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Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (May 20, 2023)

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: Race

Tale of the Nine Tailed 1938: This continues to be so fun! I love the bros, but honestly Kim So-yeon is stealing the show for me. The character that seemed a bit one-note in Week 1 is actually much more layered and interesting and I love everything about her wild, out of the box ways.

Oh! Young-shim: Hah, this is just the wacky old school drama I thought it would be, and I can’t get enough of the sound effects and just hyperbolic nature of the storytelling. But what I really love is Lee Jae-min (he’s one of the rookies I’m rooting for these days). Bring on the SLS! It’s been a while since I wept in agony with a second male lead.

 

mistyisles

Tale of the Nine Tailed 1938: I’m not sure I care about the plot of this show at all, but I’m not sure I care about not caring, either. I could watch episodes on episodes of just Yeon and Rang bickering, our foxes babysitting, blindfolded swordfights, and the like and be perfectly content! Plus, we’ve got a trio of old friends who fell apart (on top of the brothers with a turbulent past!), which might be my ultimate catnip. So okay, I guess I care a little about the plot — just not how it relates (or doesn’t) to Season 1.

 

Unit

Currently covering: Bora! Deborah, Oh! Young-shim

The Good Bad Mother: Young-soon stresses me. All I can think of while watching her “tough love” scenes with Kang-ho is, “Get him away from her!!” No form of abuse can be justified with love, I’m sorry.

Doctor Cha: Dr. Cha needs to divorce her husband stat! And I like me a good McDreamy, but for some reason, I don’t want a romance between Cha and Dr. Roy.

Tale of the Nine Tailed 1938: This is my happy place every week, and I’m not here for the plot. I’m quite satisfied with the chaos, the bromance, and the eccentricity of Kim So-yeon’s character. PS: Does anyone know the criteria for enrollment into the Fox daycare?

 

Dramaddictally

Currently covering: Doctor Cha, All That We Loved

Finland Papa: This was a sweet little show that I think will be perfect for a Christmas rewatch. (Actually, why wasn’t it released around Christmas?) My favorite aspects of this drama were the colors and camera angles, but I also loved the fairy tale-ish aspect of the story. I was hoping to see more of the reunion between the leads but I understand why they didn’t stretch it out any longer. Anyway, pretty to look at and makes me feel warm and fuzzy? Yes, please! More of that.

 
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COMPLETED
Secret Romantic Guesthouse - The last scene of Ep. 17 was really good. This was a good use of an ensemble cast but Kang Hoon definitely stood out. I'm glad everything ended well for the characters I cared about.

Stealer - I'm going to come back to this show every time I need a laugh.

ONGOING
Tale of the Nine-Tailed 1938 - Baby-protection squad is cute. This is basically a buddy comedy masquerading as fantasy.

My Perfect Stranger - The mystery is intriguing. Right now I still think the brother-sister duo are sus but I guess we'll know more as we go along.

Bo-ra! Deborah - Episode 12 might be my favourite of the show so far. Our leads had some really lovely conversations.

The Good Bad Mother - The culling of the pigs felt so brutal without even being shown 🙈. While I don't agree with a lot of Young-soon's choices, it's hard not to feel for the life she's had. Anyway I'm all ready to embrace the flowery vest and lettuce leaf life 😂.

STARTED
I tried out Oh! Youngshim but found it low-effort and pretty much unwatchable. Dropped.

C-DRAMAS
Was all excited about starting Story of Kunning Palace yesterday and then it got postponed due to "technical issues" 😔.

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Kunning Palace 😖😫

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Oh! Youngshim was truly terrible. I could’ve used that 10 minutes I wasted on more sleep.

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It was SO bad. I gave it the full 2 episodes and it actually got progressively worse. You saved yourself!

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DR. CHA (Ep. 9-10): Cha’s mother gives her an important lesson on the difference between a husband and a father and why a woman in her generation stays to have her children have a father. Cha is in a transitional generation: brought up in conservative society but living in changing times. Seo knows he is a jerk but does nothing about it. Choi knows he is a coward but she continues to let him back in. The volunteer weekend again showcased the lack of common sense for doctors to drink themselves under the table to be useless in case of an emergency. Cha’s compassion for her work is leading to confidence but her family issues continue to drag her down. The cake scene was merely a band-aid covering up a serious tumor. The props get some props too: the upside down heart for Jeon and Jung-Min first real fight. In the park, Cha sitting on an angel’s chair while Seo is on a black bat wing devil’s chair. I really do not like Dr. Kim pressing her to make decision that is her’s alone to make; she has clearly friend-zoned him but he will not accept it. Eun-seo has convinced her mother to move on, but she cannot when she confronts I-Rang. She deserved what she got, but Cha does not know the context: she feels her daughter has now become a dreaded bully that could ruin her life. Jeon is my favorite character because she knows who she is: competent, independent, self-reliant. But learning a little compassion could make her a complete person. There is a lot going on because this show is really a compressed weekender.

BLACK KNIGHT (Ep. 2- 6) POSSIBLE SPOILERS (since this was a bundle drop) Our Mad Max UPS Delivery Man second episode falls into the category of “tell but not show direction.” We get a snippet of information but not the complete answer. It can be a frustrating way to hide major plot points instead of allowing us to deal with the fallout alongside the main characters. We only get random puzzle pieces: kidnappings, human experiments, possible deadly disease caused by oxygenation, and genetic mutants from radioactive mines that hold a key to the elite class survival. There are a lot of superhero genres being sewed together but this looks more like a classic Clint Eastwood spaghetti western than a complex sci-fi drama. Ep 3 finally gives us 5-8’s background as a refugee fighter who finds his plan to become embedded in the forces that are trying to destroy the refugees. He uses his inside role to help supply the Fringe people and arm a resistance movement against the Core elite. We also learn that he is a mutant; with great strength and regeneration processes. Sa-Wol’s refugee journey must mirror 5-8 in a Luke Skywalker way. Ep 4 gives 5-8 access to the CEO’s evil plan but it is not enough to stop a refugee slaughter. The fight gives the CEO something he did not expect: Sa-Wol has the mutant regeneration needed for his vaccine. The rebel deliverymen put their final plan to stop CEO; but was the pollution trucks the real trick or the refugee...

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.... vaccinations? That was the question going into the finale but we knew the answer already. And the finale was more like a community theater attempt at attacking the Death Star. How did so many bullets miss the good guys? Then, three months after the failed coup and destruction of the only source of new oxygen, everything becomes a sunny day? The ending does not fit the original premise. The major source of planetary oxygen was destroyed. The lack of plants to create oxygen is another scientific problem to the series dogma. You need around 400 healthy plants to produce enough oxygen for one person. In this wasteland, no one would survive the elements. Even though the series was only 6 episodes, it was still just an elongated, average action movie. Kim WooBin may have been the lead character but his role was stagnant as the story journey was focused on Yoon Sa-Wol’s (Kang You-Seok) Rocky-underdog development. It was OK but one can tell all the little bits and pieces of other sci-fi shows stitched into this one. It lacked originality, good world building and a good ending.

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The Real Has Come
It's now clearer why Grandma insists on having Sejin as her secretary... and it is a reason I totally didn't think about, but which makes complete sense. I somehow wish Sejin tries to use it to her advantage and fool Grandma who in the meantime overcomes this shortcoming without Sejin's knowledge (with the help of Yeondoo's Mom, of course 🙂) and this opens Grandma's eyes and she finally sees what a snake Sejin is.

Kim Sabu (only E05)
EJ's Father couldn't be more wrong - our Kim Sabu is not trying to make new minions, but to make new doctors, with the idealistic original meaning, of course 🙂, with the focus on saving the patients (and fighting the hirearchy and social climbing). But... I have never seen Father as a villain. (I think the show may be setting as the antagonist the grieving Assemblywoman).

Bora Deborah
Finally an odd episode I didn't want to drop. 😁 Scenes of Bora and Soohyuk together are still the highlight for me.

Dr. Cha
Seunghee is tragic, but I'm glad she is finally getting out of her unrealistic dream, calls Inho a coward and starts planning her independent future. I hope she will stick to it.
Inho is still selfish and making Jungsook's life difficult... so seeing him facing the cake was sooo satisfactory 😁 (especially when it wasn't a fake scene, but a reality!).
Jungsook finally glimpses the whole truth and it is crushing. I expected Dr. Swoony to run to her in all the kdrama fashion, but the show did so much better and that drive with Sora was everything! ❤️

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Also really enjoying "Kim Sabu" 3; I totally agree that Daddy Dr. Cha is wrong about 'creating minions', but then his point of view makes perfect sense because he sees everything so politically. That was also obvious in his statement about wanting everything that Kim Sabu has; he does not understand that Doldam and it's people are not things you take, they are relationships that exist because of the love and loyalty between people. And I am not impressed about how he suddenly likes Woojin because of his 'doctor hands' - again, he is objectifying people. But I love how our dr. couple behave as real adults; when Woojin was hurt, he told her about it and they talked it over and made up - How Refreshing!

