A couple times in the previous eps when they're on the train or in the hotel reminded me a little of 30/40s movies.

Ah, @bcampbell1662! You nailed it! I've been feeling a deep sense of nostalgia while watching Crash Landing but I wasn't sure why until I read your comment.

I adore films like The 39 Steps (1935), It Happened One Night (1934), The Lady Vanishes (1938), Remember the Night (1940) where two people from different worlds collide and end up falling in love while sharing a literal journey—often solving crimes and hiding true identities.

Much has been said about the ridiculous elements of Crash Landing. Things like gravity, paragliding aerodynamics and well-fed North Koreans are not as important to me as believable characters. Even if they act irrationally, I want people to feel real. As romantic fables go, this show delivers a delightful mix of laughs, palpable yearning and dimples.

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Yes, that sense of nostalgia and almost comfort as I was watching it. They set design and the styling had a lot to do with it at first, our two female leads look like they could step off a backlot. Then realized our Hero has that sort of Cary Grant befuddled straight man charm of screwball comedies. Then the setting of being in a dangerous land, hotels, trains, soldiers, and secret identities reminded me of how many of those movies took place around World War II settings or set ups.

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I love it! 😀

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oops, first comment undone. take 2: i did observe, after a re-watch, that the draw for Crash Landing.. for me is the over all feel. that in NK scenes the lighting is different and it does bring in that feel of a by-gone era. spot-on observation! Also, even the make-up of the actors, they come out as natural.

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The cinematography is stellar, isn't it? The nighttime scenes by firelight are especially good.

@alleram95 on Soompi cleverly observed how candlelight or fire is a frequent motif in scenes between Jung Hyuk and Se Ri.

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Choi Si-won is one of my favorite actors- a man who does what he does out of love. He comes from a rich family and could have had an easy ride- but chose to take a different and much harder path. His family probably did not approve at the beginning but they have to be proud of him now. In any case MY FELLOW CITIZENS was a near perfect blend of comedy, family and action.

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1 Reply 1988
--- Been hearing great reviews as the best of the Reply Series.
--- Did not binge-watch because I do not want to start the year crying .. but already cried at Ep 2 😭
--- It did remind me a lot about the 80s (yes, I was already alive in the 80s 😂)

2 Chocolate
--- A bit slow but still watching for the male leads'' storyline

3 Crash Landing on You
--- Dreading the upcoming serious plots

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Definitely not a binge watch drama. Take your time with Reply 1988. I prefer one (or two at the max episode per day.

You'll need more tissue. I suggest keeping them in handy at all times.

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Reply 1988 only gets better the further in you get, because the characters become like family. If you liked 'Be Melodramatic' you'll enjoy watching Ahn Jae-hong as the brother.

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i remember crying with every single episode of reply 1988... imagine how much of an emotional mess i was by the last episode....

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I finally finished "A Little Thing Called First Love. Overall, a cute, light drama that I enjoyed. As a frequent watcher of family dramas, I wasn't upset with the drama clocking in at 36 episodes but wouldn't have had a problem with them deleting some of the secondary romances (especially the one between the 2 teachers that didn't really go anywhere) and creating a shorter drama. I also didn't mind the green acting by the male lead (Edward Lai) as his adorable smiles more than made up for his acting shortcomings. I also never suffered from Second Male Lead syndrome as I found the second lead (Lin KaiTuo) to be way too broody and high maintenance (poor He Xin). I'm finding that I much prefer Chinese youth dramas over Korean as they generally lack the focus on nasty (borderline psychotic) characters that the Korean youth dramas seem to have.

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You have similar opinion with mine. I like korean youth drama but I like chinese ones better. I always wanna watch youth cdramas but either I already watched or no subs available. Im watching revenge note 1, some characters are quite scary and nasty.

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I didn't watched Revenge Note 1 but watched and liked Revenge Note 2. Given the title and premise, I found the drama much better than I had expected. Really liked the heroine and despite his green acting also liked the hero.

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Since I am busy with real life of kids last two days of vacation and my grandmother is in hospital. She is better but we do not know when she go home. I am trying to catch up with Chinese dramas and Crash Landing to you. Have a great weekend.

