Beanie level: Noble idiot

So many awesome things happening in Haechi today make me worried about tomorrow…

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I just want to write a little appreciation post for the Beanie community today. <3 I grew up very sheltered and got into K-pop/dramas in college, so I’ve always been pretty out-of-the-loop in terms of American pop culture, despite being American myself. This week – being someone who’s never really gotten into Game of Thrones or Marvel movies – that sense of… uninvolvement?… has been stronger than usual. So I’m especially grateful to have a place where I can come and be somewhat in-the-loop, and talk to people who are experiencing the same fiction-related emotions I am. Here’s to those of us who currently have shattered hearts from Psychometric, find inspiration and hope from Haechi, squee over Her Private Life, are excited about Nokdu Flower, and/or just enjoy having this community to talk to when very few others in our lives have any idea what we’re talking about.

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So beautiful~ I don’t know much about Young Jae, but his voice is amazing. (And featuring more of Kang Young-hyun’s beautiful, heartbreaking yet uplifting lyrics!)

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    I was actually going to post this song myself, but you beat me to it. I really love the almost march-like inspiring sound that it has when the chorus comes in. The instrumental track does a really good job of giving a feeling of hope in my opinion. Glad you liked the lyrics too (the translation in this video happens to be mine).

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      Yes, I love how the music matches the feeling of hope in the lyrics. It’s definitely going on my list of songs to listen to when I need cheering up.

      Thank you for translating it! Young K’s lyrics are a huge part of why I wish I understood Korean beyond the odd words or phrases, because I’m sure there are nuances that are difficult or even impossible to translate exactly. But I’m thankful there are fans like you taking the time to help the rest of understand. <3

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Well, Deok-mi and Lion are beyond adorable together. I keep getting blown away by how considerate he is, too.

Cha Shi-an, on the other hand… Is it just me, or does something feel \”off\” about him?

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    that’s why i never trust the whole cold exterior personality that they throw for male characters because they end up being the biggest sweethearts. Although Ryan feels really different because of his surprising need to protect Deok Mi’s private life.

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      .. Because he thinks she’s gay and he wants to protect her freedom to be who she is. Gotta say I really appreciate that.

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        I LOVE that part of the story more than anything else.

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        I totally love how supportive he is of this whole situation. And when he asked ‘does she enjoy seeing you like this’ – I fell off the sofa laughing. Am not sure if he meant it to me in a horny way, but I was totally cackling.

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          Kim Jae wook, I hope in the future does more comedy because he is awesome at it. His face when his misinterpreted Doek-mi’s comment about her friends wealth. HA !!!

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            oh yes! that scene. His face..so awesome!

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            The funniest things in this show to me are Deok-mi’s super-dramatic daydreams and Ryan’s looks of utter confusion when he misunderstands something.

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    Ryan Gold is GOLD! Why did we have to wait so long for him to be in rom-coms..Why O Why?

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      He’s been in at least one more as a second lead, but he wasn’t funny in it until the last episode. It wasn’t a well loved drama (except by a few of us).

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    Oh yeah, something is really off with that dude. How did he know where in building that Ryan lived ? And why did Ryan act like that was not the first time that happened ?

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      what dude are you talking about? The idol who was so drunk he was trying to get in the wrong condo?

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        Ohhhhhhh…..he lives right above him. I did not catch on to that.

        Well then, nevermind.

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          Ohhh I missed that too. Still, there’s something about him that doesn’t feel right. He just looks shifty at times to me. And what was the fake cast about, I wonder?

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      Ryan lives right above the idol’s apartment. I assume the idol was so drunk that he went to the wrong floor .

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        Ah, that would make sense. I’m curious why Ryan didn’t call the manager, though. Maybe it was just another example of him respecting (and protecting) people’s privacy.

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          Ryan probably wants to get his good side so he can get to the paintings by Lee Sol that the idol did not have hanging in his home.

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So I’ve re-watched Circle this week, and I have some thoughts (in the comment, just in case there’s anyone who hasn’t seen it yet and still plans to – you have been warned).

