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Premiere Watch: Lovestruck in the City, Secret Royal Investigator

I can’t seem to catch my breath with all these December premieres! This week we have a modern city romance and a historical caper at the ready. Ji Chang-wook makes a quick return to dramaland, and hopefully he’ll make us swoon. But, if you don’t feel like swooning, there’s always the possibility of a mystery, thriller, comedy mashup with our latest sageuk.

 

Secret Royal Investigator

Time slot: Monday & Tuesday
Broadcaster: KBS
Genre: Sageuk, comedy, mystery
Episode count: 16

Reasons to watch: The flood of sageuks is upon us, and Secret Royal Investigator is next to drop! The drama stars L, Kwon Nara, and Lee Yi-kyung as a sort of ragtag crew that’s tapped with making sure everyone stays lawful and legal while in public service. Well, L is actually given this role as a punishment, it seems, but I’m guessing it will turn out to be a blessing in disguise for him. This strikes me as the sort of drama whose success will depend a lot on the cast that carries it, and I’m hopeful these three will be able to bring it home. The drama seems ripe for comedy and cuteness alike, and that’s a combo no one can argue with.

 

Lovestruck in the City

Time slot: Tuesday & Friday
Broadcaster: Kakao & Netflix
Genre: Romance
Episode count: 12 (30 min. episodes)

Reasons to watch: Wookie is baaaack! Is this good? Is this bad? After personally contending with his two prior drama duds, I’m really hoping this drama is a winner. Ji Chang-wook plays our hero, who meets the free-spirited Kim Ji-won while on vacation. The two have a little flingaroo, and then, as per our title, meet again in the city. The drama is poised to be fresh and new, and has its new format to thank for a lot of that. Lovestruck is one of Kakao’s recent forays into dramaland, and while I have the sense they are still experimenting with the territory between web drama and TV broadcasting, who’s to say this can’t be a raving success?
 

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I'm gladly jumping into Lovestruck in the city... or is it a leap of faith?
Twelve episodes and Kim Ji Won. It has to be good.
I also (sort of) trust you, Wookie... Please be good. Your smile melts me... (Should I be using melt and wookie in the same sentence, is this a bad omen?).

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It probably is a leap of faith, and I'm jumping with you. Hopefully this time he turns the melt on its head, and onto us vs ratings.

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Let it be! :)

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You seriously trust this dude after, well everything he has done post Healer, which he was the weakest link in.

I am genuinely asking as I have never finished one series he was in at the recommendation of Beanies.

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I am. I finished Melty, don’t ask me why,
And Suspicious partner, still don’t ask me why.
I just like his smile 🤷🏼‍♀️

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I liked him in WARRIOR BAEK DONG SOO, EMPRESS KI and HEALER. I have avoided all his recent work. In my case it’s not that I don’t trust him but the dramas are not my cup of tea. I will similarly pass on LOVESTRUCK IN THE CITY since it’s mostly a romance and sounds thin on plot.

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Suspicious Partner was a trainwreck but the first half was good and the characters were good.

But, yeah, as soon you see Wookie these days you instantly google the age group between him and his female lead and whether the show is based on pornography. So, yeah, no faith here. I'll wait to see how people feel about it but four creepster roles in a row is not a good track record.

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Three. Three creepy dramas. And not in a row.
Just ignore me.

But the romances in K2, Melting Me Softly and Backstreet Rookie were creepy. Suspicious Partner was just a trainwreck.

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You are so right, and now that I think about it, they meet in the beach and then when they return to Seoul he looks for her. It may be a little creepy...
You may have convinced me to wait...

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One (maybe the only?) of the redeeming features for SP was the performance by Dong Ha. In a way he quietly stole the show.
O/T I finally caught up with DH’s return to kdrama land in KBS Drama Special episode 8. It is a romantic episode and he gave a nice performance. Lol in SP and LAST he was anything but romantic.
He seems to have filled out a bit (in a good way) while he was in the military.

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I still cant believed that I actually watched Suspicious partner ngl
but that's my limit. he really not good at picking a good dramas 🤐🤐

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I like Ji Chang-wook but I think that he's better suited for those faster paced action/thriller series rather than these mellower romantic types :P

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This Tuesdays & Fridays format is going to confuse me, but I'm there.

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OMG! I hadn't read that.
I'm already confused!

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HAHAHAHAH !!!

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Thanks @panshel for pointing that out. I am part of the ‘totally missed that’ crowd. Perhaps this Tues/Fri airing schedule is to accommodate our DB recapper(s).

