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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…

 

missvictrix

Currently weecapping: Oh! Master

Law School: I was interested to see what this drama would be like, but I can’t put my finger on how I felt about the first episode exactly. I like the narrative structure a lot, and the setting and students are really well set up. But the endless stream of legal cases, codes, and jargon legit made my mind glaze over. And while there’s no shortage of action/conflict (whether it’s the real murder or the mock trial), and no matter how much I already identity with Ryu Hye-young’s character (that college terror was real lol), I can’t say I was all interested in the story yet. Two details I really enjoyed, though: great POV camera work, and an OST that’s so snazzy it’s almost too big for the drama. We only heard it about three times, but it’s already stuck in my head.

 

quirkycase

Currently recapping: Vincenzo

Beyond Evil: I appreciated the hopeful ending to this dark show. I’m still surprised I liked this drama as much as I did, but I really did enjoy it. I think the main reason was Shin Ha-kyun. Dong-shik was a great character who made the drama, and that was mostly due to Shin Ha-kyun’s wonderful performance. The small town setting was also refreshing and gave it a different vibe than a lot of crime dramas we’re inundated with these days. My main complaint is that the villains were a little over the top at times, especially Do Hae-won. But overall, this was a thoughtful, gritty crime mystery that took a familiar premise and approached it from a different lens. It stayed heavily character-focused (with a solid cast) and didn’t feel overly procedural or flashy, and that’s my kind of crime drama.

Navillera: Ugh, I was afraid of this. I’m here for the heartwarming, not the tragic, so I hope things don’t get depressing. I do love the way Chae-rok is stepping up and being so caring, though. That scene where he did ballet for Deok-chul on the street … these two are killing me.

Sell Your Haunted House: Ooh, this seems like it’ll be fun. I’ve only watched the first episode so far, but I love seeing Jang Nara in this kind of badass role. The tone is lighthearted even with the horror elements mixed in, which is nice. Not that I mind dark stuff – I often gravitate toward it – but I’m in the mood for something a little more fun and less heavy.

 

selena

Currently recapping: Mouse

Navillera: With all the murders and revenge plans saturating the drama scene lately, Navillera has been a breath of fresh air. I just want to peacefully enjoy a show without worrying about a serial killer sometimes! I haven’t caught up to this week’s episodes yet, but I love that Deok-chul brings out genuine smiles from our grumpy ballerino. Chae-rok’s interactions with Hae-nam are so sweet, and it makes me happy to see him and Eun-ho becoming closer. I’m rooting for Eun-ho and her mother to break free from Seong-san’s set ways and pursue what makes them happy.

 
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Completed shows
Beyond Evil - Could have done without the Russian roulette theatrics with Ju-won's dad but was still a nice end to the story with the two leads in a good place.

Ongoing shows
River Where the Moon Rises - Was there a reason to kill On-dal's mom other than to have the big penultimate week separation of the leads? I think Geon and Mo-yong's story should have ended last week. The last scene with the Princess and Geon just seemed sad. There was also no clear explanation for why the Prince/ New King is suddenly quasi-evil?

Navillera - Very moving set of episodes. The scene where Harabeoji cried for his parents was so poignant and the Ep. 8 ending was simply beautiful.

Mouse - How many serial killers does Korea have? And why are they all smarter than Ba-reum (or Yo-han's brain?) - nearly everyone around him has found out he's the murderer! Didn't Hong-joo already see Ba-reum in the video and not say anything? Why did she ask Bong-yi to talk to the same guy again?

Oh! Master - Came very close to dropping it after Ep. 7. Two grown men acting like children was really unpalatable. Ep. 8 was slightly better but can we please do away with Bi-soo's dad soon. This was supposed to be my happy pill show 😫

Vincenzo - Paused till finale week.

New shows
Taxi Driver - Too little Esom. And maybe this is the Mouse effect but not enough comeuppance for the appallingly evil people who ran the factory. Still watching though...

Daebak Real Estate - It's like a more mature Let's Fight, Ghost. Probably not as funny but enjoyable enough for what it is. And it's been a while since the last ghost-of-the-week show I watched so I'm in.

Law School - Stop with the high-pitched OST please. It is DRIVING ME CRAZYYYYY! Stop the dramatic camera zoom-ins. And stop the creepy child rapist too for the love of god.

C-dramas
Still watching Word of Honor, No Boundary, Love Scenery, and Hello Mr. Gu.

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violence had ridiculous last week episodes. those feel good moments where culprit is brought to justice. This was typical appease he audience move. Things were rushed and done with no legal logic whatsoever.

H U S H of 2020 has far more real outcome where almost everyone goes scot-free or with very less consequences.

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The OST reminded me a lot of Sky Castle, actually 🤭

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I found it so disruptive, it reminded me of (shudder) ALMOST PAAARADIISSSEEEE 😶

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THIS.

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I think I dropped A Good Supper, the show lost its appeal, the plot got repetitive, there was more and more shouting and plotting and less and less of love (and fishing), heroine's spunk (and brain) disappeared etc etc etc. I picked up Be My Dream Family instead. Also a daily but feels more like a weekender. So far I love the old couple dynamic and how despite different character traits they love each other. It's also the first time I'm seeing Park Joongeum playing a nice character 🙂 And I love her 💕

Vincenzo - I find the last killing move by the villains totally stupid, the right threatening is the Vincenzo's way - cooking and having lunch with the traitor's family. Oh well, I'm there anyway for the humor and absurdity - I was in stitches with Inzaghi's Hitchcock Air Squad and with the shaman voting (and all those Vincenzo's nicknames 😂)... and Balloon Trio scenes remain the highlights 😀💕

Navillera - I still don't like the Big Revelation and still would prefer if Deokchul learnt ballet just because he wanted to. I'm much more interested in the little revelations about the family members.... and their personal stories.

Petty Lee Minki - I like Moms and the Record Ahjussi... and the quieter moments of our main leads ... but I'm nearly always cringing whenever the second lead gets into the picture and everyone turns into a kindergartener...

Daebak Real Estate - badass Jang Nara. Yes!!!! 💕💕💕

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Stale soup is just there to infuriate you. Da Jung's anger reactions is what audiences reaction is towards wholes story and most of characters. flipping table is actually graceful meme feeling compared to the feelings this show creates. proper headache.

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“ It's also the first time I'm seeing Park Joongeum playing a nice character ”

My mother also has never seen her play a nice character, and isn’t yet convinced that she is a nice character!

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She's a typecast and that is what earns her a meal. Her being rich and loud is a given. I've never seen being a villain - ofcourse her characters go overbaord atleast once every drama n does few -ve acts but overall she remains on +ve side.

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I enjoy the actress even when she plays villains 😀, but this time I really hope the character stays nice till the end!!

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Navillera: The ending of Episode 8 was so beautiful. This is a really special drama. I was wary of an Alzheimer’s storyline but finding out that it was the reason Deok-chul wanted to learn ballet and wrote everything down in his little notebook was very effective. Park In-hwan is just wonderful as Deok-chul. I don’t think I’ve ever felt quite this protective of a fictional character before.

Law School: Yes, this drama is OTT and unrealistic but for me, entertaining. I’m a slice-of-life girl, but I like my law and medical shows soapy. So bring on murder and secrets and overdramatic lectures and mock trials.

Vincenzo: No, episodes this week. Boo. As for last week’s episodes, I’m in the camp that was greatly amused by Inzaghi and the pigeon mafia. SJK was great in Episode 16. I like that they do let him go dark. It probably won’t happen, but I want the cliffhanger to result in a dead body this time.

Beyond Evil: Solid drama with good acting and a satisfying ending. I enjoyed the progression of Joo-won and Dong-shik’s relationship.

Mouse: Poor mama cat and kittens. Are we getting a psychopath of the week for Ba-reum to kill? Mouse still holds my attention, for the most part, but it should have been 16 episodes. Then it would have been a fairly fast-paced, if overly gratuitous drama. The actors are going to have to drag it over the finish line at 20 episodes.

Taxi Driver: I did not like the revenge scheme in Episode 2 so was glad that it was addressed again in Episode 3. I know school violence is a very real issue, but I was uncomfortable with vigilantism related to it even though those kids were monsters. I’ve also seen it dozens of times before and was bored. Esom is wasted in this show. I don’t believe I’ll be sticking with it much longer.

I still need to catch up on Oh! Master and start Sell Your Haunted House.

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Moo-chi is too smart for a 20 episode drama. Eps 1-6 blazed by but now we have a psychopath of the week, and I think the show lost focus. If Ba-reum is going to give in to the dark side, the show needs to commit and have a game of wits between Moo-chi and Ba-reum, who should apparently be a genius too. The misdirections and fake-outs are getting tiresome.

