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[Drama Chat] The drama you couldn’t love even though you wanted to

Last week’s Drama Chat was so much fun, we’re taking a new twist on it this week with the inverse of last week’s topic.

Living and breathing in dramaland sometimes means encountering the YMMV factor — in other words, though consensus is generally a good measuring stick for judging a drama’s worth, sometimes it’s not. Sometimes there’s a drama that everyone raves about — it’s a hit, it has legions of fans, and everyone is swept into its magic — except you.

Have you been there? For me, that drama is Vincenzo. I recognize its worth and its unique color, but man, I had to force myself to watch it, and eventually gave up. It now sits on my list of Dramas I Couldn’t Love Even Though I Wanted To.
 

What’s the one drama everyone else loved but you couldn’t (even though you wanted to)?

 
Let the chatting begin!
 
Thanks to Ga and @LaurenSophie for the prompt

 
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As someone who is both a great, great admirer of dramas like Misaeng and My Ahjussi, as well as a fan of long standing of Jeon Do-yeon, I really wanted to love Human Disqualification but I couldn't. My tolerance for slower paced work is pretty high but I could not get past the second episode.

Honorable mentions: Queen Seondeok, Secret Garden, Voice

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Queen Seondeok is on your list😲😲😲. It's a shock.
But I'd love to know why it made your honorable mentions.

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Queen Seonduk: although I could tell early that the drama would be fabulously acted, the static and clunky directorial style seemed dated and distracting (the persistent tight close-ups made me suspect they had cheaped out on set design...)

Secret Garden -- an instance where I could never accept the central premise as executed

Voice -- a rare instance where Jang Hyuk crossed the line between intense and scenery-chewing in the wrong direction

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I loved Queen Seondeok, but I agree that the directing was often clunky and that the extreme close-ups got ridiculous.

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Lol I also wanted to love it, but I really struggle with the vague relationships + chemistry between a married person and a third party.

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For me it's Squid Games... Even with its uniqueness and hype, I just couldn't bring myself to watch it.
Honourable mentions: Nevertheless, All of us are dead...

PS: First time registering and commenting here although I've been following this space as a non registered member since 2014 🤭

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Welcome!

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Thank you!

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Welcome to the party!

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Welcome aboard @chiomzyfrancie. You have me beat by 2 years and I passed on SQUID GAMES also. I saw a trailer and said to myself, “no thanks”.

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The trailers also showed me Squid Game was not for me

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Welcome!! Hehe I remember my first beanie post... so glad to have you!

Haha I get it with Squid games... I just don't like the gore. Also, I heard All of Us are Dead had a really graphic sexual abuse scene or something? Some clarification there would be appreciated, other beanies^^

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Going to offend everyone:
- The Master's sun: the gosts are ridiculous
- When the camelias bloom: gong hyo-jin is typed casted, serial killer is cliche for plot driven story
- My sunshine: Lee byun hyun as ML
- Vicenzo: over the top jokes and over the top acting by Jeon Yeo-been
- Hotel De Luna: I dont like Hong sister's fantasy drama. Period
- Dream High: I dont get the hype, Kim Soo hyun haircut
- Just Between Lover: Junho haircut
- It is okay to be not okay: Toxic relationship OTP
- All of us are death: No depth, too many episodes, too long episode duration
Sorry for the fans

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I like Vincenzo, but there were moments when i didn't like Jeon Yeobin's comedic acting. But then she got more serious scenes in which she shines more, so Vincenzo was fine for me

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We have shows in common but different reasons.

My sunshine: plot, main couple. I literally finished it for Kim Min Jung.
Vicenzo: I just didn't get into it. I think I'll finished it someday.
Hotel De Luna: the ML was so annoying telling her how to feel or deal with her problems. I liked her better with her ex (Joseon dude).

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I couldn’t get into Camellias either. I normally like Gong Hyojin but….nope.

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I tried Camellias for a couple episodes and then dropped it. Unfortunately, GHJ is the reason despite me having been her fan for many years. I thought she’s repeating a role that she has done so many times - but what makes this drama unbearable is her performance here is inferior to her impressive turn in Thank You. There’s some similarity in the two roles but she’s that very character in Thank You but merely acting in Camellias.

I hope and hope that she’s doing something very different in her next drama (which is with Lee Min Ho, right?), written by the same writer of Pasta and Jealousy Incarnate. Pasta is classic meek GHJ but JI is not. I love this writer especially for Miss Korea and hope this will be a good one but Sci-fi romance???

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I didn’t realize Pasta and JI were the same writer! I couldn’t finish Pasta (the male lead made me so angry, he was so patronizing and awful) but JI is really good.

