Beanie level: Eunuch in drag

So I went back to the full list of Hong sister dramas to do some statistics:
*Sassy Girl Chun-hyang (쾌걸 춘향) — don’t remember many details but I think I really liked it at the time
*My Girl (마이걸) — I don’t know if it was actually any good or if I just had a crush on LDW
*Couple or Trouble (환상의 커플) — this one was just fun, liked the original EN story so no surprise there
*Hong Gil-dong (쾌도 홍길동) — obsessed about it, only to then hate the ending, major SLS
*You’re Beautiful (미남이시네요) — obsessed about it, slumped towards the end
?My Girlfriend Is a Nine-Tailed Fox (내 여자친구는 구미호) — started off very fun, disliked the last quarter
The Greatest Love (최고의 사랑) — dropped very early, have little to no recollection as to why (especially since I love GHJ)
Big (빅) – dropped in first half, felt like my brain was rotting as I watched
*Master’s Sun (주군의 태양) — loved the characters, the last stretch was less bad than usual
Warm and Cozy (맨도롱 또똣) — dead bored by mains, but liked the secondary couple
A Korean Odyssey (화유기) — dropped on ep.4
❤️ Hotel Del Luna (호텔 델루나) — up to date and obsessing

* completed
? may have just read recaps for some bits

Conclusions: When at their best, they create some of my most beloved characters in a k-drama, but the last quarter is consistently weak; I wonder if this is a weird consequence of the Korean live shooting thing, that they have a lot more time to build the setup than to plan the ending… Or (probably) they just don’t care.

What does this mean in terms of how I approach watching Hong sisters dramas:
1) if I don’t love it by the end of the second week – there’s no point watching.
2) just enjoy to the max the bits that they do right and skip the bad/stupid bits (something that I’ve recently learned from watching c-dramas, where I often love the initial setup and world building, but almost always dislike where the stories end up going, and more often than not completely detest the endings). This is best done by analyzing the heck out of the characters with a group of clever like-minded friends. Sad that there has been so little opportunity for that with HdL.

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    Their genius is in inventing unique characters, dialogues, meta jokes and puns. I have rewatched all of their works many many times although I don’t particularly like any of the storylines, but it’s still worth it for the characters and the jokes.

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      100% agree, though those are too easy to miss as a non native Korean speaker.

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        Ditto. I’m dreading starting HdL with no commentary from JB and GF. It is such a pity.

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It’s been a while since I made a fanMV for a korean drama… Must be obsessing

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The Hong sisters look like they finally have a potential winner on their hands… in times like these I really miss dramabeans and girlfriday; so much fun lost in translation… 🙁

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    Be warned, all of their dramas seemed like winners.

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      I am reasonably well informed – after all, I have seen (though not necessarily finished) all of them. Imo this one echos some of their very best early work… but they rely heavily on play of words, double meanings and clever banter. You need a native speaker’s point of view to appreciate half of it. And the HdL translations that I’ve seen so far are mediocre at best.

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        And then the final two episodes will have people running around doing nothing, basically killing time because they have no idea how to end their story. And then there will be a time jump and everything will be resolved offscreen.

        And I will be sitting here with popcorn waiting for the meltdown.

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          I’ve seen quite a few Hong sisters’ dramas, and I think there hasn’t been a single one that didn’t have an annoying time skip. For no reason whatsoever.

          Also, even though I’m enjoying HdL so far, I’ve already spotted some of their more troublesome traits.

          Not that this stops me watching it of course…

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            I didn’t like the semi-final episode in Hwayugi but I really liked the last episode, the time jump and the ending.

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            @midnight
            I know a lot of people didn’t like Hwayugi’s ending but I didn’t hear the howls of outrage I did over other Hong’s shows. Master’s Sun is another one.

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          probably — but I’d rather complain about my current problems than worry about future ones.

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    not ‘dramabeans’ — i actually meant ‘javabeans’… but the two remain synonymous in my book.

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HdL#4 Now that’s more like it!
– the little dog got to me
– love how quickly we went from her forcing him to stay and him in the “no way!” camp to her doing everything she can to send him away and him insisting on staying.
– the let’s sleep together setup was comedic gold, i rarely laugh out loud when watching stuff but I did several times this ep.
– I love how he treats her: from the nagging and exasperation to the caring and the handsiness; this sharing of memories thing brings a level of intimacy between them that I find very appealing.
– despite her cynical outlook on the world, she admires him for seeing the best in people (or in this case ghosts); more importantly, he sees the best in her (’no matter what happens – you’ll protect me’) and she can’t help but want to be that person for him.

