Rants and Weekly Raves #90 (RAWR)

JoAnne: It's finally warm here. I've been sitting on the deck a while at night, imagining when my plants are bigger how nice it will all smell. This translates into less drama time OR me staying up until way past bed time. Guess which it's been? In related news, can you guess how many times I slept through my alarm this week?
kakashi: It was really warm here and then it turned cold-ish again, but you know what? I like it coldish. Drama-wise I'm kinda down to one that I'm falling out of love for, so we're back to red-red-red, I guess.
Jaehyus: it's hot and humid here. And today, when it cooled down a bit, it was so sticky, it might as well have been hot.  


Another Oh Hae-young

So..... two things. I got really annoyed with the portrayal of binge drinking this week. It's actually not funny. I know we see it often in KDrama and yes, I can tolerate some of it, but in OHY, it is getting out of hand. Massively out of hand. The second thing is this: they're not going to fix this "why Eric" thing, right? They are really trying to make us believe that Thighs is a bad guy because he chose to break up with her and say the thing about her eating? That does not work for me. Yes, of course he had options, but hey, Eric still pushed him to that point and Thighs did mean WELL when he broke it off, because he didn't want to be arrested at the actual wedding. That crap about "he prioritized his pride" is bullshit.
I'm with you - I don't think Thighs is a bad guy at all.  First because he did it for her as much as for himself, and second because people are allowed to make judgement errors when they're back into a corner, and it doesn't mean they're terrible people. It clearly wasn't what he wanted to do, but felt he had to do.  As for all the binge drinking...they do take a few pains to show that it's not the best way to deal with things, but the few negative comments made don't really seem all that heartfelt.  We do hear about the drinking culture in Korea, though, and drunkenness, especially public, does seem less of a problem - so maybe for the live viewing audience it's not wearing quite as thin?
I also think Kim Ji-suk deserves a very special mention this week. He never got to play the lead so far in his life (not sure about his movies) and I don't understand why. He is a great actor, very funny and actually cute. And I'll never again be able to hear "Rooftop Party" without smiling fondly.
I like him.  The only time I've ever seen him be a real jerk was in the first drama I ever saw him in - Personal Taste - and every time since he's been funny and likeable.
Nabi (*tiptoeing in after 5 months totally AWOL*): Ditto on Kim Ji-Suk! I already liked him in ChunoPersonal TasteSassy Go Go, and even the otherwise-loathesome Cheongdamdong Alice, but he is particularly enjoyable here, especially when not butchering the French language. And Ye Ji-Won is even more awesome, raging alcoholism aside. :-)
Well HELLO! Nice to have you back!!  
This is the first drama I've watched live in ages. I don't even know why I started it, but I totally love it. And I agree 100% with Kakashi and JoAnne's analyses in last week's RAWR of Eric's confrontation with Thighs -- I don't condone it, but it does make perfect sense to me. Which is true of so much of this drama. Rarely do drama character motivations seem so real, and not artificially imposed by the needs of the plot!
However, it sounds like I'm in the minority in a couple things. First, it is actually Eric's perfectionistic, emotionally closed off character to whom I relate the most in this drama, followed by his angry, oversensitive, alcoholic sister. Other viewers seem to relate more to "our" Oh Hae-Young, and I do, indeed, relate to many of her life experiences. But it is Eric's and Soo-Kyung's reactions to life that resonate with me the most. At times they take things a step beyond where I would go (*cough* window punching, *double cough* nightly benders, *triple cough* assault via auto), but then my life wouldn't make a very good drama. It hurts me to see them hurting themselves and feel like I'm looking in a mirror at the same time, but it is compelling. Second, I seem to be the only viewer in the universe who isn't charmed by OHY's mom. Yes, she's an awesomely fierce human being in many ways, but this is not a portrayal of unconditional maternal love, not even remotely. Was she supposed to be struggling to understand her daughter's motivations in between beatings and sneers of contempt? Or perhaps her defensiveness with others was meant to be out of love and acceptance for OHY and not out of shame over how she perceived OHY's actions reflected upon her? If so, I sure didn't see it. Even all her agony once she learned the truth wasn't focused on how much pain OHY must have been in to have experienced what she experienced and reacted the way she did, but rather it dwelled on her own shameful behavior. Human? Yes. Relatable? Absolutely. But she's also a narcissist, and that's actually the opposite of unconditional love.
I don't feel overly fond of her either. 
I'm willing to acknowledge that she loves her daughter, but she's not an easy woman by any means. Her daughter and her husband put up with a lot of crap.  She scares people with her temper...is that a good thing to be known for?  No.  
In any case, I wanted to mention Eric's kissing skills here as well. I am not sure why some actors get to KISS (I mean really kiss) while others never do? Is it the director? Or the agency? Or ... the actors themselves? That said, I'm a bit out of love for this drama. The traumatic daddy-memories etc. ... nah. Not exactly what I like. 
Eric's kissing is (or should be) the stuff of legend and our little Miss held her own, yes she did.  I ship them so hard. I'm sorry Thighs! I'm sorry! You were wronged! But I can't help it...
Trotwood: I love Eric. He has a way of making like characters who I wouldn't like in real life. His kissing is also of the charts. I think they must say--we want this character to really kiss, and it narrows down to certain actors (both male and female). However, I still have not been given enough about him (or the delightful Kim Ju-Suk) to make the scenario of setting someone up for prison time something that we will all be able to joke about later. maybe it's because my dad was a prison guard or because of how many people I grew up with who are in or have been in prison. It really isn't a joke to me or something that can be used as easy exposition unless it's a revenge drama. I feel like the drama set itself a mountain that for me is too high to climb over.


