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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…

 

SailorJumun

Snowdrop: Oh my freaking god, how many episodes have they kept the girls’ dorm hostage?? It feels like all we’ve seen is a cycle of negotiations over the phone, the higher-ups screaming at each other, and Su-ho’s comrade threatening to kill someone. I don’t see how the main couple can have a romance at this point, after everything Su-ho put Young-ro through. Especially after what happened with her brother. I don’t even really like this couple. I don’t like the majority of these characters, so why the hell am I watching? No, nope, nope. That’s it, I’m done. I’m officially dropping you, Snowdrop. I’ll just watch Jung Hae-in in DP instead.

Bulgasal: Immortal Souls: I’m still not in love with this show, but whenever I’m watching it, I admit that I do get sucked in. (Which is more than I can say for Snowdrop.) I’m really liking the strained dynamics with the characters in present day, and it’s making me want to know the full backstory even more! Give me the deets!

Our Beloved Summer: Wow, I don’t know what I loved more — episode 11’s poignant ending or episode 12’s adorable dating hijinks. Probably 11’s ending. Woong laid out his heart in just a few lines, and all Yeon-su had to do was nod. PERFECT. And then that heartbreaking epilogue… AGH. PERFECT.

Just Between Lovers: So I wanted to give The Red Sleeve Cuff a go, but I was all sageuk-ed out after The King’s Affection. Then, I figured, I haven’t seen Junho in anything yet, and I’ve been meaning to watch him in Just Between Lovers — might as well watch it first! I’m five episodes in and already feeling all the warm fuzzies.

 

missvictrix

Currently weecapping: Our Beloved Summer, Bulgasal: Immortal Souls

The One and Only: I was feeling bad for this drama’s low ratings and actually liked the sound of the premise, so I gave it a whirl. Man, it’s bleak. And dark. And kinda alllll over the place. And this is just episode 1! And yet, there’s something there that made me end the episode with a half smile on my face. Must be the promise of the girls coming together at the hospice… oh and tofu-hearted killer Kim Kyung-nam.

 

DaebakGrits

Currently weecapping: Moonshine, Ghost Doctor

Our Beloved Summer: This drama makes me feel so many things. I was fully on Team Ji-woong, but Woong weaseled his way into my heart with his backstory. That being said, I feel very protective of him, and I’m a bit worried on his behalf now that he’s dating Yeon-su again. She has a history of breaking up and getting back together with him, and if she runs away again after knowing his history, I’m going to really, really hate her character and start rooting for NJ. Honestly, I’ve already been rooting for NJ. I like her, and I hope we continue to see a lot more of her even though she’s no longer a love rival for Yeon-su.

The One and Only: I’m not usually a fan of romances where the couple seemingly falls in love in the span of 24-hours, but I’m willing to ignore my usual bias since our female lead has a pending expiration date. YOLO, amirite? So that said, I found the way they are growing fond of each other endearing…even if he is a contract killer. Wow. That just feels so weird to write. Gotta love a drama that makes you sympathize and want to hug a hired killer.

Let Me Be Your Knight: I think I’m sticking with this one out of sheer stubbornness and for the OST at this point. Not a whole lot is going on, and it feels like a webdrama that was stretched too thin.

What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim: So much fluffy cuteness in episodes 13 and 14! Our favorite couple finally did the chitty-chitty-bang-bang, and my friend and I got a good laugh out of Young-joon’s eagerness. We had another giggle during the morning-after scene, when we realized that, while he was dressed in a fancy pajama set, he gave Mi-so one of his dress shirts to wear to bed. The man definitely knew what he was doing.

The King: Eternal Monarch: I’ve converted someone else to the dramaland dark side! Mwahahaha. This person is a fan of isekai anime, so The King seemed like a good gateway drama. And he likes it! …For the most part. We both fully acknowledge there’s a lot of cheese in this particular drama and have fun commenting back and forth about the parts that make us laugh (Yeong and Ok-nam’s facial expressions) and roll our eyes (pretty much every line that comes out of Gon’s mouth). It’s an imperfect but entertaining drama with an amazing OST, so this will be an enjoyable rewatch.

 
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I was planning to finish Rainless Love ...but I had a mood swing and needed something fluffier.... and checked Boys Over Flowers, Thai version instead 😁 I expected to drop it fairly soon... but to my surprise I went through 3 episodes faster than you would say 3 times Thyme 😁 ...and only then I realised my fatal mistake: this show is ongoing! With only ONE episode per week! Whyyy??? 😭
So far I like the modern tweaks they did to the classical Hana Yori Dango story... and the commentary they give. The cyber-bullying was according me well done - not so much in what was physically shown, but in the POTENTIAL it showed... the difficulties to stand against... the fears... the silent bystanders... the peer pressure and group behaviour... that for some it is just fun... and then the scary *We don't do the bullying, we are just giving OTHERS the opportunity to release their stress*. That kick by Gorya was then sooooo satisfying!!! (I love Gorya ❤ and the actress is gooood!)

As for the rest, I'm still enjoying Ghost Doctor and still reluctant to drop Bad and Crazy (Wi Hajoon's Cheshire Cat grin may be one of the reasons 😁 ). And my favourite show of the week still is Our Beloved Summer (the more I see from NJ, the more I like her).

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do as I do, watch F4 on youtube where they devide the ep into 5 parts. then watch 1 part a day. frees time for actual life.

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Nope. That doesn't work. At all. I have just finished E4 and if you think I could pause it and wait till next day then you are mistaken. 😁 Very much. 😁 I completely fell for this version and am currently a lost case... 🙃

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Check out the forum for the show on mydramalist! The discussions there are fantastic imo and have been helping me through the weekly wait-game.

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Oh great, now I have even less time for watching other dramas 😆 (really good discussion there)

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although, yeah, it is a pretty good version and characters have actual layers, plus such a youthful honest chemistry

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Hello, it’s been a while since I’ve been here, so I will resume where I left it back in December, because 2022 has brought me a drama slump. I’ve been coursed by LT and Sicarius who keep saying I will become them after my messy 2021 in drama watching. The curse has come true.

So here I go.

Secret Royal Inspector and Joy. I really watched this drama only with one eye, but I can only recommend it If you want a funny and light drama and laugh hard at all its silliness. Drama always took itself for what it was and I can never be thankful enough. I loved Bead Boy and of course the cutest Dumbo Ears in whole Joseon. I never was into FL or the love story, but I enjoyed it a lot. After all, I love Taec!

Red Sleeve. The drama writing disappointed me from episode 11 on, until we reached episode 16. The last two episodes made me reconcile with the drama, I only wish we didn’t have to suffer the secret society and secret letter subplot that added nothing to the story, and we had listened more to Deok Im’s inner voice. After all the drama should have been about her as well, but it only turned out to be about San: we were shown again again how he felt, how he loved DI, how he suffered, how he struggled, but we knew very little on Deok Im’s feelings and thoughts. Overall I liked it because the acting and directing was amazing (I can’t say the say about the lazy writing), and both the cinematography and the BGM was just top notch. I’m just sad that with other writing ir could have been much better.

The Silent Sea. As a sci-fi lover I was intrigued on how it would be and I wasn’t disappointed. I loved the production, and the acting. Yes there were plot holes, and I always have troubles with artificial gravity (I know, I’m weird) but I it at all. I had been missing Gong Yoo and Bae Doona on my screen. I know many people were confused by the ending, but I just loved it. Not everything needs to be explained.

Dr. Brain was officially my last 2021 mess. The best thing I can say is that I was just 6 episodes. But if you want my opinion, don’t watch. Production is really amazing but it’s just a hollow drama.

Our beloved summer is the only airing drama I am watching. I just love it so much. Such a cute couple!! I had been saying since I started watching that as much as I love this couple Ung and YeonSu shouldn’t end up together, at least right now. Yes, they love each other, yes they have this attraction, but they have issues they have never talked about, and they are still not talking abut them. I know this is a drama, but in real life these kind of relationships don’t lead to happiness: breaking up, making up, breaking up, making up… not the rollercoaster you want to live in. Not me at least.

I gave it a try to Ghost Doctor and even watched episode one because I love Kim Bum, but you-know-who is a main lead. I had totally forgotten that she was in. Please tell me if she gets bearable during the...

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… drama, because I really want to enjoy Kim Bum’s cuteness. Yes, the trauma is real.

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I think she's doing a decent job, but if you didn't find her bearable in Episode 1, you probably won't. The drama's focusing on Rain and Kim Bum though so you could easily fast-forward her parts.

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You are giving me some hope. It's not that I dind't like her in first episode... it's that Dinner Mate still persists in my memory (and she was not specially good on episode 1, on the other hand).

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Yeah, I can’t stand her either and it’s keeping me from watching the show.

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Oh even u didn't liked her? Same same same, can't resist the urge to skip her scenes, she's not at all bearable!

