The Cute, the Scary, and the Melodramatic: Lassoing in the Wed-Thurs Dramas
Three dramas + two nights = dead me.
I titled this post “The Cute, the Scary, and the Melodramatic.” You think you can easily match the drama to its description? Is it really that simple? Never be sure who’s cute, scary, or melodramatic in 2012 Kdrama-land!
sb suggested that I create a post for with my thoughts on Arang and TtBY so that we can have a conversation on them, which is the gentle push I needed to get off my lazy butt and do it. 😀 I’ll do this, hopefully every week, for the Wed-Thurs dramas.
Arang and the Magistrate
Episodes watched: 5/10
Guys, I’m so behind on this drama. Despite objectively thinking that this is a really good drama that is written, directed, and acted well, I didn’t connect to it in the first four episodes enough to be compelled to watch it ritually. And then when I started it up again, episode 5 creeped me out so much, I couldn’t continue. So I’m stuck now, having only watched half of what’s aired.
Those scenes in the shed in the woods freaked me out. Especially when Arang suddenly woke up from “death,” gasping for air. I’m not easily spooked but that scene literally gave me goosebumps.
I feel a disconnect from the personal moments of the characters since the larger issue of Arang’s murder and timeline to figure out the mystery overshadow the individual developments.
To the Beautiful You
Episodes watched: 10/10
What an easy drama to watch with liberal fast-forwarding. Up until episode 9, I hadn’t invested any sort of real attachment to the story or its characters and was watching to see if they will have Jae-hee fall sick, injure herself, or be in some sort of “dangerous” situation in EVERY EPISODE. (And yes, they have.)
But in episode 9, Kim Woo-bin, in the form of John Kim entered the picture, creating a legitimate love quadrangle. (I have a soft spot for all “White Christmas” actors after watching that drama. Amazing drama, by the way. You should definitely watch.)
Me seeing Kim Woo-bin’s face.
And it’s sweet watching Tae-joon be all protective of Jae-hee and trying to help her secretly. I think I’ve slowly given up any hope of Jae-hee being anything more than a damsel-in-distress. So it doesn’t bother me as much as it did in the beginning.
Unfortunately, they’re making Eun-gyul and his story very tertiary and boring. There’s just nothing there and I find I fast-forward most of his scenes, which is sad, when I loved him so much in the beginning.
And Seol Han-na. Turning into a typical secondary female. I want to poke her eyes out.
Episodes watched: 2/2
Watched the first two episodes in a row. Felt like someone dug their five inch claws into me, cut me up, chewed and spit me out, and then stomped on me for good measure.
It’s everything I expected from a Lee Kyung-hee drama, except it’s harsher. I’m actually having a hard time liking anyone in this drama. I don’t think her other dramas had this much hatred, anger, and cutting words. Most of her heroines have been the very sweet and innocent type so maybe that’s why I think this drama is more difficult to swallow. Nobody is innocent here.
This drama had the best first five seconds ever. I was immediately enamored with the directing just by all those shot of Maru running through the hospital. And Kim Jin-won’s wide shots are gorgeously set up and framed. They had me reeling. And I love the filter and color palette of this drama. Very suitable. There’s so much white and light but not the soft kind, but the harsh and raw kind. Everything is so vivid, it hurts.
And Sang-yeob. Oh how I missed seeing you on my screen!
Leave your thoughts on the cute, the scary, and the melodramatic. Talk to me, talk to each other, rant, rave, fangirl…just talk!
P.S. Got two people suggesting I watch May Queen. Anyone else?
you should replace evil mama pic with her licking trademark or a gif *grin*
it kind of imitating cat-licking-blood in The Cat (movie) *shudder*
For me, Arang is my favourite now… I didn’t like it till ep 4-5 though. Like you, i couldn’t connect with the characters before ep 4-5. However, the romance is really cute and sweet now, i really like it. And somehow, i love the creepiness of the show too. However, the creepiness died down after ep 8, and the drama went up on the romance for ep 9-10. I’m not sure if it works for you, but the drama really works for me, not to forget the good cinematography.
