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Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (April 13, 2024)

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…

 

javabeans

Lovely Runner: Aw, this is a delightful surprise. I’m a little mad at myself for starting it right away because I’d have preferred to marathon this in a single weekend and I don’t look forward to the next seven weeks of waiting for my next dose of sunshine. This setup (of traveling back in one’s lifetime and attempting to fix something that went awry while delivering a hit of nostalgia and romance) has been a bit of a trend in recent years, but it’s all about the execution — I’m reminded of how I stuck with the lackluster A Time Called You more for what I wished it could be rather than what it was. I have more hope for Lovely Runner, which is bright and sweet and well-acted — they hit that balance of youthful awkwardness and melancholy in just the right way. I appreciate the building up of the background story (in the future timeline) that gives Sol’s antics an edge of desperation that keeps the comedy from veering over-the-top, and I’m rooting hard for Sun-jae to find his way to the light. We all deserve a Sol in our lives doing her damnedest to make us feel our lives are worth living.

Taxi Driver: I was in the mood for more lip-smackingly satisfying revenge plots after Reborn Rich, and Taxi Driver generally fits that bill. It’s very watchable, delivering its snazzy revenge schemes in bite-sized episodic chunks with upbeat caper vibes. I do think its strength is also its weakness, in that what makes the plots satisfying also makes them feel a bit simplistic, and procedural to the point that I can’t feel invested in the characters. The villains are excessively evil because they must merit our team’s elaborate payback, but then they just feel like cartoon bad guys. Our vigilante team’s operations are twisty, the disguises are fun, and the quick resolution of each villain-of-the-week arc keep the show zipping by — but it also starts to feel same-y at a point, and I’ve stalled two-thirds of the way into the season because I don’t feel a driving reason to keep going.

Knight Flower: Thoroughly enjoyed this as an easy-going romp with a bit of a message. I’ve been digging the streak of feminist commentary in some of the recent sageuks I’ve seen, which take the time to note how hard society was on women and highlight how remarkable they are for persevering in light of that. But the commentary wasn’t overpowering; the glib tone and antics of our intrepid nighttime vigilante widow kept the plot moving briskly, and although the drama didn’t quite grab its hooks into me emotionally (not that I think it was aiming for that), I did quite enjoy the light dusting of romantic angst — plenty of yearning looks and feels, but in small, manageable doses. I didn’t necessarily feel romantic chemistry between the widow and the captain out to catch her (and then protect her from being caught), but I did feel the pang of their frustrated attachment and the drama made the right choice in not forcing the romance, I think. (Although I could’ve used a bit more resolution on that front. Would it have killed you to deliver a bit more skinship??)

 

missvictrix

Lovely Runner: Two episodes and this drama has captured my heart! I went in with fingers crossed, hoping to love it, and it only took the first few minutes for that to happen. The story, the leads, the heart of the thing! I love when a drama has a firm grasp of what it’s doing, and knows how to make all the right feelings happen, seamlessly switching between making me giggle, squee, and then clutch my heart in those heavier moments (seeing her youthful mom, hugging her grandma, the tear that dropped on her foot). This drama also has the best art direction vibe around it — this was something I adored about True Beauty and I’m so happy to see here too. There’s something about the color palette, the retro vibe, and the lived-in detail of each set that builds this maximalist, hyper-curated, and delightful world of the story that just makes it so easy to inhabit. This is hands-down one of my favorite things K-dramas do, and a drama like this always renews my fervor and appreciation for it.

 

mistyisles

Currently covering: The Midnight Studio

Lovely Runner: Let’s be real, you had me at “time-slip idol drama.” But even aside from that, this show is an absolute delight, and I’m loving every second of it! Something about it feels very “classic K-Drama” to me in all the best ways, but there’s a freshness to it as well. The way she literally isn’t allowed to tell the future is a neat twist to the time travel rules, and now I’m curious what *other* rules might pop up as we go along. As for the big twist in Episode 2 — if I weren’t already sold on this pairing, I sure am now! Also, I’m going to need the entire OST immediately.

 
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LIVE WATCHES
Blood Free
...will almost certainly NOT be (human) blood free by the end!! 😏 I'm loving it after week one, but I also said that about another Disney show that just ended as the assured year-end Bean of Disappointment for many a Beanie.

The Midnight Studio
Light kisses. Not-so-light kisses. Gentle touches. Maybe I should stop now in case the drama all goes to hell in a handbasket. But there are so many interlocking stories remaining that are all going to come together in the most satisfying conclusion where it all fits!!! Right? 🥹

Beauty and Mr. Romantic
Well! If our ML didn't turn out to be a snake this week. Poop. I know he's doing it to save his skin/his job/get promoted to PD, but the ads said that he was "pure-hearted" and it ain't so. POUT. I mean, now that I'm typing this, we knew he wasn't pure-hearted when he was a teen, making Bad Teen Choices™ with his love life 😉...actually, now I really hope noona returns and is super-rich or something. Maybe she'll just be a hairdresser on set tho? Oooh, such rich possibilities.

FROM THE RESERVES
Terrius at My Back
...is the most delicious "tired mother savior fantasy," and I love how So Ji-sub struggles with keeping a straight face when he's acting the part of, "trying to subdue the twins." I wonder if the three of them go for, like, coffee or to amusement parks together for real these days. He could be a proper samchon to these kids. 13-year-olds can use all the guidance they can get! And these two have been getting A LOT of work. I'm writing a drama in my head, clearly, about an older actor who works with child stars and then saves them from the inevitable dark clutches of an industry out to get them as teens/young adults. I mean, it could work, no?

ON DECK
Literally anything @alathe recaps. 보고 싶어요.

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I'm calling it now, there is no way on God's earth, unless something earth shattering happens that Blood Free will be as bad as that other Disney drama. They have already been outclassed in the acting department.

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I am so gutted that I can not read any of Alathe’s recaps because they are always dramas outside my comfort zone but when I have read them in passing they have had me laughing out loud.

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Why can’t you read them? Are you worried that you it might be too much for you?

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My imagination is ridiculous so reading them would be worse than watching the drama itself😲

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I'm so glad you're enjoying Terrius!!!! And I would totally watch that spin-off 😄

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But you can be pure-hearted and make bad choices in life. Life is mostly about making bad choices and trying to lessen the effects IMO.

