15 June 2015

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Rants and Weekly Raves #42 (RAWR)

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on June 15, 2015
JoAnne: Please don't leave me talking to myself. Kakashi wanders away after a while and then I'm all alone.
kakashi: Awwwww.... but please know, I'm always here. Even if you don't see me.  
becca:*feeling appropriately guilty* That is sad. :( I'll try to RAWR more often so you won't be lonely.
Shuk: As of this posting, I'm watching 1 SK drama, 4 Thai lakorns, and 2 Singaporean, one in English and one in Mandarin. So, really, I'm waving from left field. (I need to give you a different color. So ... there!) 
Nabi: Okay, then I will jump in again!! And hopefully more than just once on Sunday evening this time...
Lafer: How many times can I make a comeback? Oh yeah, I guess every time I have something new to add, like the kpop groups do.
Jaehyus/S@ki6: Kpop groups don't really add much new, they just rework the same sound with different looks. 
bcook: Stop taking my color S@ki!
I'm taking Hot Pink and that's done for all posts. 
Easy now, easy! There's enough colors for all of us ... I think. Wow, we are many! O_____o And we have a lot to say :D

This post is dedicated to Shuk and her kidneys.
Soon stone-free, we hope!


On Things in Life

Kakashi (service announcement): Jang Bori 52 is now the 2nd most read post on this blog ever. Thank you, Singapore! I'm about ready for a crazy show like that again! Bring it on! (Hello? Kim Ji-hoon?) 
JoAnne: Oh and you know I will be right there with you! We have that down to a science!
This is what I have noticed: Kdrama structures lives. Since I have stopped watching any, I'm constantly confused about what day it is! Kdrama makes you live in junks: Monday-Tuesday dramas, Wednesday-Thursday dramas, and then the weekend. I now also understand why people get so upset about slow subbing! It messes up the Kdrama structure!
These days I'm not watching much during the week but then binge-watching a couple of dramas over the weekend, so I'm behind on most shows, and my Kdrama structure is all messed up. It's a very strange feeling, after being on the Kdrama schedule for a few years!
I am quite used to having every evening filled with dramas so watching only two a week does seem strange. I definitely prefer marathoning, but there aren't even any old ones I want to watch at the moment.
I think there's a point where you go, I'm a bit fed up, let's leave things alone for now. And I'm basically down to two: Hwajung and Producer. Producer will end this week, and next week, I think SMTM4 starts, so let's see. Since it'll be Ramadan starting soon, I'll probably just finish Producer and continue with Hwajung (not nearly as scary as Cruel Palace) and leave it at that until mid-July.
I'm back!!! Started watching Korean TV again. Oh. Oh. How I have missed thee. How do I know I'm back? Watched till 1am yesterday. Never have I been so happy to be sleep deprived. (Who is this?) (It's bcook!)
Sorry. I HAVE to put in a Jon Snow picture.
I can't help myself. I'm traumatized by this stupid show and you can read why further below.
I'm traumatized and obsessed. and UPSET
I curse the old gods and the new
I want it to be April 2016 NOW

On Warm and Cozy

I guess JoAnne and I are the only ones watching this. It's not the worst Hong Sisters show (and I refuse to mention the Really No Good Totally Bad one), but I find it a bit sad that I'm rooting for the 2nd couple more than the leads. I would rather watch the antics of our older clueless Black Pearl and his amusing attempts at courting his Ariel. Gun Woo bothers me in that he hurts people by his careless indifference, after I had such high hopes for a rich chaebol type who seemed to be honestly nice. Hopefully with the Cancer Girl sympathy now vanished, we can finally see a bit more of his serious side.  We still have a lot of episodes go, so the show could still go way up or way down.
I'm dying to find out how Hae Sil's dead husband is connected to Geon Woo's parents. Aren't you?
Not really. Dropped this show a while back. It just got annoying.
Here is something NOT warm and NOT cozy. 
I heard they aren't CGI and it's kind of freaky being on set with them. That IS the Winter King, right? Or whatever?
Yes, that's what Kit said. His name is Richard. He is not CGI. But what does Kit Harington care, right?! Seeing how he [SPOILER]