– I am a bit confused about her attitude towards the tree awakening: when sending manager Ho away I thought she resented being in this frozen time state, and that she would welcome the change. But now that it’s happening she’s resisting it… What is she afraid of? Is it dying or living?

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Dropping WWW again: these people spend sooo much time talking about their relationships that they barely have time left in the day to be in a relationship (not to mention work); the girl power is waning down and I don’t care at all for the corporate politics. I’ll still watch gifs of the not-exactly-fan and her actor-bf, but otherwise I’m done.

I really like the mood of HdL. I love IU’s portrayal of JMW and Yeo JG is slowly growing on me as GCS, despite the fact that I expected the pairing would not work at all. And I already miss manager Noh…
Structurally, the story is very promising: the past time line, the main theme of heroine completing her stay in purgatory, the fated connection plus the ghost of the week format is promising – there’s enough meat to make 16 eps without needing to tread on water or useless idiotic behavior in the later half. Now if only the Gong sisters would actually put in the effort…
The editing and CGG look like a lot of work and I worry that the quality of the visuals will deteriorate over time (this type of stories should ideally be pre-produced or at least start filming way way in advance to maintain quality )
Overall surprisingly invested already despite remaining wary of developments. I’ll keep the expectations really low and maybe I can be pleasantly surprised

The only other thing that I am watching is Watcher. Like the team, and the individual characters — likable, but with enough complexity when it comes to motivations and backstory … enough to keep things interesting; the old murder of KYG’s mother as the starting thread for a large conspiracy with procedural elements really works for me though I might wait for it to finish airing and watch it in one go.

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    I really like the conversations in WWW, but yeah, if we wanted to mimic real life to the t, we wouldn’t have watched dramas. I’m still watching, mainly for Puppy, but without them I’d have dropped it. And Watcher is sooo good! Doesn’t it remind you of Forest of Secrets? It’s so tense and complex! I hope the intricate plot is indeed intricate and not become nonsensical later.

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    Ahh. I am in love with Watcher, I just feel like I have to throw that out everytime someone mentions they are watching it It will be my reward for working tomorrow,

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    I am watching Watcher but would benefit from recaps, there’s sadly none. It’s even harder to follow than FOS.

    Does anyone know if there’s some kind of recap or overview of the episodes so far?

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What a difference a couple of weeks make: Boy for rent went from OMG I love them to this is rubbish and I’m too angry to explain why. WWW: from nothing is worth the frustration of that light and filters to Scarlett = ❤️ ; also her relationship with her actor is the cutest, and the female-female interactions are rich enough to press play regardless. [It is disturbing how well I am able to recognize some parts of Tammy in myself – and even more so the fact that I can\’t get myself to love her because of that].

Dan, only love: My thoughts when starting this show “This is another show that lives and dies by the chemistry of the leads. LYS and Dan together are a hoot and my main reason for watching. SHS\’s acting is exceptional – I am emotionally right there with her through thick and thin. And Dan is just fun. Everything else I blanket-dislike: the creepy second lead, the needy too-nice-to-be-true Nina, and all the other awful (badly written/acted/unidimensional at best) human beings populating this universe… The angel feels very immature and completely asexual in a way that I can\’t see them as anything other than bickering siblings. Curious if i\’ll get over it as the story progresses.” remain surprisingly true after watching the finale. I did not mind the end episode as much as others seem to — because I had zero expectations that the writer would produce a \’greater plan’ to make the story make sense as a whole (that would take a lot more skill than 작가님 is capable of). LYS was the only truly good thing about this, Dan remained emotionally immature by comparison (could have been better in the hands of a more skilled actor, but the main problem was the illogical writing) and I never could completely buy their love (although I loved LYS enough to wish she’d get whatever she wanted — even if that was a kind-of-wimpy angel) Beyond the love story, I consistently disliked almost everyone else minus Mr Jo and Lady butler. And what was the purpose of KW as a character anyways?
The good bits were barely enough to earn me a bean. Glad to forget all about it asap.

