Beanie level: Chaebol’s poor doppelganger

FOS S2 Ep10: YIKES! I love love love how things are unfolding, and at this point, I can confidently say that I love both seasons equally!!

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    Cool! I’ve just started rewatching season 1 and hope to go on to season 2. 💪

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      Yay!!! Both seasons have a bit different approaches I think but the writing and acting are just as awesome and the directing/cinematography/editing is even better in season 2!

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Forest of Secrets S2 Ep9: My brain is still fried but I can say I’m so tensed and excited to see how things unfold! (More spoilers thoughts in the comment below, so be careful if you haven’t watch it yet!)

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    I love seeing Yeo-jin taking charge of the investigation and leading the news conference. I’m still worried about her working for Chief Choi but I have faith she’ll pull through without giving in.

    The conversation between Shi-mok, Yeo-jin, and the other police officers about the photo is so interesting. Yeo-jin pointed out the fact that prosecution wouldn’t hand over weasel’s work history, underlining the bigger problem of investigative authority, and Shi-mok agreed without arguing or raising a fuss. If it were another prosecutor, they would no doubt deny it or becoming so fluster/angry, especially when surrounded by police officers. Yeo-jin is also being fair when pointing out the police’s biases in the same breath.

    It’s hilarious that every other police officer at Yongsan groaned when they saw Shi-mok walked in. And then to see Shi-mok, Yeo-jin, and the police chief all discussing the case like they weren’t meant to be on “opposing” sides. Which I guess is the whole point – that police and prosecution need to work together and CAN work together to actually achieve something good.

    Shi-mok’s question about what the symptoms of someone who is worried are is probs meant to push Prosecutor Kim to pay attention to Prosecutor Won. Dude is getting suspicious. But like Won isn’t that subtle either. I hope Kim would turn out to be an ally to Shi-mok in some ways.

    Sigh. It really looks like Dong-jae’s wife might be cheating on her husband, or has other shady dealings under the table. Her comment to her younger son about “that’s not your dad” … lolol poor weasel. I hope we find him alive.

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      I had the same feeling about that “it’s not your dad”!!

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        so suspicious!!! i don’t think she actually kidnaps her husband but she’s definitely hiding something.

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      Kim Sa-hyun slowly going into the Shi-mok line is the plot twist I never knew I’d see. That conversation they had was hilarious, his ‘Eung’ LOL!

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        haha same!!! I hope to see him continue down this road because it is so funnnnny! He seems shady in that he totally bites into the status quo for his own benefits, but I doubt he would actually commit serious crimes.

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Forest of Secrets S2 Eps 7-8: Is there hope? Idk, but I’m here for it!!!! (More spoilery thoughts in the comment below!)

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    First and foremost, sending prayers for our weasel’s safe return DESPITE THAT HORRENDOUS ENDING SCENE OF EP 7.

    *crying break*

    Second, every time Shi-mok attempts to eat something, I will be expecting bad news.

    The scene with Chief Kang berating Shi-mok for bothering him was sad to watch, but it also makes me realize that Shi-mok HAS changed. He’s become more self-aware in a way that he wasn’t before. Sure, he’s calm and rational and detached. But his actions still affect others, and we’re starting to see him realizing/understanding that more. Just as he’s reflecting on how his behaviors affect others, Shi-mok’s also becoming more aware of his own biases despite his good intentions.

    I think Seo Dong-jae’s disappearance drives that point home more. It’s totes not Shi-mok’s fault that Dong-jae was kidnapped, but I’m sure the guilt is there. Yeo-jin tried to reassure him when she said “this” didn’t happen in real life, and that they would find Dong-jae safe and sound. What surprises me most is Prosecutor Kim telling Shi-mok that if this case is affecting him emotionally, he should tell Chief Woo to pass it onto someone else. But then the bastard guilt-trip our beloved Shi-mok with “why are you not running around finding him instead of questioning me” routine, and triggered Shi-mok’s headache. Come on, asshat!!! *waving angry fists* Fight me instead!

    With next weekend’s episodes preview, I have more hope that we’d find Dong-jae in time. BUT I’m also NOT going to be TOO hopeful either.

