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Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching

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…

stroopwafel

Twogether: I challenge you not to smile while watching this variety, it’s impossible. Twogether is such a sweet, wholesome show and it’s gifted me with a Korea-Taiwan crossover that I never knew I needed, but now can’t imagine being without. The show features Lee Seung-gi and Taiwanese actor Jasper Liu as they travel together to complete missions and meet fans around Asia. Despite the language barrier, they have a very easy, natural chemistry and a similar klutzy vibe. It turns out language is kind of like math; three parts equals one whole method of communication (some Korean here, some Chinese there, and a heap of English). I really can’t get enough of variety veteran Lee Seung-gi teaching newbie Jasper all of his scheming variety ways. Jasper is still so innocent and honest but he’s learning quickly. I’m only halfway through, but I’m so glad I stumbled on this little slice of sunshine.

 

missvictrix

Currently weecapping: Backstreet Rookie

Unfamiliar Family: I continue to love this drama, and everything about its relationship-driven stories. One of the highlights for me this week was that gorgeous moment between Eun-joo and her husband (via flashback and present-day scenes) where they discuss a friend being someone “who carries your sadness on their back.” Such a beautiful sentiment, and I like how the drama pulled that in to tell us more about their relationship, both past and future.

It’s Okay to Not Be Okay: Thanks to the lovely @mary, I can’t call this drama anything but Psycho Butts (long story), but it’s okay. I only caught the first episode so far, but I lerrrrvvvv what I’m seeing. It’s so dark and yet playful and interesting. And our leads?! Like I said before, they’re so beautiful it makes me want to cry a little. And I’m just going to keep saying that every week, because it’s that true.

 

quirkycase

Currently recapping: My Unfamiliar Family

Backstreet Rookie: I went into this one expecting a train wreck. It was more coherent than I thought it would be, but I can’t say I enjoyed it. Saet-byul feels like a stalker, and it’s all too over-the-top for my taste. The humor is hit and miss (mostly miss) for me. I do have to acknowledge the strong stylistics, though. And Jung Eun-ji’s cameo made me happy. But this one isn’t my style, so I’ll pass.

It’s Okay to Not Be Okay: Wow is this drama beautiful – the colors, the still shots, the lovely way of framing flashbacks to look like old film or photographs. Not to mention Moon-young’s amazing styling. The aesthetics of this drama are no joke. And I’m loving the whole grim fairy tale vibe. I was already a fan, but I freakin’ love Seo Ye-ji here. I seriously hope they keep her character as is and don’t water her down as we go, which is what dramas tend to do with unconventional leads. I’m always nervous when dramas depict mental illness since it rarely goes well, yet I’m always hopeful they’ll get it right. Everything else is working for me so far, so I’d hate for offensive portrayals to ruin things down the line. Fingers crossed they’ll do a good job here.

Mystic Pop-up Bar: There was quite the tone shift in the last episode or two, which felt a bit incongruent. I’d hoped for more from the ending. It felt like we were back where we’d started, and the emotional impact of the final showdown was kind of negated by the last several minutes of the drama. On the whole, this drama was middle-of-the-road for me. Just like with the recent Good Casting, some of it was fun, but I wasn’t super invested.

 

selena

Currently recapping: Will You Have Dinner With Me

It’s Okay to Not Be Okay: WOW. Just… wow. The colors, the cast, the darkness balanced against the lightness of this show — I love it all! The thing that impressed me the most are the transitions from scene to scene. They really put a lot of care and effort into the production and it has really paid off! Also, the actors playing the younger counterparts of Kang-tae and Sang-tae deserve a shoutout. Ughh I’m so in love!

 
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Me 4 weeks ago: I'm going to try to comment on every WWW post from now on!
Me now: ...woops

So, I have a lot of catching up to do, huh?

Hospital Playlist (12/12): Slice-of-life near-perfection. In true HosPlay fashion, the finale made me laugh as much as it made me cry. I know many people complain about the episode lengths, but it honestly got to the point for me with this show where I didn’t notice the time passing. I could stay in this world with these characters forever and it wouldn’t seem too long. That, I think, is the mark of a truly exceptional slice-of-life drama. I have my issues with the way the lovelines in this show were handled, but everything else was perfect to me. I can’t wait for 2021.

Mystic Pop-up Bar (10/12): Love, love, love. I haven't watched the last episodes yet, but this is my favorite drama and my favorite roles from all 3 of our main cast members now. Their dynamic is pitch-perfect, and I loved both the world building and the storytelling in this drama. I'm gonna miss it!

Old School Intern (5/24): Decided to drop this one. It was pretty funny and I enjoyed the cast, but the story and shenanigans were already getting stale for me.

Team Bulldog: Off-duty Investigation (8/12): Another one dropped. I was enjoying this one, but their decision to make a trans character a killer put a bad taste in my mouth and I quickly lost interest in the rest of the story as well.

My Unfamiliar Family (8/16): LOVING this one! Probably my favorite show airing at the moment! All of these family members are so complex, and I love learning about their lives and how they became the people that they are. The characters are just so well-written, and well-acted. Yes, it's melodramatic, but in a way that feels real, and I'm pleasantly surprised by how they've dealt with our gay characters' stories so far. Tae-hyung's story is given the complexity it deserves, and I love seeing how his relationship with Eun-joo is developing. I truly hope these two can be friends by the end of this.

Backstreet Rookie (1/16): Dropped like a hot potato. Anyone who believes this drama isn't racist and offensive is just being willfully ignorant.

It's Okay to Not Be Okay (2/16): Like everyone else, I'm loving this! It's very well-made so far, and while I don't necessarily think it will be a drama that really makes me Feel like my favorites do, I can tell that it will be fun. Seo Ye-ji is killing it as always. Love her!

Forest of Secrets (6/16): Very slowly making my way through (I just don't have much time at the moment!) but still loving every second of it when I do watch it.

I'm also still making my way through both Dal-ja's Spring and Because This Life is Our First with my friend(s) and, of course, having the time of my life. I hope Lee Min-ki stops sending coffee trucks to sets and starts getting his butt back on a drama set! I'm begging!...

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I need at least a drama announcement before the year ends! Save my 2020, Min-ki! I know he just wrapped a film. I know it's only been, like, 6 months since The Lies Within. I'm impatient!

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Forest of Secret is my favorite Kdrama ever. I am always happy to hear it is beloved.

Also great list of dramas. I didn't bother with the ones you dropped because I never started, but I like your thoughts so I'm glad I didn't.

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I wish I had more time to just sit down and binge it!

You not picking up those dramas is probably good judgement. I'm just obsessive about trying to check out at least the first episode of every new drama, because sometimes they surprise me.

Backstreet Rookie did not... Or, if it did, it was only in the bad ways.

