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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: The King’s Affection

School 2021: Episode 3 down, and I’m loving it, yet I can’t seem to sit down and just watch it without getting distracted a hundred times. I imagine it’s my restless mood lately, and not the drama’s fault, because the plot is settling in, and the character dynamics are too, and I love our three leads and all the attraction and angst that awaits. Our heroine Ji-won, in particular, continues to be delightful, and it’s super fun to see how the two feuding boys around her react to her presence. It’s my catnip!

 

quirkycase

Currently recapping: Happiness

Jirisan: I’m not that into the whole killer mystery aspect, but I do like seeing the various aspects of the rangers’ jobs and the disasters they handle. What I am curious about is Hyun-jo and his connection to the mountain. I hope we get some explanation for that.

The Red Sleeve Cuff: I’ve been enjoying this one more than I expected. We get a lot of male politicking in sageuks, so I always appreciate it when we see more of the women in the palace, especially the servants. I like the tone so far – it’s not too heavy or too light – and the leads have good chemistry.

Melancholia: I have to say, Seung-yoo really irritated me this week. He’s being way too pushy with Yoon-su and disrespecting her wishes. One of my pet peeves is people making others uncomfortable by not respecting their boundaries, and he’s really overstepping. She has every right not to want to see him after all that happened, and he’s ignoring her discomfort by continuing to contact her when she asked him not to. Seung-yoo still has some maturing to do.

 

DaebakGrits

Currently recapping: Inspector Koo

The King’s Affection: Our Lady King’s identity has officially become the worst kept secret in the palace, and I found my interest waning a little bit this week as our couple continuously made goo-goo eyes at each other. It was cute and I do appreciate the romance, but I don’t enjoy the will-they-won’t-they-get-caught (again) suspense side of it. Instead, I find myself facepalming at their lack of restraint. At the rate they’re going, our Lady King is going to have to hide a pregnancy. Meanwhile, Evil Grandpapa has proved once again that he isn’t smarter than our Lady King, just better connected, but even so, I still prefer him as an antagonist over the scheming Uncle and Cousin duo.

The Red Sleeve Cuff: I think Red Sleeve has moved to the top of my list of currently airing dramas. I enjoy the palace intrigue and politics more than in The King’s Affection because, instead of giving us one seemingly unstoppable villain to hate, we have multiple characters whose alliances are fluid and murky (I’m looking at you, Deok-ro and Head Court Lady). I’m a little surprised with how quickly trust and affection was built between our prince and court lady, but despite its speed, it feels like a natural and realistic progression that has me wanting more, more, more.

Let Me Be Your Knight: Ok, I’m a bit happier with the direction this drama is taking after watching episode four, especially if the cliffhanger ending isn’t a misdirect and our lead man has figured out Yoon-joo isn’t a doctor. The attention given to the other band members this episode was nice, too, and I’m very curious about their backstories.

What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim: I forgot how delightfully narcissistic Young-joon is. You’d think his obsession with his own reflection would make him an unappealing character, but he remains likable because his overflowing self-love doesn’t result in the mistreatment or belittlement of others. I guess some could argue that he runs Mi-so ragged, but as he pointed out in episode two, she never said no to any of his requests. Also, something I’m appreciating more during my watchthrough: the random animal noises. When Young-joo gave Mi-so the stuffed cow and there was a mooing sound effect, my friend — who’s absolutely adoring this drama, by the way — and I had a good chuckle. I need more rom-coms like this one in my life

 
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Happiness (Episode 7-8) - Mood: C+
While I appreciate that Yi Hyun made full use of the precious info given to him by the gym trainer before he was shot by Tae Seok (I cackled watching Joo Hyung’s tables get overturned), it feels quite coincidental that the Next pill looks very similar to his digestive medicine, so much so that Joo Hyung got tricked by them. The gradual descent of the older cop into religious fanaticism is a cliche overdone in survival thrillers that I’m left pretty cold by the cliffhanger. As was in the first half, what happens outside the apartments is more interesting: Tae Seok’s bait was this week’s highlight by a mile.

Idol: The Coup (Episode 7-8) - Mood: C
I can’t deny it was absolutely gratifying to watch Cotton Candy finally get traction but there’s a lot of stuff that made it really awkward narratively: 1) Yes the CEO is becoming softer and yay character development, but it’s rather lame that the catalyst for that change was his feelings for Jenna, 2) Ray had a point about Ji Han being reckless without thinking about Mars (leaking the song is a no) but it was presented in this weirdly antagonistic vibe, 3) Jenna’s choice ended up being anti-climatic as the collaboration still happened in the end, 4) I can already see the love triangle being a conflict.

School 2021 (Episode 3-4) - Mood: C-
As much as I disliked the suicide fake-out (because it was cliffhanger bait), I find myself impressed at Seo Young’s character development this week. And she’s a 2nd female lead at that!

Let Me Be Your Knight (Episode 4) - Mood: D+
A second love triangle? But then again, every boy in that mansion is brooding.

Chimera (Episode 9-10) - Mood: D+
Ok, the copycat arc ended quickly and we got a juicy reveal for past Chimera! This second half is starting off well?

The Red Sleeve Cuff (Episode 5-6) - Mood: D
Court Lady Jo’s motivations are simply “blame the child for his parent’s mistake” nonsense, also, the tutor’s confirmed to be another greedy villain so this plot isn’t going uphill anytime soon. And they’ve got no more abs to spare?

Melancholia (Episode 7-8) - Mood: D-
To be honest, I’m not thrilled that the 2nd half will be focused on revenge. Isn’t the best revenge living well?

The King's Affection (Episode 15-16) - Mood: D-
It wasn’t funny suspending my disbelief about who saw some things and who didn’t saw other things, also, placenta chamber plot device made me roll my eyes so hard.

Reflection of You (Episode 15-16) - Mood progression: B / C+ / C / C+ / C / C- / D+ / D-
If only the story had been about two woman bonding over existential crises and forming an unlikely friendship! Alas, it was not to be.

Now We Are Breaking Up (Episode 5-6) - Mood: D-
God, why is there another obstacle in the obsessed model? And we’ve terminal illness + cheating combination tropes?

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ONGOING
Jirisan - The mystery is more intricate than I expected. The fact that it's related to the flooding was an interesting surprise. But I really hope the show isn't planning to fridge another female ranger in the grand interest of the story.

Inspector Koo - Pre-empted .

Chimera - Mom's backstory ended up being way darker than I had expected. I'm glad she killed all of them, sort of.

The King's Affection - I'm definitely the only one who fast-forwarded through the romance. Only to land at THAT death. RIP Commander Yoon 😢 though maybe sageuk peeps should stop going near cliffs now.

Secret Royal Inspector & Joy - What was the point of killing off the Inspector for like 20 minutes? Why were the last 5-10 minutes just flashbacks played to music? Are they running out of content? Anyway BeadBoy (thanks to the Beanie who coined the name) is interesting.

Melancholia - Show has too many characters. We've exchanged one generation of evil rich kids and parents for another except the OG evil kids are still around to ruin things 🙄. And then the leads running what feels like two parallel revenge tracks - why not just talk to each other and work together?

The Red Sleeve Cuff - Did something other than the bath tub scene happen in Ep. 6? My memory is all fogged up from the hot water 😳.
Ep. 7 - We do not grab people by the neck no matter how unhappy we are 🤨. Bad San!

Now We Are Breaking Up - It wasn't bad enough that we had the FL pining for a decade for a man she dated for 2 months but now there's another woman pining for her CHEATING fiancé for the same amount of time. You'd think these super-successful women would find something (or someone) better to do.

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"Sageuk peeps should stop going near cliffs" gave me a KA chuckle. Much as I like me some good outcrop, that particular cliff is getting a bad reputation. A glance at the base showed it strewn with boulders, so not even good for an escape leap. Ledgers were written with permanent ink in Joseon times? Off to research.

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Heh that was me going "but the water will wash away the ledger's...and he's jumped"

Watch the next sageuk be about a cursed forest-cliff where everyone dies and how our intrepid leads solve the mystery. Like Forest but set in the Joseon dynasty 😛

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Right, I was totally laughing at how much momentum you’d have to have (at the top) to get past all the boulders at the bottom of that cliff and hit the water 🙄 Not to mention getting the ledger soaked.

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Reflection of You: I said in the first episode recap that Li-sa would be the killer though Hui-ju, Hae-won, Hyun-sung and Woo-jae himself all had a hand in it. I spent the series hating everyone, but in the end, I just felt sad. Li-sa and Ho-su bore the brunt of their parents' wrongdoings, but it was clear that all of the characters were twisted by their own upbringings. These were not emotionally healthy individuals who knew how to forgive and move on. I can’t say I liked this drama, but I think it handled the themes well and the acting and cinematography were very good.

Happiness: Yi-hyun!! If anyone can resist the thirst, it is probably him. It was smart to try to find the infected but Sae-bom and Yi-hyun went about it in a pretty reckless way. The Beanie who said the pastor was probably infected and that’s why the zombie ran away was right.