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I still doubt why exactly that Kim Sabu brought this person here. It seems like it has to do with this failing right hand. But it could have been any other doctor with better mindset. I’m wondering what Kim Sabu sees in this person that he think will contribute to the growth of the Trauma Center and all the doctors and staff.

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My take is that Kim Sabu sees Prof Cha as an equally capable surgeon (which he admitted to be envious of) who will contribute to building future capabilities of the new trauma Centre. For someone as wise as him, he knows it just can’t be him only to achieve that. Further, not sure if it’s his intention, Cha has a very pragmatic mindset that is necessary to be instilled in the idealistic crew of Doldalm.

I’m somewhat pleased with this direction which is a refreshing angle for S3 that Cha is not an outright villain (although I haven’t watched this week’s episodes yet). S3 is like creating a new medical leader, similar to Director Park from S2 now becoming a fan of Doldalm committed to building a financial and political future for the hospital.

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I also like the direction this season is headed. As you said, it is refreshing. Still, iirc, Cha has made a couple of wrong diagnoses already, and that's why I didn't really buy it when even Kim Sabu himself said Cha was an equally capable surgeon. I agree with you in other points you made.

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That Dr. Cha drive made me so happy. I want more than anything for the relationship between those characters to be a large part of the remaining episodes. Keeping my fingers crossed.

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BEEF
Yeah I’m gonna keep talking about this show. After watching this literally everything else seems like trash to me. Nothing has come close to how much I enjoyed it this year.

INTEREST OF LOVE perhaps, but even with that I’ve had issues with its ending. The drama touched upon class disparity but we get Su-yeong living her best life after she quit her horrible job at the bank. It seemed a little too neat and unrealistic for an otherwise pragmatic and somewhat bleak show. I guess I’m sensing a theme here, I want more messy and flawed protagonists and a realistic depiction of life.

BAD MOTHER (Ep 7-8)
I refuse to put GOOD in the title because Young-soon has never been ‘good’. I honestly don’t know why they casted Choi Moo-sung in this, he barely gets any screen time and while he tries his best to be a compelling villain, the show doesn’t know how to use him or are they too scared?

I’m actually really interested in Chairman Song’s and Kang-ho’s relationship. Both had no illusions who each other were. And yet despite this there seems to some complex feelings and affection at play. Alas I don’t think the show is good enough to be this nuanced. I should just rewatch Heartless City honestly.

That said, a big gripe I’ve had with this year’s crop of dramas, is that there seems to be no complex, compelling or even campy villains. I love a good villain, it makes a story far more engaging and interesting. 2023 I’m begging you to give me a good fucking villain for once!

FAMILY (Ep 1-3)
I’m honestly astounded that a play featuring children from grade one, has a budget for all those props and lighting? Damn how much does Do-hoon make for being a spy? Literally just watching this for Jang Hyuk (and his crazy laugh) and Jang Na-ra.

A question about Tale of the Nine Tailed 1938. All those promos, gifs and screenshots make the cast look hella sexy. And for the first time in a while and as her fan I’m finally interested in a drama starring my queen Kim So-yeon. So do I have to watch its predecessor to understand this season?

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With Nine Tailed, I've heard that it almost re-sets characters from s1 so you could honestly go into s2 as a standalone? That's what I'm doing right now - I do have a very vague idea of the gist of s1 though because I skimmed through the plot hahahah

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Thanks! I’ll probably look for a summary for S1 and just jump into S2. I’ve gotta say it, the show looks very aesthetically pleasing! And I’m shallow so…

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No it's ok, you're talking to the girl who saw one character poster of Kim Bum and consequently hit play so 😂

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I loved loved Beef, Steven Yeun and Ali Wong were spectacular. I particularly loved Ali Wong. I hate that David Choe sucks and kind of overshadowed the show, but I really loved Beef as well.

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Yay another fellow fan! I hoping BEEF wins some awards because it definitely deserves it! And A24 is killing it with their projects lately. Loved last year’s film Everything Everywhere All At Once as well!

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Beef was great. It's quite unusual for me to watch a US or a UK drama these days, but Beef was outstanding entertainment.

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The funny thing is, the Korean title actually is "Bad Mother."

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I watched Beef! At first I thought "ugh, the effort and energy it took to keep trying to get revenge on each other" and by the end I was thinking "wow, are they weirdly kindred spirits?".
It's crazy how everything unfolded because of one interaction on a particularly bad/stressful day.

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Bora!/True to Love: Fake dating is always such a fun trope and I love that this show gave us back-to-back instances of it this week! It’s been so fun to watch these two dance around each other.

The Good Bad Mother: There are things I love and things I don’t love and I’m figuring out how to exist with both of those things at the same time. Love: Mi-joo, Ye-jin’s crush on Kang-ho, Kang-ho’s gaining slightly in maturity, the farming thugs. Don’t love: Young-soon’s repeated abuse, the crappy singer, Sam-shik. We’ll see what happens.

Taxi Driver: Spoilers! Well, I ripped through this and it was pretty fantastic. I think I would have been uncomfortable if they had gone the whole series without some kind of reckoning about their questionable choice to lock up the bad people in a “private prison”, so I was happy to see that growth. I also think it would have been nice for Go-eun to be the one to shoot that sexual predator in the crotch with a nail gun, but it was satisfying nonetheless. Other than that, this was really awesome, and I loved seeing Lee Je-hoon be all the ridiculous characters - that gangster in the furs was iconic.

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Fruits Basket (2019) Season 3🍙🐈(5/13): As we near the ending, the pace is picking up. Suddenly bonds are breaking when you least expect it, and it is always a zodiac member you did not pay enough attention to. There has not yet been an official reveal about the counter curse, but there is a pattern among the freed zodiac members that gives it away. This counter curse is very hard to pull off, but there could not exist a better way to break the curse, which makes it all very beautiful and bittersweet.

The Secret Romantic Guesthouse🛖👑👑👑❓(18/18): Yup, Kang Hoon is winning 2023 Crush and Scene Stealer in the 2023Roundup!🤭 Oh, and the show itself was great too, of course!😅 I anticipated fluff, became worried when the promotion got dark, pressed play anyway, felt proud about figuring it all out, screamed when the show put me back in my place again and again…🤣I am already missing our beloved inn and its original inhabitants. Third Bean earned!

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"Kang Hoon is winning 2023 Crush and Scene Stealer in the 2023Roundup!".

🎉👏🎉👏

I only want Kang Hoon to know how many new fans he has got thanks to this drama and Shi Yeol.

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The only regret I have on not continue watching Guest House is missing Kang Hoo. I’ve loved him ever since I first saw him in YAMS, but the drama didt click at all in me.

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Where are you watching Fruits Basket?

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This was my first intro to mangas and I loved it. My youngest daughter got me started on it.

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Would it be on Crunchy Roll? I read the books so I'm not sure where to find it now.

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I apologize for the late reply. I got it from gogo anime (dark side) a while ago.

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Joseon Attorney 15/16 gotta see this one through to the end, to see how it lands, despite the wheels falling off with last weeks episodes. Episode 15 was one of the better ones though!

Falling Into Your Smile 2/31 (C-drama) my celebrity crush of the week is Xu Kai & saw a few beanies mention this show so….

Love Between Fairy and Devil 2/36) my first and favourite C-drama! Was due for a rewatch.

XO Kitty 1/10 Rationing this one with a friend so it’ll be an especially slow watch. I grew up on Jenny Han books and the To All The Boys trilogy were/are my guilty pleasure Netflix watch, so I’m excited 😍

Race (1/12) I was initially planning to wait to binge this once it finished airing but the mention of a possible office romance in the DB recaps convinced me to cave.

Crazy Little Thing Called Love (Thai Movie) yet another ‘introduced and convinced by Youtube edit’ moment hahaha! I’m half way through and it’s so sweet. A good pick it seems for my first Thai language watch. My watch plate is becoming more and more diverse, which is a blessing and a curse because YAY more content and also OH NO more content and only 24 hours in a day 😂

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I also dropped a few dramas, notably Good Bad Mother: The mum aside, most of the plot is a bit of a mess in my opinion and the only, ONLY, good things are the twins, Lion and Lee Do-hyun :( I might come back to this after it ends just to watch what happens to the aforementioned three (and Mi-joo).

And also dropped the C-drama Ancient Love Poetry, despite being almost 3/4 done, because my angst capacity is maxed out and I can't take what this show is dishing out 😭

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Crazy Little Thing Called Love was cute. My ears have some issue with the Thai language, so I really need to like the drama or the movie to watch it 😅

But they did really good remake of famous dramas like Full House or F4. I prefered their version to the original ones.

