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Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (June 10, 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: Sadly, I did not enjoy Episodes 9 and 10 that much — but then again, after the wonderful metaness of Episode 7 it was hard to top that. Sudden zombies and Japanese mercenaries aside, I really do love this season. It’s been full of laughs, is beautiful to look at, and has made me have Deep Thoughts about plot versus plot development. Anyway, I’m looking forward to the finale episodes and seeing Rang go into grief-induced rage when Yeo-hee dies and he starts raising hell and spiraling out of control. Okay, I just made all of that up, but I’m curious to see what happens with this storyline — because if there’s anything we learned from skimming the heck through Season 1, it’s that Tale of the Nine Tailed likes to put Rang through the wringer.

 

mistyisles

Currently covering: Delightfully Deceitful

Tale of the Nine Tailed 1938: I fell behind last week and caught up through Episode 9 this week, so let me start by saying Episode 7 was just fantastic! Fun, tense, weird (in a good way), heartfelt — everything I could have asked it to be. As for Episode 9… I have mixed feelings, for a few different reasons. 1) I didn’t sign up for zombies… But this is also far from the first show to spring surprise zombies on me, so I can deal. 2) I was just starting to like Moo-young a little, but one minute he’s holding hands with Yeon while they punch each other and the next he’s subjecting me (and more importantly innocent people) to zombie attacks. I had hope for him, but he’s teetering over the irredeemable line, and that makes me sad. 3) Before last week, I wasn’t all that invested in most of the characters, and I was okay with that. Now I am invested — but that means I’m also worried about their respective fates. Whatever happens, though, this show has been a wild ride, and I’ll be sad to see it end.

 

solstices

98 Percent: Shin Hyuk-soo! Shin Hyuk-soo!! Ever since I became his fan during Equal, I’ve been looking forward to finally hearing my favorite musical actor sing in person, and he surpassed my expectations by far. His voice is so strong and stable, and he imbues such raw and rich emotions into his singing. I teared up several times because of his character, especially during the last number. (Also, shoutout to Kim Tae-hyung, who did such an excellent job that I couldn’t believe this was his debut musical!)

The Brothers Karamazov: Based on Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novel, this was a thought-provoking musical that questioned the basis of faith, while also highlighting the thin line between love and hate. Park Jwa-heon impressed me with his nuanced portrayal of the complex yet childlike Smerdyakov, and BF’s Donghyun was particularly compelling as the devoted Alyosha.

The Pirate: So much fun! Jung Dong-hwa’s acting prowess blew me away — he was so convincing as both the energetic teenager Louis and the poised sharpshooter Anne. Full of hilarious hijinks in the first act, the jolly adventure drew to a close with a poignant and heartwarming conclusion. And the numbers are so catchy — I still find myself humming them from time to time!

Beastie: A dark and intense musical that reminded me of old-school gangster noirs. Jung Dong-hwa was barely recognizable here as the host bar’s madam — I was genuinely terrified of his character in certain scenes, yet I found myself shedding tears for him in the epilogue. Meanwhile, Hong Ki-bum was so adorably endearing as the bar’s maknae, giving the first half a very welcome dose of levity.

Trace U: My first rock musical! The plot was ambiguous and somewhat confusing — I doubt I’d have understood it if I hadn’t gone in already knowing the storyline — but the curtain call was so much fun. With our neon LED wristbands, it really felt like an actual rock concert! I didn’t think I was a rock person, but this musical might just have converted me.

 

Dramaddictally

Race: I’ve been trying to watch this show since it started and finally smuggled some time into my schedule this week. What a breath of fresh air this is! It’s so realistic, and I’m in total awe of the writing. I think it’s the first time I’ve ever seen a character who lived abroad for a long stretch actually act like she’s been living abroad. She doesn’t abide by the local culture and always seems a little out of place — which is exactly how it would be. Plus, the drama’s got a bunch of awesome female characters, a well-done central flirtation, and some insanely on-the-nose stuff about social media marketing. The big shocker? People are smoking! Like, really smoking. And even though I don’t like it, I can’t turn away from the excitement of breaking the rules. All in all, this is a gem, so far. Although, I’m a little concerned about how the story will wrap up with only two episodes to go. Here’s a case where I think I could handle a 16-episode run.

 
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CRICKET - England - Test match

World Test Championship - final - Australia vs. India

What a beautiful Oval pitch - this kind of pitches you want competitive cricket

Weather was rainy for the 4th and 5th day - but now it's clear sky - clouds could have added more fun in the match

Both teams bowling side made mistakes - well, Australians are doing this since last A S H E S in england

Indians are unable to wickets afters 3rd

Then there is 7th wicket - that is hard to get these days - Lot to do with this new Duke ball.

Austalians have like 80% chance of winning -

whoever wins - i don't care - i want quality cricket

Smith showed high qualiy batting

bowling has been good - you want little bit more

Fielding - You want little bit better from Australia

SUMMER - Nice Cricket summer Start

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JAPAN - busy with cricket so not much time for tv

ANIME - Can't sleep - 7 out of 10 - cinema this june - idols so can't expect much -
bread and love - 7/10 - going smooth - school festival - so there gonna be some drama
TV - Cheating -
romance bleh fluff - these 24 min shows that come these short romance manga are surely aimed at that teenage audience that is into korean romance - cheap stuff -

better go with smut that has always been of manga - can't do some raunchy stuff - in 2023 Japanese media is too tame now - have to go with global world naa.

Kiyohara Kaya is on a roll - Mio imada is getting boost now - high in poll rankings.

TV Dramas gonna give views next week

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Japanese News was total entertainment this week - for once you aren't watching news for anchor aka news presenter and weather girls - a lot love their cute n pretty weather girls.

VIKI -

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VIKI - Can't get korean media so shifted attention towards Cheap Japanese media - and good attention on Chinese - good strategy - there are few good Japanese shows that are worth watch

Haruna kawaguchi - in top 5 too - i consider her romance drama with yokohama far far better than the recent weaboo low quality soap

KOREA - Jun Ho vs. Emre bey vs. marnus - cummins is just too handsome to be in this fight

korean heroines + friends - gone completely horny in 2023 - govt surely wants baby boom - pregnancy brands are the biggest sponsors in 2023 -

Middle class heroine - u hv earned brownies points from of lots of real life losers

Yoon Ah - gonna warm the bed or not - let's see
or will turn no name wife aka girlfriend - this is the challenge - am interested

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Interesting point about the pregnancy brand sponsors.

