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Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching (June 8, 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

Summer Strike: I’d never heard of this show before it popped up on my screen while idly browsing, and I hit play purely based on the (Korean) title: “I Don’t Want to Do Anything.” It spoke to me. There’s something very soothing and healing about this gentle slice-of-life drama, although I had to be in the right mood for it, which is why I’ve been watching this for about six months and just now finished. Which might sound like I didn’t enjoy it when I did, quite a lot — I found the story engrossing and the characters refreshingly ordinary, and appreciated the depiction of simple living and finding happiness in the little things. It’s a lovely story of growth for multiple characters, like the lonely city girl (Seolhyun) burned out from terrible work culture and backstabbing coworkers, and the sweet and brilliant country boy (Im Siwan) who’s held back by past trauma, and the cast of small-town characters who all have some work to do figuring out who they are and what they want from life. I didn’t realize until I’d finished that this was directed by Lee Yoon-jung (Coffee Prince, Cheese in the Trap), and then it all made sense. A pleasant interlude and palate cleanser of a drama.

Chicken Nugget: What the nugget? This show was a strange experience, and not just because the plot itself is strange (though it is that — a girl gets turned into a chicken nugget by a mysterious machine and mild comedy ensues). Mostly, this show confused me because I didn’t get it, and I felt like I couldn’t move on until I did. Was it aiming for slapstick, or dumb, or satirical, or…? The tone was clearly intentional, but to what end? The more perplexed I was, the more I felt a perverse need to keep going, feeling hostage to my confusion. My conclusion: This show didn’t work for me and I don’t think it fully achieved what it set out to do, either. The pedigree of the creatives likely had a negative effect on expectations — director Lee Byung-hun’s writing and directing credits are truly impressive, from Extreme Job (legitimately one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen) to Twenty, Dream, Scandal Makers, and Be Melodramatic (all a skillful mix of humor and poignancy). But it started to feel more like the emperor’s new clothes where I kept waiting for the brilliance to hit me, only it never did. I was actually in disbelief that they had spent so much money and locked so many famous actors when the content was so flimsy. I can enjoy a good absurdist comedy, and there were (fleeting) moments where I wondered if maybe this was going for the affected mannerisms of a Wes Anderson piece or an I’m a Cyborg But It’s Okay, or the stilted awkwardness of a Napoleon Dynamite, or the lowbrow hur-hur laughs of a Beavis and Butthead. Ultimately, I think Chicken Nugget suffers from being both too much and not enough. Too intentionally bizarre for a conventional Kdrama-style production, yet not distinct or stylized enough to carry the quirk. There were glimpses of potential, but it felt more like a mainstream show putting on contrived eccentricity rather than a genuinely weird gem. I didn’t really enjoy the watch, but I’m not mad about it — mostly, I’m glad I’ve made sense of it and can move on from that nagging question.

 

missvictrix

Dare to Love Me: I’m torn. I’m 75% fatigued by the paint-by-numbers K-drama we have on our hands here (and sorry that L’s character has gotten far less interesting than he was at the beginning), but 25% of me wants to pat the back of this drama that is happy to do its little thing and not mind the world around it. There are enough fun/cute moments to keep me watching, but really, I’m just waiting for the kiss. Hey, that’s one thing they’re doing originally: the Episode 8 ending was quite kissless.

 

DaebakGrits

The Atypical Family: I started watching The Atypical Family because I love stories about people with superpowers. It had a slow beginning, but it became a drama I looked forward to each week. Maybe not with the same intensity as Lovely Runner (that’s a high bar to surpass), but the time travel element really piqued my curiosity. I’m eager to see how it plays out this weekend even if I think it’s fairly obvious that Gwi-ju won’t die in the past. Is it too much to hope something bad happens to Sauna Mom, though?

 
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LIVE WATCHES
Beauty and Mr. Romantic
Almost halfway through here at episode 23 ;). Weekenders are my jam (when they're this amazing)!! Do-ra's gonna be an actress (again)!!! Pil-seung's gonna continue to be bad at protecting her too 🤣

Frankly Speaking
Bean acquired. This drama was neither too long nor too short—it was just unsure of what it needed to be, and there was a sense that the reason was even unclear to the creators? Why a variety show?? Why the news? Why Trot? Why magical children dressed up as lions? I dunno, all I can say is that whatever Joo Jong-hyuk does next, there are a number of us who will tune in. Actually most of the secondary characters deserve more drama attention.

FROM THE RESERVES
Tale of Arang
C'mon romance! I'm halfway through episode 11 and I guess kissing the undead will have to do for now 😉

ON DECK
I was supposed to start Wok of Love, Secret Royal Inspector and Joy or Bitter Sweet Hell, but I did NONE OF THAT. Instead, I completely finished, start-to-end, The Spies Who Loved Me. Highly recommended through to the end of episode 12 and then recommended well-enough from 13-16. The show is about divorce first, marriage second, and being liars “spies” third. Really nicely done, until it goes OTT.

And, now a Venerable Beanie has reminded me that I should keep a promise to watch Bad Prosecutor. I mean it's been a good few weeks since I've seen a Ha Joon drama...

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I don't do Weekenders, but every post you have makes Beauty and Mr. Romantic super intriguing.🫣🫣

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Come...coomme, my pretty. Come over to the weekender darkside where the plot just keeeeps gooooing for half a year.

No, seriously, they can be really difficult for completists.

But with a light heart on the part of the viewers and plotting as marvelous as what we have in BMR, they can also feel warm-and-fuzzy, a bit like found family.

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I am this close, lol. I'll let you know if I get there.

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IMO, trying to make sense of Chicken Nugget is like loving your suffering, @javabeans 🙃

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Spies was a better drama than I expected. Especially the first part, indeed.

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Pilseung being bad at protecting Do-ra in BMR is baked into the situation with her amnesia- which he agrees is a good thing rather than an affliction. This is probably the only drama in which one has ever been able to say that. But Do-ra seems fully capable of protecting herself.

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He is failing in EPIC proportions right now... Just on cue! And with a call back to his crappy behavior in the very first few episodes of the second chapter!!

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This not-that-venerable Bean suggests you check her update further below...

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I got a happy fast-forward finger, and I just love to use it to find scenes I actually want to watch. It'll be oooookay!

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Great! 👍

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I relate as lot with your From the reserves and on deck approach!

As Live Watches
I've got only Atypical Family but I haven't watched the last 2 episodes yet (mostly because there are only 2 episodes left and I've seen most of it on social media already... and am disappointed that they ditch the GL vibes)
I'm watching/reading High school return of a gangster and I'm not going to lie: I'm watching it much faster than I read it (so far 3 or 4 chapters in because my reading in Korean sucks) but despite the intentional swap from BL to vague bromance, I still don't think it changes anything in terms of the gangster's protective instincts. The changes are elsewhere and, SK being what it is, they were unfortunately unavoidable for a main time slot.

I've already binge-watched the 8 Show and would heavily recommend it to the mad Beanies who loved Strangers from Hell or have read Lord of the Flies and always wondered what it would look like if we swapped the kids for adults (hint: it would not be any better) so I don't think I have any real live watches left.

