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Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (May 25, 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: Every time the plot twists to change up reality, I feel a twinge of resistance because I’m loath to thwart the current equilibrium (just when it’s starting to get enjoyable!) for more angst and tears — but every time, I end up loving the new twist and what it uncovers about our story and our characters. When Sol went back and erased their entire history together, my first reaction was vexed woe, but I did appreciate that it finally felt like they were making sacrifices on an equal scale, and it showed the depth of her feeling for him to give up his love in exchange for his life. (Even if, as Sun-jae points out, her decision isn’t automatically the better one.) But by this point I feel assured that there is a core essence to who they are as people that they will come back to each other and act in similar patterns — the details may differ, but the truth remains. I just hope they save enough time at the end to let us savor the resolution — haven’t we all earned it?

Secret Romantic Guesthouse: On the hunt for another light, fun watch. I’m not sure this is it, but I’ll give it a bit longer before deciding whether to stick it through or bail. Four episodes in, it’s pretty clear this isn’t a premium show, and as far as fusion sageuks go it feels kind of paint-by-numbers. The setups are obvious and the plot is telegraphed so surprises are few and far between, so the appeal lies mostly in the four main characters and their unlikely friendship/bromance. The plucky young woman oblivious to her three vastly disparate suitors is pretty standard story stuff, and we’ve seen it done better a million times before, but their chemistry is benign and inoffensive and sometimes we need something easy to watch that demands very little of us.

Moon in the Day: This definitely wasn’t it. I’m not sure why I finished this, to be honest. I suspect it’s because despite the many, many flaws and missteps, it did one thing well, which was ask a question that stuck with me, gnat-like in its refusal to stop buzzing in my ear: Why did she kill him?? Especially given that he was a loving and devoted husband, and she seemingly returned his ardor. There are a lot of elements here that can work together when handled skillfully — romance, fantasy, reincarnation, mystery, fish out of water, enemies to lovers — but ends up feeling like a hodgepodge of trope stew when handled clumsily. One guess as to which category this one falls into. Because this show didn’t have a lot of fancy tricks or clever directing or elevated production value, it really laid everything bare and was incredibly exposing — the acting had no witty lines to hide behind, the writing had no pretty camera work to mask its flatness. I find that Kim Young-dae has an endearing appeal despite his limited acting skills, but a drama has to really lean into the former to overcome the latter. This drama did not overcome, and highlighted his very narrow range. And yet, I was also struck by how charisma can sometimes be more powerful than skill, a truth that makes me sad but I cannot deny. Case in point: Pyo Ye-jin can act circles around Kim Young-dae and perform technically at a much higher level, and yet her presence felt muted while his flickered through, stilted emoting and woodenness notwithstanding. Hey, I didn’t make the rules.

 

mistyisles

Lovely Runner: Oof, this week was a sucker punch. I must have gone through all five stages of grief (and then some) for everything that was just erased in an instant. And yet, even as I’d like to turn back time and stop Sol from doing what she did, I can’t say I don’t get why she did it. Plus, as the episodes went on, I started to see where (I hope!) this is going, and if it does keep going that direction, I’ll be here for it. I just need our Sun-jae back, happy and alive with Sol in the same timeline (though I weep for all the other characters’ development that I guess didn’t happen for them now)! Also, I’m undecided on how much I think this Tae-sung knows, but in every timeline I’ve really enjoyed the more platonic side of his relationship with Sol — they have a great dynamic as friends, and I like that they’re able to maintain a friendship in spite of the not-so-platonic parts of their history.

 
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Hi everyone! Long time no WWW!

For anyone who doesn’t know, every Sunday I’m going to try doing a “What We’re Reading” post on the fanwall since I haven’t been watching much stuff lately. Would love to see what everyone is reading tomorrow!

Anyway, on to my dramas!

Frankly Speaking: I haven’t had time to watch episode 8 yet, but this show is a delight! Go Kyung-pyo is at his comedic best and Kang Han-na is so enjoyable in a much more up-beat role than I’ve ever seen her in before. The dating show idea is a bit tired, but I was glad it only lasted a few episodes. Ki-baek’s disinhibition makes for both hilarious and surprisingly romantic moments, and I love it.

The Atypical Family: This show is so odd and I am enjoying it so much. I don’t feel the romance at all, but for some reason that doesn’t really matter to me. I think my favorite parts are the interactions between Dong-hee and Grace and also I-na and her little crush. This show really went and got the best young actors out their currently for their show and I love it. Who knew I would be so invested in a romantic storyline between 13 year olds?

The Brave Yong Soo-jung: Okay, I clicked play on this just because I needed something mindless to watch while cooking! Don’t judge me! It truly is the most Daily Drama, and I think 3 episodes already filled my appetite for dead parents and evil aunts and stepmoms!

I should have more time to watch things since it is a long weekend here for me, so hopefully next week will have a longer list from me! Let me know what I need to watch! I’m eyeing The Midnight Romance in Hagwon, Dare to Love Me, and Crash.

See you guys next week!

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Welcome back!!

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Thank you!! Always good to be back after a break :)

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Ditto

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very much enjoying atypical family as well! I like how the plot is unconventional n less predictable

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Currently Watching
Carry Sun-jae and Run: 🏃‍♂️‍➡️❤️ I loved this week, and I still love everything about this drama! Sun-jae is my favorite ML in recent memory (ever??), and Tae-sung is my favorite SML EVERRRRR. Ep. 14 proves I like Sun-jae in any timeline. I love that what happens is not because of "fate," but because Sun-jae (knowingly) makes the same choices every time (also, the meta with the movie script is very nice - how will it resolve its own definition of happy v. sad endings?). Next week decides if this drama ends up in my Top-Ten list or joins my Heart-Breakers list!

Frankly Speaking: 👨‍💼🔊 Still enjoying it! Still finding it charming!! It's a comfort watch for me. It's a bit odd as rom-coms go, but I'm FAR more invested in their romance than I thought I would be. They're both such nice, normal people at their core. But unlike Lovely Runner, this drama's SML can go take a hike. I strongly dislike him.

Crash: 🚔💥 Crash is a standard procedural with some chuckles and cool driving thrown in. There's angst, but it hasn't veered off into complete melodrama yet. And now we're cooking up a juicy, (but not unexpected) conspiracy - yay!! But I want the drama to do MORE - more action, more comedy, more melodrama, more something - just pick a lane and commit to it.

