Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching
by DB Staff
With all the new premieres, ongoing series, and backlogged shows on my plate, I sort of feel like it’s closet-cleaning time and I’m sorting through a big pile of possessions, figuring out what to keep and what to toss, and wondering how I amassed such a collection in such a short period of time. I could’ve sworn I was all caught up a moment ago! It’s like hoarding, the K-drama version. Is the cure… just watching them all? –javabeans
Rescue Me: Ooh, I’m intrigued. For once OCN has a dark, gritty show that has nothing to do with criminals or serial killers; it’s all to do with the ugliness and cruelty of humankind. It’s an uncomfortable watch at times (often, in fact), mostly because the drama is so effective at making this insidious cult feel real and credible. I found it quite clever how, while clearly taking elements of existing religious practices, the drama has made it its own fictional thing. There’s such a feeling of terror-in-limbo in watching this cult prey on this down-on-their-luck family, and the drama plays up that agitation to full effect.
Strongest Deliveryman: Ah, so here’s how you do campy humor with a deadpan delivery. I’m a fan of the tone, because the comedy is totally over-the-top but the actors are playing it with straight faces, and it makes things funny on a meta level. Plotwise I’m not that gripped yet, so I’m not sure I’m quite ready to tackle this show—maybe a bit later, when I feel more in the mood.
Manhole: I like the loose comic sensibility, but one episode in, I’m not quite sure I’m on the hero’s side. I mean, he’s our hero and he clearly loves the girl and wants to win her over, but I’m not convinced that’s enough to get me to root for him. The guy’s kind of a whiny loser who mooches off his parents and never tackles anything with proper effort, so I want him to get his act together and prove himself worthy, and not just because a magical portal decided to give him a hand. Am I a grinch for thinking responsible, reliable leads are sexy? Am I too old for this kind of hero?
Father Is Strange: Who knew it could be so thrilling to hear Joong-hee say, “Mi-young-ah”? That confession was so low-key but satisfying just the same, and while I hate that the solution to their problems isn’t just to get over it and be happy, I appreciate how Mi-young feels trapped between the two conflicting sides of her heart. And was there ever such a heartbreaking dad as Dad? *cries for days* Actor Kim Young-chul has played a bunch of badasses and villains, but I’ll never be able to take them seriously again because of how honestly and earnestly he embodies Dad, so simple and pure-hearted.
Reunited Worlds: The more into the romantic line we get, the more nervous I get because I cannot enjoy it freely, given that I half-expect Hae-sung to leave at any moment. I’m pretty sure he won’t go before he’s fixed everything needing fixing, so it’s not like I won’t get any warning, but it makes it hard to get attached!
Criminal Minds: I feel like this drama is both too procedural and not procedural enough. Half of me—the half that doesn’t love procedurals to begin with—feels like making this drama completely procedural (at least, more procedural than K-dramas usually are) saps it of the interesting K-drama elements, since the appeal of this show is more the characters than the criminals. And I’d like for the characters to be central and pivotal and interesting without necessarily always being the focus of some victim plotline. The other half of me thinks that if procedural has to be the main angle, they should be doing a better job with the cases, which feel like they’re based on interesting ideas but wrapped up in a kind of “Eh, waves hands, magical explanation solves all” sort of way.
Bride of the Water God 2017: This drama has the weirdest cliffhangers. They’re played for the big reversal/twist/turnaround, but absolutely without any context—since the explanation comes in the next episode—so even when something shocking happens, I don’t care. A little setup goes a long way!
School 2017: Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. In real life, if a boy ordered ten fried chickens just to see me ten times in one night, I would smack him over the head with a drumstick. In dramaland, it’s just about the cutest thing ever. Watching the gruff rebel try to do romance is the most entertaining thing I’ve seen in a long time. I think I watched that scene where he tries (and fails) to be smooth with the earbud move about fifteen times. My god, I love awkward teenage romance.
Rescue Me: This show is beautifully cinematic—it’s moody, suspenseful, and creepy in all the right ways. A+ for setting the perfect atmosphere in the first two episodes. That small town feels just right (sleepy, kind of scary for no reason), and the casting is spot-on. I really love the four neighborhood punks, who feel like real friends and real boys, not just drama characters. I’m terrified about where the story will go, but I don’t think I can look away.
Strongest Deliveryman: I like the tone of this show, which actually matches the hilarious teasers for once—the characters treat jajangmyun delivery like they’re out there saving lives, which is just plain funny. I don’t love it yet, but Chae Soo-bin’s character is badass and cute at the same time, and she makes me want to keep watching.
Manhole: The first episode was so manic that I hard time connecting with anyone, but the show did get cuter when the hero went back to high school. I’m just not sure I like him. He’s just SUCH a loser. I like my underdogs a little more proactive and lot less whiny, because I found myself wondering why on earth he should get the girl if he’s had 28 years to do a whole lotta nuthin’ about it.
