Beanie level: Noble idiot

Radily’s Five Word Ratings (RFWR)
(Number refers to live-watching drama count)

#30 – Confession
Subjective: 4/5, Gripping even with no subtitles
Objective: 3/5, Outstanding execution but predictable story

In general, anything rated below 3/5 on the objective mark is NOT recommended by Radily for watching.

RFWR Directory

#1 – #19 -> 2018 Shows
#20 -> Memories of the Alhambra
#21 – #22 -> Clean With Passion for Now / My Strange Hero
#23 -> An Empress’s Dignity
#24 -> The Crowned Clown
#25 – #26 -> The Light in Your Eyes / Spring Must Be Coming
#27 -> Reach of Sincerity
#28 – #29 -> Kill It / That Psychometric Guy

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The Secret Life of My Secretary – how Radily would have modified the setup
(Let me know what you guys think!)

1. Modification of characters:
– Cutting out any workplace politics: out goes all 5 secretaries, 3 directors and Min Ik’s power-hungry uncle -> I rather the show spend more screen time developing the unique romance and explore how the relevance of appearances vs personality in love (the potential is there for a deeper story even if it’s just a simple romance)
– Cutting out Dae Joo, Jung Soo and the two police characters: the show’s use of an attempted murder to introduce the facial blindness screams ‘manufactured tension’ to me -> I would convert the accident to purely an accident committed by the female lead so as to give her another reason to help the male lead out hide his illness
– Cutting out Dal Hee’s sister: I smell family angst with that fake acceptance letter -> a big no from me
– I would upgrade Gal Hee’s blind oppa into second-lead status -> to be explained below
– I would also change Min Ik’s mother significantly -> to be explained below

One trouble I foresee with this modification is that there are very little characters left. I understand the narrative need for a side-story alongside the main romance, but I myself am unsure how to organically add one. So in this modification I would focus mainly on the main plot lines.

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    2. Modification of story:
    – Gal Hee’s backstory: When Gal Hee and her oppa were young, their brought them out on a road trip. During a break, Gal Hee’s oppa inadvertently wandered onto the highway. Gal Hee noticed the situation but ignored it as she didn’t think much about it. Gal Hee’s mother ran to save him but both ended being hit by a car: oppa was shielded from the impact but became blind whereas the mother died on the spot. Gal Hee was overcome with guilt and she tries her very best in the present day to accommodate her oppa, with her current goal being to teach him how to read Braille. Gal Hee was forced to mature as she took on the role of breadwinner of the family. Without any education or skills, she toiled in manual labour jobs for some time before luckily landing the position as the secretary of a young CEO Min Ik.
    – Min Ik’s backstory: As far as he could remember, Min Ik’s memories go far back as being in an orphanage. He had to learn the harsh truth that his parents dumped him from a caregiver and therefore has developed significant fears of abandonment. When he gets adopted by his mother, he tries his best to meet her approval, working hard to improve himself and eventually becoming one of the youngest CEOs in Korea. His mother is aware of his efforts to impress her and is thankful, however, in the present day she is getting old and she wishes that he start living his life for himself.
    – The accident: One day when both Min Ik and Gal Hee are out on a business trip, situations repeat dramatically as Gal Hee notices a small boy wandering across a road. When Gal Hee dashes out this time to save the boy, Min Ik becomes the one to protect her from the impact: as a result he becomes face-blind though Gal Hee and the boy escape relatively unharmed. Fearing that his adoptive mother would abandon him if she found out about his face-blindness, Min Ik implores the doctor and Gal Hee to keep this illness a secret, though Gal Hee doesn’t need much persuading given her renewed guilt at yet again causing someone else to suffer. Different from the official show, he is unable to recognise anyone, though he has remembered enough of Gal Hee’s voice over the years to be able to differentiate her.

