Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching
by DB Staff
So, what are we all watching this week?
What kept you reaching for more (or agonizing when there was no more), and what made you want to throw your remote through the screen? Time to weigh in…
Currently recapping: Hwayugi
I’m Not a Robot: It feels like the plot made particularly little sense as the show wrapped up (I just couldn’t follow the logic of what people did or how they reacted to anything in the corporate storyline), but I was only ever in this for the lovable friendships and sweet romantic connections, and on that front I left the show feeling mostly warm and fuzzy. I mean, there was a lot of cringing at the business meetings and machinations, but I still managed to come out with the cheery glow intact. Now this is a couple I could ship in real life.
Black Knight: Things finally started picking up once Kim Rae-won began recalling bits of his former life (finally!) and feeling doubts. I particularly liked the reversal in his visions—where his memories were twisted by thinking Seo Ji-hye was his beloved and Shin Se-kyung was the interloper—although I’m relieved to have him finding out the true backstory so we can move things right along. We spent a couple weeks sort of bumbling along, so this development is late but welcome. I really, really don’t care about any of the real estate development or the greedy old antagonist storyline, though. Why so much screentime?
Smart Prison Living: My sprint to the end might have been much more tortoise than hare, but the final three hours were spent in equal part agonizing about characters possibly making wrong choices and ruining their lives forever, bawling like a baby both out of joy and sorrow (mostly joy), and wishing that somehow this show wasn’t actually ending. I hope there’s another season — not just because I’m still unwilling to say goodbye to these characters that have become a part of my life the past couple of months, but because I really need Han-yang to have a happy ending, dammit. (I also need to know how to be in both a bromance and a romance with Jung Kyung-ho, but that’s more of a personal issue, one that Shin PD probably can’t solve. Unless he can. In which case: call me!)
Mother: The pilot is as beautiful as it is devastating, filled with moments that are sparing in composition, but packed with subtext that conveys everything we need to feel without heavy-handed narrative devices. If the first episode (as well as the Japanese original series) is any indication, Mother will not be an easy watch, but it’s expertly crafted on all counts, especially the writing and directing, which comes as no surprise if you’re familiar with the high-caliber credits of the scribe and director. Child actress Heo Yool is a delicate force with eyes like the ocean. She. Is. Phenomenal.
Just Between Lovers: Real life has meant that I haven’t been able to watch this until now, despite the rave reviews I’ve been reading (with one eye closed). One episode in, I’m already hooked—by the tragic but not overwrought backstory, parceled out to us slowly and without fanfare, by the sweetly melancholy tone, by the incredible magnetism of leads Won Jin-ah and Junho. I can tell already that this one will break my heart, but I am so onboard, because so far the show has had a light touch with some very heavy themes: the persistence of grief, the wages of trauma, and how taxing it can be to walk around each day with unhealed wounds weighing down your body and soul. Moon-soo and Kang-doo have already met twice without having an actual conversation. I’m very much looking forward to them really talking to each other, because they both have this sort of shell-shocked yet matter-of-fact way of being in the world that makes it clear that they’re very fragile under their nonchalant exteriors. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but bring on the melodrama. I bet it’s gonna be good.