18 August 2015

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Rants and Weekly Raves #51 (RAWR)

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on August 18, 2015
kakashi: There's another So Ji-Sub to discuss: Cola Bottle Baby. Here are the lyrics. OMFG I'm laughing so hard.
JoAnne: What the actual fuck. Sub's tripping, that's all there is to it.
Nabi: Does Sub have any videos that employ women as more than just sexualized accoutrements? Oh, sorry. Stupid question. How about this one instead: is it time to worry about Sub's obsession with giant mylar letter/number balloons? No? Okay, sorry, one more try: are there as many double entendres and metaphors in the Korean version of the lyrics as there are in the translation? I'm genuinely pondering how much the universality of the sexual experience applies to sexual language as well...
How DO you say 'overcompensation' in Korean, anyway?
"So Ganzi"?
bcook: *rubs face and mutters* Oppa is really making it hard to defend his actions but Imma try. Why? Because I want him to fall for MY charms dammit *cough* Well what we have here is a...aw f#$8 it.

I Remember You (Finale)


Well. Gukkie got two love stories - one with Jang Nara, one with Bogummy, and all of that was adorable and heart-tugging and all. Team Jangnim and the merry band of cops were sweet and I loved that, too. BUT WHO THE FUCK WALKS AROUND WITH TWO PSYCHOS AND INVADES THEIR HOUSES AND ACTS LIKE LA-DI-DAH I'M NOT IN IMMINENT DANGER OF DYING? Over and over again, I might add. Stupid. Badly plotted.

Also: Why did the writer give so much sympathy to Min, the serial killer raised by a psychopath, and Eun Dok, the murderer raised by a psychopath, but NO SHITS AT ALL are given for Jeong Ho, the psychopath who was actually an innocent child was raised like an animal by a family of assholes who blamed HIM for the rape that produced him? Not to mention that he gets stabbed (okay, that's not bad, considering who did it and why and how it feeds into his whole confusion about why people aren't glad when he does the things he does, since he actually thinks he's doing something good for them.) but then they have a conversation and when it's over he just walks away like nothing happened. HE GOT STABBED IN THE STOMACH. It's never mentioned again.

Slickly packaged, with some very good performances, it's still ultimately a failure of a story since their only point - I assume - is that how you treat a child, how you look at them, has a lot to do with how that child turns out. Duh. The story resolution is lacking and the application of 'rules' was inconsistent and the ending was weak. I wish they'd spent more time exploring Dr. Death's feelings. Neither of the men were incapable of feeling, and both cared about certain other humans. Where they differed from the rest of us was an interesting point, and it would have been worth spending some time there. Oh well.
I caught a few minutes of this today on KBSWorld (which airs new episodes a few weeks after they premier in Korea, as I learned the hard way with Gaksitaaaaal). I can see what people liked about it -- it looked good, and kept a studied, thoughtful pace underneath a slightly eerie atmosphere. And even in those few minutes I could tell that Jang Nara is capable of portraying a character that doesn't aggravate me to the point of hair-tearing, which was a relief after the agony of her role in Fated to Love You (loved the show, hated her acting). I feel reassured that I don't have to avoid her next project, but I think I will stick with my decision to skip this one. Nara may not have irritated me, but I'm still not a fan of pairing her with Seo In-Gook. More importantly, I have already seen way too many KDramas with the kind of logic and writing flaws JoAnne described above.

Oh My Ghost

I can't stop repeating how GOOD these leads are. Wow, it's night and day from people who can't act - or don't act, because they don't feel like it or something even though they could. The second thing that baffles me (in a good way) is how effortlessly the writer digresses from The Formula (by which I mean the 101 KDrama structure). I still enjoy this drama, even though there was quite a bit of filler material in 14. And it was draggy. Once again, 16 episodes is too long. They're out of story ... except for that part I was never interested in. I want more cute! Not that stupid murder stuff. What's the point if there is no mystery?! We've known that Limnium is possessed with an evil spirit since forever. It's no fun watching the other characters finding that out sloooooowwwwly.
Jaehyus: Limnium was so creepy! And that mum just makes me laugh. The person I feel the worst for right now is EunHee. I hope her disability gets magically cured and she finds someone else to love. 
So... This is a show to watch? My Beautiful Bride is over and I want to take advantage of my
re-found love of kdrama. 
Definitely the show to watch. I even like the pacing and the mystery. I think there's still plenty more to learn about Evil Limnium and all his evil, evil deeds, for the characters and the audience. I do think Bong-Sun's transformation into goofy and self-confident feels a little sudden, but right now that's my only real complaint.
It is, a little, but isn't next week the end? And we JUST got the full Scooby Gang of the three of them working together. We were so worried about this reveal, and I think they handled it pretty well so that was my major concern about this show, solved. I can't wait for them to take Limnium dooooown, that dirty dog.

