Beanie level: Chaebol’s poor doppelganger

After SECRET and THE DEVIL JUDGE definitely gave me Ji Sung fever, I’ve been busy watching various of his dramas and movies over the last few weeks and days (and still am).
 
FAMILIAR WIFE: Cha Joo-hyuk is a pretty average guy and not very likeable, especially at the beginning. But I enjoyed his character development although I had a big problem with how quickly he accepted his new marriage situation. It felt to me like he was cheating on his wife.
 
DOCTOR JOHN: I’m not really a fan of hospital dramas, but I found the subject of pain medicine and euthanasia very interesting. Overall, I really liked the drama except for the last episode.
It also has a pretty good soundtrack that has stayed with me longer.
 
WHATCHA WEARIN’?: I won’t be forgetting the naughty panty song anytime soon. A very innovative way to crash a wedding.
I enjoyed how boldly and frankly lust and sex were talked about (and shown). Korean Movies definitely have more freedom here than dramas.

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    He is amazing, isn’t he? I loved his acting in familiar wife.
    And the movie is a favorite of mine. That song 😂

    I am ready for his new drama Connection to air!! So excited!!

    I loved him in Kill me Heal me. And you must watch Adamas if you haven’t!!

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      I had seen Adamas when it first came out. But I hadn’t caught the Ji Sung virus back then, so I’m going to watch the drama again soon.

      I’m currently watching KMHL and I love it. I left it aside for a long time because nothing appealed to me on paper. Fatal mistake. Yo-na is a hoot.

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    Watch The Defendant too! A favorite of mine!

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      The Defendant is at the top of my list of dramas I want to watch next.

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    He is certainly an intresting and talented actor. I saw him for the first time in something called Beating Heart way back when. Then I saw him in Royal Family then pretty much everything else after that. Definitely looking forward to his new project!

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THE DEVIL JUDGE has been on my watchlist for a while, but I\’ve never been in the mood for a dystopia. When I did start watching it, I quickly realised that the drama is not as dystopian or set in the future as I had assumed, but that we have already experienced some of the visions. Even now, populists are trying to mobilise and incite their supporters through fear and are more or (currently still) less successful, depending on which country you look at.

THE DEVIL JUDGE has managed to catapult itself to the top of my list of the best KDramas. One reason for this is Ji Sung, who exudes charisma as the judge with the seductive power of a Mephisto in a way I have rarely seen.

In addition to the story of revenge, vigilante justice, obsession and manipulation, I was also fascinated by the relationships between the characters. Firstly, there\’s the relationship between Kang Yo-han and Kim Ga-on, which I\’m not sure whether it\’s really just a kind of friendship between two very different men or whether it\’s more than that. Some of the scenes in which Yo-han strokes Ga-on\’s lapel or grabs his wrist had an erotic touch. In any case, Yo-han and Ga-on had more chemistry than Ga-on and his policeman girlfriend.

I found Yo-han\’s relationship with his niece equally fascinating. Their story was what touched me the most.

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    I like The Devil Judge very much too!

    Ji Sung truly shines in larger than life, over the top roles with a touch of the theatrics!

    And his chemistry with JinYoung, and his niece, was spectacular.

    The directing is also amazing. Every shot is hauntingly beautiful.

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Enemies to lovers is one of my favourite tropes. And after reading several times that SECRET (now sometimes called SECRET LOVE) would be the perfect enemies to lovers story, I took advantage of the long weekend to watch the drama. It\’s a melodrama in its purest form, with buckets of tears being shed. The first few episodes in particular are hard to bear, so I soon only watched the scenes with the two main leads. Nevertheless, I asked myself several times why I was still watching, but somehow I couldn\’t get away from it. The love story is very reminiscent of Bodice Ripper novels from the 80s and 90s:
Arrogant, rich man meets kind-hearted (and idiotic) woman who is wrongly accused but endures everything like a martyr, sometimes smiling, sometimes crying. The man wants to make the woman\’s life hell because she killed his girlfriend in an accident and committed a hit-and-run (our heroine, however, only wants to protect her cowardly fiancé and has taken all the blame, even though he was the driver). In the process, ML develops stalkerish tendencies, but realises what a pure heart FL has and reluctantly falls in love with her.

In addition to a certain morbid fascination, Ji Sung was also a reason why I persevered to the end.

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    Thanks for sharing so the rest of us can make an informed decision whether to watch or not.

