Beanie level: Fan club president

Breaking: #OctobINAR is cancelled!

Now that I’ve got your attention – it’s just not working out this year, my people.
I think its day is done.
Farewell, OctobINAR

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It’s almost impossible to believe but it is, indeed, that time of year again.

#OctobINAR!


Our completely random annual tradition where we rewatch I’m Not a Robot in October for no reason except that we did it once five years ago and still continue to this day.

But all traditions must come to an end and so I think this will be the fifth and final #OctoberINAR.

To try to work out times, let me know if you’re interested in joining us and what timezone you’re in. Current contenders are*:
0700 AEDT on each Saturday and Sunday of October for four weeks (2 episodes per day)
or
0700 AEDT on each weekday morning Tues-Friday starting 4 October 2022 (1 episode per day).

Let me know what you think!

*All times are in AEDT, which means 7am Saturday will probably be Friday for many Beanies. Use a time zone converter to see if it works for you!
**If enough Beanies from a certain timezone want to join, we can certainly tweak it a little. Just let me know.

Happy OctobINAR!

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With the recent epic thread on terrible dramas that should not exist, I decided to shake up my scheduled science fiction reviews and start with one of the worst pieces of television ever made – Alice

Korean scifi: Alice review

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    Canโ€™t wait to read this!😁

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      Your review was excellent, LT! Thank you for explaining time travel so well! I love reviews that either enhance my experience of watching whatever is reviewed, or allow me to skip the duds whilst also learning something new (and helping me fine-tune my own discernment).⭐️

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    Did you review The Silent Sea or Sysphus yet? I went to your site but could not find reviews for them.

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      Not yet, I was planning Silent Sea for September but decided to do Alice instead. I’ll do Silent Sea next month probably, unless I do my Circle nostalgia watch instead.

      I probably won’t be doing Sisyphus because I didn’t finish it. Although if there’s enough demand I might consider it.

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      Maybe if you enjoy snarky comments or humourous light hearted teasing, you should read the recaps on Sisyphus and @sicarius ‘s shitpost on the same. They are 😂 (though I dropped the drama after 30 mins into the show)

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        Thanks, I did watch Sisyphus all the way through. It definitely had holes in the writing.

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          I’d be interested if you think it’s actually science fiction. The few episodes I watched it was more using time travel as a rhetorical device and seemed to be more of a (creepy and annoying) romance.
          If you think it does fit the genre then I might add it in.

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            Hello @leetennant. I have watched ALOT of SF during my life. In my opinion. Sisyphus did not qualify as actual SF. The time travel in it was only used as a plot device. Nevertheless, I was willingly seduced by Park Shin-hye’s hand-decorated assault rifle. ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh, I did not find the romance creepy or annoying, just lacking sufficient chemistry between the leads (their acting was great, though). I still do not regret watching it, I gave it a “8” rating.

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Law Cafe impressively being the worst premiere of 2022

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    Oh yeah, I didn’t like any character 😅

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    It already had the worst title

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    Struggling to complete ep 1 ๐Ÿ™

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    Oh nooooo. I was counting on it 🙁

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    It was alright. But you could see the Noble Idiot coming from a mile away. I’d say there are worse things.

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    I wonโ€™t say I was amazed but itโ€™s hardly the worst – not when things like Jinxed At First exist.

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      Purely from a premiere perspective, Jinxed was not good but it wasn’t as all over the place as Law Cafe was.

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        I found it felt a bit like an info dump before they start the story proper. Maybe a consequence of sticking too close to source material? (I have not read the webtoon or the webnovel that was based on so cannot verify that).

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          I couldnโ€™t finish the first episode of Jinxed At First, I found it so painful to watch 😅 I didnโ€™t have that problem with Law Cafe, though I would have liked it to have been a bit more dynamic.

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I seem to have a moment to breathe, and so I’ve finally gotten around to writing this post on my favourite Fourth Wall Breaks.
From the ridiculous to the divine, so they say

Breaking the Fourth Wall

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I take a tour through some dramas with ambitious setups and squandered potential

Snow White and the Phantom: Disappointing Dramas with Ambitious Themes

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Not👏what👏your👏show👏was👏about
Cafe Minamdang

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OMG Cafe Minamdang this is not what your show was about.
Like, at all,
#BeanofShame

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And a Truck of Doom.
Checks to see I\’m actually watching the Good Detective

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    I think ToD deserves extra points for hitting someone in hospital pajamas. He doesn’t get many shots at those, so full credit for seizing the opportunity.