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No change in the current watch list. Absolutely loving the below three:
Crash landing on You
Stove League
Chocolate

I am so sad over the news that no new episodes of Crash landing on You during this week. This is the drawback of watching the dramas currently airing. I should have waited until the drama ended, but i cannot wait for Binnie.

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I am totally falling for Chocolate again, again and again.

Finished ep.12 and let me say that ML's acting is just 100 out of 10.
Actually, I love everyone's acting in this drama.

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Ep 12 is the moment we've been waiting for and it doesn't disappoint - beautiful, poignant and the raw emotion.....

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So agree with you about Ep 12 of Chocolate!! I've never heard of Yoon Kye Sang until this drama and I'm now a fan! His tears during when he received Uncle Fisherman's gift felt so real!! (I swear I could've been the one crying). And I loved how guarded Cha-young is around Kang esp during Ep 11. She's preventing herself from falling from him all over again and when she offered to drive him to Wando, I felt that she's just doing it because she's kind and awesome like that 🤘

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I'm reading so many good things about Stove League, I think I will begin it today. I know nothing about baseball (main reason why I wasn't interested), but all your comments are about how great the show is, so I will tell you next week...

Looking forward for new episodes of Diary of a Prosecutor. I really missed it this week.

Loving the slow and intimate path Black Dog is following. Like everyone who's watching the drama, I love Haenul and the way she's growing and blooming. My heart aches a bit about Hae-Won. A part of me understands why he acts that way. I suppose the show wants to show him as an opposite to Haenul, but I have this theorie: HaeWon had the enthusiasm and energy Haenul has right now, but has lost it the way during his six years as a short term. He sees Haenul and wishes to go back there, but it's not always easy or possible.

People with flaws. I don't really care about the main couple, and even so this week's episodes made me feel sympathy for KangWoo, as I see him growing in maturity, but mainly I find him quite annoying, selfish and whimsical. And SeoYeon... well, I can understand why she's trying to hide the truth from him, but... hasn't she learned from her own experience? Hiding the truth is not the way!
What I love about the show is all the rest ot the characters. Specially the siblings, I love the way all of them interact with the others and how caring and loving are to their family, specially WonJae and WonSeok.

No second chances. I'm so proud of HaeJoon, so so so so proud. Not only because he admitted his feelings for BaekHa but also because he's starting to realize how his mum is, and he's telling her he will not tolerate her behavior. I feel poor HaeJoon is about to discover his mum and his grandad are not the people he thinks they are (every conversation between those two alone about the "business" makes me understand they are awful people), and that they're related to BaekHa's husband death.

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I hope Stove League doesn't disappoint you.

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Well, I can tell you it hasn't.
It's Monday and I've already seen up to ep.7.
So yes, you all were right!

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I know nothing either but it’s more about the politics behind the scene. & since the ML doesn’t really either they explain some stuff to him. I’m learning along.

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I won't be saying much about the shows cause a lot of people are already saying stuff that I am thinking too. It also seems like my list of favorite female characters is increasing. Maybe I am just learning to appreciate them more.
1. Black Dog: I adore the FL and how she cares about the students. I am glad that this drama replaced Catch the Ghost cause Monday and Tuesday are still my favorite days to look forward to.
2. Crash Landing on You: I like how complex the FL is turning out to be.
3. Stove League: I am liking how we are finding out more about Baek Seung Soo. And I am already really liking his brother. Episode 6 is my most favorite yet. Can't wait for next episode either.
4. Psychopath Diary: Episode 14 was expecially fun to watch.
5. Chocolate: Is the Grandmother finally going to die? Things are finally seem to be progressing on the romance front, but it seems like there might be a triangle with Joon. I hope not.

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On Chocolate, I really like the Jun arc which is evolving as a meaningful sub-plot on its own - about his inner struggle with his family and the relationship with cousin Kang. His growth since joining the hospice reluctantly is a fascinating watch. This drama has been able to make us care about him, as much as we care with Kang and CY. Kudos to the writer and JSJ's acting.

And, there is certainly no love triangle here. Jun is becoming a friend to both CY and Kang.

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Well that's good then.

