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Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching

So, what are we all watching this week?

What kept you reaching for more (or agonizing when there was no more), and what made you want to throw your remote through the screen? Time to weigh in…

 

missvictrix

Currently covering: Yumi’s Cells 2

Kiss Sixth Sense: Even with all the proper cuteness coming back this week, I’m getting bored. I’m glad this is only 12 episodes!

Alchemy of Souls: This was wayyyy more fun than I was expecting. I didn’t have any issues jumping into this fantastical and somewhat silly world, and the characters and their interactions are just as colorful as they should be. The comedy and fun factor carry the show, and I hope it stays that way. I can deal with the wacky CGI, but my only real complaint was all the exposition that was crammed into the dialogue. Our characters explain so many places and concepts and histories all for our benefit; it’s a little artificial, but I’ll accept it rather than be confused or wade through 4 episodes for the setting to be established. Anyway, this is a perfect weekend drama to escape to for a little bit, and I can’t wait for more!

 

mistyisles

Currently covering: Jinxed at First

Alchemy of Souls: This is so much fun to watch, and I can’t even pinpoint exactly why. Is it the fantasy setting? The gorgeous visuals? Jung So-min’s facial expressions? The Four Seasons quartet whose dynamic reminds me of my early K-drama days (Before Before Flowers, Sungkyunkwan Scandal, You’re Beautiful, et al.)? All of the above? Whatever the case, I’m here for it! Though part of me does wonder if the show is ever going to address the matter of the real Mu-deok — is she still in there somewhere, or did she die since she didn’t end up in Naksu’s body?

 

DaebakGrits

Currently covering: Why Her?

Alchemy of Souls: I’ve only watched the first episode so far, and I enjoyed it. I’m just not sure I’m in the mood for fantasy right now, so I might save it for later and binge-watch it all at once. The visuals and world building are amazing, and even after only one episode, I’m feeling inspired to create something from this show. For those of you who don’t know, one of my (many) hobbies is recreating K-drama scenes in miniature form, and I suspect this drama might end up on my growing list of craft projects. Maybe that’s another reason I should hold off on this drama; I’m already drowning in paint and glue.

Kiss Sixth Sense: The at-work flirting and secret meetings damn near killed me from the cute hilarity of the situation! This week I did catch myself overthinking the mechanics of Ye-sool’s ability a bit too much. Like, when she’s making out with Min-hu at the end of Episode 10, does each new touch of the lips send her to a different premonition of the future? How can she stay in the mood/moment if her brain keeps jumping around like a television flipping through channels? And what if one of the futures she sees is of Min-hu using the bathroom or something? Talk about a mood killer… I can only hope that there is some sort of destiny at play so that her ability only shows her what she needs to see in order to guide her to some specific moment in her future with Min-hu — perhaps the take-down of our mysterious stalker, for example. Maybe at that point, both of them will lose their special abilities just as quickly as they obtained them? That’s what I’m hoping for. Only two episodes left! Please give us a good ending to go with the rest of this addictive drama!

 

Unit

Red Heart: From start to finish, this was the Kang Hanna show! She met a great character, and delivered effortlessly. I wish I could say the same about Tae. I understand his character motivations, but I certainly don’t want to live under his rule. It’s a good thing that he has someone like Jung on his side to reel him in if he ever goes over the edge. Minister Park was more of a pendulum kind of character to me, sometimes I liked him, other times I didn’t. But I always respected how he stuck to his ideals on protecting Joseon in his own way. Who else wasn’t surprised that the minister of war was sent into exile? It remains to be seen if his daughter can follow through on her determination to be dowager. I think it was nice that the drama ended on this note — with the daughter nursing future ambitions — because, though the drama is “over,” politics in Joseon never really end.

It’s Beautiful Now: Look who got scammed while trying to scam his parents. I feel slightly bad for Soo-jae, but I feel even worse for Yu-na. As the father said, fans turned haters are usually the worst, and l bet his mum won’t let her off easily. But I guess this is where her boss comes in now to fulfill his destiny as a second lead. As always, Yoon-jae and Hae-jun continue to be my favorite couple in the show, and yaayyyy for the double date finally happening. Great grandma Kyung-soon remains my favorite character in the drama, and her friendship with her brother and Mi-rae’s grandmother is so fun to watch. I hope the show won’t attempt to pair her “oppa” and “unnie” together, so the trio can continue being the three musketeers of the yoga club without anyone feeling like a third wheel.

 
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Red Heart: It ended fine. All the actors did a great job. The show was visually stunning, kudos to the cinematographer and the director. However, the thing that was missing was a deeper plot. Everything was a bit shallow and not as developed as it could have been.

Woori the Virgin: Blah, meh, mediocre. The drama has some moments, but overall it was not good. The last two episodes especially just dragged for no reason.

Link: This show actually gets better. I usually hate when the woman likes the man first, but in this case watching Gye Hoon struggle with his feelings is kind of hilarious. Sir, not everything is how she is feeling. This is one of the few times the childhood connection makes sense because they both moved back home. I am still not convinced that he is feeling her feelings at all. I think his sister is somewhere around. That being said the best characters are Bok Hee and Chun ok(umma and halmoni). They are so entertaining and such utter messes. Their restaurant is considered nasty but they still remain open despite that and don’t change their cooking habits. Lol

Insider: I was going to drop this week if he didn’t keep getting beat up. It was getting tedious and didn’t make the plot interesting. We finally moved on from that and I was intrigued a little bit. I’m not sure why I keep watching, this show is missing something too, but keeps me just intrigued enough. Hmmm.

Eve: So does she like the chairman I’m not sure, but does she empathize with him, yes. I am not sure what the fake mom’s issue with her new path is. What is she trying to accomplish? I am not sure how illegally obtained evidence can be used in a lawsuit. Also I feel so bad for the daughters in this drama, Bo Ra and Da Bi. Oh won’t they think of the children.

Kiss Sixth Sense: We definitely got kisses, lol, everywhere and all the time. I am not really sure how his sickness works, but he seemed fine. It was interesting that her mom knew who he was and was pleasantly surprised to see him. That was a nice change from mom’s disliking the new boyfriend.

Money Heist Korea: The removed the reason why I stopped the original one because they realized how stupid it was and I really appreciate the Korean writers for that. In the original at the end of episode 1, Tokyo said I didn’t realize the police would shoot back after we shot at them. In the kdrama, they gave the thieves bulletproof vests because they recognized that the police shoot back when you shoot at them. I’ve only seen the first episode, but I enjoyed it enough to continue.

Doctor Lawyer: I really like SSR in this, so will continue watching. I can’t tell if he really likes Yoo Na or is messing with the Goos, but it is really worth it. His contempt for Hyun Sung is hilarious.

Alchemy of Souls: I look forward to our assassin teaching our wayward winter season.

Anna: I’ll check this out too, maybe it will be good. lol

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You know what I thought when Link started? That Dahyun got a heart transplant and the donnor was Gye Young! (Yes, I watched too many kdramas 😆)

As for Woori, I didn't get the bean... but I saved 4 hours of my time 🙂

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Oh that is so Makjang, lol, for Link. Interesting theory.

I'm jealous, you didn't get the bean for Woori. lol

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Money Heist: Long Title: 7.5 (ep 1/2) No childhood connections so far, just Kim Yun-jin from Lost and Shiri. I call that a pretty good trade :)

Doctor Lawyer: 7.0 Watch out! There might be earrings in the trope salad.

Alchemy of Souls: 9.5 Crab legs!

Why Her?: 7.5 Does the title mean "Why is the smart FL the stupid reckless one who always needs rescuing?" or just "Why is it her that gets framed and arrested?".

Link: Eat, Love, Die: 7.5

Red Heart: 7.0

Kiss Sixth Sense: 7.0
Jinxed At First: 8.5
Because just 1 show with an FL who can see the future if she has the right physical contact simply isn't enough. And sadly, I don't foresee a future in which I have physical contact with either of them.

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Bloody Heart was a satisfying ending save for Lee Tae’s gloating about PGW’s death. But it happens to be one of those dramas that would have benefitted from a 2 if not 4 episode extension. Impressive characterizations by Jang Hyuk, Kang Hanna(fitting drama for her first female lead role) and Park Ji-Yeon.

Kiss Sixth Sense - ‘Good one walking away Pil-yo. Ye-sool isn’t it for you anymore.’
With all the highly sensual innuendo that was thisk, it is time to say goodbye to this hot next week. Oh Seungtaek deserves better than Howoo’s cold shoulder.

Why Her? Ep 2 – Damn! What a premise. Watching this alongside You Are My Spring is a Seo Hyun-Jin excess sugar. I really hope Choi Joowon Ji Seunghyun isn’t totally like his father.
Hitting the play button on this one this week I do not regret. Doctor Lawyer is next.

