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…
Beauty Inside: Even for a die-hard lover of romance, this show is laying it on pretty thick — it feels like an exaggerated exercise in fan-service more than a narrative with a real arc. I hope they do something more with the plot soon, because as much as I like my icing on the cake, nobody wants to be served up just a big bowl o’ icing. That said, I do still enjoy the romantic hijinks and love the actors together; I just want it to feel a little more meaningful. On the plus side, I did enjoy the Shut Up: Flower Boy Band reunion with Kim Min-seok offering up the guest-body-of-the-day, and found it hilarious that they were classmates then, and are playing fake father and son now.
Hundred Million Stars From the Sky: My favorite thing about this weird relationship so far is how little patience Jin-kang has for bullshit, and how clearly she can see through Moo-young’s. I have a love-hate thing with his inscrutability, though, because while I can see how that trait is the backbone of his character (and our curiosity to understand him is a big motivator to keep watching), I get a little weary of it at times. But this relationship is intriguing and odd and definitely compelling.
YG Future Strategy Office: Just no. This show had the potential to be brilliant — it could have been a fun self-parody, or a self-aware comedy, or a sharp skewering of its own milieu and/or industry, but the execution barely gets off the ground and falls on its face. It feels puerile and lazy when it should have been pointed and sharply funny — it was going for so-uncomfortable-it’s-funny cringes, but instead I felt embarrassed-for-everyone-involved cringes. I wonder if this will do better with international fans, but it is SO not for my — or Korean audience — tastes (and has the mountain of scathing reviews to attest to that). (On the upside for fans, tastes are many and varied, and there’s a very different take on it below.)
Currently recapping: The Guest
YG Future Strategy Office: This is perhaps the funniest thing I have seen all year. I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting into when I first clicked “play,” but I ended up laughing more in one four-hour Netflix binge than I have in four months. It probably helps that I’m an OG YG fan (well, not “Jinusean” OG, but “VIP until whenever” and “forever bitter Blackjack” OG), which meant I was fully aware of all the scandals, rumors, and stereotypes they were lampooning. It was also a delightful surprise seeing some beloved artists that have vanished from the spotlight (Bom unnie!), as well as a lot of lesser-known YG artists — not just musicians, but actors, actresses, and entertainers (some that I didn’t even know were in YG, yeah, I mean you Oh Sang-jin). I’m really hoping that YG FSO does get another season — and not just because I apparently never get tired of watching Seungri make fun of himself, but because I’d forgotten how much I enjoy the mockumentary style, and how refreshingly different it is compared to the carefully scripted dramas that generally fill my life.
New Journey To The West Season 5: Speaking of carefully scripted dramas — there are so many excellent shows airing right now and I want to watch all of them. Faced with indecision and an inability to double the hours in the day just so I can watch more TV, I’m seeking refuge in variety shows, where the only thing required of me is to laugh at celebrities making fools of themselves (hmmm, I’m noticing a trend in my viewing habits lately…). I’m so excited that the goblins are back, and even though I miss my fave Kyuhyun, I’m willing to give P.O. a chance to win me over as he figures out his role in the group. That said, I’m not as fully invested in this season as I have been the previous seasons — I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because I feel like we haven’t seen much of Hong Kong. One reason I love these shows so much is because Na PD makes an effort to showcase the location in a way where I want to book the next flight out and experience it for myself. Instead, I feel like we’ve spent a lot time playing ridiculous games that center around the guys fighting for food they will invariably never get to eat. Which is par for the course, but… it just feels like that’s all we’ve done. I’m still enjoying it, but I’m not fully in love with this season yet.
Hundred Million Stars From the Sky: I only had time to keep up with one show this week, and I surprised myself by reaching for the melodrama. The interactions between Moo-young and Jin-kang are electric, and I’m drawn to them as much as they are unable to resist each other. I still adore Jin-kook and Jin-kang together, and I, too, am shipping Jin-kook and So-jung hard.
The Ghost Detective: Dropped 20 minutes into this week’s new episodes. The ghostbusting team just isn’t enough to keep my interest anymore and I won’t be hoodwinked into watching another hour because of a clever cliffhanger (the only thing the writer is consistently good at). I do wish the ratings weren’t so low though. I want this cast in a new, hopefully better, drama real soon and the low ratings means casting PDs won’t take notice of our precious squad. 🙁
My ID Is Gangnam Beauty: I regret not live-watching this. It’s the kind of show that you can discuss with others for days and days and still have no easy answer. From the definition of beauty, to the microaggressions girls have to deal with (and inflict on each other) every day, to both laughing and crushing on the robotic lead… I wish I can back-read the scattered discussions on Dramabeans but since I’m a spoiler-phobe I’ll have to suffer these feelings alone. Hey, maybe the thought of safely reading the comments is what inspired me to finish ten episodes real quick, and totally not just my tendency to inhale K-dramas…