Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching
by DB Staff
I’m still bleary-eyed from our eventful week (we hope you’re enjoying the new site layout!), and I let a few shows fall by the wayside for the moment, although they’ll make it back on the list eventually. But I still managed to squeeze a few episodes in, because that’s what we do. And also because I needed a sunny spot to push me through, and thankfully I had a couple that delivered that. –javabeans
Chicago Typewriter: This is a weird show. I only watched the first episode, and I’m reminding myself that I really disliked the first episode of Kill Me, Heal Me (also from this writer) and came around later, so I intend to watch a few more. But I’m not enjoying this yet.
Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: This show makes me happy. There are things I don’t love about the plot or the kidnapper or some of the jokes, but the show gives me a warm glow and lifts my spirits, which was something I really needed this week.
The Liar and His Lover: Okay, so this was the show I’ve been waiting for—the kind that makes me eager to watch episode after episode, rather than feeling I have to try to keep up, and sticks in my mind even when I’m doing other things. It’s not perfect: The dialogue can get unrealistically drippy for my tastes (I cringe when it gets cheesy and push through it), I find the editing occasionally choppy, and the supporting cast is inexperienced. But despite all that, the show speaks to me with its breezy feel-good spirit; the tone, the mood, and the heart are all very engaging. And for once, I can absolutely see why everyone is fascinated with the same girl, and why they find her special. Joy is delightful.
Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People: It was really hard to see Gil-dong so broken, but I know how important this is for his character—he was skating by and living large, doing good deeds and punishing the wicked, but not with any sort of conviction. And if he’s going to become the legendary hero of the people we know he’s destined to be, he has to believe in something. Now, I don’t know that they needed to practically crucify him, for pete’s sake, but I know we’ll be rewarded soon… Soon, right?
Whisper: I don’t really trust Lee Sang-yoon yet, but I started to like the show the second he was betrayed and knocked off his high horse. I really just needed him and Lee Bo-young to be on the same side, I guess, because I wasn’t really invested until that moment he was drugged in the club. Now it feels like there’s a proper balance, because our heroine has at least ONE ally in this world, even if he’s probably going to betray her every Tuesday.
Chicago Typewriter: I’m not sure I like the characters as people yet (he’s just such a diva), but the thing that sparked my interest was seeing Im Soo-jung suddenly turn into a badass sharpshooter, which was much better than her just being a fangirl stalker. The directing is certainly snazzy, but I think it’ll take some time to connect with the characters emotionally? Methinks starting with their past lives might’ve been a better way to hook me.
Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: I love that this show makes it absolutely clear that Bong-soon is the superhero of the story and the boys are her sidekicks. I was all verklempt when she got her powers back, and it was so important to me that she went through all that to figure out just how much her strength was a part of her identity. It may be on the nose to have a strong woman take down a woman-hating man, but I love it—it’s simple, empowering, and goddamn satisfying. Now the real question is how many times I can rewatch jealous shenanigans and kissyfaces before the finale…
Mystery Queen: I was still mourning the loss of Chief Kim, so I wasn’t quite sure how I’d warm up to this new comedy when its predecessor handled comedy so darn well. And while the comedy in Mystery Queen hasn’t quite hit my funny bone (I can honestly say I’m over poop jokes in dramas lately, all of them), I can see where it’s objectively funny. Having never really warmed to Choi Kang-hee before, I’m surprised by how much I’m liking her in this role, because she does embody this sort of sad-sack ajumma with an incredibly keen intellect. I love the rapport she’s building with her Watson and his grudging acceptance of her superior sleuthing skills. Plus, the cases of the week are quite good, unlike…
Tunnel: Really? We’re going to pull a the-killer-is-someone-in-this-room? And then we’re going to advertise who the killer is with a flashing neon sign without even throwing one semi-believable red herring in? Oy. The episodic cases are so completely forgettable that all we’re left with is the overarching mystery, which is sorely lacking in mystery. I like the side characters at least (Yoon Hyun-min is life), but I really do wish I could feel more for the hero. Maybe next week, maybe never.