Mr. Queen: 👨‍🍳➡️👸 (3-6) Still fun! I actually like court politics, and this one's politicking is more interesting than most! It seems like they also had a good action/combat choreographer for this, so I'm hoping for more sword fights, please.

JOL2: (1-5) The plots are plotting! I'm doing my best to keep up, but my memory of S1 is fuzzy, and I'm hampered by my inability to remember character names and titles (aside from Fan Xian, of course 😉). I'm officially behind on episodes, but that's ok.

In other news... My mom's one-sentence review of W: "Too violent, absurd, scary, and weird, with not enough relationship building." We also talked about how jarring all of the guns were, after being used to their absence in other dramas. She started Frankly Speaking and is enjoying it very much! We've watched a few bits together 😊 She really likes Go Kyung-pyo and his character: "he's sweet," and I agree!

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I love that your mum's 'column' on your WWW thread comments continues to thrive!! And glad you're enjoying Mr Queen - are you watching it for the first time??

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Yes it's my first time to watch Mr. Queen!! It's a BLAST so far!! Really high quality all around. Not sure why I put off watching it so long, but glad I get to enjoy it now!!!

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Aren't those the best kind of older dramas to binge though?!! 😀

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Absolutely!! It's like finding cake or cookies you forgot you had hiding in the freezer 😂

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I don't dislike the Second Male Lead in Frankly Speaking, he just messed up, missed his timing... but he doesn't seem to be a bad person (and I find the actor quite good). If there is someone to dislike it is the Second Female Lead, she plays dirty.

Your Mom's summary of W is perfect. 😄
And yes, Go Kyungpyo is sweet 😊

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Lolz. I'm rooting for him so hard now...not to re-capture the heart of the FL, but in the "normal way." That dude so deserved that hug. We all get a hug when we figure out we messed up and admit it.

And then we move on and find someone else to love and who loves us.

Go, Hunny Bunny! 😊🍯🐰

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Ok, to be honest, I haven't finished ep 8 yet, so I don't have full context and am open to forgiving the SML a bit. Honestly, I think most of my antipathy is irrational and stems from finding his teeth scary... he reminds me of the assassin from Stealer who was obsessed with teeth and I even looked them up because I thought it was the same actor!!

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I also admit that some of my love for the actor from EAW is still holding years later. Also his little mole!

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@attiton His character was for more interesting than the ML, he had a proper arc when the ML had no story.

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@kurama 👊

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I really like this actor (SML). I have watched him in Happiness, Attorney Woo and maybe Yumi's cells.

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The actor playing 2ML - Joo Jong-Hyuk - has that ability to add dimension to all his roles - a little flicker in his eyes or a faint smile that hints at something more than what he said.

Whenever he’s in a scene, I sit up to figure out what he wants to convey.

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Yep, the SFL is very frustrating 😅 I guess I don't like how the SML has been a little manipulative trying to use some "woe is me" guilt on the FL. He's not the worst, but he messed up and she moved on... The actor is good, though!! And truly, I'm not feeling very frustrated/negative about the SLs because our ML/FL are so sweet and good!!

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Agreed about the SML in Frankly Speaking. I've found him throughout to be unhappy and lonely rather than truly manipulative or scheming.

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But isn't it more interesting to talk about his pros-and-cons than a simplistic and boring lead couple who were supposed to be made complex through this whole "I can't lie" thing that's now not even close to a thing??

And agreed about him. He's really unhappy and lonely. WE CAN FIX HIM WITH OUR ATTENTION! 🤣

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😂 This hasn't been the most interesting drama to discuss, at least not since the first episodes.

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I agree. I feel for him because I can tell he wants to change his life and himself, but he just doesn't know how. And as a result, he's very isolated and a little pathetic. No wonder he's trying to get back with On-Woo; his time with her is probably the last time he was truly happy.

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He seems a bit depressed now.

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I am glad we get to hear your mum’s reviews it’s a shame she has had to endure some dramas that were not a good fit for her but hopefully she is turning a corner now.

Mr Queen is such a quality watch.

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Yes I hope her next batch of watches are more fun and satisfying for her!! Mr. Queen is so good!!!

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Don't let you mom watch The Kidnapping Day. The number of shots and guns in that show completely ruined it for me.

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Yeah that one's definitely on my "don't let mom watch it" list 😅

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We're all collectively holding our breath for the finale week of Sun-Jae and Sol!!

I think I really lucked out having watched JOL just this past winter. The slide into season 2 was really easy compared to what I'm hearing others say, although I still finding myself occasionally pausing to look up characters. There are so many to keep track of!

Also, I'm following your Crash reviews to see if I'll watch later this summer 😉

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Fingers crossed for Sun-Sol!!!🤞

I definitely find that the names and titles in costume C-dramas are VERY hard for me to follow, so that's definitely part of it, but I've also realized I lost the plot a bit with regard to who is allied with whom, but there's enough explanation going on to figure it out!

So far, Crash is middle of the road (Lol), but I'm enjoying it nonetheless! It's been a nice "unwind after getting home from work" watch so far.

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Even in the first JOL, I had trouble keeping track of some of the officials since they're all styled so similarly. After I finish JOL2, I feel like I need to do a rewatch of the entire thing to fill in the connections that I may have missed.

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"They're both such nice, normal people at their core" Totally agree with this! I just like watching them interact and talk. It's relaxing.

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It's really relaxing!! It's a comfort-watch for me 🤗

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JOY OF LIFE 2 (Report from the field through episode 16):
1. I watched JOL in early 2023 so I didn’t do any review before watching the first episode of JOL 2. I was able to basically slide back into the story;
2. I have bee watching the episodes free on Youtube on the MZTV Channel. For one reason is to try to keep fairly close to the airing schedule in China. The english subtitles are fine (unlike the disappointing AI generated subtitles on the Tencent app which are basically useless). I may decide to wait for the Viki subbed episodes;
3. Zhang Ruo Yun as Fan Xian continues to be a ‘joy’ to watch.
JOL 2 (so far as I see it) taking place back in the Qing Capitol is coming down to a battle of wits between Fan Xian and Second Prince Li Cheng Ze (nicely played by Liu Duan Duan). One issue for me so far is, (I or maybe we as viewers) don’t know yet what 2nd Prince’s endgame is and I am almost halfway through;
3. The production quality is excellent and there is a nice mixture of drama and comedy;
4. JOL 2 may not be as totally engrossing as JOL was but overall it is an enjoyable watch.