It’s Beautiful Now - There is no enough Dolt Couple this week. IBN looks like it is slowly veering into the melo genre with the fallout with Soojae and the ticking time bomb in the form of Jin Su-jeong. I know what I feel about Hyun Mi-rae’s mom, but I don’t know what to envisage at all. She is written and portrayed(in the good hands of Park Ji-young) with this strong sense of character which I both admire and respect that I hope she doesn’t descend into anti- territory.
Even though Soojae is remorseful enough, I hope Kyung-ae has more pep talk in store for him. He hurt her the most. His remorse shouldn’t prevent him from receiving the chastise that was/is coming for him.

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Alchemy of Souls - I will always check a Hongs' drama, because their dramas are part of my early years of drama-watching... and because I will forever have them connected with Javabeans and Girfriday (and their witty recaps and explanations of the word plays and hidden meanings). Alchemy self is not bad, but... I personally would put less focus on the special effects (sometimes they are a bit too much for me, less is sometimes more) and put more focus on the substance. And add more of the witty dialogues which used to be such a trademark of Hongs' dramas. So far I'm here mainly for the main couple, the fearless assassin in a weak body and the Winter Master who is much smarter than he shows. (And for Kippeum, because I loved her in Shooting Star. 💕 )

Yumi's Cells 2 (4ep) - they portray the first romantic stages so well! I have constantly butterflies. Tongue Cells' tango was perfect 😄
Yumi's resignation shocked me and I'm not sure how I feel about that.

Link - how is this show so good at making me laugh at one moment (grandma massaging her cheeks after the forced smiling 😂 ) and shiver with fear at another moment (everything with the Stalker). And then even include well the romance... and mystery - btw, I'm starting thinking that all the town people are shifty not because they did something wrong, but because they didn't do something they think could have changed little Gye Young's fate. Like the piano teacher who probably feels guilty, because he did NOT take Gye Young in his car (and thinks he could have saved her if he did). Or... did the village somehow had to choose between Dahyun and Gye Young?? 😱 I don't know and I like how the show keeps me guessing. I'm just a biiiiit disappointed that the Stalker didn't *meet* more of the villagers on his way out of the fridge 😁
Also, I do admire Dahyun for actively trying to do something with her fears (like the self-defence practice), just why, WHYYYYY is she walking alone in a dark alley when she KNOWS the Stalker is alive and close??

Kiss Sixth Sense - I'm so glad we are back to funny... and kisses 😁 I was laughing with so many remarks ('Don't try to seduce me' when Cha Minho wore THAT suit) and the Love Plan Using the 5 Senses was a cherry on the top 😂🤣😂

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Red Heart: One of those dramas where the acting, directing and writing comes together to make something really wonderful. The drama stuck the landing, and I thought everyone got a fitting ending. I actually found palace politics exciting, for once. I really loved how the PD focused on ceremony, like the daily dressing of the King and Queen and officials walking in formation.

Yumi’s Cells 2: It was good to see Woong again. I felt bad for him even though his pride had gotten in the way. He may not have been the best boyfriend, but he was a better written character IMO. He felt like a real guy, with his pride and algorithm and Lustasaurus. I can’t relate to Babi. He is too perfect, a fantasy boyfriend, and his cell village doesn’t reveal anything about his personality. What’s his Prime Cell? It’s a little boring, even with all the kissing. I want to root for Yumi and Babi but they need to develop his character, give him flaws and more of an internal and external life. The visit from Yumi’s parents was a little cliché and just served to show Babi’s perfectness once again.

Alchemy of Souls: There’s a reason I don’t watch Chinese wuxia dramas. I found the fighting and costumes/hair pretty cheesy. I really liked the actress playing Nak-su. I wish we could have kept her. The banter was pretty good. That’s one thing the Hong Sisters do well. They have trouble writing a tight, cohesive story, however, and rumors that they think they need 30 episodes instead of 20 doesn’t inspire confidence.

Link: Eat, Love, Kill: I just started Link this week and have already gobbled up the first four episodes. It’s so good! I love the black comedy and neighborhood full of suspicious people. How could I not love a show that has the heroine threaten to kill the hero after confessing to murder and has the inept grandma -mother duo contracted for murder at an aerobics class. Moon Ga-young has always been a favorite of mine and I even don’t mind Yeo Jin-goo here.

Money Heist Korea: First impression after watching the first episode: I’d have probably enjoyed it more if I hadn’t watched the original. I couldn’t help comparing, and the Korean version came up short in the acting and writing. Just like I thought, Yoo Ji-tae was miscast as the Professor. He’s too bland and the glasses are not enough to make him feel like the smartest person in the room. I’m not sure about Park Hae-soo as Berlin either. The rest seem okay though their introductions were cheesy. I like what they did with Tokyo.

Jinxed at First: While they may not be the strongest actors ever Na In Woo and Seolhyun are cute together. Seul-bi adjusting to the outside world is fun. It looks like the cousin may be the villain and Min-ho will be spared? This is an easy watch now, but I forsee myself dropping it when the angst hits.

Why Her?: Another week ending with Soo-jae putting herself in danger while on the phone with Chan. I’m over it. I thought Soo-jae’s backstory worked but Soo-jae wanting...

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Why Her?: Another week ending with Soo-jae putting herself in danger while on the phone with Chan. I’m over it. I thought Soo-jae’s backstory worked but Soo-jae wanting to tell Chan instead of her best friend did not.

Insider: Jang Sun-oh is the best part of this show. Bring him back! I’m not interested in the prison scenes without him.

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After a little of overthinking, I have this theory that Ba Bi feels distant (off) because of Yu Mi.

Last season Woong was her priority, she gave her all to him. She was always acting and thinking I'm terms of their relationship, so his character was relevant and had a big impact on her life. But with Ba Bi is different... Yu Mi doesn't seem that curious about him or worried about their relationship. When she's with him, we see more naughty-cell than sarang, tbh.

Yu Mi seems to be more focus on herself, and her feelings for Ba Bi aren't that deep, so I think that's why we barely see the guy, we never see them fight and he has like three cells.

Maybe she doesn't care that much? Maybe she's fine with keeping things light and breeze and then break up if there's a little problem? (She was so ready to be the lead of a makjang and break up with the rich kid, heir of a big company).

Idk, but I feel like their keeping Ba Bi's character and their relationship in a superficial level for a good reason. Well, I hope so😂

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Thank you, this makes sense to me!

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That makes sense! Some relationships are light and breezy. If they aren't going to do anything to get me invested in Babi or Yumi/Babi, I hope they beef up the writer plot. That feels a little light when it was such a big change on Yumi's part.

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hat's something that I liked about Jin Joo's cameo. Everyone (except for the parents) are acting a little weird about Yu Mi's change. Jin Joo looked like she actually cared, she didn't support Yu Mi's decision just because.
I have some friends with big goals. They have a plan, they're pretty clear about what they need to do to accomplish their dreams. They don't try to avoid the subject because their embarrassed, and they're not dubbing their decisions everyday.

I have no idea why Yu Mi isn't looking for a part-time job and I really don't understand why is she eating outside with her bf, when she clearly knows that she doesn't have money.

While everyone has been acting like "that's her life, that's her problem", Jin Joo asked the important questions.

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"so I think that's why we barely see the guy, we never see them fight and he has like three cells."

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣I almost spat out my drink.

I like your theory, it makes total sense

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I'm not watching season 2 yet, but based on S1, that's exactly how I felt about Woong and Babi!!
Babi is just too perfect, feels just like fantasy, as you said.
Woong might have not been "perfect", or the best boyfriend, but he still was nice and he felt real, and even though the relationship with Yumi didn't work out, it was compelling to watch, for me.

Having said that, hopefully I'll enjoy watching this season as well, once I finally decide to start it!! XD

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COMPLETED
Red Heart - I found the dowager queen and Gye-won far more compelling than the leads. Their story was always going to end in tragedy but it still felt depressing to watch.

ONGOING
Doctor Lawyer - This show has a lot of exposition and repeated scenes. The intense stare-downs between the leads or between Yihan and Jayden are laughable. At least the FL knows the truth now. Not sure why they couldn't have this conversation any time in the last 5 years…

Why Her - They made Soo-jae dumb and I'm so annoyed. Chan and Yoon-sang are irritating and have zero respect for Soo-jae's agency.

Link - End of Ep. 5 was heartbreaking. The leads are very good together. The only jarring part was the weird attempt at repartee between Gye-hoon and the violent cop. Don't care if he's the piano teacher's son - men like him should not be in uniform and making him seem like 'actually a nice guy' is weird.

Insider - Loved the card game and the multiple layers of scamming. Hope Sun-oh comes back soon. He's been the best part of the show so far.