Work Later, Drink Now: I really hope a second season does happen because I need more! Lee Sun-bin, Jung Eun-ji and Han Sunhwa were great in their roles.

The King’s Affection: Stuff happened this week (RIP Commander Yoon) but it still felt rather slow. There were some dumb plot points too, like the bad guys just happening across the twin umbilical cords and the kissing out in the open.

Secret Royal Inspector and Joy: I’m here for Tae-soo. His scenes in Episode 8 were really good, but oh, it’s going to end badly for him.

Melancholia: Seung-yoo certainly accomplished a lot in four years. I was okay with the teacher-student relationship when Seung-yoo was a student because he was clearly a troubled kid with a crush that Yoon-su did not reciprocate. I’m uncomfortable with the adult Seung-yoo practically stalking an uncomfortable Yoon-su though.

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Melancholia: Poor Yoon-soo is being stalked by two men -- her ex-student and ex-fiancé. The least Seung-yoo can do for ruining her life is to respect her wishes to not visit her father and contact her again, but he uses Si-an to get to Yoon-soo. I hope the students and parents spread rumors about him and Si-an so he would know what it feels like.

I know it's going to happen but I really wish it wouldn't that Seung-yoo is going to wear Yoon-soo down and she's going to fall for him. I know it's part of his mathematician personality, but his obsession does not deserve to be rewarded.

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I agree that his obsession does not deserve to be rewarded, and even though he's an adult, he still seems like a troubled child.

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Happiness: the only place a man should get scratched is bedroom but they havent ecmeven gotten there yet.
I feel like thebaby is healthy and they can use stem cell
Very covidy, you avoid it as long as you can but still get it

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I totally agree with you about Reflection of You. It's a very good drama and I disliked all characters. I'm really sorry for LiSa. She has the worst family ever.

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Hahaha, ok School 2021, you got me with the cliffhanger of the previous week. Though I'm not complaining, I like it this way better. I also like that we uncover some facts and history in snippets (and don't mind some of them being a bit cliché or predictable). And, ha, Seoyoung is even more badass than our handsome biker 😁

I paused Braking Now and went back to Lady and Gentleman as I needed to knit a scarf for my daughter. For knitting, it was an OK background, but I find the recent Be My Dream Family a better show.

Still watching Rain God... and waiting for the right mood to start Red Sleeve.

Also waiting for Choi Wooshik (in Our Beloved Summer). ❤

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BE MY DREAM FAMILY is a good relaxing show and makes perfect sense for what you are doing.

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Oh, I didn't mean that it was a better show for knitting 😆 I just really liked Dream Family better, the characters, the relationships, the plot...

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Yes, it is a good show- better than most Daily's. At the time it aired it was a nice alternative to the Weekender that was airing at that time.

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I am with you in the waiting room for Our Beloved Summer.

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Our Beloved Summer is a must for me too. Choi Woo Shik and Kim Dami had amazing chemistry in the movie, The Witch. So they can sell the enemies to lovers well.

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Always a good plot but it does require good chemistry.

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CRICKET -

New Zealand Vs. India - 10 wickets - such a big big big achievement.

So female cricket unranked team beat raked team in the tournament that decides who gonna play in future world cup and then other matches get cancelled because of health concerns. The raked team automatically is now in the world cup and that's when female unranked cricket team is better than males ranked team.

Also double the pay for female cricketers
Also double the viewership.
This is market where growth potential is huge. Money matters and money potential is huge and also creates free of cost image for you - empowerment and equality and more and you have got the money and respect all on your side. You see the customers you go for it.

Sports is more business than any other business out there.

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JAPAN - busy with work and others things. nonsensical romance and even shoujo garbage romance not interested.
Then we have affairs - why we need them when we can see much better in Japanese porn.
Police - why waste time on them.

cheesy romance bits - who cares

I have nothing to watch -

@screentime this is when your patience comes into play

Yup Haruka no Hikari

I was waiting for December to start to watch the remaining episodes. Good media demands good atmosphere and attention. Time to see Haruka with our middle class mid 40's uncle.

Slice of Life is better than dramas.

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Happiness - 6/10 - Writer could have done more with characters. Side characters really do nothing much and yet the show doesn't feel slow. easy watch and enjoy.
Hero-Heroine - +ve
Spectacle Guy Seo - +ve could do more
Spectacle Guy - +ve villain of 2021.

Edgy kids - 3/10 - garbage - Even teen porn have more value.

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Why has the last sentence gave me shivers on my spine? Really bad shivers and a nauseating sensation.

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Don't Let go of My Hand - 6/10 - Music is good but also turns loud and on loop for long. Side characters re way too week and have no potential at all. You watch it as a romance drama - it runs like a family drama - turns into headache and frustration - turns into romance drama and all the while its the

Grandmother the comes out strong and Sumru moving the story with ridiculous lies.
Heroine - frustrates you a lot and Hero actually beats all around other Asian heros with his actions towards heroine.

The non-romance romance is what i like and this show gives you that. Many didn't like the almost no romantic scenes but i'm enjoying whatever is given.

Story really lacks logic and rational and 1 plot rides for way too long for any comfort and side characters behave so idiotic that you almost flip table.

I'm still continuing it for Grandmother-heroine relationship
and then hero-heroine relationship.
Translations are worst but i do understand lot of words and making your own view while watching is easy.

I do skip a lot too - too much talk but dialogues look pretty normal.

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Red Cuff of the Sleeve Ep 7 This has been the most entertaining Sageuk so far. The actors are wonderful, every frame is rich in colour and every scene is splendid. Looking forward to see how Deok Im will give up her court maid position without compromising on her principles.

Happiness Ep 9 The drama has gathered all the resources on Covid-19 and has successfully tied it to the fictional virus. Wonderful leads trying to keep the horrible apartment people safe which parallel's health care givers and covidiots.

Reflection of You Ep 15-16 The drama was good from start to finish, though it was a frustrating watch as none of the characters were likeable. In the end, HW and HJ lives were reflections of each other and everyone got what they deserved and my final take away was "Revenge never brings peace".

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The King’s Affection: Their broad daylight kisses are both a delight and scary because they are bound to get caught. We have 4 episodes left, I haven’t the faintest whether this will be a happy or sad ending. Here is hoping our couple makes it.

Secret Royal Inspector and Joy: This drama continues to be fun. There is nothing special about it, but we all like hijinks and shenanigans with a touch of romance. This offers that so I am content.

School 2021L I really like this drama. It is so cute. I think it does a good job of showcasing the issues and joys of everyone. It seems like thankfully there will be no love triangle. Just students trying to make it to adulthood.

Reflection of You: I really thought the ending would be some bloodbath or melodramatic proportions, but it really wasn’t. Our leads were punished, for the most part, according to their just deserts. Hui Ju was left all alone and her husband was left without her. I actually kind of liked the ending, although a bit anti-climactic considering the drama of the previous episodes.

Happiness: 6 episodes left and we have a case. I wonder if they will make him resist for a very long time and overcame or let him go full zompire. I also wonder if he will tell his wife. Hmmmm

One Ordinary Day: So we got the big guns lawyer, I wonder why she took the case.

Now we are breaking up: So, Soo Wan was cheating on his fiancé and didn’t tell his girlfriend. SMH. None of that explains why he was speeding in the rain. I also really like the jersey dress with the print.

The red sleeve: It was a nice touch to show the prince’s body from Deok Im’s perspective. I don’t really have much to say on this drama, it is just very very good.

Chimera: So now we know who the original Chimera is and why she did it. That was an unexpected twist. Did not see that coming. I really thought our cop and doctor were brothers, but I was wrong. This was a good plot twist.

Inspector Koo: Back to our serial killer meeting a power killer. I still don’t like a shadow is making me do it, but it is fine, whatever.

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Are you up to date with Happiness? If so, there are only 3 episodes left to air (including the one airing today).

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Ohhh is Happiness only 12 episodes? I didn't realize. Thanks, well that changes things, ha.

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Yup it only has 12 episodes so next week will be jam packed.

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NOW WE ARE BREAKING UP (Ep. 5-6) Jae-Koo’s delusion “property rights” thinking that Young Eun is his woman is now beyond degrading but manipulative. She bought his Paris alley picture that made him strong enough to pursue his dreams. So what? If her buying that bleak photograph was the portal to be soul mates why did he send her a note through his brother? He did not the courage to talk to her does not impart “I saw her first so she is mine” rights. So what if she dated his brother for two months? Why did it take you ten years to meet her? Just because she had a one-night stand with you does not validate your delusions that she is the one, she loves you, or wants you. His constant imposition of himself into her life is manipulative misbehavior trying to coax a “debt” she would owe to him so he can collect his prize, her. The next “bomb” he can level on her psyche is that Soo-Wan was cheating on his fiancee when he was with Young Eun. He can twist it that it was not a real love that she is stuck on in her memory, but only the convenient “other woman.” Is his plan to shatter Young Eun’s self-esteem so her can pick up the pieces? It is real sick way to get someone to like you.

