Beanie level: Water maid

Nooo, Haechi! Please don’t ruin this show with an unnecessary love triangle! The romance was already one of its weak points since the shy innocent prince X impossibly dense tomboy trope is embarrassingly cringey, but do they have to get Moon Soo involved with it as well? The poor guy already gets beaten to a pulp practically every other episode, why must they turn him into the noble guy that lets his best friend have the girl of his dreams on top of that? I don’t want to suffer through 10 episodes of sad puppy mourning his late realization that he’s in love with the same girl his newfound friend has fallen for. I was promised a bromance not an angsty love rivalry!

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Interesting little tid-bit that got overlooked by subbers for Radiant ep 9. The director was making a point of showing how no one had any interest in the story of an elder committing suicide by showing everyone focusing on games and such on their phones instead. However, at one point they focused on a guy browsing through news articles that included: “Hidden Cameras An Issue Again: Victims Only Continue to Grow In Number”, “Elder Corpse Found By River”, and a Dispatch-esque article about a rumored relationship between two celebrities. Guess which one the guy clicked on? Hint: it wasn’t A or B. Pretty powerful message they hid in such a tiny moment.

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I woke up this morning to a newsletter in my inbox on 5 reasons certain people are better at learning languages and it was full of so much guilt-trip BS that it infuriated me. It was stuff like they get up at the break-of-dawn every day and study, they don’t use social media, and other self-discipline crap. I’ve got a stronger than average talent for learning languages and I don’t do any of the stuff that was on the list. Since there are quite a few aspiring language learners here on DB, I figured I would share my own 5 reasons.

(My Personal) 5 Reasons Why People Are Smarter At Languages Than You

1. Their brains are hard-wired different: Some people have brains that are just more opportune for language learning and that’s that. Personally, I think I have a pretty ideal left-right brain balance for it. I’ve got an analytical mind that’s good at picking out and dissecting patterns, but I’m equally comfortable throwing out and bending rules if need be.

2. They don’t think, they feel: I don’t let myself get bogged down by not understanding the why all the time. Languages are fluid things, they don’t always make sense. Instead of always focusing on why something is the way it is, I focus on the emotional aspect of it. I pay attention to things like body language and intonation and think of things like “does this sound like a good thing or a bad thing?” “Does the speaker sound happy, sarcastic, frustrated, etc.?” “If I was so-and-so, how would I respond in this situation?” I’ve often found in my language learning journey that the languages I’m most fluent in I don’t always know the exact English translation of things, I just know when it’s appropriate to say it.

3. Mimic, Mimic, Mimic: Like a baby, I repeat what I hear as near exactly as I can remember it. I don’t put much thought into what I’m saying all the time. If a phrase comes to mind that I think is appropriate then I use it instead of bothering to come up with my own. But I don’t just mimic phrases, I completely embody someone else. Whenever I speak another language my voice and entire demeanor change. When it’s Korean my voice is higher-pitched, I create a more cutesy persona for myself, and I often find myself talking to myself or making noises of surprise or frustration even though I normally never would. It’s what makes people think I’m fluent even when I’m not. I often tell people speaking another language is a lot like acting. If the way you speak, think, and act is the same in every language you speak then you’re likely doing something wrong.

4. They spice things up: I don’t do the same thing all the time. Sometimes I sub, sometimes I try reading a novel, sometimes I just want to do sing-a-longs. When I’m feeling sick of one language I switch my focus to another one for a while. Funny thing, although I own many textbooks and dictionaries, I rarely sit down and do the exercises in them. In fact, the language I’m most fluent in (other than my native tongue) is the one I only formally studied for 1 month. I follow where my interests take me and when something starts feeling stagnant or tedious I switch learning avenues for a while.

5. They enjoy it: I don’t stay up to the wee hours in the morning looking things up because I feel that it’ll be detrimental to my progress if I don’t. I do it because, despite the fact that it sometimes gives me a massive headache, I feel genuinely satisfied and happy doing it. It gives me a great sense of pride and accomplishment when I figure out the perfect translation or reach an A-ha Moment for something after struggling for sometimes hours to do so. I don’t necessarily have goals for learning languages, I just find it fun and fascinating, and that’s what keeps me going no matter how slow my pace may get at times.

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    Your list is actually a really helpful insight into language learning, and I like how you include the emotional and body language as an important factor.

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    I totally agree with #4.

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    How many languages are you learning?