Jinxed at First - The more the past gets revealed the creepier it gets. They kept Seul-bi's father imprisoned too? And the nurse has been institutionalised? Min-joon is definitely going to go dark-side - his character is interesting but the actor is too expressionless. Seul-bi meanwhile has the opposite problem - the manic pixie energy is too much.

STARTED
Alchemy of Souls - What a good start. Wook and Naksu have crackling chemistry and the set-up is fun. Only sour note was the way Do-hwa and OG Mu-deok were dispensed with - maybe we'll get their story later?

Planning to watch Money Heist, Extraordinary Attorney and Café Minamdang next week. If they're good, Doctor Lawyer and Jinxed at First will both be unceremoniously dumped.

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It's slowly turning into stress that I always have to remember to select the right country with VPN and not get mixed up with my three streaming platforms.

The last two episodes of KISS SIX SENTH have ensured that I have been able to block out the previous two for the most part, thankfully. They have been the highlight of the series so far.

LINK: EAT, LOVE, KILL is getting more and more interesting and exciting.

YUMI'S CELLS 2 is good to watch in between.

WHY HER? The more the romance progresses, the more I lose interest in this series, although the rest is still good.

ALCHEMY OF SOULS had two surprisingly entertaining first episodes. I will definitely keep watching.

I also started watching MY LIBERATION NOTES in between. Very relaxing and yet so true.

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For @midnight and other G.Heyer's lovers:
Sylvester (book) report - I enjoyed the book, despite my occasional struggle with the slang (English is not my first language). I think my favourite part was when they were first together because of the snow storm... and my favourite character surprisingly is not any of the leads, but Tom. I have to admit that the writing and humour of Jane Austen is more my cup of tea, though I also think that despite a fairly simple plot, Heyer's dialogues and observations can run deeper. What next? Cotillion? 🙂

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As FREDERICA is my favourite Georgette Heyer book, I would of course recommend that as your next read 😊

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My mom and aunt adore Heyer to the point they won't get rid of the books to re-read. I need to try again because she's one I've always failed to get into when normally I agree with their book selections.

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Hooray!! Tom is LOVE! GH has a knack of making a side character shine and stand out without taking away from the story.

I wouldn't suggest Cotillion to someone new to GH. Arabella, Frederica, The Corinthian, or False Colours are much easier to quickly get into and enjoy.

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I think Frederica is more romantic than Cotillion, which is heavily on the farcical side.

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Thanks all. I'm considering Cotillion, Frederica, False Colors, The Grand Sophy, Venetia, Arabella or A Civil Contract. (I will probably re-read the synopses... and decide according my mood 😅 )

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+ for Frederica, The Grand Sophy and Venetia 😊

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If I remember well Cotillion was my first. I laughted so much at these dandy's anguish about ribbons.
You make me want to read it again.

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OMG I haven't commented in a while but just had to when I saw all these posts about Gorgette Heyer , I've loved her books since my teenage years ,she was recommended to me by my mother . Please try 'These old Shades " ,the Black sheep and "the Devil's cub."

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It is very exciting to find a fan base within a completely different fan base out of the blue!
I love all 3 you have mentioned too!

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I love those, too! Just add Regency Buck and Faro’s Daughter and you have my very favourites. Irresistible!

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Hyun Jae is Beautiful: Soo Jae cries, I cry.
Mom saying she's scared of Yoo Na was devastating. She has the right to feel that way (I would've feel the same, tbh) but at the same time I know Yoo Na is just a good girl, so it feels so wrong to hear everything the mom said about her. I just can't. Last week was so damn sad.
Ps. Big bros need to work on their comforting skills, a lot. Thanks god, Yoo Na was there for Soo Jae.

Yu Mi 2: Thanks to Isa now I'm questioning everything 😂 I was fine with the couple, but I'm not sure anymore...

Link (EP5): I love our leads. They're so cute together.

Alchemy of Souls: The fights are so much better at 1,5x speed. I'm loving the comedy and the romance.

The Guest (EP13): I knew that ahjussi was sus since day 1. I knew something was off with him the minute he didn't want to exorcize Hwa Pyeong (as a kid) when he obviously was possessed. And I understand Mateo was on denial and all, but saying Hwa Pyeong was Park Il Do was wrooooong. So freaking wrong. I'm hurt and disappointed.
If they kill shaman ahjussi I'm gonna get mad. They need to stop killing everyone in Hwa Pyeong's life.

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FIND ME IN YOUR MEMORY—After watching Shooting Stars, I was curious about this one. I am not one to binge-watch dramas on the first watch, yet I cannot stop watching. The mix of rom-com and mystery suits my mood perfectly. I know that the contrived situations to get our couple in the same space is not the cleverest writing, but I actually love that EVERYONE is a matchmaker in this world. Ha!
Moon Ga Young is just as charming here as she is in her other works. As for the couple, the WAY they look at each other (and they are “fake” dating right now) gets me every time. This is my first time seeing Kim Dong Wook and I am finding his character quite swoony. Seeing him trying to resist but slowly falling for Ha Jin is my catnip. Add in Kim Seul Gi, Yoon Jong Hoon, Young Nam Jang (WLFKBJ!) and other standouts and I just want to give the casting director a gold star.

ALCHEMY OF SOULS—Take about a swoony couple. There have been many comments on the last scene of episode two for good reason. There is something rather asymmetrical about them as individuals—they both do not fit the mold of their world—and yet they feel symmetrical to each other. Does that make sense?

HAPPINESS—the humans continue to scare me much more than the infected Zombies. Also, I understand why there were several Beanies who said Yi Hyun and Sae Bom are one of the better couples. They have a slow-burn understated romance without typical of rom-com hijinks. The romance is a more mature one based in unshakable teamwork, mutual respect, and love.
But the draw continues to be the characters—as much as I want to throw a couple of them off the apartment roof—and the look into how people act and react in extremes. Honestly, pre-COVID, I would not have understood this drama nor appreciated the themes. What makes us human and when do we loose our humanity? Can we bear the costs of selfishness and self-interest?

PLAYFUL KISS—I think Jung So Min has blown me away this week. I had a yen to check out one of her earliest works. I have a soft spot for this drama in spite of its flaws because it was my first Kdrma and literally changed my life. Watching it again four years later with the knowledge and experience I have gained in Korean language and culture makes this re-watch a fun one. I am catching and understanding so much that passed over my head before. For example, Bong Joon Gu speaks in Satoori and sang a trot song! Still, I am thankful for the FF button.

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So nice that you're enjoying Happiness and FMIYMemory, I love those shows.
If you want more of Kim Dong Wook being cute, you should watch You Are My Spring!

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Oooh. Thank you. Kim Dong Wook + Seo Hyun Jin is something I should check out.

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I like your description of the relationship of the two leads in ALCHEMY OF SOULS- I think that you are spot on. But, given what she does in the second episode you have to admit that she makes for one really scary girlfriend.

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As a girlfriend, scary, as a strategist, maybe brilliant.

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The brilliant strategist fits with her training as an assassin- as does the scariness. I hope we see more of both.

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Ha! Good point.

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ALCHEMY OF SOULS (Ep 1-2) It is like a sageuk is merged with a Hong Kong martial arts film with borrowed elements from Harry Potter and Naruto with some Karate Kid training/bonding in the future. In the beginning we are given a lot of information but little context (like the writers know in their own heads that it makes sense). We have four spellcaster families who are part of a long, semi-forgotten revenge plot against the weak king who tricked a soul change to begat an heir, now shunned by his own world. We have the skilled outsider mage who will carry out her master’s plan but she is conveniently soul swapped into a weak body. The actual soul shifting principle is actually getting in the way of the premise. Episode 2 begins early the quasi-palace politics and power grabs that usually grind a story to a halt. Naksu’s rebel group may be secretly controlled by the elders of one of a mage clans.

WEDDING HELL (Ep. 10- 12) It was promoted as a rom-com but really was better as a long advertisement for elopement. Each wedding planning point was a template for the same lack of communication, apologies and stress. Both the FL and ML could not carry the load of making a vanilla script better than average at best. Only the father-in-laws had any common sense but their screen time was limited. For comedy, there was very little and it was flat. For romance, it was weak and stereotyped to being uninventive. Solving the couple’s clear communication and emotional issues by saying “I love you” does not bode well for a happy future.

I really thought the previews would have been presented the viewer with the AFTER marriage struggles during the post marriage honeymoon period, when the lovers’ facades begin to crumble and real personalities come to the surface, i.e. all the traditional wedding stress is nothing compared to false expectations of marriage. The wedding shoot break up scene was as close as we got to some reality, but that was swept under the rug to white wash a happy ending.