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    It’s one of those dramas you can’t stop!!! Ji Sung was fantastic here as a man who is falling in love with the woman he vowed to hate 😅

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      Ji Sung was so fantastic that I’m now watching THE DEVIL JUDGE. Pure charisma!

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        Have you watched Adamas?? It’s fantastic.
        Devils judge was fun but very questionable towards the end. Still the two men had terrific chemistry.

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          I secind Adamas. I enjoyed Devil Judge too.

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          I watched Adamas almost two years ago. I liked it despite the ending.

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    Ji Sung is fantastic in that. I watched it too mesmerized. You know you should not continue watching but you still do.

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    I remember this being some sort of an addictive watch back when it was airing!

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    I watched it last year for first time and couldn’t look away. I binged it in 2 weeks.

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I started watching the JDrama Eye Love You on Netflix (because of Chae Jong-hyeop, of course), only to realise that the missing 5 episodes won\’t be available until mid-April. I wish I\’d known that earlier.

By the way, I\’m proud of myself for understanding most of Tae-oh\’s thoughts, even though there are deliberately no subtitles.

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Things I would never have expected: Didi Hallervorden in a KDrama (Queen of Tears)

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    Interesting. Correct me if I am wrong. Were the QUEEN OF TEARS German scenes a mash up of Berlin and Frankfurt designed to look like our twosome was in one city.

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      Most of the shots were probably taken in Potsdam, possibly also a few in Berlin, as the two cities are next to each other and connected by a bridge.
      Frankfurt was probably only mentioned because the flight went from Seoul to Frankfurt (it probably went on from there to Berlin by plane), where most international flights land.

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        The reason I asked is that
        1. There was a scene from their hotel where out the window you could see the top of the famous Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church which is in the old West Berlin. I have seen pics from the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Berlin where you can see that church from the rooms; and
        2. The scenes on the bridge of locks and the final scene where Hyun-woo walks down the stairs and waits to cross the street over to Hae-in I am certain were filmed at the Eisener Steg bridge in Frankfurt which crosses the Main River. I could also see the Frankfurt skyline in the back. I have crossed that bridge many times and waited to cross the street exactly where Hyun-woo waited.

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    *inhales* Ahahahaha!!! Oh, which episode must I watch to see this, please? 🤣
    Is he a kdrama fan? Is his management? Do I need to start reading gossip magazines to find out? *immediately books next hairdresser‘s appointment*

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MARRY MY HUSBAND

Up to the finale, I thought that the character Yu-ra was the biggest disappointment. Until I saw what happened for Yang Ju-ran and Lee Suk-joon. I\’m miffed at the writers. 😈

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I only watched the last few episodes of A GOOD DAY TO BE A DOG out of habit, but I was increasingly distracted. Today was no exception. When I looked at the screen and saw this scene, I was convinced that the Mountain God had been turned into a dog as punishment. The colour of his fur somehow matched his hairstyle perfectly and it would have been a just punishment.

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The Matchmakers, episode 13: Park So-hyun is one of the most impressive and intriguing villainesses.

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    💯 I don’t know if I want to applaud her or shriek at her. So very well written, indeed.

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      In fact, I was cheering her on from the moment I realised she was ordering a last meal for her brother.

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        It was very interesting to see though, that she didn’t do it in cold blood. You really got the feeling she was hoping to the very last minute it wouldn’t have to be done. Alas… *shudders*
        How calculating, that she included Soondeok into all this, too.

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          And she made the consort and her maid the accomplices in murdering her husband. (Granted part of that might have been because access to the prison is tightly regulated.) But still, she makes sure they can’t plead innocence through ignorance. Only her daughter and grandson are sheltered from her machinations.

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    Park Ji Young has been rocking villain roles since 1995. She is the original “Jang Nok-su.”

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Challenge accepted!

Completed (or soon to be completed) 2023 K-Dramas

Dramas I was obsessed with (for whatever reason)
My Dearest Part 1+2
Not Others
Our Blooming Youth
Castaway Diva

Dramas that I loved
Crash Course in Romance
Revenant
Moving
Love to Hate You
Call It Love
Behind Your Touch
My Perfect Stranger
The Kidnapping Day
Twinkling Watermelon
King The Land (first half)
Missing The Other Side S2
A Time Called You
My Lovely Boxed
The Good Bad Mother
Bora! Deborah

