Beanie level: Top Star’s underappreciated manager

Lololololol Silver + Tarnishing = Poison (Arsenic) at it again.
Congratulations Poison Theorists, you’re looking to be right.
And the Butterfly Norigae’s absence WAS a plot point of convenience, ofc it was.

However, unfortunately whilst silver has the ability to detect arsenic
containing compounds, solid silver can only detect arsenic in sulphide forms:
It’s a fun trope anyway though.

The Story of Park’s Marriage Contract #5



7- The drama Beanies convinced you to watch and you can’t be grateful enough.

I was gonna be a killjoy again on this entry but I’ve been listening to Advent music all day so now I kinda don’t really feel like it… *blinks at self in shock*
No hay ninguna. Have a (mostly) unrelated song instead.



6- The character that deserves a kimchi slap.

The My Dearest Writer-nim. She sure is a character alright.



5- OTP you didn’t think you would adore.

The only good kdrama OTPs were crack OTPs that didn’t technically properly sail… or ones grossly underwritten… ΰ² _ΰ² 


@kas61, @lapislazulii, @mayhemf, @johnb

Here is my \”Tall People Club\” list- I haven\’t updated it in a while, but I thought I would share it and then use both my list, and yours, Kas, and do some more updating while I\’m at it. Don\’t really have anything better to do right now. Well I mean I could be watching The Goyreo Khitan War I guess. or drawing the little voice at the back of my head says

Added some tall ladies too, just a few as I haven\’t got their list as detailed yet, and yes, this is in metric mainly, hahaha.
As you can see I categorize by \”range\” and then have most of the heights and variants listed alongside.

185-186 Range:

Sung Hoon 185

Park Seo Joon 185
Lee Soo Hyuk (184, 185)
Ok Taecyeon (185, 186)
Ahn Bo Hyun (186)
Kim Dowan 186
Lee Jong Suk 186
Ji Soo 186
Kim Jae Young
Park Hae Jin
Chae Jong-Hyeop

187 Range:

Jang Ki Yong 187
Lee Jae Wook 187
Shin Seung Ho 187
Na In Woo (187)
Lee Min Ho 187
Song Won Seok
Kwak Si Yang

188-189 Range:

Go Kyung Pyo
Ahn Hyo Seop 187, 188
Koo Ja Sung
Cha Seung Won
Byeon Woo Seok (187, 189)
Ju Ji Hoon (187, 189)
Ahn Jae Hyun
Lee Jung Shin 188
Kang Hui/Hee 188
Nam Joo Hyuk (188)
Sung Joon
KYK 188.5, (187)
Lee Taehwan 188, 189
Shin Sung Rok 188, 189

190 Plus Range:

Kwangsoo 189, 190, 192, 193, 194
Rowoon 190.5, (189, 190, 192)
Yoon Kyun Sang 191, 192
Lee Ki Woo 190, 192. 193

6’1 Range (185+-187.9)
6’2 Range (188-190)
6’3 Range (190-193)
6’4 Range


Hong Jin-Kyung (180)
Lee Da Hee (176, 5’9)
Jung Ho Yeon (176)
Lee Sung Kyung (175, 176)




4- The drama you loved and Beanies hated / The drama Beanies loved and you didn’t.

I am the *only* person I know that found Black Knight entertaining more than anything else lmao. I am perfectly aware of everything wrong with it, don’t worry. Others found it boring, stupid, nonsensical, you name it. And I can’t blame them, honestly. I won’t defend it. But I for one had a grand ol’ time bingeing it. Explain that one, will you. 😅😅😅
(also Primary x Tablo OST? Don’t mind if I do)

As usual, a lot.
I don’t really know if my perception of β€œBeanie’s Loved It” is accurate, and many are probably more realistically ~ 50/50 ~ in how people felt about them, but whatever.
I modified the wording of this half, because whilst I did straight up hate some of these, others, although they aren’t quite blacklisted, I sure didn’t LOVE them or even really like them as a whole enough either for any reason.:

Love to Hate You
My Perfect Stranger/ You Who I Met By Chance
Tale of the Nine Tailed 1938
See You In My 19TH Life
My Dearest
Destined With You/ Rowoon in general
Fake it Till You Make it (CDRAMA)
My Lovely Liar
Hidden Love (CDRAMA)

Call it Love
Into the Ring
Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung
King the Land
Twinkling Watermelon
Castaway Diva
The Day/ The Kidnapping Day
Daily Dose of Sunshine
Ray of Light (CDRAMA)
(only know three people who watched this but I was still the odd one out regarding it so!)

Arcane (actually I didn’t like any of the newer occidental shows I watched this year and this is not a drama but I definitely didn’t love this in particular as much as everyone else did so on the list it goes!)

There’s a bunch of shows in general I completely tuned out of the general consensus on, or forgot the public opinion of, so I quite possibly added shows that shouldn’t be here, or didn’t add others that do qualify.



1- Female lead you will never forget (for better or worse).

2- Male lead you will never forget (for better or worse).

I’m going to be honest, even of the few shows that I didn’t hate, and even among the shows I disliked! I don’t think any of the leads really stood out enough to me to be super sticky. Not like some years. Uri Skunk-nim is *perhaps* the closest?
Look, no, the fact I had to actually RACK my brain for any other entry means I don’t think anyone really qualifies. It says β€œNEVER FORGET”… ☠🪦

3- Side character that stole the drama.

The Donkey from Joseon Attorney? Lol. Yikes gotta draw the new additions to the Royal Menagerie too, don’t I, scheiße. (If I immortalise 🦨 in drawing form, perhaps then he can make the cut for the above categories.)

Anyway, I mean I’m bias but. Petition for Bead Boy aka LEE JAE KYUN to get a lead role already.

