Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching
by DB Staff
We’re winding down with a number of shows these days, which means we’ll soon be greeted with an influx of new titles. (The cycle, it never ends, it just goes on and on and onnnnn….) Are you glad to be sending off the ending shows, or sad to say goodbye? Or maybe one of those helps with the other — it’s the dramaland circle of life. –javabeans
Currently recapping: Legend of the Blue Sea, The Lonely Shining Goblin
Hwarang: I know I should have more to say about this show and its cute story and its amusingly warring flower boys and its sweet budding romance… but mostly, I’m distracted by everybody’s strong, perfect eyebrows (they’re so bold!). That, and that recurring OST song that gives me My Girl flashbacks every episode.
Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim: The conflict between Dong-joo and Teacher Kim was nicely played, because I was right there with Dong-joo in wanting so badly to be angry with Teacher Kim and yet finding it impossible to commit to that feeling, knowing that rationally he couldn’t blame him for his father’s death. And despite the fact that Dong-joo has been at times selfish and immature, I find his growth trajectory really satisfying, seeing how far he’s come since the beginning.
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: A sweet ending to a sweet show, which I don’t think misstepped at any point — that isn’t to say it was perfect, necessarily, but it was consistent and true to itself the whole way through, and I found it delightful to the last. The cast really captured the feeling of being young and unsure and full of hope, and made me wish I would have handled youthful dilemmas with as much warmth and maturity. Not that I’d go back and relive that for anything, though!
Father, I’ll Take Care of You: I was so gratified when Sung-joon finally took a clear, hard stance with Psycho Mi-joo, because while I appreciate that he’s a nice guy caught in a difficult situation, it frustrated me that he’d been passive for so long and let her twist her hopes into actual delusions of coercing him to marrying her. (Side note: How trippy is it to think she was once the sweet-faced Soon-yi we desperately wanted Gaksital to save from a comfort woman’s fate?) I’m hoping this paves the way for more openness and sweet exchanges with Dong-hee, now that he’s quit and no longer beholden to Mi-joo. Meanwhile, I still find Kim Jae-won a little absurdly out of place with his dark revenge, but I’m warming to his loveline with Lee Soo-kyung and looking forward to his plan to use her backfiring on his heart.
Currently recapping: Legend of the Blue Sea, The Lonely Shining Goblin
Hwarang: Something happened around last week or so—I went from always reaching for Romantic Doctor first on Mondays and Tuesdays, to reaching for Hwarang first. There’s just something light and refreshing about this show that doesn’t take itself too seriously, but still delivers an earnest coming-of-age story with all of the satisfying beats and none of the frustrating ones. Now that the reluctant roommates are starting to form their core group (sneaking out together is totally the first step to BFF-hood!) AND the romance is going places, I find myself looking forward to this show every week.
Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim: I’m disappointed that this hospital turned out to be relatively normal, and that the overall narrative concerning hospital politics was pretty standard stuff too. But I still do love this show’s execution in making the daily workings of the hospital very dramatic, and I’ve become so invested in the characters that every tiny bit of personal development feels like a momentous achievement. Which is maybe a result of starting off the show with such flawed people that now we’re like He apologized! For a thing he did wrong! Look at how he’s grown!
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: What a perfect little ode to youth Weightlifting Fairy was. It felt very much like a personal love letter from the writer to her younger self, and I appreciated so much that Bok-ju was such an attainable ideal for a real girl in the real world—someone who didn’t necessarily fit the mold, who felt awkward in her own skin at times, but was brave enough to figure out life on her own terms and love herself for who she was, in spite of her insecurities. To see a heroine like that succeed in life and be loved so completely for being nothing but herself is the definition of a feel-good healing drama.
Currently recapping: Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim
Legend of the Blue Sea: I left this drama for a while because I couldn’t carry on after Jo Jung-seok the Merman died. However, javabeans and girlfriday’s recaps depicting the playful banter between Heo Joon-jae and Chung drew me back. Normally, these are exactly the types of rom-com scenes I squeal over, from cuteness overload. Overall, I think Jeon Ji-hyun and Lee Min-ho are giving respectably good performances, and I enjoy their interactions together. There’s just 1% missing in their chemistry that’s keeping me from falling fully head-over-heels in love with their relationship. Also, I am so glad that Wednesday’s episode happened – because before this week, I thought that sweet naive Chung’s actions were usually reactions to Joon-jae and the people around her. But by using her mermaid gifts to take away Sung Dong-il’s memories, she now seems like an active participant in shaping her own destiny.
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: I’m going to miss Bok-ju and Joon-young’s sincere truthful relationship. We almost never get this level of raw honesty between couples in Dramaland. Even the whole jealousy arc in the finale concluded with a great apology from Bok-ju. If only more characters in k-dramas could be this genuine, half the makjangs would be solved in the first episode. Please get married, and then go on Na PD’s Newlywed Diary. If that happens, I promise I’ll watch every episode, pinky swear.
Laurel Tree Tailors: Le sigh~ I know their relationship is supposed to be a bit unbalanced, but Tae-yang could definitely make some more effort! They sort of remind me of this old drama starring Jang Na-ra and Ryu Shi-won, called Wedding. Like Tae-yang, Ryu Shi-won played a poor, but upstanding goodie two-shoes, and the bubbly princess Jang Na-ra, like Hyo-won, became enamored of him at first sight. One of the most satisfying arcs of that drama was when Ryu Shi-won learned to compromise his stubborn pride and rigid principles which were initially causing hurt, by not accepting the heartfelt actions of those around him, including Jang Na-ra and her parents.
However, in Laurel Tree Tailors, it seems like Tae-yang is doing all the taking (emotionally) without compromising any of his goals or his pride. Even though she never seemed too invested in the company, Hyo-won quit her job for him, she accepted his past (with her future sister-in-law) without a word of complaint, and she’s always the first one to make declarations of love or ask for physical affection. At the beginning, I could understand Tae-yang because he didn’t like her yet. Now that they’ve officially started dating, I feel like something should have changed, but it hasn’t!! Hyo-won still dangles after Tae-yang like a puppy, and he just accepts her love like an absent-minded master. 🙁
Hwarang: So I wasn’t a huge fan of Park Hyung-sik (especially after High Society) before this drama, but now every time he’s on screen, I get excited. Maybe it’s his character, or maybe it’s him. I don’t know, but there’s something quite appealing about the hidden king. (Side note: I can’t wait until he’s the main lead in Strong Woman Do Bong-soon so he can finally get the girl.) The other storyline that I’ve been enjoying is the start of the Romeo-Juliet romance between Ban-ryu and Su-ho’s sister. When she grabbed his bottom by mistake, I will admit guffaws that were loud enough to be heard on the neighborhood streets, came from my room.
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju: This drama is basically the fluffiest, lightest, sweetest piece of cotton candy in existence. Bok-ju was just so adorable – from her tendency to waddle, to her pouty-faces, to her awkward attempts to get her crush to notice her… she was just so relatable that you couldn’t help but want the best for her. Joon-hyung, on the other hand, is the perfect boyfriend that everyone wants – I don’t even know how many times I squealed just watching him interact with Bok-ju. They had a very ordinary relationship, but the spot-on combination of humor, friendship, and romance made this an unforgettable drama.
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (January 7, 2017)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (December 31, 2016)
- 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)