Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching
by DB Staff
How was your week in drama-watching? Are you hooked on shows or dropping them like flies, or are you clinging in through the bitter end out of loyalty? Are you surprised by what you’ve stuck with, or have you known all along which you’d stick through to the finish line? As for me, I find that no matter how many dramas I watch, there are still surprises to be had and expectations to be overturned… —javabeans
Currently recapping: Moonlight Drawn By Clouds
The K2: The Yoon-ah loveline feels like it’s been manufactured to grab our interest, but so far it’s a little too predictable to get fully invested in; I expect that I’ll get pulled in eventually, but right now it’s Ji Chang-wook and Song Yoon-ah’s scenes that have unexpectedly gripped me. I don’t necessarily want a romantic connection, but their relationship is complex and interesting, and their chemistry intense. I’m not sure the talking supercomputer was totally necessary, though, and I dearly wish they’d kick J4 off a cliff; talk about aggressively irritating.
Fantastic: I haaaated the memory loss interlude even if they explained it away with science (ish), because come on, what this terminal cancer drama needed was an extra dose of amnesia, right? But I outright cheered when Park Shi-yeon went on her wine-smashing rant, and loved that our good guys found a way to wriggle out of Evil Agent’s clutches using their smarts. Okay, really only one of them has any smarts, but this is why a Scooby Gang is better than a Lone Ranger, right?
Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo: I’ve started really enjoying the experience of watching the show: Half of the appeal is in the squee-worthy Lee Jun-ki and IU developments, and the other half of the appeal is in laughing at how ridiculous the rest of the plot (and the acting, and the terrible rat-Jesus wig) is. I can’t believe it took Su so many episodes to see the So appeal and finally take a step in his direction, but on the upside, I did watch that kiss a whole bunch of times. Also: Everybody in this show has the most perfectly groomed eyebrows. They’re mesmerizing.
Drinking Solo: I love every single character in this show. Everybody feels fully fleshed out and interesting, like they’re all busy being the heroes in their own lives, rather than fulfilling “funny side character” quotas. Key is hilarious, Gong Myung is adorable, and the teachers are poignant and sweet. Last week I was dying to see Ha Suk-jin miserable as he tried to win over Park Ha-sun, but I have to say, I was impressed with the way he handled himself and found my vindictive spirits readily neutralized at his mature, reasonable, and non-aggressive reactions. I still want him to work to prove himself, but when he recognized that he needed to change, I came around to rooting for him.
Shopping King Louis: I don’t know if anybody could have done this role but Seo In-gook; he makes the character lovable and winsome even as I recognize that he’s a trouble magnet and often useless. Same goes for Nam Ji-hyun (as irreplaceable, that is, not useless), because she is so naive and bumpkinish, but endearing in a way that few actors can pull off. I died laughing at the cohabitation absurdities, and at Yoon Sang-hyun’s increasingly outrageous fashion choices.
1% of Anything: I suspect I’ll feel freer to get invested in the romance as soon as Drinking Solo ends, because right now my fandom loyalty goes to Ha Suk-jin with Park Ha-sun. That said, I find this drama light and breezy; the plot doesn’t move very quickly and the story is simple, but it’s good-natured and the couple has a very cute bantering dynamic.
Jealousy Incarnate: I’m loving Jealousy Incarnate lately. The characters are having a terrible time, but the show could not be funnier, and I really enjoy the tonal dissonance where we get to laugh at their pain. That’s not as mean as it sounds, I swear! There’s just a lot of comedy to be had in this messy, petty, warped triangle, and I’m having the best time watching these three lunatics figure out love.
On the Way to the Airport: The buildup to the romance was something else, but I think I started to fall out of step with the characters this week, when they wanted everything to stay the same once the affair had begun in earnest. I thought we were building towards a massive shift in these people’s lives, and though I still expect this to be the case in the long run, I was sitting there going, “Wait, so… you just want to cheat and stay married? Huh?”
Shopping King Louis: I find comfort in the fact that the villains are just as dumb as the good guys on this show, so they happen to end up on an even playing field despite the odds. There’s so much that doesn’t make sense for me when I’m watching this, but then Louis goes and says exactly what he’s feeling in the most honest, childlike, unaffected way possible, and I stop caring about anything else.
Drinking Solo: So, I admit to wanting Ha Suk-jin to stew a little longer in the mess he made, but I appreciated the redemption arc that didn’t suddenly give him a lobotomy, and showed small changes all within character. But what I love most is the students’ unrequited love train, where everybody’s in love with someone who’s in love with someone else, and twisting my heart in the best way.
Three Meals a Day: Fishing Village: I think I’m going to like this new season. Seo-jinnie is as grumpy on water as he is on land, Eric is surprisingly good at a lot of things, and Yoon Kyun-sang is useless but utterly adorable. My favorite thing so far is the way Kyun-sang looks at Eric like he’s some kind of genius, oh and the fact that he brought his two kitties along on the trip.
Moonlight Drawn By Clouds: I was frustrated by the fact that our couple had spent so much time building up all of this trust and us-against-the-world solidarity, only to have the heroine pull the go-to noble idiot card in time-honored drama tradition. Still, my hope is alive that the show will pull it together in the final week. Happy or sad, please don’t whimper off into the sunset!
Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo: The time-skips are so counterproductive on this show. I guess their intention is to make it seem like we’ve watched these characters grow up, but mostly it makes me wonder why the hell nothing ever changes, and why the characters are so utterly inept. I’ve given up wanting anyone to be with anyone anymore. I just want Lee Jun-ki to kill everyone and become king. The end.
Currently recapping: Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo
W—Two Worlds: I finished it. Then I read the interview with the writer for answers. I’m not sure what I feel, but it’s something like relief that it’s over. Which is strange, because I enjoyed most of it.
Woman With a Suitcase: I wouldn’t have expected it when I first started out with this show, but it’s actually really funny. What at first seemed like a show that would only have the obligatory slapstick comedy moments turned into one with tons of heart and some gut-busting situational comedy. I mean, the guy’s name sounds like Hamburger, for crying out loud!
On the Way to the Airport: The tension! The simmering, simmering tension of it all. There’s just something about forbidden relationships that makes them come to life on screen naturally—if you pair that with two actors with amazing chemistry, then I’m sold. Kim Haneul and Lee Sang-yoon are sizzling on screen, and know how to make the most out of a phone call, a touch of the hand, a single word. The directing is also just stellar from week to week. Love, love, love.
The K2: I’m still trying to figure out whether this is another Runaway: Plan B situation, and if so, whether it’s better or worse. I think the writing could really be much stronger, and am still scratching my head over it taking six episodes to give Yoon-ah something to do. The mystery surrounding her doesn’t seem like much of a mystery at all, and I find myself frustrated with the conspiracy regarding the chief baddie of the show and Je-ha’s past, which I’m convinced we’ll never stop seeing in flashback form in every episode until there simply are no more.
Moonlight Drawn By Clouds: I haven’t quite felt the lull most people seem to be experiencing this past week, but it may just be because I love the show and its characters too much. Sure, the angst was a bit of a downer, and I still think that they’re finding ways to subvert our usual expectations for this stage of the relationship/show. I’m kind of sad it’s almost over, but am so very thankful that they didn’t force an extension on us.
1% of Anything: Utterly delightful. It’s old-fashioned, but it has its own sort of fresh appeal, unlike the old-fashioned drama we got with Cinderella and the Four Knights. This one feels like it’s trying, and has a zippy pace with plenty of laughs. And at the length (thirty or forty minutes an episode), it’s an easy watch.
Shopping King Louis: I was stuck on the first episode for about two weeks, and when I finally got around to Louis and Bok-shil’s first meeting, I could finally see what everyone was raving about. This couple – oh my gosh, this couple – is so freaking cute I can’t stand it. Like a nice cup of hot chocolate, they fill me up with so much warmth and sweetness. So, needless to say, I was dreading the time when second lead Joong-won would inevitably try to tear the two apart out of jealousy. I draw the line with anyone who’d want to separate this precious couple. But something about Joong-won just makes the show even funnier. His antics remind me of the not-so-subtle dads that freak out whenever they see their daughter smiling with a boy.
Fantastic: I’m a few episodes behind thanks to my Louis marathoning, but I’m still smitten with this show and all its swoontastic men (minus Sul’s jerk-face husband of course). Now that Ji-soo’s back in the picture, I can breathe a sigh of relief 1. To see that puppy is okay, and 2. To see his character push Sul in the right direction. A few small gestures of kindness sure go a long way.
Moonlight Drawn By Clouds: Bromance, whyyyy? Don’t leave me now!
Moonlight Drawn By Clouds: While this week’s episodes lacked the emotional punch of previous weeks, I was more forgiving of the focus on plot development, perhaps because 1) the show has already built up so much goodwill with me and 2) as a newcomer to sageuk (okay, sageuk-lite) the storyline felt natural instead of tired. I’m looking forward to finale week and regardless of how it ends, I’ll look back fondly upon Moonlight and will be grateful to the show for having satiated me on so many levels.
Jealousy Incarnate: Last week’s helicopter heroism made me swoon, but I found myself scratching my head at the out-of-character developments towards the end. In this week’s episodes, more strange behavior was on display, seemingly to elicit laughter at the expense of authenticity. Lee Seon-kyun’s voice cameo (and Pasta throwback) was cute, but added nothing to the story. It seems we’re headed for an even more unrealistic detour over the next few weeks, but I hope the antics don’t go on so long that they take away from the sweet, funny show it started out as.
The K2: Sadly, I think I have to drop this and go my Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo route — which is to keep up with the shows through gummimochi and HeadsNo2’s excellent recaps, because I’m deriving far more enjoyment from their summaries and commentary than I am from actually tuning in each week. Song Yoon-ah is stellar, but she alone can’t compensate for the extraneous action scenes/car chases/explosions and verbose political speeches. The jarring choir music was getting to me, but it’s the objectification of Ji Chang-wook and the undue physicality that’s being demanded of him in this role that’s causing me to pull the plug. Healer-ya, you deserve better.
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (October 8 , 2016)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (October 1, 2016)
- 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)
Tags: 1 show to rule them all, 1% of Anything, 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