Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching
by DB Staff
Happy weekend, everyone! Team Dramabeans is busily planning for our 10-year anniversary bash, so I made sure to squeeze my drama-watching in early this week. I had to make time for Tomorrow With You though! It’s always nice to be excited by something new, so I’m crossing my fingers for this one. —girlfriday
Tomorrow With You: I enjoyed that the show’s structure started us off right there in that mystery with Lee Je-hoon, of wondering how on earth this relationship ever happened. It’s a clever conceit, to start at zero and skip ahead to sixty, stoking our curiosity as to what exactly happened there in the middle. Shin Mina has been having awesome chemistry with her co-stars in all her recent dramas, and I’m looking forward to watching this romance unfold.
Father, I’ll Take Care of You: After all those weeks of just kind of orbiting each other without interacting much, I much prefer Dong-hee and Sung-joon to be fighting and yelling at each other, because suddenly they seem awake again. I totally wasn’t expecting that twist with the brother reveal, which I’m glad about because it raises all sorts of interesting questions that I hadn’t expected to be asking, like how Hyun-woo is going to approach his revenge now — he started off hell-bent on destruction, then grew conflicted, then was so frustrated he was on the verge of quitting, and then came back to save the day… only to realize that his motivation may no longer be an appropriate motivation if his brother isn’t who he thought he was all along.
Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People: I’ve been feeling conflicted over enjoying the backstory and feeling engrossed in Dad’s trajectory and dyyyyying to see Yoon Kyun-sang onscreen, already. Thankfully my wish has been granted and now I won’t have to feel divided anymore. Can’t wait to see Hong Gil-dong take center stage!
Introverted Boss: I’m not sure how much the reworked Episode 5 did to help the show, because while I’d been curious about unni’s backstory, it was strange to ignore the present-day stories for a whole episode. The problem for me is that even though the heroine is making her turnaround and starting to see the hero for who he really is (while everybody else still remains blind to it), and that works on paper, I feel nothing for the character. Honestly, if the show wrote Ro-woon out of the show and carried on with the boss and his quirky staff, I don’t think we’d be missing much, especially since Boss’s growth story is so rich. Yeon Woo-jin is amazing, and makes me think of a male Seo Hyun-jin. Damn, now I want to see Yeon Woo-jin and Seo Hyun-jin in a drama together.
Tomorrow With You: I love the look of this show, and the easy chemistry between the leads. The funny misunderstandings between them are such a fresh source of comedy. How can they have so many conversations where they misread each other so completely? The fact that he’s SO skeptical that he’d marry a woman like her but is always running to her side at a moment’s notice already has me invested in the romance.
Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People: If Kim Sang-joong kicked off every drama, I’d be addicted to all of them and run out of hours to sleep. I was so engrossed in Dad’s transformation from a powerless slave to the fearless leader of a band of thieves that I didn’t want the childhood portion to end. But then that glimpse of Yoon Kyun-sang at the very end changed my mind about that very quickly. I can’t wait for grown-up Hong Gil-dong!
Introverted Boss: I see that they tried really hard to explain the backstory and make everyone more sympathetic with the rewrite. But learning more about the sister didn’t actually change how I felt about the heroine, so I was confused about why we spent an hour in flashbacks only to end up in the same exact place where the previous episode had ended. It made me grumpy and I didn’t want to watch Episode 6 after that. I probably will. Maybe later.
Hwarang: I don’t like how they keep using Go Ara as plot-hostage, moving her from one trap to another just to motivate Park Seo-joon to do whatever the story needs. It’s just overly simplistic (and reduces their romance to hero-and-damsel) when there could be so much more complexity to the hero’s motivations, the bromance, and the fake king protecting the real king. I actually enjoy the show when I’m watching it. I just want it to be MORE.
Currently recapping: Voice
Scene Stealer: I’ve been in a bit of a drama slump lately, so this SBS variety-meets-drama show was the perfect thing to keep me entertained without requiring much commitment. The first couple of episodes were a little rough until everyone found their footing, but overall the show gave me lots of laughs (and some tears) as these actors and comedians impressed me with their improv skills. Lee Kyu-han was my favorite due to his fearlessness in throwing his whole body into his role (whether he wanted to or not!), although my favorite guest was Shim Hyung-tak with his struggle to pretend he’s not obsessed with Doraemon. I was sad when it ended at only eight episodes, so I’m hoping that they’ll bring it back for another season (or more!).