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JAPAN -

Deep ni - 3/10 - atrocious.

RikoKatsu - 7.5 out of 10 - 1st episode has all those scenes and moments scene before and 2nd episode gonna have the same sort of moments but still this 2005 is working in 2021. Keiko Kitagawa looking gorgeous - better than gakki and satomi. This drama could be the 3rd to be added into top of 2021.

Renai Mangaka - 4.5/10 - meh. same things again and again. It surely did have a few funny moments.

Colourful love - 4/10 - dropped.

Nemesis 4/10 - meh

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Cricket + Anime -

Wisden announced photo of the year

and this is the runner's up pic https://cdn.wisden.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Runner-up-Jed-Leicester-scaled-e1618416701337.jpg

heh.

After a long time started to watched 2 anime

It's Too Sick to Call this Love - 4/10 And adult guy going after on a highschool girl - reminds you of hit manga of father's romance with a highscool girl who is daughter's friend. comedy ok but overall quite boring.

I Shaved. Then I Brought a High School Girl Home - 4/10 now now where are we going? typical light novel story.. comedy is the only thing to vouch for.

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I dropped ColLove and RenMangaka pretty fast. Not for me (I even disliked all the manipulation in Magaka). I'm giving Deep ni still a chance, it's worse than I expected, but there were moments I liked. Btw, is the third brother the true villain?? 😀

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I had no expectations from all these except Rikokatsu. I don't think there is any villain in the drama. A few -ve actions here and there might be but no true villain. 3rd aka youngest brother!!? That guy looks like typical lousy and laid back guy aka mediator. Eldest brother and hero surely have resentments towards each other but i don't think those -ve feelings are deep enough to go all the way to harm each other.

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I though there would be a twist and the third brother is secretly pitching the two older brothers against each other 😈

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KOREA -

Law School - 6/10 - If we play slice of life and even try then we get 1 social or legal issue each week and main characters chit-chat, measure the pros and cons and voila we get most likely a solution that gonna appease the middle class audience. Things can be done differently but almost all kdramas would have gone this way.
Here writer has written soap-opera played in a law school. Writer has gone for spicy food and intentionally adding more spices to make story look fun and interesting. Direction isn't bad. So called actors have nothing much to do. Music if above average. Writer is quite bad, copy-paste characters story is going the route of 1 character per week in limelight mode. Who is who, who has done it nonsense gonna be played for 5 consecutive weeks. No space for logic in a legal drama - that's what writer came up with.
Overall, another typical kdrama. pomp with little substance.

Wanna be hero - 3/10 - Maybe maybe and quite possible that audience can't differentiate between justice and revenge. That's why this kind of shows generate good ratings. 1st week Action was taken from real life incidents and anyone can google them and find dozen articles. 2nd week is typical school bullying - again another real issue. The thing is revenge scenario doesn't work and very foolishly done. Again not much logic and only delusional beings get to sooth their heart via such nonsense.

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Wait a minute, Law School didn’t get an alternate title from you???

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Because of legal buzzwords i let off the 1st week episodes but no more respect from next week onwards. And harpy sisters name need some changes too as things have changed.

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Yeah, That's how it is - 7 out of 10. All episodes watched. This show really is a Family drama. Very less talked about but far better done. Simple yest realistic and ofcourse had its own share of spices added by the writer but none of the it was nonsense or highly illogical. Recent years weekend dramas have turned into big orgies and have no story as well as character progression but here slowly- slowly thing moved and improved. Rare Korean drama i have respect for.

Harpy Sisters - 6/10 interesting characters and story marred by writers out of character movements. Time is being wasted and romantic couple's buildup is too fast.

Life is Beautiful - 6/10 watched 1st week - too many characters to take on.

What Happens to my Family - 6/10 - 1st week.

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“Yeah, That's how it is” - one of my favorites.

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Vincenzo.We started laughing and then things got pretty serious. Although the show could handle better the “serious” parts to make the ridiculous ones even better, I’m totally in love with the drama. Missing it terribly this weekend. Fortunately I can do group therapy with all chingu beanies affected.

Taxi Driver. I gave it a try, but I was totally distracted and payed little attention, specially to episode two. I don’t think I’ll ever get over my LJH trauma because of Fox Bride Star, but I’ll wait to see what beanies say about it and maybe resume it.

River where the moon rises. Only two episodes left and I’ll have a bean, that’s the best thing I can say. Drama should have never been 20 episodes. Not a single character knows what he/she wants: now it’s white, then it’s black. Such a lazy and terribly bad writing.

Navillera. Drama is going down the road of dementia quite quickly, and I’m in pain for both our leads: DeokChul is running out of time and ChaeRok is losing again the person he’s leaning on.

Oh, Master! aka Mindy’s drama. The love triangle is totally unnecessary but I’m in love with Joo In and BiSoo together. The mums subplot is cute but we all know we’ll end up in a pond of tears.

Law School. Such a disaster. The premiere was over the top makjang, unrealistic, tropey, and ridiculous. Not for me. At all. I wanted to watch for Kim Bum but I’m afraid I’ll have to wait until his next drama.

Sell your haunted house. Surprisingly this was the premiere that worked for me. I liked the story, how it was told, the pace, the acting. Hope it sticks to it, even if we will have almost every trope involved.

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Oh, I forgot I also checked the Law School.... and I had completely the same reaction. Pity, because the premise sounded interesting and I like the actors. (Perhaps the PD of Cheat on Me could elevate the show? 🙂)

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I'm watching Law School for Kim Bum too, lol. I'm giving it 2 more episodes before I quit. The Who dun it? is unfortunate because the drama could have been really interesting.

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I am doing the same thing, but I confess to having little hope.

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“The love triangle is so unnecessary” - isn’t that the truth! As for triangles, it certainly is the most amicable one in a long time and it’s tolerable to see how the show plays it out only because of Joo-in. I think Nana would react the same way in RL, too haha! I laugh at Bi-Soo being a step behind (flowers) and all .

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100% agree on River. Sigh.

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My favourite thing this week was Ghost Mum throwing a strop because Badass Jang Nara was buying yet more black boots. (Doesn't Ghost Mum know that you can never own too many pairs of black boots? Or black sweaters for that matter)

Sell Your Haunted House was much more amusing than I thought it would be.

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I also loved that scene, and couldn’t help but whisper to my mum, in case she was looking “Mum, she doesn’t have too many, just like me” 😆

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Doesn't Ghost Mum know that you can never own too many pairs of black boots?

Aigoo! A woman after my own heart! I forgot that Sell Your Haunted House started this week. I suddenly want to watch everything!

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I have to say I'm sure Ji-ah wears out her boots more easily than most women considering all that running and ghost-fighting.

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LAW SCHOOL

From the premise to the flashback-heavy format of interweaving between past and present, this is totally a Korean HTGAWM. The dynamic of the law students and their characters reminded me of the Keating Five. Myung-min's character is totally Annalise. Even saw parallels in the classroom scene and dialogue, most especially the stern "Don't take a learning opportunity away from another student." I read a comment online that the writers were encouraged to watch HTGAWM in order not to copy it. If true, that defeats the whole purpose, doesn't it? Watching the show will influence the writing, even if it's subconsciously. Anyways, I'm not really gripped by the story. Not sure I'll continue and it's not my HTGAWM bias talking. Or maybe it is? Whatever. 😂

DAEBAK REAL ESTATE:

J'adore Jang Nara here. But something about the male lead turns me off. I don't know what it is yet.
Nice to see HDL's grim reaper here. I'll continue for now and see where it goes.

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Why don't so many Beanies think to spell out the full name of a drama -- at least the first time they refer to it in their comment?
There are far too many dramas and films over too many years to expect others to know what all the title abbreviations are and understand the point being made.

Then too, many shows have more than one commonly used title on different sites, such as I Remember You/ Hello Monster; Goblin/ Guardian: The Lonely and Great God, or Forest Of Secrets/ Stranger.

Beanies' comments often contain good insight and recommendations, or warnings, but they are not helpful if you can't figure out what show they are referring to, especially if you haven't watched it yet.

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😆 at your comment. You are so right and I try to, but I see these as little trivia questions😉. Actually, we had a trivia game that had just the acronyms of shows and we had to figure out what it was. So to help you out here: Htgawm is a totally an American show, How to get away with murder. HDL is Hotel del Luna, I believe.

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Or spell out an actor/actress' name. There are WAY too many with the same initials.

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Vincenzo - Mom certainly didn't deserve to be taken out like that. Truly heartbreaking that no amount of action, by anyone, will ever bring her back. ..... Speaking of action, Song Joong-ki in full ruthless, revenge mode is, dare I say, a sight to behold.

