Beanie level: Rooftop room dweller

Like I said in the Open Thread, The Interest of Love has me in a chokehold, so I wrote an analysis of the first four episodes! I’m getting major deja-vu to when I did this for F4 Thailand 😆
https://crabbyfordramas.wordpress.com/2023/01/07/the-interest-of-love-episodes-1-4-thoughts/

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    Wait! What! Did I drop too early. To be honest, it’s the reality of social class and workplace abuse that made it hard for me to watch.
    Great write up!

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      Ahaha, thank you! To be honest, though, if you dropped it then it probably isn’t for you, especially since I find the social commentary to be the biggest draw! I’m really struggling to find anyone who feels the same way about this show as me 😭

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        Aahhh. I hear you.
        There was a scene where the manager kept poking YYS with a pen and another scene where someone threw paper on FL face. That was it for me. (At workplace).
        It hurts that there is a YYS show and I am not watching it 🙂
        but your write up gives a different perspective to YYS character. (I have been reading the recap).

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        I’m loving the social commentary. It’s gives so much more meaning to the romance.
        I can’t put into words what this drama makes me feel or think, but I’m rivetted watching it.

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    I have just started this because you were showing your love all over the place (DB, Twitter, blog, Discord!!!), only two episodes and I am so hooked. Thanks!!!!

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I just finished my end of year review! It’s a short one this year, but it’s true to what I liked best: https://crabbyfordramas.wordpress.com/2022/12/29/my-favourites-of-2022/

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Totally forgot to share this silly post I wrote about the best drama teasers! And my year end review post comes out tomorrow! 💃
https://crabbyfordramas.wordpress.com/2022/12/24/the-sometimes-misguiding-magic-of-a-teaser/

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    Frabbycrabsis you may have triggered a need for a SIG fix with the teaser above. I had no idea what that was but the teaser is hilarious. I may go back to the SIG of eight years ago in HIGH SCHOOL KING OF SAVVY. It is available at Viki US. I noticed down in the cast is Lee Tae-hwan in his first drama which he followed up with one of my all time favorites PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (2014/15).

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I\’m not feeling live watching at the moment (for anything except Alchemy of Souls) so I had the idea to watch something from 2019, which was a slow year for me. What do you think, guys – Psychopath Diary, Spring Turns to Spring, or Special Labour Inspector Jo?

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Also, I\’m desperately trying to get through my 2022 watchlist before the end of the year! Does anyone have recommendations??? I might try Adamas next, and I\’m also considering Bad and Crazy.

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    I tested Adamas and stopped it and I could have dropped Bad and Crazy but WHJ was cute and funny.

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      Hahaha, so not a glowing review for either? Okay, it might be a subjective thing – I think I’ll still give them a try.

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        Adamas is ok if you take it as it comes with no expectations. The acting is great, but the story and the directing takes itself too seriously and can get tedious if you get too invested. Just watch it casually and enjoy Ji Sung’s hotness times2.

        Bad & Crazy on the other hand, doesn’t take itself seriously at all. I enjoyed it as light fun action.

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    I liked Adamas. Well acted and directed. Bad and Crazy was okay but was more style than story.

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      Ooooh, interesting – style over story doesn’t sound like it’s necessarily a bad thing. Ah, then again, it’s a crime drama, right? Some plot is needed 😂

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        Ha yes the style over story part wasn’t necessarily bad 😂. I think my main issue was it was pretty obvious who the main villain was early on. Still I’d say it’s worth a try.

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    I enjoyed Adamas a lot!

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    I haven’t watched many 2022 shows yet, but my recommendations would be:

    Ghost Doctor
    Through the Darkness
    Grid
    Gaus Electronics (just try and completely ignore the first episode)

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      Interesting! Grid wasn’t on my radar at all, but it looks quite cool! I was considering Ghost Doctor too. I gave Gaus Electronics one episode and hated it, so your comment might explain why the people who watched it all the way through liked it so much 😂

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        That first episode should be completely wiped from history 😂 it was incredibly offputting.
        If you have watched it once then you know who is who and you can continue from episode 2. I can’t recommend people to just skip ep1 because honestly it is crucial in setting up the characters and their relationships.

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          If it’s any help/encouragement @frabby, I actually couldn’t finish the first ep, gave up, and started again from ep 2…and I’ve been enjoying it since! Although I find I can’t binge it. It’s the kind of humour where I need breaks.😅

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        Yeah, the episode 1 was way too violent and not so funny. But the rest is better!