This doesn't actually run as long as I thought, and there's only a couple of weeks left.  I'm not hearing good things about it from anyone except maybe Alexe...apart from her, it's pretty much universally declared well acted crap. I haz a sad about that because I do want to finish it and I'm still wayyyy back when it was well acted good stuff.
Do you hear this sound? It's the echo of people who have dropped this weeks ago :)
Well to be honest, I'm only on episode 7... I suppose that means something, that I never get to it.
Yes, it means no one cares.
Well now I have to finish it.
You rebel, you.


All the little threads are pulling tighter, much tighter...and even though you know, roughly, how this will go - the people leave you wanting to be on hand to see the expected thing happen. This week Ha Neul's heart broke, but I think Geu Rin's did, too. Suk Ho brought out the dirty secret of KTop and now Ji Nu and Ha Neul both are free, but there's that other secret, too - and what will knowing that do to Suk Ho? Every week, I enjoy this. It's not a big story, but it's pretty well acted and the music is a bonus. I wish more people were watching.

God of Noodles 

I had a big 'DUH' moment today when I realized that the Senator Kim Gil Do is so interested in meeting is the same guy that hired him to tutor his kids, back before his noodle days.  Another moment of clarity for me was finding out that the tall skinny Asst. Noodle Master is just cranky, not evil.  He's principled and allll about the noodle, and I like him now.  I had thought (worried) that Tae Ha hated his friends, since he had uncomfortable moments when he ran into them, plus he said he regretted going to prison for his friend...but then he said he would never not protect his friends, so what is his deal? Is he with Gil Do as part of a deeper plan?  I'm not sure. And the food critic - is she just in tight with the Clan elders, or is she an actual relative?

Lucky Romance 

I have a hard time understanding people who are driven by superstition and talismanic rituals. I mean, sure I have my own, we all have something...but this girl is just nuts. Fortunately she's not screechy nuts, and I'm enjoying watching her fumble her way forward in her pursuit of a Tiger to sleep with. I could listen to Ryu Jun Yeol's voice all day, anyway...it's like molasses. Dark, thick, slow. Calming. Come to think of it, all 4 leads have very distinctive voices. Hwang Jung Eum's is my least favorite, if you're wondering, but man, is she radiantly beautiful in this show or what? Anyway...this is a show where I wish I understood more Korean, so I could just listen with my eyes closed.  
Jaehyus: I think I like everyone on this show except Ryu Jun Yeol.

Five Children 

The Granny Fight was fun. And good point, Heroine's Granny (so not good at remembering names), those other ladies' son isn't the only one who is precious. Everyone else was a bit dull to me.
Dull? Finally Sang Min and Yeon Tae are dating, and finally Mi Jung and Sang Tae are united that they'll stand together against his ridiculous mother and mother-in-law. I thought this week was great, although I know we're not done with the frustrating older generation - and yes, I do get their concerns, but I still don't believe they have any right to make the decisions. Also, Jin Joo and Tae Min are still apart, so we have to get that right again.

Refresh Man 

I have this sneaking suspicion that Noodle Wang will turn out to be a bad guy after all. I find myself increasingly irritated by the awkward dialogue about marketing trends and popular ingredients in skin care because those conversations are getting longer and longer and WE.DO.NOT.CARE.  On the plus side, Wen Kai and Yu Tang are the cutest of cute couples and his skinship/affection toward her, in general, seems very natural.  Imagine Wen Kai as your boyfriend. *dies*
Trotwood: (don't tell my Korean teacher that I'm watching this). I am feeling sad that Noodle Wang is going down that road of great 2nd lead turning evil. We all saw that in Miss Rose, and I'm afraid that we are going to get it here. I have to say though that it is more needed in this drama than in Miss Rose because there doesn't seem much other conflict. But who need conflict when we have Aaron's pants?!?!?

Vampire Detective 

Amway Vampires... okay. I'm glad we're at least finding out what happened to San's friends, although Han Tae Woo was never his friend, was he? Greedy and resentful and fake.

Beautiful Gong Shim

I HATE GONG MI! I'm going to be pissed if they try to make us "understand her" later and try to set her up with adorable Jun-Su. She deserves nothing but having to serve people for the rest of her life. She needs to have an ending like Min-Jung's in Jang Bori (and Lee Yuri was an excellent villain while this actress is not).
She's Bug Eyes to me, and I can't stand her. But I like Gong Shim, Dan Tae, and Joon Soo enough to put up with her.  I didn't get to see this weekend's episodes yet, but I look forward to them.

