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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…

 

quirkycase

Uncle: I had hoped this would be a little more slice-of-life, but that’s not the direction it’s taken. I’m not sure if I like the family elements and character stuff enough to keep enduring the scheming rich people, so I might drop this one.

The Red Cuff Sleeve: This drama was a surprise for me. I expected a typical tragic romance, but it ended up being a memorable story about women and agency. I liked how the tone of the drama mirrored Deok-im’s journey – it started off rather light and fun, but it became melancholy the more trapped she felt. This might’ve been a romance, but it wasn’t a love-conquers-all story. Their love was always more beneficial to San than to Deok-im and felt weighted toward his side given the extreme power imbalance; the uncomfortable moments where he reminded her of his power over her made that clear. Junho and Lee Se-young were both great in their roles, and I’m so happy the drama stayed strong all the way through.

Our Beloved Summer: It’s one step forward, two steps back with these two. Woong and Yeon-su just need to have an honest conversation. They both hide their feelings to protect themselves and end up hurting each other and themselves. I’m rooting for them to learn from their past mistakes and communicate because it’s obvious they need to talk out their problems to move forward.

 

DaebakGrits

Currently weecapping: Moonshine, Ghost Doctor

Our Beloved Summer: This week’s episodes killed me. Ji-woong is my favorite character, and my heart broke for him. He’s such a loyal friend, and I appreciated how he intentionally put Woong before his crush when they were teenagers. He was someone on the outside looking in long before he became a director, so it was a huge step for him to break his “rules” and tell Yeon-su about his mother. Sadly, given Yeon-su is deep in crush-mode with Ji-woong, it seems unlikely that her feelings will shift this late in the series. My fingers are still crossed, though!

The One and Only: I’ve been busy, so once again I’m a week behind and will be watching episodes 5 and 6 later this weekend. I haven’t bailed yet, but that may change when things start turning sad. For now, though, the plot still has me interested, and I’m weirdly curious about Shi-young, the aloof police officer that’s tracking our killer(s). His styling/wardrobe makes him stand out and sets him up to play a big part as the series progresses, but so far…not so much. What’s his deal?!

Let Me Be Your Knight: We finally got to hear the song Tae-in was composing, but the song and the scene where he fell into the pool were the best parts of this week’s episode. Other than that, I was kind of bored. I was expecting a little more from Woo-yeon after he found out Yoon-joo isn’t a doctor. Instead, he just sat on that information, but it was kind of cute that his immediate concern was to figure out if he saw her or her twin at the bookstore.

What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim: Ugh, the brother being all mopey now that he knows the truth and making the poor butler move all of his belongings back to his old room. Dude! That room has been yours longer than it was Young-joon’s! Young-joon is an adult with his own house! Why would he care about his childhood bedroom? That’s not how you repair your relationship with your brother! End rant. On the plus side, teams Young-joon/Mi-so and Se-ra/Cheol were hella cute in the episodes my friend and I watched this week. I was especially looking forward to Cheol’s Coke bottle confession, and I had a good squee when we got to that part.

 

solstices

Currently recapping: Bad and Crazy

The King’s Affection: I managed to convince my friend to watch this drama, so I’ve been rewatching it with her — and it’s just as magical the second time around! Something that I really love about this drama is how it focuses on its characters’ emotions and motivations, allowing them to feel lived-in and believable. It makes their struggles all the more sympathetic and compelling, and even when I’m shaking my fists in frustration, I understand where they’re coming from. I particularly love how the drama both embraces familiar sageuk tropes while simultaneously subverting them. It feels so warm and comforting, while also being novel and refreshing. We’re only a couple episodes in so far, so I’m excited for the rest of our rewatch (and to see more of my favorite bodyguard!♥)

Bulgasal: Immortal Souls: Sometimes I wish the drama remained in the Goryeo era, because the cinematography was stunning and the characters felt so much more compelling. But then I remember that the present day has the maniacally charismatic Eul-tae, and the adorably naive Do-yoon, and suddenly I’m a little more okay with it. Eul-tae is such an intriguing enigma, and his unhinged unpredictability makes him so entertaining to watch. All the centuries of unresolved guilt and longing have coalesced into the many layers of Hwal and Si-ho’s relationship, and I hope it all unfolds in a satisfying manner. I’m a lot more invested in the characters than the plot, to be honest. (Please let Do-yoon get his hugs!)

 
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Our Beloved Summer: If I wasn’t rooting for Yeun-soo and Woong, I could root for NJ and Woong. Their meet cute was cute. I liked how Yeon-soo tortured him when Woong suggested they be friends, but then she broke my heart when she admitted to her grandma that she couldn’t be friends with him. Ji-woong frustrates me, but his relationship with his mom is sad. His crush on Yeun-soo feels forced though.

Bulgasal: The drama has done a good job with the world building. I’m really enjoying Lee Joon as Ok Tae-eul. He has a chaotic energy that is fun to watch. Less fun are broody Hwal and doe-eyed Sang-eon.

Uncle: Just when we get rid of one crazy lady, another one enters. The drama didn’t really need all of the drama caused by the Diamond, but she really rocked the crazy eyes. The choir performance was very sweet. No-eul’s dad hiding his past isn’t good, but No-eul’s too awesome for him to be a bad guy.

Ghost Doctor: I enjoyed the first two episodes much more than I expected. The premise is simple and it is an easy watch. I’ve always liked Rain and Kim Bum is cute in this role. I even thought Son Naeun was decent. I could do without the chaebol son trying to kill his father plot, but the two coma ghosts might be fun together.

The One and Only: Mi-do’s boyfriend is totally the bad guy. I hate that Woo-cheon was a hitman, but how am I supposed to resist him when he talks about how his dog is the reincarnation of his mom. He and In-sook were sweet together.

Young Lady and Gentlemen: All of the storylines are frustrating right now. Sera probably could have been redeemed from her initial lie but now that she’s doubled down and terrorized children, I just want her off my screen. Gun deserves better than her. Soo-cheol is weak and both of his wives are nightmares.

Single’s Inferno: Is anybody watching this? I like a couple of the women but not the ones the guys like. The men are duds. It’s a typical dumb dating show with people only there for exposure, but it’s kind of interesting as a look at Korean beauty standards, etc.

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I also liked Ghost Doctor more than I expected! And now I have to make a choice whether to keep this or Bad and Crazy (I don't have enough time for both). They both have crimes and villains I'm not interested in, but I like their humour and the redemption/growth arcs.

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I did watch the first episode of Single's Inferno and I also found it interesting how although all of them are very good looking, some of the girls did not get notes! I also found it a bit meh.

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I'm watching singles inferno too.. I like so yeon and yea won and it feels like the men are all blind cos they gravitate to women who look pale white and needing protection or the another who is decked in branded goods from head to toe all day. If I were a guy and I saw someone with that much luxury goods, I will be so scared to even be able to afford or match her lifestyle.

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Those are the two I like. To me, they are the prettiest and seem really cool too. I knew having light skin is considered desirable, but it was off putting to hear the men comment on Ji-yeon's light skin the first day. You can see why kdramas have the FL's they do considering how the guys gravitated toward the "pure" and glam women.

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I'm watching Single's Inferno. Only on Episode 2 though. I agree the women seem cooler than the men. My favorite is So Yeon. Like what an amazing, accomplished, badass woman. (To be fair, Song Ji-a is accomplished in her own glam way.)

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I’m with you on Young Lady and Gentleman. Usually characters become more likeable over time. This is going in reverse…I always find myself fast forwarding through weekenders (typically during characters/storylines I’m not interested in), but this one’s getting rough.

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Someday Or One Day (finished) - the first half was great, the second less as the focus was too much on the culprit (creepy and dark... and yet a bit over the top) and some things/events felt a bit out of place. I guess I personally would prefer more Groundhog Day or Time Traveler's Wife approach (with focus just on the people and their decisions). The show was excellent when the main trio (and later also Yun Ru) were at the centre... and it made me feel and cry so much for each of them. The friendship was great and I was also very touched by Yun Ru's family scenes.

I knew Alice Ke from other dramas so I wasn't too surprised with her good acting... but I was really blown away by Greg Hsu. His carefree teenager, his falling in love, then longing and waiting for the love of his life, the joy when he found her... and then lost her again and longed for her again (actually twice, and twice differently)... it all just went straight into my heart... and sometimes turned me into a puddle of tears...