Dramas that I liked
The Glory Part 1+2
Doctor Cha
Lies Hidden In My Garden
King The Land (second half)
Perfect Marriage Revenge
Destined With You
The Worst Of Evil
Race
Trolley
The Forbidden Marriage

Dramas that were okay
Celebrity
Mask Girl
Numbers
See You In My 19th Life
The Interest Of Love

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    Dropped Dramas
    Delightfully Deceitful
    Heartbeat
    My Lovely Liar
    Island
    The Heavenly Idol
    Stealer: The Treasure Keeper
    Joseon Attorney
    The Secret Romantic Guesthouse
    The Real Has Come
    Moon In The Day
    Oh! Young-shim
    Strangers Again

    Ongoing Dramas
    My Demon
    The Matchmakers
    The Story Of Park’s Marriage Contract
    A Good Day To Be A Dog

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You know when one drama absorbs you so much that all the others you\’re currently watching pale in comparison and become uninteresting? You don\’t even have the time or energy to hang around on this site? That\’s what happened to me with the Chinese drama LEGALLY ROMANCE. But after watching it twice in a row, I\’m now back and open to new (old) dramas.

Almost everything was right for me here. The chemistry between the two main actors, the humour and a clever script. Even on my second viewing, I still discovered scenes with parallels between the past and the present, with clever little changes.

I almost didn\’t get past the first episode, the ML\’s hairstyle was too strange, especially in combination with the glasses and the ugly brown shirt he was wearing.

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    I really enjoyed Legally romance when I watched it, though I ff most of the 2nd couple…
    The best is that it introduced me to Z Tao music. I’m very queen on his other dramas, but I really like his music.

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I was in a bit of a drama slump recently, all the new dramas I started couldn\’t keep me hooked. So I tried LIGHTER & PRINCESS and watched it to the end within a few days.

Collage romance dramas aren\’t usually my thing, but Lighter & Princess is more. I especially liked the second half, which is about revenge. For me, it was just the right mix of angst and romance.
How slowly more develops between FL and ML is well portrayed. From enemies to friends to lovers.

In real life I would probably not want to have contact with many of the characters in this drama, but as fictional characters they are interesting, complex and their motivations are surprisingly easy to understand.
I found FL a little tiring in the first few episodes, but that quickly subsided.
ML is arrogant and doesn\’t care what others think, which I actually quite like. His plus point is that he\’s not malicious, he just has no interest in the people around him. If they leave him alone, then there are no problems. He\’s certainly not an easy person, but sometimes I could understand him very well.

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    I really liked the character development in Lighter and Princess, and the way the show didn’t gloss over the hard work involved in the business part of things. Also, I felt like despite the FL’s princess nickname, she was more like a knight for the ML in the second act — becoming his champion when the rest of the world had turned its back.

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      You beautifully express her role.
      What I like in this drama is the physical relation: they are not shy and when they are in love they are often hugging or cuddling. Way more realistic than most dramas where the couple “in love” stand 2m appart.

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MY DEAREST 2, episode 3

That’s why Gil-chae is such a great character. Strong, with an unrestrained will to live, never giving up.

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    Ahn Eun Jin is fantastic, even when her role sometimes seems repetitive.

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In search of an antidote to My DEAREST’s delicious heartbreak, I landed on HI, VENUS. This cdrama is definitely pretty stress-free, but obviously it’s too chill for me. Although it offers all the things I actually like: a mature couple, communcation and few misunderstandings.
I know I’m pretty much in the minority with this opinion. It just didn’t click.

It’s probably because I saw THE DAY OF BECOMING YOU shortly before, which has become one of my favourites. I’ll just watch this drama again now, especially the confession scene, which is one of the most heartwarming I’ve seen.

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    The Day of Becoming You is in it’s own category of great. I’ve seen it a few times and just love the body switching and all it entails….
    Hi Venus is on my watch list after Hidden Love (which I’m LOVING!)…

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    I agree, in the sense that if or when a drama is TOO smooth sailing for the characters, it’s also quite easy for me to tune out and not care. Because nothing is at stake, there is nothing to work together towards since things are already working out… Maybe this is why I don’t mind pain and angst in my dramas, and the Cdrama I am currently watching is giving me ALL the angst and pain and I’m quite invested lol

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      Yes, a little angst is always okay. Sometimes I even enjoy it when there is a lot of angst and pain, see My Dearest. It always depends on my mood.
      But it’s important to me that it doesn’t go too smoothly, I have to be able to sympathise and root for it.

      Which Cdrama are you currently watching?