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Thanks for the reporting from the field, Bong-soo! Second prince makes an interesting and compelling villain (I've seen him as a villain in another drama whose title escapes me, but he does this kind of role really well). I definitely agree on points 3 and 4. I'm taking vacation for a bit here, so I should be getting caught up with more episodes this week!

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Re Liu Duan Duan (2nd Prince). He was also in ZRY’s SWORD SNOW STRIDE (2021) (Viki US) where he once again he played an antagonist to ZRY’s character iirc. SSS is highly recommended to ZRY fans. There he plays a somewhat similar character to his Fan Xian but certainly not a repeat.

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AAAH I should have remembered he was in Sword Snow Stride!!! That is actually my favorite ZRY drama, and I even prefer it to JOL. It was just excellent.

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thanks for this, i will definitely be watching after finishing JOL2 as I know I'm gonna be at a loss! I love liu duanduan and watching him in this has been a delight so far~

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@catstreet, catnippa, For some forgotten reason I watched ZRY’s SWORD SNOW STRIDE (2021) (Viki US) in 2022 before getting to JOL in 2023. Continuing on to SSS you should be pleased.
I can also highly recommend ZRY’s contemporary drama THE HOPE (2023/24) (Youku). All the episodes are available subbed on a Youku playlist on Youtube. Wonderful young cast with ZRY playing a high school teacher. Totally different role.

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When I first watched W, I had a similar reaction to the guns especially since I thought they were illegal in SK for civilians.

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My wife re-watched JOL before starting JOL2 and recommends that to anyone who is thinking about watching JOL2. It has been several years since she watched JOL and there is a lot to it- and it is a great C-drama anyway. It may seem like a lot of episodes, but the re-watch flew by fairly quickly.

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Crash: This continues to be such a sweet show. I love the case of the week and how our characters are getting to know each other. I love their slow and steady cohesion.

Lovely Runner: This show makes me so annoyed. The writing for Sol is so bad. She makes the worst and dumbest decisions. She has some moments where she is so likeable, but when it comes to Sun Jae stupid prevails every single time. It is such a baffling writing choice. I can’t root for her and Sun Jae at all because he deserves much much better. I find her so exhausting. SMH

Frankly Speaking: The leads are so likeable individually and together. I also appreciate the awkwardness after the kiss that they showed. They are so cute and I am rooting for them. I also love the adorableness of Un Baek and Sae Byuk. They are so cute and such opposites, which somehow really works.

Uncle Samsik: It is heating up. So I love seeing the beginning of this coup. It seems Uncle Samsik got played Kim San. I wonder who will win.

The Midnight Romance in Hagwon: I am smitten by this drama. I love the slow burn of the romance and I think it makes a lot of sense, Joon Ho clearly makes Hye Jin feel alive. He very obviously likes her already, so I think it is cute they show her slowly starting to feel things for him.

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Your enjoyment of Crash and Midnight Romance in Hagwon makes me excited to check them out! Also, the comments about Lovely Runner lately have me happy that I kinda lost interest around episode 6. I understand the appeal, but it just wasn't grabbing me quite as hard as it has grabbed others. It's too bad because I actually do really like both leads.

Completely agree about Frankly Speaking! The burgeoning romance between Un-baek and Sae-byuk is surprisingly winning, not to mention our leads.

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Nods head!!!

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I'm behind on UNCLE Song Kang-ho and what's not happening at midnight in HAGWON. Maybe I should stick with one drama.

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Ha @what's not happening.😂

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LIVE WATCHES
Beauty and Mr. Romantic
Weekender delight. Let's goooooo makjang villainery!!! The upcoming shenanigans are gonna be lyfe...and like the best type of ajumma romance. 🫢

Crash
Gah. I think I dropped this. But you know what? Here's something to say to shock the Beanatariat. I wish this drama were available DUBBED. Then I'd probably watch because I could look away easier during times that weren't just the fight scenes and the basic conversational ones.

Frankly Speaking
Oh, Trot Star/Hunny Bunny. You messed up with your earlier lady, but that's cool. You learned. Look around! There are many, many other folks who will see and accept YOU for who you are. Also, stop working so hard; you'll get wrinkles. Besides, actions cannot absolve you of your sins. Only self-acceptance and empathy can do that.

FROM THE RESERVES
Link: Eat Kill Love
Picked this up on a whim because @mazarin mentioned it in passing alongside one of my most favorite "I like this...but I shouldn't...but I DO" dramas, Love to Hate You. And I loved it! I could NOT believe at episode 8 that it was going to make it all the way to episode 16 with this plot...but it did. I'd say that the drama was only about 75 minutes too long, blowing this year's slate of dramas out of the water; a time when there have been 12-episode dramas that dragged. I recommend it as an all-at-once watch--noting that I bet it had its frustrations as a live-watch, because the twists...just...kept...on...coming!

Zombie Detective
LOL. Now I have to finish this before Woman Who's Different Day and Night starts, because I'll get confused about whether in each scene Choi Jin-hyuk is going to be a prosecutor, a zombie, or a prosecutor-zombie.

ON DECK
Tale of Arang (reserve sageuk)
Lobster Show (hopefully dark comedy about love and rehabilitation live-watch; perfected name courtesy @zindigo)
Bitter Sweet Hell (hopefully delightful makjang live-watch when it finally arrives in the States)

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Awwww, Link was the first drama that YJG had chemistry with a female lead. I really liked this drama, plus the mom and halmoni.

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As adult actor - he had plenty with both KYJ and KSH as a teenager. And blink-and-you-miss-it tiiiny bit with LSY in TCC, but only as a mad king somehow.

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Yes! That first scene in "C" between he and LSY--when he is, as you said, the mad king--was full of fiery, repressed passion that they never quite re-captured in the actual romance phase.

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That made me regret we never quite got him in adult villainous roles, because ML status, once achieved, has its limitations, blah-blah, but just imagine!

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I'd love to see the times he had chemistry with a male lead...when were those? ;)

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Yeo Jin Goo? Well, you can watch Beyond Evil for that. The story was ridiculous, and I'm not recommending it at all, but the chemistry was fire!

He also had amazing chemistry with Kim Kang Woo in Circle, but they were brothers, so probably not what you're looking for.