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lapislazulii, " my first Thai language watch." <- I'm very selective about the Thai lakorns. I've tried some, avoided the typical, overly screaming, hitting, and "slap-kiss" ones, and thoroughly enjoyed a few.
Off the very top of my head, the ones that popped up to highly recommend are:
Bpoop Phaeh Saniwaat / Buppe San Nivas / Love Destiny (2018). It contains romance, but includes many characters and events in history, which kept me busy in Wiki and other searches. There is a sequel, but I've only watched the 1st.
It's usually at the top of any "Best Lakorns" list.

Full House Thai (2014) -- a remake of the Kdrama original that Rain did such a good job in. The Thai version has some changes that make it somewhat different, but very enjoyable as a sometimes hilarious comedy and can be touching romance.

Thara Himalai (2010) / , 4 Hearts of the Mountains Series 1 -- older, but I really enjoyed it. It's part of a series about siblings. The female lead is the beloved and protected daughter/sister/doctor that encounters an amnesiac patient that has no where to go and gets him employed as a hand on her family's ranch. This drama has THE BEST wound and healing make-up I've ever seen on screen.

Thong EK: The Herbal Master (2019) -- was enjoyable for me.
I think it's set somewhere in the late 1800 - early 1900's and concerns a traditional doctor and a woman that wants to learn from him.

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Wow, I’m glad that you enjoyed some Thai lakorns. I’m a Thai and even I haven’t watched many that you mentioned. May I also suggest you give another Thai series a try? It was very popular when ut was aired, and I particularly liked the third one the most: https://mydramalist.com/10062-khun-chai-puttipat/reviews That was one of my favorites. The leading actress in Love Desitiny is also the FL in this one.

Another Thai series that was super popular here is Hormones. It’s about school students’ life, friendship, love, and other things. It has 3 seasons I think.

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Oh yes, Suparburoot Jutathep... My favorite is Ronnapee!

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Just so you know, “suparburoot” means gentleman, and “jutatep” means 4 gods. So in all I think it means 4 gentleman gods?

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mmmmm, it was nice of you to respond.
The Khun Chai series is on my Thai Lakorn List, and I appreciate the recommendation of one to start with.

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You're amazing @drabea, thank you for those suggestions!! Saves me a lot of time and energy searching for which show to start with to dip my feet into the world of Thai lakorns.

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lapslazulii, your friendly response made me smile.
I might add, without too much "spoilering", because I think it's mentioned in most plot summaries, that in Thara Himalai, the "amnesiac" barely survived a vicious attack and has a secret. I shamelessly enjoy Cinderella-type stories.

All the main actors in the 4 that I mentioned were/are at the top of their game,
and I learned a lot about Thai history and culture by doing a little or a lot of background checking.

IIRC, it wasn't the easiest thing to find viewing sites that carried them with understandable English CC, and /or recap/explanation sites, similar to Dramabeans (which only includes Kdramas), but I think I did find some help.

When I first delved into Asian dramas (introduced by my daughter who was majoring in Chinese and Japanese, but she and her friends mostly watched Kdramas), and then BTS, I was greatly helped by things like Dramabeans and helpful, knowledgeable commenters, to navigate and appreciate those vast, complex worlds.
They have become pretty much my whole entertainment time as I find most western productions have degenerated too much.

Be blessed.

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I love Crazy Little Thing Called Loooooooove! That movie is on what I consider the teen romance movie holy grail list. If you finish it and want more, you should check out the C-drama version. It really expands the story and gives the characters even more compelling story archs.

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omg ofc there's a c-drama version - thank you drama gods!! off I go 🏃‍♀️

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The Secret Romantic Guesthouse (Series review) - Mood progression: D+ / D+ / D+ / D+ / C- / D+ / D+ / D / D+
Si Yeol getting a happy ending, woohoo! Ok, the show has managed to wring one point out of me. I’m glad to have watched Kang Hoon’s performance through this show, and he’s certainly moved up a tier or tiers on my favourite actors list.

Black Knight (Series review) - Mood: D+
The only plus the show had was the chemistry between Kim Woo Bin and Kang You Seok and nothing else.

Stealer: The Treasure Keeper (Series review) - Mood progression: D+ / D+ / D / D+ / D / D-
This shouldn’t have been 12 episodes: a movie would’ve been much better. But the show was a skit that was devoid of logic and coasted on the cast ability’s to pretend like they were filming a blockbuster so I wouldn’t recommend that movie either.

Oh! Young-shim (Episode 1-2) - Mood: D
Watching this show is a test of my recently blossomed love for Lee Min Jae: he has to overcome obstacles such as being an original character that wasn’t in the source material, having to embody the cliche 2ML character archetype who’s in unrequited love with the FL and having to babysit certain particular actors. The plot is as expected: I have no comments.

The Good Bad Mother (Episode 7-8) - Mood: C
Since we’re already more than halfway through the show, I’m inclined to believe that Kang Ho regained his memories and is just playing along. I still don’t understand why Sam Sik is apparently billed as a lead here: he could be taken out of the plot and it wouldn’t have changed much? Anyway, it looks like things are only going to ramp up here as the cancer marches on?

Doctor Cha (Episode 9-10) - Mood: D+
Yeah, when even Roy Kim is unable to make me like this week’s episodes, something has gone awfully wrong. As a result of Dr Cha’s children not confessing, she ends up sacrificing herself for them when honestly she didn’t need to. The cliffhanger this week is identical to last week and the writer’s now baiting us into thinking she’ll divorce for real now, but will she really?

Tale of the Nine Tailed 1938 (Episode 3-4) - Mood: D+
If Lee Yeon wanted to find someone who could accompany Lee Rang when he has to eventually return to his own time, isn’t the baby a much better candidate than some random girl who’s written into the plot solely for the romance? I wish it wasn’t as obvious as the Japanese general being the final villain but Moo Young’s arc is similar to Lee Rang’s from the 1st season?

All That We Loved (Episode 3-4) - Mood: D
We’re already halfway through the show and I still don’t know why both boys are so enamoured with the girl nor am I rather interested in finding out. The duo surviving the surgery isn’t a guarantee that both survived to 2023 but it seems otherwise.

My Perfect Stranger (Episode 5-6) - Mood: C-
Bora! Deborah (Episode 11-12) - Mood: D-

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How do you keep the interest in kdramas when you rate almost everything Cs and Ds? I'm not making a criticism, if I were to rate they would be Es and Fs kkk. I'm just curious. I want to keep the curiosity alive but I give them 20 min and leave, and that's for those that do get a chance.

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I was thinking the same thing. Every week like clockwork they show up and give bad grades. Do you like to hate-watch perhaps? No Shade, just curious!

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It's as simple as understanding that not everyone can drop shows, many like to watch them till the end. There can be several reasons to that too (like an interesting plot point, an actor's performance, good camerawork anything really). And also if they keep watching a show and are not liking it, they can continue to comment about it. I once watched a 55 episode show that I totally disliked only because they dragged a plot point till the very last episode. Yes I realized that in the first few episodes that they are tricking me but I wanted to know how it will turn out, otherwise I usually drop a show maybe half an episode in. I still rant about that show because it wasn't a pleasant experience (I will stop now haha). But that's how I choose to spend my time on that, so no regrets even while ranting lol.

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Exactly like me. Sometimes, I continue watching a show (of course in fast forward mode) even when it's clear to me that I dislike it. Just because I have started. Lol.

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Stealer: The Treasure Keeper -- This was delightful!! Quirky caper comedy with truly likable characters. Wish it were longer, but the format worked well. With fewer episodes, it never had to get too deep or dark to flesh things out, and it was at its best when it stayed light.

Secret Romantic Guesthouse -- Finished. It was fine. I think I would have liked it more if I had watched it when I was new to dramas. I was annoyed by a lot of things in episodes 11-17, but episode 18 was pretty satisfying. Kang Hoon was great throughout, and at the end, the best man for the job earned the throne! Yay!

Joseon Attorney -- I'll finish the last two episodes next week. I've thought it was really good, and Woo Do Hwan is PHENOMENAL. But so much heartache. How much pain can one man (and one viewer) take, writers?? Surely he's earned a happy ending???

My Perfect Stranger -- This is getting really good. I'm fascinated by the dynamic between the ML/FL and the ramifications of the evolving events (butterfly effect?). Now I'm wondering if there are actual spies involved in the incidents somewhere, or at least if there's more to do with political protesters and corrupt officers?

Slowly watching Call it Love to savor it longer, along with Sh**ting Stars as a palate cleanser after Joseon Attorney.