Divorce Lawyer in Love

As JoAnne pointed out hilariously in the last RAWR, Cho Yeo-Jeong (the lead actress) has a terrible haircut. Oh, thank you! Also, this week the show resorted to what has to be the weakest excuse for a separation ever, when the OTP decided that being opposing counsel on the same case meant that they couldn't talk to each other at all. Seriously? Are they not even remotely professional?! I'm guessing this terrible storyline is the dreaded spawn of the 2-episode extension, so I'm holding out hope that its putrescence won't infect the entire ending. But in the meantime I'm too irritated even to enjoy their ridiculous silent-gesturing antics. On a more positive note, I have decided to give Yeon Woo-Jin a coveted spot on my "Best Kissers in KDrama" list, since he really makes me believe he's kissing and not just acting.
Truthfully, I don't believe any KDrama actors care about my best kissers list.
But since I made it anyway, Woo-Jin clearly deserves a spot, no?
Kisseu. I'm re-building my list. Should I watch this? No room for much ridiculousness since I've started watching Mask (wow talk about a whole lot of crazy in 1 episode)

School 2015 - Who Are You

I was livid on Monday, much happier (for a while) on Tuesday. At the moment, I am holding out hope that Han Yi An's shock at seeing Blackie kiss EBi is that he might think it's EByul. LaLaLaLa I can't hear you. Either each boy gets his right girl or we revert to School 2013 which is they are HIGH SCHOOL students and nobody needs a boyfriend right now! I would also like to say that EByul is kind of a bitch and I don't like her all that much, but I would happily watch her get in So Young's face all day er' day. And if there has to be one couple I think it should be Blackie and EBi, but not for another 10 years or so.
You know, despite liking this show and loving both boys, there is a part of me that is annoyed by the fact that the School drama with a female lead is all about the romance, while School 2013, with a male lead, was all about friendships. It especially bugs me because there are so few shows that put an emphasis on female friendships as it is, and here was this high school drama just ripe for that kind of storytelling, but instead it's all about the shipping wars. I don't know. It's a fun show, and I do actually enjoy the romance angle (mostly), but… yeah. Maybe it's just a bit much for a high school drama.
I'm actually tempted to try this again, but I think I'll wait. 
I think there's an argument to be made that shipper wars made it about the romance, but the actual writing doesn't put as much emphasis on it as you might think.  It's more that the boys keep coming in to rescue the girl - no girls were rescuing the boys, last time around.
After watching a couple more episodes, I think you must be right.

High Society

First episode verdict: Yoon Ha's family is disgusting. I include her pig of a father's mistress in that assessment. Yoon Ha, I like. Her economically disadvantaged bestie, I like. Sung Joon, I like-ish. He is at least lovely to look at and/or listen to. His parents are cute. Hyung Shik, I like looking at, at the very least. This is not well-acted, overall.
Second episode verdict: I could watch Poor Bestie and Hyung Shik all day long, especially when she's drunk. I love her. I also love her and Yoon Ha together. I will probably like Sung Joon and Yoon Ha together. Yoon Ha's family is horrifyingly disgusting, although I have a smidge of sympathy for the hellish life her mother lives. At least Grapevine Asshat Parents loved their kids. Kind of. As much as they were able to feel an emotion that was not injured pride. Yoon Ha's older brother might not be totally horrible. Just boring, but then we knew that from Goddess of Marriage. Nice to look at, though. The acting, it is spotty - but it's only TERRIBLE when it's Yoon Ha's siblings, 2/3 of whom I dislike strongly enough to spit at on the street.
So far, I like the drama, but I haven't much to say about it. I do wish we had the director from Can We Get Married? back, though. I loved his style, and I can see the things/people that annoy me (such as the sisters and the mistress) being slightly less grating if the director would tell them to be less over-the-top with their portrayals.
This is helping me bid my time until something really good comes on. And it amazes me that I am actually watching Uee and not hating her.
Watched a bit, wasn't that impressed. If you're completely without anything to do, then it could be cute. 