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        I’m currently watching season 1 of the costume drama “Lost You Forever”. I’ve been marathoning it as much as I can these last 2-ish weeks, and I’m almost at the end but I don’t wanna let go and can’t wait for Season 2 🥹🥹 The plot is okay, the pain and angst actually makes sense—it’s not just pain and angst drama for the sake of the drama—but what’s got the most grasp on me is the characters. Each and every character has their own complexities even though they may seem very standard and stock at first. Good thing it’s the weekend and I don’t have much time for drama watching, or else I’d be done the drama before the weekend is over and then I’d be stuck stewing and missing the characters throughout the work week 😅

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    DOBY and Hi Venus are by the same team of writer and director that I absolutely love. I too agree that DOBY had a meatier story but Hi Venus was exactly what I needed at the time I watched it, a low stakes fun show with very good mother-son dynamic. Too bad these two aren’t on any projects yet, I really hope they work again. I love the communication and humor in their romcoms.

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      Even if I hadn’t known it before, I would have noticed it at the latest thanks to the sound effects. The director also seems to have a preference for opera.

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    It was too slow for me as well. Maybe I should check out TDOBY.

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The Kidnapping Day

Love this duo, now trio.

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That’s how easy it is to fool yourself. You think you are well prepared for all kinds of pain, you get through the first episode and most of the second episode of MY DEAREST Part 2 quite well, only to suddenly have a big lump in your throat during the last scene.

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    is this series really that good? i started ep 1..was really bored in first 10 min

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      For me, it’s the best drama of the year, but that’s a matter of taste, of course.
      I was hooked from the beginning, others had to watch the third and fourth episodes before they were convinced it was worth watching.

      But you have to be aware that the two main characters are flawed and strong-willed, they often make the viewer want to pull their hair out. Gil-chae is one of my favourite FL.

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      A simple answer to your question. You will like My Dearest if you like Gone With The Wind. I hated that movie when I was young but love it as I grew older (or more mature). A love story about flawed people in turbulent times.

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Just finished episode 1 of My Dearest 2. Gil-chae’s life has turned out differently than I expected over the last two years, but I’m glad she made the best of her opportunities and the living conditions at the time.
I am curious to see how the makers will solve this “problem”, especially after reading the outcry on the net.

In the meantime, I’ll try to post scenes again with parallels from episode 1 part 1 and episode 1 part 2.

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    Thank you @claire2009 your tech response is 👍

    Really really appreciate your guidance on posting pictures, inserting text and gifs.

    👏 👏 👏

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    Ha,ha, I am also curious how she (the writer) will get out of it. She is bold, I will give her that at least. I played out different scenarios during the pause, I dreeded this one so much, but I have come to accept it. I am still waiting for what was promised (per NKM)…

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      So … you think we should have Cha Eun-woo’s character in A Good Day To Be A Dog recommend some escape room strategies!

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      I wouldn’t have thought it originally, but the break between the two parts was just right for me. In the last few weeks I was able to prepare myself better for the worst.
      In the meanwhile, I would be happy if the writer continued to follow GWTW closely. I’ve already come that far. Still, the ending is guaranteed to kill me, what am I kidding myself here.

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        So glad you’re enjoying it. After all as Shelly said –

        We look before and after,
        And pine for what is not:
        Our sincerest laughter
        With some pain is fraught;
        Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.

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        Agreed, the break was my mourning period for whatever will happen. I am into the accepting anything phase now. Well, almost anything…there are still some scenarios going forward from here that I will never accept and I will not be staying in the time-out corner! 🤣

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        I will say one thing and hope I don’t spoil too much…I kept thinking about that red string pulling her towards him at the end of the episode. I don’t know if it was done on purpose, but I could see it.

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          I am sure they will come together. Only when and for how long? Here I have scaled my expectations very far down.

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How do I actually manage to post more than one picture at a time on my Fan Wall? As soon as I want to add a second photo, my post is automatically published.
So far, I have managed by combining several pictures into one file, but this is definitely not the ideal solution, as I have no idea about image editing.

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I love the parallels between these two scenes from My Dearest 1, episode 1, and My Dearest, episode 2. While Jang-hyun faces the fight in the beach scene from part 1, he doesn’t have the strength or desire to fight in part 2.

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Finished THE DAY OF BECOMING YOU (Cdrama). I think it\’s a very good recommendation for anyone looking for a rom-com with little angst.
Fortunately, I wasn\’t put off by the first episode. I kept watching because this drama was recommended to me. And I didn\’t regret it.