Mrs. Cop 

Tried it, couldn't get into it.
I promised myself I'd check out episodes 3 and 4. I haven't broken the promise. I just haven't fulfilled it yet. It's alllllllllll in the perspective, folks.
I'm out

Hwajeong 

Kingie was about to go over to Pwincess's side, but a coup happened and he didn't. Will put in more when I've finished both eps for this week. 
You're the only one in my circle of social media friends that is still watching :D 
TBH, I watch, then leave it, then watch a bunch at a time. The writing is weak, and although it has gotten better, there are times when the writer fills space by having people remember stuff we've just seen. Still love the story and the show. 

Assembly 

Makes me wanna grab those ears and...
Seriously, I'm surprised how much I like Taecyeon in this. Or maybe just that the character is really good.  It's definitely not a show to marathon, since it's a bit rich, but it's very good.  Our Hero Assemblyman has finally clued into Our Heroine's blatant Conflict of Interest, but fails to see how she has actually sided with him, and not the other side the entire time. 
There are two trends that I'm aware of with this drama. People like it and it gets praise, #1. #1 surprises everyone, especially when they realize they're complimenting Taecyeon, #2. I swear, I will check this out.
I think, because Taecyeon is playing a human being people can relate to for once. Anyway, I don't know what to say without giving too much away spoilerwise, but it continues to be solid. However, I don't know if I'll continue to watch when I go to visit family for 3 weeks in September. It may not be a "must-see" when I'm more busy. 
I've heard the chatter of praise but I watched Who are You (with Shuk and Taecyeon's elephant ears) and am still not over that trauma. He can't be that good.

Scholar Who Walks the Night 

Everyone is very, very pretty. Okay, maybe not the old ministers, but all the younger cast are lovely. Yang Sun continues to be clueless, and that is funny in and of itself. So, Scholar and Gisaeng worry she will hate him when she finds out he killed one of her two dads (you read that right). 

Our Hero became literally Masterful, as in her actual owner, and that was a bit ew.  But I can see the manhwa readers lapping this sort of stuff up because vampires controlling human beings is what would've attracted them to a vampire story anyway.  

Gisaeng continued to look pretty and not do very much. She did provide this beautiful image of teapot matching hanbok & ring:
"Now, that's style."

And one of the Slave Hunters from Chuno showed up!
Reunion!! He was also in Arang and the Magistrate with Jun-Ki.
Is he being type casts? Is there some casting director somewhere going..."you have a very saeguk face"
If there is, I agree! But I have to admit that my favorite Han Jung-Soo role ever was as the goofy Secretary/Bodyguard in Blade Man.
He was adorable in that adorable weird show, I agree.

"Be wewwy wewwy quiet. I'm a-huntin' Wampires."
And of course, the Schnozz was a delight:

"You called?"
I realize that keeping Yang-Sun the densest nerd that ever cross-dressed in Joseon is the only way we are still able to enjoy the goofy, bittersweet romantic side of our Scholar-who-actually-walks-mostly-in-the-daytime, but we're now way beyond the point of stretching the bounds of credulity that she still hasn't noticed he's a vampire. Oh well. Jun-Ki wore a gorgeous ivy-patterned jeonbok (the floor-length vest-like garment) this week, and went shirtless for this brief bullet-removal scene (Gisaeng's not useless, Jaehyus, she's just secretly a KDrama doctor, so obviously she spends most of her time mooning over boys fighting grandiose conspiracies, with the occasional surgery in between), which in some ways is even better:

As Jaehyus pointed out already, our resident Gisaeng continues to rock some seriously gorgeous outfits and jewelry (see also the embroidery on her chima (skirt) above), and I'm really loving her hairdos in this series, as well as the doppelgänger's. Don't count out the old guys, either, Jaehyus. Here's Chairman Kang from Myeong-dong the Prime Minister wearing a beautiful collar and gatkeun (the string of colorful stones noblemen wear hanging from their gat (wide-brimmed top-hats)):

The stylist is brilliant, I agree. This drama's hanbokery is up there with Cruel Palace.