From the reserves:
Currently binging on Tell me what you saw and desperately wanting to send ML a bottle of shampoo and a brush.
May be rewatching Two Cops for the n time because Jo Jung-suk does a hilarious Kim Seon-ho impression all the way through (spot on from the mimics to the tone and melody of the voice)
Potentially re-re-rewatching Bad and Crazy after I tentatively introduced my mom and her partner to K-dramas with this one. Spoiler alert: They watched 2 episodes and kept getting confused because, I quote, "everyone looks the same" — I've never been that outraged before, how do Lee Dong-wook and Wi Ha-joon look the same?

On deck:
Keep trying Stranger 2 (Is it forest of lies also?) but can't go past 1 or 2 episodes. I'm probably not in the right mood for it.

Been on The Lies Within for ages... I watched probably half of it and somehow I still can't engage with the plot and I feel I have to finish it (and frankly I do not care about saving the FL's husband anymore... I did care briefly for 2 episodes and then just grew bored of it for a reason I can't explain. I don't find any of the characters appealing and I'm constantly surprised by the sheer level of idiocy from the female cop, who is working extra hard to be more stupid than anyone else; and that is commendable in its own right because they are not very bright to start with)
Also wants to start Trolley but have not been able to watch the first episode in full yet...
I've noted Dreaming of a freaking fairy tale as a possible future watch.

Hidden under the deck
Tried and failed to engage with Midnight romance in Hagwon - I didn't make it past one episode. I'm not the right audience for it. I wanted to see both of them in a romance drama together but this just bores me to death even...

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MINUS all the typos

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Did you get cut off, too? I can finish your last sentence in the way I want it to end, if that's OK with you, "I wanted to see both of them in a romance drama together but this just bores me to death even...though Wie Ha-joon looks plenty hot in those jeans and sweaters. It's just not enough!"

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COMPLETED
Frankly Speaking - I don't know what story this show was trying to tell. They tried to hammer in the message with that school play and a glut of flashbacks but it still felt all over the place.

ONGOING
The Atypical Family - Not a fan of one conversation solving everything esp. when he sank right back into old habits with one setback. Using a car crash to fake death was so cruel. Anyway, I-na deserves the world so I refuse to believe this will end in tragedy.

Dare to Love Me - The characters in this show are divided into dumb or evil. There is no in-between.

Crash - Nice to see Dong-gi shine this week. Knew Taxi Dad would have an accident at some point 😔. The past accident is pulling down the narrative a bit but I'm still loving the team.

Uncle Samsik - My head was spinning with the unreliable narration of it all - who was using whom, who was using General Choi, who really planned the coup d'état …😵. The relationship between Sam-sik and San is so fascinating - an alternating mix of trust and betrayal.

High School Return of a Gangster - I like the budding relationship between Se-kyung and Deok-heon. Looking forward to seeing him deal with his old gangmates.

Dreaming of a Freaking Fairy Tale - Still ridiculous and funny. The cameos are silly but cute. The fiancée is adding nothing though.

C-DRAMAS
Completed Joy of Life (Season 2). I think the overarching narrative of this took a while to take shape but still a solid Season 2. Each arc from the 'comeback' to the examination to the treasury stuff had meaning and I can't wait for S3 (though of course I'll have to - for another 2-3 years at least 😭).

Started The Double and have watched up to Ep. 13 so far. I'd like to call it campy with the exaggerated acting, makeup and set pieces except it's taking itself so SERIOUSLY. The addition of bizarre horror elements makes me laugh even more (the giant scorpion 🤣).

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I agree with everything you said about Uncle Samsik I was left open mouthed watching the last few minutes of the last episode.

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I actually had to rewind a quite a few times 😅.

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JOL 3 is apparently coming next year.

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Oh I read that they're still finishing the script so I assumed a normal c-drama timeline of 2-3 years for filming, post-production, licensing, and release.

Next year would be great though!

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Keep your fingers crossed regarding the licensing. This has become a big issue recently- it is the one thing that could throw the timing off.

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I think I swallowed my heart when I saw your timeline comment @miso2019! If my information is correct the third season is filmed already. But as @oldawyer says, the timing for release is going to be interesting (read: nerve wracking),

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JOY OF LIFE 2 SP0ILER ALERT
(I probably should have had that header on my first comment ⬆️. So here goes again.)

Nice!
I finished JOL2 (eps 34-36) last night and at the (very light) cliffhanger it looked to me like the production was pushing on. Neat special effect in the final moments.
I agree with @miso2019 that season 2 was solid. In JOL2 I am confirmed on why Zhang Ruo Yun is one of my favorite cdrama actors. The humanity he displays as Fan Xian is wonderful to see however Fax Xian can be tough when needed. In the final episodes it was a treat to see another of my favorite cdrama characters make an important appearance: Ning Li. (ZRY and Ning Li played wonderful disciple/mentor in the contemporary police slice of life ORDINARY GOODNESS (2022) (iQiYI) (highly recommended).i’m

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ZRY plays Fan Xian like he was made for it - he manages the balance between shrewd and calculating while also being humane and loving very well. I was glad to see Ning Li here too - nice reunion!

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Absolutely! I watched Sword Snow Stride season 1 after finishing JOY2 but I prefer ZRY as Fan Xian rather than Feng Nian. No clue how long a wait it will be for both shows to release the next season/s.

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I adore ZRY in general, but I especially adore him as Fan Xian.

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That would be lovely - hopefully none of the cast will cheat on their taxes between now and then!

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After what happened to Bing Fan Fan this seems unlikely

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It’s just dawned on me when I had a similar feeling of being betrayed by the narrator it was the film The Usual suspects!

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Uncle Samsik had me questioning a lot. Like... When did An Ki-chul grow some spine? And, how influential is Rachael Jeong to pull those strings from such a distance. When did An Ki-chul connect with R. Jeong. And who is the freaking General Choi? It was confusing.

What was touching to note was that San got into this mess by distrusting Uncle Samsik. And here I was thinking twice about Uncle Samsik. So now I'm back to square one about Samsik's doings.

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I think the scene with An Ki-chul and his father in the hospital surprised me the most. He'd been in the background often enough that I knew he'd be brewing something but I was still taken aback a bit.

San voicing his distrust just after Sam-sik firmly praised him was such a nice juxtaposition. The blindfold on Sam-sik in that moment was a nice touch - could he not see or did he choose not to see...

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Not a fan of one conversation solving everything…

It’s the same for me with “one and done” lead couples. As in, after they’ve had sex for the first time, they never need to do it again…

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And all the kisses suddenly turn into hugs...

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Bizarre horror elements in THE DOUBLE were at least still less laughable than sudden xianxia interlude during qin exam lol. I kind of dig this gothic horror romance vibe this show and IN BLOSSOM tried to push - is this a new trend? But yes to taking itself too seriously - a bit of self-irony would've make it truly good, but alas...