The bigger problem in the series is that the secondary story lines are better than the main one. At least there is some character motivation behind their actions. No one appreciates Young Eun’s loyalty to the company, so why does she not move on to another brand instead of being a constant lap dog for the CEO’s children?

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Yeah. I am so unmotivated to keep watching this drama.

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Red Sleeve Cuff: Well written, acted, directed and edited with nice pacing. Very addictive drama.

Now, We Are Broken Up: Not well written, acted, directed or edited but around episode 5 the pacing and story started working more so I find myself still watching it. It's like the writer wanted to freshen up an old school melodrama. It's not working but I'm short of contemporary dramas and here I am for another week.

The King's Affection: I realize I am never jumping back in after stalling on episode 9. Dropped.

Secret Royal Inspector: I kinda pay attention when I'm watching, or folding laundry or whatever. Total background drama.

The Crowned Clown: I skipped this because I had already seen the movie it was based on so I just couldn't see putting in 16 hours. I am considering it though so my question is this: Is it worth it? Help me out a bit. I remember good reviews at the time but sometimes that is hype and upon reflection, people change their views.

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I didn't see the movie so I can't compare, but I found The Crowned Clown to be a solid show - it didn't break tons of new ground, but it was beautifully directed, well acted, and while there were some of the staple sageuk bad guys floating around, there were also some more ambiguous, interesting characters as well.

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Speaking for myself I really enjoyed THE CROWNED CLOWN and particularly Yeo Jin-goo’s performance. His work in episodes 7&8 were the best I have seen of him until then. I think he surpassed himself this year in BEYOND EVIL.

As a reminder, because of his performance in TCC, Yeo Jin-goo (and his twin brother) was named Best Actor in the DB [2019 Year in Review] Editors’ Picks (Dec. 30, 2019). It really was well deserved and a bit amazing since the drama aired early in the year Jan. 7 to Mar. 4, 2019 but his performance was not forgotten.
Others probably have a different take on TCC.

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I really loved Crowned Clown. At the very least, watch the first eight episodes. It's an extremely well directed drama with an addictive pace. The love story is also understated but pretty cracky. And Yeo Jin-goo is truly phenomenal throughout.

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I'd say CROWNED CLOWN is stand-alone and different from the movie MASQUERADE.

I miss Yeo Jin-goo in sageuks. He is something else.

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Yes, very different. I liked both very much!

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The Crowned Clown is totally worth it! (At least for me) This is the first sageuk drama that I love. It's not as fun as Red Sleeve, but it's enough to keep me glued to know what's next.

I remembered the episode when the King died; although he was the bad guy, I felt so sad for him. It's the feeling that I'm rooting for the King but I was also pissed with his attitude. That sad episode also ends with just beach sounds to depict that it is indeed a tough decision to be made by his right hand man... And tears flowing down while my heart felt a big chunk of sadness., well I think the director of this drama really did a good job getting me mixed with many emotions.

This is not a fluffy drama; there's love line, but give it a try for 4-episodes. The opening of episode 1 pulled me to watch this drama, and I was totally hooked by the end of episode 1.

This drama is also the first drama I watch Lee Se Young (from the Red Sleeve Cuff), she was the queen in The Crowned Clown.

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I actually liked The Crowned Clown more than Masquerade. Though the concept is similar, I enjoyed the story and characters in the drama more. Go watch it :)

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I just finished Crowned Clown. I enjoyed YJG's acting and his friendships within the palace. Supporting actors were good too.

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Here to be different: I hated TCC with a passion that has not died after almost three years... 😂😂😂

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Secret Royal Inspector and Joy. The drama is really dumb. Did anyone believe our perfect secret inspector would be dead? Noooooooo. Anyway, Bead Boy and his tortured self and super cutie Taec keep me going. Everything is so anachronistic I should be mad at the drama, but I jus don’t care. I still don’t like FL. But you know what? I love Taec!

Would you want a cup of coffee?. What a wonderful little drama. I loved to bits. If you haven’t watched, please do.

Show window: The Queen’s house. I don’t like makjang and I wish I could ignore all Song Yoon Ah plastic surgery, but I need to give this drama a chance because I’m a good fangirl and I love Chansung. First two episodes were a good setting and I guess I’ll be watching next two episodes to see how it goes, but so far as over the top as expected.

Reflection of you. It’s over and I am quite satisfied with the ending, although I don’t get (well I do, it was a plot device) why HJ didn’t call the police when LiSa deservedly stabbed WooJae: it was clearly self defense. LiSa is the only part I’m really sad about. I mean, HJ may have acted out of love in her mind, but she didn’t love LiSa in the first place. That girl is going to grow up as traumatized as her aunt and may become the psycho her aunt is now. The acting on episode 16 was top notch for me. This is a good drama, with a very good production, directing, writing and acting but I just can’t recommend it. It was so exhausting. So much.

Red Sleeve. The bath scene. Nothing more to add, your honor. Well, yes. I love Junho.

Jirisan. Everything is hilarious about this. Can someone explain me how if Chief Do and GooYoung are with JJHx2 when we learn YangSun had the accident (and connecting the dots would have made her a victim of the killer) the drama has been pretending to misguide us this much? Oh! Because the killer has a partner… but we have stated by now that the partner is already dead!! Such a terrible writing. Worse than directing...

On the verge of insanity. I really pity sometimes Dang Ja Young. She just wants the job done and she has to fight one obstacle after another. Moon So-ri is like always, killing it.

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I loved Moon So-ri in OTVOI - I always appreciate shows that create complex, nuanced roles for seasoned actresses.

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Now I want to watch it :).

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I’m on episode 12 and it’s so worth it! Not a single minute of this drama is a waste. It’s funny and witty, but also balances perfectly the dramatic parts (that are there, of course). Amazing acting.

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The King's Affection It's still my favourite airing drama. I like how the politics (Hwi needs to fight her grandfather, the Prince Wosan and keeping her secret...) and the romance are balanced, it keeps my interest. I like how the couple can be together just by Ji-Woon becoming a scribe. His father found him a good job at the Palace :p I like how the writer is not trying to fill the story with every character in every episode. They came when it makes sense to the story.

Idol: The Coup This story is : one step forward for three steps back...

Secret Royal Inspector and Joy 7-8 I see no difference between the BTS and the drama itself, just the actors having fun :p

School 2021 I care more about the second leads than the main ones...

The Red Sleeve Cuff I was kinda hoping that the bath scene would last longer 🙄

Happiness I want Sae-Bom to settle her neighbors's hash.

The Wheel of Time It's not a KDrama but everytime Daniel Henney is on my screen, it reminds me the first time I watched him in Spring Waltz.

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Oh and I'm happy that D.P. made the Best international TV shows in 2021 by the New York Times :)

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Thanks for passing this on! D.P. deserves international notice.

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The King's Affection I like how the writer is not trying to fill the story with every character in every episode.

This is one thing I dislike about this drama how characters disappear for episodes at a time. Hyun must be really busy like he says, and even Eunuch Hong constantly wonders where Ga-on is. Ha-kyung was introduced and never seen again, then suddenly Queen, and So-eun was exiled. But this is a personal complaint because I care about Ga-on (Eun-seo) and Hyun more than Dam-yi and Ji-woon.

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Personnaly, I don't understand how we can care about Ga-On more than Hwi, he doesn't have any personality. His story is interesting but it's all, there is no interesting dialogues... The actor doesn't really help neither for me, he always has the same face. Kwak Dong-Yeon was so good as the bodyguard with his own story, spying for the Eunuch and his friendship with the CP.

I like Hyun but again, it was normal for me that he was more discret, his brother was kinda exiled, he confessed his feelings to Hwi and his difference of opinion with Ji-Woon made their friendship being cold.

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I like your definition of Secret Inspector. Truly accurate 😂😂

As for the bath scene in Red Sleeve… I feel your pain.

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The charm of SECRET ROYAL INSPECTOR AND JOY is that for once we have a sageuk that does not take itself seriously. The actors are having fun and so are we.

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Seeing Daniel Henney's name makes me think of a scene in My Lovely Sam Soon. There is one scene between he and Kim Sun-ah where I think he is breaking character and really laughing.

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I think I watched Spring Waltz before My Lovely Sam Soon. And to be honest, I just remember the main leads for MLSS, the rest I completely forgot...

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Ohmygosh, I’m gonna guess you mean the scene when they’re trying to have a conversation while not being fluent in any of the same languages? SUCH a crackup scene. I still laugh thinking of the way she imitates his American accent when saying “bakerrrrr” 🤣

I need to go watch that now 😁

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What is really funny is that at that time Daniel had not yet learned Korean.

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And that Kim Sun Ah went to college in Indiana and has excellent English!

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Oh, and that her college major was Piano!

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Such a funny scene. And now I want to rewatch.

