20 June 2016


Rants and Weekly Raves #92 (RAWR)

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on June 20, 2016
kakashi: AND.... I find myself with zero dramas. OMG, you're going to say, how is that possible?! Well, easy. The only drama I was watching was Oh Hae-Young Again, which bored me out of my socks this week with its sugar sweet filler episodes. I'm just not interested in that. Lots of new stuff starting next week though, so I'm not dispairing.
JoAnne: I predict that you'll prefer Wanted over the rest. Unless The Good Wife is next week, too? At the moment I have Doctors, Beautiful Mind (Jang Hyuk!), and Wanted on my list to check out. And then of course this week it will be 38 Squad or whatever that's called, with three favs in the lead - Ma Dong Seok, Seo In Guk, and Sooyoungie! Actually, if it's done right that could be the one for both of us, I think.
Pssst, keep it to yourself, but I really cannot stand Lee Jong-Suk. I have a probably irrational aversion against him. I'll try W, I swear! But with every drama I tried with him, I couldn't watch much
Jaehyus: I knew that about kakashi.
Ohh, that one I am looking forward to; I like him and I like the premise that his 'alternate world' is actually the cartoon her father drew.  He is a literal comic hero come to life. Should be fun! I think that starts July? As does Uncontrollably Fond, with Woobs and Suzy.
Not at all interested in that one, pass!
(That went without saying.) Also early in July - Prince of Wolf, which appears to be a Chinese Tarzan-ish sort of thing. Or maybe Wolf Boy crossed with Twilight. hard to say.
Also, when does Ice Fantasy start?
Don't ask me about C-Drama and their schedules. I don't get it. I just know that "Old Nine Gates" airs June 20 in China, Monday+Tuesday, 2eps a week, and that Jaehyus is thinking about recapping. Jin Dong also has a few things upcoming. As does Hu Ge! The headhunting drama!
Old Nine Gates has now been pushed back to July 4, grr.
See? Don't ask me about C-Drama and their schedules
bcook: *slides in* I like 38 squad *slides back out*


We made a new page at the request of a puzzled reader: http://dr-myri-blog.blogspot.com/p/the-nickname-site.html
It's for the nicknames we use around here. Tell us if we have forgotten anyone! (likely)
We very often come up with nicknames for a character during a show, but they are time limited.. .the nicknames that stick for longer than a show, the ones that we use regularly amongst ourselves to identify someone - we don't have as many as I thought, but they generally signify a deep affection for the actor. (In the case of Lee Jeong Suk, this is not unanimous. I adore him. Kakashi, not so much. And then there's Broom.- that name was given to her by the internetz, not us!)
It's interesting that the two shows that led to the most nicknames are Inspiring Generation and Heartless City. Well, the latter isn't much of a surprise, but Inspiring Generation probably is. It was a mess, but some of the characters were so memorable!!
The first half of IG was as good as Heartless City, and even though I dearly love my pretty rom-coms I do think that in general all of our hearts lie with the epic and moody.

Hu Ge News! 

Hu Ge is in Milano, for Fashion Week! Man, they have a lot of fashion weeks. And man, he travels a lot. And no, I'm not going there, even with our new tunnel, which makes the train trip a piece of cake, cause I'm not crazy. Which is unfortunate because I would have liked to see him. Anyway, I'll do another appreciation post later this week. He is going to New York after this - get ready, East Coasters! (also Fashion Week)


Oh Hae-Young Again

Boring, out of love. I don't have time to watch people smiling at each other sweetly. I'd rather smile at people sweetly myself. But seeing how we have not yet had a lot of angst, we're probably going there for the next few weeks. Anyway, it's like with so many other dramas ... I lose interest towards the end.
I'm guessing you're right about that. Don't you think they needed a little breather, though? And it was a very brief respite, anyway - by the end of the 2d episode we know that his vision still has him dying, Tae Jin is clearly getting angrier by the minute, and then there's his awesome sister and Rooftop Party to deal with, too. I hope she gets some happiness, because I love her. I also loved the little flashback and voice over we got from Pretty Oh Hae Young, who I've never really felt was the bitch that others made her out to be. She had an ugly, desperate moment last week, yes - but they don't seem to be expanding on that. In fact, they've made it more clear that she never looked down on our Hae Young at all, and that she is and has been suffering just as much as anyone else, if not more. As for Tae Jin - I think he's putting some pieces together and when he really explodes it's going to be something to see. I don't think he's a bad man, but he got screwed - and underneath that screw there was another screwing, one that's really more painful since it was actually meant for him, by a friend.

