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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: Nevertheless, You Are My Spring

Imitation: Oh boy! It’s been a long time since I loved a drama this much and glommed so many episodes at once. In fact, I got to the dreaded point where I love it so much I’m afraid to watch more and finish it. Jun is so damn good here, and so totally entertaining — the level of silly in this drama is everything that made me fall in love with dramas so many years ago. It has all the improbable moments, the squees, the hilarity, great use of detail, and a cast that’s fun to watch. It’s the best feeling when you’re watching a drama and you feel like the writers and the actors and everyone in the production are really getting a bang out of what they are doing. That’s what brings a story to life, no matter the silly plot and premise.

 

quirkycase

Currently recapping: The Devil Judge

At a Distance, Spring Is Green: I didn’t even realize this was based on a webtoon when I started watching, so I didn’t have any set expectations. While it didn’t offer anything revolutionary, this was a nice character-driven campus drama. I enjoyed watching our characters help each other grow into stronger, better versions of themselves. The friendships were the definite highlight; I could’ve done without the lackluster romance. Something about Joon and So-bin’s relationship never clicked for me – it felt forced. But let’s be real, the main love story was between Joon and Soo-hyun anyway. They even got the relationship montage at the end! They had great chemistry, and I enjoyed watching Joon pester his way into Soo-hyun’s heart.

The Witch’s Diner: Cheesy but fun. It’s like Mystic Pop-Up Bar but with more camp. I like Jin and Gil-yong as characters, but at times it feels like they’re in a much more serious drama. Then we hop back to our over-the-top witch played by Song Ji-hyo, and it’s like we’re in a B-movie. The dissonance is a little jarring, so I hope everything gels together a bit more in week two.

 
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Racket Boys (Episode 14) - Mood: B+
The one thing that bothered me this week was how the writer seemed to gloss over certain issues for a feel-good mood rather than conclude them properly: the way Na Ra and Seung Heon turned over new leaves did feel a little rushed and it feels like the same thing will be pulled with Jae Seok next week. Regardless, this show still delivers the goods: it’s just so great to see the city CEO (narratively of course) and the eye issue is not something that feels inorganically forced to make drama. Just like how Han Sol delivered without Se Yoon, I trust Woo Chan and In Sol to step up for the NJSF final!

Hospital Playlist 2 (Episode 6) - Mood: B
I’m very glad that the interns got some spotlight (the Jang siblings’ mistakes made me howl in laughter) but there’re so many questionable arcs: 1) Seok Min’s departure from and return to Yulje felt very random: sure the show told us but I’ll say that this is exposition laziness (show us), 2) Ro Sa’s dementia: this is a repetition of Jong Su’s arc from last season so why repeat, 3) Seok Hyung and Jung Won arguing during the meeting is more repetition, 4) Ji Woo has a crush: why copy So Ye. But Ik Jun’s tea was great! Now, if we get more intern-professor relationship development, that’ll be better!

At a Distance Spring Is Green (Series review) - Mood progression: C / C / C- / C / C- / C-
All's well that ends well is often a common tactic used by many writers to conclude a story and while it may be a happy ending that’s somewhat cliche, it still works if the story had been developed properly. However, this isn’t the case here: the climax that was Yeo Joon’s father was swept away like nothing happened, the bullies were forgiven easily (erm, are we supposed to forget there was an attempted kidnapping?) and the show used an awkward plot device to recap all of its key moments (school assignment). Soo Hyun’s character was fine at the very least: I can give props for that I guess.

You Are My Spring (Episode 5-6) - Mood: B-
Everything’s fine except the mystery part which only comes alive in the cliffhangers: another childhood connection isn’t exactly very innovative but I’ll roll with it. I’m a little worried about the angst from Patrick’s CEO but we’ll see.

The Devil Judge (Episode 5-6) - Mood: D+
Ga On and Elijah’s bond was cute but the show ruined it for plot reasons! Also, the writer really told us that the villain is crazy through sexual assault of all things but I’m more worried about how jail rape was portrayed (stereotyping?).

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CRICKET - waiting for England Vs. India Test Matches

ODIs are boring.

Olympics - who cares - many. I'm only in for badminton and

completely supporting our Nozomi Okuhara.

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JAPAN -

Why I Dress Up for Love 8 out of 10 - I find this much more better name than the earlier i was using. This drama was almost dropped but i had to continue - more like work. So today i watched all 3 episodes and enjoyed them. As i said it from start this drama is romance drama that really looks like set in 2021 human world. The better part is romance doesn't take over the individuality of characters. This is why the love story and romance of this drama works. Character shine and move. Story flows naturally - except few things - which is common. Music is good and so is direction. Writing is on point and acting is above average. Overall a pretty good display of visual media. The best part is the heroine and even other female characters. I said it in 2020 and have strong view that only Japanese dramas come up with the best of female characters. They know how to uplift the female character for the welfare of their audience, especially the female audience.
The drama isn't about hero or heroine but about the humans and the relationships they build and there this drama is a nice nice nice outcome.

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i really liked this j dorama also, very sweet, good ensemble, nice mix of characters -- no meanies, no preachy moral to the story...

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Japan Cinema -

You are not normal either - 7/10 - I really like kiyokara though she's an idol. Her face does bring something of value and somehow the role she picks up suit her pretty well. Here we have an edgy teenager and not-social teacher and teen trying cram school teacher get a date and then falling for him. There is noting controversial but the writer does ask a question - what is being normal and not normal and what it means to be in love - as usual writer doesn't think about it much and keep the tone simple and quirky for easy laughter. The banter of our hero and heroine is good, quite good. enjoyable watch.

Gunjou - manga to live-action - 4/10 - waste of time.

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@catocat
Kiyohar for me is one that long line of Japanese actresses that shine when their role has that slight dark undercurrent. You can feel the complexity of the character but never subsumed by it.

For her age, she is really building her craft in a way that feels different to many of her contemporaries. To me it feels like she will skip that teenager-iness that often lingers in a number of ex-idol actresses as they transition into more complex rolls.

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Kingdom: Ashin of the North: If they paid Jun Ji-hyun by the line, it would have been a steal. I was a bit underwhelmed. It was slow but the ending was satisfying. I might be Team Ashin.

Thee Devil Judge: Thank you for the Ji Sung shirtless scenes. I enjoyed how Yo-han turned the tables by having the nation judge him and then pointing the finger at the foundation members.

On the Verge of Insanity: This drama is so realistic in how everybody is just trying to save themselves … then there is Ban-seok. He probably should have used his technology to gain some leverage. It cannot be said enough that Se-gwon is a weasel. Sold a million defective dishwashers and still he drags Ban-seok for going to a technical college. What did Da-young and Na-ri see in this guy?

Love (Ft. Marriage & Divorce): So Episode 12 was 70 minutes of a manipulative bastard trying to convince his wife to forgive his cheating ass. Round and round it went but this was the gist: Men are wired differently … I want a divorce … You would forgive your son if he had an affair … You’re not my son. I want a divorce … Queen Elizabeth II … I want a divorce … Forgive me so you can teach our daughter to be a forgiving wife when her husband cheats on her … I want a divorce. It was exhausting. I think he did half manage to make Pi Young feel like the affair was her fault but thankfully she held firm about the divorce. Now his creepy stepmom can put his underwear in the fridge.

Hospital Playlist 2: I liked the theme this week with residents and interns.

Nevertheless: Oh, Na-bi with the parting shot! I prefer her being catty over slinking away with her head down. It was nice to see Na-bi do some actual work on her sculpture, but I wish she didn’t need Jae-un to get inspired.

You are My Spring: I’ve tried really hard to see what others see in this show, but I just find it a snooze fest. I really like Kim Dong-wook, but his character does nothing for me, the female lead does nothing for me, the romance does nothing for me.

Racket Boys: I was so happy for Han-sol. She came through for her team and has a true friend in Se-yoon. Loved that the villagers came to cheer for the kids.

The Witch’s Diner: It’s okay. I liked Episode 3 more than the first two but it’s still pretty unoriginal. It’s a short watch at eight episodes, so I might stick with it

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re: Love --I've seen multiple people go through divorces after a partner's infidelity. The gaslighting that can go on is unbelievable. "I'm sorry" over and over again but quickly can go into "...but really it's your fault". I will say that there were a few who seemed relieved to be caught and happily went into divorce and re-marriage, sometimes quite happy 2nd marriages.

