Beanie level: Eunuch in drag

Don’t be fooled too much by the light and breezy humming at the start: Men Are Men features fate and destiny in tragic and melodramatic foreshadowings. There’s puppy Seo Ji Hoon however.

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I watched this Knowing Bros episode just for the Was It Love cast and it was hilarious! And I learnt that Koo Ja Sung has already finished his military service! *skips around blissfully*

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Radily’s Five Word Ratings (RFWR)
(Number refers to live-watching drama count)

#65 – Will You Have Dinner With Me / Dinner Mate (MBC)
Subjective: 1/5, The crazy exes from hell
Objective: 1/5, Dragging insanity and nothing else

In general, anything rated below 3/5 on the objective mark is NOT recommended by Radily for watching.

RFWR Directory

#1 – #51 -> 2018 / 2019 / 2020 Shows (till March)
#52 -> How to Buy a Friend
#53 – #54 -> Hi Bye, Mama! / Nobody Knows
#55 – #56 -> 365: Repeat the Year / Welcome
#57 -> Find Me in Your Memory
#58 -> Hospital Playlist
#59 – #60 -> The King: Eternal Monarch / When My Love Blooms
#61 -> Mystic Pop-up Bar
#62 – #64 -> Sweet Munchies / Old School Intern / Oh My Baby

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I haven’t commented much on Memorials but I find it an engaging watch in spite of the childhood connection. This OST has quite a chill tone that gets me bopping to its guitar riffs very easily.

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Was It Love‘s cliffhanger music! I’m curious to find out if the show will go the obvious and boring route as shown in the poster or if they’ll change things up and break the usual drama trends.

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    I have a feeling that they go for the obvious route.

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    I hope not. But I’m enjoying this show so far.

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    I’m all for what’s shown in the poster, and I don’t think its boring at all. So far we have a choice of 3 fathers for her daughter as a few signs point to each. This is the first drama in a long time that I’m anxious for the next episodes as soon as this week’s episodes end.

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      I’m really curious who the dad is. I feel like the clear front-runner is Oh Dae-oh.

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        I really want it to be Oh Dae-oh because he clearly was head over heels in love with the mom and probably still is. But, it wouldn’t surprise me if it was the actor and there is that odd ultrasound book with the teacher’s name as the dad. I’m thinking that can be easily explained though. I just love the actor who plays Oh Dae-oh though, so I’m hoping it is him.

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          I want Yeon-woo, the teacher, to be the dad. I like his character the most so far. The actor who plays him is also quite nice to look at it. If it’s not him, though, then I want Dae-oh to be the dad. He’s a bit of a jerk, but the actor gets on my nerves and the gangster is, well, a gangster.

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Sweet Munchies BGM is out: find the other tracks by searching 야식남녀 (Original Television Soundtrack) on YouTube. Sadly, they didn’t upload the tracks I wanted: this was when Tae Wan drunk cried.

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    My mom is watching this and enjoying it. Are you enjoying it as well?

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      I won’t recommend watching it unless you’re a super fan of Lee Hak Joo, even then, you can skip the rest of the drama and just watch his scenes.

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Pride Month after-thought:
(TL;DR: An overview of how dramas celebrated this yearly occasion. At the bottom of this post is an interesting question, go read it! :P)

3 channels (MBC, tvN, JTBC) tried to capitalise on the rainbow awareness movement by including queer elements in their dramas. Coincidentally, all the three shows that had gay characters written into the story were aired on the Mon-Tue time slot: Dinner Mate, My Unfamiliar Family and Sweet Munchies. I thought it would be interesting to analyse what they did and opine on how effective it was.

