Team Dramabeans: What we’re watching

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…

 

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While You Were Sleeping: I feel like I should be really into this show, but I’m just not there yet. It’s me, though, not the show, so we’ll see if my mood shifts in time to hop onboard what will probably be the next hit out of dramaland.

Age of Youth 2: I’m relieved the big mystery is (partially) solved, so we can make some progress on the relationship(s) front. Can we just give Ji-won the kick in the pants needed to realize that what she wants has been at her side all along?

Temperature of Love: The actors are charming and I enjoy the show when I’m watching it… but it feels sort of meandering in a way that makes it a bit of a struggle to keep up with. Also, I like the chemistry of the main pair, but I’m not sure I buy into the actual romance narrative, which felt like wham-bam-love!

Rescue Me: The show was so heart-pounding through its whole run that the ending was almost anti-climactic for me, although I can’t say I minded not feeling tied up in knots for once, since all I wanted was to see that cult to go down in flames and to save the people I cared about. I appreciated that I got closure in the ways I wanted, even though the story didn’t tie up everything neatly and deliver a bow-wrapped ending for everyone, like the fragments of the cult left behind. I wished for a tiny bit more closure between Sang-mi and her saviors, but the ending felt realistic and true to the characters. And now we’ll all look up Woo Do-hwan to see what he’s doing next, yes? (Hint: It’s Mad Dog.)

My Golden Life: I don’t know why this show is as popular as it is (ratings-wise). It’s nowhere near as good as the other 30 percent dramas we’ve had in the past year, though admittedly I find it easy to watch. It’s just that the plot is weirdly fantastical, and I don’t really care about who’s a chaebol, and who’s not a chaebol, and who thinks she’s a chaebol but isn’t and who is a chaebol but thinks she isn’t… On the plus side, it seems like every week the plot gets a shake-up, so it does move along.

Criminal Minds: On the upside, it’s over!

 

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Currently recapping: While You Were Sleeping

Age of Youth 2: Kang Unni~! It was such a breath of fresh air when she returned to sass the pity party out of Ye-eun. I’m really enjoying all of her scenes in the second season, because once all six girls were together in the house, it felt whole again. I miss her crazy energy, and the way she just blurts things out with no filter. Visit more often! And bring more ice cream!

Temperature of Love: I like this reunited-lovers setup, which feels like a second beginning to the show and imbues the relationship with more emotion. Time and distance makes the misunderstandings and regret between them seem very natural. Mostly, Seo Hyun-jin is just great at this sort of prickly, difficult heroine, which is why I’m invested.

Rescue Me: I’m a little disappointed in the ending, just because the entire season was a tense, amazing buildup to this one climactic rescue, and I wanted more by the time it was done. Maybe no finale can live up to that kind of buildup? I just thought that if they had taken this long to plan their rescue, the moves would be more complex and twisty, and less smash-grab-run! But I’m satisfied with where our characters end up, and in my mind Sang-mi bakes Dong-chul a cake, because that’s the least you can do for a guy who joins a cult to save you, and then he asks her out to jajangmyun and the rest is history.

 

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Currently recapping: Manhole

Rescue Me: I started Rescue Me (my first OCN show!) to see who this rising talent Woo Do-hwan is, and I am so, so, so smitten! I can’t wait to see him in Mad Dog alongside Yoo Ji-tae whom I’ve missed since his steamy turn in The Good Wife. I binged Rescue Me, and I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. It was steadily paced with very little fat, and the story felt complete. Sang-mi is one of the most compelling heroines I’ve seen in a K-drama, and it was so refreshing to see not a damsel in distress, but a total badass of ironclad will and determination. The Muji bumpkin boys may have been instrumental in her escape, but she was the one who made it happen. Looks like I’ll be paying more attention to OCN’s shows from now on!

 

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Unknown Woman: This show started as a laugh-watch for me, but when I found myself messaging a friend during her job interview just to say, “OMG Son Yeo-ri is Hong Ji-won’s daughter!!!” I couldn’t deny it anymore. I was in crackjang territory. The “final” 20 episodes were just as crazy as the first 80, but somehow they felt shorter when I became invested in everyone’s outrageous schemes. Only time and Song Chang-eui’s new show will tell if this is a one-off thing or I’ve really become a makjang-enthusiast.

Lovers in Bloom: The grandma doesn’t deserve a grandson like Tae-jin. The chairman doesn’t deserve his wife. The wife doesn’t deserve her riches. Hee-jin doesn’t deserve her husband. Chaebol guy doesn’t deserve Moo Gung-hwa. And Jae-hee doesn’t deserve that coif. Everyone else is okay.

Age of Youth 2: Writer-nim, I love you, but didn’t you make Season 2 to finish Ji-won’s story? So where is it? Because these 5-minute clips of her and Sung-min per episode don’t count as a full story. You’ve been distracting me with Eun-Hoon cuteness the past few episodes but I’m watching you closely with only a few episodes left. If Ji-won dies a virgin and Sung-min dies of heartbreak (also a virgin) I’m never gonna watch Season 3! So there!

Rescue Me: I believe this show made us suffer for a reason. I believe we have seen hell so we can meet Sang-mi and Dong-chul and the rest of the gang who will show us the light and the way to paradise. I believe that this show is a gift from the Drama Gods! I believe that this team will make more shows of this quality in the future! Samalamalamala shalallellolelelalalalalalala~

 

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While You Were Sleeping: What is it about Park Hye-ryun’s dramas? What is it?? They feel ethereal and magical, and not just because of the obvious fantasy elements. And once again, her characters are flawed but in the most likable way. They don’t have to try to get me to root for them because I’m already there. I especially love how Jae-chan shines like a ray of hope for Hong-joo after she spent years in a dark dream world. I almost rolled my eyes when it was revealed that they crossed paths as kids, but I can’t really complain; this writer always manages to make the OTP’s pasts rich and meaningful. If Hong-joo’s dream with her dad was her first “psychic” dream, I wonder if something happened to trigger it. And perhaps the same thing happened to Jae-chan. Perhaps he’s had the same ability all this time without realizing it. I’m excited to see where this will go (it’s been a hot minute since I’ve felt this strongly about a premiere), but it’ll be tough to watch live… Can someone wake me up when it’s Wednesday?

Age of Youth 2: The words “Mom’s here!” have never felt so rewarding. It was the perfect time to bring Yi-na back into the show—she got Ye-eun back on her feet AND she finally met the sixth Belle Epoque housemate. I can’t help but wish for all six girls to live under the same roof. Imagine the hijinks that would ensue! Although, there is enough craziness going around as is. I’m still reeling from that cliffhanger.

 
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