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…
Mr. Sunshine: It’s been a bit of a slog in recent weeks, but I feel like I’ve made my way out of the plot swamp and onto solid ground. The ramp-up to the finale has turned up the excitement and emotions significantly — enough to make me annoyed that the show spent so long treading water and saving up all the good stuff for the end. Emotionally, it’s been a strange experience watching this drama because I don’t really connect with our main characters and haven’t really cared about their storylines for a while, but I do feel the pathos dripping from the performances of Kim Min-jung, Byun Yo-han, and Yoo Yeon-seok — gahhh, especially Yoo Yeon-seok! To be honest I wasn’t sure I’d make it to the end of this show, which has always felt to me to be more style than substance, but now that we’re here at the end I’m curious to know how it all shakes out.
The Ghost Detective: What a cruel show. First you kill your hero, then you build this tragic sorta-loveline that cannot be, then you continue hurting the hero even after he’s dead. Then you only air an hour this week? Stop torturing us! Kidding aside, I hope the pre-emption doesn’t mess up their
cruel well-planned cliffhangers, because it’s one of the things that they’ve been doing great at. (Aside from choosing the best wardrobe for Da-il to die in, because that dark blue shirt is gonna look gorgeous on him for all eternity.)
The Guest: This show feels like it was made by someone who adores horror. Someone who enjoys a good build-up, a fakeout, and a jumpscare. I know this PD worked with one of my favorite shows last year, Voice, but I didn’t know he also worked on gems such as Liar Game and Black–both were great at giving you this feeling, like you’re living in the same world where these characters are. It’s no wonder I’ve been having nightmares since I started The Guest, but I’m so invested in taking down Park Il-do that I can’t seem to stop. If someone catches me drinking gallons of water, please send Hwa-pyung’s bickering, reluctant squad for help.
Produce 101: Season 2: Three of my four boys didn’t make the cut so my real-life friend has been sending me special clips and fancams of my tragic favorites. I’m pretty sure she’s doing it 10% to comfort me and 90% to get me hooked on K-pop, but even knowing her evil plan, I still can’t stop myself. Maybe I’m possessed by a lesser evil spirit. One who destroys the lives of its victim by excessive binge-watching of pretty boys.
Produce 48: Now that I’ve started this properly, I can see the pros and cons of Japan’s vs Korea’s training system. Korean trainees are so polished when it comes to technique, while I feel like the Japanese trainees (on average) have less talent but a lot more heart. It makes the battles unpredictable because your brain knows that one group performed better but your heart keeps pressing the button for the other team. Or maybe I’m possessed again. Blame the evil spirits for my fickleness.
Familiar Wife: I just started this a few days ago, and almost halfway through, I’m really loving it! I like how the time-travel device gives us a bit of a twist on the usual exes-getting-back-together trope: in this situation, Joo-hyuk is the only one yearning for his “ex,” because in Woo-jin’s mind, he’s never been anything but her sunbae at work. And yet there an echo of what should have been lingers over everything and everyone, giving a melancholy, poignant undertone to what is otherwise a really fun workplace drama with a great ensemble cast. The best thing about this drama, though (apart from Ji Sung, of course), is the way the male lead was introduced to us, and his slow journey to recognizing who he is, how he contributed to his own misery, and what kind of a person he has been to the most important people in his life. The writer—unsurprising for someone who has given us so many gems!—has skillfully created a hero who is completely unaware of his selfish and horrible actions, while also giving us so many reasons to understand him, relate to him, and ultimately root for him. Which again, is brought to its fullest potential with Ji Sung’s brilliant acting. I’ve also never loved Han Ji-min this much in anything—I always found her to be competent if a little quiet and bland, but she is so alive, charming and funny in this role! It’s a perfect one-two punch, and it’s such a pleasure when you get a romance in which you’re enjoying and pulling for both leads equally.
100 Days My Prince: I have my hands ready to cover my eyes whenever the weapons are out as I continue with 100 Days My Prince. I’m so happy that I stuck with this drama because I’m enjoying the chemistry between the village characters so much. Kim Ki-doo has me in stitches whenever he tries to give Won-deuk romantic advice. He has no idea who he’s talking to and along with the rest of the villagers, I can’t wait to see how everyone reacts when he learns that the hapless Won-deuk is actually the crown prince. D. O. is very well cast as Won-deuk/Lee Yool, his poker face serves him well in this amnesiac fish-out-of-water scenario.
My Secret Terrius: I’ve only managed to watch the first hour, but this thriller has already gotten my attention. So Ji-sub is what drew me to this drama in the first place, but I’m impressed with the strong supporting cast. Jung In-sun is perfect as the harried mother, Go Ae-rin, saddled with spirited twins who make her life a constant challenge. So Ji-sub, as seasoned intelligence agent, Kim Bon, doesn’t know what to make of his chaotic but observant neighbor. The comedic interactions between Ae-rin and Kim Bon work well as balance to the sinister scheme that surrounds them. The first hour was well paced and over before I knew it. That’s a very good sign and I can only hope that the drama can manage to keep the momentum for the duration.