In Dinner Mate, Gun Woo is the designated connection between the four leads: he is family to Jae Hyuk, coworker to Do Hee, friend to No Eul and has a crush on Hae Kyung. When we meet him, we immediately learn that he has already confessed to Hae Kyung and got rejected. Furthermore, when he is flirting with a potential partner at his workplace, No Eul rudely barges in and doesn’t seem fazed by what she saw. It also appears that Jae Hyuk is aware of his sexuality. This may seem to promote the ideal that queer people are accepted by others around them, however, it should be noted that the drama doesn’t really do anything with Gun Woo other than make him a confidant for Jae Hyuk’s and No Eul’s sorrows, which means that it didn’t really matter in the end whether Gun Woo was gay or not. Personally, I thought that if the audience was not made aware about his sexuality, his interactions with No Eul might have led them to believe that he was actually pining on her and that she would end up dating him after moving on from Hae Kyung. In that alternate drama, the twist on his sexuality would come across as surprising but non-consequential. In this real drama though, it appears that the queer element was added without much thought for development, granted that Gun Woo is only a supporting character and MBC being a public channel probably had to play it safer.

In My Unfamiliar Family, Tae Hyung is a major supporting character who is the husband of the eldest daughter in the family, Eun Joo. His arc serves as one of the major stressors affecting Eun Joo when she discovers his sexuality. Through his actions, we are able to understand the societal pressures that South Korea places on its gay citizens to stay closeted: Tae Hyung has a hidden chatroom in his computer where he is able to interact with other gay people and has kept his secret hidden from Eun Joo until blackmailed into dropping the truth on her. His conservative mother also shows the prevalence of heteronormativity in South Korea: while knowing about her son’s sexuality, she sweeps it under the carpet to preserve the family’s reputation as a group of doctors and arranges a marriage to keep the pretence up. Eun Joo’s reaction to the truth is perhaps a didactic lesson the drama hopes to impart to its viewers: while she rightfully is angry at Tae Hyung from hiding the truth from her and wasting a significant portion of her life through a loveless marriage, she stands up for him against his controlling mother and puts her in her spot for not acknowledging her son for who he is. I think the drama has done a great job inserting the queer element while weaving it as part of the family tensions that are the main focus of the show. Barring any future disasters, a job well done tvN!

In Sweet Munchies, Tae Wan is one of the central characters of the story with even a feature in the official drama poster. The show plays out an atypical love triangle where a man (Jin Sung) is the object of affection between a woman (Ah Jin) and another man (Tae Wan), which occurs as they work on the same television program produced by Ah Jin which also has a queer element within it. Like the previous drama, we get to understand why many queer people stay in the closet: Tae Wan’s brave decision to confess when he was young is met with ridicule and his father has been pressuring him to produce an heir to continue the family line by setting him up on blind dates with women. However, in spite of the very brave decision to feature a gay character as a main lead, the show butches the queer element badly by having Jin Sung lie that he is gay for money and mocking the queer community with Ah Jin’s program concepts. The show tries to justify the lie by making Jin Woo (Jin Sung’s younger brother) gay and heralding Jin Sung as a champion for the marginalised but it falls flat when Jin Woo easily forgives Jin Sung for lying and disappears from the story. All of this is made worse by Tae Wan’s arc of him being inspired by Jin Sung’s lies to muster up the courage to confess once again with his heartbreak dragged out for dramatic impact. Given that JTBC is a cable channel, I was so disappointed.

Conclusion: tvN thumbs up (pending the 6 episodes to air), MBC thumbs down (unless a miracle happens in the last two weeks of its airing), JTBC thumbs down

Question: If you were to be a writer, how would you come up with a drama proposal with a queer element included? Try coming up with a short synopsis!
(Radily’s submission: Character A and Character B have known each other for several decades having gone to the same school and are now working in the same office together. As they celebrate two decades of friendship, their relationship will undergo a significant change when one of them receives a confession from the other.)

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    I really loved your analysis. Now I am thinking about giving My Unfamiliar Family a try.
    I really hate that western shows are starting to have the token gay characters. They are just there so the show runners can pat their back about how they are representing diverse communities. That being said I love how shows like Schitts Creek, One Day at a Time, etc represented queer love.
    So my story will feature a gay couple and it would be like every other romcom, uses all the cliches in the world, the meet cute, hate to love arc, is disgustingly fluffy and cute. And for once the parents are not going to be against the relationship, the conflict in their relationship is caused by their inherent personalities.