As for May Queen…. Well, i didn’t watch ep 1-8 seriously, because the stupidity of characters might make me bash my screen if i watched the drama seriously. The child stars did fairly well, just the script was really flawed. I’m of course aware that a certain level of stupidity is needed for this genre, but well, i couldn’t love it. I’ve just watched episode 9, the first ep with the adult cast. The episode served as an introductory episode for the adults, so i shan’t comment on it, but well i was contented, because KJW and JH graced my screen (Jaehee aged a tad though, but still handsome. Prosecutor+JH-Lee mong ryong’s cheeky smile = of course didn’t leave me contented because lol, i miss prosecutor Lee). JH is still charming of course, and well KJW, cute and handsome as ever.
Back to the stupidity in the first 8 episodes. Well of course stupidity is needed for the upcoming conflict in the drama, but well, stupidity here is really more than needed. But i must say, as much as i love KJW and JH, i’m the type that drops a drama even if my favorites are in it. So as much as i can’t compliment the drama, there must be something other than the cast that is keeping me in though. I can’t pinpoint it somehow. And also, i believe in Kim Jae Won’s drama taste. He really takes a long while to make a decision to join a drama, and since his injured, he shouldn’t have picked this drama, but he did, so i’m hoping that his reason is valid, and so i’ll wait to see. I’m really crossing my fingers that i’ll last through this drama, because i don’t ever wanna drop a drama with KJW and JH. Anyway, enough of my criticism, you should try it for yourself Joonni!
Oh and… SANG YEOB. *sobs* Why must she think that his a gay!? I’m thinking that they might end up together, even though she’ll probably love Maru till the end. I think her love for Maru will forever be one sided, because Maru will forever love Jaehee. I mean he still loves her, despite wanting revenge, and thinking its hatred. There won’t be hate, if there’s no love.
So i’m thinking that by the end of the show, of course someone dies, and it’s probably Maru that dies. She’ll end up with Junha, even if she doesn’t love him, cause she knows that he loves her, and she’ll try to love him. Okay, i shall stop predicting. I’m just greedy cause i want Junha to have a happy ending.
I know, right! My heart weeps for Sang-yeob already.
Maybe Lee Kyung-hee will surprise us and not kill off somebody. And maybe she will continue to surprise us and give the side-characters like Sang-yeob a decent side arc. We can only hope.
just read the entire post…
first, i dropped ttby because i keep compare it with the j-version which i found more amusing because i watched it first, therefore the story seems fresher compare with the t-version and ttby. let’s say i get bored easily *confession*
second, i like AATM because the story is promising and i like horror+fantasy+romance+comedy theme which so far delivered perfectly by the cast and crew.
third, i love the fast pace in Nice Guy which is rare in kdrama (they usually start with child cast) but alas i only watch half first episode, so i plan to download all of it before watching it, maybe every 4 eps because real life tied my hands
fourth, no comment on may queen. though yesterday my friend said (her twitter) that more ppl watch MQ since the adult cast shown, but i still can’t watch makjang drama, cause my life is already a makjang anyway *sigh*
last but not least…..just watch it if you feel like it 🙂
anyway….it’s a perfect title to describe the my wed-thu nights….really
I think I realized quickly that TtBY was going to be nothing like the J-version and just stopped thinking about the comparison. I pretty much watch it for the pretty.
I’m loving the pace of Nice Guy so far so I hope it keeps it up.
ttby cast of pretty with characterization, story and arc of hana kimi J-ver (first one), that would be awesome, zany everywhere….
the cute: SJK (do you even need to ask?) – NG
the scary: Mama from hell – A&M (overall scary)
the melodramatic: NG
Maybe I should have added Sangchu (the dog) as one of the cute pics for TtBY. 😉
you should… that way, ttby had chance to win something….
you dont need to mention what Sangchu is, we knew he is a dog… a super duper cute one….
I’m not usually a makjang watcher but there was so much positive buzz on NG that I decided to give it a try. So far, I like it! It’s all personal without boring business maneuvering or icy chaebols. Hope the writer can keep it personality-driven.
Arang I also didn’t like much at first, but now it’s totally in it’s groove and LJK has stopped looking blank and has got his spark back. It’s creepy and sweet and fun.
To the Beautiful You I never started because I didn’t like HanaKimi even as a manga.
But Eun-gi and her father are icy chaebols! And I thought there was more business stuff then usual in a Lee Kyung-hee drama, so I was surprised.
Wed and Thursday are evil. SO MANY THINGS TO WATCH *falls over*
Alright my thoughts.