    That Hanjo director guy might be the driving force behind the scene. He seems shady enough. Lee Yeon-jae doesn’t seem to know what happened with Park Kwang-su’s death, considering how she sent that sleazy ex-judge on the hunt for information without the director knowing. If he’s the culprit, I would feel so bad for Yeon-jae and her incredible bad luck with men.

    On the other hand, it’s looking like Chiefs Choi and Woo were involved in the mess too. Yikes. I mean, at this point, who isn’t a suspect? But that’s what I like about a mystery/thriller story because if you’re not constantly questioning your reality, is it really a mystery?

    Seeing Chief Choi doing laundry and being domestic is rather jarring. Probs just as jarring as seeing Dong-jae’s wife and kid. I appreciate that these details give our questionable characters dimensions and depths.

    ALSO, makes it sad to see that Shi-mok is still alone. 🙁 Remembering the scene of him waiting at a rest stop before being summon to Seoul, watching families walked passed and looking a bit wistful. I don’t think there’s going to be romance between Shi-mok and Yeo-jin, but I hope we get to see some possibilities of Shi-mok’s own happy ending.

    Ohhh, what about that female prosecutor whose name I did not catch? The one who was Dong-jae’s mentee and now working to help find him? She also seems a bit suspicious, but she’s also smart. At this point though, I’m leaning more on her being a potential culprit somehow. Hm

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      Also, in an interview, Cho Seung-woo has said Shi-mok would be eating something later without being bothered and that something is a vegetable. That makes me think of those carrots sticks they give you with soju in a pojangmacha. Which then makes me think of shit, what if it’s Shi-mok drinking by himself because he’s sad??? Because something bad happens????

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      He should be safe.. because killer’s prime motive seems to be getting police and prosecution to implicate themselves

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    “ Seeing Chief Choi doing laundry and being domestic is rather jarring. Probs just as jarring as seeing Dong-jae’s wife and kid. I appreciate that these details give our questionable characters dimensions and depths.”

    That laundry scene is a surprise to me that we get to see the other side of a character who is so ambiguous at work but totally the other way round at home – where her kid is the priority. It adds much dimension as you do rightly observe.

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Forest of Secrest S2 Ep. 7: I’m sorry, but what just happened? Why??? I guess I’ll just throw away my heart now???????? (more spoilery thoughts in comment below!)

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    You know, I DID NOT see that coming and this might be the understatement of the week. (I’ve made some ill-advised understatements last week, and probs more next week.) That ending scene was NOT necessary, show.
    I went into this thinking that there’s no way, absolutely no way, they would hurt us SO SOON in the drama’s trajectory – if we’re thinking back on season 1 ep 13 when Eun-so died. BUT HERE WE ARE, AT EPISODE 7. Excuse me for being surprised. Granted, not every script should have the same structure but still, I hung onto this flimsy ~logic~ to protect my fragile heart.

    *crying break*

    And the preview – OMG. Shi-mok, hon, are you going to collapse again?! Good thing I threw away my heart so like, come at me with all the pain – it’s all just going to bounce off me now. (Is that how pain works?)

    Shi-mok got so impatient when he was talking to Dong-jae’s co-workers, and when he told the female prosecutor that he too was Dong-jae’s mentee, he was clearly affected by all this. AND THEN, when Yongsan police chef said he didn’t want “this” to happen “again”, I might have screamed internally. All the foreshadowing is really all we needed. We did not need to see the ending scene.