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With no CLOY this week, I continued binge watching The Untamed. Finished it. And in order to move on is rewatch, that's the only solution I can think of. Here's to hoping I get back on the Kdramas I've put on hold Diary of a Prosecutor and Beautiful Love, Wonderful Life. I do want to watch Stove League and Black Dog since I love the casts.

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hello beanies...hope all's well...i'm currently watching 3 kdramas -
Stove League - watched till ep5 which i enjoyed so far
Crash Landing on You - still engaging
Chocolate - i love the OST, the song 'Special' i've heard multiple times already but in general i'm loving this show...but at this point i get bad feeling about the fate of the characters...i really hope for a happy ending for the main two leads Kang and Cha Yeong but i'm not really if that will happen...regarding Joon, he is angry all the time but he is stuck in this limbo because of his parents ambitions, overall that family sucks anyways but i really hope he gets a happy ending maybe not romantically necessarily in this show but atleast something positive happens for him by the end of the show...
Because This Is My First Life: watched few episodes and its fine...the girl is sort of homeless (almost) which i kind of related to...
Ashes of Love - Cdrama, i dropped this one after ep16, but i get why this is one of the popular shows.
Eternal Love (Cdrama, peach blossoms fame) - i actually binge-watched this during my end of year break, i fastforwarded some stuff but overall i totally enjoyed watching this show, and i'm trying to find similar dramas to watch...the show had some women characters who were very twisted but i guess they required them in order to carry the story forward; i personally found the character Bai Fengjiu very odd too but i read there is sequel for hers and Dong Hua storyline which will be aired soon, i saw the trailer.

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The only drama that I think it's kinda similar to peach blossoms (im not talking about the story line though) is ashes of love.

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@pcch2345—If you're looking for shows similar to Eternal Love, you might enjoy Lost Love in Times (2017). The 56-part fantasy c-drama stars Cecilia Liu and William Chan as the beautiful and resourceful FL and noble and loyal ML.

Ep. 1-5 move very briskly as Qing Chen learns she's not an ordinary sorceress and ends up saving Yuan Ling, the 4th prince. They fall in love hard and fast but court intrigues destroy their happiness. To save her love's life, Qing Chen "reboots" the universe and finds herself 2 years in the past. The remaining episodes take place in the alternate timeline where no one knows who she is.

Due to some magical rule, she's not supposed to fall in love with the prince in the new timeline. Our FL works with her beloved to root out the dark magic at work within the palace—while struggling not to fall in love with him again. The FL is a delight, at once cheeky, brave and smarter than most. Everyone has identical personalities in both timelines, except for the second ML. He's a bastard in the original universe and a artistic, tender and full of yearning in the second. I didn't exactly have SML syndrome but I really felt for him.

The costumes, by the way, are extraordinary. Thousands of costumes designed by award-winning designers. Stunning.

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People with flaws

I finally started to watch this show because is light and easy...
I don't feel I love it, but of course I don't hate it. I think so far is watchable, but of course not remarkable. The show has also many flaws, of course! 😂😂😂😂😂😂
I don't like the scatological references, and I don't believe these type of traumas could affect a person for so long, but let's make them believe, we believe it, for the sake of the time we spend watching.
I am more interested in the siblings than in any other character. Mostly because I wish I could have brothers who would worry for me although in the daily life they would also ignore to cover their part of the expenses and ignore my text messages because I talk too much😂 My own brothers are like that, so I am used to😂😂😂😂
But I like these brothers, different than my only older brother, really protect their only sister, even though two of them are not really biologically related. I love man-made families who really care.

Mr. Sunshine

Ok. Finally, finally,, finally I am watching the three last episodes of this marvelous masterpiece and I am doing it very slow, with breaks and stuffs, so that I don't cry too much or get a heart attack.
The music is so beautiful!
The story so sad! 😭

On hold:

Stove league.
I lost the pace. I am also not so good of baseball and understand very little😑

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For Stove League I actually had to look up some stuff.

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Actually, QuirckyCase, serving in a foreign military service is not that uncommon. The son of a Somali Warlord who gave US forces a hard time in the early 1990s was so impressed with the people his father fought that he became a US Marine. When I was in the Navy we had a lot of Filipino sailors.