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😭😭😭😭😭
I really wanted to watch, but I can't if she's a major character.
I barely coped with her in Lost because her part was so small and I loved the rest of the drama, but I'm not putting myself through it if she's a main character 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭

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Tell u what, till now (4eps) she just comes in for like 2 minutes in an hour, that too isn't for anything imp. maybe you'll see her randomly rolling eyes in between but her character is providing nothing significant for the plot till now! I doubt if she's Main lead.

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Rolling eyes, her strength.

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Agree with you The Silent Sea! I’m nit a sci-fi person and the only reason I checked this one out was because of the lead actors. I can’t say I’m disappointed. I love love love the title intro: I think it is an extremely well-done and classy intro. Loved all those water splashed/splashing/dropping sequences. There are a lot of plot holes in the story, and the production is not on par with the Hollywood ones but I think it’s a huge step for the Kentertainment industry to be doing this type of show.

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I want the water segments for a screensaver!! So beautiful! I thought the series was pretty good - definitely new for kdramas - I really thought there was going to be a season 2; so much still going on actually.

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Ooh, how did the show TRS decrease in your view from Ep 11?

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The whole secret society was not enough to waste so many episodes, and also the stupid story about the secret letter: it was never in history and it was suddenly introduced including the “hints” out of the blue and it added nothing to the story. From episode 12 Deok Im was not important, it was all about San: how he felt, what he did, how he was suffering, why DI wasn’t saying yes. Don’t get me wrong, I can totally understand DI refusing San and also I can understand San behaving the way he did, but I hated how the drama turned his violence (he menaced to rape her twice) into something romantic. The drama was not a sageuk but a modern drama in hanbok. History is interesting enough to be told, tbh.

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I know exactly what you are saying re: Red Sleeve. I had the same issue and also see this in other dramas. I love Her Private Life but toward the end of the drama, it all became about his private life and the whole thing about her being an idol fan - who just happens to be his half brother - is totally kicked to the curb. And the thing is this is one of the few dramas you actually see a couple get to know each other, fall in love, learn to trust etc. That part is so well done. I'll stop here but sometimes I still feel the need to rant.

Oh, and I assume that the focus changes when the ratings show that the audience starts being interested more with the guy. Junho just got a huge kick start on his acting career.

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I do think TRS staff didn't expect this much fervor for this show. Hmm, but then again, the writer said she wrote this a few yrs ago. I guess they added a bit more to Yi San, Junho said compared to the novel. Here he's depicted more and given more backstory.

Did you see the article where this show rose him to the A List/100K per episode? Damn! Imagine if Kim Kyung Nam acted as he was first announced. Whoa! Interestingly on the Data Weekly Drama Charts, Lee Se Young was #1 consecutively. Perhaps b/c Junho was super hot in 2021 that some of that fever fell in this show? I hope he chooses a good followup, b/c my god the pressure is ON!

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@soulsearch12 I saw that article. I'm happy for Junho, and he deserves it, but all I could think was what about Lee Se Young? She was just as pivotal to the drama's success, but when it comes to her? Crickets.

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@missh I am also sad Seyoung was so underused, so I was really glad to see her shine on episodes 16 and 17. The best scene of the drama for me (along withe the one were SAn and Yeongjo are inside the dragon folding screen) is Deok Im saying goodbye to her old self on that bridge, it was beautifully filmed and acted.
This is one of the reasons I am a bit and also annoyed with the drama, because I was expecting much more from Deok Im and I was robbed that from the awful way she was written, specially during the second half. We should have had Deok Im's inner voice much more, because she, as a Court Lady couldn't express in words and with gestures how she felt as she was just a mere servant (privileged as she was in Palace, but servant after all).
Seyoung is an amazing actress that was reduced to a pot plant to make Junho shine. And as much as I love Junho (you can't easily find anyone on DB that loves him as much) I was disappointed with the drama in this aspect.
Lee Seyoung would have made the drama even better.

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@missh I also wanted to say LSY should also get the big boost. But I didn't want to get trampled on, jk but no seriously though. But to be honest, the ML typically gets the most love. In this case, Junho had a solid 2021, and it manifested onto him as he's more in the press than her. But I did notice these two leads aren't actors that the industry pushed to be these big stars (Hallyu), but the surprise hit of TRS has def. surprised insiders.

The industry also tends to push more male actors to be A listers than females. As K-dramas has a sizable female audience, the ML's tend to rise faster than the FL's. I did read online that Lee Se Young tends to be more private, and she's not the person that wants to be a big star. There are K-actresses who are low key like her that still work in good projects, I see that for her. I'll say she better get a pay upgrade!! TRS heavily relied on their chemistry/story, and her part equally played a big role in that.

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@eazal: You said it sister. I agree with every point you made. The way Deokim’s story was marginalised in favour of nonsensical sub-plots and magnifying San’s entitled role was such a let down. Junho is exceptional but Lee (I) Seyoung was robbed. Pure and simple.

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Thanks for answering! I know the secret society thing was real, but it might have felt a bit out of place since this show was more grounded. The original novel had shown Yi San as more ruthless, and cunning. I think b/c you've Junho play him, the character is given more love. The Red Sleeve Cuff is about the women, and I think they did give good context to Deok Im's ache for herself than being tied down to Yi San. Did you think it stuck the landin?

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To me, at the end, the drama was never about court ladies. Never. And female characters were poorly written: they were just plot devices to show how make characters change. The fact that you have female characters doesn’t make the drama a female centered if you just don’t give them the center, and the center was given to San. And even more, to Junho. I can’t complain because I am a 2PM fan and I am proud of all the love Junho is getting as he has always worked this hard and he was brilliant in his acting (although as I said before I found his acting more irregular in the second part). I was disappointed by the drama who chose self promotion over the real history.
Junho is now the hot topic (he even got number 1 in boyband reputation rank after BTS Jimin was there for 35 months), but even so, it only means they changed it all for Junho, and it makes me sad.
Regarding the secret society and as far as I know, it never existed and it’s not in the novel.
In case you haven’t watched, I leave here this video:
https://youtu.be/tc8y8-quJ58

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*landing

Interesting. The novel I hear was focused more on Deok Im's journey. That's a good point you bring up on females being plot devices. Lest we forget, just having X something doesn't mean much if they don't have identities outside the plot. I think for me, it was more of the scene where she departs from her life, and she cries at the life she has to give up. Ironically, Junho even said that he felt he was the villain for Ep 15-17 lol and the cause of her death. Junho's acting is a "10 out of 10"!! Mind expanding on his acting being more irregular? I do know he put in a lot of work with TRS, as it was his comeback. I think the added pressures from rising ratings/awards buzz gave him pressure. He said while filming as ratings were going up, that the staff/crew all wanted him to get the Grand Prize.

Oh no :( Hmm, I think having someone like Junho play the ML was going to elicit some of the viewers to sympathize with him b/c he said some swoony lines. Thanks for the video! That is odd ngl, I guess they wanted to add some action to spice things up. It was really their 'love' story, but I guess Yi San might have taken over in the end? And maybe if they stuck with the original novel, me thinks this show would've not been as swooned by.

The irony being that this is the show that made Junho's acting career go up higher. Sometimes the shows that should've been the breakout hit for their stars, don't occur and its typically the dramas that fans are kinda neutral on that hit it big for them. All this talk just makes me really curious to see what he chooses next! Also Lee Se Young should also get her due!

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@eazal Oops. Forgot to @ you. My comment is down below! Thanks!

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As I said before,I liked episodes 16 and 17 because they were more DI centered, and we could hear her voice (having said this most of the scenes from the last episodes with DI were filmed in the summer before the rest of the drama, and that would explain why she was more important and we listened to her inner voice).
As regarding Junho's acting it is just this feeling, but mainly it was related to, imo, bad writing and what he did with that. Yi San/Jeongjo was portrayed as cruel and violent and that was never the how one of the most beloved kings in Joseon is remembered. He was strict, but never violent. And the worst thing was that it was shown as romantic. Junho fans talked about the character as it was Junho and not San, and it was all about him. If you were a 2PM stan as I am you would understand how wild the TL on twitter was and how people confused everything and found violent things romantic because "poor San is confused and he deserves that DI gives him an answer". Totally nuts.
The acting was irregular, not as consistent as in the first part because, agin imo, the writing was weak and so was the character. In fact there is very little development in San's character. He just keeps saying: why don't you love me, love me, give me an answer, stay by my side. Just my impression. Also I think his acting is top notch, but I have always thought so, ever since I first watched him in JBL.
I am a 2PM because of him. I'm a hard Junhoe.

