07 November 2016

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Rants and Weekly Raves #112 (RAWR)

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on November 07, 2016
kakashi: What are we going to do now that Moon Lovers is over?
Jaehyus: Find a good show. I recommend the Iron Empress. It's got a cohesive plot, excellent acting, and characters that make sense. Plus, it's about Gwangjong's daughter.
Never
JoAnne: Snail. We're going to do Snail.
Yes, I'm doing that. But that's much too short, JoAnne. It's already almost over. What then?

Korea

JoAnne's Wolf - The End! 

Yes, darling - it is:
And so it ends! I actually really liked the final episode (so let's forget episode 19 and many before it that I did not like at all) and that's not something I often say when it comes to Kdrama. It stayed true to the C-version more or less, but the small changes it did at the end worked for me. What got me the most was his loneliness. I am glad we did not go the usual "reincarnation"-route. And the one true emotion from her is her shock and remorse at the very end, when she realizes what she has done to him.  A bit late though, honey.
As much as I cried when she died, and even though I understood why she made her choice, I hated her. She never mattered to me the way he did, of course.
To say the love-story worked for me overall would be a lie though. All the elements for an epic love story that utterly destroys you (in a good way) were there, but Lee Jun-ki just wasn't enough to bring this home.  
On this point, I disagree. I don't think we got to see everything we needed to see, but I don't think that had anything to do with the actor.
Sorry for not expressing myself clearly enough. I take ZERO issue with him as an actor. This is his best performance to date and I enjoyed it through and through. No, I wanted to say that he (and to some extent Kang Ha-neul's performance) alone was not enough to save this drama from having to be rated as mediocre at best.
So, I get what this drama wants to show us in theory: A tortured love that was always doomed. A seat of power that destroys all the love, always. Him taking the throne (in part because of his love) destroys that love. Hae Soo cannot be with a person that serves this type of power, it is her nemesis. So yes, I get that she had to leave and it is obviously the only thing she can do if she does not want to suffocate and ulimately die. It has killed all the other women too.
But I take HUGE issue with how this struggle is shown ... or rather, not shown. IU was unable to convince me of any inner turmoil. She was actually unable to convince me she ever loved So the way she claims she does/did. Agreed. Writing that you love someone just does not count - it's in the actions. And her actions tell me different things: almost every decision she made was anti-So. And that is why her decision to leave him feels like treason. It's just the easy way out for an egoist who has wrecked history by her stupidity and is not ready to bear the consequences. She retreats, she dies ... she never even repents. No, Hae-soo was horribly, horribly written. And sadly, not well acted on top of that.
It's no secret to anyone that So's story affected me. That he was alone, that he stayed alone, that he never found again the love he wanted so desperately...the ending was as cruel as it possibly could be. I don't even really want to talk about this, I guess.  
Apparently, they filmed the C-drama reincarnation scene but decided to cut it. Why? No one will ever know. Anyway, for me, it was entirely clear that his last sentence meant he will reincarnate and go looking for her, so I wasn't that sad. 
I would have loved to have trusted that, but I didn't. In fact, it made me even more sad, because the fact that we didn't see them reunited made me feel like he did not succeed. I know that living with hope is supposed to be better than not, but what about his feelings on his death bed, having waited his entire life for something he never found?
In the C-Drama, it happens RIGHT after she sees the pictures with her in it. So, in this version, it would have happened RIGHT after the drama stopped :D As for reincarnation, I guess you never know in your lifetime whether it happens the way you image it will. So yes, he would have been sad and bitter his ENTIRE life. Seeing them meet again in the present would have been consolation for us viewers only but never for him
Excellent point. Thank you for continuing my streak of Monday crying for my wolf, I guess.