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    1. I was actually a little nervous to re-watch this one. Since I obviously know how it ends this time around, I was worried that I wouldn’t enjoy it as much, or that flaws might stand out more. Groundless fears. It’s still so good, mostly because the emotional pull is just as strong. I’m not blindsided by plot twists; instead, I’m getting excited (or distraught) in anticipation of them. (And maybe crying over the twins more now BECAUSE I know how it ends.)
    2. Okay, one thing did stick out as a minor annoyance. Why does the camera shake so much?
    3. There are some things I’ve forgotten in two years. It’s fun getting to those parts and actually being surprised and wondering, “Oh, wait, what happens next? What IS behind that door?” or “Hold on, who is that, and what are they doing?”

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    4. This was the first show I watched with Yeo Jin-gu, and I loved him. Then I watched Reunited Worlds. And then The Crowned Clown. (Which, don’t get me wrong, he was phenomenal in the dual role, especially as King Yi Heon. But TCC’s second half made the unfortunate and baffling decision to do its best to pretend Yi Heon hadn’t existed, and by the end I cared nothing for the clown Ha Seon.) It’s sad when a talented actor fades in my eyes because of a less-than-stellar character, but it happened. So watching Circle was also an attempt to redeem Yeo Jin-gu in my mind, and I’m happy to say it worked perfectly.
    5. Professor/Minister Park Dong Geon. I spent several episodes wondering if I’d seen him in something else recently. (You know, when I wasn’t raging at 2037 him for being a lying liar.) Then I started thinking that his character reminds me a little of Haechi’s Wi Byung-joo. And then I realized: he IS Wi Byung-joo. Same actor. All I can say to that is: I don’t know anything about the guy in real life, but I double hate his face right now.
    6. Lee Ho-soo. I liked him the first time through, and always believed he would come around to Team Good and become reluctant friends with Joon-hyuk. But this time I think I gained even more appreciation for him as a character. He truly has a will of his own, and does whatever he thinks is right – which isn’t always right. He gets in the way of both good guys and bad guys. He makes mistakes, learns from them, and – reluctantly – lets his worldview change when it has to, all without losing the essence of who he is.

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    7. “Hyung, I’m scared.” This line KILLED me the first time I watched, and it killed me again the second time, even though I knew it was coming. Woo-jin was so brave, and so clever, and so fiercely determined to protect the people he loved, but he was still just a kid. Just an ordinary person who got dragged into something far bigger and crueler than he could handle. In a way, he was the ultimate Noble Idiot, giving his very life to save his loved ones without letting them in on it. Except, he wasn’t an idiot. He took precautions. He made plans. He tried his best to fool Professor Park’s people and run away (and he almost succeeded). And he did save Bum-gyun. But it wasn’t enough, and they still killed him in the end and used him to develop the memory-erasing technology. Much as it breaks my heart, I appreciate a story that acknowledges that very often one person can’t save the world on their own, that our best sometimes isn’t enough. But there’s still hope because Woo-jin’s efforts to save everyone by himself failed, but the combined efforts of Woo-jin, Joon-hyuk, Jung-yeon, Min-young, Ho-soo, and the detectives took Human B down. And that might not have been possible if Woo-jin had let his fear stop him from putting his life on the line. My favorite kind of hero will always be one that is vulnerable enough to admit they’re scared to death of what they know they have to do, but brave enough to do it anyway, even if the best they can do in the end is to fail as a necessary step in the process of victory.
    8. That said, I love the angle of a reunion-that’s-not-quite-a-reunion, and Woo-jin “surviving” despite dying. Obviously, there wasn’t time in two episodes to fully explore all of what that means, but I’m happy with how it played out for now. And by “happy” I mean I’ll be devastated if we never get Season 2: The Alien and the Clone. Or if we do, and it’s terrible.

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    9. Something I love about watching kdramas is that no show exists in a vacuum. My experience with a show is always colored by other shows and by interactions here on Dramabeans. It’s a lot of fun when everyone’s watching the same show together, while or after watching a different show together. At the time when Circle aired, another show I’d been hugely invested in was Rebel, and I wanted desperately to find some opportunity to make a joke about the mystery of “Which twin is Eorini – I mean, Joon-hyuk.” For some forgotten reason, I never found the opportunity, but I never forgot it either, so I’m putting it here for the sake of finally having said it.