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"i consider her romance drama with yokohama far far better than the recent weaboo low quality soap"

Are you my inner voice? :P

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The Good Bad Mother: Solid parts and lamer parts as we finish out. Points for the super great kiss, hospital escape, and great villager reactions to Young-soon’s condition. Minus points for the uncomplicated mother-son relationship, ambiguity about Kang-ho’s future, and quickly concluded revenge story.

The Glory: I wanted to wait for the whole thing to drop, but then just couldn’t find the time between other things. With some romcoms coming up, I figured now might be a good time for this. So far so good! It’s quick, engaging, dark, easy to binge (good on you, Netflix), and - so far - my favorite type of revenge story: The Count of Monte Cristo kind. Killing people is a bit crass, much better to set up a situation and let their own terrible natures carry them down a path to destruction. Her teacher seonbae certainly only needed the slightest nudge in that direction.

Black Knight: Sloooooowly making progress (it has had to compete with Tears of the Kingdom since its premiere date, so this is not surprising). I wish I knew more about peoples’ motivations, but if you don’t think about it too hard, it’s a fun watch. I just don’t feel like I have a good idea of what the resistance group is actually working toward. Resistance is good, goals are better.

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'Resistance is good, goals are better' - I really love this statement! Could apply to a lot of different fictional and non-fictional rebel stories. If you had to compare Black Knight to something, Korean or otherwise, what would you compare it to? I'm sitting on the fence as to whether I want to start it or not so thought I might pick your brain!

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I just watched the last two episodes of this drama, and overall I really enjoyed it. My partner and I had a good couple of laughs when Kim Woo-bin comes onto the scene looking impossibly cool, and overall it was a pretty coherent story. The deliverymen (delivery people, really) are sort of Amazon drivers meets Mad Max meets Robin Hood, and while I think it would have been good to reveal their motivations earlier, it didn’t detract too much from my enjoyment of the series. The delivery man trainee (Sa-wol) is easy to cheer for and the baddies are easy to boo off the screen. I think the show’s main drawback is that it has a lot going on for six episodes. There are medical experiments, mutants, pollutants, coups, corrupt corporations, freedom fighters, and everyone with a semi-ambiguous backstory. Nevertheless, I had a lot of fun watching, and I consider it worthwhile. I could have done without the messaging about vaccines, but you have to take the questionable with the good.

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I have been too busy (June always is) and watched very little.

Dr. Cha
I loved the ending and the last shots on the boat - here is Jungsook who is free (also from any bad blood with Inho or Seunghee) and living her life as SHE wants.

The Real Has Come
I'm constantly surprised that given this is a family comedy makjang, it's still often very logical. I just wish we got more moments when I can squee. Maybe next week? 🙂

Oh no! Here comes trouble
A random watch (I was studying 😁 a filmography of an actor). I have seen only episode one, so far, and I have no idea where is this show with ghosts and absurd tragic accident heading to, but it's interesting enough and I'm planning to continue.

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I watched an episode of the TW drama too. @pickleddragon wrote on her fan wall about it.
I wonder if it stayed good till the end.
I should continue.

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Ooh I've been missing from here for a while. Thanks for the tag! I finished this, but I will admit it was a bit confusing for me eventually. It was a good show, overall, not wow, but enjoyable. Although, if I had to pick a tw-drama, I liked WAVE MAKERS way more! (also my kind of genre - political drama).

Another tw-drama has just begun on Viki - THE WAY YOU SHINE - with Puff Guo and Fandy Fan, I watched opening week's eps. It's the perfect drama for trope bingo - makjang romance - so deliciously trope, I'm signing up for it. (It might be this year's LOVE IS SCIENCE minus the cute *piggy* ML)

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Ok, thanks.
Political drama is not my thing 😅
(I only managed to watch (and loved) Into the Ring... and one day I really want to finish Designated Survivor).

I definitely watched Love Is Science, though I think I didn't finish it...

The Way You Shine is on my list of new dramas to check. 🙂

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I saw this new drama on Viki yesterday and added to my watchlist. The weekly episode wait is going to be painful.

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That's how Taiwanese drama run. At least the episodes are a bit longer.

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@dorotka yeah. Every time I tell myself I will wait and start but eventually end up live watching. I remember there was a huge gap in the middle for Love is science due to Covid.
The wait for Before we get married was agony. Lol. Atleast the fan wall discussions about this drama helped the wait.

Anyway. Will check it out this week since I have nothing on my plate until weekend.

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I knooooow.... 😫
And Before We Get Married was indeed agonyyyyy!
I also think that indeed that Covid pause was probably the cause of not finishing Love Is Science.

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Doctor Cha’s ending and Jungsook life is goals.

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DR. CHA (Ep 15-16) The series ended as expected but got mixed reviews. There were many main story plots to answer in the last 2 hours: Cha’s serious health condition; her marriage/divorce; I-Rang’s college; Jung-min’s romance with Jeon; Jung-min’s career crisis; the mortgage fraud on her by her MIL; Choi’s decision to give up on Seo and live a new life with her daughter; and Roy’s donation of marrow. Many of the secondary ones were answered in a mere sentence or two. It felt rushed and incomplete at times. Seo ended up alone with neither Cha or Choi by his side which was a fitting conclusion for a very selfish, arrogant and self-centered person. The parallel that Cha and Choi both chose their careers over a husband was OK. Overall, I liked the show. But there were parts of the show I did not like.

ONE DAY OFF (Ep. 5-8): This series was like reading a person's diary. Small moments, interesting stories, mixed with some sadness, nostalgia, regret and laughter. The series was an excellent reminder of the sentimental reasons why we have friendships, explorations into the world to uncover new things about ourselves. I think Lee Na-young fit the role perfectly: from her hairstyle, dress to demeanor and expressions when even the little things can crossed her path had meaningful sparks in her introspective journey. It was a wonderful series to watch.