Sell Your Haunted House - Looks like this may be quite interesting! I'm having a bit of trouble warming up to the male lead though.

Law School - Was really looking forward to this one, but something's missing. I don't know. The way the story is jumping around with the timeline isn't helping either. I may give another episode or two a try before deciding whether to continue with it or not.

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Speaking of action, Song Joong-ki in full ruthless, revenge mode is, dare I say, a sight to behold.

SJK's economic ruthlessness is devastatingly attractive—especially in those suits. Have you noticed how S.K. fight choreography often includes slapping and ass-smacking? In addition to pain, there's also humiliation.

Now I'm in the mood to watch Jang Hyuk fight scenes. Watching that man fight makes my ovaries burst.

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...Money Flower...

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Ah! I loved Money Flower and absolutely lost my sh*t over Jang Hyuk. Did you notice how director-nim heavily used the tilt camera affect in both Money Flower and Crowned Clown? Fuzzy edges, crisp horizontal center. Not sure if she's used it in Vincenzo–maybe for dreams or flashbacks? Will keep a lookout. Only on Ep. 7 and I love it.

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I don't remember the camera angles 😅 but I loved everything in Money Flower, especially the music.

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OH MASTER (EP 7-8) Oh the tropes keep coming . . . as I said in the recap, the beginning clarity of the shows leads has turned into a murky quicksand of a floundering script. I like Nana but I don't think she can carry the show by herself through a manipulative love triangle and a show direction set to go off the rails at any moment.

BEAUTIFUL WORLD (2019) (Ep13-16): I don't know how I missed this when it first aired. This is one of the best written and executed dramas I have seen. It moved along without filler. The cast was excellent. The story twists and turns were believable. Well done.

DAEBAK REALITY (Ep. 1): I watched it because I saw Jang Nara on PCITH (see below). She was very goth/withdrawn throughout the first part of the episode which was not very appealing. But she did a big 180 at the end which was good. It has not clarified its world building canon yet and I don't see a real connection between the two leads so I have a wait and see attitude on this show.

Variety:
PROBLEM CHILD IN THE HOUSE: This show is really turning into a good talk show. Jang Nara was on to promote her show. You can tell she is a very shy person but because of nature of the program she did open up about some aspects of her personality which were very insightful. If you like Nara, you should watch her episode.

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Let me concur with your thoughts on BEAUTIFUL WORLD (available on Viki (US)). It is a wonderful drama.
While watching NAVILLERA I have been thing about BW and how in BW the relationship of Sun-ho and Joon-seok was resolved. In NAVILLERA the relationship between Chae-rok and Ho-beom has to be resolved. I hope it will be in the style of BW.
In episode 8 I think it was Ho-beom who called Chae-rok about Deok-chul. That maybe the beginning of reconciliation.

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Beautiful World is an absolutely gorgeous show - I also missed it when it first aired but was so glad that I caught it later.

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Beautiful World was a wonderful, underrated drama.

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River: We are almost at the end. What a ride. Despite the fact that our Geon is gross, drunk, and trying to martyr himself, him and Mo Young still have it. I hope the actors do a better drama together because hot&hot is the right name for them. As for the rest, it is fine.

Navillera: I cried and I cried these last two episodes. Alzheimer's is an awful disease. It was well done though.

Sell your Haunted House: I want to apologize and give kudos to the beanies who said Jung Yong Hwa had improved. You were right. HE improved a lot. I actually believed he was playing his character. Jang Nara as always is excellent. I like the premise and the show is fun. I am in.

Oh Master: Lee Min Ki is surprisingly adorable. I didn't think he had it in him, but how cute is he. He and Nana make a very cute couple. This drama is insanely predictable, but I don't mind.

Law School: This is interesting. If that is how law school in SK is, it is pretty similar to my law school experience. Probably not as dramatic, but the socratic method was real. One student in my section had the last name Kool, so was the first to be called on in all our classes, lol. You get used to it and it isn't so terrifying. There were interviews to get into the more prestigious law schools too. As for the rest of the drama it looks like it is going to be a "Who dun it?" I'm not sure if that will be fun or not, but I am in for now.

Taxi Driver: We shall see. The first two episodes are fine, but maybe they will get better.

Vincenzo: I miss thee, come back!!!😭😭😭😭😭😩

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Fortunately, there's a lot of juicy fan-created Vincenzo content to hold us over: The YouTube music videos celebrating the OTP's badassery and silliness; the BTS interviews and clips; and the tumblr Chayenzo thirst community churning out fan fiction faster than you read it.

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Hello beans, its been a while. Mostly because I... decided to take a small break from dramas, and then when I came back, there was er... problems. I am a bit uncomfortable starting a new drama and afraid that it will or get cancelled or have the main leader changed (I am not against it, please). My trust is a bit... out there. But 2 dramas that started lately got my attention.

Law School - I totally agree with missvictrix here. I watched the first episode, but I am a bit lost with all the terms. I am gonna give another try with episode 2 and 3.

Taxi Driver - I am not that invested on it. The justice thing is not my thing and it remind me of Batman way more than I wanted. But I will keep watching because I am here for my girl Esom.

What else? I watched Search WWW and you guys were not wrong. IF there is a perfect drama, that is the one and I think thats the reason I had to have a break. Everything in that drama is perfect. That drama is reasons. And Jeon Hye-Jin, omg. And then I found out that she is married to Lee Sun-Kyun and I cant stop making a remix of My Ajusshi and Search WWW in my head.

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Wow, I knew my gorgeous Ajusshi was married to an actress, but do you think I did pay attention to whom??? 😱
This is a big surprised for me. I loved all the women in http://WWW... I didn't know Jeon Hye-Jin was married to my Ajusshi. Thanks for telling me. Now, now let me think straight.
For me, it was the first time watching her whatsoever, but wow, she has presence! I mean, she looks amazing, and her character in WWW was amazing. Sometimes I hated her, sometimes I adored her. I was sad they have to divorce but the open ending made it look like they would become lovers, LOL.... imagine being lover with your ex, but of course, the husband in the drama was a hot ex...

Anyway... gossip, gossip...
I really want to watch my Ajusshi again. By the way. Talking about the real husband.

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Beyond Evil I was kinda disapointed by this drama. The acting was great but the story was meh for me. The "everyone is suspicious" was overused. I don't think the fact this drama took place in a town was well used, we got to see the same characters everytime and they were all guilty of something.

Navillera I don't like the alzheimer's plot. I don't think it was necessary to add melo in this story, there was enough elements to make a nice and touching story. This old couple is the sunshine of this drama :)

Sell Your Haunted House I really like those 2 episodes, the contrast between the badass exorcist and the fraud was pretty funny.

Oh! Master I paused and wait for cute moments on youtube to make me continuing it. But the last recap made me think that I will drop it.

Law School When I read the news about this drama, I wondered how long it would take for the mock trial to become a real one. I didn't think there will be a murder so fast... And I didn't like it. Now, it's a "everyone can be a suspect" story again... I don't really like the student between the ones who know the Penal Code by heart and the one who can't say a sentence, where are the normal ones?

Taxi Driver The new case started late in the 3th episode, so the beginning was kinda boring. I like it for now. I wonder what side Esom's character will take.

Vincenzo No episode this week-end 😭

Summer Guys I want to try these cocktails too, they look pretty 🍹🍸

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Taxi Driver: 7.5 We have two new shows with people who had committed crimes against children being released from prison -- raise your hand if you like the way this show dealt with the perp more than you like how Law School is doing it.

Vincenzo: 9.0

Beyond Evil: 7.0

Oh! Master: __ Didn't watch this week; likely drop.

River Where the Moon Rises: 6.5 Having her likeable brother turn out to be a jerk as king gave me quite a case of whiplash.

Law School: 7.0 Enjoyed day 1, had trouble following day 2. JTBC giving itself a better 10th anniversary here than with Sisyphus (?)

Sell Your Haunted House: 8.5 They had me when the FL cussed out her mom's ghost for having bad fashion sense.

Meanwhile, I'm sure all the black hair on Haunted House characters is supposed to reinforce the stark / sinister / haunted vibe, but it seems unnatural to see so many Koreans with such black hair. Oh, wait.

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Historical inaccuracy in River/Moon ?

This week our princess had a tough fight against Baekje, but my Wikipedia-level Korean history thinks that is improbable. At the time of the show, I think Baekje & Goguryeo didn't even have a common border and couldn't have gotten at each other except by sea or by going thru Silla.