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"Forgive me so you can teach our daughter to forgive her husband when he cheats on her" is the the grossest thing I've heard in a while.

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Re ON THE VERGE OF INSANITY. I don’t know why, must be Lee Sang-yeob, but around episode 9 this week I developed a ‘slight’ soft spot for Han Se-kwon (LSY). In episode 10 we discovered there is more to his story. @missh you are spot on describing him as a ‘weasel’ which got me thinking about kdrama weasels.

If there is an Association of Kdrama Weasels, then Han Se-kwon (Lee Sang-yeob) would definitely join with the association President: FOREST OF SECRETS’s Seo Dong-jae (Lee Joon-hyuk (1984)).

Any other nominations to the Association of Kdrama Weasels?

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What did Da-young and Na-ri see in this guy?

What a good question, @missh. I'm impressed that Se Kwon's villainy isn't so cut and dry. I imagine his vulnerability paired with his sex appeal helped crack open their hearts.

Is it possible to have both a low sense of self-esteem and an inflated sense of superiority? I would love to see On the Verge of Insanity include a flashback revealing darker moments from Ms. Dang's marriage—how long did it for the marriage to break down?

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COMPLETED
At a Distance Spring is Green - Binge-watched this with some generous use of the FF button mainly to see something where poor Bae In-hyuk has a better ending than MRIAG. Some of the acting was extremely green and the ease with which the violent, abusive sunbaes were excused was appalling. But still a nice, easy watch. Also I laughed out loud at Jun and the female Soo-hyun-equivalent having a romance in the PR film - way to hang a lantern on that ship.

ONGOING
Racket Boys - What a mix of emotions with this episode. Crying with Han-sol, then cheering with the villagers and then the ending bombshell.

You Are My Spring - I'm watching 2 different shows with this. One is a thriller where nothing much surprises me. The other is a healing melo with an adorable OTP that continues to surprise and delight. Weirdly both shows meld well together. For now. I hope it stays that way.

Monthly Magazine Home - Ugh. Stopped watching midway through Ep. 12. I am just done with noble idiocy storylines. Who on earth acts like this IRL??

Hospital Playlist S2 - It was nice to see some more new characters. There were also a lot of cute moments in this one - the 'proposal', the 99s at dinner, Rosa and Jong-soo, etc. but there hasn't been any actual movement in storyline. My questions from last week still stand - how are WinterGarden still a secret (or are they?), why is Jun-wan only mentioning his break-up a year later, no idea about Min-ha and her 4 chances 🤷‍♂️

C-DRAMAS
Still watching Unforgettable Love. Started Broker, which is just okay so far.

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I thought the friends already knew about Junwan's breakup. I believed he had told them during the time skip unless I am mistaken. Didn't Songhwa tell him to date and that's what made him confess that he wasn't interested in dating because he wasn't over his ex-girlfriend (Iksun)? I might be misremembering the scene but I didn't get the impression that Songhwa, Jeongwon and Sukhyun hadn't already known he had broken up with his long distance girlfriend.

I think Winter Garden are still a secret at work. As far as we know only Jeongwon's friends and Mina know about the relationship. The mothers know that Jeongwon is dating but they have yet to meet Gyeowool. What is up with these people not introducing their partner to their family and friends even after dating seriously for over a year? Is it a Korean thing?

I would be surprise if absolutely no one in Yulje have been suspicious of Winter Garden's relationship. They kept it down low but I can't say they've been hiding it well either. We'll see.

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Ah sorry I meant why is Jun-wan only talking about his feelings about the break-up a year later. The friends obviously knew about it - did no one ask him how he was doing during this whole year?? He's clearly extremely lonely (possibly depressed?) so his friends should certainly be checking in more I'd say?

Yeah based on the interns conversation about Jeong-won being married or not, I'd say WinterGarden are still a secret from some people at Yulje. But I'd guess at least some of the older doctors/ residents should know/ suspect - they really aren't very subtle.

And yes the not introducing partners thing feels so weird to me. It'd be almost a red flag if a close friend I see everyday insisted on not saying anything about their significant other!

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It's a red flag for me too, especially since I've experienced it myself. I've told myself afterwards: "Never again. Know your worth."

I'm wondering if it could really be a cultural thing in these cases. I still find it odd because it makes it seem like the relationships are a bit less serious to me.

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If I go by kdramas, there's certainly a tradition of SOs formally introducing themselves/ paying greetings but seems a stretch for that to not happen for months.

Though based on next week's preview, it seems Rosa hasn't 'formally' met Gyeo-wool yet so maybe it really is a cultural thing.

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At a Distance Spring is Green: It was okay. I only watched for SH anyway. So I'm glad he got to breathe.

The Witch's diner: Also okay, the witch is rather petulant though, ha.

Racket Boys: Seyoon and Han Sol❤️❤️😭❤️❤️❤️

You are my Spring: Our leads continue to be the highlight of this drama. There is such a naturalness to their interactions. I just love them together.

Hospital Playlist: We are back with our new interns. I just love this drama, that is all.

Nevertheless: Na Bi might just be an unreliable narrator, but that doesn't excuse Ja eun's behavior.

Devil's Judge: Still watching, not my favorite, but still in it.

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"Petulant" is the perfect word to describe Jo Hee-ra. After three episodes, I feel neutral about Witch's Diner so far but I'm curious enough to see how fate connects the witch with her two new assistants.

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Monthly Magazine Home - I am through the 8 episodes on Viki. I find this a fun and easy to watch drama. It isn't re-inventing the wheel or anything but is staying true to its rom/com roots. I've seen in a few k-dramas about not marrying until the real estate can be purchased which is interesting because, in my world, couples are expected to go through their salad days together which often starts in an apartment and then a starter home that often takes a bit of work. The different views on home ownership gives this show a bit more depth.

You Are My Spring: I have just started and I don't get the tone they are going for yet but I'm interested enough to stick with it.

Brit Box: A while back I mentioned finally watching Life on Mars (original version) and someone mentioned a sequel. Well Ashes to Ashes just landed on Brit Box so that is on my binge list for this next few weeks.

Yellowstone: Everyone has been nagging me to watch this and my husband and I are starting it next week.

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On the Verge of Insanity eps 9-10 continue to focus on the million defective dishwashers that are Han Se-gwon’s pride and joy. I never thought I’d get to see the inside of a malfunctioning dishwasher in a K-drama, or be brought to the edge of my seat by a dishwasher demo. (Or type the word ‘dishwasher’ so many times in a Dramabeans comment.)

Han Se-gwon’s downfall may be one of the week’s highlights, but with this show it’s never that simple. Brief allusions to Se-gwon's late father hint at why he doesn’t know how to be good yet believes he deserves the best. More importantly, the man who literally brings him to his knees is a pretty worrying character himself, both as an individual and as a symbol of a wider corporate culture where customers are no longer “king” or "queen” and workers are certainly not “family". As the Hanmyeong president Han Seung-ki, Jo Bok-rae is a lean and hungry presence that seems to simultaneously burn and freeze everyone in its path. Though it’s thrilling to watch him cut Se-gwon down to size, I think we’ve reached the point where Hanmyeong itself, as represented by its president's monstrous rapacity, is no longer just the backdrop to our protagonists’ struggles but their next adversary.

Another highlight is the confrontation between Dang Ja-young and Choi Ban-seok - two highly responsible and competent professionals pitted against each other by their company’s iniquities and inconsistencies. Jung Jae-young’s quiet devastation almost brought tears to my eyes, but I was also impressed by how Moon So-ri never let her regret erode her determination to do her job. This week the laughs mostly come from supporting characters and various situations, like Ahn Nae-sang’s baleful eye suddenly appearing in a gap in a trellis, or Lee Sang-yeob’s brazen occupation of the back seat of Moon So-ri’s car. Last but not least, Kim Nam-hee in green spandex is everything I’d wanted and more.

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Thank you for the summaries!
Another great episodes.
I thought Han Se-gwon's emotional scenes were a little too long, but Lee San-yeob did a great job showing how pathetic Han Se-gwon is.

I was curious how Dang Ja-young would do about the defective dishwashers issue. I'm satisfied with what she did, especially to her boss (of course to Han Se-gwon too).
It was funny that Han Se-gwon got in the back seat of the car when heading to HQ.
And oh green spandex! I love Kim Nam-hee.
Jo Bok-rae's performance... Absolutely fantastic!