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Had to balance my drama-watching with a lot of work and travel this week. Maybe that's why a lot of this week's episodes felt sort of meh?

COMPLETED
The Good Bad Mother - An imperfect drama but a rare one where I didn't fast-forward and skip scenes regularly. Will remember this for some memorable characters and the leads' performances.

ONGOING
Tale of the Nine-Tailed 1938 - Anyone else have trouble seeing anything with how dark the lighting was? Probably a good thing because it meant I could barely see the zombies/yacha 🙈.

My Perfect Stranger - Pointless cliffhanger given he will be exonerated by Soon-ae anyway. The romantic confession seemed to spring out of nowhere.

Delightfully Deceitful - I watch this with half-dissatisfaction, half-disinterest yet somehow finished both episodes before I knew it. Also as much as I like Yoon Park, his character is pretty annoying.

C-DRAMAS
Started and slowly watching The Youth Memories and Here We Meet Again.

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Agreed about Yoon Park's character.

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Tot9T last episodes lighting, camera, editing was all kinda weird. some totally unecessary details shown for what reason? and scenes felt disconnected. one point it was overlit, the next underlit. students / interns, maybe? different crew?

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Definitely felt disjointed I agree.

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How are you finding The Youth Memories so far? It's on my very big to watch-list & I'm waiting to be in the right mood (and to clear my current plate) to watch it.

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I'm only 3 episodes in but I'm liking it so far. Performances are good and it's interesting as a microcosm of China in that period.

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Doctor Cha (Series review) - Mood progression: C- / C- / C- / C- / D+ / D+ / D+ / D+
Oof, that was an underwhelming finale if I ever saw one. Not only were the redemption arcs rushed for everyone, both In Ho and Sung Hee basically fell upwards without even a scratch to their professional reputations. Yes, we can preach about the virtues of forgiveness but Jung Sook nearly lost her life at the start of the show and you have to be alive in order to forgive?

The Good Bad Mother (Series review) - Mood progression: C / C / C- / C / C- / C- / C-
The literal translation of this show’s title is Bad Mother: that in itself was more than sufficient drama? We really did not need any revenge, the trot singer, Sam Sik: I’ll even go as far as to argue that we didn’t need Mi Joo and the twins at all when the central theme was about parents. Ra Mi Ran and Lee Do Hyun gave it their all, but at what cost?

Delightfully Deceitful (Episode 3-4) - Mood: C
Interesting: Moo Young’s now removing all his inhibitions from the pills to his lawyer’s pin, which means that we (and Ro Um) will get to see his real unrestrained personality next week? I still think he’s playing her hard and that this is just step 2 of his grand plan. I’m still confused as to what the point of the psychiatrist is besides preventing Moo Young from breaking the 4th wall like Ro Um but maybe she’s there as a moral compass of sorts?

My Perfect Stranger (Episode 11-12) - Mood: C
Given that Mi Sook recognised the killer, this should mean that we’re not dealing with a time-travelling killer on our hands? I really don’t want to think about the plot-bending implications if that was the case. This put alongside the fact that Soon Ae in the future felt betrayed by the killer should exonerate Hae Joon’s father since the two haven’t even interacted once? Hmm.

Tale of the Nine Tailed 1938 (Episode 9-10) - Mood: D+
We ended off last week with Yeon being determined to kill the Japanese demons and two episodes later he’s only found out who their main boss is? I mean, I’m delighted to see Seo Young Joo on the small screen again but the main story is supposed to be between Yeon and Moo Young (and his bro, I guess) which is now being derailed big time. With no time left!

Oh! Young-shim (Episode 7-8) - Mood: D-
Of course they would cut Kyung Tae’s wish off and leave it as a cliffhanger, either way, the show loses: if he confesses then it would’ve been stupid bait, if he says something else, then we have the classic misunderstanding trope in the finale! Sigh?

Happiness Battle: Dropped.

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Call it Love -- Finished! It was beautiful and I loved it. I know it's a melodrama, but it's one of the most soothing, relaxing shows I've ever seen, and it felt like a healing drama. I liked the filming style, and loved the instrumental OST, and that the soundscape included traffic and nature sounds. I appreciated the use of silence and quietness. Loudness does not equal emotional depth!! So many conversations and moments resonated with me. CIL reminds me a bit of the emotional tone of Jane Austen's Persuasion, with the examinations of individuals' emotions and their family relationships. Usually, I like characters most as part of an OTP in a romance drama. But for the first time, I loved the FL and ML SO MUCH as individuals, I just wanted to see them find peace and happiness, whether or not that was as a couple. Kim Young Kwang and Lee Sung Kyung were both excellent, and they handled their characters with nuance, when as-written they could have come across as pathetic or unlikable. I was satisfied with the ending, and I liked that we saw them in a moment of possibility, taking steps forward in joy.

Still loving Sh**ting Stars during my very slow watch. 😁 It's squee-worthy, and smitten Gong Tae Sung is absolutely adorable. Tried one episode of Psychopath Diary to see if I could handle it, and the answer is nope. While waiting for Heartbeat, decided to try another Taecyeon drama (I've only seen him in Secret Royal Inspector and Joy), and started Bring It On, Ghost. I like it so far! It's scary, but I can FF those bits and it's still fun; Taecyeon is handsome, and it has Kang Ki Young.👍

C-dramas -- Paused on ep. 40 of Love Like the Galaxy, because I don't care about anyone. Starting Back From the Brink again. On ep. 23 of Sword Snow Stride, and it just keeps getting cooler and cooler! (ep. 21 was wild). ML is one of my favorite character archetypes - hiding his intelligence and strategic prowess so that others underestimate him. It's fascinating to see him adjust and strategize as his circle of responsibility keeps expanding, and as he keeps collecting people he wants to protect. The Ingenious One is finally available on Viki, so that's up next!

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"Psychopath Diary"'s first two episodes give a wrong impression about the series. Once I watched those first episodes I left the drama "on hold" for a long time. When I retook it, I binge-watched it in few days and I enjoyed it a lot. It was really really fun.

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That's good to know... maybe I'll come back to it later? I really like all three main character actors, which is why I wanted to start it in the first place.

