Beanie level: Water maid

[Rant incoming] Taking a break from squeeing over Seol Jihwan, I just wanted to do a PSA that how WWW portrays tech companies is really not how it works. Ok that’s like saying the drama doctors are not real doctors (duh!), but hear me out! I was so excited when I saw the first episode – the way Tammy explained the search engine business, the way she did “internal user research” with Ellie, everything stays quite close to the reality that I know (I work in a big tech company as a researcher/strategist). And it’s thrilling! Hearing business talks that makes sense! (side-eyeing you, Meteor Garden and your “AI platform to sell squid sauce”)

But then episode 2 onward they just decided to throw it all out of the window. Jenny was introduced as a developer and what did she do (besides hacking some info that one time?)? Why is the team all marketing? Where’s the Interaction Designer (the person who maps out how the app/website should respond to the user behaviors)? Where’s the researcher (Ellie could have been it!)? They’re basically Product Managers running around without any research or design expertise! I always wonder why novel writers can do so much research, shadowing the people they’re gonna write about, and usually get it mostly right, but drama writers never manage to do so?

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Calling Puppy Fan Club! This was such a satisfying episode!! I have to go to work now but can’t wait to see all the spazzing on the fanwall later! 🥰🥰

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    OMG OMG do you mean WWW? I can’t wait to catch it. Dang I have to walk my dog!!

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    Do you mean ep 14? In that case I’ll have to stay away from the fanwall until I’ve got subs tomo

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      The “unofficial” upload of VIU sub is quite fast, probably will come out in the next 6-7 hours, and better quality too. And yes ep 14!!

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        In 6-7h, I’ll be fast asleep XD

        I’ll watch it over breakfast tomorrow…

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    AN AMAZING EPISODE FOR THE PUPPY FAN CLUB INDEED

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      So young and already so good!!! Our puppy makes us proud with the kissing! Did you notice also that his real kiss was better than his drama kiss? I thought that was such a nice attention to details 😉

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Ok as far as forced separation goes going to the military is much better than random studying abroad. But it’s too real! My puppy Seol Jihwan! Scarlet can you hurry the f up and tell him 😭

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    I never knew military service of an actor IN A DRAMA can affect me this much. At least studying abroad makes my eye roll as it is just unnecessary plot device. WWW did a great job at using enlistment as a plot device and as a device to break our hearts.

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      Yes, I agree. It was done before for What’s Up Fox (2006), it’s better plot device than leave abroad, why there aren’t many writers using it.

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        They also used that in the Korean adaptation of Be With You! A great way to separate people that actually makes sense tbh. (I suddenly remember they also used that in Manhole. Don’t ask me why I watched that show).

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      They used it in Age of Youth 2.

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        I need Kim Min-seok in roles similar to his role in Age of Youth 2. His enlistment scene there where he was looking at Eun’s photo was cute. I need to rewatch that show for the 99999th time.

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The Watcher reminds me a lot of Forest of Secrets, which is a great thing. Same director too! Go check it out people!

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Another day, another fan post on HPL: this is the first time I see in kdrama two leads who have basic emotional intelligence. Sure, Deok-mi let her insecurities take over for a moment, but she did have a hunch that Ryan liked her. Ryan had even more confidence that his feelings weren’t one-sided. I did a little fist bump in that episode. Finally! A kdrama lead who’s not completely blind, literally or figuratively! Their emotional intelligence comes in handy with their relationship “obstacles” – outing each other’s Internet lives, Ryan’s abandonment trauma, etc.

I’ve also been trying to think through why I haven’t been bothered by the lack of “plot” in this drama. In a romcom, the plot is the progression of the romance. You can say that we’ve “arrived”, since DM & RG are now a couple, why should we care about anything else? With What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim, I couldn’t finish the last few episodes because as cute as the couple was, they weren’t interesting anymore to watch (besides all the other problematic points about that drama like over the top kidnapping trauma, or her not quitting her job to find her passion, etc.) Maybe it’s because I strongly relate to Deok-mi’s fangirl’s life and was curious about how things would play out even after they started dating. Maybe because I find Korean adoptees having trauma about being abandoned more believable than complicated kidnapping-amnesia-switched-memories. Someone else please write an analysis!

