08 May 2016

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Dramaworld - Episodes 5 & 6 (Recap)

Posted by JoAnne on May 08, 2016
JoAnne: Annnnnnnnd in the time-honored tradition of Korean Dramas everywhere, here in the middle of the show we take a sharp left and head directly for WTF.  Sadly, this is not Paris and there are no nail shops in sight.
Shuk: Nor have I seen any Eiffel Towers, either. Without it, is this a true reflection of a Korean drama?
kakashi: I just want to punish Claire, really, really badly. 
Cookie: *can't stop laugh/crying from all the wtfery*

Episode 5

We pick up at Seo Yeon's front gate. She and Joon stare at each other for a really long time without speaking. A cute delivery guy shows up with a box, and Claire signs for it. In error, as it turns out, because the box is meant for the house across the way. Claire realizes her mistake just as a be-robed and towel-turbaned woman runs out to grab the box, but it's too late:  the driver has ridden off on his motorbike and Claire has fucked up yet another meet-cute. Seriously, she needs to leave Dramaworld. If you leave it to her there'll be no next generation of characters because no one will ever hook up.
Did they experience a flashback while staring? Hey, if this were in a real drama, the ratings would probably be around 3.2%. Not on cable.
Maybe Claire thought the delivery was for Seo Yeon and she was fixing a glitch? Trying to think charitably here. He did approach SY first.
Are we supposed to know who those characters are? the ones that got shafted of their meet-cute? Or were her facilitator spidey senses tingling?
It must be spidey senses, although each time they do this I think it's such a wasted opportunity - those cameos?  should have been the actors reenacting their own scene that we'd recognize, so these 'nods' would actually be funny. (although I did read something that makes me think we should know who towel lady was)
Joon and Seo Yeon finally start talking, and it seems like it will go well. Joon says he enjoys cooking with her and needs her back, and Seo Yeon is receptive. That is, until Claire opens her big fat stupid mouth and says, "Plus he's really sorry!". When Joon confesses that he's only sort of sorry, Seo Yeon shuts the door without another word. Is it just me or is Joon looking more and more like a brain dead mouth-breather with every scene?
Most unattractive KDrama lead ever. And definitely brain dead. Maybe this is a zombie drama and nobody told us or them?
This whole scene was uncomfortably awkward.
So I had the brilliant idea to turn on viki comments and they're convinced it's either plastic surgery or he has a one emotion face like PSH (I spit in her general direction). I remember his viki ads and he was animated then so I'm going to go with bad botox job.  
In case you were wondering what Seth might be up to while his inept protege wanders Dramaworld wreaking havoc, he's off on a sageuk field trip. Feel free to talk about how his jeans and black leather jacket clash with the general ambiance, although he does take care to present his coins in the requisite cloth bag as he hires a metalsmith. Seth doesn't say what he wants outright, but the photo of Claire that he impales on an arrow gives me ideas. Do you think if we all chip in, the guy would do the job a little faster?
Impaled Claire? He's my favorite character now.
Seth's actions are more fluid and interesting than any other character. Or all of them, actually. Has this actor been in anything else?
He doesn't look familiar (there are so few asian american actors that get screentime I recognise most of them...but that's another topic for another day)
Although they walked to Seo Yeon's, Joon and Claire drive back to the restaurant. Along the way Joon gets his panties in a twist when Claire says that his 'stupid ego' is ruining everything. He puts her out of the car and drives off muttering how he doesn't have an ego. Which is true, I suppose, given that he's a character, not a person. Do you think that's what they were going for there? Because he's increasingly wooden and less person-like as we go along?
You know, that thing you should do when you say lines you've learned and a camera is on you? It's called acting. You're supposed to do it
[snicker] Maybe they should do a LEGO episode. The acting might improve.
*snort* lets not ignore the fact that that was very much a leading lady thing to happen. I think she's officially killed Dramaworld (I always want to type dramaland. why is that?) Seth should just leave her alone to f/*$ things up.
Claire stomps home, muttering insults about beautiful leading men always being the worst. Suddenly, she stops in the street. For no discernible reason, she announces that something bad is going to happen. Do facilitators get a secret spidey-sense that no one mentioned? Is that in a chapter of the Laws that we just haven't reached?
It's in Appendix P. 
As in Pain In the A##. It certainly seems to come waaaaaaayyyy out of left field.


Sure enough, Seth shows up and asks her how things went. She was right! Actually, Seth shows up and there's a tiny earthquake, but whatever. He's an earthquake whisperer because he interprets the quake to mean things went badly. Ah, so this is the first sign of End of Days, K-Drama style.
Oh, you're so smart, JoAnne. The bad thing is Seth! Seth happened! yep!
I keep thinking there are two Seths. Can you be in a rom-com and a saeguk at the same time, even if you are a Facilitator?
Dramaworld is every genre tho. So probably just behind the N tower hidden in the fog... is sageukland. What I wanna know is why nobody there instantly arrested him for being a demon since he was wearing modern clothes. 