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Agree.

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Ditto on Psychopath Diary being fun! The ML was really doormat-like and frustratingly kind in the beginning. It was great seeing the ML gain some confidence in himself after mistaking himself as a psychopath. But he still can't help but continue to be kind because that's his true nature.

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Your description of his character, and @isagc 's recommendation make me more inclined to try again!

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Once you enter the humor, even though there are some violent scenes, it is mostly funny. Dong Shik's triyings to convince himself over and over again that he is a ruthless psycho are cute and endearing.

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To anyone who says romance is dead in kdramas 2023, I say, watch CIL. It was so achingly beautiful. So glad you liked it, including the ending, which was divisive.

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Achingly beautiful is such a good description!! Along with the main couple, I also really liked the romance arc between the older sister and Jun. The ending was fully satisfying to me, and felt appropriate within the pace of the show. And to see them with such joy!! Ugh, I just loved it. I guess for my feelings about this show, you could ~call it love~ 😄

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He he. You aren't the first, won't be the last making a word play on the title.

If you want to more debate on the ending, read the last episode recap on DB. Very valid (and passionate) points on all sides. FWIW I'm with you!

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Haha I couldn't resist!!😅

I chose not to read the episode recaps after the first couple of weeks, because I wanted to form my own opinions and feelings without influence. I'm glad I'm not alone in liking the ending! But I definitely understand the split in opinion. My mom would have liked a more concrete ending :)

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“Snow Sword Stride” is so good. I’m envious of you getting to enjoy it for the first time. I love the way the story refuses to follow the usual conventions of dysfunctional family dynamics and heroes abandoning their moral center to attain power. Some of the fight scenes are stunning too.

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Yes, absolutely - the positive family relationships have been a pleasant surprise! Like you mention, I also really appreciate the hero's moral compass and his commitment to sticking with his values and ideals, even when he's maneuvered into a corner. I'm fascinated by the ML actor, and I'm looking forward to also trying Joy of Life, which I've heard good things about.

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I loved Zhang Rou Yan in both Snow Snow Stride and Joy of Life!

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Glad to hear you enjoyed Call it Love!! I agree v much with your review of it - it's a real gem of a show and one of the best kdramas of 2023 so far I'd even say.

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Thank you!! And I agree about its quality... I finished it last night, and as I've been thinking about it today, it's kept moving up the ranks in my current top-ten list! I think it's now at #5 😊

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I'd love to hear what the four dramas before it are! Might find some recs that way too hahaha

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Haha absolutely! Right now, my top ten are (1) Into the Ring, (2) Hello, Me! (3) Thirty But Seventeen, (4) Unlock My Boss, (5) Call it Love, (6) The Best Hit, (7) The Fiery Priest, (8) Bossam: Steal the Fate, (9) Pegasus Market, and (10) Moonshine 😊

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Watching

Meteor Garden (C-drama, 8/49): The F4 are really just immature rich nerds in this version. I actually laughed out loud when the intro ep had them strutting about like the coolest bad boys on campus, only for the ‘narrator’ to then tell us that they were straight A students, top of their majors & won tons of prizes for the school. Also that scene from the start where Si is plotting some 10 year old level pranks to play on Shancai and one of the F4 goes “we don’t have time for this, we have to think about graduation!” had me cackling 😂 At my old high school, kids this studious - rich or not - were labelled losers or nerds (and not in a positive way 😆). I really like the humour in this show though too, it feels like True Beauty style humour! And because the show seems self aware it seems to purposely lean into the ‘cringe’ and ‘cheese’ with a level of satire at times, which makes it even more fun to watch. Like the scene where Si returns Shancai’s jacket and there’s an entire cohort of students who’ve crowded around to awkwardly and silently watch the exchange, when Ximen and Meizuo are running through the ‘how to execute a perfect date’ scenario or just every time Ximen and Meizuo act like they’re Si’s babysitters/tantrum extinguishers/damage control reps 😂 ✨ Trashtastic ✨ is literally the best way to describe this @isagc @sicarius! I’m loving it!

Tail of the Nine Tailed 2 (10/12): no comments - currently too busy conducting a manifestation circle for Rang & his mermaid wife to make it out unscathed in the finale 🕯️🙏

Race (10/12): Ngl, this one is like a lukewarm watch for me now. I don’t dislike it but I’m not particularly attached to it either. Watching with mild interest to see how it ends 🤷‍♀️.

Utopia (Aussie TV show, season 5): This show is a household favourite for us - it’s a satirical workplace comedy about this made up government department, which is in charge of national infrastructure projects but it never gets anything done because of various bureaucratic hurdles 😂 It’s a bit like the Aussie version of The Office, with a really funny, witty and clever screenplay and great cast too. The first four seasons are on Netflix - if it’s in your region, I’d definitely recommend giving it a watch!! Episodes are short and there’s only 8 to a season so it makes for a great break time/ lunch time watch.

The Untamed (C-drama, 10/49): @Everyone who reassured me in the comments that the show did live up to the hype, thank you & you’re so right!! I am in LOVE. No coherent thoughts can be formed at this point in time other than ♥️ 🥰 💕 😍 💘. This is going to end in tears when I finish and find myself unable to move on for MONTHS 🤡

On Hold:

Immortal Sasmara: parked this one on the back burner because I’ve got too much on my plate and can’t give this the attention and appreciation it deserves.

Douluo Continent: watched one ep and decided that Xiao Zhan...

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that Xiao Zhan dramas deserve ALL my attention, so I’ll finish The Untamed first and come back to this.

Bloodhounds: I’m kind of waiting to see what Beanies might have to say in the drama hangout for this drama and then watch based on that (but honestly, it’s Woo Do-hwan so my resolve is crumbling/will shatter soon).

Finished

Back from The Brink (C-drama) : I did not expect to get so emotional during the finale omg. This show was such a treat!! 10/10 would recommend for anyone looking for a sweet romance and a good adventure-fantasy drama. It doesn’t run too deep (which works in the drama’s favour though) and it was satisfying to watch start to finish.

Good Bad Mother: I “finished” this! The cast saved what was otherwise a mess of a script. Hopefully I’ll be able to enjoy LDH’s next project in full (제발 pick a romcom or something, we’ve seen you cry too many times now!!).