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I just looked up THE DOUBLE and in a very, very broad sense the synopsis reminds me of the now somewhat infamous THE GOLDEN HAIRPIN which with luck will somehow see the light of day on the small screen.

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Now that you said that... *loaded silence*

TGH should be Tencent, right? Still no date of their summer conference yet - supposed to be this month - where we'll know more or less for sure which dramas they plan to release in a foreseeable future.

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Thanks for the Tencent ‘Coming Attractions’ tip.

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Not really so easy to get trauma after trauma and get over it that easily by one conversation.

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@miso2019 @gikata
Awwww shucks! I'm only up to episode 5 of The Double and was really enjoying it. I'm bummed to hear that it gets weird.

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Not THAT weird, just even more makjang on steroids))) And it's pretty funny, if nothing else. I treat this drama as a brainless entertainment and it does well at that.

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I agree with Gikata. Not that weird - I'm just super entertained by whatever weirdness there is 😂. It's a pretty basic revenge drama in all other ways - just tends to go a bit bizarre at times but then reverts back to type.

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Sometimes, it's enjoyable not having to think or look up historical stuff. It's an entertaining, lazy watch for shi** and giggles. It's not boring so I'll keep watching. LOL

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THE DOUBLE is filling the whole left by Perfect Marriage Revenge for me lol

Its pure makjang style camp and the more ridiculous it gets the more entertaining it becomes.

So many similarities between the two as well.

-The reincarnated scorned heroine
-The cartoonishly evil Step mother and younger sister.
-The supportive grandma
- The aloof and oblivious who lets the abuse go on while saying nothing

Its a trashy and entertaining car crash, and im staying here till the paramedics arrive.

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Your last line 🤣.

Perfect Marriage Revenge is a good comparison. I think the only difference would be that the former was short and, actually, rather sweet while this still has 20+ episodes to go so it's going to be a multi-car pile-up of a car crash!

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The Double is ridiculous and massively entertaining. There are a lot of recognizable faces that keep popping up, so it's fun to try to figure out where you've seen an actor or actress before. It also feels like a tour of different subgenres, so we get a school drama with an underdog competing against class bullies; a mystery with multiple detectives investigating murder, corruption, and more; a court/palace drama with two influential families vying for power; a revenge drama with a conniving family, a psycho princess, and a two-faced husband; and now a business drama with a family of merchants struggling to fend off corrupt officials. I find the melodramatic bits funnier than the comedic bits, but somehow the over-the-top stuff never manages to be unwatchable (for me, anyway). In fact, I sometimes wonder if I'm watching to see what other weird stuff will happen.

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Agree about the mix of genres! And yes it hasn't gotten unwatchably weird (yet). I am absolutely watching to see what other weird stuff will happen 😂.

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Live watches

Crash
This is the first drama I watch in the busy Monday Tuesday slot because it is entertaining funny, interesting, great team dynamics. With the Panko breadcrumbs being dropped everywhere I anticipate it will be a really satisfying ending.

Dare to Love
I put this on hold last week to watch at the weekend but was occupied with other things so will probably binge this one after it’s done.

Uncle Samsik
Oh my gosh, the way they leave us hanging from week to week😬 This is a Masterclass in K drama character driven stories and for me I see it as in the same league as Healer, Miseang and On the verge of insanity.

High school return of a gangster
This is my fun mid week watch and I am glad that it overlapped with Frankley speaking so the watch schedule did not dip after a great start.

Dreaming of a freaking fairytale
I enjoyed it more this week but it landed at a competitive time of the year for me so it seems more superficial than it actually is.

Binge watch
Soundtrack #1 for the fan wall community watch. I am really enjoying this one as it has such a calming vibe it’s like a Sunday afternoon stroll.

Waiting for rain - film
Story of two pen pals and their connection, friendship, complicated family relationships, lost hopes and new beginnings. I really enjoyed it.

Completed

Frankly Speaking
I am glad that I watched it, they tied up elements but the tone changed and it was an easy bean collected rather than a joy to watch. The play at the end was just like the Shadow play in It’s a good day to be a dog. I am beginning to wonder with this and other shows that have random children that don’t add much to the story that they are campaigning hard to raise the birth rate by subtly integrating the message that children of all ages and stages should be a part of everyone’s life. I heard a character talking in Waiting in the rain about the fact their school closed because there were not enough children to warrant its presence.

Book corner
I caved and bought some more Audible tokens and just finishing the autobiography We were dreamers: An immigrant superhero origin story by Simu Liu

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I am glad you enjoyed endless rain. It was a good movie but the ending left me sad though I have to admit it was realistic.

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What did you think of We were dreamers? I really enjoyed that book.

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I really enjoyed it too. I first saw him being interviewed on Wong Fu before or after the drama he stared in so it was lovely to meet him again in this way. Really great to hear his grandparents and parents stories as the context to his own. I wonder how many people from Deloitte regret blanking him and missing out on the claim to fame.

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I was fascinated to hear his grandparents and parents stories as well. It made the nagging Chinese drama mother stereotype make more sense, once you realized what they'd probably seen as children, or seen their parents overcome.

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Can’t wait to hear from comments in the CW. I’m really excited for Soundtrack 1

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Your comments.
By the way- anyone is invited to join in on the CW. This link will take you to the main page. From there you can find the links for all we have watched and will watch. @claire2009 will guide us through the first 2 episodes Thursday.
https://www.dramabeans.com/members/Seeker/activity/1581434/

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Crash: Man, that sucks about her dad. Hopefully he is just injured, it looked that way. Now I am actually curious as to who killed that ahole. The episodes of the week are leading to our bigger arc.

Player 2 Master of Swindlers: So we have a romping fun time ahead of us hopefully. All I want is joy and hi-jinks, I am already over the new big bad.

Frankly Speaking: What a waste of chemistry and a premise. Kwon Yul was the only asset in this drama utilized correctly. I understand what the writer was trying to do, but the execution was piss poor.

Uncle Samsik: Was it San the whole time? Is he this manipulative, forever exhausted faced villain. Is it Rachel? Or is there some other shadowy force. Uncle Samsik just wanted pizza, I wonder if he will get it by the end.

Dreaming of a freaking Fairytale: I LOVE this drama. The jokes, awareness, and the tropes are just the best. I laughed the entire episode. Cha Min’s slow realization of his massive crush on Jae Rim is so entertaining. His hallucinations and “sexy” dreams are hilarious. The intro of Do Hong with his sewing kit and ready smile. Man oh man. Jae Rim still being fabulous and completely oblivious to her effect on Cha Min, the man has it so bad. Please stay this good for 6 more episodes.

Hierarchy: This show isn’t good. Everything about this shown you have seen and it has been done better in S.K. and abroad. It is trying to be clever and deep, but I found myself saying this is stupid far too often (Jokes on me, I still watched it). No Jeong Ee has lost so much weight she looks and acts listless even in the scenes where she isn’t supposed to be sad and down. Just complete low energy. Her acting also wasn’t convincing. Her character is a Mary Sue in the worse way with tragic candy backstory to boot except make her rich. Everyone else acted circles around her. All these boys love her, but I don’t know why? Also, Ri An played American football, fenced, and swan, which is insane, lol. So much nonsense packed into this show. All the characters are awful except for maybe Kang Ha, but his weirdo crush on Jae I also makes him kind of unlikeable.

