Rants and Weekly Raves #93 (RAWR)

kakashi: LOTS of new stuff this week! Let's see who wins and who loses.
JoAnne: We win, no matter what. Cutie Soo, Jang Hyuk, Ma Dong Seok, Seo In Guk, Soo Youngie, Park Shin Hye, and Kim Rae Won? All in one week? No matter which way you turn, you're going to win.
Shuk: I'm watching / loving a Korean drama. So it's all a win! And I plan to watch the first four episodes of Squad 38 this week, so there might even be two in my future! 

New East


I hate everything about this. The set-up, the writing, the student-teacher romance, the characterization... especially HER. Wow, I can't stand her. Her voice, her acting, her everything. I can't imagine any Korean actress who is less badass than this woman. Very sorry to her fans. Is it Heirs that did this to me? I used to like her a lot.
Jaehyus: I hate her. I won't watch anything with her in it. I blame Heirs. (She kind of redeemed herself a little in the movie The Royal Tailor, but she hardly spoke, and was masked by all the sageuk styling, so I barely felt her as her.)
That's fine, I liked her enough for all three of us. I'll be back for more next week. The sad bit is that I really like this story of her turning life to a different direction so much that I'm afraid when the story gets to her actual life as a doctor, I won't be as interested. The drama certainly has the potential to die a horrible death, which it would if she gives up any of her essential nature. I want to watch her speak honestly and call bullshit as an adult, too
I know people are creeped out by him being an adult and her not (oh yes, you bet I was creeped out!!!), but so far, what I see are people who sort of don't realize that they're falling for each other, not romantically. He has an odd but not pedo dynamic with these late teen girls in that he treats them more like a slightly older neighborhood oppa than anything else (it bugged me a lot, actually - and I wouldn't even call myself all that sensitive); she treats everyone the same - informally - and doesn't acknowledge hierarchy at all unless she has personal respect for the person. She has not been served well by the adults in her life, and she's smarter than nearly everyone around her but is completely without direction. I get her behavior as one possible choice of responses. It wouldn't be mine, but I'm not her. Hopefully she gains some perspective. 
I think his behavior is unwise and could be misinterpreted, but not criminal or perverted. I could be wrong, next week we could be treated to his internal monologue which will make his easy acceptance of her into something substantially more creepy. As it is, I was shocked at the thoughtlessness of his behavior considering their relative positions and different genders. It's not just her, though - her friend liked him, even going so far as to confess, and he was totally wrong to pass it off as lightly as he did. He needed to shut that shit down. A girl would take anything else as tacit encouragement, but I don't think he meant it that way at all. It will bite him in his glorious ass. You watch.

Beautiful Mind

This is pretty good. I really like Scary Jang Hyuk. I don't like, however, gory surgery scenes.
Also, perhaps because I've been a bit emotional lately, but I cried like anything over the deaf boy losing his only parent
Me too :((
Shall we just make that a unanimous confession?  Very hard to watch.
Trotwood: Yup. Extremely hard.
This is full of people we know and like! Hyuk! Cutie Soo! Ryu Seung-Soo! Park Se-Young! Ha Jae-Suk! I don't watch Korean movies often, so I don't really know Park So-dam yet. (She looks like that lead girl in Cheese in the Trap.) But! I like her! From the get go, this is a thousand times more interesting than Doctors for me. I also don't mind gory surgeries. Actually, the more "realistic", the better in a medical drama (right, Shuk?). The characters are interesting (the police woman is a nice deviation from the usual medical drama) and multi-layered (not even sure who's good and who's bad right now), there is some major mystery and of course, I cannot wait to see Jang Hyuk's character starting to struggle with emotions that he has never felt before (how we were made to loath him for the first 1.5 episodes and suddenly started feeling pity! Great stuff). For the time being, this one gets two thumbs up from me!
In addition to the above names, we have Praying Mantis from Last (that was his name! I called him Creepy Puppy though), the cute cute driver who was in love with that mistress in Cruel City, the ridiculous cameraman from Pinocchio... the list just goes on forever, it seems. Should we have a drinking game? [I'd be drunk in the first ten minutes. It's like they had a kdrama actor coupon or buy one get one free sale. People I recognized were all over the place!) It feels like every time we watch someone new and loved will pop out. And yes, I liked this a lot. Since I don't pay a lot of attention to the teasers before shows start, I was properly startled to see him set up to look like a murderer - it didn't last long, though, and even if he isn't as cute and fluffy as Bogummy, I definitely feel the same bewilderment from our Doctor as I did from the world's most adorable serial killer. Park Sodam is new to me and while her character is DEEEEEEEEPLY unbelievable I like her and am willing to ignore that. Chalk it up to my overwhelming happiness at having our Cutie Soo on screen and a-DOR-able again.
But he's going to break my heart again, isn't he?