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On BEAUTY AND MR. ROMANTIC I liked the fact that our ML is not Mr. Perfect. I was actually a bit put off by the ads you mentioned because I hate cardboard cutout characters. As a dramatic character I will take an imperfect 'Mr. Romantic' over a perfect 'The Pure Guy' any day of the week. I like that our ML is not an evil person but one who does indeed sometimes make poor choices. In him we have a struggling human being and that is much more relatable than someone who is perfect.

Do not forget that the poisonous situation which had our ML acting this way was actually created by the spiteful and immature machinations of our FL solely to discomfit her 'rival'. Maybe we should be glad that our FL is not 'Miss Perfect' either.

Both of our lead characters are imperfect people who have room to grow over the course of this drama. We are already getting more of a story than we had in our previous two weekenders.

I would love to see the return of Noona- that would be a wonderful twist.

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But but Dora has been trying since that bad decision she made earlier to dishonestly engage with the dim actor. Pilseung didn’t have to trash her. He could have tried to mollify the dim actor without himself coming across as spiteful. I just don’t like this kind of character zigzagging. I know this is a weekender and I deserve what I get if I ask for a more cogent character development but I thought it was a poor choice.

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your story line could most certainly work if So Ji-seob would come out of happy marriage hood and make us happy with another drama he is in! I miss him yet wish him much happiness with his married life as well.

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Well, the Netz Newz has it that So Ji-sub will be starring in a Netflix action drama come 2025! It's currently called "Mercy for None," but will surely soon be retitled, "My Lovely, Lonely Boxer Who Runs."

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I don't care what they name it! I hope Netflix will keep its word and make me happy with another So Ji-seob drama! I'm willing to wait for it. Jumps for joy!

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I'm gonna watch Blood Free but will probably binge it... I hope it'll stay solid - the lower episodenumber is an indication of a brisk pace!

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Ongoing
Blood Free : Solid Premiere. Loved it!! The premise is interesting. All the politics and cooperate greed is well done. I really wonder what she meant when she said crushed organs 😰

Lovely Runner : Not a fan of timeslip dramas, but the leads are too cute.

Parasyte - The grey 3/6 eps. Liking it. It is not as gory as I thought it would be. Will finish it this week. I am liking Koo Kyo-hwan a lot here.

Queen of tears : Can’t wait to see the aftermath of the reveal last week. It’s about time for the family to unite.

Nothing uncovered : I am liking this show much better now. The two male leads have terrific chemistry. Wish the FL was written better and the acting isn’t helping.

Shogun : upto Ep 6 This show continues to be fantastic. I especially loved the focus on the women this episode.

Mask 14/20 eps. (no spoilers please) Wow! I don’t remember when I had this urge to keep clicking next. I absolutely love this show, extraness et al.
Min-Woo (JJH) is fantastic! I loved how he fell for her and how he expressed it in his own way. They both have terrific chemistry. Finally the secret is out!! Cant wait to continue.
The BIL is too creepy.. and the sister also kinda went cray. I dont get why she is so hell bent on revealing the secrets in public. Just talk to your brother!!

Guess Who am I (cdrama) :
No progress

Dropped

Hide : I didn’t continue past Ep 5. I didn’t like the villain. Her introduction and behavior isn’t working for me.

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Mask was very addictive and if I remember correctly, JJH was very cute when in love... and YJH was a smexy villain.

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JJH is so adorable! At time it reminded me of Goong with the love after marriage plot. But seeing him so in love is 🥰🥰

I haven’t seen this actor before. He is quite the hottie. Not sure why he didn’t act after this. Or May be he did and I didn’t recognize him.

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There was time when I was crushing on Yeon Jung Hoon. 😊
(I may have even started Mask because of him. 😌 )

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He would be a perfectly fine Ahjuicy now. Bring him back dramaland!!

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He was last in Lies After Lies with Lee Yuri. He's a part of 2 Days 1 Night (totally chill and so dependable). Vampire Prosecutor is a popular drama of his.

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Shogun - I love all the women in this show, from highborn to lowborn.

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ONGOING
Queen of Tears - I had faith in Hae-in and she didn't let me down. Her crucifying Eun-REDACTED in public was glorious 🙌.

The Midnight Studio - Lots of cute OTP moments - I liked how unproblematic their relationship is. I'm interested in the mystery behind the new 'customer', who was possibly framed and murdered.

STARTED
Lovely Runner - This was SO cute. There were lots of moments we'd already seen in the previews but that flashback took my squee-meter sky-high. Just adorable.

Blood Free/ Dominant Species - What a great start! I was flinching along with the presentation audience. Watched both episodes at one go practically without a break. Chae-woon investigating Ja-yoo was something I didn't expect from the promos so that's a nice twist too.

C-DRAMAS
Best Choice Ever - I'm planning to start this today but comments suggest it's markedly less fun than I'd hoped AND has the FL's mother being the eternal Asian mom cliché. We'll see how it goes 🤷‍♀️.

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Oh a new Xu Kai drama!!
Having terrible luck with cdramas this year. Will wait for your review next week before starting 😅

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I'm not holding out much hope honestly based on the comments I've seen so far. But maybe it'll surprise me!

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Live watches aka Tumbleweed corner😞

Lovely Runner
Wonderful start to this drama, really hoping it stays this good.

Queen of tears
My favourite place to hangout each weekend.

Completed
Hospital Ship what a joy to watch. Thank you to the beanie that recommended it.

Book club:

The Picture bride
Historical drama set in early 1900’s when Korean brides would become wives of Korean men living in Hawaii. Classed as a Young Adult read. This was a new aspect of the Korean diaspora I was unaware of. Similar to Pachinko told from the perspective of one of the brides.

The tale of Genji review - 74 Loooooooooooong hours

As promised my review for those aiming to read or listen. The CliffsNotes version is that this is a multi-generational tale which covers themes of unrequited love, the importance of status, court customs, and image. We see how relationships are conducted, and the influence of Chinese and Korean cultures on the activities of the court officials and royal family. The culture of the era is shown through the stories of the women who need to be embedded in a family by birth or marriage and the needs of the men to secure positions of prestige to survive and care for their family members.