I was grateful that after all the pain and sacrifice the show did end on a hopeful note - Yun Ru was able to more accept herself and be more optimistic... and that also changed the (future) lives of the people around her. And yes, I believe that Zi Wei and Yu Xuan will get their happily ever after! ❤ 🙂

(Now I can dive back into Rainless Love.)

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I think I lost it and cried every scene Greg appeared. In 1998, or in his flashbacks. Even in 2019. There was something so saddening around him.
Ps. If you really enjoyed the 'Time Traveler's Wife'.... may I point you to a j-movie by the name 'Tomorrow's me will date yesterday's you'. The titles gives it away for sure, but what you think is very 'simple' is actually really touching, sobering yet complex! :')

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I cried so much watching that tv show. The music just triggered me every time. I agree with you the culprit storyline was a little forced. Now that you mention it, I might rewatch it again.

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Ghost Doctor (Episode 1-2) - Mood: C-
My first reaction after watching the premiere was: Tae In Ho and Lee Tae Sung, poor guys, both of you are way too talented to be typecast playing company takeover villains? I had hoped the politics weren’t that mindless: I don’t think there’ll be any major plot twists in the conspiracy and I don’t really care who’s the mole in Cha’s team. But it will be interesting to see if the writer can salvage the plot on the fantasy side: that part was at least mildly entertaining to watch! They’ll need to at least explain why Cha can possess as a coma ghost and why only Seung Tak of all people?

The Red Sleeve Cuff (Series review) - Mood progression: D+ / D / D / D / D- / D+ / D / D+
Did they use the one episode extension to try and go all Inception on us? Anyway, my main issue with this drama is that it had so much potential with Deok Im’s character: her existential crisis, her struggle in keeping her own freedom and her internal conflict as she developed genuine feelings for Yi San. But then the writer wasted too much time for the political fighting and focused more on his journey wearing her defences down, to which I say that it could’ve been more interesting if she said no and he let her go. Alas, it played safe and understandably so given the historical background.

The One and Only (Episode 3-6) - Mood: C / C
The entire contract killing/phone/chaebol cover up arc surrounding the male lead is narratively awful and the childhood connection trope is such a crutch for the romance. Ji Pyo isn’t the final antagonist right? Please, let there be a twist?

Bulgasal: Immortal Souls (Episode 5-6) - Mood: D+
Unfortunately, Eul Tae seems to be a boring vanilla villain barring a major twist. I hope the writer doesn’t intend to drag out the backstory until the eleventh hour in favour of keeping the mystery up over some misplaced romance.

School 2021 (Episode 13-14) - Mood: D
This corruption arc is so incredibly boring and Ho Sung’s character arc gets derailed by noble idiocy this week. We’re in for a twist on the burglar’s identity, right?

Moonshine (Episode 5-6) - Mood: D
I’m sorry but Gye Sang Mok surviving that fall is just makjang. And now we’ve yet another alcohol making faction?

Let Me Be Your Knight (Episode 8) - Mood: D
It’s another currently airing SBS drama with an episode 8 kiss courtesy of Nina the plot device.

Bad and Crazy (Episode 5-6) - Mood: D
Oh the captain is also evil? Girl has become damsel in distress? And we’ve left the trauma for the 2nd half! Big sigh.

Our Beloved Summer (Episode 9-10) - Mood: D
Did we really need a pity story for Ji Ung in the form of his unloving mother when his friendship with Ung is now at risk?

Now We Are Breaking Up (Episode 14) - Mood: D-
It’s disgusting that the terminally ill wife has to implore her cheating husband to treasure her during her last moments?

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Our Beloved Summer - I still love how the story is being shot and told and that each episode we get some extra piece of information... and an extra layer. (I also like the movie titles of the episodes.) And although I understand how Ung reached his *friends* decision, his suggestion and the consequent Yeonsu's reaction made me laugh, gleefully 😄 Pity they were interrupted as I think Ung was quite close to get Yeonsu's point 😁😁
Jiwoong, on the other hand, broke my heart this time... and the moment they showed the cut peaches... ouch... I hope Ung is aware of how loving his parents are (I'm bathing in their kindness and love every time they appear on my screen ♥️).

Lady and Gentleman - the engagement is finally off! Great, as they had been going in circles and I was getting annoyed.

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NOW WE ARE BREAKING UP (Ep. 13-14) The leads have the emotional attachment of watching paint dry. The only emotive scene was the girlfriends’ post-kimchi making party. Otherwise, the show is stuck in the mud. Everything around YE is breaking up: her parents, her best friend dying, her ability to move to a bigger company, and her relationship with JK (which should be the least of her worries). The main leads have never been “together” as a real couple; they bonded over a depressing photograph, and a mechanical one-night-stand. They have not shown any concept of love. It shows most when JK hands her a plane ticket after YE has made her decision to stay in Seoul. It was the most selfish, arrogant and stubborn act a man can do: tell her you respect her judgment but then make your woman give up everything she believes is precious to follow you on your journey.

The only story line worth watching is Mi Sook’s. And sadly, it will end badly.

SHOW WINDOW (Ep 3-4): I thought he show was cleverly setting up a major twisty climax but that got exposed in Episode 4. We are still getting more of the Myung Sup’s chameleon personality. Is his sole motivation to take the wife’s family money or is his affair lashing out against the oppression he feels about his work and family ties? We also get more of demanding CEO mother who drives family members away. We also get more interaction between Sun Joo and Mi Ra to the point of enviable discovery of the cheating husband.

The show is using a reverse circular editing style where the plot twists are revealed then the rest of the episode is backtracking to that event. It makes it easier to anticipate the next twist but at times it diminishes the dramatic tension of a linear story line. It paints the writer into a corner on how to deliver a climatic ending to the show with the major reveals apparently over.

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I fast-forwarded through the final episode of Now We Are Breaking Up and I can safely say this is one of the worst kdramas of both 2021 AND 2022. Actually, it is close to topping my all-time worst list with it's fatal combo of zero chemistry (honestly, I am convinced the leads detest one another IRL), terrible relationships, incomprehensible costuming (She's a fashion designer? Really? She dresses like an IBM program manager circa 1987) and a tiny, incomprehensible, glacially moving plot. Did they end up together again, after bumping into each other during a Busan tourism promo? I was hoping for a sudden tsunami to put them, and all of us, out of our misery.

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Bulgasal : if I’m a director, i will plan this show as 2 seasons drama. First season will be set in Goryeo era, the story will be about Hwal the curser child searching and fighting all those evil creatures with main mission is to chasing the Bulgasal who is after him. We will get the full detail about the monster he would take down, how he hunt and killing them. And then for the romance side i want the heart wrenching love story between Hwal and his cursed wife. The end of the season is when Hwal turned into Bulgasal, planning his revenge.

And then season 2 will set 600 years later after season 1, about Hwal seeking revenge while chasing down reincanated monters from the past. And then his ill fated meeting with his pat wife, who he want to avoid for her sake, but can’t because he must be there to protect her.

People says this drama slow paced, but i think this story has a lot of potentials, yet they chose to not paly out the tale in detail.

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It's not slow paced but it did get repetitive and weird sometimes, with a lot of flashbacks like so many other kdramas. I would not like more eps before Hwal was Bulgasal because his super strength was already unexplained and it did not seem drama was planning to explain. The romance with the past wife is already strange since there seems to be an attempt at romance with the other sister.

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I think it would be slightly better if the romance is set with his past wife, but again, this ship might be more desirable because we know it won’t happen.

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The drama I am enjoying the most just is BELOVED SUMMER, the often dorky characters, its tone, plot and particularly the acting. I am less worried about Ung and Yeon-su, they are well on their way to discover what made their relationship unbalanced. The friends zone sleep over was fun to watch. But what will happen between Ung and Ji-woong? Their friendship seems to be strong, but Ji-woong is keeping a lot hidden from his friend, there is a big imbalance there. How will Ung react when he finds out as is suggested at the end of ep 10? I guess he will be very mortified.
Ji-woong needs to address his relationship with his mother, too. Maybe I have missed it, but I think no explanation was given why the mother is leaving, coming back, then leaving again. Is it because Ji-woong has never asked that question himself and is only looking towards her with the self centred mind of a child who blames Mummy? He is an adult now and should be able to see her as a person with problems of her own. Anyway, I am looking forward to Monday!