The midnight Romance in Hagwon: Joon Ho cannot keep his hands off of Hye Jin. That is a man in love. I hope we keep this joy for the next few episodes. Angst can wait and leave us our fabulous OTP. Wie Ha Joon for the swoony win and Jung Rye Won for making sure it is just right.

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Kang Hanna did her best to carry FRANKLY SPEAKING and I was truly impressed by Kwan Yul's acting but in the end, I could not continue. The show was simply a mess.

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Yes, yes it was.

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I agree with (for the most part) about Hierarchy. I MAJORLY agree regarding that actress. I don't know why she did that to herself especially if it negatively impacts her acting.

I don't know about the belivablity of playing those sports. Is there a reason someone can't do all three? Though I don't know how there would be enough time or investment do all 3 well. Particularly American football (and why American Football?! Haha. I soccer was way better overseas)

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The fencing and the swimming fine. However, because of how intensive the hits can be in football and the risk of injury, fencing would be out of the question. The two sports simply aren't compatible. I asked the same thing about Why not soccer, lol. Although it was very clear they had no real understanding of American football and just watched the highlights on Youtube. smh, lol

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Haha aww seriously? They featured American football without knowing anything about it? See, it's just more & more like a fanfic haha

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Lol, it is also specifically high school football movie highlights, literally everything they did has been in an American high school football movie, without the football knowledge.

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@kafiyah-bello oh wow haha
I saw a criticism about how "westernized" the show is or is trying to be and if "high school American football" is a thing then it's hard to deny that haha

Wow, I am just so genuinely confused haha.

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TWINKLING WATERMELON (Ep. 2-16)
Dealing with LOVELY RUNNER withdrawal, I took the recommendation and gave this drama another chance. I should’ve trusted beaniedom, but after watching the first episode in the beginning of the year I clocked out. I vaguely knew there was time travel involved, tho the premiere episode was so tense with all those near death experiences and I just couldn’t handle it.

Well I’m glad I gave it another chance, because I fucking LOVED it!!! Seriously I loved it more than LOVELY RUNNER. TWINKLING WATERMELON gave me those feels that the ANSMER ME and AGE OF YOUTH series did. It brought me back to my adolescence, the friendships, first loves, heartbreak and just being total dorks. There’s this sense of being able to conquer the world only youth dramas really tap into. The cheer joy even when dealing with hardships that is infectious. The positivity I miss in my adulthood, I got to experience while watching this. I’m so thankful, thankful I could also time travel and spend time with these larger than life characters. Yes I cried and laughed and cried and laughed with them. Now I’m dealing with even worse withdrawal…😢

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Awwww Twinkling Watermelon was so great and their deafness wasn't treated badly!!!

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I'm so glad you loved it! After a week's distance from LR, I would have to agree with you that I think I loved Twinkling Watermelon more. 🍉

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I didn't watch Twinklin Watermelon until late, but I was so glad I waited. It was a joy to binge-watch. Lovely drama.

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Watermelon is such a lovely, lovely show - so glad you gave it a second try!

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Twinkling Watermelon is much better than Lovely Runner, imo. Or at least I loved it way more.
In fact, it's in my top 10.
I'm glad you enjoyed it :)

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Twinkling Watermelon is totally better than Lovely Runner.

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It is lovely to read your enthusiastic love for TW.

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Like you, I binge-watched Twinkling Watermelon after watching Lovely Runner and reading a number of comments comparing the two dramas. I much prefer Twinkling Watermelon for the reasons you mentioned and because it combines elements from movies like Coda, La Famille Bélier, and Back to the Future in an interesting way. I was particularly invested in the teenage versions of the protagonist's parents and his father's friends. Choi Hyun-Wook was fantastic as young Ha Yi-chan.

Some viewers raised valid objections to the ending, the minimally explained time-travel, and issues with Se-kyung's storyline, but I really loved the idea of a son getting to know his deaf parents through music, the one thing he thought they could never share. The drama does a nice job of exploring an earlier era and the technological differences that affected daily life. The idea of children altering their parents' lives is always going to be problematic, but I like the use of time travel to explore how parents' unresolved family issues become burdens for their children.

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How great you came back to it. It is definitely better than LR. It has so much heart and soul. My favorite drama from last year, where most of my beans went. And I believe it won the bean of the year contest

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I'm not a Hero
Poor Gwiju as a father really doesn't know what to do and what to say and his well intended attempts cause more harm than good... but here is when Ina's superpower finally comes to a rescue and helps this clumsy father to express all his love (and sorry) to Ina. Their scene was the highlight of episode 9.
Unfortunately episode 10 disappointed me, Gwiju could come back any moment and they do this elaborate plan? I also was not a fan of the general direction of going back to the obsession with the fire rescue... I was more content with the pending death sentence and living the life fully till then, preferably with more father-daughter bonding.
(Another disappointment was Donghee losing her weight. For me the heaviness represented all the expectations her mother (and fiancé) had for her and so the loss had no meaning when she still was not liberated and still was not back to herself. Well, at least she still can't fly.)
Despite my disappointments I still like the show and find it very engaging and unique... and I hope the finale will be good... and will make sense. 🙂

Frankly Speaking
This show was so weirdly all over the place... and to be honest I think I would have dropped it if it were the usual 16 episodes. Surprisingly the most interesting character (and thread) to me was Jungheon (Joo Jonghyuk is so good!) and I wish we spent more time with him. I also liked Adoptive Mom... and of course all Kwon Yul's cameos! 😍

Prince Charming Dreaming of Cinderella
Still a delight! 🙂
I'm slurping it with a big spoon, all the heartfluttering encounters and smexy undercurrents included (with torn shirts and... sewing 😄).

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RE: Prince Charming, the sewing kit was such a random piece of slow-mo nonsense, that is both delightful and in line with drama. That scene cemented this drama as one of the greats for me.

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I thought they could have done FAR more with him licking the end of the thread to consolidate the fiber, and then threading the needle...🪡😜

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LMAO, they def could have.

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I think, frankly speaking, that the main characters were an excuse to tell Jung-heon's story.
I have giffed about him too much, if you feel like relieving some giffable moments.

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This is actually what's happening in Missing Crown Prince. Maybe a new screenwriting trend? 😉

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reliving, not "relieving". Sorry.

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Your Title of Prince Charming Dreaming of Cinderella is the best I have heard🩷

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Vacation Time Kdrama Extravaganza! Pt. 1 of 2 (Pt. 2 in the comments)

Frankly Speaking: 👨‍💼🔊 *Sighhh.* I'll finish it next week. Gonna get that bean!

Dare to Love Me: 🎭🪡 Is this a good drama? Not really. Am I enjoying it? HECK YEAH! If someone told me this was written in 2012 but didn't get produced until now, I wouldn't be surprised. Along with a lot of the tropes of 2010s rom-coms, it also has the same addictiveness! Yoon-bok is adorbs.