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Hey guys! If anyone’s interested, I wrote a review of Love in Contract that fully goes into all the good and the bad: https://crabbyfordramas.wordpress.com/2022/12/08/a-confused-autopsy-of-love-in-contract/

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    I am flattered by the shoutout, thank you!🤭 Thank you for reminding me what we talked about, I only remember some karaoke!🤣

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    I’ve read your piece and it is a nice exposé and I agree with you about Ji-ho suddenly withholding information from Sang-eun. It was out of character and 180° from consistency. And yes, basically everyone doing everything for Sang-eun but not for Sang-eun.
    I’m equally not pleased that Hae-jin became an actor in the end. It just didn’t follow.

    It was a nice read.

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Hey everybody~
If anyone’s interested, I wrote a very long, self-contradicting blog post about why I struggle with fantasy romance dramas, and nothing captures the chaos in my brain better 😂

https://crabbyfordramas.wordpress.com/2022/09/24/the-magical-boy-and-his-regular-girl/

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    Agree with everything you said but especially with Jin Seon-mi being ridiculously bland. I resisted watching anything with Oh Yeon-seo for years after that show.

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      Honestly! The first thing I watched her in was Come Back Ahjussi, where she was amazing (or maybe the character was amazing, I don’t know anymore), so imagine my disappointment when she then turned out bad role after bad role 🥲

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    Korea do fantasy tone and setting really well, but they then crowbar cliche rom-com characters into what should be an epic story.
    Then there’s usually issues with pacing: loads of world-building and subplots, dates and cutesy bits in the first 2/3 followed by the last two episodes of insane revelations with no time to process it.
    There are, of course, exceptions. But I usually end up with the above complaints.

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    Why her? Because she is the norm. It is tricky but rather simple.

    Modern Romance Fantasy is maybe my favorite kind of kdrama but I’ve long accepted that they don’t know how to do a great one or won’t do it, because of many issues, one of them being the Bland Female Lead you talked about, though I don’t exactly agree they are bland. It is more like they are an idea. A superficial role model.

    The similar dramas they manage to do better are Modern Romance with a Supernatural Element which is why it is much easier to find something good like I Can Hear Your Voice than fix a mess like Faith. It is why you get a lot more Go Back Couple than Queen In Hyun’s Man.

    You talk about Rich World Building, that is undoubtedly a necessary quality for this kind of drama, I’m not sure why you think aesthetic matters so much. It’s more about internal rules and whether the story remains logical and consistent. It’s great to have fantastic sets and costumes but it’s just the icing on the cake.

    Goblin was a nice example of a drama that had great actors, settings, cinematography but terrible script. The author took the rules and situations out of a hat to move plot to whatever direction she wanted it to go. Great vibes though, and powerful emotional moments, so if audience doesn’t care about logic it will become a success, which it did. Goblin became a classic of the genre and almost a standard for all other future kdramas of that kind.

    W was the little brother of Goblin, exactly the same issues minus the romance between a manchild and a lonely girl.

    Interesting they came out the same year and that was also same year of Legend of Blue Lagoon which was kind of the poor cousin of those two. Everything was a little worse in Lagoon, except for our pretty and charismatic mermaid, which was only allowed to be THAT, because of a certain actress in My Love from the Star, the other modern classic of this genre, which had aired 3 years before.

    I’m not sure why to be a good MRF drama both leads should have an EVEN power balance, this a good rule for a nice realistic romance but since in this kind of drama one of them usually is supernatural or has some kind of supernatural power, it is not common, and many times it will go against the very nature of this plot, to have equal power. Take Bride of Habaek, Doom, Nine-Tailed, Goblin, Roommate, these MLs were gods. It was impossible to have that, though it would have been still possible to tell a good story with a human and weaker heroine. All of them tried to have the FL have some kind of power over the ML, which moved plot, but I’d hardly say their balance was even at any moment. Arang was boring and messy but it was possibly the one to get closer to that. Funny coincidence that Arang had one of the better FLs of MRFs while being played by Min Ah doing a lighter version of her adorable Gumiho from MGIAG. continues

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      Not a coincidence that when this kind of MRF, Modern Romance Fantasy, gets closer to even power balances it is always when the FLs are the supernatural creatures. How could a female handle too much power? Better to level the plainfield or the romance won’t be believable!