Arang- I want to like Arang. I really do. Its not a bad show, Im just really disconnected to it. Its well shot, the acting is decent, it has ghost stories (I LOVE GHOST STORIES) but Im just not feeling it. It takes me 2 days to watch a episode. I would just drop it but Im stubborn and after dropping Big I feel like I cant do that to another drama.
To Beautiful You – I have to turn my brain off. But I do like that to a agree. Its a easy watch if not predictable. Although I am now convinced Jae Hee has cancer. I kinda wished they actually wrote the chars. more likeable. For me its missing what made the 2007 Hana Kimi great, you arent getting the same sense of community. I feel like in TTBY I feel like most of the students wouldnt band together to protect Jae Hee. A part of me enjoys the jealous protective Taejoon but I wish there was more forward movement sometime. Also if they dont reslove their love triangles like Dream High 2 did I am going to hurt someone.
Nice Guy- I kinda love this show. Although I am having the issue of my perception of Joongki. On one hand I LOVE POINTY JOONGKI! But then another part of me goes NOOO JOONGKI IS MADE OF SUNSHINE AND FLUFFY PUPPIES! And I just really want to hug him because the women in his life just suck. I fully expect to get jerked around in this drama. And for it too hurt. But unlike TTBY and arang I am finding myself caring what happens next. That and I could listen to Joongki read the phone book and I would be happy.
Hmm, I agree. I don’t think there is enough of the school camaraderie in TtBY. Which I feel a youth drama should have.
I still find Joong-ki kissing a little awkward. I just don’t get that much of homme fatale feel from him.
As long as Joongki keeps talking in this drama I will be ok. I have a thing for that mans voice. And yes…..him kissing is a little awkward but then again there are few KDrama actors that make kissing look natural. (I may just be saying that since I watched a bunch of QIHM clips last night >>;;)
The part of Arang that freaked me out was when she met the humanoid spider thingy when she met the Jade emp. That thing freaked me out and I was not ok. I just realized part of my issue with Arang is that it just keeps bringing up questions with no answers. So I feel like we are just spinning out wheels all over the place.
TTBY is fluff. I am ok with fluff. I am thinking about tackling Gakistal next so fluff is good. I may have finally recovered from King 2 Hearts and all the pointy that show had.
You know, I agree with this too. it’s like everyone’s living in their own little silo. There’s no one having anyone’s back. The only time we got a taste was in the creepy episode when they were at the beach, but that’s it. I wish for more of that, too.
May Queen, 30 odd episodes — backdrop is about the shipbuilding and ship reparing industry in Korea. Watched the first 4 episodes to catch a glimpse to the background of the main leads. Jumped to Episode 9, 15 years later where the leads are now adults…it captured my attention at this point. I can’t say for sure if I’m going to watch this faithfully. Much would depend on the development of the multi-lead characters and their relationships as well as how the plot goes….
Like most dramas that run beyond the 16-24 episodes, somewhere along the way the plot will go through high and lows. So, I’m doubtful if this melodramtic drama going to be your cuppa tea.
I really don’t like long makjang dramas. I don’t think I ever ever fully watched one. Just wanted to because of Kim Jae-won but since I’m not really the type to watch a drama just because I like an actor, it’s been hard trying to get myself to watch it. Downloaded ep9 today but I have a feeling it’s going to sit on my desktop for a while.
No surprise that the FIRST one I watch after work on Wed/Thurs TTBY.
I can’t help it!! Even if it weren’t the first one subbed, it would be my go to.
It’s silly, pretty and makes me feel good. Yes I do eat my dessert first when nobody’s looking.
Nice Guy is my second favorite. With these melos, at first the angst doesn’t get to me personally because my problems are soooo far removed from theirs. I love watching them because of that. I don’t know people as effed up as them; I don’t know rich people; I certainly don’t know anyone as beautiful as ALL OF THEM. But somehow through the series, I end up identifying, and really feeling their pain, disappointment, jealousy and love. I don’t understand how that works, but I love being pulled in.
AatM scares the hell out of me. Every episode. I am getting a little fatigue from the “I like you but can’t show it” part, so hopefully that will pass soon. The mystery(ies) keep me interested, and how gorgeous LJK looks most of the time.
