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Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (April 20, 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: As much as I hate the wait for new episodes (years of live-watching dramas has cultivated not an ounce of patience within me), knowing I had two new hours to look forward to got me through a fair bit of work-induced Sturm und Drang this week. (Aside: It makes me think wistfully upon the days of being here full-time, which was still the best and most rewarding job I’ve ever had, and while I have no regrets about the paths my life has taken me on, it makes that time even more precious in my memories. *tear*) The first two episodes already had me hooked, but I particularly loved the direction the story took this week in deepening the characters’ connection and up-leveling Sol’s struggles when trying to change the past. I was willing to accept what initially was presented as a coincidental, fateful meet-sad (aka the radio call) because dramaland stories are full of those and some amount of implausibly convenient connections is standard fare, but the new developments fit the plot pieces together into something much less happenstance and a lot more heartbreaking. I feel so much for Sun-jae that I’m retroactively a bit sorry for finding Byun Woo-seok so thoroughly unremarkable in Record of Youth, although to be fair that was really a writing fail more than an acting one. And isn’t what really matters that I see the appeal now?

Blood Free: I’m intrigued by the everybody-is-a-suspect setup and the slight sci-fi bent, though so far it’s a bit of a dry and detached watch for me. The plot reminds me of Okja, but tonally it’s completely on the other end of the seriousness spectrum and while I expect this to be engaging as a cerebral form of entertainment, I find myself wishing there were more personality or style. Or something to grasp onto — it’s a bit cold for my taste. A matter of personal preference, I’m sure. I interpret Han Hyo-joo’s portrayal as intentionally off-putting, but even if it’s the point her aloof and calculating nature keeps me at arm’s length and I prefer to care about my characters. Will keep watching, but hoping the intrigue ramps up soon.

Queen of Tears: I do enjoy this, but it’s not the addictive and/or emotional and/or exuberant romance drama I’ve come to expect of this writer. It’s amusing at points and occasionally poignant and brimming with quirky characters, but there’s something about this show that feels overly deliberate and constructed (as opposed to organic) and thus doesn’t hit a genuine chord for me, so it remains surface-level fun. Everyone outside the main couple feels like caricatures filling a role in a wacky sitcom character lineup, like a collection of quirky billionaire NPCs. And boy do I find the villainous mother-son duo tiresome as ho-hum baddies whose scenes I occasionally fast-forward through. Still, at the core of the drama is our couple and I do hope for them to conquer their obstacles: I want Kim Ji-won to find a way to survive, and for Kim Soo-hyun to find happiness with her. Both actors are putting in top-notch performances, which is doing a lot of the heavy lifting — Kim Soo-hyun is a master at drawing you into his pain, so much so that it makes me want to linger and revel in it, which is not really the thing you want to do with pain. But he just cries so pretty!

 

missvictrix

Lovely Runner: What a great second week for this drama. I was slack-jawed when the story sent Sol back to the present day again — it just changed the whole scope of the story that I was expecting, and I love the upped ante and the fact that Sol is basically fighting against her past self to keep Sun-jae safe in the future. Because, keep Sun-jae safe! I love this boy.

 

mistyisles

Currently covering: The Midnight Studio

Lovely Runner: This show makes me all kinds of happy, even as it puts my heart through the wringer with Sun-jae’s life-changing injury and Sol’s feelings of helplessness when all her efforts to save him seem to fall short. It’s got the perfect balance of silly sweetness and serious depth, where the darker themes don’t weigh the whole thing down, and likewise the comedy doesn’t weaken the emotional impact (in fact, sometimes it enhances it!). Waiting for new episodes is torture, but unlike some shows it’s not so much because I’m impatient to find out how it ends — it’s because I want to savor every second of the journey towards (what I desperately hope will be) that happy ending.

 
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Current/recent:
Total Solar Eclipse, North America Edition: Suspenseful (will there be cloud cover 😬?), thrilling, and ultimately spectacular, with a satisfying resolution. Wish there were more episodes.
Lovely Runner: Aaaahh. What a great 4-episode kickoff. I don’t generally like seeing grown-up women and men in high school uniforms [yes, Elinor, we’ve noticed - ed.], but the leads are doing a fantastic job of bringing all the teenage emotions to the 2008 timeline while also showing heartbreaking mature regret, pain, and reflection in their present-day scenes. This is the rare show where I’m not worried about having enough plot and character development to fill out the episodes.
Midnight Studio: I can’t keep up, so I’m saving the odd episodes each week to watch with the following even-numbered ones. It’s getting a little flat and repetitive. Only Joo Won’s yearning sad eyes are keeping me in it.
Queen of Tears (to ep. 9): This is 100% a comedy from start to finish. You can’t talk me out of that, because that’s what’s getting me through. Also, I could watch Kim Soo-hyun cry for hours. I refuse to deal with any contradiction in those viewpoints.
Eye Love You: I’m struggling with the supposedly intelligent and accomplished FL’s flustered, exaggerated reactions to everything, but telling myself this is just a Jdrama tic I and I’m the one who needs to adapt.
Elinor’s Real Life: on hiatus, but expected to pick up again this weekend.

Older shows:
Come and Hug Me (2018): This got a little talky (as in, characters literally standing around talking for many minutes despite holding weapons in their hands) in the last couple of episodes but was still a worthwhile exploration of how and why someone becomes - or chooses not to become - a monster. A lot of the recap comments noted pacing and preemption problems, and I think this is better as a binge, or at least at one’s own pace, than it would have been as a live watch.
Semantic Error (2022): This is the first Korean BL I’ve seen and I fear no other will match it. The leads are immature, contradictory, funny, and hot, and the show features the Best Best Friend Wearing Animal Prints ever. 11/10, already rewatched.

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100% agree about the Total Solar Eclipse! I could easily watch way more episodes of that.

I am sort of wanting to do the same thing with The Midnight Studio, but also wanting to participate on here (and not shun the fanwall) is keeping me up to date. Maybe I’ll just save the last three episodes to watch together?

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I've been watching it in the original pairs and I think it's worth doing!

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Next North American Eclipse 2045... that's not too long to wait, is it?! 😀 We had mostly cloud cover but eclipse glasses worked well when the clouds parted.

Agreed on Eye Love You, which I finished this week, having started it ages ago on Netflix. The FL's character is frustratingly naive for a supposed company CEO.

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Re: Lovely Runner - I was thinking that it did as much in four episodes as some dramas do in eight, but it feels like it has plenty of room to grow (and a plan) for the next twelve.

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At the end of episode 2 of (MY) LOVELY RUNNER I knew something VERY strange had happened LOL and I thought before moving on I have to rewatch the first two episodes before moving in to episode 3 which is something I haven’t done to a drama in a long time. That’s my project this weekend so I have been gently passing over comments about this week’s episodes. I loved what I saw in the first 2 episodes.