Warning: because this is a story of its time, the contents can lead to rage listening/reading because women were vulnerable to kidnapping, grooming, gaslighting, and Stockholm syndrome due to becoming infatuated with the noblemen who took advantage of them. There are some strong females characters at different status levels who were able to find ways to deal with their situations but there was always a cost.

Listening to the book brought very little joy because the themes are still relatable to a modern woman from a different culture; we still see aspects of these situations in modern dramas from Japan and Korea and in real life across the globe.

Please note the style of communication often included poetry so there are 800 poems embedded in the text, I was fed up with them after the first 100! I guess this is no different to the way Shakespeare wrote in iambic pentameter.

The introduction gives some background to the author’s precarious real life situation and these themes are reflected in the experiences of some of the characters. The length of the story may well be due to its popularity and the fact it was serialised so would have provided a second income for the author. The same themes are reflected over the generations so personally I think you can do yourself a favour and not finish the story to understand its valuable place in history. It is cited as the first novel but characters in the story talk about life not being like the romantic stories doing the rounds which I assumed were written down rather than shared verbally but maybe they are seen as short stories unlike this massive tome.

The story starts with an emperor and his concubine and revolves around their son. The lack of power of the emperor to keep his...

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concubine and son safe within the palace feels very familiar to anyone who has watched historicals from Korea or China.

Throughout the novel the fickleness of the court, and the issues within the succession line are interweaved into the story. Genji, the main character, seems to personify all these elements. Genji’s shortcomings are clearly exposed alongside comments about the reactions to his radiant beauty, the variety of exceptional skills he has in the arts and his generosity towards those he favours. We are also given a clear message that he is not an exception amongst the noblemen who all have multiple wives and mistresses some of whom are hidden away.

Genji meets a woman who he determines is his dream woman. He talks as if can’t help himself; he loves the chase and afterwards always provides for the woman extremely well financially and pops in to meet his needs when he remembers her. A couple of women who didn’t get with the programme fast enough, were ‘unintentionally’ left in the cold to realise the error of their ways so eventually when he returned they were appreciative of his advances and his offer to meet their financial needs.

A common theme, mainly for women who want to avoid the hassle of being a wife or mistress was to become a nun but men also ‘took vows’ as a way to remove themselves from the stress of life.

It is interesting that some things do not change even in the 11th century they were talking about the ‘degenerative age’ and old fashioned customs, provincial people are looked down upon because of their accents or different ways of doing things. They also talk about the contrast in those from old and new money backgrounds. The need to be reliant on the new money through strategic marriages is not viewed negatively, however the lack of decorum and ‘good manners’ associated with those who hold the new money is pointed out repeatedly.

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The tale of Genji - That's a very difficult and triggering read. I tried it twice and gave up. I could never follow who is who. But whatever little I remember, it was compelling.

Whenever I think of Genji, I always think how fickle human heart can be....but it's also true that sometimes, if given the right circumstances, it could beat just for one person too. Kudos to you for finishing it.

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He and the other noble men took fickleness to the next level 🤣 Even when they really did ‘commit’ to someone they still thought it was ok to have short term relationships.

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And recounted from the eyes of a woman of those times, it's damning.

I was forever in shock with that entire stepmother angle lol! And then the grooming.....and well, from what little I remember, this is where the stockholm syndrome happens....I gave up soon after that. I think these men separated body from mind somehow. That's the only explanation I can think of.

Our ancestors wrote about sex like nobody's business.

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Thanks for the review! 74 hours is a long heck of a time. It's always interesting to read a novel from a vastly different time and place and find that many things are familiar to us because of the human relationships and human desires and responses.

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Yes it was long but thankfully listening while doing chores driving etc meant it was time multitasking.

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nice review! I read The Tale of Genji and found it to be quite fascinating.

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Queen of tears is my 3 hour Sunday self care, lol. I laugh, cry, and rage. The gamut of emotions and release at the end, lol.

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That’s a great label from now on I will log them in my head as my self care dramas 🥰 this is why as soon as tension etc. comes in I get mad because self care for me is lowering stress hormones after a busy day/week.

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Fluff and circumstance, this is the way.

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I liked Hospital Ship too! The idea was so original. It changed from the usual doctor dramas. I liked the islands.

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Re MBC’s HOSPITAL SHIP (2017) (Kocowa). It is possible that you saw the trailer I put on my Fanwall awhile back (since deleted). It was one of those 20/40 episode dramas that I watched back in my early entry into kdramaland. I am sure I watched it on DramaFever (RIP). In retrospect one of the highlights of the whole drama was the beautiful scenery.
I enjoyed Ha Ji-won’s appearance in KBS’s CURTAIN CALL (2022) (Viki US).

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☺️ thanks for sharing

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i listened to the audiobook recently -- but i was using it to lull myself to sleep every night. it was like being back in my Asian Lit high school class, it worked great on my insomnia...

admittedly, the story is amazing in its detail and descriptions - one gets transported back in time and you can visualize Genji's travels all around the country (and his many women).

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I love that strategy for listening to long reads☺️

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Currently Watching
Carry Sun-jae and Run: 🏃‍♂️‍➡️Lovely Runner is lovely. This one has allllll the feels. I like the leads a lot - they have good romantic chemistry already, but they also have good comedy chemistry, which I think is sometimes harder. Love it already ❤️

Welcome2Life: (through ep. 6) Filling the Flex x Cop shaped hole in my heart! Rain is GREAT, I love the "bad man trying to become a good man" arc, and the humor is funny. But gosh there's some gory-ness and blood, so closing my eyes as needed 🫣

Radio Romance: (through ep. 8) So boring. 😭 My watch is at glacial speed.

Finished
Rainless Love in a Godless Land ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ The end was emotional, beautiful, and perfect for this drama. I loved this beautiful drama - it's now in my top-ten. Themes of faith and belief, stories and dreams, and love and protection were beautifully portrayed. The pace was purposefully slow as the plot revealed itself, sometimes in the present, sometimes through the past, and sometimes through the future. Orad - the stoic, faithful, patient, loving messenger and rain god - was amazing. The FL was kind-hearted, resolute, and strong in her trust and belief. This was a fairytale in the way of fables, myths, and legends, and felt like magical realism. I loved the soundtrack for this. The OST is on Spotify, although it's sadly missing the atmospheric instrumental tracks. I highly, highly recommend this drama. I started it after seeing other Beanies talk about it here (thank you, Beanies!!!). I didn't look up any spoilers or description before starting, which I would also recommend. It's even better if you're just along for the journey! It can be found on Prime in the US.

