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Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching

It’s moving weekend for us at Dramabeans, which means I’m even more horribly behind on shows than I already was! Please excuse the lapse, since girlfriday and I are putting all our energies into making sure the new site works properly! Of course, that doesn’t mean I haven’t watched anything at all, since that would be crazy talk. –javabeans



Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: Squeeing for days. I love this couple, and last weekend’s episodes were like a burst of candy in the veins. I anticipate some troubles on the horizon, which might bitter up that sweetness, but for now I’m content.

Father, I’ll Take Care of You: Finally, the truth is out and everybody knows things! I find I don’t mind the shrill, whiny characters half as much now that plot is actually going somewhere; it was the repetitive, static nature of the screechy angst that had me annoyed for the past month. I don’t think Hyun-woo is doing the justified thing in his revenge, but he makes such a valid point about not actively crushing anybody; he opened the door, and the Hans charged into it driven by their own greed and selfishness (and sometimes pried it open, begging for handouts). Their active hand in their own downfall is why I can’t really feel for their situation now, although Sung-joon really is the biggest victim in everything. Poor kid! He’s just too honorable to be happy if his family isn’t also happy, which means massive reconciliation has to be ahead.

Father Is Strange: I love how this family comes together at the end of the day, even if they can fight and bicker with the best of them. It’s the little moments that show that the love runs deep, like how the siblings all make sure to be home to support Oppa before his big exam, or how Mom and Dad are always there with special food for occasions. And I felt my heart pinch at Dad’s attempts to win over Lee Joon with food, and how Lee Joon is so stubborn about rejecting him. I just want him in that family so bad, because he’s so lonely, even if his pride would never in a million years let him admit it.

The Liar and His Lover: I just started up this show, and was pleasantly surprised with its light, breezy charm. I love how much it’s about music; it’s not just a part of these characters’ lives as a job or a hobby, but infused throughout the whole show, like a character on its own. And I’m finally glad to see Lee Hyun-woo finally playing a character that actually makes use of his acting talents!



Currently recapping: Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People

Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: This show is so adorable. It meanders on tangents and ridiculous side stories from time to time, but once I see Bong-bong and Min-min together on screen, I forgive the show for everything. I know it’s coming, but I wish we could have gotten earlier and more comic book superheroine developments. I really have minimal complaints, though, since the show is a fun breezy watch that makes sure that the creepy and scary bits never outweigh the cute.

Superman Is Back: My mind isn’t ready to be invested in many shows right now, so I’ve been watching a lot of variety shows to fill my drama void without adding extra commitment or investment. This show is full of cute everyday moments with dads and kids, with the ugly parts of childcare mostly edited out. As long as they’re not my responsibility and the struggle is yours, I’m all for small wild humans!



Currently recapping: Whisper

Tunnel: I’m much more interested in what happened to the 2016 Kwang-ho who’s mysteriously disappeared to make way for the 1986 Kwang-ho than I am in the main mystery. Can there be a moratorium on serial killers who only murder pretty young women? But I’m a sucker for the “buddy cop” genre, so I’m mostly sticking around for the inevitable “odd couple” bromance between Yoon Hyun-min and Choi Jin-hyuk.



Currently recapping: The Liar and His Lover

Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: This. This show is so hysterical and adorable, it’s crazy. And Park Bo-young and Park Hyung-shik are totally killing their roles here. But I keep falling behind on episodes and I can’t figure out why. Perhaps the creepy kidnapper is a little too much for me at the moment.

Persevere, Gu Hae-ra: Thanks to The Liar and His Lover, I’ve been craving more music-themed youth dramas to get me through the week, and I decided to start with Persevere. It starred a few actors I really like, and it seemed fun enough — like a harmless folding-your-laundry kind of watch. Yeah. So then Episode 2 happened. WHY? She… But he… Gah, I don’t know how to feel about this. But I’m invested now, so I guess I have to keep watching.



Currently recapping: Mystery Queen

Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: Oh my goodness. Min-hyuk and Bong-soon are just too cute. I love the way he looks at her, like he’s just so utterly in love with her that he can’t stop staring. So much happiness in a non-finale week always makes me anxious about the future, though and I’m terrified for Kyung-shim but also just so afraid that Bong-soon will have to face Jang-hyun after she loses her powers. How is he going to make her hurt someone innocent? I mean she’s hurt Min-hyuk and even Gook-doo once or twice before… Does the rule only come into effect when she causes a big injury? I’ve never quite understood how this rule works — didn’t she hurt Secretary Gong pretty badly back when she first started working for the company? It would be so unfair for her to lose her powers just because it suits the plot.