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      I don’t really actively study any particular one, but I formally studied 2 languages in high school, 3 in college, and have dabbled in about 3-4 others. I’ve also been basically collecting language dictionaries since I was a child.

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    I love this list!

    Getting fixated on understanding the whys takes the fun out of learning the language so I tend not to.

    I’m still learning or doing number 4 since I want to improve my reading and writing skills.

    Thanks for the list, will come back to this every now and then 😍

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    I am horrible with learning new languages. My husband does it so well.

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      My mother is strangely enough pretty bad with languages (she gets tongue-tied and terms mixed up all the time) even though she was actually bilingual as a child. Then she went to school and they literally beat the non-English tongue out of her with a wooden stick. She still understands a good bit in passing but speaking is big challenge for her now.

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    Mimicking is how you sound fluent as well. My kids are learning Vietnamese from an app with a man who speaks in a different accent than my family, and my son mimicked him so exactly that when we talked to my mom, my mom asked me if we hired a tutor from North Vietnam to teach him. (And then asked if they were communist. LOL.)

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Radiant: Wow, talk about a plot twist. This show already wasn’t what I was expecting at all, but I definitely wasn’t expecting the kind of mystery we got. So intrigued to see how this ends next week!

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I swear by far the most difficult and time consuming part of subbing is coming up with insults. Like I feel like I have to clear my browser history sometimes because I’ve had to research so much about ways to pg-13 curse people out. In Korean especially, creative and punny ways to insult people is like their bread and butter over there. Are there any real-life Jo Ji Ah’s around here? How does one go about making up their own unique insults?

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Can anyone explain to me how Steelheart’s She’s Gone became so popular in Korea? Was it in a movie or something? I’d never heard of it before but it’s a classic over there. Do you all know it, too?

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    I’ve never heard it either.

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      Glad I’m not alone in this. Although it’s even more strange that half the people I’ve seen do covers for this song in Korea weren’t even born when it was released… It’s such a mystery how it became so well-known over there.

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And Round 2 of Haechi vs. Item goes to Haechi again.

*Sigh* Item is really going to have to step it up next week if it wants to avoid being dropped. There’s just too many other shows out there to watch right now to bother giving a mediocre one more than a 2-week chance. I keep feeling like the show is trying to take some aspects from Red Moon, Blue Sun, but RMBS was a mystery crime thriller that hooked you from episode one because we really didn’t know the antagonist until the end. The same approach doesn’t work with Item when we, the viewers, keep having access to the antagonists’ POV. I feel like Item’s only hope is to go full out supernatural action-thriller, like the opening sequence in episode 1, and tone the law/investigation talk way way down.

On the other hand, I’m loving Haechi right now. I think having an ensemble main cast that’s not all in the palace and making the show not about just putting an underdog on the throne, but reforming Joseon as a whole is really working to its advantage. Our leads have already started building a rapport with each other and working together, despite not being a team yet, and switching between each of them really helps to break up the political talk. I wish they could have gotten the music director from The Crowned Clown though. It’s amazing how much a couple instrumental tracks can really transform and heighten a show.

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So far in the battle of the Mon-Tues dramas, Round 1 goes to Haechi! I haven’t seen Radiant yet and TCC is on pause, but for Haechi vs. Item at least Haechi had the stronger first episode to me.

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Question for people that watched Clean with passion for now! Is Geumja (the maid) from Italy or did she ever live in Italy?

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Oh man, I\’m 1,500 words into my analysis of Red Moon, Blue Sun and I\’ve only said half of what I want to say…😅

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Welp, first 3 eps of Kingdom done. Waiting till next week to finish. It\’s fortunately not as scary and gory as I thought it would be, but then again I think it helped that I was watching with a stoic friend that came up with snarky comments with me while watching the scary parts. We were both chomping on popcorn and discussing the mental faculties of people during the zombie scenes by the 3rd episode lol

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I tend to keep my Kpop life separate from Kdrama, but I love this man too much to not promote him so I’m just going to drop this here. This is more indie than pop, but I thought some people here might be interested in it. And since it’s easy to mistake this guy as something other than a chocolate covered marshmallow, I’m leaving a link to a good little intro vid to him in the comments. This is a really great reminder that often times behind the seemingly brightest of smiles there is the darkest of pains.

*Hikikomori is a Japanese coined term for an extreme recluse that never leaves their room/home in order to avoid face-to-face interactions with people. It’s a social phenomenon that’s been growing in large part due to the increasing convenience of delivery services in Japan and is particularly prevalent among young people suffering with mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety.