The tail-end of our show is set in 590. That's when the old king dies, the princess' brother becomes king, and also when On-dal [spoiler].

Background: originally the capital of Baekje was in the area of modern-day Seoul, but Goguryeo snagged that area in 475, and then in 553 Silla grabbed it, breaking an old alliance with Baekje against Goguryeo. Baekje then had only (1) the southern half of the old kingdom, (2) a deep grudge against Silla, and (3) literally nobody to fight except Silla because they didn't have borders with anyone else, while Silla had a fair chunk of the west coast of Korea and a bullseye on its back. After that it seems to have been mostly Baekje & Goguryeo against Silla until Silla & China took them out in 660 / 668.

See maps of Korea in 375 / 576
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:History_of_Korea-375.png
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:History_of_Korea-476.PNG
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:History_of_Korea-576.png

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Dear @pakalanapikake are you checking in?
@lordcobol has done you proud!
Thank you Lord Cobol for the information.
Even though I dropped RIVER I would like to make it a late season catch up.
The above reminds me of watching sageuks with my sageuk-sages: @pakalanapikake, @kiara and @wishfultoki. There is always some history to learn.
I am off to a bad start sageuk-wise this year, RSA a non-start, RIVER a drop, JOSEON EXORCIST well we know what happened there. I am waiting for a sageuk reboot with Jung Il-woo’s upcoming BOSSAM: STEAL THE FATE (if available on a legal streaming site in the US).

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I have been missing @pakalanapikake since September last year.
Hope all is well with her

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I'm miss my dear teacher.
Come back to us @pakalanapikake.

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@kiara is too busy with the White Wolf :p

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100% true.

I'm so excited! White Wolf is the end game 👍.

Bye Bye Hydra.

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@marcusnyc20 bong-soo,
I'll be tuning in to BOSSAM. I believe Toki is too.
I hope some kind soul will sub it 🙏🏼.

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I miss these discussions. I like making connections between sageuks.

incoming rambling - you've been warned

@lordcobol you may be right. These "borders" between the Three Kingdoms were contested and changing all the time, so it's possible that the battle shown in RIVER is about Baekje and Goguryeo fighting over the Han River area. @kiara help me out 😂

I'm going to backtrack a few decades to establish the context for Goguryeo-Baekje conflicts... I don't know if RIVER addresses any of this.

Much of the drama KING'S DAUGHTER SOO BAEK HYANG is about Baekje's King Muryeong (501 – 523) reclaiming the Han River from Goguryeo, who had taken the capital of Baekje in 475 and killed King Gaero.

Then King Seong (523–554) allied with Jinheung of Silla (Park Hyung-shik, HWARANG) and they defeated Goguryeo. They also split the contested land between them. Of course then Silla betrayed Baekje and took over the whole Han Valley. King Seong was killed in battle. I believe that's what your 576 map shows.

But Baekje didn't just accept that - Wikipedia must be pro-Silla ;)

Wars continued under King Mu of Baekje (BALLAD OF SEODONG) in the 600s, with shifting alliances. And don't forget the Sui Dynasty.

My guess is RIVER is set in 580s in the time of King Wideok of Baekje, who turned to the sea and sent diplomatic missions to the Sui. That didn't go down well in Goguryeo as you can imagine, because they would be the first to have to deal with a land invasion from China (as it indeed happened. See Goguryeo-Sui War, 598-613). I haven't seen a drama that deals with the Sui. Their failed invasion is only mentioned in DAE JO YOUNG as a glorious precedent for Goguryeo's resistance against the Tang invasions (644-668).

Does RIVER address any of this geopolitical mess at all? If so I may be tempted to pick it up again.

End of rambling. I'm off to watch DAE JO YOUNG (Episode 55 of 103, help me). Currently King Bojang (last ruler of Goguryeo) is pretending to be a Tang vassal while plotting the restoration of Goguryeo. Alas, we know he won't succeed.

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I always forget that Hwarang was based on a King who existed, this drama was so ridiculous...

Thank you for the informations!

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@wishfultoki

I'm going mostly by memory here because I deleted my history file with the timeline of this show.
I dropped RIVER at eps 8 so I'm not sure which battle we are talking about here. If we are talking about pre-575 then it would have been a 3 way battle. Anything after 576 was primarily between Goguryeo and Silla.  
King Jinheung (540-576) who established the Hwarangs pretty much screwed up Baekje and expanded Silla's territory along the eastern coast.
When Jinheung died Goguryeo started reclaiming their old territory back from Silla.  

Goguryeo's overlords were loyal to their country so I hated how they screwed up the Gyeru tribe.  Also Yeon Gaesomun's father was the current prime minister. He served both Princess Pyeongggang's father and brother.
Goguryeo had great military leaders like Mundeok, Gaesomun, his grandfather and father, Manchun and more who defended their country and reclaimed their lost lands which eventually forced Silla to seek an alliance with Tang.

The so-called history of the 3 kingdoms was written about 500+ years later by Kim Busik, a Silla descendant and his team of Confucian scholars. The modern historians mostly agree that he was biased when it comes to his ancestors' home country and even against women.

Anyway, this show tops the most uninspiring writing of any 3 kingdom era sageuk for me. I don't miss it at all.
  

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Show is currently in 590, unless Wikipedia is way off. The articles on Goguryeo kings say 590 that's when dad dies and brother becomes king. Also for those who don't mind spoilers, there's an article on On-dal that mentions a key event in his life in 590.

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@wishfultoki and @lordcobol
Wiki's dates are the same with Samguk Sagi and Samguk Yusa.

RIVER is set between 561-590 then.

Goguryeo:
Pyeongwon (559-590) and Yeongyang (590–618).

Silla:
Jinheung (540-576), Jinji (576–579) and Jinpyeong (579–632).

Baekje:
Wideok 554–598

Northern Zhou:
Wu (561-578), Xuan (578-579) and Jing (579-581).

Sui Dynasty:
Wéndì (581–604)

Göktürks:
Muqan Qaghan (553 – 572), Qaghan (572 – 581), Amrak....

Toki I would have marathon "Yeon Gaesomun" but there is no Eng subs.

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@kiara @lordcobol

Yeah, it would make more sense if the battle were between Goguryeo and Silla... I bet they're saving it for the grand finale though. Poor Baekje, dragged in as a plot device.

So I guess we can say historical accuracy is Gone with the River? ;)

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Thanks for the info, @lordcobol!

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Beyond Evil (Series review) - Mood progression: B- / B- / B- / B- / B / B- / B- / B-
I’ve certainly seen this sort of ending before: the show tries its very best to shock audiences in the penultimate episode with the cliffhanger but then goes through the very same motions of a standard HEA ending in the finale episode. Is the predictability putting me off? I can’t really say no since I did find myself yawning as the leads went through the motions of dismantling the Dinner of Corruption club. However, the show did get the main characters right and that’s why I think this show has been worth the watch. It would’ve had to pay more attention to its supporting cast to advance up a level.

Law School (Episode 1-2) - Mood: C
My first impression of this show is not a great one: the editing is so maliciously confusing that I’ve had to rewatch some scenes multiple times to make sure I understood the timeline properly. As for the writing, the characterisation was quite predictable with Sol A being the inquisitor that the audience can root for while everyone and their mother has skeletons in their closet. Wouldn’t it be a great twist if Sol A turned out to be the murderer? Alas, it seems that the show has fixed 6 possible suspects or red herrings and she’s not part of it, though I expect someone to have wiped off their footprints?

Mouse (Episode 12-13) - Mood: C-
You’re telling me that Ba Reum left Bong Yi overnight in the evidence room without checking that she left? What if she’s got bladder issues and couldn’t get to the toilet? Ba Reum would be shocked not only in finding her but her pee too! It’s seriously frustrating that the suspension of disbelief is so high with this show, what with the bike dash-cam that caught Ba Reum’s face perfectly, Yo Han’s mom being involved in another serial killer case, Shin Sang’s bride being that case’s killer’s daughter and Bong Yi casually stealing in the middle of the hospital. But great cliffhanger, even if it’s a fakeout?

Navillera (Episode 5-8) - Mood: B- (5-6), B (7-8)
As much as I like the show, I feel that the show would’ve been spectacular if they: 1) removed all family characters sans Hae-nam and Chae Rok’s father and focused on those two, 2) removed all restaurant characters and White Hair Guy to avoid lame drama and emphasised instead the ballet studio characters: ex-couple, doctor, pianist, the other dancers. I think we would’ve seen more ballet but more importantly Deok Chul and Chae Rok’s journey within ballet which the plot is mainly about. I’m still upset we got a terminal illness trope with the dementia but that ending made me forgot it a bit!