Mask

This gives me immense and unexplainable joy. I have no idea why. I should run screaming from the bad acting, the ugly set design, the constant bombardment with tired cliches. And yet, I adore it. So do a LOT of other people, it seems. Or maybe it's just my friends. Sigh. Minus Kakashi. I have this idea to go back to the beginning and begin listing the tropes and then submitting it to the Guinness Book of World Records…
Curiousity prompted me to try this, but I really wasn't expecting to like it, especially since it comes from the Secret writer and that show couldn't hold my attention. (Mine either, as I recall, although I did watch to the end.) BUT. I love Mask. I really, really do. It's soapy, crazy fun, and Joo Ji-hoon's craziness makes me giggle.
Yes! I do love it! It makes no sense, and still I love it. I knew from the moment So-Ae #1 drowned in 5 minutes while So-Ae#2 survived the worst car crash in history by making a Houdini-like escape totally unscathed that I would love it. (I had a very real inkling that would happen) And I am pleasantly surprised at Ju Ji Hoon. His brand of craziness is unique and charming. I have not exactly warmed up to evil brother-in-law but I am seeing glimpses of hotness so who knows. (evil brother-in-law is Phampire Prosecutor! I keep expecting his eyes to change color)
I just saw a rather steamy screenshot from this drama. Perhaps I should pick it up after all...
How did I forget that I was watching and loving this show? And what is with MiYeon's Earrings? They merit a capital E just for their sheer in-your-face-suckers size.  Hoya appeals to me more than I thought he would. (He looks like he's constantly smelling a fart.) And SooAe, I saw her first in The Sword With No Name as Empress Myunseong, a woman who deserves history's respect for dying for her country, Soo Ae rocked the role, and I'm now her fan, though nothing like with Honey Lee. 
Becca nailed it for me when she said good soap-y fun. For American viewers of a certain age, this show is what would happen if Soap met Dallas, if those writers had been on drugs.
I can't even with this show... probably why i'll be watching 4 episodes tonight when I get home.

Producer

What do you mean, the episodes are too long? Please let me watch foolish people be petty while spouting dialogue that makes me laugh every time I realize I know exactly who they are talking about in real life. The longer the episode is, the less time I have to ponder the oddness that is my realization that I know way more about the state of entertainment media in a country I will probably never visit than I do in my own. Considering I find no real lasting value in ANY of it, the fact that I know anything means I must admit that I am wasting a significant portion of my time. Hmm. Ah, but it gave me you guys! Okay, I'm good :)
Haha, JoAnne's thoughts about this show are a lot deeper than mine! I think a good chunk of the jokes actually go right over my head, but I still don't notice the extra length of the episodes. And while I don't find that it draws me in emotionally with the strength that, say, Gaksitaaaaaal did, I am definitely enjoying the uniqueness (for KDrama) of its humor and pacing, and find myself a lot more open than usual to whatever directions it wants to take me in the future. Plus, I have a special fondness for overly-earnest males, so Baek Seung-Chan is a particular favorite of mine. Even more than that, I LOVE PD TAK YE-JIN! She's brilliant, dense, strong, vulnerable, and has my favorite hair out of all the female characters in the shows I'm currently viewing.
I love this show! So funny, witty, petty, and real. Gong Hyo Jin continues to slay. And I say this for women who feel a bit left on the shelf everywhere: she needs that younger male adoration. She deserves it! I totally understood her not seeing how much BSC liked her. She just assumed all the guys would go for a Cindy-type, but no, she's being loved for herself. Yay!
There is one thing about Cindy that I'd add: much as I found her a touching character, and her interactions with her antifans hilarious, could she be a little nicer to Manager Oppa?  Poor guy tries so hard. 
Squee...I luff you both! I still doubt you'll end up together (I'm convinced that the blocked goal at the end of Episode 8 foreshadowed poor Seung-Chan's inevitable failure at winning Ye-Jin), but I enjoy pretending that you will.