    (I’m not watching this show – I trust that wasn’t a beloved character meeting a tragic fate.)

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If you\’d told me that a drama like Good Detective was going to be added to the list of BOARing dramas, I would not have believed you.

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In celebration of the ToD, I give you… the wonder that was 7 minutes into Dr Brain

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Wherein I unwisely commit to writing stuff about science fiction

The evolving world of Korean science fiction

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    Interesting ideas thanks for sharing. I do agree it seems to be a genre that appeals to the younger people but once in people are in for the long haul and I wonder if the market is considered small in terms of potential profits outside of big blockbusters.

    I wonder when you think of the classics in this area if those would/could have been made in the current climate and as you say do they work better as films rather than the longer format of a drama like Star Trek approach verses Star Wars? Does CGI/AI improvements in the real world influence this field in a positive or negative way? I have never been into this genre but have been dragged kicking and screaming when partners have been so lack any real insights but these are things that came to mind reading your article.

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      I’ve generally felt that the rise of CGI has caused a lot of (particularly big budget films) scifi project to emphasise cool visuals over plot. Avatar was definitely a part of this trend. The troubles The Expanse had demonstrates how hard it is to get serialised hard science fiction made these days. Of course various Star Trek shows are still being made.

      LOL at you “kicking and screaming” into scifi. What scifi have you been dragged into?

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    Nice article. I, for one, loved Silent Sea.

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I was asked this question quite a long time ago. Nonetheless, here is the answer: Is there a difference between a Candy and a Pot Plant?

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I’m not sure how frequent my blogging will be these days.
Nonetheless, I have decided to review Link: Eat, Love, Kill

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    I read it and really well written without a lot of spoilers. I still have the last 2 episodes to watch, but I would disagree with how youโ€™ve framed the โ€œlinkโ€ as the male saving the female and being overtly misogynistic. Because he also felt love, happiness, and. giddiness through the link and these were emotions he wouldnโ€™t allow himself to feel since losing his sister. So she (the FL) saved him probably more than he used the link to rescue her. Korea is an overtly paternalistic society, so you see that in all these kdramas and only a minority have the woman as the hero. However, you had very strong women characters who were able to defend themselves against stalkers and abusers and murderers for most the show. I agree with the sadness and guilt though, and really there should be a trigger warning for the child kidnapping and stalking themes.

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      I agree. I didn’t find the link misogynistic. It let him feel emotions. He blocked himself to feel anything because of his sister but overall because of his parents. He had to become mature very fast. But the link opened him to a lot of emotions, first sadness, he cried a lot, but the rest too. I think it was a way to his sister to protect him too. She wasn’t there anymore and gave the task to someone else.

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A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away known as TWOP – remember TWOP? Oh how we all loved TWOP R.I.P. – I was for some reason watching and commenting on a supremely silly show about FBI agents. FBI Agents with ridiculously good hair.

And around episode 3 or 4 when I was wondering why we were all watching this ridiculous show, I commented as such on a recap thread and was told by someone, identity lost to time, that they were \”just watching for the hair\”.

\”Oh I\’m just watching for the hair\” then became a trademark comment for when I was watching something for entirely shallow reasons and when asked for a reason why I was on episode 10 of something particularly trashy would glibly reply, \”Oh I\’m just watching for the hair\”.

This lasted until I realised that a) it wasn\’t going to take off and become some new pop culture phrase and b) nobody knew what I was talking about and thought I was speaking literally.

Because people, it turns out, do watch telelvision for the hair – or even refuse to watch because of the hair. Kdrama afficionados may love Shining Inheritance for its thematic coherence (if not for its Makjang execution per se) but recommend it and you\’ll inevitably have somebody refuse to watch it \”because of the awful hair\”.

Fair cop, the hair in Shining Inheritance is legendarily terrible. Forget thematic coherence, you should watch that show for the hair. Lee Seung-gi and his grandmother share the same hairstyle, except hers is grey. It\’s epic.

