Rants and Weekly Raves #95 (RAWR)

JoAnne: Jang Hyuk says 'Time to get with the program, people. Do not force me to waste my awesome on crap!'
Jaehyus: I used to love Kim Woo Bin. I wonder what happened? Oh yes, he was in Heirs, the kdrama bane of my life, and now he's in something that looks equally bad.
kakashi: *Feels urge to throw up* 
Lafer: I have been in such a Kdrama rut that I've stayed away from RAWR for fear of being too negative. However, after reading last week's RAWR, I've been hit with a great truth. It's not the dramas, it's about the comradery (a word I always need to look up to spell due to its multiple correct ways to spell it, none of which I remember) of all us watchers who just want to yell WTF!WTF! I really think the most successful way to watch a drama would be to stop two episodes before the end and make up our own endings (I often do that). I believe there is talent on here that surpasses most of the writers.
Trotwood: Applauding loudly at that. I'd watch anything you guys would write partly because you would make even WTF plot synopses funny.
Shuk: Aw shucks, you say the nicest things, Trot.

New East

Uncontrollably Fond (new) 

Cannot watch anything with Suzy. Sorry. (Hey, this is making my choices so much easier!)
Cannot watch anything with that description. Not sorry
There are people who like to watch Woobin and Suzy, and people who don't. I am one who does, so we'll see. I've only seen the first episode, but so far I find nothing objectionable. Update at the end of episode 2: OMG, this is crack. Give me MORE. If you're in the mood for an old-school tragic love story, I think this is going to fit the bill. The back story is perfection, exactly what I like, and really only took 1.5 episodes to cover, which is also good. It's not as straightforward as 'young lovers torn apart' but of course they're always misleading us on those things, aren't they? Woobs is completely fine in this. I have no complaints about his work at all. Suzy isn't Dream High bad or even Big bad, so there's nothing that really pulls me out of the story other than the stupid ass title.

The Good Wife (new)

It looked like it wouldn't get subbed, but viu is subbing! Some subsite of it (Indonesian). Anyway, we have subs! But no time. Next week, maybe, I'll have something to say.

Prince of Wolf (new)

That's a Taiwan-show, I see? I have never heard of it before.
Yes, I thought I'd check it out if it got subbed. It's like a Tarzan thing, I think?
First eps is subbed! (that's not a wolf, LMAO)

OH. Oh, my. I watched the first episode -there will be two each week - and my incredulous tweets convinced two others to start watching as well. I believe we all had a good time. Pluses: Wolf Boy is a muffin, both as a wee lost lad and as a less-wee adult. Pleasant scenery, and I include his many shirtless shots in that assessment. Interesting premise - skeevy uncle takes advantage of the moment and abandons adorable muffin boy in the forest, because of course the family is rich and somehow in rich families the concept of 'plenty to go around' doesn't compute. Adorable wee boy bandages the wound of a 'wolf' after freeing it from a trap, so that wolf plus mate raise him from that point on.  No sign of the other wolves (they'd all been chasing him) after that. Minuses: the many, many, many, MANY points at which they fail to hit the mark. You should probably grip a vine if you're going to swing from it. Shaggy dogs do not wolves make. Hair grows. Teeth, if never brushed, turn yellow and fall out. (At least his skin isn't perfect.) If a boy and a 'wolf' wander around campsites often enough, someone should have seen them at least once. He must have been the world's smartest kindergartner because he knows a LOT about how gadgets work. I'll watch another episode, for sure. You make your own decisions.
Skip! Skip! Haha

Old Nine Gates / The Mystic Nine (new) 