No new episodes for two weeks... I can't wait!

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Right on about Lee Sang-yeob.
The Olympics preemption gives time for folks who are looking for a terrific adult drama to get caught up.

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I'm not entirely sure about this, but I think the pre-emption might only be for one week, cos it says on the show's Namu wiki page that it'll be back on 4 Aug.

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You are right!
The news I read clearly said (in Korean) "taking a break for two weeks", but probably what that means was there are two weeks (days) between the last episode to the next episode, not no air for two weeks.
I just checked with Naver, it also says next episode will be 8/4.
Yeah! I guess I can handle one week off!

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Nice analysis. I was thinking that with six episodes to go the plot of VERGE has to pivot and I think at the end of paragraph 2 you describe what probably is next.

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You couldn’t find a more adult drama than this - and such a satisfying watch as every character in Hanmyeong is people you have at your own workplace in real life.

What impress me most is how Dang Ja-young’s character is written and perhaps one of the most strong female character ever written ink drama. She’s no saint or kind - but just trying her best to make out the situation for a satisfying outcome for her boss and herself. At every turn, though, the moral compass hasn’t been totally dropped off. One very tough lady and Moon So-ri is doing full justice to this character.

Special mention to how well Jo Bok-Rae plays the CEO. It took me a while to recognize he’s the lost soul / youngest son of grandpa in Navillera. Here, he doesn’t have a lot of scenes but his presence is severely felt whenever he’s in a scene - heavyweight and menacing. Most other similar CEOs are one dimensional delivery but this really sets a role model as to how a side character can make the difference.

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Agree that Dang Ja-young is a fantastic character. She is not as easy to love as Choi Ban-seok, but she is just as admirable as he is. Moon So-ri is also amazing at conveying how Ja-young bears her duties and loneliness through sheer force of will, like when she had to face the very angry R&D director and team leaders by herself, or the way she pulled herself together after she discovered that her boss had betrayed her.

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@pyc, I am shocked. Until you pointed it out I never connected VERGE’s tough CEO with NAVILLERA’s youngest son. Talk about contrasting roles. Jo Bok-rae is terrific in both dramas. VERGE and NAVILLERA are on my short list of favorite dramas of the year. That is if the last part of VERGE is not messed up a la DO DO.

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Have you seen King Maker: The Change of Destiny? (a drama before Navillera)
He played Park Si-hoo's sidekick. I didn't know anything about him before, but I was impressed by his acting. He was fantastic there.
And then in Navillera, he was a completely different person.
Each role he plays, not just a different character, he can show a depth of the character so we feel it like we are able to see their life or background through his acting.
He is a truly great actor!

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Oh my! I did watch KINGMAKER and when I looked at the cast list on AsianWiki I immediately recognized JBR.
Also after scanning that list there is another KINGMAKER cast member in VERGE: Lim Hyoun-soo who plays Mr. So on the HR staff. In KINGMAKER hewas swordsman Yeon Chi-Sung.

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Oh yes yes, he was in King Maker too!
Too bad his role is so small in OTVOI...

Isn't it actually a good thing when we don't recognize the actors in other dramas, even though we clearly remember the characters they played before? What that means is they can become somebody else completely.
Of course supporting actors are different from leading actors but still...

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Talking about actors who are very different from one drama to the next: how about Kim Nam-hee who is quite adorable as Shin Han-soo (not wanting to wear spandex lol) and who I hated with a deep hatred as the Abusive Ex in Mad for Each Other

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I think I discovered him in Entertainer, he was the dead brother of Kang Min-Hyuk's character and the friend of Ji Sung's character.

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Kim Nam-hee's Takashi Mori ( Japanese officer) in Mr. Sunshine.
Oh that was amazing!
And a cameo in Find Me in Your Memory as a drama PD. Very small role but that was great too.
His character in WWW is somewhat similar to Shin Han-soo?
I could totally imagine him playing CEO (Jo Bok-rae's role) also.
He can play anything.
@cloggie

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Another pithy recap, @knewbie. Also, I just left a breadcrumb trail of "likes" through your fan wall's marvelous On the Verge of Insanity posts. Show deserves all the love it gets.

Everyone was brilliant this week and I especially appreciated more screen time for the terrifying Chairman Han. I was shocked by his potentially catastrophic, callous dismissal of any concern towards preserving Hanmyeong's reputation.

Weeks ago, a commenter on another forum sheepishly praised Chairman Han's sexual appeal. At the time, I thought, "Nah. I don't see it." This week, I was, "Ah. There it is. I see that BDE!" Actor Jo Bok-rae's aquiline profile only enhances his sleek, raptor-like presence.

Our three leads were marvelous as usual. I can't help but admire the pathos and desperation Lee Sang Yeob brings to his role, elevating Han Se Kwon beyond just being a punchable face. (Dramabeans should have its own end-of-year drama awards. May we include a category for best Backpfeifengesicht?)

My favorite moment between Ms. Dang and Mr. Choi was their comfortable, teasing conversation heard during their car ride home from HQ. (Ep. 10, 52:15):

Choi: Aren't you hungry?
Dang: I don't know if I want food or alcohol.
Choi: You can have a drink at home with your roommate.
Dang: Omomo … I'm allowed to have a drink on a day like this. What's wrong with that? Weren't you the big brother of Changin business at one point?
Choi: I wouldn't say I was the big brother. Maybe the second older sister?
Dang: [huff of laughter] A second older sister? Fine. Big brother or second older sister, let's have a strong drink tonight.
Choi: Strong? I don't know about strong.**

**He's right to be cautious—especially if he forgot his lip balm.

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Just enjoying every post here about an excellent drama and its amazing main and side characters. Not often do we have a workplace drama as sensible and penetrating as this.

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Ahem. My heart belongs to Jung Jae-young, but damn if it didn't skip a beat when Jo Bok-rae turned on Lee Sang-yeob with such... icy suavity. Whoever cast Lee Sang-yeob is a bit of an evil genius. He has the kind of soft, rounded facial features that can be very appealing or very punchable (and might also not age very well).

That Dang-Choi conversation is so well-written. They sound like they are trying to take each other's mind off the very bad day they'd had. And it's perfectly in character for Ja-young to kind of start flirting a bit first, cos I don't think Ban-seok could flirt even if his life depended on it. As for the lip balm, there are some Korean shippers out there (the Banja ship, I think it's called) who are already speculating that the rest of the evening involved more than strong drink...

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Lee Sang-Yeob is actually very good in playing ambiguous characters. His take in Signal as a serial killer - sympathy killing in his own view - is superb.

@cloggie, my favorite Kim Nam-Hee character remains the religious and righteous swordsman in Sweet Home - the selfless hero that many SH fans won’t forget.

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I have only seen Lee Sang-yeob in Signal and the movie The Villagers (with Ma Dong-seok and Kim Sae-ron). He played dodgy characters very well in both.

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Lee Sang-yeob’s performance in SIGNAL (2016) was memorable in a memorable drama.
However I have a sort of soft spot for LSY from the first drama I saw him in which was (literal title): MASTER: GOD OF NOODLES (2016) where he played the sweet Tae-ha. That drama is available on VIki US under the title: THE MASTER OF REVENGE.

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My Roommate is a Gumiho
I finally finished it. Although I liked the first half of this drama far more than the second, the cast made it worthwhile. I wish both Sunwoo's and Wooyeo's character arcs could have been executed better. Such a waste for Sunwoo... Dam was far too understanding and forgiving at times. Hopefully Wooyeo will be more honest as a human.

Chicago Typewriter
I am slowly re-watching this drama.
All I remembered from it was that it was about past lives and Go Kyungpyo played a ghost.

I was surprised how cringe-y the first two episodes were. Could it be possible that this drama does not hold up for me anymore?
Luckily, the drama really hit its stride once Kyungpyo's character is properly introduce (around episode 4). It's one of those dramas that get better and better as it progresses.

I love everything about the story now (especially about the past lives and the friendships).

However, this drama does have one annoying trope: All the men are openly competing for one woman's affection while she remains oblivious...

Hospital Playlist 2
Oh wouldn't it have been nice to watch this week's episode when I was an intern myself. The song at the end was exactly the message I needed to hear a few months ago when I was going through a hard time at my internship. For this reason, I think this was my favourite episode of season 2 so far.