Entertainer (Finale) 

I like how this is wrapping up just in general, but I am especially liking the hints that Yeon Soo might end up with his billionaire noona. More after I've seen both episodes.
I take back what I said last week. I'm glad it didn't go the way I thought it should for an ending, with that duet. This was perfect. Probably the best-paced, most thoroughly satisfying final set of episodes I can remember in a long time. I have no complaints about this drama. None, zero, zilch. Everything you thought might be awkward was handled so smoothly that you can't imagine it being any other way. Two May-December romances, a gracefully relinquished first love, punishment where you want it, redemption in ways that make you happy to see it - plus, over and over again, reminders that family can be made, that what you see is not always the truth, and that friendship can carry you through anything. For a show about a band, they didn't really sing much (although the OST is terrific) - but then again, this was never about the music, it was about the hearts behind it. For a fluffy little rom-com, this has turned out to be one of my faves of the year. If you haven't watched it, give it a shot. Trust me.

Vampire Detective (Finale)

Well. That was a mixed bag, wasn't it? The vampire bits ranged from 'intriguing but unfortunately only glanced upon' to 'you have to be kidding!' And then there were the small references to Vampire Prosecutor - that bit in the bar, and then, I think (I haven't seen a full episode) - there at the end, when the old Helper guy said something to Hyung about 'Bad Blood' and after that, when some mysterious person picked up the USB and walked away. Well, I do think that mysterious person was San and that he's off to solve a mystery that will bring this closer to VP storyline, but honestly, if they'd left the vampire piece out of this entirely, it was a decent enough story. It needed more detail, but think about it: 3 young friends, idealistic cops, torn apart by the third wheel's jealous obsession with the female of the trio. He uses being undercover to force their disappearance, and the girl unwillingly cooperates. The lovelorn guy left behind refuses to believe that his woman would betray him and leaves no stone unturned in his pursuit of the truth. They reunite, but she dies tragically and heroically to save him from that former friend. Broken-hearted but newly determined, our left-behind lover uses his second (third) chance at life to solve the mystery behind all of it, while his rag tag collection of former colleagues (and devoted friends) chase after him just as doggedly. It's not original, no - there's very little that is - still, it's a story I'd watch more than once.
BTS of actors taking notes from director.  See, it wasn't just the viewers.

God of Noodles 

I ship them hard, so I expect he's going to die

Nope? If JoAnne doesn't watch, nobody does. 
Oh, I'm watching - but I only got to one episode this week. It's enough though for me to come to the conclusion that this drama plot is: a bunch of people hate Kim Gil Do and they all have their own reasons for that hatred. Most of the drama is them preventing each other from actually succeeding in ruining him, because they want to be the one to do it themselves. That, plus a tiny smidge of I'm never actually sure if he's pretending even when he flat out says he's pretending. He is one fascinating character.

Lucky Romance

The drama in this drama doesn't matter to me at all in even the slightest way. Here's what I tune in for: the way Ryu Jun Yeol portrays Su Ho; the way Su Ho and Bo Nui interact; the crushing weight of the guilt Bo Nui carries around needlessly but sincerely; the contrast between Gary's approach and Su Ho's; the revealing of Amy's story and the way her actual self contrasts with her image, at least in my eyes; the moments when Su Ho's cafe/shareholder friend interact with Bo Nui's ZeZe friend. Probably in that order, too. I barely notice the story because I'm so focused on the moments, which are done really, really well. And of course, every single time Hwang Jung Eum cries, I'm amazed at how pleasantly she does it. Amazed and deeply, deeply thankful.
I've enjoyed it, but I'm going to drop it. I liked the whole Bo Nui Quest for a Tiger storyline. Now, Bo Ra's waking up, and the show is going into a straight romance. I'm not into that. 

