Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (July 29, 2023)
by DB Staff
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…
See You in My 19th Life: Hmmm I want to go with my initial reaction here, which is that the ending was sweet and satisfied me. As others have said, it doesn’t stand up against any kind of intense plot scrutiny, though. And there’s one thing I’m still miffed over, and that’s the misdirect with Do-yoon, when he’s looking at the fiery bridge on his phone and glowering. Why do that, Show? Don’t be cheap with me. Conversely, the frequent “revisiting” the first memories for a fuller picture really worked for me as a mechanism — it felt realistic and also kept me hooked. Okay, while typing I’ve just inadvertently realized what was missing for me from this show: I never really loved our heroine. And the story relies on us feeling the weight of all her lives and how that explains her actions. I wonder why I didn’t care about Ji-eum enough? *Runs off to ponder this some more*
King the Land: How utterly satisfying to see Won actually working at work. His self-assuredness is half of his charm, so I loved seeing that translate to the anniversary event and the board room a bit more. I have long been wanting to say how disappointed I am with Ahn Se-ha’s character and his relationship with Won, though. Usually this CEO/right-hand man dynamic is charming and genuinely humorous, but the only interaction I actually enjoyed between them was in Episode 1 when Won takes him under his wing. I just don’t find their relationship funny, compelling, or interesting at all, and that’s not the fault of the actors — with Junho giving 110% in every scene and Ahn Se-ha never afraid of being the butt of the joke — but the flatness of the script in this instance. Boo.
Heartbeat: I’m still behind, but (slowly) catching up, and still loving every second of it! I may have become a Taecyeon fan because of Blind (which was the opposite of this show in SO many ways), but he really shines in this kind of role, where he gets to fully commit to the camp and the adorable earnestness.
Currently covering: Heartbeat
Mia Famiglia: Family! Knife! Music! I watched this musical on a whim for Park Jwa-heon, and I enjoyed myself way more than I was expecting to. Beneath the slapstick comedy is a surprisingly earnest tale of loyalty and forgiveness, and the numbers are so catchy. I’m definitely keeping an eye out for Kim Chan-jong and Choi Ho-seung after this — they’re so versatile!
L’art Reste: A beautifully heartfelt, healing tale. Based on the real-life figures of writer Byun Dong-rim (later Kim Hyang-an), artist Kim Whan-ki, and poet Yi Sang, this musical felt almost fairytale-like in its retelling of self-discovery and courage. Kim Yi-hoo embodied Dong-rim’s bright-eyed dreams and quiet resilience, and the scene where Hyang-an comforted her younger self brought me to tears. Les gens partent mais l’art reste — people may leave, but art remains.
Revenant: So, so good. It reminds me of all the reasons why I loved The Guest — the interwoven mysteries, the taut suspense, the creeping feeling of dread. I’ve always had an interest in folklore, and the sheer amount of research that scriptwriter Kim Eun-hee did really shines through in her attention to detail. The cast is phenomenal, humanizing their characters with fallibility and desperation. With just one episode left to go, I’m simultaneously impressed by the consistent pacing thus far, while also nervously anticipating the conclusion. Our trio will make it out safe and sound, right? Right?
D.P. 2: Bae Na-ra!! *sobs* Episode 3 was deeply moving, and his renditions of the Hedwig numbers “Wig in a Box” and “Midnight Radio” were heartrendingly poignant. The harassment that Sung-min/Nina endured in the military was a microcosm of the systemic marginalization that fosters prejudice and discrimination against queer identities, crushing his dream of living freely while expressing his unfettered self. A sensitive, starkly realistic portrayal of those othered by society, told through a fervently visceral performance by Bae Na-ra in his remarkable screen debut.