The Player 2: 😎💰 (ep. 1) Drop. Basically Ocean's 11 but with more violence? Production values are SKY-HIGH.

Eye Love You: 🦦💕 (1-5) I wanted to be cynical about this one, but I just can't; it's too, too sweet. It's also basically an infomercial for how adorable Chae Jong-hyeop is 🥰 I'm watching episodes of this in between more stressful/tense watches.

The Spies Who Loved Me: 👰‍♀️🕵️‍♂️ (1-13) Started because of @attiton!! (THANK YOU!!) This has been fun and also great! I think this may be my favorite Yoo Inna role ever. It's also my first time watching Eric Munn, and may I just say, I totally get what all the fuss is about him. This isn't just a spy drama, but a drama about marriage, relationships, and spies. Great writing and dialogue.

River Where The Moon Rises: 🏞🌛 (7-9) Restarted this one after stalling on it last year in order to see Na In-woo in a historical ML role ❤️ Everything is VERY dramatic and just a little campy; the tone wasn't what I expected when I started it last year, but now I'm enjoying it. I mean, with dialogue like, "both you and your clan will be drowned in a sea of blood," you know it's juicy stuff. It's also on a more epic scale than the average sageuk, both in terms of visuals and story. The FL has a heart of revenge, and from the folk tale it's based on, we know this doesn't spell good news for our straightforward ML. We're set up for epic pay-offs in terms of the battles of hearts and clans.

Finished
Mr. Queen: 👨‍🍳➡️👸 (13-20) What a wild, wonderful ride! The plotting and strategizing amongst all the factions was fascinating, and I loved the excellent sword fights (*I promise I'm not at all bloodthirsty, but I love the sword fights in sageuks!!*). **Continued below**

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Shin Hye-sun was brilliant, Kim Jung-hyun was excellent, and OH, how I loved Na In-woo 🥲 (*Yes yes, I know his character was problematic but... BE STILL MY HEART!*). And Court Lady Choi!!! Aww I loved her too!! Now I'm picking up River Where The Moon Rises from where I had previously stalled to soothe my SLS.

My Perfect Stranger: 🚘⏳️ (10-16) If I were stuck in the past, I'd want to be with Hae-jun. He's so competent and handles everything with an almost zen-like calm. I loved the FL's relationship with her parents as teens and how that changed how she saw them as adults. Their relationship was what made the drama work for me. The motto on the watch is a good one for the drama: "Time flies but love endures." The violence wasn't constant, but it was a lot for me. The vibes were awesome: OST/instrumentals, lighting, colors, and sets were all excellent. I recommend this time-travel thriller!

In other news...
Dad: I watched Alienoid 2 with my dad! His take: "It was a good show. The plot was interesting." Success!! (And I really enjoyed it too) 😄👍 I gave him a few recs on Netflix, and he started Unlock My Boss!!!! Yes, he initially thought it was a movie and said "HOW many episodes??" But then he bingewatched it!! He was impressed with how it was filmed and said it had a lot of depth and subtlety. YAYYYY!!!!!!
Mom: My mom finished Doctor Slump. She was very disappointed in the FL's drinking while on her medication, and says that the ML was very immature. "He's a pretty stately actor, but not in this one." She watched Lovely Runner next. While she liked how sweet and adorable the ML was, she was frustrated that the FL was always pushing him away and hurting his feelings. So this won't be one of her favorites.

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OMG your family is a total sucker for Chae Jong-hyeop. Eye Love IT!! 😉

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Haha EYE KNOOOOW!!! 😆✨️👌

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So happy that your dad is well and truly embedded in K-dramaland and watched and enjoyed Unlock the boss was he bothered by the unnecessary death too?

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Haha I don't think I quite have him embedded yet... the first couple of things took a lot of convincing. I think I'm going to try to get him to try either Ghost Doctor or Moving next!

He said that that death was sad! But I think it also impressed him how much depth of emotion this show had?

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Sounds like you had an amazing week!! Na In Woo needs to do more sageuk imo 🙃 And I may be sold on a re-watch of Eye Love You at some time this year 😉

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I agree with you - I love him in sageuks! I first saw him in 2D1N and adored him there, but looking at his drama list most didn't appeal to me... so Mr. Queen was my first Na In-woo drama (and what an excellent PD to get that performance from him), and RWTMR is my second. I think so far, he's better in Mr. Queen (and I think that's due to the directing and a layered character), but I'm really enjoying him in River, too. Eye Love You is SO sweet; I can see myself returning to it when I need something calming and uncomplicated.

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Awww Eye Love you was so cute, I enjoyed it so much. They are doing the same exact drama with Han Hyo Joo and Oguri Shun In. He is the chocolatier though.

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I saw that!! I thought deja vu?? Sounds VERY familiar... 👀 Hopefully it's cute, too!

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‘ It's also basically an infomercial for how adorable Chae Jong-hyeop is’👈🏾 This is the best way to describe Eye love you🥰 They definitely got the brief Castaway Diva missed
Seen from this alternative perspective you can ignore the silliness of the drama because the pictures of his fan meet up in Japan proved the PPL worked BIG time.

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The man is charm personified and that smile, man oh man could light up a night sky.

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Oh FOR SURE!!!😍😍😍

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Oh Reply, the Chae Jong-hyeop PPL has been VERY effective on me, too 🥰 I'm glad you talked about this one in your WWW comments - that was a big reason I tried this!!

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Oh good.😍😍

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One word. AUDITORS.

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The way I am excited about that drama, if it brings the Numbers drama, I will love all of it, just hopefully better written.

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YES @attiton and @kafiyah-bello Numbers 2.0, please!!

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,,,,riiiiiight that's what I meant. Numbers 2.0. Definitely not superior adorableness.

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Javabeans, my wife and I didn't get CHICKEN NUGGET either.

My wife and I have continued to enjoy CRASH.

I am glad that I renewed my iQIYI subscription because we have also thoroughly enjoyed a quietly wonderful show named TO THE WONDER. If you have access to this show we both heartily recommend it to everyone.

My wife watched the excellent Chinese Costume drama JOY OF LIFE 2 which has been an excellent success to the original JOL. She recommends both JOL and JOL2 very highly. She was delighted to hear that there will be a JOY OF LIFE 3. She loves the FL from WEAVING A TALE OF LOVE and WEAVING A TALE OF LOVE 2 (Gulnezer Bextiyar) and went on to watch the modern (and lighter) C-drama GOT A CRUSH ON YOU which stars that same actress. It is good to watch something lighter from time to time. Having finished that she is now watching WONDERLAND OF LOVE, another good ‘historical’ Chinese Costume drama.

My son has been enjoying the great Chinese Costume Fantasy drama LOVE BETWEEN FAIRY AND DEVIL. There is a big difference though between the way he watches it and the experience of his parents: He watches it without subtitles.

