16 January 2017

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Rants and Weekly Raves #122 (RAWR)

Posted by JoAnne on January 16, 2017
kakashi: I really need to pick something else up besides Candle. I feel almost naked without anything more to watch.... Oh, wait! There are subs for Voice!
Trotwood: It's so obvious to me that the winter lull at work is over. Starting to get stressed about drama watching when drama watching is supposed to relax me. Doesn't help that I started watching Voice. I need something fun and warm to take the place of Weightlifting Fairy. Any suggestions?
JoAnne: Fun and warm? Not Korean, not until the beginning of February - and then I predict Strong Woman Do Bok Soon will fill that bill. Right now we could try Thumping Spike 2, or completed web series (6 episodes) called Choco Bank that stars Kai and is...um...a vehicle to teach youth about the financial services industry.

Korea

Hwarang

Love these pretty, silly, grumpy boys. Love the anachronistic scene styling, enjoy the petty squabbles, shipping my ships a little harder each week. The only sure bet for me at this point is Ban Ryu with Soo Ho's sister. I think it's just a matter of time before I'm shipping them hard. I like the awkward and uncomfortable but undeniable chemistry between Ah Ro and her Not-Bro. Each knows they're not siblings, and each for their own reasons would really love to be siblings - except that they both also dig each other as not-siblings. I think they'll work that out, probably, but then that leaves me a bit sad for Ji Dwi, the hidden king, because he genuinely likes her too, and that boy needs some cuddles.

Legend of the Blue Sea 

I'm watching this, screaming silently because it DRAAAAAAAAAGS things out so much. Another prroof that very often, sadly too often, KDrama cares nothing about script-writing and only about making money. Can this stop? I would like to note though that Lee Min-ho has really picked up the ball in this and I have nothing to complain about when it comes to his acting. Still not top-notch but on par with all the other handsome boys of his age. Is he off to the military after this?
Should be - if not now then very soon. I have been enjoying this drama but really, it should have ended here. The remaining episodes promise to be painfully filled with things I don't give a shit about, really.

Weightlifting Fairy, Kim Bok Joo (Finale) (Nooooooo)

Current mood: happy/sad crying, because this show and pretty much everyone in it was a consistent joy from beginning to end - and now it's over, leaving a gigantic hole in my Tuesday/Wednesday heart. They gave us pretty much the world's most adorable college couple, two solid families, great friends, minimal angst (seriously, it would barely last an episode and be resolved) and about the least amount of bitchy second lead that you can get away with. Sure, Lee Syung Kyung mugs a lot - but her Bok Joo was so cute and so sweet and so genuine in her enthusiasms and affections that it somehow didn't matter for me - and Big, as Joon Hyeong? Seriously perfect boyfriend. Gorgeous, supportive, affectionate, loyal...he was Bok Joo's biggest fan and never hesitated to show it. And in return, she was his. Sigh...I will miss them. A lot .
bcook: With Goblin only one episode this weekend I suddenly find myself with a lot of free time. I shall marathon this show over the weekend
I am feeling so sad that this show is over. it was such a warm and comforting show throughout with so many characters that I liked and would want to know and with whom I'd like to spend time. I feel like there should be an annual special to update us all on what their characters are up to and for us to see Bok Joo and Joon Hyeong's wedding. I've watched many dramas that I've enjoyed, but this (and 1% of Everything) are the rare gems that just made me feel warm and smile. A new drama wish for 2017 is to have more female 2nd leads like we had here. She could have easily become the stock crazy type but they made her human. It was also important for people to see how she chose to stop competing because it was not fun anymore.

Oh My Geum Bi (Finale)

Another feel-good winner for me, despite the sadness of a child with an ultimately fatal illness.  They don't really sugar coat anything, but if you're wondering if you have to watch that adorable Heo Jung Eun die - no, you do not.  This kid is absolutely one to watch, too.  I'm looking forward to her progress over the years. For me, the entire cast did a great job.  Oh Ji Ho as Mo Hwi Chul worked just fine despite his fabled limitations as an actor.  He seemed like this big, simple guy, a little out of his element as a dad but determined to give Geum Bi what she needs on this difficult journey.  He succeeds at it, and a whole lot of other people end up turning their lives around too.  It's comforting without being preachy and you end up caring about all of them.  I'm glad it ends when it does and I don't need more of the story, but I'll remember it for a long time.