Mirror of the Witch 

Is she Seol Ri or Yeon Hui? I can't keep track.
She is both - she was raised as Yeon Hee, but after she went into Cheongbin Temple, Shaggy said 'new life, new name, let's call you Seo Ri' - they need to hide her from Hong Joo while they try to dispel the curse, so not even her name should be used.
That king's disease is repulsive.  I kind of want him killed off so I never see what was wrong with him every again.
It is hugely gross, yes, but I feel so bad for him.
Mildly amused at the Ghost Crown Prince being called Boo.  
It is funny, isn't it?  But it was always his name. Not one I've heard before in a Korean drama,  but whatever.
Also, this happened:
This drama still suffers from longish episodes, but it's a mild suffering. It's such a good story that I'm stuck in that place of acknowledging that tighter editing could only improve the end result, but wanting instead to just cram more story into the space that results. I mean, we're half way through and it's no where near off the rails yet, and there's SO MUCH opportunity for this to go crazy, given the premise, the need for CGI, the way the story unfolds, etc. We're often left a little confused by people's behavior, but then a later episode will make it clear. The thing is, it doesn't really happen the way you'd expect: there's not necessarily a flashback that suddenly reveals all, it's more an accumulation of bits of things, or some piece of a later scene. I don't know if it's good or bad film-making but it keeps me thinking and wondering between episode releases and I'm 100 percent invested in this story.

Dear My Friends

My face hurts from crying. I just now watched last week's episodes and they nearly killed me, for so many reasons. We still have this week's to go through. Wonder if I'll survive.
Everytime I think I'm going to drop this show, it draws me back in. Now I'm wondering what did cause Nan Hee to try killing Wan, and will Jeong A get her divorce (I hope she does, because she deserves some "me time").
As it happens, I'm not able to watch this week's episodes yet because Dramafever is asleep at the wheel, doesn't always QC their work, and never responds to complaints over the weekend.



No clue how else other than East-West to refer to Kosem, a Turkish drama about the life of Kosem Sultan, an Ottoman queen.
The Ottomans had their own complicated Inner Palace, and Kosem, dragged kicking and screaming from Greece to marry the sultan, rose to the top of it and thus became one of the most powerful women in the Empire's history. Right now, I've only got through 2.5 hours of the first episode, where the young, or so they say because they keep referring to his lack of circumcision, Sultan Ahmet has risen to the throne. His granny,
the equivalent of a Dowager Queen in the Joseon court, has named him Sultan.  
And there's this little matter of having to kill all his brothers to secure his throne. Our Sultan doesn't want to do that because it's morally wrong. When he declares amnesty for his siblings, the courtiers, amusingly since his lack of circumcision is mentioned at least twice, shout this: 
The ladies of the court all wear European 17th century dresses
and are generally fabulous. 
From left to right, Sultan Ahmet's mother, Safiye Sultan the Granny, and Ahmet's pretty aunt. 
There are also some amazing hats: 
I'll probably continue very slowly with this since the episode length is overwhelming. Strangely, for something that's 78 1.5 hour-minimum episodes long, the story seems relatively simple at its core: poor girl becomes powerful queen until she's killed by an rival, just like in beehives. The interesting parts are the politics and power struggles, especially in the harem between the rival queens and between the generations.  


Game of Thrones

Episode 6 was quite yawn again for the most part. Hey, and nobody was killed! That's a first this season! I want some juicy battle scenes and some answers.
Episode 7 on the other hand! Excellent stuff. Keep it coming for a few more weeks, Game of Thrones, before we say another looong goodbye. And tell me .... when is winter coming?

The Man in the High Castle

Nabi: Season 1 was released on Amazon Prime last fall, but I don't have Amazon Prime, so I only just saw it this weekend while I was dogsitting. It's based loosely on a novel of the same name by sci-fi author Philp K. Dick, and depicts an alternate version of 1960's America in which the Axis powers won WWII and the former U.S.A. is divided into a Nazi-occupied East Coast and Midwest, the Japanese-occupied Pacific States, and a neutral zone ranging the Rocky Mountains. Season 2 is scheduled to be released this year, and Season 1 left plenty of questions for its successor to answer, so I'm reserving judgement on the internal logic, for now. But its worldview is perhaps a bit...provincial? Still, I really enjoyed the intriguing characters, the moody atmosphere, and the studied pace. I will definitely tune in for Season 2 if I ever have access to someone else's Prime account for another 10 hours.hor
I'd watched the first episode of this a few months ago.  It was interesting because it's right around when I was born, and who doesn't want to see what the world looked like when they were an infant? But I haven't managed to get back to it.
It's on my "will watch eventually"-list! But you know how it is... it's not certain I ever will


Did not air this past week
Yes it did! On Sunday! Hahahahaaaa, welcome to the craziest show on TV. Preacher discovers the power of his voice in this episode, but he has no clue what's going on, of course. While he's asleep (due to a little something special Cassidy drinks), the two angels (not yet revealed as such, if they even are) try to get the entity out of him, which doesn't work. When they want to cut him apart with a chainsaw, Cassidy intervenes. A very bloody scene follows. It's horrid and hilarious at the same time. Tulip is convinced that our Preacher still is the "very bad man" she used to know and tries to get him to unleash him. This will be interesting.