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…
The Great Show: This was a fun yet uneven first week. The show felt like a bunch of vignettes that were from other dramas rather than a whole new show. I’ll keep watching but the drama hasn’t found its footing just yet, though there was a good amount of humor and charm. One thing that stuck out to me as strange was seeing Lee Sun-bin cast as someone who went to college with Song Seung-heon (she’s in her twenties while he’s in his forties). I also found her acting a bit awkward. I’m not familiar with her work so maybe she’ll become more natural as the drama progresses. Speaking of new faces, I enjoyed Noh Jung-eui and her ability to be sly and scheming one minute to vulnerable and hurting the next. I know in my head that the family charade she, her siblings, and Song Seung-heon are about to embark on is just to kickstart Song’s political comeback but in my heart I can see them truly bonding as one big, weird family.
Currently recapping: Rookie Historian Gu Hae-ryung
Be Melodramatic: Hmm… how to describe what I feel about this show? It’s like, it’s so thoughtfully made, every scene pokes at your heart and mind. Whether it’s someone faking bravado for a presentation, weaponizing cringe-y aegyo, or just walking home with friends, you can’t help but relate to them. Including those understated moments when the characters do nothing but “laze around,” because those pauses are important in life too. It’s like the show is telling me that it’s okay to stop for a while. It doesn’t have to be life-changing pauses like quitting a job or ending a relationship, but just… sitting around all day because you finished a difficult presentation and don’t want to rush to the next thing on your Worry List yet. Be Melodramatic is also sprinkled with moments where a character says something that hits you hard because it sounds so simple in hindsight, but captures sooo much in so few words things that you’ve felt or been worrying about for so long. I especially love the latest episode where Jin-joo is trying to write a confession scene, pestering everyone to share how their relationships started, but every answer feels lacking to her. Then Bum-soo, after spending an awkward day with the moody writer and falling in love all at once, ends the episode perfectly by asking if love always needs to be said out loud.
Designated Survivor: 60 Days: Gosh that finale and reveal… (look away now if you don’t want spoilers!) That confrontation between Han and Mu-jin makes me so emotional because to be honest, I believe what Han said about most people being greedy, impatient, and selfish cowards. I’ve seen it for myself. I’m closer to the scarred and jaded Chief Han than the idealistic Mu-jin. But unlike Han, I’m not going to resort to burning the whole world down just because it’s difficult to fix it. Because all these stories that we discuss with each other, whether it’s from personal, books, movies, dramas, or actual news… it reminds me that people have a reason. People have a reason for being greedy for more comfort, impatient for improvement, and scared to put their lives on the line. I might get hurt and frustrated by so much indifference and injustice, but for all I know, I’m doing the same thing to someone else. It’s a bitter pill to swallow–that we’re all flawed people who don’t have the right answers–but when you refuse to accept that and think in absolutes, you’ll end up like Han, Oh Young-seok, and the rest of Tailor Kim’s clients who disregard everyone’s humanity just to push for what they think is right. I remember worrying whether Designated Survivor’s finale will be too idealistic or depressingly real, but I was surprised when it did neither. It ended with something more powerful. It ended with hope. Maybe, just like his young staff, that’ll be enough to push us to be a bit braver and trust in a better future again. :’)
Love Alarm: I’m watching at a glacial pace, but I love this show. It’s surprisingly insightful. Yes, it’s set in high school with puppy love and angst and jealousy galore. (Which isn’t a bad thing. I like how Jojo and Sun-oh’s tangled relationship captures all those whirlwind feelings of falling in love and finding a piece of comfort in someone else.) But I’m drawn more to how Love Alarm accurately depicts how a misguided piece of technology can wreak havoc in people’s lives. One of the episodes had a running theme of wanting to stop liking someone because it hurts when it’s not reciprocated, which is often. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to turn your feelings off. In the real world, you can keep those feelings to yourself, but with the Joalarm app, everything is exposed. You might ask, “Why not just close your Joalarm then?” The show answered “Maybe I want my feelings to be known.” But I think there’s another reason. It’s because keeping Joalarm on also gives you the chance to know if someone likes you. That’s why people are risking their hearts on the app. For the slim chance of knowing that the person you like likes you back. As Jojo said, it’s like a miracle when you find that someone. But what about the dozens/hundreds of others who don’t? For them, Joalarm is turning into a hellish tool they cling to that hurts them more than it helps. But they still keep it on, hoping for their miracle to arrive. It’s fascinating how much this short series about high school romance via phone app takes time to explore human nature more than the actual apps being developed today. Silicon Valley, take note!
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (August 24, 2019)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (August 17, 2019)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (August 10, 2019)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (August 3, 2019)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (July 27, 2019)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (July 20, 2019)