Nevertheless
My mouth drop at that ending scene. If you watch the drama, I am sure you know exactly which scene I am talking about. I had to rewind to make sure I had read it right the first time.

Am I the only one who is growing anxious that they will change the ending of the webtoon? I don't mind the drama showing Jaeon in a more sympathetic light, but I will mind if they completely disregard the point of the webtoon's story.

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The first few episodes of Chicago typewriter were not the best, that is one thing I remember most about the drama, I almost dropped it because of those episodes. However, it really gets better after that.

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They really are! Especially compared to some later episodes. I understand now why the viewership ratings for this drama weren’t all that great. I almost gave up on my re-watch after the first episode but I’m glad I stuck to it.

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I tried watching Chicago Typewriter but the first 2 episodes were so cringe with lame characters that I have not picked it up again. FL has no sense of boundaries or professionalism. Even if you are a huge fan, who acts like this?

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Right!! Luckily she gets better later on but it's very hard to watch at first.

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You should totally do it. The first few episodes are really not the best, but the ending more than makes up for it..

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The scenes from the old timeline are what make me love Chicago Typewriter, and as a member of club Wig Of Glory I'm obligated to mention it here.

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WoG club member here! 🤟
The first episodes are cringe...
But the dog made me stick to it, and I gradually started liking the characters, and it was such a great ride! The cute bromance, the epic 30s timeline (and THAT kiss), the houses lined with books, YAI rocking the WoG in the past and the ugly glasses in the present. I fell for everything except Cat-Beater 💚

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Witch's Diner (Ep 1-2) Very Hotel de Luna meets Mystic Pop Up Bar. The premise is simple but the mythology needs some foundation. What is the witch absorbing after each wish? What are the multilayered realms, seen and unseen? Mr. Oh seems to be an instigator and not a grim reaper. Back stories needed pronto.

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Prison Playbook⚾👮 (5/16): Seung-Yoon, you disloyal crook😤! Everyone else, stop telling Je Hyuk to continue baseball, it is his life and his decision to make. Fortunately there are characters that can never do wrong in my eyes: Joon-Ho and Joon-Dol!❤️Jung Kyung-Ho is living proof that a great actor does not have to make silly faces to have a hilarious mimic. And he is excellent grump material. My Kim Kyung-Nam bias is the worst kept secret, so no need to explain myself further.🤭

Racket Boys🏸👦👦👦👦👦👧👧(14/16): This episode, oh my heart!💖If Se-Yoon had been the main character, she would have made it in time and won without breaking a sweat as usual, but I am glad that the show remained realistic and true to its ensemble cast driven story. Now Han-Sol got her chance to shine! I was in tears when she though about Se-Yoon during her match and ran to her crying afterwards, and I love how Se-Yoon even sent her mom to cheer for Han-Sol, just in case she did not make it on time.

Se-Yoon was not the only Han-Sol fan who moved me this episode. Yoon-Dam was the epitome of a proud, supportive and teary-eyed boyfriend!🤭 The fact that most people followed his example and cheered for Han-Sol in the end makes up for the fact that they did not believe in her until then. Our adorable little pest had some love to share as well, whether it entails making puppy eyes at Se-Yoon or defending his beloved nerd from the baseball players.🥺 The icing on the cake had to be the villagers coming to watch and cheer for them. Sometimes all you need is some cheer and support to be able to tackle anything.❤️

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Nevertheless continues to be my guilty pleasure these days. 😅 As I told @ltung23, it is grade A tea. I'm looking forward to tonight's ep to see if Potato Boy delivers and makes Jae eon regret his ways. Btw, Sam Kim just dropped his OST today and it's so good.

Racket Boys balances out Nevertheless because it's so wholesome. I'm loving the friendships between the teammates. I just can't figure out where Tae Soon fits into all of this. 🤔

You Are My Spring continues to hook us with the mystery of Ian Chase. Is he the good twin? Or the murderer? The dialogue and cinematography continues to be 🔥🔥🔥. And the two main leads are cute together.

Currently watching the Olympics and cheering for SG and the PH. 😊

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Love S2 (11-12): A whole episode between Pil young and Doctor 😮😮. He is the absolute worst. I am still not getting why he chose to cheat. Is it for lust or may be he enjoys being there for a younger female. Either way it's really bad to see him still being dishonest with her. And trying a good 70 minutes to divert this whole affair as PY's fault. I am glad that she didnot budge from her initial decision.

At a distance spring is green (11-12): Goodbye drama. They managed to wrap up all ends. It took me a while to warm up to the leads, but I enjoyed it once that happened. It was mostly realistic and it gave the message of hope. Hope that no matter whatever you go through you will meet people who can be a support system. Hope that beneath all the hardships, pain and failure there will be a spring. Happy that Joon got his real friends, Soo Bin got support and NSH learnt to appreciate help without feeling indebted. Also loved how young ran was trying to move on. But somewhere I feel that this ship might sail in future when both them are at their happy place. The show has it's own set of drawbacks too. The main one being the underdeveloped female characters. Soo Bin's arc beyond Joon could have been explored. It felt like she was there only to accessorize Joon. Same goes with Mi Joo. I wonder what was the significance of her character. It's sad that the character was only there to be a part of the love triangle. Beyond that we know very little about her. Even for Young ran, her characterization beyond the tag of "NSH's friend & part of love triangle" could have been explored more. The final episode felt a bit rushed and with too many cliches.

Penthouse 3 (7): So a late unfolding of Dan tae's past. What happened to his family was really evil, but that won't justify what he has done. I mean he has the blood of many innocent people. Loved how Ro na outsmarted CSJ and EB. It felt so good that OYH managed to tell SSR the truth about her daughter. I dont know, but I felt something going on between CSJ and BKJ. With that said the show has been going crazy week by week. How many times are they gonna use that memory erasing drug? CSJ planning to use it on Logan so that she can turn him against SSR, that's pure evil and non sensical.
The show is absolute madness but still I watch it every week.

Witch's diner (2-3): It is just okay. Episode 3 was better than the initial ones. The storytelling is not exactly entengaging but It's short so I might actually finish this.

HP 2 (6): I am not enjoying this season as much as the last one. But that said, as compared to the few filler past episodes, this week's episodes were a bit good esp the stories about mistakes. It was so relatable. We all have a friend like Ik jun who remembers every embarrassing stories waiting to spill them at the right occasion. I wish they show us more about their intern days. That would have been a treat.

OLDER
Sell your haunted house (1-4): It became...

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OLDER
Sell your haunted house (1-4): It became available in my region finally. I am enjoying it so far. Jang Nara is such a badass. But the major surprise was YJH and his improved acting as compared to the previous dramas. He has matured both in looks and in acting.

Kingdom (1-3): Late to this. This series has been in my " to watch " list ever since it's released. And now with the new special episode released, I felt like its finally time to watch it. I am not a fan of zombie genres, but I am really enjoying this so far. The zombies are so gruesome and different from what I have seen so far, but everything from acting to visuals are top notch.

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Unrealistic events occur all the time in dramas, and we willingly suspend disbelief to be delightfully surprised and entertained. But have you ever ditched a drama because of knowledge in a certain subject? I have difficulty overlooking small and not-so-small glitches in medical dramas, so I haven't finished many. This week, reminded by how much I like Jung So Min and Shin Ha Kyun, I decided to give Fix You a try. Well, 10 minutes was all it took for me to nope out, after SHK's character, a psychiatrist(!), flamboyantly fake-threatens(!) to amputate (!) someone's leg right there in the emergency(!) department, wielding a dinky little cast-cutter(!) drill and peering out over microdissection(!) glasses. I couldn't handle it! 😬 Do people with backgrounds in the legal world cringe just as hard in some courtroom dramas? Which dramas depict your area of interests well, and which ones poorly? Ironically, I thought Brain, in which SHK played the ML neurosurgeon was excellent. I noticed the CT scans matched the diseases that they were actually talking about!

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Even my great love for Jung So-min could not get me to watch FIX YOU past the first episode- and I probably would have bailed out just as fast as you if it had not been for my fondness for her.

In answer to your question about how people with legal backgrounds sometimes react to those wildly inaccurate and improbable scenes and descriptions of the law that we sometimes see in legal dramas: I cannot count the number of times I have cringed.