A hanging sign shakes loose just over the head of an unsuspecting woman across the street. Claire sees this and prepares to race to her rescue, but Seth, our seasoned facilitator, knows this for what it is: another drama's moment. Claire need not - must not - interfere. A second later, the woman is 'saved' by someone I hope she knew pre-save, because she climbs him like Everest and he seems just fine with it. Say what you will about Seth's turn toward the dark side, he definitely knows his job.
Yes, be safe, kids. No climbing without protection.
The couple were all over each other pre-falling-piano. But still, Seth is bipolar with a vengeance, switching from totally fkk'ng things up to, making sure that a scene goes right. I think I'm getting whiplash.
The successful rescue gives Claire an idea. (Oh Lord, save us.) Accompanied by an 'audio flashback' she takes as proof that she's getting the hang of things, Claire prepares to reunite our OTP by... setting fire to the restaurant? Sort of. A controlled burn on the stove and a text for Seo Yeon to meet her there for a 'surprise.' Woohoo! Death and destruction! Pass the popcorn! When the text comes in, Seo Yeon is crouched in some plants with Flower Boy, who looks better and better the longer you look at him. A little Woo Bin-ish, but a touch less alien. Nice deep voice though. Flower Boy offers Seo Yeon a job and she's politely dismissive, the idiot.
I think I ship Flower Oppa with Seth
I prefer more forehead in a guy. Please flip those bangs up!
How's the campaign to get flower boy his own (real) drama?
No one listens to me, so probably not that well.
Claire has run off to Joon's family home, where Joon is currently enduring his mother and Ga In. This house is...it's like the surface of Mars, dipped in ice. It's the coldest looking place you ever saw. They're sitting at a table under hairball lamps on the ugliest, most uncomfortable looking chairs imaginable. Tangles of rope hardened in glue for you to bruise your ass on. Who makes these things?
Must I really re-watch this?! Damn. *Goes and looks at hairballs*
I've seen those horrible chairs somewhere else...
TOP's instagram account? 

Ga In is in the middle of suggesting that marrying her is a done deal since she's been announcing it to everyone since they were kids and Mama Park is shredding what's left of her son's balls when Claire bursts in. I love how she takes one look at Ga In at the door, knows she'll try to keep her out, and just blows right past her at a run. Take that, Bitchy Second Lead!
I'm on the wrong train, I actually like Ga In about 1000000000 times more than Claire
At least she knows what she wants, which is more than you can say for our little Earthquaker.
Claire manages to extricate Joon from the death grip of the women in his life. In the parking garage, Joseon Assassin shows up unnoticed, but never gets a clear shot at Claire. (Something mildly funny happens - you should watch this and see.)
This "drama" is best when it goes meta though that does not make it good.
In the car, she confesses that there is no emergency, they just need to get to the restaurant. In return, Joon apologizes for being a monster this week to 'the people he cares about.' While looking dead at Claire. Nice going, girl. (funniest line of the whole episode: "Shouldn't you be watching the road?" It's what I say to every KDrama character) That was Seo Yeon's apology spoken by Seo Yeon's guy looking at you through eyes that should be swooning over Seo Yeon, not you. I'd be angrier but I'd rather see Seo Yeon with Flower Boy anyway.
The writer who is writing the Joon drama needs to be smacked. Those lines
The pauses he takes every three words during the whole speech thing remind me of William Shatner. And not in a good way.
She totally just took over the drama...and is too slow to realise it. Sean's plastic surgeon should be shot...all that botox is making his face shiny. 
Meanwhile, evil Seth is busy in the restaurant kitchen. He splashes oil everywhere and sets the place on fire, dropping his official facilitator badge in a frying pan full of oil as he goes. Whatever he has planned, he thinks he won't need it any more. Sure enough, by the time Seo Yeon arrives the place is full of smoke, and the little bird brain runs inside. Perhaps there're some really expensive truffles or something that need saving? Maybe she thinks Claire is in there, I don't know. Evil Seth is hiding around the corner and cackle/croons 'Tick tock little sistaaaahhhhHHHHHHHAAAAaaaaaa' in the weirdest voice imaginable.
Hahahaaaa, this made me laugh so hard. Do you think it said: "say 'tick tock little sista' in the weirdest voice imaginable!" in his script? Also, I was tooooootally surprised that there are not two different Seths, but just one.
Hahaha That was the funniest wtf moment ever. He should get an award for that alone. I'm going to use it on my little sis. 
Joon and Claire show up, and when Claire shouts that Seo Yeon is inside, Joon races to the door. (Editorial note: He yells 'what' in response to her, but he sounds like he's annoyed at being called, not shocked at what he's hearing. It makes me laugh every time I hear it.) Just before Joon opens the door, he sees in the window reflection that Joseon Assassin is on the roof top, poised to shoot. Of course, Joon chooses to save Claire. Of course, he's struck by the arrow. Of course, it pierces his chest. Right about where his heart would be, if he were a real boy.
Yay, is it over? 
Nope...no blood. 
No blood though. Proof that he's not real? Claire remains focused on the mission. I'm not sure how she expects him to get up and save Seo Yeon when there's a half-inch thick arrow shaft stuck in his heart, but this is what she keeps yelling at him to do. He ignores her, the lazy unconscious shit, leaving Seth room to run inside and save Princess Bird Brain, who's suitably awed.
Bravo, Seth! I ship you with everyone but Claire
Hmm. Why would Seth want Seo Yeon saved? The drama is totally hosed if the female dies.
He wants her for himself. All the facilitating has made him go crazy and now he wants to be the lead.
Way to go, Claire.
Poop for brains
"Clueless With A Good Heart" ain't cutting it, for sure.