Miscellaneous
I'm fickle when it comes to C-dramas, and I skip from drama to drama until I find one that makes me stay. Started
The Legend of ShenLi (through episode 12), and it has that special magic! My new C-drama obsession. The OTP are awesome and their chemistry is awesome.

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Oops messed up the bold 🫣🙄

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Gwaenchanha Gwaenchanha!!
*pats head lovingly* ♥️😊

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Thank you Cera!❤️

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THE LEGEND OF SHENLI literally kept my wife up until 3 AM. She binge watched it clear through until the last couple of episodes where she had to wait a couple of days for subtitling to be completed.

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It's definitely addictive!!

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Here, here. Just finished bingeing the last 10 episodes. It is obvious that the lead actors really like each other as colleagues. In an interview they said they want to work together again but in some other genre and be mortal enemies. I'll tune in!

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What a great thing to say about each other.

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Finished Shen Li with a binge watch. LOVED the way it ended...not with a bang but a nicely balanced taste of what their future might look like....a nice mix of simple everyday life routines spiced up with a new adventure to help an old friend...and then oh my heart... a surprise at the end. These leads are gold together. Making them enemies in the next drama would likely demote one of them to being second lead. Gasp...no...bring them back as lovers. My addiction must be fed...

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I agree that it is better to watch Rainless Love with as little prior knowledge as possible. I'm happy you loved it. 🙂 I myself somehow found the last episodes losing the momentum (could have been partly caused by the live watching) and wanted more from the ecology themes and the saviour dilemma for example, but it was still a very good drama.

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What you said about the savior dilemma - it was so interesting to me that the drama did introduce the ethical/moral quandaries of what responsibilities come with power... I was ok that it didn't make it a bigger part, but what it did do, it did SO MUCH better than, say, the average superhero movie. I'm pretty sure you were one of the Beanies I saw discussing it, which spurred me to try it! Thank you Dorotka! 😊❤️

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Welcome2Life! Where I crushed hard on Rain and he ended up on my 2023 round up 😀 I hope you enjoy it!! ShenLi is fantastic straight through to the end. You won't be disappointed. 😉

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He's amazing to watch act, and amazing to look at, Lol 😆 I'm excited about how many GOOD dramas I'm getting to watch at the same time right now!

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The OTP chemistry in Shen Li is off the charts.

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I really is!!

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I dropped Radio Romance. I thought that Kim So-Hyun was too young for this role and the leads didn't have any chemistry.

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Yeah, I'm struggling with it. I was trying to watch it because it's the same PD as Into the Ring and The Matchmakers, but it may not be worth it 😬

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Radio romance was bland. And I think there was just one peck kiss. She was young then. You can drop and move on to better dramas. This ain’t worth it 😇

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Thank you Blue!!!!😅❤️ Ok, with your encouragement, I'm ready to say this is a drop for me.

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Yay, Rainless Love! It's such a unique, powerful show, and worth sticking with even when it feels slow or confusing. Glad you loved it!

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And I think you were one of the Beanies whose comments made me give it a try! Thank you Wonhwa!!!😊❤️

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I LOVE W2L and Rain!

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Yes!!!😄🙌

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Legend of Shen Li is awesome! I'm 2 episodes away from the end and it has been such a wonderful journey. Xingzhi has god-tier sneak-flirting skills. I'm glad you've found your c-drama to stay and watch!

I'll have to watch Rainless Love in a Godless Land when I pick up Prime. I usually only get it a few times a year if I really need the 2 day shipping for something.

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Definitely add it to your list when you get Prime again - I think you would like it!!

Yeah Xingzhi is fun to watch with his sneak-flirting (great description!) 😄

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I couldn't through Radio Romance. I still don't know why the guy always said "I'm asking nicely" or "I'm saying it with a smile" or whatever he says

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I watched Rainless God when it first came out and loved it the. But I rewatched it a few months ago and it was even better and so many things made more sense. And yes the OST is excellent!
Glad you liked it!!
So maybe I'll look for The Legend of ShenLi next. I'm just finishing up Everyone Loves Me - it's okay..

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I've still been thinking about its themes and messages... I really love it and I think it will definitely be a rewatch for me, too!! The instrumental OST is sooooo nice; I'm disappointed it's not on the album. ShenLi has been really good so far.

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The Midnight Studio: Our main couple is so cute. Honestly that is all I really care about. As for our police ghost, I don’t actually think his wife cheated, but sir you were gone more often than not, even as a ghost you wanted to catch your man more than you missed your wife. The poor woman was probably lonely. I do feel though that the big bad ghost is unnecessary, I wish that they had stuck to a ghost of the week format.

Lovely Runner: I love our leads. I love that Sun Jae liked her first. I will maintain until forever; a drama is ALWAYS ALWAYS better when the ML likes the FL first. Im Sol and Sun Jae for the win. However, I get why she had a crush on Tae Sung, he is adorable in the way of teenage “bad boys.” I loved the first two episodes and look forward to the rest.

Blood Free: What an interesting premise for a show. The cows running was a cool piece, however we really have to stop blaming just cows for climate change, it is corporate misinformation at the highest level, ha. That designation belongs to Big Oil and Billionaires, but I digress. I like the corporate espionage mixed with regular political espionage. The writer excels at that sort of thing. I am already sad it is only 10 episodes.

Queen of Tears: This drama, Ottoke. So everyone now knows Hae In is sick, man oh man. We are in the last 6 episodes/9 hours unless the last episode is 2 hours of course. Time for the Hong family to go to work, Grandpa is awake, Mom is finally well rested, Dad might be getting it together, our poor poor Soo Cheol is still sad(but at least he got his message out), and Hae In is ready for war. Hwaiting. I really hope we get to see Natasha again, though before Mom leaves back to Seoul.