Well. The first episode was excruciatingly sloooooow! Ah! Why the lengthy set-up?! That does not bode well. It got marginally more interesting as soon as ex-husband came into the picture (yes, I totally like Uhm Tae-woong - he is her ex-husband, right?). One big question I have: how did she ever hook up with the biggest scumbag in the world, her present husband, the always credibly unpleasant Park Hae-joon?
So far I don't like anyone except Ji Hyun Woo's character. It's just a bunch of people behaving in ways that make me say WTF a lot and I'm not sure if I'm supposed to think it's her husband behind the kidnapping or not, and sadly that's not because they're clever but because it's just weirdly played out.
Episode 2 is also slow and almost everyone starts to annoy me immensely. Lee Seung-Jun's character as sloth reporter wins in that department. A N N O Y I N G. The female lead is just like a passive black hole (yes, it's horrible what has happened, but can she drink more coffee or something to stop looking half asleep?). I'm also not a huge fan of Ji Hyun-Woo. And finally, the story... okay, I've learned not to question KDrama too much, but this whole set-up is just so stupid. Someone kidnaps a child to force his mother to act in a reality TV show? Come on. So I guess I won't keep watching. You're not Liar Game, show and you're trying far too hard to be.

Old East

Squad 38

Finally got to see the first two episodes. Verdict: I'll keep watching. Baek Sung Il is trying to be a good family man and a conscientious, dedicated employee. He believes in doing right and he believes in consequences for doing wrong. Yang Jung Do is out to teach some lessons and exact some revenge on behalf of we don't know who, exactly - but it's at least partially for his dad is my guess. He absolutely doesn't care whether something is right or wrong - if it works, he's going to use it. These two are going to pair up very well in that sort of mismatched magic way that buddy cop movies can make happen, and I'm liking the feel of the show, the cameos, and the supporting cast. How come there wasn't more chatter about Oh Man Seok being part of this? I squealed with joy when he showed up!
Didn't you hear me last week?!
I did, and that's when I was surprised :) but I didn't know when or how he'd show up or if it was only a cameo...and I actually did squeal a bit when he showed up, because I love him.
He should be in more shows (that I watch).
Hm, so... I'm indeed running into that issue I mentioned last week. This show is trying a bit too hard to be cool for my taste. Lots of "ha-ha-we're so funny"-dialogue but we're not getting anywhere. About 80% of episode 3 bored me. Maybe I'm impatient this week, but this is another drama that just moves far too slowly for me. I really don't have time for stuff that bores me. We have Wanted, trying to be Liar Game, and we have Squad 38, trying to be Ocean's 14. 
Viki has this now, so I don't have to wait for lame-ass DramaFever to finally get off their duffs and do something with it on Mondays. It's not quite as slick and polished as an Ocean's movie but it's fun and I like our 3 mains so very much that I'm already rooting for happy endings.  The only thing I require of con movies is that the con be interesting enough to watch without being too hard to follow or so easy that it's stupid. Plus, one of the criminals has to have a heart of gold and a sad backstory with the possibility for them to do a good deed in the future. We have that, so I'm good for now.

Oh Hae-Young Again 

Much as I enjoy the cuteness of Do Kyung and Hae Young's newly in love selves, I appreciated that they each recognize all of the hurt outside their little bubble and in their own ways, they try to mitigate it. I'm BEYOND thrilled that the two Hae Youngs have finally gotten to a place with themselves that they can actually see each other for who they really are, and it feels real good that I was right about Pretty Hae Young all along. I'm worried about Tae Jin. Really worried. And watching Rooftop Party with Crazy Sister, there in the alley when she was sending him away...oof, that hurt. So much. On to next week, and the finale! We have to punish Jung and Evil Mom. We have to stop Tae Jin from doing something he will regret forever. We have to get Rooftop Party and Crazy Sister happy. And we need Do Kyung not to die, so that he and Hae Young can be together forever. She wants him to be old! He wants her to be chubby! Let's make it happen. Oh! Pretty Hae Young - that blind date she went on. Who's that guy? We know him. I want POHY to find a guy she genuinely likes and isn't afraid to be herself around. Make that happen, show. You've got two hours left.
I think I have dropped it. I feel not even the tiniest of urges to continue watching.
That's okay, you can read me next week if you get curious about how it ends. 