I especially liked the mature couple communicating with each other. They have great chemistry. There were no silly misunderstandings, disagreements were quickly resolved. The secondary characters were not caricatures either, but mostly warm and supportive.
Not only do the two main characters behave like adults when communicating, even when they become a couple, they don\’t turn into inexperienced teenagers who are suddenly afraid of physical contact. The kisses are definitely not dead fish kisses.

I was forewarned not to watch the last 10 minutes. Apparently the censorship of the Chinese state strikes here, having problems with the fantasy elements (body swap). The last 10 minutes probably won\’t ruin it entirely, but this ending is probably not as satisfying as the earlier ending.

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    Ahh!! A favorite of mine 🥺

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      To add, yes when I first watched it I was disappointed by that fake out ending (I wasn’t expecting it)…on my second watch I completely avoided it and was much happier in the end ahah!! The drama works fine anyway.

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    Thanks for sharing your summary and reactions! I’ve been on the fence about this one, but now I think I’ll give it a try!

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    💙💙
    So glad you enjoyed it. Such a fine romcom isn’t it??!! I fell in love with Steven all over again (after ‘Skate into love’). The body swap hijinks had me in splits. Both the leads were so good in acting.
    Time for rewatch! Till date I laugh when I see a walnut 😂😂😂.

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      The walnuts will never fail to make me laugh 😂😂😂😂

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      Yes, it was definitely a good recommendation. If you have any other recommendations, I’m always open to them. With Chinese dramas, I find it difficult to find a reliable source. I can’t rely on the ratings on MDL as most of the audience is more into youth dramas. Reddit I find too confusing.

      I had to laugh the loudest at a scene between the co-worker and Jiang Yi in Yu Sheng Sheng’s body when the co-worker asks if there is food in the bag and the dry reply came, no, it’s clothes with blood.

      I looked into SKATE INTO LOVE yesterday, but quickly realised it wasn’t my thing. Too many contrived misunderstandings and annoying competitors. Too bad, it actually sounded quite good.

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        Yeah Skate into love had a bit of a lull and distraction with second leads towards the end but the leads are totally worth it. I quite liked their misunderstanding intially and it was hilarious watching a guy failing to bully and falling for Master Tang. I would still say give it a shot. By Ep 4 you should be hooked. (If my memory is right).

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          I think I already told you about ‘Find yourself’.
          A lot of beanies loved ‘Hi Venus’. Same FL as DOBY. A zero angst drama with leads who communicate. No unnecessary drama.
          Another drama I loved is ‘You are my hero’. Bai Jing Ting and Sandra Ma were awesome. It does have some angst and some action but still well done.
          For a good slice of life with a fantastic romance watch ‘Meet yourself’! It’s a slow pensive drama. So watch it when you are in the right mood. It’s almost like a travel show at time but the show has so much heart.

          I look forward to seeing your cdrama journey! I don’t watch costumes so may be other beanies can you give you recommendations for those.

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            Thank you for the additional tips.
            I had already stumbled across MEET YOURSELF elsewhere, as it was highly praised. Like the other recommendations, I have put it on my watch list.

            A little angst is perfectly okay (sometimes even desirable) as long as it doesn’t turn into melodrama.

            Costume dramas aren’t usually my thing either, so we’re totally on the same page here.

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    The ending definitely didn’t ruin the entire experience, but it was a little underwhelming indeed

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I took advantage of the rainy holiday and finished watching HIDDEN LOVE. On the whole I liked it, but a few points bugged me.

For example, I would have liked Duan Jiaxu to have hesitated longer before deciding to woo Sang Zhi and to have been less overconfident. Not because I had a problem with the age difference, but because everything happened a bit too quickly on his part and therefore lacked the emotional effect.
I also found it a bit irritating that they talked about marriage so quickly when they weren\’t even a real couple at that point. Especially when you consider that Sang Zhi\’s parents still treated their daughter like a child, made daily check calls and there was practically a curfew for her (I wonder if it was the same for her brother at the same age, but doubt it), even though she is already considered an adult in terms of age.

If Sang Yan would get his own drama, I would watch it immediately.

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    One of my biggest gripe was that the entire wooing-confession-dating-moving in-marriage proposal happened in such a short time frame. Here is one drama I would have used a time skip.

    Even though she was a mature and thoughtful person and I don’t question their relationship it was kind of rushed.

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