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**scribbles furious notes**

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Interestingly, unlike a lot of younger actors, I think he is at his best when he is showing extremely heightened emotions.

Until a few years ago when he was playing a mild, or romantic, or comedic, normal guy, he had the potential to disappoint some viewers.

He has grown since, and gotten very good at that now too, but even nowadays, when he is bursting at the seams with any kind of extreme emotion, that is when you can witness the Yeo Jin Goo!

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OMG yes, both of those! I loved Beyond Evil and he and Shin Ha-kyun made an OTP for the ages, even if only in my head. I still think YJG is better at heavy, tortured roles than romance - he's a villain in his upcoming movie so he's sure to die in the end 🙄 but the journey may be worth it.

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He started his acting career as a child actor in films. After the movie HWAYI: MONSTER BOY, I was worried for him because he was so young and played such a dark and heavy role, but I heard he went to some therapy afterward and was taken good care of on the set.
He got to co-lead with the great Kim Yoon Seok, so that must have been quite an experience.

He is a theater major at Chung-Ang University, so I hope he will make more films when he is done. He'd be great with Ha Jung-woo or Hwang Jung-min.

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Beyond Evil without question. It's one of the most electrifying acting pairings I've ever seen, and I personally loved the the show.

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Likewise I loved it and YJG’s performance and the great metallic blue Chevy Camaro he drove around in the first half.

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Beyond Evil is definitely the one to check. I think it’s among the best in recent years for that genre.

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Reading @elinor's recommendation of Zombie Detective, I started it again (I had previously stalled on it after episode 1), and I'm enjoying it so much! I'm taking vacation now and it's the perfect fun vacation watch! Yay Arang and Lobster Show!! I'm also thinking about trying Woman Who's Different Night and Day.

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There's a gif of that zombie pronunciation lesson rap coming...

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One of the best things in Link was the fridge. 😄

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Did you live-watch it, @dorotka? Was it frustrating week-over-week to have reveal after reveal? I kept thinking how happy I was to be watching when I knew I could just skip to the end if I needed to 😳 (I didn't, but it helped me stay patient!)

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Yes, I nearly always live-watch.
But I don't remember anymore. 😅
I remember I had fun and loved the black humour, just wish the last third were better.

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Oh yes! That fridge had brilliant comedic timing and should have got an award. ( Maybe we should have a 'best inanimate object' beanie award? I know TOD will get it most years, but there are some great actors coming out of left field, and we need to encourage them....)

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😆 @LordCobol had the same idea - I think inspired by Fridge - and I highjacked the heck out of it for the 2022 round-up. It definitely should be an ongoing official category. Just this year there's been a chicken nugget, a fan, a cake, a big purple egg, and an improbably fire-resistant diary. ToD gets a special lifetime award so he doesn't steal this one every time.

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oh I had already forgotten the improbably fire resistant diary!

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Wow on Link: I've avoided it because of the title and premise, but reluctantly because of Yeo Jin Goo. Perhaps I will add it to my watch list.

Lol on Lobster Show 😂 Looking forward to live watching this and Bittersweet Hell with you 😉

Btw, I don't know why DB hasn't picked up on this yet, but the working English title for the other show starting soon is Miss Night and Day. Finally an English title I can get behind 🙃

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My fave mental title for that last show is Ajumma and Hyde.

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You may have missed your calling 😂

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I did ff thru some of the early bits of Link because I could not cope with the tension. But I got more comfortable after I realised that the emphasis in 'black humour' was on humour, not on black.

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Unlike the 2ML in BMR the 2ML in FRANKLY SPEAKING is simply lonely and understandable- and seems to have been the victim of his stage mom's interference in his love life. He is stuck on the FL in part because it was not his choice. Because you are right: He could have any number of other warm, beautiful, and intelligent ladies out there. He needs to learn that your first love is often not your last and best love.

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So glad you enjoyed Eat Love Kill! I'm grinning and pounding my feet. Yes, it died a bit at the end, but we had such heightened emotions for most of the drama I can see a reason for the writer to want to try to segue into a more 'normal' life for our leads. ( I don't agree with the choice- I think it would have been fine to keep the emotional high going- but I can understand the reasoning)

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It died a bit at the end but WAY less than I had thought it would...and it didn't bother me at all that the "serial killer" part got more attention than the "romance" part, frankly.

(Speaking quietly just between the two of us...I don't actually hold out much hope for the lead couple! I predict that they'll have some good times together and then eventually go their separate ways. C'est la vie sometimes.)

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COMPLETED
Chief Inspector 1958 - Quite an exciting finale with a poignant conclusion. Overall it was a simple show that didn't try too hard to be more. The cast was good too. I wouldn't mind a second season.

ONGOING
The Atypical Family - That was a good conclusion to the first half - the scammer stuff was getting tiring. Only way to go from here is up. I-na and Jun-woo are the cutest.

Dare to Love Me - This show has everything AND the kitchen sink - even a long-lost love in Paris!

Crash - It was a lot less funny this week but the workings of the traffic cases are still interesting. But of course his accident was a conspiracy 🙄.

Lovely Runner - The plot has turned into a colander - the reset timeline makes no sense. Did Sun-jae's watch say 3 as well? Are we getting 2 more dying-and-resetting timelines?? At least OTP remain solidly adorable.

Frankly Speaking - The meddling awful 'first love' is the only annoying part of the show. The leads together are cute and funny, just like the faces they made in the photo booth.

Uncle Samsik - My head spins keeping all the characters, their real-life equivalents, and Uncle's schemes straight. But it's nice to have a show that makes me focus and work hard.

C-DRAMAS
Joy of Life (Season 2) - This took a while to get rolling but things started heating up Ep. 4 onwards. I'm up to Ep. 12 and enjoying myself. There's definitely an imbalance between how much we're getting to see of different characters but the back-and-forth scheming remains great.

Wondering if I should try out Fox Spirit Matchmaker: Red Moon Pact 🤔.

Apparently The Double will be out next week too? The novel wasn't the greatest but maybe the drama will improve on it…

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It sounds like they made a good decision not to overdo Chief Inspector 1958, which would probably not have gone well for them as the criticisms would have been many.

Agreed on the exposure of the scam in Atypical Family. Now we can dive into why/how the FL is affecting the family's superpowers!