I don’t think I would miss any of the characters in AatM if I stopped watching, but I do want to know what happens. ( I contrast this with Faith, where I really have fallen in love with a lot of them.)
Thanks for the poll. Made me think a little.
Exactly. I want TtBY because my mind needs a mental break from a long day.
What you described about Nice Guy is what I think is the strength of melodramas. And a well-done melodrama should leave it’s viewer broken and shattered. Yes, I’m a masochist. 😉
If you could watch Vampire Prosecutor, that’d be good also.
oh goodness, I forgot about that drama. how is it so far?
So very good. I love that show
how could you forget???? aw… thats break my heart…hehe….
i don’t know if this be a spoiler or not…
season two is … for me less awesome than season one, but well, this is just episode 2 and am hooked.
we also get back Prosecutor Park Hoon, you know, the one who turn our guyliner VP. New CSI doc, New boss (ah, i hate her already)…..
😦 There’s just too many dramas 😦
And now with the new seasons of my American shows starting soon………………
,speaking of American shows, m very excited for the pilot episodes for Bones, NCIS, NCIS LA and Hawaii Five O…
The only one I’ve been watching from your list is Bones. Friends suggested I start NCIS but if I do, I know I’m going to become addicted. Running through all five seasons of The Big Bang Theory right now.
I’m waiting for South Park, Bones, The Big Bang Theory, The Office, and (sorta) the Family Guy.
Lol, I stopped watching American shows… not b/c I don’t want to, but it’s so much easier for me these days to watch something on my iPad then on an actual television.
That’s what happened to me too. I watch most things on my ipad rather than the tv.
Do you watch K-drama and American drama on iPad and if so how? The only way I can watch k-drama is on Viki. I’m too cheap to pay for a full membership to dramafever… just wondering if there’s other ways to view… tx!!!
I download both and stream k-drama on tudou which plays on Safari. I also have Hulu plus.
I haven’t started watching Nice Guy. I have way too many dramas going right now. But between TtBY and AatM, I like TtBY more. I wasn’t expecting that. At first I liked AatM more, but I think the disconnect aspect others talked about got to me. It’s really visually pretty and very interesting, but I just don’t care as much about the characters as I should.
TtBY is all light and fluffy, but I love the characters so much that I don’t care. I’m especially starting to love Tae Joon. (And Sangchu!) It’s super easy to watch and that can be really nice.
The other shows I’m wacthing are Faith, Vampire Prosecutor, and Panda and Hedgehog. Faith is of course awesome, VP is pretty good so far (especially if you liked the first season), and P&H is purely fluff but I like a couple characters and it’s a nice way to fill in my weekend gap. ^_^
Sangchu just lights up my screen and with Taejoon being all lovey with Jae-hee, he’s going after my heart too.
you would probabbly not believe me if i told you this but i’m watching everything. like evrything that’s currently airing sigh
ok starting with monday/tuesdays
*faith is not what i wanted it to be, i saw the 2010 teaser and i was like WHY COULDN’T THEY KEEP LIKE THAT 😦 but yeah besides that i find myself watching it for the for main characters . . .
*i actually really like golden time, maybe its the magic of Lee sun gyun and the fact that i’m a fan of hwang jung eum
*haeundae lovers was reaaaaally slow and many characters annoy me, but i hate dropping funny dramas when i’m watching soo much makjang on weekends
*arang&and the magistrate– i love everything even the creepiness
*nice guy- seriously its soo weird for me to see him be soo . . . not nice? any way i look forward to more hearache
*tTBY another cute and funny filler
*weekens are filled with may queen (looove it), five fingers (better than i thought it would be) and hedgehog/panda (main character makes me want to slap her repeatedly but donghae and choi jin hyuk make my day yay for bromance)
i plan on starting VP season 2 next week
btw–> yes im in still in school and yes i do my hw on time. . . . how do i do it? no sleep 😀
ps. i am also in the process of finally finishing GAKSITAL aka greatest drama i’ve ever watched, alice in wonderland (T-drama), and secret investigation drama (awesome tvn drama that came out some year ago)
HOW? No sleep? Still! Do you live in the fourth dimension? Have you figured out time-travel? If so, share the knowledge!!! 😀
Yep, also thought that 2010 Faith teaser was epic. Would have loved that drama.