CLEANING UP (Ep.5-6) The plot with the insider group is very dull and misses the point. Getting caught is not the issue with them, Yong Mi has the perfect cover, as a cleaning lady, to defuse the situation. But her crew is naive and not street smart enough to leverage their position over people they fear. The story clearly is now centered around Yong-Mi. Every time she hits rock bottom, life digs her a deeper hole to fall into. She risks everything only to have the money she needs to get her life back on track taken away from her. The story repetition is getting boring.

Variety:

SIXTH SENSE 3: I got the final episode, to end the season with a record of 6-8. There was no hint of a fourth season (I do not know if the ratings were any better than the prior two series).

HOLE IN LOVE (Ep 1): I found this show by accident. It checks off many producer show boxes: South Korea’s current golf obsession, couple culture, and dating shows. Six strangers in their late 20s...

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(3 men and 3 women), mostly golf novices, play golf and get to know each other. As one host remarked, when men and women work out (together) the psychology of playing sports together along with their anxiety, creates a certain thrill, heart racing, which might be confused with other feelings. Both golf and dating are hard to master.

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I heard ratings of sixth sense dropped this season. This show is my happy pill. I hope it continues. But it is without a doubt much more expensive to put together than several other variety shows.

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Woori the Virgin (Series review) - Mood progression: D+ / D+ / D+ / D+ / D+ / D- / D-
It’s an absolute irony when they espoused principles of a main drama character having relatable dialogue and actions, like we didn’t just watch Kang Jae hide evidence as a cop in the earlier episodes or Raphael forcing a proposal just last week. Woori should’ve just ended up single because her values didn’t gel with anyone but this writer has no innovation.

Yumi’s Cells 2 (Episode 5-6) - Mood: C
Good news: Woong’s reentry into Yumi’s story created less trouble than I had expected it to though I think a competent writer would have thought of a more innovative way for his arc (well, at least there’s no Sae Yi nonsense). Bad news: in the preview lies yet another external romance obstacle in the form of the Jeju girl (subvert the usual cliches, please?). I also note that the parent arc is total filler but it’s not offensive I guess. I do feel like there’s been so little of Babi’s cells?

Link: Eat, Love, Kill (Episode 5-6) - Mood: C+
Even though I can continue to suspend my disbelief over the stalker being alive after being run over by a taxi when he’s already bleeding out, the more frustrating thing is that the arc drags out the reveal for Gye Young’s case, what with the corpse that was found in the stalker’s house or even who bludgeoned him that night. Maybe the best case scenario’s a reveal of the Link between stalker and his sister: that might possibly reveal some clues to explain the 18-year mystery?

Kiss Sixth Sense (Episode 9-10) - Mood: D+
Really? We’re not going to even bother about the overdramatic stalker arc and drag it into the finale week? Well, it’s no fun to have all fluff without the substance even if the make-out scene looks great, but I guess since 2 episodes drop at once for this show I can liberally use the fast forward button to skip expected nonsense? As for the rest of the plot, 2nd leads being each other’s consolation prize is predictable, though at least I’ve no idea what will happen for side couple?

Also watched: Jinxed at First / Cleaning Up

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Red heart: Kudos to Kang Hanna for her first lead role.. and the writers too for making the characters layered and palace politics interesting.

Insider: Jang Sun Oh is coming back right?? Loved the chemistry and dynamics he has with Kang Haneul. The actor (Kang Young seok) is so good.. why have I not noticed him before?

Just realised my comments are all on actors/ actresses with Kang in their surname. Heh

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Alchemy of Souls: I will always check out a Hong Sisters drama as The Masters Sun and Greatest Romance are favs of mine. They are others I've enjoyed but aren't as cracktastic. However, when it comes to more of their supernatural shows, I have trust issues after the drama before Hotel de Luna. It started great, like Alchemy, but went sideways half way in. I dropped Hotel de Luna which was a hit for them because it was missing that crackiness that I like and the leads weren't doing much for me.

Alchemy is working for me on the leads, the pacing and the world building so I'll take it and hope it doesn't go the way of the drama whose name I can't remember and am too lazy to look up.

I went out of town and came back and now I have lost motivation to jump back into dramas that I was actually enjoying. I don't get why this happens but there it is; however, it is over 100 outside so it might be a good weekend to get back into Ghost Doctor and Showtime.

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Indeed. I was escalated when watching Hotel Del Luna until 2/3 of the series. It became bland towards the end and somehow lost its magical touch (same goes to The Odyssey - act by LSG).

I truly love sageuk drama style and really hope this drama won't be a hit and miss! To keep it entertaining until end of series might be tough one but hopefully Hong sisters works their magic touch again ✌

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OMG, I am just reminded of The odyssey ending....just horrible.

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Alchemy of souls
The xianxia-wuxia style is totally working for me. I watch similar cdramas to simply get suck in the world and disconnect from everything else. Like many others, I want to see the original Naksu back too. Go yoon Jung managed to make such an impact in such a small time.

Red Heart
Concluded well. I'm satisfied and idk when I'll be able to watch sth like this again. Please dramaland, have more grey and smart characters.

Yumi's cells 2
Hmmm. Not sure about Babi. I'm not onboard the Yumi Babi ship.

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Re ALCHEMY and wuxia. I really enjoyed the first two episodes of ALCHEMY.
After recently enjoying Zhang Ruo Yun in MEDICAL EXAMINER: DR. QIN (2016) (Viki US) I followed him to his 2021 wuxia/historical SWORD SNOW STRIDE (Viki US) and have watched 15 of 38 episodes. Once again I am enjoying ZRY’s performance. The episode count for cdramas has been a deterrent over the years but over the last couple of years I have been drawn more into them.
Finally I am now into volume 4 (“A Heart Divided”) and final volume of Jin Yong’s martial arts epic “Legends of the Condor Heroes”. I have been reading these volumes over several years now and at some point I will watch the dramatized version (of which there are a number) of LEGENDS OF THE CONDOR HEROES.

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Hi, just have to chime in after seeing ZRY in your comment. Have you watched Joy of Life? It was my first introduction to ZRY and it was so good, not just for the acting but the overall cast and fun story. Going to try Snow Sword Stride next :)

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Thanks @aryav, Give Me My Happy Ending for the recommendation. JOY OF LIFE (2019) (Viki US) has gotten great reviews. I am approaching the halfway point of SSS and perhaps can follow with JOL (but 48 episodes! lol).

Btw, I glanced at your previous comments and see you have an anniversary coming up having made your first DB comment on July 3, 2011!
Do you remember watching MBC’s YOU’VE FALLING FOR ME which began airing just about this time in 2011? It is available on Viki under the title: HEARTSTRINGS (15 eps.). I took a glance and it looks like it would be a nice summer rerun. Who knows, maybe I will try to work it in.

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Aww, thanks for the reminder! I didn't realized I have an anniversary coming up or that I created this account in 2011. Geez, that is a long time watching dramas. I probably made this account for Heartstrings as I was into Jung Yong Hwa at the time. Lol. Can't say I remember much of that drama but it definitely would be a breezy easy watch. Enjoy if you're watching.

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Hearstring was a nice college Kdrama. I really liked the OST. And there was Moon Ga-Young as Yong-Hwa's young sister :p

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Joy of Life is excellent but be aware it's just part 1 of a planned 3 part series (and the other 2 parts don't currently exist yet). I didn't realize that when I started, and now I can't decide it I'll be grumpier if they never make the rest of the show or if they do and I suddenly need to watch another 100 episodes to find out what happens.

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@wonhwa I agree re JOL S2 and S3 and I didn't realize it when I started too! But everything else about the show was so good I've since forgiven it. I'm on the side of them not making S2 at this point. I've moved on. I worry S2 won't be as good and I'll be disappointed.

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1. Money Heist Korea: Why is Yoo Ji-Tae so charming, but as the Professor, he has zero charisma? The actress for Tokyo is going to be the next Netflix muse, like the Squid Games girl. The plot-twists were shocking, great and exciting enough for me to fist-pump in the air. Need ep 7-12 stat. Also, Denver! <3

2. The Time Traveler's Wife: You can adapt every little detail from the book, get one of the hottest & fittest dudes to play your ML, can get the author on the production board, and still go so horribly wrong. The dialogue-writer needs to be replaced by not just someone who's read the book but also has enough respect for the source material.

3. Yumi's Cells: Watching Woong on my screen is weird, since I'm already midway into giving my heart to Babi. Am I emotionally cheating? Why are Babi's cells Mexican? I have questions! :P

4. 6th sense Kiss: That should feel climactic, but it does not. Everything just went downhill after ep 6. Meh.

5. Dream of Splendor: Pretty People Torture Porn. Excellent. Chen Xiao is too smoldering and Liu Yifei is too pretty to quit this now.