I'm at ep 12 as well in JOL2 and had the same thought about missing some characters we haven't seen yet. 24 more eps to go though! 😉

I tried ep 1 of Fox Spirit and it was an immediate no for me. While I don't agree with the overly dramatic (imo) commentary I've read about the leads' age gap, the setup didn't sit well with me. Also, I just plain didn't like the story. I'll give FS 2 a try though when it finally releases.

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I think we're all missing one particular character a lot so far in JOL2 😅.

Thanks for the heads-up about Fox Spirit. I'm not fussed about the age-gap either but online reviews had been mixed at best so I was hesitant. Maybe I'll give it a two-episode try...

FS2 - is that the one with Cheng Yi or the one with Liu Shi Shi?

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JOL2: Let me guess... Uncle Wu Zhu?! 🙃

FS2 is the one with Liu Shi Shi, and the one I'm most interested in of the three. I think it's going to be released later this year.

Definitely give FS1 a try! I usually give dramas more than a single episode try, but every now and then I just know something's not going to be for me. On the other hand, I have no problem eating my hat and watching it later down the road 😅

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Yes!

I'm interested in the Liu Shi Shi one too but will try FS1 first like you suggested. Ha, like you there's a lot that can be great and I don't gel with or don't gel with at that time but do later 🤝!

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I watched the 1st ep of Fox Spirit and I thought it is supposed to be a 'grooming' show? or I didn't catch the clue or something remotely romantic about it

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I-na and Jun-woo are my OTP of the year at this point lmao

Cho-hui in Frankly Speaking is sooo unncecessary!

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The matter-of-fact confession was so sweet! And yes, Cho-hui needs to go away...

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I actually do not understand what Ch-hui is supposed to be doing in this drama.

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Flex X Cop: (Finished!) My husband was away for a few days last week so I zipped right through this and it was so fun! It feels sort of strange to get the drama ofthe FL and ML out of the way in the first season, but I’m not here to complain. I’m absolutely here to watch our reluctantly close team solve more crimes in season two and only sorry that I-soo never got to reconcile with his dad.

There are approximately 14000 things on air right now but somehow I started I Remember You/Hello Monster (up to ep 8) and in a shocking turn of events, I think I actually prefer the English name to the Korean one in this case (we’ll see once it ends if this is final). I thought about starting lots of other things, but the heart wants what the heart wants and in this case it wanted Seo In-guk being a genius profiler, Park Bo-Geom being *ambiguous*, and Doh Kyung-soo living in his ~villain era~. What can I say? My heart has very specific wants. DKS is in a minor role here, unfortunately (just makes me even more excited for Sculpture City or whatever it will eventually be called) but his villain is amazing. I feel simultaneously attracted to and repelled by him, and isn’t that what you want in a psychopath? His voice (used to great effect basically everywhere he goes) is so soft and smooth here, it makes you want to lean in to listen, but also, he would think nothing of murdering you as you leaned in. SIG is arrogant and insecure and bold and hesitant and confident and damaged in all the ways I love, and there is something about watching him get into the minds of the killers that feels both comfortingly familiar and bracingly fresh. More please!

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Ah, I Remember You also had the pink we all remember so well. You'll now when you see it.

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Yay for Flex X Cop!
I too really enjoyed it and want them to start filming season 2 tomorrow💜💜

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My wife and I definitely second the motion. Preferably with some serious courtship of our beautiful coroner by her beau.

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Hmm. Going to move I Remember You up on my watch list.

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Midnight Romance in Hagwon
Junho is... smoooth! Touching, invading Hyejin's space, taking over the wheel... and I was not sure I liked all of it. So far, surprisingly, I'm here more for the Hagwon than for the Romance... and I want to know what will be the consequences of that one message in the boys' group chat.

I'm Not a Hero
This show is so unique and every weekend I'm curious where to it will be taking me. It definitely has my full attention and I wish I had more time to engage in the discussion (sadly I'm swamped with work), because sometimes I have the feeling that I watch a completely different drama than the rest of the Beanieland. I find it natural that the chemistry between the leads is questionable, because Gwiju is NOT (yet) in love with Dahee. Yes, the kiss may have stirred something, but Gwiju is right now more OBSESSED with Dahee than truly in love - he sees her as his saviour, his escape route from his survivor's guilt... and his (easy) solution for his currently broken relationship with Ina (and the rest of the family). He is happy, he is elated. But there is no real love (yet). And we rightly feel so. I think the wedding was the turning point, bringing chance to start really working on the issues. At least I hope so.

Currently Not Running With Sunjae
I decided to postpone this week and watch the last 4 episodes together to avoid penultimate frustrations.

Instead I caught up with
Beauty and Mr Romantic
and I have to agree with everyone that in this case the amnesia is a blessing allowing Dora to live with a loving grandmother, without her Toxic Mother. Pilseung now knows and he is giddy and loving around Dora (totally confusing her 🙂). And I somehow wish Dora never recovers her memory and that even if other people around her find the truth, they decide not to tell her and shower Dora with love instead. And the best redemption arch would be that Toxic Mom finds out and also decides not to reveal herself to not to remind Dora of her painful past and forever keeps out of Dora's life.

One redemption arc has already stared - Oppa finally realised how hard it is to earn money and how frustrating Toxic Mom is with her easy spending.

Frankly Speaking
I'm still not sold on this dating variety show, but I had a silly smile on my face, because Woojoo and Kibaek are so adorably cute together 😍 (and I melted with that handhold 😊).

I wish I had more time and could watch the 4th instalment of Kishibe Rohan.

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I hope the work-swamp is at least fulfilling, my friend!!

...and YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY to catching up on BMR!! So, so glad. Do-sik is gonna be a real sweetie-dreamboat. I hope he and Myeong-dong don't have TOO frustrating a relationship arc...

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It is my own project... and every year I tell myself this is the last time I am doing it 😆

I'm now fully on-board with BaMR!

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I've just been watching today's episode with the stupidest grin on my face...

How can I be the best Internet Friend to you? Shall I **kick you out violently** if the weekender takes a turn for the worse so you blame me and not the show and you commit to trying again? Shall I just speak truth to power if it all falls apart, giving you an excuse to move on? Shall I sweet-talk you the whole time, convincing you that there are NOT any plot holes and you should LOVE IT all the same? Or can I ply you with fascinating predictions of what is to come...like this "villainery-romance" I want to see coming between Momzilla and Jin-dan? I mean how else is a woman like that going to end up in a close relationship with a young man like that if not in a Pact of Evildoing!! Oh, such glories to come...maybe even worthy of some gifs????