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I couldn’t find that scene on YT ☹️ but it was really fun to see them all in other scenes I’d forgotten. Daniel was better than I remembered!
YT does have a performance by two comedians, however, of a “song” called “F**k You, Daniel Henney” about how he’s so perfect that other men hate him. Why would that be funny, it’s no joke 😉

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"The Red Sleeve Cuff I was kinda hoping that the bath scene would last longer 🙄"
--Yes! but i've watched the replay on YouTube too many times

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Henceforth Junho is going to be San-ah to me. Whenever I see the guy it will be “oh, San-ah!”

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Yes!! 👏🏼

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Reflection of You: Sad yet rich and satisfying. This show knew what it wanted to do from start to end and delivered. Like I posted elsewhere— everything came full circle. It’s not a nice story. But it’s a good drama about the cycle of despair among people who are both victim and perpetrator, who each make terrible choices, and are either too proud or too cowardly to forgive or ask for forgiveness. Seonwoo and Bar Man have long broken out of that cycle. Revenge never brings you or anyone any good, but I guess for many people it is a lesson that needs to be learned the hard way. I’m glad I watched this drama, and I’m glad that it’s over.

Inspector Koo: Uh…

Melancholia: I’m still behind. The comments about adult Seungyoo and his stalkerish behavior are not very encouraging…

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Jirisan: 7.0 Filling in the gaps, but still can't decide whether to be a serial-killer show or a park ranger rescue-of-the-week show, and still not good at filming a Dark and Stormy Night so we can see what's going on.

Happiness: 7.7

Inspector Koo: __ 😡 Come back soon!

So I Married an Anti-Fan: 4.5 (day 16 - at last!) My hard-earned kpop-themed Bean for the year.

Work Later, Drink Now: 8.0 for the series, 9.5 for the finale.

Secret Royal Inspector & Joy: 7.8

King's Affection: 7.0

Chimera: 7.9 Ye Olde "Get him to open the door by saying he has a package" routine. That wouldn't work here in America where they mostly just ring the doorbell and run, leaving you to race the porch pirates. But show is picking up near the end.

Wow! I have 43 completed Beans already this year, not counting shows I am still watching. Of course I may be pushing it by counting Joseon Exorcist but hey, I watched all two episodes :) The short Netflix shows also make it easy to boost my count, as did the even shorter Bite Sisters, whose 10 episodes added up to less than 2 hours.

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Ha you can bet I also counted all two episodes of Joseon Exorcist!

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You are tempting me with Work and Drink...

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I won't make it by the Bean Count, but I'm totally binging Work Later, Drink Now after the rave reviews from Korean and international viewers.

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I hadn't heard the term "porch pirate" before but I love it. The alliteration also works in French so I am going to start using "pirate de perron" whenever I have to race home to get a package hahaha

It's so true about North American delivery employees; they are real sneaky. I often stumble by chance upon a package when opening my front door as if it had appeared by magic - no doorbell rung nor door knocked and no delivery truck in sight.

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Most Americans no doubt wish we'd never heard the term porch pirate. At the holidays, our local police dept lets you sign up on a list to get deliveries sent to the police dept for the homeowner to pick up.

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I've also given up on the mystery/serial killer plot in Jirisan and I'm just watching for close-ups of the rocks. A bean by any other name is still a bean.

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“ I'm just watching for close-ups of the rocks “

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

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Damn you have a stamina. I…don’t.

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Geologists are easily amused; at least that's what my sister says :)!

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43 beans? Bravo! I've got ten and hope to finish two kdramas by year's end. I've been away from kdramaland for some months and Work Later, Drink Now sounds like a good show for a quick yet satisfying fix!

While donating plasma this morning, I finally caught the first two episodes of Inspector Koo at the Red Cross. (Each donation chaise has its own screen connected to Netflix or Hulu.) I've previously seen Lee Young-ae play rule-breaking saegeuk ladies and she delights as a modern, f*ed up yet brilliant inspector. I'll enjoy bingeing this before the end of the year!

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43 beans is amazing! I watched plenty of older dramas this year but my completion rate of 2021 dramas was not good - I started twenty but I actually finished only six, which is less than I expected.

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The Fiery Priest - OK, but I didn't really buy the gospel that beating the crap out of your enemies is the path to spiritual growth.

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Currently Watching:

THE KING'S AFFECTION: My interest in this one has waned a bit, and I didn't get through this week's episodes. Although the stakes are literally life and death right now, and the leads have sweet chemistry, I'm missing the intensity of earlier episodes, especially in terms of their interactions.

RED SLEEVE: Still my favorite and this is why: although the common tropes are there (childhood connection; the leads literally falling into each other's arms; scheming acolytes; toxic family relationships) the writing still surprises me. For example, the bath scene was clearly a way to show that the CP was jealous and also heighten the sexual tension. Check and check, but what struck me was the unpredictability of the conversation they had. CP is grouchy and accusing Deok-im of being too close to his right-hand man in public. We've seen a version of this scene in a million dramas and it always plays out roughly the same. But in this one, instead of reveling in his obvious jealousy, the FL chastised him for noticing that she was being harassed--as all court ladies are nearly all the time--and not intervening. His interjection of "I don't care about any other court ladies but you!" didn't make her swoon, either. She just looked at him like "And you're proud of that?!" So then when they have their moment of proximity a few seconds later, it's fluttery for the conventional reasons (Jun ho + bench press and planks = every viewer doing the same slow blink as Deok-im) but it's even hotter because we've just seen the characters challenge and learn from each other in a much more interesting way. Can't wait to watch this week's episodes.

HAPPINESS: Finally some progress in the plot an in the lead's relationship. I'm ready for the building rep and the adulterous attorney to get bit, though.

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MELANCHOLIA: I'm with quirkycase: Seung-yoo needs to back off already. I know he's devoted and has matured to a point where he shaves, drives a motorcycle, *and* wears a leather jacket (that opening montage of the 7th episode was eye-rollingly obvious in its attempt to remind us that four years later means he's now a man, lol) he still has a lot of growing to do. But so does this drama. It has some strong individual scenes, but it seems afraid of just letting the romance breathe and grow organically from mentor/mentee, to friends, to lovers. It's a shame, because the performances are great and the two leads could have chemistry if the story's tone was more slice-of-life.

SCHOOL 2021: I've never seen any of the other series in this franchise, but I like this one. It's predictable and some of the acting is limited to two alternating facial expressions that end up both looking mostly like confusion, but I'm here for what seems to be a burgeoning second lead romance and a well-paced, albeit thin, plot.

HELLBOUND: Just two more episodes to go. My family and I are totally spoiler-free so every twist and turn legitimately shocks us. Hope the ending is satisfying.

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In regards to Red Sleeve, I'm not a fan of the constant childhood connection in dramas but I've read that in this case, they actually grew up together so the drama lessened the connection to have the wrong identity scenario play out. Interesting decision.

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The thing that I find most interesting about the childhood connection is that so far, it has played no real part in the present day plot and has never stood in for real reasons that they'd fall in love. In that sense, it's very different from, say, Lovers of the Red Sky or King's Affection where it's clear the writers intended for the childhood meeting to explain when, how, and why the pair would fall in love so quickly. In Red Sleeve, only the CP seems to remember that they met when they were young and if Deok-im remembers, it doesn't seem to matter at all to her now. My guess is that the original meeting will be referenced later for some plot reason, but not as an explanation for their connection.

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You're right about that. 😆

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Which does illustrate the difference between historical fiction and history: The change here is that it was probably lessened the childhood connection in order to create this love story. The real couple probably had a childhood friendship which then blossomed into a more romantic relationship. This does not make for that much of a plot. So, to make a more compelling plot the childhood connection was actually reduced from the historical one.

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Wow, it has been a while since I was on Dramabeans. Life, you know? I hope Beanies are all doing well.

HOGU’S LOVE - I had been yearning to rewatch this one because I have been on a Choi Woo Shik appreciation spree in anticipation of Our Beloved Summer (I cannot wait). Boy, the rewatch was extremely fun! It was the perfect mix of rib-aching humor, pathos, heart, and, of course, a cute angel baby. Uee and Choi Woo Shik had that lovely, easy chemistry too. Not to mention Choi Woo Shik and Lim Seul Ong. Hahahaha.

ON THE VERGE OF INSANITY–I am enjoying the Misaeng vibes. I like nothing better than a well-crafted slice-of-life drama. I have heard Beanies rave about this one and I understand why.

JUST BETWEEN LOVERS–Lee Junho. Since I am not watching RED SLEEVE CUFF ( historical Kdramas are usually hard emotional watches for me ), I felt a Junho-shaped hole and needed to fill it. And this story will always get me in the heart. What a gem of a drama.

KING OF MASKED SINGER–continues to be a weekly family tradition and feels like comfort food. We are caught up to the live episodes and no longer have the luxury of watching episodes nights in a row. I cannot wait until circumstances allow an audience though. It really invigorates the show.

SHUT UP FLOWER BOY BAND–I am finally watching this! I know how much Javabeans delighted in this drama; her recaps are love letters to the show. Still early, but I am enjoying the teen angst done well and Sung Joon’s intensity.