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I share your opinion on Pasta.. Well part of your opinion, I found almost every single character irritating and after a painful 10 or 12 episodes I gave up on the drama.
It just felt to me like writer-nim decided to create different characters but could not be bothered with giving depth to any of them.

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Judging from the writer who did Pasta and Wok of Love, she/he will make the ML shines. Perfect for LMH who has a lot of charisma and is ,not bad, but serviceable in acting. The FL will be a bit quirky, GHJ does this type character well. Though I hope she tries something else.

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I disliked Camelias. Gong Hyo Jin is not only typecast, but her constant whining and self-pitying made me angry.

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Lol I agree with you for a few and I disagree with a few. I never watched Vincenzo, but it just didn't feel like a high quality production whenever I read recaps / looked things up. By that I mean the directing tone and writing didn't seem to match, and the writing itself didn't feel super tight.

Hotel de Luna: I really wanted to like this one, but I kind of found Yeo Jin Gu a little bit stale as a male lead... it rubbed off on my impressions of the other actors.

It's Ok not to be Ok: 100% agree they were toxic and I didn't like her.

However, I loved Master's Sun, Just Between Lovers and When the Camelias bloom... looking back I don't know if I'd watch Master's Sun again because So Ji Sub was such a terrible man there. When the Camelias bloom... I do actually like Gong Hyo Jin (although I agree she's typecast). Lastly, it just makes me laugh (in a good way) that you dislike JBL because of his haircut (I totally agree it's a wild cut, but I think it matches his character)

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Lee byunhyun was in something called ‘My sunshine’ as well as in the wonderful ‘Mr Sunshine’? (He didn’t make it wonderful for me but the other actors did for sure). What kind of sorcery is that?.

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Aside of Just Between Lover, I'm with you but for different reason :D

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Squid games. I started it before it hit its peak hype and gave up around ep 4. Skip-watched the last ep to see what all the hype was about. Don't really get it to this day. Same with parasite.
Can't really enjoy stuff too filled with metaphors to the point the story is hollow if the metaphor is taken out.

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Parasite made me a bit upset because there weren't any likeable characters. Like, everyone was just terrible. I have a hard time liking shows or movies when there's nobody I can root for.

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"I have a hard time liking shows or movies when there's nobody I can root for."

Me too!

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Right? I think it would be fun to do another drama chat about just what draws each of the DB writers to dramas--do they go for the ones that are character driven, plot driven, etc? For me it's definitely a hero to root for and a subtlety of emotion that not all writers can create.

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Yep! I have been watching dramas for nearly 20 years and I am ashamed to say that I still can't predict if I will love a show or not based on premise, actors, writer, etc.
The only things I do know are:

I'm past the age of high school dramas,
I can't watch horror,
And I need a hero to root for.

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That would be Signal for me. I thought the premise was interesting, and Kim Hye Soo and Jo Jin Woong were great, but I found the writing underwhelming and Lee Je Hoon's acting and character grated on me all the way through. And don't get me started on the plot holes and the messy, unresolved ending. It wasn't a show that I hated, but once you got past the filters, frame ratios and other directing tricks it felt like a rather generic procedural.

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Signal is in my top 10 drama list. But it is kind of fun reading everyone else reason to not like drama that I love. See the drama from different perspective after that.

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I agree with all of this.

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Tried , tried again, tried a third time and could not finish Signal. It was on Lee T's top ten of the decade list and every other drama there was excellent. Breathed a sigh of relief to see your bravery in naming this much-loved drama.

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Truth! I'm happy @wonhwa mentioned it, I enjoy having multifaceted discussions much more than just going with public sentiment.

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I watched signal; and let alone liking it, i cant understand whats it at all 😅

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Lol that drama was "Forest of Secrets" for me (Stranger). I had to watch each season 2 times each... but I really like them both (I enjoy subtle plots and having to work to understand).

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I agree. Waste of my time

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Agree with every single word.

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I also couldn't stand Lee Je Hoon's character in signal 😑 and it affected my viewing experience tbh

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Coming from someone who 100% loves Signal, I still have to agree Lee Je Hoon rubbed me the wrong way on a second watch through (only for the first few episodes, though). I still feel like the style and pacing were incredibly well done--there are a few scenes that still get to me (when JJW's character goes to the movies and cries, when KHS comes back, and the entire arc working to save LJH's brother). Hopefully that doesn't spoil anything for anyone.