Falsify: I enjoy this show when I’m watching, especially now that our various good guy threads are starting to come together in one common mission. After I watch it though, I almost immediately forget what’s happened. I think there’s just a limit to how much exposition my short-term memory will hold onto, and this show has a lot of it.
Reunited Worlds: Am I supposed to root for both lovelines at the same time? Because that’s kind of how it feels, except I’m incapable of doing that, which means I end up rooting for neither fully.
Three Meals a Day: Is it weird that I watch this show mostly for Yoon Kyun-sang and his cats? My mom and I will watch the same episode and she’ll be like, “Wasn’t it interesting how Eric cooked that thing that way?” and I’ll be like, “Yoon Kyun-sang got his kitties to wear fashion sunglasses, and he didn’t even lose an eye!”
Rescue Me: Ohmygod, I love it. I haven’t felt this much pervading dread since White Christmas, and I’m all about it.
Falsify: So last week, I thought the show had really picked up, though I hadn’t really fell in love with any of the characters involved. The show raises some interesting questions about the state of our news media today, regardless of location or culture. And while it’s doing that somewhat compellingly, I can’t actually feel all that compelled about watching. This week especially was twisty and turny and complicated, but it was a whole lot of talking. A whole lot.
Manhole: This drama is my new happy pill—it’s the first show in a while I’ve just laughed out loud at. Jaejoong’s comedic timing is gold because he’s just GOING FOR IT, and I have to respect when someone commits to the bit. Welcome back, Jaejoong! ♥
Currently recapping: Reunited Worlds, Bride of the Water God 2017
Seven Day Queen: Lately I’ve been taking a little break from dramas I wasn’t recapping, and I’m a little surprised that this is the show that’s re-sparked my drama watching. But I was hooked from the first few minutes, and though I’ve only seen the first few episodes, I can already tell that this is going to be a masterpiece. Yeon Woo-jin and Park Min-young are adorable and heart-wrenching as the young star-crossed lovers, and Lee Dong-gun is absolute perfection as Yeongsangun. I love nothing more than a sympathetic villain, and he couldn’t possibly be better as the tormented king who just wants to be loved.
Rescue Me: Wow. I mean, WOW. This show not only lives up to its promise to be good, but far exceeds it. It’s gritty and raw, and it’s not afraid to go to some ugly, painful places, and if this is what we’re starting out with, I’m both dreading and anticipating the depths of human depravity that will be revealed as we learn more about Father Baek and his disciples. I think I experienced every emotion possible in these first two episodes: from fear, to despair, to grief and terror, Rescue Me doesn’t shy away from the truth – that human beings are capable of visiting more horror on each other than any demon ever could.
Manhole: Even before we got to the manhole time-travel shenanigans, I was all in. Pil has got to be the saddest sack ever, and I luff him already. He’s so hapless and helpless and you just wonder how he manages to even dress himself, so it’s no wonder he has no clue how to win over his ladylove. And I love that Soo-jin is fully aware of Pil’s feelings and gives him every opportunity to confess, instead of pretending she doesn’t know. Dude, just tell her, she’s been waiting for 28 years!
The Best Hit: Yeah, I know I’m late to the party. But it was worth the wait for all the hilarity, ridiculousness, and flat-out insanity that is this show. I’m only a few episodes in, but I’m of the firm belief that Yoon Shi-yoon is made entirely of rainbows and puppies.
Currently recapping: Strongest Deliveryman
Manhole: I love it so muuuuuuuuuuch. At last I’ve found the perfect show to kick me out of my drama slump. Thank you, magic manhole of zany time-travel shenanigans, for reminding me how much I enjoy watching Jaejoong run. And act. And, uh… breathe. What can I say? I’ve missed his pretty face!
Seven Day Queen: Since I’d been traveling, I couldn’t catch the last 6 episodes live, so I made the rather stupid decision of watching them all in one go. I am now a mess of goo on the floor and someone will need to peel me out of the lake of tears I made for myself. This show really brought out the masochist in me, in that I knew the pain (and there was a lot of it) was coming, but I didn’t run for the hills like someone with better self-preservation instincts would have. Instead, I loyally followed our main couple as they fought tooth and nail to stay together and love as they were born to do. I relished the rare moments of happiness they had together, which sustained me through some really painful stretches of smug, evil ministers and the deaths of our couple’s loved ones. In the end, I’m just grateful to this cast and crew for giving us such a beautiful, heartrending romance that proves noble sacrifice can be devoid of idiocy, and that love really can grow stronger in the face of adversity. So. Much. Adversity.
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (August 5, 2017)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (July 29, 2017)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (July 22, 2017)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (July 15, 2017)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (July 8, 2017)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (July 1, 2017)
Tags: Bride of the Water God 2017, Criminal Minds, Falsify, Father Is Strange, Manhole, Rescue Me, Reunited Worlds, School 2017, Seven Day Queen, Strongest Deliveryman, The Best Hit, Three Meals a Day, What We're Watching