11 August 2015


Rants and Weekly Raves #50 (RAWR) - Part 2

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on August 11, 2015
kakashi: We talked a bit much. That's why I split this week's RAWR (here's Part 1, where we discuss "So Ganzi" and So Ji-sub in general, I Remember You, Mrs. Cop, Hidden Identity, Assembly, and The Scholar Who Walks The Night). And this below? Just because there are not enough shower scenes on this blog. And because mary isn't commenting or blogging on here anymore. She'll know why this has anything to do with her :)

Yong Pal 

JoAnne: I have only seen one episode, but it's strangely appealing. The pace and dialogue are brisk and engaging, and the look is good. Yong Pal and his loan shark/medical services pimp/buddy are going to be fun to watch. Joo Won just DELIVERS, you know? And then...then there's the Sleeping Beauty hidden away in the Sci Fi wing of the hospital, mysteriously unmarked and peacefully resting in some sort of medical stasis after flinging herself out of the penthouse window because they killed her (pretty pretty) boyfriend. Never mind that the glass shouldn't have broken so easily, never mind that she should have been pudding on the pavement. No matter. She's rich, they mended her, and now she's being kept hidden away from stockholders for some reason. And Joo Won found out by accident! Dun, dun, DUN! This might be fun. Or really stupid. I'm going to keep watching for a while.
I - blasphemy!! - have never ever liked Joo Won in ANYTHING. Still, I do want to give this a try, because I was so surprised that Mr. X liked it

Jaehyus/Saki: I watched two. And when I say I watched two eps, I actually skipped a lot of the gangster fighting and medical filler because I couldn't be asked.  I may do a lot more active skimming of shows now because, as a result, I rather liked this show. I'm interested in the Heroine's story and how she'll get her revenge and how Yong Pal will help her. Also, I would like some closure to this Creepy Nurse scene:
 Does Kim TaeHee's makeup, okay, I kinda get that, because a girl can't let standards slide just because she's Sleeping Beauty waiting for the Seven Dwarfs or whatever.
Creepy Nurse presses her lips together as if a coma patient is going to do that too, and then giggles about it. Me, I'd have used a brush for even lipstick application and then blotted with a tissue, but okay.  
 Strokes Kim TaeHee's hair either like she's a crazy fan who has her idol under her control, or possibly like someone madly in love, which is also creepy considering the power differential here. 
And then the nurse/carer asks this, even though Kim TaeHee's eyes are closed.  Mockery, or crazy playacting?

The Time We Were Not in Love 

Nabi: We finally know what Won's major malfunction was...12 episodes after it was first teased, and a full week after Hana found out, because they edited the reveal so that Hana saw it at the end of Episode 12 but the audience had to wait until the beginning of Episode 13. Usually I kind of like the KDrama habit of replaying the last couple minutes of the previous episode at the beginning of the next one, because it eases me back into the story gently, and often provides a second dose of some of the best scenes. But I have mixed feelings about the more recent trend (or is it just recently I have really started to notice it?) of giving a truncated version the first time, then a fleshed-out version of the same scene the second time around. It is especially unwelcome when they actually change the content of the scene from one episode to the next (see Scholar Who Walks The Night for a particularly egregious example of this), but even when it's just a short version and a long version of the same basic story it can be misused, and I think this reveal in TTWWNIL was horrible. Perhaps they're trying to be very meta about terrible timing by echoing Won and Hana's endless parade of crossed signals and missed opportunities with the poorest-timed story development possible, but I doubt it. I think it's just crappy storytelling.