    *going back to crying*

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In between waiting for new episodes of Forest of Secrets season 2, I’ve picked up C-drama A MURDEROUS AFFAIR IN HORIZON TOWER per Avenue X’ review/recommendation. I’ve got through 2 episodes so far and it’s pretty good! I’m holding off my judgement until the end since I don’t want my hopes to be crushed LOLS. The episodes are relatively short, and I genuinely like the female detective. She has that soft-spoken rookie thing going, but isn’t afraid to call out her boss on his biased comments. Any other Beanies watching/have watched it? :3

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A DRAMA A DAY CHALLENGE @purpleshees
And I’ll close out this challenge with my favorite variety show(s):
1 NIGHT 2 DAY (season 1) – This was my first foray into K-variety and it did not disappoint!
THREE MEALS A DAY (in all its versions) – I don’t think I need to explain this at all, but season 1 sank its claw into my heart with Lee Seo-jin in a variety show setting. Gosh, I need a re-watch of this to cheer me up. All the other versions/seasons and their cast members are just as fun!!!
GRANDPAS/YOUTHS/NOONAS OVER FLOWERS series – SO GOOD.
I think I should just say anything Na PD produces is great instead of listing them out. haha 🙂

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30 DAYS BOOK CHALLENGE @isthatacorner
Welps, grad school started for me half way through August and I just forgot about this challenge. I want to wrap it up with a few last mentions.
DAY 30: MY FAVORITE BOOK OF ALL TIME – CONVENIENCE STORE WOMAN by Sayaka Murata. I’ve mentioned this before, but it truly is my favorite book of all time and I cannot recommend it enough. She has a new book (or maybe a translation of one of her published works) coming out in the US in October. I totes pre-ordered it and my excitement for this is off the charts!!!!
DAY 28: FAVORITE TITLE – HOMESICK FOR ANOTHER WORLD by Ottessa Moshfegh. This is a wonderful collection of short stories!
DAY

And that’s all, folks! It has been fun! Onwards to more awesome books~

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FoS2 ep 5-6: spoilery thoughts in the comments so proceed at your own risks!!!!! BUT AHH. WOW.

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    WOW. What just happened?
    Just a few things here we gotta talk about before touching that ending:
    – Chief Prosecutor Kang is so competent and badass. Seeing him opposite that sleazy Prosecutor Kim is such a contrast. I love that he warned the guy about using Shi-mok – it seems like all of the new players this season seriously underestimated what Shi-mok can do. Prosecutor Won got a taste of that at the end of ep 5 and Kim’s feathers were ruffled during his encounter with Shi-mok as well. Take that, punks! (I really wanted to scream that out loud while watching~)
    – Lee Yeon-jae and the dinner scene, wow. It clearly hurts her that she has to use such tactics to secure her management rights, but wow, what a crazy whirlwind that conversation was. The newspaper guy might still have some sorts of feelings for her, or just a teensy tiny bit of human decency and caved when she asked after her dad. ALSO can we talk about that lipstick comment?! What a sexist asshole! It surprised me when LYJ wiped her make up off. It was a gesture of defiance because honestly, whatever she wears or does would still be spinned against her simply because she’s a woman. Urg, go burn in hell with that attitude, newspaper dude. Just leave all your shares for her. thnx.
    – The conversation between Shi-mok and Yeo-jin is so sweet to watch. Their dynamic is just perfect~ I like that he showed up after having done his research and told her about his suspicions instead of threatening/coercing it out of her. AND when he asked if she still draws these days, I might have squealed a little. Gosh, now that things are taking a TURN, we really need some fluffy and funny drawings from Yeo-jin.
    – side note: that white jacket Yeo-jin wore during that scene is the same one she wore in season 1 when she raced over to Shi-mok’s house in ep 13. There are also some similar suits Shi-mok wore. Idk why I fixated on their wardrobes. I guess it’s just nice to see that some things don’t change. LOLS
    – Yeo-jin’s conversation with her boss gives me all the chill. I get the long game Choi Bit is playing, but Yeo-jin started to work at the Reformation unit not to take part in these games, but in hopes of implementing true reforms. Choi’s comment on how things weren’t easy for her/them back in the days and how she now just wants to bring others upward with her by giving them opportunities makes me feel a bit sad. Things definitely have not been easy for women in any workplace, let along in the police force. I admire Choi’s determination but her questionable ethics are a bit icky to watch. It’s that kind of cycle that feeds the corrupted system. Once/if the police gain investigative rights, the same kind of corruption would continue. That’s not a meaningful solution at all. I’m curious to see where this will lead, especially seeing how affected Yeo-jin is.