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@eazal, you are a gem for posting the link to the interview. Thank you. I wish there was a feminist historian’s analysis of this era. What this historian said regarding the paucity of info about Deokim makes the plotting missteps all the more glaring. San’s upbringing which was abusive and traumatic was complemented in the show with his entitlement to rule and dominate leading to jarring moments of absolute brutality like the murder of his own brother offscreen and Deokim’s friend. These were so dissonant because San was romanticised in the story and yet instead of a multidimensional character, there were these horrifying and one note attempts to present him as a political survivor and unbending monarch. The effect was to impoverish the character in my view instead of enhancing it. And, I have vented before about the ‘I can rape you anytime I want” ugliness.

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@eazal Ep 16/17 really showed Deok Im's struggle/inner thoughts. I do think there was a bit more emphasis on the King getting his new heir, and how he struggled with that decision. Its written as a love story, but ngl there were times when I wondered is this swoon worthy b/c its him thats saying it? I liked the push/pull, but I'm one of those people were it took a few episodes for me to be engrossed.

Ooh, TRS team filmed before Junho came on due to 2pm comeback. I think they didn't expect the attention the ML would get, and perhaps the writer took full advantage of that. I read that the director was the one who added DI saying goodbye to her past self, and the writer didn't add that. Like I think the writer must had a bias...

For me, Junho's acting really stood out to me at the End of Ep 5, End of Ep 12 (the one where he says to his grandfather he's not Sado), the scene where he confronts his right hand man. His diction is precise, and he has good control on his mannerisms. I find it a bit odd that they added some violence to his behavior. Like the choking scene...

I know what you mean, some of his fans were going a bit overboard with it. I mean, the bath tub scene yeah I get it. But I think again, if a diff. actor w/o that interest, I don't know if it would've perceived in that light. Like if they casted Lee Soo Jin (OG Yi San actor) lol.

One quibble, I cringe when some go a bit overboard w/ him and Lee Se Young. The Yoona debacle was so silly lol. Its just actors who played their part!

There was a good Twitter thread that said Yi San in TRS wasn't the right love interest for Deok Im. He kept saying, "She's mine," he did love her but he was also possessive. Of course this is Joseon period where women's roles were confided. Still, I think the production value was there. I think I need a bit of time to process my feelings on this as a whole. Its like w/ Goblin, looking back the main pair's relationship starts off on an imbalanced note and its depicted as an epic romance.

Junhoe, lol!! I really want to see him do something contemporary next. I'm going to get lambasted on here, but get this man his version of Athena Goddess of War!!

I do wonder if he and Lee Se Young re-united for a rom-com, would you be here for the pairing instead?

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Eazal! Been keeping an eye on the Beanie-wall for your feedback about RSC because I was sure you'd have some thoughtful comments about this one. And also because you got me, and probably several other Beanies, into Junho. Take responsibility, Eazalshi! 😋
And you hit right on the main problem with this drama: it was never supposed to be only about Yi San, it was never supposed to be a swoony love story. Because, let's be honest, the setup of a Court where all the present women "belong" to the King and are groomed from a young age is just yucky - I'm all for not judging the past by present standards, but there's no need to romanticise in the present past things that we see as wrong. That's why I liked episodes 16 and 17 a lot better than previous ones. At least we got to see Deokim's thoughts more clearly, her conflicted feelings, the power imbalance between her and Yi San/ Jeongjo. And it was more nuanced, we can see that they truly like each other, but the problems are there. Like, he orders the execution of her best friend. Talk about conflicted feelings about your partner, yikes!

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@soulsearch12, @eazal, had no idea! But then, I never paid much attention to popularity rankings (like, Kang Daniel was 1 for a year, wow, no idea), I just read the sompi articles casually and figured it was a strategy more made up by companies to promote idols. But if there's a fandom able to game whatever algorithm, that's Army. I started following some bts fan accounts on Tumblr, and for a while that was the ONLY content that showed up in my dash... Not complaining because I asked for it, but it was still a bit overwhelming 😂

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About Junho: I'm really happy that he's getting recognition for this. He deserves it, even if the drama has issues. About Kim Kyung Nam, my opinion is that he's a good actor, but this drama wouldn't have reached the same heights with him as a ML. Part of the drama's success was Junho's star appeal and the drama itself feeding each other.
But now... did Junho beat Jimin on the popularity ranking? That can't be. Jimin is an angel, an ANGEL!
Disclaimer: just kidding, he! I'm a massive BTS fan, but the idol system must be so oppressive for these kids, always having to keep up a spotless public persona... sigh

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There's a pretty ridiculous fan war about this. Army saying "who is this guy" or "Jimin is richer than Junho" and Hottest laughing out loud, like reputation brand is just something artificial and that I don't care about.
Also, Army mad because Soompy called Junho highness and never referred to Jimin as that.
I just eat popcorn while I travel the TL on my twitter.
https://www.soompi.com/article/1508454wpp/january-boy-group-member-brand-reputation-rankings-announced-2

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Yes, it looks like the bigger the fandom, the crazier it gets. And taking into account what I see at work, BTS attracts some really young fans, so there's that too. No point in arguing with a 13 year old who's sitting across the globe. We've all been there, but didn't have the technology to embarrass ourselves so publicly 😂
Anyway, good for Junho. And for Kang Daniel! Noticed him ranking 3rd, before all the other BTS members. Solely on his Wanna One's performance on Mnet Asian Awards it is a feat (btw, I watched it, and they were awesome)!

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@flyingcolours Seems like TRS has mixed response here? If there was a weekly thread, it would certainly been something.

Even w/o the star factor, I think the drama would've succeeded but I def. don't think it would get this much fervor. I think Junho had a great 2021, his fancam blew up, his 2pm comeback, and then boom this. If Kim Kyung Nam was in it, I think it would've gotten double digits like 10% but 17% prob. not. Plus, the social media craze/shipping stuff as well. Altho it seems judging by the response general (insiders in the industry), this show showcased a new actor for the A List. Its really one of those cases where right timing/opportunity came, had it stuck with the Summer 2020 shooting date and came out in Fall 2020 where KKN was free, and Junho wasn't in the military. We would be looking at a very diff. scenario.

IA. The idol system seems so oppressive. I do hope b/c he's from 2nd gen where idols were a bit more freer, that he's not as confided. I mean, god forbid he settles down, I fear for him :3. But yes his ranking is quite impressive and well earned imo.

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@eazal The guy who made the Idol ranking list is suspect, like he's allegedly anti feminist/alt-right. People with controversies also rank on the list, so the way they choose/rank is odd. I wouldn't take it too seriously, I think its more about stan wars. As you said, the ridiculous stans are making this out to be a bigger deal than it is. Like this guy is in his 30s/part of 2nd generation, I mean he & his fanbase don't got time for that bs lol!!

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@soulsearch12 I never care about rankings but if you want to know how this nonsense works take a look to this old article: https://www.allkpop.com/article/2020/06/how-accurate-idol-group-and-individual-brand-reputation-rankings-are
Basically brand reputation is an invented thing about that only certain fans care about. Not me.

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@eazal I found something really sweet! Back in 2018, Junho briefly mentioned BTS and said they were kind people b/c he would see how they would greet people. And that he always cheered for them, hoping they would become big, and how happy he was for their success.

P.S: Thanks for the link! I wonder if that also applies to actor/drama rankings too. I also read that agencies who put out a lot of press/articles for their talents also help contribute to their actor's ranking. But is it really a big measure of success, hmm possibly not?!

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I agree with the secret society subplot being a huge waste of time. I see the drama differently though and really enjoyed it once I quit viewing it as a romance.

If you take away the romance, the drama illuminates the lives of many women of the court with a focus on DI's. We get to see her life and relationships as well as the way she's a devoted subject. I appreciated the friends and superiors who had her back.

Spoilers ahead -

I thought the 16th episode was especially well done. It's one thing to hear DI explain why she continues to reject him, but it's another to watch the change in her world after she accepts him.

The "romance" could've been handled much better (no threats, no sexual assaults...) and yet some of it might be to illustrate that she really was a possession.

The most glaring oversight for me was the omission of his queen. The queen becomes incredibly important in episode 16, and yet I wouldn't have known she existed if I hadn't read up on the history.

Part of the reason I wasn't always sure how DI felt is that the acting is a little lacking (yes, I know I'm probably in the minority here). LSY's acting improved along the way, but Juhno is much better at expressing each emotion with his face and posture. That might be another reason that his role seems to eclipse hers.

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Great comment btw! I think I had to stop myself a few times, b/c what he was saying was swoon worthy. I also had to be reminded that Deok Im was at times distant, we weren't as let in her inner feelings. I think that could be another reason why the ML got more attention/notice.

I think the show could've been longer like 20 episodes like traditional saeguks have been. Didn't see Six Flying Dragons, but I feel like if it was given that episode count, would we have benefitted or not? Seems like the cult lady gang is everyone's least fav subplot. The drama did embellish some qualities for drama's sake.