C-dramas -- Finished The Starry Love, which I really enjoyed and would recommend (also loved the OST!). Recently finished My Uncanny Destiny, which was short (24/30min eps), funny, and had a fairly tight and quick-moving plot thanks to a smart and capable FL. This is another I'd recommend. Started Back From the Brink, which seems fun so far. Looking forward to trying The Ingenious One when it releases on Viki.

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I love The Starry Love! I would also highly recommend it. The OST introduced me to Sa Ding Ding and her phenomenal voice. I hadn't watched the previous dramas she had done OST songs for.

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Oh Young ShiM: She is incredibly annoying and not in a cute way. Her dislike and treatment of him is very weird after almost 20 years. It is like she stopped aging at 13, it is very weird. Him, I understand more.

My Perfect Stranger: I am really liking this drama. I like that are leads are understanding that they are in it together. So they need to work together, she brings an outsiders perspective, he brings insider knowledge.

Bora!Deborah: I loved these last two episodes. Out OTP is flirting and getting to know each other. I like the slow seduction happening. This is fun, why couldn't it be this fun from the beggining.

The Good Bad Mother: A beanie, I think Misoo, said the Korean title is just A bad Mother and for some reason the English title is different, that makes far more sense to me. She sucks. I am hoping if they are going to bring his memory back, they bring it back quickly, though, so they can all fight together.

Stealer: It ended on a fun note and I really enjoyed the ride.

Joseon Attorney: We made it to the end. I won't say it has been a fun ride, but it has been a Woo Do Hwan ride and sometimes that is enough.

Kim Sabu: What lessons will we learn this week? Something fun I hope.!!!

Race: Really enjoy the plot of the drama, so I will stick with it despite the acting. Also rooting for Moon So Ri to appear more.

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1. It also my problems with the show. The FL is very undesirable in the way she behaves. I’m not very sure yet whether it’s the acting or the writing meant to be that way.

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I have been thinking about what was wrong about Bora!Deborah in the beginning, and I think it was a lack of perspective. All we saw is her pain, we did not see anything about her previous relationship that made it worth grieving over (just the opposite) and we did not really get to understand the ML lead, why he was the way he was or what he was feeling; he was mostly a comic foil. Only now do we understand how he has come to terms with his previous relationship. Granted, his processing was much more subtle and internal, but that is a challenge or dramas have tackled just fine. That being said, I am liking the slow, cautious approach both of them are taking this time around.

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I totally agree about the lack of perspective. I also think they could have started the romance earlier. Their friendship to romance is really great, but there were other issues besides perspective, but 100% that is one of the bigger ones.

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STEALER had a good finale and a very good message at the end: how people fool themselves by attributing special powers such as eternal life to an artefact. Evil boss Young-soo was the biggest fool of all and is now in the eternal afterlife. Loved the humour in the drama and did not miss a romance, I preferred watching Skunk and Ae-ri bickering over who has to drive.

GOOD BAD MOTHER is getting more and more shocking. The abuse, murder suicide and suicide attempt are just terrible to watch. It is really worrying that the mother's actions are shown as understandable and deliver a positive result. I do not agree with that, so why am I still watching? Because Lee Do-Hyun and Ra mi-ran are soo good. The kids are amazing, too. The culling of the pigs because of FMD was an interesting and very realistic storyline, but the villagers are getting more and more annoying. Mask lady, please, go see a psychologist.

The office politics in RACE are well done. I am still not keen on the FL, but the drama is worth watching.

OH! Young-shim is too noisy for me, I gave up during the first episode.

The romance in BORA is now on track and I think there will be a happy ending. Will the married couple sort out their marriage hell? I hope so, but am not optimistic.

Dr Cha is my favourite drama just now, writing and comedy are great. Kim Byung-Chul and his wonderful range of expressions are a real treat. The cake scene is one of the best scenes I have seen in a drama in a long time!

JOSEON ATTORNEY has taken an unexpected turn. I was not impressed with the execution of the sister and the king's behaviour - I really think he should be deposed now!

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I am rewatching SECRET ROYAL INSPECTOR AND JOYI,
Probably dropped THE GOOD DETECTIVE because I don't seem to have any inclination to click play,
Thinking about starting THE DARK HOLE but feel scared.

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Secret Royal Inspector is such a silly drama, I enjoyed it to bits (Taec helped, of course).

As for Dark Hole, I only managed to watch 3 episodes, I think. Not even my love for LJH (and believe me, it’s huge) made me want to press play.

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Oh wow, I want to watch it ONLY for him! Now I'm more scared 😂

I LOVE SRI&J! I love that the men are cute and the women are headstrong!

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Also SRI&J was LJH’s first appearance in a sageuk. He was terrific. I hope he continues in that genre.

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I rewinded and rewatched every second he was in at least ten times 🥺

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Please don’t waste 12 hours of your precious time on OCN’s DARK HOLE (Viki US). It was my 2021 ‘Stinker if the Year’. Total waste.

If you haven’t seen it and like cops/crime/mystery continue your Lee Joon-hyuk (1984) education with his 365: REPEAT THE YEAR (2020) (Viki US) (24 thirty five(ish) minute eps.).

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Thank you, I have rewatched REPEAT THE YEAR at least 20 times😁 I just might start it again tonight!

Yeah, I pressed play on DH ep1 and gave up very quickly.

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I watched 365 Repeat the Year and Naked Fireman right after Dark Hole because I couldn't get enough of Lee Jun-Hyuk and wanted to see more of his dramas. I'd say that both dramas were very satisfying watches and solid contenders, but can't completely replace Dark Hole's place. I enjoyed the supporting cast and the female lead a lot in Dark Hole. He's at his most mature and manly here. It's his most recent leading role. His upcoming drama Vigilante is going to be a supporting character. And his latest film role is playing a bad guy. While he's very good at playing bad guys, ever since I've fallen in love with him, I just want to see him in more good guy leading roles, haha.

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Dark Hole was where I finally fell in love with Lee Jun-Hyuk after years and years of watching him playing supporting roles (that I don't even remember haha) and bad guys. He was so good in Dark Hole. The supporting cast was really good, too. So many interesting characters. The child actress was amazing. If it helps, I felt Dark Hole was really good at creating a suspenseful atmosphere without leaving any lingering trauma. It also wasn't as aimlessly brutal and violent as a lot of the horror dramas I had watched prior. It was mainly suspenseful with a big heart. Plus, most of the cast that you end up caring about survive. Yay. I loved the casting and the leads. Great ensemble drama :) Some parts were unintentionally funny, such as the tentacles monsters. That brought relief in midst of the suspense.

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It also wasn't as aimlessly brutal and violent as a lot of the horror dramas I had watched prior.

This is actually the exact reason I hate horror genre.

I did finish ep 1 and a bit from ep 2 , but I had to look away so much that I was missing most of the story, so I gave up. I might try and slowly watch it in snippets in broad daylight 😅

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Oh my, you're rewatching?? Haha
Every so often I remember Bead Boy and get sad again, and then get mad at that show, also again... 😅

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Yes, I'm rewatching 😁😁

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Checking out the usual sources in english I can’t find any news for upcoming projects for our ‘Bead Boy’ actor Lee Jae-kyoon. On 23 May he will turn 33. Happy Birthday Lee Jae-kyoon!
LJK is in prime time age-wise (so to speak). I hope we will see more if him in kdramaland after this hiatus.
Possibly he has been on the stage in musicals. I have no idea.

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I knowwww he is AWOL 😭
He's also completed not a known actor at all. But I will watch him wherever he shows up next I hope.

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Secret Royal Inspector and Joy is such a fun watch!!

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Tale of The Nine Tailed - I did not expect to love this one to the extent that I'm enjoying it. It's just so on point.

The Secret Romantic Guesthouse - I have gotten another reason to look forward to Kang Hoon's next project.
Everything ended just where I wanted - Yoo-ha becoming King, Shi-yeol surviving, Shi-yeol and Hong-joo remaining an item, Kang San passing the throne over to Yoo-ha, San and Dan-oh going off into merry land.

My Perfect Stranger - I'm surprised they acted the way they did. For someone who's trying to find out the killer I'm surprised they didn't allow history run it's course until the very last minute of which they interrupt the process. But then, that means the story ends so...

Dr. Cha - I really feel for Jung-seok's conflict from within with regards to how she moves forward. I hope she puts herself first and foremost in whatever decision she makes.

Oh Youngshim - Positively, I hope it gets better.

I'm on a trip to completing unfinished projects so I picked up Pandora from ep 13. All I have is one question. What the hell is that ending? Did they kill Kyo-jin to save him and then save him from the explosion to kill him off again? Did they forget that Jae-hyun shot himself straight to the head? While I enjoyed the ride...and comeuppances, especially the ones directed at Jae-hyun and Bong Tae-kyu's character, that ending ruined everything.
Next on my unfisnhed projects is At A Distance, Spring is Green episodes 11&12. The many references here to it and the feel good feeling I had while watching it then just drew me right back in for real this time.