And speaking of crappy storytelling, it drives me bonkers when dramas create conflict between two people with perfectly functional cell phones by having one of them show up late for a planned rendezvous. This trope worked great in the era of land lines, but in the modern world, who even does that?! Similarly, why do KDrama characters keep getting in trouble at work for issues that a simple "I have a personal emergency" phone call could have softened, or even solved? Hana's big argument with Seo-Hoo in Episode 13 of this drama managed to rely on both of these maddening narrative crutches, in the worst possible way. Because a normal human person would have called both her work and her boyfriend right away after deciding to stay with her friend at the hospital overnight and through part of the next morning, never even leaving the opportunity for her boyfriend to be sitting in a work meeting the next morning wondering where on Earth she was. Right? Right?! Right?!?! 
I would like Jung Woo-Sung to know that while we may struggle with cultural differences in our inevitable future relationship, in this one thing I promise to be the perfect Korean woman. ;-)
I'm also really irritated with the "relationship" between Seo-Hoo's teacher and Mi-Hyang, but I'll save my ranting about that for later...or not at all, since it's such a minor part of the story. Instead, I will concede that this drama finally sold me on one aspect of Korean solicitousness. I have noticed that characters in KDramas tend to express their love through what I would consider to be invasive gestures, like asking very personal questions, hand-feeding, or giving massages. Not that any of those things are bad in and of themselves, just that in dramas they often seem to be done without the recipient's prior consent. There's almost never a "Would you like to talk about it?" or a "Would you like some of this?" before the questions are asked or the food goes in someone else's rice bowl, or even mouth. Part of this could have to do with subtitles, but I think it's mostly a difference in cultural boundaries and expectations. With the food and massages in particular, I think this is the appropriate way to show your love for someone in Korean culture, and the recipient's consent is expected if they care for you in return. But for me, it would be a struggle to adjust to, which is one of the reasons I'm not making any plans to move to Korea, even if almost all the TV I watch anymore is made there. (I will take a moment to note here that Mi-Hyang keeps refusing the food Teacher brings her and the activities he plans for them without asking her first, saying she doesn't like them. On the surface she seems as irritated as I would be to have my preferences so bulldozed, but then she continues to date him anyway. So is she really annoyed -- or even dislike all the things she says she does -- or does she actually love the way he treats her but is trying to be prickly on the surface because of who he is?) However, in Episode 13, Won finally hit upon a deeply personal gesture that I would love for someone to do for me, pretty much unreservedly: makeup removal. Mustering the energy to take off my makeup and wash my face at the end of the day sometimes feels totally overwhelming to me, and having an adoring man do all that for me while I lay in bed half asleep really does sound like heaven. Sadly, Won's ministrations didn't appear to be particularly effective in this case, since the makeup pads were the only things that ended up clean, but the idea of it is still very alluring.


So, we're at the Princess basically declaring war on the new king. New king is dumb as a box of rocks and with less sense, and, I'd have to say, so is the rule that girls can't rule in Joseon. Because if anyone should be ruling, it's this Princess.  


Oh, you're missing a fun show if you're not watching this! Jang Tae Ho was a stock manipulator, and his last deal went horribly wrong through no fault of his own. He lost 12 billion won, though, and that money belonged to the leader of all the beggars in Seoul and the leader of the loan sharks.  (Although he didn't know it at the time.) Now loan shark king is hunting him down, and he's hiding amongst the beggars - but he's also decided to work his way up the ranks of leadership within that organization, and on the way he's implementing humane changes to the rules, and maybe romancing a kind-hearted nurse at some point. He's using and will be used by the leader of the beggars, but in the meantime it seems set that he will have character growth. The actors in this are doing a great job, and I particularly love the little band of brothers Jang Tae Ho has drawn about himself, plus Ryu, #2 leader of the beggars, and the silent stone-faced young man (I don't remember this. I'll have to look again now.) who is always at #1's side cracks me up. He is more deadpan than anyone I've ever seen, and it's by turns hilarious and frightening.
I don't have time ... but I do want to watch this because of you.
Well, I'll keep you posted.
I made it through the first 3 episodes! I like it so far, although poor Yoon Kye-Sang's pretty face keeps getting covered up with wound makeup.
Also, I'm only following it in Squeecaps, but isn't this Axe Grandpa from Yoona's Street?
Absolutely so

