Rants and Weekly Raves #147 (RAWR)

Trotwood: Being in Korea now has helped with my drama watching. Vacation in a place that is 13-hours ahead of where I work means that I can actually be ahead of work and stay up on dramas AND do touristy things. I can even see some shows right when they are airing, which is actually a bit of a problem if you don't want spoilers. I also got to watch Sung Hoon on I Live Alone. Boy, he needs some roommates. Eating cereal out of the cereal bag from the box? I can't decide if I felt admiration (for his dexterity) or sad that he didn't want to take energy to get bowl (and was eating that much cereal at a time).
SakiVI: I'm back!
JoAnne: I never went away!
kakashi: I'm here but not here! And soon, I'll be on holidays with little internet, but I bet you won't even notice.
Shuk: Yay! I finally have a brief moment to jump in with my opinions on shows that everyone else is watching. I feel like I'm back in the fold again, a tiny tiny bit. Still not really interested in any other current SoKor dramas besides Water God.
I've lost track - are we going to be doing Advisor's Alliance?
Decision pending - I haven't seen it yet


Fight My Way

Geeeeeeeeeeeeeeez we get not one, not two, not three, but potentially FOUR threats to the happiness of Dong Man and Ae Ra? Friction over his fighting, who the hell is the Landlady, what the hell is her foster son Nam Il planning, and now DEAF? Okay, I can't deal. Let's talk about Joo Man. After this week, I am solidly in the camp that this is not a bad guy, that he genuinely loves Seol Hee, that he messed up but in a completely human way, and his feelings are 100% understandable and yes, they have justification. Living with someone like Seol Hee is exhausting. God, yes, she's an angel sent to Earth but Christ, could you assert yourself occasionally? Could you stop insisting that you want nothing at all but whatever it is you have at the moment? It makes your partner the bad guy, Seol Hee, just for being a normal human being. It may be the truth that you are completely happy with whatever scraps of life you get handed, but it's not a good truth. You need to be more invested in your life than that. You're not fucking planckton, for pete's sake. Go out there and find something YOU want. Eat something YOU like. Also, props to Ye Jin for making a genuine apology. At least now you know you were a snot-nosed little fetus of a bitch, Ye Jin. People aren't dolls for you to fuck with. Now go away .
Since I've been accused of writing paragraphs and encouraging/motivating people to write paragraphs about this show (and not necessarily in a positive tone), I was going to be light on the comments. But Jo went first, so I feel free. Thanks, Jo. I like Seol Hee. I don't think she is as much of a doormat as people are making her out to be. I also don't think she is an angel. If she were, AeRa and Dong Man wouldn't be so afraid to tell her about their relationship nor would she have made that comment initially to Ae Ra about how she hopes she doesn't go further with Dong Man. Should she have stood up for herself more? God yes. Should she have asked for more in the relationship and thought about what she wants? Of course. But to blame her for what Joo Man did really rubs me the wrong way. He is crying and crying (one of the highlights of my week mind you despite the fact that I also went to Busan and did a zipwire--I will remember this week as the week in which he cried a river) because he knows that he is to blame. Is he evil? No. Do I hate him? No, but to blame them both equally? He is the one who broke the promise of their relationship to be loyal to the other; not Seol Hee. If he was tired of her, then he should have said so and left. His excuse is the same as every cheater on the planet--boredom, exhaustion, etc. Then leave; don't cheat.
My main worry though is that this show has jumped the shark into makjang territory--deafness, birth secrets, crazy ex-friends? 
Re Seol Hee and Joo Man's responsibility: if you are only looking at the things he did that drove her to leave him then no, there's not equal responsibility. But that is a pin point on a graph of activity, and I am looking at the graph, not the pinpoint. And as for us writing too much? If I feel so moved, I will write a book. I am not at all offended at the idea that someone might skip a section. In fact, I've always assumed people do, depending on what their interests are.


