Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching
by DB Staff
When did it become spring? It feels like I blinked and winter went away, and now some of the shows I’m watching are more than halfway through! It seems like a good time of year to start something new—a new hobby, a new life skill, a new drama? The problem is, how to choose? –girlfriday
Tomorrow With You: I’m starting to lose interest in this, and I’m not entirely sure why, because I think the show does a good job of playing up the mystery of what went wrong in the couple’s future. But my main disconnect is with So-joon, who just feels insincere to me. I don’t feel the romantic connection, which even now feels forced rather than genuine, and it makes me vaguely uncomfortable because it still feels to me like he’s leading her on (with good intentions, but still). I don’t mean leading her on strictly romantically, either; I mean in every aspect of life, where he presents a skewed image as the truth and wants her to believe the misconception, which is tinged with a mildly paternalistic sense of “I know what’s best for you.” I’m definitely still in to watch how it plays out, but my attachment is cooling.
Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: Adorable. I love the weird, comic-book-y surrealism and am hoping the show doesn’t phase it out, because it keeps the show feeling fresh and interesting. I love that this heroine is maybe not such a “good” person (she’s snippy, judgy, and a little self-absorbed) but Park Bo-young makes her an absolute hoot. That’s the magic of a great actor.
Father, I’ll Take Care of You: I find everyone’s pearl-clutching over a potential relationship between Sung-joon and Dong-hee to pretty over-the-top (and about thirty episodes late), but I’m just watching to see them making moony eyes at each other now. Also, it’s a nice flip to have little bro knowing the truth of the birth secret and big bro being in the dark, since it’s now in Sung-joon’s hands to act upon the information.
Introverted Boss: It’s like Yeon Woo-jin is the awesome guy in your friend circle who’s dating a girl nobody likes (“…Her?”), but nobody has a good concrete reason for the dislike. But since she makes him happy and isn’t technically a terrible person, you just kind of put up with her and hope it all works out for your friend.
Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People: I love the wistful moodiness that this show sometimes captures in its slower moments, which somehow enhance the poetic notion of living and suffering being all part of one big zen circle of life. I sometimes feel like the plot is going rather slowly, but I think it’s actually that I enjoy the conflicts and hurdles so much that I’m just itching for all the good stuff to happen and resolve already, and for Gil-dong to find his lost siblings and win everything. (And we’re not even halfway through! How will I make it through the whole show?)
Three Colors of Fantasy: Romance Full of Life: I tried this out for Yoon Shi-yoon, and it took a moment to get used to the lower-key vibe (I don’t watch web dramas and shorter series that often, so when I do there’s a moment of settling into the different rhythm), but it’s a cute, everyday romance depicting realistic struggles of realistic young folks desperate to land jobs, with that one fantasy element where the hero gets superhuman powers from a clinical trial a la “Flowers for Algernon.” I wasn’t wowed, but it was a light fluffy watch. I was surprised that Yoon Shi-yoon would do a project this small, but I’m always glad to see him in more things.
Newlywed Diary: Na PD’s magic is alive and well: I know it’s a reality show and there’s a good amount of setup and planning that goes into it, but Na PD shows shine in finding the natural, spontaneous details of everyday life despite the construct—it’s not “real life,” per se, given that you plucked two people and put them in a new home with cameras, but the moments still feel real. Ahn Jae-hyun is the sweet, doting husband to the quirky and free-spirited Gu Hye-sun, and you can just see him always working to match her spirits and make her happy, which is adorable. She, on the other hand, has the interesting duality of sometimes seeming like her head’s in the clouds, but also being practical and resourceful. It’s not Na PD’s most addictive show, but I find it easy and pleasant.
Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: My new favorite thing. Park Bo-young just makes everything sparkle. How does she do that? Also, I know Park Hyung-shik was always cute and kind of puppyish, but in this drama he’s hot, and weird, and I totally love it. The more outlandish the show gets the more I like it, so I hope the tone stays zany.
Introverted Boss: I feel like at this point I’m just in it to finish the series because I’ve come this far. I don’t care about the best friend or the sister, so to me, the big outing of the secret has no emotional bearing on anything and just weighs down the otherwise funny hijinks. It’s cute whenever it’s a workplace comedy about a socially awkward boss. When it’s about what happened three years ago, zzzzzzzz.
Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People: It’s so fun to see Gil-dong assemble his merry band of thieves and become their leader. I got chills when Dad saw Gil-dong with his hands behind his back, leading his gang in his spitting image. But I have to trust that Gil-dong will do things differently and not go down the same dark path—he is our hero, after all. Right?
Tomorrow With You: The romance is on better footing now, but this whole future mystery is just getting murkier and murkier, and the scraps of information collected aren’t big enough for me to feel a big pull to solve the puzzle. Plus, now that So-joon has finally figured out how to be happy in the present, I get annoyed when he keeps mucking that up to go fix stuff in the future. Stop it.
Defendant: You call that a prison? Why is it so easy to break out of??! It was very exciting to spend the week focused on the jailbreak, and every time Ji Sung tested the plan by going a little further on the escape route each night, my heart was in my throat. That was great. But come on, more stuff should’ve gone wrong! It would’ve been a great opportunity to use up some of the extension time to introduce setbacks in the escape. I mean, haven’t you seen Prison Break? This is a season’s worth of material if you want it to be!
Currently recapping: Tomorrow With You
Defendant: O Ji Sung, how I’ve missed thee. I’ve barely scratched the surface with this show, but I fully intend on catching up… eventually. Eom Ki-joon plays a fantastic villain, and I find myself thoroughly immersed in the mystery that is Jung-woo’s memories.
Voice: I’m still a bit behind having finished Episode 10 this week. It had my full attention in its first few episodes, but I find myself spacing out whenever Jang Hyuk and Baek Seung-hyun aren’t on my screen. Don’t get me wrong, I love that Kim Jae-wook finally resurfaced in dramaland by showing up in the past few episodes, but is it too much to ask him to stick around for a full drama next time around?
Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: I love this show so much, it hurts. Park “Loveshik” Hyung-shik is so pretty onscreen, and I love the ongoing misunderstandings about his character’s sexuality. Ji Soo is so wonderfully earnest, and I swear I could carry Park Bo-young around in my pocket. I’m still creeped out by the guy running around in a skin mask, but aside from those darker moments, I’m loving how adorable everyone else is.
Currently recapping: Voice
Super Family 2017: Aw, I love knowing that “dad jokes” are universal. I also love that this show can make me laugh my head off over the stupidest things (the meta jokes are my favorite, such as Hoya pretending he can’t rap and Park Hyuk-kwon watching Six Flying Dragons), yet it still manages to pack a pretty powerful emotional punch that gets me all teary-eyed when I think about my own family.
New Journey to the West: I had no idea Mino was such a talented artist! I first marveled at his skill when he drew on Ahn Jae-hyun’s shirt, but then he blew me away during the picture guessing game. I also was so proud that he managed to redeem all of past his idiom failures in one fell swoop. This whole episode felt like the guys got off kind of easy, though. While I generally like it when they win against Na PD, I also know that he’ll eventually make them pay and I’m already anticipating the evil and impossible games he’ll concoct to make sure the guys suffer.
Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: I had kinda high hopes for this one, just based on the cast and the premise. But I ended up being disappointed and confused by the first two episodes. The odd editing certainly didn’t help, although I think my main complaint is with the writing. I have a lot of quibbles, but I’m primarily puzzled by the fact that Bong-soon seems to have already violated the simple “do not use your strength for your own selfish gain” rule. Maybe the show will explain how she managed to circumvent it, but I don’t think I’ll be sticking around to find out. On the other hand, I would totally watch whatever mystery-thriller Ji-soo seems to think he’s starring in.
Currently Recapping: Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People
Introverted Boss: Mmmmmm *completely satisfied approval*. That’s the only way I can describe Yeon Woo-jin’s spectacularly expert kissing technique. I don’t know if I caught the rest of story in the episodes this week, because I can only remember those lips and those mesmerizing eyes…
Tomorrow With You: I wanted to wait until the entire series was complete to finish it all in one go, but of course the temptation of Lee Je-hoon’s perfect nose was too much for me to bear. So, I spent all of last Saturday marathoning this, and the entire time I had my pillow handy so I could squeal into it after spasming from cuteness overload. Lee Je-hoon’s character is a kind of a selfish turd at the beginning, but once he starts opening up to Shin Mina and actually begins caring for her, he becomes the most adorable boyfriend/hubbie ever. Those scenes where he thinks he’s being a great gentleman to Shin Mina by not overstepping the physical boundary while she’s nearly dying of sexual frustration—absolutely priceless. I don’t quite follow the logic of how Shin Mina’s father ended up teaching his future son-in-law about the magical subway or just the rules of time travel in general for this drama, but I think I’ll definitely stay to watch this romance bloom further.
