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…
Live: I know this show is well-received, and Noh Hee-kyung’s name ensures that it gets elevated automatically (although I’d argue that it shouldn’t), but I feel a bit contrarian for finding it narratively inaccessible. I get slice-of-life, I get occupational, I get relationship drama. I just don’t feel like this show is leading me along; I feel like I’m working to follow. The acting is outstanding, but this show leaves me cold. Thank the drama gods the director found the zoom-out button on his camera, though!
Radio Romance: Nothing special ever happened and the stakes were never very high, but I enjoyed watching the show and left it feeling satisfied in a generic sort of way. Pleasant, but with little sticking power.
My Ajusshi: IU’s character is so bleak in this that she makes Jang Geu-rae look like a ball of sunshine. This show is actually bleaker than Misaeng, because it doesn’t have that uplifting twist that Misaeng always managed to insert into every episode, but trust the writer of Oh Hae-young Again to create another deeply engrossing heroine that I can’t look away from. She writes women who are complex, raw, and not afraid to be ugly, and Lee Ji-an is no exception. Who’d have thought that IU would steal the spotlight from Lee Seon-kyun??? That’s a writer’s power, right there.
The Great Seducer: There’s just so much more chemistry between Woo Do-hwan and Moon Ga-young that I find myself not in the right headspace to root for Joy’s loveline… Or is that the point? I dunno, there’s so much self-deceit and denial going on that I’m not sure which way is up. Or maybe we’re all just going down, down, down.
Mystery Queen 2: The way the episodes just dangle off at the end without solving the case is really frustrating. I just dislike it when shows ignore episode rhythm and spend two and a half episodes on a case, all willy-nilly with no respect for structure! On the upside, Kwon Sang-woo running all over the place to be with Ajumma at all times is freaking adorable and makes up for a lot.
Radio Romance: Cute, but entirely forgettable. For a show all about radio, I didn’t feel like they did anything especially inventive about radio, which would’ve been far more interesting and fresher than focusing on a top star’s public image (been there, done that). The romance was sweet and enjoyable while it lasted, but it left my brain the instant it ended.
Live: There’s something very raw and uninviting about this show, but I still gravitate to it, probably due to Noh Hee-kyung’s signature touch of making characters feel flawed yet relatable. The cast is stacked, and I’m excited for Kwang-soo to showcase his acting chops in a non-comedic role, especially after his long-term cameo on Dear My Friends. Oh, and Shin Dong-wook! It’s lovely to have him back in dramaland — I forgot how swoony he is.
Woohoo Waikiki: Such a bizarre show, and I love it so much. This cast has the commitment to take things to the extreme, and I think I find this show funnier because I imagine the actual situations to execute these seemingly cheap laughs. I could see the show doing well in a sitcom format, but I do appreciate the production quality that definitely elevates the hilarity.
Hyori’s Homestay 2: PARK BO-GUM! BOGUMMIE!!!! He’s a ray of sunshine, that boy.
Radio Romance: I took a short break from this drama but decided to catch up in time for the finale. What ultimately drew me back was Yoon Doo-joon, whose soulful performance as Su-ho had me wondering how his story would end. Even though I never connected with his romance with Kim So-hyun, by the end of the drama I was sold on their pairing. Geu-rim was just so cute (as the characters themselves often pointed out), so it was difficult for me to see her in a serious romance, but the character matured so much that by the end I could finally see what she had to offer Doo-joon. She was the loving and kind teenager that he first fell for, all grown-up, and she helped him to overcome his past hurts so that he could finally live an authentic life. I found their conclusion satisfying, although I can’t say the same about PD Lee’s send-off.
Misty: I’m both excited and apprehensive for this week’s finale and I have to applaud a drama that has kept me guessing until the end. After the latest plot development, I’m prepared to have my heart broken, but nothing is ever as it seems in this well-written drama. I’m holding out hope that Hye-ran’s crisis will cause her to reconsider her priorities and that she and Tae-wook will finally face one another as equals in their marriage.
My Ajusshi: The first episode felt so bleak that I barely got through it. I love Lee Seon-kyun, but I’m not sure that this drama is for me. I am impressed with the rest of the cast though, so I’ll give it another episode or two before I make a final decision.
My Husband Oh Jak-doo: So far, I’m really enjoying this contract romance that involves two people with very complicated lives. As we learn more about Jak-doo’s story, I find myself impressed by Kim Kang-woo’s performance—he has good chemistry with UEE, making this a very good pairing. But right now my favorite characters are Jak-doo’s “grandmothers” from the village, who mange to steal every scene that they’re in. I’m worried that this drama may get too melodramatic for my liking, but for now, the eccentric characters keep me coming back.
The Great Seducer: The way that the main characters treat their romantic targets in such a clinical manner breaks my heart. The trio is so focused on how to conquer them that they’re completely disconnected from the fact that they are people with feelings. I’m so curious to know if there will be some kind of redemption for them in the end, but I’m not sure that I can watch this trio descend any further. That’s a testament to how well Woo Do-hwan, Moon Ga-young, and Kim Min-jae have embodied their characters; but in spite of their good performances, the trio may just be too good at exploiting others for me to watch much more.
That Man Oh-soo: This drama is easy to watch and serves as the perfect balance to more intense dramas like Misty. I’m not sure I’ll stick with it if I can’t fit it into my schedule, but for now, it’s been a welcome break.