Taxi Driver (Episode 1-2) - Mood: C-, A vigilante procedural seems predictably uninspiring but one more week.

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Law School "editing is so maliciously confusing"

Exactly. Perhaps they should have done Film School first.

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There are so many things in Mouse that don’t hold up if you think about them. Like how there were no security cameras in the hospital to catch Bong Yi sneaking in to smother Yo Han, which I constantly forget even happened 😄

I think it’s not a fakeout this time - I guess we’ll see.

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Navillera: On hold for now. Planning to binge watch after all episodes are out.
Oh! Master: Have not watched latest episodes yet.
Law school: Least impressive out of latest crop of shows. Over the top, loud with too many fake outs. I will give it two more episodes but probability of dropping this show is about 80%.
Taxi Driver : Three episodes so far and one thing is sure – Lee Je-hoon can act. For rest of the show, I am still on the fence. Between this and Law school, I think I will follow this show till end.
Sell Your Haunted House: One word- Jang Na-ra. She is pretty good; I am not sure about Jung Yong-Haw. He is bit bland acting wise; it does not help that his character is not likeable so far. I am not too worried about it though, Jang Na-ra is capable to carrying a show alone.

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"one thing is sure – Lee Je-hoon can act. For rest of the show, I am still on the fence" @sspat, I'm exactly at the same place with Taxi Driver! I really enjoy looking at LJH wearing different types of eyewear, and Esom is one of my girlcrushes, though, so I guess that tips me towards watching for another week

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Re NAVILLERA. I continue to love this drama.
I am not upset with the introduction of dementia into the drama what annoyed me to no end particularly in episode 8 was the use of
the ‘noble idiot’ trope first and most importantly with Deok-chul and secondly with Chae-rok.
When in a kdrama has noble idiocy ever produced a positive outcome?
I give Deok-chul a slight pass but as soon as his wife accepted his desire to learn ballet in my opinion he should have told her and then his youngest son who is a Doctor for crying out loud.
Now, Chae-rok in my opinion you should have probably told Eun-ho, the Doctor son (who you know a bit) and Seung-joo.

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I respect your opinion, but I mean is telling Eun-ho and/or the Doctor son the way to go when the person himself hasn't done that and hasn't wanted to do that just yet? I understand where you're coming from, but I am not sure that's the most appropriate way to go.

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Chae-rok inadvertently discovered Deok-chul’s condition. Now he is carrying a burden that is not his to carry. We saw it at the beautiful ending of episode 8.
My point is that once the family knows then a plan can be developed to help Deok-chul achieve his dream. That is what I am hoping.

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Vincenzo
Oh how do I love thee! This drama is so much fun! I recommended it to my friends and they are enjoying it as well. Episode 16 reminded me why I was such a huge fan of Song Joongki. The guy knows how to emote with only his eyes. The wait for the next episodes is unbearable!

Mouse Ep 10 - watching 11 as we speak
I am using Vincenzo's hiatus as a opportunity to catch up on this drama. Well, it sure is a crazy ride. The amount of plot twists per episodes - especially the whole "Suspect A is the killer...oh actually it was Suspect B or is it C...never mind it was actually Suspect A after all"- is giving me whiplash.

I'll be disappointed if the fan prediction that Bareum was the serial killer all along doesn't come true. I'm here for dark Seunggi, so just stop the baiting and just do it for real, show!

Navillera
I also have mix-feeling about the dementia plot line but so far it has been handled in a way that doesn't take away from the heartwarming quality of the show. I love these characters!

Last Friends
I finished watching this Japanese drama this week...
It was one of the most depressing drama I have ever watch and I have seen my fair share of bleak dramas. The ending was definitely more bitter than sweet in my opinion. I needed a feel-good drama after this.

Le Coup de Foudre
Here's the aforementioned feel-good drama. I am really enjoying this so far (despite the awful filter used, but I already vented about that on the open thread lol).

The smart socially-awkward male lead and the academically-struggling social butterfly female lead is probably the most overuse trope in youth dramas but I fall for it almost every time. I especially love Yan Mo. He's so funny and endearing. He doesn't come off as aloof like the other male leads from this category.

This made me wonder: as there been any youth dramas with a reversal of this trope?

I couldn't think of any from the top of my head. It seems these kind of dramas never dare to depict the female lead as "smart" and the male lead as "stupid"...

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Off the top of my head, Forever Love and Don't Disturb My Studies had female leads who were smarter/ more academically gifted than the male leads.

In Forever Love they turned it around to show the male lead was also smart (a computing genius 🙄) but Don't Disturb... kept the same dynamics broadly.

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Thank you for the recommendation! I'll have to check these out.

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I adore "Le coup de foudre"... she was not stupid, just at school not an A student.
But I think she was smart enough, and good enough for him. She simply possessed other type of "intelligences"... emotional and social intelligence, for instance.

I liked one scene where they were searching for the collaboration of someone who could help them with their business, and the man asked him, why he was with her, I think, and Yan mo said he had lost almost everything, but she still had faith in him, or that he had lost everything and only had her... something very sweet on the line, but without being cheese, it showed he respected her and thought her as needed and important in his Life (as an equal).
And I loved that.
Many times male leads behave mostly misogynistic, wanting to have a beautiful partner, who cannot live without them, because that boosts their ego, but Yan mo, as aloof as he seemed to be, was very in love with her for the right reasons.
I would watch that drama over and over again.
Although, yes, some parts of the filters or the edition were a little bit annoying, but it was bearable.
Second characters also very cool to watch... family issues, business issues.... I think were portrayed in a rather realistic way..

I can only recommend watching😆😄😅

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I agree. The female lead isn't stupid (never thought she was either).

Indeed, most dramas that succeed with this trope are the ones that showcase the different types of intelligence. They also have characters that have different strengths and weaknesses. Thus, they end up balancing each other out and helping each other grow as individuals.

I was just wondering if there was a drama in which the female lead was the one tutoring the male lead for a change.

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🤔 That I would also have to think about...
In the drama: Run on, with Siwan and Shin Se kyung, both female leads were somehow more complement than both male leads.
Actually, Shin Se kyung treated Siwan like a child many times... she had to tutor him, so that he learned to be more socially aware of himself, but also, she taught him the importance of loving oneself... not by cheese saying I love you, by the way.

I liked that for a change.
Siwan's character had other strengths, by the way. But then again, it was as if in what mattered "plot-sake", she was kind of superior than him.... And again, I liked that.

I will keep on thinking, but I can leave you for today with this recommendation: Run on.

In my corner of the world is 10pm. I am going to bed😅

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* I meant female leads being more "competent" than male leads, sorry for the typo

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Glad you enjoyed LCDF! It's on my list of Fave Cdramas. *whispers* OTP secretly got married in real life and have a baby! Yay! 🥰

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I've finally got around to watching School Nurse Files and am enjoying its weirdness.
Last night I began re- (re-re-re-) watching my perennial favorite 'My Mister.
For currently airing fare 'Revolutionary Sisters' has turned out, to my great surprise, the least disappointing series of the current crop. To use a line I recall from the series 'Melo Is My Nature', it is consistently mediocre and consistency is a valuable thing.

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[Revoluntionary Sisters is] consistently mediocre and consistency is a valuable thing

Perfect. Would you describe Revolutionary Sisters as "excellent trash"?

Lack of consistency is one of Oh! Master's problems. It's nominally a rom-com that careens between showcasing a mature, charming love story and the worst excesses of sh*tty dramas.

Is it too much to ask our shows to be either sincerely good or to be excellent trash?

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I think Oh! Master's problem is it not sufficiently *self-aware* to invite us in on the shared joke the way 'Revolutionary Sisters' does. It doesn't embrace its own badness. A little winking towards the camera to acknowledge the story is absurd can go a long way in getting people to accept it. Like, for example, School Nurse Files.

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Beyond Evil: Came to a good close and my life is emptier without it. I'm just gonna play the OST on a loop.

Vincenzo: Impatiently waiting for it to return because I suspect the body count will get higher.

Navillera: Wow, this show suddenly turned angsty but I still like the relationships in it.

Rom-coms are normally not my jam (because of my cold, dead heart) but I decided to check out the first episode of Oh! Master just because I've seen the name pop up several times. Definitely not planning on continuing but holy moly! Nana is so pretty! I actually paused my video a few times so that I could just stare at her.

To maximize my procrastination, I binged watched Sweet Home and really liked Lee Do Hyun in it. I haven't watched any of his other stuff since I think he always does rom-coms.

As for non-kdrama shows: Binged on Falcon and the Winter Soldier and season 2 of For All Mankind. Looking forward to the finale for both next week!