Started GHOST DOCTOR. The first thought I had was that Dr Romantic and Hospital Playlist have set the bar high for medical dramas. I will still keep going for now. Dropped BULGASAL, it is just not my cup of tea.

Oh dear, SNOWDROP, will there still be a romance after he pointed the gun at her head? Should there be one?

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I was confused about the mother's reasons for dropping in and out of Ji-woong's life as well. There wasn't an explanation, and it seems odd that the pattern would continue into his adulthood. Also, why does she still have a key to his place? The peaches thing was very sad, though.

Agreed about Snowdrop. On one hand, I appreciate that the show isn't sanitizing the reality that spies put the survival of themselves and their comrades above a cute girl who was nice to them, but I don't understand how these two people could possibly ever even have a civil conversation after all this, much less decide they're in love. And if the writers later suggest that FL was never *really* in danger because ML had some secret plan to protect her all along I'm going to be very annoyed. There were many moments when she could have died at his hand or someone else's if things had gone even a little bit awry. Frankly, part of why I'm watching at this point is to see how the writers attempt to get themselves out of this corner they've written themselves into.

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Yes, so many corners. I fear the romance will be forced onto us. I cannot see how the 3 hostage takers will make it of of the dorm alive.

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Rainless Love in a Godless Land: finished! I liked the animations at the beginning of each episode and overall, enjoyed the show although the pacing was too slow for me. The jumps between reality and flashbacks and scenes in the Reflection of Time were a bit confusing (maybe also because the show didn’t have my 100% attention, again, due to the pacing). It’s not overly wow, but it’s still a good show. My first Taiwanese drama since ISWAK and I was refreshed at how I could understand their Mandarin more than Cdramas. 😅

Snowdrop: I’ll catch up on 4 episodes once Sunday’s come out. I’m trying to avoid spoilers but seems the hostage situation is still ongoing (what?!).

Would You Like A Cup of Coffee?: I’m savoring every single episode so I’m not in a rush to finish this.

Love Affair in the Afternoons: Started this today, 3 episodes flew by. I might just finish this in another 2-3 days. 😅 Currently listening to the song “Taboo” (Kim Jangwoo).

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I adored Would You Like a Cup of Coffee. Savoring is the way to go. I miss that show and want more shows like it.

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Same! The music is so relaxing in that show. I've been looking for the instrumentals everywhere but have been unable to find any :(

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I had not thought of looking for the instrumentals but now I will.

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I'm glad you're enjoying Love Affair in the Afternoon! I loved it and think it's criminally underrated.

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First T-drama since ISWAK! <3 Hello, I have major heart-eyes for Joe Cheng ever since! :P Would highly rec another 13-ep T-drama called Someday or One Day. Same team, similar actors. Wonderfully twisty story. Head into it blind :')

As someone who LOVES LAitA, and has watched both the Japanese original (Hirugao) as well as the remake... my favorite OST is 'ONE' by Woongsan . It's a direct tribute to the J-dorama's ost Never Again. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Xd-lVIt_0Q
Ps. I found the j-version more artistic, and compelling. In fact, if you enjoy 'j-dorama' sense of dealing with difficult issues, I would also highly rec checking out that. It also has a movie sequel. The k-drama ending was a cop-out, sorry! :P

P.Ps: Park Ha Sun is SO gorgeous in this. She reminds me of Par Eun-Bin from certain angles. I think I cried every time she did! 💖

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I absolutely love, "Love Affairs in the Afternoon." I've watched it three times.

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Currently Watching :

1. The Gentleman and the Young Lady.
Sara just can't stop lying. From one lie to another. It is just so annoying. Not only that, she had the nerve to make Sechan cry. Before he lost his memory of 3 months, he broke off the engagement. Now that he is fully back, he still broke off the engagement. I was so happy to see that.

School 2022: my question is, who broke into the Director's office???

Ghost Doctor was pleasant to watch. It broke my heart to see Kim Bum in pain.

Bad and Crazy: I love this drama. So happy that the corrupt policeman has been caught.

Decided to watch Run on. I miss Im Siwan. Where can I watch Tracer?

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What I liked with the developments in YOUNG LADY AND GENTLEMAN was watching Dan Dan's response to our Gentleman's attempt to force a Noble Separation on her: She's tough enough to stand her ground and she is not buying it. She is not letting anyone decide her life for her.

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It was pleasing to watch. Can't wait to see Sa-ra's face after our Gentleman broke off the engagement

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SNOWDROP: After reading kfangurl’s extremely comprehensive post (which I highly recommend) about Snowdrop and the history behind/controversy surrounding it, curiosity got the better of me and I watched the first seven episodes. I come to this show from a position of privilege in that I have no personal, familial, or national connection to the many tragic and inhumane events and circumstances of the late 1980s in SK. I completely respect those who decided they couldn’t watch or support the show; I can only offer my limited perspective as an American drama viewer on the drama itself.

That said, my overall impression is that it’s much more of a hostage thriller than a romance; the budget was clearly very high and much of it spent on explosions and stunts; the cast is strong (and Ji-soo is doing just fine) but because most of the characters are obvious archetypes, none of the actors have yet struck me as delivering award-winning performances; and the writing and directing are assured with some genuine surprises and twists which make the show quite entertaining.

Best Parts: The school set, the sense of period, and the fast, pretty addictive pace. That said, since this is clearly an alternate reality only loosely based on historical circumstances, I’m not sure why this story isn’t set in modern day.
Most Surprising: The show isn’t shying away from showing that the ML, although not evil, does what he needs to do as a spy and doesn’t appear overtly conflicted about it. The writers may introduce mitigating factors later that humanize him more thoroughly, but for now, he’s legitimately dangerous and potentially violent. To that end, it’s very hard to imagine how he and the FL could or should ever be together in any real way.
Worst Parts: There are moments of satire and black comedy (especially regarding the awful politicians’ wives) that are tedious and don’t yet appear to serve the overall story in a satisfying way. Additionally, all the corrupt politicians, be they from the North or South, are corrupt in exactly the same way so they’re extremely cartoonish.
Bottom Line: I'm sucked in, and I’m going to continue to watch this one because I’m curious to see where it’ll go.

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Thanks...A thoughtful and helpful rundown for those of us in the same position of not having that personal connection to the events.

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I think the funniest part is a NK-grandpa in a Mao suit decided to send his own SON for mission to kidnap a harmless little professor, for a pittance of SK money. I petition for the drama to be called 'Snowball' instead. A kidnapping-mission that snowballed into a full-blown hostage situation & diplomatic crisis! xD

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wow this is red scare at its max...damn

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I am sucked in for exactly the reasons you list, and having followed numerous threads and recommendations I think the main objections as misjudged - there is no suggestion that the NK spies were involved in student protests, and the SK government and the appalling wives are two-dimensional, painted with such broad strokes - as is the NK as well - as to verge on parody-cum-cartoon. My only concern is that this clearly is not going to end well for anybody, and after Red Sleeve I'm all out of tissues. And for heavens sake, give the new little actress credit where credit is due, her character is extremely convincing and I don't care if she was a pop star or or a waitress before this, it's completely irrelevant. She's doing just fine!

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Availability update. Kim Nam-gil fans.
SBS’s F/S drama THROUGH THE DARKNESS is now on Kocowa’s “Coming Soon” list. Hopefully it will be available also on Viki US. Episode one airs Jan. 14.

No news on the availability in the US of Siwan’s F/S drama from MBC TRACER. Episode one aired last night on Wavve.
I am super annoyed that TRACER has not appeared yet on either Kocowa or Viki US’s “Coming Soon” list.

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It doesn't look like any of the legal sites are going to get Tracer, but maybe Viki will get it later like they did Crime Puzzle.

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That is what I am hoping- I just searched for it and so far there is nothing as far as a legal site.

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Like another Wavve production Going to the Blue House, Tracer isn't subbed even on the illegal sites at the moment. But since it seems like a fairly conventional drama with a pretty starry cast, I think it will be released with subtitles eventually.

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How’s Going to the Blue House? Apparently it got good review from Korean critics.

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Still no subs, so haven't seen it. Either the subbers are slaving over it right now, or it might never reach non-Korean audiences. It doesn't seem like a show that would appeal to the average K-drama fan, so it wouldn't surprise me if it's never released outside Korea.