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Natasha’s cameo is comparable, if not outshining, that of Vincenzo 😂

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Lol, I think you might be right friend. She was so funny.

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Everytime I click play, I worry that the runtime will get longer. It isn't that I don't like the drama, but it is exhausting esp. since we can cut down on the filler that everyone basically fast-forward through/

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I am sorry chingu,the runtime doesn't actually bother me, but for your sake I hope it doesn't get longer.

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Lovely Runner (Episode 1-2) - Mood: C
It’s finally here! I do like the notion that the FL can change the future but has to do it without spoiling it, that’s a nice touch I would like to see more in future episodes. Given the premise, I can’t expect too much in narrative complexity but there’re so many chances for simple writing choices that would pay off nicely: 1) don’t turn the suicide into a murder whodunit, 2) twist where it’s not the ML who saves the FL (ML is the red herring, actual saviour is FL’s first crush), 3) no love triangle crap. I’m pretty sure we aren’t getting everything but I can hope, right? After all, this is such a dream casting for me: I love the leads!

Hide (Episode 5-6) - Mood: D
Well, that sucked. Shame on me for believing that this wasn’t going to include adultery, for believing that the FL would have the rationality to stay on the high road even if it’s for her daughter, or for believing that this was going to be a good project, even decent, for Lee Min Jae. Honestly, I’m just staying to see Jin Woo adopt Bom and save her from all that mess.

The Midnight Studio (Episode 8-9) - Mood: D
Sigh, I was rooting for you, but of course we had to have this stupid adultery plot twist and an unaccounted evil spirit flying around while the OTP go for the cliche romantic vacation where they finally find out that they met as kids and talk fate, yes timed fate. And then there’s the lame romance trope of ‘why did you make me fall in love with you if you were going to die?’.

Queen of Tears (Episode 9-10) - Mood: D+
We got our requisite narrative developments as cracks begin to form within the villains (of course it was obsession) and the protagonists begin a counter attack but of course we have the dreaded third-quarter conflict coming up around the corner. I quite like all the ending shots of the OTP’s tears and Kwak Dong Yeon is killing his role, so this week gets the plus.

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Hear me out about TMS’s unhappy marriage plot? I see it differently as an opportunity to delve into a relationship where the gendered perspective is maybe subverted. She was unhappy because of his overwhelming devotion to his job at the expense of their life and he had assumed she was this self-sacrificing spouse who would support him no matter what. And, he got a rude awakening sadly not when he was alive. This is actually worthwhile as a subplot if they can do it justice.

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Live Watches
The Midnight Studio: So much comfort in well-worn tropes. Most things in this drama remind me of things I’ve seen in other dramas, but never quite in this combination and never quite with this brand of charm. I love it! A million secrets were revealed this week, and most of them broke my heart - but in a good way? Manifesting satisfying endings for every single character, and praying that some unwelcome CatMan equivalent doesn’t show up.

Queen of Tears: The former rich people trying to make it in a small town was everything I wanted! But what I needed without realizing it was Hae-in telling the world everything in her press conference. That was incredible! I watched it again right away to see everyones’ reactions a second time! Hyun-woo’s face going from despairing to sad/loving/relieved! Eun-suck’s going from smug to disbelieving! I kinda want to go watch it again right now.

Older Dramas
Our Blooming Youth: The explorations of friendship and trust and forgiveness are SO GOOD in this drama. I loved them the first time through and I love them all over again.

The Kidnapping Day: (up to episode 11) Dang the end of ep 11 hit me all over again this time around. Husband still says he likes the characters waaaaay more than the plot, but you can’t have everything. He also doesn’t love our main villain, but I’m interested to see what he thinks after the finale.

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Of course that I watched Kidnapping Day for the main trio!! (And Mr.Lawyer).
Though... the main villain was interesting as well.

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I'll never forget that final scene in episode 11 of TKD. It was like the angst of the entire story encapsulated in a single moment.

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Blood Free - I'm not in the cultured meat vs animal meat zone. I know how I prefer my proteins.
However, I'm here seated for what Lee Soo-yeon has to say on the matter. It is not gonna change my mind. But I've bought front row seats.
I did like the political drama underneath. Something tells me Jayu's request to the PM was approved to placed the radars on her. They did succeed on that.

The Two Sisters EP 1&2 - I thought about watching a daily and this caught my attention. I'm just watching it for now. The story hasn't really piqued me yet.
However, I completely understand if the younger sister has deep resentment for the older one. Older sis basically exchanged fates with her. But then...that's the adults fault. They didn't exactly have to split custody. He can take care of both kids with enough love so why share them one to one.

Queen of Tears - Youngduri is a blast! A huge one. I didn't know Mama Hong would actually give me comedy. I'm up for seeing her transition here, of it happens.
Soo-cheol dear...I feel you.
The look on Eun-delulu at the end of episode 10 was priceless. And the look on Park Sung-hoon's face was exact. It is very easy for the reaction to be an angry look/stare. He did convey the exact reaction that should be given off. Hats off to him for conveying it properly and the writer and director for ensuring that the scene played out that way.
They might be on a high rollercoaster ride, but the entire team here knows what they are doing.
I pass the motion that Cupid makes one final lasting mark on Beom-ja. I do hope they do not push this part of the story for latter or towards the end. Let it develop as the rest, however little the crumbs.

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It would be nice if Beom-ja finally has a Last Love that lasts. I second your motion.

I, and I suspect a great many others, are really rooting for Soo-cheol- and his little family.

That ending to episode 10 was priceless. QUEEN OF TEARS may not be a work of art, but it could be considered a work of genius.

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Park Sunghoon was excellent here.

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HIDE (Ep. 5-6) The series is still rocking and rolling like a dangerous carnival ride. The Baker Lady is a real sinister villain who thinks it is fun to torture her victims. Na becoming a low-life bagman for mob business was used like a trainer with a choke collar for a wild dog. But it gets worse as Na is charged with having an arson trial goes forward with perjured testimony so now she is no better than her sleazy husband. After this moment, it is hard to root for her. There is no honor in being a mob lawyer fixing cases.