Lighter & Princess (C-drama): Started this on a whim & got through it at lightning fast speed. The plot is a bit like if Itaewon Class met Just Between Lovers, centred in the world of programming. Where the plot sometimes dragged, the chemistry between the leads made up for it tenfold! Would definitely recommend, but be warned there’s a LOT of angst and noble idiocy. At times, FL toed the line between being ’nice’ and being a doormat BUT she pulled it off well and her loyalty was quite sweet and admirable.

To Ship Someone (C-drama): This show went against my initial expectation (I was thinking more melo à la Extraordinary You) and ended up being more romcom BUT that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it - it was a really fun watch! FL’s tenacity to see through to a happy ending and the ML’s slow change from cold pessimist into soft & cute tentative optimist was a particular highlight!

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Glad you're having fun with Meteor Garden!😁 Also glad to hear Back From the Brink had a satisfying ending!! I like that it's lighter and cuter - it reminds me of all the best bits of the YA fantasy genre😊 I've also added To Ship Someone to my list to try.

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I love that description, it really is like the best bits of the YA fantasy genre! And YAY, I hope you enjoyed To Ship Someone too :D

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Haha I don't read as much YA fantasy anymore once I realized that K-dramas and C-dramas take all my favorite elements from the genre, and do it better!!!😁 I'm looking forward to To Ship Someone!!

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I’m happy to hear I’m not the only one who loves Utopia. I watched it during an election campaign and found it very relatable.

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I'm thinking of rewatching it all during the next election season as well, to see how many relatable moments there are! I actually read in the news the other-day about how there was a proposal to build a multi-purpose stadium in Hobart and a lot of the reactions had been to compare it to that same plot line in one of the Utopia episodes 😆

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I'm also captive of Lighter and Princess chemistry.

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I really liked this one. The story is not original but the actors were really good.

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I agree!!

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Even though I disliked Meteor Garden's final episodes (48-49), I know I'm going to miss Si (Dylan Wang) and some of the cutest/funniest moments of that drama. I hear "Anyone of us (Stupid Mistakes)" everyday.

Enjoy!

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Okay the first comment made me laugh but it's also a very Asian thing I feel - like the nerds are the popular kids lol. My school even had fanclubs for those of us who were in the Student Council 😅.

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True, it is a very Asian thing!! I was expecting a more 'bad boy' F4 similar to BoF and even the parody version in Extraordinary You, so I had a good giggle when I realised how studious these guys were/how that was one of the reasons they were so popular😂

On the note of it being a cultural thing also - my brother went to a select entry high school which had a largely Asian student cohort and there it was the way around too - kids who topped class were worshipped more or less and popular af! Feels like I lived in an alternate universe to both you and my brother, bc I literally used to try flunk maths to be one of the cool kids 😂

Also omg wow fanclubs?! Student Council reps must've been lile celebrities! That's kind of cool though, would've loved to see that at my school, instead of the unofficial fanclubs for boys that played sports and also boys that did dumb stuff like skipping class, throwing rocks at cars and just being a nuisance all-round (the logic as to why we were all 😍 at the time, about this kind of behaviour is so puzzling).

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Lmao at the 😍 at dumb boys. I think that particular feeling is pretty universal 🤣. But yeah I definitely had a very different high school experience!

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The Thailand F4 was rather dark. But I loved it.

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Yeah I've heard the friendship between the boys and what not is especially good, but then I watched an edit on YT where the violence, or suggested violence since it's an edit, had me raising my eyebrows. Still, the overall sentiment seems to be that it's a good adaptation, so it's on my list to watch after I finish this version!!

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The Thailand version is not a fluff and I found it the deepest version. Can be rather brutal sometimes. So maybe adjust your expectations 😅

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Agree. It’s my favorite Adaptation. It really goes a bit dark at times and can be disturbing. But they did a great job.
And Bright 😍😍😍 (he is my DP!)

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What a pleasant surprise to see Utopia mentioned here!!

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It's such a good show right! I often don't find many Australian shows that I like/satisfy my drama criteria, so it was such a pleasant surprise when we stumbled on this last year and it was gold from the first episode!

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IMMORTAL SAMSARA will not disappoint you- and my wife liked DUOLUO CONTINENT.

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Both had me hooked from the first episodes for sure! But I made the mistake of having other dramas that I was further along in, filling up my watch plate so I just couldn't concentrate on everything as much as I wanted to. Definitely coming back and watching these two in full though - at least once I finish off The Untamed & Meteor Garden.

Your wife has excellent taste in C-dramas! Tt seems almost everything you've mentioned she really likes, I've ended up really liking too!!

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Perfect Strangers: I’ve thought about it and I honestly think that he was a little bit of shock because he didn’t expect Bum Ryong to die. As for the useless cops of that town, where he found the matchbox with the note in it, I don’t know, but that seems to have been the basis of his arrest.

Delightfully Deceitful: Something is missing and I am not sure what. I will continue on though because I enjoy aspects of it.

The Good Bad Mother: The ending was cheesy, but Kang Ho deserved some cheesy happiness and so does the Queen Mi Joo.

Race: Awww only two episodes left

Bloodhounds:

Usually in kdramas someone notes how handsome a ML, but no one did that in this and really bothered me, ha. There is no way someone as pretty as Woo Do Hwan walks in and people don’t at least stare for a second. The girl who gave them the apt didn’t even blink, I know I would have stared, even if just for a couple of seconds.

The drinking of the Johnnie Walker Blue alcohol is stupid, the scenes are just STUPID. Drinking that much liquor and basically straight alcohol will put you in a hospital. It isn’t impressive, funny, or entertaining, it is just stupid.

One of my least favorite things about action shows/movies like this is when the characters don’t give the bad men a swift and hard kick to the gonads. It would have solved Im Beom more quickly. I get that it isn’t sexy fight choreography, but honestly it makes more sense than just punching someone who can take hits on their face or body.

I enjoyed the drama for what it was. My one complaint is they never showed the funeral for that poor pregnant woman. Where the hell were the cops? Why didn’t the neighbors call anyone. I get why they killed Doo Young, but not his wife.