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Too bad that we might not be able to see this….

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THROUGH THE DARKNESS is now on Viki US’s “Coming Soon” list. It is my most anticipated drama of the new year.

I am now reserving my availability angst for TRACER my second eagerly anticipated drama of the new year.

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RED SLEEVE: I’m still not completely over the final two episodes. I wanted to re-watch them because my heart was in my throat during most of the scenes and so I’m afraid I missed some things. But I haven’t yet been able to bring myself to do so. This show was so well done from start to finish, and unrelenting in its institutional critique (San and Deok-im love each other but can never be truly happy due to the gender- and class-based assumptions and restrictions that police their ever action).

I admit that sometimes I just wanted some kdrama magic fairy dust to make everything ok for them (like a scene where San sneaks Deok-im out of the palace so she could mingle among other people again, or Deok-im lets go of the idea that her agency depends on her never admitting to San how much she truly loved him). But the fact that the drama didn’t compromise its own vision—even the final afterlife scenes were bittersweet—makes it a true sageuk masterpiece for me.

Still watching and enjoying Our Beloved Summer (the tone continues to be bittersweet, and I feel for NJ and Ji-woong, but Yeon-soo and Woong so obviously still love each other that I can't help but want them to work things out), The One and Only (still an odd but very watchable show that I personally think is an overlooked gem), and Bulgasal (rolling along entertainingly enough).

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RED SLEEVE was great as a drama and, as you have noted, did not shy away from the truth. You know that you have seen a great drama when it shows you the truth and helps you to think.

What it really showed me was that Neo-Confucianism was a curse on Eastern Asia. It distorted relationships and created unnatural power dynamics all in the name of stability- but we know that those societies became so rigid that that very rigidity was a source of instability. The entire drama was really about how both San and Deok Im loved each other but could never have a natural relationship and be happy. They were both prisoners of their society.

I really think that this is why episode 17 continued so long after the death of Deok Im. It showed us the extent to which San was also a prisoner even though he was the king.

Only a truly great drama can show you things like this.

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Totally agree with how they didn't sprinkle any form of kdrama fairy dust over their situation.
Two things I noticed - 1) how Deok Im mentions a life outside of these bounds and titles and San is not able to even imagine it (my heart shattered for Deok Im - he didn't understand her heart after all) and (2) when he dies, he imagines Deok Im in her concubine form not the one he fell in love with but the complacent one afterwards, HIS Deok Im

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Well-said! The Red Sleeve was really more about people's choices - and the restrictions placed on these by power differences and societal roles and duty - than the romance per se, and the show was consistent throughout in calling these issues out (starting even from its title, all the way through to the ending scene). Loved it loved it loved it!! I am having trouble moving on and have been combing through the BTS vids just to combat drama withdrawal lol.

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Haven't watched much this week. But I just saw the finale of Now, We're Breaking Up and it literally ended with the words "we are still in the process of breaking up". I may have pulled some hairs off my head in frustration nbd 😐

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Really??? 🙄
I'm glad then, that I dropped it fairly early.

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I am glad that I never started it to begin with.

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I don't enjoy watching Song Hye Kyo so I knew better than to invest one minute in the drama.

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You've gotta be kidding me.

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I wish I was. In last week's WWW, my comment for this show had been "still (in the process of) breaking up". So you can imagine what it was like to see those words at the end of the show 🤦‍♀️.

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Horrible show. There ought to be some compensation paid to anyone who sat through more than a few hours of this. The ending was like the final F-U to everyone who stuck with it hoping for some sort of payoff. I could go on and on about the many disturbing, annoying or just downright bad points about this show but life is short and the problems are many.

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Yup pretty much. Too many things wrong to enumerate 😭

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Our Beloved Summer I missed the flashbacks that showed they could be happy together and not just hurt and torturing themselves...

The One and Only I have no idea what is happening behind the scene. I just watch for the main characters.

School 2021 The second leads are so cute together. I think I'm tired to see the main actress crying everytime the same way since Hospital Playlist...

Let Me Be Your Knight The story is so slow... But I was happy to see Kang Ji-Young was just a friend and a good one!

Bad and Crazy It looks more like Dumb and Dumber...

The Soldiers It's an entertaining show on NDD Youtube channel with eng sub and it's kinda fun to watch. I root for these soldiers. (a lot of abs too)

The Red Sleeve It's frustrating because it could have been very good but the writer failed to understand what was important.

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Could you expand on your comment about the Red Sleeve writer? I haven't seen it but I read an account of an interview with her in which she said she was proud of having imitated bits from some of the most famous old sageuks in her script. That floored me. What was the writing fail in your opinion?

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The drama is based on the popular
korea novel.
The screenwriter didn't need to write the whole script by herself, she just needed to smoothly transition the novel into a script.

If I have to compare the script into writing of an article, I would like to describe it like that.
The intro was good , lost steam in the middle and ending becoming good again but a bit rushed due to time limit.
She added her own story (novel author didnt include that story arc in the novel ) which took too much time in the middle.
And the family arc in the novel couldn't be included in the drama due to the episode limits.

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I didn't read the novel. But I read that some Koreans were very happy with some choices she made and it's the parts I didn't like. She added the Head Court Lady "cult" and it wasn't credible at all and very badly written with some of them being arrested but the story stopped there... It gave time to politics and the romance didn't really evolve with the characters being the same during the whole drama...

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I was wondering if the whole "Fairy palace" thing was an alien element because it really did not seem to fit into the main story. Apparently, I was right about that,

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Even if Red Sleeve wasn't without faults, I 'm technically obessed with it and find every contents related to it on mydramalist .
There I found about the novel.
The novel was translated into small parts by JLML 718 who is a hottest and Junho's fan.

I didn't say the whole Fairy Palace thing should be omitted.
Scrrenwriter wanted to show her point that Deok Im risked her life to save our CP so he fell in love with her.

But still, it should be either Outer Palace Assassination Attempt or Marinated Crab , never both, it took 4 episodes to complete that.

And the family Arc we never see in the ending of drama, it expains why Deok Im feel frustrated by San and the Palace life .
It explains YH death as well.
I thought both the happy and sad parts were precious in that arc and
you see, MBC insisted upon having 17 episodes.

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Currently Watching:
1. f4-thailand: Sadly no episode last week. Spent watching all the interviews, BTS, leaks, etc. I guess we finally get the 'rain-soaked ML waiting on a date' scene this week! Chasing this till April will be HARD! T_T
2. Luoyang: My fellow INTP homeboy Bai Li, is my spirit animal. I do not get why they need to shoehorn a romance between the two Main Leads. Also, the FL gave me major fruity vibes in the first 10 eps, so I wonder if they copped-out because of ~censorship~ Midway in, still no idea where it's headed, but I hear it's underwhelming!
3. Snowdrop: Oh man, Dr. Kang, Less GOOOOO! <3 Also, I definitely think Dr. Kang is 'somebody's ex'! :P Mystery no.1. How has Hae-In transformed from his SiTR days into THIS, without a Military Enlistment in between? :P
4. Bad & Crazy: Watching alternate weeks and 2x'ing 4 eps. Trust me, it's even WILDER!
5. Adult Trainee: Excuse me, but every RomCom lover should drop EVERYTHING and head to watch ep 3,4,5. ML used to be in 18Again, and our baby has grown up to look like Bogummie and Christiano Ronaldo had a love-child. Also, the kisses... will make Ryan Gold shy away. Trust me! :')
6. Put Your Head on My Shoulder: OMG, another INTP ML again! <3 How do they have the emotional range of a teaspoon, but end up so swoony? :P One of the cutest OTP relationships from drama land.
7. Light the Night s2: Okay, the Wallce x Ruby reunion was much awaited, but I don't get it. Are people supposed to find Wallace wanting to shoot Ruby's brains off... sexy? Chris Wu as a drag queen is FABULOUS! Also, eagerly waiting for s3, cuz s2 is only about why Sue was so effed up in the head. I need answers!
8. Red Sleeves: Underwhelming end. Story of Yanxi Palace was 10x superior in every respect except for Junho. I get the hype though, because Korea had nothing close to it before! :P

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Ok, you had me at Chris Wu drag queen. This just got bumped up the list!