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I dearly hope Jeon Jongseo (Korean Tokyo) will get the Squid Games treatment. Both actresses have the same sulky, bad girl vibe, but JJJS is 10x cooler and is already an established actress. She has the IT FACTOR in spades.

Time Traveler's Wife is one of my favorite novels, and both adaptations of it has fallen short. Idk if they can properly adopt the novel in this day and age given how the age gap will come across to audiences.

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100% on the IT Factor. I hope that converts into editorials, endorsements, and edgy, indie-projects that go to International Film Festivals, instead of the regular TV k-dramas. In fact, I wish the same For Jung Hoyeon (Squid Games) & Kim Mina (Pachinko)... extremely talented, and very edgy persona.

Yes, TTW is one my favorites too. While I absolutely hated the very on-the-nose, self-aware commentary on the age gap (unnecessary imo), the tonal change bothered me more, amplified by the lack of angst, tension, pining, devotion, gratefulness (and the maddening, desperate LOVE) from the characters, likely due to having zero chemistry with e/o.
Maybe, TTW is more suited to an East-Asian adaptation, where crowds aren't as sensitive.

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Jeon Jongseo is already an indie star. She's got quite the edgy film resume and already went to a bunch of international film festivals (Cannes) and won awards (Baeksang). She's a good fit for Netflix fare.

I haven't thought about TTW as an Asian adaptation, but I can see it working now that you mention it.

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Yumi's Cells: Why are Babi's cells Mexican?

I have the same question. Babi's world is a fiesta. His Emotional Cell with a flower in its hair is a girl, right?

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Yep, Her and his Tongue Cell, both adorable girls! <3

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I also wondered why Babi's cells are Mexican, panshel!

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100% on The Time Traveler's wife.

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I started watching Dream of Splendor and loved the leads and story, but the nonchalance towards violence bothered me and I paused it. I usually don't mind some degree of violence in shows, because they're shows, but it creeped me out here. Torturing confessions out of people's mouths is part of ML's job and no one around him seems to ever question it (not from a moral/ethical perspective). This rubs me the wrong way, because torture is very much a real thing even today and I feel like I'm being brainwashed into thinking it's okay. Did you notice if they addressed this in newer episodes? I actually like the drama and would be happy to finish it.

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I don't mind the ML's occupation. He's a member of the secret police and interrogation is part of the job requirement.

Plus, this is a cdrama, where cops protecting the state = morally and ethically good, so why would it need to be addressed?

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Thanks for the reply! I'll give it another try to see if I can take it as is ^^

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I fast forward the torture scenes if I can't stand them. I am also rewatching Queen Dugu to watch more of the ML there. His character in QD is about the same, serious. It's like seeing the same guy across both dramas. I would recommend Queen Dugu too. Fast pace adventure.

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Aww!! Cute cells in the cover today!!! XD
Probably a sign I should finally start Yumi's Cells!! Soon!! Ahaha!

Instead this week I watched When The Weather Is Fine, while waiting for ongoing shows.
Recently I've been unlucky with fan-favorite dramas, I can't seem to find them as enjoyable as expected.
Like in this case. The show is fine, a few things I disliked (mostly the domestic abuse plot, the way it was handled) but overall it was ok, yet I could never really warm up to the characters, so it didn't do much for me in the end.

I haven't had the chance to check the new Insider eps yet, so I'm looking forward to that!

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RED HEART: I'm so used to final episodes letting me down or merely being forgettable that it took me a couple of days to fully realize that this one nailed it. Everything wrapped up in keeping with the ambivalent tone of the show, and all the characters got what they deserved. And the actors did exceptional work, as did the director and cinematographer. Occasionally, the dialogue-- especially in the romantic scenes--was lacking, but that final line from Tae referring to Jung as both his sanctuary and the sword over his head was sublime.

ALCHEMY OF SOULS: A pure delight from the humor to the chemistry to the luscious colors. The only thing lacking for me so far is the ML's hair. I fully expect this show to start to spin its wheels and fall apart around the halfway point, but I'd love to be wrong.

KISS SIX SENSE: It's back to being cracky. I'm still here for the ML--he's so delightfully weird and oddly sexy--but it was the FL's week to finally reveal why these men would fall so hard for her. I'll miss this one, but I also am glad it's only 12 episodes, because that's really all it needs to tell the story.

YUMI'S CELLS: This is an incredibly well done show, but sometimes, I forget I'm watching characters in their early thirties and not 20s. That's because some of Babi and Yumi's interactions seem more fitting for younger, less experienced people. I mean, her hair grew out, which would take months, and not only haven't they managed to sleep together yet (even though they both clearly want to) they still seem kindof awkward and self conscious around each other. That said, I'm not sure I see these two together forever, but their relationship is definitely sweet and exactly what Yumi needs right now.

LINK: This one easily could've been a dumpster fire, and yes, it's totally unbelievable that stalker dude was able to come to after a serious head injury, get himself out of that fridge after several hours, then get hit by a car, and yet magically survive. I'm rolling with it, though, because the show keeps me guessing (what is *up* with that young cop guy?) and the leads have excellent chemistry.

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After finishing Sh**ting Stars, I didn't find any airing shows interesting for me to watch, so I decided to give this one ago. I'm late to the party, but better late than never.

Finished:
1. My Ajusshi (My Mister): Wow, what a ride. It was a very depressing show with the hint of light at the end of this (very long) tunnel. This made it to the list of the shows I binged in the shortest time. The reason isn't because it was so good I couldn't stop, but more of I couldn't stop because I wanted resolutions to this doom and gloom as fast as I could. 😅 My suggestion to everyone is that though I also consider this a masterpiece, if the first few eps aren't to your liking, you should stop watching and perhaps come back when you feel like it. If you watch until eps 6-8 already, it's highly recommended you continue to the finish line. I think the show was most depressing around these eps. Finishing the show and knowing the resolutions of all characters is worth everything, and it will remove you from the doom and gloom you should feel around two thirds of the show.

Now, for the show itself, it was a very hard watch for me. As mentioned above, I finished it partly for the sake of my sanity, but I also agree that it liberated me in some ways. I guess one of the many reasons people like this one is because we all struggle in different ways, so we can identify with at least one or many of the characters. I think one great message that the show conveys is that we seem to be prone to feel ashamed of something about us, so when that kind of shame is gotten rid of by perhaps someone loving us and accepting us despite that, we can begin to really "live" again. The show delivered many messages that are sure to tug at people's heartstrings. It was a hard watch; nonetheless, it was a good watch.

I think this show will age well as there are many things that many characters did which I couldn't really point out why they did them but somehow know that I will understand this better in the future when I have more experience about life. The show is so real in that sense. The actors and actresses were all fantastic. It's a classic and a masterpiece for sure.

Last but not least, how come IU is this talented? I just learnt recently that one of the most beautiful songs used in the show was actually penned by her: Dear Moon. 🥰

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I'm also watching My Mister, with my husband. Took me a (long) while to convince him to watch it. He's very picky, so it's hard to find a series we both enjoy. We are now on ep 14 and loving it - second viewing for me, so loving it even more. We're around the same age as Dong-hoon and his friends, just a bit younger, and it just hits closer to home I guess. That moment when you look back and take stock of life, so not to feel defeated by life and by your unfulfilled dreams, how to live going forward. It feels so real.

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IU is incredibly talented indeed. She gave another great performance in HOTEL DEL LUNA- turning a show with a lackluster Hong sisters script into a triumph (note credit should also be given to the ML and the director for this as well).

Yet her greatest talent is as a singer- where she is absolutely peerless. My wife and I are big fans- one of my wife's presents for Mother's Day was IU's most recent album. IU has actually had a huge impact as a singer- having brought back the ballad as a popular song form in Korea- so she is actually an important cultural figure in the ROK.

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She really is extraordinary and beloved for good reason. I would suggest Dream High too. You can see how much she grew as an actress but also see the same commitment to character that she has in all her projects. Plus, it is just a fantastic uplifting show.

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Dream High is my first IU drama and why i adore her so very very much.

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I feel you on Ajusshi. I couldn’t get started, twice, and absolutely dragged myself through every episode the 3rd time. It felt like having to take terrible tasting medicine. I did it only so I’d know why Beanies were raving but am still not sure it was the right decision. So hard to watch, so depressing.

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Money Heist Korea: Binged this. Objectively, this remake is good, but unfortunately the original was masterful so the remake will suffer in comparison. The show needed more ambitious directing to inject something fresh into the remake, and they could've done more with the One Korea concept.

Jeon Jongseo as Tokyo is everything a girl crush is made of. I love her so much.

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To add: the music selection for Money Heist Korea SUCKED. Who was the music director?