[a. See You in My 19th Lyfe
b. Song of the Bandits
c. Tell Me You Love Me]




1. The Forbidden Marriage
2. Island (Season 1)
3. Hi Venus CDRAMA (2022)

4. Crash Course in Romance (Dropped Ep 12)
5. Meet Yourself CDRAMA

6. Can We Be Strangers Again? (Dropped Ep 4)
7. Our Blooming Youth
8. The Blood of Youth CDRAMA
9. Love to Hate You
10. Call It Love

11. Into the Ring (2020) (Dropped Ep 5)
12. Road Home CDRAMA (Dropped Ep 2)
13. Remembrance of Things Past CDRAMA (2021)
14. Oasis (Dropped Ep 1)
15. NigeHaji/We Married As A Job JDRAMA (2016)

16. Nothing But You CDRAMA (Dropped Ep 12 of 38)
17. Joseon Attorney: A Morality
18. Borah! Deborah!
19. Stealer: The Treasure Keeper/Skunk

20. Family (Dropped Ep 1)
21. WATCHER (2019)
22. You Who I Met By Chance / My Perfect Stranger

23. Tale of the Nine Tailed 1938 (Dropped Ep 2)
24. Black Knight

25. Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung (2019) (Dropped Ep 3)
26. Ashes of Love CDRAMA (2018) (Dropped Ep 2.5)
27. Delightfully Dysfunctional
28. I Want to Resign Every Single Day CDRAMA 2022
29. Bloodhounds

30. See You in my 19th Life (Dropped Episode 8)
31. King the Land
32. When I Fly Towards You CDRAMA

33. Hidden Love CDRAMA (Dropped Ep 11)
34. Celebrity
35. Ray of Light CDRAMA

36. Useless Lies (probable Dropped Ep 6)
37. First Responders S2 (Dropped Ep 4)
38. My Dearest
39. The Killer is Also Romantic CDRAMA 2022

40. Moving (Dropped Ep 3)
41. You Are Desire CDRAMA (Dropped Ep 11/12)
42. Destined With You (Dropped Ep 4)
43. My Journey to You CDRAMA (Dropped Ep 3)
44. Fake it Till You Make It CDRAMA
45. The Day/ The Kidnapping Day
46. Song of the Bandits

47. Twinkling Watermelon (Dropped Ep 6)
48. The Worst of Evil

49. Evilive (Dropped Ep 2)
50. SPY X FAMILY S01 ANIME (2022)
51. Castaway Diva

52. Moon That Rises in the Day (Dropped Ep 2)
53. Daily Dose of Sunshine
54. Vigilante

55. The Goryeo Khitan War
56. The Deal (probable drop @ Ep 1)
57. The Story of Park’s Marriage Contract
58. Boyhood (probable drop @ Ep 1)
59. Tell Me You Love Me
60. Secret Playlist
61. Welcome to Samdaldri


62. Arcane (2021)
63. Outer Banks S01, 02, 03
64. The Night Agent
65. The Night Manager (2016)
66. The Recruit (Dropped Ep 7)
67. The Diplomat (Dropped Ep 2)
68. XO Kitty
69. Only Murders in the Building S01, Dropped S02, Ep 6 ish.
70. Avatar: The Last Airbender (Rewatch)


Classification Notes:

Italicised is Currently Watching.
Bold, Completed.
Standard, Dropped.

I typically classify 2023 dramas as any drama that has the majority of its run time in 2023.
Therefore, THE BLOOD OF YOUTH is a 2023 drama, and technically, THE GORYEO KHITAN WAR will be a 2024 drama, although if I drop it this year, we’ll probably class it as a 2023 drama anyway.
For situations like this, or ones that are split half/half, I decide arbitrarily, based on whatever I feel like.

I wasn’t supposed to watch a similar number of shows this year as last year, but on the other hand we did set a new finished CDRAMA record of a vast sum total of 7, which makes all the difference.
This is almost the same amount of CDRAMAs as I have watched previously total, so is in fact quite the personal achievement. 😂

☠ Official Stats and 2023 Royal Bean Count to come on December the 31st. ☠


Too bad the rest of the show can’t pack as much punch as two single shots of an archery thumb ring…
The Goryeo-Khitan War 5+6 Part 2


Unfortunately, I can’t rate a lot of this show very highly, but I did like how these two scenes were shot, framed and in the case of the first one, lit.
The Goryeo-Khitan War 5+6 Part 1


Oh for crying out loud.

Double amnesia plot, return of the red string of fate in the bloody last episode, and you didn’t even kill him? Fxxk off.
So you’re also not even actually any kind a tragedy, let alone a failed one. Just fantastic writing guys, f a n t a s t i c. Yeah, I’m mad they DIDN’T die, you read that right.

Lying little beast of a waste of time.

Bye and Good riddance.
My Dearest #21


AKA Why is there a wakizashi in bloody Three Kingdoms Korea.

Although I think The Battle of Hastings is honestly funnier in terms of the whole losing side revenge shenanigans, and also more equivalent to the anachronistic weapons time difference… I don’t get to make a Welsh Longbowman joke, so, in tribute to my Celtic roots, we’ll stick with this (and also I’m not looking up Norman French.)
@minniegupta1 for you 🫰



A French soldier runs through the trees away from the battle, hand in hand with one who appears to be a Welsh Longbowman (albeit of unusually small stature for a Welsh Longbowman…)
They stop at the edge of a stream to pause for breath.

FRENCH SOLDIER (en français): We are safe now. And we are together. At last.

The Welsh longbowman jerks away suddenly, and violently. The French soldier turns to them in confusion.


The French solider, aware now that he is being betrayed holds a hand to his chest, and gasps.


The Welshman pulls off their hood dramatically to reveal themself to be not a longbowman at all, and also, a woman.
She draws a 9mm compact Glock 43, that glistens darkly in the moonlight.
The Frenchman sinks to his knees in shock, distraught.

FRENCH SOLDIER: Why- why are you doing this, mon cherie? I- I love you! Je t’aime!

The Welsh compatriot looks down at the Frenchman coldly and lifts the gun to his head.

WELSH SOLDIER (yn cymraeg): Because… you are French.

* B A N G *


The hell is that doing in Silla. Get it out. They didn’t look like that yet. -_-
And you’re like. 1000 years too early for that specifically. Yikes.

#JustHerefortheSillaFlashbacks-butprobablynotformuchlonger aka Moon That Rises in the Day Ep 2


    *sigh* cable sageuks.


    I didn’t like the first 2 episodes because of the story telling.