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I finally started Signal this year since it's supposed to be this great drama everyone raves about. First episode was utterly boring but I pushed through and got to Episode 5 before giving up. Don't know what all the fuss was about and and the writing was nothing groundbreaking. In the first case, Lee Je Hoon character's knew the lady wasn't the abductor because she wasn't wearing the same heels from 15 years ago. Like wtf? That was the giveaway? Such lame writing.

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For me, it is "You from another star". Couldn't make it past the 1st episode. Unlike JJH and KSH's other individual works, I found them unlikeable here because of their characterization. I found the FL's silliness and haughtiness annoying rather than funny and ML's indifferent face uninteresting.

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Exactly.

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Really! That's so fascinating to me--JJH in this was one of the few times I liked a FL who was a bit of a brat (or so I thought, at first).

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You from another star was the first drama I ever watched (and nobody told me that Korean TV was supposed to be good: I just thought the premise was so goofy that I'd enjoy something mindlessly trashy) so there were a whole lot of things that were new and interesting. On a second watch, it's the fact that they are such horrible people that makes it such fun for me, knowing how things turn out.

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Me too...I couldn't finish a single drama starred by Gianna Jun.
No matter how big and famous their ML, I still cannot continue to watch her.

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I'm going to offend a lot of people today🙈. Here goes:-
1.I'm not a robot - I don't really remember why but I was struggling to finish one half of each episode;it was taking me almost 1-2 hours to finish a 30 minute segment. I gave up after 3 or 4 episodes I think.
2. Shopping king Louis - I found SIG's character super annoying despite him being one of my favorites. His careless spending even though he wasn't in a situation to do so just grated on my nerves. Dropped this as well.
3. Coffee prince - it was a long time ago so I don't really remember well and please don't misunderstand me but as far as I remember, even after GY confessed that he liked YEH, she didn't come clean that she was actually a girl. Seeing GY's character go through so much of identity crisis really put me off. Of course, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong about this.
4. Strong woman do bong soon- once the leads got together, it became super boring for me and I couldn't continue beyond episode 10.
5.beyond evil- I didn't drop this, but I couldn't understand the Hype that this show got. It was a good drama, but to me it wasn't something groundbreaking.
6. Our beloved summer - again I was one of the very few people who couldn't like the slow burn and the leads inability to communicate, especially yeon su. Also the backstory of ung just annoyed me instead of making me sympathize with him.

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Oh man Shopping King Louie….it got better after about maybe episode 8? But man the first part was a slog. And then it was about an episode too long as well. I liked the middle bit 😅

And same on Coffee Prince - if you’re causing someone that much pain and you could just solve it just like that, why would you not?!?

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Haha I can never understand why Shopping King Louis is so beloved…. and I skip-watched to finish it.

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Lol I will agree with you in your offending on all except I am Not a Robot :) Particularly Coffee Prince, I really disliked that drama. It was basically for the same reason, too--even after he confessed she didn't tell him she was a girl. It felt mean, especially if he was going to have even more trauma then trying to re-assess himself after finding out she was a girl.

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Exactly! I was enjoying CP until then. But the hidden identity was dragged too long.

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Yeah... also! totally off topic, but I'm assuming your handle is a collection of fandoms? I'm a wholock myself :)

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Yep yep 😀. Very unoriginal but I'm too lazy to change it.

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Lol no, it's great! Haha it took me a second to figure out the lock until it hit me haha :)

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Honestly went into Our Beloved Summer thinking I would like it and still remain surprised by how much I ended up feeling the opposite.

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I watched the first episode and felt zero desire to continue.

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I somehow managed to get though the first 4 episodes (and it definitely took a bit of effort!) but currently have no desire to continue.

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I have a lot of these but No. 1 would have to be Forest of Secrets/Stranger. It gets such rave reviews, but I thought it was just ... fine. I thought the acting was fine but nothing special. I thought the script was fine but predictable.

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This is the first time for me to know someone who doesn't like Forest of Secrets, as it's one of my fave. I respect your opinions

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It's also a favorite of mine, but @missh I'm glad to hear a dissenting opinion. I think it's cool you found it predictable--I had to watch it 2 times to understand what was going on lol

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It was just fine. Exactly. I loved the villain arc but the main characters and the story were just normal procedural. The second season was just fine too, with the added minus of the previous villain.

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Ooooh I thought this was just so very boring! I tried so many times.

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Sometimes there’s a drama that everyone raves about — it’s a hit, it has legions of fans, and everyone is swept into its magic — except you. For me...

These are the kdramas I had to force myself to watch it and struggled through to complete.
Healer
What's Wrong With Secretary Kim
Vincenzo
Squid Game - however, it was nice to see the worldwide success it had.