Yi San loved Deok Im, but not as much as she loved herself. When she met her fate, I felt so gutted for her. She really finessed her skill as the show progressed. I do believe had a lesser actress took the FL, it would've faltered imo. He has good control over his body/facial mannerisms. There were times when he could've over acted, but when he let it out (anger/crying), I thought it felt natural/raw. Who would've thought he's an idol with his acting talent? I also think Junho has the IT factor, as in charisma in spades. But its also partially due to the role that was written too.

LSY is also charming as well, but she tends to be a good partner to her acting counterparts. However, she doesn't necessarily steal the spotlight. She's a bit more low key, and disappears into her roles so its hard to pinpoint the real LSY in it? MBC is clearly happy b/c they're kinda milking it lol, like what's this spinoff variety show there doing? That's not going to help shippers calm down :D.

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@ndlessjoie: You make a very good point that given the dearth of historical detail about the RL Uibin Seong, this makes an arguably better political show rather than a shoehorned romance which relied on romanticising a ruthless but fairer monarch than his abusive and unstable grandfather. Juhno is exceptionally chatismatic and has become a strong actor. As @soulsearch12 correctly said imo, LSY is much more low key as an actor. As of yet, I am not familiar enough with her work to conclude whether it is
her style or lack of technical skills and instinctive reactions. As a result of this dynamic, she was overshadowed where the story should have been about her in much more depth: Her limited choices or lack thereof, her sense of kinship with her friends; her love for her brother (as opposed to treating him as a deus ex machina) and her anger and sorrow for being treated like shit by the person who she was attracted to and perhaps even loved.
Eazal posted this link to an interview with a Korean historian of the period. Well worth watching for anyone who is interested. I would also love to read. Korean feminist historian’s analysis. Hopefully, one day.

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Sorry for the link not appearing in my first comment. Here it is: https://youtu.be/tc8y8-quJ58

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@dncingemma I'm loving TRS discussion going on rn!

LSY is someone who compliments her actors well. She's not someone who steals the spotlight from what I can tell. She doesn't play flashy roles. She's very much an actor, and not a star. That's fine, much I do hope she can also venture into other projects that give her that full recognition as a solo FL. Something like I Can Hear Your Voice did for Lee Bo Young. She's a good actress, but she tends to take on characters that are more human, thus she doesn't get the credit she deserves sometimes.I thought she was solid in TRS, in a role that was sometimes hard to grasp in the beginning.

Ironically, TRS is based on The Red Sleeve Cuff which is Deok Im/Court Maid's uniform. So in a way the story is mostly on her, but b/c this was adapted into a drama, they changed some parts by expanding more on Yi San.

https://twitter.com/shakethatshack/status/1477381247743971328 I think there are a lot of discussions out there about TRS on youtube. A Korean historian said that in rl, Deok Im/San's relationship was built on brawn b/c both were smarties, and their intellect was well matched.

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@soulsearch12: I love your comments. Thanks for making me think and learn new things. I am deliberately not on Twitter so I miss a lot of things. If you cone across any really worthwhile threads, and have the time to post them in a comment, I would be grateful. I engaged both emotionally and intellectually with TRS and felt pretty bruised at the end despite my love for the many wonderful actors including LSY and (our) Junho!😂😉

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@soulsearch12: It would be hard not to laugh so why oh why they went ahead with it? Grrrrr.
Btw, do you read and understand Korean? Just wondering!

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@dncingemma That is so kind of you to say! Thank you, and likewise!

Twitter is annoying sometimes, but sometimes there are some good threads/tidbits. I'll share them that I think are cute: https://twitter.com/maysdramas/status/1477326249370714118
https://twitter.com/blvnmyhertz/status/1481267010734796802
https://twitter.com/aesoonaesoo/status/1477972539947188230
https://twitter.com/maysdramas/status/1477424952890388480

Np! If I do, I'll def. @ you.he end despite my love for the many wonderful actors including LSY and (our) Junho!😂😉

Bruised b/c of the sad ending? The feels were quite strong. My heart ached for Deok Im's demise. Yes, if anything LSY+LJH were fabulous and it made me more excited to see what they choose next. They talked about re-uniting for a romance, so hope we can expect that in the near future. And the pay rate can be managed as well.

I'll say Yi San in history vs drama with the mustache looked the same, so that worked. But it did make me chuckle a bit aha. It was new seeing him with that look, so I was taken a back. I can understand it, reading is a diff story lol. I do notice that on Youtube if you put the Korean word for their title, you'll find a slew of videos (this is for any drama/film). Some of them even have English subtitles!

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@soulsearch12 - You are a gem. Thank you so much,
Bruised because of the sad ending that I knew was coming but also the ugliness of the threats of sexual violence. Women continue to live with these kinds of threats levelled at them by the men in their lives who have been the beneficiaries of love, sex, support, tenderness and forgiveness. It was just corrosively sad in that context. I am an emotional person who feels things deeply and cries a lot when watching these shows but like many of us, I don’t disengage my brain and just swoon because just not possible to ignore this aspect of many women’s lives past and present.
I am really grateful that we can discuss these issues here among ourselves in an intelligent and interesting way.

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@dncingemma Well said! Gah, if only TRS had a weekly post! The discussions would've been epic.

Well said! I felt emotions throughout towards the 2nd half of the show where things got more dramatic. I was sad for the women who were oppressed, and the amount of pain that those two harbored during an era where choices weren't given. One thing, my heart ached for Deok Im when her calves got whipped, and she had to do laundry in the cold. When he told the Princess off, I was like "Yes, you tell her!" The last memory he has before he died was of her, and the way he wished things went then. I do find it interesting that Deok Im never said "I Love You"but the letters she kept along with her red sleeve cuff signified to me that while she kept a piece of her heart to Yi San, her journey w/ her friends/mentors made her who she was. And for her to leave that was a tough decision. It's sad that despite her intelligence, that female roles back then were scarce.

Likewise! Really enjoying the discussion up here, didn't expect to see such great discussions stem from it! Its fun every now and then to enjoy the silliness, but its great to have meaningful and polite discussions too! P.S: On a fun note, I would like to see LSY+LJH re-unite someday. She brings out more of his fun side, and his calmness balances her out. There doing some variety show (dunno how long?), I'm going to either cringe at the response or just have fun w/ it.

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@soulsearch12: Completely agree. I wish we had had weekly discussions too for TRS. That was a missed opportunity.
And, I second your wish. It would be so lovely to see them be co-actors (as opposed to costars!) again soon. This time, LSY to be as feisty as possible in a coherent and empowering storyline and to have agency to spare! And, for her to be remunerated equally and fairly.

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@dncingemma Have you seen the Love and Leashes trailer? Umm, imagine that for our pair haha :D

It was a missed opportunity! I bet Ep 6 would've been so fun to talk about for ahem reasons. I hope he can eat properly now!!

LSY said she wants to do a sismance with IU!! And she wants to do action, as she's practicing boxing/doing sports. She's cool! I want to see some fun/sexy banter/romance!! Something like Hyena with the fun banter/sexual tension aha. I also liked Her Private Life/Oh My Venus for fun/mature rom-coms.

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For anyone interested in LSY:

https://zapzee.net/2022/01/12/lee-se-young-says-she-couldnt-stop-crying-while-reading-the-script-for-the-red-sleeve/

"Q1. You’ve been dubbed “the queen of period drama” following the success of ‘The Crowned Clown’ and ‘The Red Sleeve.’
I didn’t expect The Red Sleeve to achieve such a mark (the rating of 17.4 percent) on its final episode, and I am very flattered by my new nickname. I’ll do my best to live up to it if I ever get the chance to work on more historical dramas in the future."

"Q2. How did you feel when you first read the script?
I loved how it approached the relationship between the king and the court lady from a different angle. The king loved her, but whether she loved him back was open to speculation. Unlike the other characters I’ve played before, I tried to portray Deok Im as an insignificant, trivial woman with no power. I also tried to show that she has a lot of limitations and that there isn’t much she can do, although there are times when Deok Im shines on her own. I wanted her to be that way so that the viewers could pay more attention to the other characters. As to the original work and the script, I instantly fell in love with them when I first read them."

"Q3. Did you know that Deok Im was going to die in the end?
The production told me that the script would have a similar ending to the original book. I kind of saw it coming when I first saw the posters. It said, “The moment soon became eternal.” I couldn’t stop crying while reading the script."

"Q4. How did Junho feel about his bath scene?
Junho went through a lot while preparing for that scene. I felt bad and grateful for him at the same time because I knew that he was on a strict diet for that particular scene. I just tried not to stare at him and thought to myself, “Wow, it must be so hard for him.”

"Q5. You made your debut back in 1997 and now you’re a veteran actor with 25 years of experience. With what mindset do you approach acting?
I could see myself still acting fifty years from now. I’m thrilled right now and sometimes I get very excited, but I try not to get too excited. People around me tell me to enjoy the moment, but I think the road ahead is long and rocky. Like Deok Im wishes her life to be, I want to have a steady and consistent career, and within the range, I wish to be a unique actor.
Q6. I’m sure there are many types of roles you would see yourself playing in the future."