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      I loved, loved, loved kicking ass Chief Kang! Ha! That SaHyun deserved it!

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    – AND THAT TWIST. Holy smokes! I hope our resident weasel is ok! Not gonna lie, I’m so glad that something crazy happens so that Shi-mok and Yeo-jin can team up with the rest of the detectives, like the good old days! It’s looking more and more that Shi-mok and Yeo-jin would break out on their own since both of their bosses are questionable at best and truly corrupted at worst. I can’t wait for next weekend!!! Meanwhile, fingers crossed for weasel’s safe return!!!!! We can’t have another heart break.

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!!!!!!

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AWWW! Look at their smiles!! My heart can’t handle this~

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    Make me happy looking at their interaction. I am forever thankful to whoever casted them and other actors to Stranger.

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    Wait what?! Did JSW seriously remembered Yeo Jin’s pants from season 1??

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!!!~

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Forest of Secrets 2 ep. 2 = I\’ll share my thoughts in the comment below because they\’ll be spoilery, just in case any Beanies come across who haven\’t watched it yet. :3

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    I love the pacing so far. It’s slow but feels jampacked with information. At the end of this episode, I finally understood this whole turf war between the prosecution and the police. Yesterday, I was just confused as to why it matters who closes what cases. Lols. I’m excited to see what’s in store for our duo next but also willing to wait and take the time to let the details sink in, which is good since live watching can be a pain sometimes. :3
    And hooray for Lee Yeon-jae and Seo Dong-jae being back on my screen! I want to see more of LYJ’s handling of the business and all the associated ~drama~. SDJ cracked me up when he was trying to see his case to Prosecutor Won. Still the same – wanting to maneuver his way up to the top via any path possible. And still having Shi-mok standing in his way!
    Talking about Shi-mok, it makes my heart sad to see him so alone and without a place to stay. It makes sense that his apartment in Seoul is still being leased out, but like can he crash at Yeo-jin’s place??? I hope we get to explore his personal hurdles regarding his family and relationships (be it friendships or romantic partnerships). I love the changes in his demeanor towards Yeo-jin from season 1 to now, especially the dinner scene. He apologized for leaving before they could even eat, and his awkward backing out/tumbling out of the restaurant! Side note: can he ever eat in peace?! Poor guy, every time we see him with food/snacks, he gets an important phone call to meet unpleasant people.

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      Don’t you feel like it’s too slow? I checked S1 again, and the first two eps had more things going.

      I’m just thankful we get to see our leads in one scene this week. 😥

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        No, the slower pacing doesn’t bother me. I wonder if I’m just too optimistic about this season, but I like what I see so far. If this season turns out to be a slow-paced and more character-driven, I’d still be down for it.

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          Same with me too! I had to paused while watching last season because I couldn’t process the informations but this time it’s a lot easier to process things (but we’re still in ep 2 so who knows??)

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Forest of Secrets 2 ep. 1 = How I\’ve missed this show! I\’ll put all my spoilery thoughts in the comment below, so be careful if you haven\’t watched it yet!

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    We’re only on ep 1 but the pacing and atmosphere are very similar to season 1, which I think is a good thing. There are references to what happened in season 1 and I’m really interested to see where that might lead to now. I’m glad that these events continue to have repercussions and even though two years have passed, that’s not a lot of time when it comes to legal disputes. I’m excited to see Lee Yeon-jae coming back on screen as the badass and vengeful CEO, and see how she’s dealing with her father’s lawsuits and her husband’s death. And of course, our resident weasel Seo Dong-jae! He doesn’t seem to change one bit from the promo for ep 2. haha
    It’s so good to see JSW as Hwang Shi-mok again – and really, he’s not as emotionless as he’d like you to believe. I cracked up at his exasperation when the Chief at Tongyang’s office wanted to have lunch with him after berating him for not showing up to the going-away-party the day before. :3

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      I was kinda disappointed that SDJ or LYJ didn’t show up in this ep but it just leaves me wanting more from ep 2!

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        I also wanted longer episode! Hahaha this is the one instance where I’d be ok if the episodes are longer than an hr.