The third chapter of our weekender BEAUTY AND MR. ROMANTIC continues to unfold well. Pilseung’s birth mom has been able to avoid the reveal of the birth secret for the moment. Our two villains have learned nothing and the male one is aiming to make our FL his mistress. Our main side couple can finally start dating- or can they? Do-jun is back and Ma-ri got to feel his biceps- but she is not so fickle as to have dropped her desire for Pilseung- but that “Daebak” from her may be a harbinger of what is to come once she finally learns to take no for an answer. After twenty-two episodes our stories are proceeding at a pace that makes sense.

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I meant that JOL2 has been an excellent successor to JOL. Not sure how it got truncated to "success" but it certainly has also been one.

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‘I am glad that I renewed my iQIYI subscription because we have also thoroughly enjoyed a quietly wonderful show named TO THE WONDER. If you have access to this show we both heartily recommend it to everyone’ 👈🏾 I am so glad that the beanies are sharing when they find these gems. It is such a great watch a rare short C-drama, and so beautiful. It is fascinating to see the contrast in the lifestyles and cultures that can be experienced just by travelling across different parts of the country.

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"Quietly wonderful" is a very apt description of To the Wonder. Might be time for a re-watch!

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We need a “What the Chicken Nugget???😆 club! Quote by Javabeans is so perfect

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Frankly Speaking (Series review) - Mood progression: D+ / C- / C- / D+ / D / D
All’s well that ends well, but still, this drama was thematically incoherent from start to finish. The show did feel like a sitcom that just happened to have ML’s affliction as a MacGuffin (even Kwon Yul just shrugged his shoulders) as well as a ton of unnatural tension creators (seriously another Truck of Doom in the finale?). I feel really bad for Kang Hanna.

High School Return of a Gangster (Episode 3-4) - Mood: D+
Time goes by fast when I’m watching this show, for good or for bad: it’s not hard to enjoy the dramatic irony knowing that a gang is unknowingly targeting their boss, but we’re already halfway through the show and my mind keeps slipping away for meta reasons, like the irony that Yi Heon is actually younger than Se Kyung in real life but is being schooled on Gen Z lingo.

The Atypical Family (Episode 9-10) - Mood: D+
Ok, they literally used the extreme noble idiocy card and still couldn’t resolve the prophesied tragedy and the villain? Also, I think we’re being set up for a dramatic but ultimately narratively stupid cliffhanger where the ML’s fate is left undetermined during Episode 11. As for the fantasy, yeah we aren’t finding out why the ML can interact with only the FL during his travels.

Crash (Episode 7-8) - Mood: D+
The writer sure is faithful to the principle of Chekhov’s Gun, seeing how even FL’s dad got dragged into an ever-growing arc of evil rich people committing traffic crimes. I don’t know whether that is potentially good or bad for the comic relief characters: it does feel weird focusing on them when they’re barely part of the plot but the story is basically a boring vigilante revenge.

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The Atypical Family: 9.0 Noble Idiocy for a better reason than what we're used to (?). Also...
1 - If the family is in dire financial straits and mom thinks her son is going to die -- there's this thing called "life insurance" that could solve one of her problems. Just sayin'.
2 - Gwi-ju should actually have an 98.028% infallible get-out-of-accidental-death card. If he's about to die in the present he can just zip off to the past until the danger has passed, and if he's about to die in the past he can just bounce back to the future.
3 - But is Gwi-ju's name a bad omen? Doesn't "gwi" mean "ghost" in Korean?
4 - Does I-na's power work if the other person is wearing contacts? Would it still work if she had Lasik or something to fix her eyes so she wouldn't need glasses? Could Da-hae boost I-na's power so it would work thru glasses?

Missing Crown Prince: 7.0

Crash: 6.0 At the end of ep 7 they have their PSA message about the used car business saying that scams used to be quite common but things are improving. Then they spoil it by saying that big companies are getting into the used car business and there will be more transparency and things will get even better. But veteran kdrama watchers may figure that big k-businesses are even less trustworthy than used car dealers, and that big businesses are quite capable of paying a show to tell us that used cars are just fine. No worries. Sure.

Player 2 - Master of Swindlers: 5.5 Don't have anything to add to my comments under the recap.

Frankly Speaking: 7.0 I came for Kang Han-na and some blunt truth-bombs like you don't see in kdramaland (and possibly not in Korea?). I got Kang Han-na and a kdrama, which is slightly better than nothing.

High School Gangster: 7.5 I often have to look up the slang/abbreviations I see in kdrama subtitles, so enjoying the way the "old" guy doesn't know them either.

Dreaming of a F***king Fairy Tale: 8.0 🤣

Heirarchy: __ I only lasted 10 minutes.

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Huzzah to more fans of Dreaming of a Freaking fairy!!!!

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I just wish I could watch- legally in US😟 Hubby very against the dark side

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The Atypical Family:
LIfe Insurance! That would make for a surprising end! Though they would have to prove he was dead, and you know, she talked about an empty coffin.
Or if she ended up having to kill him because she had pawned every possession down to the family's underwear to invest in that insurance! 😄😄😄
I want to know about the effects of contact lenses, too.

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JOY OF LIFE 2 (ep 26) —There is a lot of setup and laying out puzzle pieces that I think will come together by the end of this season—if it was like last season—or in season 3. I think this watch takes more patience as a lot of the plot is played out in politics, but the screenwriter is still deft with inserting humor and wit. I find it all very engaging as I know this is the quiet before the storm.

Plus I am unashamedly Zhang Rouyun’s fan so watching him in this role is the pinnacle of enjoyment. He is magical, but he can’t carry the show himself. Thankfully, the other actors are excellent and continue to breath life into these crazy, always-entertaining characters. I am scared spitless by our resident brilliant, but probably psychopath and definitely amoral Princess Royal, though. Anyone else?

UNDER THE QUEEN”S UMBRELLA —Excellent drama but it lost some of the tension when I didn’t buy the deposed Grand Prince’s story and had no sympathy for him at all. But the heart and soul of the story has always been the palace family and the Queen at the center so it was an excellent watch for me.

BLOSSOMS IN ADVERSITY (ep 14) —I admire the women; I am withholding my judgement on the ML. The draw of the drama for me is seeing how this family of women are learning to adjust to their new circumstances and I love seeing the inner character strength coming out as they learn to provide for themselves. In their new circumstances feminine ingenuity, intelligence, and teamwork is of great value, a matter of life and death. Not to mention the blurring of class distinctions and hierarchy. It is FASCINATING.

YOU ARE MY SPRING (ep 11) —I forgot how much I love this drama. It is my fun, enjoyable no-stress watch. I adore the OTP and resonate with the writing.

FREAKING CINDERELLA —I was ready for a dark, social commentary comedy but I was completely turned off by the the main leads. You couldn’t find a drama watcher who loves bickering couples more than I do, but theirs was mean spirited and forced. I am sure they change and grow but I am not going to the dark side of illegal watching for them.

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Glad to see your Umbrella review. I tried but dropped but I’ve heard so many good things I need to try again

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Long time, no post, which explains why this list is such a long one.

