26 December 2016

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Rants and Weekly Raves #119 (RAWR)

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on December 26, 2016
kakashi: Happy Holidays, everyone! I hope you all have full bellies and lots of time for dramas. :) And if not, then I hope you have full bellies and lots of fun with friends and family.
Shuk: I'm still meeting friends for lunches and things. Good times! It's nice to catch up with people when our lives are so busy.
JoAnne: Jin Dong with a big gun!

Korea

Love for a Thousand More

Trotwood: I finished this show this week, and I liked it so much that I'm seriously considering doing mini recaps. We have our thousand year old love counselor given counseling advice to the person who is in love with the guy who is in love with her. Of course, they have a past. Of course, she is worried about her secret. Of course, we have a 2nd lead that makes more sense than the real lead. And her modern hanboks are to die for. It's short (10 episodes at 15 minutes a piece) and actually quite poignant. Sorry to say I was moved by this short show more than some of the full-length shows I watched in 2016.
I liked this also - it was a fast, easy watch and just as poignant as Trot describes. It would have been fine if it just left at that, but you guys - there's a big twist at the end and it flips the story totally.  I want more. MORE.

Seven First Kisses

I have to hand it to this girl, she dreams good. This time, her Prince Charming is Ok Taecyeon, the heir to some conglomerate or other. My favorite moment: they're confronted by his family-sanctioned fiancee and at a crucial point, Korean Bill Clinton shows up with a glass of water on a golden platter (in the middle of a store) just so that 'Laura' can throw her rich girl tantrum glass of water. Then the MIL shows up to make her rant, and here's Korean Bill Clinton again with his golden platter - this time bearing an entire cabbage's worth of kimchi.
Taec is cute and all and he wears the hell out of a suit, but I'm still going with Park Hae Jin first. Taec is probably second, though. Our final daydream will star the King of Puppies himself, Lee Jong Suk. Will he topple the reigning favorites?
I love how she is catching on and even when she gets fed up with the makjang, she's not leaving without her kiss. I agree with your order for now though. I thought this ep was the funniest because they directly played with the tropes, and the evil potential MIL is an actress who often plays the evil MIL in dramas. Still, I'd pick Park Hae Jin's character, which surprised me because that is not the ranking I expected I'd have going in.

Hwarang (New)

I like the Queen. She's ruthless enough to freak out her own son.
Man, the hair! But no, I'm not watching. 
It was oddly amusing, and not in the accidental way. I don't think. I've watched both episodes and all I can safely say at this point is that the teasers and stills that even I couldn't avoid seeing don't seem to have been an accurate representation. That doesn't mean, though, that the show won't be just as bad as they promised - it just means it won't be bad in the way that they promised. Don't get me wrong, though, because I found quite a bit that I did enjoy in the introductory episodes. I'm just not convinced it will be sustained, or that they really have a handle on how to exploit the quirkiness. That being said, Go Ara has been pleasantly un-histrionic, Kwang Soo's cameo role was great right up until he died/was dying, I do not hate Park Seo Joon or Hyun Sik in sageuk hair, and the Queen's Henchman is a fine, fine man.

Legend of the Blue Sea 

I like this show comfortably. Meaning, it touches me or makes me laugh as I watch, and then I'm able to let it go until the next episode. We seem to be entering High Angst, though, so I don't know if that will continue. Our lovers openly love, now, so of course it's time to hit them with as many obstacles as possible. I really do enjoy the reincarnation aspect the most, I think, and then for side stuff it's a toss up between Joon Jae's snarky mom and the friendship between Yoo Na and Sim Cheong.
I have no objections to what you are saying. It's pleasant enough, but absolutely not memorable