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I am trying really hard to avoid doing some writing/admin this weekend and any excuse for procrastination will do… so I’ve written some pages-long comments on my current favorite on screen couple (yes, I know that also counts as writing, but it’s neither serious nor high stakes), made a fan mv, spent some time on DB (despite saying I’d take the summer off), and finally organized my thought on the shows I’ve seen so far this year, as a mid-year review of sorts. I’m sharing it below should anyone be interested.

In chronological order:
Encounter fell in love with the mains, but overanalyzed it as it went; the one show where discussing it with DB people worsened, rather than improved, my viewing experience; in retrospect, the SongSong divorce news puts her choice of return drama in a very different perspective…
Children of nobody aka Red moon, blue sun cleverly constructed, though the way it wrapped up was not quite as satisfying as I would have liked; amazing acting from Kim SunAh
Her private life swoon worthy; beyond that I had very little to say about it, KJW as Ryan Gold was memorable; his off-screen chemistry with PMY was even more convincing than on screen
The secret life of my secretary cuties being cute (but also kind of dumb). Veronika Park was a definite highlight
Dan, only love several things drive me nuts, but LYS is enough for me to hang on \’til the bitter end
*I’ve picked the first 2 because of the synopsis, the last 3 because of comments shared by beanies.

Overall, none of the k-dramas I\’ve watched this year hit the right spot. Very unusually for me, this year I managed to finish several romcoms. Less unusually, I did not completely love any of them. Turns out that nice, healthy, respectful relationships, though the only kind I look for irl, are kind of boring on screen; I was happy to cheer for the couples, but could not get all that emotionally involved in their journey. In need something darker, more layered and edgier than kdramas can offer.

Further musings on Charlie’s weird drama tastes:
What makes me obsessively love a show is the ability to get into the head of characters and live in their skin for a bit. I love making sense of the complex mess of their motivations and how it reflects in their actions. Unhealthy, ethically gray and conflicting characters are a lot more fun for me, for that reason. This is a tricky request because I also need to be able to like them despite their faults (individually and together); also I absolutely can’t handle some faults, e.g. stupidity or lack of self esteem. The only pair that satisfied my weird set of requirements for 2019 were the Badz-Smile couple in Thai youth drama Boy for rent (as evidenced by the deluge of BS posts on my tumblr blog). I guess this makes me weird and getting weirder.

Back in summer off mode.

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    I love Encounter very much, I could watch and rewatch it even without skipping scenes. It’s my favorite now. But I think the most healthy couple is the one shown in Her private life, together with one of the most likeable male lead. To me the drama was a little ruined by the last episodes, with the unbelievable story of Ryan’s mum, Deok-mi’s memory loss and the child’s death.
    Agree about Children of nobody. One of the best mystery I have ever watched, but I really disliked the use of hypnosis.
    I’m not watching the other two.
    Aren’t you watching Search:WWW or One spring night?

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Dan, only love #21-22

The frequency of non sequiturs in this week’s episodes is mind boggling. Can’t decide if the fact that what comes out of the mouth of pretty much all characters makes almost no logical sense is on purpose or if the writer needs to go back to school to study logic 101. Trying to figure out which is my only reason for still planning to watch the show tomorrow.

Ho’s ‘angels are observers they are not allowed to interfere with humans and their fate’ is rich given that he had done just that less than a day before. Also… ever heard of ‘guardian’ angels?

KW’s angels are useless anyways, you can’t stay with her I the human am by far the better choice – conveniently ignoring the can’t actually die so he’s not human either part. Not to mention that he has done nothing to protect LYS himself except for exacerbating Nina’s craziness and showing off in front of her family.

Runa’s \”people kill each other for no good reason at all – it’s no big deal\” nonsense had me scratching my head

Don’t get Nina and old ballerina logic either

LYS’s you don’t love me episode was also kind of weird and nonsensical. Sure, it’s ok to want him to trust you with the truth but he clearly was worried sick about you; if he withheld information it was obviously with the best intentions in mind. Her reaction felt disproportionate and out of character somehow.

Dan somehow ended up the voice of reason in all this. And that’s not a reassuring thought.

Also that ending
WTH?

