Rants and Weekly Raves #156 (RAWR)

Shuk: Ten Million views!! Woot!!
kakashi: Hipphippphoooooray!
SakiVI: So exciting!
JoAnne: My daughter thinks we are sort of cool. 
I think that too. On some days. 
A montage of every drama we completely recapped
this is SO COOL. THANK YOU, Shuk!

Trotwood: This is so exciting!!! Thanks for letting me be a part of this. (Once again, it looks like Jo is watching everything on the planet)
I'm eagerly awaiting Jo's assessment of Kocowa and Viki. Also, I've not been able to do much thanks to a bout of flu, and am now trying to catch up. So, I won't be commenting, except on anything Trot says about Oh Soon Nam, this week.
Well I have been on vacation, so I used it to catch up on dramas, rather than the very exciting closet excavation and kitchen cupboard overhauls I had planned. What I sacrifice for these RAWRs! I need to actually make a chart so I can do that assessment, but I have studiously avoided spreadsheets and even my bullet journal, for the most part, for two weeks. Such a rebel!


The King Loves

I think that if I was watching this in my first year of dramas, the love triangle here (and for me it does seem like a love triangle) would wreck me. As a seasoned veteran, I no longer invest quite so much of my heart* - but as a newbie, Rin would SLAY me. He is beyond perfect, and when he stares at San like he does...oy. Hong Jong Hyun has stolen this show right away from Im Siwan, as far as I'm concerned, and Siwan is no joke, generally speaking. I like this story so much that I'm not even annoyed how many times this one saves that one which wrecks the other one's plan to save both and sparks the third one's plan to save the kingdom, repeat ad infinitum.
*My Wolf is a notable exception

School 2017 (Finale)

If I remind myself that these are 18-year-old kids, that ending is satisfying. NO KISS, and they end up at separate schools anyway? My Grumpy isn't the only one grumpy right now. Okay, yes, I support Grumpy's decision but still, my high-school-romance-and-in-particular-GRUMPY-loving heart wanted at least one kiss. Next drama better deliver. Seriously, though, School 2017 lived up to its history and gave us a solid story with great kids and one seriously kick-ass OTP. I'll miss them.


Two weeks this week since last week I missed! Lots happened, too. Pil almost married Jin Sook, Dal Soo is outed as a rich boy, Soo Jin is leaving for England, and Hot Pharmacist is now very clearly in Hot and Evil Pharmacist territory; we haven't seen that since the suggestion that he was cheating, way back, unless you consider last week's wondering if he deleted the video from Soo Jin's camera. Well, he's up to a lot more than that and he's as violent as any villain out there in dramaland, so the creepy factor has been upped considerably. I cannot wait for next week!

Hospital Ship 

We learn more about the backstories of our young doctors and don'tcha know, they all carry secret pain and have tragic family histories. At least our heroine has an emotional breakthrough, although I'm not at all sure this will translate into visible emotions once she's had her cathartic cry. I liked the shaman lady this week, both as a character and as a means to clue us in to some of these secrets. This show...it makes me want to make fun of it. I want to bully a tv show, for no good reason. What is THAT about, I wonder? I just feel very antagonistic, even though there's nothing super objectionable about it.

Reunited Worlds  

I'm all caught up just as Hae Sung is wrapping things up. I never gave it much thought but only very briefly had wondered if Tae Hoon would be the murderer - having his father (or mother) fill that role would have complicated things plenty well enough for a drama - but even though HE certainly thinks he's the murderer, the whole bit about Lawyer Park has me wondering what the deal is.  Park didn't think anything of admitting that he'd been in the school that night even though his friend died - he only got worried when he realized that Jung Won had a connection to Hae Sung's brother - which it seems like he'd have known anyway, but whatever.  I don't know...maybe it will just turn out that he's another one who got paid off with education, like Young Jun.  
We still don't know the mechanism that brings people back from the dead and it doesn't seem like the show has any intention of addressing that, but what do you expect from a writer who brings back an 18 year old and then has him live the life of his 30 year old friends, including romance, and never has anyone even discuss that?  I'm actually getting irritated now thinking about the writing of this show, which I somehow wasn't while watching. The teacher just happened to leave because she used to be Tae Hoon's mom's sister in law? Come on. That family has to work extra jobs just to pay off all the people they pay off, I swear. And Tae Hoon, thinking he's murdered someone and living with it blamed on his dead friend, who then shows up alive, and there's not a moment of stress in the entire show? Nah, he just starts dating the guy's sister, and they all hang out and happily drink beer. Ummm...