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    10. Section Chief Ko. (I was going to post a picture, but can’t figure out how…) Both times watching, I kept getting distracted trying to figure out who he was. And I’m not talking about the character here, even though we know pretty much nothing about him, either. The actor looks to me like a mix between Seo Ji-hoon and Jung Il-woo, but I couldn’t seem to find his name anywhere. Then I watched to the end of the final credits and there’s a whole sequence where they go through each major character (and some minor ones) with their picture, character’s name, and actor’s name. This was still bothering me after two years, and it’s been right there the entire time. *facepalm* One last mystery, solved! (And it turns out he’s Eopsan! Another Rebel connection!)

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    11. Another thing I never got around to writing: At the end of 2017 I wanted to write my review of the year’s dramas by assigning each one a song from the EveryDay6 Project. I didn’t finish my list and never started writing the review, but the song I chose for Circle was “I’ll Remember.” I think it perfectly captures the sentiment of memories being the most important thing in keeping someone alive, as well as both brothers’ desperation to hold onto each other, even when Woo-jin’s memories are literally the only thing left for Bum-gyun/Joon-hyuk.
    12. I don’t really have a 12th point, but there are 12 episodes, so I couldn’t end the list at 11. If you read all of this, thanks! I’m not sure why it all poured out of me upon the second watch instead of the first, but once I got started thinking, I couldn’t stop until I’d gotten it all out of my system.

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Nooo stop making Yi Geum cry! It hurts. 😭

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I may not have commented much on it yet, but Haechi owns my whole heart right now.
I will say though, I’ve been struggling to imagine Yi Geum eventually condemning his son to die in a rice box, but with this week’s episodes something clicked. I don’t show if the show will address that event at all, but I wonder if this Yi Geum does it because he sees Yi Tan in Prince Sado. (I admit I don’t know a lot about the history behind this, but I can definitely see how a lot of terrible things could have been avoided if we’d locked Yi Tan up and actually killed him a lot sooner.)

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    I agree @mistyisles – this is my first show to watch on Mondays and Tuesdays. The growth in the Crown Prince is amazing. I too wondered about the future where he does that. What little I read said that he was crazy and violent. Is Yi Tan a real person in history and was he really that way? If so it would explain what the father did to the son later.
    Off to Wikipedia I guess.

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Oh no, I\’m conflicted. Kill It is… strange. But ep 2 went all City Hunter on me and I kinda liked it. In a cheesy way.

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Ugh. I\’ve kind of avoided looking up details about this whole mess, but today curiosity got the better of me and I read those group chat translations. I\’m sickened. I need to read/watch something now that will remind me of the goodness that exists in humanity, because I truly believe there is a lot.

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Wow, TCC. Not only did you make me lose interest in almost everyone and everything several episodes ago, but you also managed to turn my indifference into anger in the end by killing off the one character I still cared about – and in an utterly pointless way, at that. In the words of DAY6: “Congratulations, neon cham daedanhae.” (Spoilers and continued rant in comment.)

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    Officer Jang Moo-young. I don’t know exactly when he became my favorite character in this entire show, but I think it was somewhere around his Huntsman moment where he decided to save Ha Seon and disobey the king. Even when my investment in other characters waned, even when I wished I could feel sad (or at least feel something) about things like Haksan’s death but didn’t, one shot of Jang Moo-young’s tear-filled eyes was enough to bring some emotion back. He was one of the few reasons I didn’t drop the show, even.

    I wanted so much more for him. I wanted to see him learn about and grapple with the death of the real king. (Unfortunately, he, like everyone else including Ha Seon, conveniently forgot Yi Heon ever existed.) I wanted him to find meaning and purpose in dedicating his life to someone or something worthy, instead of blindly serving the crown. I just wanted him to live, darnit. Instead, he dies just so Ha Seon and the queen can have the typical dramatic separation and reunion that contributed nothing to the story. I would still have been heartbroken, but I could have accepted him dying if it at least meant something. But no.

    I’m so mad right now. I don’t know what else to say.