Otherwise:
TSLMS ended harmlessly enough. Bean counted although I’ll probably forget all about it in a couple of weeks’ time. Zero interest in any other airing k-drama (liked the first week of Aide but I can see this going to dark and hurtful places and I liked the characters too much to see them destroyed by dirty politics. Yeah I know I don’t make much sense either). Lost any motivation to restart www… Only thing I am excited about is a silly Thai youth drama (Boy for rent: B&S4ever). I think I’ll take a summer holiday from db until I find something relevant to gush about. See you all back in the fall!

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Secret life of my secretary
Last week I thought I needed a major reckoning from DMI. But then it did not happen and I was pleasantly surprised. The boy is 100% puppy – he just doesn’t have it in him to be mean or to stay mad. It felt very much in character somehow.
The fish cult: on paper they are cool but in fact I find little sympathy for their lot. secretary lee unapologetically orchestrated the destruction of an innocent bystander; it’s hard to claim you fight for the little guy when you show so obvious disdain for human life.
Also: Veronica Park rulez. She made me overcome my initial dislike for the bland and poorly acted second lead. Whatever she wants she should get – come to think of it, I can now see how a wild jobless man would make useful bf material.

Dan, only love
LYS is my spirit animal – love her to bits and just want her happy. I like what the writer is doing with Dan’s character as well, even if it does not always completely come together acting wise. But I wish there was some rhyme and reason to the rest of the characters, as their actions make very little sense to me. Fake jerk director making a U-turn with his \”I love LYS\” confession… after treating her as a pawn, seeing her just as a substitute for his dead gf for the entire series – that was plain ridiculous (he does not love anyone but himself, not sure he even gets the basics of the concept, but he urgently needs a \”no means bloody NO\” lesson). Angel sunbae’s ‘brilliant’ solution of dumping LSY to KWS because she would be loved shows zero understanding of anything. The aunt and co are as extreme and impossible to understand as usual and the uncle and NiNa are veering into the unredeemable as well. I know that there are way too many episodes to go, but would it be possible for the bad guys to not always be so many steps ahead? We are entering serious serial killer territory and no one seems to care.

WWW
Did not resume watching but I find the idea of wrecking the property of irritating jerks with a baseball bat strangely appealing.
must be one of my short fuse days…

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Dan, only love
I still think that the drama is moving a bit too fast for its own good, but it’s at least going to interesting places. LYS steals the show as usual, but I also like how they are constructing the parallel between KW’s and KD’s love: the selfish vs selfless, the love that makes you happy vs the happiness of another as a precondition of you own, the us2-4ever and to the hell with the rest vs accepting that pain is an unavoidable component of any human love even the happiest one. Dan already won the competition when he decided that what ultimately matter is LYS’s happiness. But the lesson from the old couple showed him that ever afters are not everything. I just want them to figure out a way to cherish whatever amount of time they have together.

Side note: It is both ironic and strangely satisfying to see auntie starting to fear the evilness of her own progeny.

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    I loved today’s episode. It was so sad 💔 And we finally got more of Dan’s backstory! I hope we find out next time how he ended up being an angel.
    Totally agree with your side note. I thought this whole time that the aunt was the bad one but it looks like it’s actually the cousin 😱

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      The cousin is straight crazy. Hard telling what she will do next

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Secret life of my secretary: I liked this week a lot better than the last one. Although maybe not for the most obvious reasons. What I loved most were the female-female interactions: GH and Veronica make the cutest best buddies and the scenes with GH and mum were strangely moving. I am glad that the truth is finally out and that the fallout is as bad as it is. Because I was starting to completely lose respect for GH; at least she finally realized exactly how much the lie hurt him. Eventually he will see that her feelings are real despite of it but I don’t want DMI to forgive her too easily. Her deception did exactly what he told her it would: made him completely lose trust in humanity. She will need to work hard to restore that faith. Still… I loved that he got a chance to chose her for her first. And most of the cuteness it ensued (minus the soap scene: I found the use of hospital best practices for hand washing inspired but I disliked the execution, especially GH’s face expressions). All in all: enough interesting developments to tune in again next week.

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    Yes about that hand washing thing. I was a bit thrown with her expressions too! Did she dislike it? Lol. It was sizzling though!!

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      I took it as a badly executed attempt to convey that she was feeling turned on by the hand washing. Whether it was due to mis-direction or a misguided attempt to keep a FL from appearing too sexualized, the acting between the two was not in sync.