Save Me

One thing I've wondered is what the unholy trio think about Goseunwon. We learned a little bit ago that Apostle Kang is a true believer, however unhinged by the death of her daughter. I think we've all understood from almost the very beginning that Apostle Jo is a freaky little pervert who likes the power and control. So the big question for me was the Spiritual Father. Did he really believe his own crap? It appears that he does - but that he is also deeply, deeply, deeply crazy, and leading folks into a death spiral of dependency and delusion. Those people in the dungeon? He literally drove them crazy because they tried to tell the truth. Taec's dad is the same, really. I began thinking he was a sweet guy, then I thought he was a regular guy who made a mistake, then I thought he was a typical politician, and now I see that he will sacrifice anything, even his son if he needs to - this man who tells his bedridden wife he keeps her to show as his pretty flower, and will only do so as long as she doesn't wilt.

Strongest Deliveryman 

Lots of backstory coming to the forefront this week, and some of it is really important - but I find myself somehow most interested in Oh Jin Kyu's journey. I couldn't help laughing at the overzealous use of violins as he wandered homeless (as I was meant to do) but I'm really, really interested in seeing how he turns things around. Even as a jerk he was kind of lovable, and now that he really isn't a jerk at all, he just about rivals Go Kyung Po in his ability to make you just want to hug him to death.

Age of Youth 2 

Oh this...this is love. Even with the cast changes, this is good stuff. They found someone pretty similar to replace the maknae, gave Yi Na a plausible reason to disappear and found us a very adorable replacement who's living there by accident, and have the landlady off on a trip - HER stand in is her great-nephew, the oh-so-adorable Kim Min Seok, that perfect little teacup chihuahua of a puppy. Maybe he's more like a Yorkie, though? In any event, I'm loving this season and am thrilled to watch the girls cheer each other on through another year.

Argon (New) 

Do you see subs anywhere? I do not.
I feel sad because this is the one new show that i knew anything about and considered watching.

Man Who Sets the Table (New)

This could be good, based on my very scientific method where I calculate 'People I Like vs. People I Don't' (12 vs 4) against 'People I Don't Like Who Will Clearly Be Redeemed and People I Don't Like Who Will Clearly Get Their Asses Handed to Them' (2 and 2), then divide that by 'People I Love Who Won't Have Satisfactory Endings' (so far, ?)
Right now it feels a little schizophrenic. Everything related to the dad played by Kim Gap Soo pretty much makes my blood pressure shoot up but his quiet, had it up to HERE wife (Kim Mi Sook) shows her mettle in the first episode, which gives me hope for him in the end. That end is pretty far away, though, and he is truly a horrible person
Son is a mix of Mother and Father; relatively quiet, clearly unhappy, with tinges of his dad's misogyny. Son's wife and MIL are tacky beyond all belief, but in a hilarious and kind of lovable way; daughter is Sooyoung; the laws of nature demand that we love her, and we do. As if we wouldn't even without them, right? She's as precious as ever in this, and I'm very happy to see her.
Sooyoung's eventual match, On Joo Won, is a nice guy with some backbone; nice to see the two together. He has an absolutely adorable blended family (headed up by Lee Il Hwa and Shim Hyung Tak) that I sort of wish was the centerpiece for a completely separate drama, and he's a pretty nice guy put in a hilariously awful situation by Sooyoung.
 That means true love ever after, right?  Shim Hyung Tak has a so-far horrible mother, but one of the funniest (in a macabre way) scenes of the first 4 episodes is him retelling the moment of his brother's death, which he blames on his mother.  He wasn't there and the brother didn't talk to him before he died, so there's no way he knows any of what he's retelling, which is as dramatic as it can possibly be.

I never expected to laugh so much about some poor guy's penis in a KDrama, and there's lots more to like besides that. I know this could definitely go (even further) south in a hurry, and not in the good way, but I'm crossing my fingers that this is my new 50-episode weekend drama.

Teacher Oh Soo Nam

So, I was sucked back into the show because the crazy has ramped up. I find it funny that our good guy is so bad at lying that the disguise he sets up with Elf Ears gets exposed by Cheekos (hint: he snores just like his dad and calls out his lady love's name in his sleep).  I don't like how this show is really beating us over the head with the blood ties business. I know we are supposed to believe that blood ties, especially mother's ties are really thicker than anything. But I'm with Charles Dickens on this. Families are what you make of them, and blood ties don't matter as much as loyalty and shared experiences and love. I don't buy Cheeko's character arc. They presented him as much more savvy in the beginning, but now he's all soft and sorry for his mother. Pfft. 
From what I hear, and people correct me if I'm wrong, but that's Korean culture: you forgive your mother anything and everything. Agreed that the focus on blood ties is too extreme.  If the blood ties issue wasn't stressed all the time, then perhaps we wouldn't have had Mad so crazy and annoying.  
Half the kids in my neighborhood growing up were "abandoned"/left by one of our parents at some point (sometimes pre-birth), and I'd say only 20% were interested in finding those parents. There aren't any of us that would have felt anything for a "found" mother like Mad not when we saw daily how the parents who stayed struggled to take care of us on a daily basis. And definitely not enough to turn against said parent. Maybe we were jaded, but whenever we saw such parents come back, we all knew even as small kids, that they weren't back for anything good. I'm enjoying our American version of Kang Dae Mul. Here he is enjoying the hug that was long time coming from his not-so-one-sided crush.
Honestly, and I know it's bizarre, but at this point I couldn't care less about the OTP or anyone else in this show, but I do care what happens to Mad and Evil Hwang, her Dad.  I just want to see what happens to them. That's it. The rest, Cheekos aside, can go hang.