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You win with the first one. It's very rare to find someone here who didn't like Healer (I love it though).

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I’m legit shocked.

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Actually there's a few of them, but they tend to hide in the wood work hehe.

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"Cough cough"

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I dont like Healer too: Because there is a daddy long legs to help her? So I cant take her seriously as badassed agent. 😄

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I fervently loved Healer when it was aired but it doesn’t really stick for long. Not sure why.

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*giving EXTREME side-eye* 😡

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Lol re:healer.

I also liked What's Wrong With Secretary Kim, mostly because I felt like Secretary Kim was so amazingly competent she was life goals for me. I struggle to like the ML here though, even until the end.

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It was Goblin for me.

Its universally beloved but i found it extremely overrated and it squandered an incredibly talented and likable cast, the final stretch was a chore to get through and the romance "off" and unconvincing.

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I didn't like a single thing about Goblin.

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Same here

Usually even with a bad drama i can find a few elements that i like, but Goblin gave me nothing.

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The only thing I liked about it was when the male actors were walking down the street with their long coats flowing. Nice visual.

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Goblin was a chore for me to get through as well.

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I thought the first two episodes of Goblin were great, and then it just . . . went . . . nowhere. No antagonist. A creepy age difference between the leads. Lots of PPL and weeping. Realllly long episodes. Yeah, I'm definitely with you on this one.

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It also suffered the fate of many SK Dramas with ghosts...they start out dangerous / terrifying and then when they are about to have real plot impact, they just become lame milk toast.

The storyline just removes a critical driver for our main character and all we are left with is typical SK Drama tropes with a side topping of ghosts for decoration.

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Yeah, as soon as Goblin and Reaper became buddies all the tension pretty much vanished.

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Yes the age difference got to me too I know she was all alone in the world but why would she find him attractive? The gap was bad the first time round but when they both came back it’s ridiculous as it’s now 20 years or whatever later. I like fantasy ghost dramas that are funny but I just didn’t get how this one is rated so highly. I stopped watching mid way through and then read the Dramabeans recaps until the penultimate one then I watched the finale. I do not recommend to anyone.

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Yeah, I couldn't even get past the first few episodes of Goblin. I think it was the obligatory marriage of the teenager with a cranky old man. And there wasn't enough spark to rest of it to get past that.

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Kim Go-eun acting cue …. I just can’t. Exit at the earliest opportunity.

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My husband watched Goblin, but he really didn't like it. I thought it was gorgeously shot and rather hilarious the first time around (if light on plot)... but when I rewatched I realized I really didn't like the main couple together. They're so mean to each other! For the longest time! I do love the Goblin and reaper still, as well as the Reaper and Goblin's sister.

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Goblin is too hyped for my taste... I have zero desire to watch it.

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This is going to offend so many people. I apologize. 😔

Loving the novel so much, I was expecting to love The Untamed but remained completely oblivious to it. It was so lame. I dropped it after the ghost city arc.

Boys over flowers was horrendous. The male lead was downright vicious and I hated his hair.

Goong was tedious and I really can't stand the female lead or the actress who plays her. She's too good at whining, it grates on me.

I never got the magic of Coffee Prince. I get the magic of Gong Yoo, though, which is the only reason I finished that drama. ^^

I feel asleep 10 minutes into the first episode of Just Between Lovers. Twice. I love Junho, but this is a sign.

My Little Happiness: Sadly, my impression of the male lead actor persists from his whiny loser of a character in Put Your Head On My Shoulder and I can't shake this juju.

Business Proposal: This has turned into a hate-watch for me. I really, really wanted to love this seeing as I love the manhwa so, so much. But alas, I find the characters too juvenile. Since Ha-ri shoved grandpa and Tae-moo panicked in the rain, my countenance soured and this show is definitely returning on my 2022roundup under disappointments.

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Drat, that coding. Sorry.
Sigh.

Are there any news on that long sought-after edit button?

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This is where we all miss mary apparently... but I don't even see an account for her anymore. ㅠㅠ

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Business Proposal - struggling to watch it and I'm tempted to drop it. Probably will.

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I finished Just Between Lovers for Junho, but I disliked it till the end.

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I loved The Untamed but agree that the ghost city arc is a definite low point as far as being super depressing and largely pointless.

And I agree that the magic of Coffee Prince is mostly due to the magic of Gong Yoo (not to mention The Voice, whom I ❤️)

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Boys over Flowers. Thank you. It is like THE iconic worldwide drama of Hallyu (for the modern era, at least... not counting older hits)...