But such misleading inaccuracies are nothing new in courtroom dramas: In the classic PERRY MASON series it was not uncommon to hear an objection raised to evidence because it was "circumstantial". In fact, not only can circumstantial evidence be relevant it is usually the most reliable and trustworthy evidence.

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The objection to "circumstantial evidence" would have gone right over my head, so it is very interesting to hear you say how blatantly wrong it was presented in the show!

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I rarely will ever watch a legal drama because they are ridiculous; however, I will watch something like Lawless Lawyer because it was really an action/revenge drama with very little courtroom shenanigans (which were ridiculous). The k-drama version of The Good Wife was quite good but I suspect that was because of some of the source material.

My sister was in law enforcement and NYPD Blue and Hill Street Blues and Reno 911 are the only 3 cop shows I've known her to approve of.

Also, people need to stop going into forensics thinking it is going to be like CSI.

By the way, sometimes the medical stuff is so ridiculous that even I, who can generally suspend reality in this area, can't take it anymore.

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@sorrynotsorry—Reno 911 made my favorite fictional drunk driving stop of all time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6VQDNIZH7U

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This is absolutely hilarious! Kick-ball-change! 😂 Thanks for sharing!!!

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What you said about Lawless Lawyer also rings true that some medical dramas are probably more the backdrop for characters to interact rather than medicine being a major focus. Those should be more watchable for me.

I have very little understanding of legalese but even I could tell that there was virtually no semblance of reality in what transpired in the courtrooms (or anywhere else, for that matter) in Vincenzo. Yet I was fully invested and gleefully rode that crazy train to the final stop. 😂

It's fascinating to hear about your sister's opinions on law enforcement entertainment! I have heard good things about all 3 of those shows.

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Re HILL STREET BLUES etc. That reminds me from years ago reading an obituary for the NYPD detective who had been in charge of the Son of Sam’ case. His daughter said her father hated cop shows with the exception of one: COLUMBO.

I loved LAWLESS LAWYER. That is where I became a Lee Joon-gi fan. His physicality was (is) outstanding. He along with scene stealer Choi Min-soo (who temporarily suspended hostilities to take on some bad guys together) were in what I consider the best fight scene I have seen in a kdrama. On the legal side Judge Cha Moon-sook (played wonderfully by Lee Hye-young) immediately went into the Kdrama Hall of Fame of Villains. Then there was the great Yum Hye-ran. I could go on.

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In Lawless Lawyer, LJG, CMS, and LHY were all epic. Your comment also reminds me that I have been so impressed at the trend of powerful female villains/antiheros played with riveting nuance by veteran actresses, like in this show, as well as others like Sky Castle, Vincenzo, Hyena....

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My mom was an oncology nurse. When I watched medical dramas with her, she often huffed at how nobody seemed to wash their hands—even with wall-mounted cleansers. Seems like a is a very low bar for verisimilitude, right?

As a UX Designer, I'm always hopeful that stories related to design or engineering might show the value of user research and testing. The sublime On the Verge of Insanity demonstrates some of that work even if it's heavily focused on engineering.

Have you ever read the medicaps by @michykdrama at mydramalesslife? She's not so active on DB anymore, but—when time allows—she writes amazing medical recaps. She's an MD, mom, baker and drama fan. Her recaps for 2017's Live Up to Your Name, Dr. Heo! elevated my experience watching the series.

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OK, now I'm even more excited to try On the Verge of Insanity after hearing all the good chatter. I am going to pay attention to the user research and testing aspect. It's one aspect you don't think about and tend to take for granted when a product works smoothly, but definitely comes to mind when things go wrong.

YES to the hand hygiene! This is drilled into anyone working in health care so warning bells go off in my head when a character doesn't sanitize. 😱

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Michykdrama sounds familiar. In the past browsing this blog before I signed up, I do remember someone with medical background. Wow, on her site, she shared some really detailed and insightful medical recaps full of illustrations and everything! Gave me vibes like I was back in school again 🤣. Also her bo luo bao looks yum. 😋 I got through a few episodes of Live Up to Your Name and then bailed because I got annoyed at all the diseases he was supposedly curing with his acupuncture, combined with the heavy-handed implication that modern medicine isn't really caring for patients properly. 🙄 I really wanted to like that one because it sounded really fun and got good reviews, and it had Kim Nam Gil, but alas, I ran into the problem I seem to have with medical dramas.

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Fix You is bad bad bad. Most of us without medical backgrounds dropped it. Legal shows don't bother me, I know going in they will be bad, so I just ignore them.

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So funny-- it seems that Fix You was so bad on so many levels that it got dropped like a hot potato! It makes sense that lowering expectations in some cases can help in mentally block out the negatives and enjoying a drama's positive elements.

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Unstoppable High Kick (2006) - This family is so endearing! ❤️ Like Kim Bum, I would love to hang out with them, enjoying the petty squabbles and general silliness of the overbearing grouchy grandfather, the young-at-heart grandmother and the constant one-upmanship between the sister and brother-in-law...

It is so fun to watch Jung Il-woo, Kim Bum, Park Minyoung and 2PM's Chansung when they were just teenagers. I'm so in love with Jung Il-woo and his Yunho, who has got to be the sweetest bad boy ever! His quiet love, him dominating his older brother, rebelling on his bike, his sweet heartbreaking smile 😍😍

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I loved Unstoppable High Kick and whipped through all the episodes. It was great to see all these actors who I'd already seen in other roles. I remember an interview with JIL whereby he admitted he had regrets about not striking why the iron was hot re: the high level of popularity after being on UHK and taking a bit of a hiatus for schooling. I imagine he has a few hit dramas that he was being scouted for that he turned away, and he realized later how rare that opportunity was.

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Aw he had regrets? I liked that decision of his, it gave me the impression of a calm constitution, not carried away by his fame. And then he did well in his next few dramas (maybe not ratings wise) getting praised for his work ethic and acting, so I imagined he wouldn't have regrets.

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The sitcom was my favorite K TV series. I cannot help cheering for JIW's romance with his much older teacher. On top of that, I really enjoyed the family dynamics.

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Yes, even though it has 167 episodes, it doesn't feel like a big undertaking. And it was funny till the end.

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Spring is Green - This should have been 6 eps about the friendship between YJ and NSH. That was all the show cared about and knew how to explore. Everything else was accessory, superficial and awkward. The last eps were very slow, repetitive and even disturbing, as once again FL had to prove her niceness by being embarrassed and forgiving her attacker.

Light on Me - The suspense about the romance is nice but crazy girl who exists only to stalk a man should have been something from old romcoms, she doesn't belong in this drama. It doesn't even use her to talk about her homophobic comments, which would be the only excuse for her character.

Monthly Magazine - This drama deserved better than this old trope. The charming grumpy boss became another guy who thinks women are objects.

Nevertheless - This is more amusing because of the way it confuses people. This week was a fine example of that. Imagine you and your ex-affair are pretending to be friends because neither of you could deal with the separation, you meet another woman and find out he might be dating her. Even if this woman was being malicious, I'd say the proper response is to feel pity for the woman, especially when she seems as insecure about the guy's intentions as you were. I realize NB is very young and immature about relationships, this is the very theme of the show, the way she is trying to find out who she is and how to behave, but the curious fact is that when she responds in a catty manner sharing something intimate, as if he's property, most people don't think it is childish and humiliating. They think it's a bold positive thing.

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@lixie—I share your displeasure towards noble idiocy. I'm not against tropes per se. There are good tropes and then there are tropes that just need to be retired. I get the need for conflict but ... ugh. I've paused Ep. 12 of Monthly Magazine and will watch it right before Ep. 13, which looks more promising.

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Yes, it's not even the usual noble idiocy when someone does something because it's best for the loved one. It's twisted noble idiocy, doing something because it's best for the person's best friend, which means it's not noble at all but simple selfishness because the guy doesn't know how to deal with his situation.

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I crowdsourced with people further along as to which episode(s) I should just skip to spare myself having to watch the noble idiocy, and so I'll just be setting 12 aside and going right to 13.

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If you only like the main couple you should skip ep 13 as well.

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Joy of Life - Well done with an intriguing concept nut I'm not sure I would have started it if I'd realized it was just part one of three (and that the other two parts don't exist yet). Also, while I like long dramas, 140+ episodes? Eeep!