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I'll try Lovestruck in the City since it will be on Netflix. I like Kim Ji-won and maybe if I watch some Healer clips, I can remember why I used to like ji Chang-wook.

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I'm excited for Lovestruck, maybe with Kim Ji Won and a shortened format, Wookie will come out with a win for the people. I will also watch inspector, but only for Kwon Nara.

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How many comeback dramas does one actor need?

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Lol, I loved, loved, loved Healer, so until he gets a good drama probably. I have very strong nostalgic feels for it.

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THANK YOU.....*clears throat*

Thank you.

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More than two.

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We’re on the third right now... let’s see if he doesn’t need a fourth 🙄

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If this is a botch, he's officially struck out on three. I am really hoping that this gets him back on track.

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@carlybisek Yes, third strike and I'm done.

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I’ve just watched the first episode. So far, pretty benign and typical story set up. Not exactly interesting but I think it could be as they add in the other stories. Neutral but tentatively optimistic, I guess?

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12 episodes, 30 min each. Interesting. I will give it a try for Kim Ji Won. Sawwrrry, I fell off the Wookie board.
what’s this Tuesday and Friday schedule?!!

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I know that "Lovestruck in the City" will be on Netflix but where do I find SECRET ROYAL INVESTIGATOR?

L was given this role as a punishment? ........ that's just too easy

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Isn't L a punishment itself?
I just can't understand it, because I liked him in Ms. Hammurabi, but he was quite hatable on everything else I've seen of him, which I'd rather forget about.

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*stares at Eazal in JCW*

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You are so right!
🤣🤣🤣🤣
I'm a totally biased beanie.
It's just the pretty boy that clouds my mind.
🤣🤣🤣

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And L The Wooden is not pretty enough for you?

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Oh, @pickleddragon it’s not that he isn’t pretty, and it’s not that I don’t appreciate a pretty boy (you know how many rabbit holes I inhabit, let’s not mention them all), but the guy is... how can I say it... wishy washy?
Comparisons are terrible, you know 😉

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@eazal - haha yeah I totally understand what you mean. I wouldn't watch anything with L in it either, although I agree Miss Hammurabbi was not bad. To be honest, I watched that show more for Sung Dong Il and Lee Elijah and Ryu Keok Hwan.

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@pickleddragon you and I are just soul mates! Those two (and Ryu Deok Hwan) were my reasons to watch!

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L just comes from the acting school of showing up and being aggressively pleasant. Sometimes it even works. Most times I'd have preferred acting but that's just me.

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@eazal @pickleddragon Lee Elijah & Ryu Deok Hwan were my reasons to watch it too! I was just so relieved that Go Ara didn't manage to ruin the show despite how hard she tried to act stiff & frumpy.

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I'm with @eazal. JCW over L (opinion may change at any moment).

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He was good in MISS HAMMURABI and Shin Hye-sun pulled a good performance out of him in ANGEL'S LAST MISSION as well. So the lesson seems to be- he can do well when matched with a good actress.

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L was quite lovable on Shut Up: Flower Boy Band.

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he was pretty good in the first episode. maybe he and saeguks are a team.

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SECRET ROYAL INVESTIGATOR will be streamed on iQIYI for international viewers.

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Thank you- looks like it is time for me to subscribe to iQIYI again.

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@wishfultoki,
This is one time I could give a thumbs down lol. You know what I am saying. I won’t be watching SRI but will begin TREE WITH DEEP ROOTS tonight. That will be my sageuk fix until the arrival of SBS’s JOSEON EXORCIST which hopefully will be available on Kocowa/Viki.

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Is it because you don't want to watch it on iQIYI? Episodes 1-2 are available (for free) in my region.

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Its free if you do not mind commercials for McDonalds- in Mandarin.

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@oldawer I use AdBlock and don't get any commercials.

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My basic gripe here is that I am a paid subscriber of Kocowa which for the unaware is a joint venture of KBS, SBS and MBC. So when those networks do an end run around Kocowa it annoys me.
I am already a paid subscriber (full boat) to Netflix, Viki, ODK (of which I watched exactly one drama last year: THE GOOD DETECTIVE) and Kocowa. As I wrote in another comment, if I was Bill Gates DramaFever2 would be up and running but unfortunately that is not the case.
I really don't have anything against iQIYI other than I would like to not have to subscribe to another streaming service.
I stopped going rogue (if you will) and am
trying to stick to legal streaming sites.

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I dropped ODK once Pegasus Market ended. At this point I have Netflix, Viki and iQIYI. For the most part this does the job.