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        Do you think that rather then being excited by it, she was really REALLY uncomfortable?

        I’ve had to take courses on that kind of hand washing and I don’t remember 6 steps – but at least scrubbing between the fingers and both sides of the hands for at least 30 seconds.

        Though I did have an experience at a road side cafe in Mexico years ago where the man I was with helped each other wash our hands with a pitcher of water. It was not sexy – but more a very intimate experience for the both of us. So this scene reminded me of that.

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WWW
Was curious about the deluge of positive response on db and decided to give it a quick peek.
Only watched ep1. I like aspects of it, but I did not enjoy it nearly as much as everyone else seems to.
I am in awe at how female centric the show is and really like BDM and CH. Still, I struggled to buy into the world. It may be a case of doctors not being able to watch medical dramas… while I would love the world to be ruled by woman as cool as that, the reality of the matter is that gender discrimination is still rampant in IT. Having women in leadership positions is very rare and even when they get there they don’t last long. I wonder if the choice of field was on purpose…
The other thing that really bothered me was the light and camera work. I am usually not one to comment on such things but here it veers into the absurd, to the point where it takes me out of the story. For the entire first meet with Morgan I was wondering about the source and intensity of the light and could not pay attention to anything else. The style of the shots feels familiar although I don’t recognize the director. I did like the OST at least. On hold for now, might give it a go during my August down time.

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    On the point of gender discrimination in IT, I have to agree with you that what they’re showing in the show is very far-fetched. But I appreciate it nonetheless. I’m a bit bored of watching corporate dramas and workplace politics revolve around men in leadership positions as they invariably seem to. Case in point: the much beloved My Ahjusshi. I’m sure others can name 20 dramas where women were in leadership roles, but nope, those 20 are an exception.

    With that in mind, I WANT fiction to portray a different reality every once in a while. Fiction can influence our own perspectives, and this is a perspective I wish was given to young girls and women more often. Bae Tae Mi and her sunbae remind of the women lawyers I see in action in the Courts, and a few, rare women I came across in law school. These are not women I encountered before this, and it never even occurred to me to be fierce until then. I learnt by watching others, and am still learning, and love what this show is doing with its women. American media may have more of it, but as someone from an Asian country, this is not a representation of women I see often in my media.

    The lighting is terrible. I cannot defend the show on that count.

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      I agree, but in a way I feel it negates and to some extent disparages the true struggles of women in the field. Showing the female leaders as an exception rather than the rule would be more realistic. When you show all people in leadership positions for the top two search engines in Kr as being female I am struggling to take the story seriously.

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        I do completely get what you mean. 🙂 It’s a solid point. I’m just in agreement with @wapz on this – I like seeing this alternate reality. It’s like the show us trying to make a point. Of course, it has to keep this up for the whole duration for it to successfully do so. Haha

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      lighitng and angle is terrible. I’m only putting up with it cause of Jang Ki Yong.

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      I thought it was sort of strange that ALL the leaders were women. However, I noticed that Bae Ta Mi said something about having worked there for 29 years but it shows her being hired in 2006, 13 years ago. So it seems like the show is set sometime in the near-ish future. It seems like they’re trying to show what they want the future to look like.

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    I don’t think the show is trying to be real either. It is a fictional story just like chaebols falling in love with candys. I personally think the writers made it a point that this show will stand the Bechdel test. They just wanted to turn the world the other way around and show women as bosses and the driving force of the drama with the man only being a romantic interest.

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Back in a slump.

Dan, only love: I went in for the cute bickering and fell in love with LYS on the way. But the show is swerving into overly dramatic and depressing too early in the game for me. Most characters are just too extreme in their faults: everything KW does screams Pride with a capital (you\’d think I’d be team Lucifer given the backstory but somehow he rubs me the wrong way and I don’t manage to muster even the smallest amount of sympathy for him), the aunt and elder sister are in your face GREED (If they took a fraction of the brains and energy they use for destroying LYS and put it into something constructive, they would be just as rich and almost human).
Narratively I feel like we got to Dan’s conflict too soon in a way that makes me wary of the rest.