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Also I rarely find anyone sexy (handsome/cute, yes, sexy? nah) except for my husband (thankfully), but DANG Ryan Gold is sexy. What is it about him? What is it??

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HPL: me for most of ep 10: “AAAAHHHHHHHH”. Kim Jaewook, father of mature kdrama dating.

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I love Ryan as the male lead. The way he enjoys Deok Mi’s fangirling is the best. He even enables her in many ways to fangirl. I’m not as hardcore as DeokMi but have been known to be a huge kpop fangirl, and one reason I know that I picked the right husband was a few years back when he brought me back a TVXQ DVD when he went to Korea, unprompted. And just now he laughed and called me cute for screaming in blue-ball pains throughout ep 8 of Her Private Life. I CAN’T WAIT for the cute when DeokMi realizes how much Ryan enjoys and supports her fangirling!!!

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Just come back here to do a PSA: Her Private Life got so much better after the first two uneven eps. I’ve been squealing like a seal. And Kim Jae Wook’s Hands are So.Sexy.

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One thing I appreciate about Beanies is that more so than other forums, there are a lot of you who while immersing in the emotions and the story of dramas, can still appreciate the complexity of the craft (directing, writing,etc.) and be critical when required. And that a lot of you, like me, enjoy watching even if not morally rooting for “bad” characters. You can separate the complexity and watchability of a character from their actual moral standing (let’s just say that we would watch anti-hero & anti-heroine on screen, maybe even root for them to do their crazy evil thing, but would definitely report them to the police if they were real people). Case in point:
– The crazy king in The Crowned Clown. After [SPOILER] they killed the king, my interest dropped from 100 to 0. As much as the king has become unworthy of his throne, and commited unforgivable acts, he was such a fascinating character to watch, and a formidable foe to our hero. Without him, half of the fun is gone, and also most of the reason to root for our hero. Now it’s back to simple court politics, which is actually done decently in the show, but not enough to pull me back in.
The last empress: I’ve said a lot about this drama and I maintain that the evil characters are the most fun to watch. They did a decent job with the “good” characters of the show (Sunny is so badass!), but it is the “bad” characters that are having the most fun with their emotions and behaviors, and thus make them the most fun to watch as well.
The story of Hao Lan: since not a lot of Beanies are watching this drama, I’ve been discussing it elsewhere, and am alone in appreciating the complexity of these characters who cannot be bucketed into “good” or “bad”. A lot of their actions are really unforgivable (besides the usual political machinations in the palace, there’s also some twisted emotional manipulation between loved ones), but to me they all make sense and are in line with the characters’ personality and motivations. It also makes it fun to watch these people with extraordinary abilities and similarly extraordinary emotions put in their all, whether it’s their career or love. Isn’t that what we watch dramas for? If I want to watch good guys doing good things, I can always volunteer more at our local non-profits and not waste my time with dramas!

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    True!!
    I stopped watching TCC, meaning to continue after it ended, but the death kind of left me hanging. I wonder how they’d balance the story now,and it’s sad to read it’s now turned into a typical sageuk (which isn’t bad imo, since I like them, but I kind of feel they promised something at the beginning and they’re now delivering something else)
    We’ve talked about TLE a million times, but I just want to repeat how much I would have loved them to turn sunny into mama jr and build a new and crazy empire. <//3
    I'm watching the story of ming lan first so I didn't read your comments on hao lan just in case, but I promise I'll talk to you about it when I start it! (in a million years, since I'm only on ep 14 of ming lan XD)

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      Chinese drama is a different beast isn’t it LOL Hao Lan looks to be 70 something eps as well, oh dear haha

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    Ok, so I’ve been soo behind on TLE, I’m not sure if I will continue. But I’m almost done with Ming Lan and will make the time to start Hao Lan. I’ll let you know when I start this!

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      can’t wait!! Haven’t been able to watch much with you for awhile Jen! Also I’m getting tickets to Black Pink concert in LA tomorrow, you in??

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    Yessss! Right there with you on all these points, even with the shows I’m not watching.
    I’m always drawn to such characters as well and I feel pretty much exactly the same about The Crowned Clown.