I am so anxious watching this show that I sometimes fastforward just to see if people are dead or in jail and then I go back to watch what actually happens.  It is not a perfect drama, but it has so many layers in characters and plot that I applaud whoever is doing the writing on this.  He/she/they are quite good. Every single actor is pulling his or her own weight, and it makes me really invested in the revenge and in their tragedies and in their punishment.  My blood pressure skyrocketed with this week's changes to the witness pool. I was just as shocked each time as everyone else in that hearing room. I'm curious to know about Eun Joong's dad. But of course, we all need to know whether the creepy kid is going to be able to kill again, and now that Soo Ji has turned herself in, whose going to stop this now?!?!
Oh my GOD this week was nervewracking. I love this show and everyone in it. I love the good guys because awww, so lovable! the morally gray guys because my heart goes out to them in their struggle, and yes, even the bad guys - but not really the bad guys, more the actors playing them. Everyone is doing such a great job selling their roles, really. I'll be thinking about this one a long time, and I expect big things for Kim Young Kwang and Lee Si Young after this, in particular.

Bride of the Water God (new)

Better than expected. Slyly funny, but in a mild way. Pretty coherent universe, for now. Gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous. I'll be back next week.
As much as I love the manhwa (and I'm disappointed at the 'modernization' of the storyline), the first two episodes were breezy and fun. I've decided to look at as a completely different story having nothing to do with the graphic novel. So hopefully I can enjoyed without looking for specific favorite scenes. And I sure hope they don't include the eyeball-destruction scene...
I'm tempted, but very little time for this, so probably not.


We get some backstory and a surprise, plus a a reason why Sung Hoon hates Sung Joon and also the detective. Oddly, all it does is convince me that in the end he'll sacrifice himself. I am really eager to find out what exactly went wrong, all those years ago .

Secret Forest

Perhaps I'm guilty of not watching closely enough, but is the Chief Prosecutor someone who is basically good but got sort of sucked into some bad stuff along the way, and is now trying to clean up the ranks to return the prosecutors to honorable men? Or is he trying to eliminate the possibility that anyone else will be able to out him for things from the past? Both, maybe? Also, for me it's a foregone conclusion that it's his wife who tried to kill the girl - but was she also the one who killed CEO Park? Or was that Eun Soo and the weaselly prosecutor, to avenge her father? (Great role, by the way.) They're so antagonistic now...I don't know .
I'm going to comment even though I only got to watch on of the episodes this weekend. I love this show, despite the fact that they make me angry spending nearly 4 minutes at beginning of episodes in exam review mode. I waver back and forth it seems every five minutes about the chief prosecutor, so it's anybody's guess. Also his wife is super scary. Even the smooth scary FIL is afraid of her, so I wouldn't put it past her to just be killing people off or putting them on display as a warning. But can I can't tell you how much I loved the look that Yeo-Jin gave her when everyone was worried that her comment at the most awkward dinner ever seemed to anger her. 
And my new goal in life is to be able to clear a room like Shi-Mok. 
They were booking it out of that room!

Suspicious Partner 

Well that was a quick hospital now I have amnesia now I don't bit. I think it was interesting to have Hyun-soo partially regain his memory and then go on the attack because he's so frustrated trying to remember. His capture though proves that we were really after the bigger mysteries. 1)Why did the now district attorney want to frame Bong Hee's dad so badly? What was he trying to cover up? 2)What is the mystery about Bong Hee's dad?  Why was he even at Ji-Wook's house? 3)Who is that dead girl that Hyun-Soo is trying to avenge?  Will we find any of this out? Should I be afraid that Hyun-Soo is in the car alone with the district attorney?
I'm very curious about that myself. I have conflicting feelings about Hyun Soo. This could easily have been a drama with him as the lead and framed just a touch differently, he's a vigilante hero. But the truth is I think there's something mentally unstable in that guy, to make him go so dark after the death of his friend. Don't you? I'm happy that Prosecutor Nah and Lawyer Ji are probably going to get together. He adores her and always has, for years and years now. It's only his love for Ji Wook and his guilt from before that keeps him from acting now. I also like that Bong Hee and Prosecutor Cha are becoming better frenemies. Maybe after that sob session they'll just be friends, period.