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Sweet Home! Just today been listening to Lee Evie's podcast episode about SH and felt like rewatching it 🤔

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Vincenzo 16/20 : My favourite and most awaited of the lot. But no Vincenzo quassano this week. Very disappointed. But the last 2 weeks episodes are some of the best episodes. Is it just me or did anyone think "here goes the romance to a back seat" after seeing vincenzo on a raging spree. I sometimes feel guilty when I'm thinking of romamce when all the important stuff is happening.
Beyond evil Completed : Really glad I joined halfway through and completed the drama. It was really good until it turned towards han ju won's dad. But even then I really liked that how we know who the killer is but the leads don't know about it and how they came to know about it. Acting is solid all around.
Navillera 8/12 : Love the relationship between deok chul and chae rok. I'm not minding the alzeihmers much and looking at the show wothout being affected by it. It was so heartwarming to see chae rok's contended smile while halmoni was fussing over him and just chilling in their house. Probably my favourite scene of all.
Reply 1988 7/20 : Taking this drama really slow and not in a rush to complete it. Feels like a sitcom. I think I know who the husband is because I accidentally spoiled myself way back. Love all the characters except unni and love especially the parents. I only watched reply 1997 and both feel so different from each other.
Completed hyena 2 weeks back.
Would like to start sell your haunted house bit thinking about taking a break from kdramas after vincenzo as it is becoming a bit overwhelming but don't know how it will workout since I'm soo excited about youth of may.

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I sometimes feel guilty when I'm thinking of romance when all the important stuff is happening

The Vincenzo romance is everything because it's rooted in their partnership. We know how scorching those two are ... Whether we get more "lovey dovey" stuff doesn't matter to me as much as long as they stay together!

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I live for how often they're framed side by side together in a shot, like partners ready to take on the world. A perfect match on every level.

(but forget lovey-dovey, I will even settle for them using each other's actual names by the end instead of "lawyer-nim". Cutesy nicknames like 'sweetie' and 'darling' are also very welcome!)

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Mouse - As of the latest episode the story now is heading into early 'Dexter' territory. I think Ba-reum is now learning the ropes to perfect his crimes by trying to cover/waylaid his tracks from Moo-chi's relentless investigations. If my theory is correct this will be heading to an explosive showdown between the two of them at the end.

Taxi Driver - This show is about revenge call services which sounds absurd initially but I felt that the first 2 episodes are quite engaging story wise. Will watch back to back eps 3 & 4 tomorrow.

Sell Your Haunted House - Really looking forward to this new series and it did not disappoint. What's not to like when you have a property company called Daebak Realty? Jang Nara looked really cool here :P

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Law School: As my husband said, "Now we get to see what Law School was like for Bo Ra. It's a Reply 1988 sequel!"
Navillera: I could do without the illness, but I still love it and look forward to this one. The characters are all so caring, even if they don't want you to know it.
How to be Thirty: Short web drama that just wrapped up. I'm about half way through and even though I have a good idea what's going to happen, it's nice to have a straight up romance/ girl friends drama in my cue. So many heavy dramas lately.
Mouse: Subs on ep 13 were slow and I haven't circled back to watch it yet. I don't think it's going to take Det. Moo Chi long to figure out what's going on.
I've been putting off starting any of the new stuff until a few more episodes have piled up... So, I've been watching some older movies that I've been meaning to get to.
Dongju: Portait of a Poet: I started this a couple of years ago, and got distracted. I'm so glad I went back to it. Kang Ha-neul was fantastic as the shy, conflicted poet. The director and a lot of the cast were also in Anarchist from Colony, which didn't surprise me. Top notch, all around! I was surprised to learn that I've liked so many of this director's films: Hope, Sunset in My Hometown, The Throne, Sunny... I'm looking forward to seeing Book of Fish.
Miss Baek: Perfect timing because it also stars Lee Hee-Jun playing basically the same character as in Mouse but with less serial killers. This cements that Han Ji-min is an amazing actress.
Josee: Off-beat romance, I'm here for it! Although, it did not end the way I hoped it would. I liked Han Ji-min and Nam Joo-hyuk, but I needed more ending in my ending.

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"The characters are all so caring, even if they don't want you to know it." This.

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Director Lee Joon-ik is the master of sageuks. I've been following his work since "King and the Clown."
I get to lazy watch his movies because he does all the research.

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NAVILLERA handed us a real gut punch his week. Writer, you are not supposed to make my wife cry. This would have been a great story without that. It can still be a great story with it but still, geez.

My wife spent this week mesmerized by THE GREAT QUEEN SEONDEOK which has sixty episodes. She stayed up late last night to complete it. Of course now she is behind on her other shows. It even means that we have not yet seen this week’s episodes of OH MASTER. But we did take a break to watch the newest version of EMMA, which was good.

To fill in the time until I get my wife back I have been watching the C-drama MY DEAR LADY, a formulaic but enjoyable rom-com.

The weekender REVOLUTIONARY SISTERS shows only slight improvement. I am actually surprised that the ratings have held us as much as they have- and wonder for how much longer that will remain true. So for my family drama fix I am enjoying BE MY DREAM FAMILY has done well for me through 13 half hour episodes.

I have not yet started SELL YOUR HAUNTED HOUSE- my wife was not yet available to watch it with me. But I am certainly going to in part because it will be fun to watch Jang Na-ra in a bad-ass role. I am a fan and would have watched in any case because of Jang Na-ra but thank you Quirkycase for confirming that this one will be worth-while.

As for LAWSCHOOL and Missvictrix’s point about the endless stream of jargon, cases and codes: That is what makes it authentic because that is what Law School is and it has to be that way. Physicians deal with peoples bodies but lawyers deal with peoples lives. Even more than that they deal with people at the worst moments of those lives- the moment when the cow by-product has hit the rotating blade. At that moment those people need someone who looks at the world like a lawyer- who will see what the problem is and what can be done about it. But how do you produce such a person? By immersing him or her in the law and teaching them how to think like a lawyer. That is what law schools do and the best ones do it the most. What emerges from that form of education is a person who has been trained to think and who will do so even as he or she deals with people who are in an irrational and emotional state. All of which means that this story will unfold in a fully realized world where the details are authentic- making for a better mystery. I have to agree with Missvictrix about the OST- it is fabulous.

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Did you ever watch the Paper Chase?

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Yes, Houseman gave a memorable performance as Professor Kingsley.

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For some reason Law School also made me think of Paper Chase. I still remember Professor Kingsley's famous line about "You come in here heads full of mush. You leave here thinking like a lawyer."

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It's a great line. Fortunately, while I had world class professors the teaching traditions of my school were a little more respectful- as one of my professors put it - "you have already graduated from college, you are an adult now."
While they were still rigorous in teaching it was better and I think part of why our alumni are so good is that their attitude is one of treating everyone with respect and dignity- because that attitude was instilled in us by example. We are better lawyers for it.

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I found Emma a visual treat... but it didn't engage me emotionally as the older version did.

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I only watched the trailer of the new "Emma", and it didn't even made me want to watch, not even out of curiosity.
I have to say: the best Emma ever (to my humble eyes) was 2009's Romola Garai.
Gwyneth Paltrow's was not that bad either, but obviously too short and she looked old to be Emma, as beautiful as she is...

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We own DVDs of both The Gwyneth Paltrow Emma and the one with Romola Garai. Both a wonderful but I think that I also give the nod to Ms. Garai's version. It was not just Her acting but really the acting of everyone who was in the drama.

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Romola Garai was my favorite "Emma" too.

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Same here - too much visual in the new Emma that I have no appetite to watch it. And, Romola’s version remains my favorite and it’s score is in my Spotify playlist - delightful to the max.

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As you said - a visual treat but not as engaging emotionally.

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I think you and your wife might enjoy The Long Ballade. It's the only C drama that I'm watching right now. A really good mix of wuxia and court politics.

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My wife has already gone far into THE LONG BALLAD. If I had more time I would watch too, but unfortunately she is retired but I am not.

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Heh.

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Our teen just introduced us to Noragami, a quirky and charming 2015 anime series on Hulu about a Japanese school girl who gets tangled up with a Shinto god desperate to build his own shrine. Nobody takes him seriously—after all, he carries a flip phone and wears a track suit—but he works hard to fight the negative spirits that take over vulnerable people. The girl's soul keeps slipping from her body so she's aware of the afterlife and becomes his partner of sorts. Very entertaining so far.

I'm only on Ep. 7 of Vincenzo so am grateful for this week's hiatus. The episodes are dense and almost movie-length. Have you seen such a perfect ensemble cast? I love every, single f* one of them. God, I hope they manage to stick the landing.

