Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching
by DB Staff
We’ve made it to the weekend! We hope there’s some well-deserved rest and relaxation on your calendars, with plenty of time for catching up on dramas, of course. I didn’t intend to watch as many dramas as I’m currently watching, but there were new shows, and I have yet to drop anything, so I guess I’m just that crazy person watching eleventy million dramas at the moment. At least I’m in good company? –girlfriday
Currently recapping: Moonlight Drawn By Clouds
The K2: Definitely stylish and cool, and the right amount of intrigue. It’s like Jason Bourne meets Yong-pal, with action that is, if excessive, then at least diverse and exciting. Yes, the director is back with his undying love for faux sacred chorales and still doesn’t understand the meaning of the word gratuitous, but on the whole it’s a well-put-together show with a suspenseful pull. Everyone’s pretty solid so far, but it’s Song Yoon-ah who’s killing it. I’m hooked.
Fantastic: Phew, there was some necessary angst that went down, but I was grateful that it didn’t linger too long. I was nervous that Ji-soo’s hiatus would mean a slowdown for the show’s lighthearted comic side, but the drama managed around his absence and focused on building up the main relationship in a satisfying way. Now that they’re (more or less) on the same page, I just want everyone to join forces to take down that she-devil agency president. Preferably painfully, and publicly.
Cinderella and the Four Knights: I’ve just got the finale left to watch, and barring any last-minute twists, I expect the show to wrap up things with a neat, happy bow, maybe even double-knotted with hearts. I don’t think it has the complexity for anything other than that, but you know, I’ve grown fond of these characters and their simple concerns, and the feel-good, if thin-as-air, stories.
Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo: The show picked up this week, because it finally learned how to make one episode focus on one story, rather than a scattershot approach with a half-dozen threads. And we finally had the multiple characters involved in the same storyline, instead of random disparate ones, which did a lot to hold the episode together. Why was that so hard? Why did that take eleven episodes for the show to manage this? Can we dare to hope that the rest of the episodes will follow suit, or am I (hur hur) shooting for the moon?
Drinking Solo: Quite unexpectedly, this show has become one of the bright spots of my week. The show has done a skilled job at taking the various sets of characters and making them all feel part of the same world, even when they are separated into different pockets of the show that don’t often intermix. I loooove Ha Suk-jin’s stubborn denial of his attraction for Park Ha-sun, and how his excuses for helping her just get more and more convoluted. Oh, I’d love to see her get through his iron wall of pride someday.
Shopping King Louis: I was unsure I’d continue watching this show initially, but it has a goofy, simple charm that can be attributed pretty much entirely to Seo In-gook and Nam Ji-hyun. I often find myself exclaiming out loud over how stupid their characters are (they’re very nearly the literal example of “too stupid to live”), and yet, these actors make them seem earnest and lovable, rather than aggravating. It’s an oddly endearing show.
Moonlight Drawn By Clouds and Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo: So… in a nutshell, here were the confessions I heard back to back from two princes this week: If you tell me you love another man, I’ll murder him. And: I will make you a new country where a woman can live as a woman. Guess which one made me swoon. But confessions aside, Moon Lovers FINALLY stepped up its game in Episode 11 and made me feel things, so I’m hoping against hope that things stay dialed up like this for the rest of its run.
The K2: I’m excited to have some thrilling action back on my roster, though I do think The K2 could do with a little less fighting, to be honest. I’m pretty sure I’d be plenty impressed with one big action sequence per hour, but the incessant fight-fight-fight starts to make each separate fight less interesting. But hey, it’s slick, it’s fast, and it’s got blockbuster moves courtesy of badass Ji Chang-wook. I’m sold.
Cinderella and the Four Knights: Couldn’t we have let the happy couple be happy for longer than a minute before raining on their love parade? The only upside is that the conflicts on this show are so elementary that all it’ll take is for someone to clear up a few misunderstandings, and we can all be happy again. Please hurry! If you take away the frolicking puppies, there’s nothing left to like about this show!