New Journey to the West: As a fan of 1N2D since the beginning (and which I still watch!), I’ve appreciated this show because it meant the old crew was back together, but I didn’t love it as much as I felt I ought to. Somehow, though, I’ve become totally hooked on the current season and am impatiently waiting for the next episode. Perhaps it’s because there’s a fun balance of characters (I was wary of Kyuhyun and Mino’s addition at first, especially since it took me a while to warm up to Ahn Jae-hyun, but now I can’t imagine it without them), but really it’s because the games seem more ridiculous and ruthless than ever. The more embarrassing outfits (and wigs!), the better!
Currently recapping: Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People
Introverted Boss: I normally don’t jump into a drama mid-season, but I was intrigued after hearing the news that the production team boldly announced they’d be taking a week off to regroup and rewrite. So I have no knowledge of what happened in episodes 1-4, but I just assumed since they said they’d be going in a completely different direction that episode 5 might be a good place to start. I absolutely love Yeon Woo-jin’s character, perhaps even more so than his in Marriage Not Dating, although his romance/chemistry with the heroine is not as palpable. Also, I was confused as to who the lead female was because it seemed like Han Chae-ah got more screen time than Park Hye-soo. Can we also talk about the music? Personally, I thought some of the sound overlays were slightly jarring because it seemed like they were trying to force me to feel a certain way about a scene, even though I wasn’t getting those emotions from the screen. The disconnect between was off-putting, and I’m pretty sure one of the songs was a recycled one from one of the PD’s other dramas because it sounds so familiar. My grousing may just be me suffering because of my own raised expectations for this drama – I wanted it to be good because of all the quirky interesting promos that lead up to it, that when it’s not like advertised, I get disappointed.
Currently recapping: Defendant
Introverted Boss: Last week’s hiatus gave me a chance to catch up (and gnash my teeth at Ro-woon), so I’d be ready to satisfy my curiosity about how exactly they’d change the direction of the show. The good news is that it’s hard to tell what’s different — this week’s episodes fit seamlessly with the earlier ones, and I appreciated all the new information we got about what happened three years ago. It was a nice change from Ro-woon’s constant vows to exact revenge and Hwan-ki’s guilt and self-loathing, while also providing us with more context for those attitudes. It was both wonderful and heartbreaking to see a happier, more comfortable Hwan-ki and his lovely friendship with Ji-hye, because of course I knew that end was coming. And it was harder to watch than I’d imagined. At first I only saw Ji-hye’s night with Woo-il as an ill-advised one-night stand, but as I sit with episode five and think more about their interactions up to that point, and the way he constantly pressured and coerced her into things, I’m starting to think she did not consent to that encounter. What a scumbag. And how much more infuriating that Woo-il manipulated Hwan-ki into taking the fall for him — especially since the poor guy doesn’t even know what really happened, and is under the mistaken impression that Ji-hye liked that snake when she only had eyes for Hwan-ki. Ah, my heart. On the positive side, Ro-woon and Hwan-ki had some cute interactions at the office MT, even some genuinely funny ones. I’m hoping that Ro-woon soon wakes up to Woo-il’s true nature, and gets away from his slimy, grasping hands. I’d love it if she’d discover her sister’s drawing in his office, because she’s the only one who knows its true meaning, and I think she’ll be the key to exposing what really happened that night.
Chief Kim: After only two episodes, I’m impressed by how well this show balances wacky hijinks with more poignant, realistic beats. I love that we get Namgoong Min on his most entertaining setting, but I also really like how the show approaches corporate machinations. We’ve all seen countless dramas where corrupt CEOs and their minions are screwing the little guy, but usually it just becomes a yawningly repetitive power game between those villains and whatever righteous official is trying to catch them. Here, we not only have a protagonist who is a criminal, he’s actually brought in by the bad guys to clean up their mess. And the most refreshing part of it all is that we get to see the little guys who are getting the short end of the stick, and enter the story from their point of view. I really felt for Nam Sang-mi’s character when she complained to her superior that she just can’t deal anymore with the kind of dirty manipulation of numbers being forced on them by their bosses. I’m interested to see how Chief Kim will shake up this dynamic.
Answer Me 1988: I finally started this show a few days ago, well-armed with my foreknowledge of who gets the girl, and I’m watching it with my mother and grandmother. (We were going to watch Dear My Friends together, but weren’t ready to cry that many tears yet. Baby steps.) So far we’re only one and a half episodes in, because dang those things are long, but we’re loving it. I am totally okay with watching this for the parents; frankly they’re way more interesting than the kids. Deok-sun and her friends are cute, but it’s their relationships with each of their parents that really gets me in the gut, and I also just want to hang out with these ajummas for the foreseeable future.
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (February 4, 2017)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (January 28, 2017)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (January 21, 2017)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (January 14, 2017)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (January 7, 2017)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (December 31, 2016)