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 King: Eternal Monarch: It’s. Over. *throws confetti* OK, is that mean?? That feels mean. Especially because, if I’m being totally honest, there were some enjoyable aspects of the show that I appreciated, most of which consisted of me laughing at the utter ridiculousness of some scenes. (That sword-swinging showdown in the middle of downtown Busan had me in TEARS laughing; I mean, c’mon, they rode in on a cavalry of HORSES). And I did respect that the cast and crew didn’t appear to phone it in even when it became clear that the show wouldn’t be the mega-hit they all expected it to be. With, of course, the glaring, conspicuous exception of the writing. This is where the show had me pulling my hair out in frustration, right up ’til the bitter, bitter end. You’d think that once I got to Episode 15, I’d just accept the fact that the writer and her team had thought of no internal logic to speak of, but I made the fatal mistake of making up a whole backstory that would actually make (most) of the show make sense. Like, for example, how the universe split in two because that ancient, magical tree in the opening credits was cut down, and the reason why Gon’s Korea fared better throughout history is because Prince Sohyeon decided to make that goddamn wooden flute out of the tree’s wood in his world, but not the other. I even had a whole backstory for the origin of that tree, why Head Court Lady Noh was brought over as a young girl, and who that yoyo-ing boy (man?) is. But then, we got that extended fanservice montage in the last episode where there appears to be an infinite number of universes, which totally decimated my theories and destroyed any legitimate attempt at logic – I ended up torturing myself with questions like, if time is not linear across the different universes and in that in-between space, how in the world (heh) are the main couple managing to go on their universe-jumping trips for just one weekend at a time? And are they even managing to know which tower/beam/stalk of light leads back to their own worlds? Does my legitimately being frustrated over these questions make me a masochist? Maybe. I blame the sunk-cost fallacy. It won’t be the first time I fell for that trap in dramaland, and I’m pretty sure it won’t be my last.
Mystic Pop-up Bar: I don’t really know why I’m enjoying this show so much. It feels like bits and pieces of plot points that we’ve seen before, but it’s all held together in a charming, quirky way that manages to tug at my heartstrings at the appropriate beats. There are moments when the show feels almost nostalgic because it pulls out well-worn drama tropes that were maybe more in vogue 10 years ago, i.e. the two-dimensional villain, and the merry-go-round of noble idiocy fueled by unexpressed, pent-up remorse and tragic love that could be somewhat resolved by having some long overdue conversations. Except, I feel like the stakes are great enough that these main characters deserve an emphasis on the Noble, though the idiocy is still there in the background. I mean, you can’t really get higher stakes than an eternity of suffering for your child or an eternity in, you know, hell. Additionally, I’m loving the fact that this makeshift family may not actually be makeshift, which gives an undercurrent of bittersweetness to all their moments together and a dramatic oomph to the fact that they managed to unknowingly reunite despite literal heaven and earth trying to keep them apart. I’m pretty sure that we’ll get a happy ending with this one (*knock on wood*), but the obstacles in the way of that are sufficiently high enough that I’m actually worried how they’re gonna all make it safely to the other side.
Who Kissed Me: I’m not really an avid watcher of web dramas, but for whatever reason, I decided to watch a quick 15-minute episode of this when it popped up on my Youtube suggestions. Rookie mistake, of course, since I binged the entire series in one night and I ended up awake at 3:30 AM with bags under my eyes the next day. It’s a whodunnit show with the lowest, cutest of stakes (see: title), and it’s also a really satisfying friends-to-lovers rom-com that’s well-acted, which is definitely not a given in a web drama. It doesn’t hurt that the actors are super easy on the eyes, either. To anyone looking for a low-commitment watch, I highly recommend this show. I don’t doubt we’ll be seeing more of its stars in dramaland too, sooner or later.
Currently weecapping: Backstreet Rookie
Unfamiliar Family: Should I like this show less? I feel like I should, but I can’t stop myself from loving it. The acting is off the charts, and every episode I’m so impressed how the melodrama is grounded by fantastic performances, a great script, and some awesome direction. How can a drama with so many melodramatic moments and plot lines feel so real at the same time? I just love it. Also Eun-joo.
Currently recapping: My Unfamiliar Family
Good Casting: Everything ended pretty much as expected. My opinion of this drama stayed consistent throughout. It was okay overall, but I never felt that invested. I think my main issue was that the overarching plot wasn’t interesting to me, so the mystery and their actual operation fell flat.Although it wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for, I did enjoy some of the character moments (but bleh to the pushed romance between Ye-eun and the manchild) and comedic aspects.
Mystic Pop-up Bar: Now we’re really delving into the past life angle. I’m glad for the character focus, but I’m not super into the stereotypical first love that endures forever thing. I don’t know why we can’t just have people come together spontaneously rather than having to have relationships be fated all the time. Sometimes I just want to see random people connecting and bonding without it being preordained.
Currently recapping: Will You Have Dinner With Me
Mystic Pop-up Bar: I expected myself to fall in love with this show right from the get go, but was admittedly having a hard time connecting to the characters emotionally for the first half of its run. I was always more drawn to the Wol-ju of the past than the one of the present. However, I just caught up from last week and I’m all-in now! I think Manager Gwi is spectacular and deserves everything good in the world. The trio are the most adorable little family and I can’t wait for the dramatic reveal of Manager Gwi’s identity… and then the even more dramatic reveal of Kang-bae’s. Speaking of Kang-bae, he and Yeo-rin are such a riot and I’m rooting for them all the way hehehe.
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (June 13, 2020)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (June 6, 2020)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (May 30, 2020)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (May 23, 2020)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (May 16, 2020)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (May 9, 2020)
- Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (May 2, 2020)