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      the conflict in their relationship is caused by their inherent personalities.

      You should be a drama writer. Dramaland needs perspectives like yours.

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Radily’s Five Word Ratings (RFWR)
(Number refers to live-watching drama count)

#62 – Sweet Munchies / Late Night Snack Man and Woman (JTBC)
Subjective: 2/5, Certified Lee Hak Joo stan
Objective: 1/5, Offensive and tacky gay-for-pay storyline

#63 – Old School Intern / Kkondae Intern (MBC)
Subjective: 3/5, Bickering bromance and wacky comedy
Objective: 2/5, Company politics made somewhat watchable

#64 – Oh My Baby (tvN)
Subjective: 1/5, Second half completely lost me
Objective: 1/5, Interesting start became boring finish

In general, anything rated below 3/5 on the objective mark is NOT recommended by Radily for watching.

RFWR Directory

#1 – #51 -> 2018 / 2019 / 2020 Shows (till March)
#52 -> How to Buy a Friend
#53 – #54 -> Hi Bye, Mama! / Nobody Knows
#55 – #56 -> 365: Repeat the Year / Welcome
#57 -> Find Me in Your Memory
#58 -> Hospital Playlist
#59 – #60 -> The King: Eternal Monarch / When My Love Blooms
#61 -> Mystic Pop-up Bar

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This wasn’t the Mystic Pop-up Bar BGM I was looking for (I wanted the one in Episode 5 when Won Hyung was revealed) but it does evoke the tragicness of the Wol Ju-Gwi couple in their past lives

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Radily’s Five Word Ratings (RFWR)
(Number refers to live-watching drama count)

#61 – Mystic Pop-up Bar / Ssanggab Cart Bar (JTBC)
Subjective: 5/5, The trio warmed my heart
Objective: 3/5, Some hiccups with the antagonists

In general, anything rated below 3/5 on the objective mark is NOT recommended by Radily for watching.

RFWR Directory

#1 – #51 -> 2018 / 2019 / 2020 Shows (till March)
#52 -> How to Buy a Friend
#53 – #54 -> Hi Bye, Mama! / Nobody Knows
#55 – #56 -> 365: Repeat the Year / Welcome
#57 -> Find Me in Your Memory
#58 -> Hospital Playlist
#59 – #60 -> The King: Eternal Monarch / When My Love Blooms

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From all the trailers so far, I really want Bus Guy to be endgame even if conventional OTP predictions say otherwise. He comes with no strings attached unlike the rest & seems close with her daughter!

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I wondered why Lee Hak Joo‘s battle-cry was dubbed over in the show: his facial expression would have made me laugh too!

I’m very delighted we can see him in another drama (Private Life) soon!

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#야식남녀#용감한태완#10화본방사수!

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Radily’s Five Word Ratings (RFWR) – Second Year statistics (Dramas #33 – #60, Mid 2019 – Mid 2020)
(Previous statistics thread found here)

Subjective ratings (average: 2.678)
5/5: 6 (tvN’s Designated Survivor: 60 Days / JTBC’s Be Melodramatic / tvN’s Pegasus Market / tvN’s Black Dog / MBC’s 365: Repeat the Year / tvN’s Hospital Playlist)
4/5: 4 (SBS’s The Secret Life of My Secretary / tvN’s Hotel del Luna / tvN’s Hi Bye, Mama! / SBS’s Nobody Knows)
3/5: 3 (tvN’s Search Query: WWW / MBC’s Extraordinary You / JTBC’s Chocolate)
2/5: 5
1/5: 10

Objective ratings (average: 2)
5/5: 1 (JTBC’s Be Melodramatic)
4/5: 4 (tvN’s Pegasus Market / tvN’s Black Dog / SBS’s Nobody Knows / tvN’s Hospital Playlist)
3/5: 3 (tvN’s Search Query: WWW / tvN’s Designated Survivor: 60 Days / MBC’s 365: Repeat the Year)
2/5: 6
1/5: 14

