Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching
by DB Staff
Happy weekend! Time for another check-in with the Dramabeans crew. Are fantasy romance dramas taking over your life too (and not just because of the ridiculous running times)? Or are your drama-watching feet firmly planted in reality? What’s it like there? Tell us how your week went, and what might become your next drama crush. –girlfriday
Currently recapping: Legend of the Blue Sea, The Lonely Shining Goblin
Entourage: I’m SO MAD at Young-bin right now. This show raises my blood pressure, which is strange since I didn’t even think I cared enough to get this mad. But when I asked for more drama, this is NOT what I meant. Who would bro-dump Jo Jin-woong?! Who would do that?!
The Man Living in Our House: Here’s a thought: If you only have enough story for twelve episodes, end it at Episode 12. For the love of mandoo, get it together and make the final week count!
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: Thank goodness for you, Weightlifting Fairy. If I could watch six of you in a week, I would. It wouldn’t even be that hard to fill the time: We could add Noraebang Hour, Uncle/Coach Soju Hour, Bunk Bed Snuggles Hour, and Bok-ju Eats Her Weight in Fishcake Skewers While Joon-hyung Grovels Hour.
Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim: Are TV doctors the worst disaster magnets in the history of ever, or what? I almost wish we had a full-scale natural disaster as the background instead of coming up with a new and violent traffic accident every week. But I love the characters and the intensity of the interactions, and I like that the show has found a way to make the younger doctors bumbling at life, but still skilled professionals you might actually entrust your life to. Maybe.
The Lonely Shining Goblin: After getting over the length of the first two episodes (which was more like a movie), I’m cautiously optimistic that I’ll love the show. The first episode was compelling, but the second episode was the winner — breaking down the mythical image of Goblin and Reaper into petty humans with superpowers. The show’s premise is a recipe for a poignant melodrama and I’m captured by the world, but I admit that I’m in it for something greater: the bromance.
Legend of the Blue Sea: Chungie is my favorite! Her deep despair over food restriction had me laughing out loud; Joon-jae’s seemingly reluctant compliance to her demands had me rolling; and then the merman cameo this week… I was done for. It’s a simple story, but there’s something so enjoyable about rediscovering our world through fresh mermaid eyes.
The Man Living in Our House: When you watch a drama but then realize once the episode’s ending that you really only paid attention for maybe five minutes, it’s a sign to part ways. This house will have one less guest to see it through until the end.
Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim: It’s a little more medical and not quite as quirky as I was hoping (then again, I did have some ridiculously high Twin Peaks-esque expectations), but I’m still enjoying watching all the characters work and learn together. While I may have started watching for Han Seok-kyu, my heart now officially belongs to the formidable Nurse Oh — may she always be the wise, practical, and sardonic soul that keeps this eccentric hospital running.
Legend of the Blue Sea: This show has become the highlight of my week, but Jo Jung-seok’s cameo the past couple of episodes has become the highlight of my month. Possibly even year. I’m pretty sure I cried some happy pink-tinted pearls whenever he was onscreen.
The Lonely Shining Goblin: When is someone going to stage an intervention with tvN and let them know that no matter how great a drama it is, there’s no reason for an episode to be longer than an hour? Okay, maybe they do have a reason, since I’m pretty sure this is an expensive show to produce, what with the Big Name salaries and fancy CGI, and you gotta cram in as many of those PPLs as you can. But I don’t have the attention span to last longer than an hour, and if they want me to keep watching, they’d better seriously learn to edit. And give me more of the bickering Goblin and Reaper. And more of my beloved Lee El. And not to question my illogical desire for more scenes but fewer minutes.
The Lonely Shining Goblin: Not gonna lie, all my hopes are pinned on this show continuing to capitalize on its fantasy premise. It’s pretty exciting to see both Gong Yoo and Lee Dong-wook together in the same show—it seems like that happens nowhere near enough in dramaland once actors reach lead status. I just love the wistful tone and magical realism of Goblin’s world, and the characters’ splashes of bright color against it. Kim Go-eun’s character might be the hardest to give dimension to, seeming intemperately, inadvisably, insouciantly candylicious… until the moment you realize it’s a thin veneer for the desperate girl inside. That’s good stuff. Also: bromance, bring me allll the bromance.
Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim: So good. This show reminds me a lot of Pride and Prejudice, but with doctors instead of prosecutors. It’s just as exciting watching the layers of the game get peeled back, but always a step ahead of what I—and Dong-joo—think the game is. I love being taken for a ride, and getting turned inside-out is always its own reward. Yet Doctor retains an ability to really bring the emotional beats in a way that doesn’t feel rushed or manipulative, even as credulity is stretched to a breaking point with all the improbable happenstance. (Poor Dong-joo can’t seem to drive a mile without coming across a dire emergency, lols.) I feel like this week, our doctors all cracked a little, one way or another, and that makes me begin to genuinely like our jagged little pills. Seo-jung especially makes you realize that trauma isn’t something a doctor can run away from, ever. The stakes are literally do or die.
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: Eeeeeeee! I love this show so much! The only dark spot in it is Shi-ho. Just as I feel sorry for her after all, she goes and does something miserably selfish and I’ve got better things to do than forgive her. Bok-ju calling her out on why Joon-hyung doesn’t like her was surgically on point. If the girl wants to drown in the river of her own self-pity, then so be it. Bok-ju, though, I adore her. The fight with her friends was so great (all her fights are so great), and I just LOVE how she tucks each one under her arm like her personal cuddle-blankets. Swaaag!
Legend of the Blue Sea: Jo Jung-seok cameo. The colliding universes of Legend and Jealousy Incarnate. The meta, oh my god, the meta. It all KILLED ME DEAD.
Currently recapping: Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: This girl is oblivious. Completely oblivious! Neon pink signs couldn’t be clearer than the I-have-a-crush-on-you gestures that Joon-young sends Bok-ju. That scene on the bunk bed when he wouldn’t let her go because he wanted to keep her in his arms? So transparent. Nevertheless, I relish her complete obliviousness because it’s going to be that much more satisfying when she realizes the extent of Joon-young’s feelings. In addition, her relationship with Nan-hee and Sun-ok is one of the sweetest depictions of friendship that I’ve seen in Dramaland. I loved that they have issues with each other, and actually fight it out because that’s what real people do. I also loved that afterwards when they made up, they engaged in some crazy karaoke antics like true best friends.
Laurel Tree Tailors: Normally I love Lee Dong-gun, but to be honest, his character is a little flat in this show. He still has all this charisma, but I wish the writing would help showcase it. Cha In-pyo and Ra Mi-ran are hilarious as always. If there were another drama/anything where these two were the main couple, I would watch the bejeezus out of that show. Also, I’m enjoying the side romance between Hyo-won and Tae-yang, despite all the weird camera zooming, because I adore the trope of a persistent rich girl pursuing the shy poor guy.
The Lonely Shining Goblin: Maybe Gong Yoo should forget about his bride, and just live with Lee Dong-wook as his partner for all of eternity.
The Lonely Shining Goblin: I lowered my expectations so hard for this, and I fell for it just as hard in the first hour. Can it be, is the version of Kim Eun-sook I used to love actually back? Time will only tell if my hopes will be crushed mercilessly. For now, I’m in love with everything about this show: Gong Yoo swinging his sword like Aragorn and rocking his long coats of immortal angst; Kim Go-eun as an old soul who still tries hard to find hope in whatever crumbs life offers her; Lee Dong-wook’s granny caps and his petty future bromance with our leading man. The writing is wonderful so far, and I’m impressed with the world-building, which feels complete in a way that’s believable but still leaves us with lots of mysteries to unravel. This director’s flair for epic drama works so much better in a story as big as this than it did in Descended From the Sun, which had these sweeping directorial flourishes for relatively minor moments. I also find the balance between humor and pathos to be pitch perfect here. You gotta love a hero who can pull off swoonworthy badassery, while being completely undone by a song about his manly goblin undies. Moar please!
Signal: I finished it. My heart is lying shattered on the floor, and I wish I could watch it all over again for the first time. Someone please tell me those rumors of a season two are real.
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: This show has utterly charmed me: I watched all eight episodes in the last couple of days. For all the cuteness and joy this drama overflows with, I wouldn’t call it fluff; it has such thoughtfully realized, almost painfully lifelike characters that it brings me right back to those growing pains we all know so well. We don’t get enough of these friends-to-lovers stories, and I’m so glad that in this case our OTP is made up of such a delightful, awesome pair. In a drama landscape where we so often get shouty, aggressive male leads that bulldoze their way into a heroine’s affections, Joon-hyung’s admiration and affection for Bok-ju, just the way she is, is such a breath of fresh air. If their progression from frenemies to real friends was this satisfying, how will I contain my squeeing once they actually fall in love?
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (December 3, 2016)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (November 26, 2016)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (November 19, 2016)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (November 12, 2016)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (November 5, 2016)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (October 29, 2016)
Tags: 1 show to rule them all, Entourage, Legend of the Blue Sea, Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim, Signal, The Lonely Shining Goblin, The Man Living in Our House, Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju, What We're Watching