Episode 6

Joon is wheeled into an operating room and I can't stop laughing because the shaft of the arrow is the most prominent thing in any shot, bobbing around and just in general being in the way. I honestly think it gets longer as the scene goes on. (And, of course, correct medical procedure would be to secure it - break the shaft closer to the body and duct-tape it in place.) Perhaps it's to distract us from the fact that Joon was shot in the heart and yet has no visible signs of injury other than being passed out.
I'm assuming - and might be wrong - that this is part of the meta? Or were they really too lazy to organize some fake blood.
Best acting he's done in these two episodes.
I was hoping they'd do something hugely inappropriate medically. The arrow shaft was delightful.
As Claire waits anxiously, a patient shuffles by. He's watching something on his phone and it turns out to be a Park family commercial from when Joon's father was alive. It has nothing to do with anything, and it's terrible.
You thought so? I was thinking it's kinda the best thing on this show. Plus, I'm guessing it's meta for Product Placement.
Stupid stupid filler. But my, what a long shaft he has.
Joon's mother shows up and slaps Claire, naturally. While Mrs. Park chews her out in Korean and Claire responds in English it occurs to me that those scenes might have been difficult to act, what with the not understanding each other and everything. I'm sure they 'knew' what the other was saying, but responding appropriately to a conversational cue that you don't actually know while looking like you do know, that might require extra effort.
Wow, I'm so impressed. The only thing I was thinking was "Harder! More! Again!"
I think they made this show way harder than it had to be. And the effort doesn't really show.
That slap and swing back were quite amazing. *claps* I think we can agree that the Korean actors have been quite delightful and it's a pity they couldn't get similar caliber for the English-speaking characters. Seth is pretty good too!
Evil Seth is back at the bar and cooing over his burned up version of the Laws when Joseon Assassin shows up demanding the second half of his money. He offers to try stabbing Claire to get the job done but SEvil eth says it's not necessary and tosses him the coins he came for. As Seth pours them each a shot of soju, Joseon Assassin asks if Seth will return him to his own world, now. 'Sure thing,' Seth agrees, as he fakes swallowing his shot. The assassin doesn't notice and tosses back his drink, then drops dead immediately. Ooooh, that was evil. Seth pushes the guy off the table and reveals the page his rule book is open to: Appendix C...Save a Life, Win a Love.
So...... does this mean he saved Claire's life here? This drama is so deep. Also, I ship Seth with himself, too.
Nope remember appendix C is in cases of force majeur. He saved Seo Yeon so He gets to be part of the drama now. This is really a case of outsider wanting in. *sits back, smiling smugly at her brilliance* 
Back at the hospital, Mrs Park and Ga In get engaged over Joon's sleeping body. (Seriously. It's deeply weird.) (I couldn't figure out why Joon didn't have the ring in his possession. Then I figured his mom kept it in a jar on her nightstand next to his cojones) Ga In is all solicitous concern until Mom leaves the room, but the minute she's gone our Bitchy Second Lead is on the phone to Seth, who proceeds to manipulate Joon's dreams so that he's influenced to give up the restaurant. It's actually pretty nightmarish. (For future reference, just in case: Chapter 10 covers Dream Manipulation.)
Hehe, I am so into Seth by now
Claire isn't allowed to visit Joon in the hospital, so when Seth arrives they just talk in the middle of the hallway. I'm curious - if they're not interacting with Drama characters, are they invisible or something? Because The Secret World of Facilitators isn't very secret, if they aren't. Claire criticizes Seth for rescuing Seo Yeon and messing everything up, and finally Seth just loses it. As well he should, because if that's not the pot calling the kettle black I don't know what is. He calls her 'an incompetent white girl' which, really? Would it be okay if she talked about him being a nerdy Asian? (could it be a dig at white-savior complex? Nope, I'm probably giving the writers too much credit for their political awareness but given the recent conversations about whitewashing etc it'll be an appropriate evil Seth response) By the way, Seth looks a little different - did we miss an evil make-over? He tells Claire she needs to go, like, NOW. Dramaworld can't survive her.
He's getting hotter. Also, he forgot his glasses.
And his evil intent is so shiny and pretty...I...can't...stay...away.
The bad guy always forgets his flimsy disguise when he thinks he's winning.
She leaves in tears, just missing Joon's release from the hospital. He's in a wheel chair and his arm is in a sling, but apparently that arrow to the heart didn't mess with him too badly, huh? Seth puts his slimy mask back on (metaphorically speaking) and takes over wheel chair duty from Ga In. Joon muses that Seth was in his dream, and announces that he's giving up the restaurant. 'Oh,' says Seth. 'In that case, why not turn it over to me?' Even a doped up Joon thinks that's an odd request. Are you slipping, Seth?
I don't even know what to say, it's too stupid
My first thought was "Seth saved Sou-chef lead, now wants a restaurant. Is he trying to become a leading man in a drama?" Maybe he's tired of behind-the-scenes, and wants his own perfectly-sculpted PS'd size 0 Seoulmate.
Claire's on a roof top reading Chapter 8, 'How to Leave Dramaworld.' (Why isn't it the last chapter? Badly organized!) The Rules offer two choices: wait for the drama to end, or make a 'grand exit' mid-season. Like death. According to the book, in Dramaworld death can be a temporary solution to a permanent problem, as long as the proper parties benefit. She reasons that her death will facilitate the reunion of Joon and Seo Yeon since they'll both be at her funeral, therefore, it's not really dying if she jumps. It's just leaving Dramaworld.
Great! A viki drama is celebrating suicide as solution. Bad people. Bad.
I personally don't get why she just couldn't sit down for like an hour, and read that thing cover to cover before she started touching anything. Even Lydia read the entire "Handbook For The Recently Deceased" before ever meeting the Maitlands.
Is this the ultimate Noble Idiocy premise? 
Ohhhh, good call!
Sigh.