Seven Day Queen 

Please just kill me now before my heart shatters. I'm so mad at the king and yet I feel his hurt, too. Watching him drive Yeok and Chae Kyung apart - or try to - is so painful and sad. And yet he honestly believes what he feels, he's not making it up. Chae Kyung is truly horrified to discover that Yeok is trying to overthrow his brother, too - she doesn't know he was always supposed to be the king. This is one of those stories where you can say it 'hurts so good. '

Ruler: Master of the Mask 

I'm conflicted. If I say that the very sight of Lee Seon the fake king makes my skin crawl and my face contract into a disgusted grimace, does that mean that Myungsoo is doing a good job acting? Because I think he's not a good actor, and yet, I loathe his character and everything about him, which includes the way he moves and talks and looks and ugh. When he looks at Ga Eun at this point I feel like she should take a bath. I know he was that simple, straightforward kid who was way too smart for the life he was born to, and that his love for her was sweet and self-effacing - but he has become something grotesque to me. Who I'm loving right now - Geon, with his steadfast heart and monosyllabic ways; Hwa Goon, who lived her life on her terms and gave her heart absolutely freely to the crown prince; her father, who loved her even when his own father favored her over him. My Chung Woon, so handsome in his eye patch. Mutt and Jeff, the child hood friends. Seo No, who is dryly funny and the sweetest guy ever. Who I do not like - that GIRL and her uncle the minister. Not at all.

Father is Strange

You might think, given a husband walking out on his wife the day after surgery, discovery that a parent has been dead for 35 years and that the man you think of as your father is a fraud, and a freaking Miscarriage, that we might have hit rock bottom this week, and that all we have to do now is climb out of this pit of darkness and despair. But I think you would be wrong, my friends, and here is why: Joong Hee has not quite yet had his showdown with his fake father; that fake father's real children have no idea that their parents have been lying about everything for more than 30 years, Jun Young has not yet had that freeing/painful conversation with Yoo Joo about the miscarriage that was almost certainly caused by her willful disregard of medical advice; Joong Hee and Judo have not yet faced the news that they are not siblings and then still had to process the idea that their love is 'doomed'; and let's not forget the showdown coming with Yoo Joo and her horrible mother. Is there anything I missed? God, I love this show. The one bright spot will be watching Sunbae's insufferably smug father taken down a peg or two.

Bad Thief, Good Thief

Finished ep 4, watched ep 5. Mom's dead, victim of a WToD meant for Dol Mok, who solved the gold stealing crime all by his own 8-year-old self, using a boombox, a disposable camera, and the cuteness factor of Det. Kang's daughter, So Joo. Dad's in prison again, protecting Dol Mok's identity again, and so Min Jae takes the opportunity to be stunningly selfish and heads on out to make his fortune. Oh, he did teach the baby Dol Mok how to make rice first, and verified he knew how to pay the electric bill (to be paid with the money from selling Mom's tofu business.) So I guess he's not an entire ass... That prosecutor who's married to the unfavored daughter of Toupee Chaebol wants to remake Korea into a shining bastion of correct thought and action, but he's completely cool with breaking some laws and killing some people to get to the point where he can rebuild the Korean Camelot, whatever that might be. And then! We skip 8 years! Dol Mok is in high school, a national fencing star. (He beats out the Chaebol Prince to make the team, in fact. Whiny Mom has a fit.) Dad works for a locksmith and makes security recommendations. Min Jae likes to buy up all the tofu at the market and send the tofu ahjumma home early with money in her pocket,and then he goes home and rolls around naked in it, crying and sucking his thumb. Also, he has passed the bar and is now a lawyer. I like this show. We may not be recapping it, but I'll have bits to say here. Also, the naked tofu bit was a lie; I just wanted to see if you were reading.