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On-going:

1. JOSEON LAWYER: I sort of dropped this one after episode 12, meaning I fast-forwarded ep 13 - 15, so I didn't have to sit through Woo Do Hwan's character's sister's death. Even WDH could not save this show.

2. DR. ROMANTIC 3: Finished ep 7 yesterday, waiting for ep 8. I found the plot too dramatic, which I didn't sign up for. It is excessive, to the point that it made me lose interest. And what happened to Lim Won Hee's character? Can he please talk like a normal person for once?

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2. If you asked me, I’d say it’s been Disneyed LoL. Not a bad thing imo. Once I changed my perspective, I really enjoyed it. It’s certainly different from the first two seasons.

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I enjoyed it too, but I expected better tbh. Its overuse of twists makes it less intelligent compared to the first 2 seasons.

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Tale of The Nine Tailed - I did not expect to love this one to the extent that I'm enjoying it. It's just so on point.

The Secret Romantic Guesthouse - I have gotten another reason to look forward to Kang Hoon's next project.
Everything ended just where I wanted - Yoo-ha becoming King, Shi-yeol surviving, Shi-yeol and Hong-joo remaining an item, Kang San passing the throne over to Yoo-ha, San and Dan-oh going off into merry land.

My Perfect Stranger - I'm surprised they acted the way they did. For someone who's trying to find out the killer I'm surprised they didn't allow history run it's course until the very last minute of which they interrupt the process. But then, that means the story ends so...

Dr. Cha - I really feel for Jung-seok's conflict from within with regards to how she moves forward. I hope she puts herself first and foremost in whatever decision she makes.

Oh Youngshim - Positively, I hope it gets better.

I'm on a trip to completing unfinished projects so I picked up Pandora from ep 13. All I have is one question. What the hell is that ending? Did they kill Kyo-jin to save him and then save him from the explosion to kill him off again? Did they forget that Jae-hyun shot himself straight to the head? While I enjoyed the ride...and comeuppances, especially the ones directed at Jae-hyun and Bong Tae-kyu's character, that ending ruined everything.

And then there is The Secret Royal Inspector and Jo-yi (Ep 10-11). I stopped this at ep 9 when it was airing officially. I don't really have much to say about this one except that I'm enjoying watching Taec-yeon and Kim Hye-yoon again. And the secondary protagonist characters are quite solid. And I'm itching to see how they marry the story from Jo-yi's mom's side to the palace politics. And of course Bae Jong-Ok's character arc. Such a fierce woman to be reckoned with a lot of great tact and cutthroat business acumen.

Next to be added on my unfisnhed projects is At A Distance, Spring is Green episodes 11&12. The many references here to it and the feel good feeling I had while watching it then just drew me right back in for real this time.

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I'm rewatching SRI&J, and have just finished AAD,SIG. Strongly recommend both.

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I don't know AAD and, is SIG Seo In-Guk? :(

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😁 At A Distance, Spring is Green 😁

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I love this finishing dramas project!

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The Good Bad Mother is the only show that I actually look forward to each week. It does often feel like there's the main story and then there's these tangentially connected side stories that join in (such as the evil lawyer turned presidential hopeful and the corporation CEO). I know they are big factors in the show but whenever they're back onscreen, there's a complete tonal shift (to me) which makes it seem like 3 or 4 stories exist in this show. I don't necessarily mind it but it's something I notice.

I tried to start Princess Hours because it was on the Netflix Kdrama classics list and I'm having a hard time getting into it. I don't know if I've even got 30 minutes in. I think it would be the oldest thing I watched so far but I can't even get into it. Maybe I'll try again later.

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Oh! Young-shim After the 2 first episodes, it's hard to judge. They just set up the characters.

My Perfect Stranger I really like this one. The mystery is interesting, the main characters are smart and nice, the FL with her parents is hilarious.

The Secret Romantic Guesthouse It was a good drama. I was far more invested by the Watchman's story than the leads but the every character had a nice arc even if the FL could have been given a stronger part in the storty.

Bora! Deborah The main 2 characters are the best. The other stories are making marriage looking very bad 😅

Joseon Attorney I didn't watch the last episode yet... not very interested by the story anymore.

Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim 3 The stories repeat themselves too much with the other seasons.

Tale of the Nine Tailed 1938 I don't care about the story at all but it's very pretty and fun.

Race The FL was too naive for her own good.

Finland Papa I liked the idea of the plot but not its execution.

XO Kitty It was fun to see a mix of US show and a KDrama. I was very happy to see familiar faces in the Korean actors like Chaerin of Cherry Bullet as Lulu, Han Chae-Young as Min-Ho's mother, Lee Sung-Wook as Dae's father, etc. The actor who played Min-Ho looked like mix of Park Seo-Joon and Lee Jun-Ho. It's funny that his sister was playing Yuri.

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I find Romantic Doctor 3 to be formulaic but comforting. It’s on Disney, and I guess that explains something. The Disney factors.

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Tale of the Nine-Tailed 1938: 8.0 I didn't like day 3, but 4 was much better. Speaking of which... a magic ruler that can revive the dead, which disappeared during the Japanese occupation? Any guesses on who Yeon will want to use it on after he brings it forward to modern times?

Joseon Attorney: A Morality: 6.0 Between lead's sister here and Secret Romantic dude's mon, life expectancy of female relatives in sageuks is not looking great lately.

Doctor Romantic 3: 7.0 Day 7 - watching a med show with graphic/messy surgeries and doctors freezing/choking just a few days after I had a surgery.... Well, might have been worse if I had watched it the day before.
- One of the comic-relief doctors (a very important specialty much neglected in med schools) has terrible digestive issues after eating just one burger at his favorite place -- is it still his favorite place now?

Secret Romantic Guesthouse: 6.5

My Perfect Stranger: 8.5 Not "Stranger" and not "perfect", but strange and pretty good.

Oh! Young-Sim: __ I had other things going on and wandered away before I had time to form any real impression.

Bora! Deborah / True to Love: 7.0

Stealer: The Treasure Keeper: 5.5 Chief baddie was an unwatchable caricature.

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The scene they are running to deliver the blood bags was so funny and OTT. I liked it.

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My perfect stranger (ep.6). I’m glad that our leads have finally learned they need to work together, specially now that past (and thus present) is changed.

Bora! Deborah (ep. 12). I can’t remember when was the last time I spent to much time in a drama with our leads just talking about the little and big things in life, it was really enjoyable, and I hope drama doesn’t decide to go yo anguish and stupid separation in the last week.

Good bad mother (ep.7). Dropped. When that woman threw his son into the river, I just said it was enough. I was holding on to the drama because LDH is just adorable as a 7 yo KangHo, but I refuse to watch a drama in which the cruel parenting technics of a bad mother are validated by the drama. I hate the idea that she will get a redemption arc.

Tale of the nine tailed: 1938 (ep.4). I’m on love with our foxes, and now that HongJoo knows there are two Yeongs around, I wonder what her next step will be. I’m really liking her.

Doctor Romantic 3. (Ep. 4). On hold.

Doctor Cha (ep.10). I’m a bit amazed I’m liking this drama so much, but I guess that it’s the fact that I can only love a drama that is about a 50yo woman trying to find her place in life, living like a woman and not like a mum, a wife or a maid. I love how Dr. Cha tries to solve things on her own and that she has understood that he way to her happiness can only be found on herself. I can live with all the makjangish as long as she keeps growing so much.

Race (ep.4). So far I really like it. Love the transitions, the funny comments out of nowhere. I also wonder how YoonJo and JaeMin friend can survive when the only customers in her bar are his friends, something that usually happens to every bar/restaurant owner who happens to be best friend with a lead in dramaland.

Continue to watch Beat Coin and Fantasy Boys out of love to Wooyoung.

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DR. CHA - That scene when she smashed In-ho’s face in the cake was one of the most satisfying scenes I’ve ever seen in a drama. I showed it to my mom after explaining the back story and she said, “Well, he wanted his cake and eat it too with his wife and mistress, so he got it.” 😂
MY PERFECT STRANGER - Glad our leads are finally working together. It’ll be interesting to see how their actions affect future events.
CONFESSION (movie) - Y’all know if it’s a So Ji Sub project, it’s a must for me. It’s a good Did He or Didn’t He movie with a twist. And of course, there’s So Ji Sub.

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😆 your Mom is brilliant!

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Joseon Attorney : The main reason I keep watching is because of the acting and especially shout out for WDH. Guy knows how to make you cry alongside with him. His sadness of losing his sister after years of longing or proper hello and goodbye when they met again just so heart breaking. It’s so rare I could shed a tear when someone is acting crying especially male actors, but his portrayal is so raw as if he experienced it in real life and bring the memories back ond the screen. I also could see a lot of authenticity in his acting. The directing also kinda saving the show from the storytelling that I’m not impressed of.