SECRET INSPECTOR & JOY–I don’t know why I like this except for Taecyeon’s comical faces and the shenanigans he and his boys and Joy get up to. I could do without the very heavy modern hand, but I guess for a Korean audience the themes would be relatable. Overall, it is a light watch (for now), which is welcome right now.

START-UP- Sooo good! I am rewatching with even more enjoyment. There is so much to enjoy! Can I say how much I adore Suzy for her quirky personality. Knitting Nam Do-San just has my heart. Ji Pyeong and Halmeoni make my heart grow 3 sizes larger–truly they are the heart of this drama. And Won In-Jae. Really, Kang Han Na is a talented actress and has a knack of making us fall in love with her not-quite likable characters (see JUST BETWEEN LOVERS, for example). And the rest of the ensemble just makes the show zing for me.

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Hogu’s Love 🥰🥰
It’s one of my favourite underrated drama. It’s not perfect at all. Some themes were handled fairly well, some... not so much. But it sure has a lot of heart! It has one of my favourite confession scenes from a female lead and Choi Wooshik is the perfect « fool ». The baby alone is worth the watch.

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Agreed. And I have a soft spot since it was my introduction to Choi Wooshik and Uee. Couldn't have asked for a better intro.
Oh and I got all the Misaeng references and cameo this time around!

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I remember watching HOGU'S LOVE under the title FOOL'S LOVE when it was on Dramafever (which no longer exists).

It was not perfect but yes it had a lot of heart and even a unique happy ending. Maybe our 'fool' is not really a fool. His wonderful and pure heart is his guiding star- and it does steer him wrong because at the end of the story he is married to the girl of his dreams- a wise fool indeed.

I have had a soft spot for UEE ever since I saw that show.

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A lot of us like SECRET ROYAL INSPECTOR AND JOY for just the reason that you do- it is fun and light. I think that almost all of us would agree that the RED SLEEVE CUFF is a far better Sageuk but we would also say that is perfectly OK- ROYAL INSPECTOR does not take itself too seriously and neither do we. It is just a good light watch, just a you say.

We loved START UP and I too was impressed how well Suzie did in this one as well as with Kang Han-na. But you are right that Ji Pyeong and Halmeoni were the heart of the show- I really think that the writer had looked for a way to take Rostand's CYRANO DE BERGERAC and find a way for Cyrano to have a true happy ending- and succeeded. Ji Pyeong does not have to end up with 'the girl' to be happy- he simply needs a family and friends. He can find another girl if he wants.

For those who have Netflix: Netflix is now streaming JUST BETWEEN LOVERS but has inexplicably chosen to rename it RAIN OR SHINE. It is a classic kdrama.

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Yes, Secret Royal Inspector and Joy is just pure fun and lovely for it. As for START UP, I loved that the writer modernized Cyrano de Bergerac and I think your point about the happy ending is spot on.
Yes! I saw that Netflix (US) picked up Just Between Lovers and hopefully it reaches a wider audience so more people can be touched by it. I am rewatching it right now, actually.

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The King's Affection: I'll speak freely. I selfishly want Dam-I to get pregnant at this point. Mainly because the drama blatantly ignoring her womanhood this entire time has been frustrating. Don't get me wrong, her role playing for all of these years has been and continues to be impressive. I like that she is being portrayed as a competent person. But I think they have been showing too much restraint.
I get her being afraid and realizing that her facade was a matter of life and death. But you're trying to tell me her inner most thoughts or her dire need to suppress them has never come up in a conversation with her trusted circle? It just could have been so much more interesting and complete of a drama.
Now going back to the pregnancy thing. I have no idea how that works logistically here, but I respect a writer who puts themselves in a corner and cleverly get themselves out. I just like my dramas more fearless and I feel this series owes us some real drama that would have totally happened in a time period of recklessness, lack of knowledge, and lack of forethought. I mean, come on.

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I want Dam-yi to get pregnant to witness the chaos. She would have to reveal her secret to the queen, and Ha-kyung would have to pretend to be pregnant and pretend to give birth at the same time in order to switch the baby. Both women would have to trick the royal physicians, and Dam-yi would have to hide her baby bump under her royal robes and lie about her morning sickness in front of the royal court.

If not Dam-yi, I want Ha-kyung to get pregnant by Ga-on or Hyun, whom she and Dam-yi would pass off as the royal heir, and they have a secret love affair because the queen deserves love and I ship her with Ga-on.

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Speaking of Royal Physicians, I swear I’ve seen gender bender sageuks where the RP could tell gender by the person’s pulse. Anyone else remember that?

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Yep. I was expecting the royal doctor to catch on. She would have to have a much lower blood pressure and at her age all the hormonal imbalance. I've seen it happen in another gender bender drama. Was it Mr. Queen or the Tale of Nokdu. 🤔

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RED SLEEVE CUFF and ONE ORDINARY DAY are wonderful to watch. Both have excellent acting and a well written story. I just love how our smart court lady Deok-Im blurts out her real thoughts, the crown prince likes this, too, ha! I also like that the crown prince is very aware of and at the same time very comfortable with his privilege and sense of entitlement, after all he grew up as a prince and is used to it. Junho is so good in this.

I just noticed that Kim Soo-Hyun's character in Ordinary Day is called Kim Hyun-Soo. Was that deliberate? His acting is excellent here and so is Cha Seung Won. Not so keen on the inevitable prison violence (it is always the same).

I still like MELANCHOLIA and especially Lee Do Hyun. Shin Soo-Yeon is a joy to watch as Choi Si-An who does stand up to the school bullies. The story itself is not the best, I don't think that going back to that horrible school to undo a wrong is very clever. Maybe it just shows my prejudice, but I always associate a maths genius with glasses and not with motor bikes.

HAPPINESS is still a good watch and INSPECTOR JOY is a nice show to relax with. With JIRISAN and KINGS AFFECTION I am more interested in how it will wrap up.

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Wish I could remember which Beanie recommended the THE GREATEST LOVE (2011) as a good Hong Sister drama. This last week I sat smiling and crying like an idiot through all 16 episodes. Had never seen Cha Seung Won before: Wow. His performance as the cold arrogant lead was super hilarious and way surpasses even Park Seo Joon in Whats Wrong with Sec'y Kim, and maybe PSJ was inspired by that. The FL, Gong Hyo-Jin, I know she is highly regarded but I find her a bit bland for some reason and doesnt change much from one drama to the next. I was happy to see secondary ML Yoon Kye-Sang, who I had enjoyed so much in the film "Love Guide for Dumpees."

After Greatest Love, I needed something more serious, so have started DR JOHN, which was on many lists of underrated shows. Looks very promising.

Film NIGHT IN PARADISE (Netflix). All the blood and gore you could possibly want to spice up your holiday season, but done in a well-produced arty way. Korea, why do you keep doing this?

Have been waiting for VANISHING, new French/Korean film, to be released somewhere. Stars Yoo Yeon-Seok playing a detective. My favorite K-stars are going international; Park Seo Joon is hitting the world stage in 2022 in a MARVEL film; can hardly wait for that one.

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I adored Cha Seung Won in The Greatest Love. I might need to rewatch because I could use some laughter right now.

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The Greatest Love is the best! I love Cha Seung Won in that, and it’s one of very few dramas that (in my opinion) doesn’t just turn to rubbish in the last few episodes.

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Night in Paradise is a gripping watch.

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🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼 That Park Seo Joon’s Marvel role will be more than a blip on the screen. It will be my first Marvel movie! 😃

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The buzz worthy drama of the week goes to HAPPINESS AND RED SLEEVE CUFF.

JIRISAN: dropped. I'm tired. Like most beanies I had high hopes seeing the hype has been there for a year. I remember when the news was out about the casting, a lot of people were talking about how this power-cast is going to shake up dramaland. My eyes are on SNOWDROP now, this too had been everywhere I turn on social media. As for Jirisan, I'll just wait till episode 16 to see who this killer with his sophisticated network truly is.

HAPPINESS: (9) I'm moving a protest truck to TVN's office if anything happens to Yihyun. Someone please get me the address, cause I'll be adding my therapy bills to the damages they've caused.

RED SLEEVE CUFF: If this drama maintains it's momentum, it'll be the best saguek of 2021 (I have not watched Bossam yet). HOLY Abs, my Good Lord 😋😋. If I were Deuk-im, I would have volunteered to be his concubine even if temporary. He is too hot.

And as for my fellows on the issue of him grabbing her neck and harassing her, plz don't fail to forget that this story is not from our modern times, they lived in a time where women had little or no say. What do you expect from a Prince who had everything under his feet now swept off due to him being rejected? There will be no excuses if it were to be our 21st century but then, you dare not refuse the Prince favour.

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Speaking of the 'Red Sleeves' history, I think this might be the MOST well-known case of a decade-long friendzone..... and the homie who eventually made out of the so-called dreaded friend-zone!! One of the earliest documented encounters b/w him & the Court Lady was during their mid-teens, and she proceeded to refuse him *twice*, only to give-in (?) after 14 long years! xD

I'm sure it wouldn't have taken her that long, had Yi San actually had Junho's pretty face! :P :P
I mean, how do you resist THAT? <3

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🤣🤣🤣🤣
I'm sure one of the reasons she rejected him was because of him not being hot. I mean, just take a beautiful look at Lee San right now, there is absolutely no way I'm going past those abs. He is haaawwwt!