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@oldawyer,
I have found that one of the advantages of having a Kocowa subscription is having availability to their dramas fully subbed on the day of airing in SK. SK is 14 hours ahead of me in NYC so in the evening the same day here I have subbed episodes. That is not the case with Kocowa dramas that go to Viki. Who knows when those episodes will be subbed.
Mini rant: There must be business/legal reasons but I don't understand why Viki is using volunteer subbers to sub Kocowa dramas when Kocowa is already doing it! I have never understood that.

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@marcusnyc20 To be fair, while I don't like that Rakuten doesn't pay their subbers, Viki still easily has the best subs around, although they take longer to be completed. I watched the first week of Mr. Queen right when the Viu subs dropped, but I worked this past weekend and fell behind so watched 3-4 on Viki and was so happy to have such great subs!

So, while Viki's slow subs of shows already available on Kocowa can definitely be annoying to Viki subscribers, I like that they do their own subs because they provide information that all of the other streaming outlets don't bother to include.

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I saw below that you subscribe to both Kocowa and Viki. Are you subscribed to them separately, or through Viki Plus with Kocowa? I have Viki Plus with Kocowa, but am curious if there's a benefit to having both.

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Hi @silkwave. I subscribe to both Viki Plus and Kocowa separately. I am a littlie crazy. I think I may have answered your question to @oldawyer above.

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Thanks! I saw the comment to @oldawyer.
I have the same gripe about Viki. I should check out Kocowa.

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Let me know what you think. I'm not sure it's work subscribing for since I know iQIYI will likely make it free, then subscriber only at about 1/2 way.

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The last time I subscribed it was because that is what happened.

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@ndlessjoie I enjoyed Episode 1. L plays a fool, whose servant is another fool. The girl is ok. Together they're like the three stooges. Ahn Nae-sang's reactions to the lot are hilarious. I'm so glad he's not playing a villain this time.

Like you said, iQIYI will eventually make it free. They might stream some episodes for free and then only for paid subscribers, but I don't mind the wait.

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It is 'free right now on iQIYI (if you do not mind commercials- in Mandarin- for McDonalds).

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SRI is called Royal Secret Agent on iQlYl (hey, anyone, is that iQiyi or iQ el y el...search engine comes up either way...odd!). Anyone know if newer Rokus be able to add it? iQlYl said to go through Google Play and download it, but m (2015) Roku won't do that, wondering if newer ones would. Meanwhile, watching it (and liking 1st ep) on iPad and laptop.

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I watched the first episode on y PC. And it is iQIYI.

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I have a newer Roku and no dice- apparently using Google play to download iQIYI is only for Android devices? I spent two hours today fruitlessly.

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I hope Lovestruck in the City does well since I want Kim Ji Won to have a ratings hit and I feel bad for Ji Chang Wook's string of terribly rated dramas. But I'm also not feeling in the mood to watch it.

I'm excited for Secret Royal Investigator since I love historical mysteries. It sounds like it will be a fun one and Lee Yi-kyung! Been rewatching some Welcome to Waikiki clips on youtube. I grew fond of L from his role in Miss Hammurabi. Sounds like plot-driven hijinks, so he may not have to do much heavy lifting.

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Lovestruck in the City streams on KakaoTV, so it won't have ratings.

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Lovestruck in the City is giving me Dinner Mate vibes with the poster. Might give it a try if beanies seem it promising.

I like Lee Yi Kyung but maybe not enough to watch L again lol

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I passed on MELTY and BACKSTREET but I will be there for all twelve episodes of LOVESTRUCK IN THE CITY. I am hoping the third time is the charm for Ji Chang-wook. I have good vibes for this project. LOVESTRUCK has a very nice cast. I remember Kim Min-seok’s riveting performance in DEFENDANT (2017) and recently enjoyed Ryu-Kyung-soo as ex-con Seung-kwon in ITAEWON CLASS. I am a ARTHDAL CHRONICLES survivor so I do remember Kim Ji-won’s portrayal of Tan-ya.

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“Arthdal Survivor” 😂
I do feel like we deserve medals for that one *shakes head*

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HAHAHA

She is a good actress though. I enjoyed her performance in DESCENDANTS OF THE SUN as second lead, and she was good in FIGHT MY WAY (which I dropped in ep. 9 because it wasn't for me, but many beanies love it). She's also close in age to JCW, which is a plus.

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AC survivor here too!
I love her cameo with Jin Goo on Mr. Sunshine.

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I really only know KJW from her work in AC however I see on AsianWiki that she had a cameo appearance in my second kdrama which was HIDDEN IDENTITY (2015).