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Now, you've almost tempted me to watch the original, for comparison sake. The Professor there is right up my alley, though the acting & visuals of the rest of the cast, and the gritty color-grading, aren't (weren't) my thing. :/

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The original is much better. More gritty, more tension, and more depth. It'll make the remake look a bit superficial in comparison. I'm actually rewatching it this weekend, haha.

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Yep, with you on this one. The Korean version was slightly underwhelming and it took me a while to work out why. For me: a) Yoo Jitae is just not charismatic enough as the Professor - he's coming across as weak and caught-off-guard too much, b) they've stuck so closely to the original that they're not making enough of the unique N-S situation to bring something new to the party (if I already know what's going to happen each time so they needed to bring *something* new...) , and c) Nairobi is not unhinged enough.

On the other hand, Park Haesoo is killing it - I *loved* the original Berlin actor, but I think PHS is holding his own here.

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I've been thinking which version should I watch first, you helped me with my decision. I think it's better if I watch the remake first. Thanks!

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At the half way point- almost- The weekender IT'S BEAUTIFUL NOW finally turned into a true weekender. While our two older brothers enjoyed their double date our younger brother has been devastated at being conned by his long time friend- and Yoona, our youngest future bride has finally spilled the beans on their proposed fake marriage- to the future mother in law who was truly in love with her. We were long overdue for some real trauma and angst and now it is upon us. Of course, our youngest brother had to do the complete Noble Idiocy thing- first confess his love to Yoona and then, in the next breath break up with her because he is not good enough for her. As I said, the entire package of Noble Idiocy. Not to mention just plain idiocy on top of that: Excuse me, Maknae, but you have an older brother who is a good lawyer and you are not talking to him about the Fraud? And I agree with Unit about the plight of Yoona- Soo-jae’s mom was really in love with her and now that has predictably turned to deep anger: This will take a lot of time to resolve, and you can bet it won’t be over in just a few episodes. On the positive side the Apartment Prize has been withdrawn by our Trio of Elders and this is a good healthy thing.

My wife and I watched the first two episodes of ALCHEMY OF SOULS and really liked it. The cinematography is great, Jung Somin was good as always and the male lead even better. It has a lot of the flavor of a Chinese fantasy costume drama- the similarities are quite striking: This story may be set in another age, but it is NOT a Fantasy Sageuk like LOVERS OF THE RED SKY. In fact, it is not necessarily even set in Korea, but in another place (the geography is kept deliberately vague). The visual effects are also a match for a Chinese Fantasy. In any case it started really well and can only hope that it will sustain this same high level.

We also watched the first two episodes of JINXED AT FIRST and loved it.

My wife returned to her beloved Chinese Costume Dramas with a watch of MISS TRUTH, now fully available on Viki. This is a mystery show with some parallels to the fabulous IMPERIAL CORONER- and apparently almost as good because she was essentially mesmerized the entire time that she binge-watched it.

After that she wanted something lighter and the Chinese costume drama LADY IN BUTCHER’S HOUSE filled that bill. She has really enjoyed it. I have been watching the light (but more modern) Chinese romcom TIME TO FALL IN LOVE.

WOORI THE VIRGIN sort of fizzled out at the end. We can say that we finished it.

For something different I have also occasionally been watching the J-drama OH MY BOSS! LOVE NOT INCLUDED. Think of it as THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA but redone as a romcom.

Someday I hope to be able to watch RED HEART legally. I hear that Kang Hanna was splendid in her first lead role, just as I expected that she would be.

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Yes, Kang Hanna was flawless and this is especially impressive because a) she had formidable co-stars and b) her character was close to perfect (smart, clever, morally upstanding, always knows the right thing to say and do) which in another actress' hands may have degenerated into Mary Sue territory. But KH kept Jung likeable until the end.

I hope you're able to watch "Red Heart" some day as I think both you and your wife would enjoy it.

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Thank you for confirming that- I know we will. Maybe Amazon Prime will make a deal to get it? This after all is how you can now legally watch HOGU's LOVE again. I will try to be patient.

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So, have you watched Hogu's Love now?? I loved it when it aired.

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I actually watched it long ago when it was on Dramafever as FOOL'S LOVE. It has been years now.

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WHAT?! Hogu's Love is on AP? That is the drama that introduced me to Choi Woo Shik. I remember laughing until my cheeks hurt.

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Amazon recently added it. Yes, there was a time when Korean K-drama writers remembered that a romcom was supposed to be a comedy- not that HOGU'S LOVE does not have some very serious moments as well.

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I watched Miss Truth when it aired and I remember the first 10 episodes were great... then a bit less.

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Many people have noted that C-dramas often taper off in quality as they go along (sort of like a Hong Sister's script). My wife really did enjoy the entire thing but does agree with you. In that sense IMPERIAL CORONER was actually the better show in remaining at a higher quality from start to finish.

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Imperial Coroner is on my list.
From what I hear it should be indeed a superior show. I wish I had more time (I'm still so behind with It's Beautiful Now 🙁)

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another vote for Imperial Coroner. It was tightly written. I was impressed by the pace and the effective and efficient storytelling, which I would usually see in jdramas. They can say a lot in 5 minutes. Cdramas typically like to take their time to show off and hammer their point multiple times. Imperial Coroner used their screentime wisely, and all fat is trimmed while still staying meaty.

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I have noticed that J-dramas often have fewer episodes- they simply do not need as much time to tell a good story.

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I do enjoy the lush, deep-dives we get in k-drama and c-dramas to build emotional connections, but for jdoramas...i can't help but think they would totally ace Pictionary. One minute to draw the strokes you need to communicate the word.

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Completed: Twenty-five Twenty-one.

Watching:

The Red Sleeve. On episode four but I don't know why I'm getting bored after the FL lead finally learned the true identity of the ML.

Insider. I understand why there isn't a lot of people watching this show. But the cast is incredibly good. It has a complicated storyline because of all the backstabbing in a prison setting, large cast, and card games; but I am enjoying it in small doses. Quite a shock to see Kang Ha-neul all beat up here after seeing him as a clean-cut dork in When the Camellia Blooms and debonair-looking in The Heirs and Misaeng.

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THE RED SLEEVE is both a romance and a tragedy about two very real people who lived in the 1700s. It is not a light story. It is a story about people who are in chains- even the King is in chains. It was remarkably well done but it is about as heavy a story as one can get.

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Ooooh. Thanks for the heads up! I love heavy stories. I shall plod along, then...

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The show did actually get boring around that time. Honestly after the first six, I only liked the last 2 episodes of the red sleeves cuff. If you really like heavy stories, try Red heart/Bloody Heart.

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Thanks. Red Heart is on my list. I think Kang Han-na is so underrated.

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Overall, while I found The Red Sleeve watchable (great performances all round), the script felt too much like second-rate fanfiction to me. The court lady angle plus the female lead's hesitancy stretched the credulity scale out of my comfort zone.

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This week, I’m getting an overload of seriously good acting. I’m not complaining…
Bloody Heart
A wonderful drama. The happy ending was beautiful, for the first time we saw Tae smiling freely with his son in his arms. And finally, the worthy queen is on the throne and is doing her best for the country. Gye Won’s and Ga Yeon’s ending was well motivated and filmed, too, I loved that setting in the birch forest. But is it strange that I wouldn’t have been unhappy with a sad ending? Yoo Jung ascending the throne, the king dying tragically in her arms, the queen and Park Gye Won ruling the country with a system of checks and balances. For me, this was the first sageuk where I was really interested in the political plot, the love story took second place to that (even though I loved Tae’s tears and anguished face!).
Link
I’m really impressed with how Yeo Jin Goo shows feeling those foreign emotions. Of course, showing emotions that aren’t your own is an actor’s job, but that tiny moment of surprise and trying to get a grip on himself when he gets overwhelmed is fabulous. Especially the crying scene at the end of Ep.5 was great. I also love how quickly the show switches flavors, from scary to funny to emotional to foodie! Our leading couple is so into each other already, they even wear matching clothes 😉I am scared more of the stalker’s sister than of him, and I’m getting a little fed up with omma and halmeoni, they’re too over the top for me (do halmeonis with short hair have to wear those really ugly beanies?? It was the same in Woori…) I’m sure the childhood connection will involve most people we see now, and I’m pretty sure it will turn out that omma and halmeoni didn’t really kill anyone…
Insider
Has Kang Ha Neul ever played a tormented sageuk king? He looked just like one in several scenes… Again, a lot of violence and nasty torture scenes, I really was relieved when they started to play cards. Those games really drew me in, I’m even trying to understand Texas Hold’Em and their way of cheating… You couldn’t learn those skills in handling the cards in 3 weeks, though, and also not come out of a “training session” in a prison cell with 5 opponents unharmed! Sun Oh’s archenemy was really scary, also #2, but they’re both dealt with, right? That was maybe a little too easy? But money makes the prison world go round… Thankfully, at the end of Ep. 6 Yo-Han’s wounds were healed up and the drama is moving out of the prison, so Yo Han and Sun Oh can meet again!
Why Her Ep 7
I’m watching this with the mindset of Oh Soo Jae as the ML and Gong Chan as the FL in a conventional legal thriller, like Again My Life or Lawless Lawyer. No-one would complain about the ML softening up with the FL, especially if they have a back story or childhood connection. Gong Chan is the person who is always there for her and looking out for her, no one else does that. Also, no one criticizes an age gap where the ML is older, or a relationship where the ML is in the power...