I also realy didn't like it. Lol earlier I thought it was funny that someone disliked a hairstyle (@pohonphee), but now I have to call myself a hypocrite. I hate his LMH hair here. So much so it affected my viewing pleasure. Rather drastically. (I also just disliked the personalities etc. lots of stuff). But yeah, I'm a hair hypocrite.

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It was the style of the curls for me. It spoke of harlequin novels of the eighties and obviously manufactured and fresh out of the salon. Too much bounce. I have dropped entire dramas on account of hair.

Hey, how 'bout the topic of "hair to make or brake a drama" for next discussion @db-staff?

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Oh my gosh. Yes. Hair and clothes to make or break a drama!!

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I tried 1 ep of The untamed, but I am unable to distinguish between the various characters... and the photos that I have seen do not motive me to try further. I though it would be fun, after Words of honour. But not enough colours for me.

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What's wrong with Secretary Kim? - even though I was in a PARK SEO JOOOOOOON phase back then, I couldn't watch this. I felt like there was no plot.
CLOY - I just have this feeling I don't like Son Ye Jin's dramas and I don't get the hype around Hyun Bin. I also didn't like the romantic storyline execution. Less cute, more substance would've worked. KSH's cameo, ahjummas and those soldiers used to be the highlight for me.
OBS - I still want to love it considering I'm thinking of doing a rewatch in the summers. I love Kim Dami (hated her bangs though).
King Eternal Monarch - what was this even about? I just remember being captivated by Kim Yong Ji and wishing she had more screen time.

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There was no plot in WWWSK. But Park Seo-joon was wonderful, I fell in love.😍

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I love me some pompous PSJ but I would rather watch a YouTube compilation then see PMY playing a prim, proper and perfect character again.

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- Beyond Evil : I have nothing against story about grief, but the writer decided to make the characters being in Police forces. So I was expecting a minimum of professionalism, but the investigation was a big mess. I didn't like the poor sister had to suffer such ridiculous events for letting everyone to be a suspect. I still wonder why the cop married an older and bad guy... I mean, it's not like he was really hidding his personality...

-Itaewon Class : I really liked Park Seo-Joon in this role and the relationship between the son and father was the best. Yoo Jae-Myung was great as usual. But it was very frustrating between the possibilities and the result.

- Dali and Cocky Prince : I like the first 2 episodes. Again, the story could have been great if the story focused on art and food. But they didn't and the first steps of the couple were very disapointing, I couldn't invest myself in their story.

- Run On : I want to write why, but I'm realizing I barely remember this drama... I found weird to have a ML who is a runner but won't run, the FL is a translator but they mixed the oral and the writing when it's 2 distinct jobs, and the second leads stories didn't match the main one...

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LOL Run On: I like running too and contemplative aspect of it, but the ML as runner in this drama don't run that much, and think it is a chore.

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I did not like Run on either and only watched for the second leads.

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Vincenzo.

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Everything with Song Hye Kyo that I've tried.

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SHK... I think I only watched her in DotS.

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Another great topic-- thanks @missvictrix!
What I find interesting about the lists so far is that while everyone is apologetic thinking they will offend, I liked many of the dramas listed(Its Okay, Beloved Summer, Stranger, Signal, Beyond Evil), and can explain why I liked them, BUT I can easily see why people wouldn't go for them.

However, in the offending competition, I believe I am the winner, because what I think what's distinct about my list is that it includes many of the highest rated shows in Korea and even some of the best liked shows on Dramabeans!
Crash Landing on You--sentimental rendering of a sadly oppressed society; love can conquer ideology but for only 2 weeks a year.

Reply 1988--nostalgia for the sake of nostalgia; surprise husband for the sake of surprising and upsetting the audience.

What's wrong with Secretary Kim--pygmalion remake that's even more offensive to women than the original; validation of sexual harassment in the workplace.

And then the topper: I generally don't like sageuks!
The Joseon period, just like the medieval/renaissance Europe, might have been culturally rich, but was based on an authoritarian, patriachal assumptions--women had no rights; the poor were brutalized. Not to mention that aristocratic men's fashion was absurd, rivaled only by men's fashion in the 1970s. No nostalgia for either period here!

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Wow, someone else who didn't love Reply 1988. I thought it was well acted, but I wasn't really feeling nostalgic for patriarchy and spending one's entire life within the confines of a single block.

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I haven't watched any of the reply series--I haven't been intrigued by the concept, and I hate SLS (Second Lead Syndrome) so the "guess the husband" game sounds... less fun to me.

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I hated the "guess the husband" game, both as a plot device and for its suggestion that a woman's choice of husband should be the central goal of her life.