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    – 2nd leads: the small boy was actually blind and had wondered across the road because he momentarily escaped the oversight of his caregiver. He was from an organisation run by CEO Veronica that focuses in helping blind people. After the incident, Veronica learnt about Gal Hee’s valiant saving of the small boy and visited Gal Hee’s home to thank her in person. She comes upon Gal Hee’s oppa and is surprised at how Gal Hee was able to raise a blind sibling (she sees many cases of blind kids being abandoned). Talking to her oppa, she learns that Gal Hee was trying to teach him Braille and she helps out by teaching him the basics.
    – Meanwhile, Min Ik’s mother has been going around trying to find a suitable partner for her son and comes upon Veronica’s profile. Talking to Veronica’s mother, she organises the blind date and implores Gal Hee to ask Min Ik to see her at least once. Gal Hee, feeling guilty as she communicates with Min Ik’s mother, mishears the location and sends Min Ik to the wrong place. When Veronica contacts Gal Hee and both realise the mix-up, Veronica reveals to Gal Hee that she actually isn’t interested in a blind date and wants to let both mothers believe that they aren’t interested in each other, leaving behind Gal Hee to handle matters on Min Ik’s side. Feeling desperate, Gal Hee decides to impersonate Veronica by adopting her noticeably higher speaking pitch and ensure that Min Ik isn’t interested in “Veronica” so that Veronica’s ruse could be maintained. As per k-drama style, Min Ik ends up falling for “Veronica”.
    – A minor development: the doctor treating Min Ik for his face-blindness approaches the organisation that Veronica runs asking for advice on how to help Min Ik as he has not encountered such a case before.

    (Argh I faced so much difficulty getting this post up thanks to DB’s filters)

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Comparing the ‘female lead showing some vulnerability’ moment this week, I personally feel that The Secret Life of My Secretary outdid Abyss: emotions, music, heck maybe even the acting.

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I wonder which drama came up with the idea of a character being *that* genius at appraisal (whether it be paintings or films!) first: Her Private Life or The Secret Life of My Secretary?

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Jo Jae Ryong is acting as the gruff but well meaning head cop in both A Beautiful World and The Secret Life of My Secretary: I wonder if he mixes up the mannerisms for both parts?

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Something interesting I discovered in A Beautiful World: all the \’good\’ child actors have received awards at major shows whereas all the \’bad\’ ones haven\’t! A meta that \’good\’ roles are harder?

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More instrumentals not released here as well! 🙁 One funny thought I had was that if the main leads never romanced, would Jae In still be kidnapped since the separation would not have happened at all?

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The instrumental in the 2nd half of this clip wasn’t released! 🙁 It was refreshing watching this then since the female lead provided some validation for the male lead but then the time jump happened.

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I rarely like rap but this OST was super alluring during A Beautiful World previews so I gave the full version a listen and I liked it! I live for the humming background and the raspy choruses.

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Radily’s Five Word Ratings (RFWR)
(Number refers to live-watching drama count)

#28 – Kill It / Blue Eyes
Subjective: 1/5, Watching this was a mistake
Objective: 1/5, Story development was sorely lacking

#29 – That Psychometric Guy / He Is Psychometric
Subjective: 3/5, Checked out Got7 for Jinyoung
Objective: 2/5, Pacing is this show’s downfall

RFWR Directory

#1 – #19 -> 2018 Shows
#20 -> Memories of the Alhambra
#21 – #22 -> Clean With Passion for Now / My Strange Hero
#23 -> An Empress’s Dignity
#24 -> The Crowned Clown
#25 – #26 -> The Light in Your Eyes / Spring Must Be Coming
#27 -> Reach of Sincerity

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Her Private Life – how Radily would have modified the setup
(Let me know what you guys think!)

1. Modification of characters:
– Cutting Eun Gi: doesn’t add anything to the idol aspect of the drama and is there mainly as a future obstacle to the main romance (if he uses his closeness to her family & acquaintances that’s going to be a minus for the drama), I would shift all his scenes with Deok Mi’s family to Sun Joo’s husband (I’ll explain why so later)
– Cutting Cindy: the sasaeng fan as a major character is a big no-no for the drama, it is good to highlight real-life issues (which the show hasn’t done a really good job so far anyway) but using this aspect as a means of forcing romantic tension between the main characters makes the eventual progression of the romance unnatural
– Cutting Da In: if a character is mainly there just to create some jealousy or misunderstanding scenes, it’s not good
– Cutting Director Eom: in a rom-com I see no need for an antagonist like this character, there are plenty of ways for conflict to already occur given the idol-fangirl aspect
– Cutting of Deok Mi’s father: I suspect he’s going to be the disapproving parent in the future, so no that trope is overplayed
– Cutting of Eun Gi’s mother: instead of his mother, I would introduce Sun Joo’s mother instead into the show, to be explained below
– Cutting of Shi An’s (and potentially Ryan’s) mother: no we don’t need a hidden family relation + possible trauma