Why am I still watching Oh! Master? I'm not sure if it's actually gone off the rails so I stay for the OTP chemistry (so good!) and the mother characters.

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Didn't have much free time this week, and, to be honest, among the airing dramas I'm not finding any that really engages me. For the moment, I'm a lot more invested in watching Kingdom's crazy ass performances.

Taxi Driver looks slick, but, yeah, I've got issues with retributive justice... Still want to watch this week's episodes before I decide whether to keep watching. But Esom and LJH look very fine together, and watching them going from enemies to lovers could be my catnip.

Also, Hello, Me dropped on my region's Netflix and I watched the first 4 episodes. It doesn't feel very original, but it's an easy watch, so there's that!

Also watched Scripting your destiny, essentially because it's a short webdrama, and it had some funny beats. Felt a bit underwhelmed by the ending, and the acting was a bit uneven - really liked the FL, Jun Sonee, but the destiny gods were... humm, how to put it without being negative?... they were very pretty? Anyway, I'd totally recommend this to someone looking for a short romcom fix.

Still haven't caught up with this week's River where the moon rises, and might as well wait for next week's episodes to air and marathon the last stretch.

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Also want to check out Law School because I loved Kim Bum in Tot9T. Might wait for more Beanie feedback, because first impressions seem to be a mixed bag

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Oh another Beanie following the reality show Kingdom!
Which one of the "To the World" performance did you like best?

I was most impressed by Ateez's performance, definitely my favourite from this round.

I also enjoyed BtoB's (those vocals!) and iKon's (what a great remix of their two biggest hits).

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I've had fun watching all of them, the skills and the production scale are really awesome. I don't usually watch talent shows in my region, but Kingdom is really next level. But my favourites are the same as yours: iKON for hiting the right spot between great singing and a fun performance, BTOB for the beautiful singing and the sageuk-y feel they recreated, and Ateez because they brought in a freaking kraken 😂

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The Kraken! hahaha The reaction of the other groups to it was hilarious.

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Oh I am watching Kingdom too. But I guess I am too old, because this week episode was so blah to me, I just could not get/understand half of it. All of them are incredible talented, but it was just not my thing. That kraken.... tho.... wow

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Yeah, these 4th Generation guys really step it up with the acrobatics and props, and crazy styling... It's a bit overwhelming at times, but I'm having fun. And the kraken was bonkers, I loved it

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The 4th gen guys make me anxious with their acrobatics. I worry about their injuries and the toll their moves can have on their bodies. I found Ikon's performance to be the most enjoyable since they feel so relaxed.

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Yes! I guess experience really shows in live situations... iKon and BTOB really own the stage, and Bobby's smile, he!, it's such a joy to watch. About the acrobatics, I didn't think of it that way, but it sure has risks... What I have noticed is that it's impossible to get perfect singing while doing backflips - the older bands are delivering the best singing

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I'm watching Kingdom too and I prefer Queendom. Fans didn't vote and it was better because Mnet is messing up this time. A lot of camera work is bad and the video of the rehearsing are better... The "experts" just vote without giving an opinion, so they're useless. And the fact Mnet couldn't say to the 6 groups the budget changed was pretty funny. But we could see the difference on the stage...

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The budget thing was bad! Like, really, MNet? iKon's rehearsal video is definitely a lot better than the MNet one, and I've read some comments about SF9 too. And about the vote shenanigans, it seems like MNet hasn't changed its ways. These people are brazen, really, Teflon-faced. Anyway, everybody knows these shows are rigged - one of the things I like about this concept is that they have bands competing against each other, but the stakes aren't super high, like, they are already established bands with huge fanbases. By the end of the day, it's all about getting them more exposure, and it's really entertaining

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It's why Queendom was better. It was the same without all the Mnet bullbeeep and we all knew that Mamamoo will won but the performances were great (without too much things) and the interactions between the groups were fun.

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Queendom was my favorite. It was so warm and wholesome. They were able to give compelling performances on a fraction of the budget the Kingdoms had. They also had the luck of being filmed not in a pandemic. Return to Kingdom had some great performances, but the eliminations left a bad taste in my mouth. I'm glad they got rid of eliminations in this iteration.

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this weekend am trying to catch up with Beyond Evil, Mouse and Taxi Driver...otherwise binge-watching older shows from my watchlist - completed You're All Surrounded and now just starting King of High School, not sure if it hold true for anyone else but i realised the chances of me completing a show is when i watch the episodes at one go...lol

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Will miss my Vincenzo insanity this weekend, but I started The Untamed and it's so much fun and there is so, so much pretty. Also, the Wei Wu Xian/Sean Xiao character/actor combo is a match made in heaven.

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love The Untamed, love Wei WuXian, also stanning Xiao Zhan since TU

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I only watch Nevillera and I am in love with it.

What I like the most in the story is that the story itself doesn't have 'villains' per se. I don't think of Ho-beom as a villain as there were times when he showed signs of feeling guilty. I think he'll be able to redeemed himself in the next few eps. The reason that I don't wanna see villains here is because the story already has the real villains that ARE the real world ones: illness, misunderstanding, ego, set expectations, failures, unintentional ignorance, victim mindset, etc. That's what made it more emotional, interesting, real and.. fulfilling.

Can I just say again how much I love the ending of ep8? *tears up*

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M! I agree! I can't wait for this week's Navillera. I know my heart's gonna be broken but I just love them.

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My heartu also Purp! 😭 Let’s hope it will not be too tragic. But will you guys watch together again? I’m not sure if I can join this time, but I want to know if you guys will be.

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Vincenzo - Episide 15 was a complete hoot, but after finding out that Myung-hee and Joon-woo knew about Vincenzo's mom, I spent most of episode 16 waiting for the other shoe to drop. And dropped it did. But it was also a beautiful episode. Yoon Bok-in who plays Vincenzo's mom is amazing.

Sell Your Haunted House - I like it so far. I think the execution is what makes it a fun and interesting watch so far. Plus, they've added a dash of mystery as to what happened with Ji-ah's mom and In-bum's uncle.

Weekend is all about catching up on Mouse.

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I’m currently watching DELUXE TAXI and SELL YOUR HAUNTED HOUSE and am liking both. Haven’t got into LAW SCHOOL but I really like Kim Bum so I’ll stick around for a few more eps.
I’m also watching THE LONG BALLAD (Cdrama) but the plot feels really crammed and convoluted. After trying to be patient for 17 episodes I have started to use the ff button quite liberally. I’m liking Li Leyan’s and Hao Du’s arcs more than the main leads because it feels like the director doesn’t prioritise style over substance for their stories so I feel it easier to connect with their acting.

Are there any recommendations for a good Cdrama or two please? My favourite genre is wuxia and crime/thriller but I’m also open to a good romcom!

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I enjoyed below drama.
Ancient Detective - Wuxia/Crime thriller
You are my hero - Romance
Forever love - School/College romance
Word of Honour - Wuxia/BL

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I started ANCIENT DETECTIVE last night. Thanks for the recommendation. 24 episodes at 40ish minutes each. It will be doable. I enjoyed episode one. The combination of wuxia and crime is a hook for me. In the past the episode count for Cdramas has been a big stumbling block to me.
At some point I will definitely watch THE LONGEST DAY IN CHANG’AN.
I don’t have all that much Wuxia experience but I have read the first 3 volumes of Jin Yong’s “Legends of the Condor Heroes”. I am waiting for the release of volume 4 in August. I know CONDOR HEROES has been dramatized many times and is currently available on Viki.
I have also read and enjoyed Gu Long’s “Eleventh Son”.

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Thank you for the recommendations!! I'm too old for college romance now but I can make lots of use (and have lots of fun, I guess) out of the other three!!

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I am really enjoying The Long Ballad and it's the only C drama that I am watching now. I don't find the plot convoluted at all. It seems to be a fairly straightforward hero's journey with a bit of court politics to it. I've finished all existing episodes. It's certainly nowhere near the complexity of Nirvana in Fire which is for me still the gold standard in C dramas.

My favourite classic wuxia shows of the last few years would be Legend of the Condor Heroes (2017) Handsome Siblings (2020) Heavenly Sword Dragon Slaying Sabre (2019).
Ancient Detective (2020) combines crime and wuxia in a clever way. Under the Power (2019) was okay.
The Vigilantes in Masks (2011) is an older one which is one of my perennial favourites. The Longest Day in Chang'an -- a Tang dynasty take on 24. It's very cinematic.
Crime recommendations: To Love, Kidnapping Game, Psych-Hunter, When a Snail Falls in Love

That's all I can come up with for now. Happy watching!