    He can read modern Korean? As a ghost he learnt it? Or he has the knowledge of the body? Nothing was very clear…


      It was bad. My recap comment dragging it, is already written and I’m sad it’s gonna get cut up by the new commenting layout cos I don’t think I can get it under 3000 characters 🤣

      Personally, I think it would be ten times funnier if he couldn’t read hangul at all.


        I’m excited to read it! 😁

        When he read “his” name in the elevator, I was like What?! Hangul was invented after your death! But the show didn’t adress it…


          You and I were twins in that moment ahahaha because I thought almost the exact same thing. I suppose it could be part of the body’s “memory” but… 🙄 (this is also in the comment dw)


          It was just convenient saying he can read both the dead persons memories. So we just have to assume he knows everything Joon Oh knew. So he can be modern. They just killed all the fun in having a 1500 year old ghost in a modern body.


    No, this probably is not a show for saguk lovers…
    I guess I’m enjoying it so far, because I started it on a whim, with no prior knowledge, only remembering words webtoon, revenge, firewoman as bodyguard… and Kim Youngdae (of course ☺️).


      Same! I’m expecting lots of plot armor and for the KYD’s character to have whatever amount of current knowledge suits the exact scene he’s in β€” consistency be damned. But I’ll keep watching β€” maybe while folding laundry β€” for him, Pyo Ye-Jin and the poor, beleaguered manager.


      I’m impressed you missed anything to do with it. That’s like the exact opposite of me.
      O’ve been following this show for a year because I will lap up any news of anything to do with Silla. Unfortunately I could tell pretty early on I wasn’t going to like it lmao, and all my red flags then were pretty accurate. 😂😂😂


        I usually try to know just a bare minimum about the upcoming shows, skimming through the DB news and premiering shows, hardly ever watching the trailers… and then my goldfish memory working, especially for shows not on my priority list, like this one 😁

        I totally understand your disappointment as a saguk lover, and I always admire you (and kiara and others) for your extensive history knowledge. Moon will clearly be a webtoon mess. 😁 I will see next week wether I’m still in the mood and continue… or drop.


Do they know lol. That he can’t*.

But even so, take me back to Silla dammit. I’ll take *that any day over wondering how you’re gonna pull off a romance with a creepy obsessed ghost in a conveniently dead man’s body!

#JustHerefortheSillaFlashbacks aka Moon That Rises in the Day Ep 1


PART TWO: In Relation to, the Entire Show, although as of writing, only up to Episode 16
aka past me was right 29/10/23

@angelshadows50 I am going to reply to our conversation on the Episode 11+12 recap, here, on my fanwall, partly because of the length this reached , which means therefore also partly because of the new DB commenting default that will put my replies to you out of order, which will be frustrating for me, and confusing for everyone else, and partly because I want to take my time to discuss parts of 13 through 16 as well, both with regards to our prior conversation, but also just in general.

I have thus used our conversation as a springboard and framing device to write a very incensed essay about this show. This is not directed at you personally, this by no means any kind of personal attack, it just happened to be easier to both reply to you and write an essay, at the same time, in the same thing. (You made three points. So I will reply to each, but because of the overall point I want to make, I am going to reply to them somewhat out of order. Lol.)

I feel that my fears that I wrote about in 9+10 have been fulfilled and that this show is taking a direction in its story I neither like, nor enjoy, nor think it objectively should’ve. I reference that essay a lot below as well, since all of my opinions in it are still extremely relevant, especially my conclusion, so I will link it here:

I will finish this show, but I will finish it with liberal use of the ffwd button and a great disappointment, although not much surprise, at how far from grace what could’ve been my favourite drama of the year has fallen.

As such, this is the last thing I will be writing on this show; I no longer care nor feel like I can properly root for any of our characters, except for maybe the Crown Prince and his wife, but since I know how that ends and since they don’t really get enough screen time that’s not nearly enough.

I will therefore, see you all in Goryeo.


Also, the reason Gil Chae is married is in my view a logical follow-through on her part of her decision to abandon Jang Hyeon β€” and the writer did for his female lead what she intended with her superimposition of the GWTW theme in my eyes here too : when the Β«Korean ScarlettΒ» of the 1600s follows through out of emotional growth and a sense of resposibility as now de facto head of her family she has to marry that protector Goo Won Moo, the Β«American ScarlettΒ» at the point of marrying Frank did it because she needed a man out of a factual need to β€”if I remember correctlyβ€” protect her beloved Tara. So there is a parallel here, I find. Hence there is an internal reason for Gil Chae to marry, and I do not agree that it is Β«trashyΒ» or contrived.

1. Why I don’t like her marriage subplot:

I can break this down into 4 subpoints.

1. I don’t like that this show follows GWTW and I don’t think it SHOULD follow GWTW, and I think the writer pulling so much from it is detrimental to her own story, and I’m not interested in defending writing decisions based on it basically copying GWTW plot point for plot point, since I have ignored that part of the show up to this point, and intend to continue to do so.

2. I disagree with the entire way that her β€œabandoning” JH was handled in episodes 9+10 and discussed why in my essay on the recap.
Not because I wanted her to elope with him, but because I think their entire relationship development should’ve happened completely differently and with no GWTW and with no first husband.

3. I cannot be on board with the OTP if she is married as I cannot and will not support adultery, even if her husband is a nincompoop.
I also do not like, nay, I loathe, how a lot of the scenes between the leads regarding their relationship have been handled and written by the show during the period of her engagement and marriage.
I don’t actually even like that she’s divorced now tbh. She still can’t remarry because of Joseon’s laws at the time, so it feels like an obstacle between the leads for the sake of being an obstacle between the leads and nothing else, and the romance can’t be properly enjoyed, as anything, even if it’s tragic, if it’s constantly fraught with bullshit. Are we even supposed to enjoy it? (See #3, perhaps we are not…)

4. The line I used about it being β€œtrashy” is because I feel like she only got married, really, internal reasoning aside, so that the show can farther push home the spoiled woman trope, which for me as of episode 13+14 and definitely as of 16, is really beginning to feel too heavy handed and almost gratuitous and the show has lost its nuance about such awful historic subject matters: I used trashy because I think being gratuitous is trashy storytelling.

This is a common complaint I have with kdramas, in that in their attempts to criticise something that anyone can see to be wrong (Joseon’s treatment of women, specifically women captured in wars etc.), they become heavy handed and gratuitous, and sometimes even manipulative, which means they cannot properly criticise or provide proper commentary.