Beautiful Gong Shim 

No one? Okay, Just a nice picture then. 
Again, just one episode so far. Gong Shim is daydreaming about confessing to Dan Tae, who adores her but is now trying to keep her at arm's length, I guess because of the mystery surrounding his actual identity. He's real busy trying to figure out who was after his father, too. Joon Soo is still a cute cuddly bunny but very solidly in second lead now. We've seen very little of Bugface, which is good, but I think that will change soon. Joon Soo's mom really wants them to hook up. Well, not hook up. You know what I mean. Anyway, the cute is still MONDO cute, but all the other stuff is not so interesting because we already know it and don't need to investigate it.

Five Children 

Nothing? Oh well. Real life must have interfered. 
It did. Just one episode completed. Sang Min is intent on keeping Yeon Tae and Tae Min apart for a while longer - I think he wants to really cement his own relationship before revealing that his brother was her first love. He is a very cute boyfriend, and they are so very smitten with each other. Hong Tae and Preggo went off on their honeymoon and he's a fucking idiot and she needs to beat some sense in to him. In one breath he tells her he will be successful, he will take care of her and their child. In the next, he turns down the opportunity to direct a tv drama based on a script he sold, because he is a 'art movie director.' She's more patient with him than I am, let's just say that. Sang Tae has a bit of a stand off with In Chun and really, In Chun just looks dumber and dumber by the minute. He ends up having to leave the camping trip, so Mi Jung comes and they all have a glorious time - so much so they decide to each tell the kids, and see what they think about a marriage. Initially the boys are against it, but Soo does come around, and of course the girls did. Woo Young even says he's fine with it, however...he wants to go live with his dad. Which of course Mi Jung freaks out about. Also of course: Sang Tae's mom is still pitching fits and still can't believe that he would go forward without her permission even when he knows it's so important to her that he not marry this girl.
I've spent a lot of time being really irritated by her attitude, but she said something last week that I've been thinking about ever since. I tend to think of my family as my family. That's the unit the matters: me, spouse, kids. (well, no spouse now and only one kid, but you know what I mean) Other family members matter, but in a very real sense they are 'other'...just not as other as non-family members. What I do with my family is my decision and not at all the business of my extended family, although of course there are extraordinary circumstances where that won't be true. But his mom looks at the family as one big glob. You might want to bring in a new family member, but that family member isn't just for you, it's for the glob - if it doesn't work for the glob, if it doesn't improve the glob, if it doesn't fit the glob, you're out of luck. When you think of clan, and lineage, and building family assets or reputation, that does make sense. It's just a bit outdated, I think, unless you're super rich. There, I do think it's still fairly customary in ANY country to have some sort of vetting process. It makes me dislike her less when I consider it this way, although I still am irritated by her refusal to give up when everyone in her family is telling her she's lost it.

Refresh Man 

Wang Noodle is and apparently always was an enormous dick. (should dick and noodle be in the same sentence?) Fine, I didn't care about him. But Ai Sha? AI SHA? I've pointed out more than once how awesome she is for a second lead. And when this whole undercover thing to out Wang Noodledick started, I was positive Ai Sha was using her real life position of (kindly) rejected love interest to work her way into Noodledick's good graces and overturn the enemy from within. But now? WHAT IF IT'S REAL? No. It can't be. T-Drama is just not that subversive. This is that old 'make you think she's bad for a minute but any viewer of more than a year knows it's a fake out' gem, right? Right? It hardly bears mentioning that Aaron's pants continue to delight and impress, and I have now invented the man-bra we all actually want, which will lift and enhance those interesting bits which are generally (sadly) hidden under poorly tailored slacks. Well, I've invented the idea. So nobody steal it! I mean, go ahead and develop it, sure - but pay me royalties, and make sure Aaron is the spokes person.

Mirror of the Witch

Watch, rinse, repeat: also one episode. This week, we learn that her awesome older brother (Hyung! we always love you!) really has feet of clay. He's a decent guy but lacks imagination and, I suppose, generosity of spirit. In other words, his love for Yeon Hui is definitely not unconditional. He finds her witch state (white hair, purple eyes) an abomination. In stark contrast, Heo Jun accepts every single bit of her without judgement, because he is awesome like that. What else? Dad Monk is actually possessing the King now, at least part time, in his efforts to save everybody. He's not far from death, though. And the Shameness - I think I was right, seeing her early bitterness at least in part as directed at him, personally, as a man. There were some hints there again. Most heartbreaking is finding out who Red Robes is, of course (which we actually got last week) - Poong Yeon's mostly-silent female sidekick. DID NOT EXPECT THAT. No wonder those pining looks! She loves him, and yet is secretly working for the other side. I think she'll do something noble at some point, though. The Queen Mother met up with Yeon Hui, who is a bit overwhelmed at the news that she's a princess. She's not ready to forgive yet. That's okay, she can continue to channel her rage into magical fights with the Shameness! This poor kid, though...I'm really glad she has Shaggy and Heo Jun by her side because she really needs a friend.
I'm in ep 12 right now, and I'm getting Hong Joo's backstory. I can see why she's pissed.