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    Despite his dark music, he’s really a fluffy marshmallow deep-down.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjAcwRj_qlU&t=131s

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    this was really good! thanks for the rec!

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      I’m glad you liked it! I feel like Yongguk is one of the more unique artists in the K-pop world since his music content tends to be very deep/introspective and his musicality is very heavily influenced by jazz and rock artists instead of the typical hip-hop/pop. If you liked this one you should definitely give his other solo work a listen. Also, you may want to check out albums from B.A.P. like Matrix, Noir, and Carnival since they were all mostly written and composed by him as well and have some more variety in genre.

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    Oooh yass. New Youngguk content. I love Yamakazi.

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    Aw I love Bang Yongguk. Glad to see him doing stuff after leaving BAP.

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      He’s def one of my favorite people. I’m excited to see all the new stuff coming out of him and the other b.a.p. members that they’d been keeping under lock and key while contracted with TS.

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        I’m hoping the rest are planning to leave one by one once their contracts are up then rejoin under a different company or do their own thing in a healthier environment at least. Zelo already left. Not sure when the others’ contracts end but I think it is all within this year.

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          Freedom Day is actually this upcoming Sunday! We’re like 99.9% sure no one is re-signing and have been counting down the week until they’re all released from their contract with TS. We’ll have to wait and see what their next step is going to be. Yongguk’s actually listed as Creative Director for Consent Media now so it’s possible they might re-locate there, but it’s also a possibility that they’re each going to do their own thing. I know Zelo’s got some kind of deal going on with his upcoming solo album and Yongguk has said he would like to do work with other art forms, like photography and video direction, instead of only writing music for the other members. I’m positive there will be more B.A.P. music in the future, but it’s going to be interesting to see what kind of future they choose for themselves since I get the feeling a lot of them intend to exit the K-Pop realm.

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            Yaaaay!
            I hope if anything they will do at least one last comeback as one. Even if it’s just a YouTube video release and that’s it.
            But, I’ll be happy to see them pursue their own dreams, too. They definitely deserve it with all the struggles they’ve gone through and yet managed to turn out thoughtful and awesome music for us.

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Ooohhh, the last OST for Red Moon, Blue Sun is by Kim Min Seung/Vincent Blue. No wonder I instantly liked it. It\’s a shame they don\’t release OST artist names before shows start airing since I’m pretty sure I’d devotedly tune into anything this guy sings for. Also, I wish he’d pick one name. It drives me crazy that I have to search multiple names on Spotify to find all his music.

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    That’s good to know. Really liked his song he did for My Mister.

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      His new one, Smile Again, is very similar sounding to the one from My Mister 🙂

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The temptation is so so strong, but I\’ll keep my lips sealed until tomorrow. #nospoilersfrommetoday

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First impressions time!

The Crowned Clown: First, I was so happily surprised to hear Jeolla-do satoori in this as well! Perhaps this will be the year countryside accents trend in dramaland! On a more serious note, I wasn’t sure if I’d be in the mood for sageuk politics right now, but I actually really enjoyed the first two episodes of this. I’m a sucker for a good becoming a king story since it reminds me of king2hearts. I’m not so sure about the romance in this though. I can see the appeal in both kings which slightly concerns me. I don’t remember much from the original movie, but I’m pretty sure the original king was not so outright insane and he didn’t appear much in the movie. I’m hoping the show doesn’t put so much emphasis on creating a love triangle with him that it ruins the show for me. Also, if I get so much as a week behind on this show I’m likely going to have to drop it. Nearly 90 minute episodes are just too much.

Liver or Die: Not so sure on this one yet, but it’s likely going to be a drop for me. It kind of gives me a mix of My Ahjussi vibes (if Dong Hoon acted happy-go-lucky about his depressing life) and Charlie Brown. I’ve never been able to get the Charlie Brown kind of humor where one person’s continuous misfortunes are a source of comedy so, just like with Charlie Brown, this show just kind of makes me sad instead of inciting any laughter. I’ll try giving it another week to see if it delivers any strong heart-warming family moments, but as of right now I’m with the wife all the way- leave the house of crazies!

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Red Moon, Blue Sun mini rant part 1/2:

So I was watching the old promo videos and press conference for Red Moon, Blue Sun and I’m still trying to wrap my head around how it’s possible for Kim Sun-ah to look like such a regal queen while amongst her co-actors and yet be 100% okay with them hitting her in fits of laughter. Like at one point Gyu Ri was shaking Sun-Ah so hard she accidentally pulled her jacket off, which Sun-Ah hilariously didn’t notice for a good few seconds cause she was too immersed in smacking the heck out of Yi Kyung’s back, and then when she did notice she just turned it into another comedic moment and didn’t so much as bat her eye otherwise.