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    Exactly true about The Crowned Clown! I am still watching but I watch a single episode over a period of days. It hasn’t been the same with the mad king gone. Yes he was crazy and proboably deserved what happened to him but the other lot is undeserving too! I can’t bring myself to root for an usurper.

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      Well a lot of great kings were originally usurpers as well, so that’s not my problem. It’s just, now the conflict between the clown and his antagonist is a familiar one, and not very interesting anymore 🙂

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        If it’s a monarchy then it should follow the bloodline. If it’s a democracy then it should be someone selected by the people. He is none of those unfortunately. And he is having the hots for another mans wife!! No. Just no.

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          that’s fair – this could be why monarchies don’t work out in the end since when a king is terrible, there’s very little anyone could do. I think I’m of a different opinion here where if a king is terrible, a revolution should happen – but yes maybe a revolution should happen from the outside, rather than the inside.

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    There’s nothing as satisfying as watching a delicious evil character.

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    Agree2.

    I only watch TLE from your list above. And as much as i kinda like the story about Sunny’s revenge, imo NWS’s arc unfortunately was not very well executed so it fell flat at times and eventually crumbled away. Huhu

    Anyways, it was the villains that actually pulled me in to watch and stay for the show. In the beginning we had Mama with her spy cam, RH was/is bad and has trust issues, also there is snake Min Yura in between them. The drama has flaws (maybe too many), but it is fun to watch especially when we have over the top villains like Mama and her son who flipflops like he has a good-bad switch. Hahaha

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Posting separately because editing my previous deleted the photo! 🙁 From left to right: Tsundere Self-Appointed Machiavelli; Final Boss; A Very Cunning Puppy.

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Currently my kdrama intake (Romance is a bonus book, Crowned Clown, & The Last Empress) is interrupted by this really amazing, feminist, and complex Chinese drama called The Legend of Hao Lan. If you like flawed anti-heroes and anti-heroines, swoony AND dysfunctional romance, court politics done right, fab costume, and really confusing Chinese warring state history, this drama is for you! (I guess I revealed too much about myself with that description) Copy&paste with slight edit from my rant on soompi (there\’s barely anyone watching and discussing on soompi or anywhere else, so here\’s to hoping that my incoherent rant will get more beanies to watch!).

Note: this is NOT a harem drama. There are wars, politics, and women being boss in and out of the Inner Palace!

First off, this is a really feminist drama. The women in the show are constantly smarter than the men, and do not hesitate to use their brains and beauty for survival and desires. Even a \”bad\” character like Princess Ya has real moments of connecting with Hao Lan on the basis of being a woman in a shitty era. Hao Lan constantly asserts her own will in her decision, and always maintains a balanced view on gender equality. To her, being a strong woman doesn\’t mean you have to lose your femininity or deny real physical differences between male and female. I just love all the discussions between the characters, male and female, about gender roles and the restrictions that women suffer in that era. Hao Lan said (I paraphrased): \”I decided to love myself the most. So whether it\’s Yiren, or Lu Bu Wei, if a man doesn\’t treat me right, I\’d leave.\” That self-esteem and self-respect! This, in contrast with all the other women in the drama who let themselves ruin their lives for terrible men, is ever the more amazing. Not to say that one shouldn\’t go all in for love, but a lot of these men really, really didn\’t deserve it.

Second, both male leads in this drama are SO flawed (I mean, everyone in this drama is, but considering they\’re the \”main\” roles, I find it fascinating that they\’re neither \”good\” nor \”bad\”. They are both just men, often extraorinary in their abilities, know how to fight for what they want, are ruthless yet conflicted about it). I think everyone is on the Hao Lan – Lu Bu Wei ship, and it is a very compelling romance, but for some reason I really eat up the Hao Lan – Yiren romance. He\’s so swoony! And a total puppy for her! I have this stupid smile on my face when I watch their scenes, only to become even giddier to find out later that Yiren is no less manipulative and cunning than Lu Bu Wei, even if in a different way. He made certain political choices that he knew would hurt her feelings, and then turned around to abandon everything political just for her. It\’s so fascinating!