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Thank you for the recommendations! I'm still watching BALLAD, just not as attentive as before because the subplots and characters have started to wear me out. I have a soft spot for Zhao Lusi though so I'm staying until the end and will need something to tide me over until the next set of episodes are released. I'm absolutely in love with Dilraba in LOVE DESIGNER where she just slays left and right so that one has kept me busy too.
I'm checking out Ancient Detective now and enjoying the first episode. Will slowly check out the other ones too!

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River: two more episodes, and the kingdom bean is mine.

Vincenzo: I am in love with everyone, everyone, and eagerly awaiting this time next week for my next dose.

Oh! Master: objectively, this show is kind of becoming a little bit of a mess. But the centrifugal force that is Nana and LMK seem to beholding it together. JooSoo is so clearly into each other, and their chemistry is crackling a four-alarm fire - so that's keeping me around. Plus, I like the mom storyline (bracing myself there, though). Yu-jin needs to go away - he's creepy, self-centered, and becoming way too Gatsby-esque in his quest to repeat the past. Blech.

Navillera: the end of episode 8 may be one of the most singularly beautiful moments I've yet seen in a k-drama. My eyes were filled to the lashes. I don't mind the Alzheimer's element, but let's see what they do with it.

How to Be Thirty: was cute, but I felt like they wasted way too much time on Ji-won Being Conflicted, so the ending was very rushed and not particularly satisfying.

Taxi Driver: gave it 2 eps, don't think I'll be continuing.

Law School: really liked the first ep, but the second ep overturned my verdict on appeal. I'll give it another week, but I confess I'm disappointed.

Daebak Realty: fun and got me hooked!

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Only live watching Navillera which is really a gem of drama!

What I want to rave about this time is Sweet Home that I have binged watched 7 of the 10 episodes. To me, it is seriously the BEST drama this year. I didn’t expect an apocalyptic story be that nuanced and layered, not to mention the great ensemble cast. Please let me know if someone had already written a thesis on it as there are so many angles to deconstruct.

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Sweet Home’s ensemble was amazing. It’s only concurrent this year would be Vincenzo’s.

Are you thinking of checking out the original source material? The webcomic would be a great start in gaining more depth about the drama. For instance, the monsters have more backstory in the webcomic and it gives a new interpretation to some of the scenes in the drama. However, the stories do differ a lot, especially the ending.

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Sweet Home was one of 2020's best dramas for me personally. Which is odd because I don't watch horror as a matter of habit. I was blown away by the ontological contours presented in the drama. The cast was amazing.

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Finished: SISYPHUS (thank goodness) and Hello Me! (A little sad KYK has left my family room)

In process: Money Flower (the surprises never stop with this one), Oh, Master (just pretty and cute).

Just started: Navillera (pouring on the regret thick) and Sell your haunted house (love the Master’s Sun vibes).

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Oh, forgot Moon River (all-depressing, all-the-time)

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Money Flower makes me swoon, ah the feels! Jang Hyuk is #1 in my reverse harem.

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Enjoy NAVILLERA. We are getting some wonderful performances.

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Only live watching Mouse which I’m still really into. I kind of want Ba Reum to get caught before he hurts anyone who isn’t themselves a serial murderer/child rapist, but I also just kind of want him to be ok, he looks so scared whenever people start to get on to him. (Side note, not sure if it was meant to be funny but it really cracked me up when they were at the crime scene and Moo Chi’s like “We’re looking for a strong, healthy male in his 20s or 30s” [Ba Reum pops up looking as shady as possible]).

Other than that I’ve started on Dalja’s Spring, which is another masterpiece of hairstyles that didn’t age well (but drama itself is good so far); binged the first series of New Journey to the West in one day after discovering the whole thing was freely available with English subtitles, thanks reddit; and been watching Begin Again (again)....it’s such a nice show.

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@mindy—because LMK.

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Kang Tae-bong rocks his 2007 hairstyle (and outfits!) and I don't care what anyone else says!

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I really love Dalja's spring. One of my top dramas. And lee min ki is😍

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I did watch Dal ja's spring last year (I think🙄), and part of me regretted it.
It was dragging, definitively I didn't like the hair style... Lee Min ki's acting was a little bit off for me, the romance was a little bit "meh" 😒
And they kind of ruin the end with typical trope I won't say because it's a spoiler...
But, there were funny parts where I genuinely laughed. Drama is kind of a comedy, so it never made me cry whatsoever...
And it broke a couple of typical clichès that I suppose were still on use by the time, which surprised me, because it showed how self aware the writer was.... at least, sometimes 😅

So, overall, I gave it a 5.1
Not rewatchable, sadly.

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So many of them are not rewatchable, I’m giving it a go because it’s an older one I know the name of which is normally a sign it will be either reasonable or insanely terrible 😄

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Watching old episodes of We Got Married Taemin & Naeun. They were such a sweet and shy couple. More importantly I loved Key - Eunji pairing at the amusement park double date and Chuseok at Shinee’s dorm. Key screaming like a banshee on the rides while the rest laughed will never get old. Also saw a side of Key I have never seen before - he’s always so sassy but he was kinda shy around Eunji. Loved their handholding all throughout the yutnori at Chuseok. Key has big hands!

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C-dramas

You are my hero: thanks to the recommendation of @oldawyer and other beanies!
Wow! I mean, wow! What a beautiful drama. I loved the leads' chemistry the most, just like everybody else, but I really enjoy the simplicity of the story.
It's about this couple with very demanding jobs falling in love. Both very good and very satisfied with career paths, but also very much in love, and by that I don't mean kissing and stuffs all the time.... Actually, I liked that without so much skinship, still we could feel the different stages of their love for each other, so that the typical proposal didn't seem "typical happy ending trope" but really genuine and logical.
It was a simple story but it was eye-catching. Very cute also.

Plan to watch:
Oh Master
And maybe Navillera also, although I don't want to cry🙈

Must finish watching:
You are my destiny (Chinese version)
True Beauty (ep. 15 & 16)

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You Are My Hero was my happy pill. A rare case when 40 episodes was not enough. (I also loved the humour and all that teasing around 🙂)

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Yaaaay!!! Everyone, listen to Javinne and watch YAMH!!!

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Started some of the new shows, and happy with some, meh about others.

Sell Your Haunted House: Jang Na-Ra is a bias of mine, so I knew I was going to watch this one. It’s fun to see her in this type of role, though I will say the fight scenes were...a bit rough to watch. Some of those cuts were pretty bad. Still, despite it having a meh premise, I like the quirks they add in. The mother haunting her daughter when she goes to buy some shoes (though I bet there’s obviously going to be more to it than that) was hilarious. It’s got enough of it’s own flavour that I’m looking forward to next week.

Taxi Driver: I guess this show is just going to give us fairly basic good vs bad for now. All the villains thus far are mustache twirling evil doers without a shade of grey. Maybe there’ll be a bit of nuance when Esom’s character catches wind of the Deluxe Taxi shenanigans. I still like all our main characters so...I’ll keep watching.

Law School: I’m meh thus far. This ML is new to me, but the younger cast all seem solid (and I’ve seen them in various dramas). I’m not going to stop watching just yet, but it hasn’t gripped me either. It’s not doing anything badly either it’s just...alright.

And of course, some completed/ongoing shows:

Beyond Evil: - Solid 7.5/10 show. The last little bit kind of petered out imo. I’m glad they stopped baiting us with the “Is our ML evil?” cause that was getting old. And the revelations behind the murders were pretty brutal, and shocking so I was along for that ride. Once it got to the father villain though, it was a bit plain. Not something I’m going to recommend to everyone, but I definitely don’t regret watching it.

Navillera: Our main characters are all real interesting, but myself, like a lot of others, could have done without the Alzheimers plot point. It’s just so...cliche, and there was PLENTY of drama to draw from without it so I was a little disappointed they went that route. It’s still so strong that I can look past that however.

River: Little brother is suddenly evil? It’s a jarring cut after our time skip, and I felt like these episodes were basically wasted time. I’m here for the OTP, and this was mostly them being apart.

Mouse: I’ve never had a show where it’s attempted to bait me so many times I just stop trusting everything I’m watching. Does seem like our ML is going to go the Dexter route, but has he been the killer the whole time? Is this all in his head? Also, the headhunter’s wife must be the unluckiest woman of her generation. If there’s a murderer or something horrific going on, she’s gonna have at least a TOE in it at all times.

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Also randomly picked up a new Jdrama:
Renai Mangaka: No experience with the manga, and just a random notification that the first 2 episodes were subbed popped up in my feed so I decided to give it a shot. I’m torn! I like our leads a lot, but I have reservations aplenty. Is our FL goin