I saw the first episode of Golden time and thought it had potential but I didn’t continue. Full on medical dramas are rarely for me.
i have discovered a worm hole! . . . .doing hw while watching k-dramas, and watching k-dramas in study hall . . . sigh, im so addicted
GT isn’t bad, but it’s very much a medical trama. There’s no romance or sizzle or pop. It’s set totally in the hospital setting so not much to look at either. Honestly, if I was subbing for it, I would never have watched it even though I was looking forward to another LSK drama b/c there’s something about him I really love.
– not watching, just reading recaps. I just could go through another round…no offense too this new cast
-I dunno. It’s very much flawed, but I can’t help myself. I just LOVE it. It’s the first drama I watch of the week.
– My brain and everyone tells me it’s very good, but I haven’t loved it as much as I expected to, which is all kinds of strange because I love ghost + love stories.
– I’m saving it for a marathon. Because I know the wait would kill me.
– I’m in the mood for a melo and so far, it’s hitting all the right buttons for me. Love the cast and hope the story will turn out great too, since I’d loathe to drop this.
-just another great drama I’m trying to play catch up with.
The drama I want am trying to play catch up on- Tree With Deep Roots.
Joonni, I didn’t know where to put this comment so I’m putting it here. I just happened to see your twitter update, and started laughing. Not because PSY was on NPR(I love NPR), but because of the PSY mania. The second thing my 2 year old said this morning after telling me he was hungry, was “oppa gamam tile” (tried writing it how he pronounced it), and then he smiled real big. Obviously a hugely catchy song. 🙂
The Psy mania sort of boggles my mind. It’s just so unexpected and because to someone who’s used to Korean mvs, his dance and mv is nothing special. But it also makes me happy at the same time to see people get a different side of South Korea- the fun and crazy side. Hee!
Kind of boggle my mind, too. Growing up here in the US where there’s no Asian musician in the pop industry, let alone even in Hollywood, they aren’t very well represented, it was so cool seeing Psy in Ellen and Today and seeing an SNL parody and hearing Korean lyrics on Z100 that plays basically the same 10 singers over and over again… it’s totally rocking my world right now. I feel giddy like a teenager!
I nearly got into a verbal sparring with an American colleague over the PSY video. Colleague: It’s a real video, not just performers lip synching/pseudo-performing. Me: It’s no whoop. It looks like all other semi-concept dance videos. Whatever. Americans digging it, let them enjoy.
Got into a similar situation although it didn’t go anywhere near a verbal sparring. We just agreed that it’s a catchy song and it’s really hard to pinpoint what makes a song so catchy. One thing is how easy the m/v is to parody. And that helps a lot to make something viral.
hi joonni, thanks for the poll. wed-thurs dramas are making me lose sleep and endure torture for a 1 week wait.
the cute – of course ttby, first in line is sangchu. how could a dog be so utterly beautiful?! then the TJ and JH are just so cute. episode 9 seems to be the most swoony episode so far. i always have a soft spot for school/teen drama despite my age. 🙂 ttby is just too fluffy i can’t resist it. and a good stress reliever too from all the hustle and bustle of RL. oh and nothing can beat the cute to counter the melo and the scary to avoid heart attack. 🙂
the scary – definitely arang… nothing can beat evil mom. although this past episodes, i love how EO is showing his feelings towards A. I love jealous EO, I love attentive EO and I love IN LOVE EO.
the melo – NG. although i keep myself from makjang as much as i can, NG is pulling me. still testing the waters. can’t say i like it already. funny EG calling Sang Yeob gay. hahaha.
May Queen, my friend is raving about it. Don’t have the strength to watch weekenders since OB ended.
TTBY is the first drama I watch to help me get ready for the darker stuff after a long day.
I think OB was the last weekend drama for me too.
It was so unexpected that Eun-gi thinks Sang-yeob is gay. I almost spit out the water I was drinking.
ikr! Saying Sang-yeob is just outrageous, hahaha. 🙂
Joonni!!!!! Love you!!!!! So, “duh” me, I was like there’s another SB suggesting the same thing as I did? I didn’t realize that’s my wordpress logon name, ha!
Thank you, thank you! Now I’m wondering if you’re watching anything else or these are it… b/c I just picked up HL and that’s one kind of whacky, crazy, funny, but I’m not sure how I overall feel drama. I’m so greedy.