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          Haha same! I’m honestly hoping they increase the length because I need more time with these characters.

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      Nice touch to have Chang joon narration at the beginning. Love it. I got trust issues right again right from E1 😐🧐

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30 DAYS BOOK CHALLENGE @isthatacorner
DAY 12: a book I love and hate at the same time – I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS by Iain Reid
This is a mystery/thriller about a woman who’s on a road trip with her boyfriend to visit his family who lives in a rural area. It’s written in first-person perspective with our female character as the unreliable narrator. There’s a snowstorm that gets worse and worse as the day goes on. The couple arrives at the boyfriend’s parents’ house, eats dinner together, and leaves the house late that same night because our female character grows uncomfortable with the whole thing. It’s all fine and good until the couple gets back on the road to return home. I can’t say anymore because it would be a spoiler. The reason why I love and hate this book at the same time all boiled down to the ending. The writing is so good and so successful in building up the anticipation and the creepy, tense atmosphere. I was confused and scared as I followed the woman on this journey, in the middle of a snow storm. I began to question her sanity, but in like a good and interesting way. But the freaking ending feels so mediocre and so cliche to me. It’s such a trope to end things like that, and maybe the author could make it work in the novel’s favor, somehow? As it is, I hate that the novel’s potential is wasted in the last COUPLE OF PAGES. Now, don’t let my personal opinion dissuade you from reading this. It’s still a solid read, especially if you haven’t read a lot of thriller/mystery before. A lot of peeps I know loved the ending, so I think I might be in the minority on this.

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    Netflix has made a movie adaptation of this book and it’s set to be released on September 4th for US folks, so maybe give it a shot. I know I will watch it, even if I might pull my hair out at the end. :3

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A DRAMA A DAY CHALLENGE @purplesheesh
DAY 10: slice of life – LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
This family drama is the first K-drama I watched that has such a beautiful portrayal of a gay couple. The family dynamics are wonderful and full of love. I enjoyed watching all the different plot lines. There’s our same-sex couple and their struggles with coming out and how that affect their relationships with their families, there’s an uncle who meets the match of his life in his strong-headed but messy boss, there are the younger siblings and their journeys to find their own SO, and the matriarch of the family who juggles her career as a chef with running the family’s inn and dealing with all the interpersonal dramas that pop up. I think in one of the recaps/reviews I read, the author pointed out that each episode opened with a shot of a clear morning sky, marking a new day, as a way to suggest that life continues to move forward and there’s clear sky ahead after a storm. I just think that’s a beautiful way to look at this drama – even though there are difficult times, you can overcome that with your loved ones by your side.

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    This is my number one family drama of all times!

    So pleased to see it mentioned here. The parents are the same parents from Father is Strange but my love for Life is Beautiful is several notches higher for all the reasons you mentioned. I remember watching two or three episodes every week and it was my weekly healing/soothing dose. The coming out of the gay son and the responses from individual family members especially the Mom are so heart wrenching. And how I love the two uncles – one is a lazy bum while the other is a career man whose late age romance is another highlight of the drama.

    My weekly meeting with this family over several months make them stay in my heart for a long, long time. It epitomises what family love is about.

    Strongly recommended!

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      And having Jeju Island as the drama location is another plus.

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        Also yes! The scenery is so beautiful! Their family’s inn is also so beautiful!

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      Yay! I love every family member! Except Kyung-soo’s mom who’s deadset on getting him to leave Tae-sub and return to his “normal” life. urg. But the conversation between Kyung-soo’s mom and Tea-sub’s mom is one of the best moments in the drama for me! So good!

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A DRAMA A DAY challenge @purplesheesh
DAY 9: school – NOBODY KNOWS
I know I cheated. But honestly, I haven’t watched a single school-centric drama in a very long time. While I do look at the ones I did watch fondly with nostalgia, I don’t love any of them. NOBODY KNOWS kind of involves a school setting and the adorable ducklings who are students, so it works! I absolutely loved this drama to pieces. It has all the components of good storytelling, all done with a strong and layered female character as the lead! Kim Seo-hyung’s performance is amazing and flawless. I love her budding romance with Ryu Deok-hwan.