Yong Pal 

I really like it. I'm surprised since I don't like medical dramas normally, but this one is good. It's the non-medical stuff that has me interested: how to wake up Sleeping Beauty, how to keep her awake, how to get revenge, did that brother of hers actually consummate his marriage with a woman who acts convincingly like she likes him and makes him laugh, but he finds dumb? (I'm sure that's a side love story waiting to happen.) Creepy Nurse continues to be creepy, and really, quite mad.
Another heroine whose work in her last project (Jang Ok-Jong: Live in My Agony Love) so turned me off that I had planned on just avoiding her forevermore. But perhaps if Jaehyus continues to say good things I will consider picking it up in a few weeks.
I still need to watch the 4th episode, and I'm still a bit intrigued. JooWon is just fun to watch regardless (unless it's Gaksital. or Kim Tak Gu. and even then he's fun to watch but not fun.) but Kim Tae Hee is often a biiiiiiiiiig question mark. I do admit to a lot of curiosity about her situation. Do they put her in a coma? And she can hear and think in the coma but doesn't react? I guess time will tell.


I started it! I like the nurse, not the creepy one, but the rogue one - cause she's Yang-Soon from Yoona's Street! And I still don't like Joo Won. I just don't. Is it because he is too young? I don't like those under-30 actors. Do I like the drama? Yes, for the moment. It's suspensful enough to want me know more, but it's not crack for me. Meaning: I don't download it from Korean sites and watch it raw.
I don't normally like Joowon either, but this time I even babytalked him inadvertently. So, either I like his character a lot, which I do, actually, or he's growing on me, or both.
Yeah, if I say "I don't like Joo Won" I mean to say I don't hate him, either. The character is interesting. I'm much more interested in Kim Tae Hee's story (and family) though. And the medical ethics questions
Update: I watched the 4th episode, and I'mma keep going. That hospital must be massive to have a power source that big...and do we even HAVE nuclear-powered hospitals with their own cells or whatever, like that? (No, they don't. But they do have radioactive waste. Because of radioisotopes that are used in hospitals. It's quite an issue - anyway, I found the location that scene was shot at!) But who cares,  if Joo Won is going to solve some ridiculous crisis every week it'll be fun. I did like when Kim Tae Hee woke up and said 'Shall I give you the money?' but I REALLY wanted Joo Won to turn and look at her coolly and say 'Will you?' a la Tracksuit.

The Time I've Loved You (Finale, thank heavens)

That middle part is why we can't have nice things, Show
A cautionary tale for two solid actors with great chemistry about how not to choose projects. And for the rest of us, repeated illustrations of what constitutes a bad decision, both personally and professionally, in real life. Seriously, a lot of very bad examples here of every possible stripe. The only good thing I have to say is that at least they didn't pretend their 30's+ couples weren't having sex. It's still a KDrama, so all the action happened off-screen (and did not, apparently, include any prophylactics -- use condoms, everybody!), but at least they made it clear that it happened.
Even the promise of sex can't get me to drum up interest in this, after weeks of hearing how terrible it was. Too bad.... actors I like, a story I could love. All down the drain. Next time, babies, I promise. I'll watch you next time.
No, no, the characters had sex, but the audience got nothing but a few smooches. And not even very good smooches. Don't get me wrong, if Lee Jin-Wook walks up to me tomorrow and asks to make out, I'll certainly give him a shot, but that is in spite of this show, not because of it. He looked like he was trying his best, but no one else -- not the writers, or the director, or even Ha Ji-Won, who I usually like so much -- seemed like they could even be bothered by then. Honestly, I loved the way this show started out, but after the second (third?) writer switch it really turned into incomprehensible garbage. I think these last two episodes were supposed to be a cute denouement, but instead they were just aggravating. Here's Won at the start of a lover's quarrel with Hana in Episode 16:

Yes, for no particular reason, he's rocking a shirt with a giant "Gender Equality" patch on it. So naturally, he went on to yell at Hana about how she had been working too much instead of making Won her first priority. After they both had flashbacks of Won telling Hana that he would always be in favor of whatever was best for her, and Hana telling Won that she would always be by his side, Won won the fight by pouting the longest. I just can't even.
Thank you. That last paragraph was enough to seal that door for me. I literally will not go there.