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      I literally almost turned it off with ten(?) minutes left in the show because they said he was dead, so what was the point of finishing? Of course Ha Seon wasn’t dead; of course they were going to reunite. Sigh. You couldn’t let Moo-young miraculously live too?

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    You are absolutely right! All that was left for me was anger! And rage! I liked the part where he decides to give up the crown – it was a it random and where did this righteous prince come from? – anyway but this separation trope the I am dead but not really trope made my blood boil! Poor Moo Young. He deserved to live

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      There were so many things in this show that I could see what they were trying for, but it didn’t make sense in the context of the first half. I might be sad about it if I weren’t so angry.

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    I never got through the first episode, so my “like” was solely for the Day6 mention!

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Ow. I mean, I knew it was coming. Haechi is a sageuk, after all. There has to be at least one emotionally wrecking episode near the beginning. It\’s the rule. But this one hit harder than expected.

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Well. Just finished MOTA. I weep for the unfulfilled potential. (And Sec Seo!) But I guess Missing Yeol 2.0 didn\’t end quite as poorly as the first one.

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Maybe I\’ve been watching too much MOTA and Doctor Who. Because now watching God\’s Quiz, I\’m starting to wonder if CODAS is actually alive…

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The extra long wait for new episodes of God’s Quiz this week had me thinking about why these two always come to mind when I’m asked about my ultimate drama OTP (continued in comment)…

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    …and I think I’ve decided it’s because they are, first and foremost, a team. They balance each other well: she’s more physically capable and street savvy and usually prefers to attack problems with her fists, while he’s more book-smart (being a genius and all) and can talk his way in and out of almost anything, but they’re pretty evenly matched in terms of compassion and determination to protect and save lives.
    And, above all, they communicate openly and honestly with each other. It seems like a lot of times in Dramaland, external conflicts create conflicts within the main relationship as well (often through Noble Idiocy), but for these two, conflicts and problems are puzzles that they sit down and talk about and solve as partners. Sure, there have been a few times when one considered going the Noble Idiot route, but the other always shuts it down immediately because 1) they talk about it and 2) they know they’re better and stronger together. Way back at the beginning of season 1, they were both very guarded individuals, but as they slowly opened up to each other it created this super strong bond of trust between them that I think is so beautiful.

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I was a little late to discover this, but woww it’s so beautiful <3

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What a day. DAY6 Youth: Part 2 AND Memories of the Alhambra episode 4. Send help. I\’m having a mental breakdown.

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What is it with VIXX guys suddenly popping up where I don’t expect them? I had no idea N was in Familiar Wife, and I forgot Hongbin was in HMSFTS, until (in both cases) I was watching the first episode and, hang on, that guy looks a lot like… (I’m sorry for being a bad Starlight!)

In other news, HMSFTS has me intrigued and very unsettled for no identifiable reason. I like it.

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Wow, Mr. Sunshine. I\’m not always one for a sad ending, but you made it quite beautiful. (But WHY couldn\’t you have been as good as you were these last few weeks during the whole 24 episodes???)

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Hi Beanies! My sister and I are going to Jeju for 3-4 days next month and need advice! What should we not miss while we\’re there?

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    Sunrise peak is a mustgo for me!
    I’ve planned a day of Udo island actually but couldnt get there cos of the weather, you might want to check it out.

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    Are you a Secret Garden fan? The SG bench is at Seogwipo and I’m so sad that I forgot to visit there when I was in Jeju but I was only there for 1.5 days unfortunately.

    I did like a tour bus thing where they take you to the Innisfree green tea field (and you can shop for green tea snacks and skincare), a nature park with caves, a beach, a waterfall mountain hike, a temple hike to see Buddha and monks, and I ended up going to Hello Kitty Island at Jeju to visit the Hello Kitty cafe cause I’m a fan of kawaii/aegyo type things.

    I wanted to do a submarine tour they had available but I had to go back to Seoul for a birthday party of a mutual friend that was living in Korea at the time. Anyway Jeju is very beautiful and whatever you end up doing, I’m sure will be wonderful!

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I’ve never used the word “banger” to describe a song before (or anything, for that matter), but if the shoe fits…

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