Currently Recapping: Strong Woman Do Bong-soon
Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People: I enjoy the present timeline and Yoon Kyun-sang, but I want more baby Gil-dong!! That little munchkin stole my cold, dead heart, and I just want to make it all better for him so he never has to cry again. When he comes back in flashbacks I find myself focusing intently on the screen hoping it’s a new scene, but it isn’t; it won’t ever be. He’s grown now. He’s an amnesiac Casanova who sleeps with gisaengs on the first date, and then calls them back a month later but doesn’t leave a message. I still love Gil-dong in all forms, but sometimes I have to give the adult one the side-eye.
Defendant: See, the thing about making last-minute extensions to shows is that every second I’m watching, I keep wondering if a scene is dragging in order to accommodate for those changes. Paradoxically, that prison break sequence seemed absurdly fast. I appreciate that Jung-woo was caught on a camera he didn’t know about, because everything else about that was rather farfetched. On another note, I mean I understand that everyone in this show thinks having Ha-yeon hiding out and being on the run is technically safer while the underlings are running around in their black turtlenecks, but wasn’t she at some orphanage for months while Sung-kyu was in prison? It seems to be that Sung-kyu is a lightning rod, since that main turtleneck man apparently can find him through a psychic connection, because I have no idea how he is always so closely on his trail (or recognizes Sung-kyu’s favorite snacks?). Is Sung-kyu protecting Ha-yeon or leading the baddies to her? Also, I don’t care how many carats of gold Sung-kyu’s heart is made of—he’s still the kidnapper! He didn’t admit that he abducted Ha-yeon until Jung-woo was about to kill himself. Let us not forget.
Currently Recapping: Defendant
Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: LOVE. It’s just as cute and weird as I had hoped! Both of our leads are delightful and their interplay even more so. I’m intrigued by the conflict presented by Bong-soon’s mysterious and seemingly capricious family curse. The thriller element is darker than I had anticipated, but it’s not unexpected to have some kind of danger threatening our characters when the premise is about a girl with superpowers that she can only use to protect people. (Is it out of the realm of possibility for Bong-soon to become a superhero? Roaming the alleyways of Dobong-dong in a mask and cape, bringing bullies and murderers to their knees? Maybe that’s a different drama.) Hyung-shik is the cutest I’ve ever seen him, and I’ve been following him since his awkward stint on The Romantic & Idol, that terrible dating reality show from a few years ago, in which he completely stole my heart. And Ji-soo is beautiful of course. Also a terrible detective, but here’s hoping it’s a lesson to his team to start watching more modern procedurals during their lunch break. And next week, Bong-soon had better send that three-way wrist grab to its rightful demise. I can’t wait!
Introverted Boss: It had a very rocky start, but I’ve finally fallen in love with this show. Even Ro-woon has won me over with her earnestness and her courage to be honest with the truth and her feelings. Despite their troubled history, I can see why Hwan-ki is totally gone for her at this point, when everyone close to him for his entire life has been lying to him or to themselves about reality. No wonder he’s so emotionally constipated—it must be torture for someone as considerate as him to constantly accommodate other people’s selfish, hypocritical flights of fancy. He’s decided to solve the problem by simply taking everything on himself, and I’m glad he now has someone in his life who recognizes that and is willing to support him unconditionally. I hope that he finds the courage to stop shielding Yi-soo and Woo-il from the consequences of their actions, because they’re both terrible, entitled jerks, and they don’t deserve his sacrifices. Hwan-ki’s gushy marshmallow of a heart would be much better used to care for Ro-woon and her sweet, silent father. And to have adorable bonding moments with his team. (Also that epilogue is everything. Kim Ji-suk & Yeh Ji-won 4 lyfe.)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (February 25, 2017)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (February 18, 2017)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (February 11, 2017)
- 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)
Tags: 1 show to rule them all, Defendant, Father I'll Take Care of You, Introverted Boss, New Journey to the West, Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People, Strong Woman Do Bong-soon, Tomorrow With You, Voice, What We're Watching