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Re Crash Landing - I enjoyed it ok as a standard, classic-style kdrama, but I did have to draw heavily on my 'let's look for the what to like in this drama' skills. It also won a top award in my 'What Could have Been' list. Interesting concept with great potential, that went in a mostly silly direction.

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this is my feeling about Secretary Kim as well. I wouldn’t have forced myself to finish it if not for all the love it received, but then I was angry with myself for continuing with something I found so offensive.
(and the reason I’ve never watched Crash Landing on You is because I could guess it would be how you’ve described.)

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I thought Crash Landing on You was okay but nothing special. Around Episode 6 I got busy and never felt like coming back to it.

I liked Reply 1988 but don't hold it in as high regard as most people. Probably my least favorite teen group out of all the Reply series. I never understood all the angst over the husband reveal. It was painfully obvious to me.

In retrospect, I agree with you about WWWSK.

I generally don't like sageuks either.

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I feel the same way as you about Crash Landing on You. It was good, but not anything special. I kept watching but skipped through it a lot.

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I think a lot of people like myself just suspended all belief and reason to watch CLOY. It’s popularity was clearly amplified by the viewer isolation of the pandemic.

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Reply 1988 is the least of my favorite in Replay series. I finished that though.
WWTSK and Her Private Life: Romance between condescending boss and his secretary or his employee. YAWN. Never pass ep 2
CLOY: It is fine as fan service.

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Sagueks are my main reasons for watching Kdramas today. It's what introduced me to Kdramas. It's just 4 yrs ago (Stranger and SKY Castle) I took an interest in watching modern Kdramas, before then modern was a no-no.

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In case you don't read to the end of my comment: could you recommend some really good, but not 40 ep long serious Sageuks for me? I want to expand my tastes :)

Really! That's the opposite from me--my first Kdrama was my love from Another Star, but that's because I tried and couldn't finish a Sageuk (Night Watchman something? I don't remember). I tried another one (Joseon Gunman) and couldn't get through it... and it was a long time before I tried another one. My list of Sageuks I like is still pretty short:

Tale of Nokdu
Scholar Who Walks the Night
S. Scandal (lol spelling) -this was only ok for me
Love in the Moonlight
The Red Sleeve Cuff
Flower Crew: Joseon Marriage Agency

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Two "relatively" short sageuks that I love are Tree with Deep Roots and Painter of the Wind.

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Kk thanks! I will have to try them out :)

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Queen for Seven Days
The Crowned Clown

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You didn't ask me, but I would seriously recommend Nokdu's Flower. It is the best sageuk I have ever seen. Brutal, but beautiful.

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Nokdu Flower was what came to mind first, however @cozybooks requested for short episodes min:max of 16:20.

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oh, interesting! hmmm... where would one watch this one? I'm not opposed to starting it if you both thought of it as a strong recommendation.

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Nokdu Flower is longer, but it's fantastic, although be warned that it is definitely not a "light" watch. It's on Kocowa (and therefore, I would assume on Viki Premium as well).

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I haven't watched Nokdu Flower recently but I think it is on Netflix

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I noticed in your list of likes you had a few fusion sageuks so you might like these:
Queen In-Hyun's Man (time travel so modern and Joseon timelines)
Splish Splash Love (time travel and only 4 episodes)
Rookie Historian Goo Hae-Ryung
Arang and the Magistrate (supernatural)
The Princess's Man (epic and dramatic)
Faith (time travel and Goryeo hair)
I also enjoyed Painter of the Wind

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Crash landing felt so silly and boring to me..

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I study North Korea irl, and to me it would have made more sense for her conniving family to arrange for a broker to kidnap her and sell her back over the border. If any beanies speak Korean, there's a series on Youtube called 탈탈탈 that features new escapees and their stories (life in North Korea, escape process and readjustment into South Korea). It's fantastic!

They did get some things accurate, like the rarer use of personal cars (I know some people are allowed to use them for personal use, but that's because they use it for work). There are also random blackouts, and the black market foreign goods/dramas are totally accurate (even in the military). However, I don't recall if they ever depicted all the random educational meetings and criticism meetings and the lack of food or executions or concentration camps or things like that well.

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You made me miss bygone days when I relied heavily on Javabeans and Girlfriday to explain every single nuance in dramas.

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haha that's high praise indeed^^ thanks!

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It was a Disney-fied NK.

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I remember my first school days and my absolute love for Lenin and anything related to Russia. We were taught that way and it was fun for a 7 years old. Than boom 1989 happened and everything had changed. I'm glad I'm a kid living my childhood in the 90's. My grandma started to talk later about the hard time they have had until Dubček came and things started to change for the better. North Korea in CLOY is like my childhood memory before the dream crushed into a reality. It's funny that older people are carrying just this kind of image imprinted in their memories with them now and are telling that life was better at that time.