Dear My Friends

I don't think I cried at all this week, but I was very anxious over and over again. I kept expecting Jung-Ah's husband to die while she was leaving him, making her feel guilty forever; I kept expecting something terrible to happen with Yeon Ha and Wan when she went to him; I was very scared for Choong Nam when she was having those stomach pains, too. Let's not forget that Young Won has cancer and that Hee Ja's dementia is becoming a real issue for her, either. There were moments of pain, yes, when Wan confronted Nan Hee, but especially the horror on Nan Hee's face as she was forced to acknowledge the damage she's done to Wan, who she does love more than life itself. Boong Soon sharing the regret she feels for always having to take from Nan Hee to help her son and husband. And yet, there were those other moments...Hee Ja showing flashes of the temperamental young beauty who captured Sung Jae's heart decades before; her teary wonder at that beautiful sunrise; their sleepy bed time conversation in the old mountain house. Wan's wide-eyed joy at the thought of just going to Yeon Ha. His face, watching her. So many moments that we all know and feel the truth of. I think people will die (I mean, they're old.) but I'll still be glad I watched this. I need to spend more time with my mom, though.
So, I've already started on the following weekend, which means I'm ahead of Jo. And this show has me conflicted. I'm sorry for Seunkyun because I think he did work hard and try his best, but his bullying of Jeong A was too much. The abuse she suffered at his family's hands was too much. Yet, he supported not only his siblings, but hers and her mother too. And he did help his eldest adopted daughter, and apparently would save Choong Nam from bullying as a child. So there's part of me that thinks, Jeong A, set better boundaries at home and go out for drinks when you want to drink something in peace. And there's part of me that thinks, what a relief to eat and drink in peace without someone trying to stop you.
And Choong Nam's revenge on those professors was a bit weak, but at least what she bought from them wasn't a complete waste of money. She can always resell.
I'd like to say, though, I don't give two hoots about Hee Ja and her dementia. I know that sort of thing happens, but it's so overused in kdrama that it's just yawn-inducing now
Oh, I disagree! Sure, we see it - but we see early-onset Alzheimers, which is quite rare unless you live in a KDrama, and that really brings a different set of issues to the story. This is age appropriate and probably statistically appropriate and I am very, very interested in seeing how her friends respond to Hee Ja's diminishing abilities - because they will naturally be afraid for themselves as much for her, and because it isn't really all that far off for me to be in their age bracket - between 5 and 15 years. A blink of an eye!

Police Unit 38 (NEW!) 

What can go wrong? The cast: great. The writer: one our ours. The director: one of those we like, almost always working with our writer. Ah, but I cringed almost through the entire first episode. I felt so, so sorry for poor Baek Sung-Il (Ma Dong-Seok; it's interesting to see him as a timid (though a bit hot-tempered character!). There were so many moment during which he could have realized ... but no. Our con-man Yang Jung-Do (Seo In-Guk; I know he's everybody's favorite, I'm quite neutral towards him) is just too smooth to be allowed on the street. It's certainly entertaining and I'll watch - simply for the cast - but I'm not yet sure what the overall take is. Is there a great conspiracy behind this? Or will it be a weekly case? Is it funny? Or sad? Let's see. 
Waiting impatiently for it to show up where I watch stuff.
Dramafever is dropping the ball. It's nice of you to wait, JoAnne - but I'm betting that 90% of their costumers won't. Being late means being out of the game. The one who gets the subs out fastest wins. Plus, those viu subs? They're really good. Better than DF, in my opinion. Get a grip! 
It's not at DF (which I use as a last resort - but it will be) or Viki - the Viki bit is what surprises me. I don't like those off-brand sites, generally speaking - the one exception being smurf of course, but I hadn't though to check there. I don't know this other one, but I'm hearing people mention it lately.
It's a Hongkong thing, we cannot access it
I liked Episode 2 much better than Episode 1. I think it was Oh Man-Seok who tipped the scale! He's great in this role. We also get a much better feeling for who our characters are, which means understanding about their hurts and their motivations. I tought the "same name"-twist was well done and fairly plausible - and I like that we already got a glimpse of conflict to come, because Con Man Charmeur and Chun Sung-Hee have history. If there is anything I could bitch about, then it's that I am slightly wary about the typcial OCN feel I'm getting: Be cool for coolness sake, is what I mean. Nothing against that if it's backed up by a good story, but OCN does not always fully deliver. Sometimes, it's all cool and gloss but little substance. Let's see.
I was thinking of trying this, but Seo In Guk just puts me off.  He just does.
Papa Ma looks mighty disappointed in you...