What’s even more shocking is that I thought for sure Gyu Ri would have snapped to attention and start begging for forgiveness since she just ripped off her revered sunbae’s clothes, but the whole lot of them couldn’t have cared less about the mishap. They just laughed even harder and Yi Kyung very casually got up to help put the jacket back on all whilst continuing to laugh his head off. The rest of the main cast are all 10-15 years younger and still basically rookies in the acting world so Sun-Ah must have worked hard to make herself approachable and comfortable to be around. You’d expect them all to be politely restrained around her, but they actually have great friendly chemistry and you can tell whenever Sun-Ah talks about them that she really loves this project and her cast.

It’s so sad and infuriating that despite how great this ensemble works together the press conference for the show had a very distinct “The Sun-Ah And A Couple Extras Show” vibe. 90% of the questions asked were for her and the director and I think even Hak Yeon may have gotten more questions than Yi Kyung, which isn’t saying much since none of the actors besides Sun-Ah were asked more than 3 questions (poor Gyu Ri got only 1…). I get that she’s the bigger star so they’d want to hear from her more, but it’s annoying that they kept pelting her with questions about ratings, her past works, and comparing her cast with the competition of Hye Kyo/Bo Gum and Na Ra/Jin Hyuk and pretty much the only question they could think to ask her co-actors was a standard “how did you prepare for this role?”

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Red Moon, Blue Sun mini rant Part 2/2:

It’s even sadder the lengths Sun-Ah had to go through to get attention on the other cast members. She made headbands for the cast to wear that she blatantly said were meant to be bait for the reporters to take more pictures and give them good press. She also kept telling Yi Kyung to put his hand on her shoulder for poses, did heart poses with him, and would cuddle up to him to get the photographers to go wild since they otherwise paid little attention to him. Then the real heart-breaker was how Yi Kyung’s closing remark was basically saying that he’s regretful that he’s already 30 but has zero star power to contribute and that he’ll do his best to just not detract from the show.

I was always a shipper of Ji Heon and Woo Kyung, although I would be okay if they just became good friends, but now I really wish the writer would give them a passionate noona romance love-line, not in the least because I’m 200% convinced they’d have no problem pulling it off. I’ve got a suspicion that underdog Lee Yi Kyung whose looks don’t make the cut for ideal male leads romancing the great Kim Sam Soon would be good fodder for buzz and consequently ratings. Too bad having a police officer engage in a hot romance with one of his murder suspects would turn this into a very different show though lol. It’s just hard to believe that Yi Kyung, an acting major, has been in the industry for 7 years now, been part of 30+ projects, isn’t in anyway considered a bad actor, and yet pretty much the only way he’s been able to get recognition from the general public is by making people laugh.

So what’s the deal, MBC? If Yook Sung Jae could get a New Star Award for starring alongside Moon Geun Young in Achiara’s Secret even though it was practically his first lead role and the ratings weren’t great, why on earth can’t Yi Kyung get some kind of award for Red Moon, Blue Sun? It’s not like anyone expected the ratings to be great for it anyway since dark thrillers about child abuse are just generally not the kind of drama a lot of people want to wind down to right before going to bed, and everyone knows that ratings are not always an indicator of quality. The year-end awards were the perfect opportunity to get his name out there as a serious drama lead, but I feel like MBC shafted both Yi Kyung and the rest of the drama team by only giving an award to Kim Sun-Ah…

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Okay, now that the tears have dried and I’ve had some time to think I’ve got to let out some thoughts about the episode that I can’t wait for the recaps to get caught up to post. Those that aren’t watching/aren’t caught up with Red Moon, Blue Sun please don’t mind the following comments.

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    1. Ji Heon: Next week is definitely going to flesh out JH’s backstory since he clearly made a mistake here. It was obvious that EH had a death wish and he knew JH’s soft spot for WK would lead him to shoot, even though WK (and likely SY and JH deep down) knew that EH liked and respected her too much to kill her. JE let his feelings for WK get the best of him though so he panicked and shot.

    Based on JH’s reaction around children and his ex-girlfriend questioning whether he’s ever really loved someone, I suspect his trauma may have been that he accidentally either killed or let a child get killed before while he was working because he let his emotions cloud his judgement. Hence, why he’s somewhat fearful around children and acts very emotionless and matter-of-fact when he works.