I want to have a variety of experiences. I know I will have fewer regrets in the future if I experience things more now. I’m doing my best to survive in the industry as long as possible."

She sounds like a thoughtful actress, and very much committed to her work/career. She doesn't want to be a star, but she wants to keep growing and not get stuck in a rut. Very much looking forward to see her lead a drama as a kick ass heroine. She's doing boxing rn, so I hope she can surprise us like Han So Hee/My Name.

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I disagree with TRS not being a real sageuk. TKA is a costume modern drama, not this. I think this is one of the very few realistic historical series. They actually managed to portray a believable 18th century romance between a court maid & a King of Confucian Korea. I love my Sukjong + Dong Yi, but that type of relationship could never be accurate to the time period. On the other hand, what we saw from San + Deok Im is probably the closest thing to reality. This drama is one of the 0,01% times when toxicity and possessiveness are tolerable (and I once again want to say that the show never romanticized it & it's not the team's fault if watchers did it). l also like the female characters. There were definitely parts of the drama I wish were differently written (and things I wish were added, particularly Queen Hyoui), but not the females. I really think that in the end, none of them were cartoonish (maybe Hwabin, but I don't care about her). Young-hee, Bok-yeon, Kyung-hee, Wol-hye, Court Lady Seo, Queen Jeongsun (thank you drama gods for giving me a neutral, if not good, QJ for once), Lady Hyegyeong, HCL Jo and even Princess Hwawan. All of them felt human. I don't remember where I read it, but someone said that in the end, TRS was an ode to choice. And I think that's how we should look at it. It was about the choices of men and women, of Queens and maids. The whole plot was based on the good and bad choices of San, Deok Im, Yeongjo, Lady Jo, the other royals, the ministers, the court ladies and even the dead Prince Sado. It wasn't perfect, but I don't think there's a perfect drama anyways.

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I also thought that this show was about choices, either lack of choice, or born into it. For Deok Im, she had lack of choice and the only way for a woman to go up was through being a court maid. Whereas for Yi San, he was born into this position whether he wanted it or not. I think what they could've done a bit better w/ giving Deok Im more moments of her inner thoughts instead of the last 2 episodes. However, I think Junho's star power overshadowed LSY at times either writer bias/what not. I've to give this show some more thoughts, and see if I still feel the same about it in the future.

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I agree on this, I feel like this drama really portrayed the power dynamics between he two, and between all characters.

There is an abyss of power between the king and other subjects we could even see that in the difference between the CP and his grandfather (the acting of LDH as King was magistral, it really was the highlight of the show for me).

I personally never found their relationship romantic after the CP reveal, it was cute sometimes, poignant and scary at times. The threats of Lee San on Deok-Im were not romanticized to me but shown as a love of a man who had everything, and who had every right on her. Not to say that is ok, but I just felt it was more real than to expect him to be perfect on this regard. He has a big power over her and because he has power over everyone, he doesn't even realized the extend of it.

I think the drama in these moments has shown how Lee San, as much as he thought he would be different from his grandfather, was very much like him.

The end was quite tragic, we could see that Deokim was not happy and her plea in death was like a punch to the gut, I was not expecting the drama to go this far and I loved it for that.

I agree that DeokIm inner thoughts are missing around the end. Maybe they wanted to keep the mystery to deliver this "punch" in the end.

I feel like Deok-Im and all the other women, were really a result of their status. Like the Queen said, all prisoners in the palace. They showed how, for women and men sometimes, straying out of the path meant death. Deok-Im friend is very much an example of that : how they silently long for freedom but can never have it.

ALso LSY was really really really great as DeokIm

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Also is it just me, or did anyone chuckle & laugh a bit when we saw Yi San with a mustache and beard. I was like "Who is this?" haha. It was like "Woah!" since he was beardless for 16 episodes lol.

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@soulsearch12 - I chuckled along with you. I appreciate how hard it is to age young actors but that was just lazy and ineffective. I much rather have them add lots of grey hair and use some clever make up tricks to show wrinkles, etc rather than the sudden moustache/beard appearing quite incongruously.

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The director of the show said she laughed so hard when she was first saw him with the mustache. LOL. Yi San by the end was in his 40s I believe. It was a bit jarring b/c the transformation only occurred in Ep 17. I think Goblin w/ the Red Suit lady did a good job w/ the aging look giving her wrinkles/moles/posture.

The worst aging look was Seo Ji Hye in Black Knight. Her hair was grey, but she had no wrinkles nor changes in her face it looked so funny.

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But he looks ridiculously similar to one of Jeongjo's portraits.

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I have the same feeling as you on Silent Sea. Plot holes galore and character development was minimal, but still an enjoyable watch experience.

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I get blamed for so many things...
It was a gentle warning, dear Eazal. Merely a gentle warning.

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But I travel I in time and space with you in a Tardis. It’s just fine 😘

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Royal secret inspector and ghost doctor are the first series on my list. I have seen that doctor brain drama but I never really felt the need to watch it.

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Our Beloved Summer: I had guessed that Woong was adopted last week based on the nightmare and his mom’s dialogue. I liked how the reveal changed my perception of past events. It was nice seeing Woong and Yeun-soo happy. NJ continues to be cool.

Ghost Doctor: Ha! A few times I wondered if Seung-tak could see him, but he hid it very well. Let the bickering begin! This drama has turned out to be quite enjoyable. I like that it’s been fast-paced so far. But who took Cha Mandu?

Bulgasal: I would be up for an episode of Eul-tae and Do-yoon playing old games. Mostly, I just want some movement with the main storyline and the romantic undertones to go away.

Uncle: Good might triumph over evil but evil has nine lives. I hope poor Jin-hoo isn’t stuck living at his grandma’s for the remaining episodes. The family moments are the best parts. I get why Joon-hee broke up with Hot Dad, but both need to remember that No-eul was in the car. No way did he purposely turn the wheel.

Dr. Park’s Clinic: It’s a different role for Lee Seo-jin. The first two episodes weren’t that funny, but it was an easy watch. I’ll stick around.

The One and Only: Why did I have to get invested in Woo-cheon and In-sook?

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It’s funny how as soon as the parents said “we’re going to the country”, the experienced kdrama watcher thinks “oh, so there’s a dead son’s grave to be visited…” 🤔

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Finished School 2021

Currently Watching:

Ghost Doctor. I didn't know I will enjoy this drama. I was shocked when Kim Bum turned in the ER and spoke to Cha Young Min. I was like 😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳

Bad and Crazy. Domestic violence is not only about spouses. It can be from Father to son, among brothers etc.

The Gentleman and the Young Lady. Now that the secret concerning Dan Dan's mother is out, I am wondering how Dan Dan will react to the fact that Anna Kim is her mother and she abandoned her when she was small.

Noting but you. Chinese Drama. So funny. But it seems the male lead is obsessed about Lili. Let's see how it goes

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The DV to Anna Kim from her ex was not unexpected, but still hard to stomach. She is rather out to lunch...as if she could just fix everything with $$. She made her choice, and everyone else regrouped without her. No doubt she will expire before show ends.

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You are correct

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I too thought that the DV was unneeded- but some screaming at her was. Dan Dan's father has been through a lot- and unfortunately many K-drama writers seem to view violence as a dramatic device to underscore deep emotional feeling. Really, it is not, and I could have done without it. It indeed was not unexpected but only because it is such a standard device. It added nothing to this story.

It would not surprise me if she dies towards the end of the show- wit, of course, a suitable death bed re-conciliation with Dan Dan- but probably not her father. Of course, we could be wrong but we will see.

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I wasn't impressed with Dan Dan's father slapping her. It didn't tell well of who the writers portrayed him to be. The writers could have done better

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Ghost Doctor (Episode 3-4) - Mood: C
I’m impressed with the consistent pacing of the plot as well as continued development of fantasy elements (though I’ve reservations over the evil spirit arc that was teased this week): the chemistry between the male leads is very promising and I’m excited to see their partnership develop going forward. But the female leads are pretty redundant to the story: I feel like they don’t really serve much purpose besides being potential love interests and their scenes just don’t carry an oomph that you would expect for their billing. And do I care about a possible redemption arc for Dr Ahn? Nah not really.

The One and Only (Episode 7-8) - Mood: C-
Well, they certainly didn’t waste time letting us know Ji Pyo is the higher-up with gratuitous abs and classical music. To my disappointment, it does feel like he’s a walking chaebol villain cliche: I did harbour a bit of hope that maybe he’s the red herring that was acting shifty because of disapproving parents and whatnot? I mean, he was Mi Do’s acquaintance before In Sook ever met her and was more suspicious of Se Yeon’s husband who was maybe against the divorce as the proceedings could’ve exposed his wrongdoings? But the show did get Young Ji’s death right: if only that was the focus!