Dr. Cha : It kinda irks me that people keep commenting how the show shouldn’t make a joke out of her husband’s affair. I mean the genre of the show is clear from the beginning is comedy. And dark comedy is one of kind of comedy. Called dark because it supposed to made fun of something that is bitter and inappropriate. Why bother to watch and complaining about the shows if you couldn’t even bother to read and understand it’s packaging.

I also disagree with people who says CJS should have divorce her husband once she found out about the cheating and view her as weak and stupid for staying in the marriage for her children, that her happiness is a better option than to sacrifice. I believe the vow couple take “till death do us apart” don’t entail sentence like “as long as it meet my conditions”. Especially with children involved, chosing to stay and put her children first isn’t weakness, that is the heroism of motherhood that unfortunately nowadays society deemed as idiotic instead of noble. I’m not saying she should stay silent and keep everything inside, it’ll become poisonous. But she can talk about it, confront her husband and have discussions how to sort things out and how they can move forward from the disaster her husband caused. But divorce isn’t the only wise option and I think most of the time it is never the wise option especially when your children are involved. Don’t take your marriage easily folks, but even with problem within, don’t stay for the sake of it and become bitter. You can fix and forgive things even though it’s effing difficult, but maybe it is actually the best bet.

The Good Bad Mother (6) : LDH is never chose and easy character, huh? I think this is one of few from his projects that I quite like, at least so far. It’s pretty interesting to see that the story is portraying his accident as punishment but also gift of chance for redemption to him and his mother. And debate me, but the best part of this show are those twins with their mischievousness and accent. Where I can find them? In special shop? I really like to have a pair at home.

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While I'm of the opinion that Dr Cha divorces her husband, I really really appreciate the timely reminder you gave up there.

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Dr. Cha...Although I do agree with your view that divorce is not the best option, one cannot dismiss it entirely. Not all cases to eventually divorce for married couples are the same and one needs to know the reasons. These are my take on why Jeong Suk should divorce her husband:
1. Deny her conjugal rights to have intimacy with him (10 years)
2. His attempts to block her efforts to employment and achieve her dreams
3. Having a mistress and child and hiding the fact
4. Going on vacation with his mistress despite her medical condition
5. Refusing to give part of his liver when she may possibly die from not having a donor
6. Their children are not younger than 18 years of age and quite independent
7. Both he and his mother bought a property under her name without her knowledge, denying her of the income and she could be subject to lawsuits if problems arises.
8. Going on holidays with his mistress and buying her presents but not any to his wife nor bring his wife for holiday trips

If I were to list more, I might have to re-watch the drama from episode one again. There is simply no reason for her to continue with her marriage especially when she has an awful mother-in-law who treated her badly ever since her marriage.

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It's been as dry as the Arizona desert in terms of drama watching. There's been very few new ones that have caught my interest, so I started Marry Me Now for the premise of a shoemaker and the promise of a good family drama. The shoemaker isn't great, and the promise of a good family drama broken. On the one hand, there's thankfully no real evil characters or makjang, but it's a frustrating one in terms of poorly addressing mundane life issues in an interesting enough way to spend my free time on it.

I'd almost rather watch a documentary about real people going through similar situations because at least then, real-life underdogs are featured in their shining moments after overcoming obstacles. In this drama, the writing of the circumstances and events are just not that compelling despite the interesting themes and narrative. I was really rooting for this drama to be good so that the important sociocultural issues the drama tries to address can be portrayed in an interesting light, but I just couldn't find the light at the end of this particularly long, albeit non-dangerous tunnel. It's been slow-going, and I'd have dropped it long ago if I weren't a compulsive drama-finisher.

So glad Stealer is finally finished airing! I'm eagerly awaiting the passing of pressing IRL events to finally start this one. Judging by other Beanies' mixed reactions, I'm already intrigued by the unfolding of the interesting narrative premise.

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I finished Marry Me Now only because of Kim Kwon ❤️ and the Doctors Couple.
Be My Dream Family is much better. 🙂

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BE MY DREAM FAMILY is a total classic.

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Thanks for the suggestion. It sounds interesting from the synopsis so I'll check it out next time I have time for all those episodes. 😁

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Don't get scared, 🙂 the episodes are only about 30 mins long.

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I actually like some of the really long series as long as the narrative is good. I thoroughly enjoyed 200+ episodes of Old Miss Diary (which I raved about in several posts recently after immediately watching because I liked it so much), which seemed to fly by compared to Marry Me Now's pace. It's truly a matter of feeling non-committal due to things IRL. 🙂

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Marry Me Now is an okay drama, not that great as recent family dramas like It's Beautiful Now and Bravo My Life.

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I haven't seen the former, but good point on Bravo My Life. I liked it minus the weird traumas some of the characters have. It seemed an uncomfortable treatment of serious issues that didn't fit in well with the narrative and drama tone, but the cast was quite good in their character portrayals. Their acting definitely made an already pretty good drama better.

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Dr romantic 1
I spent the first few episodes thinking he is neither cool nor romantic. He seems to be just a jerk, I didn’t like the unnecessary demeaning of the juniors. The second half, I started warming up to him and now I loooove him 😂
Dr romantic 2
Half way through this now. Still love Han Suk Kyu but it now has my favorite Ahn Hyo Seop in it. I cry when he cries. Also liking the FL though she was effing annoying the first few episodes. My favorites though are nurse Eun Tak and Yoon Ah Reum.
Dr Cha
I am starting to agree with everyone who says that dr cha shouldn’t get together with dr dreamy. She should ensure that In Ho understands fully all that he has done wrong and repents, Seung Hui does the same, and divorce In Ho.
The bad mother
Agree with the beanie who said there is nothing good about her. Need to FF through some scenes that give me hypertension, but I live for the Kang Ho, Mi Joo, twins family. Like the thugs, can stand the mask lady, and strangely, I don’t mind Sam shik.

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Search: WWW: Why yes, I would like to see more shows focused on smart, morally messy middle-aged women who kick ass and take names. But, for the love of all that's holy, would a production company please greenlight the epic lesbian romance that Kwon Do Eun clearly wants to write? Because there's something deeply uncomfortable about watching queer shows tricked out in heteronormative drag, and it makes it hard to care or root for any of the "couples".

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Finished Alchemy of Souls 1 & 2 and couldn't move on for a couple of days. I've read comments by people on both sides of the camp - those who prefer season 1 and its actress, and those who prefer season 2 and its actress. I'm in camp 3 - I absolutely loved both seasons and both actresses. If I can accept a reincarnation story where it's the same soul in a different body (and therefore a different person), then I can certainly accept AoS's setup for season 2. Anyways, this is another show that makes me wish that Kdramas had a fanfic world like a lot of anime and manga does. At least I was able to find a few really good FMVs.

In the last stretch of Love Like the Galaxy. Still going slow with this one cause I know there's a separation coming and I'm in avoidance mode lol.

Also in the last stretch of Love is Sweet. Really like this one. The leads' chemistry has tempted me to watch TTEOTM if only for them, but I know how it ends so no thank you.

5 eps to go to finish Your Sensibility, My Destiny. Cute drama, lots of skinship (except kissing). Was really surprised when they actually got married with several eps to go.

Started Back From the Brink. Read the translated novel months ago and loved it. The drama is a bit different but fun, and Neo Hou is both adorable and smoking hot as Tian Yao.

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👆🏼 Yes to everything you just said about Alchemy. And there's lots of fanfic on the Archive of Our Own site, including plenty that's not protected/members-only. Look for the "환혼 | Alchemy of Souls (TV)" tag.

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Thank you!

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Yes! Camp 3 is a happy place. I loved both actresses too and thought they brought out different performances in LJW.

I am saving LLTG for the summer. I am watching Nothing But You in the meantime and can't wait for another Leo Wu project. He is darn good.

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I plan on starting Nothing But You after I finish LLTG. And I recently realized he was the ML in The Long Ballad, so that one has been bumped up closer to the top of my list.

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Agree with your comments on Alchemy of Souls 1 & 2! Great analysis of the complentary strengths of the two parts. And yep about Back From the Brink :) I've heard that the novel has a happy ending, so I'm hoping the drama follows suit.

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I did the same as you for Love like the galaxie, except that my hiatus was during their separation.
It took me a few eps to warm up to Wu Lei, but he is very good.

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Finished K drama Secret Royal Loveshack . Happy ending
A light happy romance /saeguk without a bunch of ministers pontificating.

Watching K drama Good Bad Mom Give me the story of Mi-joo ,Kang-ho and the twins . The main leads are doing a wonderful job. The acting is fine, as usual, the story is unbalanced ? Confused ? What could be a light and cute tale about a pig farm & Pesticide/nail shop is juxtaposed with suicide attempts, abuse, murder, thugs, political plots and schemes. 🤔

J dramas. Waiting for subs, will try to finish some that were on hold for subs.