My wife and I continue to watch PEOPLE WITH FLAWS- which is getting even better.

We love STOVE LEAGUE- and are frustrated that the subtitles are taking a while. STOVE LEAGUE only had one episode last week and I am waiting for episode six to be subtitled. (Pre-emptions- I hate them). We were left hanging in the middle of a story arc and that it no fun.

We are most of the way through DEAR FAIR LADY KONG SHIM (aka BEAUTIFUL GONG SHIM). It really is a classic.

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Finished Airing

LIVE UP TO YOUR NAME: I’ve heard a lot of good things about this drama, but the first was episode was just so-so for me. (ep. 1)

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@nightmoon—I recommend watching the first four episodes before giving up. Once the OTP starts traveling back in time, their dynamic gets really interesting.

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Forgot to add one:

DEAR MY NAME: Cute but don't think this one's going to be long enough to leave an impact. (ep. 1-3)

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Would Dear My Name be a good companion to Love Alarm? Glad there are shorter dramas—six episodes is perfect for a long weekend holiday.

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I actually haven't watched Love Alarm. I wanted to make sure they would renew it before starting it. As for Dear My Name, each of the episodes are about 10 minutes long (so a total of 1 hour). Time-wise, Love Alarm is still significantly longer and will be even more so once the 2nd season airs.

Sorry I couldn't be much help...

Dear My Name had an interesting premise, but it was just too short for me to get into the characters. Everything just felt so rushed. But it's only an hour long, and I don't feel like I've wasted my time or anything by watching it.

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I gave it up around ep 6. It just wasn't for me.

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OMG! I'm still trying to get through "When the Camellia Blooms." I've been working on this drama for the past two months, and I'm finally on the last episode. I can guarantee you that it's one I'll never watch again. "Thank You," was so much better, with a similar story line. I'm glad this week is almost over.

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I also liked "Thank You."

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I watched the 6 episode followup drama to "The Story of Yan Xi Palace", "Yan Xi Palace: Princess Adventures". All I can say is that "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree". Zhaohua is definitely her mother's daughter.

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Sigh. I know its the Dead of Winter, at least in the. Northern Hemisphere, but even dramaland is full of doom and gloom these days.

First, Love with Flaws - for a show that started out rather funny (although IBS in real life is no joking matter), I can barely make it through an episode in the last few weeks because the lead couple's story is so agonizing.

Second, I'm not watching Chocolate but a "healing romance" where the couple barely knows each other and barely shares screen time? Not much of a romance, is it.

Then the's Woman of 9.9 Million where there are literally no likable characters except maybe the ex-cop.

Over the weekend, since Crash Landing on You is prempted, I eagerly await the new episodes of Beautiful Love, Wonderful Life to discover this is the week that the main couple breaks up so lots of angst this weekend (and how ironic that a show where the plot has included suicide, infidelity, abusive MILs, characters in comas, etc. is one of the "lighter" shows out there right now).

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I feel exactly the same about the leading couple in Love with flaws. In fact I'm not interested at all in their relation, they may end up together or not because I really don't care.
I'm watching the show for all the rest of the amazing characters and the relations among them, specially the siblings relations. Those four siblings show what resilience and love can do when a tragedy hits your life, and you have to go on.
All the actors are fantastic. I love them all (even the main couple, but not when they're together, their story is not really interesting).

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I've just caught RUN. There's Ji Sung! He runs a lot! There are 3 other actors whom he's worked with too. They are gonna take part in a marathon in Italy. The chemistry amongst them is still so-so.

I love variety shows involving my fav actors. There'll be juicy bits on their personal life!

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Crash landing on you - my heart just goes awww..❤️Jeong Hyeok pouting and being jealous, Se Ri and the ducklings saying goodbye, again.. haha.
Although there’s a bit of Dal-Geonism action during the last few minutes of ep6, I just rolled my eyes and go along with it. After all he will survive anyway..

Chocolate - where the Quiznos marketing team managed to out-contract the tenacious Subway marketing team 😅As of now, I’m barely watching this show..just turning it on on the background while doing housework. Doesn’t feel like I miss anything.