Entourage (New)

Who has time? I don't think I do. I loathed the US version, so I'm not sure I'd like this anyway.
I don't have time at the moment, but I actually LOVED the US version, I watched almost all seasons. It was really well written for the most part. 
When we first heard this news, I thought to myself that it was an odd choice for Korean television, and then when the first two episodes came out, I heard that they weren't well-received, so no surprise there. I checked it out anyway, despite it only being available in places I don't normally watch - and I haven't changed my mind. I am not fond of a lot of the musical cues, nor do I particularly like this rather frenetic filming style - and I didn't watch a ton of Entourage to begin with, so perhaps that holds true to the original and I just don't remember it. Otherwise, it does seem to be pretty much what I remember, and pretty much what I was expecting, and not necessarily bad at any of it. Just not something I'd imagine Korea would see much of on their TV screens, you know? The guys seem decent. Loyal to each other, a bit out of their depth. I did like how the 'star' always seems intent on being true to himself and not wanting to just grab at any old thing.

Be Positive / Positive Physique (New, Webdrama)

6 episodes à 10 minutes! Manageable. And really cute. D.O. is good at acting (not sure why I'm still surprised by this, it's not like I see him for the first time) and everybody else is decent too. I have managed to watch 2 episodes before my current tiredness got to me. It's about a film student who will get financial support for his first movie IF he is able to get a famous actress (now on hiatus) to perform in it (she's from the same school). It so happens that she is his ex-girlfriend.

Something about 1%

I started watching this from episode 5 onwards (I have limited time at the moment) and I see why everybody adores this. It's like those typical Kdramas we all started out with, when Kdrama watching was still new, exciting, and easy. On top of that, it has good kisses and a man who is obviously horny as hell for his leading lady (oups, sorry, I mean madly in love with her), who isn't opposed at all to tasting this man. I don't often like female characters in Kdrama, but she is very likeable. And she has totally tamed him. Now a bit of angst, of course. But we'll manage. 
Adorable, just the whole thing between the two of them. They're so ridiculously cute with each other. I'm going to hate this Joo Hui though. Tae Ha, the supposed second male lead - he just doesn't do anything, really. But his parents, ugh.
Trotwood: I hate that Joo Hui, too. GO AWAY. But this show just makes me happy. I hope it doesn't go down the angst road now that the 2nd leads are starting to step up. Although I'm wondering if the cousin is all bad. he seems to be suspicious of his own father (as he should) and resentful that he's merely a tool for his parents.

This Week My Wife Will Have An Affair

Let's just call it, "This Week." Too long, too mouthy a title otherwise. So, I watched the first two episodes because no more Fo Ye and Gang, and Ice Fantasy is on Wednesdays and Thursdays now, a fact I completely forgot while away, and so This Week got a shot. 
Reader, it sucks. I don't believe a word of it, and the best comedy is based on truth. This show expects us to believe a man so deeply in love with his wife, who sees ambigous texts on her phone, would not ask who the guy was, why that guy will wait for her, why the hotel et cetera? And, this show expects us to believe that he would automatically assume she was cheating instead of just asking her what that was all about.
You don't like it, but that doesn't mean it sucks. The Voice is neurotic, for sure. It feels a bit like some of the movies from the 50s or 60s where someone jumps to a conclusion and runs with it, often to an extreme, with ensuing hijinks possible. Not my favorite kind of humor - in fact, not particularly funny at all if it lasts too long. But still, it doesn't suck.  
The rest of the characters are just as weakly drawn. I just don't believe or care about any of their situations. At most, I would like to see the lovely lawyer's wife and her charming cousin catch him in the cheating act and throw him out without a penny, but not enough to keep watching. And, come to think of it, there is a cute boybander in the mix, and I think he's from Boys Republic (warning, there's a decapitated head in that video), but I'm not sure. But he doesn't show up enough or even say anything much (1 line in 2 episodes) for me to keep watching for him either. Instead, I can just go watch Boys Republic videos (no decapitated head this time). 
One bright spot: Lee Sang Yeob turning his eternally sad face on its proverbial ear and playing an overemotional, super tear-prone hoobae to the potential cuckold, just really taking it personally that his sunbae's wife might be cheating on him. Very funny.
I liked him, too. But I don't really like anyone but that character in the picture above. No one talks to each other but around each other all the time. I'll probably just read recaps to find out what happens.
I'm not watching. Has anybody here seen the Japanese original? How does it compare?