Orange Marmalade

WTF. Come on, just let me watch Yeo Jin Goo be all hormonal and kissy. Don't give me this shit.
Most. Inept. Wooer. Ever. Is Yeo Jin-Goo in a competition with his former Moon/Sun older self, Kim Soo-Hyun, to see whose current character can be the least effective suitor? If so, extra points to Jin-Goo for bungling equally badly in two entirely different centuries. But I suppose Soo-Hyun will win in the end, since Jin-Goo will almost certainly end up getting the girl -- twice -- in spite of himself.
In addition to their similarly cringe-worthy Earnests, OM and Producer also share a penchant for unusual pacing. So far, it appears that OM is going for two episodes of dreamy, followed by two episodes of angsty, then reset and repeat. I'm curious to see if the pattern will continue, but admit that I am also a little frustrated by it.
I wasn't happy with Episode 5. It was such an abrupt shift and I still think I'd rather have started with the past and moved forward... but episode 6 was a lot better so I'm happy again:  they gave me a LOT of the universe and I wanted that.
"Okay, so not so much kissy lately, but I'm clearly just as hormonal as ever.
Can't you still love me, JoAnne? Can't you?!"

Ha! I answered that above without even knowing you asked!
I keep thinking about the girl group every time I see the title of this show. Can't watch it as a result.

My Beloved Eun Dong

I would like someone to heat up the sound of Joo Jin Mo's voice, turn it into liquid, then pour it slowly all over me while I listen to it. Also, I'm about to hate a bunch of people for being really terrible to Eun Dong, I think.
Hmm, Joo Jin Mo's voice in liquid form? *points at JoAnne* I'll have what she's having.
REeeeeaaallllly?

Ex-Girlfriend Club (Finale)

Gah, so much cute!! The premise of this show was outlandish, but its execution was wildly enjoyable, and its endgame was delightful. I also think that 12 episodes was the perfect length for it. Its only real flaw was in planning originally for 16 episodes. The extra material was not only unnecessary, it also pushed the heart of the story way off course. I still thought that trip to Crazytown was fun, but I also think tvN made the right decision in heading the runaway train back to the station when it did. Yes, the last-minute course change was awkward and rushed, but it got us to where we should have been heading all along as quickly as possible, and ultimately I think the show was the better for it. Not as good as it could have been, but better than the alternative.
Sadly, this makes yet another Song Ji-Hyo drama that didn't quite live up to my expectations, but at least this time the raw material wasn't the root of the problem. Aside from Blank Ji, the rest of the cast weren't well known to me before this drama. Most of them have done stuff I've seen before, but nothing for which I remembered them (first male lead, Byun Yo-Han, had a big role in Misaeng, but I only followed that drama on DB), and whatever else its shortcomings, EGFC's performances were memorable. I'm looking forward to seeing future projects from all of them, and will look back on this one with fondness.
I am torn. On the one hand, they didn't need those 4 episodes. On the other, they could have made better use of the last two, which felt much more like vignettes than linear plot movement. However, we did get satisfactory endings for everyone, and much cuteness, so I can't complain too much. Unless it's complaining that we don't get more of Myeong Soo and 'Geon Oppa' with their grade school level fighting, because I could watch that for a long, long time.
See how cute the OTP could be when they were allowed to be?
Annyeong, EGFC! I'll miss you!
On a side note, I really thought Director Jo's chemistry was much better with his male co-stars than with any of the women. I particularly wished during his one-on-one scenes with the Tigress's fiancé that they would stop talking and start making out already.
Traitor! He was meant for Myeong Soo!
It's not one of his steamier scenes with Tigress's fiancé, but it makes for a better screenshot.
I have the distinct feeling that those fight scenes (beginning with the cookie stuffing incident) were entirely adlibbed. And completely, 100% hilarious, so well done!

Masked Prosecutor

For whatever reason, I feel like I've been having a hard time following what's going on in this drama lately, but I think our masked hero's birth mother may be evil. Like full-on psycho evil. She also has bad teeth. Poor Joo Sang-Wook. For those of you that thought it would be pure campy schlock, prepare to be very...disappointed? Because this weird train is headed to melo town. Hardcore. [Episode 8 UPDATE: Yup, it's definitely a melo.] Fortunately, with one notable exception (okay, two, if you count the fact that she still hasn't noticed that the masked man and her prosecutor colleague share the same eyes, nose, lips, voice, and build...but let's not be too picky), our cop heroine remains whip-smart and bad-ass, and that buys this show a lot of leeway from me in other areas. Still, let's hope it stops needing that soon.
Awwww, gwaenchanh-a...I still love you! Crazy Geomsa Team Hwaiting!!