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2O6-cuyL7w
Here you go, the trailer! :P Netflix will be waiting for you! :') Fair warning, s1 doesn't have Chris! :P

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Yes, everyone should see THE STORY OF YANXI PALACE. It was really good.

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Other then the drama, Our Beloved Summer's OST is so good that I now have 5 on my Spotify personal playlist. Reading their beautiful and sad lyric made me cry a lot.

Also (with @missh), really hat off for Kim Dami, twice she cries this week's episodes, first before her best friend, then before her grandma, both showing her fear of losing Woong (first with her kiss with Woong "maybe accidental", then fearing Woong can settle them being friends and she cannot). You know how many times I watched these two scenes, and I cried with her just as many times.

(Also a little complaint with Netflix's The Swoon K-drama channel on YouTube, I don't know how they choose scenes to feature, but--like this week, they choose the zucchini scene--but I think their choosing is either silly and not powerful)

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Bad and Crazy: 7.7

Bulgasal: Immortal Souls: 7.6

Ghost Doctor: 7.5 Decent premise. Kim Bum didn't do the goofy grin in day 1 especially well, so good thing they dropped that for day 2.

Moonshine: 6.5

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Wait, a post without any trace of snark? Did the sun rise in the west?

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This may be my version of a Drama Slump.
Or, maybe I'm distracted by other things.
Or, a hint of criticism of Kim Bum was all I dared attempt for the week :)

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Happy New Year! It's been a while since I posted on What We're Watching. It's good to be back.

LET ME BE YOUR KNIGHT Ep. 8: It's comfort food with good ol' tropes and a very catchy OST. I liked Lee Jun-young in BUAMDONG REVENGE CLUB back in 2017 and thought he had potential. He didn't have much to do in IMITATION but he's doing quite well here. Also, he's got a great voice! 💜

MOONSHINE Ep. 6: It started out good but it's going downhill. The alcohol plot should have been solved by Ep. 3-4 because the female lead had earned enough money to get herself out of debt, but she stupidly decided to walk around with all her earnings (which of course she lost). Questionable character decisions used to create conflict is not good writing. I love Yoo Seung-ho as a beta male lead, and his bickering with the Crown Prince is gold, but overall, it doesn't seem like there is enough material for 16 episodes.

KING OF TEARS, LEE BANG WON Ep. 3: Why isn't this show listed among currently airing dramas? It's a 32-episode drama, not a long weekender, and it's on KBS! Anyway, I really like it. Things happen fast and there is no dragging out of scenes. The drama basically covered all of MY COUNTRY in the first two episodes. Somebody described this drama as Shakespearean, and I think that is an apt description.

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It was probably me that described KING OF TEARS as Shakespearean - and I still think so. It has echoes of both some of Shakespeare's historical plays and of his tragedies. The acting is good.

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This week I discovered the charm of Siwan and Shin Se Kyung in RUN ON, but it was somewhat spoiled by the CEO character played by Sooyoung. Usually I don't dislike characters in Kdramas - they're only figments of a writer's imagination, but extreme unmitigated nastiness that doesnt start to mellow out till almost the end - I'm just not onboard for that.

Also watched another sports drama, WEIGHTLIFTING FAIRY KIM BOK SOO and saw a different side of Nam Joo-hyuk as comic hyperactive champion swimmer. A cute, maybe too cute for me, high energy drama probably meant for a very young audience.

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I enjoyed both of those! ^^

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I gave Run On 3 beans, I thought it as great, hope you enjoy it!

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Gyeommi couple

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I miss those cuties

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two things. Finally started to watch Crash Landing. It is cheesy, but I had a conversation with a North korea expert that is coming to my conversation club at the library, and he mentioned there are real deserters / refugees in there, and how they liked that their lifestyle and doings were accurately represented. Also it was touching, how they went to te eutanasia corner and how modern life doesnt give people enough meaning and purpose of teir own, so they feel like dying.

But, I am also preparing a talk about movies, and I discovered Sinkhole, but it is not available anywhere. It has not been in our cinemas either. Does anyone know where I can watch it? the cast is superb, Cha Seung Won among others. the stream sites I found, it just froze half way and I couldnt get it to work.

also, exited for Concrete-whatever movie that I posted about, and oh, I also watched Psychokinesis with Ryu Seung-Ryong and like, it is hilarious how the guy goes from clumsy dad with superpowers to noble general to a cruel minister. I wouldnt be surprised honestly to see him play a kangaroo one day and not even blink an eye, and then even win Daesang for it. LOL

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Our Beloved Summer: I’m glad that Ung is going to become aware of Ji-ungs feelings and the fact that YS didn’t just move on seamlessly without him. I really love this show and its colors and textures. The whole “friends sleepover” was fantastic. I love how she just pushes that envelope! Oh yeah, you wanna be friends??? Well, then, lets take that to the extreme!
Snowdrop: Wow. I binged the first 6 episodes and loved them. I can’t wait to see what we get this week. And it’s not fair that all the North Koreans are so darn good looking! First Captain Ri Jung-hyuk and now this?
The One and Only: I’m not sure exactly what has me captivated about this one, but it reminds me of others I’ve liked – Lookout, The Smile Has Left Your Eyes. The main leads are doing a great job. This may end up a messy train wreck, but so far I’m along for the ride.
Bulgasal: Hated the first ep, but made it through to the current times and am enjoying this portion of the story so much more. I like the twists so far and am curious to see just who is who and who actually killed who, and so forth. AND, I love seeing Lee Jin-wook on my screen in all his smoldering glory.

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Tried Ghost Doctor, as I wanted to see Uee’s latest. Didn’t last 5 minutes * Next !

Still watching Moonshine, no real hopes for this show though as the 3 way love interest trope takes center stage.

I did manage to watch 2 J dramas over the past few weeks.

Samayou Yaiba, a father goes on a revenge mission to kill teens that had raped and killed his daughter . Can’t recommend it to general public. very violent. Not to be confused with the film version of the story.

Mushoboke, a Yakuza member is released from prison after 14 years. He tries to adjust to civilian life and reestablish ties to his family. Not bad.

I seem to watch more Youtube videos these days . Watching hobbyists do their thing, concert videos, ancient civilization /archeology stuff.

* I think I am allergic to medical dramas

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awww, everytime UEE is in anything, i remember that you said she reminded you of a cat! nice to see your post, always like your short, concise mentions.

i'm thinking you might like The One and the Only... it's intriguing, seems tropey at first, but it is hardly that.... all the characters that seem one way at first, but then all the twists and turns... something new (or rarely used?) in kdramas, i think - reminds me of jdoramas that send your mind this way and that...
; )

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Our Beloved Summer: The drama that is just giving me all sorts of feels - laughter, tears, and all those moments when I'm sort of holding my breath taking in those emotion-filled moments. The struggles are more due to internal forces, but that makes it no less easy to resolve. Acting, writing, and direction all perfectly aligned. I loved the ending epilogue with Ji-ung sleeping over at Ung's in the past and in the present and their late night chatter.

I liked the quick reference also to big data and ads. Ung drives by and NJ, while browsing her phone, gets an ad for his exhibition.

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We watched the last two episodes of RED SLEEVE. It was beautiful to the end but I have to protest the emotional abuse inflicted upon the audience by the three hanky episode 17. Couldn’t we have just stopped at episode 16? A last episode that commences with the death of their 4 year old Crown Prince is just a little too much. I actually feel bad recommending this drama as having a happyish ending after the show went and jerked the rug out from under me with Episode 17. So please, for the sake of your emotional health, unless you really need a good cry, avoid watching episode 17 if you can. If it is already too late then I sincerely apologize. Do not get me wrong- the show was great, just know when to stop watching.

I watched the final episode of the Japanese rom-com BEWITCHED BY MY SEXY BOYFRIEND. It has a surprise ending. I will not give it away- but I actually really liked it and it was a very fitting ending.

My wife finished HE IS PSYCHOMETRIC and then re-watched the Pre-Joseon sageuk HWARANG: THE POET WARRIOR YOUTH (I believe it is set in Silla). I was impressed with its cinematography. This show was really well done. Having consumed that she went on to watch KISS GOBLIN and is presently immersed in ANCIENT LOVE POETRY.

