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…
SKY Castle: Who’s your favorite SKY Castle family? (Everybody all together now) the Cha Family! I just love all of them. Including Daddy Cha who falls under the love-to-hate category. But the biggest pull for me is Mommy Cha, who at first looked like the most delicate of all the SKY Castle moms, but turned out to have the most awesome sense of diplomacy. See: ramyun dinners. But picking a favorite family (storywise) is like picking a favorite toe. You can’t. You neeeed them all! Otherwise this show wouldn’t be as awesome as it is. If you give me the next episodes, I’ll gladly watch all of it, no matter which family is onscreen. Just… just please give me more SKY Castle tea.
My Healing Love: I am a weak woman. After seeing Yeon Jung-hoon being soft in these clips, I caved and started another weekend drama. My Healing Love ticks all the weekender boxes: a hardworking lead, a rich lead, annoying in-laws, good-for-nothing spouses, money-stealing siblings, and birth secrets. The question is, is the small amount of Yeon Jung-hoon screentime worth suffering through all of those? No. But if you’re a closet sucker for birth secrets (like me), it’s entertaining enough. At the very least, it’s a good watch while wrapping gifts because I can Pavlov myself into thinking happy holiday thoughts while the mom-in-law shrieks in the background.
Memories of the Alhambra: I’m a bit bummmed that it’s been six episodes and they still won’t give Hee-ju’s character more stuff to do. That being said, they’re doing great showcasing Jin-woo’s growing anxiety and self-doubt. I felt so bad for him when he was hiding in the shower, pretending to be fine because he’s tired of being a burden to someone else. The way he developed new habits (staying in the car, traveling by train) and fell into an addiction to work around his fear is also very real. My heart broke when he was at his wit’s end, literally talking to his own personal demon about how tired he is. I hope he finds a way to put his life back together again. Like I’m hoping they’ll give Hee-ju more stuff to do. Am I the only one secretly hoping she’ll be much better at the game than everyone else? That guitar probably has +100 healing properties and casts a huge sleep aura on enemies, right? Right?!
Happy to Die: I dropped this on the cliffhanger that Joon-ho became a MW Foods Director, assuming it will be annoying boardroom machinations from then on. I’m glad I picked it back up because the following episodes were as heartwarming and hilarious as ever. It reminds me of Chief Kim where the baddies are so cartoonishly evil and the office problems are grounded in personal stories, so you get mad at the evil guys but you also care about the outcome of the current “emergency”.
My Strange Hero: Ahhhh it’s so weird and funny and good! I think Yoo Seung-ho feels the most natural to me here out of all the roles I’ve seen him in, because there’s a dark edge of melodrama to this rom-com that really plays to his penchant for Acting with a Capital A. He’s always excellent, but I sometimes find that he goes to 200% when perhaps only 80 was required. Yet that tendency is perfect for Bok-soo, this arrested-development errand boy who somehow combines a naive, romantic nature with the bitter cynicism of someone who’s learned that the system is always on the side of the powerful. I love the reluctant yet irresistible pull that Soo-jung has on him, and the way they seem to spark whenever they share a scene. I am a bit frustrated with her character at this point, though; I get that she simply testified to what she heard back in the day, but I don’t understand how she can be so ready to expel him again now, knowing how it’s impacted his life, and with the added wisdom and responsibility of her position as his teacher.
Boyfriend: Four episodes in, I’m still dazzled by the beauty that bowled me over in premiere week, but I’m also starting to wonder what this drama is hoping to accomplish. I appreciate that he was willing to sacrifice his anonymity for the sake of her reputation, and I’m not against the heroic gesture in principle, but I’m beginning to feel an uncomfortable accumulation of Manic Pixie Dream Boy vibes from Park Bo-gum’s character. Yes, he is beautiful and lovely and blinds us with his smile, but I’m a bit leery of a plot setup that reverses the genders of the typical Candy-chaebol narrative, only to frame the story so that he still ends up rescuing her—this time from her golden cage, rather than poor obscurity. This may just be my hangover from the bait-and-switch pulled by Secretary Kim talking, though—I’m definitely going to give this one a chance, because everything else about the show is pure dreamy gorgeousness.
Top Star Yoo Baek: This is it. The bundle of fluffy joy and silliness that is everything I need after writing three twenty-page term papers. Kim Ji-suk is so perfectly oblivious and smarmy as the celebrity at loose ends, and Kang-soon is so very unimpressed with his schtick. I am a little wary of what will happen now that he’s whisked her off to his world, but I have faith in her not to be distracted by shiny things. (Speaking of bling, I wish that Oppa had been allowed to propose—as much as I understand his reluctance to change their relationship, he’s clearly too far gone to turn back now.) Mostly, though, I’m here for the moments when Kang-soon unwittingly exposes Top Star Sea Urchin’s soft and squishy insides.
Boyfriend: I’m watching this one because I’m committed to the characters by now, but why does this feel like more of a reversed Lost in Translation “healing” kind of relationship rather than a sweeping/moving/or even just simple noona romance? If that’s what it is going to be, I’m fine with it, but otherwise, where is the chem?
Memories of the Alhambra: I was holding off on starting this one, not because of any reservations whatsoever, but because I knew it was going to take over my brain — and the next several weeks of my life — once I started it. Alas, that is where I find myself. The depth the story has already achieved in just the first six episodes is amazing, not to mention the reveals, reversals, and unravelings… I’ve pretty much devoured every minute. And that scene where Jin-woo is sitting terrified in the shower really killed me. I’m going to go hide in my car now.