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    2. Modifications to story:
    – Deok Mi’s and Sun Joo’s mothers are friends: they bonded in the past over being single mothers to their daughters. The two families used to live together in the same house, though in the present the parents live together with Sun Joo’s husband and son while the two fangirls live together in the attic.
    – Both mothers had to work hard to support their families when Deok Mi and Sun Joo were young, having little bonding time with their daughters, though they still manage to shower them with love. The daughters however find companionship in one another and become fans of Shi An after they both chance upon one of his performances on television. In the present timeline, both mothers are now retired as their daughters have grown up and are now the breadwinners.
    – Somewhat like the drama, Sun Joo married her husband out of necessity as she got pregnant with his son. While the two don’t exactly love each other with passion, they maintain an amicable relationship as both take part in raising their child, though they rarely meet each other as both are busy with work with their son being taken care by the mothers.
    – Art Gallery: instead of having the backstabbing Director Eom, let the old director be someone who is leaving the company to emigrate overseas (or any reason, this is just setup for Ryan to come into the company), maybe even have a meta cameo by Park Seo Joon as her old ‘boss’
    – Joo Hyuk (Sun Joo’s employee or the guy who always breaks the cups) has been nursing a crush on Sun Joo, unaware that she is already married with a kid, having assumed that she being a fangirl means that she wasn’t attached.
    – No one in the house is aware of the fangirl activities conducted by Deok Mi and Sun Joo.
    – Shi An is in the last few years of his idol career as he is becoming too old, before he transitions into becoming an actor, he wishes to find his very first fan that catapulted him to fame (Deok Mi) to thank her personally, though he has to do it quietly so as to not offend the other fans. The only thing that he knows about his first fan is her username and her passion for art.
    – Ryan is a painter who paints under a secret alias, and like Deok Mi and Sun Joo, lives a double life as the new director of the Art Gallery. He becomes drawn to Deok Mi due to her love of art. Unbeknownst to him, Shi An is a fan of his work and had been attempting to find him to no avail. Shi An wishes to find Ryan so that he can commission him to paint an artwork that he can gift to his first fan.

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      I like these!

      Why South Korea doesnt hire Beanies is a mystery I will never understand.

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      I really like the focus on Sun Joo and her husband in your rewrite ~ right now I can sense the tension brewing between them, but the husband has had as much screen time as clumsy part timer, so I’m not sure what to think of where they are headed with Sun Joo (I’m hoping it is to a midlife crisis where she changed careers or opens a music venue or something using all the money the show keeps saying she has, and maybe has her husband and her renew the vows after a possible separation or actual fight where they actually talk about everything…)

      Honestly, I’m not sure why, but I’m most worried about Sun Joo’s character, who is awesome and who I can foresee making really stupid decisions so the writers can show how detrimental “fangirling” is to a relationship…

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    Did you just cut all the ancillary characters? Lol!

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      For my modification, the main characters are Ryan / Deok Mi / Shi An with a side story in Sun Joo / Seung Min (Sun Joo’s husband) / Joo Hyuk. The truly ancillary characters without a significant development arc would include the two mothers, the two coworkers and of course Sun Joo’s child. I believe there is plenty of material to cover even though there a handful of major characters. Maybe if I had to add some minor characters it would be Shi An’s manager and Seung Min’s co-worker.