If I have any complaint, it would be…people die so often in this drama -_- don\’t let yourself get attached to anyone but the three leads, I suppose! There\’s literally no law and order anywhere, anything and everything is based on hearsay LOL Almost makes me want to write a fantasy palace drama where the from-the-future character brings a recording device to record everything everyone ever says! Maybe it will reduce the number of deaths!

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    @kimbapnoona @Jenmole I wrote an essay T_T Jen are you watching this??

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      You have me at “really confusing Chinese warring state history”!! 😂
      Just finished the first episode this evening and the pacing seems to be really fast moving!

      I do remember some Beanies talking about watching Hao Lan in either the OT or WWW thread, and hopefully more Beanies will join in on the fun!

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        They definitely drag some and then rush through some LOL but I always watch if there are conversations between female characters. They pass the Bechdel test with flying colors, which, considering the fate of a lot of these women and the time area, is AMAZING. The drama gets REALLY good after Hao Lan gains her footing and begins her partnership with Lu Bu Wei! The first few eps might be a bit frustrating but don’t worry, she’ll win soon!
        Ooh I’ll have to keep an eye out for the next WWW thread so I can rant more hahaha thank you kimbap! <3

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        oh! I thought this was the one you were talking about with @egads the other day!

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    ooh. this sounds interesting. i might check it out! *added to watchlist*

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    I have this on my list to check out. Still working on The Story of Ming Lan. I’ll try to peel myself away from Ming Lan tonight to check out the first episode.

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I can’t write so here’s a great Love song medley for everyone. Love, Feb-veryhardtospellmonth-uary

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At work everyone is talking about \”You\” and how \”it\’s trash tv but I love it\”. This really makes me wonder what makes a show \”trash tv\”? Again the parallel here is The Last Empress. I guarantee you that the people who make these shows don\’t set out thinking \”Hey, let\’s make a trash TV show.\” Someone\’s trash is another person\’s art? The Last Empress\’s plot relies heavily on the viciousness of real-time, public persecution through social media. If I was a better debater, I would write an essay on how that it\’s a deep drama with social commentary on how the public court is the only law that we live by now. But I won\’t – I want to, but I don\’t need to. Same with \”You\” – half of the plot revolves around social media (with a different angle from TLE), and how obsessed we are with it. It\’s also a story about love and murder – which is like many other shows out there.

\”Trash TV\” to me is when the creators don\’t put much thought into it or don\’t have a story to tell (example: The Bachelor; is it great reality tv? Yes. Does it make my skin crawl because of the way they treat women? Also yes. Is there a story or purpose? LOL LOL Arguably there is a lot of thought put into how much editing is done). The coherence of \”You\” and the strength of the characters in \”The Last Empress\” are not things we easily find in TV these days. Not everything needs to be \”Mad Men\”(GOD WAS THAT SHOW DEPRESSING -_-), & I would love it if people separate \”shows I don\’t like to admit I watch because it\’s not prestigious\” from \”trash TV\”, \”sensational/campy TV\” from \”bad TV\”.

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    Not everything needs to be \”Mad Men\”(GOD WAS THAT SHOW DEPRESSING

    🤣🤣🤣 I still cannot believe I semi-binge watched shows like Mad Men and Six Feet Under, but I think I had stronger constitution for bleakness when I was younger.

    I agree with everything you said, N. When my husband asked what kind of show TLE is, I told him that it is cray to the max, but I am in no way hate watching it. I am actually enjoying it with much with love. There is definite so much ingenuity and creativity in how this writer keeps pushing the boundary of makjang and redefines it. It is no a small feat to make a show like this plot coherent, delivers a clear message, at the same time so much fun and accessible to the public.

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      Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever hate watched this! It’s been pure 100% entertainment since episode 1 for me. Granted, I don’t take it seriously and I honestly wouldn’t care if all of them died, but the writer is so freaking talented I’m impressed a million times each episode!!

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        THIS! (well I’d prefer for lil sis and JNR to stay alive!) But the writer manages to surprise us again and again, and I feel like I always understand why these people do the things they do (including SETTING A FUCKING BIRD ON FIRE), so to me that’s great writing 🙂
        (*footnote: maybe not Hyuk’s attempted jump in the water, but then again he HAS a penchant for the dramatics so it’s still on brand!)