Currently recapping: Strong Woman Do Bong-soon

Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People: There are aspects of this show that prevent me from getting fully immersed into this world, even though I really want to, which I think mainly has to do with the fact that nearly all of the characters often act like chess pieces instead of living, breathing people, but my god the music is spectacular. I’ve been thinking recently of how even though there are songs in recent dramas that I really like, there aren’t any that I necessarily feel like listening to on repeat all day, everyday. But with this show all the musical elements are done so masterfully that my days are filled with the soundtrack of the Hong clan. The scenes where the actors perform the songs themselves are so effective at setting the mood, and are executed with such taste and poignancy that I’m always moved even if I didn’t necessarily care for their voices. Like this week, when Eorini was singing and couldn’t explain why the song brought her such sorrow; that broke my heart. I think in this world, songs are messages and stories, and memories and dreams, but above all else they’re a prayer that the one who hears this song can understand the heart of the one who sings it.

Pinocchio: I just started watching this one since I missed it the first time, and in preparation for the writer’s upcoming new show. I was shocked by how thin and normal-sized Yoon Kyun-sang looks after seeing him in Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People where he looks like a giant, especially since I had no idea he was even in this drama. But I was even more shocked that Big Bro turned out the be a cold-blooded murderer. I love Dal-po and Grandpa’s relationship, and also Dad/Younger Bro’s grudging acceptance of his Hyung-nim, while still also being a huge softie at the end of the day. I know this shouldn’t be a factor, but it’s a little hard for me to go backward to this show from W—Two Worlds, especially since that was an Lee Jong-seok I had never seen before, whereas this one I feel like I have (except maybe the bad wig part, but that’s something I didn’t want to see. Thank god he got that haircut). I hope we get a fresh Lee Jong-seok in the new drama, but I suppose any Lee Jong-seok is still good television. I’m only about five episodes in but overall I think it’s fun and I’ll probably finish it.



Currently recapping: Tunnel

Mystery Queen: I can’t resist the premise of a clever amateur sleuth with a knack for solving cases and I have been looking forward to the premiere of this drama. I’ve only been able to catch the first episode, but I really like the casting of Choi Kang-hee in the lead role. There is sure to be lots of character growth for Seol-ok as she progresses from invisible housewife to a respected crime solver.

Our Gap-soon: Ugh, this show is a train wreck. It started around the same time as Laurel Tree Tailors, which ended up being a very sweet family drama. Such was not the case for Our Gab-soon, which continues to disappoint me with unsympathetic and selfish parents. The main couple has no chemistry and I stopped caring about them long ago. So why am I still watching this show? I actually want to see happy endings for Gap-soon’s siblings, the long suffering Jae-soon and Se-gye, plus the orphan turned chaebol Soo-jo. The veteran actors are what drew me to this show, but they were mostly wasted in this project. I’m just happy that it’s ending this weekend and that I’ll finally have my curiosity satisfied.

Father Is Strange: Lee Yuri is a hoot as Hye-young — that signature hair toss of hers gets me every time. I didn’t expect Lee Joon to be both funny and sympathetic, but he pulls off that combination well. What really gives this drama heart are the parents, played by Kim Young-chul and Kim Hae-sook, who are convincingly loving to each other and their children. Father Is Strange is a funny, yet warm, family drama to enjoy on the weekend.

Perfect Wife: This drama has been so unpredictable, which makes it fun to watch. I love the cast in this show, especially Sung Joon as Kang Bong-gu, and Jae-bok’s best friends. I have no idea how the story will be resolved, but I’m hoping that it will be a satisfying end to a consistently intriguing show.



Tunnel: OCN is usually hit or miss for me, but I’m really digging Tunnel‘s vibe. It’s not too dark — serial killers running amok notwithstanding — and the humor adds a nice dimension. I’m also loving all of the interactions between the detective pairings. It feels like Choi Jin-hyuk is constantly trying to pick a fight with a brick wall, and the dumb-and-dumber partnership is my new favorite thing. I also liked that they brought a procedural element to the latest episodes, although I was surprised at how easily they caught the culprits, since this is OCN and I expected at least 5 different twists.

Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: Park Hyung-shik, you make me giddy and might actually be the cause if I end up with real heart problems by the end of this drama, but dude, you need to learn how to draw a proper heart. All kidding aside, I need this writer to stop it with the adult gangsters and the high school gangsters, and most importantly, the poop talk. It’s become inane, and based on some of the comments I read on the recap, also offensive. Let’s focus on the important things, shall we? Like kisses. And more kisses.

Youn’s Kitchen: This isn’t Na PD’s most outrightly funny work, but I’m enjoying it all the same. Call it escapism, but the tropical setting is just the antidote to, you know, reality. Jung Yumi is adorably attentive, Yoon Yeo-jung adorably frazzled, and Lee Seo-jin… is just Lee Seo-jin. But they work well together, and I’m excited to see Shin Gu halbae added to the mix next episode. In the meantime, I’ll just imagine myself on one of those daybeds on the beach, sipping a pineapple smoothie.


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