God of Noodles

All caught up. By the middle of episode 18, I was thinking to myself, 'This has gotten dumb and boring. It's like musical chairs with a bunch of really pissed off toddlers who like to pinch each other when no one's looking. No one ever really does anything that lasts, and everybody just sort of shuffles around and takes turns being in charge. Kim Gil Do has turned into the lamest psycho ever; his big move is opening his eyes wide and staring people to death? Moo Myeong has 'become a monster' HOW, exactly? He's giving a liar and a thief a taste of his own medicine, mostly by being better at developing allies. I'm kinda tired of thi - ' and then Kim Gil Do killed Assemblyman Choi in front of Senator So, who has known all along who he is, AND wasn't that him in the doorway when he killed the housekeeper? Okay, fine. There's one more week, I'll finish it. But Da Hae, Tae Ha, and Dokku all need to go live in a house somewhere together and grow strawberries or something.

Lucky Romance 

Our Lucky Tiger Je Su Ho gets all the love from me this week as he struggles to compute falling hard for a woman whose entire existence is the opposite of his. Sorry, Gary... you might as well not even be in the drama for me at this point. The only thing I care about is that is Su Ho and Bo Nui figure out that their place is next to each other. His struggle is that she makes no sense, and that he's actually pretty okay with that; hers is this deep-rooted, emotional belief that she is a walking bad luck charm for anyone she loves. (She needs to met Yeon Hui - is it that ending of -ui that's unlucky or something?) I love them both, regardless, our Tiger Cub and his Bug. I love watching them be exactly what the other person needs at exactly the moment they need it, and I love their tenderness toward each other, and their acceptance that some things just ARE, even if it makes no sense.

Five Children 

Last week, ep 36: Figures it's our smarter-than-he-looks Sang Min who is the first to get all the puzzle pieces, as it were. He's still intent on keeping it a secret for a while longer, but too bad for him Tae Min sees his brother and Yeon Tae and realizes that the 7-year-crush was Yeon Tae on HIM. That looks like it rocked him pretty hard. I don't think it will last long, though. Sang Tae and Mi Jung: am I the only one who thinks it was perfectly reasonable for him to warn his mother off saying any more shit to Mi Jung? She acts like he disowned her, I don't get it. Whether it came from a good place or not she was horrible to Mi Jung, who never did anything to deserve any of it, and Sang Tae should protect her since he loves her. I guess he could have waited to see if anything ever got said again and THEN given warning, maybe, but what if Mi Jung didn't tell him about it? Better to draw that line now, I think. I have no patience with his mother's tears.
Jaehyus: I picked this up again, and when the mum blatantly lied saying she'd never said anything bad to MiJung and never had been mean to her after the lengthy conversations about her hostility and her admitting to telling MiJung to give up her kids, I wanted to throw a rock at her. I hate liars the most, and that whining lying was the final straw. Even Gangsta Granny apologized to her granddaughter's friend and didn't lie about what she did, even if she wasn't sorry. Sang Tae's mum just wants him to agree to all her viciousness.

When did that happen, exactly? Because I'll go back and watch the scene, which I clearly missed.  I remember her saying things like 'what did I do/say that was wrong?' and bewailing the fact that her son was treating her like she was some random person being cruel for no reason but I don't recall her doing anything like you say. Until I rewatch and see what you saw, she's not a liar.  She's old-fashioned and crosses boundaries *for me* but until her son set those boundaries in place, she was not out of line for their family, their culture, or her generation. I also think she's over-reacting to his request, but again, that's for me.  I don't get to say what her feelings should be.
She claimed she hadn't said anything bad to MiJung. How the heck is telling her to leave her children not bad? She also claimed she hadn't been mean to MiJung with regard to her being divorced and having had children and being responsible for a grandmother. But saying mean things politely doesn't make them not mean.
Anyway, the couple settled their marriage business including finding a property and getting new furniture with amazing ease. I know it's a TV show, but wow, I couldn't stop thinking how tough it would be to find a flat in Seoul, which is apparently comparable to NYC. For one thing, you apparently need a massive deposit ready which means they'd have had to have to had, what, $1 million ready for a 4 bed flat in a decent area of town (as in minimal crime, good schools)? Maybe $500K?
But if his former in-laws move into the same building as their landlords, I'm going to be furious. That's way too pushy.

