Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching
by DB Staff
It’s the weekend, which means it’s time to check back in to see what we’re all watching. I’ve been busy catching up on everything, and right now it feels like I’m at the point where I’m finishing a lot of dinners just to clean the plates, which at least brings with it a certain sense of satisfaction. What’s the show that’s been keeping you coming back for more? –javabeans
Tomorrow With You: For me, this drama is much more effective as a mystery thriller than it is as a romance. I’ve given up on buying into the love connection (for whatever reason, it doesn’t ring true for me), but I am feeling more responsive to the suspense thriller, and wish they’d condensed Episodes 3 through 9 into half their time so we got to the murder faster, and to the Final Destination-esque pull of a fate that won’t be thwarted.
Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: I’m really loving the zaniness of this show. It’s not the kind of drama I watch for emotional resonance or relatability—it’s screwball and stylized and strange, kind of like a Wes Anderson movie with a K-drama-fied bent. And I love how much Park Hyung-shik is into the heroine; I don’t exactly know why, but it’s part of its charm, because he is maybe the only person on the planet who would be that into this girl.
You’re Too Much: I’m not sure yet whether I’m in this to the end, but the first two episodes were pretty fast-paced and breezy for a weekend show. I was really warming up to the unconventional friendship between Uhm Jung-hwa and Gu Hye-sun and thought it could really make for a feel-good, woman-positive show… and then Episode 2 ended and I went, “Oh, so that’s where we’re going, huh?” On the one hand, Uhm Jung-hwa is the lead character so I suppose we can’t hate her too much, but I’m very curious to know how she and Gu Hye-sun will continue from now. Rivals? Frenemies? Estranged BFFs?
Father, I’ll Take Care of You: Interestingly, I like it better that sweet, benevolent Dad is being shown in a negative light now, just as the blinders come off the maknae son’s eyes. I don’t like that Dad’s kind of a jackass now, necessarily, but it does make me feel more for the estranged brothers and the conflicted revenge-and-reconciliation plotline that’s developing. I still don’t really care about the lost chaebol girl storyline, so if Dong-hee’s going to be some rediscovered princess, I just want to get there already. Enough dancing around it!
Introverted Boss: Jang Hee-jin’s straight-talking side character is a breath of fresh air, and I like the weird friendship springing up between her and Ro-woon—I wish we’d had more of their odd rivalry earlier, because it’s quirky and funny when the rest of the show is kind of bland. As for the emotionally damaged sister and the friend and the suicide mystery, eh, well I’m glad we finally got past that point, even if it did take most of the show to get here. I’m hoping next week’s shows will just be happy filler ending stuff, because even if it’s filler, it’s more pleasant than the annoying angst.
Three Color Fantasy: Queen of the Ring: This one’s all Kim Seul-gi, all the way. I actually don’t know quite how I feel about this premise—where the heroine comes from a long line of ugly women who trick their beautiful husbands into marrying them by bewitching them with a ring that makes the man think his wife is beautiful—because it seems partly funny, and partly offensive somehow. And Ahn Hyo-sub was enough of a dick to Seul-gi when he thought she was ugly that I’m not sure I can come around to him falling for her (I’m rooting for her law school bestie, honestly). But it’s an interesting conflict and my inability to see an ending that I’d be perfectly content with has me curious to keep watching to see how the show solves its problem. (I just hope it figures that out successfully!)
Newlywed Diary: Jae-hyun is such a cutely romantic husband—it’s evident that he’s primarily driven by the desire to make his wife happy. I’m sure he’s got his shortcomings (and I think the finale, which I’ve yet to watch, will be showing some of them) but mostly, I come out of this show thinking they’re a well-matched pair that I hope stay happy for a long, long time. As for specific moments: That trip to visit Hye-sun’s parents’ house in the countryside was entertainingly awkward, with Jae-hyun struggling to converse with his taciturn in-laws and Hye-sun dying laughing from a distance. I mean, I felt his pain! It was just also funny!
Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: I rarely watch clips days after I’ve seen an episode unless it has a funny outtake or something, but with this show, I find myself rewatching the funny parts over and over. It’s just so quirky and hilarious. That Bodyguard princess-carry had me in stitches.
Defendant: I was going to flip a table if they lost the daughter one more time, so I think they knew to wrap up that storyline just in time, and with a very satisfying family reunion at that. That little girl could pull tears from a stone.
Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People: I kind of missed the caper element of the show this week, but I do really appreciate the way it integrates history into the narrative without being too dry. It was pretty savvy of Gil-dong to use the king’s paranoia and insecurity against him, and a strong rivalry is starting to form as we see both men gain a little more power.
Tomorrow With You: It took WAY too long for Ma-rin to find out that she’s a time traveler’s wife, but it’s a refreshing change in their relationship dynamic, since before I always felt weird about all the secrets So-joon was keeping from her. Also, he should really listen to his wife more often, because his ideas for how to fix the future are always terribly wrong.
Introverted Boss: I’m so bored by the sister, and this past week it was aaaaalllll about the sister and the past trauma. Basically, I got a lot of cleaning done during this week’s episodes.