Bulgasal: Immortal Souls (Episode 7-8) - Mood: D+
It took us half the show to get around Sang Un’s amnesia but finally some info’s out in the open. I think it could become really interesting if both her and Eul Tae had a part to play in Hwal’s agony but cliche writing would dump it all on him.

Let Me Be Your Knight (Episode 9) - Mood: D
At the very least, Yoon Ju was able to confess the truth herself? But how did the paparazzi know where Tae In was?

Bad and Crazy (Episode 7-8) - Mood: D
Another week goes by with yet another antagonist being added into the plot and suddenly the mom has Alzheimer’s?

School 2021 (Episode 15-16) - Mood progression: D+ / C- / D+ / D+ / D+ / D+ / D / D-
Separation trope, deus ex machina for the last-minute conflict and rushed happy endings? Wow, that’s just insulting.

Moonshine (Episode 7-8) - Mood: D-
The editing of the story is so incoherent that the prohibition plot and love square feel like separate dramas. And I hope it wasn’t an actual tiger that saved young Nam Young because I can’t suspend my disbelief that far.

Our Beloved Summer (Episode 11-12) - Mood: D-
So the writer looked at Ji Ung’s parent trauma and really said that they needed to one-up it for Ung? I just can’t y’all. I guess we could be seeing another one next week if Yeon Su’s grandma dies when she’s on a date or something (sigh).

Now We Are Breaking Up (Episode 15-16) - Mood progression: D / D- / D- / D- / D / D- / D- / D-
Despite me knowing why I did that, I still wonder how there were moments where I didn’t give this show a D-.

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Re. Let Me Be Your Knight
But did she confess the whole truth? ;) I'd love it if she did confess everything herself, but since that was the cliffhanger she will probably be interrupted next episode.

The nosy reporter was at the agency handing out coffee and overheard Tae In asking about Yoon Ju's contract. She's been suspicious ever since she found the scrunchie in the boys' dorm (which she entered without permission btw)

Moonshine
Honestly, the tiger was my favorite thing.

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I thought I was the only one who wouldn't've mind if Sang-un was the killer. Felt it was a cop out to just continue pinning everything on Eul-tae. Like we get it. And what a missed opportunity. If you're going to give your character amnesia, might as well make her a past raging killer. Why not?
And I'm sure the killing could have been explained away. She did it to free them from the curse, hatched a plan for the future, something. All I know is, we're running out of time for any still unearthed motivations from 600 years ago to hold any meaning. The show doesn't seem to care or rely on the ML and FL's past connection, so why should i?

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Bulgasal - It used to be trashy but fun, despite the insane flashbacks, but this week was very slow. The main characters are acting crazy and the romance is unrealistic even for kdrama standards.

Kieta Hatsukoi - It could have been a nice teenager BL romance but Aoki character was cartoonish and side characters were flat.

The One and Only Ep1-4 - I don't want to like this but the strange friendship between the 3 women keeps pulling me in. The main actor is terrible though, very bland, no expression. How does this kind of actor get cast as a lead? The guy playing the detective is so much better. I detest the stupid childhood connection. This drama also wants you to like and ship the hired killer just because he has a troubled past.

The Silent Sea - It is a nice surprise, nothing new but quite chilling and effective.

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For The One and Only, that's the point for the ML, he suppressed his feelings... He is opening himself step by step. It's not that the actor can't act.

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Maybe he will improve later but until early ep 5 he shows almost no feelings. Sometimes he has a scared/sad/angry face but it is only one emotion. Instead of repressed or contained emotions, he gives nothing. I doubt that was what he was asked to do.

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I think it was actually. His character is numb. It's why he can kill like that. He doesn't feel anything anymore.

The actor showed very different roles in Labor Inspector Jo, Come and Hug Me, Where the Stars Land or TKEM.

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It is very selective, he is not numb when he is using one of his One Emotion Expressions, when he plays with HIS dog or when he falls instantly in love with the girl whose face he never forgot. Instead of numb I was expecting repressed feelings but it's not there.

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Kim Kyung-nam has certainly proven he can act in other roles. I like him in this role too. There is something very child-like about the character.

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Yes, there is something childlike, that I agree but isn't it disturbing? A childlike killer?
About this guy previous roles I could not say, barely remember him in The King.

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Different note, but I can't help but wonder why he got replaced from The Red Sleeve. Damn, I wonder how it must feel for that to happen.

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It started because of Park Hye-soo's bullying scandal. But why him? I think it was his choice. I would have loved to see him in this role.

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@Kurama That's what I figured as well. Interesting that they also swapped him out. I actually commented on Kim's casting too lol, and how I wondered if this would help MBC, and well it did lol. I also think he got cold feet b/c the role has been played before and saeguks are hard to play/get love for esp. from netizens. He got announced back in July 2020, then in May 2021, Junho/Lee Se Young got cast.

I assume he took on the Weekend drama b/c it felt like a better ratings/popularity win as MBC didn't have a solid hit in a while. Interestingly enough, the writer of TRS said she wanted Junho as the ML for a while, and when she heard he left the military immediately sent him the script and that was back in March 2021.

So in that time frame of July 2020-March 2021, Kim Kyung Nam/Park Hae Soo were the original pair (maybe not their first choice but the one's available). Had the bullying scandal not arose, the show would've moved forward with filming in Summer 2020. This is a lot sorry! I just can't help but feel sorry for Kim Kyung Nam, if it was even his choice or if it was how he must be feeling rn. That said, Junho more than smashed his role, and destiny works in strange ways.

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So he suffered because of both actresses... 😅

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On paper, it was a good move to take the male lead role in Revolutionary Sisters, but the drama was not good, and he really didn't have much to do in it. It didn't really help his career like some KBS weekend dramas have done for other actors. He really hasn't had much luck. Getting a role in a KES drama should have been huge for him, but The King: Eternal Monarch didn't exactly help anyone's careers either.

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@missh Lee Sang Yi on the other hand took Once Again, and broke out. Starring in a KBS weekender is good on your resume, however your role needs to be a breakout/fan favorite in order to leverage that into other roles in primetime dramas.

Right, its all about luck/timing. I commented on the Dramabeans post about his casting, and rooted for him to get his 1st ML. However, I had some apprehensions about MBC (ratings wise) and a saeguk at that. The PD said that she was reluctant to cast Junho at 1st b/c he was an idol. But in her recent interview she did seem like she was a huge fan of his. So it seems like Junho was their 1st choice, but b/c he was in the military they offered it to Kyung-nam before pivoting back to their dream casting? Taxi Driver for ex. had an idol and replaced her fast w/ Pyo Ye Jin. She was prob. their preferred choice in the role, but b/c didn't have much SNS followers/much buzz, they went w/ someone who fit that.

Ouch to Kyung nam. I saw his place in I Live Alone, and it seemed like a moderate normal space. I do wonder had he taken TRS role/no PHS scandal, how things would be. He might have gotten a lot of praise, or it might've flopped?? How much of the shows success was on the casting? Imagine if Junho wasn't cast, he wouldn't be experiencing this peak in his career rn. He prob. would've had to wait 2-3 yrs to get the peak he has now, and Kyung-nam might've been the IT guy now. Apologies for the word bubble, turns out I've a lot to say lol :3.

Fun fact: Son Seok Koo was the original casting choice for Kyung nam's role in Eternal Monarch, but dodged a bullet by turning it down.

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But I think that KKN was pretty good in TKEM like Woo Do-Hwan. They were the reason I watched it with KGE.

Personally, the only one I can't imagine being "replaceable" was Lee Deok-Hwa. He was the best part of the drama.

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@kurama I think the Netflix worldwide ability is something to take into account.

Lee Deok Hwa was riveting. The best scenes were of him and LJH together. I felt the show was heightened when those two were on screen together. After his exit, LJH had to pull the weight by doing justice to the space that Lee Deok Hwa left.

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KING OF TEARS, LEE BANG WON Ep. 7
Amazing.

MOONSHINE Ep. 8
I watch this when I take breaks from the awesomeness of KING OF TEARS.

LET ME BE YOUR KNIGHT
I like it, but the one-episode per week format makes it hard to stay interested. It would have been better to binge it.

MAD FOR EACH OTHER (2021) Ep. 3
That wifi battle.

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I had forgotten about King of tears, although I am not in the mood of a sageuk but I need to check it. Thanks for the reminder!

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It's on my To Watch Later list, also.

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I am so pleased @wishfultoki that LEE BANG WON had your approval. I am also enjoying it. I like the performances and the look of it.
I am also enjoying MOONSHINE which is a lighter counterpoint to LEE BANG WON. I find it hard to watch two ‘heavy’ sageuks at a time.
Started Kim Nam-Gil’s THROUGH THE DARKNESS (ep. 1) tonight and loved it. I am hoping we have a cops/crime/mystery year this year like we had in 2020.