Let me know how I can be of service!

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You and @oldawyer are definitely responsible that I'm now watching this weekender. 😁
I think as long as it keeps my silly grin on, I'm in, plot holes or not... but the moment it gets too dark/annoying I wait for the weekender squad's reactions to see if I continue...

Toxic Mom and Toxic CEO do surprisingly have chemistry. Will their toxicities cancel out if they get together?? 🤔

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The way that the writer has set up the situation of D-shik and Myeong-dong on BMR essentially guarantees that they cannot come together quickly.

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Love your take on the ML/FL in Atypical Family! This is the clearest description I've seen of where they are at this point. It's such an intriguing and different drama.

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I would love to hear more of your thoughts about The Atypical Family! I remember reading the first week comments and thinking exactly what you said: am I watching the same show as everyone else? It's fascinating how people can have such different reactions and interpretations of the same piece of media.

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In fact, the first week I thought I was the only one who had liked it.
Imo it was a very good start and the drama keeps being good.

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On BMR- I too would like Do-ra to never get her memories back. And that her mom never finds her. Alas, we all know that cannot happen.

But at least Do-shik has learned a few things. Let that romance finally get under way.

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Frankly Speaking 5 - 7¼ - So far so good, I'm liking this. I'm living for Kwon Yul's cameos though. It is a major highlight. It won't be the last, is it?
Cho-hui is something else.
And Jeonghoon is kinda somehow. Deep down he's still insecure. Despite tte fane he enjoys, he doesn't mind not having the spotlight unless Ki-baek's involved. Which is where I'm both laughing and feeling pity for him. You have it all but you don't.

Focusing on the rom- and not the -com really helped.

Missing Crown Prince 3&4 - I already knew FL Dad was the other person in the affair. That was out in the open quite easily.
I like the bromance between Princes Dosung and ML. I hope either of them putting on the Red robe or the race for it doesn't corrupt their bond.

Find Me In Your Memory - I have no memory of what episode I've gotten to. The last time I kept track, I was at episode 4-5. I've progressed from 4-5 though.
I'm still skeptical about the response of Psychiatrist son when ML asked him about Ha-jin and Seo-yeon. I feel like there is more to it than he said.

Uncle Samsik - My currently best airing drama. Sell me some politics and I'm sold. This one sold it well. It wasn't easy not understanding the non chronological storytelling format but once I did, everything fell into place.

I don't trust Kim San. He seems to me like another Choo Intae in the making, whom I liked at the introduction but the admiration dipped drastically to the negative margin in two soul revealing successions of his. San operates just like him. The one thing that still has intrigued by San is that he's set to oppose Seongmin in the grand scheme of things.

Lee Kyu-hyung is eating it here. Where is my handsome righteous lawyer/administrator?

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SML in FS: "You have it all but you don't." Perfect description of this character!

The brother's relationship in MCP is one of the big standouts imo. I hope you continue to enjoy it!

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Runner (Episode 13-14) - Mood: C-
Ah yes, it’s always the person with dementia that remembers everything even in an alternate timeline. Speaking of which, it is amusing that the serial killer is still there despite Sol’s efforts, but I guess dramas always love to toy with everlasting fate and the tragedy of it all. It should be a happy ending given that the writer decided to throw out the plot but you never know.

The Atypical Family (Episode 5-6) - Mood: D+
Well, my years of watching experience might have disillusioned me to that reveal cause I was looking at the scheduling and I realised that with 3 weeks left, next week is going to be the happy kiss week, followed by the breakup in penultimate week before a reconciliation in the finale. And the kids’ arc’s kinda going from bad to worse because jealous girl will be a trouble.

Frankly Speaking (Episode 7-8) - Mood: D+
Yup, the show really lost me when the first love came in like a wrecking ball. It’s quite shocking that 0 thought was given to the characterisation and that we as viewers were supposed to just embrace that someone would actually join a reality dating show and forcefully impose themselves on someone who they haven’t met in awhile. And the 2ML is more sympathetic (sigh).

Crash (Episode 3-4) - Mood: D
Of course there was going to be some decades long conspiracy involving the upper echelons of society. Of course it wasn’t the protagonist who killed someone in the past and someone mysterious is out for revenge. The fact that we’re already into the ML’s trauma is bad news with 8 episodes to go cause I’m assuming this backstory is only going to get even more crazy.

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WERACLE (YouTube): Korea’s current favorite couple, Song Jieun and Park Wi, recently won the Immortal Songs Romanic Couple competition. They are also in the process of getting married so their latest videos have been documenting their journey, planning and honeymoon PPL.

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Alternate Endings Game:
Lovely Runner -- Sol finds out who the serial killer is, researches where he used to live, takes truck driving lessons, then goes back in time to ToD him.

Crash -- Since the ML doesn't want to drive, he eventually buys a car with Fool Self Driving, which then hits more pedestrians that he ever could by himself.

Finally got around to 2 shows that started last week but which seemed low-priority from the descriptions...
Dare to Love Me: 2.15 At 2:15 the FL screamed "Stop", so I did.
Midnight Hagwon: 4.56 Lasted almost 5 minutes, but I rarely like cram school shows and this one seemed 🥱💤.

Chief Detective 1958: 7.5 Passable, not great. For me it was a Seo Eun-su⌚. YMMV.

Missing Crown Prince: 6.5

The Atypical Family: 8.0

Lovely Runner: 7.5 I don't like it as much as many of you do, but that dig about resignation letters raises the score for this week.

Crash: 7.0 Not liking the ML's driving skills or his bike or the way they guilt-tripped him; otherwise ok-ish.

Frankly Speaking: 8.0 Kang Han-na⌚

Bittersweet Hell: 3.0 Description didn't sound promising; writer & PD haven't done anything I've liked; I gave it a half hour anyway but...

Connection: 6.0

Time travel is difficult to do without tripping over your past/future selves. To see it done right, go back in time and watch Queen In-hyun's Man. Repeat as long as it makes you happy.

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Lovely Runner's white truck of doom usage has been mediocre at best. The serial killer's was more a converted van, and it seems to have disappeared with the new timeline.

However, the show has employed the limp body sinking through endless depths very effectively, despite the fact that most of the episodes have occurred inland, so they had to resort to filming in a bottomless creek, one of two in the countryside.