So, I voted TTBY as cute, Arang as scary and I’m guessing NG is the melo. I haven’t watched b/c I’m not usually drawn to melo dramas. I like my k-drama light and fun. I think Stairway to Heaven scarred me for life with all the makjang mess and the ending was so WTF.
****POSSIBLE SPOILER STUFF******
Anyhoo… TTBY is fun no-brainer drama though I do with it had just a tad bit more brain the JH side. You would think she would have more spunk since it would take some spunk to even think about disguising yourself as a boy, etc. And the first episode with the toilet plunger fight, the getting the tennis ball from the dog… I thought she would be more sassy, more bold, more daring… alas, you’re right. She’s falling into the stereotypical damsal in distress and I’m distressed about that! Esp since she started off as maybe not… what a shame b/c she would be more interesting and it would easier to root for her, but I just don’t really care all that much anymore. And the last episode where her secret was potentially revealed and all the “Oh No” was just too much. I mean who cares even if it’s revealed? Her mission is accomplished… she could go to a girl’s school and still be friends with TJ or whatever. Yet another drama where the guy’s character is better written and developed… whys does K-drama do that all the time?
Arang – I had written a first impression on my blog and back then I really loved Arang. But I’m starting to agree with others… I like it, I want to love it, but there’s just something off and I can’t quite pin-point what it is. It has all the elements that I like, cute light moments mixed with some mystery and scary moments, gorgeous to watch. So, while normally I would be chomping at the bits to watch, I’m glad for an excuse to watch it more leisurely pace b/c I’m watching it with my daughter and we can only watch 1/2 episode at a time due to her bed time. She’s 8… she’ loving it. I cover her eyes when it’s too gross, but she’s really into fantasy book so she really finds Arang interesting.
I’m surprised that Faith is the drama, even with the flaws, that I’m most drawn to. I think for me, the OTP paring and chemistry is really important and also the female character is very important. Up until ep. 10, I really loved ES and loved how the actress portrays her.
Thanks again Joonni for posting this!!!!!
Stairway to heaven- I cried a lot watching that drama but now when I think about it, I laugh and laugh and laugh.
Not watching anything else very fully except these and Answer Me 1997. There’s just so many to watch, I keep dropping them after a few eps.
Your daughter is a girl after my own heart. She likes fantasy!!!
It’s amazing how rare good feel characters are in Korean dramas. I think it’s mostly because the writers are pandering to the audience which is mostly female and thinking that most woman have this secret desire to be a princess and have a prince rescue them. I know that most women in Korea don’t live this way- they are very strong females- but the dramas are so frustrating. I believe the writers can and want to but they are being too lazy- just reusing the proven stereotype to get the ratings. I’m sure if they come up with something new (consistently), strong female characters can draw in the rating too.
I think if I re-watched Stairway now I probably would laugh too. It was the first drama I ever watched and it just really messed me up how there was no happy ending. As for princess, I too want to be a princess, but with spunk! I want a prince who can rescue me but not HAVE TO rescue me… this is why I loved K2H and QIHM so much. They weren’t hapless.
My daughter… she’s so cool! 😉 I can’t wait for her to get older so we can geek out LOTR. I regret so much that I think Hobbit the movie will be a tad too much for her this year.
LOTR!!!!!!! I want a daughter to geek out with!
Can’t wait for The Hobbit.
definitely TTBY. d reason? cutest, innocence love teenage drama. and above all, d chemistry btw d 2 leads. i love it to d max! this is 2nd OTP that i shipped for after Joo Won-Uee in OB. Eventho Minho cant be compared with JW skill in acting, u can see he really work hard for d character and for that he deserve some compliments (plus, dont u think he is too good looking?.. ops) as for Sulli acting. one word to descrive that. Daebak ok. shes such a natural in acting n plus shes super duper cute to disguise as a boy. among the three remake of hana kimi, sulli definitely is d best to potray that role.
As i have too much crush on this drama at d moment, my eyes are blind to watch other drama. LOL. i also confuse why i became like this? too much obsession definitely bad for me. but i cant help it!
Sulli’s naturalness on screen has definitely been a pleasant surprise for me.
Obsession is a scary monster. But it’s so much fun!