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There is supposed to be a sequel to Forest of Secrets, but not sure on schedule.

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Yeah, They already had the cast reading, I'm so excited!!! Soompi reported on it some time ago.

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Yes, I think it was originally supposed to air in July but got pushed back to August?

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On Bae Doonas Instagram account she posted a teeny tiny, highly pixelated teaser of the second season some time ago... so it is ON and I am very excited, too!

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On Bae Doona's instagram not very long ago she talked about wrapping up filming of season 2, it has the original 2 leads which makes me beyond excited as season 1 was just that good!

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All the episodes of Hospital Playlist were so charming! Every character had a key role to essay.

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It was just such a pleasant show to watch! I really miss having it in my weekly rotation.

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Yes! Pleasant is the word that fits so well. I hope season 2 continues the pleasantness :)

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Hospital Playlist is the drama of the year for me. It was so beautiful and chill. And as I described it to many of my friends , its a show of friends who are doctors who are doing jobs which are nothing out of ordinary for them but are actually extraordinary. 😅. It highlights the little things so beautifully. Besides the cases which touches our heart but also their moments where they are just sitting together having their meal and talking together makes me feels so nostalgic and makes me miss my friends . ♥️♥️ And i was a bit worried they will end the series in cliffhanger coz there will be more seasons and they had cliffhangers but they ended it nicely . Looking forward to the next season.

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The moments where they eat and play music together are my favorites. They were all competent doctors just doing their job. There was no blood spurting out and surgeons ignoring the basics of hygiene... and I don't think we saw the defibrillator more than once (if at all). It was so pleasant and reassuring to see a hospital functioning normally. The cherry on the top was that the hospital politics we usually see in dramas got relegated to a mafia game. 😂

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"The cherry on the top was that the hospital politics we usually see in dramas got relegated to a mafia game."

LOL. I loved that so much! You're right, the minimal hospital politics made the show much more palatable than most medical dramas.

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Hospital Playlist also may end up as my drama of the year... literally so well made. I loved Prison Playlist, too :)

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Confession: I have not loved any drama since the pandemic because I've been in a funk of depression and stress. I've enjoyed stuff like Mystic Pop-up Bar but could not get invested like the old days (i.e., four months ago), so all my favorite dramas of the year are pre-pandemic (Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim 2, Crash Landing on You)...until It's Okay to Not Be Okay. I love this so much. It's dark and heavy and needs trigger warnings, and the leads are broken and make me cry ("Your lips are smiling, but your eyes are sad." I felt that.). Moon Kang-tae and Go Moon-young are my favorite OTP of the year for their visuals (stunning) and chemistry (fire) and sexual tension, but I'm wary about their romance because they have such an unhealthy relationship (she, an unhealthy obsession), and love is not a cure for mental illness. Kang-tae speaking banmal back to Moon-young gives me all the feels. This show is beautiful and relatable and exactly what I'm in the mood for. In conclusion, the world is still a mess, but Kim Soo-hyun saved my 2020. Welcome back, Oppa.

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Oh this is going to be the most toxic beloved relationship for me since the drama Secret. but sometimes darkness is a balm to the soul.🤷🏾‍♀️

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Oh, those intensive days with Secret....

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* intense
Or maybe both words are applicable? 😁

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They both work😁

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Agree with thrle trigger warnings. They should definitely add that.

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I was excited to watch some good old fashion wuxia drama in the guise of detective procedural, but Ancient Detective turned out to be one of the most solidly written shows I have watched this year. It starts out as a slow burn, so one would need a little patience for all the pieces to set in place for the plot to propel forward. The story does have a compelling central mystery, but the payoff is all in the ragtag gang which forms around the intelligent hero along his quest.

At first glance the ML seems to be a bit bland (a Wuxia hero who doesn’t Kung Fu! Whaaat?), but again and again through every one of the choices and the action it follows the hero proves to practices the strictest Wuxia code as the most principled, just, and kindest person who deserves the complete devotion and admiration of everyone he meets. I highly recommend to give Ancient Detective a try! Since the story revolves around a central mystery, do try to avoid spoilers. The last few episodes kept me on the edge of my seat until the very last minute of last episode.

At first the ridiculous title Oops, the King is in Love’s made me curious and after 13 episodes Oops has been absolutely delightful. The setup is similar to Moonlight Drawn by Clouds but without the tragic family history and with a more slapsticky tone. All the women characters are smart and driven in their own ways. There is stupid or annoying character, not even the second leads! We even get couple of wonderfully silly sidekicks in the forms of royal guards. Yes, certain suspension of disbelief needs to be exercised as in most crossdressing dramas but all is in good fun. Show, please don’t let me down!

Special shout out to the male lead Zhu Jian who is new to me. Perhaps not the prettiest actor out there, he has a versatile look that makes me believe that this Emperor is a clever schemer who despite limited power is able to maneuver his way capably in court. And oh yes, all of his hidden loving smiles around his favorite eunuch are adorable and his actions increasingly swoonier by the episode. I have also grown to love the heroine who reveals herself to be a thoughtful and pragmatic young woman who strives to shape her own destiny.

Both Ancient Detective and Oops, the King is in Love have 24 episodes of 40 minute each. Ancient Detective is available on Viki and Oops on iQIYI, etc..

The Oops trailer: https://youtu.be/rTZTlycbNnA

Also watching and loving: My Unfamiliar Family, It’s Okay to Not Be Okay
On hold: The Love by Hypnotic, Fake Princess
Trying to catch up: Dinner Mate, Oh My Baby
On the list: Looking forward to Steven Zhang’s Chiaki in Symphony’s Romance

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Ancient Detective is on my To Watch list. Your enthusiasm is pushing it up the list 🙂

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It's seriously good. It's one of my fave drama in 2020. The beginning is quite slow, but it's actually nicely paced

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Definitely @harunomasu, I think the slow pace in the beginning is deliberate in building up the suspense. Even though Ancient Detective might not have the luxury for lavish production with its limited budget, the storytelling with beautifully realized 3-dimensional characters made it a wonderful drama.

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Yay @dorotka! I think you will be pleasantly surprised. It feels like forever since we get a real Wuxia drama with the market saturated with Xianxia for the last couple of years. Even though the show is suspenseful, it also offers plenty of funny bromance and comedic moments.

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Ancient Detective is GOLD. I didn't expect anything when I first watch the show but it turned out to be great. I love the nuance of Jian Buzhi's actor gave to his character. His seemingly bland personality actually due to his amnesia, and when he started to open up, he becomes one of my fave drama hero for a long time. Though the reveal about him near the end felt a bit anti-climatic, since we all know who he is already. Don't you think so?

I'm so happy to find another person who like Ancient Detective too!