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@marcusnyc20 I'm pleased you finally got to meet Kim Nam-gil. I can't watch crime dramas so I could only check out the posters and appreciate how good he looks dressed in '90s style.

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Kim Nam-gil looks great in those dark polo shirts and 90’s longish hair.

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Started Through the Darkness and had to stop halfway. Very tightly presented, but very disturbing.

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Maybe you can take THROUGH THE DARKNESS in 30 minute doses.

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Bulgasal: Immortal Souls: 7.5 Stab one and the other bleeds? The FL and a baddie are quantum entangled?

Bad and Crazy: 5.5 Day 8: Not wildly enthusiasic about the murder and kid with issues, and I could do without the childhood trauma & (d)amnesia, but I suspect everything I don't like is closely tied in with the split personality and without them we wouldn't even have a show. Oh, well. Day 9: Just when the writer and PD probably think they're getting to the good stuff, I think the story -- not the characters -- has gotten both bad and crazy.

Ghost Doctor: 7.7

Moonshine: 6.5

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I'm quite behind with Bad and Crazy... and I'm seriously contemplating to only watch the comedy parts and skip the rest (and read the recaps instead... yes I'm shamelessly cheating 🙈😁).

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SHOW WINDOW (Ep 5-12): I binged to catch up. This show covers a lot of ground very fast. Almost too fast. Sun Joo living the horror of her own father’s infidelity on her spiteful mother makes her convince herself into keeping her family together. But Mi Ra is like a boa constrictor unable to let Myung Sup go. When that does not work, she does a predictable counterattack on Sun Joo’s family. JSM plays a very convincing psycho-scorned woman. Episode 7 starts the chess match between the two women; Sun Joo trying to turn the table on defense to save her family while Mi Ra plays offense to destroy the family. Episode 8 turns the table into a high stakes gambit for control of the company. Episode 9 has a three handed game of chess with back and forth moves trying to destroy each other. In Episode 10 Viki subbers skipped key dialog in regard to legal and business decisions which is disappointing since it explains the main character moves in the power struggles. The last two episodes show Sun Joo coming out of being buried by her gaslighting and greedy husband’s manipulations, and counter attacks against Mi Ra. She slowly lets out the secrets to those who can help her. I expect Mom to awaken like a lion. The writer is setting us up for an unexpected alleged culprit even though everyone is a suspect. Very entertaining show so far.

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Our Beloved Summer I'm kinda curious how such a subtile drama, about exploration of feelings, can have so big tropes for our character's past. The OST is so good. But am I the only who searched what was grinding in my appartment at the end of Summer Rain by Sam Kim?

The One and Only This drama is really weird but the characters are so in pain that make me to care for them. I would like the heroes to work with the cop, now we know the villain (it wasn't really a surprise).

School 2021 After all the delays, I'm surprised they didn't come with a better story... They shouldn't have waste their energy to change the actresses (twice) to find one way worse at the end. The second leads were the cutest! They were the only reason I watched it until the end.

Through the Darkness I need to test it, Kim Na-Gil is enough!

Let Me Be Your Knight It's so slow... Nothing is happening.

Bad and Crazy So K existed before and protected him from his trauma?

Snowdrop I decided to wait and binge it when it will be over.

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I really thought the female lead in school 2021 was a good actress because I liked her in hospital playlist. But later on she just had that pout and baby voice as if it was supposed to be cute. Which wasn't. And the male lead was trying but he can't act.

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I liked her in My Country, but her role was minor.

In Hospital Playlist 1, she was good but in the season 2, she didn't bring anything to her characters and she acted the same. The crying scene was just a copy from the first one. In School 2021, she looked like a porcelain doll that could break if she move her face...

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Finished “ Love Affairs in the Afternoon” (9.5/10): definitely underrated! I love the leads, even the supporting cast, the OST, everything! I did have a few comments about the ending but they’re not super important.

Snowdrop (5 eps in): I’ll binge the next episodes once this week’s episodes come out.

The Devil Judge (14/16 episodes): currently watching and I love it! I love the leads (big fan of Ji Sung and Jinyoung), the OST, and the dystopian environment. I especially liked how pretty much the women ran the show although I can’t decide if I want to hate Kim Min-Jung’s character or be irritated by her. Or just like her.

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Not that I'm stalking your fanwall, but I know you're also watching SHALL WE HAVE A CUP OF COFFEE? 😁

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Oh yes! 😂 I talk about it so much on my fan wall but I forgot when doing a summary. Thanks for the reminder!

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LAITA is one of my favorite dramas ever! Such a wonderful gem.

I had the same question the first episode of TDJ, but after the speech to the high school girls I decided to just like Min Jung's character. I haven't finished the show tho, so maybe I'll regret that decision. 😂

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I actually liked it. They kept building up the twists and while the conspiracy angle is nothing new and some of the villain acting a bit exaggerated, I’m still hooked. Without spoiling, after 13 episodes, I still can’t decide if I want to like or hate or feel sorry for Min-jung’s character.

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I stopped the drama months ago (after ep 13) because my mood changed, but I'm pretty sure that I'll finish it someday this year.
I really like the show and I really like MJ's character. I think of her as the female version of Ji Sung's character, and maybe she's more extreme but that's because she's lonely and has nothing to protect.

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You should finish it! The tables are turned so I find the last episodes exciting. I’m finishing ep 15 now.

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OUR BELOVED SUMMER—I am not caught up yet, but I can confidently say this one has my heart and will be a dear rewatch for times I need a comfort drama.
ON THE VERGE OF INSANITY- THANK YOU to everyone who raved about this one. The MISAENG vibes are strong with this one and I live for it. I just can’t believe how horrible this company is to its employees.
YOU, ME and BACH—This is the kind of Japanese drama I love. Who would think a drama following three adults learning violin would be so moving. This is for anyone who has failed and picked themselves back up. The three actors who played the “violin musketeers” have wonderful chemistry and the whole story shines because of them.
SCHOOL 2021—I started this one with an eye roll and fell under the spell of cuteness. Cho Yi Hyun charmed me in Hospital Playlist in the brief screen time she had, so it is a treat to see her in the main role. And I am impressed by the leaps in acting ability Kim Yo Han has made; he seems like a completely different actor than he was in A Love So Beautiful and more natural. The other cast, young and older are enjoyable as well. Harabeoji being the sweetest, of course. But doesn’t it feel like the story is trying to be SCHOOL 2013 2.0 a little too hard? The typical corrupt authority figures I could do without, however. Props to the actress that plays Director Gu: she terrifies me.
RUN ON—Just my cup of tea. I am almost done with this gem and dread saying goodbye to every character. I love how the drama did not take itself too seriously—the drama within a drama, hahaha—yet at the same time shelling out profound lines. The banter was exceptional, exactly to my taste. Best pair of frenemies in any drama. Bravo to this team.
BE MY DREAM FAMILY—It was a slow like for me but I started becoming invested in the characters and then the cancer storyline came like a whap in the back of the head. Ugh. I can appreciate a well-done thoughtful storyline on this topic, but this one was thrown in without any care and I cannot stomach it. I think I will rewatch FATHER IS STRANGE.

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Wahhhh, I just started downloading ON THE VERGE OF INSANITY for offline bingeing.

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FATHER IS STRANGE is great but do not give up on BE MY DREAM FAMILY- It is good to the end.

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Watching now "father is strange", and I must confess it took me a while to get to like it. I am on ep 26.
But I am finally invested, although already spoiled, because I read reviews and most of them have spoilers, but then again... I am enjoying it.

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I want to watch the movie of Hwang Jin Yi :-(
cant find it and it is not in the library. We only have Musa, Empty house, Parasite & Minari.

I also want to watch the Seo In Guk movie Pipeline, has anyone seen it yet?
watching f4 Thailand and actually routing for Ren. all previous versions have been annoying or later ruined by scandals. No, actually, they have just been badly written from the start, scandals or no scandals. This version also kind of elaborates on the other boys a bit more. Thyme is more of a teen who bullies cause he is so clueless about himself. Them being under pressure from all their families is sad. It seems like a much more closed world than in other versions. like a cage

I watched My Only love Song. Gong Seung-yeon is such an adorable actress. It is such a contrast, her character here, and what I saw in "Aloners". This girl has some range! Really liked it, and now I´m thinking if I should make a Goguryeo costume in addition to a modern hanbok. But, so much fabric! Aaah!

other than that ...
oh, I rewatched You are beautiful because my next talk is about idols and kpop in the library so Im watching old and new... some parts were somehow more heartwarming yet a lot of the lines for Tae Kyung are SO abusive. But, I understand why, he was keeping his "deal" a secret.
gonna watch Idol: the coup next, maybe.