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Rewatching the first two is a good idea!! I wanted to, but didn't have the time. Yes, keep skimming - it's better to experience the next two episodes without prior information!

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I'm literally flying over the fan wall with my eyes half closed these days because I have only watched the first two episodes of Lovely Runner and with this drama I don't want to know any spoiler (something which I usually don't care too much).

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I did that. Thought I'd just skim to refresh myself on plot points, but ended up rewatching most of it, with no regrets.

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I was also in the path of totality but I thought the 2017 solar eclipse was more memorable, perhaps cause I was with the clan.
See you in Spain in 2026?

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Thanks for the THE MIDNIGHT STUDIO tip on viewing. I am through episode 10 with 11 up next. I will wait for this week’s episodes 12 and 13 to get back on track. Postponing episode 6 threw a little narrative kink in the works. Not a huge deal but I think it threw things off a little. Overall for me TMS has been a very enjoyable watch and Joo Won has been terrific in this role.

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I aways see that kinda comment about jdramas, but most Japanese FLs are not like that. There are a lot of strong, confident, intelligent female characters in jdramaland. In fact, keeping with the international/cross cultural nature of ELY, the drama has a lot of *kdrama* tropes. The wishy-washy FL, the somewhat forceful and childish ML, the tragic SML... Japan loves dramas as much as the rest of us, and Eye Love You is an affectionate homage to that. I won't be surprised if we see a Subway PPL at some point.

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I feel like people have a bit of a narrow/outdated view of Japanese dramas tbh! Which doesn’t surprise me because so many jdramas have been gatekept for so long. I hope the fact that more and more shows are being made available to international audiences through official streaming sites broadens the jdrama horizon a bit for international fans! Most of the shows previously available on sites like Viki were the ones that they thought would appeal to your stereotypical international drama viewer and often involved silly romances with naive/clumsy heroines… not too different from how people stereotype kdrama heroines, as you said! I haven’t seen Eye Love You so I can’t comment on that show specifically, though.

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You said what's always been on my mind! The jdramas that do get picked by services like Viki are usually 1) live-action of Mangas or anime and tend to be cartoony or 2) extremely sexualized late night 20 min soap operas. That kinda affects people's perceptions. Most jdramas are extremely serious, deep and profound.

Anyways, I hope you can find most jdramas subbed thru fansubbers on Drama-otaku or the ancient d-addicts forum. You can find out who is subbing what thru the d-addicts jdrama fansub map.

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I have frequently wondered at the choices that Viki made when it comes to Jdramas. The weird thing about it is that Viki is owned by Rakuten, a Japanese company.

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Sorry late to the conversation. @dylanrodrigues42, thanks for the references for subs. (Probably technically out of my league but it is appreciated).

@oldawyer, you voiced something that I have pondered for years and that is what Japanese owned Viki chooses among jdramas to license. I am a cops/crime/mystery guy and there is almost no jdramas in that genre with DON’T CALL IT MYSTERY (2022) a big exception. I would also love to maybe take in one of those big NHK historical (Taiga) dramas that air for a year. Maybe there already is a place where I can legally watched those subbed but I am nit aware of it.

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@bong-soo, there are so many good crime and detective Japanese shows, ranging light and fun to grim and gritty, every season. Some of them even get fansubbed! :)
I would make recs but I haven't watched that many crime jdramas recently but lmk if you need any help with fansubs.

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@GhostofTim pointed out elsewhere that ELY feels like a live-action Studio Ghibli movie, and that perspective gets me past the FL's wide-eyed reactions and outbursts.

I definitely have a narrow view of Jdramas - I've only watched (or tried unsuccessfully to watch) a handful and I'm sure they're unrepresentative. And the flustered-FL stereotype (K or J version) annoys me more than it apparently does others, and kawaii doesn't charm me at all.

I'm not sure if I just talked myself into or out of trying more. 😂

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Meant to say "Japan loves kdramas as much as us" but alas.

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The eclipse show was not streaming in my area. D**n you, Disney channel!

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Ditto

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Yes, Kim Soo-hyun crying has so many nuances, he can do comedy and tragedy going both ways on a scale from one to ten or maybe one to a hundred.

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Can't stop smiling over

Total Solar Eclipse, North America Edition: Suspenseful (will there be cloud cover 😬?), thrilling, and ultimately spectacular, with a satisfying resolution. Wish there were more episodes.

So clever!! I just couldn't get excited for this watch. Not much to see in FL. Original version 2017 was totally awesome!!

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Elinor: Semantic error is tremedous. I’m glad you watched it.
“To my star” is also good but in a bittersweet way. Son Woohyeon is wonderful in it and deserves the lead roles that far less talented actors are getting in non-BLs.

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Also, Elinor, I strongly recommend “Silent”, a thoughtful and engaging JDrama with a strong cast and a female lead that is as profoundly different, strong and moving. I have watched a fair few JDs and there are many naturalistic ones which do not have the affected responses.

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There are three character types who are a frustrating watch for me any time they pop up in a J drama; the overly naive on the verge of stupid cartoon type female lead, the ridiculously loud overly enthusiastic character who can be male or female of any age and the unnecessarily lacking in emotion but very good at their job female character they can be a female lead but are just as often an assistant/side character.

I second Silent and would also recommend Why I dress up for love which has the same actress. The Makanai cooking for the Maiko house, Kitchen knife and Green chilli pepper: Ichika’s cookbook also known as Nagatan to Aoto: Ichika’s no Ryourijou were two beautiful slice of life dramas. Quirky J dramas Brush up life and He’s expecting were quite good. Dr Stork 2 seasons, Worst to first, First Love, and Ishiko and Haneo were others I really enjoyed.

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Agreed.
And, thanks for the recommendations. I loved “The Makanai: Cooking for the Maiko House”. So gorgeous and contemplative. Will try and find the others too.

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Let us know what you think when you watch them.

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i second silent. it's a deeply moving and profound story about what it means to love and be loved. the actors are SO good. and the actress somehow is like an even prettier version of suzy, which is insane.

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Currently Watching
Carry Sun-jae and Run: 🏃‍♂️‍➡️❤️ Oh my heart!! The layers, the reveals, the feels. I love the vibe, the visuals, the music, and the sweet ML and FL; I want them both to be safe and happy and healthy and loved and *alive* 제발!!! The end of episode 4 was a gut punch.😭 Also, I'm obsessed with the EP of Eclipse songs they released!

Welcome2Life: (through ep. 19) I knew this was going to be a mystery/ action/ thriller, but I didn't realize it would also have humor! I loved his sweet little family. The cases are dark, and each twist is impressively surprising. This is so, so good - acting, writing, everything.