Secret life of my secretary: I know it’s in the title but they are building the main dramatic arc around her lie; the fact that he still does not know makes me lose interest: one one side her continuing to lie despite everything he said/did makes her almost impossible to trust; him not noticing all the loopholes makes him impossibly dim. As a story of how lies snowball out of control it would work, but if I am expected to still like any one character at the end of it all then it does not.

After being burned twice I’ll just wait for WWW to finish before deciding if to give it a go.
Maybe I’ll check out season 2 of PfJ since crime procedurals don’t require much emotional investment.
Zero interest in prehistoric power struggles, sextoy robots and whatever else is on these days.
Over and out.

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    Comment was deleted

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    I’m loving The Nokdu Flower.

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    Your critiques of both Dan and My Secretary are absolutely spot on. I feel the same way. I’m gonna keep watching the latter because at least it’s cute. I’ll take fluffy shenanigans over depressing chaebol family drama any day.

    Hope you make it out of your slump soon!

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Charlie’s (sort of) entry to theme of the month
If I were a kdrama character I’d be the slightly misanthropic, heart-locked-behind-five-feet-wide-walls-for-safe-keeping loner. As such, it is maybe not surprising that so many of the stories that I fell in love with are about similar kind of people: from the errand boy working towards his ultimate goal of owning a private island in Healer, to the allergic to human touch Min-Kyu in I am not a robot, to any number of ice princesses locked in their ivory towers (be it Cha Soo-Hyun in Encounter or more recently Lee Yeon-Seo in Dan, only love). I get this kind of character at a much deeper level than their cheerful ever-optimistic friendly counterparts. And there’s something incredibly moving in seeing them open themselves up to the world, taking baby steps towards other people. It’s not just about romantic love, but about the act of allowing oneself to trust in another person. MK adopting the Santa Maria team as part of his family, Bong-Soo’s ever hilarious interactions toYoung-shin’s dad and the ajusshis in his cafe move me just as much as the central romance. And I am forever cheering for CSH and LYS to move beyond the horribleness of the people in their immediate surroundings, to find better families, and a community to belong to. Not just a boyfriend, but a friend that you can meet for a drink, a belly laugh, a rant or a cathartic cry.

DB has been that kind of friend for me personally, and although the walls are still very much there out in the real world, being DB’s Charlie has given me the chance to take some baby steps towards a community of my own. Repeating some of my end of year post: “Although today I am a very different person from the one at the start of the journey, DB has remained a source of comfort and stability through all the turbulence. I like how interacting with this community makes me think deeply about things, enhancing my kdrama watching experience in the process. I love that it opens a dialog with people from very different walks of life, different cultures and experiences, the kind of people that I would never have an opportunity to meet otherwise. I think I am all the better for it.” And I will be forever grateful to @vivanesca who stayed up extra late watching stuff on rabbit together just to cheer me up when life got a bit too much. Thank you for being, db friends.

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    I love this.

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    *crying* Don’t mind me.

    Thank you for sharing, Charlie. And thank your for being an essential, wonderful part of this amazing community.

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    !!! I had a shitty day and your words are warmer than Minkyu’s sweaters. I miss watching things with you, hopefully it’ll happen again soon!
    cough JuINAR cough cough cough

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      Hugs. Sorry about having a bad day; glad that my random post helped.
      Would be nice to catch up sometime inar rewatch long overdue ;-). The past few months i’ve been extremely busy at work and most personal stuff had to take a back seat. Things should calm down a bit over the summer though. Good for rabbit-ing.

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HPL#16
What should I call you now… \”Lion\” or \”Ryan\” or \”YJ\”?
How about \”Husband\”?
Feel good til the very end.
I am a happy bunny.

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HPL#15
Concept:
\”atone for hurtful memories by making many more good ones\”
\”compensate for the old hurt by loving you better”
This show keeps taking all the tropes and turning them on their head.
Love.

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I know most people are getting bored with HPL by now, and there’s little interest in my rambling monologues…
but I kind of need to get these thoughts out of my head. feel free to ignore

For me this story is all about love. Just love, pure and simple. That of lovers, but also the love of a fan, of a parent, of a sibling, of a friend… even when it’s neither pure, nor simple.

Art is also a manifestation of that love; straightforward for mum’s art or the photographer’s last piece, but less obviously so for Ryan too. RG described his paintings as his means to receive love, which he lost when seeing the bubbles and recovering the memory of him being abandoned. DM is giving him back painting by returning to him the certainty of being loved. And it is all beautiful.