Jaehyus is going to recap this. Because she is madly in love with the whole Grave Robbers' Chronicles / Daomu Biji stuff.
Jaehyus: that's right. I'm waiting to see how fast the subbers work this week because I'd like at least 4 subbed episodes before I dive. Basically, I don't want to feel like I got into the show only to lose it halfway like with most jdoramas.
4 episodes are out! And it's EXCITING!!!! I'm totally addicted already. (I know you people will ask where to watch it... this twitter profile posts the links: https://twitter.com/namja1to4)
Four episodes are subbed at the time of writing! And it's gorgeous and a bit scary and I totally like it, just like I liked Lost Tomb. This is far more professional though (apart from the dubbing and the lip movements that are absolutely not in sync).
I watched, too. Totally not scared even a little bit, but wicked impressed with the set design. I will work on suspending my disbelief that these 4 kids are grown men (yeah, babies - William Chan is 30 though) and see where the story takes me. I've yet to watch the Lost Tomb series that preceded this, but it's not for lack of interest. Hopefully it won't matter.
Lost Tomb preceded it as a drama but this story is set before Lost Tomb. The Mystic Nine are the ancestors of the guys in Lost Tomb. Moonlil can explain all about it.  
By the end of episode 4, we have only met about 50% of our Mystic Nine. I'm already slightly confused because we don't have all the background. I get that the Zhangs and the Hongs are the two most powerful families though (also: No 1 and No 2!). Fo Ye (Mr. Zhang) lives in a huge palace! Er Ye (Mr. Hong) has a skylight with SHARKS swimming above. I want that. I want that so very much!!!! His wife, Yatou, gets on my nerves though. I simply can't stand those allgoody virtuous females. I hope she has some fun with the mean and cruel Chen Pi A'si. Who looks about fifteen, but is totally in love with her.
Jaehyus: Chen PiAhSi is an elderly villain in the Grave Robbers Chronicles. Somewhere in these 48 episodes (that will probably take a whole 6 months minimum to recap) he will turn evil. And dayyum, William Chan looks fine!  And I wonder what will survive in my dramalist now that I've got this show?
I can help with the recaps once I'm done with Nirvana in Fire and Disguiser (Which is soon, *sob*). Haha, elderly villain... he looks like a baby and as of episode 3, he is already pretty evil I would say! Evil baby! Me, I totally dig Fo Ye. Yummy bad boy.
Yeah, I like him too....but why does he remind me of Jiro Wang's new face?  I'm very eager for episode 5!
Because I started the recaps, I'm actually well behind in watching.  So ironic considering I've been begging the universe for this show.
So addicting! My new crack!! Watch William fight and listen to him sing!

Old East


Wow. Just...wow. This is the medical version of Heirs, minus bean powder and bad sweaters. When the adorable aegyo-filled puppy is actually the most mature and capable adult around, you've got issues. To be fair, Hye Jung is pretty adult, even with a massive (and understandable) chip on her shoulder. I really like her insistence on cutting through bullshit, and her acceptance of any test anyone is willing to throw at her. But everyone else under the age of 50 is a total idiot, and almost everyone over 50 is contemptible. Hong Ji Hong is just plain weird, but it was hard to see at first because he is just sooooo damn hot.
Remember the phone booth kiss from QIHM? How we treasure it? They ruined it. There's barely any JiSoo, it doesn't look like Kim Rae Won is ever gonna get naked, Park Shin Hye is back to acting like kissing someone will give her Herpes...I dunno. Even KRW looked like a virgin teen who thinks he might actually prefer ANYTHING to a woman, when choosing a romantic partner. And yet, I fully intend to watch next week.
Cannot watch anything with PSH. Sorry. And I'm also sorry I saw the clip of that kiss because, well, as a connoisseur of Kdrama kisses, I'm at a loss to describe how sad it made me feel.
I saw it too. And I laughed so hard because of JoAnne
Last night I said that this kiss was so bad it probably sterilized anyone who saw it.
Who hasn't seen that kiss? I didn't like show, but now I'm actually mad it for sullying the perfect phone booth kiss memory.  How dare they!
Thank you for NOT posting a gif of it and horrifying and saddening millions of our squeeglets! [shudders] Just that interminable 5-second clip is enough to sending me running, even if I planned to watch it, which I didn't.