Missing Crown Prince: Dropped at Episode 1, 85% (*I apologize, this is a little rant-y. Skip reading this if you liked the episodes*).
Everything was a let-down after the fabulous Bossam. And holy cow, that was a gory start. Far too many squashy sounds for my taste, plus that butt boil - why??? The musical beats were heavy-handed, and the framing of shots didn't seem nuanced. As I feared, I found the ML to be aggressively bland, including in his line delivery. After he mildly reprimanded a scammer with the insouciance of a bon vivant playboy, and his brother sighed about his "famous temper," I had to laugh, because I never would have guessed that the script was calling for him to convey "angry" without that clue. I guess that's why they felt the need to balance out his milquetoast persona with a caricature of a "modern woman in Joseon" FL, which they decided was easiest to impress upon us with a montage of boil-squeezing, swearing, fist-fighting, and drunkenness. You know, to establish personality. The younger brother seemed interesting. Since I really didn't enjoy any element, it's a drop for me, which is disappointing. I'm probably more bitter because of how much I loved Bossam. Sorry for my sour take!

Miscellaneous
The Legend of ShenLi (through episode 12) I love watching them flirt 😍
SPY x FAMILY after seeing some Beanies talk about this, I tried it out (it's on Hulu in the US). It's quite fun, and funny! Also, with the dubbed episodes, it's nice to have something to listen to in English when I'm multitasking.

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Huzzah to a fan of SpyxFamily, such a delightful anime.

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Delightful is the word!! I loved reading manga way back in high school, but never got into anime. This has been awesome fun so far!!

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Ooh, I'm so glad you're liking Welcome2Life! I think it's a hidden gem. 😊

But wow are we disagreeing on a drama?! I'm actually somewhat enjoying MCP, mostly because I think they're intending it to be over-the-top. I'm giving it the 4 eps try out.

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Welcome2Life is just fabulous!!

Haha I think this is the first time we've had differing opinions on something we were both watching! But that's ok; twins don't have to like the same things all the time 🤗❤️ I hope you continue to enjoy it! I'll enjoy experiencing it through your posts and comments (and gifs??)

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True! I'll definitely post/comment/gif this weekend's eps. 😉

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Yayy!!!🙌

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I love reading praises for Welcome 2 Life😍😍 One of my favorites!

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It's just so well done!! But after some weird dreams, I've decided this needs to be a daytime watch, not a nighttime watch 😂

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😂 very very understandable!

This show has one scene (I don't know if you have seen it yet) that is the stuff of nightmares, but is so so so well acted and done that makes it one of the most memorable kdrama scenes ever for me!

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Lol I can think of a couple like that?? Where she discovered the Scene at the orphanage? Or when he is jolted back to reality after finding Shi-on? Absolutely distressing but can't look away because of how good the acting is...

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Oh I hadn't noticed you're at episode 19!

I mean the scene in the abandoned house, when he hears the humming. I think you mean the same scene with finding Shi-on, right?

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Yes that's the one @midnight! I think that might have triggered the weird dreams, too, but gosh it's so good!!

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So so good!!

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I also loved the flirting in The Legend of Shen Li! Where would Xing Zhi even learn all that if he was mostly hanging out with the gods (who weirdly happened to be all male...) ?!

Love Spy x Family too! Waku waku!

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MISSING CROWN PRINCE has been removed from my watchlist. My thanks to my fellow beanies for passing the word. I have far too many shows on the list to get to for me to waste time uselessly.

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The Beanie PSA system has saved us all from many a wasted hour!

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Lots to watch right now. My drama-loving heart is 😊.

ONGOING
Queen of Tears - Usual cycle of crying and squee-ing and crying some more (the ring 😭). At least this was a good week for Soo-cheol 👏.

The Midnight Studio - Not a fan of the all-crimes-lead-to-one-OG-crime style of storytelling esp. when the OG crime also conveniently involves both our leads 🙄. Still I like the gentler moments between the leads - them talking through the curse and the uncle's passing. Ji-won and Sung-ho is just tragedy in the making.

Lovely Runner - The way I screeched when she went back to the future (heh) at exactly the wrong moment 😭. Him being the one who saved her was a given but the 'missed connections' of it all just breaks my 💔. Creepy cab is reeking of 'there's-a-serial-killer-in-my-romcom' and I don't know how I feel about that yet.

Blood Free/ Dominant Species - I praised the start last week and have to praise the end this time round. That was properly exciting. But our super-smart soldier always (suspiciously) figures things out just a tad bit late - the ransomware, the Prof., the SUV guy, and even the traffic cop 🧐. The trinity of evil's plans are obvious but I don't think that's a downside - makes for good back and forth in terms of wins.

WATCHLIST
Will watch both episodes of Chief Inspector 1958 today.

C-DRAMAS
Best Choice Ever - This show is the perfect example of how evil the lure of a cute OTP is. Yang Zi and Xu Kai are the cutest bickering two-some ever but this cuteness means I'm also being subjected to the most annoying mom in c-dramaland 😩. She was annoying in the first five minutes of the show and she hasn't stopped being annoying even when I've reached Ep. 24. And that's when I've basically sped-up, forwarded, or muted every scene with her 😤!

At least I'm excited for There's a Lover in My Hometown next week!

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I doubt if he's a tad late on most though. He already figured he was using a Thai passport and in Cambodia before the Prime Minister got that info.
Same with the flight. He surely didn't have the resources to know he will be poisoned on board, a poisoning that was decided after Professor was on board and the trip was in full motion. But he knew he was onboard maybe a tad late.

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BCE - oh dear. Mom still annoying in Ep 24!!
Leads are so cute together. I am at Ep 16. And their hiking trip, car ride was hilarious. I am going to FF the mom too. After what she did at the engagement party I complete lost it. Until that point I thought ok she is just misguided, she does care for her children but doesn’t know boundaries, is overbearing etc.
I know the show will redeem her eventually and it will be easy since Yao Zhaming is rich. I wish she fell in love with someone who didn’t have the money as that would have made an interesting challenge for the writers.

I also like Xu Kai and the assistant. They are cute together.

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Mom has never stopped being annoying 😖! I know we're supposed to find her misguided but loving but I just CAN'T. She's just a horrible person - not just the big stuff like the engagement but even the little things like borrowing a car but not wanting the friend to come coz she's a divorcee 🙄. Of course we'll get a redemption arc and that'll just annoy me more. I think this mom might topple the mom from Go Ahead on my Bad Moms list.

Xu Kai and the assistant are SO cute and I hate that I can't give them up lol.

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I totally disliked the mom's redemption arc in Go Ahead (as much as I disliked the main couple's love arc).
I'm not watching Best Choice but I am reading bad things about that mom everywhere.

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Yup the mom and the loveline made the second half of Go Ahead a lot less fun. TBF the BCE mom isn't actually as bad but she is much more shrill and noisy.