This essentially leads me to feeling like her marriage has no Greater Narrative reason to exist.

Nothing that happened in 11-16, or even in my opinion 9-10, truly required her to be married to happen. No conflict, nor attempt at development and no stakes required her to be married. I don’t find it necessary for her to be married for any of the political plot to happen, or for the love line to be well developed, either in angst and tragedy, or otherwise.
You could ALMOST take it as a plot point out of the story entirely and you would basically have the same thing. Or you could easily have enough of the same thing that has happened so far. The only major thing you would have to change for that is the events of 9 and 10, to end up at a similar emotional point. Which I have argued in favour of anyway.

The only thing you WOULDN’T have, is Returning Women plot line, and the additional suffering and judgement Gil Chae has to face by not only being any woman returning, but a returning MARRIED woman. Which just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. If that’s the only remaining reason to have her be married.

I feel that her marriage arc is being used by the narrative to push this historical criticism and to mimic GWTW, and not because it is the best narrative decision the story could’ve or should’ve made for these characters and with the themes it established at the beginning. And yes, I think that way, even knowing GC’s position in an historic narrative, and this time period, as well.

I have more to say on this below, though, so keep reading.

Qing envoys constantly went in and out of Hanyang between 1637 and 1645 (until after Ming fell for sure), so why would there not be one checking on the β€œrepatriation” of β€œtheir” valuable slaves (in their eyes, and in particular if they fled from a royal Qing household) and witnessing the scene between Gil Chae and the elderly worker of her smithy? And it was clearly the Joseon go-between who suggested the kidnapping to him, not his idea at first. He was just worried to retrieve valuable slaves to bed with his employer so as not to get killed or demoted instead. Why is that contrived?

2. Why her capture to Qing felt contrived:
I don’t quite know how to explain how it comes across as contrived in any way more than has already been discussed. But I’ll try.

In terms of storytelling, I found the set up for all of this very broad; too broad.

Gil Chae’s slave happened to get caught and turned in. And then she argued with him in the square. And then she happened to be overheard and seen by an envoy, who happened to take a liking to her specifically, and decide to capture her specifically, our Leading Lady no less.

Again, it’s not that this didn’t happen, or that it couldn’t have happened, or that it couldn’t have happened to her specifically either.
It’s that the set up for her being captured feels like it exists ONLY to get her captured, and not because it makes sense for HER to be captured, THEN, and like THAT.

It feels contrived, not because the slavery angle isn’t unrealistic, or even that opportunistic envoys is particularly unrealistic, but because of how it was executed and used by the story.

It just feels like they did it because they needed to get her to Qing, to forward the angst and the leads’ story somehow, and not because each thing happened as a *natural* narrative flow on effect, even if it can be argued to technically be an historic one.

But even as an historic one, I feel like they should’ve done a better job of integrating this into the plot and the flow of the action.

Which leads me nicely, into my last section, so I can talk about this exact problem, and others, more.

Dear @sicarius, I said I would elaborate … Before another day starts full-throttle for me here, let m…

[Read more]



    As the β€œhope and beauty” of the GWTW era existed entirely in Margaret F*ing Mitchell’s head, I’d say the writer has succeeded brilliantly in capturing that.

    suffer, for the sake of suffering itself

    This might as well be the show’s title; β€œμ—°μΈ/Lovers” is misdirection verging on fraud. At this point I’m watching with the same morbid interest I might take in an extensive scab that’s just starting to heal.

    I mean, of course I’m watching to see amazing actors acting amazingly even when they’re fighting their way through a maddeningly circular plot, because an opportunity to see NGM and company tear into roles like these doesn’t come around often, but how long can they keep rising above the preposterous Groundhog Day situations the writer has put them in? Will we see them give up and just phone it in when they’re doing the same damned scenes with nearly identical dialogue over and over and over? Ironically the repetitiveness and lack of growth or resolution has taken me so far out of the story that I’m noticing actors doing their work instead of characters being themselves.

    The leads are at the mercy of a writer who has (what she thinks is) one good idea and keeps hammering at it without the ability to recognize that it’s become stale and that the angst beats no longer land because (a) we can see them coming a mile away and (b) we’re just numb because we’ve been hit on the same spot so often. Spiral up, spiral down, I don’t care anymore but this is a closed loop going nowhere. In a weird way, this is starting to remind me of Extraordinary You where even self-aware characters cannot break free of the unimaginative manwha author’s endless recycling of characters and plots. Every time they try, they just get dragged back into the frame by the heavy hand of the writer.

    I did not realize JH spent six months in bed, pretending he still needed GC’s nursing – I thought it was somewhere between six days and six weeks. And he gets up and unwinds the bandages after all that time and still has those muscles? LOL. Oh well, a moment of fanservice is a respite from pain p()rn. And on the topic of fanservice, the obsessive jealous princess is insultingly unrealistic and out of place in this story and I refuse to engage with that nonsense no matter how much scope it gives NGM for glaring or looking anguished.

    Reacting partly to your previous essay: I do wonder how much of my/our collective reaction to this show is shaped by the foundational notion that suffering is redemptive, either before or after death (which is not a part of my religious tradition but permeates my culture) and therefore when suffering neither redeems nor explores lack of redemption, but just IS, that is what renders it meaningless. If the show wants to give us ‘meaningless’ but realistic suffering such as occurred with mind-boggling frequency in Joseon, it should be a documentary. Storytelling needs meaning.


      *snorts* Thank you.

      It’s creeving infuriating isn’t it? “”Ironically the repetitiveness and lack of growth or resolution has taken me so far out of the story that I’m noticing actors doing their work instead of characters being themselves.””
      Multiple times this week I could only think “who even is Jang Hyun again” the character writing is that inconsistent. AEJ sobbing when she realises how much he’s done for her was brilliant work but I’m heartless and felt naught because I’m writing and character driven lmao.

      Oh the EY comparison is so hilariously and ironically apt considering my reasons for hating that show hahaha bravo. 🤣🤣

      I almost mentioned the state of his body but decided it was lesser titbit to the greater issue. And I’m estimating off what I know regarding other crops, but yeah if you plant in the Spring and Harvest in the Autumn then yes that’s about 6 effing months. I almost made a whole separate post just to rip that entire mess out.
      💯 to the princess. I eyeroll my way through a lot of this now, can you tell.