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      2. Eun Ho: I’m still holding out hope that he’s not dead yet. The EMT people got there fast and I doubt JH aimed for his vitals so it’s possible he could have been saved. Plus, we’ve got 3 whole episodes left to fill so I’m getting the feeling that maybe the writer is intending to tackle the question of “can a murderer be redeemed?” which would bring us back full circle with Ji Hye’s story that set the stage for this whole series.

      Also, EH’s “death” reminded me of the autopsy guy’s words in the beginning of the series that a person’s method of suicide reflects who they are as a person. Yong Tae killed himself in a messy and painful way because he was disgusted with himself for becoming a murderer, but EH chose to die by being killed by someone he trusted and loved like family. Just an episode before, when JH and EH resolved their misunderstanding about Boy A, JH made a point to give him advice as a hyung and not simply someone who’s been living longer than him, which is likely the first time EH had ever been treated like a real brother to someone. Then mere days later EH tells JH that he must catch the real culprit before all but turning himself in by providing the evidence that would incriminate him.

      The one thing that abused children want the most and that EH had lost hope believing actually existed is love. I thought it was aptly symbolic that EH orchestrated his death so that his final moments would be where his mother abandoned him with his makeshift family crying out of genuine love for him despite knowing the extent of his terrible crimes. I think it was a really powerful image that after suffering the ultimate disappointment/shame by having the woman that is in some ways his replacement mother telling him point-blank he was a murderer, his last image was clearly seeing that she was nonetheless devastated about him being shot. Even at his worst, she still put the innocent and hurt child inside him first, as if he was her own son.

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        3. Woo Kyung: She continues to be a mess of questions. I had a theory earlier that possibly the girl was Se Kyung and that adult Se Kyung is actually not WK’s sister. It solves the questions of why her parents went through such great lengths to get rid of traces of her childhood, why her father fed her stories of a fake childhood, as well as why WK doesn’t really remember much about her “sister.” However, if that’s how it is, then who is adult SK and why is she posing to be WK’s sister when she’s not? And if SK was the abused child why does WK have the symptoms? Also, how does step-mom and adult SK’s hatred of her fit into this? I hope when the truth is revealed next week it doesn’t turn out to be too makjangy….

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Nooooo, say it isn\’t so 😭😭😭 Well done, show. I\’m crying the worst I\’ve cried the entire show all whilst experiencing a moral dilemma. I feel like I\’m the one going to need therapy after all this…

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The start of the New Year has brought my first drop of the year, but fortunately also a new drama obsession.

I sadly have to say good-bye to My Strange Hero since I feel practically zero emotion for the romance in this, and even the melo-revenge plot with KDY is also just starting to bore now. All I really want is more scenes with rebelling against the system to help the school kids, but it just keeps giving more and more flashbacks… Also, although I applaud the screenwriters for resolving the misunderstanding much earlier than I thought they would, they kind of failed to redeem Soo Jeong for me. I just can’t feel bad for her when she was told by multiple people, multiple times, over the course of nearly a decade what she needed to do to relieve her conscious and she willingly chose to ignore that advice each time. I get that apologizing isn’t easy, but did really she have to delude herself into thinking she was the bigger victim to avoid doing so? Anyway, there’s no point spoiling everyone else’s enjoyment of it by complaining every week, so I’ll just follow the recaps and enjoy the numerous adorable Bok Soo gifs of it to come on the fanwall.

In my quest to fill up my empty drama watching schedule I decided to check out an episode of Red Moon, Blue Sun…and ended up starting the new year off bingeing all the available episodes haha I don’t know if this can be considered a good start to the year or not since on one hand this show gives me the heebie-jeebies so bad at times I worry about having nightmares, but then on the other hand I just can’t stop watching it. It sucks you in and doesn’t let up for even 1 minute. I’m kind of blown away by how good this is and how we’re almost at finale week and the mysteries are still as elusively mysterious as when we started. Beanies, check this one out! If you can’t watch it then at least read the recaps so you can play Sherlock with us about the ending!

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    My Strange Hero: Smart people ask questions, and Son Soo-jeong is supposed to be smart. But she judged Bok-su and believed Se-ho’s lies even though Bok-su was nothing but good and loyal to her, and did not bother to ask him about the rooftop incident. Badly written character. I’m only watching the show for YSH and her adorable relationship with his mother and his old teacher.

    I second the RMBS rec! My current fave. Glad the show is gaining more fans.

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