Currently recapping: Voice
Super Family 2017: I love that this show rewards us self-declared addicts with all those cute little drama “easter eggs” (this week’s episodes brought to you by Something Happened in Bali). I’m still giggling over the old-school confession set to the Lovers in Paris OST as Chun-il grabs his Candy-like brother (by the wrist, of course!) and runs away with him. Yet, even with all the absurd humor, the show remains painfully relatable in all the best ways, although I die a little inside when I think about how Chun-il was so eager to stage a “Happy Menstruation Day” celebration for Ik-hee. Apparently cringeworthy dad moments are also universal. On a more shallow note, I’m pleased that my beloved Hoya finally got to speak more than one line.
New Journey to the West: Aw, I’m sad that this trip is over, but I’m also relieved that they didn’t get the final dragon ball, simply based on an unfounded theory I have that if the guys actually win then they won’t try as hard next time. Um, because there is going to be a next time, right? Right?
Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: I really wanted to like this show (the caaaaaaast!), so even though the logic, humor, and editing wasn’t really working for me in the first two episodes, I gave it another chance thinking maybe it would have settled in or perhaps I’d be in a more receptive mood. Despite trying to give the show the benefit of the doubt, using Min-hyuk’s supposed sexuality as punchlines for jokes that weren’t funny was a huge turn-off and my official breaking point. I guess I’ll have to wait for her next project to get my Park Bo-young fix.
Currently recapping: Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People
Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: It has everything and everyone I like in it. Park Bo-young is just the exact right balance of sass and cuteness, and Park Hyung-sik makes a great sidekick. Other people around me are raving about it, yet I’m not 100% glued to the screen when I watch. Why isn’t it meshing for me yet?
Currently recapping: Strong Woman Do Bong-soon
Saimdang, Light’s Diary: Hold up, Yang Se-jong’s character isn’t the same as Song Seung-heon’s character in the present timeline??? Trippy. Things just got way more interesting in the present. That said, Ji-yoon continues to underwhelm me. Don’t draw attention to the closet containing the super important painting!
Currently Recapping: Defendant
Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: Man, I love this show. Does it have flaws? Absolutely. I can’t get on board with the editing and I sometimes feel a problematic emotional distance from our heroine. But there is so much gold here, and the shiniest goldenest thing is Hyungshik as Min-hyuk. Do I understand what he sees in Bong-soon? Usually not. But it’s completely adorable to see him slowly coming to appreciate her anyway. I loved the scene where he sees the breakfast Bong-soon laid out for him, and eats it while remembering his mother. It’s less indicative of Bong-soon’s care for him (it’s a job to her, after all) than of his incredible loneliness in all the years since his mom died. And that’s heartbreaking, and makes me root for Bong-soon to become a permanent fixture in his life. I’m hoping next week gives us more plot movement and a clue or two about how Bong-soon’s powers work, and why they’ve suddenly gone out of control. A peek into that ridiculously cute head of hers would be nice too.
Chief Kim: I had fallen behind with this show, but I’m nearly caught up now, although I wasn’t able to watch this week’s episodes. This show isn’t reinventing the wheel, but I think the secret to its ratings success may be this: it combines a realistic and frankly depressing view of life as an cog in the heartless corporate machine with the hilarious, over-the-top origin story of the unlikeliest hero ever. It’s a nice bit of catharsis that brings both humor and the satisfaction of watching Namgoong Min epically stick it to the greedy executives that so often suck the blood of regular people like us. Plus, the cast has a warm and funny chemistry that just puts a smile on your face. I’ve never seen the actor that plays Myung-seok before, but now I want to watch an office rom-com starring this character, where he gets demoted for being, well, himself, and ends up falling for his extremely competent and no-nonsense boss, who begrudgingly whips him into shape but otherwise won’t give him the time of day. (There I go again, talking about the shows I want to watch rather the ones I actually get. Anyone listening up there?)
Introverted Boss: Oy. I only saw episode 13 this week, but I’m almost afraid to watch 14 because Yi-soo’s emotional blackmail is out of control, and she’s getting more manipulative as the show goes on. I had (tiny) hopes that the show might be using her character to explore mental health issues when her self-harm habit was revealed, but it’s clear now that’s not on the menu. (Another case of mental illness that was briefly mentioned but not addressed, like Ji-hye’s supposed depression.) I know there are people like Yi-soo in the world, so I guess points for getting this character so right that she literally turns my stomach, but I do prefer my rom-coms without female characters that threaten to off themselves in order to control those around them with pain and guilt. I’m also kind of disappointed with the resolution of the big reveal (partial reveal?) and especially how Woo-il’s character was handled. Why is everything now Yi-soo’s fault, when to me it’s seemed that Woo-il’s been the villain since the first episode? Are we just going to ignore how he pretty much assaulted Ji-hye and then blamed her for it to the guy she liked, in front of her? Ugh. At this point, all I want from this show is a good comeuppance and exit stage left for Woo-il and Yi-soo in episode 15, then an hour and a half of cute team dynamics and squishy romantic goodness between our OTP. Because we all know how important last impressions are for dramas.
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (March 4, 2017)
- 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)
Tags: 1 show to rule them all, Chief Kim, Defendant, Introverted Boss, New Journey to the West, Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People, Saimdang Light's Diary, Strong Woman Do Bong-soon, Tomorrow With You, What We're Watching