      Which is the answer for the Why Her question. It’s simple. They are, mostly, not as plain or bland as you think. If you compare these heroines to the Fls from movies and dramas from many decades ago you would understand that. They do have their quirks and charms but they are also trapped in a very hard set of rules which makes almost every one of them seem like a copycat from another. Once in a Blue Moon, we get a Jun Ji Hyun playing a loud and charming actress, there is a reason Naughty Gumiho from MGIAG and Cute Conwoman from My Girl were such hits. Most FLs must be that bland girl you talk about because that’s what society , especially korean society, still expects women to be, the modern princess on a pedestal. Yes these days she has a job and a rooftop apartment, she drinks and eats heavily, despite being skinny, but she isn’t much different from being an ideal instead of a real complex character. Male leads are usually much more believable and interesting in any kdrama, not only MRFs, because they are allowed to have flaws, they even sometimes have a growth arc! They learn things and become better people while our reliable female leads were already born being patient, a little sassy, kind, a bit spirited, generous, respectful, hardworking, clever but not too much, talented and romantic. They all talk the same and act the same because they came from the same mould. It is a formula. One that is soulessly applied to every female lead to please women, who should approve and identify with her and man who should like and desire her.

      ps: sorry for the long reply english mistakes, wrote fast.

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HELP, what do I watch next? I’m so behind on this year’s dramas!

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    Oooh if you’re in the mood for a cute but melo sports/romance drama, I’d recommend Love All Play next!! At the very least, its 16 hours of Nevertheless Potato Boy’s beautiful smile 🥰

    I’m also really loving Today’s Webtoon so would also recommend watching that – it’s nothing special or new but it’s got some kind of charm that’s just really doing it for me atm hahaha

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    Through the Darkness for sure if you don’t mind thrillers.

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    I second both. The Japanese version of Today’s webtoon really shows the cultural differences even though some of the storylines are the same. I prefer the Korean version.

    I loved Love All, Play apart from some scenes of annoying female character leading to tear fest but once that is dealt with cute couples abound.

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    It would really depend on what you are in the mood for.
    Some of the ones on ur list, I have seen or currently watching. Most of the others I have not so unable to comment on.

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      I am enjoying Today’s Webtoon – if you are into an office drama about webtoons. Through the Darkness is really good despite its dark theme. This is a good choice if you are in the mood for a behavioral analyst’s story as they delve into the dark recesses of a serial killer.
      Bloody Heart is a a welcome distraction if you are in the mood for court politics. I have not completed this yet though.

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      Comment was deleted

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    Definitely delete A SUPERIOR DAY which is my hands down ‘stinker of the year’ and 2022 bean of shame.

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    Throug the Darkness!

    It was one of my favourite police/investigation Kdrama with great actors! It was very good from beginning to the end.

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I thought you guys would appreciate how much this toy in the window of HMV looks like You’re Beautiful’s Piggy Bunny! All it needs are some bunny ears!

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Today I wrote about a romcom trope I’m calling Jealousy as Comedy, which involved using Fight My Way to see how it’s still relevant to talk about!

https://crabbyfordramas.wordpress.com/2022/07/28/romanticising-the-manchild/

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So I realise that the target demographic for this post is me and me alone, but here my reviews of the 2021 KBS Drama Specials! It was a mixed bag last year, that’s for sure.

https://crabbyfordramas.wordpress.com/2022/07/24/kbs-drama-specials-2021/

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Did I get a VPN so I could make a Kocowa account and get the 14-day free trial just so that I can FINALLY watch the 2021 KBS Drama Specials? Hell yes.

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As soon as Extraordinary You came out, I wanted to talk to everyone about a great piece of existential fiction it is. I couldn’t find the words back then, so now, three years later, I’ve finally written something about it! I don’t expect anyone to care, but this was my passion project 😂
It’s mostly for me, but I really hope someone else enjoys it too!
https://crabbyfordramas.wordpress.com/2022/05/14/the-existential-brilliance-of-extraordinary-you/

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    I do care about your writings and I do enjoy them! 😉

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    I found your page ages ago, read the link for this post but messed up by not pressing the back arrow so I couldn’t find this page again until today weeks later! It didn’t help that I had remembered your wallpaper as being full of cats so I kept searching for cats featured on wallpaper🫢
    Great post really interesting perspective on how the messages in the drama reflect the variations of approaches to real life e.g. destiny verses agency and all shades in between.

    I will try to find you again to read the other posts because I am too tired to do it tonight. I am realising that accessing specific Beanie fan walls only happens if you get a comment like etc from someone then you can click on their name or you have to wait for the Beanie to be promoted on the Beanie page or have their comment show up there.

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      Hahahaha, cats?? 😂

      Nice to meet you, and thank you for liking my things. Yeah, you’ve gotta remember people’s real handles if you wanna be able to find them easily. To make it easier to you to find me again, here: https://crabbyfordramas.wordpress.com/

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        Thank you for saving me from myself and ineptness. I will be able to read at my leisure now.😊

        Yes, I never did find the person with the cat wallpaper so it’s just as well I found your post again by chance.