Marky-Mark Minus the Kunlun Bunch

CIT: The Weasel's Grave 

I'll start working on recaps once I've got work under control this week. Again, flu problems.
I hope you are starting to feel better!

Attention, Love! (New-ish)

This is so much more enjoyable than it should be, but damn, it hits that sweet spot just right. The unborn babies of sworn brothers are promised to each other in an arranged marriage, but after early childhood they don't meet up again until high school. Son lost his parents in a car accident and moved to Japan to live with his uncle, but now the uncle is getting married and so son returns to Taiwan to live with the family of his father's friend.
Daughter falls for son pretty quickly and son returns heartfelt affection for her and her parents but, after years of loneliness, doesn't want to complicate newfound family with romance. Understandable. They swear to be buds forever. It's harder for her to let go of that romantic hope than she expects, even when she meets an adorable puppy with a killer dimple - and now son is feeling jealous? What's that? Here we go
Everyone is gorgeous, if a bit old to be playing HS students in some cases - the friendships are touching, the struggles are well portrayed, there's plenty of humor and pretty much no one is unlikable, even the standard rich girl second lead. So far (6 episodes in.) Lots to squee about in this one, and one thing to bitch about: subs are verrrrrrrrry slow, and there's only one episode a WEEK. Which means I may let this one sit until it ends and then marathon, cuz I love the babies too much to wait week after week.
I started watching and I don't know why. They are way too old to be playing high school students. The lead guy seems like a typical lead until he catches the guy who bullies the lead girl and his psychopathic tendencies surface (he's seriously scary when he threatens to throw bully off the overpass). The best "friend" needs to be slapped and dumped by our heroine. the new girl they introduced has the worst voice in drama and isn't playing someone I can tolerate. And our impossibly cute bad boy dimpled second lead has a backstory with his family that has already bored me by ep 6. Still, I want to watch it. Go figure.
That scene on the bridge! That's when I tweeted that with very little tweaking, this rom-com could become a psycho-sexual thriller complete with stalker.  Let's hope they just overplayed their hand there and it's not a harbinger of things to come.

Fear the Walking Dead

OMG it's back! The mid-season hiatus is over! I didn't know until too late so I can't report anything but I'm so excited!

The King's Woman 

I'm only watching clips of this on Youtube to see Zhang Bin Bin hotness and man is he smoking in this show. But I am not going to watch just watch the wreckage. It's bad enough that he's pining for her so much now.

Midnight, Texas

This is a summer series on US TV - it's got middling ratings so I bet it won't be back, but I'm enjoying it.  Season is almost over, sigh - I binged the 7 available and the next 3 are all that remain. Charlaine Harris of True Blood fame wrote the book series, which is sort of copying the TV series Haven, which was born from a Stephen King novella called The Colorado Kid. All that being said, I enjoy the story.  Psychic/Necromancer/Con-Man Manfredo rides into this podunk West Texas town in his beat up RV with his dead Grandma sidekick because he's hiding from someone and Midnight is hospitable for people with special abilities.  It already contains Lemuel (vampire, delicious too), Fiji, a very sweet (and powerful) witch; the Pastor, who is a weretiger; Joe, a fallen angel, his husband Chuy, a half-demon, etc. There are also regular humans:  Madonna runs the local restaurant, Creek is the daughter and sister of men hiding terrible secrets, Olivia is a hit woman, Bobo runs a pawn shop and is a sweetheart hiding from his very wealthy, very white supremacist family.  The veil between this world and the next is especially thin here and it's shredding, so our residents band together to fight evil. I guess it's a little bit Buffy, too, huh? It's a lot of fun but I won't get too attached, for reasons mentioned above. PS: I think they plunked Preacher's church in the middle of town for this one.

Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories

As always, so good. Spare little stories that give us snapshots of the lives of the regulars and leave us - me at least - wanting to know about the next person without ever feeling like I didn't get 'enough' of the previous one. I just keep hoping for a story about Master, but that's a tiny quibble, I suppose. I think my favorite story from this batch was 'Sauteed Yams.' Watch and tell me what you think.