Breakdown by station
tvN: 12 (Subjective average: 3 / Objective average: 2.16)
JTBC: 5 (Subjective average: 2.8 / Objective average: 2.2)
SBS: 4 (Subjective average: 2.5 / Objective average: 1.75)
MBC: 3 (Subjective average: 3 / Objective average: 2)
KBS: 3 (Subjective average: 1.66 / Objective average: 1.33)
OCN: 1 (Subjective average: 1 / Objective average: 2)

Cable: 18 (Subjective average: 2.83 / Objective average: 2.16)
Terrestrial: 10 (Subjective average: 2.4 / Objective average: 1.7)

General remarks
Oh OCN, I really wanted to give you more love but sadly your shows are either way too gory or crime-related that I end up just not picking them up or dropping them (Class of Lies / The Lies Within / Rugal were dropped in premiere week). I promise I’ll try to finish at least 2 for the third year: They Were There and Search are catching my eye! This year, there is still a gap between cable and terrestrial shows, though MBC has 365: Repeat the Year to thank for its averages. For the third year, I hope there’ll be more than 1 show where I can give a 5/5 in the objective rating. JTBC, are you hearing?

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365 fans the BGM is out! This track played at that epic cliffhanger when Lee Joon Hyuk was teased as the serial killer. For other tracks, search ‘365 repeat the year ost bgm’ on YouTube!

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My reaction watching Episode 7 of Sweet Munchies!

You would have thought that after the KBS hidden camera scandal they wouldn’t be stupid enough to feature hidden cameras but here we are again

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Radily’s Five Word Ratings (RFWR)
(Number refers to live-watching drama count)

#59 – The King: Eternal Monarch (SBS)
Subjective: 1/5, Bemused by the incoherent story
Objective: 1/5, When writing directing editing combust

#60 – When My Love Blooms / The Most Beautiful Moment in Life (tvN)
Subjective: 1/5, Melodramatic in the worst way
Objective: 1/5, The writing is so outdated

In general, anything rated below 3/5 on the objective mark is NOT recommended by Radily for watching.

RFWR Directory

#1 – #51 -> 2018 / 2019 / 2020 Shows (till March)
#52 -> How to Buy a Friend
#53 – #54 -> Hi Bye, Mama! / Nobody Knows
#55 – #56 -> 365: Repeat the Year / Welcome
#57 -> Find Me in Your Memory
#58 -> Hospital Playlist

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Last post for this show, I promise! Anyway, I need someone to explain the yo-yo boy/teen/man and what the hell was that sequence supposed to mean. Did KES use that ‘Fate’ as a memory deus ex machina?

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Ok, another instrumental piece that I can give the show credit for. Also, we did get to see loads of acting talent from Kim Kyung Nam and Woo Do Hwan so that’s a plus. Lead roles please!

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    This OST reminded me so much of Winter Sonata.

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    Love this. The King actually has more memorable instrumental pieces than songs 😀

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If there’s one thing I can give credit to The King: Eternal Monarch, it’s this instrumental piece. Even if you managed to dodge the madness that was the show, hearing this will evoke the feels!

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    Are you able to play them, they appear as not available.

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    Same here. I wouldn’t care this much about anything but whenever this music was played I got all emotional 😢 (however I’m not a big fan of Gummy so I really prefer the instrumental version over the song)

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    The only good things from this drama other than Woo Do Hwan and Kim Kyung Nam!

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The no luck, no money and no love tags somehow remind me of Song Ji Hyo‘s last drama Lovely Horribly (which was terrible). She appears to be a Candy here but I’ll watch anything with her in it!

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    Same. I love her so much but I didn’t watch Lovely Horribly (I despised the ML). It’s probably the only drama of hers that I didn’t watch. So excited for this!

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