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@outofthisworld loved AD and I've been meaning to watch it since she raved about it. I did watch 1 episode and got me really hooked but I'm not sure why I didn't continue. I think I just wasnt in the mood for it at the time. But I do still plan to watch this. Eventually 😅

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It does feel like we are swamped with so much content, doesn't it @trinpie? In the past I always abide the 4 episode rule before deciding, but now I find myself sometimes dropping a drama after half an episode! 😅😆😆

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Yes same! I gave most dramas a few episodes but lately I've struggled to even finish 1 ep on some (Parallel Love, My Dear Lady and Beautiful Reborn Flower to name a couple). Either I am getting pickier or I just have so many options I can tell pretty quickly what I do and don't want to watch. But AD is definitely one I plan to watch, I just need to be in the mood for it I think.

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Ancient detective is quite good. It is shot beautifully with it's limited budget and story is quite solid. According to AvenueX there was bit of controversy about it.The scriptwriter was not happy with the director. If director had followed script faithfully it could have been even better. You can check out her video for more information.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItWn75MO5KE

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How frustrating that the writer has to compromise his artistic vision, @sspat. The real life plot twist in the end regarding the director is almost stranger than fiction! Now I am really hoping for a second season, undoubtedly with a new director at the helm. *fingers crossed

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So far Steven Zhang's character in SYMPHONY'S ROMANCE has been fairly bland- but we have not yet really delved into the character's traumatic past yet. In the original Japanese story we are getting smacked with his misery and trauma from the very first few minutes.

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I am almost strangely nostalgic about the toy plan catching fire montage, @oldawyer. 😂I am really hoping that the childhood trauma doesn't get resolved by some hypnosis skills Chinese Nodame learns from a book picked up at the corner store.

But honestly as long as there is no pervy Stressman in this adaptation, I am already considering it a vast improvement.

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@oldawyer @kimbapnoona (Long time no see!)

I watched about 3 minutes of SYMPHONY'S ROMANCE Ep. 1 and was thinking "hey, this reminds me a lot of Nodame Cantabile"... and when I looked it up I realised this is yet another adaptation LOL. I didn't like his conducting technique, just swinging his arms around (nerd comment alert) so I didn't continue. Maybe I should give it an episode at least? I'll look for your comments next week.

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Annyeong @wishfultoki!! It has been too long indeed 😊
You gotta at least make it to minute 4 for Steven's real piano playing! He puts in some time to at least get a few measures of Waldstein right (nerd sign flashing.) If you cannot respect Steven's fake conducting, at least I would say that I have worked with conductors who look no better, or at least not as nice.

Also hearing from other Beanies, this adaptation at least shows students attending other classes like music history so I applaud it for a more wholistic portrayal of a music student's life at the very least. 😆

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Thanks @kimbapnoona! It is true that many conductors don't look like they know what they are doing hehe. *nerd sign flashing wildly*

In the Korean version I think Park Bo-gum did a decent job conducting "Mambo", better than Joo Won lol.

Waldstein Sonata and music history class? Ok, I will give it a few more minutes. I kept rolling in misery when the female lead in the Korean version never practiced and still played impeccably. I don't know if I can watch such a ridiculously snobbish "genius" like that again.

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🤣🤣🤣 I have never seen the Kdrama version, but I got all huffy seeing in the Japanese OG Nodame learned and memorized (if I remember correctly) Debussy's L' Isle Joyeuss and Stravinsky's Petruschka in TWO DAYS for the piano competition. That, @wishfultoki, I refuse to suspend my disbelief!!! 😡 It had crossed my drama bottom line. 😂

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Thank you for pointing this out that this is a remake of Nodame Cantabile (I didn't catch the references in the earlier posts!) - I LOVED the Japanese version, meh for the Korean version. Will check this one out :)

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I actually love his character here. He feels very down to earth, a real human being - a grumpy sunbae who got swept up in the passion and quirkiness of his hoobaes. They took a quirky manga with an over the top Japanese adaptation to make a super relatable youth drama adaptation, I'm impressed! And I loved the crazy Japanese version! I didn't think a slice of life version of Nodame would work this well. Jelly Lin though....needs....to learn acting....

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😂Yes, @dokutokunaneko, a grumpy sunbae who got swept up in the passion and quirkiness of his hoobae and unknowingly becomes her mentor and her maid.

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Omg maid is the right word! I love every of his "I just can't help myself" moments where he starts cleaning despite himself looool

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Thanks for the recs! I'll check both of them out. The FL from King in Love reminds me of Park Shinhye.

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Yes, she does! Although if there is any worry on your mind @horangi, I can attest that the kisses here are lovely nonfrozen.

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Loll very important. Thanks!

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It has been more than a month when I wrote my first enthusiastic post about Tiger and Rose (and perhaps even convinced some Beanies to watch 🙂). Unfortunately my watching time is limited and I could finish the drama only this week, but it was nice to see every week the increasing number of Beanies watching and loving the show (and to feel like a proud Mamma 😊 ).
I personally loved the show till the very end, though I admit it was hard to watch eps 17-19 as I'm not a fan of angst and Noble Idiocy... and I missed the humour - only heroine's sentence “Without wifi and smartphone there is only depression left in this world” saved ME from the deepest despair 😁. Luckily the last 5 episodes were strong again, not only because the humour was back (and what a wonderful Mother-In-Law!), but I also liked all the turns of events, how the heroine got back to her world (Han Shuo was sooo right about the difference of his sacrifice in the original script and now) ...and that they did get back to the Han Actor's comments in episode 1... and generally addressed what a bad and a good script is. I think I would still love spending more time in the modern times and that they would give more time and nuance to the final reveal (and give us some swoony moments 😊). Still, I consider this a very good drama, I expected an easy comedy, but it gave me much more, I especially appreciated the intelligence and the great characters (being it the Queen or the funny sidekicks) ... and I'm now looking for other dramas of the main lead (and his moving eyebrows 😁).

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Rest:
Pop-up Bar - the last two episodes felt a bit dragging/not so engaging with the focus on the Evil Spirit compared to the funny (and yet deep) and engaging 10 episodes before. Still considering the show a surprising gem. Loved nearly all characters and Woljoo, manager Gwi and Kangbae formed such a cute family. And Choi Won Young is 💕

Psycho - love ❤, especially the fantasy element... and even wish for more uncertainty between what's real and what is the imagination... Seo Ye Ji is stunning.

Need to catch up with Baby.

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Our lovely Onion Boy Choi Won Young is having a moment. It's so much fun seeing someone who usually plays bad boys have a turn at a sweet, charming (and very handsome) character. I'm looking forward to his next drama, My Dangerous Wife, airing this fall. He'll be a not-nice dude but there promises to be a lot of character growth.