Goblin 

Yesssss!!! and Noooooo!!!! How?! How? can you preface such sadness with such heat? What's supposed to happen with the next 3 episodes huh? huh? Standing ovation for the entire crew though.  They've worked really hard. I'm really looking forward to see how they finish this story off in the last 3 episodes. Will G.O.D give Goblin a break? Will he end up in ashes and then reincarnate? (Goodness if he has to die I hope this is what happens). Will Reaper run off with Chicken Queen?   
I have one word for what I watched tonight. Well I have a lot of words actually but I think 'daaaaaaaamn' will pretty accurately reflect how I'm feeling right now. Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn (that ghost is creepy.) Daaaaaaaaaaaamn (I feel bad for Wang Yeo and Kim Sun.) Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn (Kim Shin kissed that girl but good.) Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn (oh shit oh shit oh shit what NEXT?) No, seriously, what next ? Three hours is a lot of time to fill, you know, under the circumstances. I'm worried, but right now, Show? You have my heart. Boy, do you.
 

Solomon's Perjury 

This show gets better every week to the point that I am sorry that I didn't wait to marathon the whole thing. No, it is not as dark as White Christmas--and I only bring up the comparison because people I see are complaining about this. It, however, has its own tenor--peeling back layer after layer to reveal different and disparate connections. Unlike other dramas where you sometimes think the writer is just coming up with connections on the fly, the connections here seem very organic like there is a center of a complex truth that touches a variety of people and they become the layers on top of that truth with their own secrets and agendas. This week had more reveals and added more nuance to several of the characters. We finally get to know why So-Woo was so disgusted with the school and the big secret that Ji-Hoon's father is keeping. Nothing is at appears on the surface in this show, which is a good thing. (Sidenote: No coat watch. Seo-Yoon is only wearing two coats now)
I have only been able to watch the first of this week's episodes so far, but they sure got a few good surprises in there, didn't they?  I agree completely with Trot's descrption - this is one true onion of a story and I look forward to finally understanding all of the story.

Father, I'll Take Care of You 

Revenge Guy is getting more active; he's got plots moving now with the oldest son, the middle son, and the niece. That one is really mean; he's not only gotten her into business with the idea that he'll make her fail, but he's begun dating her, too. The switched cousins plot has only moved forward a tiny bit - Chang Soo's new mom has decided to make him over. And the Small/Tall couple: WELL. Crazy Wanna Be Girlfriend has gone over the edge completely, ignoring his very clear 'don't love you, won't love you, sorry, go away' message a couple different times now, so he's quit the business. Smart move, too, since we find out that Crazy Girl's dad doesn't actually like Sung Joon - he just wanted her to find a smart guy from an average family so that he could use him as his puppet once he 'retires.' Crazy didn't know that, though it seems Sung Joon did. OH! It's true, by the way, at least for now: Sung Joon IS the son of the dad and another woman. At least that's what Mom and Grandma have been led to believe. Something about the overly poignant music that plays when Sung Joon and Revenge Guy are together, though, makes me wonder.

Voice (New)

After episode 1: OMG this was hard to watch. The beginning is so brutal. All of it. The murder, how he learns of it. The court scene. And the kidnapping case as well, I was so tense I wanted to scream. This is going to be a hard watch if it continues this way! It's hard to say "I liked it", but I guess I did. There are only a few things I can criticize (a bit too much "have seen it before" when it comes to the police officer who's down and out after something horrible happens to him, also the rest of the police force seems a bit too familiar), but there is also something I really like: her. Finally a lead woman who is efficient, almost brutally so, dedicated, competent and completely unafraid. There is nothing frail or too womanly about her and I hope it stays this way!
It was one of the most painful opening sequences I've seen. You know what's going to happen with the mixed phone call and his good cheer about their success and his friend finding the body and having to make that call, the funeral when his team arrives to bow to her and then to him. Who cries this much in the first 15 minutes of the first episode of a drama and still want to watch? Me? And not because of Jang Hyuk because frankly he could do this role in his sleep. I'm not implying that he's phoning it in, but it's exactly the kind of painful  self-blame loose cannon kind of cop he would play; however, like Kakashi, I'm really liking her. Unlike many, I like Lee Ha-na. I've liked her even in shows I didn't like, and I'm liking her here. A Lot. If they turn her into another damsel in distress, there will be tables that will need to be flipped.
I will just say that I agree with both of you and offer this observation:  if it's going to end on the most cliff-hangeringly cliff hangers of all time like episode 1 did, let's do ourselves a favor and never watch until we know both episodes are available.
I'm not that will help because I just watched ep 2, and the cliffhanger is even worse!
I'm not entirely sure I want to continue