Perfect Marriage Revenge - Time slip. Woman getting revenge on sleazy husband. Hunky ML who gives unconditional love, respect and support to the FL. What’s not to love? There was, in fact, a lot that I loved about this show, beginning with the story. Then there was Yi-Joo 2.0, who, unlike the spineless earlier edition, met every situation head-on and didn’t take any crap from anybody. Also a big thumbs-up to the women of the refreshingly likable Taeja Group––the exact opposite of the stereotypical Kdrama chaebol family. What didn’t work for me were the balance and pacing. The drama focused too much on the makjang (endless histrionic scenes with evil stepmom and sis) and left other plot threads and characters (especially the the ML) underdeveloped. The ending felt rushed. This is one show that would have benefitted from a couple more episodes. Missed a perfect opportunity for food slap/food hurling during the cooking class catfight.

Hide - While I thought the show was pretty good overall, I mainly stayed through the end because of Lee Bo-Young. The twisty plot veered a bit too often into makjang territory, especially in the later episodes (TWO people living under assumed identities after faking their deaths?). I wanted more scenes with Team Na, and fewer closeups of vengeful neighbor lady smiling dementedly at the camera. I think the ending would have been stronger had they bumped off at least one main character; my vote would have been for despicable hubby.

Blood Free - I was primed from the opening episodes to love Ju Ji-Hoon this show, which presented some contentious moral and ethical issues that couldn’t be more relevant today. I was disappointed that this juicy setup wasn’t executed better. The premise itself had a major flaw: it’s conceivable that aging or damaged limbs and organs could be replaced, but how can you replace someone’s aging brain and still have them be essentially the same person? The various plot threads and characters were never fully developed. Han Hyo-Joo’s dull, underpowered performance as the FL made it hard for me to care about the character. Joo Ji-Hoon’s unrelentingly tense, whispery ML was a waste of his megawatt personality. Someone please put this man in a romantic comedy!

Chief Detective 1958 - Good, mindless fun, with no pretentions of being anything more. Lee Je-Hoon isn’t a great actor, but here he’s likeable and self-deprecating, which I found charming. I loved his character, Park Yeong-Han, a cocky policeman from the sticks who shows the big-city cops that catching drug lords is not all that different from catching cattle thieves. While most of the allusions to the original series went right over my head, I thought Chief Detective 1958 captured the style and spirit of cop shows from that era.

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Blue Birthday - I ran across this show on VIKI. It stars Yeri as a woman who is able to travel back in time to her high school days, before the boy she loved (Hongseok) ostensibly committed suicide. Mediocre script, directing, and production values, and some lousy acting. It pales in comparison to the Taiwanese drama, Someday or One Day (remade in SK as A Time Called You), to which it bares some resemblance.

Parallel World (C-drama) - The good: overall concept, some endearing characters, imaginative world-building, the kickass FL, terrific chemistry between lead couple. The not-so-good: a disjointed and overlong script, endless scenes of ATVs driving across barren landscapes, the blink-or-you’ll-miss-it battle scene that was supposed to be the climax of the drama.

FILM:

Book of Fish - Sol Kyung-Gu plays a renowned Joseon scholar exiled to a remote island. He becomes fascinated by the marine life and decides to write a book about it. Byun Yo-Han plays a local fisherman, an illegitimate and practically illiterate nobleman’s son who is hungry for knowledge. The two strike a bargain: the nobleman will teach the fisherman reading, philosophy, et al. in exchange for the young man teaching him about fish. Really lovely b&w cinematography, memorable depiction of life in the little island community, and a great rapport between the two leads. Plus Lee Jung-Eun in a supporting role.

Ditto - As a basis of comparison, I watched the 2020 and 2022 versions back-to-back. Neither is by any means a masterpiece, though I’d give a slight edge to the earlier one.
2000: Awful acting, especially Kim Ha-Neul. Cheesy music, clumsy direction. The story played out logically, though, and you knew who these people were. I got a kick out of seeing a 24-year-old Yoo Ji-Tae.
2022: The acting and production values somewhat better, but the film was saddled with a clunky, hole-ridden script and underdeveloped characters and relationships. I had to fill in some missing pieces with what I already knew from the 2000 version.

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Thanks @babylilo for the b/w film BOOK OF FISH (2021) reminder.
US availability: Amazon Prime: Rent: .99 cents.

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Where did you watch Book of Fish please? I meant to check that our for a while?

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I admit watched it on the dark web, on Ki$$asian. Not necessarily the safest way to see it.

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I felt like budget constraints started to show when we got to the climax of Parallel World, but I loved the world-building and characters. Given a choice between great CGI and such a unique FL, I'll pick Liu Xi every time.

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I'm with you completely on this. I'm new to C-dramas and have put some of Liu Xi's other films on my watchlist. She struck me as a combination of Gianna Jun and Shin Min-A.

I may be revealing my age, but I just love the older fantasy movies made before the advent of CGI. I am truly impressed by the craftsmanship, ingenuity, and sheer effort that went into creating some awesome special effects l. I have a particular affection for the 1963 movie, Jason and the Argonauts, featuring incredible stop-motion animation by the legendary Ray Harryhausen. The skeleton fight is one of my most vivid childhood movie memories.
https://youtu.be/dqRjDGAJ5dc?feature=shared

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Harryhausen was a genius and JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS was his masterpiece.

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I just found the movie for free on TUBI and will be re-watching it tonight. It’s been many decades since I last saw it. I expect it will hold up beautifully despite the passage of time.

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I am so sorry you missed our fan walls and massive PMR threads. Beanies were very very big fans of this drama. A food slap would've been great, ha.

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I can help with that, a bit. Here's the index post for the PMR Fan Wall Extravaganza: https://www.dramabeans.com/members/attiton/activity/1479072/

Lots of fun pictures and memories, @babylilo! Join in if you like!

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That’s the main downside of binge- rather than live-watching. I do enjoy reading recaps of a show as I finish each episode. I find some terrific insights in both the recaps and the comments.

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I love PMR and the women of TaeJa Group.

Joo Ji Hoon needs to be in another drama stat. A romcom would be nice but any genre that highlights his best qualities as an actor is good too.

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I’d always hoped for a sequel to Hyena. He and Kim Hye-Soo had such sizzling chemistry!

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I have not seen Hyena. I may just pick it up once I have less hectic drama watching schedule.

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Crash. The show keeps entertaining and I like that it has its informative side with the PSAs. The mystery about the truth of Yeon Ho's accident is still intriguing as well as the man in the black car. While he may have killed the jerk and planned to kill the trucker, I don't *think* Yeon Ho is also being targeted especially if it is the father or team leader because if they had murderous intent, why would they even deal with him? On the other hand, I did wonder if because he will start driving again, that's where he could be targeted.

High School Return of a Gangster. This show is surprising endearing, kinda wholesome, and has humor given that it's a show that deals with gangsters, bullying, and violence. The actors are doing such a good job and have such good chemistry. I really like what's being done with fleshing out the characters a bit; the bully isn't just a bully but a dumb kid in over his head. The class president dynamic with main character is still unfolding and I hope it will be revealed exactly what they were talking about that made Yi Yeon decide to commit that act immediately after leaving him and made Se Kyung so apologetic.