Beautiful Mind

There's Jang Hyuk (even with that hair cut) - do we need anything else? Damn, the man can act. I don't think I've seen him act like this before. All that other stuff was easy in comparison to this character! So deliciously complex, so vulnerable, so perplexed at humans. I'm deeply fascinated by this character and the open wound he carries. I'm intrigued by the idea that he learned how to imitate people around him to blend in - and I'm appalled by this man who calls himself "father", who "trained" him like an animal.
My heart is breaking for this poor man. He has been betrayed by everyone that mattered to him and the shock of it is almost more than he can process.
His whole world is breaking apart. He has trained for so long to be able to function normally by imitating people. His whole being is dependent on "reading" people. He was betrayed on that fundamental point by a woman he cared for in his own way. It's life-shattering. Add to that a woman who wants her husband dead. Dead! He cannot compute. Cannot.
Jang Hyuk's acting here is a tour de force, and I hope he gets some credit for it since the show's ratings are so low. Despite everything I hate about the portrayal of most of the other characters, I am really enjoying how the show makes us clearly question what it means to be monstrous vs. what it means to be humane. Sure, Young-Oh is the person who supposedly can't relate to other people's feelings, but what about the others? Is his dad or Assistant manager Kang or even Min-Jae less monstrous than he? I was wondering how they were going to possibly make me care about our silly Ji-Sung. Well that betrayal at  end of ep 5 did it.
The drama has started to call him monster - to make us think about who the real monster is, of course. A man who cannot feel or empathize vs. seemingly "normal" people who do all kinds of horrible things. Why should a man with his disorder not be a good doctor? Is the ability to feel someone else's pain a prerequisite for being one? All we have seen of him is a strong desire to heal people. That desire is genuine. Due to his illness, he has a gift; he sees things a normal doctor would not see.
It's clearly not true that he is unable to feel things. I also can't wrap my head around a complete inability to care for others. It seems to me that he does care about his father and about Min Jae, because they hurt him. If he didn't, it wouldn't be possible to hurt him. (I agree. I was thinking this as well. If he was clearly a sociopath, than he wouldn't give a rats ass about Min-jae. he wouldn't be so stung by her betrayal or want to prove his dad wrong.)I keep asking myself how I would feel in her shoes - would it matter to me how he made his decisions to react or respond to me, as long as he made decisions that made me feel loved or supported or understood? Is his response less true for being learned rather than instinctive? He's not 'faking it', not in the sense that he wants to make you think he feels one way, when instead he feels another. This is the response he wants to make, that he WOULD make, if he could.This is the attention and caring that he wants to give. He said to her that he would never be the first to let go of her hand, and I trusted that commitment. He wasn't studying her like she was a bug.
Wow, that part was so HARSH. She used him as a study object to advance her career. So COLD.  
I also wondered about this because we all "learn" how to respond to situations based on how we are raised; which is why there are differences in behavior between cultures.  What is the difference between how he behaves towards her than how I learned that I needed to respect people even if I don't like them.  Can those people be mad at me later if I treated them civilly or even well and they find out later I didn't like them? Why did she keep up the pretense for so long then? Is she any different from he by using him for her research?)
He was using his considerable talent to interpret her behavior and respond to her appropriately. It's genuine because it's the response he wants to give. His behavior is not a lie, it's just that his decisions to act a certain way are more conscious than ours might be.  And again, I fail to see how a neurological issue makes him a monster and I question any parent that would label and continually beat down a child for something that they cannot help.
Does he feel? Can he feel? We don't know at this point. But what ARE feelings? Chemical processes, actually. What is someone who does not feel but can read people's feelings and then react to it by choice missing? I will have to think about that.