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I watched Pipeline and enjoyed it. Would I recommend it? Probably, especially if you are a fan of Seo In Guk or Black Comedy (serious subject performed with humor). Seo In Guk did a very good job, as usual. Personally, I don't care for the split personality of a film that wants to be funny while at the same time be an action packed drama. I would much more have preferred they drop the comedy and go strictly with the action drama.

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I watched Pipeline and uh... didn't enjoy it haha.
I mean, if you want to watch it for Ziggy and Soo Hyuk go ahead, but the story is very pointless.
(As far as Korean action comedies go I preferred Mission: Impossible with KYK... it has nothing to do with the other MI series)

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I started watching The Brooding Hotness and the Airhead Candy Whose Clothes Need to Burn ("Bulgasal") and I decided that I dig it. The chemistry totally works for me, despite rolling my eyes cca 3-5 times per episode. Also, his home of choice (the abandoned dilapidated house from the 90's) had me in stitches until the redecoration. I don't know if they wanted to prevent some possible comparison with Goblin (who had a gorgeous house) or poke fun at that and all other beautiful and/or cool houses and flats of dramaland heroes, but it was hilarious. Also, the heroine's clothes are the ugliest I have ever seen in a drama - not an easy feat. The butcher ajumma is better dressed, and it's already episode 8. I can't wait for the next episode.

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So agree about the heroine's ugly clothes! That black blazer with the green blotches was absolutely hideous. And I'm sorry--I don't buy that this Candy character is a Sonic Youth fan so that tee-shirt totally didn't work, either. As I've mentioned before, whoever is styling Lee Joon needs to spread his/her talents to the rest of the cast.

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Oh my favorite combination is the two-material/color jeans + floral dress + oversized PVC track suit jacket that all the kids in my elementary school were wearing. :'DDD

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Oh, now you guys are making me want to watch this show.

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Well try it out and see if it fits ;)

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Oh I definitely agree about The Brooding Hotness.. probably the only reason I am still watching even if I can't stand the Candy's "deer in headlights" scenes.

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Lol Brooding Hotness and the Airhead Candy. That's a good description. Personally, I'm watching for Lee Joon and his fabulous wardrobe.

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Been a fan of Jin Wook since I Need Romance so I am up for this Brooding Hotness in store for my viewing pleasure.

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It is also a nice touch that he regularly gets stabbed in the belly, and the narrative dictates that they show us the wounded-but-quickly-healed abs

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Dramas: either you drown in them or real life drowns you. There is no third option, like having a fixed amount of drama watching every week, so this covers two weeks. Who knows when my next entry will be?🤷‍♀️

Queen of Ring👑💍(6/6): I was thinking of Ahn Hyo-Seop the other day, which reminded me of this little show I had not watched yet. The show scores low on originality with the whole ‘beauty is on the inside’ plot, especially since we are supposed to believe that Kim Seul-Gi (!) is ugly.🤔However, The show is short and it was the right amount of sweet at the right time.🤗

Healer🕶️(16/20): Three quarters in! Six episodes and many things have happened since my last post, but I shall try not to copy all the gushing you already did seven years ago. About that movie night date, or all the cuddling and hugging that goes on between those two, or how our manly healer’s true identity turns out to be a romantic and sappy mother hen.🤭If there is some praise to give that only I can give, then it has to be the fact that I have not looked for any spoilers during this journey. I spoil myself on purpose all the time, and yet with Healer I am afraid that it will break the magical hold the drama has on me. Hats off, show!

F4 Thailand: Boys Over Flowers⭐(3/16): Ren, what are we going to do with you? He is Mira’s problem now, even though the lady deserves better. I hope he gets more agency than he does in the other versions, because I find him a bit of a male potted plant at the moment. Good thing Gorya did not get lobotomy around him and put him in his place! But let us move on and deal with Ren when he comes back. We have an OTP to establish first!😊

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I’m so happy that you’re enjoying Healer, Turtie! All the gushing was there for a reason. 😊

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Healer is such a wonderful show - enjoy the ride!

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Another HEALER fan here! Enjoy!

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I freaking love Healer! So thrilled you are enjoying the rush of the ride!

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Don't spoil Healer! It is worth to watch it without knowing... I loved it so much the first time!!!!!!!!!!

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We continue to be impressed with the new Sageuk THE KING OF TEARS, LEE BANG WON. It is well done, well acted but dark. This is the story of the fall of Goryeo and the rise of Joseon. I do not know much about the writer except what I see in the writing itself- which shows me that this writer is very obviously influenced by Shakespeare- because this is the story of Yi Bang-won told exactly like Shakespeare would have told it. There is absolutely no sense that fate has anything to do with the tragic events, instead everything stems from the flaws in the characters and how those flaws caused the events which followed. That rejection of fate is a distinct departure from most K-dramas. In any case this is a must see Sageuk.

As a sort of continuation or expansion from her watching KING OF TEARS my wife is also watching TREE WITH DEEP ROOTS which is outstanding.

With the end of the 32nd episode of YOUNG LADY AND GENTLEMAN our main couple faces one main remaining hurdle: Our Gentleman’s sense of honor- or is it pride? He is diligently trying to do the one thing he truly does not want to do- push our Young Lady away, determined to set her free to pursue her dreams. Problem: she is not buying it and she can see where his heart really lies- and what can he really do when her dream is him? But in the meantime, her dad has discovered that Anna Kim is Dan Dan’s baby momma while Dan Dan has now learned that her birth mother is in fact still alive. Fireworks are scheduled for episode 33. The ratings for this weekender continue to rise and for good reason.

My wife ran out of episodes on the currently broadcasting Chinese costume drama ANCIENT LOVE POETRY, which is really good. She very highly recommends it as one of the best ever. She has now seen forty episodes- the show is not flagging at all, and she is eagerly waiting for the next episodes to post, which will be this weekend. To fill in the time while waiting for new episodes she also watched the Chinese costume drama SWORD SNOW STRIDE which is insane but fairly fun.

We continue to enjoy MOONSHINE and OUR BELOVED SUMMER. Daebakgrits, I am rooting for NJ too. know Yeon-su has problems but I feel very little sympathy for her. Mi-so in Young-joon’s dress shirt was just a perfect moment in WHAT’S WRONG WITH SECRETARY KIM. Anyone who has not seen that classic is missing out.

Sailorjumun JUST BETWEEN LOVERS is wonderful but eventually you will want to see THE KING’S AFFECTION as well. And I am not saying that just because I am a really big fan of Park Eun-bin.

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Your description of The King of Tears has made me press the play button right now. Thank you and Toki for the reminder, because Viki wasn't even suggesting it to me.
I enjoyed Six Flying Dragons a lot, so I'm willing to see another approach to that part of the story, considering I now have a little idea of what was going on.
Regarding TWDR, it's a beautiful sageuk and as a word lover, the way we are told how hangul was created is wonderful.

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Eazal, where are you watching King of Tears? Can't find it on Viki 😭

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I found it in Viki, but only with VPN (USA) and only to learn it is in Kocowa so I guess it won’t be available in our region until it ends (it happened with The Veil, it’s now available). So I added it to my shows and hope it will be released soon.

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It is a shame that it is not yet available elsewhere. We are in the US and so are watching it on Viki here. I hope that it does become available to you soon. It sometimes seems like KOCOWA exists for the sole purpose of making things more complicated but there it is: The entertainment industry lives and dies by its licensing arrangement.

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Ok, so at least it will be available in a while. That's good news, I couldn't even find it as "not available for your region" on Viki. Thanks for the tip!

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@oldawyer Your description of KING OF TEARS as Shakesperean is spot on. I was trying to think of what made this drama different and you're right, it's that Fate had nothing to do with the fall of Goryeo. What is more, the drama portrays the Yi family as they would have been seen by their contemporaries: as a family of traitors.

The big Shakespearan themes are power and loyalty, but the distinctly Korean one is filial piety. These play out in different ways in each character, like in the case of Yi Seong Gye's eldest son, who couldn't bear to see his father betray Goryeo. The drama is showing us that things could have gone very differently than they did, which is absolutely fascinating to watch.

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FATED TO LOVE YOU/YOU ARE MY DESTINY (2014) A big-hearted well-crafted 20 hours of riveting entertainment, one of those dramas that starts off as rom-com but about midpoint shifts into deep melodrama that had even me, who rarely cries, coming undone. FTLY may have satisfied my romantic tooth for the next 20 years. It might not get much love from people impatient with old school rom-com-melos. How else to characterize a drama in which a woman is dragged off the table in an abortion clinic by her entire extended family as well as her CEO partner? Then there is turbo-charged, high-testosterone Jang Hyuk - mmmmm - although his blood-curdling laugh became cringy after a while. For me, FTLY goes down as one of the great rom-coms of that decade.

Waiting for Our Beloved Summer to end so I can bingewatch. Meanwhile maybe something dark - Beyond Evil? Not sure.

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