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          LOL!
          What else could we expect from the guy who goes out with a mask a la Phantom of the Opera, honestly.
          I don’t want JNR to die anymore, I want her to continue on her way to becoming mama jr!! I like noona’s idea of her catching up to RH’s evilometer, after all, that’s why I loved him and Snake together!

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So many feels for The last empress. I think it was unfairly judged as a \”so bad it\’s good\” kind of show. If you think about it (which you\’re really not supposed to with this show), it\’s actually very tightly written in terms of dramatic development and emotional payoff. Do the characters act based on logic that doesn\’t belong in our reality? Sure, but THEIR logic is consistent and is explained. Are they interesting characters you enjoy watching, whether they are being brought down or winning? Absolutely yes! There were many moments of very clever directing like Ari\’s hilarious voiceover of Empress Dowager, or amazingly campy gun draws, or super satisfying and well-paced multiple one-uppings scene after scene within just 5 minutes. This show to me illustrates how wonderful entertainment can be when it\’s diverse. A show can be \”good\” in so many ways, and this one is definitely *good* not because it\’s bad. It\’s just that good!

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    Oh, I’m 100% sure this show knows exactly what it’s doing. I don’t think any of this cast would’ve signed on if it were truly the mess it appears to be on the surface. It’s actually brilliant, and it’s honestly going up there as an all-time favorite drama.

    Yes, it’s absolutely bonkers.

    But it’s also a commentary both on the genre and how you can use tropes and cliches and still have great and enjoyable end product. All the characters are so well realized that sometimes you don’t realize that actions they took five episodes ago make sense now. Early on I wrote about how Hyuk is a lonely creature; I think his newfound obsession with Sunny and his turning on Woo-bin are a total sign of that. His loneliness is all consuming to the point where he isn’t really capable of having normal relationships with anyone. I think So-hyun was the closest he came. He sees people as possessions and it’s totally going to be his downfall. The cute? Sure, it’s awesome and I love SSR for it; but at the end of the day the thing that makes me stay is the complexity of this character and his total unpredictability.

    I could probably write a dissertation on the complexity of all the female characters here too – Sunny, Snake, Mommie Dearest, Granny Empress, Nanny, Hello, Princess So-jin, Ari – they’re all brilliant and interesting in completely different ways.

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    lol..yeah.. definitely not a BOF.. its good but its bad.. or as you said.. its good because its so bad 😛

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Really loving The Crowned Clown! It’s one of those rare saeguks where both the romance and the court intrigue are well-done. Too much dumb politics, you’ll have a boring show, too much fluffy romance and you have no stake (e.g. Moon embraced by the sun, Love in the moonlight). It’s also one of those instances where there’s no acting hole, and the main couple is neck to neck in acting gravitas.My only minor complaint is, I don’t know what tvn’s game is by making the eps so long…but that means I can split up the eps to watch over 4 days 😛 Hope this show keeps up the quality till the end!

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    I was just debating what show to pick up since I have nothing on my hands.

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    The length is exactly why I can’t seem to pick it back up, even though I really liked the first 2 eps!

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    The acting is good, and the politics dont bore me… (yet). Yeo Jin Goo is amazing as both characters that you forget he plays both. Lee Se Young is so elegant as the queen. but be careful…. it gets dark at the beginning

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    If it helps, the running time actually keeps getting shorter each episode. 😀

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Watching “You” (on Netflix, an AMAZING satire & thriller) this weekend and reading the weird & fervent following for the main character who is a sociopathic psycho stalker, I’m very much reminded by our conflicting feelings towards His Royal Hotness of The Last Empress LOL We apparently were supposed to see PAST his face TO his murderous behaviors, not the other way around!

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    I love his responses to the tweets! I’ve only seen a couple episodes so far but I like it! The creep factor increases as you go through. I felt soooo sad for the books in Ep 3!

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    His responses are amazing. Haha

    I had no plans to watch You, but maybe i could try it sometime~

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    I’m currently watching this show (only 2 episodes left) and it’s amazing!
    Penn Badgley is nailing it

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there was some confusion about the time for The Last Empress rabb.it watch, but it is 7pm EST (New York time) today, Sat & 11am EST Sun (tomorrow). I\’ll post the link here 5 minutes before, join us!

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