Oh My Ghostess 

I'm so glad ghosty finally cottoned to Limnium's weirdness! It was about time. I'm also happy to see Bong-Sun coming into her own a bit, and coming clean to Cheppu. As per usual, she still isn't giving herself quite enough credit (I don't think Cheppu's feelings are entirely for Soon-Ae), but it's a start.
No, of course his feelings are not entirely for Soon-Ae - not only because he clearly fancies that face and body of hers, too, but also because he got to know them as "bipolar" unit and he was always much more protective of her timid/cute personality and annoyed a lot with the horny one. BUT - this is the drama's biggest fault, I would say: He spent about 85% with the Ghost-personality and it really is that personality that made him notice Bong Sun at all. 
I'm ready to have sadness. I'll watch whatever these characters want to take me through. I love all three. When Soon Ae has to really go, I'll cry. I cried this weekend as I watched her suffer through realizing that she's really, really dead. Now I want her to kick Evilly Influenced Cop in the ASS.
I want that Evil Cop's full story already. I get he was an orphan and he was possessed but why his hate for Soon Ae and her father? And why did he marry Chef's sister? Also, I love Chef's mum: she's so self-aware about her own immaturity and just keeps at it!  Too cute.  
I have a huge crush on both of them. His smile is jjang! And she is so so so so cute. The angst-phase comes rather late in the game (4 episodes to go), which is good on the one hand and less good on the other, because whatever happens now, it's going to be rushed. Still, I enjoy this drama thoroughly because it not only delivers great acting from the leads, it also manages to be based on a fairly good script (that's minus the evil-spirit storyline, which they seem to keep forgetting themselves, almost). That has become such a rarity in KDramaland.  
By the way, I found out where I've seen this guy before ... do you recognize him, JoAnne?
I do! It happens I just watched a previous drama of his a month or two ago, even though it aired last summer. But I'm guessing that's not the drama Kakashi is thinking of...
Well, I mean - I know he was one of the adorable idiot friends (along with Giant Puppy) from HSKoS...but I don't remember Kakashi watching that so I suspect I've seen him in something else and don't recall.  OH MY GOD he was in Shine or Go Crazy how could I have forgotten that? 
What was he in Shine or Go Crazy? Apparently, there were loads of people I like in that show and I somehow missed them all.  
He was one of the evil Wangs! Asshat's asshat son
Show was over-Wanged. 
becca: I loved those adorable idiots so much. I miss them.

Late Night Restaurant 

Tried two eps and, okay, I guess. I dunno: the quiet atmosphere is nice for when you can't settle on anything.


Finished Season 1 of Poldark. Did you know the first book (there are 12) was published in 1945 and the last was published in 2012, just before the author died? Mom and I will be reading them all.
I've never heard of this! Sounds like something my father could like, too
Ross Poldark went off to fight in the American Revolution and comes back to Cornwall to find his father dead, his mine on the brink of shutting down, and his girl about to marry his richer cousin. Trials, tribulations, and triumphs ensue. He marries his kitchen maid, Demelza, and honestly, it's the best thing he ever could have done. Rey watches with my mom sometimes, and he never watches TV unless there's a baseball game or a hockey game. So I think it's something men can watch, too.
I saw the original series some years ago. I was happy with that, so I'll pass on Poldark this time around.
I just finished re-watching The Moon Embracing the Sun (2012, MBC). I cried so long after the first viewing that I never revisited it, but with the end of My Beautiful Bride fast approaching, I realized it might be time to clear a space on my Top 5 list. Moon/Sun actually held up fairly well, with a nicely paced, heartbreaking story, some lovely production design, and great performances from Yeo Jin-Gu (natch), Kim Soo-Hyun (both those kids can cry!), and Jung Il-Woo, which I remembered, but also from Kim So-Hyun and Kim Min-Seo as the child/adult pair portraying Yoon Bo-Kyung, and from Nam Bo-Ra as the adult Princess Minwha, whose portrayals I appreciated a great deal more the second time around. I found that I was irritated not so much by the heroine's character (as I expected I would be) as I was by Han Ga-In's portrayal of her. But since Kim Yoo-Jung, whom I loved in Angry Mom, played her younger counterpart with similar overly meek mannerisms, perhaps that came from the direction more than from the actresses themselves. And while her role was nothing revelatory, I quite enjoyed seeing Yoon Sung-Ah's performance as the tomboyish Seol again. It made me really want to see her in something paired with her real-life husband, Kim Moo-Yul, whose My Beautiful Bride will, with almost total certainty, dethrone Moon/Sun from my list this week.
Kim Soo-Hyun mourns the imminent dethronement of The Moon Embracing the Sun from my Top 5 list.
bcook: No slobbering over My Beautiful Bride? Yeah it's being Squeed but what about the rest of us? Do we not get to drool at his magnificence and grind our teeth at the sheer (SHEER) stupidity of Chang Yoon Mi (blind.. so blind) and Yoon Joo Young/Joo He (taking noble idiocy to new levels in 2015)?  I guess there's not much to say really except .....
Every Damn Episode
Amen, sister.

Looking Forward to...

Kim Ji-hoon's next drama. TEN3. Vampire Prosecutor 3. Bad Guys 2. My Beautiful Bride 2 (haha, that won't happen). Oh, actually: The Innkeeper with Jang Hyuk! Jang Hyuk rules!
Yep, that one's on my radar as well. And still, yes of course, that adorable Chinese movie coming up.
Should be watching Detective K and the Lost Island tonight. Looking forward to it. Also, to that new drama about a kpop singer in a variety show as a fake daughter-in-law to a traditional family. Hope it's funny.  Still looking forward to the web dramas I mentioned last time.

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