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'there's-a-serial-killer-in-my-romcom' 👈🏾 this is exactly it and should be likened to how we all feel when we have a there is a fly in our soup moment 😲

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The Midnight Studio: I really hope they are not setting up Ji Won to die. I understand that there seems to be a high probability of one of our main 3 living folks dying, but I hope it isn’t her. I also hope she gets a fabulous real life romance as well. I am also kind of annoyed our resident dead cop didn’t realize what he was putting his wife through until he died and can’t make up for it. That poor woman, I don’t condone cheating, but I get it. I hope she is able to move on guilt free. As for our OTP, I only hope for joy and happiness, even though I know tragedy is coming.

The Lovely Runner: I am still enjoying this and the layers of this drama. There is also obviously a serial killer, which is very annoying. It is too bad Im Sol forgot Sun Jae. It is nice that she is remembering him, but this is so sad. I am also betting the utterly adorable Tae Sung is somehow involved, and that is why he disappeared. Man, I hope this drama ends joyously because it really isn’t looking up.

Blood Free: The plot thickens. Smug daddy and son are up to some not so good things. They are looking for something, what it is, I am not sure. Grandpa seems to genuinely want to know who tried to kill him, but the son and the grandson want BF for themselves. I am assuming it is the AI they want, like the machine in Person of Interest. As for Chae Woon and Ja Yoo, keep the delicious tension going, it is delightful.

Chief Detective 1958: This was such a fun first episode. I love the feel and vibes coming from it, also the music is chef’s kiss.

Queen of Tears: Man, we only have 4 episodes left. What will the next 3 hours bring. I think the vault has already been emptied, so I care less about that, but I do want to know what Haraboji told Hae In. Bring on the tears Sunday, bring them on.

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"the music is chef’s kiss."

Does this mean the music is set to the period-50's? I'm really hoping it is

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I'm loving the music in Chief Inspector too! That cool jazz has a "heist movie" vibe that fits it perfectly.

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Live Watches
The Midnight Studio: Bom is Ki-joo’s safe person and this show feels like my safe-zone. Ji-won is so cute and determined in pursuit of her ghostly admirer, but I’m sadly hoping mostly for closure for both of them. At this point, everything is so connected to everything else that I’ll be surprised if the jerk boss at the food company and the criminal who killed our detective aren’t connected to the corrupt prosecutor/minister of justice guy.

Queen of Tears: I loved almost everything about these episodes but the reunion (of sorts) between Hae-in and her mom just didn’t hit for me. Her mom does not really have any redeeming qualities that I have seen, and her tears felt like too little too late to me. Yeah of course you’re sad and regretful now but would you have ever come to that point if your daughter wasn’t literally dying in front of you? I’m not so sure. But I’m more than happy to put up with her for the time I get to spend with everyone else, so carry on, show!

Older Dramas
Our Blooming Youth: If this entire show was just Hwan’s deadpan reactions to Myung-jin’s over-the-top everything, I would also watch that.

The Kidnapping Day: (finished!) Husband loved the final confrontation and the leads’ ending (and lawyer) but was stalwartly unimpressed with Jayden until the end (fair, he’s pretty one-dimensional) and was annoyed or angry with the doctor who wanted to “fix” her perfectly healthy child (also fair, she is terrible and I feel so bad for Byeol). We both could have done without the epilogue, which I had mostly forgotten about, but I loved this show all over again.

Random
Physical 100 (season 2): Three episodes in and it’s super fun again this time! Firefighter guy picked an idol because he thought he would be an easy target to go one-on-one against, but as anyone who has tried to do more than three kpop moves in a row knows, it takes more stamina and strength than they let on! At this early stage, I don’t care who gets eliminated as long as they put up a good fight first. Let’s hope they fix the totally unfair issues with the teams that plagued season 1 and got my fav, Jang Eun-sil, eliminated. Fighting!

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Re: Midnight Studio, that would be hilarious if everything were connected, but it wouldn't surprise me either.

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Right? I don’t want them to go there, but I am also writing weird connections between all of them in my head as we go along!

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Yes, there was only one interesting villain in Kidnapping Day (and that story I found well done).

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You're right about Hae-in's mom. Her tears were indeed much too late. She wasn't listening to her child. And was dismissive of the times when her child gave her clues to know she's not okay. So I doubt if it is a little to late. Too much too late is a better one for me, if the phrase exists.

But I did like how she conveyed the gut punch when it all burst open. She might come up and berate Hyun-woo for not telling the family, but she came to realize that she was the first family member she told besides Hyun-woo but she was too blind to hear.

I don't want to say it serves her right but I'm very glad she got that awakening.

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Serves her right.
I'll say it.

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OBY: Myung-Jin would make a fantastic drag queen and put up such a show. give this guy a feather boa he is a drama queen in the most encyclopedic sense

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I wasn't that into OBY, but Myung-jin is one of my favorite kdrama characters of all time. I can almost hear his laugh in my head now.

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I really liked him too.

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Ongoing
Blood Free : Loving the fast pace plot and some solid casting choices. Wasn’t too happy with the ending of Ep 4. I hope it helps with the plot.
Joppa is 😍😍😍
Also, can people give Kim Sang-Ho a good role and not these shady character roles.

Lovely Runner : It oscillates from cute to silly/cringe. But for most parts I am fine with it.

Parasyte - The grey 4/6. No time this week.

Queen of tears : Last weeks episode felt draggier than usual. Can we focus on her treatment and not the slush fund please?

Nothing uncovered : I am weirdly hooked to this. It’s flawed and has questionable actions by the leads yet I see myself clicking play next. It’s about time the husband divorces her and moves on. He cheated and she doesn’t love him anymore and has moved forward to her next relationship. No need to prolong this affair.
Also, why is the FL always in trouble and the two men have to come to rescue her.

Shogun : What a fantastic yet devastating episode. I was expecting War but this was more than what my heart could handle.
Anna Sawai shined this episode. Her talk in the hall with Ishido gave me goosebumps. And Blackthorne’s offer to second her, he finally gets it. I am heartbroken.

“Flowers are only flowers because they fall”
On a lighter note. I saw this on the internet.
“Shogun is Game of Thrones if Ned Stark had been as smart as Toranga.”

Mask 18/20 eps.
Finally they are together and how adorable are they!!
The sister has completely lost it. I had hopes for her character but now she got blood on her hands.

Best Choice Ever (cdrama) : Ep 16
I binged this drama upto Ep 16. At times it feels dated or OTT, but it is working for me. The mother is truly something. I wish the father voiced his opinion a bit more. The engagement ceremony without daughters consent made me rage. I am glad Huan Huan finally spoke up and walked out. I don’t know if the mother will ever change. I get that she wants her children to have a better life but her constant disrespect for her children is hard to watch.
After Ep 10 there was a lot of Xu Kai. I love the bickering chemistry between the leads. And Nana is so lovely. Such wisdom and such poise. I hope to be half as awesome as she is when I am that age.

Dropped

Guess Who am I (cdrama) :
Hide : I didn’t continue past Ep 5.

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Re Shogun: It was the only time I had anything resembling respect for Blackthorne. That was well done by him. Such an EPISODE. Man, am I going to be sad when this show ends. Ana Sawai is absolutely BRILLIANT.

