02 February 2015

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Rants and 'Weekly' Raves #23 (RAWR)

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on February 02, 2015
kakashi: Well, it looks like I'm back on the KDrama wagon. Which is good, people, I tell you! These dramaless episodes worry me deeply. That said, I still think that the overall quality of shows these days is shocking. It's simply not enough to have a lovely OTP. Dramas are about stories. Where are the good, original stories?!
Lafer: Yes, I too am excited again. Although I've dropped a few *cough Legendary Witch cough* there are now three that I anxiously await each week.
JoAnne: I don't seem to be watching quite as much as I used to, but I don't think it means anything, really.
becca: I'm not watching much right now either, but that's just because I've been busy and feeling under the weather.
bcook: I'm back!!!!!!! and quite happy that I'm not the only one going through a kdramalaise. I'm also listening to John Legend "All of Me" (curiously fulfilling if sappy song) and this gif matches surprisingly well. (try it out, have a laugh)

Healer

Still far and away my number one show right now. Every time I think about her running after him and saying 'you better come back' and then they kiss in front of the ahjussis... my heart just swells. So far, we've had brief minutes of doubts and misunderstandings. It's so REFRESHING that they don't drag that ish out.
becca: Awww, that sounds so cute. I haven't seen this week's episodes yet, but I do love the show. It's a light, entertaining action/romance drama with plenty of squees and fighting, which means that it was practically made for me.
Me neither, haven't seen them. Are we in angst-territory yet? Is there no angst coming? Maybe a little bit of noble idiocy?

Dr. Frost

I'm almost caught up. It's an overall harmless show, but with ok entertainment value. And then, there was episode 6 - which was really, really good. Why? Because they didn't have to solve any stupid cases in that episode. Because it was about who Frost is - and why people still manage to love him despite his "defect". That episode gave us backstory, and heart ache, and focused on relationships between people. If this show would manage to give us more of that, it could be a good show. Not very good, but more than average good. A shame it isn't.
The problem with Frost as a character is that his portrayal requires quite some acting skills. He doesn't feel many emotions: But he should be no means be dull. Or constantly gruff. Or arrogant. No, he has become a psychologist because the one thing he is lacking is emotions - it's the one thing that's a mystery to him, so he is fascinated by it and always curious, because he is a scientist. And he is trying to connect with people, not out of an emotional need, but because he realizes that it is both wanted and necessary. He is usually failing because he is too cold in moments where it matters - but still, the people around him return to his side again and again. Why? Because he is fascinating in turn - and because he is clearly trying to be human.
How to play such a character? Well, more of that scientific curiosity should be shown. More of the inner struggle to make sense of this world of emotions, more reflections about why he keeps failing. And then, more outwards struggles, too ... certainly, a man with constant nightmares, even if he doesn't feel much, struggles with certain aspects of his life? All in all, this drama feels like a missed opportunity. The overall set-up of characters is intriguing ... but how they are made to interact in this drama lacks on too many levels.
Well now I really want to watch it, which seems counterintuitive.
A bit :)

Hide, Jekyll, me and I - and Sometimes You

So. This drama. Hm. How interesting... What I like about this show: Hyun Bin. And sometimes him and Han Ji-min, but rarely, because she is SO DULL, even though she has this going for her. What I don't like: The rest. What a shit script!!! Awful, awful, awful. But ... Hyun Bin is magic. It must be that, because why else would I continue watching?! (with ample fast forwarding. mind you) And have you seen the ratings? Ahjummas don't love Binnie anymore? Is his star sinking? (that's a German expression, but I'm sure you get it) Doesn't he have a manager that tells him not to choose shitty projects? Doesn't he get good offers anymore? Is KDramaland changing dramatically? Binnie! Get out of this mess while you still caaaaaaaaan!! Release your alter ego! By the way, I'm on team Seo-Jin.
I like this, mostly because I'm so curious about 'what happened' five years ago, and also for how the two personalities interact. They had a far more consciously cooperative existence for at least the first 10 years than one might expect. Plus its gorgeous, if you ignore the occasional CGI. (The CGI is occasional. It must ALWAYS be ignored.)
I feel sorry for everyone involved in this, but it's not looking well. Now there's massive reshooting to get the ratings up and a hole in the budget because of the SARFT-thing.
Ahjummas! Love me again, pleeeeaaase.

Heart to Heart

Lafer: This is my new crack! (Sorry, Ji Sung. I'm still watching you and loving you but your drama is in second place.) It is quirky and different and yanks at the heartstrings and has great chemistry (and acting.) Really loving this at the moment.
Detective Jjang is just... he's such a nice guy, so sweet. Both guys have sweetness. Jjang lets it shine like a lantern, Doc hides it under a pile of bullshit. And Hong Do is just adorable, her little pink face and those big eyes. I know what end game is and I'm fine with it, and actually want my Thighs to end up with the acting sister, but right now I love watching her being woo'd by both men in such distinctive ways.
Can we just have more cuddly romping in bed, please?