Not Korea

Candle in the Tomb

Loved it!!! Fatty getting more and more jealous of Bayi's attraction to Shirley... the old but brave professor... An Man Li (this guy is such a phenomenal actor)! The camels! Even the man-eater ants. I even loved them.
This looks really campy. Where are you watching? Maybe I should get on the chinese/taiwanese band wagon.
It's on viki (among other sites).
I liked this week's trio of episodes although there wasn't really any raiding to speak of. You guys were right that Shirley Wang is squirrelly! Which must mean Professor Chen is as well, since the story about dear old Dad involves him. Well, maybe. He wasn't on whatever expedition that was, that might not exist at all.
Did you watch raw episodes, Jo? Because I don't remember anything about dad not being on that expedition. 
I wasn't clear: Chen wasn't on the expedition where Dad got lost, if he is in fact Dad and is in fact lost. So it's not entirely certain that Chen knows Shirley is lying, if she is indeed lying. She could have shown up and said hey, so and so was my dad, and why would Chen have been suspicious of that?
Catching up now, and my rage against lack of sand prep so far is as much as my rage against lack of snow experience. And are they trying to make me dislike Fatty so I like Shirley more? Not going to happen. I can dislike both in equal measure.

Behind Your Smile

We are finally getting a bit of backstory of our pair. I always wondered from the beginning why he was willing to help her from the moment those puzzle pieces scattered in the rain. Everybody apparently is now on Team HotFaust, with maybe the exception of the punk troublemaker. She is still completely clueless about almost everything, but maybe that's her charm? Who knows, I'm in for our bromance battle brothers. Go roll in ze hay, boys!!
I loved that his actual first meeting with our girl, before he even knew who she was, shows that his immediate response to her was positive. And that when he is not being Revenge Personified, he really is a sweetie.

It took me an hour and a half to get through an hour show because I kept stopping to snip pics of our pantymelting hero. I agree, everyone is on his team now except him. Is it okay for me to say that I care nothing about the whole revenge plot, which is completely unlike me. I want them together. I also really want farmboy to be happy. he really shined in this episode, especially his love for his brother and his sense of justice.
There was so much sweet about this episode. That whole breakfast bit, and the bike rides to and from, they were really cute. Oh! Especially the part where he 'buys' 10 minutes of her not looking at him - and uses that time to stare at her to his heart's content (I was melting really. Oh yeah and how he laughed out loud when she told him she was just trying to rescue farmer boy from a mean girl and that's why she held his hand). Even in the abandoned shack on the mountain later, hiding from the bad guys - much of that was nice to see. When they relax, they are very good together. I did have to laugh that in all those hours he never thought to use his phone to call for help, and when she suggested it his immediate reaction was to hide it just so he could be with her a little while longer. And then they had to go and mess it up for themselves right when he was about to kiss her...which he, and she, and we, and all the Viki commenters, and probably God in Heaven himself desperately want to have happen.

Pretty Li Hui Zhen

Eh, not keen on it. I liked the Korean original a lot, and I miss Siwon's crazy smile, and this just isn't matching up. 
I'm enjoying it but only because I like the OTP and I fast forward through anything that does not include them. I think I would enjoy it more if they weren't dragging it out. The story doesn't need more episodes if they were going to add more to it, but this version really doesn't. I really liked the friendship in the Korean version, but they are making her friend really hard to like in this one.
I need to watch, because rumor has it that the show has a large Eiffel Tower sighting coefficient.