Also Joppa is inspired, lol.

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From the moment she stepped on the ship you knew she had a plan/task. And as the episode progressed I had this sinking feeling. And then they relieved us for a short 5 min and bang. The last two episodes have been gutting.
I can’t believe it’s ending next week.

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This was Anna Sawai's episode. She was Crimson Sky. I was also expecting a war, LOL.
The only issue I have is the way they downplay Buntaro. Despite being a respected samurai, they label him as a wife-beater, while Mariko's relationship with Blackthorne gets a pass.

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Buntaro was established as a true warrior in the earlier episodes. But yeah, we didn’t get to see his strengths after that. I was thinking he will get to shine last two episodes due to war but this was so unexpected.
I understand why Mariko is drawn to Blackthorne so I am not bothered by it.

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I get that she is drawn to Blackthorne, but pillowing him also goes against her religion and culture. I think it was a full-blown affair in the book. If Buntaro weren't written as a wife-beater, our leading lady wouldn't be seen favorably.
I was hoping they'd get a divorce because women were allowed to remarry as many times as they wanted, like the Goryeo women.

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'why is the FL always in trouble and the two men have to come to rescue her' - exactly my question, too!

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I would argue that Shogun's ep. 9 was one of the best so far. Anna Sawai's acting was just amazing and the character of Mariko is just so badass. Can't wait to see how they wrap this all up next week.

I do wish ppl would stop comparing everything to GoT, it's a pet peeve.

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I didn't realize people were comparing the two, what a weird comparison. GoT is a completely different show.

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I didn’t know either. Hadn’t come across any until last night. This was a one off comment I saw on tumblr and found it funny. But they both are so vastly different.

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People see guys in old timey costumes and court intrigue and immediately think GoT! I really liked The Last Kingdom a while back and you couldn't go to any comment section without seeing GoT comparisons.

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I have never watched Game of Thrones, nor intend to. I like the fact that "Shogun" is based on real-life characters and events. It motivates me to delve into the history of the Sengoku period. Although I'm not fond of violence, it shows how brutal and savage the samurai were. The Imjin War is a clear example of how cruel they could be towards the Korean people. However, Joseon was saved thanks to Admiral Yi, who put his people above his own.

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Mariko is based loosely on Hosokawa Gracia, and she recited the poem Gracia wrote in the show.

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HIDE (Ep. 7-8) With more twists than the root structure of a mangrove swamp, more questions are raised than clear answers. Now we have Daddy issues. This leads to an uneasy assumption that prim, proper and truthful Na may be an accomplished accomplice liar in the past when she identified her father in the morgue. Every main character seems to be dirty. Na becoming a case fixer and crime bag lady was bad enough but her ethical lapses to represent Joo is hard to swallow. When Baker Lady Joo wants Na to represent her “father” so Na can learn why she is being tortured made no sense. It was a simple assumption who Baker’s Lady’s “father” is to Na before his reveal.

The show is teetering on going off the rails with too many bizarre twists that leave logic behind in the dust like Cha conveniently burning Tae Soo’s passport or his crazy explanation of why he was there when the airport has the identity fraud at check-in station. Is Na’s old life is now paralleling her current life? Na identified her dead father in the morgue . . . did her adult life begin with such a huge lie? Or did she tell the truth which caused her dad as much trouble as Cha is in today? Does she have an evil sister who is good in the kitchen especially throwing sinks at anyone? The tight rope script is getting frayed in spots but its fast pace is still quite entertaining in its own right.

SHOGUN (Episode 9) Crimson Sky was not as expected (so far). While Blackthorne continues to be a lamp post in the center of high level society duties and honor codes activities, Mariko takes center stage to fulfill her fate. She is the bishop gambit in Toranaga’s multi-level plan. Her orders are to go to Osaka palace and return with Toranaga’s wife, consort and child. She is duty bound to that order but when Ishido says no, it sets up a societal battle with deep implications: Ishido is “not” holding hostages to cement his power but he will not “allow” anyone to leave. He cannot have it both ways as Mariko’s moves forces him to make a fateful decision: release her to allow the other regent families to go as well or deny her which solidifies the unlawful holding of hostages.

With elite Edo guards as her escort, she tries to leave the palace but she is blocked and defeated in the courtyard as the other hostage families and council members watch. When Mariko announces she cannot take this dishonor, she states she will kill herself at sunset (which blames Ishido for wrongfully causing her death which could set the rest of the upper class to rebel against him.)

At the very last moment, with Blackthorne an unlikely second standing over her, Ishido grants only her permission to leave Osaka. But that is a ruse to save face, as Yabushige allows assassins into the quarters to kill Mariko (for apparently showing him up). During the chaos, the clan is trapped in a storage room with the assassins ready to blow open the door - - Mariko fulfills her duty to her lord by standing at the door...

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...shielding the blast from the others. It was a horrific ending for a smart, principled and valuable person but shows the major cultural differences between feudal Japan and the West as to the value of human life.

This sets up the impending war as Toranaga who now has the political capital to claim treason or coup attempt by Ishido who killed his advisor for no reason. One would hope that at the next Regents council, the young Heir would stand up and have Ishido demoted and tried for his crimes and to allow Toranaga to become the temporary Shogun to maintain a principled peace.

HOW DO YOU PLAY (Ep 229-230) Another “detective” Korean variety special in a currently overloaded genre detective “clue” challenge shows. The premise here is two detective teams finding the stolen reward money. It is basically a long winded “hide and seek” game. It was not as action packed as it should have been.

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Your recaps of Shogun are always so beautifully done. Thank you.

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Shinto and Buddhism were the main religions at this time, and they merged during this period, as seen in the tea ceremony.
When we see Mariko initially, rinsing her mouth and washing her hands before crawling through the small door is a Shinto practice. The rest of the ceremony is primarily Buddhist symbolism.
In some cultures, death is not considered the end of life as it is perceived in the West. This is because these cultures believe in reincarnation, and dying an honorable death is seen as good karma. Therefore, they place a great emphasis on dying honorably as they believe it leads to a better rebirth. I think this was well done when the Taiko passed away.

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This is my ode to Tae-sung in Lovely Runner. Is it possible to be in love with two people at the same time because Sun-jae is perfect and heart-fluttering, and I 100000% ship him with Sol, but OMG, Tae-sung is my ideal type? He is so charming and charismatic, and I'm weak for flirty playboys. Everything he says makes me swoon. "Are you okay, girlfriend?" "Who won? (I did.) Congratulations." "(As for skinship...) How far?" And every time he calls her "Granny." Knetz loved Song Geon-hee during Sky Castle, but I didn't see his appeal then, and I had forgotten that I'd seen him recently in Joseon Attorney, but I now see the error of my ways. Can we get another "Pick One: Your Favorite Second Male Lead" post so I can claim him, I mean, name him? 19-year-old Sol's birthday video gave me second-hand embarrassment (Kim Hye-yoon is tone-deaf), but thank you, Sol, for celebrating Tae-sung's birthday with him and buying him seaweed soup. How adorable was he leaning on the giant teddy bear trying to gain pity, "You feel sorry for me, don't you?"?