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Monthly Magazine Home: At first it was okay-ish drama that become enjoyable because of Jung So-min’s performance. Now it is diving into only watched for bean drama category due to appearance of worst drama trope ever – Noble idiocy with subcategory- I feel bad about myself for feeling happy when my best friend is heart-broken/ in hospital.
You are my spring: It feels like I am watching three different drama- one dealing with phycological trauma, a murder mystery and one cute rom-com with effortlessly natural couple. The best part of this drama is acting performances.
Devil Judge : it’s a weird drama to pin down. It is very over the top with enjoyable performance by Ji sung.

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Revolutionary Sisters is so unabashedly soapy that its almost anarchistic. Its worth watching just to see what new outrage the writers will commit next episode.

Monthly Magazine Home. WHY WHY WHY?

The Witch's Diner is less a drama and more a conglomeration of lighting effects.

Nevertheless never disappoints.

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Yay glad you loved it as much as I do @missvictrix
No Limitation Love Imitation
No Invitation Watch Imitation
Did you finish it by the way ???!

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Not yet! I have a few eps to go. I don't want it to ennnnnnnnnd

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Did you watch episodes 5-7 yet???!
Are you still alive from the cuteness overload ???!
Should I pick you up off the floor ???

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Yess those eps were pure delight. I guess that's why I don't want to move on yet!

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Awww hugs it's okay to move on.
There are more cute and silly to look forward to whether it's Hyuk ,Dojin , Reyok or I Hyun.

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I watched the last episode of Imitation last night and it was just right. and I did get pretty emotional during that last song
Still I'm sad it's over.

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I watched it raw I still have to watch it subbed but like @missvictrix I just don't want to say goodbye to anyone of my sweet babies 😭😭😭😭

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Although.... this is definitely one of those dramas I could see myself watching over and over. I'm not usually a re-watcher but I think I would enjoy this as much the second time around. So there's that ;)

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It's definitely a re-watchable drama , did you get to C and D part????!

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I finished it! Ryuk and Maha dating outside, so cute! And Larima is a queen, she's is awesome on stage, and a great manager for her hoobaes 💚
Loved the MML stage. It was a heartfelt homage to K-pop artists and trainees. I'm not super informed, but I read some K-pop news and it looks like a terribly hard industry. So much effort and artistry go to waste because of abusive companies, stupid rumors, and people mingling in the artists' personal lives, sheesh...

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It was great so satisfying , I hope this drama gets a lot of attention so it shows the industry hardships and can bring in a change to the mindset of both fans and entertainment companies.
PS : I'm so happy for D cute moment.

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At a Distance, Spring Is Green Until the end, I didn't click with the main lead. The character wasn't really well written or acted or both, but for such a serious theme, I didn't feel anything for him... The FL was written more as an accessory for the ML than as a real character, the love story killed her character. I still don't understand why her big love for her childhood friend could end so easily when he was like her, too shy to tell her his feelings... The second lead had the best arc and the actor was really good.

Racket Boys The "one episode by week" is killing me! These kids are so cute, touching, funny, lovely. I will miss them a lot.

You Are My Spring Kim Dong-Wook with a wig was so funny to watch! I love this couple.

On the Verge of Insanity It's really interesting to watch each character trying to survive.

Monthly Magazine Home You don't break up because somone doesn't hold his alcohol and can't cross the street...

Hospital Playlist 2 When this drama is about the hospital and the friends, it is the best. Forget the love stories, it's not important!

Nevertheless Oddly, I found Nam Kyu-Hyun (Kim Min-Gwi) is the most attractive one.

Imitation I thnk it could have been way better with another actress as the lead and a story a little faster or 2 episodes by week. I was kinda disapointed by the songs too.

Falling into your Smile I really didn't care about the game as no player. I was just happy to see Xu Kai in a modern drama after Arsenal Milatary Academy. I hope once I will be happy with the love story...

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FIYS: I found the gaming aspect to be surprisingly interesting.

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I know nothing about game and they didn't make it more understandable for the no players. And the CGI scenes were kinda cringey.

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We continue to enjoy MONTHLY MAGAZINE HOME and have now been able to get back to MY ROOMMATE IS A GUMIHO.

I also really enjoyed this week’s episode of HOSPITAL PLAYLIST much more than last week’s episode.

Time for a little bit of snark- the top headline in the Financial Times earlier this week (7/20/2021) was “Netflix bleeds subscribers in US and Canada with no sign of recovery”. Gee I wonder why? Maybe inaccurate subtitles is not their only problem.

My wife really enjoyed two more Chinese Costume dramas this week: UNDER THE POWER and ETERNAL LOVE RAIN. She also enjoyed the British Historical drama WOLF HALL which is a way better (and historically much more accurate) depiction of events going on during the reign of Henry the Eighth than was offered to us with THE TUDORS. We are currently waiting for our library to get season 2 of THE SPANISH PRINCESS to us- yet another perspective on that time (the story of Henry’s first wife, Catherine). I have read the two novels which were the basis for WOLF HALL and they were very good.

She also was very impressed with the recent television adaptation of Vikram Seth’s novel SUITABLE BOY- which is set in India.

We have continued watching the new show THE WITCH’S DINER- now through 3 episodes. It is not the equal of MYSTIC POPUP BAR or HOTEL DEL LUNA but it is fairly entertaining. I agree with Quirkycase’s description of this as campy and cheesy but fun- that captures the spirit of the show.

I am really looking for ward to the return of the daily drama BE MY DREAM FAMILY. During the hiatus I took to watching the Chinese comic Costume Dramas HONEY, DON’T RUN AWAY and TRUTH OR DARE. And have enjoyed rewatching DRUNKEN TO LOVE YOU as well (the later is a T-drama).

Of course this means we have now fallen behind on the C-drama rom-com MOONLIGHT and also HELLO MR. GU both of which have been entertaining.

With the Olympics here we will be catching up on many of the shows we fell behind on.

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Wolf Hall has a special place in my heart, both for Mark Rylance (!!!) and its production. Released in 2014, this digital production showcases the ARRI Alexa camera, which allowed the team to film in candlelight.

My biggest aesthetic complaint for many Asian dramas is overlighting—especially for period pieces. It's a rare treat to see masterfully lit night scenes in dramas like Love in Between (2020) and Longest Day in Chang'an (2019).

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I had not realized that WOLF HALL had used such technically advanced cinematography - and now that you mention it those candlelit scenes were very effective emotionally.

I agree about the overlighting in Asian costume dramas- but I suspect that it is as much a matter of audience expectations as anything else.

On the whole I think that Asian dramas have come a long way with cinematography. For instance, one of the very many things that I liked about SEARCH: WWW was the cinematography.

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Mark Rylance is the perfect Cromwell. Wolf Hall is fabulous, and the lighting is right. I'd over indulged in the English Renaissance, but Hilary Mantel got me in again

... Longest Day is a stayer for me. The lantern festival, the floats for the performance competition, the palace staircases, the great tower with its internal architecture, the labyrinth of streets, everything. It's hard to break the spell it casts.

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I find the adaptation of " SUITABLE BOY" good too. It was stereotypical but the cast has done a good job. And they really managed to cover almost all major plots of the 1000+ page novel in 6 episodes.

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It was indeed remarkable that they were able to pack so much into such a small amount of time. And yes. it is one long novel. The actors were really good.

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The bleeding of Netflix subscribers is in large part because Covid lock downs are done and, even with variants, not coming back. It's my understanding that Netflix was basically saved by Covid. It was always going to be a temporary fix especially with all the other streaming services popping up.

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It is those other streaming services which have exposed the weaknesses of Netflix. This was probably inevitable- it was only a matter of time before subscribers ventured further afield. It makes the acquisition of Viki a few years ago by Rakuten look positively brilliant.

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I don't think Netflix is or ever was in any serious danger, they were smart to invest in other regions, but they have lost subscribers. I'd guess a good number are people who signed up during the pandemic, they got huge numbers last year, but there are just so many streaming services out there. Still, Disney+ is the only one that is serious competition. The others are struggling.

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I saw the headlines about Netflix, and it's intriguing to speculate. One theory is they don't have enough content to keep subscribers happy month to month--but who does in this writhing mosh pit of streaming platforms? With all these competing sites, the users are the losers. I can see how this would encourage pirating. How many can afford to pay for multiple subscriptions for all the shows they want to watch?