Last 

Now that my beautiful Banker is no more, this is the best thing on TV. Our plucky riches to rags to riches story has morphed into a CAPER. The cast of characters could not be more delightful if it tried, and all the twisty connections make sense. There's nothing in this drama that doesn't fit, and there's no character that seems badly written (yet.) Since we are at episode 6, the groundwork is done. It's solid footing, and I am in love. Speaking of love, have I mentioned No. 2 and Madame Seo? Sigh.
becca: I finally got to watch the first two episodes, and I loved this show from minute one. At first I thought that might have had something to do with my eagerness to love it going in, but nope - as I kept watching, I only kept loving, and not just because it has some of my favorite actors.
The caper is on, and it requires threads!
So this is close to banker level? Coz I needs some tv crack. Netflix isn't delivering. Is it on viki? Please say yes.
I like it! But I'm nowhere near as excited as JoAnne and becca seem to be. It has good action, likable characters, and an interesting setup, but it just doesn't get me in the gut like MBB did.
Oh, no, because there's not a high-stakes romance kind of situation - this is more of a fun watch, but with blood.  Definitely worth it for anyone to check out.  

Look how nice Number Two cleans up!

This one's got a few of us feelin' some kinda way...

Late Night Restaurant

Behind, but not feeling too pressed to catch up.  I watched 4-6 episodes (can't remember how many exactly) and enjoyed it, slow and smooth like - I dunno, not mud, something good.  I figure I'll save it. It's like the hidden chocolate bar.

Other 

Start timing yourself before you look at the picture. The fastest one to get it wins the prize.
OMG.
OMFG! 
I don't get it. What's surprising everyone?
Bwahahahahahahaha Go Monday Couple!!
I wish! Sadly, that's an actress named Cha Ye-Ryun underneath the most surreal cap in Running Man history (the hat, Jae, read the hat). Apparently she was in My Lovely Girl with JoAnne's beloved, but for me, she'll always be the girl who wore this hat.

On another note, I spent most of the week wrapped up in Down with Love, a mostly delightful little romp around Taipei with Jerry Yan and Ella Chen.  Pluses:  lots of Jerry Yan shy smiles and whispered endearments.  Minuses:  The usual.  The ending was rushed, and they completely ignored Yang Guo's desire to wait a while for marriage ON TOP of rushing everything.  I think Ella could have played down Yang Guo's innocence and child-like qualities quite a bit and still have gotten the point across admirably, but oh well.  Another infantalized woman.  Whatcha gonna do?  I will console myself with sweet, sweet, sweet objectifying dreams about Jerry.

Update: And now I'm watching a NEW Jerry drama! My Best Ex-Boyfriend, on Viki  (So, this is it! At a loose end and will watch now.) The other guy is a Hong Kong actor named Ron Ng.  Jerry is cute although I do find his lack of sideburns disturbing.  But look at Ron:

Yes, feast your eyes on that. Anyway, first ep subbed, so I watched, and it wasn't bad at all.  I think they've got six episodes up but in the process of subbing.
I found Ron Ng in HK drama called Lady Sour. It's actually extremely funny. Check it out on MyAsianTV. And yes, Ron is hot.

Looking Forward to...

Jaehyo's web drama!!! Oh, it's so close. And the Jaekyung of Rainbow, but mostly my baby, Jaehyo in his first non-MV acting gig. <3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3
Here, everyone, admire Jaehyo being a cheating boyfriend in singer Chaeyeon's recent comeback.
Just that movie, still. Six Flying Dragons, though. Looking forward to that, too. And The Innkeeper.
... a world without doubles spaces. Oh, and a world in which I don't have too many things going on simultaneously and don't get stressed.
I love you, though. That should help. Plus, here are Maisie and Blue.


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