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This week my wife binge watched the Chinese Costume drama JOY OF LIFE, which she described to me as “the weirdest one yet”. Perhaps so but it must also have been good because she was absolutely mesmerized the entire time and stayed up late to finish it.

I absolutely loved the J-drama rom-com FROM FIVE TO NINE. And not just because, as others have observed, the two leads are both ridiculously beautiful although that also is true. I think it has as much to do with the dynamics of their two families- and the contrast between them.

I also took some time to catch up to where my wife was on SUPER RICH- a nice J-drama with a strong female lead.

My wife continues to enjoy JIRISAN and THE KING’S AFFECTION. But our absolute favorite continues to be RED SLEEVE CUFF. It is just so good.

We are also really liking SECRET ROYAL INSPECTOR AND JOY. I would not call it the best show of the year- just a fun one. But for me those are the best shows even as I can admire the artistry of the best shows.

The amnesia story arc continues to play out in the weekend family drama YOUNG LADY AND GENTLEMAN. It appears to be nearing its conclusion while at least one of our side romances has gotten back on track but another is stalled and the third is really just getting started. Lots of future angst stored up there.

I am trying to space out my viewing of each new episode of WOULD YOU LIKE A CUP OF COFFEE? I do not want this special show to end even as I know it must.

DaebakGrits continues to enjoy WHATS WRONG WITH SECRETARY KIM- a classic romcom that was so good that Rakuten Viki (Viki is owned by a Japanese company) frequently features it in their web adds- in fact just yesterday when I went to check the main web page for the Japan Times there it was- a large web add for Viki featuring WWWSK that pictures Young-joon in all his narcissistic glory just as Secretary Kim is handing him her resignation letter. It is not a perfect drama but is a good one and wellworth watching even with its flaws.

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From Five to Nine was one of my first jdramas and opens with one of the weirdest (outrageous) meet cutes I've ever seen. The Sakuraba family is utterly charming as well. Who knew a romance featuring a hot Buddhist priest could be so much fun?

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That first 'meet cute' has to be a classic- and indeed weird and outrageous. But the show makes it clear that our ML immediately fell head over heels for our FL right then and there- it is our FL who plays an extremely reluctant Cinderella.

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I loved FROM FIVE TO NINE so much until the noble idiocy and the one-too many fake out kisses gave me a sour taste. The beginning and end were not so much fun, but the middle was charming.

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Fair critique about the fake outs. I've never seen a drama couple corkblorked EVERY single time—until the closing credits. 😜

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I agree about the fake outs - but it may be that this was intended as a sort of standing joke for the Japanese viewers. It is more irritating to the rest of us.

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Joy of Life reminds me of The Princess Bride... which is why I loved it so much. It's such a clever show. Can't say more without giving things away.

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Joy of Life definitely does have a Princess Bride-esque feel to it. I particularly enjoyed the off-beat, deadpan humor, although I'm a little worried that seasons 2 and 3 are never going to materialize (or if they do, that they'll have completely different casts).

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I hope that they can keep the same cast, assuming that we get more seasons- and the humor.

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Me too!

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I'm really hoping the second season goes into production and actually airs hopefully with the original cast intact. The child actor who played the younger version of the lead was everything. That kid was a hard act to follow.

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That is enough to have me picking up the drama.

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FROM FIVE TO NINE
I'm with you on this little gem. Watched it years ago and I'm so glad it's on Viki for more people to enjoy!

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I LOVE Joy of Life!!! It's a fantastic show: great story and acting. Can't wait for season 2. As far as I know, the cast is all coming back and they are already in production...

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Thank you- this is truly good news.

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The Red Sleeve - I’m still loving this drama. I like the musical score. I think the absence of vocals gives it a feeling of elegance, like an Ivory Merchant film. I did not care for the creepy Court Lady cult. But when Deok Im was retelling her story to the King, and the hug at the end of Ep 8 had me 😭

The King’s Affection - this week’s episodes gave me little pleasure. I couldn’t relax because I knew trouble was coming. I hated seeing Commander Yoon die. Poor Eunuch Hong. He wept just as he did as a child when the Prince died.

Now, Breaking Up - The lack of dramas I find interesting has made me stick with this one. It’s gotten better on some fronts. I enjoy seeing the business side of the fashion industry and the fashion show was cool. Still not feeling the heat between the leads.

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The scene with the old king was wonderful. As soon as I knew she could tell her story, I knew... v Scheherazade. It's all tied together too because story telling has been her thing from the beginning. I liked too that he remembered her desire to be a writer.

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Secret Royal Inspector and Joy: I'm really liking how it's sort of an ensemble show and the supporting characters are interesting and the good guys are likable. They even gave the evil MIL a tiny bit of conscience. I like how the female characters seen to have more agency since this is a comedic, fusion sageuk. I have a huge crush on the murdery-but-not-as-bad baddie, Tae-seo. His scene with his dad was intense and heartbreaking.

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I have to confess that I’m fascinated by Tae Seo’s brother who seems like the absolute definition of psychopath. Or is it sociopath? Probably both. That actor freaks me out with his constant fake smile.

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Definitely more like a sociopath to me but then I am no expert. But probably the key to Tae Seo's possible eventual redemption.

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Sunbae Don't Put on That Lipstick: I've been pleasantly surprised by this one. It's so so good. Yes, the hero seems questionable at first but by the 3rd ep he is solid. I'm not even sure how to explain this one? It has a slower and mellow feel but keeps up a nice forward momentum and stays fairly light in feel so far.
If you haven't watched it I'd definitely recommend it, especially for this time of year. It just has that winter watch feel to it. Also, I like that it doesn't do that thing that some of the romance dramas do when the leads just stare for like 2 minutes. It could be staring at each other, staring out a window, or staring at their coffee.
I do wish the subs would actually use the terms like "sunbae" but what can you do.
Will put a warning that it is easy to stay up too late when watching though. It's hard not to think the "just one more ep".

When not watching Sunbae I've been doing mini binges of the Chinese drama A River Runs Through it. I have used my ff a little on this one as I am not as interested in some of the secondary characters relationships as much. This is one that starts out in Highschool then through college and I believe into adulthood. I really enjoyed the Highschool part when we saw more of their neighborhood and got to see their friendship group develop before the romantic entanglements really kicked in. I like the romance but I wish they'd cleared up one aspect a little sooner.

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Sunbae was really good! I agreewith you, it's perfect for winter season :)

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SUNBAE is well worth watching.

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For me Sunbae was the best romance of the year. All the characters acted their age. (Except for FLs mother who matured as the drama unfolded. She was a major turnoff in the 1st few episodes, but then she became a character I rooted for.)

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I haven’t been watching anything current lately except Netflix’s new variety show NEW WORLD (high concept takes an episode or two to get into but then is lots of fun - poor Heechul having a tough time!).

Older stuff - still going with MY ID IS GANGNAM BEAUTY. I like it but there is some blank staring happening when I’m pretty sure the expression is meant to be anger/sadness/fondness/frustration/love/surprise/interest/basically anything.

And watching c drama GO INTO YOUR HEART - I love the main couple but am skipping literally everything else.

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New World - i couldnt get past ep 1 and been wondering if i should continue. I will try to get through uo to ep 3 then.

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It’s definitely not something I could watch more than one episode in a sitting, but once they start getting into actually playing the game (earning money/ripping off others) it’s fun, so much scheming.

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Red Cuff: this is my weekly favorite! I love sageuk and though this is typical sageuk love story, it's still hits different and I love it, especially the chemistry between the leads. The last sageuk of this type that I liked as much as this I think is "Queen for 7 days" .

King's affection: I love sageuk but I was hesitant to start this because I am not so much into the "gender bender" trope, especially in sageuk (none of the sageuks with this trope particularly stood out for me). But, I dived into it and binged-watched to episode 8 in 2 days! I dont't know what makes this one different (Park Eun Bin?), but I like it and can't wait to find how it will all get resolved. And I like the interesting questions it make us think abt on gender.

Now we are breaking up: where is the conflict? I am confused as heck by this, but I think I am watching it because I really do want to find out what the writers were thinking when doing this and why Song Hye Kyo decided to do it, and why ppl thought it was a good idea to produce it. I mean I have so many questions. I find it hard to follow without dozing off or doing something else. I dnt see where the story is going and what it is trying to tell. The second characters are no better: director Hwang... wow I am so annoyed by her character and the actress' acting is weird. Bottom line is I am hate-watching it, and I am not sure why.

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Glad I found another 7 day queen fan!! Im so over those fantasy idol youth saguek. I need those serious court romance back. I’ve been waiting for four years since 7DQ

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Love Seven Day Queen too. It’s the last addictive historical marking the end of heydays of historical.

Until this year.