C dramas.Lately I get about 1/2 through a drama then stop and pick up another one. Still watching Ingenious One and Under the Skin (Viki) . Viki says that Ingenious One is coming soon, so I slowed down on that until they pick it up.
Under the Skin is ok. Artist hired to help solve cases. Has to be a trauma /drama, so lead detective blames artist for death of his previous partner.

YouTube

Ghost ships, ship disasters, ship salvage videos. The salvage videos are interesting . Massive, custom built tools and rigs to solve issues, either freeing grounded vessels or raising/ salvaging sunken vessels.

So many ship wrecks ! Fires ! Captains sailing into bad weather! Getting into a “lifeboat” was a treacherous undertaking and often a deadly one.

Watched ship watching videos, ships arriving /departing .

Also watched Japanese home renovation videos as well as videos about Japan’s train systems .

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With cdramas, I start... and drop quite often. 😄

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There are so many to choose from … only to not keep up with them. 😑

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But time to time comes a gem and then I can't stop watching.
#Reset
#Love Between Fairy and Devil

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RESET was so gripping and suspenseful and exciting and heart-stopping and surprising. I was O.O the entire time.

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YES! to both of these.
I am adding Nothing But You to the gem list. Healthy couple, underdog sports, capable FL, best female friendship, best Dad. :)

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Agree with your list- I'm actually on another rewatch of LBFD as I can't get enough of Dylan Wang being petty and powerful at the same time. But mostly the OST is great.
Reset is another one that needs a rewatch.
And if you haven't seen it Meet Yourself is also really really REALLY good!

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I am with you on this, as I somehow stopped watching midway. One main reason could be the dubbing or the acting is not up to par. I don't like to watch historical or costumed dramas and there are more of these than modern dramas. However I love Go Go Squid and a few others where my favorite Chinese actors are except when they appear in historical dramas. Love Wang Yibo and Yang Zi and Seven, the are wonderful Chinese actors.

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GOOD BAD MOTHER: There were a lot of gut punches this week, from suicide/murder attempts to the devastating loss of the pigs, but the worst was the montage of Young-soo abusing her son by nearly drowning him in her effects to get him to walk. The main thing that the show deserves credit for is that every action she makes is carefully set up and explained, and so it's not entirely fair to say the writers are condoning or celebrating her methods--they're just showing that this is what this character will do time and again when life puts her through the ringer. If I look at it that way, I can continue watching, because there are so many other parts of the show that I love (Mi-joo, the twins, the mystery behind Kang-ho's plan, Kang-ho's slow return to a kind of emotional maturity and understanding that might only bring more pain, and the humor). Best moment: Kang-ho's daughter's starry-eyed infatuation with him. So adorable!

BO-RA: This week had my favorite episodes, with Bo-ra and Soo-hyuk having the kind of romcom relationship I love to see. They flirt, they tease, they laugh, but they also have numerous conversations that challenge and intrigue them both. It really is as if we've been given the chance throughout the show to watch two people fall in love, which is exactly what should happen in a romantic drama. Of course, this has been hard-earned because of all the other things (drunken humiliation, for one) that we had to watch to get there, but right now it feels worth it. The side stories aren't working, though, and almost make me wish for a serial killer to pop up instead.

OH! YOUNG-SIM: Wish these two had parted as teens and not children, because then their antagonism and lingering feelings would make a lot more sense. The show is also very silly and simple, but I liked it well enough to continue watching at least two more episodes. Lee Jae-min is really stealing the show. I don't typically make "This kid's gonna be a star!" predictions, but if I did, I'd say it about him.

FINLAND PAPA: The ending wasn't quite as cathartic as I'd imagined, maybe because the whole show was buildup so a quick reunion at the end was never going to be enough. But this was a sweet, beautifully filmed show that should have aired in January rather than May.

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SECRET ROMANTIC GUESTHOUSE: Enjoyed this show all the way through which hasn't happened a lot this year. It was a well-paced, well-executed story with the ideal (for me) mix of romance and intrigue. Shi-yeol ultimately emerged as the main character, which worked for me, especially since Kang Hoon did a great job. But I liked the whole thing and am very relieved that it was way, way better than "Flower Boy Marriage Agency."

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"almost make me wish for a serial killer to pop up instead"-- so true!!!

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Finished Romantic Guesthouse
Well the finale went the way we didn’t even dare to hope for, with a happy ending for everyone, and I’m glad about that. However, the way there wasn’t very convincing to me. How was the military alerted and on their side all of a sudden etc.?
Joseon Attorney
I cried so much with Woo Do Hwan over his sister last week… Will his tragic fate and all that loss turn around into a happy ending?
Bo Ra! Deborah
Still mostly watching for the youth’s romance and shenanigans. But I also like how our OTP are talking and spending time together, but holding back on their impulses. And I’m not sure what our married couples’ storyline is supposed to tell us: marriage is crap, but you just have to look at it through rosy lenses?
Doctor Cha
Continue to enjoy this, but please don’t get back with your husband just because the whole hospital knows about the relationship now!
Dr Romantic S3
Last week gave us great medical cases and drama. I like that we moved on from evil hospital politics in the first two seasons to a conflict between romantic = idealistic doctor vs. realistic, impersonal doctor. Also loved the BL fake out !!!
The Good Bad Mother
So we are using the bad mother method again to make Kang Oh learn to walk? I hate it, and it’s also so unrealistic. You can’t get over nerve damage just by motivation.
The pointer for the twin’s dad get even more obvious, but the other candidates were fun, too. And of course the lettuce gangsters!
My Perfect Stranger
This is getting really thrilling and we’re getting more suspects.
Race The work environment is as harsh as expected of marketing/PR, I wonder what our heroine will make of it. Highlight this week: the shots of the taxi drive. 3 people (not coincidentally the ones in a love triangle) in different cars, in the dark, with angled shots, through the window, reflected in a side mirror… beautiful!
Oh! YoungSim
This maybe a great old school drama to some, but it’s not my cup of tea. I had to do the math several times – Oh Young Shim is supposed to be over thirty and still behaves like an obnoxious preteen, even at work? Not funny to me… Question is, will I watch it just for cute Lee Jae Min?
Finished Stranger
A really great drama, but you all know that. This script was certainly finished and revised before shooting started, no plot holes, last minute editing or uncertainties here, as shown in the scenes in the final episode where the start and ending of each storyline come together. We see each protagonist’s motivation, change and future. Also, impeccable acting and directing.
Netflix started S2 right away, but I think I need a break after finishing S1 rather quickly.
Love Revolution
I did get to the BL fake-out with bully Jaewon from Eighth Sense, thanks for the heads-up, it was great fun! I still have several episodes to watch, they make me smile on my lunch break!
KDrama friend...

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KDrama friend project:
Tale of the Nine Tailed 1938 makes us laugh and swoon so much 😊 (Kim Beom’s Instagram posts are also really funny). Last week we also finished Cherry Magic and continued Cool Doji Danji.

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Forest of Secret S2 is as good as S1, and some would say it’s even better (I am among the ones that can’t decide), but it’s a total different drama and some people found it too slow. Not me, though.

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I started ss2 but dropped it in the first few eps coz I couldn’t remember who was who. I think I might have to rewatch ss1 first and I can start as 2 then.

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I am one of those. I love the plot of S2 more. Very complicated. Yes. But also more realistic. The first few episodes may be like a mess. But then on, it's jaw-dropping. Nothing is insignificant or just a filler. Hoping for season 3, and not just a spin-off.

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To me, both FoS S and 2 are the best kind of dramas I could hope for.

S1 is simply perfection.

S2 takes a somehow different route. Naturally, one would compare it to S1 and there may be doubt whether it’s comparable due to different pacing and structure. But it totally blows me off when the plots are finally pieced together. It is as, if not more, impactful as S1. Really a master showcase of what commands Lee Soo-Yeon has over her story and script.

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It already feels like summer, so probably a bit less dramas and more outdoor walks starting from next week. None of the summer shows I'm anticipating is here yet anyway...

TALE OF THE NINE-TAILED 1938: Keeps being as fun and non-serious as a drama can be, and it's great. Let's see how they handle upcoming reveals and escalation of conflicts - I have no tears left in me until now (maybe just a bit reserved for a drama below, but hope I won't need them too soon there), so show's better to keep the angst level low for now. Gimme more campy action instead!