The Best Hit 

All the boys have hair cuts and damn, they look good. Woo Seung has her choice of men, it seems, and it kills me to see how sincerely Hyun Jae sets himself aside in favor of his 'son' even though it is destroying his heart. This show has a lot of people taking care of people they love, in ways big and small. Especially within that little family and the 'houseguests' I've seen people opt to be generous in spirit and in action, rather than be petty or small. Over and over and over again, really. I love them to bits, and am very happy to have them on my screen. Dong Hyun Bae, in particular, has been a treat. He's the one I didn't know, and I'm really enjoying his sweet, earnest, goofy MC Drill. I hope the actor gets more work.

Teacher Oh Soon Nam

I will not do such a long post as I did the last time. I really need to pace myself since this is a 120 ep show, and we are only on ep 50 with subs. I can't imagine what they are going to do with 120 eps with everything that is happening now. The plot seems to be going at a 32-50 ep pace rather than something that long. Red is about to get caught in being that cute boy's mother right at her wedding. We could easily wrap up her involvement in death of daughter and grandma's coma. I'm wondering now though if there is going to be an arc that gets our teacher back with Elf Ears. It will take that many episodes to redeem himself, and he's too busy trying to be corporate revenge guy bow.
Well, Red, who is not looking Red anymore, didn't get caught at her wedding as Cheekos' mum.  I'm thinking we should just call her Mad (as in crazy). 
So happy Mad's makeup's toned down.  I desperately wanted to wash her face before. 
Elf Ears has some strong guyliner on, and I like it!  
He has gone total Evil Elf.  He has no loyalty to anyone, not his family, not his in-laws, and certainly not to Mad. He just wants the company. I bet if he gets it, he'll throw Mad out. I still like looking at him, though.

But, Cheekos is, of course, adorable ( looks like he will meet Mad, his birth mother, soon):
He's worred about his pet turtle. I'm worried he'll one day lose that lovely double chin.


Chao, Bello!

My weekly highlight: scanning the internetz for a new Mark Chao picture.

Rush to the Dead Summer

I just breezed through the first 5 episodes like they were cotton candy. I don't think anything much is expected to happen and I believe the plot, such as it is, will be 'A group of kids enjoy high school and do some growing up.' I'm okay with that. It's nice to watch while I knit. Everyone is easy on the eyes, even the girl we're not supposed to like isn't all that bad, and the ones we are supposed to like - well, it's really easy to like them. They all attend a large high school that has both boarding and day students and people from varying economic circumstances. The kids are likable, I don't think it will be like a Korean school movie where basically they're all little psychopaths except for the OTP and their best friends. Who knows, though: there could be a surprise coming.

Advisor's Alliance OMG IT'S HERE 

Tried the first episode and I just cannot get into it.
I had to watch the first one twice. Well, watch once, then go back and pay attention another time. The second one I was glued to the screen. It has a different look/color to it that I like, and the action scenes were good, and I think I have the plot worked out - Grand Minister Cao is the defacto ruler of the country because he's got everyone, even the emperor, under his thumb. There's this monthly gathering where people from all over the country can come to offer proof of their intelligence, capability, skill, etc, sort of a mass audition for a govt. position. During one of these, some other ministers have cooked up a scheme to assassinate Cao, who they call a thief - but he's completely paranoid and always prepared and has men there to fight back. He drags one guy, Dong Chen, to the palace - where people again were going to try to kill Cao - but he turns that into a very public display of his strength. There are some finer details that I know I haven't quite worked out - some of the family relationships, how some families are connected to each other, some social standing issues, that kind of thing...but I guess this is going to be about getting Cao out of the catbird seat. I like the guy with the little bump between his eyebrows especially.

The Mist 

As King adaptations go, this one isn't bad. So far, the mist has arrived, people are trapped at a church and at a mall, and there's a hint of military experimentation gone wrong. Also gross bug-eaten people and a guy with no memory. Oh, and the lead's daughter may have been raped - certainly believes she was raped - at a party the night before, but we saw none of it and the behavior of the suspect does NOT fit whatever rapey high school boy profile there is. She definitely was violated by someone, but I don't think it was that kid. Update: Yeah, I really don't think it was him. I'm horribly afraid it was her eye-makeup wearing best friend, even though he is gay .