Check out Choi Won Young on Happy Together (scrub to 4:11) where he talks about meeting his wife, Shim Yi Young. He eyes actually get a little shiny with tears. *my heart!*

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Thanks for thr clip! Awww..he is so sweet. That is what true love looks like.

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With Chinese dramas involving time travel/transmigration you always have to worry about the hero or heroine either ending up alone or with a doppelganger and not the person that you watch them fall in love with over the course of the drama. So I was happy with the ending that they provided us in this drama.

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If you liked the ML actor in Tiger and Rose (Ryan Ding/Ding Yuxi) I highly suggest Reset Life with him (called Future Secrets on iQIYI). It's only 5 episodes but it was a lovely short drama a lot of us Beanies liked. ❤ we needed our Ryan fix after T&R lol

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Thanks, will check it. 🙂 I tried Intense Love... but... it doesn't really reach the Tiger and Rose quality and I'm thinking of dropping it...

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I watched the first ep of Intense Love but it didn't hook me and the FL was a bit obnoxious (she may get better later on but just from first impressions I didn't care for her).

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It’s Okay Not To Be Okay: I might be on the super minority here, but to me this week’s episode is just not that interesting. It’s visually stunning, and both Kim Soo-hyun and Seo Yeji are killing it with their amazing acting, but I’m just not feeling it. I feel like there’s little substance to the story and therefore it makes me unable to connect to both character. And I wish the k-dramaland stop using the “childhood sweethearts destined to be together” tropes. It’s getting old and I’m getting tired of it. When it appears in this drama, I couldn’t stop myself from exclaiming: “Again!?” I really hope that this drama is not going to be another rom-com with a splash of mental illness. I will still follow it since it’s Kim Soo-hyun’s comeback drama project and I just love love him so much to give this one up

My Love, Enlighten Me: I went without any expectation for this drama. I just want to see Eleanor Lee, that’s the only motivation I have for this drama. And to be honest, this drama is full of all the sappy tropes of the rom-com, from mistaken identity, bickering enemies turn into lovers, second male lead who didn’t know the word giving up (even after being told that she DIDN’T love him), critical illness, and many more. But what I enjoy from this drama is to see the growth of the female lead, Liu Nuannuan, from being an ex-idol to a successful career woman. And other things that I enjoy is that this drama use those tropes but not stuck in that tropes for long. The misunderstanding between the two leads are quickly cleared, the break-up that didn’t feel like a break-up, and parents problems that’s resolved in speed of light. And I might be the only one who think this, but I genuinely think that both leads, Han Che and Liu Nuannuan, are together in real life. Their interaction is just so natural it’s killing me. Overall, I would recommend this drama to everyone who like rom-com. Very worth watching

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Love is the cure of each and every mental disorder.
Any kdrama viewer must know this fact, and so much more in 2020.

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I am at mistake. I shouldn't defame Love

Romance is the cure of - aka specifically CN + K romance.

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I've seen "Good Doctor" and love didn't cure autism :p.

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But it did not need to.

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@kiara

WTAF.
Autism IS NOT a "mental disorder"
Autism is developmental.

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Shoot me for mixing up medical terms on a K-drama site :p.

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I plan on binging 4 episodes of It's Okay and making a decision then whether to continue but the childhood connection is a big mark against it. I like both actors and I know the production value is good, but - like you say - there needs to be substance to the story. It's all about the writing. Crossing fingers.

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Yeah. I just feel like the drama is pretty but have no real substance to it. I felt like I only watch two gorgeous people interact in a gorgeous environment. But I still have hope, so yeah. I hope you like eps3-4

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Nothing more annoying then seeing people dismiss everything as a trope, even from the moment it was introduced it was clear that whatever memories they shared during childhood it wasn't that they were sweethearts lol

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I know. But I can make do without the meeting at childhood perspective. Even without that, I think they could work together as a couple. Throwing that for the sake of making it look fated is just the simpler way of handling things, and I expect more

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Eleanor Lee was a revelation in the first few eps - I can't believe she's so young! She's a fantastically mature actress for her age. (I haven't finished the show, though - it got a little tedious, and getting back to it may take me a while).

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I always love Eleanor Lee since her Big Boss days. She's simply fantastic there. And through her, I came to know Leon Zhang so I always have this endearment toward her

For the drama: yes, it's quite tedious. Especially around eps14-19. But I love that they're using all those sappy tropes as a side-story, so it doesn't affect the FL that much

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Lapping up China's We Are All Alone. Fans of WWW, Dalja Spring, or any career women-centric dramas will relate to this drama. The FL's suits and clicking heels remind me of the suits worn by the FL in Misty. And it's Godfrey Gao's last drama. Loving every minute of it.

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I'm watching that too. I love the drama. It's quite realistic. And having Godfrey Gao is a bonus. Too bad such a talented man had left us early

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This is more Hans Christian Andersen original fairy tales then your typical Disney romance fairy tales love cures all.

The Red Shoes, The Little Mermaid and the Ugly Duckling has nothing to do with romantic love cures all. They all face their struggles and pain head on.

The first couple of episodes feels more like it's for the parents. Children born with mental illness are not a curse.

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I don't mind dark theme romance. I welcome it. And if they really do delve deeper into it, then I would be deligthful. But I have to stay cautious, and not expect much. That way, I can be unbiased

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Same and I agree about staying cautious.
I get over my head sometimes and end up disappointed.

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Yeah. I don't want to have super high expectation only to get disappointed. Better stay low. That way, if it turns out to be really good, then I can breathe easier

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substance? i thought complaints would be about the overwhelming amount of it, and not the lack thereof. there's a definitely a lot to work with in the drama, so many layers and nuances - all the lead characters are ambivalent and do not have your usual good guy-bad guy dyanmic. MY is manipulative but you see streaks of her morality that make you root for her, GT seems like the typical hardworking tough nut but in ep 3 you see that's not all to him as is a true nuanced and realistic character, even MY's dad who may be seen as an anatagonist evokes some sympathy in us when we see him basically unable to function properly. the writers are also fantastic at weaving in metaphors, foreshadowing, and allusions into the drama. beyond the characters and the plot, the directing and camera-work is amazing too, i do not think there is a single scene wherein i question its existence - every scene seems so purposeful and meaningful. even though there may be flaws, its easy to overlook them, for the brilliance of the rest of the show makes the flaws seem sometimes even purposeful, if not non-existent. lastly, the show has an essence which i think many others lack - sincerity. there is a noticeable effort to portray mental illness that others might have shyed away from. there is a sincerity to portray all characters as 3D with underlying motivations and desires. and there is a sincerity, last of all, to make us, the audience, enjoy this all (the aesthetics, the unorthodox mediums, the styling). hence i find it hard to understand this ambigious phrase "there is little substance", because, where exactly does that "little" come from?