I subscribed to Netflix because it got to the point where there were multiple kdramas there that I wanted to watch. I was unhappy because I suspected many of these dramas would have shown up and/or stayed on Viki if Netflix hadn't started acquiring them. I also dislike how Netflix is forcing the American formula on some kdramas in order to keep subscribers hooked--allowing only one episode a week, dragging shows into multiple seasons, and Westernizing concepts to attract American audiences. Sadly, I feel like Netflix has diminished the drama viewing experience for me.

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You have actually done a good summary of the same problems which I find with Netflix. I subscribe- just as you did, for the same reasons. And occasionally there will be a non-Asian show we want to watch (like THE BRIDGERTONS) as well. But I do believe that you are right about some of the impact.

The good news is that Netflix has competition, and not just from Viki. iQIYI for instance, the Chinese Netflix wannabe, does provide some an alternative for some K-dramas. And there is Viki itself, which is now backed up by Rakuten, and thus cannot be outmuscled by Netflix. (Rakuten is the Japanese answer to Amazon). As a result Netflix's manipulations are, I think, backfiring on them, and that is how they earned a most unwelcome top headline in the Financial Times.

(I would also note that in parts of the world there is also VIU).

I must say that I was initially a bit put off by the entry of iQIYI into the K-drama field but given the behavior of Netflix this has now come to seem like welcome competition instead. Of course iQIYI and Viki have their drawbacks too but the existence of competition is a useful check on monopolistic behavior- which is essentially what you were describing.

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Your analysis makes so much sense!!! I also had the same feeling about iQiYi! But I believe you're right that the competition ultimately should be a positive force to bring better choices at better prices for the audience (I hope). It seems chaotic right now but it always does in times of major transitions....

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:The Witch’s Diner: 7.8 Mystic Pop-up Bar meets Hotel del Luna (with a touch of Pied Piper of Hamlin in day 1). I almost missed this because it wasn't in DB's "Prime-Time Shows This Week".

Voice 4: 3.0 The story is even crazier than the baddie.

Devil Judge: 7.5

You Are My Spring: 7.0 Trying to be subtle, but getting a bit draggy. Could use more serial killer.

Racket Boys: 7.9 Good but predictable. When they decide to make a point, they lay it on extra thick.

Kingdom: Ashin of the North: 8.0
1: Not a masterpiece, but still managed to do as much in one day as many kdramas do in 16.
2: A bit dark, thematically and literally. Parts were hard to see on my screen.
3: There's revenge and there's REVENGE!. Let other kdrama "revenge" shows take note -- this is how you do it.
Spoilers in reply:

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4: The ending reminded me of Shaun of the Dead.
5: Caring for sick friends/relatives is normal. Caring so much, that way, for dead ones is not.
6: Wouldn't Ashin have had many chances over the years to recognize the arrows (or whatever) that gave it away? Wouldn't the troops who did the dirty work have blabbed?
7: If deer (and presumably other animals) can get infected by eating the flower, and predators like tigers can get infected by eating infected prey, shouldn't there be infected animals all over the place? (The carvings indicate the flower has been around for a long time).
8: Why did the commander need to blame Ashin's people? Wouldn't the deadly and freshly dead zombified tiger have made the original made-up tiger-did-it story completely believable? Then if the Jurchens asked what happened to the bodies, commander could have just said he had them burned or buried.

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Yes, in general, it's just a whole lot of plot to pile on more misery on Ashin's shoulders. Definitely, not a feel-good watch

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Enough plot holes to bury a whole garrison, with room to fit a few Jurchens too.

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🤣🤣

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Hospital Playlist 2: I’m liking each new episode more than the last. Ep 6 was a treat: residents, interns, 2000s hair, Dragon, upbeat music, more patient stories. The new GS residents better not be involved in a jealousy/love triangle gimmick with WG (who are still secretly dating? After all those blunders by Jeongwon? In my mind the GS dads already know but are keeping shushhh). The storyline’s barely moved but I don’t mind.

Mad for Each Other: Two episodes in and I’m intrigued. I feel Oppa-ya is underappreciated as an actor.

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Trash Oppa was brilliant in Mad for Each Other. What a heartachingly good OTP (and one of my favorite series of 2021.)

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My favorite OTP this year so far.

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I third this.

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ON THE VERGE OF INSANITY - my top favourite now! Never thought that dishwasher chips and indeed dishwashers could be so interesting. Most engineers that I know favour checked shirts, just like Choi Ban-seok. And finally, Han Se-Gwon's lies and falsehoods are revealed. His stomach clenching fear and panic was so beautifully played by Lee sang-yeob.

YOU ARE MY SPRING is strangely weird, but enjoyable, too. Even the ex wife is not the typical, catty second lead. Still, like others I feel as if there are two dramas playing side by side.

THE DEVIL JUDGE feels much more disjointed. Ep 4 was good and I hope it will get better again. Judge Oh is terribly boring as a character, but maybe she will become more important going forward. The relationship between Elijah and Ga-on is nice to watch.

Binge watching IMITATION and I love it. I am not into K-pop, but I really admire the dancing here. Hopefully there are more managers like Ji-hak than CEO Park in real life.

Noble idiocy and beak up at HOME MAGAZINE, just makes me yawn.

Looking forward to what happens next in NEVERTHELESS and will relax with the lovely RACKET BOYS and girls afterwards. There is truly only one Yoon Hae-Kang.

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After running out of maybe all the good noona dramas out there, I finally bit the bullet and started What's Up Fox. Now Im wondering why I didn't just watch it earlier. One episode in and Im already rolling with laughter. Aside from that...meh. I haven't been into any of the 2020/2021 dramas other than Hospital Playlist tbh.

Side note: Can we get an edit button pls? :)

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That was a great show!

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I second the edit button!

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What's Up Fox was my first noona romance - initially, I had a hard time wrapping my head around the younger-guy-older-lady premise, but the show was so good, I was bowled over. And Chun Jung-myung was so cute too!

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I've started watching What's Up Fox too because of your comment (and because I have to wait for new episodes of currently airing shows).

I'm loving it so far... apart from the model sister's story line. Especially post-Weinstein, that's pretty disturbing.

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i loved What's Up Fox!!! i watched it in 2010, my first year down the rabbithole... still ranks high on my romcom list!

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Witch's Diner (up to ep 3): Intriguing but way darker and bleaker than I expected. The payments are brutal. I'm sad this is only 8 episodes since the first 2 episodes were sort of slow. I'm curious as to why Jin is getting those visions.

Cdrama:

Qing Luo (up to ep 19): Some minor speed-bumps at this point but the show's sense of pace, self-assured sense of humor and romance, and likable characters really help smooth out those bumps in a way not many dramas can.

Truth or Dare (up to ep 25): Not much to say except that the cuteness ramped it up several notches by having the two couples finally in one place. I'm hoping the Salt Cartel storyline won't bog down the remaining part of the drama.

Unforgettable Love (up to ep 12): OMG, that kid is so cute!!! Typical contract marriage involving a rich CEO. Reasonable and likable FL. ML is a bit cliche, but is nice enough. Lots of little details that I like - fun dialogues, the male lead wearing his pjs when catching up at work at home, the FL changing her code lock after the ML knew it (common sense safety!), etc.

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I'm still watching Unforgettable Love too but at 1.5x+ speed. I slow down for little Xiao Bao because he's the most scrumptious child on television. Wouldn't be surprised if the Chinese gov't tries to harness that child's cuteness to reverse China's declining birthrate.

