Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching
by DB Staff
It’s the last What We’re Watching of the year! This week was probably a trial of patience for those of you live-watching shows that got pre-empted for year-end awards ceremonies, though it was probably great if you’re a fan of year-end ceremonies. I like awards… but I always feel a little bereft when my dramas get bumped for any other kind of programming. In any case, hope your year was a good one, and see you on the other side! –javabeans
Currently recapping: Legend of the Blue Sea, The Lonely Shining Goblin
Entourage: It’s over, it’s finally over! I actually enjoyed the last episode, even though it didn’t feel like we’d really gone anywhere except a year forward, where everyone was still the same person. Where the finale felt like an improvement was in returning to a lighter tone, with a focus on the friendships, and the rest of the show would have been better if it had preserved that good-natured sensibility instead of going for Big Drama all the time, which didn’t work when the stakes were so minor. Ideally, the show would have highlighted a particularly important, eventful year for this group—but I left thinking that the next year of their lives would probably be just like the one they finished. (That’s not a Season 2 request!)
Hwarang: My dad (fan of the faithful traditional sageuk, the boringer the better) told me he was looking forward to Hwarang for the historical accuracy, and it was Christmas so I didn’t burst his bubble. I, on the other hand, am looking forward to the goofy Hwarang antics now that they’re all assembled (more or less)—although, doesn’t the drama seem more like something out of a feel-good high school football movie than a historical warrior drama? You know, the kind of story where a talented boy from the wrong side of the tracks clashes with the uppity boys on the elite prep school team, and rivalries and bromance ensue as he leads the team in winning the championship? With swords!
Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim: This couple is so cute, now that they’re on the same page and out in the open about their feelings—or, at least open with each other, since they’re attempting (badly) to hide it from everyone else. Seo Hyun-jin’s embarrassment cracked me up every time Yoo Yeon-seok blurted “I love you” to get a rise out of her, and I love that he said it both because he meant it and because he enjoyed her jittery reactions.
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: Despite only getting one episode, it was so heart-warming and satisfying that I think it’ll carry me over till next week. I loved Bok-ju being jealous for once, and Joon-hyung’s reaction to it, both the perplexed desire to make things right and the relief when he realized what was causing it. These two are gonna get such a ribbing from everyone when their relationship is outed (which can’t be long, when they’re so ineffectual at hiding their giddiness), and I’ll have my popcorn ready.
Father, I’ll Take Care of You: I’m all caught up, just in time to be really sad about it! I can cope better with the other shows pre-empting because those are dramas that are chock-full of hourlong cuteness and/or story development. But I’m watching Father, I’ll Take Care of You for only a few storylines (fine, mostly just the one), so even though I’ve mostly stopped fast-forwarding, this week feels extra sparse on material. On the upside, I do think that the characters are starting to lose some of their abrasive edges as we start their growth trajectories and work through issues. I’m curious to see how the cousins-switched-at-birth deal with the discovery, although I think they’ll handle it much better than their parents. And Kim Jae-won’s intense revenge storyline kinda sticks out like a sore thumb in this cheerful drama, but I find it so out of place that it’s hilarious. Still, Sung-joon and Dong-hee are what keeps me going.
Currently recapping: Legend of the Blue Sea, The Lonely Shining Goblin
Hwarang: I burst out laughing when Park Seo-joon took that football and ran towards the wrong goal like a fool. This show is silly, but I’m entertained and I’m connecting with the three leads, so I plan to keep watching. I wasn’t expecting for Go Ara and Park Seo-joon to be faux siblings, but the setup works okay, and the friendship with Lee Kwang-soo goes a long way in establishing the hero’s motivation for pretty much everything. I’m eager for Hwarang training to begin though, because I find it amusing that the hero might be popular against his will.
Solomon’s Perjury: For a 12-episode series, they sure did take their time in setting up the trial. I want the pace to pick up, but I’m interested in the mystery and all the morally gray characters at this school, so that’s carrying me for now. I just wish it were directed better, because imagine this story with an ominous, suspenseful directorial style!
Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim: We had frolicking puppies in love in both Romantic Doctor and Weightlifting Fairy this week, so despite getting only one episode of each, there was more than enough cheer to tide me over. I was so happy for Yoo Yeon-seok when he got to just be giddy and in love, and so proud when he showed off his fancy Teacher Kim–style surgical skills. It was a good week for grasshopper.
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: I totally melted when Nam Joo-hyuk bundled Lee Sung-kyung up in the snow and begged her to take care of herself, like his world would end if she got hurt. Kyaa. And of course the jealousy was adorable—maybe not quite as awesome as Nam Joo-hyuk being jealous of Ji-soo—but it was still pretty freaking cute. Their relationship is just so delightfully normal, but like the cutest possible version of normal you could get.
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: I don’t know why it took me so long to start this, but I finally marathoned through the available episodes — all thirteen of them — over the holidays. Like so many others, I’m officially toast when it comes to our main couple, and I kid you not, my heart started fluttering from the second episode on, when Joon-hyung started giving Bok-ju those looks. While their budding romance is one of the best things ever, I also love that the show gives its dues to the friendships between our young athletes, along with their complicated relationships with their families. It’s such a gem of a drama, I’m sad that there are only a few more episodes left.
Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim: It was pretty funny to see Dong-joo and Seo-jung flailing about in their new relationship while simultaneously trying to “hide” their status from a suspicious Ki-tae and the other staff. The lighter moments aside, my favorite part in the latest episode was In-bum’s reaction to Teacher Kim’s latest take down. All of Teacher Kim’s words were true, and In-bum hasn’t actually done anything to show us otherwise. But the way his eyes filled up with tears during that moment made me believe that deep inside, In-bum is cut from a different cloth than his father — and he knows it. I’m so ready for In-bum to break all of his allegiances to his father, and come fully to the other side.
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (December 24, 2016)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (December 17, 2016)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (December 10, 2016)
- 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)