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Re. Jung Hyuk's heroic moment on the motorcycle—I'll bet a dollar that most action movies with a motorcycle include a scene where the hero ends up tossing their helmet. How else can we get that sexy slooooomooo shot?😉

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Oh, I forgot watching CLOY episode 6 this week gave me my favorite line of all time from a Kdrama--"Mr. Ri." I'll never hear the word "mystery" again without think of the elevator scene.

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Ooh, I missed that bilingual pun!

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LOL you missed out the “OHO ... “oho Mystery” cracks me up!!

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My winter break was a delight, giving me time to catch up on dramas while deep cleaning neglected corners of the house.

Crash Landing on You is the only k-drama I’m watching. It cracks me up and gives me warm fuzzies. Perfect drama to start the year. I dropped Queen: Love and War after four execrable episodes. Even the quality veteran actors can’t turn this pig’s ear into a purse.

On Netflix, I devoured the 8-part Turkish series Atiye/The Gift in one sitting on New Year’s Eve. Holy cow, what a brilliant show! As someone tweeted the other day, this show is top-level sh*t. It’s gorgeous, superbly acted, thrilling, mystical and shexy! (I recommend for mature audiences only; not to be watched with young children.) Don’t spoil yourself by reading anything. Just watch!

In c-dramaland, I indulged in a mix of historical dramas, which lead me to a 2017 c-drama I binged in a week. I don’t usually watch stories told during the Qing Dynasty because those haircuts—oof. But Dreaming Back to the Qing Dynasty is a passable retelling of Scarlet Heart. Not sure if this is going the tragic route like Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo but it’s tolerable fluff. As YouTube’s AvenueX might say, this is a show to have in the background while assembling IKEA furniture.

Watching the 62-ep Ming Dynasty/b> is slow-going because only the first 8 episodes have proper English subs. The Idol & Romance channel provides (hilarious) Google translations in the interim. While based on the true historical figures, the story takes liberties with how certain characters are related. Tang Wei plays a woman who, as a child, barely survived the slaughter of her family during the violent takeover of the current emperor. She plans revenge but ends up as the concubine of the emperor’s grandson, played by hella charming Zhu Ya Wen. The vibe is quirky mix of slapstick, palace intrigues, and heart-piercing love.

Holy f*ck, Zhu Ya Wen is my new c-drama boyfriend. This guy’s face is so telegraphic and emotive. Strangely, Tang Wei looks a little detached. Is she bored because she can barely match her scene partner? (I fell in love with him during their interrogation/first “date” in Ep. 2).

Hungry for more Zhu Ya Wen, I gobbled up Across the Ocean to See You, a 44-ep drama from 2017. I FF’d through most of the nitwits to savor Zhu Ya Wen portraying one of the most adorable, lovable, competent (but not infallible) ML I’ve enjoyed in c-drama in a long time.

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You have such a way with words @tsutsuloo. I so enjoyed reading this, I'm almost tempted to revisit Across the Ocean to See You!

I'm also loving Ming Dynasty. Waiting for subs can be so cruel!

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Ah, those subs! AvenueX pointed out one of the more ridiculous Google translations. One of the uncles says, "Let's have a heart-to-heart talk" which got translated as "Let's make love."😂

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😂😂

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Finishing up my 2019-2020 dramas:

PSYCHOPATH DIARY
CHOCOLATE
CRASH LANDING ON YOU
STOVE LEAGUE
PEOPLE WITH FLAWS

@ally-le, @michykdrama,
Eeek! It snuck up on me. ROMANTIC DOCTOR, TEACHER KIM 2 premieres on Monday, Jan. 6th. Now with added Shin Dong-wook. Be there or be square, chingus. ;-)

FYI to @marcusnyc20 bong-soo and other NYC-area Beanies for future reference:
The Museum of Moving Images in Astoria, Queens, screens Korean movies. Their "Fists and Swords" international martial arts film series presented THE DIVINE FURY yesterday.
http://www.movingimage.us/programs/2020/01/03/detail/fist-and-sword-2020/

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I will definitely not be square! Shin Dong Wook is a happy development. Thanks for the heads up!