Jealousy Incarnate: I knew it would be satisfying to watch Jo Jung-seok get his comeuppance and fall hard for Gong Hyo-jin, but it’s even better than I expected to see him stew in his own regret. He takes sad-funny to a whole new level with this character, and it’s a delight.
Shopping King Louis: What girl in her right mind would give a shopaholic access to her bank account? And what chaebol family wouldn’t have done a DNA test or autopsy if the sole heir to their fortune died in a freak accident? Why is there one mall and one company in all of Seoul? There are so, so many things that defy logic in this drama… and yet, watching Seo In-gook be ridiculously adorable is just enough to keep me hanging in there.
On the Way to the Airport: This drama’s story isn’t really in my wheelhouse, but there’s an interesting pull to its contemplative tone and the beautiful mood that it evokes. It’s surprisingly easy to watch, maybe because it’s so pretty to look at, or maybe because there’s hardly any plot to follow. In any case, whoever said this wasn’t an adultery drama was smoking crack.
Drinking Solo: I never expected this show to become one of the highlights of my drama-watching week, but it puts me in such a good mood every time I watch it. The world is realistic, and there’s humor to be found in the everyday foibles of these characters who are all just struggling to live. It hits the spot after a long day of work, just like an ice cold glass of beer.
Currently recapping: Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo
W—Two Worlds: By some feat of magic, I’ve been able to avoid all spoilers for this show’s ending, since I’d been behind a couple of weeks. I took it upon myself to catch up this week, and as of this writing, have finished Episode 15. I still don’t know how it ends, but as it stands, I still find the show wonderfully inventive and deeply romantic. The rules have gotten really muddied (do they still exist?), but points for creativity. We’ll see how that changes once I finally get to that much anticipated final episode.
Woman With a Suitcase: If I were to recommend this show to anyone, I’d tell them to skip the first episode and start with the second. Everything you need to know is explained in recap form at the beginning of Episode 2, and that’s when the real story seems to start. I was kind of disappointed that the heroine’s punishment wasn’t given more weight—she’s back at it after a year away from the world, and I’m not quite feeling her struggle yet. But Lee Joon is absolutely adorable as an inexperienced, somewhat derpy lawyer.
On the Way to the Airport: I find myself more and more intrigued with each passing episode. I’d been so ready to dismiss this drama as an extended Air Asia commercial, but it’s got a really deft directing hand and some great moments. Sure, vilifying the spouses is the easy route to take, but when the main couple is simmering with tension, it’s somewhat easier to swallow. Somewhat.
Cinderella and the Four Knights: It’s endearing in its own (special) way, but it’s almost like no one even tried to make this show anything more than what it is. It’s fine for juvenile fare, but the characters collectively don’t make a whole lot of sense, and the heroine is too easily fooled by external forces. It was fun for that middle bit, but now that we’ve hit the angsty section, it’s kind of a slog. Here’s hoping the ending makes up for it.
The K2: I’ve got way more dramas on my plate than I think I can handle (I’m still leaving out Flower in Prison and Our Gap-soon), but I couldn’t help myself from seeing Ji Chang-wook’s newest action offering. Okay, that, and I was curious if we’d see a return to form from PD Kwak Jung-hwan, who’s made some baaaaad choices over the years. Right now the drama is reminiscent of both his Chuno and Runaway: Plan B days, and it’s got plenty of potential. But man, does this writer (Yong-pal) love trapped, waif-like heroines in nightgowns. I feel like it’s becoming a problem.
Moonlight Drawn By Clouds: ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥.
Currently recapping: Drinking Solo, Shopping King Louis
Cinderella and the Four Knights: I took a break from the show after episode 6, since it felt like it was just spinning its wheels. But then I finally pushed forward again this week, and WOW, Jung Il-woo actually smiling makes all the difference. They boys seem to be paired off well, though at the point where I’m watching feelings are still flying loose all over the place, and I’m eagerly anticipating lots of cuteness to come.
