Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching
by DB Staff
What’s on your slate this week? I have a ton of shows I meant to start this week, given that there were a lot of brand-new or still-newish shows to choose from… and yet, I mostly found comfort in old ones, which at least were comforting and satisfying in their own ways. I promise I’ll catch up on the new shows… someday… hopefully before they’re considered old shows.
Man to Man: The tone of the opener was a little more scattered than I was expecting, although I do think the action looks pretty spiffy and Park Hae-jin seems perfect for this character. But any K-drama that has an introduction that’s heavily foreign-shot (and -acted; mostly it’s the acting) is bound to make me cringe, so while I’m not holding it against this show for upholding that particular status quo, I’m also not particularly impressed, either. I’ll give it another week before I decide what I think.
Father, I’ll Take Care of You: Ha! At this point, I find it inadvertently hilarious how, despite all the bad blood and revenge plots and antagonism that’s gone down between the Han clan and Hyun-woo, the various Han family members still keep seeking him out, whether it’s to yell at him, plead with him, or ask him favors. There’s a reason why Koreans have that saying about how constant contact can turn even hate to grudging attachment. I half expect to see the Hans insisting they can’t stand Hyun-woo five years down the line, even as they drop by every weekend for Sunday dinner, or bring him birthday presents.
Father Is Strange: Mwahaha, life is about to get interesting with cocky Lee Joon moving into the cramped Byun household. I can’t imagine how he’ll last longer than a weekend, although watching him try will be all of the fun. Also, did anyone else cheer when Jung So-min’s conversation with her old bully was caught on Unni’s voice recorder? I can’t wait for Lee Yuri to stand up for her little sister, because it had better be epic. I’m a little sad that Dad had to take such a hit to his image as a devoted dad in order to convince the family to take in the supposed half-brother, but I can see how it was the only way. I just hope that will get smoothed over later when everyone realizes he’s still the honorable Dad they’d always believed him to be.
The Liar and His Lover: There are so many things I want to talk about but not enough space to get into them! Like how I love-hate (but mostly love) how the music snippets play in such teasing drops that I’m dying to hear the full song by the time we get it, or how Choi Min-soo is the perfect quirky dad. Or how I initially thought that watching Han-gyul really step it up, putting So-rim first and showing his faith in her at every step, was the best thing this week. But then all the Crude Play development and substitute-performance conflict erupted and threw everybody into intersecting, but discrete, tracks of desperation and I was moved at how deep the emotional threads run, and how this drama has intertwined them so thoroughly that they all feel part of the same pain, although each person experiences it from a different angle. I felt an unexpectedly strong blow at the realization that the Crude Play boys have been using Han-gyul’s supposedly inferior bass playing to practice with, when all along that’s been one of Han-gyul’s biggest insecurities. Although he’ll never beat out Chan-young on the inferiority complex front—it breaks my heart every time Chan-young realizes that he’s only a stand-in for the guy everybody likes better than him… which made that ending sacrifice extra heart-pinchy. My heart was already pretty bruised—I don’t know if it can take much more!
Man to Man: This drama is silly, wacky fun and I really enjoy the fish-out-of-water hijinks for Park Hae-jin the super spy surrounded by the weirdness of showbiz folk. His deadpan expressions are priceless, and it cracks me up that he’s in an action-thriller and everyone else is in a comedy, but neither side seems to notice that they’re inhabiting the same space.
Chicago Typewriter: The end of Episode 6 finally pulled the three leads together in a way that started to make me care, which I would still argue is too darned long to make me wait. But now that we’re here, I’m glad to delve into these characters’ previous lives as freedom fighters, friends, and lovers. Now in the present day, I’m not so sure how Se-joo plans to make amends for his foot-in-mouth syndrome for the millionth time. Maybe he should start by adopting the dog.
Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People: Yay for some forward movement. I have to admit—they totally got me when the people came to Gil-dong’s rescue and were so proud to stand up and fight by his side, even in the face of death. He inspires that in people, which is really the big development we’ve been working for. It was also a huge relief when the show stopped being trolly about Eorini and fleshed out her story. Nothing made me happier than when she called Gil-dong and Gil-hyun “oraboni” again.
Whisper: Well the villains certainly stepped up their game, didn’t they? I was getting fatigued by all the flip-flopping in the initial case, so I found it a nice change of pace when the baddies decided to inject some new mayhem into the story. I much, much prefer Lee Bo-young out of that office and on the run, and I’d pay cash money if they could get Lee Sang-yoon out of there too, but maybe his office has an invisible force field that activates if he ever tries to leave it.
Mystery Queen: This week’s mystery kind of veered into absurd territory, but the emotional payoff we got in exchange was worth it. It was pretty gratifying to see Kwon Sang-woo in a position where he needed Ajumma’s help, after the hard time he’s given her in every possible moment up until now. There was satisfying karmic reversal and even a big hero moment, though you gotta love how Ajumma was all, “I would’ve saved myself!”
Crime Scene 3: I’m so excited for a whole new season of murder mysteries to solve. I’m happy to say that the third season is off to a solid start with the new cast members, though I did think to myself at one point, “I miss Hong Jin-ho’s flailing.” Everyone seemed too calm for murder suspects, and I miss having someone on the cast who trips over his words and gets animatedly anxious about the whole thing.
Currently recapping: Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People
Whisper: Oh man. Oh man. Chickachunga has been raving about this drama for AGES. So I decided to give it a try, and it completely took over my life (for the last two days). Lee Bo-young is love, and my Monday-Tuesday life is officially over until this drama is over. LOL, thanks chickachunga.
Man to Man: Hmmm, maybe my expectations were too high again, but I will hold off judgment until a few weeks in.