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@ally-le,
My pleasure.Yay! We're getting the band o' Beanies back together! And most of the original supporting cast, too. Alas, I do not see orderly Mr. Goo -- whom I last spotted chasing Jang Hyuk in BAD PAPA.

I'm looking forward to finally getting nurse Park Eun-tak's back story. And the low-down on Nurse Oh and ex-hubby paper-pusher Jang Gi-tae, among others. I can't wait to see our old friends.

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Thanks @pakalanapikakefor the DIVINE FURY heads up at the Museum of the Moving Image.
2 things. 1. I saw DF last summer on the big screen. Incredibly I believe it is my first Ahn Sung-ki film (who lol has a Michael Caine-like filmography). “Horror” is not everyone’s cup of tea. Park Seo-Yoon looked great. (I mentioned that because I was surprised when (I guess based on a photo) a question arose about his health. Then again filming for DF began in the summer of 2018. Also in the film are a couple of favorites: Woo Do-hwan and Choi Woo-shik who is also in the smash hit PARASITE. I was actually quite surprised that DF was respectful to the Catholic Church. There is a lovely scene of ASK and PSJ having a beer together after a session of fighting the evil one.
Like I said DF is not for everyone.

2. According to “Moovit”, a transportation app I use, I live 1.2 miles from the Museum and I am embarrassed to say I have never visited. So now I have a New Year’s resolution. Thanks.
I am a big fan of martial arts films and have started delving into novels available in English. I am going to see the film IP MAN 4 tomorrow.
One Chinese martial arts/suspense drama I have queued up on Viki that I hope to work in is THE LONGEST DAY IN CHANG’AN. I t looks great.

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@marcusnyc20—Yes! I hope you're able to start The Longest Day in Chang'an soon. It was my most immersive entertainment in 2019. The production values alone rival anything I've seen in film.

The discussion at mydramalist was very lively and educational. The thread's resident amateur scholars helped fill in a lot of my knowledge gaps.

endlessthoughtsofafangirl's tumblr was instrumental in grounding me as I started the show. She posted two excellent guides which gave historical context, explained technology, and outlined the main characters. See Part 1 and Part 2. I enjoyed her posts throughout the broadcast because she had a lot of great stills and behind-the-scenes production designs from the show's weibo page.

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Many thanks @tsutsuloo for the prep work. I am looking forward to the journey. I have been to China twice on tour most recently last November.

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Also @pakalanapikake,
I finished the wonderful MISAENG last night and today I start on RD, TK so I can join the fun on RD, TK 2. It is a 20 episoder (thankfully an hour each) so I may be a week behind everyone in starting the new series.

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@marcusnyc20 bong-soo,
After watching the opening episode of ROMANTIC DOCTOR, TEACHER KIM 2 raw, I'm happy to report that it has the look, feel, and soundtrack of the original. It's off to a good start. Kim Sabu's archnemesis, Dr. Do Yoon-wan, is back for a rematch, while the original three young surgeons have moved on and we get some news about them. I can't wait for the subtitles. ;-)

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@pakalanapikake,
Lol I guess you could not wait! I watched the first 2 episodes of the original series and I love it. I will watch the entire original before I jump to No. 2.
Couple things. I didn’t recognize Yang Se-young as the Director’s son.
The only thing I have seen Yoon Yeon-seok in is the reality show COFFEE FRIENDS. He and the whole gang on that show were wonderful. If you didn’t catch it maybe you can take a peak. YSY is also part of the core cast and I had no idea how sweetly eccentric he is.
In a way I am glad I saw Han Suk-kyu’s performance in WATCHER before starting RD, TK. That was my first HSK drama.

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@marcusnyc20 bong-soo,
You're darned tootin' I couldn't wait! Seriously though, I normally watch every Kdrama raw whenever possible and then at least one more time with the subtitles. I really want to watch the actors' eyes and facial expressions without distraction.