Weight Lifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo 

Oh, these sweet babies. Confessions have been made and secrets are coming out! This, too, is an easy show, but I will admit that the fledgling romance between Joon Hyeong and Bok Joo does come into my mind between episodes. I'm very fond of these kids and their friends, with their joys and their problems both large and small.
Even though the end of ep 12 was "magical" (I'm quoting from tlist), I'm still mad at you guys for not warning me that I was going to cry for a whole bunch of it. I really do care about theme. They are really nice kids who are just trying to get through. I don't even hate the gymnast girl and feel sorry for her real struggles. I wish she had some friends like Bok Joo has but it was telling how the show set up the different teams and what the coaches say to them before the break. That gymnastic coach is not breeding a group that is going to be happy with themselves enough to be a team an give each other support. If there is someone I dislike, it's her. And can I say that the person I wanted to give a big old smooch to in this ep was Thighs. Sorry for his past but also love how he was so happy hearing his brother confess.

Oh My Geum Bi 

I have inhaled episodes 2 through 10 at this point and have every intention of keeping this as a must-watch, now. I'm not sure I've ever seen a K-Drama with such a sad story handled in such a straightforward way. I could hardly call it a melodrama, honestly, although that's definitely what it is. If you aren't watching, Geum Bi is a kid you love right away. The adults around her are ALL fucked up, each in their own way, but aren't actually 'bad' people in the way that you expect a drama about criminals and cons and custody fights to be. There are back stories here, and compassion, even, for pretty much everyone. What I like is that these flawed people try to do better, over time, for this little girl who loves them and just wants to live what life she has like every other kid she sees.

Goblin

*Start rant* I was so, so bored with episodes 5 and 6. It's all very pretty, even beautiful, and the shenanigans make me smile occasionally, but I absolutely HATE when a production thinks their audience is satisfied with 2+ hours of "haha, look, they're so silly and funny"! In German, this is called "Verarschung". KDrama very often simply verarscht us and this is really the core of my problems with it. Light entertainment is fine, I don't mind it, but I seriously want to feel that they're at least trying and not just throwing material at us to make more money. *End rant*
That seems a fair appraisal.  
I hate being verarschted.
I'll give you that this past week seemed to have us spinning in place a bit, but I'm not ready to say that this show has nothing for us to think about. I have plenty of questions. Has the Goblin's long, long life been a blessing or a curse? Who are we, if we can't remember who we are? Who is Sunny, really? DOES the Goblin actually have the hots for a 19 year old girl, and can she REALLY handle that sword? I could go on, but I think you get my point. Update: Stuff, it is a-happening. I loved Episode 7.
Are we there yet, are we there yet?! 7 and 8 progressed the story with baby steps and lots and lots of PPL ... it's still doing it, this drama. It's really boring me too much. It's not enough for me, this.
Oh, I thought 8 moved it along pretty nicely! The Goblin is fighting his fate, but the walls are (literally, at times) closing in. There are consequences for going against the natural order of things and we're beginning to see them play out. I still love this, and it can take as much time as it wants. For once, I'm not impatient.

Solomon's Perjury 

I'm stuck in a difficult spot. Yes, this is exactly what I had thought it might be, and seems like an all-around quality production. However, it took me allllll evening to watch the first episode, and I kept falling asleep during the second. Maybe it was just me last week. We'll see. Perhaps all the fluffy romance has rotted my brain? Or it might be that I was tired, and didn't want to work for my watch.

I hope they don't screw this up. This is exactly what I was looking for--actually, I thought it would be darker, but maybe we are getting to that. The pacing is very measured. I want to be surprised more (and not by trucks coming out of nowhere) but by who is doing what because right now they are making the good guys and the bad guys fairly obvious. I'm fine with this, but I want then to be surprised in how the students comes up with evidence for their case.

Father, I'll Take Care of You

Next on my watchlist as I huddle wrapped in blankets and muffled by cold medicine.  I might not get there in time to say anything but who knows.

Not Korea

Novoland

He is luscious. So luscious!
Certainly is! But there is now a walking, talking Bone Forming Flower person who look a lot like Jo Kwon...
I'm not quite there yet. Well, to be honest, I've seen her, because I did ffwarded through a lot of episodes to spoil and prepare myself, but pssst, don't tell my girl.
He's got this sort of overblown, heavy lushness to his features. Like a young Marlon Brando. It doesn't appeal to me.
You should see him in action. I wonder whether you would still say that
I was wondering that myself.