My first hope was on Lovers of the Red Sky. Until I realized it’s about Seal the Mawang rinse repeat.

King’s Affection - Park Eun Bin is exactly the stuff that can turnaround sageuk to its glory days. The earliest drama I saw her was in Queen Seondok but she acted long before that. And indeed, I find her scenes compelling.

But Rowoon? I can’t take him seriously. In his defense, he’s doing much better than I thought but his character has nothing to chew on.

Red Sleeve - now this is more like it. So far so good. The quality sets it apart from the rest.

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Queen for Seven Days is so beautiful and heart wrenching at the same time. 💔💕

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I'm absolutely loving Red Sleeve, it seems to tick all the boxes in terms of interesting palace life, interesting politics and characters, and amazing chemistry between the two leads.

I WAS enjoying Kings Affection but it's got a bit silly now. And it's hard to go on believing that practically nobody noticed that the King was a woman - I'm as willing as anybody to suspend disbelief but, really, it's a bit to much.

I'm very disappointed in NWABU. I loved the female lead in DOTS and Encounter, but she is so wooden and expressionless in this, and the age difference seems to become more obvious with each episode. On another note, why is everyone so horrified that a man can fall in love with his brother's ex-girlfriend, is that a cultural taboo in Korea? Or do they feel it is her fault that the brother died driving too fast in the rain on his way to meet her?

Also, is there some reason why the Beanies don't review this drama? Bearing in mind the two leads are Drama aristocracy, the silence is deafening.

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Well, something like the dating situation in NWABU is under the heading of incest in Confucian societies. Not completely illegal but utterly frowned upon as a scandal beyond acceptance. I don’t know how strictly people would follow it today but it goes way back.

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I think NWABU is okay, but there has been no reference to him being younger than her. She is a lot more mature than him, and yet they never discuss this. To me this would be a bigger reason for problems than the fact she loved his half-brother for a short time years before.

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DB has been understaffed for a while, that is probably why there was no recap/weecap for NWABU.

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Thank you.

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Now, We Are Breaking Up - Didn't quite understand why she didn't tell her friends about her medical condition. I actually like the youngest Hwang. Too bad his sister is, well, awful.

IDOL: The Coup - Kwak Si-yang is great.

Let Me Be Your Knight - Please let him have discovered her true identity. Would have preferred they actually take a hard stance on him accidentally choking her, or just do more than have two people be awkward, because it isn't something to shrug off.

Inspector Koo - waiting....

Bad Buddy - Gahh! I binged 4 episodes in a row. This series is just delightful.

Love With Benefits - It'd be great to see the actors not doing well even when they're being really professional. I have a hard time having sympathy for his plight when a stray comment makes it impossible for him to concentrate. It instead comes off like apathy.

Paint with Love - waiting for more grumpy banter.

Rainless Love in a Godless Land - The OST is stuck in my brain. It was interesting that it was a simple wish that got his powers back.

Frangrance of the First Flower - just waiting for the last two episodes with hope that the ending isn't rushed/bad.

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Completed: D.P. OMG, this was so good but very dark!!

On Hold: Squid Game. The above, which I knew nothing about, I found quite dark, so this is on hold until the mood suits me.

I love, love Yeo Jin-goo in Beyond Evil and The Crowned Clown. So, I've started Hotel Del Luna. Not a popular thing to say but I'm not a fan of IU. It's nice to see YJG in a rom-com after the two heavies.

I'm rewatching When the Camellia Blooms. I'm still so amazed by the cast.

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Happiness: Ji Hyuuuuuun.
How do I use the spoiler tag again?
Park Hyung Sik needs to get an award, he is so good.

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*Happiness ep9* - I like both the thrilling turns contrast with our couple just playing house. I’m sort of expecting the development but I’m still sad. Why is this called Happiness ?

*Red Sleeve ep7* - I like its unhurried pace. This time I must give praises to Lee Se Young excellent acting.

Grandpa king is my favorite ever since Suspicious Partner.

I like it’s complex. Junho is crossing the line and the drama tells it as it is. It’s not being sugarcoated or dumbed down.

Good job with the supporting characters. They are well fleshed out. Including the chief court lady. And hurrah that FL has female friends and they appear to be fiercely loyal to each other. Even the guard of Junho has personality. A bit low IQ ha ha.

I’m relieved we have a dignified FL who retains her aspirations independent of the crown prince

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Happiness
I just want Saebom and Yihyun to live happily ever after in their little apartment with their "adopted" daughter. That's all I want.
Ok I also want Joohyung to suffer terribly...is that too much to ask? Forget the zompires, can I unleash a vengeful Vincenzo on him?

The Red Sleeve
San is very much a product of his upbringing as royalty. The last scene of episode 7 showed it. I hope he will mature and learn to control his jealousy. It's not cute at all. I am glad that Deokim stood up for herself and told him off for basically calling her an object that he "owns".
Aside from that last 5 seconds, the episode was delightful.

I finished The Good Detective which I enjoyed very much. It wasn't my favourite crime drama but it was a good one.

I started to re-watch I'm Not a Robot because I wanted to watch something with Yoo Seungho and Chae Soobin. I completely forgot how creepy that ex-boyfriend/robot creator was. The idea of a female robot servant that says "Master I love you" makes me a lot more uncomfortable than I remember... I do remember really liking this drama so I'll keep watching. Chae Soobin is also great.

Outside of dramaland, I am watching the British series His Dark Materials. I used to LOVE the books when I was younger. I have mixed feelings about the series so far (I am almost done season 1) but the actress who plays Mrs Coulter is definitely the best part of the show. I find that she's doing a great job in bringing this twisted character to life.

Most anticipated kdramas of December: Our Beloved Summer, Snowdrop and The Silent Sea!

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Yes to SB and YH happily ever after with SY Thats all they really wanted and none of this zombie stuff. The other residents can just leave.

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JIRISAN: Two points from a great non-fic book "Every Falling Star" by Lee Sung-ju about his riches to rags childhood in North Korea. The protagonist's military dad taught him small rock formation signals used to communicate in historic battles which he adapted for his teen street gang. He sometimes sees "white & blue lights moving with the wind" that he calls wish-granting spirits. These powerful practices/images are employed by the writing team in Jirisan but it is all for naught. Sadly, it's such a jumble sale of direction and plot that we end up not really caring much about anyone. Baywatch with parkas.
Awaiting INSPECTOR KOO: I still believe in Santa.
KING'S AFFECTION: share the nervousness that their daytime kisses are being observed. Yes to the observation that King's gender is the biggest open secret in the palace. Palace intrigue rears its wispy-bearded head and I am not seeing how this can end well.
Enjoying the two KBS Drama Specials I've watched: The Effect of a Finger Flick & Be;twins. Will be tuning in for more.
Am right now, this very minute, trying to hold off on watching the last hour ep 8 of RED CUFF because, like a gourmet meal, it should be savored slowly.

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Baywatch with parkas!!! Perfect definition!!

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Among all the 3 sageuks, I'd say Inspector and Joy is a league on its own - definitely not better in terms of production, acting, story.. but, it is a refreshing show as it does not take itself seriously, so I can watch it "safely" knowing I need not get invested too much and i csn just laugh and enjoy it along with the cast.

Between Red Sleeves and King's Affection - RS is becoming interesting.. TKA on the otherhand has just gone downhill for me since ep 15. The kisses are no longer enjoyable because there is no way they are not observed, and the cliff of doom scene, placenta chamber, the ambush - major eye rolling plot devices!. Perhaps the writing would have been better if this was confined to just the usual 16 episodes.

Happiness - the reverend keeping his infection a secret and holding out until there is a cure, then infects someone we care about as a consequence hits hard because it is our reality.

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Due to time constraints and my day job/mommy duties/graduate studies I am down to my two episodes a week diet for Kdramas. Secret Royal Inspector And Joy is still my happy pill for the week after Hometown Cha Cha Cha ended. Don't think I can take melancholic or dark themes at this time. Love Taec and the rest of the hilarious cast, even the pensive Tae So.

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I agree that part of the reason that SECRET ROYAL INSPECTOR AND JOY is so fun to watch is that it does not try to be serious- just fun. And that is something that is in short supply these days.

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Red Sleeve Cuff
I find the King to be cute at times. Reminds me of my late grandma, how she laughed cheekily while covering her mouth with her palm, how she asked for certain food and i ended up finishing it as she only took a bite, how she came up to us and joined us watching modern dramas or how we came by her house and joined her watching old dramas. I missed her dearly.

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Thank you most sincerely for sharing. My late grandma was a pistol. She brewed tea so strong it made my little sister fall over with a caffeine rush. She immigrated as a young woman and made her life as best she could. Wish I could have known her as an adult and watched dramas with her :)!

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@DaebakGrits we need more dramas like Secretary Kim, period. I've been a bit sad with this year in dramas, I felt like there were more good ones last year (Good Detective, the first Hospital Playlist, Mystic Popup Bar, School Nurse Files... even things like Nobody Knows, Zombie Detective and the Uncanny Counter, which weren't perfect, were a step above a lot I watched this year TT TT )

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How I would love more dramas like Secretary Kim, I love that fizzy feeling it gave me! ❤️🥰❤️

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I loved Secretary Kim when I first watched it, but it didn’t have the same effect on rewatch - maybe I just wasn’t in the mood.