      Going to ramble a bit about the real drama:

      I think it would benefit a lot by focusing more on the characters above rather than the ones that I would have cut, but I can already see all the cliches and tropes in place already: Eun Gi & Da In imposing themselves on the main couple, Cindy and Director Eom imposing themselves on the professional workplace and Ryan already having those traumatic flashbacks of his mother (which will definitely be related to Shi An cause who else in the drama is after Lee Sol, putting a wrench into the friendly relationship that they are building so far). The two parents haven’t done much yet but there is the potential for them to be obstacles as well to the main romance.

      I just wish rom-coms in 2019 will be more innovative rather than giving us the same-old and counting on the main leads to deliver in the chemistry. It is still possible to include stuff like a love triangle but I think writers should at the very least come up with unique reasons for why the love triangle came to be. How many Eun Gis and Da Ins have we already seen in other dramas? Also, Cindy’s characterisations also don’t really seem solid: a sasaeng fan isn’t the type to be concerned about her own reputation, but she’s going all out to restore her pride. Her mother also seems to be obsessed with the art gallery in particular, with her money, couldn’t she just open another?

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Confession doesn’t offer any groundbreaking twists in that the big bad evil is so clearly outlined which prevents it from being a great drama, yet draws you in with purposeful and tight writing

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This A Beautiful World OST hits all the right notes as it builds up to the climax which reflects the depressing mood of the Park family so well. And yes, please watch this show if you haven’t!

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Radily’s Five Word Ratings (RFWR)
(Number refers to live-watching drama count)

#27 – Reach of Sincerity / Touch Your Heart
Subjective: 2/5, Secretary Kim was more charming
Objective: 1/5, Both leads deserved watchable writing

RFWR Directory

#1 – #19 -> 2018 Shows
#20 -> Memories of the Alhambra
#21 – #22 -> Clean With Passion for Now / My Strange Hero
#23 -> An Empress’s Dignity
#24 -> The Crowned Clown
#25 – #26 -> The Light in Your Eyes / Spring Must Be Coming

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Radily’s Five Word Ratings (RFWR)
(Number refers to live-watching drama count)

#25 – The Light in Your Eyes / Eyes Are Dazzling / Radiant
Subjective: 5/5, Hauntingly beautiful and then some
Objective: 5/5, Masterful depiction of life’s brilliance

#26 – Spring Must Be Coming / Spring Turns to Spring
Subjective: 1/5, Not my style of humour
Objective: 2/5, Unique take on body swapping

RFWR Directory

#1 – #19 -> 2018 Shows
#20 -> Memories of the Alhambra
#21 – #22 -> Clean With Passion for Now / My Strange Hero
#23 -> An Empress’s Dignity
#24 -> The Crowned Clown

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The Light in Your Eyes episode 10: OMG this whole rescue Joon Ha operation was so freaking AMAZING! I choked in full-blown laughter when at 1:13 Hye Ja repeatedly blew out the candle. ~Replay!~

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Radily’s Five Word Ratings (RFWR)
(Number refers to live-watching drama count)

#24 – The Crowned Clown / The Man Who Became King / Masquerade
Subjective: 4/5, Love for Yeo Jin Goo
Objective: 2/5, Couldn’t escape the sageuk tropes

RFWR Directory

#1 – #19 -> 2018 Shows
#20 -> Memories of the Alhambra
#21 – #22 -> Clean With Passion for Now / My Strange Hero
#23 -> An Empress’s Dignity

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From the synopsis of An Empress’s Dignity:
‘Meanwhile, [Oh Sunny] falls in love with Na Wang-Sik who is a bodyguard of the imperial family.’
Me: Say what? HAHAHA

My favourite instrumental btw!

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Radily’s Five Word Ratings (RFWR)
(Number refers to live-watching drama count)

#23 – An Empress’s Dignity / The Last Empress
Subjective: 1/5, Better drama outside the drama
Objective: 1/5, No to sensationalistic makjang writing

RFWR Directory

#1 – #19 -> 2018 Shows
#20 -> Memories of the Alhambra
#21 – #22 -> Clean With Passion for Now / My Strange Hero

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My Strange Hero should have focused on these two frenemies and their tension-filled relationship instead of the fluffy romance. The wonderful music that starts at 1:03 didn’t get released too!

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