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I still have not started WHY HER? although I keep meaning to.

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Loving the role reversal idea for Why her and suddenly it is working! Genius approach👍

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...or a relationship where the ML is in the power position over the FL, as in countless boss-secretary romances. My prediction is that the romance will not really come through in the end, since the complications have been mentioned in the show so often already…
The jealous fighting aka possessiveness over Soo Jae between the young men is totally uncalled for. And I’m not afraid of Soo Jae being in prison, she certainly has a plan already, applying her impressive legal skills for herself this time.
Kiss Sixth Sense
Ep. 9 and 10 were wonderful, glad I overcame my aversion after Ep.1! It was really funny to see how the vision played out in the end 😉 and lovely to see the ML finally using their abilities together.
Yumi’s Cells 2 Ep 5+6
I did not expect a Christmas episode to be so sad. At first I was glad to see Woong again, but it was heartbreaking first to see hope and then devastation on his face. Very well done, Ahn Bo Yun!
“Everything becomes love…” sums up Ep.6 nicely. Literally fell over laughing at Dad’s handshake… and the best mother is actually the same actress as in Jinxed at First, what a coincidence. Yumi gets her first star just for waking up in the morning, I do too!! I might be getting a tiny little bit too much of the cells, give me Yu Mi and Ba Bi instead!
Alchemy of Souls
The new drama-watching project with my best friend. This is just our thing, fantasy, magic, and cinematic quality! We were reminded of Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Chinese fantasy, Dr Strange… and we call some people A3, Goodie, RM and Snape for our own reason. We are totally in and looking forward to more! (Criticism of the drama or Hong sisters is not welcome 😉)
Jinxed at First
The first episode did a good job in setting up the past and the present, but it had cuteness overload for me… too much brightness, smiles, round eyes, red hair, gestures, jumping around… Also, trope overload: a love triangle right from the start, evil chaebol and even eviler chaebol brother, the best mother ever and right then a truck of doom (I just recently realized I hadn’t seen one of those in a while!), the fisherman daddy who had just coincidentally lost a son and hadn’t reported it yet??!!!, and the market community with overblown characters. I guess that was on purpose, because everything got toned down a little over the next episodes. Even the hair color seems a little more subdued?
Signal
More fantastic acting, I love them all!
I have this downloaded on my phone and watch it on the train when I don’t have internet, so it took me a while to progress. Not the best set-up for this intriguing drama, I know… I’m on ep.13 now, and will finish it soon.
Woori The Virgin
Binge watched everything last weekend in time for the final episodes. I should have invested my time in better dramas!!
To My Star2:
I said I wouldn’t watch BL live, and now I’m reminded why… it’s too hard to wait for those short episodes. Unlike many comments, I can relate to both leads and am...

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Yumi’s Cells 2
Still enjoying it.

Jinxed at first
Not enjoying giving it one more week if no improvement I am walking away for good.

Why her
I regularly shout at the screen why are people treating female lead like she is is not capable but then end up shaking my head when seeing her act like she is not capable.😒

When my love blooms
Loving this recommendation from one of the Beanies exactly my kind of drama, finally. Hoping it stays that way.

Scent of a woman
Enjoying this oldie also a recommendation from a Beanie.

Devilish Joy
Enjoying this oldie.

Bravo, My life
Continues to be ok as a daily driver.

Sungkyunkwan Scandel
On pause now that I am watching When my love blooms.

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I'm watching The Devil Judge. The show is insanely gorgeous. Everything from the cinematography, to styling, setting, acting, music, is simply beautiful. It takes my breath away many times during each episode.

This role seems tailor-made for Ji Sung. It is making the most of his particular style of acting.
I have been a fan of Ji Sung for nearly 15 years. Still, I'm the first to agree that his acting isn't always very modern. He is often too theatrical, too intense, too dramatic. This sometimes fits the role, but unfortunately usually doesn't. Here, it is PERFECT.

This is the third time I am watching Jin Young in a drama. His acting has been quite good every time imho. But here he is more than great at depicting a young man teetering on the brink of greyness.

I don't know how I would have felt if I had gone in completely blind, or had watched live trying to guess everybody's agenda for a week. As it is, I skimmed through first and last episodes' comments and got a basic understanding of a dystopian Korea, and over the top, grey characters. This has helped a lot with not trying to guess anything, and just enjoying the incredibly pretty show.

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We own, on DVD, a copy of the Chinese movie THE NIGHTINGALE. The plot is nothing special, but the movie is gorgeous. Sometimes one watches a show not because it is great drama but simply because it is great art.

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Great art. Exactly.

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I love Ji Sung and agree with you about his acting style even though that's why I love him. He gave such a marvelously restrained but still intense performance in The Devil Judge. I actually think it was the best acting he's ever done and was bummed he didn't get any recognition for it.

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I'm only at episode 7 but I also think this is the best acting I have ever seen from him.

"marvelously restrained but still intense" describes him pefectly!

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I found Ji Sung magnetic in The devil judge.
And the music is great.
I'm baffled that this drama did receive so little love.

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I'm happy to read this. I have been baffled with the amount of criticism too.

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Alchemy of Souls (1-2): Loved it to pieces!! Gorgeous, fun, and leads that you can feel invested in. First time in a while when I finished an episode and immediately went back to watch it again. I'm miffed that the production did such a poor job promoting it, especially since this type of fantasy sageuk is rare in kdramas. I really enjoy it in cdramas, so glad to see it in a kdrama.

Wolf Princess (finished): A cdrama I started last year. It's a cute watch with mostly likable, engaging characters, but should have only been 18 ep instead of 24. I like how the ML isn't the usual beautiful guy, but is sort of rascally.

Chong Ming Wei (up to ep 6) Cdrama historical mystery. Interesting and I like the ML, but I was expecting more? Maybe the short episodes are messing with the rhythm?

Kiss Sixth Sense - skipped this week. I think I will wait for all 4 last episodes to air so I can watch just the OTP scenes because they are seriously what makes the drama watchable. The non-OTP scenes are too irritating.

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Sh**ting Stars: I fear going into episode 13 as a break between our leads seems to rear it's ugly head. But I shall plow through as our lovely reporter/lawyer duo is on the rise.

Who Rules the World: Continues to be an effortless watch a couple of nights a week. Prince Chang continues to be a scene stealer. I really hope the actor get good opportunities because of this show as I find him absolutely compelling not matter what scene he's in.

A Dream of Splendor: The chemistry between the leads is not everything I love about this show, but it is what I will remember the most after it's over. But the banter, the clever FL and the sheer beauty of the show keeps me glued to the screen.

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A Dream of Splendor I’m in ep15 and I’m kinda losing interest. I love the female characters, but I just seem to be unable to warm up to the ML character that much. This isn’t because the actor lacks any acting chops but more like I don’t like his career as the head of the torturing division. It’s a scary job and I just don’t like the fact that he tortures people to get their confession.

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I haven't gotten to that part yet but he was a nasty character to come across at the first episode, so thanks for the heads up.

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Trying to divert my attention to something other than doom scrolling and being somewhat successful. Maybe?

Ms. Marvel - Haven't found Marvel movies interesting for awhile now hence not really paying much attention to D+, but Ms. Marvel is fun. Feel mixed about the immediate "ok, pull the fire alarm" at the wedding because honestly I don't know why they didn't just grab for the bangle after they saved her from the drone.

FamilyXSpy - This continues to make my Saturday. Gotta love Anya. Poor exhausted Twilight.

Link:ELK - Up to episode 2. How was that a meal? It was just three tester pieces.
They need a sprinkler system for the public urination spot because ew. Too gross to be funny. No way that smell doesn't get into his building.

Check Out - Episode 0 made me think the series would be different than everyone getting back with their cheating ex and then cheating on them. Why did Nine ghost D if he was then going to go through all this trouble to try and get with him?

Triage - I was hoping they would shift from the original time loop to another one AND it looks like that is going to happen and I'm so happy.