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I still haven’t watched Bloodhounds but I can only agree with your comment on Do Hwan.

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Cam here to say the same thing! 😆

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Maybe, maybe that I why they didn't include it. However, I felt like it was weird because I noticed it, ha.

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Oh! Young-shim I dropped this one. I didn't like the characters neither the story.

My Perfect Stranger I really like this one. I love the fact the story takes place in the countryside, the different scenes are so beautiful. The confession was really good.

Delightfully DeceitfulI will wait for the end of My Perfect Stranger to watch it. I think I will be able to focus more on his character without connecting him to his other drama.

Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim 3 He's finally here!!!! I never warmed up to the lead of the season 2 and 3, so I'm really happy now.

Tale of the Nine Tailed 1938 Why the mermaid didn't scream this time? Or at least tried?

Race I dont' want this one to end. I like the characters, the office setting and the hints of a romance.

Bitch X Rich So we get a FL who doesn't back off but could she think before acting?

Bloodhounds I will try it later.

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FWIW, the mermaid in Tale etc… 1938 didn’t scream because of the surprise plot point that she had a sore throat for a reason she couldn’t identify, probably “singing too much.” It was a bit too convenient, IMO, but served the purpose of putting her in the “danger she’s in.”

As you can see, I don’t think it’s too much danger 😌

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Finished this week:

_ C-Drama Meteor Garden (2018): I don't like the ending and I can't understand it yet. So many possible ways of giving an end to the story/characters and they had to do that nonsense. This affects my overall impression, but it has been a fun watch.

Watching:

_ I am still watching Six Flying Dragons. It has never taken me so long to finish a drama. 31 episodes out of 50 so far.

_ Just started Shining inheritance (4 out of 28, I think). It is much more "melo" than I thought, but I'm already hooked.

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Welcome to the Meteor Garden finishers club!😁👍🏆

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Thank you! I have watched it in a week :D
But I don't think I am going to watch any other adaptation of this story... Well, never say never 😅

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One adaptation was enough for me, too 😁

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Ha ha.
I would still recommend the Thai version. May be a few years down the line 😉

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Shining Inheritance is lovely. I nearly know it by heart by now.

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At this early point I dislike the ML, Hwan, with all my heart. I think I have never disliked a ML as much 😅
But I love FL and her brother Eun Woo.

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I'm definitely not trying to push my opinion on you, but Hwan has the best male lead growth arc in kdrama history! Ok, maybe not😂 I might even find some better ones if I look at my drama list 😂, but his scowl, his grudging "I'm home", his reluctant -yo, have been embedded in my mind for ever 😂

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Your comment definitely gives me hope!

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About SFD, there are some arid episodes in the middle but once you pass episode 35 you will devour all episodes. To me is one it the best dramas ever.

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It was hard to go through the first 20-25 episodes, but it is more interesting now. It's very good.

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What is your streaming service for SIX FLYING DRAGONS?

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Viki Rakuten Europe :)

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It's also showing up on K*ssAsian. I haven't watched anything on that site; is it safe, or should I steer clear?

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It's by no means clean, but still usable with an antivirus, caution, some prayers and if you can get around their restriction against adblock on))) Not an option for inexperienced darknet surfers for sure. Always choose BETA server, it's the only one without additional redirecting.

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Thanks for the heads-up. I’m inexperienced in this area, but the site carries a number of dramas I’m dying to see and haven’t been able to find elsewhere. Will my VPN afford me any protection? (I’m an atheist, so prayers aren’t a viable option.) 😉

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@babylilo, I'd say VPN alone is not enough. @darwi suggestion to use all browser safety extensions is a good one, but most importantly block site's popups (either in adblock or manually - or both), don't click on anything expect actual player on that one server and since you're not religious, hope that digital gremlins (they're real, trust me) will be nice to your device))) There's also a "remove adds" button under a player window showing up after some time so you can clean page in order to not click on something weird accidentally. Running your antivirus in a scan mode after using the site also wouldn't hurt. Do it a few times and if all is well, then you've probably aced all needed precautions.

Yup, they have a great catalogue and comment section is often a riot. Was even more fun a few years ago, but a domain change gone wrong wiped out all data, unfortunately, making some truly epic discussions lost forever.

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Use all the safety add-on and pop-up blockers in Firefox.

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Ok, as always, I forgot something in my first comment.

I have being watching Good Manager/Chief Kim too (19 out of 20). I didn't like the first episodes (I'd say almost the first half of the drama) but now that I'm finishing it, it is when I'm really enjoying and understanding the characters. So I'm sad it ends. What a great pair are both MLs now that they aren't enemies anymore.

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Aww so you obviously haven't fallen head first for my beloved Seo Yul and his adorable crush.

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Now I love them both! Such a great pair they are.

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I find Chief Kim also very rewatchable. I found myself catching jokes and small humorous moments that I missed the first time around.

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I admit the humor in this drama only works sometimes for me, but when it does, I have to force myself not to laugh for some minutes.

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* Typo: I have BEEN watching Good Manager too (19 out of 20).

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good to know! it's on my kocowa list :)

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GOOD BAD MOTHER (Ep 13-14)
I think there was a general consensus that the acting was far superior to the script. Ahn Eun-jin was a standout and I’m super excited to see her future projects. Also bumping up THE ONE AND ONLY in my watchlist. I do hope she gets mentioned in the end of year lists, crossing my fingers she’ll win awards too. Although her role was supporting, she brought Mi-joo to life, gave her depth and made her the most memorable character on the show.

TALE OF THE NINE TAILED (Ep 6-11) & TALE OF THE NINE TAILED 1938 (Ep 6-8)
S2 continues to be so much fun, and Kim So-yeon continues to be more and more perfect. Hong-joo still remains my GOD, and I’ll never stop worshipping her

Gotta say this is the year of Actors, particularly Actresses. Seriously, I am wowed! There is no way I can name one Actress to take the title of the best, when there has so many great performances!

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The One and Only is great, hope you enjoy it when you get around to watching it!! I remember when I was watching on-air, the melodrama and angst was a bit much to handle sometimes (for me), but I found it was better on rewatch when I could binge/control the pace.