The episode this week was more conventional with the long cliff drop into the deep sea trench that is the unique geographic feature of the Korean coastline. Sadly (spoiler alert) in this one the body of the victim had no one breaststroking down after it, so the scene felt cinematically incomplete.

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Dare to Love You getting a 2.15 from you, along with the other negative reviews, has me SO curious to watch it, hahaha.

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Re-title it "Dare to Watch You"?

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It's TERRIBLE, so if that's your thing, go for it!

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It’s not, but I like to satisfy my morbid curiosity with an episode or two sometimes, haha.

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I made it 1.5 episodes, so good luck, lol.

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Watching

Lovely Runner anyone else feel like this drama has been on air for the perfect length of time? Like it doesn’t feel like ‘omg it just started how are we already in the final week’, nor does it feel like I’m crawling to the finish line. I’m keen to get an ending but I’ll miss it all the same 💕

Bridgerton binging S1, S2 and Queen Charlotte now (again) because I’ve watched S3 part 1 like three times now. EIther I’ve convinced myself over repeated watches or I genuinely believe it, but I take back what I said in last week’s WWW thread about feeling uncertain on Polin. I do wish Colin had to suffer a little more in the friendzone but I’m very excited for them because ep 3 and 4 did the legwork to make up for Colin’s cringy persona in ep 1 and 2 (which I know was the point). It actually maybe could also be because I finished reading the book recently and I’m using context from there to fill the gaps on what isn’t shown on screen. Whilst I don’t know how I feel about all the deviations from the book - there are defs places where I wish they’d stuck to what happens in the book - but one creative liberty I do appreciate is how they’ve built up Lady Whilstledown to be a bit ‘meaner’ and also serve as the central point of conflict for this season. I can’t wait for part two, the drama is going to be at an all time high (also on this note, I still hate we have to wait for the second part but I totally get the logic Netflix was going for and it’s definitely working because the buzz will be more than sustained after the ending of ep 4).

Lady Revenger Returns from The Fire honestly an underrated gem, I really love the tight pacing and the characters - especially the ML and FL.

Maxton Hall everyone keeps going on about this German show on Instagram so I took the dive and am finding it surprisingly entertaining. The plot is the most basic paint by the numbers thing ever - hard working Cinderalla type girl on scholarship at rich people school gets entangled with the richest and most popular boy at school and now it’s a battle of wills as the ML gets increasingly infuriated that the FL isn’t bowing down to him like the rest of the school is. BUT, despite the plot being run of the mill,
the cinematography is quite nice and the acting and dialogue is really solid so it’s elevating the plot somehow 🤷‍♀️

Keeping an eye on Fox Spirit Matchmaker which just dropped - reddit reviews seem lukewarm at best, but I’m going to wait till a few more episodes are aired before trying it out for myself.

Finished Love You Seven Times and while the ending was slightly convoluted, it stuck true to the xianxia genre and overall I really enjoyed watching this drama! Also finished Peacock in Wonderland which was great till the ending 🤡 Though there is an alt ending/extended scene that was making the rounds on social media - it makes the overall ending a tiny bit better but still a little...

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disappointing because it’s still an open ending. Though I guess this is the nature of when you have these time travel Cdramas that have to reconcile with the censorship rules, I think most of the ones I’ve watched have had open endings or weak endings that are basically along the lines of ‘it was all a dream’.

Blood of Youth on pause because I’m watching with mum who hasn’t had time this week to sit down and continue it.

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I was plesantly surprised by how good BLOOD OF YOUTH is. I still think of it off and on.

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I'm glad to hear it's good!! I'm looking forward to enjoy it too :D

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Knowing about the censorship, I'm always tickled by how dramas try to skirt it with 1. it was all a dream 2. it's a story from a novel 3. it was a super-immersive gaming experience.

Not watching Peacock in Wonderland, but I really dislike the cdrama thing of ending terribly/tragically in the final episode and then releasing the alternate or extended ending online where you have to dig around for it.

I love Blood of Youth!!

I also agree with you on the Lovely Runner length and how while I'll miss it, I'm sort of keen on it getting to the ending. I think Sol has suffered enough.

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Yeah me too - it is really interesting how they get creative to try find loopholes to the rules, including other elements that aren't allowed by the censorship rules. There's so many 'it was actually a really realistic VR experience' type dramas 😆

And yeah, it was a shame because it was really enjoyable till the ending put a dampener on it, even with the alternative ending you had to go digging around for.

Yay another glowing beanie review of BoY, I'm even more excited to continue watching it! And also exactly my thoughts on LR, I'll miss it but also Sol and Sunjae have suffered enough, happy ending please!!

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My wife loved BLOOD OF YOUTH and recommends it to everyone.

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Yay! I'm glad to hear I've picked a well recieved drama to watch with mum!

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Love your take on Lovely Runner ❤️ That's such a good description!! I also feel like it's the perfect length and just overall feel very content with the pacing!

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Crash This drama is nice to watch but nothing extraordinary neither.

Dare to Love Me I'm not sure what to expect from this drama yet.

Lovely Runner I understand why Sol acted like she did, my issue is Sun Jae spent 14 episodes to tell her he will always choose happiness over regret and she spent 14 to take it from him : singing and her.

Frankly Speaking This title does not keep its promises...

The Atypical Family I really don't care about the ML and FL's past trauma. I just want I-Na to be happy.

Connection I will try it.

The Midnight Romance in Hagwon The episodes are too short! I need more!

Uncle Samsik So many characters with different opinions and a lot of flashbacks make this drama hard to follow.

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I guess we'll find out, but a recent concert was mentioned in the last episodes, so he may still be singing.

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Oh yeah. I think he still became famous with the group. He did it in his first life without Sol. But I was talking about when she tried to stop him to meet the guy of an agency ou to audition.

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The Matchmakers 🦆🦆(5/16): What are these wispy beards doing here, shoo! Not you, Your Majesty. You. Are. A. delight. Wispy beards confuse things and wear boring robes. We do not like that. We want lots of fun! Colorful hanboks! Giraffe! Obong! The Donkey!🥰

Bridgerton Season 3 Part 1(4/4): I was underwhelmed by the show, but that is probably because I started the books and the series for Polin and built my expectations way to high as a result. Expectations aside, I enjoyed part 1 as much as I enjoyed the previous seasons and I will certainly watch part 2 asap in June!😊If only for more barbs from Lady Danbury and cynical remarks from Benedict!😊

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Benedict (show ver.) is a national treasure, I'm ready to riot if S4 isn't his!!