Maids

On a whim I decided to check this out, having absolutely no idea that it was even a saguek, and I'm pleasantly surprised. I like having a story that is female driven. Someone described it as the Upstairs Downstairs of Korean dramas, so I think it could be really interesting. It even has my first crush, Oh Ji Ho, in it. Too bad he can't act his way out of a paper bag, but the long hair, long suffering servant look is good on him.
Oh-face is the reason I can't watch this. I really can't. There are certain actors I really, really, really can't stand. Ethan Hawke is one. Oh-face another.
becca: Ha! See, JoAnne? I'm not the only one who doesn't like Oh Ji Ho's face! HA!
Lafer: OK, in my defense of Oh Ji Ho, I still hadn't quite adjusted to liking an Asian face, and he looked kind of Americanized to me. I'll admit, there have been many who are much more attractive who came along after!
He does have a very American face, I noticed that early in my KDrama life too. Everyone is raving about this, so I will probably give it a try.
bcook: I wanna watch a sageuk! but Oh-face ruined another drama for me coz he was a bulging eyed, woman pushing shit face (but mostly it was his face)... so i'll stay away. or fast forward through his scenes. Maybe I'll watch Faith instead. My nephew (such an adorable smart baby! I taught him to say please in Korean) is in love with "I am woodalchi" and it brought back memories.

Persevere, Gu Hae Ra

I really enjoy this show. It won't save the world, it won't break records... but if you do nothing else, watch episode 4 for the public bath scene. It might at least have broken new ground for a drama. And the show is good - just the right amount of young people/true love angst, family love, loyalty, rich vs. poor, with some very nice singing thrown in to bind it together.
becca: I'm hearing really good things about this one, so I'll look forward to checking it out when I have time.

Valid Love

Ahhh, this show. I love it so much. Carpenter Kim kind of went off the deep end this past week and got scary for a few, but really everyone is under so much pressure right now with all the drama of Mom's rapidly increasing dementia. And I can feel for Il Ri, not being able to just walk away from these people she loves. Her marriage ended her relationship with her husband, but there's this whole family she's been so entwined with for so long, and she loves them. She really loves them, and they're going through some very hard times, and she wants to help.

Of course she should draw the line, of course. But saying that is so much easier than doing it. The poor girl is being torn in so many directions and you can't be really sure of how ANYONE in the love triangle feels at this point because they don't know themselves. I don't think anyone is a reliable narrator at this point, but I'm okay going along for the ride. There is NO ONE evil in this drama, at all. Not one person. For that alone, I could kiss the screen.
I had the weirdest dream. I was hanging with a few Korean actors at an outdoor barbecue-thing (I don't remember any details though!) and then, our pickup came. It was Uhm Tae-woong, who was super-grumpy because of Valid Love. He told me how much he hated the script and the working-conditions, etc. The end (of my dream).
 

Kill Me, Heal Me

Have we met everyone officially? I think Nana is next week and then we've got them all, right? Do Hyun plus Se Gi, Perry Park, Yo Sub, Yo Na, Na Na to come - nope. Even if you count Do Hyun that's only six, and there are seven.  
You are right! I thought we'd hit all 7, but we have yet to meet Mr. X.

As long as HJE continues to be mostly quiet and mostly un-bugeyed, I can continue to watch this. The thing is, Ji Sung is doing a great job. And I am half convinced that Oh Ri On is the adopted child, not Oh Ri Jin, and I can't rest until I know. I love that Ri On has been playing the fool all this time while secretly loving and doing his best to protect Ri Jin. I LOVE their parents.  I want Chae Yeon to continue to get slapped down, I want Grandma to fall in a well, and I'd like to just continue watching Cha Do Hyun and Secretary Ahn run around fixing shit. Okay, maybe watch him get healed and integrate all the pieces and live a good life. He's just so likable, you know?
Obsessive attraction to Ji Sung aside, I really loved episodes 7 and 8. HJE was really good in them, and I'm hoping it's a result of monitoring fan sites to realize that she needed to be toned down. They do have a certain chemistry (not that is matters, for when they show his close ups I'm just pretending it's me he's talking to.)

Other Things

Sleepy Hollow! Wow! A good episode this week!! And a few great lines (Abbie: "Mudras. The symbolic language of gesture in Hinduism and Buddhism. Thank you, yoga class." Ichabod: "I'm still not going back.") So they found a way to write out Hawley AND managed to have Ichabbie together for an entire episode. They even talked about the problems between them, though without calling the things by its name: it's Katrina. She has to disappear. I hope it isn't too late already ... I don't think Fox has renewed this show yet.
On Hawley: almost everybody hated him, I didn't. Mainly because he reminds me of a friend I had - I lost contact with him, which is a shame. Anyway, Hawley. I was hoping they would have him and Abbie hook up for hot and steamy sex and stuff. And I was hoping that that would make Ichabod realize that he has more than brotherly feelings for Abbie, too. Cause the brotherly stuff has TO STOP. Anyway, they wasted Hawley completely. And then, in the end, he ended up with Jenny again. Oh please. And now, he's gone.
Last week, Tom Mison claimed that "Ichabod is completely in love with Abbie". You better show us that, show. And quickly. Season 2 is ended and it's been thorough SHIT.

EMPIRE. I am so on board this soul train. What a great show - it's practically Shakespearean in the family dynamics. I cannot wait for Thursdays, when I watch it. (I think it airs Wednesdays, not positive.) Lucious and Cookie are addicting. And the music is fantastic, which never hurts. Also: Jane the Virgin (still great) and the audition phase of American Idol, which (so far) has paid very little attention to the horribly bad and  just enough (streamlined) attention to the very good. With plenty of Harry Connick Jr goofing off, which would be enough, really, to keep me watching forever.
bcook: my facebook is raving about empire...maybe I'll get on that bandwagon. I'm currently working my way through all the murder mystery shows on Netflix NOT set in the US (lots more than you'd think). 

The Vampire Diaries: I am still watching this show. It's like one of those bad habits you know you should get over, but you somewhat can't. And ........ I miss Klaus. 

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