I will accept Sol losing her memory from PTSD, otherwise there is no explanation for how she could forget someone as gorgeous as Byeon Woo-seok. It was so sad how she hurt Sun-jae over and over. 19-year-old Sol hurting him -- physically and emotionally -- was not her fault, but 34-year-old Sol hurting him by screaming at him at the hospital for saving her life when she wanted to die (she’s tried to kill herself twice), then screaming at him again over the phone on the radio (this is probably what In-hyuk told Sol that Sun-jae wanted to apologize about), and not remembering him on the bridge when he covered her with his umbrella (despite that, her bias-ing Sun-jae in the group Eclipse must be subconscious) made me cry. Our poor puppy suffered from depression in both his personal and professional life. Special shout out to In-hyuk for being the bestest friend for warning Sol to stay away from Sun-jae if she's going to break his heart.

I am amazed by the fact that Sol is not one of those delusional fangirls who want to date oppa. (I could never.) She loves Sun-jae -- as she confessed to him in her "dream" -- but only as an idol. She doesn't like him romantically. It has never crossed her mind that she could have a chance to be together with him and certainly not that he would ever like her. This really shows how casually us fangirls throw around words of affection ("I love you. I'll always stay by your side. I'll do anything for you.") to our idols. Of course, he would take it as a love confession and kiss her.

I'm obsessed with this show and its OST. I can't decide which song is my favorite: "Run Run," "Sudden Shower," or the remake of "Maybe (그랬나봐)" by Kim Hyung-joong from the 2003 film The Classic.

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Oh thank you for your last line. I was going crazy trying to remember where I heard that song before 😅.

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Point of correction, she wasn't 34 when she was screaming at him in the hospital. She was still 19. Her accident happened sometime after the events of her traveling to the past. She is 34 when she meets him on the bridge though.

Otherwise your ode to Tae Sung is very sweet, he is adorable.

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I meant that these were the things 34-year-old Sol did in her past. She just didn't remember doing them. Our innocent and naive 19-year-old Sol who's going out with Tae-sung didn't do those things because she hasn't gotten into the accident yet. 19-year-old Sol may do those things in the future (unless she can change her future), but as of this point in 2008, these are only 34-year-old Sol's memories.

I predict that Tae-sung is going to be the first to figure out Granny is from the future after her saying she has to stop the fire this time.

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I love the OST too! Mix of original songs and older songs from that time, though I'm not sure if some of them will be part of the official OST. I used to love Loveholic and it was such a surprise when they started playing it when Sun-jae was chasing after that bus. Also reminded me of how old that song was and how old I am now.

The fake boyband, Eclipse, has some really good songs too. I'm tickled by how many songs they have since in kdramas where there is an idol character, there is usually just one or two songs.

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I've been listening to those songs so much, they're probably going to end up on my Spotify Wrapped 😂

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the use loveholic in that moment was truly inspired. that whole scene remains one of my favorites, and one of the reasons is the well-placed ost. also, the slow-mo of byeon wooseok's face as the wind ruffles his hair.

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@reply1988 I promise I’ve read the mermaid from jeju but I’ve caught the flu and I can’t coherently gather my thoughts as you can probably see from my ramblings from this comment.

PLAYERS (Netflix film)
Wow this really impressed me, it’s not cringe which I usually expect from western rom coms and I’m a sucker for a friends to lovers trope. I actually think this would be an interesting kdrama adaptation

ANYONE BUT YOU
Yeah I couldn’t join my friends to watch this one cause I was sick, tho I saw it alone and meh, it’s probably best to watch it in a group and as an Aussie it was pretty cringe. Tho I did laugh at ‘look there’s Tasmania’ joke. I live in a state that produces the most vile politicians so there’s comfort that Tassie was the brunt of the joke in the film 😅

LOVELY RUNNER
My current crack, I’m obsessed and the fact I have to wait 5 days for the next episode is torture. Yes this is totally a kdrama (fan) problem which really isn’t a problem but still…

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I hope you feel better soon @linarrick!

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Feel better!!

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Get well soon!

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Oh no, I hope you feel better soon.

I am glad you read the book and no pressure if/when you want to comment you are welcome to do so but equally it’s fine if you don't.

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Lovely Runner in an embarrassing turn of events, I love this show so much that my heart actually physically aches when the leads are on screen - to the point where I’m genuinely considering just pausing it till it finishes airing so I can watch and have my heartbroken all at once or know it’ll be a happily ever after. The BTS clips are insanely cute too, both the lead actors seem so genuinely at ease and enjoy each others company (there’s an edit floating around of the all the BTS scenes where both KHY and BWS just can’t stop laughing and playing around with each other ARHGHH MY HEART).

Midnight Photo Studio lol can’t catch a break with the angst anywhere it seems, I just caught up and😭 Between this, Lovely Runner, and Queen of Tears that I’ve got one eye on, it’s really KTrauma month. Fighting Bom and Ki-joo!

Best Choice Ever the romcom is starting to slowburn romcom now, and sure it took us a while to get there but I’m glad they did pace it out. Also yay for not sacrificing the main plot line of the FL’s personal growth and development for the sake of speeding up the romance side of things. This is such a comfort watch now, especially because the mum character is starting to redeem herself slowly in this second half (which I suppose is the whole point of her arc) and you can see the cracks starting to mend.

Blossoms in Adversity another really sweet show that’s also a family centered drama at heart. The FL is such a fierce and loving character, and she gives so much trying to keep her family afloat, so it’s nice to see have her own moments of vulnerability too and the ML being the supportive anchor she needs to get through those internal struggles she battles but can’t voice to her family.

Journey to Love I’ve been watching this in the background and was loving it till I got absolutely blindsided by the ending. Did they really have to kill EVERYONE off???!?!?!?!?

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Lapis, I have the same symptoms when I'm watching Lovely Runner!! I caught myself legit clutching my heart during parts of ep. 4. This drama is so good in its opening weeks - all the feelings, but they're so well balanced! I've laughed and sobbed and squeed. I'm on the other end of the spectrum - I think if it's a less than happy ending, I'll handle it better if I'm keeping up with a live watch.

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Yes!!! Thrown into complete emotional chaos and I don't hate it, but coming down from the emotional highs defs takes something out of me! Fair call about live watching being better if it is a bad ending, I think for me I just want to be as prepared as possible so I can get into the right emo mode if it is going to destroy me at the end 😭 Here's to hoping that it's not like that though!! I'll take any sort of last minute hail mary or deus ex machina if that means we get a happily ever!!

