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…
Vagabond: This is how they utilize a post-army Lee Seung-gi? When the show started, I thought it would be a fun watch, full of action and abs. But the show took itself too seriously and it seemed like it couldn’t let any fun really take root. By the end, I was just watching to say I saw things through to the finale. Having just finished the last episode…I’m more annoyed than anything. The ending felt like such a cheap, emotionally manipulative ploy and I could almost hear the show saying, “Wait until season 2!” I don’t know for sure if the plan is to give Vagabond American-style seasons, but if that’s the case, I won’t be tuning in.
Psychopath Diary: Last week, I was on the fence about Psychopath Diary, but I’m glad I stuck around! Psychopaths and murder aren’t great fodder for comedy, but the show is managing to nail the humor so far (I’m less interested in the murder mystery aspect at the moment generally). My favorite pairing so far? Dong-shik and In-woo. Their dynamic is so odd and so funny. In-woo makes people freeze and cower, and no one can win him over, while Dong-shik is the office sad sack who no one wants to be around. And yet, In-woo can’t get enough of Dong-shik. Everyone in their orbit wants to get close to In-woo, but the one person he wants is too preoccupied to even put on a pretense of being friendly. In-woo’s interest in Dong-shik and their budding “relationship” has so much potential. (And is it me, or does In-woo’s interest read as romantic?)
Tale of Nokdu: I’m no sageuk expert by any means but that’s one of the most unintentionally hilarious revolution/treason arcs I’ve ever seen. The armies are too small, “key” players pop up out of nowhere without context, and the allegedly Big Bad Yul-moo stops his soldiers in the middle of a coup to have a picturesque chat with his one-sided love..? Why? Normally, I’d ask for more screentime so we can absorb the beautiful costumes, epic fights, and desperate last-minute saves (hello, Muweol Corps!). Unfortunately, the palace shenanigans were so painful to watch that I didn’t care about logic anymore. I was just glad that the show returned to its strength in the last 30 minutes. Namely, Nokdu’s and Dong-joo’s found families living together happily in rural chaos. That wedding washed away all my complaints about the finale because GOLDARNIT THEY’RE SO CUTE. Is it too soon to wish for a reunion project for Kim So-hyun and Jang Dong-yoon? Technically, “next year” is just a month away, right?
Law of the Jungle: I swear I’m just watching the 2018 episodes in order, but I somehow ended up watching old and new favorites like Wanna One, Jang Dong-yoon, and Ro-woon’s episodes in a row. And they’re very entertaining episodes, which is another blessing. Isn’t it sad when a celebrity you like turns out to be painfully awkward in variety? (I’m looking at you, marshmallow Kim Kyung-nam.) It’s not that I like them less for it, it just gives me secondhand stress when I realize how much extra effort they exert in their jobs in front of the camera when they’re awkward potatoes in real life.
People With Flaws: I’m not really enjoying the washroom humor and I feel like the writer went a little overboard with all the different misunderstandings between all of the potential couples. However, I like that it’s kind of like a family drama. There’s a large cast and everyone seems to be getting their share of spotlight in the story, which makes the world feel more filled out (even if, of course, everyone is connected to each other in some way). The best part of the show for me so far is Oh Yeon-seo’s family dynamics. They squabble, yes, but you can tell that they’re close and they care about each other in their own way.
Chocolate: The cynic in me wonders if the title came from one of their PPL sponsors, but I like that food symbolizes warmth and connection for the characters. For Yoon Kye-sang, this is important in his relationship with Ha Ji-won, but, maybe even more significantly, it’s also his connection to his mother. There are a lot of familiar tropes: birth secrets, family strife, rich snobbery, childhood first loves, traffic accidents, and lots of tragedy. However, I loved Ha Ji-won and Yoon Kye-sang’s re-meet-cute in the hospital and it was adorable to see Ha wandering around the hospital with the IV bag balanced on her head. I fear the pending doom that episode 2 might bring, but I’m already invested in the OTP so I’ll have to soldier on for now!
Extraordinary You: I was probably living under a rock the past few months, because I managed to start this without knowing the premise of the show. I. LOVE. IT. I started binging it this week (am a little more than half-way through now) and fell in love with its wackiness. The first couple of episodes especially were right up my alley — the characters cringing at the cheesiness of their lines or complaining about how cliché their story is just had me in stitches. It reminded me of Inkheart, one of my favourite books growing up, where characters were ripped out of their books and brought into the real world. It’s so fun to imagine characters living their best lives in the Shadow, outside the story that the audience are privy to (I found the cure to Second-Lead Syndrome, by the way — just imagine that they find love in the Shadow of their own story!). The tonal shift of the second half caught me off guard, but I love the characters so much and am rooting for their happiness!
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (November 23, 2019)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (November 16, 2019)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (November 9, 2019)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (November 2, 2019)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (October 26, 2019)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (October 19, 2019)