I'm so happy that you enjoyed the first two episodes. If you are so inclined, be sure to read the recaps. This is a dense drama, and it sparked lots of avid discussion as it aired. Uri @ally-le and @michykdrama wrote dandy medi-caps to explain the significance of injuries, illnesses, treatments, and the depiction of suturing, for instance. They really illuminated surgical procedures and emergency situations beautifully. Their professional commentary was daebak. Michykdrama posted links to her blog in the recap threads. I don't recall exactly where Ally posted hers -- check in the recap comments. ;-)

Ha ha! Chameleon Yang Se-jong's debut drama role was a tsundere, which made some viewers think he was not very good at acting. (Think Lee Min-ho as Choi Young in FAITH.) Keep your eye on him. He is very subtle. Eventually the time will come when he cracks a fleeting smile.

It boggles my mind to realize that YSJ has acted in 6 dramas since 2015, when SAIMDANG, LIGHT'S DIARY started filming. I didn't realize it was his first show, since it didn't air until 2017.

I will have to check out COFFEE FRIENDS. I recall your mentioning it in the past. I didn't realize that YSJ is in it along with Yoo Yeon-seok. The Jejudo setting is very appealing. -- Speaking of YYS, you might want to check out MR. SUNSHINE for him. It overlaps historically with NOKDU FLOWER, but has a very different feel, IMHO. YYS is utterly swashbuckling in it. I'd love to see him face off against Jang Hyuk. Toss Lee Joon-gi into the mix and I could die happy. ;-)

Kim Sabu is cheekier than Han Suk-kyu's character in WATCHER. He's a curmudgeon, but a curmudgeon who grew on me. It made my day to see him in both shows. Thanks for the pointer to WATCHER. It was a good warm-up for Kim Sabu redux. ;-)

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I watched the parts with subtitles and am patiently waiting for the rest to be subbed!

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Hi @ally-le,
I am sure you are eager to see your adopted son Chan (Ahn Hyo-seop) in his new drama. So am I. I did not see him in ABYSS.

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@ally-le, @marcusnyc20 bong-soo,

Uri Chan has grown into a fine strapping lad, and is about to start working at Mr. Gong's other place of employment. ;-)

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Yes, my adopted son is doing amazingly well—put on some much needed weight in this role! I’m thinking we’ll be seeing more Papa Johns PPL as surgical residents are eating between cases normally! I didn’t catch him in Abyss either, but probably for the better.

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Seems like Stove League is going strong and so many of you are watching it. I'm only done with 3 episodes, got to catch up. Yayy, I get to binge watch the remaining episodes.
I'm still on Chief of Staff Season 2. Found Season 1 to be much better. But really want to know how this ends.
Also started watching Woohoo Waikiki 2. It's really funny so far.

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I'm catching up on Stove League too.

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@quirkycase I haven’t gotten up to the citizenship episode yet but it sounds like the player has dual citizenship (he carries 2 passports). Google Ok Taecyeon and you will know that he faced the same decision. It’s not a good look if you bail out though. They treat you like a deserter. 🙁. Worst yet if you miss the cut off and receive your enlistment letter before you relinquish citizenship, and you opt NOT to complete it, you’re a fugitive then and you cannot return to Korea or even transit or you run the risk of being arrested and thrown in prison.

“ For dual citizens, or those with multiple citizenships, male South Koreans must choose their citizenship by the time they turn 18, before March 31 of that year. If these males choose to revoke their South Korean citizenship, they will not be required to complete their mandatory military service. However, if they fail to choose their citizenship by their 18th year, they will be subjected to fulfill their mandatory military service. If males choose to renounce their citizenship by their 18th year, they are ineligible to gain a Korean work visa (F series) until after they turn 40 years of age. It may still be possible to gain an E series visa.”

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Thanks for the info. That's... intense.

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Part 1 of 2

I enjoyed STOVE LEAGUE and its vibe right off the bat. It’s turning out to be a deliberately-paced character study set in the world of professional baseball, along with underhanded corporate shenanigans dished out by team owner Oh Jung-se, who emits a very different vibe from the Peanut Moocher we came to know and love in WHEN THE CAMELLIA BLOOMS. I'm particularly eager to learn what's going on with GM Baek. Namgoong Min portrays him as so buttoned-down, his emotions are practically shrink-wrapped. We got a few peeks at his back story this week in eps. 6-7. No major spoilers, just a few details that have finally emerged.