Lucky Romance 

Don't like that second lead guy that everyone gushes over, so this one was out for me, too. Although I was happy to hear that a Korean American singer I recently became familiar with through some unusual connections (Jae Jin) is part of the background music. Still not enough to make me watch, though.
The music in this IS good, but there's so much more. The main couple is just too cute for words, happy in love.  Even now that we're in the part where he loses everything, his main concern is that she not feel like it's her fault.  And it isn't, really, and his attitude toward the misfortune is admirable.  It's just things, and if he did it once, he can do it again.  He has faith in his own abilities and he's focused on what's important in this world.  I'm also enjoying the friends couple, Mr. Coffee and Dal Nim.  And I love that Amy and Dal Nim are buddies, that neither of them allowed being disappointed in love to make them mean or bitter, and that Gary immediately rallies to the side of Su Ho even though they're romantic rivals (in his mind...in reality, he never stood a chance.)  There's just a whole lot in this drama to cheer for.
I like the 2nd lead actor but his part here was wasted. I hope they play up the bromance though now that our OTP is in a bad place. Didn't like end of this week's episodes. I don't always hate the car of doom trope (see Time Renegades--really, you guys should watch this movie even though we don't get all the answers we need from the time trope), but I thought it wasn't necessary at all here.


I just can't bring myself to do it, watch that second ep...
I'm caught up. My problem is that I feel like I may only read recaps because I find the premise and the kidnapper's tricks intriguing but I don't really care about any of the characters enough to actually watch them figure anything out. I just want to find out what happens.  I've watched shows where the plot has made me crazy if I like the people. I do not know why I don't even find the mom's plight compelling enough for me to keep watching her though I am worried about her son now that everyone knows he's a chaebol heir.

Five Children 

I realize they needed to get married before the end of the drama but now I'm kind of yawning. I'm much more interested in reading about people suspecting that Sung Hoon's and Sweet Pumpkin's relationship is real.
We're almost there! I can see the finish line! (Barely, through my tears...) I'm almost grateful that I'm so shocked at the ex-in laws behavior because it distracts me from the misery on Sang Min and Yeon Tae's poor faces. I know they'll be together again in the end and I just keep repeating that to myself. In the mean time I guess I can feel aggressive about how shitty Sang Min's mom is to him? Plus, I'm a little bit siding with the in laws who think Sang Tae's high and mighty 'my kids have to live on my money' comes a few years too late. He was happy to take it before and his attitude now IS a slap in the face, although I understand his reasoning. He's not going about it the right way at all, though. I can see him not wanting the kids to feel separated by money, but ease into it, dude. This way you are guaranteed resentment and hurt feelings and rebellion.

Beautiful Gongshim 

I'm so heartbroken over the bromance break up. At every turn, both men intend to make choices that show how much they care about each other, and then outside forces interfere. They keep making it look like Joon Soo turns evil, but he's not evil. I don't think he'll do that. I think he's going to make some bad decisions out of love for his mother, but in his heart, he really wants to do the right thing. So I think he will, in the end. I just hate that Dan Tae is going to spend any time thinking Joon Soo would try to kill Dan Tae's father.
I know, right? Poor Joon Soo has had a lousy life with GrannyAss always telling him he's a useless creature who killed the only thing she ever loved. And now that he's found peeps he can hang out with and feel good about himself, EvilUncle just mucks everything up. I hope hope hope Dan Tae uses that stuff between his ears to realize that his new bromance buddy doesn't have the capability to any of this bad stuff. I mean, when he was kidnapped, JS was all of , what, 5? JS has no reason to hurt DT's dad, and JS's mom would never set up her own son as the pasty. Sheer process of elimination leaves only one scumbag left. 

Mirror of the Witch 

Playing a little bit of catch up on this one from last week. The king's scene, where he confesses that being the king was never his choice, that it's hard, but that he tried to do a good job and all he ever got in return was ridicule, distrust, mistreatment - that hurt. I felt so bad for him. But confession is good for the soul! He's now cured, at least, and on the side of the good guys. I hope that makes up for Poong Nyeon who's just an all around idiot, I guess.
Is this still as good? It seems people's raving has lessened a bit
It's not that it's dragging, exactly, because it always moves quickly, but I could do with a couple fewer episodes of Hong Joo managing to escape at the last minute so that the good guys have to start over again. But otherwise, there's always something that's more than what you thought it would be, it's still gorgeous, and I still love our central trio, plus they have a way of bringing people to their side.  The Queen Dowager is with them now, as is the cured King, and even Poong Yeon - although in the case of both him and the King, they have their reasons and thus can do things that go against what you'd want them to do. Dad Monk is still a zombie husk but he continues to fight and has moments where he is in control of himself.  Hong Joo has set it up so that if she dies, he dies (again) immediately. (Also so that if she dies, the princess curse can never be lifted.) It guarantees her safety because Heo Jun/Poong Yeon/Queen/Dad Monk/Shaggy want the princess to live and the princess wants Dad Monk to live. 