ASHES OF LOVE: 3rd installment in my ongoing LYX craze marathon. Actually I was planning to watch another show of his - the one where he's ML, gets the girl and has an elaborate 100% happy ending - for healing purposes, but then a smirking devil on my left shoulder was like "Nothing can really hurt you after TTEOTM, so why restraining yourself?", and here I am, watching his famous star-making drama. Frankly I can already tell I'm not gonna LOVE this - it's relatively low-budget which is never a good thing for xianxia, epicness is certainly lacking both in plot and execution, there's a whole bingo of my most hated tropes presented (love triangle involving brothers, FL with brains of a toddler AND harem of loyal admirers nonetheless, protagonist-centered morality, crappy parents etc), leads are not exactly likeable so far (heard it stays this way for many viewers), plus my boy is a classical punching bag SML gone dark here, so expecting a lot of stress. And 60 episodes, holy cow! The things we do for love... Still, I've been spoiled the most important thing - he lives in the end (yay! bar is REALLY low in this case lol) - and that was enough for me, anything else doesn't matter. When there's a life, there's a hope too, right? At least he's been given a grand entrance with a cool fight scene - ah, the balm on my soul, this alone can make up for many things! And got the cute magical CGI goat! Is this an easter egg btw? I recall another celestial dude with such pet in a fantasy drama, which makes some spoilery parallels... Maybe this is a trope itself - guess I need to google more about goats' role in chinese mythology. Let's hope goat stays, I want to sincerely root for at least one relationship in this show)))

THE INGENIOUS ONE: on hold - after spoilers about drama losing its comforting calmness midway I'll probably wait until it's completed and decide what to do with it afterwards.

Was contemplating whether I'm ready for STORY OF KUNNING PALACE, but cdramagods seem to decide for me in this case. Huh. Let's hope this one manages to overcome whatever mess it's going through.

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Omg I loved LYX in Ashes of Love!! Hands down one of the best villains??antagonists? in any of the xianxias I've watched (I spent alot of the series being like he's kind of got a point though?)

I do agree it does have a whole concoction of some insufferable tropes but it wormed its way into my heart and really pulled all my emotions and energy into it. Maybe that's the sign of a good show, when on paper it's got a lot of things you hate but somehow, something about it just makes you love it a lot anyways. That was my experience anyways! Also omg the goat-deer thing was so cute, it reminded me of those apical pets in Barbie movies 😂

"Nothing can really hurt you after TTEOTM, so why restraining yourself?" I could cry hahahahaha I watched TTEOTM after Ashes of Love hoping my boy would get his happy ending so 🤡

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Yep, having valid reasons to turn the way he did was likely why people loved this character so much - aside of acting, ofc. I also read that novel's author initially planned to make him ML/FL's endgame while book was still ongoing but readers loved the other guy more so... It certainly explains some things if you look at it from storytelling perspective.

Personally I think I'm too biased and jaded to look past all the annoying tropes in this case, but who knows? Even if it doesn't work, hate watch is still a thing)))

TTEOTM clowned us all. The only upside is that there is absolutely no room for him to make it EVEN WORSE in his next xianxia... Right?!

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You do realize that of have just posed a challenge to him.

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I sincerely hope he takes it as a challenge to prove us right 😂

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Well, dad has been lamenting that my sharp tongue is gonna bring me endless trouble since I've learned to talk, so no surprises here))) Fine, let's make it a challenge! I am intrigued to see a fate more tragic, if only just for the record.

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I didn't love Ashes of Love, but I sure loved LYX's performance in it and he is what I remember of the drama. The novel is very good though and actually highlights what a great actor LYX is to make such a despicable character so mesmerizing.

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That's where my watching experience after first few episodes heading, it seems. As for despicable characters, I have a feeling there's gonna be a tough competition in that category here...

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Well unfortunately the drama went and made bad female characters even nastier in order to create more filler episodes and that makes Run Yu look even better. He was never petty or evil just smarter than everyone else.

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Costume dramas never hold back at female villainy, it kind of goes with the genre. I suppose, audience loves to hate them and anticipate their eventual downfall.
Too bad there is no use of being smarter or better in any other way than everyone else when you're just a second lead. Sometimes I wonder if such characters haunt their creators at night demanding an explanation for all their disproportional suffering...

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Current/recent:
Bora! Deborah: At last this has tipped the balance to the fun side.

My Perfect Stranger 1-4: I started this late and am catching up. It got off to an intriguing but uneven start; I want to know more about Hae-joon and have a better balance between his story and Yoon-young's. I laughed at the moment in ep 3 when she said “for now, we are in the same boat" (trapped in 1987) with a rusted-out, grounded wreck of a boat behind them. Ha Hyun-sang’s OST #3 is so good.

Oh! Youngsim: I hoped it might work out if I thought of this whole show as a cartoon (especially with its ultra-low-budget look) and found ep. 1 mildly entertaining through that lens. And then the dating show started in ep. 2 and it was so cheap, clownish, and screechy it made Kingdom of Love from Love Is for Suckers look classy. The excruciating noraebang scene was the last straw. Oh well.

Older stuff:
Stranger (Forest of Secrets) 1: Trying to go slowly to enjoy every minute, but it’s complex enough that I can’t keep track of what’s happening if I wait too long between episodes. I can tell this is going to be an instant rewatch.

Do You Like Brahms?: The moral of this story is: eavesdropping is the best form of communication. Bitchy remarks to no one in particular are also useful. The developing friendship-to-love in the front half was enjoyable but at ep. 11 it descended into endless repetitive heartbreak, so I read the recaps for 11-15, pretending these frustrating characters I was reading about were in another drama altogether, and then watched the final 1.5 episodes for more incandescent Park Eun-bin + Kim Min-jae smiles. In the end I enjoyed the hours I spent down a rabbit-hole listening to all the classical pieces referenced in the show more than the show itself. I also watched short and sweet To.Jenny as a palate cleanser and Kim Sung-chul reset.

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I'm so glad you skipped to the final 1.5 episodes of "Brahms" as those are perfect, imo. I still sometimes go back and re-watch them if I'm feeling down. In general, I'm not much of a re-watcher, but there's something about the two reconciliation scenes and their subsequent happiness that instantly makes me feel better.

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I need to finish Do You Like Brahms. The angst made me skittish. Perhaps I will just watch the last 1.5 episodes as recommended.
And To.Jenny is a perfect watch.

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Forest of Secrets indeed is a heavy watch. But it is one that sticks for a long time once you enjoy it. It doesn't dissapoint, though. So, happy watching!

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Dr. Romantic 3 (Ep 7) - I am a big fan of seasons 1 and 2 and I’m glad that S3 never disappoints. Each of the episodes is greatly done.

The Good Bad Mother (Ep 8) - The mother’s “tough love” 🙄 is so frustrating and triggering. Kang-ho, Mi-joo and the twins are love.

Dr. Cha (Ep 7) - This show is funny and entertaining.

Beef (Ep 4) - Steven Yeun’s acting for his breakdown at the church scene was very impressive. It was so moving I had to fight back tears. The story is great. And the music? Fantastic!

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Omg same! The church scene was so raw and emotional that I also teared up while watching it. Sometimes having a good cathartic cry helps release all those pent up frustrations and feels. Steven Yeun did a superb job!

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MATRIMONIAL CHAOS (2018) Eps 30 of 32 half-hour.
I like this type of Korean mumblecore, the offbeat indie flavor and frank conversations that challenge the traditional social order. The characters are wonderfully fleshed out and acted. Ordinary unpredictable people just trying to figure it all out and get through the day, and having meltdowns just when you think everything is going to work out. It reminds me a lot of My Liberation Notes and Be Melodramatic, but Matrimonial Chaos leans too far into the characters’ constantly shifting feelings and goes on for too many episodes. 12 would have been great. Quirky guy Son Suk-ku appears in all 3 of those dramas; also Lee El, saw her in MLN as well. I'd like to search out more in this genre; any suggestions?

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Yes, if you haven’t already , watch the Japanese drama,
Matrimonial Chaos - Saikou no Rikon , which it was based on. Written by Yuji Sakamoto *

Stars Eita, Machiko Ono, Yoko Maki and Go Ayana

*One of Japan’s better screen writers

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Thanks, will put on my list of j-dramas to try.

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Oh! We like the same kind of things!
I agree, those three shows (Be Melo, My Liberation Notes, Matrimonial Chaos) are all of a piece. Not exactly alike, but something similar.
I have watched Be Melodramatic repeatedly. Funny and also serious. Great OST. It might be my favorite show. (I'm saying I like it better than Chief Kim? wow.)
I just finished rewatching Matrimonial Chaos; I wasn't sure I would like it the second time, but I did. There were so many familiar actors in this, which I enjoyed also.
So far I've loved Lee El in everything I've seen her in. I found her very funny in A Korean Odyssey.
Like you, would appreciate ideas for similar shows.

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@ndlessjoie loves all the three shows you mentioned, so perhaps she has some advice for you regarding similar shows.

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Sadly, I can't come up with anything else comparable.

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