So what about you? Do you have a show you have watched (or have refused to watch) for the hair?

It\’s time to share your HAIR RAISING stories and not just about the horror of that pun.

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    Lost
    Ryu Joon Yeol’s H.A.I.R.
    was sooo upset when he cut it later. but his wardrobe remained excellent.

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    I mean, Taiwanese dramas often have epic hair, but I will have to give this some thought and peruse my MDL to refresh my memory.

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      I’ve got one: Soulmate. Shin Dong-wook has epically terrible hair pushed back with a headband to make to even worse. I think they even made fun of the headband twelve years later in his drama DAe Jang Geum is Watching. It was bad.

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      Just You, Aaron Tanโ€™s hair is so spiky it enters the room about five seconds before the rest of him.

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        OMG I remember that hair, it’s like he was growing a landing strip for incoming air traffic. I kept waiting for small aircraft to approach it and ask for permission to land.

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          @leetennant: โ€œgrowing a landing strip for incoming air trafficโ€. To die laughing is a good way to go. This is a gem!

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          @leetennant: Btw, I love your wit and writing.

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            😊

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            🤣I Second that just for the quote about the landing strip. I read the post it made me smile then I saw it had 37 replies and wow who knew hair could have to so much of an impact on the viewing experience.

            I also loved the whole quote out of context resulting in tumbleweed rolling story too. That happens to me all the time, and the blank looks when you try to explain the context 😳

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            @leetennant sorry I forget you wonโ€™t get the notification if I reply to someone else in the thread see above

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        Sorry Aaron Yan, that autocorrected and I didnโ€™t notice 😅

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        YES. Amazing hair engineering. A truly iconic Aaron Yan hair moment.

        We also cannot forget his forget how he disguised himself with flat hair and glasses in the classic Fall in Love With Me.

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          That is the best way to disguise oneself. Whenever I want to go unrecognized I just take my glasses off and no one knows itโ€™s me ๐Ÿฅธ

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    Does this question include wigs? I guess it should include wigs.
    Cue 472 comments about Yoo Ah-in’s wig in Chicago Typewriter, which hard carried that drama.

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    Honestly, sometimes I watch Shining Inheritance for the hair. Particularly of note is the hair of one of the factory managers (?) who shows up in later episodes. Itโ€™s like they just put whatever wig they could find on him and it is ridiculous.

    I stopped enjoying Because This Life Is Our First around the time he changed his hairstyle. Ludicrous doesnโ€™t put me off but good hair to ugly hair transformations do 😂

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    Park Seo Joon’s and Park Hyung Shik’s wigs MIGHT be part of the reason I refuse to watch Hwarang…

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      That may have been why I decided to give it a go 😅

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        😂😂

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        Faith. Faith’s wigs might rival it.

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          Hmm funny, I love Faith and never give the wigs any thought. Maybe because it is a fantasy?

          It is actually the other way around. I always appreciate how Kim Hee Sun’s roots grow because it is natural the she doesn’t have access to a hair salon.
          This is an especial pet peeve of mine in modern day dramas that actresses start a show with a striking hair colour and then the colour fades and the roots grow throughout the show. Like, how hard is it to touch up their hair during filming?? Or if it is hard, DON’T give them such unnatural colours in the beginning. End of of rant.

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      @midnight: This! Those hairpieces of horror made me laugh so much but despite this, I couldnโ€™t keep watching that mess.

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      those were very bad wigs, to be certain. BUT, park seo joon’s CHESTNUT CUT was the absolute worst thing in Itaewon Class……………

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      PSJโ€™s hair was so horrendously distracting i found it hard to symphatise with him in the emo moments!

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        About being hard to sympatise with the actor, at least hair is something changeable and totally someone’s fault.

        I know it is unfair, because he was born with that particular eye shape and it is not anyone’s fault, but I can rarely sympatise with Yeon Woo Jin in melo or dramatic roles. It is just… distracting. But I love him in romcoms.

        Another one I am very ashamed to confess is Uee. I had never been able to sympatise with her characters, even skipping some shows because she was in them. I know she is a very good actress, but her eyes, and the thinness of her face was simply too distracting for me. Until I watched Thd Ghost Doctor. She looked so so good and soft and normal in it. I guess she has put on a bit of weight. Whatever it is, it was such a relief and joy to watch her.