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Completed:

Dr. Cha: I loved this drama so much! From start to finish, there was not a misstep. Yes, that means I liked the ending. She looked so happy on that ferry. I was expecting her to break out singing, "Papa, can you hear me?" IYKYK.

I’ve read many were upset that she did not end up with Dr. Roy, but I don't think this drama was meant to be a romance. I always thought it was about Jung-sook's journey. So, to me, the purpose of Dr. Roy's character in Jung-sook's life was this: he was the doctor who saved her life, he was her friend, and he was the ego boost she needed, both professionally and personally, to help her regain her confidence. Dr. Roy's character also served to remind In-ho that even though In-ho didn't value his wife as a
woman, other men did. And finally, Dr. Roy was a nice treat for the viewers because, bless his heart, I wouldn't exactly call In-ho eye candy.

One Day Off: What a charming little drama. Each episode was captivating, as was the cinematography.

Crazy Love: The premise sounded weird, but I gave it a chance because of Kim Jae-Wook. It was not perfect, but it was a smart and funny drama overall. I loved all those asides to the camera, and the chemistry between KJW and Krystal was sizzling. But I also loved those unexpected funny scenes that were a stark contrast to Noh Go-jin’s uptight character. Like KJW and the private detective in Ep 7 and KJW's dance in Ep 8. He has some crazy long legs, and I was cracking up! I didn't realize he did physical comedy so well.

Current:

My Perfect Stranger: Some episodes are too heavy to watch, so I'm halfway cheating by reading the recaps ahead of time. But I'm still interested in learning who’s the killer.

Family: The Unbreakable Bond: Episode 1 gave me a headache because of the issue with the subtitles. I’m now in the middle of Ep 2 and not sure what to think. It feels like a (bad) play and everyone is overacting and shouting so the people in the back rows can hear.

Dr. Romantic 3: I'm stuck in the middle of episode 2. Guess I'm in a funk.

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Ahh!! Crazy Love!! I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed it! I absolutely loved the chemistry and relationship between Kim Jae-Wook and Krystal - they were doing a perfect romantic comedy heavy on the crazy, and I wished the angst of the last third hadn't been so dark and heavy. But I still really enjoyed the watching experience!

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CRAZY LOVE was really good.

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Agree re Dr Cha ending and the romance, or lack thereof. I think folks expecting a rom-com were let down tho. And I can see why with that buildup, they might have been. But instead of rom-com, I thought of it as inspo-com. Yes, it had the funnies, but it was really Dr Cha's inspiring journey to find herself. (Tho I too wouldn't have minded if after the time jump, the show could have shown Dr Cha having some kind of romantic life, with Dr Dreamy or whoever.)

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As one of the few beanies who watched Family: The Unbreakable Bond, I’d recommend skipping to the end of episode 4, or even the start of episode 5. I really liked the middle episodes and loved one of the characters whom we don’t meet until then. The ending was a disappointment for me, but you may feel differently. This show completely flubbed its initial episodes, and gave people tonal/genre whiplash in those episodes, which makes me very sad because it became much better. 12 episodes was not enough in the end (which is the reason I think the ending was unsatisfactory for me).

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Thank you! I appreciate the suggestion. I think my disappointment is exacerbated by the fact that I set the bar too high. I was expecting more from a Jang-Jang drama.

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I know exactly what you mean - I had high expectations because of my love for Jang-Jang as well, so perhaps they were impossible to meet from the start! In the end, I felt there was enough for me to enjoy the show and I didn’t feel like I’d wasted my time. It wasn’t the best show by any means, but I liked the puzzle of the middle episodes, trying to figure out who the goodies and baddies were, and what on Earth was happening/had happened in the past!

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Mostly waiting for the burst of June offerings to hit us. In the meantime, I'm still catching up on May dramas I missed. Despite some plot holes, My Perfect Stranger is doing a good job at keeping us guessing who the murderer is. However, the mystery MPS excelled in most is that of the FL parents. While the parents' story plumbed such emotional depth, MPS stumbled in the abrupt development of the lead romance.

I just completed the first episode of Race. I not only liked the workplace elements, but is that an incipient slow burn romance I see? MPS writers, learn how it's done: the considerate gestures, soft looks, the admiration. Just aah... A plucky heroine and (possibly) the friend unaware he's in that liminal space bordering on romance—one of my favorite tropes. However, I don't see a lot of DB chatter about the series; hardly any comments on the latest episodes! I hope that doesn't mean Race falls flat later on.

Other than that, I think I'll revisit Witch's Romance thanks to the recent PSJ thread. It's been a while since he's graced dramaland with his charming smile. I hope Gyeongseong Creature doesn't let us down. And till then, Beanies have persuaded me to try In the Soop for some PSJ love even tho bromance reality shows aren't my thing at all.

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I think the lack of comments on Race's posts is more about Disney+ than the drama itself. I really like it!

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This. I want to watch it but I don’t have Disney and I really don’t enjoy going to the dark side and dealing with Ads to watch a drama.
I think a lot of people are not watching due to lack of access.

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Depending on your region, Race is available on Hulu (US).

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Hulu’s only putting up one episode per week for Race. It’s incredibly frustrating and is why I’m not personally active on the weecaps. We only have access up to episode 6 right now. I mean it makes us pay for more months of Hulu and all, but do they have to be so shameless about it??

For Call It Love, I think Hulu kept pace with the proper airing timing, so it was easier to join in. I happened to not join then either, because I could tell that I would NEED TO BE ABLE TO BINGE THAT SHOW. No weekly dribs-and-drabs for me on that love story. Humble brag: I was right ;)

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Disney+ Yeah that makes sense. Tho folks did manage to get around that for Call It Love. And it was more that pattern, far more comments at start and then a decline.

Still, glad to hear your endorsement as I haven't read the recaps to avoid spoilers. The plans is to, err, race thru all the episodes before the final next week.

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Race has it’s devoted fan club, it is great in so many way but the site has been glitchy and a few beanies are out and about so less likely to be adding longer comments. Also if you miss the first wave of comments when the weecap post comes there is little engagement so it’s almost best to not comment.