On Other Shows

One show that I am watching for giggles and food porn is The Kitchen Musical. It's from Singapore, but entirely in English. The lead chef is Australian, the others have various accents and behaviors, and they break out into song several times an episode. The story surrounds an upper-end eating establishment, with haughty restaurant critics, employee shenanigans, birth secrets, Indian/French fusion food, and all the chopped vegetables you can take. Only 13 episodes of the first season, so and I don't know if a 2nd season even exists. But at least you don't need subtitles!
That sounds hilarious!

On Game of Thrones
I'm still Game of Thrones-ing. Oh hell, I'm not sleeping much these days ... I've watched all the Jon Snow bits from Season 1 through to the end of Season 5 (WHY CAN'T IT BE 2016 yet?! He certainly isn't .... *not spoiling* MASSIVE FRIGGIN SPOILER *sobbing* THIS SHOW GIVES ME A HEARTATTACK, f*** this! I read he really cut his har!! He said he is not in Season 6!! Is it a clever lie? Will he just come back with short hair? Will he become a white walker??! They don't have hair! But will he be the same person without his hair?! Is he coming back in Season 7?! F*** You, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, you cruel bastards).
Yeaaaaahhhhh. I've been anti GOT since the beginning. Today I got to tell my friends why. And it's because of this. Since I've had 3 years (since I read the book) to stew over this I'd like to tell you the pain fades... but it doesn't. 
Oh, finally someone who understands me! I kept refusing to watch this show, but my husband forced me into it. Well, "forced me". Anyway, even knowing what would happen did not prepare me and NOT KNOWING is the worst and they're so clever about it.
Regular watching wise, I've reached the middle of Season 3. So, I will cry about the end of Season 5 while simultaneously write about mid-Season 3 then. OMG WHAT HAVE THEY DONE?! *has another meltdown*. Anyway, yes.What the F*** will they do against the White Walkers?! That invasion at the (almost) end of Season 5 is absolutely horrifying. (Yes. Exactly! This, below, is one of those pictures where you stare and stare ... and suddenly, you see the zombies)
Ok, I will give this another chance.
Anyway, I'm .... *sobs again* ... we were having ourselves a birth secret! I was so excited about that, because I'm an expert. I was expecting amnesia anytime soon. Oh, amnesia? That would be a good idea!! Just frigging stop torturing half the world, you stupid Game of Thrones makers and tell us what's happening in Season 6. YOU CAN'T KILL THE MAIN CHARACTER, YOU ASSHOLES! And I love talking to myself about this, since nobody on here is watching anyway. Haha.Here's to another Stark death: Fare thee well, beautiful Robb! The honorable, good men don't make it long in this show. Unless they're up in the high north, where nobody cares about them. Oh wait .... *wailing ensues*


iZombie and other Stuff 
iZombie season finale! Holy Brain Splatters, Batman. I cannot wait for next season. I'll admit that I sort of liked the idea of Major being a zombie (and did I really not notice until the last episode of the season that his last name is 'Lilywhite' ?) but I have to admit that Liv giving the final dose to Major and the PRICE for that being that now her brother might die... okay, it's not an earth-shatteringly new plot device but it's way heavier than the first half of this season might have led us to expect from this series. I am so in love, really. 
The Whispers: Not nearly as creepy as the first episode, but still entertaining enough.
True Blood, wow, SO bad. How did I not notice that when I was watching Season 1 all those years ago? I would like to put Anna Paquin's head between a set of vice grips to hold her back from shaking it no every time she opens her mouth, or every time she slightly parts her lips and pants at Bill while making lustful virgin Bambi eyes at him.
Wait, is True Blood still on?! I did love the books (well, a few of them) back in the day and the first two seasons were quite good - I think. Are you saying it was always bad, from the very beginning? It did bring us Skarsgard though. Never forget Skarsgard. With the lovely little circle abvoe the a, here we go: Skarsgård. I love Nordic men. Even though they all wear the silliest beards nowadays.
It just ended in 2014! I watched the first season in 2008, and then I switched to the books for some reason - I think I was watching bootleg and the quality was so bad I just gave up, maybe. So now that it's done, I'm just watching the whole thing. It's included in my Amazon Prime, so it's free. It's really bad. I'm having fun watching but I dunno for how long. And yes. Alexander Skarsgård. I also like his father, Stellan. In the books, I loved the werewolf. Can't wait til I get to the Joe Manganiello part in the show. Can. Not. Wait. Yes, his eyes do look a little close together. But scan down, and you forget all that.
Oh, he was good! What a tree of a man. Though overall, his appearance was brief in the series. I think. I really don't remember much, just that I really really hated the show after season 2.
*drool* He's dating the luckiest woman on earth. She knows it... he knows she knows it. It makes for very interesting pictures of them. But erm yeah. He's the one that changed my mind about beefcake (I was anti-beefcake for a while. Yeah. I know. What was I thinking). Btw. Watch Magic Mike.
Watch it for the second time, you mean? And parts of it for the thir fourth time? Why on EARTH would you think I had not seen this? Do you even know me?