Jealousy Incarnate

Everyone except JoAnne has dropped this in the meantime. Methinks this is another one that got killed by being too long. 
Agreed. Way too long. I was surprised there was more after episode 16.  
Not true. Several of us are still watching. We gather in a dusty corner in a forgotten lounge and huddle over someone's tablet, trying to be discreet.

And why the dislike, really? It remains a superbly well-acted and filmed drama. I guess a lot of people were offended that she waffled between the two men and then chose Hwa Shin over Jung Won. Oh well. If you went into this thinking she might not choose Hwa Shin, I don't know what to tell you. He was always going to be her choice. Hwa Shin isn't an easy person, true. But we don't always love easy people, and he's relatable, not evil. None of them are evil. All of them are relatable. I've found this entertaining all the way through. It could be a few episodes shorter, of course.

On the Way to the Airport

Dropped it. I'm sure it's very nice, but I'm not in the mood.
Not dropped. This week, it's "meet the spouses" time. The drama continues to be excellent, through and through. There is nothing to complain. I know, it's kind of sad that that should be an indicator for how good a Kdrama is, but beyond that, the drama continues to do everything right, with two episodes left next week. Acting, directing, cinematography, script. All excellent. 

Not Korea

Lucifer

This is getting better and better, keep it up, show! Guilty, tortured super vulnerable Lucifer is exactly what was needed to turn this from an okay into a must watch. 
Well, I've been a fan since Day 1, but I do see that they've dialed it up a notch this season. My favorite (paired) moment of this week: Maze's slightly wary sharing of her true face with Trixie and Trixie's immediate acceptance, vs. Lucy's resigned acceptance of Doc's demand to show his true self, and her resulting near-catatonic reaction.  

When a Snail ...

You actually have to pay a lot of attention to the dialogue to understand what's going on, lol. When I started on episode 4, I had basically forgotten everything that happened in the first three and I was really confused. I'm thrilled at how good this is though. Wang Kai is hotdamnsexy, but I might actually like Yu Heng (as Zhao Han) a tiny bit more. Because of the character, not the actor.
I liked him immediately, Zhao Han. I like all of them. It's kind of weird to see Wang Kai in a contemporary role, though.

Ice Fantasy

I still haven't watched the latter two episodes of this week's show because I'm scared Yan Da might die.  
Well...

The Good Place

The first season just ended, apparently - I finally got around to taking a look and watched all 9 episodes. Eleanor has died and gone to 'The Good Place' as engineered by Michael, who is described as an architect. Everything is perfect, except that it isn't. Eleanor shouldn't be there, and there's at least one other in the same boat, plus the whole construct is questionable. She enlists the help of her assigned soul-mate to teach her to be good, and trust me - hilarity ensues.

Westworld 

I have NO idea what this show is trying to tell us and I actually don't care. I read an article today who demands "answers". I disagree. This show is good because there are none. It's like a maze, a bad dream, a crazy ride. Each and every character is intriguing, even the side-side-side ones.
Dolores: I didn't want another damsel-in-distress story. I loved that. I vaguely remember from the original that basically everyone you think is bad (Ed Harris) isn't, and everyone you think is - at best - morally suspect (Anthony Hopkins) is quite a bit worse than you think. Whatever is going on (and I do want answers, yes) I love it.
There are the weirdest theories out there. So apparently, the light looks different in Ed Harris roles vs. the two guys and Dolores roles? And that signifies a different in TIME for some people. They're saying The Man in Black is actually the good guy, you know, of the two business men, just so and so many years later. Huh. 
I just read an article about that this morning, actually. Who's the little boy, then?
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