I voted for Arang as favorite Wed-Thu drama bec. I am already 10 episodes in and still invested, but I also love Nice Guy. This is the first time that I am watching 3 on-going dramas that I like!
I finally have some down time, so I’m totally indulging in my korean dramas.
M/T – Faith, only because I’m a completist. Really not into it, but whatever.
M/T? – Answer 1997 because it’s awesome. I freaking love the entire cast. I love TvN. This show convinced me that TvN is the station to which any and all talented drama makers ought to flock, if they want the opportunity to be given liberty and/or support to create the sort of work they’d not been permitted or empowered to do previously. Shut Up Flower Boy Band, I thought was a fluke gem. Then came QIHM. Now this. Awesome. Truly these dramas have changed the k-drama landscape.
W/R – Arang, initially because I love Lee Junki and Shin Mina, but now because I’m fully into the story. It’s not epic. It’s not going to tear my heart out and stomp all over it or frighten me to the core of my being existentially the way Nice Guy will; however, it’s the end of the summer and summer begs horror stories of ghosts, demons, spirits, monsters… And holy moly, is this scary! And we finally have Arang and the Magistrate really connecting emotionally. And the mystery really deepens, and boy do I love mysteries.
W/R – Nice Guy. Yup. This too. This is the drama that I anticipate will be an epic success or epic failure. It’s visually splendid – the way Kim Nam Gil’s Bad Guy started. I just hope that Lee Kyung Hee’s script will hold up, which it has in the past, but as others have noted, this is the most brutal of hers thus far. Its brutality is further underscored by the sheer wattage of talent at its disposal. Rain, Shin Mina, and Gong Hyojin were great, but Nice Guy really brings it. It’s in its own league altogether. No other show currently airing comes anywhere near it. (Answer Me 1997 has proven itself to be excellent, maybe even better than Nice Guy at this moment, but these two are such different works that they’re incomparable.)
S/S – Yeah, I’m not done. Five Fingers because it’s Joo Jin Ho, my latest k-drama crush. Was meh about him before, but caught up on Goong recently as well as The Naked Kitchen. Yum!
Oh, and Kim Woo Bin. Yum too. White Christmas hummunah hummunah.
BTW, Joonni, missed you!
Aurgh. I hate how WordPress is messing with my handle. Previously echo here, generally anais on other blogs, but jaeminuf apparently now here. i may get lazy going forward, but it’ll be laziness, not some identity crisis responsible for inconsistencies with my handle.
echo/anais/jaeminuf I missed you too!!!
I’ve been amazed by the quality stuff that tvN has produced, as well as the other cable channel, jTBC, with ILICDD and Wife’s Credentials. I think the Korean television industry is old and rotting, suffocating the potential of writers/actors/directors/producers. Maybe the cable networks are providing a better environment. Or maybe they’ve just been really lucky.
The Naked Kitchen- good movie that reunited Shin Mina with Joo Ji Hoon again after “The Devil.” Have you seen that drama yet?
I did see the Devil b/c it was so highly praised. I do think it’s a really good drama, but I felt very little sympathy toward Uhm Tae Woong’s character. Unfortunately, I think that sympathy was critical to being able to appreciate the drama’s triangulation and moral dilemma fully.
Joo Ji Hoon I love, especially because I’ve seen him now in Antique Bakery, The Devil, Naked Kitchen, Goong, and now Five Fingers, in which he’s played charmingly debonair, inscrutably and emotionally reserved and taciturn, insouciantly charming yet fundamentally dignified, and now steady to the point of being a bit of a fuddy duddy. He really fleshes out each persona that I can hardly believe the same actor’s played all those characters. I’m totally smitten.
Hmmm….I don’t remember feeling sympathy for UTW’s character either. I loved it more for the writing- how tightly plotted it was and the intrigue. Loved the atmosphere of the drama. I don’t think I consciously thought “I love this” when I was watching it but it stayed with me when I was done.
Joo Ji Hoon- love this man too. Watched all that you mentioned but FF. I don’t know if I can watch Five Fingers for him. How is the drama?
It started out well, but I’m not loving the last two episodes. They felt a bit rushed and the action forced or illogical. I like that Joo Ji Hoon plays a character somewhat different from his prior ones. He’s a bit fuddy duddy here, but I don’t know how much he’ll last that way as his desire for vengeance unfolds.
Need I to say more.