On Brutality on TV

There is an interesting debate happening right now about brutality in TV - both GoT and The Walking Dead are getting more and more brutal. I must admit, there are certain scenen in GoT which make me close my eyes (and the same happened in Daredevil, which was very graphic, also sound-wise). However, I also notice that for the most time, I don't care. Not much, at least. Am I apathetic to violence because I've seen too much on TV? No, I'd say. When I hear about the mother and daugther that drowned the other day in their basement when the thunderstorm hit (because of a flash flood), I care. A lot. But when I see brutality on TV or in a movie, I know it's fiction.
People mainly fear what this will do to their kids - as they should. You need to know what is safe for your kids to watch and what is not. But my opinion is this: pretending that there is no violence in the world is not going to solve any problems. It's the duty of parents and educators to problematize violence (of all kinds and in all situations), in the real world AND in fiction. And in my opinion, I think you need to be exposed to at least the knowledge of violence and brutality to be able to ethically and morally and very actively take a stance against it.
Fake violence doesn't make me cry, but watching real people hurt each other in movies, tv, news reports, life... that does. So I think I am pretty okay with making the distinction, and I have been watching bloody movies since I was 7 or 8. The kids will be okay.  
I have a weak stomach, and there's so much else I like, that I won't watch this kind of stuff.
okay, no more Games of Thrones after this. I promise.

Empress of China

Beautiful costumes and sets, but just when the story gets interesting, it gets boring again.  I guess they have to stretch it out over 75 eps. ::Shrugs::

Upcoming

I wasn't excited about anything (not even about the Ghostess and definitely not about Scholar), but then, the anncouncement for LAST on jtbc suddenly came up. Now this is a drama I could very much like. Dark gangster stuff. Yes. Let it be good!
Yoon Kye-sang! Oh, you know I'm there - with bells on! It being on jtbc and also starring Lee Bum-soo is just icing on the cake for me. Sweet, sweet icing.
Oh this is happening. This is so happening. And Hidden Identity, too.
I'm getting more excited for Descendants of the Sun. I'm hoping Song Joong Ki finally takes his hat off. I'm also curious as to what kind of OTP he and Song Hye-Kyo will make. But in the meantime, I'm actually reading. Books. And it's a good thing.
Oh, books. I forgot about them :D
Ooooh, I'm excited about all of these! Ghostess, Scholar, Last, Sun, and also Six Flying Dragons and The Time I've Loved You! Bring it, dramaland -- I'm back on all your ships! For now, at least...
Oh wait. What is Hidden Identity? Hm. Is that something for me? I'll check it out! Game of Thrones Season 6 is almost a whole year away!!!
Hahaha, Hidden Identity is Kim Bum's new drama! He's trying to play a tough guy, and has this weird scruff on his face in the posters to prove it. I'm realizing suddenly that if I don't watch it I will no longer be able to say that I have seen all of his dramas since BoF, but I'm really not feeling it. Hmmm... eotteohge?
It's OK, we can still watch you while your hair grows in.
Welcome back, Joong-Ki-ah!!!
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