Jealousy Incarnate: I’ve gotten behind on this one too, but I love seeing Hwa-shin’s jealousy over Na-ri kick in, and I suspect a lot of his jealousy is about having his best friend’s attention divided, as well. I’m impressed with Na-ri’s poise as the two friends fight over her attention, and her determination to keep a slight distance as she “tastes” whether either of these men is the right one for her. I do so love Gong Hyo-jin’s ability to choose smart, strong female characters, and Na-ri is no exception.
Moonlight Drawn By Clouds: The prince and his eunuch have me collapsed in a pile of goo, and I’m loving every minute of it. And for once, I don’t even mind the political machinations, since they seem to enhance the love story yet never overshadow it. This show keeps a perfect balance that never falters.
Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo: I’m way behind on this one too (Okay, I’m behind on everything!) but this show somehow keeps me fascinated despite its flaws. I don’t envy Su her choice between princes one tiny bit — if I had Kang Haneul and Lee Jun-ki both looking at me like that, I’d be seriously considering the possibility of polygamy.
Currently recapping: Cinderella and the Four Knights
Shopping King Louis: Ah! Trop mignon! Ça me fait toujours rire!
On the Way to the Airport: Only saw the pilot so far, and was so impressed by the beautiful cinematography! Kim Haneul is doing just enough for her role, but I’ve always felt that her range was limited. Not so limited that I’m bothered by her performance, but just never blown away or moved. I worried Lee Sang-yoon would look a little too young to be playing a father, but I was pleasantly surprised by his believable and moving portrayal of a grieving parent.
Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo: I’m relieved that Wook’s reason for not saving Su was legitimate (gee thanks lil sis) because it made his conflicted feelings and inability to protect his love that much more heartbreaking. Lucky Su and her win-win suitors though, Hot and Hotter. I can’t decide who’s who, both men are simply hot.
Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo: I know this is tanking in the ratings, but if you can get past the super-closeup shots, the plot is pretty interesting. I wish I could understand why the queen mother hates her second son So so much though. Is it only me who’s kind of freaked out by the princess’ incestuous one-sided crush on So, who is her half-brother by blood? I realize that it’s an actual marriage that happened in history, but the show normalized that relationship to the point where it seems like it’s completely okay.
Shopping King Louis: Squee! Squee! Seo In-gook does innocent chaebol man-child so well. After seeing the most recent episodes though, I miss the cute Louis-butler interactions pre-crash. The mystery is getting intense too. Were the teeth found in the crash Bok-nam’s? Are Louis’s relatives trying to kill him off? What about the rich granny’s curse — are they ever going to expound on it further?
Laurel Tree Tailors: Gah. So much talent, only half-utilized. Cha In-pyo and Ra Mi-ran are hilarious together. Who knew they’d make such a great couple. However, Choi Won-young, I want to ask, what is going on with that floppy hair? You were so good in Heirs and Kill Me, Heal Me as sleek secretary man. Why you gotta kill my fantasies like that?
Moonlight Drawn By Clouds: Real life has been kind of rough the last couple of weeks, as I’ve been both super busy and very sick, so this is the only show I’ve had a chance to watch. I must say though, there were days when our Ra-on and her swoony crown prince were the only things that brought a smile to my face (other than my 11-month-old nephew). I’m amazed that this show is consistently cuter than babies even after six weeks, while still employing storytelling with so much depth and heart that I feel a full range of emotions over the hour. Things are starting to get more serious for our adorable pair, but I have faith that the feels will stay real and satisfying until the end. (Fingers crossed!)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (September 23, 2016)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (September 17, 2016)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (September 11, 2016)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (September 3, 2016)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (August 27, 2016)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (August 20, 2016)
Tags: 1 show to rule them all, Cinderella and the Four Knights, Drinking Solo, Fantastic, Jealousy Incarnate, Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo, Moonlight Drawn By Clouds, On the Way to the Airport, Shopping King Louis, The K2, What We're Watching, Woman With a Suitcase