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Happiness This week's episodes were better. I feel bad for Yi Hyun and his dilemma. But it got me thinking that his case maybe different since it was a new mutation. The other residents are getting scarier every episode. If you think the virus was the one to fear, its actually the greed of humans that should keep one wary.

Idol: The Coup i think this show is my guilty pleasure. There are just a lot I can endure with poor acting. But my favorite underdog story and Kwak Shi Yang is to blame why I am still watching this.

Jirisan This is only upto ep 12. Though we know more about the killer. His motives is still murky to me. I so badly want to see YiGang and HyunJo survive this preferably happy together.

Street Dance Girls Fighter I liked the first episode and looking forward to the talent of the HS contestants. The Masters/Judges reaction and interaction is still a highlight for me. I got to see more of their personalities. I am glad that Aiki and Gabee's rivalry is still there. Lee Jung is still annoying for me. It was fun to see them appeal to the girls. Monika, Honey J and Rihey knew their worth and didnt seem to appeal as much so just stated their opinion.

House on Wheels S3 this show makes me crave all those delicious korean dishes. Plus make me want to travel around to see beauty of nature.

I have yet to watch this week's episode of Secret Royal Inspector & Joy, Jirisan, The Red Sleeve and more episodes of Haechi.

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Lately I've taken the opportunity to finish off a string of shows that I had abandoned awhile ago with a couple episodes yet to go.
The finale for 'Revolutionary Sisters' had a banner hanging over it saying 'WE JUST DON'T CARE ANYMORE' from the production team.
The finale of 'One The Woman' felt like they were throwing everything at the screen to see what would stick.
The finale of 'Lovers Of The Red Sky' seemed like they forgot to write a finale so they just improvised random scenes for the last 15 minutes.
A hallmark of most dramas these days seems to be that they just don't know how to stick the landing, like and olympic gynmast who falls on his face on the dismount.

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The Red Sleeve : Omo!!! It's getting better and better. Episode 7: I'm with Duk Im, I'm very surprised to learn that every position she was put in was arranged by Head Lady Cho.

She must've felt very torn between her own feelings and that she mustn't pursue her feelings because it will endanger the Crown Prince...😢

Duk Im-Grandpa King scene: I shed tears listening to Duk Im reminiscing the day she went to Consort Yeong's funeral. The King must've felt very heavy in his heart.

Of all the scenes in The Red Sleeve, I'm mostly not fond of Head Lady's scene. I know darkness is needed, but her character is too dark that I felt the urge to fast forward her scene. I'm that wimpy...

My heart sinks watching the Crown Prince will have to face so many oppositions for his ministers. It must've been hard. I just hope he'll get the strength from his trusted circle.

And wait, I'm really curious for next week, how will Lady Seo manage this new thing that she's threatened to sign up with, what will happen to Duk Im.

Will The Red Sleeve become darker with Head Lady? Can we get more chitty chatty Lady Seo instead of the Head Lady...
--------------------------------
Rain or Shine (or Just Between Lovers) Episode 1-12 : Jun-Ho's old drama. I thought this is a fluffy drama just by judging at the title Just Between Lovers.

But oh my, this is a true gem. It's not all fluff. It shows one that has to do many odd jobs and endure countless hardships by himself alone. Not a typical kdrama.

For me, this is a healing drama. It's about two people who lost loved ones during a mall collapse, and how they survive their life afterward.

With the guilt, the trauma, the regret...

If you're a parent (I'm a mother), you can feel the heavy and sadness that sinks deep in the heart of Mun-Su's mom & dad...

When Gang Du & Mun Su began their search of families of the victims, we learned more about how tough it is for the families to cope with their lives.

One woman looks rich after she remarried, but she was in deep sadness because she won't be able to reveal to her son that his father was the one who died during the mall collapse, and she misses her husband so much. One husband regretted fighting with his wife, that's because of them fighting, his wife went to the collapsed mall. One old mother lived alone and died alone, only then do we know that she's losing her memory and have been waiting for his lost son for years outside of their house...

It's beautiful and sweet and very healing.

This drama is a gem for me. Every scene is not to be missed, I don't fast-forward any of the scenes (at least until episode 12 right now).

Watching this drama is like watching Jun-Ho in Red Sleeve but with the Crown Prince being the poor scruffy-looking boy.

So far, I'm liking all of Jun-Ho's dramas choices (favorite so far The Red Sleeve, Rain or Shine, Confessions, Chief Kim, second half of Wok of...

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If you love simple stories and humble people, I recommend the beautiful Taiwanese show Yong-jiu Grocery Store.

I'm also watching Reply 1988, because I love Lee Hye-ri. Episodes too long, but a beautiful show.

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Just finished BEYOND EVIL and while I enjoyed it, it’s not one that kept me captivated in every episode, especially around the middle.

RAINLESS LOVE IN A GODLESS LAND has been put on hold. I’ll probably get back to it in a few days time. Not feeling it quite yet.

Finishing WELL-INTENDED LOVE (Cdrama). While it’s not exactly one of the good Cdramas out there (it’s FULL of tropes, I tell ya), I still enjoyed the fast pacing of the show and I like the fluff and romance.

Downloaded MOVE TO HEAVEN so that will be my next binge-watch.

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Jirisan (Ep 10 to 13) - The suspected killer seems to originate from the now gone Black Bridge Village. Clearly it's revenge driven but how many more needs to be eliminated and why only bringing it in motion now? Ep 13 is really sad with some character deaths though I felt some are purposely played out just to explain the past and present of the few main characters in the story.

Happiness (Ep 7 to 10) - Human greed knows to bounds....on the other hand Sae-bom & Yi-hyun together are super cute :P Can't wait for the finale next week

Inspector Koo (Ep 8 & 9) - It's nice to see Kyung-yi sort of finally realized the importance of the other team B members to her in an emotional level. Has K met her match in Director Yong? Or it's just a ploy to be used for gaining trust before exacting revenge for her aunt?

Chimera (Ep 8 to 11) - I don't really get Jung-yeop's motive here. Making himself a suspect seems like a hobby to him (is this how they prolong the story?) Jae-hwan is another dude that's either too nice are a bit dim witted since he seems so eager to tell everyone about Jung-yeop's identity....I mean why besides making him an easy mark for the baddies to eliminate him? sigh....

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I decided to start watching Secret Royal Agent alongside Secret Royal Investigator & Joy and oh boy is this causing a bit of confusion. They're both very similar in the first few episodes, although one takes itself more seriously than the other. But it's giving me a chance to compare two renditions of a reluctant secret agent, the "investigative pair" (male and female leads) with comedic servant(s), and the palace machinations (king and advisors). I will say so far I might start watching one drama and have to remind myself... is this the one with the silver mine or the gold mine?! 🤔 Perhaps it's not a good thing when you can't differentiate the main plot! I am leaning towards liking the Investigator & Joy just for its campy humor and the cuteness of the couple.

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Young Lady and Gentleman (EP 1-10): This show reminds me to so many dramas, one second you have My Daughter Seo Young and then you're watching Homemade Love Story or The Sound of Music. I only watch The Sound of Music parts because I love our FL relationship with the kids, specially with Se Jong. I'm probably watching the show only for Se Jong, that kid's adorable.

Happiness (EP 1-6): I love this show, hard to binge-watch tho. I remember the finale of episode 5 when some of the renters came back from the market and the annoying owner lady wouldn't let them in and everyone was so desparate and scared... I was going insane too, I ended up crying from all the stress. Nothing was more relatable than Hyun breaking that damn phone and then putting blood on OJH's face.

The Red Sleeve (EP 1-7): It's a romcom sageuk but I don't skip the politics, that's says a lot. I really love this show.

The King's Affection (EP 1-7ish): I don't like this show, but I'm going to keep watching till episode 10 (I don't like dropping a drama before I've seen half of it).

I've finished Yumi's Cells and Be My Dream Family. Well, Yumi deserves "the most relatale FL of 2021 (second half) award" and BMDF deserves one award too for writing one the best characters (and relationships) development in the history of family dramas. They are now my dream family.

Zombie Detective (EP 8-9): I hope our zombie has a happy ending.
You Are My Spring (EP 11-13): Probably my favorite healing drama of the year (I feel like betraying Mad for each other).

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Currently watching:
Navillera - heart warming show, another different side of Song Kang

Lie After Lie - why so many lies? But still an addictive watch

Welcome to Waikiki 2 - lol funny. Light watch when I'm cooking

Melancholia - because I can't get enough of Lee Do Hyun after 18 Again and Youth of May. And the math is cool.

Recently finished:
The Crowned Clown - 8/10
Dali and the Cocky Prince - 7/10
Yumi's Cells - 8/10

Looking for a family drama to add to my watchlist - any ideas?

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