      “”therefore when suffering neither redeems nor explores lack of redemption, but just IS, that is what renders it meaningless. If the show wants to give us β€˜meaningless’ but realistic suffering such as occurred with mind-boggling frequency in Joseon, it should be a documentary. Storytelling needs meaning.””
      👏👏👏 Because Suffering itself needs meaning, yeah.
      And the Death of Meaning should not be served.


    >> As an example on the Capture feeling contrived front:

    When the girls went to Ganghwa Island it felt like a logical narrative decision for multiple reasons: it was used similarly for conflict, yes, but it also made sense in that Ganghwa was known to be the safest place and nobody would assume otherwise at the time, and to show the trust between GC and JH and the result of that as well.
    Ofc we as the viewer know because of history it was going to be a bad idea, but it’s not Illogical for that to happen within the story or within history.
    So it made the plot point exciting and the story and the conflict was running parallel to history.

    GC’s capture to Qing instead was merely “Yangban were captured – so she is going to be captured. She needs to get to Qing- so she will be kidnapped to Qing.”
    Rather than it being properly integrated as I discuss properly in the essay.

    Just wanted to add that example and comparison before I forgot about it again.


      If I follow your logic, I could also say about the Ganghwa plot that is was just as illogical: “We have to show what happened on the island because you know, history….. so let’s send them there…but how?…oh, let’s have JH tell GC to go because we can’t think of any reason on how all 4 of them would end up on an island…and promise her that he will save her so he would have a reason to go also….and somehow he finds her dagger all the way in the manchu camp cause that is what manchu soldiers do, they collect daggers found on the beach… and thinks she is dead…but she isn’t….and he decides to go anyway even though he thinks she is dead…but he just happenes to see her in that particular moment in the forest….and he goes on and fights 17 freaking blood drinking soldiers…and she kind of sees him but….doesn’t, because he hides…all to be separated again and again…and more angst and mistrust….
      The problem with getting kidnapped is…you don’t know you’re getting kidnapped, it just happens, so I don’t see how she could prepare us or to show anything about the 2 leads because the reason of the kidnapping has nothing to do with them but with the events in the history. So it was a paralel to the history of that moment and had the right to be introduced in the story just as well as the Ganghwa plot.


        I guess.
        I just felt that Ganghwa made more sense overall because Ganghwa was a place that refugees fled too and JH in trying to keep them safe sent them there too, because he knew that.
        They ended up on the island because they needed some place safe from the war. So for me there was more narrative justification link is my argument.

        She could always have not used kidnapping????
        And I disagree there couldn’t have been a way to set that up smoother.

        I don’t mind the dagger cos it’s a thematic motif.

        If my example argument doesn’t land, then stick with my intiial one haha.

        The kidnapping not having anything to do with them but ONLY history is EXACTLY my point. She’s telling a story too, set in history, not just history.
        I’ve already argued my points about narrative interaction with history and the end result of this that the drama ends up at, in the main essay though so I won’t repeat them here.


    I lost interest in the couple since a long time now. So in te first part, I liked it because they spend a lot of time separated.

    But now, the writer wants to get them back and my issue is that I don’t like the characters when they’re together. I don’t buy their big love for each other. I don’t like how the characters act and the actors to be honest. I don’t like when Ahn Eun-Jin talks with this little voice that must be sounded as noble woman I guess. She’s far more interesting when she slapped the guy in the street.

    They finally can spend time together and his first reaction is to lie about the gravity of his wounds… It’s not romantic but childish and stupid…


    “…great disappointment, although not much surprise, at how far from grace what could’ve been my favourite drama of the year has fallen.”

    Disappointment is putting it mildly.
    I didn’t see the point of her getting married. She was financially independent, and since when did she care about her reputation and being an old maid? Just because women were suppressed in that era doesn’t mean they were helpless. The crown princess is an example of women using their talents and willpower to survive, whether in Qing or Joseon.

    Although the acting is excellent and the history fascinating, the sense of magic and hope I felt in part 1 vanished.


      I remember clearly that she dreamed a lot about meeting her future husband. And that she even dreamed in episode 4 to be rescued by him. And to almost getting married in the first episodes. And so on and so on with her first “love”. Yes, she didn’t care about what people thought of her as long as she got what she wanted. She wanted a marriage to a noble dude, she got it and paid for it. Well, almost. And she was not that independent, she relied on her husband help and she probably felt that she owned him a lot for his help.
      I don’t know if a married crown princess and all the advantages and protection that comes with that title is a fitting example. She was, after all, just a mere country daughter of a school.


        Comment was deleted


        *sigh* I didn’t think to copy my reply since it was not an essay, but it disappeared.


        Yes, he helped her, and she swallowed her pride and accepted it because she didn’t want to starve to death or her family.
        They became business partners when she changed the forge into a successful business. The only thing he did was give her permission to use his family forge, and she did all the work. He was able to earn money from her ideas and hard work. She married him because she thought Jang Hyun was dead.

        I agree that the crown princess has advantages, but as a mere country daughter (as you put it), her experience and talents helped feed and free some of her people.
        How can common people not relate to that?


          I thought that I made my point of why she did care about her reputation and being an old maid. And how much she wanted to get married. That’s why she got married, to secure her and her loved ones future. I don’t think those times allowed for a woman to be financially independent, as you put it. She was the one that clinged to that era’s morals and traditions. JH, on the other hand, didn’t and that is why she refused him even though she felt otherwise. I am sure some do not embrace the fact that here we have a FL not being the “feminist” we are used to in the recent dramas, but one that adheres to the rules of “patriarchy”. She doesn’t even question it. It is because of his love that she finds the courage to even ask for divorce. For me is one of the reasons I watched the show because is so uncommon in dramas these days.
          “Just because women were suppressed in that era doesn’t mean they were helpless. The crown princess is an example of women using their talents and willpower to survive, whether in Qing or Joseon.”
          Sure, but the crown princess was married, LOL. Without her husband’s position she would not have had those accomplishments. How can common people relate to that? That she, unlike others, in fact did her job of protecting “her” people? Maybe. Maybe that is why GC married also, because she had a very good example that she could relate to. But then you don’t like the fact that GC got married…It just doesn’t make sense to me what you are trying to say.