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I know... I'm so invested, I'm worried about HeartBeat pt.2 if the ending is not great 😭 Oh my gosh I am in 100% agreement, give me ALL the deus ex machina and last-second saves to get me that happy ending!!!!!!

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Arguably could be worse bc both our leads here are like literally balls of squishy sunshine and my guy Sunjae is going through it all and it's only episode 4 😭 Honestly I blame the actors because they're a little too good at their jobs and they're making us feel real deep feelings 😭

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@@lapislazulii YES EXACTLY they're too good at conveying all that emotion!!! They've done more in four episodes than most dramas can hope to do in eight. Sun-jae-ah is too precious for words and must be protected 🥹❤️

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Welcome to our AJTL finale trauma club))) Need a napkin or maybe some hot tea to soothe the pain?

In all seriousness, it wasn't exactly unexpected ending - considering leads occupations and current "no morally grey folks left unscathed" censorship motto - but we still hoped for the best against our better judgement. I still prefer this to other common for such setup bad endings - certainly could've been worse, thanks dramagods it wasn't what I feared it to be all along!

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This is a true Wuxia ending. LOL.

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Yeah, plus they all got ultra heroic final moments so it didn't feel disrespectful to characterization.

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Okay yes great points, I forgot for a hot minute what the standard wuxia ending is lol and was promptly reminded. And great point about the morally grey folks as well, I should've realised this!! I did remember this when watching the 2ML's arc in In Blossom , foresaw the ending there after he started crossing lines hahahah

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IB case honestly hurt more because there was no real need to go there plot-wise - it would've take little to no effort in terms of narrative logic and moral values to let him happily ride into sunset with swindler girl instead for he was pretty mild "murderous baddish guy" by wuxia standard, unlike a certain spy-assassins squad who drank the blood of their maaany enemies for breakfast every other day *side-eyes writer extra hard*

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yeah @gikata honestly felt bad for the little thief bc like that arc felt between her and Lan Jiang was half cooked by pacing and then cut short by 💀😭 they had potential rip

idk when or how but I became super attached to the 2ML at some point, more than the leads lol, so was very, very very sad when they did go where I feared they'd go with his plotline.

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@lapislazulii He was really charming since the start, so giving him an extra dramatic personal arc right when main OTP resolved most of their conflicts, making their romance temporarily uneventful (could've been salvaged by a great chemistry, but that was just not the case), was NOT a good decision on writers part. Resolving this without killing him off just in time for the big finale would've been possible too ofc, but that would've require some creativity while these people obviously run out of ideas, if super lame main villain (and even lamer ending twist) was any indication.

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For me it wasn't the killing everyone off that was bad (because, hey - wuxia standard), but the speed which they did it with. The whole show simply went x4 speed with a hefty dose of fast-forwarding thrown in.

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40 episodes cap is the ultimate costume drama villain at this point.

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actually so true 😭

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Queen of Tears: 7.5

Missing Crown Prince: 7.0 Music in the closing credits somehow reminded me a bit of Faith.
A change from normal historicals -- usually the baddie is a senior official and the King/Prince/whoever is aided by some loyal palace staff. And just how did the evil/vengeful queen dowager manage to get all the staff on her side while she was confined by the previous king?

Lovely Liar Boxer Runner: 6.5 Ep 3 - Not sure if it's brilliant or a disjointed wreck or if I'm just confused. Maybe in a week or two I'll be able to summon enough brain cells to figure it out.

Midnight Photo Studio: 6.5 Sigh. Big Bad... connections... don't make it a good show, but make it an easy-to-follow antidote to Lovely Whatever.

Blood Free: 8.0 Like the two-at-a-time format. They can have cliffhangers that don't leave us hanging so long, but it's less overload than the Friday Night of Doom.

Chief Detective 1958: 8.5 Me: How can you have a show without ToD and batteries dying at the wrong time? Show: Cow of Doom, Snakes of Doom, Crapper of Doom.

Godzilla: 8.0 (Original J-movie from 1954 -- just 9 years after WW2) Watching it was an exercise it noting things that they would have done differently, or not done at all, if it hadn't been for the war -- primarily having a giant unstoppable radioactive monster crossing the ocean to lay waste to their cities, but also things like starting with some ships exploding and sinking almost as if they had been torpedoed.
My interest in this started with Drachinifel's recent Godzilla video, which in turn was inspired by a 2023 movie which Wikipedia says is the 37th Godzilla movie. Yikes! 😱😱😱
And of course I can't even think of Godzilla without the internet meme of him stomping a city but hurting his foot on the Lego factory.

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The 1954 original GODZILLA movie is the gold standard for monster films. However, the best piece of entertainment I saw last year was GODZILLA MINUS ONE. It had the symbolism of the original but it focused more on the people and found family in the destructive aftermath of WWII in Japan.

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Seconded! Godzilla Minus One was amazing!

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Also finding Lovely Runner confusing, and somewhat unsatisfying so it gets the FF treatment. But after reading comments here, maybe I need to re-watch the first couple episodes. Can't fault the performers, they are the best thing going here. It's the writing jumping around, and the editing perhaps. Too early to make a call on this one for me.

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Queen of Tears
Even if I knew what was coming and who was who in the rain at the end of ep 11, it still delivered the intended punch. I guess Queen of Tears is actually the title for the screenwriter who is trying to squeeze as many tears from us as possible. I'm glad she is not forgetting to balance it out by families bonding times, Bokja's love story... and Haein's no-divorce ring fitting. I'm also glad that Haein did tell Hyunwoo about her confusions after all.

Piggybacking Sun Jae
Wow, so many surprises, from early kiss to returning to the original timeline... to a potential killer mystery. I'm intrigued.
(I also checked the director and, among others, he did Mask and You Are Beautiful. )

We Are In Trouble, daily, 7eps
Stepsister is getting on my nerves.

Beauty and Mr Romantic, 2eps
Still no sparks.

Love on a Shoestring, 1ep
A Taiwanese drama about a frugal girl who catches an eye of a charismatic spender, because she is absentmindedly using him to escape catty girls from her office instead of falling for him! 😁 Difficult to say how this will evolve, but so far I like their chemistry.

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The Midnight Studio Can I still hope for a reunion uncle-nephew?

Nothing Uncovered The past is still hidding a lot of things.

Lovely Runner The leads are so connected by saving each other, it's became a the chicken or the egg situation. I love them together, they're adorable. I like the other characters too!

Hide How can the husband hide his true nature for so long to her?

Queen of Tears I really don't care about the story, just give me scenes with the couple cuddling!

Blood Free I like the FL. Yeah, she's cold and calculated but on the surface, you can see she cares for others too. I thought after the explosion incident, the ML will be a little bit parano and will overact, but not at all, when his spidey senses woke up in the car, he did nothing...

Under the Gun I'm just happy to see Zuho in a drama!

Best Choice Ever The mother is unsufferable. I don't understand the FL who left the house to go in the nursing home of her "grandma"... it's so a weird choice.