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That's so fascinating! Thanks for sharing.

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I assumed Crash Landing on You would not do justice to North Korea and for that reason have never really wanted to watch it. Likewise the people who like the Reply series tend to say that it reminds them of when they were a student in Seoul - which I wasn't.

I might come back to Secretary Kim despite your warning. I dropped it after one episode as I was all cold chaebol'ed out at the time.

I'm not keen on sageuks as a rule (but did like Rookie Historian), because of the tendency to give the viewer a cheap warm feeling by including a (usually main) character with modern values that they can identify with and so feel superior. Rookie Historian suffered from this too but its other strengths outweighed this.
The power struggles are boring too: one bearded chap in a red robe with the knives out for another bearded chap in a red robe.
It's interesting that fantasy dramas often have a sageuk element: in nearly every case I can think of, the sageuk part is tragic and the modern story is a do-over that is not tragic, or less so.

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https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-51526625

link is to a bbc article discussing the North Korean defector on the writing team as well as reactions from North Korean defectors watching CLOY

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I also refuse to watch sageuks. The plot always revolves around a woman being treated absolutely horrifically. I cannot do it.

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Lee Minho. I mean, i only finished BOF, Personal Taste, and City Hunter; tried that mermaid one and TKEM, but cannot finnish them; and cannot bring my self to watch the rest of his.
BOF -- im a soeulmate, and couldnt careless about junpyo, jandi, or jihoo.
PERSONAL TASTE -- i cant even remember what it was about beside the pretty hanok
CITY HUNTER -- RIP Goo Hara 😔.
That Mermaid Drama -- Mr.Queen and her gamer/hacker boyfriend stole the show. And Uee's Marriage contract daughter, shes great too; and thats all.
TKEM -- i cant believe a police officer easily believe those nonsense LMH utter.

🤯

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The only time I didn't mind LMH was in Legend of the Blue Sea (that Mermaid drama). If I ever get the chance to watch Pachinko, I'm hoping he'll be ok there, too.

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:) I cannot bring myself to start a LMH drama.
I do have an issue with popular actors. I genuinely does not understand why he is so popular. He is a clone, and I do not find him any charm.
(Junho is also very clone-esque but he has presence...)

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The ones that come to mind recently are:
Dali and Gamjatang. I loved the first two episodes but it just didn't work for me after that. I managed to finish it somehow though.

The Red Sleeve. I enjoyed this one up through about ep 10. I thought the addition of the secret maids group was odd but I was willing to go with it. However when they tried to assassinate the prince and then nothing was done to catch them and bring them to justice, I was very confused. The plot was too all over the place and when I found out it had a sad ending, I didn't have the will to finish it.

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Hospital Playlist. I thought the interactions between the group were as cute as the next person and I will love Jo Jung-suk in every role he plays until the end of time, but I finished only by the magic of the fast-forward button... and the the aforementioned Jo Jung-suk...

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Totally forgot about this one. I struggled with both seasons, however, season 1 was better. But yeah mainly watched it for JJS and wanted to watch for JKH but they didn't do justice to his character or his acting abilities.

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I managed to finish HP season 1.
I don't watch season 2.
Medical dramas stress me
LOL. I hope it is not medical theme, I love the friendship

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Lol that's so different from me! I loved the group interactions, but JJS was a weaker link for me (I was introduced to him in Jealousy Incarnate where I hated his character, but have since seen him in more things and don't mind him). I don't normally like medical dramas (too much corparate politics) but this focused on a much more human aspect, and I liked that.

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I didn't like Season 2 nearly as much, though. I struggled with that one and ff a lot.

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There are quite a few actually :
25-21: I tried my best to watch it but failed and eventually dropped it.

Vincenzo: I survived approx. 30 min of ep 1 before giving up.

IOTNBO: I was put off by the way the drama chose to address the mental issues. Dropped it around ep 6 I guess.

Run on and beloved summer : I am not sure if I should include these two because I didnot watch a single episode to judge these. The sole reason is me being bot a fan of both the FLs.

And lastly Empress ki: I heard so many good reviews from the viewers that I started it few years ago despite the number of episodes but ended up dropping it midway. So much hypocrisy and certain story lines doesn't make sense.

Special mention: School nurse files, Descendants of sun, Secret garden,Itaweon class

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You didn't like School Nurse Files? Can I ask why?

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I want to know why too? It frightened me so I didn't finish it but it is a beautifully crafted program. The music, the pictures, the characters. It is like true horror, not gore and cheap thrills.