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Yes, Benedict (show version) is wonderful!! I disliked book Benedict and his love story, so I hope the series make lots of changes to it.

I'm going to binge Bridgerton Season 3 this weekend. I remember loving book Polin, so I'm setting my expectations low.

Loved Matchmakers! yes to the shoutout for Oh-Bong!

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Yes same here!! I read somewhere - and I can see it now more clearly - that they gave book Colin's personality to Benedict in the show. I think it's a wise idea to set expectations low because whilst I enjoyed S3, I don't think it matches the energy of book Polin (maybe because we're given the benefit of having access to Colin's internal thoughts and also the book is primarily about those two, where the show has like 4 different subplots running at the same time).

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He is the best and I love his story but fear for it as the “beloved Ton” does not make much of an appearance.

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That's true!! Though given how they've changed pretty big plot points to fit the direction of the show, I imagine/I hope they'll do the same to make it work for Benedict's season.

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Agreed, I can't wait for his season.

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전하!!!! BEST Gen-X Joseon King eeevvvveeerrrr! God, I miss him.

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The Matchmakers's King was the best! I really liked him and the actor behind it.

To watch the actors playing the Bridgerton siblings in interviews is so fun! Claudia Jessie (Eloise), Luke Newton (Collin) and Luke Thomson (Benedict) are very funny. I need a scene with Benedict speaking French in his arc!

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Bridgerton books are the best!
I’m scared to watch season 3 as it is my favorite book and I’m so worried what they will do to their story. Not watching until all episodes come out.

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Mine was book #2 and I was not happy that they changed the story. Not that I disliked it, but the book version was really well done.

I don't like show version of Benedict but I didn't like the book version either.

It's hard to beat Regé-Jean Page though.

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I’m a sucker for a cabin in the woods. I think the show doesn’t know what to do with the B character. He’s always been an adult, but is just hanging around waiting for his time.
Books are usually better in general aren’t they. And yes, RJ Page was perfection

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Live watches

Lovely Runner
Please show finish well let these last episodes make sense so we are not left sweating as it’s all tied up in the last few minutes or annoyed that it fell flat.

Frankly Speaking
Loving the possibilities this show has to shine with side couples we can enjoy.

Dare to Love
Slow and steady. Who knew grandad knew about love but chose responsibilities for the community over his own desires.

Crash
The most fun each week. I don’t know how they manage to balance the silly with such serious cases.

Uncle Samsik
Who knew a political drama could be this interesting. So gutted they have slowed down the episode drop rate.

Film corner
My mother, the mermaid a touching film about an adult daughter getting to know her parents.

Other dramas
To the wonder - Chinese
I am so glad I watched this gentle drama about a writer experiencing the dying traditions of country folk.

Blossoms in adversity - Chinese
Just started this as lots of hype from other beanies

Every precious moment - Japanese
A young man living with amnesia has forgotten his friends, work colleagues and family so now runs a coffee truck where he can safely build short term relationships and then move on.

Book corner
As long as you need: permission to grieve J S Park
Non fiction written by a hospital chaplain

American Seoul - Helena Rho
Re read of a memoir by Korean woman who left Korea as a child because her dad was the last of a long line of first born sons and she was one of 4 daughters. She fulfilled her dad’s wish for her to follow in his footsteps and became a doctor but left the profession in her 40’s to be the writer she always wanted to be.

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Thank you for sharing your reads!! American Seoul sounds really interesting. Since it's a reread, I'm guessing you would recommend it?

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Yes it’s my kind of storytelling. I wish I could tell my life story the way the various memoir authors have. If you do read it let me know.

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THE TRUTH S2: *heavy sigh* I need to finish HEROES first, that's just too many watching hours at once. But I did take a peek at newest episodes, and bwahaha, they're still super makjang with relationship tree thing – we have siblings, cousins (involved in a love triangle), grandkids from the future, engaged couples, long lost kids (that is – ZLH is now LYN's son who took after dad in height department lmao), BL-coded ships between supposed relatives but that's OK and we're not even half done with the show... Moar insanity!

HEROES (2024): I hate cdrama fast pass practice! Not only it doesn't give me any time to process properly yet another depressing ending (no way you expected anything else here! *bitter laugh*), I also had too little time to catch up even with all previous episodes, but now my tl is full of spoilers – not that any of them were shocking logically, but still, dammit! Let me live a bit first!

Rant over, don't worry. Overall, from Ep20 onwards things get slow, plot and characters keep running in circles etc... I said it before and will stress once again – magic monks, their mysterious “inheritance” and the whole thing with multiple seal to obtain the treasure are the cancer of this drama. If I wasn't so stubborn and didn't hear that action comes back shortly in 30s, I'd seriously considered drop. For the time being what keeps me going is the desire to see what happens to the freaking treasure and blatantly female gaze-y scenes of ZBF with sleeves rolled up playing with his sword (sounds dirtier than it actually is... or not?).

“Drama news” segment, 5.20 romance edition:

- forget trailers galore – this week is all about posters! Every historical drama ones – huge thanks to whoever compiled them so I didn't have to!
https://x.com/Allcbizmelons/status/1792426204542451914

- and modern ones, including few currently airing dramas:
https://x.com/Allcbizmelons/status/1792432268881055784

- ADWAD shared a whole bunch – seriously, this show is peak generous! Tagline got me rolling)))
https://x.com/CEntTeaTime/status/1792369385023369333

And aegyeo attack short videos. Someone already simps hard indeed:
https://x.com/yeoni_dream/status/1792376510764183840

Btw, leads' puppies also got their own couple photoshoot! I guess kids are indeed planning to debut in the show and thus lessen their parents financial burden a bit... Brb trying to guilt-trip my cats into doing something useful as well, wish me luck)))

- FOLLOW YOUR HEART poster separately – you can tell we're close to premiere date with how intense it is:
https://i.mydramalist.com/XdEevX_3f.jpg

Plus wedding (one of many!) and making videos:
https://x.com/LuoYunxiFanClub/status/1792382620292239630

Another poster to celebrate 1M reservations, this time a cute one:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/GOaDeiiXAAAWAFp?format=jpg&name=4096x4096

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Follow Your Heart is definitely next after JOL2 for me. These posters are 😍😍😍

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