            You’d be surprised when you do research you’d find women in this era who were financially independent. Some were born from poor families or slaves in the gibang, etc.
            “Sure, but the crown princess was married, LOL. Without her husband’s position, she would not have had those accomplishments.”
            Are you for real?
            Married or not, women looked up to her as the future mother of the nation. She was a complete woman with talents before she married the Crown Prince. She was put in a situation where she could utilize her abilities and show her love for her people, even with the drama diminishing her accomplishments. She is being shoved to the side so GC can be the one to get her hands dirty. (Historically, it was her idea to do farming to make money to buy their people who were sold in the slave market and send them home. She worked on the farm with her people and more.)

            I can’t articulate my point correctly regarding GC’s marriage, so that’s on me. You can laugh at me for that.


            I thought that women could not own properties at that time, hence my statement. How could they have been truly independent in that era? I am not saying that they were not capable if allowed, because they were just as capable as women in our times.
            You said that GC should have taken an example from her. In your words:
            “Just because women were suppressed in that era doesn’t mean they were helpless. The crown princess is an example of women using their talents and willpower to survive, whether in Qing or Joseon.”
            Well, the crown princess was not that helpless. Nor suppressed, for that matter, because she was allowed to mingle in state affairs by her husband. Again, I am not saying that she was not a capable woman, but those were the times. She was not put in that position on her own, her husband was and she made the best of it. You gave her as an example for SINGLE women at that time to follow, that statement I have an issue with.
            I am sorry to say but I do not share your enthusiasm for the couple since they did come from a privileged position. Sure, I see them in a better light than most, but I am not infatuated with them like you all are. Yes, they helped the captured people from Qing but they still came to be in that position in a country that suppresed most of its people back in Joseon. And I certainly do not see in good light his opening to foreigners influence as something positive and I see it as being a tool for quiet foreign invasion and economic pludgering later on. I very much support change that comes from within a country, that is real change. And I certainly do not share the introduction of foreign values and religion in another country, by force or by other clever means because that also introduces the economic control of that country later on.
            And we did not know what they could truly would have accomplished once they took the throne, the compromises they would have had to make. The country was still ruled by the crazy fractions and they failed their first true test by not gather enough support or enough protection from the Qing.


            Have you heard of Gim Man-deok? Read her story. She didn’t have to own a property to be independent.
            Do we only relate to people like us?
            I have a hard time explaining my thoughts in my 3rd language, and I’m tired. Maybe I’ll revisit your post later because you do have a lot of valid things to share, and I’m being defensive, too.


            I didn’t know about Gim Man-deok so I googled her and I could only find her wiki page in english, most were in korean, from which I found out that:
            “She managed to achieve her position in Jeju thanks to the island’s egalitarian and matrifocal culture, where women had greater economic and social independence than the rest of the country, whose Neo-Confucian ideology enforced strong female repression.”
            I don’t know if it is true since is wiki and I have no knowledge why in Jeju island women had more freedom. But my argument still stands when it comes to 17th century mainland Joseon, unless you meant that GC should have gone to Jeju island and be an independent single woman there at the end of 18th century.
            But thanks for letting me know about Gim Man-deok, she was indeed a remarkable woman. I’ll see if I could find more info about her life and watch the drama about her.


        But the point of the Husband Dream is that it is Jang Hyun… See my second subpoint about her marriage plot.


          Yes, we know. And the dream is still happening, she is almost at the beach where he has been waiting for her. He has always loved her, she had to do a lot of “running” to come to that conclusion.
          But I was making another point to Kiara, the one that she always wanted to be a married woman and not an old maid.


          About her marriage plot…
          That is the whole story. A married woman finds love and hope after being captive and abandoned by her husband. It said so in all the synopsis, we just chose to ignore it.


            Then we’re back to my first “essay” after 9+10 and how I think the writing of the show itself in the first half set up for something different from this professed plot and synopsis.
            I also have a habit of thinking that just because a show thinks it should do something, doesn’t mean it actually should for the best story or for its characters. πŸ˜‰


            I am sorry that you see the show this way for some time now. For me it has many parallels with the world I grew up in and it has different meanings that I care and relate with.
            You can be “back” to that essay, I certainly am not (and I do not belong in “the audience” you have been talking about in the second one, also). The first half set up the characters and the backstory for the main one. That you don’t like the main story, I understand. But to not get it at all, not so much, more so because I do enjoy how you write.


            Thank you!

            I “get” the main story you speak about fine.
            I just don’t think it’s objectively good story telling, and I disagree that, whatever you think is the main story, should’ve been the main story, is all I guess.

            But perhaps you can clarify more about what you mean here.


            The marriage. You called it a subplot, something that was not needed among many, many other things. You wrote that “their entire relationship development should’ve happened completely differently and with no GWTW and with no first husband”. The marriage is the whole point of the story, whether you like it or not, and is the point from which everything flows. And it didn’t follow GWTW in this aspect, the beginning did to hook us for the marriage and for what’s to come. And not the marriage per se, but the fact that she is/was a married woman and how she recovered and found love and hope in those cruel times, even if only for a short time if JH will end up dead, after being abandoned for reasons that she had no control of. You say that her capture is contrived and it was only to drive GC to JH. But if the marriage and the love she has even after her abandoment are the center point of the story, then I beg to differ. I can even say that the reason JH was sent to S city in the story to begin with is because GC was suppose to come there eventually to be abandoned and not the other way around.
            I could go more in depth but time is not on my side. And there is really no need for because if you don’t get the marriage thing and think about it as a subplot still at episode 16 then you don’t get what this story is about.


            Comment was deleted


            I think we’re going round in circles.

            I think the story should’ve been, imperatively, objectively, NOT the one we got.

            I’ve written two essays to try and explain why. If you don’t get ME by that point, and think I still don’t get you (or the story apparently), that is what it is, but oh well. Thanks for participating in this thread anyway. 🖤


      I saved my vitriol for the essay πŸ˜‰


      Comment was deleted


      Lol woops I was two years off in my timeline; we only have two years now before the Prince dies not 4, but oh well.