Refresh Man 

When a 20-episode drama is cut to 17, and in episode 16 you enter the angst phase, it's a little easier to bear. I hate to see Aaron cry, I really do. He never gets his pants wet, so I feel like I've been cheated. Let's see...Wang Noodledick is just skin-crawlingly awful and predictably offers Yu Tang the chance to save Wen Kai by deserting him. Which she does, but ha! not to go to the tiniest wimpiest noodle, oh no, she goes away entirely. Can't be for long though because it ends next week and she shows up in the previews. I'd wonder if it was all a set up (like I hope Ai Sha is) but she cried herself to sleep and not even Noodledick has dared to invade her bedroom, so probably not one. Oh well. We'll find out soon. You're going DOWN, Noodledick. The Glorious Pants will be held back by NO ONE.

Beautiful Gong Shim 

Last week's episodes: Ughhhhhh heartbreak all around for everyone, it was terrible! Poor Gong Shim confesses so bravely, and Dan Tae rejects her even as it breaks his heart. I get it, though - he doesn't know the first thing about his own life, and he's got to figure out that mystery. Joon Soo, that sweet boy, he had to hear the confession he wanted for himself AND then watch the woman he loves be rejected, and by his bromantic partner, no less. And the bromance...that's definitely on the rocks with all these misunderstandings and mysteries. I want them to hurry up and make that part go away. As for the rest - I don't care about any of it. Parents, corporate shenanigans, kidnap mystery, bleh. Especially because Joon Soo saw his mom at the arboretum so now he thinks she's the one who kidnapped his cousin and attacked Dan Tae's dad - so of course that means he'll pretend it was him for the latter. Cue more angst. No!
I dramathoned this one over the weekend, and now I have the worst case of Second Lead Menage A'trois Syndrome. I mean, can't the three of them just live happily ever after together? That would be an ending you don't normally see in a drama. I want our Earnest Joon Soo to be happy; I DO NOT want him with BichSis Gong Mi.
I do think the boys would do well to come clean and compare notes. Uncle Evil isn't going to go down easily, especially after decades of manipulation just to get to this spot. Even though things look bad for Earnest's mother, I want a (tiny) bit of redemption arc for her, if only for our sad, jilted chaebol. And Granny had better apologize to Earnest, big time! Hmph.
Why should she be redeemed but not the uncle?  She was fully in on that plan and has been 100% aware of the situation for 20 some-odd years.  As a mother herself, as a family member...I'd say she's even more wrong than her brother, who was acting on her behalf.

Mirror of  the Witch 

Last week Jaehyus mentioned seeing more of Hong Joo's back story and understanding why she is the way she is. I've been watching with that in mind and I didn't see much. Don't get me wrong - she had a reason to hate some specific people. Very much so. But from the moment that Dad Monk tried taking her under his wing, she was interested in perverting his lessons to achieve something darker. She wants to destroy the royal family? She's no better than they were. She's probably worse, and she gets no sympathy from me.
Oh, I don't have sympathy for her.  Having understanding is not the same thing.  I just see that she had a warped side that got worse when the royal family tried to use her as a baby machine and then throw her away. The royal family took a risk in treating a oerson that way, that they'd create an implacable enemy.

Dear My Friends

Jaehyus: oh NanHee! 😭😭😭  That said, I somehow lost interest by the middle of the second episode.  I guess my biases are Choongnam and Jeong A in this show, and I want to see more of them, even though we've wrapped up at least Choongnam's story.


Game of Thrones (Final)

And thus begins the long wait for the next season! This is nothing like the end of season 5, of course. No real cliffhanger, just certainty... that winter has come and battles will follow. Maaaaaaany battles. See you next year, king and queens!


Not sure this is going anywhere ... this episode was a bit nightmarish and gory. But the cinematographer and the sound director get all the points this week... just wow. Every shot a masterpiece!