If you have iQIYI you can now watch the entirety of the T-drama RAINLESS LOVE IN A GODLESS LAND. Just do it. Enough said. Rumor has it that the Koreans will be doing a re-make. Masterpieces do not need to be re-made and so I probably will not watch the re-make if it is made because it would likely be disappointing. I do not mind the re-telling of classic stories like ITAZURRA NA KISSU or PRIDE AND PREJUDICE but unless the original was abysmal it would be better if everyone refrained from re-making it. [An example of when it is acceptable: The original 1960 film OCEANS 11 was garbage- but got re-made in 2001 as a much better movie- which did well enough to spawn 3 sequels].

But we are now behind on several shows including MOONSHINE and OUR BELOVED SUMMER but are working to catch up. I really like both of them.

With the end of the 30th episode of YOUNG LADY AND GENTLEMAN our main couple has turned a corner. Our Gentleman ended his unwanted engagement with Sa-ra and then, because of their age difference attempted to push our Young Lady into a Noble Separation but she is standing her ground and said Gentleman has now had the experience of having his young son confront him with the truth: That these two people love each other. At the beginning of the show this kid was a selfish brat but he has come a long way since then even if this week’s idea was disastrous. However, all is not well for our side romances, with each couple now facing some serious angst. But that is what you get with weekenders.

WHAT’S WRONG WITH SECRETARY KIM is a classic but not perfect with the character of the brother being its greatest flaw.

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If the same team does the Rainless Love Remake as the SD1D remake, I'm afraid I'll roll my eyes so hard, they'll fall off their sockets. :/

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Yes, SOME DAY OR ONE DAY is another drama that did not need a remake to begin with, so what would you expect?

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It definitely did not need a remake with THAT cast! -_-

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SNOWDROP. I'm just enjoying the drama for what it is, story has really sucked me in. Can't see a happy ending with this one, but the FL is doing a stellar job and the fact that she is apparently a pop star is irrelevant. I agree that it could easily have been placed in a time-frame a decade different either way and avoided all the angst from people alive today who suffered at that time. Also, very sorry to hear about the sudden and premature death of one of the girls in Dorm room 207, what a tragedy!

MY BELOVED SUMMER. Loving this but wish they would sit down and have an honest conversation! All this to-ing and fro-ing is exhausting for the watchers.

NOW WE ARE BREAKING UP. Not soon enough! And I'm getting tired of beautiful but quite mature actresses picking beautiful but very much younger men as their romantic leads - they could have been mother-and-son in this one, so it wasn't surprising the chemistry was non-existent. I love both of these actors, but not together. Both of them need to get their teeth into something a little more substantial than this load of rubbish.

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I really wonder why no one has thought to pair Song Hye-kyo as a beautiful mature older woman with a handsome mature older man? Not only would there likely be more chemistry but the greater amount of experience would almost certainly lead to better acting. Or maybe this has happened, and I missed it?

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Hm, he was also the noona romance object in WWW: Search, but it worked there. Different, better lead, and some big-time chemistry as well.

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Our Beloved Summer we got backstories on our second leads this week. What I really wanted to see more of are Ung and Yeon Soo scenes past and present. That sleepover and home date was fun. Yeon Soo's walls crumbled and if that was Ung's plan all along then he did it. He just has to be there to pick up the pieces of her heart.

Itaewon Class I didnt like the first episode of this when I first tried to watch it. I wanted to since it has PSJ and KDM. My solution, skip ep2 and meet Jo Yi Seo. I love her. My IC binge watching has been smooth sailing since.

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I also watched Itaewon class relatively "not so long ago", and yes, Yi Seo makes the difference, but... there is always a but...
The setting could make you feel dissappointed. Don't want to give spoilers... Of couse, each person must judge by herself/himself.
Overall, I enjoyed Itaewon Class... but for my taste there were things very much dragging or unrealistic that made me feel upset with the writing.
On the other hand, one has to be forgiving, since it is based on a webtoon.
I am reading true beauty (the web toon) and now I understand why they did true beauty (the drama) the way they did.
Greetings! Enjoy watching...

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Everything about DanBam was enjoyable to watch. Anything related to Jangga I gloss over or ffwd. I understand Saeroyi's motivation to succeed. I also understand what you mean by unrealistic. Overall I still enjoy it and now on ep10.

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These week i finally binged "RACKET BOYS", and although i cannot say i loved it the way I loved "Prison playbook", (due to the fact it is the same writer), i still have to say... it was very good. It kept me hooked, long episodes and all, and it was charming, sweet and well paced.
I didn't enjoy the interactions with the people in the village, except when the boys were there, but still... it was pretty decent.
I would rewatch any time in the future.

I also finished a chinese drama called: "I hear you"...
Not so bad, not so good... let's say it was watchable. I have watched better dramas with Zhao Lu Si, but tried to watch also worse dramas with her as well... LOL. So... this one, it is pretty decent.

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but all the Prison Playbook cameos!!!
<3

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Don't Look Up.

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Our Beloved Summer
I’m still having deep relationship with the show. I think this is the first time that I love every character in a drama. I can’t say anything about Jiwoong’s mom because no stories are told about her, but I can understand his hatred toward her.
Wong’s mom is something else though...
I cried when Dami cried, but when Woong lay down on his mother’s lap, I’m a mess.

Full House
Out on a whim, I clicked Full House on Netflix.
This is the reason why I and million others, fell into KDrama obsession 😂😂
I can’t believe after so many years this drama can still make me laugh a lot. It’s so full with absurdities that I just enjoy the full ride. Plot, storyline, friends, second leads, down to fashion style. All the leads do are bickering, eating, cleaning, repeat. All the way to episode 13.
But what sells is the chemistry. Rain and Song Hye Kyo is explosive!
I feel like she’s betraying herself from Full House to NWABU.
And is it me or they showed A LOT of skin in the drama? I don’t mind, but feels like KDrama is getting more conservative these days?

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Haha I remember when the opening scene was shirtless Rain, it was like the show was saying to all the other kdramas, take THAT! Try topping THAT! Peoples eyes about popped out.

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Didn't he also have a shirtless poster of himself in his room?

I liked Full House. Mostly I think because of the leads, they seemed to carry that show with the strength of their youth and exuberance. Idk, it made me smile.

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I bet he did. Every kdrama “star” or “idol” character has at least one giant picture of themselves in the living room, don’t they? I always thought that was so weird!

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Bulgasal (EP2): I really like the soundtrack.
Waikiki (rewatching): I'm dying 😂
Yi San (EP2): those kids are so adorable, for real.
Uncle (EP8): the kids performance was so cute.
Ghost Doctor (EP2): Tes hyung is hilarious.
Our Beloved Summer (EP10): Ung friendship with JW and NJ is the highlight of the week.
The One and Only (EP2): I don't know if I'll keep watching.
Kingdom (watching with my bestie): we're still in EP 3 because my bestie always texts me when I'm sleeping (I sleep in day time).
Bad and Crazy (EP6? maybe 8, Idk, last week episodes): this show is so fun.
Secret royal agent (EP4? 5?): I know it's Joseon and all but damn, they're always about to die, aren't they?
Welcome2Life (EP15): I miss Bo Na :c
The Red Sleeve (EP17): thanks god this is over.

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re: Secret Royal Agent. I think that becomes the fun, farcical part. At first, I was annoyed, but then I enjoyed it once it really got into the rhythm of things. Ah, here are our heroes being captured again! It would have made a great multi-season sitcom.

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I get your point and I think you're right. I'll probably get used to it too.
And I really like the characters so maybe by the end of the show I'll be sad because there isn't a season two.

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Now, We Are Breaking Up - hurray the baby ship sailed! triple hurray its OVER!!

Bugasal - Episode 6 was horribly funny, perhaps bad because most of the comedy was very unintentional.

Fall In Love - the ML is such a wonderful scoundrel. Great chemistry too.

Win The Future - its better once they got off the bid process because I stopped questioning if what they were doing was clever or unethical.

Paint with Love - What in the @^$% was that fighting scene between the managers? It was gross and horrible. Many other options to show they don't get along and the manager who isn't doing a good job could make problems some other way. All that time wasted when they could have made the rest of episode 7 make sense. Or something actually substantial about the second couple.
Phab teasing Maze is fun though.

F4: Thailand - Thyme really is insightful and stupid at the same time.

Rainless Love in a Godless Land - while enjoying that it ended well and the writing was great, I actually didn't like the ending which is a bit of a bummer.