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True. Come a little late and it’s like shouting into the void…

I’ve noticed the site glitches too.

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‘Come a little late and it’s like shouting into the void…’ 👈🏾 I agree, that’s why I go through the beanies tab and read through the comments. I upvote the comment so the Beanie knows their comment has been read and appreciated them taking the time. It’s a shame as a lot of the later entries have no upvotes and I wonder if that is disheartening.

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That's very thoughtful. I'll keep it in mind.

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appreciate you!

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True. Come a little late and you might as well be shouting into the void.

I’ve been encountering site errors too. In fact, I got an error when I first tried posting this. I almost didn’t bother reposting.

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Personnally, I read the last comments on the whole site on the beanie page. So people should comment even if it's not an airing drama.

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Oh, I never even knew about this feature. Thanks!

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You're welcome!

It's nice to see Beanie's post on their wall or to follow the last comments in the different topics.

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I have bookmarked the beanies page and use it as my default db page. Apart from immediately getting to see the latest fanwall posts, whole site comments, and new site posts, the actual site homepage is so confusing and frustrating even for me a seasoned beanie, that I always pity new users who have to depend on it.
I truly appreciate db and use it multiple time a day, but really wish it was easier to use.

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I don't think it's so complicated.

The difficult one is how to write a long comment on your wall.

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I use the blog-view (and have it as default).
And when I have a bit more time I also check the last Comments/Fanwall posts.

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I’m with @kurama. I post to talk to you folks as a primary goal, but I also know that I have learned a lot from reading how people react over time, even when the drama isn’t airing.

I want to offer things to “future beanies!”

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OK. I will join you in posting late comments on Race recaps. :)

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Also, Hulu’s Race strategy makes no sense at all. My sympathies. In my part of the world it’s fully available on Disney+

I had no idea of how much I’d love CIL. I mean it was the pink show. It was on Disney! The waits were agonizing in between episodes. Definitely binge worthy.

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DR. CHA ended beautifully. My wife and I are absolutely agreed upon this. While it was running it was our favorite show. Now we have SEE YOU IN MY 19TH LIFE, HEARTBEAT and KING THE LAND to look forward to, with the first show starring Shin Hye-sun, my very favorite actress. But they are not quite here yet, although it is now only a week until the start of SEE YOU IN MY 19TH LIFE.

Fortunately, I have a weekender to tide me over and be a continuing thread in my drama life. With our ML’s confession at the end of the previous week’s episodes of THE REAL HAS COME! We found our FL in a difficult place. She and the ML have already come to rely upon each other but at the same to what extent can she trust her future to an ML who does not really trust himself in a relationship? To make things worse she has effectively fallen in love with her mother in law- who is a lovely person so how could she not? For good reason she was at first looking to completely walk away but in the end she offered a compromise which becomes yet one more step on their way to a real marriage. Meanwhile the ground is shifting under our other couples or potential couples. The pride of our ML’s older sister continues to keep her from meaningful communication with her husband while the ML’s older brother surprised us by proposing to his wife a new solution for their childlessness- as much as that couple otherwise infuriates us we have to acknowledge that this is one marriage where the couple really does communicate with and care for each other. But the real fun moments came from the real start of the story of Maknae and The Young Father, which has begun exactly where it should, with the two of them at loggerheads over a very smart amd entrepreneurially talented young girl named Soogyeum. Meanwhile Se-jin isout there- lurking- and perhaps one of the most complex villainesses to ever grace a Kdrama: This means that we have someone to hate that is not one-dimensional and that is just so much better than the usual fare.

This week my wife has been wading through a backlog of mystery dramas, of which a season of SHETLAND was the most memorable. As part of her recovery from the Chinese Costume fantasy TILL THE END OF THE MOON she watched a British costume drama: A dramatization of Elizabeth Gaskill’s WIVES AND DAUGHTERS which was really good. This was immediately following another very interesting one: DICKENSIAN which was also good. She has yet to start the Chinese Costume Fantasy drama BACK FROM THE BRINK but is also now considering a historical Chinese Costume drama with the title THE INGENIOUS ONE which also appears to be a really good show. Both can be found onViki.

I am continuing to watch OH! YOUNG-SHIN which had some good moments but sometimes seems to be a bit out of kilter. It just does not seem to find the right notes to hit at times. I am hanging in there with this one.

For those who are interested in these things I want to note that the classic daily...

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Wives and daughters is such a wonderful drama to watch!!!

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It is. It was actually a re-watch but it had been several years since she had seen it.

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Yes, I liked Wives and Daughters a lot.

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‘This was immediately following another very interesting one: DICKENSIAN which was also good’ 👈🏾 I loved the way they merged all the characters and their stories into one time line. It was supposed to be a multi season show with specially commissioned expensive set etc. but they messed around with the days and times it was shown a bit like when K dramas miss a week because of the live Baseball. I can’t even remember what it was they showed instead. This meant the audience kept getting confused and missed episodes and before long the audience got out of the habit of watching, the rating dropped and they ended it at season one. I was so gutted because I really enjoyed watching it and was hopeful the second season would be a straight run through but alas it didn't get a second chance.

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Unfortunate that this happened to a very good show.

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Can report with relief that BACK FROM THE BRINK apparently ended happily and nicely - and true to source material it seems - albeit rushed, which is nothing new to cdramaland overall and genre in particular. Personally it makes me even more salty that we robbed of that in TTEOTM (it's alright, I'm only gonna fume about it for the next 10000 years or so), but alas... Good for everyone who plans to start it now tho, maybe I'll consider to join someday as well.

THE INGENIOUS ONE falls under "rushed HE" category too, but people say its second half is nowhere near as good as the first one, which I liked quite a bit before pausing until now, so hard to say whether it's truly worth recommending. Good points are that it's pretty, nicely acted, engaging, funny (often very much) and decent at both melo and romance parts. Bad point is that titular ML's brilliance is somewhat overrated and often relies on pure luck, which seems to seriously disappoint many viewers. It didn't bother me, but the reaction appears to be common. The whole theme of business scheming in wuxia setting is pretty fresh and interesting overall - like I didn't expect to dig something like that at all yet I did - but then it morphs into more traditional political scheming, so make of that what you will.

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