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Spent the afternoon watching Ashin of the North. Dang, it's dark! Personally, I liked the Kingdom series better, but I've got to say that as far as "Breaking All Hell Loose Revenge Bound Female Character" goes, Ashin is pretty cool. Still, not the most relaxing flick.
Audio description during the showdown cracked me up:
[Tense music]
[Soldiers screaming]
[Pigs snorting]
[Monster growling]
[Screaming]
[Shrieks]
[Thuds]
[Grumbles]
[Monster snarling]
[Tense music]
[Arrow whooshes]
[Thwang]
[Thud]
[Pants]
[All grunt]
[Soldiers scream]
[Monster snarls]
[Soldier 2 pants]
[Foreboding music]
And on and on it goes... Not much dialogue going on there 🤣

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Probably should just have watched the Imitation finale instead 😂

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I was so proud of myself for watching Kingdom season1 because I am a wimp when it comes to horror/zombies, but it was so moving, wise, and well-plotted, it didn't feel as gory as I expected. I get the sense that Ashin is going to be too dark for me, so thank you for faithfully transcribing the showdown so I could vicariously experience the thrill. 😂😂😂

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Fellow wimp, here! The only horror I watch is in kdramas or kmovies, and only because usually these shows are character centered, and deliver comic relief at times or some moments of connection between characters that give some respite from the darkness. And also because these shows are really pretty to watch, zombies notwithstanding 😂
Anyhow, Ashin was a bit too dark for me. The darkness is unrelenting, and Ashin doesn't have anyone not awful around her. I probably didn't drop it like a hot potato when we find out what happened to the dad (but it's really really bad and I'm too scared to check out if that was a thing among the real Jurchen) because by now I've build up some resistance to horror thanks to all the scary k-stuff I've been watching lately. But, yes, even if I recognize that it's a good production, I was way more into the regular Kingdom series

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You beautifully summarized why I was able to watch Kingdom. The deliberately campy and comedic Zombie Detective was also watchable for me. Ashin is definitely sounding like a pass for now. I can't even read your warning about the dad without cringeing--I don't even want to know what it is. 😱

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Kingdom was my first kdrama, I fell head over heels for all the sageuk setting 💚 And Zombie Detective is fun! I also liked School Nurse Files and Sweet Home - this last one is super scary, but I've found the characters compelling. On the lighter side, I really liked Midnight Popup Bar. That was super cute and not scary at all 😊

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Is there anybody who has watched Twelve Nights?
I'm curious about Shin Hyun Soo since I watched Bossam. He was fantastic in there.

Anyway I saw ep.1-2, so far I like it.
Yeah, it's slow but interesting plot (Shin Hyun Soo's Japanese skill is not good though... I'm Japanese, so I can judge).
But Viki's ratings are so bad. Like 7.7?
I don't really care about ratings in general but is this drama so bad?

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I think the ratings are more about the expectations people had about this drama than the quality of the drama.

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Yeah, also I hate people rating so low just because subtitles are slow or no subtitles with their languages.
And low quality dramas are rated so high only because buzzworthy actors starred...
But 7.7 seems so low.. Maybe I'll understand why if I keep watching.

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It's the same than Third Charm, people were expecting a lovely love story and it's how it started. But it was more about life than a love story and people were disapointed.

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I haven't seen the Third Charm but that's also rated relatively ​low on Viki... Ha!
I'm not into a lovely love story, I'm more like a slice of life drama girl, so twelve nights might be good for me then!
I'll check Third Charm out too.
Thank you💛

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TTC (2018) was another excellent drama (not rom/com). Seo Kang-joon gave a fine performance but Esom’s was outstanding!

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I will forever be in love with Seo Kangjoon speaking Portuguese in TTC, so cuuuute ☺️
Anyway, I loved TTC until ep 12, and then I hated it. But, to be fair, I'm not a melo person - had I known it would get so heavy I wouldn't have picked it up in the first place. Esom kicked it out of the park on TTC, though

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I watched a lot of it, but ended up fast-forwarding through a lot. I don't remember a lot of it, aside from the female leads actions being really annoying.

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Twelve Nights is excellent if you go in expecting a slow contemplative indie art film type experience with K-drama touches. It will disappoint you if you want a K-drama style romance. Shin Hyun Soo is wonderful in it. Many Beanies loved it.

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I loved TWELVE NIGHTS and that is where I became a Shin Hyun-soo fan. Naturally I was partial to Dae-yeob in BOSSAM.
TN aired (Oct.-Dec. 2018) on little Channel A one episode a week on Fridays a 11pm. You can image its AGB Nationwide ratings were abysmal:
https://asianwiki.com/12_Nights_(Korean_Drama)

However, TWEVE NIGHTS was subbed by Viki at the time and I remember it being my Sunday night viewing for 12 weeks.
Along with SHS it has a terrific cast and I was especially struck by the performance of one of my favorite character actors Ye Soo-jung who rather than play the usual mom/grandma played a professional photographer whose goal was to go to the Serengeti.
I know @wishfultoki started TN and seemed to like the early episodes. I am waiting to hear her reaction to the entire drama.
@ayalynn123, stay with it.

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Oh thank you everyone.
@ndlessjoie @okiejune @kurama
(I don't know which reply to use to cover all the people...)
I liked Ep. 1-2 because I really like the "Non K-drama style romance" vibe. It's something new and fresh.
I even considered to do Japanese subtitles on Viki but I should watch the whole episodes first...
(I volunteer only for the dramas that are worth spending my time on)
And also I liked supporting actors, such as Ye Soo-Jung and Jang Hyun-Sung.
Oh Shin Hyun-soo is fantastic! I love him!
His Japanese skill is not that great but he captured "Japanese tired salaryman" vibe very well.
And he looks 25 or at least younger than 30. He definitely looks a lot more mature in the later episodes, five years and eight years later. I'm already impressed by that before I start watching.
Anyway, I'll continue to watch it.
Thank you!

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I utterly loved Twelve Nights. I think that the people who watched it were expecting a typical rom-com and instead got an Indy drama not about romance but about the importance of art (at least, that's what it was about in my opinion).

Also, Shin Hyun Soo had to be rushed to hospital during the filming of eps 5 (if I remember right) so they clearly had to improvise and shoot around him and it was a little disjointed at that point. But got back on track when he got back.

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Completed:

Itaewon Class
I finished this week! Bravo!!!!!! I liked it, the most part of it. The reviews´ comments destroyed the drama, but for me... it was ok. The finale was too dark for me; a little bit satanic as well, with certain character that you know becoming a total thug and destroying i dont know how many years his father invested in his company just because he was pissed off... a little bit too much dramatic and unrealistic, but I understand the writer needed an acceleratto (however you write that word) or some kind of climax.
Most comments were mean in my opinion, because... poor drama was not guilty it was based on a web-toon.
at least we have a happy end, and a heroe who learned to love and appreciate life and friends. And I loved the FL most of the time... I am glad he ended up with her.

On hold:
Monthly magazine home.

It is just that i don´t like most of the situations portrayed in the drama. I really love Kim Mi suk, but i don't like his character here. I adore Jung So min, but even her... I don't feel that connected anymore. At least with her methods, which are following his methods... Maybe that's why.
Also, most of the rest of the cast are like many beanies have said before: petty... and if not, then boring, or hysterical in a way that i cannot understand.

Want to watch:

- Raketboys.
- Hospital Playlist (both)
- Navillera

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Team Dramabeans is a lot more than just the two of you! I love the way you all write and I presume all of you are watching dramas. Could we have a "What we're Watching" with EVERYONE making a contribution? If it was just a brief comment of two or three lines it wouldn't be SO much of an effort, and we would all enjoy multiple views. You are all so sharp and never miss anything in the storeylines.
What I watch is entirely governed by your opinions and yes - I'm completely hooked on "Imitation", it's absolutely brilliant.

You are all so brilliant at your recaps. When you asked for another pair of hands to do recaps I thought I would try it. I'm a published author and no, this is not my name, but WOW recapping is difficult. Yes you can recap the story, but what is so difficult is to mix personal opinion with informed awareness of all the nuances. I also found that as an Englishwoman living in the heart of Africa I couldn't explain all the Korean culture (why men wear lipstick, why hair is always cut like a pudding-bowl if you're male and under 35, why parents interfere so much in the love-lives of their children, why it's perfectly OK for men to slap women, woman to slap women, bosses wives to slap secretaries, etc. etc. etc. without any legal repercussions, why major-scale embezzlement rates a couple of years in prison.....etc.......) so I ended up writing in a way that was far too English.

You are always generous with your recaps, and I think this is very positive too. Many dramas require the "willing suspension of disbelief" to REALLY enjoy them so I believe you are doing nobody any favours, not the dramas, not the actors, nor the watchers, by tearing them apart when bits don't make any sense. If you get hooked on a drama you are there for the ride so destructive criticism just makes you cross. I absolutely loved Vicenzo, and the nonesense bits didn't matter a bit. I still think of the "Bye Bye Balloon" travel agenciy catering for those requiring a speedy departure from Korea, the episode with the fortune-telling guru and Song Joon Ki twirling a flower still cracks me up.

So keep on doing what your doing and I'll make another contribution the next time I get a decent royalty cheque. Thank you, bless you all, and keep going!

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