The ironically-named Dreams pro ball club is anything but, with a nightmarish record in the league's basement that really extends back far longer than the mere 4 years they have inhabited rock bottom. They are anything but a team nowadays, but we can see from the "wall of fame" in their HQ that that was not always the case. Their corporate sponsor is fed up with their drain on the company finances, and determines to give them the axe – but in a sneaky way to avoid public criticism. I suspect that the team has been used for nefarious money-laundering or slush-fund purposes, but has outlived its usefulness to the big cheeses.

Baek Seung-soo (Namgoong Min) interviews for the spot vacated by outgoing General Manager Kim (cameo by Song Min-Hyung / Song Gui-Hun), and lands it after his previous position as the GM of a handball team was eliminated when the corporate sponsor discontinued the program. He knows enough about baseball to follow the game, but is not mesmerized by the mystique or ensnared in taking up the mantle of tradition that everyone else in the organization uses as a shield against reality. The Dreams simply are not a team in any sense of the word – unless you consider them one big dysfunctional family.

In an early scene, Seung-soo meets with a woman for dinner – his ex-wife, Yoo Jung-in. They seem to get along very amicably, so it makes me wonder what happened to their marriage. In ep. 6 or 7, they meet again for dinner, and it is revealed that it is apparently an anniversary. He seems to be the one having a hard time letting go and moving on. I’m getting more than a few vibes of ALONE IN LOVE.

- Continued -

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Part 2 of 2

After seeing how he observes the final few innings of the last game of the season, and then arrives at his initial decisions after he's hired as GM, I get the feeling that Seung-soo is a realist who "calls 'em like he sees 'em" and is committed to doing the right thing for all parties, even if they cannot fathom his reasoning at the time. And even if it's to his own disadvantage. He doesn’t string people along. He is plainspoken, direct, and honest to a fault, a character trait that team owner Kwon and his pet toady President Ko attempt to exploit. He is terse in his infrequent explanations of his decisions, and comes across as detached, cerebral, and objective. He doesn't seem to care what other people think of his opinions, and focuses on the goals he's set for himself and the team. He doesn't go out of his way to disabuse others of their misconceptions about him or the rationales for his decisions.

Once I saw that he's caring for his younger brother who is apparently permanently injured, I couldn't help but get the feeling that he parted ways with his wife to spare her having to help care for him. I initially thought they are orphans without kinfolk until Seung-soo spoke with their mother on the phone in ep. 6 or 7. Perhaps their parents are poor farmers out in the boonies. That would explain why Young-soo was living with hyung when he was in school – so he could play on a better high school team than back home.

Maybe Seung-soo thinks that Jung-in could do better without him. Or perhaps his career has been one long string of unremunerative jobs that will only entrap her in a precarious financial existence that cannot support the family that she – or they – wanted to raise. After watching ep. 6, it sounds as if something dreadful happened in addition to Young-soo's injury. They could have lost a baby. Seung-soo is burdened with guilt over his brother, and maybe something else. There may be some noble idiocy involved in the divorce. I suspect that GM Baek's calmly rational management decisions do not extend to himself, but I could be wrong. He may have split from his wife so that she will at least have a shot at achieving her own goals or happiness. She seems to be a school teacher. It remains to be seen whether I've read their situation correctly.

-30-

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Thank you for clarifying this matter. Seung-soo's inability to see someone as adorable as Park Eun-bin really needed some explaining and now you have provided that. I obviously did not pickup on all the clues.

Some people have been complaining that Namgoong Min does not seem to pursue truly romantic roles. They have obviously forgotten that he was the male lead in BEAUTIFUL GONG SHIM, where his acting was (as it usually is) top notch.

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@oldawyer OldLawyer,
You're welcome. ;-)
As always, it's just my two cents' worth. I suspect there's more to the story.

Thanks for the pointer to BEAUTIFUL GONG SHIM. I didn't see it when it aired. I'm inclined to give it a shot now, especially if it's better than THE UNDATEABLES, which had its moments, but was not all that great. Alas, Hwang Jung-eum was back in screeching mode after successfully modulating her voice in LUCKY ROMANCE, which I watched a couple of weeks ago.

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