Wonderful World It was quite a journey to write comments on this recap. For the drama, there was no element of surprise, so everything felt a little bit flat. I wished the drama focused more on grieving than revenge and mystery.

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BCE- I thought it was a temporary move since she left overnight. I thought she will stay until she finds an accommodation for herself? It was either grandma or her friends place. She explained that her mom can create a scene at her friends place so she didn’t want to go there.
Looks like that’s her permanent move :) Writers put her there so ML can visit her often 😂, preferably with sunflowers.

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I would have understood for 1 or 2 nights. But she stayed way longer and gave her money to her parents? Use it to find your own place!

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Midnight Studio: the reunion is the one thing I am even watching it for. like cmon

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The viewers all yearn for the Midnight Studio uncle to come back :'(

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Re Lifetime’s UNDER THE GUN which is currently airing on some platform. All six episodes will be available on Viki US on April 29. A young person’s drama/romance taking place in the world of poker seems unusual enough for me to want to watch. ML Zuho is a blank slate drama wise for me.
A trailer for UNDER THE GUN is available on my Fan Wall.

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Also, if you watch the trailer, does Zuho here look like he could be Lee Joon-gi’s son? I think there is an uncanny resemblance there. Lol, age wise in RL it doesn’t work with LJG at 42 and Zuho at 27.

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Viu releases 2 episodes on Saturday. For now, 4 episodes are out.

Oh yeah, as a SF9 fan, Zuho looks like LJG and Yoo Taeyang looks like Lee Dong-Wook 😁

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Queen of Tears - This one almost successfully forced me into tears. I won the fight though.

I know they'll recover from this. But I didn't know how intact they'd be. And just as if I knew, Grandpa Hong dialled things up to let it all crash and burn.

Nothing Uncovered - The murder mystery is the most interesting part of this drama.
Yoo Yoon-young is one smart psychiatrist. I knew she was playing her cards when she approached Taehoon with those photos. So imagine my shock when Taehoon went to arrest her without mitigating the consequences of her pranks.

Blood Free - I'm going to drop my bias and trust On San.
The shooting at the end of episode 4 though. It was quite unprofessional of Chaewon to open his body to harm in that manner. He didn't have to stand to throw away that grenade. Now he's taken multiple shots to his fine shoulders and arm.

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With Wonderful World done, I am now down to two dramas - Queen of Tears and Lovely Runner.

I am liking Lovely Runner more at the moment. Hoping QoT wraps up everything well in the last 4 episodes and LR keeps the fun.

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

What I have been watching this week:

_ Bossam: Steal the Fate (18/20).
This is a beautiful show. It probably is going to be among my favorite sageuks ever. Great characters, OST, script... I knew Jung Il Woo and Shin Hyun Soo were good actors, but I had only watched Yu Ri in Goho's starry night, and I think she is better here.

What I have finished this week:

_ Real Time Love (Four Seasons). If you are looking for a nice show or palate cleanser without almost any angst, you can try this cute minidrama (about 7 hours counting the four seasons. I was hooked, so I watched it in a day). It's very amateurish, in the first season sometimes it seemed the actors were ad-libbing and laughing for real.
The script has tropes and product placement, and FL's hair changes are distracting, but I enjoyed the fun and cute love story (love square).
Btw, Choi Hyun Wook's character here is called Ye Chan (similar to his name in Twinkling Watermelon).

I have also finished All the creatures great and small Season 4, which has been very good.

Movies:

_ Korean movie Decibel (2022). Entertaining, but that's all. There are familiar faces in cameos.

_ Perfect Blue (1997). A good movie with some intense sequences. Not for everyone.

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Bossam!!! 🤗❤️❤️❤️

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🤩👌😍
Beautiful.

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I am glad you have enjoyed MBN’s BOSSAM: STEAL THE FATE (2021) (Viki US). It is also one of my favorite sageuks.

Would you be interested in going back a little to Jung Il-woo’s first post military project to the also excellent sageuk from SBS HAECHI (2019) (Viki US). It comes in at 24/48 episodes so it is a bit of a marathon. In HAECHI Jung Il-woo beautifully played the young Lee Geum/Prince Yeoning. We see his struggles as a young prince with a faithful crew around him including an amazing comic performance from Kwon Yul. Yeoning eventually (not part of HAECHI) ascends the throne as King Yeongjo who had a long reign (1724-1776) and was father to the unfortunate Crown Prince Sado (1735-1762). HAECHI is also one of my favorite sageuks.

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Haechi is on my list too. I have been watching one sageuk after another, non stop, for almost a year. It seems now I can't live without having a sageuk in my life 😆

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I have Haechi on my list, but haven't gotten to it yet. Lately the releases of sageuks have disappointed me, so I may get to this one sooner!

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MBC’s KNIGHT FLOWER (Viki US) looks like it will have to be my sageuk fix for awhile.

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I really enjoyed Knight Flower. I started it at the same time that Captivating the King, but Knight Flower was a joy, whereas the other one failed to hook me (I finished it, though).

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I really loved Haechi, and actually enjoyed it more then Bossam. Haechi is a nuanced show with complicated characters that really challenge the ideas of good vs. evil. It says on Viki that Haechi is 48 episodes, but that is because they are 1/2 hour episodes. So, it is really a 24 episode sageuk. I did have to look up some history to help me along at the start of Haechi, but once got the background, the show gave some incredibly powerful emotional moments. I've always thought it was under watched and under appreciated.

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Going down memory lane. 2019 was a great sageuk year. Looking at my log I watched in order (and overlapping at times): tvN’s M/T THE CROWNED CLOWN, Netflix’s KINGDOM, SBS’s M/T HAECHI, SBS’s F/S THE NOKDU FLOWER, and JTBC’s F/S MY COUNTRY: THE NEW AGE.
I can recommend the whole lot of them.
@sicarius and I have a friendly disagreement about the merits of THE CROWNED CLOWN lol.

I was also enjoying TV Chosun’s time-slip sageuk JOSEON SURVIVAL until ML Kang Ji-hwan threw a criminal monkey wrench into the works. I was only able to finish 9 episodes.

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Oh, I would love to know about the Haechi vs. Crowned Clown friendly disagreement. I was one of the few that found Crowned Clown to not be that interesting. Some of the other 2019 historicals, I started but got distracted by life. So, I'll have to get back to them.

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Not sure why I haven't heard of Bossam before but I'm dying for a new Sageuk Soo thank you so much for your comment!!

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This sageuk is less popular than others, but beanies love it, so that's why it was on my list.
If you want to start a new sageuk, this one could be a perfect choice.

Other sageuks I loved: Queen Seon Deok, My Dearest, The Nokdu Flower, The Matchmakers, Secret Romantic Guesthouse, Knight Flower, Mirror of the witch, Rookie Historian...

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Probably quicker to list the ones you didn’t like🤣