And I love DM’s insistence that art is valuable in itself – for it makes people’s internal worlds richer, facilitating this kind of emotional connection. Not to forget an honorable mention for Ryan\’s 3-piece black suit; now that’s a true piece of art. 😛

HPL also gave me one of the most balanced couples in recent memory, people who individually are strong, smart and emotionally intelligent, yet still are better together. So often romantic stories as pitched as love fixing whatever is wrong with the hero/heroine, rather than two people who are perfectly fine on their own, but who still chose to share their life together. I like the show\’s balanced take on love much better – there’s a lot of give and take in their relationship, a union of equals.

I especially like the recent developments in that the story quietly subverts traditional gender roles. Ryan is the vulnerable one, the one who is struggling and who needs protecting. DM is the doer, the one who rages against the world (clenched fists included on request) to protect him. And I find that kind of awesome.

About the last two episodes: I thought narratively it was close to perfect, although some things worked much better than other in execution. Mum’s emotions did not hit the right notes for me for some reason; Ryan’s responses on the other hand hit me straight in the gut. When he sees SA at his door and it finally hits him that this kid that he was reluctantly growing fond of is actually his brother and you can see how the realization completely shuts off his brain… that was powerful. The couple interactions lost a bit of the rawness and realness of last week (probably the cost of live shooting, with the media attention their skinship got last week and filming going straight down to the wire), but there were some moments that were done really well, like DM coming to find him at the gallery and the very last scene. When he kneels in front of her to hug because he’s so overcome with feeling… that \”I love you\” came at a perfect moment and the buildup to their taking the relationship to the next level was very well done (although I did not completely love the way to was shot, and found the editing a bit choppy). Still…the writer hasn’t put a single wrong step yet and I am looking forward to see how is going to wrap it all up.

[Told you it would be long and rambl-y…]

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    You are absolutely spot on. I am enjoying the quiet and intimate ways that Ryan and DM are strengthening their understanding and trust and bond. I am enjoying the lack of drama and histrionics which I think keeps the relationship aspect real

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    This.

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    Well for me mum didn’t show right emotion when she meets Ryan, but she had me cry when she saw her own paintings with sadness.

    Agree with you that I also like the gender reversals in here, and also their relationship, they feel like much a real person than kdrama character

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    I love our main couple, but I have to admit that their “perfect dialogues and reactions” seem a little not-humanely-possible. I WILL, however, take their great way of communication any day. It’s so refreshing when characters act with love and logic, and toss stupid easily-solvable misunderstandings aside!!
    Bravo!

    As for the mum: nope. her story makes sense, and I know she didn’t lie. But I still don’t buy it. I refuse.

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Though I don’t say much about it these days, HPL continues to be my happy pill.
I love the relationship between Ryan and DM, from the pettiest to the most swoon-worthy.
The pacing has been very good so far. Hope they keep the momentum going until the very end.
My favorite bit this week was DM getting mad at him for going through stuff all alone instead of sharing it. That I’m-so-worried-that-it-shows-as-anger felt extra real somehow. Their gallery sleepover was cute as well.

Despite complaining about the knew-each-other-as-children troupe in the past, I\’ve decided that here it’s not that bad. It reminds me of Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind in some way: \”even if we forgot each other once, because I am who I am, and you are who you are we are bound to still be drawn to each other “, character as destiny of sorts. Because DM and Ryan are who they are, they belong together. And that’s that.

PS: walking back home this evening I saw a bunch of kids making huge soap balloons in the park.
Thought of HPL and that made me happy.

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    Mine too – happy pill, I mean. I am enjoying the total lack of histrionics in Ryan and DM’s relationship. I am happy to watch the BE a couple. Learning the ropes so to speak – what each other wants and needs and fulfilling them as and when necessary. I enjoy the fact that they are learning to trust each other implicitly, rely on, give support, encourage, be sensitive to each other and not react selfishly — and the list goes on. I hope with all this build on the relationship – that it will continue to withstand whatever reveal that is about to come with regard DM’s Mom.

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midnight monologues

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A man who looks at you like that (exhibit A), has a sense of humor, and takes pictures of his dog in his spare time (exhibit B) = no brainer.

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