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JAPAN

Kotaki brothers - 7.5 out if 10 - house husband. good episode

Penshion - 6/10 - those adults jokes. that indian guy and some this short chat show works.

Peanut Butter Sandwich - 6/10

Korea

Divorce Family - 4/10 dropped - gonna check in between episodes scenes in future

Gay Chef - 4/10 - nothing good to say about this cheap show
Dinner bait - 4.5/10 - now even hero-heroine as turned into a bit of annoyance. everyone's a busybody, interfering into others lives. Hero-Heroine are playing yes sir - yes ma'am game.

Backstreet nonsense - 3/10 - still a nonsense. wife that beats husband. Son that wags tail against all women. nonsense violence and much more. violence isn't humour.

MILF - 4/10. Seriously, it reminds you of few hollywood movies and even porn titles where female lead acts suggestive around the young meat. doesn't matter whether characters are around same age.
Writer and director are both into this suggestive play. its blatant.
They in a way are reducing their main leads to mere props for all this ridiculous buffoonery.

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Chinese -

True Colours - 4.5 out of 10 - Watch it fir heroine. rest is trash

Boss assault - 3/10 - forced kiss turn consensual kiss. This reminds me of those Japanese porn movies where initial rape turns into cheating wife category and sold as affair and cheating wife genre.

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Boyfriend that love, Girlfriend that Smiles - 7 out of 10.

Manga to Live Action - positive outcome. Right Outcome

Beautiful movie. i really enjoyed it. I'm craving good love for a while and at last got to see this one.

Edgy high school teens - good
Cliche characters - Just because i like the movie doesn't mean i'm not gonna raise the points.
Cliche Outcome - Outcome is awesome but you can also see it happening from the start.
Cliche - Usually Heroine meets St. Peter, Here Hero meets St. Peter.

Many cut onions but not for me. Many got emotional, I'm not.

Movie is from a twitter panel manga that became a hit.

I'm pretty happy with the outcome, Movie doesn't waste time of audience and actually gives audience some lessons of life in very simple manner.

Must watch movie.

I gave 7 because it has those cliche scenarios. Cliche works when presented well. And here cliche is working.

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Many other Japanese movies are translated now. All are trash. manga to live action - you already have source and yet yo do this trash job at writing the movie.
Kiss Me at the stroke of midnight - shoujo trash 3/10
Other Japanese movies same 3/10 - They don't even deserve mention.
Kanna Hashimoto - annoys me. She is getting so many projects and thankfully she selects are all trash as she herself is trash actress. Still i think good opportunities should go to other better actors. AHHHH - Who is good actor among all these Asian self proclaimed actors?

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I am not sure how Japan manages to make so many totally awful trash movies, but they keep churning them out. Even the non-trash ones are not that good. The last almost good one I can recall is (call me) Mother - and even there the Korean version was much better.

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@windsun33
Its one of those things that look similar but are not the same. Movies (the live action ones) form and inhabit a very different place in Japan to the rest of the world.

1 - In Japan, movies are not their dominant story telling. Movies may be their cross-over medium between groups/audiences - but all that does is overlay it with everyones cultural constraints. Live action movies are just not the primary home of their cultural creativity.

2 - No one else is making movies in Japanese so they have to...its the own language dividend.

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Dinner Mate - I am enjoying this drama immensely. I like that the leads relationship has progressed despite the meddling exes efforts. Utterly charmed by the downlow dating of HK and DH. Looking forward to more of their chemistry 🥰

Its Okay to Not be Okay - its the Show's premier week and there were a lot of info and pretty to take in. Seo Ye Ji is absolutely beautiful here as your antisocial and prickly writer. Kim Soo Hyun is also beautiful to look at but has softer edges that MY is attracted to. I will continue watching to find out what is it about those darn butterflies and red shoes.💃

Bride of the Century - still watching and enjoying the push and pull between our chaebol and candy doppelganger.👫

Reply 1988 - most likely will stop skipping thru my fave scenes and just enjoy the show like it was meant to be. Savor every minute why I love this show in the first place - family, friendship and relationship of the ensemble cast.💥

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Prickly....I see what you did there! 😉😂😂
*slowly pulls the steak knife out of your hand

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😆 can't help it. Her fascination with knives is part of who she is. 😉

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Bride of the Century! This was one of those underrated dramas that I'm so happy to have come across. Yeah it's trope-filled.. but it works! I love the leads and this light drama. Perfect for an easy watch. Haha

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It does work! 😀 plus its Lee Hongki. I will always think of him as adorable Jeremy in You're Beautiful.

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I think we all have one thing common after IOTNBO aired last week, that is we all want to cry a little at the leads' beauty.

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It’s Okay not to be Okay. I’ve already spammed the wall with screenshots and comments, so I’ll just say one word: Wow!!

My unfamiliar family. Show doesn’t give us a break, as the see some advances. EunJoo and TaeHyeong apparently have decided to find out a solution to their marriage / problem together. I really appreciate TH calling EJ to tell her he’s sorry, this could be his first step to healing. ChanHyeok and EunHee still confuse me in so many ways… I’d love them to remain as friends, but I’ll accept any direction their relation is taking. As for mum and dad, I always had the feeling that he had never cheated on her and sort of was confirmed this week. I also never thought Young Sik was dad’s son, and that the stars stickers in the truck were related to him. Now that dad has recovered his memories, we’ll see (or not…).

Will you have dinner with me. I just don’t know how can DoHee resist HaeKyung charm. I would have fallen in his arms the minute after his confession. Wait... a minute? A second! I love these two together, they share a wonderful chemistry.

Oh my baby . I can’t stand JaeYoung, I’m done with him. At this point I’m really worried about DoHa and how her parents can be such emotional illiterate. Someone please let HaRi raise that child so she can receive real love.

Mystic Pop Up Bar. I loved everything about this show, and above all Choi Won Young. I will not recommend enough to anyone who wants to enjoy a funny, emotional and heartfelt drama. It was a long time since I was this moved by a drama with so many different emotions. If you haven’t watched, please do. You won’t regret.

After trying a couple (or more) of finished dramas to binge watch, I decided to gave another chance to Perfume which I had dropped in episode 5, and alsoThe Producers, because I got anxious I didn’t have KSH 24/7 I’m having real fun watching both.

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Your Oh My Baby comment made me laugh, lol.

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Am I a bad person to wish for Doha to be adopted by Hari and YS?

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No, you're not.

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In OH MY BABY I see Jae-young and his ex as two people who need professional help.

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Totally agree with you.