Dear My Friends (Finale) 

Nan Hee lives, though they go to great pains to make you think she dies in surgery. Hee Ja goes from occasional forgetfulness and midnight rambling to incontinent, overnight. Suk Gyun learns how to be a decent husband, which was very sweet to watch. YeonHa and Wan are together at least some of the time, and they seem happy. There's camping for the old folks and everyone keeps making plans for the future. We get it, show. Old people are still alive, too. I loved the stories, I did. Don't get me wrong. But episode 16 was interminable. I'm sure a lot people liked it, I think I was just feeling impatient.
This is one of the very few dramas I finished recently, although I found it often times annoying and depressing due to cultural differences that I couldn't relate to. I couldn't resist Jo In Sung in it, though, and finished for him. Am I horrible to say I hoped Nan Hee died and Wan got to move to that absolutely gorgeous city in Croatia with YeonHa? Because they needed to make some beautiful babies. Although given the relationship with her mother, maybe she didn't want any. That being sad, there were some very touching moments in the drama.

Squad 38 

As of the end of episode 6, Squad 38 rocks. We've concluded the Ma Jin Seok arc, and now that our good-hearted swindlers (you knew they were) understand what's at stake for Baek Sung Il they're planning to go all the way - every tax evader on Team Three's list! The corruption in Town Hall runs deep, though, and I'm sure it won't be easy since they'll be fighting against their own department members as well as the tax delinquents. I am so ready for the twists and turns!
This show is now fun. I really needed to get over the hump of the team building phase. But is it just me? I worry about Sooyoung because she is so incredibly thin--like I'm walking but my bones might break and I'd crumple to the ground because I don't have enough flesh to keep my skeleton together thin.
And now that I've seen 7 and 8, holy crap.  Fun caper took a turn for the serious FAST, didn't it?
I've developed a weird liking for the actor who played Ma Jin Seok, Oh Dae Hwan. I've seen him in three things back to back and he's a bad guy in all of them and yet, I like him. They make him a bad guy because of his appearance, but he's a pretty good comic actor as well. I also noticed Inspector Park - played by very very new (apparently: only 2 credits including this, and both in 2016) Kim Joo Hun.

Far Away Love

Here's a new one for me this week: Coming off his role in the dubious Cheese In The Trap, Park Hae Jin is the lead in this mainland CH drama. While I am no fan of the complete dubbing so prevalent in these productions, after a while, at least in this case, it stops bothering me as much. This show is great for chick cliques, some strong female roles, and a nice, if predictable plot. Rich guy with Dragon Lady mother railroads a 28 year old woman with a 15 year old son into a contract marriage. Yeah, this show doesn't break any new ground, but the interaction between our 20-something contingent are delightful to watch. A bright, brash woman with a penchant for really strange boyfriends; a graceful quiet professor's daughter; a local IT techie and son of a restaurant owner; a shy guy who made it big in dotcom companies, and our Candy. It's 36 episodes, only 26 which have been subbed as of this date. But the translators are still plugging away, so I'm crossing my fingers for a quick completion.
So many people talking about this over the weekend, I started to give it a look. I didn't get far because it was late and past my bedtime, but it was enough to make me think I'd come back to look again. I'm a sucker for Park Hae Jin, yes, but I also liked the lead and her friends. Plus now I'm curious whether her son is a short-haired Fei Liu or I was just tired and my eyes were blurry.



I am judging you hard right now, Preacher. WTF?!