I love Arang sooo much I can even muster the word love.
I love Arang for what it is. I agree after ep 4-5 there is something lacking that might draw certain viewers back which is character development. Usually in kdrama character dev is bulid steadily along with the plot however for me, the pace is just right tough in certain area it still can be better. Arang is difference in terms of its mystery, she is loss her memore therefore her character is unknown, who is she, is she is a human or not before etc. The same with EO. His life is still mystery and it will unfold together with the plot and the episodes/
It been ages since I LOVE a drama THIS MUCH. `5-10 years back maybe..but this dama just did it for me. The slow pace, the innocence/cpmplicated of human hearty, the pain of Arang how she has to die multiple time, uncertainty. I love every bit of it. The rawness of emotions shown.
Thanks anastassia for leaving your comment. Motivates me to go and try to get past the scary. 😀
Joonni, honestly it’s really not that scary. There’s certainly a scary element and certainly the mother/madame whatnot is doing a fantastic job of being creepy but Arang isn’t scary like typical scary movies. I can’t watch scary movies like Stephen King stuff or the Ring or those other horror movies, etc that are out to completely spook you. Arang, at the heart of it is a mystery with certain fantasy/ other world elements that happen to be be ghosts and ghouls. It’s like watching LOTR or Harry Potter… you know how both actually had creepy scary spider scenes… I found them scary, but they aren’t the sum of the story so they were easier to get past compared to if the entire movie had been all scenes like that. Hope this helps you get past your fears!
It’s not scary per se but creepy. I don’t know why but my skin keeps crawling. The stabbing in episode 5 and 6 really got to me. I think that from 7 on, I will be okay but now to find time…
I want to watch Nice Guy only after it finished at leat 4-5 ep.
I don’t find Arang & The Magistrate scary at all, but the face on the demon-mama is seriously creepy. Especially when you are scrolling down and the lady just keeps staring at you.
But then seeing Eun Oh being such a mama’s boy is cracking me up. So I think he’s the most melodramatic one out of the three.
So I’m not the only one cracking up whenever Eun-oh cries for his mama?
Since I’m in the mood to comment on TTBY’s ending…
Lol. I thought the ending was just so so. It wasn’t bad at all, I just expected something else. I was so eager to see her out of boy clothes. I guess it just felt like a really mellow ending. It was sweet though.
Now, this might just be me, but that scene at the end where all the classmates are waiting when she is leaving to go back to the U.S., and they call out “transfer student” and all start walking towards her, with their colorful-as-Skittles-candy sneakers (I’m not making fun of the sneaks-I loved them)?..I don’t know, but I thought it was a little cheesy, and just felt a little awkward. However, the following scene made up for it- I absolutely loved En Gyeol and loved that he called her “squishy” hahaha. I was also so glad that midway through the drama he got a “makeover” hair cut. The new style was so cute on him. Hope to see him another drama soon. It was a nice fluffy (speaking of fluffy, I want Sanchul!!!)drama though. I liked watching it after the emotional turmoil of Nice Guy. Which btw, I need a new lighthearted drama knowing the direction Nice Guy is most likely going to go.
Ah, the ending of TTBY. I gave up pretty early on this drama to do anything substantial and just let myself the pretty and the innocent. I even resigned myself to the stupidity of Jae-hee and her constant need to be saved. But foolishly, I must have been holding out some hope for the ending because the last two episodes disappointed me. No, it wasn’t the fact Jae-hee kept on hesitating to tell Tae-joon. I saw the jap version and I understood the reasoning behind that. One of the things that bugged me, as you mentioned was that departing scene. Why all of a sudden show that the students cared about Jae-hee? Just because it was in the manga? But your drama didn’t even create any sense of camaraderie between the students. This made me incredibly mad.
I like Eun-gyul’s new haircut too although, strangely, I missed the bowl. It was kind of adorable on him, wasn’t it?
Yes, it was adorable on him…made him look like a little boy. i’m glad I’m not the only one bothered by that seemingly random scene!
i am a Kdrama addict! I am practically viewing all the current airing shows ~ Faith, Oohlala couple, Arang, Nice guy, MayQueen, Five fingers, Panda and on Fridays it is catch up time with Softy, Thundie, Koala’s and Joonie’s sites ~ that’s me! LOL 😀