The poor girl is terrified, of course, and has to psych herself up to step toward the edge. She reassures herself that dying is for the best, then corrects her statement. Leaving is for the best. It's not real life, it's a tv show. She's leaving, not dying. She has a little flash back of her own and then, weeping, apologizes to the universe that she's sorry, but it's for the best. Just as she takes that final step, she flashes on the scene from Taste of Love when the mysterious figure pushed Joon's father off the roof, telling him 'I'm sorry, Director Park, but it's for the best.'
Uh-oh
Filler filler filler filler.
Claire tries unsuccessfully to stop herself from falling as she wonders aloud whose best that was for.
Dun dun DUN...
Hahahaaaaa, she fell! She fell!!!!! Best scene in the drama!!!! 


Comments

Since we know (for any number of reasons, beginning with the fact that it was Claire's idea) that her exit won't fix the problem, does that mean that Claire will actually die from the fall? Do you think she recognized Seth's voice? Remember when Joseon Assassin asked if he could be returned to his own world now? What world is he from? Can Seth time travel outside of Dramaworld? Or was he from Joseon to begin with?
Stop asking intelligent questions. I refuse to rewatch! I refuse to think about it! Stoooop!
I think she's gonna end up at her dad's store, post robbery. Seth said no matter how long you stay in DW, it's only an hour RL time. So I'm hoping she does wake up paralyzed from the waist down in a puddle of spilled water. 
I predict a previously unseen ledge or anti-suicide net. 

I am...underwhelmed. It's not BAD. It's just not exactly good. I love plots within plots, and I love meta, and I love snark, and this just doesn't have a lot of any of that. Plus, I'm not sure if Joon is badly acted, or if the bad acting is good acting showing a bad actor. If that were the case, wouldn't he be less wooden in 'non drama' scenes, like when he's alone with Claire? Or is that also the drama, for him? I guess it must be... And Claire. Here, I think, the short episodes work against her. Claire could be a person we rooted for, if we had time to like her. But she's been so bad at her job from the first moment, and we aren't given any real reason to like her, or her and Joon together.
I hate everyone except for Seth. He's also the only halfway decent actor.
I don't hate Claire. I just don't like her.
It's another case of great idea not so great execution (coz there have been some lol moments) with inexperienced people at the helm. That's what I don't understand, VIKI wants to become netflix without dedicating the money and skill. You think if Netflix's first solo show had been this bad they'd have made it? No! They got the best, spent the money and blew our minds. If you don't want to buy the high grade butter...get out of the kitchen Viki. 

Plus, there's not enough Flower Boy.
There's not enough of anything, really.

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