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I just finished Matrimonial Chaos last week and boy, what a drama! I think I'm still under its afterglow even a week later. Apologies in advance because this is going to get long. I just adore this drama so much, and apparently I have a lot to say.

This drama is the weirdest slice of life I've watched. It told a sad story in the most humorous way possible. And most often than not, it ended up make me cried and laughed at the same time. Or sometimes, just felt overwhelmed by feelings that I didn't even know how to articulate.

This drama always made me feel things that just too complicated for words. Heck, sometimes it was even too complicated for my own heart to discern. It's not only a matter of seeing events unfolded from 4 or more different (and equally right) points of view. It's more about how even the characters themselves were not so sure what they were feeling at any given moment. It's an unnerving experience to process things together with the caracters, to not always know things in advance as a viewer. It made each of their emotional experience that much more powerful and genuine. And it made it harder for me to condemn their action or reaction.

It told a story about life so matter of factly, without sugarcoating it. How you can't help but view things because of the past, present, and your longed-for future that shaped you as a person. How most of the times there's no right or wrong, just different views. But dangit, sometimes people desperately wanted the problems in life to come with a neat solution, like a multiple choice exam at school. Sadly, real life is never as easy as that.

It's real. It's convoluted. Just as convoluted as its criss-crossing relationships that couldn't be boxed with neatly put-on label. Watching this drama is a hard-to-describe experience, punctuated by freely come-and-go side characters that made this world felt truly lived in.

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For me, a good drama is only as good as its characters. And this drama gave us very memorable and interesting pair of leads.

There's carefree Hwi-roo who seemed to be cut off from the gruesome reality of living as an adult. But she hid a contemplative nature under her easygoing appearance. Out of the 4 leads, I think she was the one most in tune with her own emotions and the complicatedness of it.

Grouchy and solitary Seok-moo seemed to be the most grounded to reality between the 4 leads. But in fact, he was the one most cut off from his own feelings and thoughts. He was always being contrary and there was this equally strong pull between him wanting to admit what he truly felt and thought, and continuing what he has done for the last 30 something years of his life. While he said he enjoyed his solitariness, I don't think he fully understood whether it was really by choice, or actually something he decided to feel like his own choice. It was hard for him to face that possibility because it would mean he needed to acknowledge the years worth of hurt he tried to hid from.

We also have graceful Yoo-young who hid jagged scars and deep pain over her childhood memories and her current life that she saw as her emulating the nightmares her mom has to go through all her life. She was the one who looked most fragile, but she was also the one most capable of lying to her own self, keeping her poise and pretending nothing ever hurt her.

Lastly, there was childlike Jang-hyun and his incapability to stay true to one woman. I know it's absurd to label people like him as childlike, but there's this kid-like innocence quality in him that's hard to decipher (and Son Seok-goo played him with airy, almost floaty voice that reinforced this particular image). You can see that his love for Yoo-young is genuine. You can see him feeling truly guilty and repentant. But you can also see him easily turn towards the long lines of other women in his life the moment Yoo-young confront him about his cheating. I'm vacillating between him trying to avoid being hurt by the person who truly matters, or him saying to himself that "See, this is who I am: a complete trash," before his failure to change himself haunted him. He always appeared like nothing touched him. He acted like he floated somewhere beyond important human connections and feelings, but the moment he couldn't lie anymore to himself, it hurts. Massively. I still can't believe how much it hurt me the moment that realization hit him.

[At the end of the day, what does it really mean to be a married couple or a family? Maybe it all comes down to understanding that we will always have our differences and trying to be comfortable living with all those differences. After all, marriage itself is probably one of the most wondrous concept of how family was made. It basically makes two complete strangers who only known each other for a certain short amount of time to form one of the closest bond among...

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... to form one of the closest bond among familial ties. Simply thinking about that made me realize that it should be expected that keeping a marriage intact is an ongoing, never-ending process.]

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I share with you two your thoughts about this drama. I didn’t watch it while airing. I wanted to binge watch in less than a week, but so just couldn’t because the story was so intense, so heartfelt, so touching.

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Welcome to the club! I still wish I could walk in to the restaurant and hang out with the women in this drama.

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They are all awesome. And I especially love the unusual living arrangement between Seok-moo's sister and Hwi-roo's sister at the end of the drama.

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I was enjoying this drama, until SM and YY broke up because she found out she was pregnant and he got back with HR. So... HR would always be the second choice? I know that is something very realastic and true-to-life but their acting happy afterwards felt jarring for me. YY's and JH's arc felt much more believable to me. I just didn't like the show after the break-up.

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On Viki you need to do a word search to find the excellent 'Matrimonial Chaos' but they've still got the awful 'Melting Me Softly' on their main page. The world is upside-down.

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They often seem to aim for the youngest viewers.

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Your review of this show makes me want to pick it up. But I'm not sure I'm ready for something intense right now.

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For me it was more reality based than intense. It's an exploration of relationships and family starring Bae Doo Na. What could be better? I'm not kidding when I say I want to crawl inside this drama and hang out there.

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Matrimonial Chaos was such a gem.

I wish more had watched it when it first aired and there would have been recaps.

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Will you have dinner with me?: As soon as Jae Hyuk spoke about the cake I knew he was allergic. He is an insane person. Also does Korea not have something similar to HIPAA, my God finding out someone's medical history is so easy. lol. Now onto my favorite non toxic couple. I LOVE forehead kisses. It brings forth far more intimacy than lip kisses. They are ADORABLE.

My unfamiliar Family: I agree about the sentiment of friends carrying your sadness on their back. It is really sweet. However ooof for Eun Joo, imagine falling in love with someone who in this case will never love you the way you want them too. There are rare instances of gay people falling in love with the opposite sex, but I don't think kdramas are quite there yet. So this is just sad all around. Also Tae Hyeong stills owes Eun Joo all the apologies. I'm waiting sir.

Mystic Pop Up Bar: What a lovely drama. I enjoyed it fully and I loved the ending. It was sweet and pat, as a drama like this needed. I'm happy my little family is together.

Oh My Baby: Jang Na Ra is a MONSTER actress. The last 10 minutes was a masterclass in resignation and utter heartbreak. (Sidebar: Also that book about Mom was weird) When she told him she was fine until she broke down in front of the book, I was crying with her.

It's Okay Not to Be Okay/ Psycho but it is Okay: WOW. That is it, I like to take my time with the show, so haven't watched todays episode yet.

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In my country it is illegal to access medical information without the patient consent, that may imply economic sanctions and even prison. Leaking such information is a felony. So just imagine if we are talking about mental health issues. In fact I was really shocked that Keane shared the information he learned as JH’s doctor with HK. It’s totally illegal, although considering he probably has already lost his medical license.