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30 DAYS BOOK CHALLENGE @isthatacorner
DAY 11: a book I hated – DARK MATTER by Blake Crouch
I don’t think I hated this book so much as I disliked it, with a tad more intensity than others, because of its mediocrity and problematic portrayal (stereotypical) descriptions of its only prominent female character. The book is about this professor who was on his way home one night and was violently kidnapped. When he woke up, his life as he knew it disappeared – his house, his wife and kid, all gone. The premise sounded to interesting to me and picked it up thinking it would be a mind-bending sci-fi, but what I got was a mediocre story with some physics ~sprinkled~ in and a heavy dosage of female-character-as-a-disposable-prop treatment. The concept of the book was interesting, but I find the execution lacking. Also, the writing is very very basic. It read like a boring and predictable action movie script. To borrow Kang-tae’s phrase, this book is like an empty can but without any hope of redemption. (Wow, maybe I do hate this book.)

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    ALSO Thanks to all the Beanies who gave me the valuable tip so I could make long posts!!! :3

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My list of top 10 dramas in the comment, because I still don\’t know how to make longer posts here. oops. :3 Click to see how ~compatible~ our drama tastes are!!

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    10% – Forest of Secrets
    10% – Life
    10% – Hyena
    10% – Life on Mars
    10% – It’s Ok to Not Be Ok
    10% – Nobody Knows
    10% – Just Between Lovers
    10% – The Crowned Clown
    10% – Life is Beautiful
    10% – The Fiery Priest

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      Honorable Mentions: Chief Kim, The King 2 Hearts, Queen In-hyun’s Man, Trap, and My Girlfriend is a Gumiho.
      The popular dramas lots of folks loved like My Ahjussi, Miseang, SKY Castle, Signal aren’t on this list because I haven’t watched them yet. :X I’m interested, but I don’t think I’m in the right mindset to watch any of them yet.

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      Only 20% but, that’s probably because I haven’t seen the rest including your honorable mentions! I’m sure it would be higher if I had 🙂

      Regarding posting longer comments, you can type it in a separate location and copy/paste it into DB. Just make sure you right click and then select paste because if you use the keyboard shortcut it doesn’t work.

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        Woot woot! Pls do give some of these dramas a watch~~ 🙂
        Thank you for the tip! I have been using the keyboard shortcut by habits. Wow gotta try this soon!

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          Haha same and of course! I was in the same position because I use keyboard shortcuts for virtually everything lol

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      30%~

      To make longer posts, type up your post somewhere else (google docs, word, notes, even random DB comment boxes), copy, and paste into the post box (if on computer you need to right click and paste, ctrl + v does not work)!

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      30% Yay for FIERY PRIEST!

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      40%. In fact Forest of Secrets, Life and JBL are also on y top ten.
      IONTBO can make it to my top 10 because of the terrible mum plothole, but I very much liked the show.

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30 DAYS BOOK CHALLENGE @isthatacorner
DAY 10: a book that reminds you of home – ON EARTH WE’RE BRIEFLY GORGEOUS by Ocean Vuong
(non-spoilers reasons why this book is the bomb in the comments!)

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    This book shattered me. Made me believe in just being. Absolutely lovely. It was heavy for me and very important to read when you have the emotional strength and mental space.

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      absolutely! i’m taking a break after reaching the halfway-ish mark because it’s requiring the emotional strengths i currently lack. But the writing is beautiful, and everything about it is worth a read.

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    I meant to write this comment but was pulled away by work LOLS. So here it is:
    I took this to mean that a book that made me feel the most at home, which is kind of different than reminding me of home (or is it, idk i’m just emotional thinking about this). The novel is a fictional account but based on some real-life experiences of the author, a homosexual Vietnamese immigrant. It talks about the experiences of war and the traumas that left behind, and what it’s like to navigate life as immigrants. I’m halfway through the book now and have to take a break because it just punched me in the guts and made me feel so much. Highly recommend it!

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    This has been on my to-read list for a while now! Your post reminded me that I should pick it up!

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