    “Quoting the writer herself here:
    She wanted to impose the β€œhope and beauty” of GWTW onto this era of Korean history? What hope? What beauty? Where? ”
    Hope that a lot of those women not only survived but found love. Hope that there were, even in those times, men like JH ( and Rhett Butler ) that went against the current and loved and cherished women considered “tainted” by society. And that is beautiful.


      What hope can I take from the love story when it only intent on torturing them despite this? It doesn’t seem like it is really telling their love story but rather their failed love story. Their hope in love has transcended nothing so far.
      And what beauty can I find in JH’s character when they refuse to develop him or his committment properly or provide him with coherent growth?
      That IS beautiful, I agree, and I like that he has always stood up against that, yes, but the story has to be more than just saying that.
      The execution should echo the message.
      I don’t think it has achieved either of these things in a way that is truly satisfying narratively and right now only seems intent on killing any true hope it might pretend to profess.
      I don’t think it is transcending is tragedy and I take issue with that.


        Or for that matter, what hope in love do they actually have? The show hasn’t developed that, it’s spent 16 episodes of them walking round in circles lying to each other, even by the end of the stint in Qing; there is, as I have said, no true return.
        If they made any progress at all it is both incoherent, and back to square one by the end of 16.

        “In the end you are left wondering what the point in being invested in this couple is at all.”


    Well said.
    I too am feeling very, very fatigued of being “dragged” through the “angst, misery, pain p–n” and “continued repetitionΒ loop- with no pay off” whatsoever.Β  We have watched over 16 hours without one honest conversation or any straightforward communication between our leads. I’m resigned to the fact that this is not first and foremost a romance. I only wish it had been clearer from the start then my expectationsΒ would not have been so high.Β 
    As much as I love watching both lead actors, maybe this would have been better as 16 episodes to get rid of a lot of frustrating crap that has deviated from the tighter first half of the show.Β 
    Third time trying to post for an apparently inappropriate word πŸ™‚


    Hi, @sicarius, I am seeing your post this morning. It’s always good to have something to take as starting point for a commentary, so I do not feel insulted or anything of that sort. I want to study your argumentation in detail, which will take a while (currently my day life is extremely full). Thanks for the thoughtful and lengthy commentary.


PART ONE: In Relation to the First Half of the show, specifically Episodes 9+10.
Posting for Archival Reasons. 05/09/23


And I just. I CAN’T shake this feeling. As Miss Clavel would say, β€œSomething! Is not right!”

disclaimer: this is discussing hypothetical directions of the show, and thematic storytelling concepts, in light of what we have so far, in particular episode 10, and is *extremely* stream of consciousness, and so if it takes a meandering and circuitous route to get to my point, that is why. please bear with me. lol.


I’m struggling here because I am wondering if what I expected from the show early on
If those expectations are unfounded. And if so, how unfounded.

If it ends with them dead (see: @elinor’s theory re. the dream)…

I don’t mind them being dead tbh, if the story gets there in the correct way, if all the narrative beats land, and the resolution feels satisfying and earned.

But I don’t feel like 10 succeeded in earning … its direction, and its narrative choices.


I don’t mind the messy and flaws and the insecurities up until a point

But instead of the show returning on those, pushing that forward, taking those characters FARTHER

It’s keeping them stuck there

And instead of following through with the OBVIOUS development here, that is staring you in the face from ep 1 through 3 (see: my episode 1 comment)

Instead it is to me dwelling on this β€œfickleness” and β€œdoubt”, essentially of both characters, whether you think either is or is not fickle, or whether either is justified in their doubts and the immediate reactions therein or notβ€”that’s not particularly important I don’t think — what’s important is not the immediate reaction or actions of the characters, just as much as it’s not the immediate plot of the show either—– it’s the story itself, the writing, dwelling on these, and sort of revelling in that still not currently being resolved… or… potentially never being resolved

And pushing that, that β€œrevelling” as a central conflict itself instead

I don’t THINK I’m unjustified in expecting something more from the show than this, in how eps 1 through 6 in particular went.

I would find it more interesting, and not just more narratively satisfying personally, but like actually objectively BETTER narratively, if instead of getting absorbed in that aspect of the characters, we went above and beyond their foibles and failings.

I don’t think this is the kind of story, or tragedy, if it’s going that way, that benefits from dwelling in constant mistake and upheaval.

There has to be some kind of release. Some kind of return. Small ones, episodically, and weekly, or rather than limiting it to that, small ones in terms of smaller internal arcs, and then bigger ones in terms of the overall show.

I’m not saying erase the conflict altogether, or strip the nuance from the characters in case anyone gets confused by this. That’s not it at all.

What I mean is that … in the essence of the archetypal story this is… in the essence of a grand sweeping stakes and high romance and war and death and tragedy and pining… (think big, back, deeper, removed) …

the eucatastrophe* of it all is almost imperative:

The character failings in this kind of show are classic tools to forward character DEVELOPMENT, not solely angst, to forward a growth, not a lack

Angst itself is not enough. You need to give your audience, and as much your characters, meaning behind that.

Ironically, I think it’s beginning to fail at that.

Not wholly, not yet, but I can see the cracks, and it failed at that for me in episode 10 at least

The angst this week… I guess I have to say this, hate to say it, but it actually felt MORE manufactured.

As I’ve said, I didn’t MIND it existing up until a certain point, because you can’t have character development without conflict, but if you only stay WITHIN the conflict,

You’re essentially leading your audience and characters on for… no other reason than to lead them on.

Now we’re only half way, so we do need a conflict for the half way point, well … debatably, depending on how you wanna structure your story and how closely you wanna stick to act rules (not always a fan myself)
which is why my original comment exists;

Id est I *could* be satisfied with the emotional point we ended up at this week, if only we got there differently

And that’s what this comment is for, to explore what that β€œdifferently” is that I am seeking
if just doing it differently with a different focus would’ve worked, or if it needed/needs something else entirely

We also have to ask ourselves, where our characters will GO from here? And why?