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It is illegal in most countries, including Korea. But k-dramas have their own rules, which seldom have any relation to reality.

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I LOVE forehead kisses. It brings forth far more intimacy than lip kisses.

I feel the same! Forehead kisses feel like they're more about trust, support and affection than sexual attraction.

I wish more shows had intimacy coordinators to help expand the repertoire the physical expression of love. I'm not just talking about improving those icky fish-eyed kisses. We need better hugs and more hand work. Throw in some earlobe fondling and more neck kisses! (I see what you did there, The King: Eternal Monarch!)

Too many hugs in dramaland look like they're staged for maximum visibility of actor faces rather than intimacy. (Sarcastic pro tip: A hug looks real when actors' are nestled, cheeks are touching.) The way a person strokes their thumb on their lover's hand says a lot about their connection.

Did you see the cute @dinner_couple's IG post of Dinner Mate BTS featuring the OTP working out the hug scene in Hae-kyung's office kitchen?

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I thought the hugs in TKEM were really nice!

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I totally agree about the intimacy coordinator. The hugs in A Piece of your Mind are my favorites. They had a chaste peck in that drama, but the hugs said everything. They were natural and showed how our leads were feeling.

I also agree about most kdrama hugs, they always feel uncomfortable to me, like they are touching porcelain. Hugs are meant to be felt more than any other type of physical touch. I wish they had more hugs in dramas.

I did not see the BTS, but will go watch.

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Only today I was talking to my sister about A piece of your mind and telling her that the hugs in this drama are so warm and the best thing in the show, in opposite of how drama hugs usually feel, totally unnatural.

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How did I miss A Piece of Your Mind? I lurve Chae Soo Bin. *cueing up to watch on upcoming furlough day.*😉

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The hugs in A Piece of You Mind were so wonderful! I kept thinking that they made the relationship much more natural than any kisses would have done....

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Yes, I have seen that BTS and all the others, thourougly and repeatedly... loved it every time. I wish they kept the take where she was standing and he hugged her from a seated position :D

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@tsutsuloo, @kafiyah-bello,

I'm a big fan of forehead smooches, too. The first one I saw was in THE KING'S DAUGHTER, SOO BAEK HYANG, and it was very moving. Nerdy, uptight Seja kisses his beloved spy's forehead while they are imprisoned and on the verge of freezing to death. He begs her to stay awake. Unlike her, he is afraid that help will not arrive in time, and that they will be waking up in the afterlife, "never to be parted again." After confessing that he loves her, he seals it with another kiss. The entire scene plays out over eps. 65-67. Here are a couple of clips -- alas, without subtitles.

TKDSBH ep. 65:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHbATsGAn30

TKDSBH ep. 66:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nq2Jtw1ewcQ

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At first I thought the book was weird. But when she flipped to the page of the bride saying "Eomma" I realized, oh right. These are snippets of the moments we call out to our moms. The first word, when we get hurt, when we get married. I also lost it when she came to the last page. When that wee baby crawled and pulled the mom's skirt and said his/her's first word: Eomma.

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For Ha Ri who's spoken that word so many times in her life and now thinking that she may never get to hear that spoken to her did me in. 😭

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@kafiyah-bello,

There are rare instances of gay people falling in love with the opposite sex, but I don't think kdramas are quite there yet.

Actually, this very scenario plays out for Shin Sung-rok's character (a gay food consultant, woo hoo!) in HYENA, tvN's first drama back in 2006. A nunchi-free medical student falls for him in America, he bails out and returns to Korea, only to cross paths with her again. Over time, friendship turns to something more. I found it a very poignant subplot amidst the bawdy romantic escapades of his two thirtyish childhood buddies (Kim Min-jong and Oh Man-seok) and the latter's hyung (Yun Da-hun), a washed-up writer of trashy novels who conducts extensive "research." Rated 19, this male version of SEX AND THE CITY aired at 3AM on Wed.-Thurs. -- talk about off-hours. The OST and background music are terrific. SSR, OMS, and KMJ all sing, but sadly, the pieces are not included in the soundtrack. SSR's ballad is towards the end of ep. 9, and it perfectly sums up his dilemma. He sounds every inch the musical theater actor.

Keep your eyes peeled for the WITH S2 subtitles that explain the slang and wordplay.
https://wiki.d-addicts.com/Hyena

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OH, I didn't know, that is so fascinating. They rarely even do it in American shows, so this is cool.

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@kafiyah-bello,

It's very cool, and nicely done. Even better, SSR's character exists within the context of a gay and lesbian community, complete with a married couple who serve as each other's cover. One of the partners is played by Jung Kyung-soon (Queen Hwangbo in MOON LOVERS: SCARLET HEART RYEO; Lee Man-sik's wife in KKONDAE INTERN). Hong Seok-cheon is in his element running a full-service restaurant consulting firm with whom SSR collaborates. Various friends and lovers work there. We even get to meet their parents, IIRC.

So E-Hyun is terrific as the ditzy med student dubbed "Conch" by friendzoned Kim Min-jong. She calls him "Leech" in turn. They're one of my favorite platonic OTPs in Kdramaland.

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A quick question: Where can I watch "Twogether"? (I live in Europe but not in U.K)

I am fond of both the guys. I have never seen Jasper in anything else except fiction shows so am curious.

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Netflix has it

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Thanks! I found it!

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Me too! Thanks a lot!

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@jillofalltrades,
I enjoyed Jasper's turn in BEFORE WE GET MARRIED.

Thanks for mentioning TWOGETHER. It sounds like a lot of fun. I was surprised to see Prambanan and Yogyakarta as two of their destinations, and will be tuning in. Mr. P and I went to Java and Bali on our honeymoon, and got soaked to the skin when the heavens opened up during a performance of the Ramayana Ballet at Prambanan. The stage ended up looking like Swan Lake. ;-)

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The only show i am following is "Dinner mates". (I am back to reading and writing a lot)

I finished an old Japanese show called "My Boss, My Hero". It had it's own problems but what I could not get over with is the view it takes to education. Education as a mean to "learn new things and discover the pleasure of knowledge". The school nurse is one of my favourite character.

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Hee..
This week I watched
1. It's Okay Not to Be Okay (thoroughly enjoying the drama particularly Seo Yeji's Go Moon Young.)
2. Running Man (this show has been my routine from the start and it's been 10 years already)
3. How Do You Play? by Yoo Jae Suk (SSAK 3 is already so fun)
4. Heart Signal 3 ep 13 ( Reality shows has this feel that dramas cannot have and I can't help but repeat the parts I like).

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Jae Suk's greatest talent is picking the right shows to host. How Do You Play with Hyori and Rain has been a delight.

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where do you watch reality shows with subs? I end up catching clips on YT - I don't see myself watching any long-term, but just curious. Some of the music reality shows have nice finished pieces.