Instead of leaving matters settled, Baker Lady sends a dagger to Na with a chilling video . Na now has to realize she is living in a family of monsters. But it gets even worse (as I predicted after episode 2). This week ends with a smart woman (Na) scorned, literally driving her anger home. The show is racing along as a well-done immoral horror show.

SHOGUN (Episode 8) This week the focus was on the lengths of duty and loyalty to one’s lord. Toranaga’s son’s death gave him 49 days to go to Edo for the mourning period, but he kept all of his men grousing about not fighting the council in Osaka instead of a meek surrender. When a sick Toranaga calls his vassals to meet, many object to his defeatist plan. His loyal best friend Hiromatsu refuses to change his lord’s mind and fight, so he commits seppuku on the spot with his son Buntaro swiftly beheading him. We learn that this final act of duty and loyalty to Toranga was a way to solidify the story of Toranaga’s surrender as messengers and the cleric will tell Ishido. All of Toranaga’s generals and armies will march to surrender to Osaka.

Meanwhile, Blackthorne is released from his duties to live in a shanty part of Edo. When he goes to see his men, they are either ill or drunken frat boys. He no longer sees them as ship mates but as strangers acting like savages. He gets his ship back to bring the guns and cannons to Osaka, but he is still itching to fight like Yabushige who he rejects Blackthorne’s offer to stay loyal to his lord.

In Osaka, Ishido seems to think he has won. He even makes a confession/proposal to Ochiba who does not respond. She knows that he came up from lower class stock and he is not worthy of the title of ruler of Japan. But after her mother dies, she appears to have a change of heart as she goes to bow in front of Ishido as an apparent acceptance of his marriage proposal. But I think she may have gotten a secret message from Mariko to misdirect Ishido to put his guard down.

The best irony in this week’s story was Toranaga finally granting the Catholic Church a plot of land in Edo to build a church, but it is going to be right next to Madam Gin’s new red light district. Well done.

APARTMENT 404 (episode 7-8) In episode 7, we are back to spies among the hosts which seems at this point a tired plot point. The narrative was more mis-directional than normal and some of the games not interesting. But episode 8, we have a new location at a...

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... university with the story of exploitation of students in a hide in seek style game.

BEAUTY AND MR. ROMANTIC (Ep 1) This popped up on KBS America so I watched the first episode but could not get past the multiple inappropriate relationships between characters. A child crush on an older boy, OK, it has been done before to set up the “fate” trope, but the junior high schooler being involved with a mid-20s hair dresser and possibly later with his mother’s best friend? I don’t fault the child actors performances, it was the seediness of script that is hard to overcome. Also, a deadbeat stage mom having her elementary school daughter raise her two young sons is almost criminal. Dropped.

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The Shogun episode was BANANAS. The loyalty was crazy the actor playing Hiromatsu has not only a beautiful voice, but was spectacular in that scene. Also Hiroyuki Sanada was PERFECT in that scene. He better win ALL the Emmys. What a spectacular episode of television.

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Tokuma Nishioka (Hiromatsu) and Hiroyuki Sanada (Toranaga) proved why they are the show's veteran samurai. The seppuku scene was riveting, my favorite scene in the whole show. They get each other like old friends. I'm going to miss Hiromatsu. 😢He was my favorite.
I can't wait for Crimson Sky. The build-up is raising my expectations to a whole new level.

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Absolutely riveting, I couldn't take my eyes off the screen.

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I was gutted when I saw the literal seppuku happening right in front of my eyes. I wanted someone to stop it. I couldn’t believe it was really happening. But then when you realise what happened you feel so much more worse. They even made me feel for Buntaro this episode.
I am so looking forward to the next episode. The WAR!!

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@mayhemf, Blue

I will be disappointed if they skip The Battle of Segigahara like the book.

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I have been travelling this week and had very little time to watch dramas, but I managed to check Run Away With Sun Jae on Piggyback (Lovely Runner) and omg Kim Hyeyoon and Byun Wooseok are so cuuuuuute in this! 😍 and I want to put them in my pocket, a 2m deep pocket. 😁 Some of the energy reminds me of high school cdramas... and the time travel together with the mission to save the Male Lead brings memories of Shining For One Thing. Not a bad thing, because I loved that drama.

Queen of Tears
I'm still enjoying the ride, but this week felt somewhat scattered. Haein's press conference speech at the end though was daebak and totally fitting her character (and name) - she IS the QUEEN. (And ha, it was satisfying to see obsessed Eunseong unprepared and out of balance). I just hope she and Hyunwoo will keep spending time together and communicating, because time is getting more and more precious.
(I'm glad that Hyunwoo's Mom knows... and her Aga always makes me teary.)

I checked first episode of the weekender Beauty and Mr. Romantic and 3 episodes of the daily We Are In Trouble (Soo Ji and U Ri). So far I'm surprisingly more drawn towards the daily, the debt collectors in Beauty are not my favourite trope and young Dora annoyes me with her obsessing and blackmailing high school Male Lead.

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QoT - While I play on repeat Ep 10’s epilogue, the little quiet scene of Hae-in getting onto mother-in-law’s tractor and saying thankyou to her punches me to tears EVERY SINGLE TIME. Hats off to the two actresses.

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That scene was so beautiful. From the start when she gets on that tractor and mother actually feeling a ping of jealousy seeing her daughter have a good relationship with her ex MIL ( still far superior to what she has with her own daughter. And whose fault is that lady??) to how she thanks her. And how MIL knows what that thanks means. awww. She did marry into a wonderful family. Wish she had spent more time with them than just the company.

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That epiologue ... the more I looked at it, the more I was loving not just the scene in itself, but the meta of it. Him "getting drunk and going back to the house, acting cute", hoping it would make her take him back.
It worked.

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I love "Shining for one thing" too. So if "Lovely Runner", which I have not started yet, reminds me of that c-drama, that would be a very good thing.

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My favorite currently airing show is QUEEN OF TEARS. It is exceptionally well done.

I watched two episodes of MIDNIGHT STUDIO and stopped.

My wife finished THE JUDGE DEE MYSTERY- a very good historical (Tang Dynasty) Chinese Costume mystery drama most of whose stories are drawn from the novels of Western writers who adopted this wonderful literary figure and made him their own. She highly recommends it (it is on Netflix).