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Did your battery go from red to green? Am I mistaken in remembering it red? Or are you now charging up?

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No you're not mistaken, I charged up a bit from the holidays. :)

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My focus was more on music/soundtracks this week.
Red Sleeve Cuff: Lee Sun Hee's I'll leave you just started playing. I sat up straight and googled 'Windflower- Legend of the Blue Sea'. After confirming that it was the same singer, I just kept playing these alternately. It's just sooo good and it fit so well with the buildup of Deok Im sadness/realization of her situation.
Dae Jang Geum: Started and Completed this (sort of surprised myself considering my exams are going on). It was quite exactly what I wanted though I would've preferred more simplicity minus various minor story arcs in forefront. Onara is special, soooo special. I gave Song Sohee's Onara version a try as well and would recommend that to anyone. It's truly an immortl song.
Run On: I just find myself playing its instrumentals/background music quite a lot of times. It has a fresh, upbeat vibe

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👍🏼 It’s such a thrill when you hear a similarity to a song from a previous drama, and you’re right! Good job 👏🏽

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The title track, "Run to You," is by a band called Lucy. If you like the music, I suggest looking them up, they are very good!

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Fun week of dramas, watching various shows and even went back and tried some of the ones that I missed (that are still airing).

Uncle: I skipped this one at first, because there was just so much to watch and something had to give. The cast was solid, but the basic premise didn’t blow my mind. I’ve since gone back and watched all the episodes so I’m caught up! It does have a lot of common tropes, and the rich people are…enraging, but I like that some of them are more multilayered. The trophy mom who defected is great and our little family unit is charming and fun to root for.

Let Me Be Your Knight: Tried the first episode of this one, and it didn’t grab me. You see everything coming, and the characters haven’t gripped me either. I suppose the twins is a bit of a different spin, but the scheming con man who ran off with our FL’s money, our hard working candy FL, and our ML played by Lee Jun-Young are all bog standard. Also, good lord is Lee Jun-Young getting type cast a LOT now. I’m sure there’ll be differences but this seems SUPER similar to his character in Imitation. I’ve stopped at one episode for now…but I may go back to it if I see people speaking up about this one.

Bad and Crazy: Fairly standard cop kdrama with unbelievably bleak outlooks on the police force that we’re centered around. Good lord EVERYONE is corrupt. Kind of a show I’m just along for the ride on. You really have to suspend your disbelief for certain moments (Just shoot him damnit! Our FL was really frustrating in episode 7 :P) but our ML Lee Dong-Wook is rarely bad so…here I am.

Snowdrop: I think I may be dropping this one. I can usually only get through one episode (due to their length) and it’s just not grabbing me (Think I finished 4 episodes?). I feel like the subject matter should be more engaging…but there are so many unlikeable characters and I guess I’m just not clicking with the overall narrative. Our FL is fresh to acting, but she hasn’t been doing a bad job. Plus the rest of the cast is loaded with top talent so hard to find faults there. I imagine if I think a bit more on this one I could feel out why it’s not clicking, but with so much to watch I’m not sure it really merits that kind of effort.

A lot of stuff I’m watching that doesn’t really merit a comment, or continues to be a good time, including:
Moonshine, Our Beloved Summer, Bulgasal, and The One and Only.

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Completed

The Red Sleeve
I didn’t think I would cry because I was not too invested in the romance but I did. In the end, it was a great sageuk and I actually liked that they portrayed the power imbalance in the relationship.

Hellbound
Well...the premise was an interesting subject to explore but the execution...not so much. The characters were all quite forgettable (except for that neon, I wish I could forget). However, the monsters were so campy; it was very entertaining whenever they showed up. They reminded me of what a toasted Michelin Man or the Stay Puft Marshmallow guy would look like. Can someone edit the drama scenes to replace the hell monsters with a Michelin Man, a Stay Puft, and a Pillsbury Doughboy 😂

Anyways...

I’ve started to re-watch Coffee Prince. I decided to give it a second chance since the first time I watched it, over 5 years ago, I was not familiar with the cast. I figured I might enjoy it more now that I know who Gong Yoo and Lee Sunkyun. I find it funny that 15 years ago, these guys were already considered ajushis. I guess they always were and always will be - as Viki translates it - « old men ».

I’m still absolutely loving Our Beloved Summer. I listened to the soundtrack all week. If it remains consistant, it might become a new favourite 🤞🤞

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Your suggested replacements for the hell monsters is doubly hilarious given how all three react to 🔥.

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Our Beloved Summer. I love that small moment between them at the gate after the zucchini dinner. So sweet and cute and sad.

It really drove me nuts to see comments about Woong being cowardly for suggesting to be friends, because that was the best and most mature call for them both at this stage. I was moved when he pointed out they never tried being friends before. I like the leads’ friendships with Jiwoong and NJ. I don’t think these alternate pairings would work (Jiwoong and Yeonsoo both lack affection, NJ and Woong just don’t seem to be on the same wavelength), but they all have something to learn from each other. They can also use more friends, haha.

And as much as I enjoyed the less angsty high school flashbacks, I’m glad that we’re staying more in the present lately. There are issues to be fixed and feelings to be said (you can do it, Yeonsoo).

Uh what else. Everything else is put on hold. Though I’m planning to watch Would You Like a Cup of Coffee soon…

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Our Beloved Summer: The only korean show I'm currently watching. Had put it on hold after the first episode, picked it up again this week. Really enjoying the plot, the dynamic between the characters and particularly the acting.

F4 Thailand: Never imagined that I would watch another remake of BOF, thought that I was forever done with the franchise, and yet here we are. It's fast paced and quite entertaining, just what I needed right now. This remake reminds me of the Japanese version (which I preferred by far). It has captured the essence of the original while adding its own unique flair and contemporary elements.

Midnight Diner: Such a heartwarming show with endearing characters and their relatable storylines that are sometimes uplifting, sometimes bittersweet. Not to mention all the delicious food recipes featured on the show! The overall mood is comforting and relaxing, it's a treat to watch after work.

Other shows I'm planning to watch (if I have time) are Ghost doctor and Moonshine.

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Many people prefer the Japanese HANA YORI DANGO over the Korean re-make. (Even the Japanese version was not the first live action one- that distinction belongs to the T-drama METEOR GARDEN which many people enjoyed.) It is nice to know that the Thai's have kept closer to the spirit of the Japanese version- which is the one I prefer as well.

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Korean remakes (or manga adaptation) often loose against Japan, Taiwan or Thai remakes like Hana Yori Dango, Hana-Kimi, Itazura na Kiss, Nodame Cantabile or In Time With You.

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Highly, HIGHLY recommend F4 Thailand.

I haven't been able to stop thinking about it and commenting about it on the mydramalist forum.... there is so much to unpack.

It sticks to the original source material closely, but has made slight changes to add depth to the story, remove the problematic/toxic parts, and make the characters and their actions more believable. I watched the first 2 episodes with my jaw hanging open at how well they updated such a well-known story to feel fresh and meaningful. Amazing.

I won't keep going, or else it'll end up being a dissertation, lol.

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Yes, the taiwanese adaptation gained huge popularity throughout Asia during that time. There was a HYD film made in 1995 that was the first live action I believe. Meteor garden (taiwanese) popularised the franchise.

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The Red Sleeve:
The only drama that I watched so far and it's ended and now I'm in drama slump. No one that can make me watch it.
Even since the beginning The Red Sleeve already stole my heart and I can't wait to watch it when it's aired and now it's gone .. I may need to re-watch it

I don't think 17 eps already enough. I want to see more SanDeuk life after marriage. I want to see them being happy more but NO .. the reality is never give us the honey.
When I saw the preview for eps 16-17, I knew that the drama will be end by them dead!
But I'm happy, at least the drama give us the afterlife 'happy moment' or maybe it is truly a very long San dream. It's up to the viewers to interpret it as afterlife where SanDeok couple being happy in eternity or it's just San dream and the drama end in that moment, without the sad story after that.

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I've gotten some clarity on what is bothering me about Bulgasal. This is the sickest potential romantic relationship I can think of since the first half of Secret. You know, the whole "I'm strangely attracted to you but I want to kill you" thing.

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It's like an escalated variant of OTP that bicker when they first meet before there might be hate kissing.

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I enjoyed Ghost Doctor more than I expected. Looking forward to the next episodes.