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Hey guys, I wrote a thing desconstructing some classic second male lead archetypes! It was really fun and I actually learned a lot while putting it together. It’s here if you’re interested!

https://crabbyfordramas.wordpress.com/2022/04/22/second-male-lead-archetypes/

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I realised it’s been a while since I shared how much I love Kim Ji-suk, so:

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I heard that some people here have been watching F4 Thailand too! Because this is predominately a Korean drama site, I wasn’t sure if it would be worth putting them here, but I’ve analysed episode-by-episode about half of the show! If you’re interested, I’m linking my final review here, and you can look at the other posts if you’re so inclined: https://crabbyfordramas.wordpress.com/2022/04/15/f4-thailand-review/

Man, this was such a good show.

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    It was such a good show! Like I’m already ready to rewatch it!

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    Did you watch Wit and Folly podcast/videos on Youtube?

    Today, they will make a livestream show to talk about the whole show, if you are interested!

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      Ah, I saw them on Twitter, but no, I never watched their podcast! Perhaps when I rewatch, I’ll do that!

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        They’re big fan of the original manga and watched the different adaptations. They really liked this version.

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          I’ve seen… six versions now, I think? 😂
          And I would agree that this version is right up at the top.

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            Officially. There was Let’s Go Watch Meteor Shower in 2009 (a Cdrama), but the PD said it was inspired but not a veritable adaptation.

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            That’s one I’ve seen! It’s not completely faithful, but It’s also definitely Boys Over Flowers 😂

            It’s very much implied that they just couldn’t be bothered to get the licence

            It’s good! A slow burn though – I’m not sure I’d have the patience to watch it again?

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            I didn’t watch it. Did you watch the both seasons?

            Yeah, clearly they didn’t want to pay for the licence :p

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            I only watched the first season – when I realised the hero was going to have amnesia for the whole second season, I thought that was even more amnesia than I can cope with, and I like that trope! 😂

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I feel like I have a duty, to myself and to all you wonderful people, to ensure this is never forgotten.

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I realise it\’s February, but I just finished writing about my favourite dramas of 2021! The general theme is \”don\’t worry, we\’re gonna be fine\”.

https://crabbyfordramas.wordpress.com/2022/02/03/my-favourites-of-2021/

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If you want another opinion on Hospital Playlist – *checks calendar* – FOUR MONTHS after it ended, I wrote a review!

https://crabbyfordramas.wordpress.com/2022/01/26/hospital-playlist-review/

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    Oh, I really liked your review!

    My issue with this show, it’s the characters are the same. They didn’t grow at all during 2 seasons. The love stories weren’t well written, I couldn’t really root for those couples. They didn’t really make sense.

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    Nice review! I think you got to the heart of why it was hard to connect to these characters–we werent seeing things from their pov necessarily. And I think that makes feeling connected to thw romances even harder when you think about it that way. Im not a teacher or a prof but it seems to me that one of the big no nos is that you arent supposed to have a romantic relationship with a student and if the attraction is there and mutual you should at least wait until they arent your student anymore. These are teaching drs–actively teaching the upcoming drs in their departments. Their teaching styles, the way they relate to their students (and vice versa) have all been important parts of the drama. So….it would seem that they would have learned the dont date students thing. And they are all excellent top of their field drs/profs so it never made sense and never sat well with me that 2 of the 4 men all dated women who they (or their friends) were actively teaching. Since the drama wasnt from their pov we werent invited in to see how they thought they never explained WHY or how these men fell at this time. Theyve been teaching and working for a long time so this couldnt have veen the first time that they were tempted by attractive students. I dont know. I became bored and dropped it at the midway point of season 2 (winter garden girl having imposter syndrome and overstepping when the one doctor I did like (the one who wound up with their one female friend) was trying to get help for the abused woman) so maybe they explained all of that stuff in the back half. I doubt it though.

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      Sorry I’m getting back to you so late, you’ve brought up a really valid point!
      I’m torn, because Min-ha and Seok-hyung were easily my favourite characters, but as a ship they’re a little questionable. The Winter Garden Ship isn’t so bad because Jeong-won wasn’t part of Gyeo-eul’s department, so you could assume that he didn’t have the same sort of teacher’s authority as Seok-hyung had for Min-ha. I wanted so badly for them to make a cute couple, and they did… except Seok-hyung occasionally comes across like an older brother trying to be patient with his impatient and energetic younger sister 😅
      Not the BEST dynamic for a romantic pairing, must say.

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    Thanks for your review. I think the issue you raised has to do with the drama format in that it is actually an episodic sitcom / sitdrama developed for multi-seasons. It is not a conventional drama with any central plot to drive a story or an intent for characters growth per se. I love it all the same but when ranking a year’s dramas, HP is not comparable for these reasons.

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I felt I had to share this beautiful video of Lee Dong-wook and Lee Su-hyun singing City of Stars! The gentle waves in the background make it so comforting.

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