That meant that it was time for her to return to Chinese Costume fantasy drama in the form of THE LEGEND OF SHENLI which had her mesmerized through all 39 episodes. She cannot speak more highly of this one- it is simply one of the best. she then started into the excellent ‘historical’ Chinese Costume Drama BLOSSOMS IN ADVERSITY (aka THE STORY OF HUA ZHI) plus the Chinese Costume mystery IN BLOSSOM. Both are very good.

We needed something a bit lighter and so my wife and I have begun CRAZY LOVE. We are thoroughly enjoying it. We tried CHICKEN NUGGET and my wife simply could not get into it, in part because the Netflix subtitles were difficult to read.

Our new weekender BEAUTY AND MR. ROMANTIC has started well. Through six episodes it is already better than the two weekenders before it. The ratings have suffered but I have a hypothesis that this is because QUEEN OF TEARS offers the same kind of story but at a much faster pace and higher production values. Some themes have already become clear- such as the issue of age gaps. We have more likeable characters in this drama than in the previous Weekender and far less screeching and hair pulling. It is a much easier watch. This weekend’s episodes will bring us to a total of eight and we will finally have a fairly good picture of where this story is going.

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I'm sorry you didn't like Midnight studio, but your statement made me laugh.

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Sometimes there is no accounting for tastes- and especially ones own tastes.

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I hope you both continue to enjoy Crazy Love! The love story is really wonderful.

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Queen of Tears goes on the future "watch again and again" list.

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I agree.

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I'm assuming from the "old" you might be ahhhh, a little bit older. I would love to have a poll if anyone over 50 liked Chicken Nugget. I'm 63 and have just never liked crazy humor. No The Office, no Seinfeld. Just no patience for it😃

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🙋🏼‍♀️ I LOVED Chicken Nugget. Honestly, I don't think taste or sense of humor has much to do with age. Horizons may broaden or narrow, but we're all individuals.

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Great answer!! You would be the fun person to hang out with if you get that humor!!

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Hide: Oooh love tension...and Lee Chung Ah makes a really good villian
Wonderful World: It is last week!
Midnight Studio: Love the gentle romance
Queen of Tears: Loving the eye contact and how they express their love.
Blood Free: It is so nice to watch JJH and HHJ again!! Absolutely love the politics and thriller here.

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Heh, I just made a gif post on my wall about "The Eye Contact and how they express their Love" (and other feelings) in Queen of Hearts. 😅😍😍😍🤩🧐

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I have been feeling a bit down so I decided to give My Roommate is a Gumiho another watch. So far, I have watched 6 eps but I am cracking up as if it is my first time, especially at the niece-zone part.
As for ongoing dramas
Lovely Runner has secured its spot as my favorite watch for the week. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to another week with QOT.

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Hello beanies! I hope you are having a great weekend.

What I am watching:

_ Bossam: steal the fate (7/20). This drama had been on my list for so long! And at last I started it. I'm liking it a lot. If it keeps this pace and this good script, it could be one of my favorite sageuks ever.

What I have finished:

_ C-drama The Legend of Shen Li. I already wrote about my feelings on my fan wall yesterday. It has been a wonderful show in so many ways. It's not perfect, but when it was good, it was great. I could have watched more episodes. I'm going to miss this couple and the way they talked with their eyes.

Western shows:

_ All the creatures great and small Season 4 (6/7). Nice as always.

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Once Upon a Small Town has always reminded me, in vibe (and in vets 🤓), of All Creatures Great and Small...I assume you've seen it, but if not, highly recommended!

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Yes!!! I second that recommendation!!

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I watched Once upon a small town when it aired. It's a nice show, but All the creatures... (I'm talking about the current remake) is a gem I highly recommend 🙂

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My wife and I have truly loved watching ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL. We liked the original series too, but this remake is actually even better.

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I'm glad you're enjoying Bossam so far! It's one of my favorite sageuks ever, with one of my favorite couples ever 😊

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I know you love that show 🤩
I love all the main characters but the child Cha Dol is really something else. Amazing.

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It was a truly fabulous cast all around!! ⭐️

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I have to admit (and probably I am in a minority) I found little Cha-dol with all those ‘abuji!’(s) slightly annoying. However, Go Dong-ha (who portrayed Cha-dol) is a classy little guy. During the filming of GOOD JOB (2022) he sent a coffee truck to Jung Il-woo and Yuri. Here is the Soompi article which tells the story. You also get a chance to see how horridly JIW was dressed in BOSSAM:
https://www.soompi.com/article/1540343wpp/jung-il-woo-and-girls-generations-yuri-thank-child-actor-go-dong-ha-for-his-sweet-gift-to-the-set-of-their-new-drama

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Thank you for that- that was truly cool.

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Aw, that's so sweet! I hope he is a happy child, apart from a very good young actor.

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I found also the OST of Bossam very beautiful.

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It's wonderful indeed.

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Enjoy the excellent MBN’s BOSSAM: STEAL THE FATE (2021) (Viki US). You give me the opportunity for my annual BOSSAM rant about costuming in that drama. Jung Il-woo must be a good sport to accept the horrid attire he had to wear. He was dressed looking like a babushka. Now on the other hand, whoever was responsible for the attire for Shin Hyun-soo should have received a special award. He looked outstanding in hanbok.

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You are right, poor Jung Il-woo's attire is... indescribable 😅
In these seven episodes he looks like he is wearing the clothes of five sheperds at the same time.

Shin Hyun-soo looks good, though :)

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Babushka!!!! 5 Shepards!!! Oh my!!!

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Looks like I'm in the minority who loved his rough look. I was disappointed when he wore better clothes 😁

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Update:

Yesterday I watched the movie Everything, everywhere, all at once.
What can I say? Bizarreness overload and great actings. I didn't like it, but I didn't dislike it either.

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This week became a free-for-all of drama dabbling.

WATCHING
Carry Sun-Jae and Run: eps 1/2 I love that DB seems to be collectively excited about this new series. It's certainly off to a great start and I really hope it's able to carry through to the end à la Twinkling Watermelon, my sentimental fav from 2023. I love the cast and the story so far. There's a great energy about the whole production.