A Dream of Splendor - ah, the angst episodes. One day a series will have people who had good communication retain their good communication at and past the 69% marker.

The Blue Whisper - don't like that she's fooling him for her personal gain. I'm abusing the ffd button a bit too much with this series.

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Wedding Hell (1-12): Not a big series but it was so realistic. It addressed all the common issues a typical "about to marry couple" face during wedding preparations.

Alchemy of souls (1): Way better than my expectations. Go Yoon Jung is so good as Nakshu and I am sad to see her go. I just wish she stays as such instead of the soul swapping (I know thats the main theme of the story but ....). I mean the character presence she imparted was so huge that when the scene shifted to JSM, I felt so meh !!! I am not a fan of JSM although i do agree she handles comedy fine. But I am sure how much convincing she will be in the intense scenes. I hope they show us the backstory of Nakshu.

The series is visually stunning and I hope the spark stays all throughout the series unlike the typical Hong sisters' drama where they lost the spark after about 10 episodes.

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Not many airing dramas available in my region, so I've been catching up with recently aired ones:
Moonshine ( ep. 10): what a pleasant little sageuk! Love it that they didn't drag out the noble idiocy and are solving the double love triangle without it even being a thing for the main leads. Also, a sageuk centered on working people instead of court intriguers and generals is refreshing.
Our Blues(ep. 7): I started this one on a whim, and I'm loving it. Mostly, it's the Three Meals a Day relaxing feel of watching people (some of them stratospherically handsome and well groomed strolling around in ahjumma pants) doing manual work. Besides, some of the themes talk to me.
Airing dramas:
Yumi's Cells: going to catch up with eps. 5 and 6 today. Absolutely in love with Kim Go Eun as Yumi.
Jinxed at first (eps. 3 and 4): they are going for extreme fluff and likeable support characters, which are both up my alley and give me the endurance to put up with a lot of nonsense. I'm intrigued

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Jinxed at first: ‘they are going for extreme fluff and likeable support characters, which are both up my alley and give me the endurance to put up with a lot of nonsense’.
Reading this statement I realised that I was doing the same by giving this one more week to fix up based on the second half of the last episode. It has just dawned on me that maybe we are being played, they sell the drama with clips of rom com then add in all sorts of rubbish but as long as they add in just enough cute scenes, we tolerate it. I suddenly feel like I am one of the kids being caught by the child catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.😐

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Red Heart The direction and cinematography were the best things in this drama. The acting was really good too. For the story, I think that the story would have been better with more episodes as they were kids to better understand each character in the present and feel more empathy for the reasons they act like this.

Woori the Virgin It was a big miss by the writer.

Link: Eat, Love, Kill YJG and MGY are great together. They are the main reason I watch it because I don't really care about the past.

Jinxed at First I was thinking to test the episodes 3 and 4 after the recap, but no, I don't like the actors enough for that.

Why Her? I really liked Hwang In Yup in True Beauty more than Cha Eun-Woo. But as a lead in Soung of Magic and this one, I don't like him anymore. He's not bad but his scenes have no impact, he looks pretty bland when he shares with Seo Hyun-Jin when she's stunning. It's sad because the rest is pretty good.

Alchemy of Souls Except the hairstyle and clothes, I liked the first 2 episodes. I'm intrigued but scared by the number of episodes...

Yumi's Cell 2 Naughty and Hunger Cells are still my favourite :p

Kiss Sixth Sense I dont' really care about this drama. The so expected scene was like a wet firecracker because the characters weren't natural, they were too conscious of it. I don't like how their past connection plays such a role in their relationship, it's too convenient. At the end, it's Pil Yo who made the FL finally change her way to act. The poor guy had to wait for 3 years to show her she missinterpreted her visions.

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Completed
Once Again: I somehow missed Lee Sang Yi and dove into this knowing that I'll get to see him for 100 episodes. No regrets. Ended up liking everyone including alcoholic diva mum and childish sis in law. Lee Jung Eun is great as usual and I'm fast becoming a fan

Dear My Friends: I got frustrated, laughed and cried together with the seniors in this drama. It's also scared me on the on the many problems facing older people and I hope I have the same kind of friendship and support in my life.

Watching
Alchemy of Souls (Ep 1&2) : So far so good. Got to admit it hasn't completely sucked me in yet but I'm loving Jung So Min in this.

To start
Yumi's Cells S1&2: Heard too much about the adorable cells and have to check this out for myself

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Glad to hear you enjoyed two dramas that left a lasting impression.
Once Again was a lovely watch loved the younger sibs wedding and the twins dad’s separation anxiety! Really nice turnaround with the multiple relationships, and long lost sister. The older generation actors did a great job I love the actor who played grandad.

Dear My Friends really great ensemble cast, big issues covered re disability and mental health, misunderstandings amongst friends, unhappy marriages and mother/daughter relationships.

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Been forever since I sat and wrote on my recently watched kdramas.Too many I have seen and completed but it is strange when it is the streaming provider original productions I seem to take way to long to actually watch them. Especially,those with very violent and very out there storylines. Needless to say I resting watchlist is way too long.

With now the mouse also in the game and me having everything legally and rightly located in Asia I have access to most kdramas but there is still only 24hours in a day.
Currently watching ones- Alchemy of Souls - loving it. Kinda sad most kdrama casts all are younger than me these days,but well I will just enjoy them,seeing I was right there at the beginning of the Hong Sisters rise in kdramahood.From My girl to the others. sat thru thanks Hong Sisters.This fantasy element has not offended anyone yet but we are only 4 episodes in.

Link - Another fantasy esque dramawith young cast.It really helps me feel young with them.Look forward to Mondays to see this one.

Kiss Sixth Sense -Oh dear this one with leads around my age makes me feel love is possible even if you put career or others more important , someone special can find you somehow.12episodes are just right and thanks Disney,this one I finished/will finish.

Jinxed At first -may or may not continue if the other weekday dramas becomes way more interesting likevthe ones startting this week.

Sweet Home -Yes I am only gotten on this till ep4. Very weird looking monsters.Not zombies for sure.

Cleaning Up-.Almost 15 of being a housewife then you divorce and become a low wage employee from being a middle class citizen.#Worldisunfair,#alimonysupportnonexistent, gets me boiling. But she did get into s hole with her gambling habit.white colar crimes at its best and crimes do pay only if you smart enough but really for poorer ones another form of gambling.

Killer Shopping List -Finally complleted this weekend,love it when the community are tight knit and 8episodes was just right.

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The red sleeve is beautiful. I like that it's mostly history accurate, though it's a bit to "folks museum" for my friend.
Kiss sixth sense was way better this week than the previous. I don't care about the childhood connexion, I just want more of the main couple. And maybe some news on the second couple that was forgotten.
Taxi driver is intense, so in pause for the moment.
Modern hijinx are substantiated with Crazy love.
I finished the light funny Time to fall in love. Childish and troppey, good escapism.
Started The murder in Kairoutei. First 4 ep are good, i'm waiting for the subs.
And on a whim started Love me if you dare and I love it. I'm hooked, and bingwatched 12 ep. FL is a bit of a doormat, but the oblivious ML is my crack.

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The currently airing cdrama THE MURDER IN KAIROTEI (12 eps.) is available subbed on Viki US. Thanks for bringing this drama to my attention.
In 2021 I returned to cdramas after a long hiatus (mainly due to episode count) and picked up ANCIENT DETECTIVE (2020) followed by THE IMPERIAL CORONER (2021) both available on Viki US. In the same genre (but not historical) this year I really enjoyed the excellent MEDICAL EXAMINER: DR. QIN (2016) (Viki US).

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Thanks for the info (though I'm not in the US).
Yes, the high episode count is a deterent for cdramas.

Medical examiner Dr Qin has good reviews however the title is way too close to the classic US serie Doctor Quinn taking place in Far West... so prior today I had not cliqued to read more about it. Now it looks interesting.

I started cdramas for (very) light romances, but I see now that there are some good criminal series and that's closer to what I used to watch in US and European series (before switching to dramaland 1,5y ago).

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Yumi`s cells 2: As someone have written already, Babi character is written dull compared to Woong`s character. Drama is showing his cells world way too less compared to Woong. Maybe it is because viewers were intended to focus more on Yumi`s writer journey more than romance this season?
Alchemy: This drama is written just like Chinese Wuxia. i am surprised they didn`t add blood spitting part lol. And I can already see so much angst coming in later episodes. Chinese wuxia xianxia always starts light with ML FL bickering, one having born talent, master pupil relationship etc. In the end so much angst over misunderstanding, sacrificing silently for each other, trying to save one another from doom, birth secrets etc. In this drama Probably ML will try to save FL from becoming zombie like figure or die as stone. I will drop this for now and see how it goes from comments

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