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There are a lot actually. But two that come to mind are The Red Sleeve and What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim. (I hated WWwSK. I don’t understand the hype.) I wanted to love TRS as much as everyone else but it was too all over the place in terms of the writing and I was bored by the end.

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Yours is like the fifth or sixth comment I've seen that didn't like WWwSK... I didn't know there were so many people who didn't like it! ...It wasn't my favorite drama overall, but it definitely wasn't one I hated. Fascinating!

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I didn't know either! I thought I was alone on this one. I'm glad to find the company 😄

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She would Never Know aka Don't put on that lipstick. - I didn't find the ML swoony at all. He was pushy and overbearing and what right did he have to interfere in another relationship (and that of his boss, if I recall correctly) just because he had a crush on her. Seemed like he just wore our leading lady down. I thought the original boyfriend had the more interesting story, tho we didn't get much of that. I couldn't finish it, though I think, at some point, I might have skipped to the last episode to check out the ending.

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Not watching the drama because the title ha ha : Who are you telling me what I should or I should not on my lips?
The story justifies the title I guess, no surprise.

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*should or should not put

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Reply 1988 and Hopsital Playlist. I don't think Shin Wonho's dramas are for me. They have the same effect on me as melatonin.

My Mister: Now I think the drama is good, but I do not think it's the iconic, life-altering masterpiece legions of kdrama fans think it is. The pace plodded along and I was particularly irritated at how the ML insisted on staying in a toxic work environment instead of just handing in his notice, and thought the firm's old CEO was a terrible business leader that no one should be paying respects to.

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I get your My Mister. If we weren't talking about SK Drama that would be on point...but we are.

How many SK Dramas actually have functioning non-toxic work environments. OR - heads of firms who are actually great leaders? It's a land of fiefdoms and power is wielded brutally. For a middle-rung professional from a poor (not connected) family, and probably already on the nose, (and potential a risk if he can't keep his mouth shut) resigning is no escape. In this world, a professional and politically connected firm would poison the well leaving him nothing.

If that sounds far fetched, one only needs to read the real accounts of far they go to never let children outcast as wangtta escape. It follows them from school to school no matter how far they move away. In fact this is not an uncommon story arc in both school and adult SK Dramas.

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Exactly.

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"My Mister: Now I think the drama is good, but I do not think it's the iconic, life-altering masterpiece legions of kdrama fans think it is. "
Exactly.

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ditto-- I watched it and it was good, but not great.

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1. Squid Game.
I doubt if I'll ever see it despite my yearn for Kdramas. Generally, hyped dramas, and then horror/zombie/vampire are never my things.

2. Artificial City. I waited for Soo Ae's comeback since glass mask, but I couldn't just be drawn as it was airing week in week out.

3. Thirty Nine and Twenty Five Twenty One - Do I want to love this dramas, Yes. I especially wanted to see Nam Joo-hyuk in something worthy. While I'll definitely watch his future projects, he's redeemed himself to me, I can't seem to keep on watching. However I love the introductory episodes.
While I'll finish Thirty Nine for Jeon Mi-do, I can't get to love it.

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Just Between Lovers.

I know this is universally loved, and as a Junho fan and an ardent devotee of slice-of-life melancholic dramas, this one should be one of my favorites. But I ultimately found it disappointing.

The writer definitely doesn't shy away from showing the reality of grief--how devastating it is and how it never really ends--but I also found the writing to lose steam about halfway through and start throwing tragedy on top of tragedy in order to create new obstacles for the central couple. I think a stronger writer would have been able to generate internal conflict based on their personalities and relationship alone without bringing in more death and illness. So the romance, sadly, fell flat for me despite the actors' chemistry.
Finally, again, I love Junho, but at times I struggled with his character's gruffness and nastiness at key moments. That started to feel tired and repetitious at the halfway mark as well.

And the ending was very anticlimactic.

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I think the writer is pretty strong in this one. Doesn't give pink glasses to traumatism and pacing it realistically. What the survivals live everyday with, how the guild is doubting their own existence, how those circumstances, odours, sounds still after years are playing chess game with their minds. The endless dialogues full of wisdom between halmoni and Kang Doo, mom's alcohol tantrums ( my grandfather became alcoholic because he couldn't forget the pain of his beloved older brother being shot while forced to ride sledges full of blessed German soldiers at the end of WW2 and he was deeply suffering every 31st of December because of fireworks), the urge to make people remember those who suffered because of stupid mistakes in a simple but meaningful way... I still consider this drama as one of the best ever written.