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I watch Running Man and How Do You Play from K***asian with subs because I cannot watch them from viki here.
For Heart Signal 3, Channel A upload whole episodes in their official Youtube channel without subs.

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Viki has quite a few- 'Variety' is literally a genre drop down menu on the website. RUNNING MAN is one of the many variety shows which they carry.

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Yeah because I'm not super interested, I tend to ignore that. I realized Viki has a few.

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The only kdrama I'm live watching is My Unfamiliar Family, which keeps its makjang quotient intact this week. I found the opening of It's Okay To Not Be Okay very disturbing and uncomfortable, and I will wait for recaps and more comments to see where it's all headed.  

I've been investing more time in catching up with the back catalog of k/c/tw dramas that so many of you are already veterans in. I dug deep, and found this Taiwanese coming of age/slice of life (yeah, I seem to like this stuff) gem, In a Good Way. The OTP chemistry was all kinds of off the charts awesome. It's so old-school, they barely touch each other till the 13th episode, and even then, remain fairly saintly about everything. There's a total of two liplocks, and a lot of hand-holding and hugging. But I felt I hadn't seen this kind of chemistry in drama before, even when the leads were not on the screen together. 
It is not a perfect drama, by any means, starting with a badly translated title (the Chinese title "My era of freedom" is so much more appropriate); the story had great material (independence, true character growth), which could have been better presented if the episode run were tighter; very strong second ML/FL, whose storylines were allowed to deteriorate. It also had usual TW-drama problems, and the noble idiocy - laden ending does not seem to have satisfied many people (I was okay with it). I think the drama ending was made with the never-begun-but-long-speculated movie sequel in mind. Overall, this was an imperfect but thoroughly enjoyable drama, with an OTP pairing that is right up there with the best and the brightest.

My other discovery, which I raved about last time, and have now finished, has been My Huckleberry Friends. That drama was perfect in every way, this is how cliched stories should be televised. However, I thought the (usual) time skip at the end was so utterly unnecessary, and it would have been a finer show without it. Ah well.

While exploring other shows in the same genre, I picked up but very quickly dropped With You and Suddenly This Summer. For various reasons, neither worked for me.

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I like the first half of Suddenly This Summer. But the second part is just not good. I watched it until the end for Bai Yu, and he's really great

Why you don't like With You?

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Bai Yu is probably great in his own right, but he didn't seem like a good fit for Suddenly This Summer. I felt that he seemed bored while acting, and believe that he deserves meatier roles generally.

As for With You, I felt a similar disconnect with the casting. Plus I generally dislike it when the shows always make the FL out to be the stupid one, and needs the ML to be the "saviour" of sorts.

Maybe I was also contrasting both shows with My Huckleberry Friends, having watched that immediately before, and enjoyed that so much - in that show, I thought the casting was perfect, age-appropriate, with all the side characters, down to the fourth and fifth leads, getting adequate growth arcs, making it seem like a true ensemble cast. Also, the FL (and her female friends) was capable and intelligent to begin with, and needed no saviour. She made her own decisions, was not clingy, and could have easily held her own even without that time-skip HEA. I loved this about MHF, so With You, in comparison, was a dampener, especially considering it was part of the same "series".

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Poor Bai Yu need better script. If they follow the novel closely, I'm sure Bai Yu's role would be a better one. The novel is terrific

I don't particularly like With You. Because many like With You and also Huckleberry Friends. I'm just kind of surprised that you don't like it

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Oh MFH is far far superior to WY. For once, the Viki ratings were on point!

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@pickleddragon,

Bai Yu and Zhu Yilong were fantastic in the 2018 webdrama GUARDIAN, which I've been rewatching.

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Ah that wasn't on my radar. Thanks for pointing it out!

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@pickleddragon,
You're most welcome -- and I hope you enjoy it. The OST is terrific, the CGI not so much. (The investor's sudden bankruptcy drastically cut funding after pre-production started.)

The OTP's chemistry is through the roof and deftly nuanced. BY and ZYL play their characters as originally written. Their eyes, microexpressions, and subtle body language are the bee's knees, and beat the heck out of many a Kdrama OTP.

You're probably already aware of PRC censorship issues, which necessitated radical changes to the novel's supernatural / metaphysical elements, and turned BL into bromances. AvenueX has a couple of excellent videos that explain the situation, and prompted me to start reading the source material. Once I learned of its existence, I devoured all available chapters (roughly the first 50 out of 106) of RainbowSe7en's English translation of Priest's novel -- but only after I had already marathoned the first 28 of 40 episodes. The story makes a lot more sense in light of the verboten mythic background and the exact original natures of the boss of the Special Investigation Department and the Black Cloak Envoy. By now, the entire novel has been completed by a couple of other translators. It was originally posted on Wattpad, but was taken down. This site gives pointers to where it can be found now:

Translations etc master list and notes from @dtriad at "all living, the bright and the dark" blog on tumblr.com
https://dtriad.tumblr.com/post/179416163366/%E9%95%87%E9%AD%82-translations-etc-masterlist

You can watch GUARDIAN with English subtitles on YouTube on YoYo TV Series Exclusive:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLvpAVnYN4lb2Gfz6Feq3KA1r5trkUxMU-

AvenueX’s Guardian Final Review and Book vs Drama Detailed Explanation
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfOH0kFvDuQ

Guardian's Extra Special Chapter For the Printed Book
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tC9eVmy_gDU

Enjoy. ;-)

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Thanks @pakalanapikake. You're such a wonderful storehouse of information! Your comments and posts are such enjoyable reads, and I always learn something new and interesting from them!

I discovered that Guardian is also available on Viki in my region, where translations might be slightly better, and ad breaks don't come in the way. Will definitely check it out!

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Oh I must also add that my viewing experience of In A Good Way was considerably enhanced by terrific recaps over at koalasplayground - Viki subs don't do the show enough justice (many lines are even missing), and whoever the chief koala is did a fantastic job with breaking down scenes and adding her own comments here and there.

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Koala used to be a Beanie, delurking when we crazy City Hallers came out in force to express our love for what I consider to be the best KES drama. It was 2009 - those were the days!

In A Good Way is my top fav TW dramas together with ISWAK and In Time with You.

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Aaah. It shows! I could see Beanie-style enthusiasm in the writing. City Hall was such an awesome show, and the only KES show I stayed with till the very end! Thank you for spazzing with me over it recently all over again over on my fanwall :D

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Unfortunately, I'm also still waiting for that movie they promised us to complete the storyline of In A Good Way. It was a good drama up until they completely dropped the ball on the ending.

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So true! The show got me curious about the novel. Do you know if there is an English translation accessible?

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