And so NOW I’m reassessing what I think this drama thinks it is, and where its going

If it actually knows, if it is sound in that, and if that is what I want it to be, or think it SHOULD, objectively, be…

I also don’t think it’s especially relevant if her being married before was in original premise, or if β€œ”this is what GWTW did though””

Because I think I would still have the same reaction if I’d watched with either of those frames of references

That is, a rejection of HOW it’s doing that and also in part a rejection of the WHY (or at least an implied greater why, given that we’re again, only at the half way mark)


To farther my earlier point about the revelling in conflict and irresolution…

Simultaneously in this show, somehow … there is this idea of truly fated beings, of them trusting each other and putting their faith in each other and responding to each other in this very almost instinctual way, where what they say and what they do don’t line up, but that what they do is more important…

And then there’s this idea of that being broken or betrayed or unfulfilled in some way, with the mistrust and the fighting and the need for security etc etc, but instead of that being broken as a tragedy or as something to be restored, it’s saying that… it’s always been broken?

Which doesn’t line up to me…


There’s fated and entwined, as I said, which we SEE, with this constant crossing over, and the dreams, and that inherent connection again

But he has been stripped and thrown to the wind
and their connexion constantly severed, again not as a tragedy or as something to be restored, in either case to release catharsis,
But as something that can only be constantly severed…

Which again, … doesn’t add up to me

As to WHY you would go that route
Instead of tragedy and or restoration route

What I mean by this is that a final tragedy imo doesn’t have to be this constant severing, this always broken

It can be, and it can be this constant spiral of missed opportunities and wrong decisions, but for that kind of tragedy to work, it has to be INEVITABLE-
(See: EXTRACURRICULAR. one day I will write about that show and about how it is a classic tragedy about the fall of man, but not today)

It has to be a kind of inescapable
and this inescapableness has to, itself, be inescapable, like there is NO OTHER OPTION and that’s OBVIOUS.

This *points at show aggressively* is NOT unavoidable!


I do not think that this story IS actually, or needs to be, or SHOULD be, THAT kind of TRAGEDY

And I don’t think even the dream, which is the strongest foreshadower of the future over anything, justifies it either, let alone anything else.

And if it is NOT the inevitable kind of tragedy,
Then it MUST be, it MUST be an β€œeucatastrophic”* tragedy.

That feels like an oxymoron lmao I’m so sorry Tolkien, I promise it makes more sense in my head:

*A eucatastrophe usually refers to an ending of a story, and a sudden turn of events that avoids impending doom. But here I use it mainly to mean smaller moments, internal eucatastrophes that make it all worthwhile; eucatastrophe as a process, and so a resolution with joy like sorrow, sorrow like joy.
(And I think this is in line with how Tolkien uses it and talks about it too – The Ring is destroyed, but the Shire is scoured and Frodo must pass into the West, etc.)

But do not mistake the foreshadowing for this^, for a eucatastrophe, either.
The foreshadowing is not enough to justify it being the inevitable kind of tragedy, and it is even less enough to justify it being THIS kind.
It would not be a true achievement of the kind of thematic storytelling I am talking about in its current state and direction.
it is missing some deeper understanding of what that sorrow like joy, joy like sorry, eucatastrophe means.
To be united in death, there must be hope in death BECAUSE of something, not because of nothing.


β€œTolkien coined the word eucatastropheβ€”the good catastropheβ€”to express the reality of β€˜a sudden and miraculous grace.’ It gives the reader β€˜a catch of breath, a beat and lifting of the heart, and a piercing glimpse of joy and heart’s desire.’” [Read more]


    AS A MOM who just had to edit a 500 word essay down to 250 and a 1000 word essay down to 500 for her son’s college apps, it’s taking everything that is in me to not edit your post right now! I don’t think I’m in the right headspace for this. LOL!


Neither are mine, aPpaRENTly

My Dearest #14
The writing in this is driving me up the WALL.


HRH Status update:
Exhausted, physically, mentally, spiritually… ecumenically. etc
Evillive – Dropped. cbb
My Dearest – Behind. didn\’t have the internet, or the time, over the weekend to darkside lol
Worst of Evil – Ready for it to end
The Day/ The Kidnapping Day – Almost forgot I was watching this woops
Mad Dog/Hari x Minjoon Fangirling – Sooooooo behind
Other: Rewatching A:TLA, and finally started Spy x Family (which like, I read/am reading the manga, and then the show came out, and then I put off watching it because…??? anyway)
Ready: For a new wave of dramas to start to cure my boredom for three weeks before I drop them again 😂.


Worst of Evil 8+9

Well I guess that was fun while it lasted. Me watching this without extensive use of the fast-forward button that is.

I was so bored during 8+9 my eyes were glazing over and then the writing got dumber and heralded the rest of the Four Horsemen of the Dropocalypse, and I still don’t know why anyone does anything in this show, yay.

The one small silver lining, is that I genuinely think JCW is doing very well here, and I enjoy watching him even more than WHJ.
Too bad I still don’t like the show, Wookie…

Skimming the last three episodes it is.


    I haven’t seen every single one of his performances since “Healer” so this isn’t a totally fair assessment, but for me, this is absolutely his best one in that time period. The show is all about his character going through an emotional wringer, and there are a ton of tight shots on his face (and for once, not just to show us how attractive it is) where he has to make this outrageous story look believable and poignant because we care about this guy. He’s truly impressive, especially since the writing leaves a lot of gaps, fails to establish a clear backstory, and is always more focused on how a scenes looks rather than how it feels or what it accomplishes.

    But yeah, I wish the writing was better because with just a few tweaks and a better balance of scenes the show could have been really good.


      I haven’t seen all of them either but I’ve seen enough and I agree with you.

      There were shots in 9 where he just glares bloody murder at Gichul after killing a corridor full of guys, and even though I thought that whole bloodbath scene was ridiculous and made no sense, and even though I was ffwding, I completely believed Wookie in that moment lol.

      I think your summary is very apt in what is wrong with this show. I would add to it by saying I think its flaws are even more condensed under one idea, and that is that it’s basically a crash course failure in why establishing clearly defined character motivation is immensely important.

      “and is always more focused on how a scenes looks rather than how it feels or what it accomplishes.”
      Ugh, this. And it’s so annoying because there were glimpses of otherwise earlier on. Oh well. Typical. 😅


Ghosts in my notifs lol