WuXin the Monster Killer

Because I was bored, I finally started this. It's mildly intriguing (and beautifully shot!), but I'm actually quite annoyed with the dubbing. The voices sound out of place! Also, the female character bugs me. These kind of characters always annoy me. I'm feeling a bit feminist these days and am so fed up with all those stereotypes. Give me a Wang Manchun everyday and I'll be happy!
Ahhh, this is one I always intended to watch. Where's my list...
I loved this show. I watched with a friend and it was so much fun! I'm envious of anyone who is just starting it because I've not found anything to match the crazy of this show and of The Lost Tomb.


It stresses me out that two of these shows air on Sunday evening, which means I get to watch them on Monday evening, which is also the time I usually post the RAWRs. So much pressure! 


I finally watched episode 3 and I really liked it, Kakashi. It's settling into a sort of Terry Pratchett/Neil Gaiman-like thing (think American Gods) - but only if the movie were directed by Quentin Tarantino. I probably won't get to episode 4 until tonight.
OMG OMG OMG I went to go check something about American Gods and IT'S GOING TO BE ON TV. In 2017. So we have time.
Hahahahaaaa, the angels. Hahahaaaaa, Cassidy. Hahahaaaa, Tulip. GRAND episode, I seriously couldn't stop laughing. Love the flashbacks, love everything. Especially love the sick humor. And I really hope that Emily Woodrow - I like her! - is rewarded for all her hard work with some preacher love in the end.
Yes! Same here! I really did think this was a very funny episode, although when it started I was like...WT...FFFFFFFFFFFFFF? This town is full of really perverted people. Down to the littlest thing, these people are just absolute freaks. Did you like Odin? Jackie Earle Haley is always, always, always a scene stealer for me. 
Hell, yeah! GREAT acting
Things I didn't realize: Preacher doesn't actually believe that Cassidy is what he says he is; that Emily person, she's not as dull as she seems at first glance. Theory I have developed based on no factual evidence at all: the more into his new mission he gets, the higher Preacher's hair stands up. Hours until I can watch the next episode: approximately 164.

Game of Thrones 

When these are available on itunes, I will watch eps 7 and 9. I hear they rock.
Almost over, and finally it's ON. Hardhome and Battle of the Bastards. TV history.

On Recapping in General

For the first time since we started recapping The Disguiser and Nirvana in Fire, I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Meaning: It'll be done soon(ish). That's a relief and a shock at the same time. A relief because we started last year and it took seemingly forever - and a shock because like after every major project, filling the sudden hole will be tough. The good thing about it is that I'll have an empty plate for other good dramas that come along ... if they come along. Come along!
These two must be like raising a baby for you - with slightly more sleep.
Yes. It'll be hard to let them go.  
Just wait. Jin Dong has a tomb raider drama coming too.
Ah, but Hu Ge and Wang Kai aren't in it .... TT_____________TT 
Shuk: [popping in] I'm down to recapping the last two episodes of Winter Sonata (19 is waiting on screenshots). It's been over two years since I started the durn project. Dunno what I'll do when I finish. Oh wait, I have the last seven episodes of Lah Ruk Sut Kop Fah to recap, my Woobin fanfic to finish, my sub-timing edits for SaiPai Jao and Jam Luey Gammathep to complete....[falls over in a faint]


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