The Midnight Studio: eps 7/8 Somehow this drama has managed to capture the charm of older k-dramas while still feeling modern. Ji Won and Kwon Na Ra are well-matched for these roles and each other. I also really like that the episodic stories aren't overly simplistic or predictable, and carry over 2 eps. The guest actors have added a lot. However, a quick peek at the recap for ep 9 suggests that it might be starting to slide. Boooo!

Unlock My Boss: up to ep 8/12 I'm having a great time watching this right now. The characters have some depth, and the twists and turns are well-timed. It perfectly suits my mood. Plus I can never get enough of Chae Jong-Hyeop's radiant smile and happy vibes!

STARTING
Missing Crown Prince: I just know I'm going to regret this for a variety of reasons, but I'm feeling called to give it at least the 4-episode trial.

COMPLETED
The Legend of Shen Li: This wonderful fantasy adventure c-drama wrapped up this week, and I can't say enough good things about the story, the actors, and the production. What a treat this was to watch! So many great characters, a beautiful soundtrack -- a captivating experience overall. Highly recommended.

Semantic Error (The Movie): Watched this on a whim and loved it. It's very funny and well done. Particularly enjoyed Park Seo Ham, who'll be in next year's Murky Water with Rowoon and Shin Ye Eun. That's actually what sparked my interest in SE since I hadn't seen him in anything before. Looks like MW will be his first role post-military.

HAVEN'T FORGOTTEN
Flex X Cop: up to ep 11/16 Not surprisingly, I didn't get to it this week. I think I'm hesitating to keep watching because I'm aware the next few eps are going to be a bit of a downer. I'll get to it. I've loved this drama too much thus far not to finish it.

Have a fun week beanies! 😀

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Yayyyy Unlock My Boss! 🥳 And Carry Sun-jae does have Twinkling Watermelon vibes, which I like. I loved all the heartfelt emotion in the opening week. I'm going to try Missing Crown Prince because of the writers and PD, but I'm making no promises to finish because of the leads *sigh* 😑

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I see MCP as a show that I may string along for awhile if it turns out to be good. Otherwise, I agree ... no promises to finish it. Too many things I know I want to watch are coming up!

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Yes, exactly. If I'm "meh" about the first episodes/actors, I'll probably put it on pause and wait to hear what everyone has to say.

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With all the new shows being released there may be nobody left watching it if it fails to impress! 🙃

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I want to give Missing Crown Prince a try. In fact, I have started Bossam this week because I read they were related, somehow.
So once I finish Bossam, I'll start MCP.

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That's a good plan as by then the jury will be out and you can make an informed decision whether to watch or back out of the room and run for the hills.

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Missing Crown Prince ... it said "rom com" where I read about it, but the poster colours and expression promises "Agony".

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Lol, well, one of the problems is that there are two sets of marketing materials. One is dark and angsty and the other is light and fluffy. Ditto the trailers. So it's anyone's guess what the final product will be. I just noticed the first episode is up on Viki for me but I won't get to it until tomorrow.

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What does it say about my fundamentally HYPOCRITICAL SOUL that when I saw you posted this, I **high-tailed** it over to Viki to skim that first episode to see what it was like??

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One of my favorite things about DB is feeling free to get all "dramatic" with my comments and opinions, and then back track on them, occasionally eating my hat. Drama watching is for fun, right?!

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Well, you'll note I'm being a very good Internet Friend by not commenting further on what I saw. I do take some parts of drama-watching quite seriously!! 🤗

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@attiton You are a good Internet Friend indeed. Duly noted on your approach to drama watching. I'm not at all serious about it, so please disregard any cavalier remarks I may make that annoy or offend 🤗

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GenX: Bridging differences of opinion with grace and humor since 1965.

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Oh, ha! @zindigo Yes, to the Gen-X grace and humor comment...but I don't want to leave you thinking I take ALL of this very seriously.

The one thing I take super-duper seriously is spoilers. I am so sad when they happen unintentionally--just ask @hopefulromantic. I'm still upset about the HeartBeat finale spoiler I quite literally, but accidentally, called her by name over to read (even though she's told me repeatedly since then she didn't mind!!!). And I'm (probably too) angry when they're intentionally divulged.

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Lol I forgive you @attiton!! Spoilers aren't a big deal to me - I know they're part and parcel of participating in an online forum where everyone's watching at different speeds. Re: HeartBeat - that spoiler actually helped cushion the blow of watching the finale 😭

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Lovely Runner: It's a squee-fest with emotional depth. Sol and Sun-jae captured my heart with their phone/radio scene in the first episode. I love that they've had crushes on each other, albeit at different times. Mutual rescue coming up? The first two episodes were crafted so beautifully that I'm guardedly optimistic we'll get a resolution worthy of the OTP -- who must be protected!

Midnight Photo Studio: Hooray for a grown-up romance. Too bad it has an expiration date because of Ki-joo. However, the way the characters look out for each other and actually share information leaves me hopeful that the good guys' teamwork will prevail in the end. The pacing has been great, and the stakes have ramped up in a satisfying way with the two big bads about to take more prominent roles.

Beauty and Mr. Romantic: It's a weekender, so I have to grade it on a curve and fast-forward as needed to avoid excess aggravation. Yes, there are characters who are a lesson in how not to parent. But so far their presence is balanced out by fun scenes of our OTP crossing paths on the set of their TV show. Fingers crossed it stays watchable and balances the screen time between the screechers and the more mature (which in this show has nothing to do with age) characters.

Blossoms in Adversity (C-drama): I think I'll stick with this one! Historical with a heroine who steps forward in a time of crisis and says, "I was not born to hide behind a door." Her sensibilities are almost too modern, but I'm absolutely not complaining. I don't think I've seen another show in which the indentured servants were given their contracts so that they could burn them and regain their freedom. The theme of women's empowerment reminds me a bit of "New Life Begins."

Teasing Master Takagi-san (J-drama): I'm utterly charmed by the live-action version of this show. The young actors playing the two middle-schoolers are delightful and I love the way the story centers their experiences. I don't think we've seen their parents yet! It's set in present day but feels timeless in its depiction of the transition from childhood to adolescence.

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A "squee-fest with emotional depth" is the PERFECT description, Peach! 😊❤️

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🥰🙏

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