Beyond Evil. The actions of the world confused me such as why the culprit displayed the sister's fingertips in the first place when he didn't do that to anyone else. Why did the chief have to die over a supposedly missing report from 2 decades ago. How people kept getting arrested without warrants and then were getting right back to work the next day. Why was the chief used as bait anyway to get police interest when there alreadly was police interest. Just so many things left me with questions. I watched this because it's leaving Netflix soon and I have to say, the performances are really good especially the main actor.

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BEYOND EVIL, just like many other crime k-thrillers, was a moody drama about darkness of human nature first and foremost. It was elevated greatly from mediocrity of the genre by amazing acting and directing. Most people watch it for the chemistry between two male leads, hardly anything else.

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As I was watching, I kept thinking that Flower of Evil and Mouse were better (at least story wise)

I also thought it was a shame Beyond Evil wasn't recapped because I could've definitely used a recapper's take to explain to me why things were happening haha.
Especially the back half of the series.

One standout that kinda gives the show rewatch value is knowing when the main lead learned information and why he did the things he did.

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FOE was certainly more interesting plot-wise, even tho the actual writing was far from flawless.

BE not being recapped is the real pity indeed - I watched the show live and discussion/theories online were fire, DB missed out a lot of fun. Haven't rewatched it yet myself, idk if it would be as good the second time when you know how things will turn out. Mystery of characters, honestly, largely messed up behavior WAS one of the highlights)))

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Beyond Evil is, in my book, the best of that genre in recent years. Police procedural it is but I see it more as a character study of how to deal with one’s demon inside - from the main character bearing the blunt as the suspect killer of his sister, the hidden guilt of his bestie, the taking all risks to prove he’s a different policeman, to the butcher shop lady’s mourning of a lost mother. It’s a feast to go through this ‘self searching’ journey with them, on top of the thrills and shock along the way.

It’s shame that there’s no full DB recap (or Hangout which became a thing in the past 12-15 months?). There were a few keen Beanies having ongoing discussion at WWW back then. For a more incisive take, it’s worth checking out the commentaries of our venerable Beanie, @leetennant, on her Invisible Pink Dragon blog -invisibledragon.leetennant.com or on her DB fan wall.

@leetennant - I only realise you are no longer @wordpress when writing up this post. Please advise if the Beyond Evil commentary is in your re-constituted blog. Looking forward to your next drama poll.

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Bitter Sweet Hell Episode 2 - I don't know what this people are doing. But it is keeping me very much entertained.
Jae-jin though... Is he naturally easy or is that goofy exterior a facade so Yeong-won won't think too much of him? He is too readable. Normally I'd laugh at it owing to the way he's likely messing around but here, it feels like he's masking something. And don't get me started on their son. I can't raise a son for disturbance who thinks he's matured enough to set the kitchen on fire but can't handle the heat.

Uncle Samsik EP 8-11 - I took a rest from this. Just a personal disconnect from kdramas in general.
There are many key players here. And it is fun keeping up with the characters.

Yeo-jin is smart and intuitive.
I don't get San though. It seems like a change occured in him. He went from not planning the coup to planning the coup. And to think he might have been played...he should have listened to Uncle Samsik. Seems like they got him exactly where they wanted and used him to further their plans whilst he thinking he's acting on his own will. I look forward to episodes 12&13.

Player 2 - Nice premiere. And thanks for bringing Krystal back to wrap off her arc in a continuity format instead of a flashback or backstory.
I'm all for the couple chemistry from Oh Yeon-seo. But I'm yet to see Song Seong-hoon's.

I really thought they were going to add the military guy into their group. I remembered later that he has a daughter to take care of.

Missing Crown Prince Episode 5&6 - I don't know why I'm still watching this one. This is a weak saguek in my books. It has everything power struggles to look for in a saguek but somehow it is lacking in things I can't place my hands on. And, the leads are the weakest links here - the male lead, the female lead and the second male lead. It is like they have this wonderful script that is too heavy for them to carry.
I'm all for the love tryst between the QD and Choi Sang-rok and where it is going to lead them, and the extent they'd go to protect their illicit affair.

The few times where we have a King who isn't swayed by the royal court...vroom! He's brought down by poisoning.
I love this King and Queen. And I'm especially drawn to how well the Queen worries for the safety of the Crown Prince.

Connection Episode 1&2 - I'm watching this at a speed of light.
I have a few observations. Jae-kyung is too much. It needs to be toned down. And, he got away with way too many things. Questioning the judgment of a doctor who's an expert in his field...? I didn't like it that the doctor caved in to Jae-kyung's bullying.

The confrontation at Jun-seo's funeral was top-notch.

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I'm all for the love tryst between the QD and Choi Sang-rok and where it is going to lead them, and the extent they'd go to protect their illicit affair.

The extent to which they go is really the driving force behind all that happens in the drama, and I'd argue that they really should be the main couple, but you know... marketing and stuff 🙄

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Only on ep 6 of missing Prince? Oh you have a lot ahead you.

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Re CONNECTION. All correct observations. That scene in the small space at the funeral among the widow and former classmates was intense (and must have been intense shooting it).
After episode 2 CONNECTION has settled into a terrific (so far) SBS crime mystery. I think the casting of Ji Sung and Jean Mi-Do together has turned out well. Very good cops/crime/mystery and a couple of my favorite male actors are heavies here.

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It’s been a busy few weeks for me Beanies while I caught up on all the dramas I missed out on during my hiatus. Did ya hear that sound? Yup, it’s rattle of beans collected. 🫘 🫘 🫘

But I’m tired. So I’m only watching two dramas now. It’s a funny thing tho because I’m quite struck by their OST, and not just because I’m not musically inclined. First, and I have my red umbrella ready for the rotten tomatoes, is the theme song for The Midnight Romance in Hagwon. It’s wormed its way inside my head and I find myself humming it at the oddest of times, as if it were a faint recollection of The Concert in Central Park I never attended.
https://open.spotify.com/track/7p78LtBNxXm0nfvhy6GpIr

I'm also surprisingly enjoying the songs from the The Atypical Family, almost as surprised as I am by this offbeat drama. The quirky hook of I See You is so perfectly used within the drama but it’s such a pleasure to listen to on its own. https://open.spotify.com/album/4vq5IM3eib2FIDfPdu23fP But my favorite track is by Yi Sung Yol, which I listen to on repeat. https://open.spotify.com/album/1eHNGz5204SsrzVcBB5HTZ I haven’t fallen into a K-pop hole tho. In fact, my family commented the other day what a lovely French song I was listening to. 😂

Anyway, the theme here is what we’re watching, not listening. TAF will finish this weekend (please don’t crash, please, please) so I’m thinking of adding Dreaming of a Freaking Fairytale. Not my usual fare, but the early reviews seem positive.

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Nice to see someone that doesn't hate Hagwon's OST. I thought I was the only one opening the page 64.

Everytime that song plays I feel warm and cozy.