The Liar and His Lover: I really like how the show is giving So-rim higher and higher stakes as it progresses, because she’s just so good at portraying raw emotion. Everything you need to know is written on her face at any given moment, and while her tendency to cry at the drop of a(n admittedly important) hat could sometimes nag at me, the show does a great job of reminding me that these issues really do matter to her. She’s still a teenager at the end of the day, and with all these forces suddenly pushing and pulling at her, it’s no wonder that she finds herself at a crossroads. I’m kind of not rooting for the main couple, actually—not unless Han-gyul can learn to separate his personal feelings from his music, but then again, what kind of composer would he be if he could?
Whisper: I got behind on life and hadn’t had a chance to watch this one yet, even though I love the team behind it to bits. I’ve only just watched the first episode, and… OMG I LOVE IT NOW I CAN MARATHON THE OTHER FIVE EPISODES. GET INTO MY BRAIN FASTER.
Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People: Okay, if Missing 9 got sanctioned for violence, then Rebel is going to be bathing in pink slips after this week. Or do sageuk dramas get a bit of leeway? The violence is technically historically accurate, and I kind of love the permeating sense of darkness, dread, and death. I don’t know what that says about me, but it’s probably not good.
Currently recapping: Whisper
Super Family 2017: It’s been a weird and stressful week for me, but this was the first show I reached for once I had some free time. It’s my comfort drama. There’s something reassuring about spending an hour with this family, knowing that any mishaps will somehow be remedied and, no matter what, they’ll still love and support each other.
Tunnel: I’m pleased Sung-jae is starting to realize something’s fishy with his new partner, mostly because I can’t wait until he has to wrap his brain around the fact that Kwang-ho was the same guy that held him when he was a baby. I’m also loving the awkward burgeoning romance between Sung-jae and Jae-yi. Emphasis on the “awkward,” but then again even two damaged robots need someone to love and be loved in return.
Chicago Typewriter: I usually can’t connect with this writer and her dramas, and this one is no different. I want to like it, but something isn’t quite clicking for me. Even so, I’m not ready to give it up just yet. I love the brief glimpses of the 1930s so I’m hoping for more of those flashbacks to keep me hooked, plus I need to see more of Go Kyung-pyo!
Radiant Office: The only show I’ve been loving these days. I came for Go Ah-sung, and I’m staying for Go Ah-sung and Lee Dong-hwi! Someone give the bespectacled scene-stealer a lead role ASAP! I appreciate the handling of discrimination in the workplace — against rookie employees, women — as well as the depiction of office politics; it’s ugly and infuriating, but alas, it’s the truth. I recently found out that both the writer and PD are women which only makes me love the show even more. The comedic, dramatic, and humanistic elements all work, so what’s not to love?
Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: Zzzz…Someone wake me up when there’s actually an episode worth watching. I think I’ll stick to the bloopers and snippets of cuteness on YouTube. I managed to somehow make it through Episode 9 (trust me, it took effort to get this far), and I’m still wondering where all the hype is originating from. Sure, the main couple is cute as buttons, yes the villain played by Giant Im Si-wan is creepy, but neither of these selling points are keeping me engaged. I find myself bored and scanning through the accounts of Instagram-famous puppies on my phone for 90 percent of each episode since there’s always an inexplicably huge chunk of filler that consists of the incompetent cops who aren’t at all funny (the references to old police procedurals have yet to amuse me) and the annoying and abusive mom who just wants to marry off her daughter. For such a fun premise with so much potential, the writing is pretty horrendous which slows down the pace tremendously. To end on a positive note, I will say this — Kim Won-hae is the man!