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I love Uncle for the characters but like @quirkycase I’m watching somewhat warily as each episode brings another ridiculous crisis situation. Or two.

I guess I’m the only Beanie who doesn’t love OBS. The push-pull has way worn me out. If you can’t talk to each other, you’re not right together. Move on!

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I felt the slightest drama slump hit me earlier this week after finishing RED SLEEVE and RAINLESS GOD all in the same weekend. I was emotionally drained. I was a bit disappointed with the ending of Rainless God as they both tried to pull a do-over and the rebirth trope but thankfully the literally last minute salvaged the latter. While they did keep to the show's mythology, the magic wand of Kakarayan was too convenient. Anyone notice how Raka's hands weren't bleached? After all that focus on the environment, the new world made those issues magically disappear without some apparent consequence.

And since Iqiyi so very sneakily changed their VIP-rules at new year and I had to pay to watch the final episode, I decided to take this opportunity to watch cdrama Hikaru no Go, this lovely homage to it's source material. I cried when Bokura no Bouken began in the background (then I was insanely bothered by the ill-matched lyrics) and had heart-eyes when I saw the Akira-named go-board. I'm not half-way through yet, but there is so much thought and love put into this show, I already love it to bits. The actor playing Sai is just adorable.

My re-watch of Run On ended this week and I don't know why but this show manages to be both incredibly cute and heartwarming as well as impressively forgettable, all at the same time.

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Totally went down the rabbit hole when I realized that maybe ALL the episode titles of Our Beloved Summer were actually films. They are. This one is going to be another Run On where the nuanced writing and the acting chops to carry it off, makes all the difference. No time jumps pleeeeeease.
Managed to ff through Silent Sea because I heard rumors that Duct Tape made a cameo. Don't blink, it was a failed use of silver stuff to staunch bleeding. Also watched Moonshine until the evil dude bounced down a Cliff of Doom and survived (with amnesia, natch). Dropping show off said cliff.
Filling the large empty space left by Red Sleeve with Wok of Love for chopping and grins and Just Between Lovers for serious PTSD. Might try Yanxi Palace next since it's too gloomy out for King of Tears.

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I also just finally watched Wok of Love, but was glad of the disparity between his characters in the two shows. Before that, I did rewatch Homme Fatale.

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Ooooh , okay. Homme next up on my watchlist. Except I just got Liane Moriarty's new book on audio so I will be busy :)!

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Single's Inferno- This turned from a guilty pleasure to full fledged addiction really fast. Loved how the finale ended for my favorite cast members.

Catch The Ghost- I am enjoying Kim Seon Ho's works like I am nibbling on a once in a lifetime treat. Sad to find out there are no future dramas in the 2022 horizon. That man has got me hook, line and sinker.

Cobra Kai Season 4- Our traditional annual family binge is back and as delightful as ever.

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You Are My Spring: Only six episodes in so still more questions than answers on the serial killer twins. I do like the lovely way our MCs are drawn together and watching their feelings blossom. Also, like the group that is forming around them.

Bossam:Steal the Fate : My heart broke for our Princess when her father walked past her and all that meant. I was really hopeful that he would be a safe harbor for her if she could get back to the palace. Her brother in law is getting on my nerves with his inability to see how everyone around him is not going to move in such a straight forward way as he. I'm not sure how he grew up in that family with no knowledge of political maneuvering. Since it is a 20 ep long drama I was hopeful we could have just a little longer at the little house with our little family before the world came knocking.

Imitation: Only two episodes in and a little confused with all the characters, side characters, and their different connections and story lines. However, I really like the Tea Party ladies and hopefully if I stick with them the others will fall into place.

Five Enough: At just two episodes I'm not sure what to think of this one. Our main heroine.....it feels like she chose her pride over her children's emotional well being, that lie is ridiculous. I do like her at work though. I also am not liking the way the main hero is letting his in laws dictate everything and make passive aggressive comments about and to his parents. I do like his sister but not the other brother feeling like he has the right to go in her room and take her money. Oh, that made me so mad.

Seo Young, My Daughter: Have only watched the first ep but based on how very much I liked Seo Young am looking forward to her story. I hope it stays good.

Rewatch of Coffee Prince: ep 2 and I remember how much I like Eun Chan. I like how she seems to just be open to each day. I can see how her playfulness would appeal to Han Gyul who has his own playful side. I'd forgotten how frustrating her sister and mom are. Watching her carry Gong Yoo never gets old and of course can't wait until the favor is returned.

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Weekend dramas are not my cup of tea, but I must say I really enjoyed My Daughter Seo Young. Also another one I loved - Family Honor (probably very few people here have heard of this, it’s a bit obscure :-)).

As for Five Enough, I only liked Shin Hye Sun’s and Sung Hoon’s scenes. It heralded the rising superstar Shin Hye Sun.

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The Golfer Couple was indeed the highlight of FIVE CHILDREN. It was Shin Hye-sun's breakout role,

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Imitation was very binge worthy. You'll see everything fall into place. Stick with it :)

Seo Young, My Daughter was also good. Long but good.

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Like several mentioned, I’m on a bit of drama slump now that Red Sleeve ended.

On the positive side, it forced me to give the newer airing dramas a chance:

Our Beloved Summer -

Choi Woo Shik is one of the few “beta” leads I like. I’ve found him hilarious since Fated to Love You days upto his acclaimed turn in Parasite. Here, his smirks and scowls are adorable.

Having said that, I found OBS a tad too indulgent, too long for my taste. I actually set it at 1.5 speed just to catch up. There are some gems to be clear . I found ML2 arc similar to “Love Actually” - Keira Knightley and Andrew Lincoln’s touching snippet.

OBS would have been pitch perfect at 8-10 episodes.

King of Tears, Lee Bang Bon - Sageuk is my favorite fever! But! it’s hard not to compare vs Six Flying Dragons since the core story is identical. And it really suffers in comparison, sorry to those who love King of Tears. From production values, to the screenplay, to the acting (Sambong and Poeun characters, the brilliant Yoo Ah In vs the decent Joo Sang Wook, hats off though to Kim Syeong Cheryl’s version of Yi Syeong Gye). Actually I’m trying not to compare to heighten my enjoyment. Perhaps when King of Tears covers new time period, (eg Lee Bang Won’s reign wasn’t the focus of SFD), I would enjoy it more on its own merit.

Ghost Doctor - not my kind of genre but surprisingly I enjoyed it. Rain and Ueee were good. Not a fan of Kim Bum, but he also doesn’t bother me.

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After finishing TRS, I wanted to watch more of the leads' previous work. Just Between Lovers (Rain or Shine on Netflix) was already on my watchlist, so that's the only show I have been watching this week. I am halfway through (2 episodes per day) and so far I am really enjoying this show. Junho's character is completely different from TRS and not just because this is set in present time. FL played by Won Jinah is also doing amazing job despite it being her debut. Both of them have such natural chemistry together, even small moments between them feel genuine. The scene where they are at bus stop and couldn't help but hold each others hand was SO good.

This show may not be for everyone, the pacing is slow and overall tone may put off some people. But please give this show a chance, they are doing great job at exploring how a tragedy impacts people's lives and the different ways of dealing with such grief. Both of our leads' life changed drastically after the accident but even after more than 10 years the shadow of that event haunts them. This show also focuses on the non-glamorous realities of South Korea. The ML is a blue collar construction worker, another character runs a hostess bar, FL's friend uses a wheelchair and ML's friend is probably on Autism spectrum. The show never portrays them as caricatures or looks down on them. I love that the ML has found a family of choice among all these misfits and despite his gruff appearance, he is a genuinely good person that cares deeply about them.

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JUST BETWEEN LOVERS is a show I recommend to everyone, even those for whom this would not be their normal cup of tea.

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Just finished Imitation. Surprised to see this different side of Lee Jun Young after seeing his scary side in Class of Lies. The girl from Parasite is super cute and fun to watch. Tho someone had to do a better job with her wig haha! Haven't watched an idol drama in a long time...reminds me of how much I loved Dream High!

Also just finished Melancholia. It was just so-so. Loved the first and last episodes where they made Math look so cool and romantic. Looking forward to more Lee Do Hyun!

I'm crawling through Be My Dream Family and Young Lady and the Gentleman. Alternating between the 2.

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