Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching
by DB Staff
So, what are we all watching this week?
What kept you reaching for more (or agonizing when there was no more), and what made you want to throw your remote through the screen? Time to weigh in…
Currently recapping: Hwayugi
I’m Not a Robot: I think the strength of this show was in building up the foundation of this relationship so strongly before the separation that now, even though we are (or were) in the throes of angsty misunderstanding, the expectation of payoff keeps building in my mind. I loved how Min-kyu kept trying to cling to the girl-who’s-pretending-not-to-be-the-girl-he-wishes-she-were, and thought she played the repressed feelings beautifully. That said, I’m really hoping that the next bit of pain will be over with quickly so we can get to the uplifting reunion, because I prefer when this show makes me laugh out loud, not cry buckets! I just love these kids so much and want them to be happy.
Longing Heart: Not a bad start for an OCN Romance (better acting and casting than they’ve had in the past, for sure). I like this premise a lot, where there’s just enough of a hint of mystery regarding what happened to the first love in the past to engage us beyond the purely romantic question. I also like how it seems this universe follows the tenet that what will be will be, so our hero can’t necessarily wreck the entire future by interfering in the past—but we hope it allows him just enough leeway to fix what went wrong and have that stick. So far, I like it.
Currently recapping: Hwayugi
I’m Not a Robot: This week was a bit of a downer, though I’m always amused by how clueless this hero is about the various identities of one girl. We now have THREE versions of her running around, and it doesn’t occur to him to question it a little more? I was okay with the level of angst when she pretended not to know him (as you do, in classic drama fashion), but next week looks brutal, and I’m bracing myself for paaaaaaaaaain.
Two Cops: Meh. I couldn’t tell you what happened this week, even though I watched the episodes. It’s just spinning its wheels at this point and not advancing the relationships in any meaningful way, so I feel like I’m just in it to find out how it ends.
Jugglers: This is a cute couple. They’re refreshingly honest and direct about confronting their problems, and they don’t sit around brooding like noble idiots when they could just have a conversation. I like this show the more I watch it, because even though it’s typical and obvious, it’s done well.
Go Back Spouses: You know a show is good when your only complaint about the finale is “BUT WHERE IS GO-DOK?!” Go Back Spouses did a lot of things well, from the emotional punch of time-travel (Thanks, Mom!) to the sweet little epilogues. Even both second leads reminded us how sweet and fleeting young love is, without the unnecessary clinging and plotting. You Beanies were right (again) that this show gives you strong second lead syndrome but also cures you in the end. It’s the real happy ever after we don’t get to see after the usual K-drama Happy Ever After™. Thank you to all the Beanies who signal-boosted this show! I’m glad I didn’t miss out on this short gem.
Smart Prison Living: Look, Show, I’m here to laugh at Je-hyuk Protection Squad’s antics and coo over Lt. Paeng’s adorableness, not be slapped by a mirror of my what-ifs disguised as Joon-ho. That part where he admits how he drops things lightly because starting a new pursuit is easy for him anyway, and the regret that comes when he compares himself to those who stuck it out and gave it their all… How can a show about prison life be more about normal life and less about prison? Did you lie to us again, Dramaland? Anyway, I’m rooting for you, Joon-ho, and all the Beanies! We can do it! We can find our “thing!”
Just Between Lovers: (On Episode 3) Kang-doo and Moon-soo are so sweet to the people around them that I want those people to stay healthy and happy forever, if only because they bring purpose to Kang-doo’s and Moon-soo’s lives. But I know the show is probably setting up a Tragic Illness for Halmeo, because this show never promised us frolicking puppies and butterflies, did it? I’m not excited to catch up to the latest episodes because we’ll probably say goodbye to Halmeo at some point. But I also want to catch up so I can join the Beanies’ impromptu Just Between Lovers party without worrying about spoilers. (Then again, is it a party if everyone is crying?)
While You Were Sleeping: I’m on a mission to do some drama catch-up, and finishing While You Were Sleeping was first up on my list this week. I’m tempted to contribute to this month’s theme and write up a defense of the procedural middle of this drama, because as far as I’m concerned it was necessary, enjoyable, and absolutely perfect in terms of pacing and setting up that final dramatic finish. My love for Batman Cop was strong throughout, but Jae-chan doling out his expert baby talk for Robin at the end was equally as charming. I loved how the missing piece of the interconnected puzzle was so close all along, and I even liked how bad guy Yoo-bum’s final arc paralleled Chief Choi’s little brother’s final moments. This would have ranked as one of my top dramas of 2017, had I managed to keep up with it while it was airing.