Currently recapping: Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People
Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: I’ve been playing catch up with this one. But the feminist in me is slowly tearing her hair out because this drama is SO not what she wanted it to be. Like that scene where Bong-soon was trapped with a bomb strapped to her chest, and Min-hyuk was coming to save her. Thankfully the entire cliche of prince-rescues-princess was averted because he wasn’t actually able to break through a solid steel door, BUT then she was saved via deus ex machina instead, which is almost equally as disappointing in my book. I’m literally only holding out till the end because I think Park Bo-young and Hyung-shik are absolutely adorable and beautiful together.
Currently recapping: Mystery Queen
Father Is Strange: Lee Joon continues to be adorable and/or make me laugh (as does his turtle Al), but I’m disappointed we didn’t get to see Mi-young face off against her former bully this week. Now that their future relationship has been revealed, I’m ready for Mi-young to break out the judo skills and take her revenge on Yoo-joo. Also, Hye-young is awesome in every other way, but I really wish she would tell Jung-hwan why they broke up eight years ago, because it makes absolutely no sense for her to keep this secret at this point, and hasn’t for a while.
Radiant Office: I’m a week behind, but gosh do I love this show. The glimpses we got into both Ho-won and Woo-jin’s relationships with their families were heart-tugging and illuminating. Also, how precious is Woo-jin when he jumps and squeals in fear of kittens? His unexpected weird character quirks are as hilarious as they are cute—and I have a feeling Ho-won agrees. The flickers of awareness growing between them are giving me the flutters, and I can’t wait to see what changes the big reveal will bring to their dynamic. I also vote Ki-taek for Best Oppa of 2017 and possibly ever. Because he is.
Tunnel: I love how Sun-jae and Kwang-ho are slowly but surely (but mostly slowlllyyy) coming together as partners, although the revelation at the end of Episode 6 may put a wrench in that for a while. Speaking of which, my interest in young Kwang-ho’s story just upped several notches, and now I’m tapping my foot impatiently for the next episode. Can’t wait to see what twists and turns Tunnel has in store for the main mystery, ’cause the crimes of the day aren’t nearly as twisty and turny as I’d like. Although the last episode did have a good one, mostly because I’m irrationally afraid of identity theft, and so the chills were real.
Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: I didn’t have time to watch Episode 13 on Friday, because life, and it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I was so angry at the writer and the show at the end of that episode, that if I had had time to stew, all my affection for the drama would have soured. Okay, maybe I’m being dramatic, but I was mucho pissed. Thankfully, I could watch the next episode immediately, and it was much, much better. I do wish that we would have stayed with super-strength-less Bong-soon for longer than an hour, but the comeback was as epic as I wanted it to be. Except for the random bomb fireworks. That was kinda weird.
Chicago Typewriter: Just a week or two ago, I was in a drama glut, but with Chicago Typewriter and Tunnel, my weekends are full of dramas to watch, so yay! I’m cautiously optimistic about Typewriter; it’s super stylish with a fantasy bent I’m digging, has interesting characters portrayed by great actors, and THAT DOG. I want him in my life, now. I think the present storyline has a lot to offer on its own, but the 1930s timeline is what I’m really here for. I mean, our heroine was a sharpshooter independence fighter—how much cooler can you get?
Mystery Queen: Kwon Sang-woo should only ever do comedy, EVER. I’ve seen him in a whole bunch of projects since Stairway to Heaven waaay back when, but I don’t think I’ve ever liked him more. His grouchy detective to Choi Kang-hee’s persistent, sassy ajumma is pretty much comedic gold, and it’s making me enjoy Mystery Queen a whole lot more than I thought I would. Also, Lee Won-geun’s hero worship of Choi Kang-hee and his budding puppy love are the most adorable things ever. Now, if only they can find a way to get her to team up with Kwon Sang-woo without her having to run home every time her in-laws call. Maybe she can be a consulting detective a la Sherlock?
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (April 7, 2017)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (April 1, 2017)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (March 25, 2017)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (March 18, 2017)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (March 11, 2017)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (March 4, 2017)