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      I remember that in interviews, PSJ said that they kept trying different hairstyles on him throughout Hwarang and ended up never getting a good one 😂

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    In thinking about this Iโ€™ve noticed that I have a bias towards remembering/despising terrible hair on men, but I canโ€™t think of any notable bad hair on female characters nearly as easily.*

    * excluding the matching Grandma/Grandson hair of Shining Inheritance as it wouldnโ€™t be nearly as notably terrible if it was only on Grandma.

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      Women’s hair tends to be not very memorable for me.

      Notable exception is Dalja in Dalja’s Spring.

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      OH I SURE CAN!!

      There have been sooo many horrible hair extensions… The first and worst that always jumps to my mind is Jung Yu Mi in Que Sera Sera.

      Runner up is Lee Se Young in Dr John.

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        I havenโ€™t seen either of those. I still canโ€™t think of any notably terrible, although old Taiwanese drama Smiling Pasta has generally terrible hair on everyone including the female lead. In context hers was acceptable 😅 by being not the worst.

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    @ LT is Irresistibly Indifferent, Dame Judi: I loved TWOP with a passion and was so sorry when it became defunct.
    Haha – I used to have an unruly head of curls. As I have gotten older, it has become thinner and less unruly but I am partial to noticing great hair. I love โ€˜pulled hair into hairpinsโ€™ do for some male actors in Sageuks and, And, I loved Robert Redfordโ€™s hair when he was young. Glorious!

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    Jang Hyuk’s bent-sideways hair in Fated to Love You was epic in all the wrong ways. As crazy as it was in the first several episodes, I eventually got used to it – and then it got WORSE in the middle. He ultimately had good(ish) hair in the last third of the show after the time jump, which was almost the only reason I kept watching. I still regret wasting time on the last six episodes but do not regret finally getting to see a flattering ‘do that suited His Royal Hawtness.

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    Avoided You’re Beautiful for years because of the hair. Even when I finally watched I caught myself flinching when the hairstyles took me by surprise sometimes 🙈

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    I would reincarnate in a heartbeat just to be Gong Yooโ€™s cat, but his hair in Coffee Princeโ€ฆitโ€™s like a lion+mullet. Her hair was worse, but I suppose those were the โ€˜dos of that time.

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    Iโ€™ve said this already on this site, but Jun-Ho in Just Between Lovers. I was already turned off with the promos and then I watched the first several minutes, saw the mall collapse and was out. I didnโ€™t even make it to Jun-Hoโ€™s hair in the drama, the promos weโ€™re enough for me. 😂

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Am I the only person in Dramaland who didn\’t like JBL?

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So Cafe Minamdang is basically Scooby Doo but where the villains are fooling people into believing in ghosts so they can solve a crime instead of to cover one up.

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    🤣Love it.
    So all we need is to look out for the catch phrase โ€™โ€ฆand I would have got away with it, if it wasnโ€™t for you pesky kidsโ€™

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    Luckily (or should I say mercifully), this was shown to us within the first 10 minutes of E1, which allowed me to gracefully drop this silly mess.

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Korea follows up the splashier Squid Game with a searing indictment on those who only care about themselves during a pandemic

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of ํ•ดํ”ผ๋‹ˆ์Šค: Happiness Series Review

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    Well done!
    Iโ€™m now watching Uncle which has another set of status and property-value-crazed apartment owners vs renters. Itโ€™s been a โ€œgoodโ€ couple of years for kdrama making me hate humanity 🙃 Not that the US isnโ€™t already doing that in spades.

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    Never thought to compare it to Parasite, but wow

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I finish off 2021 with a short discussion of the changes to Korean writing over the past few years.
2021: The Year of Doing

Stories of Being, Stories of Doing: 2021 The Year of Doing

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    Yours is now my top destination for insightful (and funny) posts about K-dramas. How in the world you are not writing for DM, is beyond me. I just dived deep into Invisible Pink Dragon posts (assiduously avoiding BE tag, lol), and posted a bunch of comments. Yours is the voice I fear is lacking nowadays in DB. I’m so glad I discovered your blog, and have some awesome readings to do! This year is starting nicely so far!

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