The Magic Star

Haven't come across it yet, not that I am looking very hard.

The General and I 

I don't really enjoy it...
Who said that the main actors were not on set that much and that there's tons of body doubles? Was that this show? Was that someone in the comments? Haha, that made me laugh
I liked the first episode but I haven't seen farther yet and I'm hearing worrisome things.

Emerald City 

In the second episode, we learn that the Wizard doesn't have quite the grip on things he would like to have, and that Dorothy's mother has been to Oz at some point. We also learn that Tip is no ordinary girl, although we don't really have an much of an idea of her yet. I like this, but it does seem to move slowly.

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell 

I saw the first episode and ooooooooooh. I like it. Mr. Norrell is a strange-looking little duck, isn't he? I had completely forgotten the plot, too, so this will be quite enjoyable.
I feel like re-watching. Did I say this last week already?

Diamond Lover 

Damn, but Luo Jin is cute. Even I ship him over My Beloved, at this point. I can see why the show broke drama law and turned him into that rarest of creatures, The Second Lead Who Gets the Girl. Not that I will see that, as I am watching the version where natural law prevails and Rain gets the girl no matter what, just because he is Rain. Example: My Lovely Girl. The whole damn world knows that L and Krystal should have been end game. The show didn't even try to sell My Beloved to us, they just said 'Hey, he's Rain. He gets her. What? You don't need a reason. He's RAIN.' That was the plot, basically. I guess it will be here, also ?
I wonder if I should try it?  It's not the sort of story that I like. 
I've still only seen the first episode. The girl starts out fat, works for Rain's company, has a crush on him, gets fired (totally unrelated), gets hit by a van on her way home, has to have her face totally reconstructed and oh-by-the way loses a ton of weight while in the hospital, then gets released. Because her OLD boss is looking for her, she decides to move in with adorable best friend, a playboy gynecologist. He of course is going to fall for her, because she is now of course gorgeous and was always talented and adorably cute. She gets a job working for Rain's company again but of course no one recognizes her. Rain is not popular with his board and has 3 months to raise sales a certain amount (jewelry company) or he gets fired.  He has a fake romance with the company spokes model, a mid-level actress on her way up.  She will, of course, fall for him. That's how much I know so far. So far I'm staying because seriously, the interaction between Luo Jin and Tiffany Tang is smile-inducing and, you know, there's My Beloved. But it's nothing original, just a zippy (so far) pretty ball of fluff. Update: I slipped and fell down and have somehow watched all 5 episodes without realizing and I'm having fun. Now to wait for 6 and 7 to be subbed.

Novoland 

Finished! Sad that I am. I only watched the happy ending and refuse to watch the sad one ... until it's time to recap it. 
I'm done, too, and I accidentally saw the sad ending thinking it was the happy ending, and man was I confused - and pissed off. Then I saw the happy ending and actually, it felt rushed and trite. I was happy, but I suppose narratively speaking the sad ending is 'better.' 
Yeah, they only made the happy version after too many fans complained, haha
I still don't understand why this one particular thing happens the way it does, but we can talk about that when we get to that point in the recap.  I see from the comments that Zhang Ruo Yen's other dramas aren't subbed so now how do I figure out if it's him or the Wingkind Emperor that I loved so much? P.S. Just had a mental image of the end of the sad ending and yeah, I definitely like it better...but I wish there was more for us to watch.
He's in WuXin the Monster Killer.  
And I did want to watch that, but didn't have time while it was airing.
I started but the female lead annoyed me a lot. I'll restart
I'm gonna, too. I can't say goodbye to Zhang Ruo Yen yet.
 

Princess Weiyoung

Never got here this week, anyone else?

IQ246

I know many on my twitter feed were disappointed in the finale, and I can see why. It was slow and spent far more time with the villainess than I think anyone cared to do. We still had the great camaraderie and all the wonderful side characters got to participate. I loved how they all helped the genius retain his humanity to the last through their loyalty and thoughtfulness. I'm actually hoping that the ratings were high enough to warrant another season. The finale left enough set up for that. And I would watch more episodes to see the team interacting and solving mysteries together. Oh yes, and Dean in glasses and vests doesn't hurt either.
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