Stay With Me

Ohhhh, strong rumors that KaiKai is dating Qiaoen in real life! Awwwwww.... even if it's not true (cause of course, he's denying like crazy), they are adorable together. I would LOVE this, cause he is younger and he took a strong stance against calling unmarried women above a certain age "leftover women". The drama is a bit crazy though. Just like any daily soap. That said, I like his mother. I don't like any of the villains. The revenge story seems to make no sense at all, but who knows, the drama might yet surprise me. (For the time being, I have stopped watching somewhere around episode 15)
I'm not entirely sure I've even finished episode 1. You guys keep saying it turns fun but...

Candle In The Tomb

It's on Viki now! As soon as it gets subtitled, I'll start recapping. Which means I need to finish Old Nine Gates ASAP.
It's gonna be fun, fun, fun. Damn, Jin Dong. You even make a mullet look good.
Another Chinese drama that might not be a gazillion eps? If I start watching can I comment in your recaps? 
There will be 21 eps. And of course you can join in. The first recap is out and things get quite a bit scary in episode 3... Well, not for horror-seasoned people like JoAnne, of course.
Loved it! Can't wait to get scared!

The Princess Wei Young

It feels like ages since I watched this. No matter though, those million remaining episodes will still be there for me.

Behind Your Smile

Sweet Baby Jesus, Marcus will kill us all. If he keeps this up I'll need to buy a cotton plantation to keep myself decent. Lots of back-story has been revealed in the most recent episode, and there's been relationship progression on many fronts, all of them positive. Even with the crushing disappointment of learning that Zhao Yiting is not, after all, an immortal creature who toys with humanity until he meets our charming (if slightly dim) heroine - I like this show a lot.
I'm beginning to get all moony over his expressions, never mind the OvaryExplosive smiles. I actually grin whenever his eyes grow wide with confusion, either over Bambi's actions, or his own inexplicable decisions. And with everyone around her softening, I hope we can get to the bottom of her mother's mystery. 
Seriously, had to turn the fan on even though I made sure the furnace is already off. He is just burning up the screen. there is such a lack of oxygen left that it's hard for me to pay attention. I feel like the director is in love with him because he's so lovingly, lingeringly shot. I also liked the backstory for the brokenhearted bromance. I really hope he and the farmer guy become friends again when this is all over, but I think the farmer guy is going to get his heart broken. He is SO 2nd lead guy here. I love the friend the best though. My fantasy? that they leave her in a room with that annoying fiance of Marcus's to dole out punishment.
The cute girl who took her in as a roommate? I love her! And she's so feisty, too.

Nigeru wa Haji da ga Yaku ni Tatsu (We Married the Job)

Those of us who need subs are on the 2nd to last episode. Our hero has finally admitted that he wants to be with our heroine. They have some happy times together, but he finds out that he is going to be laid off. The irony? He was chosen because it was discovered that he isn't really married but that they are living like that so he can have a person do all the wife stuff (except the nighttime bit) right when he's become interested in trying the night time bit. His logical proposal is horrendous. Sigh. Of course she thinks that it's just for more convenience. But I am also loving how our other couple is shaping up. I didn't care about them before as a couple (liked them individually), but now I'm rooting for them.

IQ246

This week's episode was very good. With our hero set up framed for a murder we know he did not commit, it's up to our faithful sidekicks to break into action. I love how even some of his previous antagonists also try to find out evidence to clear him. Everyone agrees that he can be an ass, but he's definitely no murderer. Our heroine, Sato Wako's faith in him not only impresses him but also impresses Kensei who has sort of taken her under his wing. She really proves that faith and hard work can be a benefit to this team of geniuses. We, like Kensei below (Dean Fujioka who is rocking this role) thank her.
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