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I feel sorry for JCW that he had to do such a terrific show like HEALER, after which obviously everything else falls flat. No one can possibly outdo HEALER. Not even Park Min Young. Not even Knitting Ahjumma Kim Mi Kyung. As much as I love both actresses, these are their most memorable roles I have seen so far.

Like some have pointed out already, I guess the standard for JCW should not be, 'will it be better than HEALER?', but instead, 'is this a non-creepster role?'. He desperately needs something, anything, to salvage the disastrous spiral his choice of roles have taken him down.

I won't be watching from the get go, though. I will rely on the judicious (hopefully unbiased - ignoring @eazal of course) beanies who are watching to give their review before attempting to go near this one.

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He doesn't have the luxury to be picky with his dramas after his controversy. All the good roles go to good actors with clean image.

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what controversy?

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Just guessing - his name came up in one broadcast about a recent very famous case named for the club involve, although it was quickly made clear he had absolutely no connection to that case?

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ohhh.. that issue

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I don't think blacklisted actors get three attempts at a comeback in a little over a year...

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C‘mon! Even if I am biased by the pretty smile I can be objective!!
Sort of, yes... but objective!
I dropped Dodo and I love puppy!!!
Have a little faith in me 😂😂😂

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LOL. Okay Eazal. If you say so. DB is recapping! So I also look forward to the comments from objectively biased commentators like you ;)

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Don't trust me - I was mostly fine with Suspicious Partners and The K2. You'll know it's really bad if my avatar changes.

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Baby is waiting mugy. ☺️

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The truth comes out... never trust Muggy. 😂

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@wishfultoki I stand by my total devotion to Mary Stayed Out All Night.

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It's a pass for me. Both of them look boring.

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I'm not sure about Kwon Nara in a sageuk, she's looking like a modern girl catapulted in Joseon for me. I love Lee Yi-kyung but I'm tired that he always casted for the same kind of role. He was so gooood in Children of Nobody as a serious cop.

I'm curious about Lovestruck in the City, I love both actors and the story looks nice. It's a short story, so no fillers!

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I still want to watch Lovestruck for Kim Jiwon, but after JCW controversy, now everytime I see him I remember his cringey video when he smoked.

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I enjoy fusion sageuks because they throw the modern stuff in...making you aware that it's rather spooky, but fun.

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Secret Royal Investigator isn't one of my cup of my tea yet. I think that it looks like my indefinite punishments and going to hell right now to SRI characters only.

So, I go with Lovestruck in the City. (excitedly fun laughing at the series especially the cast)

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I want to 'try' both. About L well I am loving his character in Angel's last mission that I am watching right now and absolutely enjoying the drama. Also I liked Kwon Nara in both Suspicious partner and Itaewon class. While I want to give JCW another chance but watching three dramas at once is already a lot at present for me.

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In my not so short anymore drama watching period, I still haven't watched a Ji Chang-wook drama! :P I'm giving Secret Royal Investigator a shot, lets see!

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If you're going to watch a JCW drama, make it Healer.

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Run straight to Healer and don't look back.

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Me after watching episode 1 of Lovestruck on Netflix:
Why is it only 30 mins??? Nooooooo

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Wait lovestruck in the city is only half an hour every Tuesday and Friday of a total 12 episodes? Interesting format...

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Finished watching Lovestruck in the City and I have to say it was, "alright." It'll take a few episodes to find its footing but with the 30 minute format things should move briskly. I'm a huge fan of leads and based on their previous works they both "should" be able to pull this off. As Mom always said, however, "Should is a word that doesn't exist. You can never say what a person should or shouldn't do."

That said, let's not blame actors for a poor story which will probably be the issue here, if there is one. Actors are severely limited by what they're given. Even an Oscar-level actor can't save a project if the script is 'Dumb and Dumber.'

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Watched secret royal agent and it was quite enjoyable. L doean't look that bad in acting department (his face is pretty as usual). Nara's looks is quite modern but i just accept it as it is. Like her character and lee Yi Kyung is fun as usual.
This drama looks like a low budget historical if we compares it to Mr queen (another sageuk airing now). Hope people give this a chance. The chemistry is OK. The rating is quite great too (above 5% which is great for drama now a days when we can see 0,... % rating and 2-3 % average rating).

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Watched about 11 mins of Lovestruck and I am not feeling it. Maybe re-watch it on a different mood? Maybe I was still on Kairos high that is why I did not appreciate it. We shall see...

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Suggestion. Perhaps wait until the second episode is available and then watch them back to back. The episodes are around 30 minutes each. I am going to wait until the second episode is available.
I loved KAIROS and will start watching the final episodes tonight.

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Yeah, I’ll probably do that!
Thank you 😊

I loved the ending!

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