Rants and Weekly Raves #217 (RAWR)

JoAnne:  Ahhh, what a nice long holiday weekend it has been!  Plenty of time with family and friends, plenty of time for catching up on dramas.
Trotwood: I'm trying not to be bitter that I only had one day off and and so much of this week has been spent putting out fires not of my own making. No time for marathoning or catching up, but I did spend quite a bit of time with the team that was called out last week for a new project for PotUp. That's going to be fun. (see below)
kakashi: Let's celebrate the beauty of Chen Kun!- And don't be bitter, Trot, I didn't have a holiday weekend either.
Panda: Lovely, lovely holiday weekend filled with food, rest, family & friends and absolutely NO dramas :)))))
Surely Kakashi is not begrudging us our little four-day weekend, we who enjoy the least amount of vacation time among industrialized nations? (And apparently this time around poor Trot drew the short straw, too.)  Important note:  I think Chen Kun might be the most beautiful Chinese man in existence.


The Beauty Inside (Finale)

Thank God, in a world that contains Moo Young and Jin Kang, there are also Do Jae and Se Gye.  And his sister/her friend, that couple.  I forget their names at the moment.  Was anyone else surprised that her manager and his assistant didn't end up together?  I totally thought her boyfriend was made up.  ANYWAY. This was quite enjoyable, I thought. They each had things to overcome, they were pretty evenly matched in good and bad, and they didn't actively work against each other.  Sometimes they worked on issues together, sometimes apart, and I thought their happinesses and sorrows were pretty realistic, even given the fantastical issue of her monthly change.  I do wish that we'd been given some sort of reason for the magic of that, though.

Bad Papa 

That big guy who works for the Tiny Pharma Jerk is showing up in EVERYTHING suddenly.  I desperately want him to secretly do something good to help Ji Cheol because man, I don't want this guy to die and I'm absolutely convinced he's gonna go out in a blaze of glory saving the planet or something.

Where Stars Land/Fox Bride 

WTF with the gangsters, seriously?  So Hyung got caught up with them and couldn't extricate himself - and I'm glad to see that he DID care about his little brother back then - and it was all so they could get the services contract and privatize the airport?  I mean, yeah, tons of money...but come on.  Did we need that on top of the bionic man stuff?

Matrimonial Chaos/The Best Divorce 

I was way behind and now I'm caught up to just two weeks behind.  Lee El is pregnant and still won't take back her flaky husband despite his abject sorrow and regret, but I do wonder if they will eventually.  Bae Doona is killing me with her tears and her ability to show her vulnerability while remaining strong and leaning towards independence but I have to say, here at the end of episode 26...I'm thinking for the first time that these couples don't actually reconcile at the end.

The Woodcutter and the Fairy 

We're having a lot of fun trying to figure out who the husband was, because as clear as it seems to be (Cutie Soo), there are a significant number of clues that point in the other direction.  Since no one seems to be particularly emotionally invested, this husband hunt isn't as painful as some others have been.

A Hundred Million Stars in the Sky/The Smile has Left Your Eyes (Finale) 

I'll be honest.  I expected them to die, but not like that.  Standing ovation to Gukkie and Jung Seo Min for their performances, too.  Now I need to finish the J-version.

When Time Stopped 

Ooooooh, that one reaper was her friend's FATHER.  Oooooh, Basement used to BE a reaper!  He's the one that collected the father, in fact!  And even before that, before he was a Reaper, he was in a relationship with his dear 'Owner'!  It's all circles and circles and circles of connection.  For some reason, Basement begged to be let off from being a reaper and has never wanted his memories, over and over again, because he was trying to find his beloved, awww.  (But then why not have the memories so you would know her?  I don't know yet.  Maybe I won't know ever.)

Red Moon Blue Sun/Children of Nobody (New) 

I watched the first episode because Sun Ah is a queen. She is excellent in this, not surprisingly, but there is just so much pain I can take. I will read recaps if anyone is going to keep up with show, but I don't know if I will make time for this one. It's confusing and creepy and sad. I may marathon if it turns out to be a good suspense/detective show.
I honestly did not realize that these two were the same drama. It explains why I wasn't seeing Red/Blue anywhere, though, and why I thought Children of Nobody just popped out of nowhere. I have no idea what's going on with that little girl that two people are seeing who is apparently quite dead, but I'm on board. It's good.

Happy if You Died 

This show is still super funny, and I laughed out loud watching at the gym and didn't even care. All those other people who are grumpily trying to get off the mashed potatoes and gravy they gained over the holidays had nothing on my cheer. The show is also moving on along getting beyond just having the boss die, but now that he knows about it and understands that just going back with the foreknowledge of what is going to happen isn't enough, it's really bound to get interesting. I'm with the people on twitter who say the writers have pushed out 2nd lead's pushiness too far, which is a shame because it would be interesting to have him be a viable option if there is going to be romance at all. However, I'd be fine if there weren't any and the focus is on the team building that will be needed to save everyone's job and the company.

The Last Empress (New) 

This is the weirdest show. It reminds me a bit of Sunny Again Tomorrow because we have Jang Nara's character who seems to be in a completely different show than everyone else. Actually, there seems to be many different shows going on all at once, and we didn't even have Choi Jin Hyuk's character introduced yet (so we know we haven't even gotten the revenge plot introduced). Jang Nara's Sunny is in a rom-com. The Empress is a dark Jdorama with too many feelings for her son if you ask me. Lee Elijah's Yoo Ra is in a lakorn. And our Emperor, played by Sung Rok, seems to be channeling his character from Return. I may tune in later when everyone is on the revenge train, but I'm not sure I have time or interest to watch while show settles itself. It doesn't seem to know what it wants to be yet.
I like it. Do I get to count it as two dramas?
I think you should count it as at least three dramas

Ms. Ma, Nemesis (Finale)

Whew! That was a ride and a half, and I'm sorry more people weren't watching because I'm going to say that this show had the rare case where I was surprised every episode. It was able to do what Last Empress is trying to do--walk a fine line in tone. We had real tragic malice and greed going on here--a mother accused of killing her own daughter, a lying/greedy/backstabbing/murder coverup husband, a prosecutor that started out scary but became increasingly frightening along with the mafia boss and underling with heart of gold, the goofy local police chief and crazy (but nice) ahjumma group plus enough real warm heartfelt moments. I'm completely unfamiliar with Kim Yujin, the lead actress (she usually only does movies), but she carried off the range perfectly. I'm going to miss my Mal Goo the most though. 
Well, we'll be seeing this for a little bit longer here, because I'm not caught up. Right now I'm where the real Ma Ji Won is causing all kinds of problems, and the actress lady killed herself, and we know why Eun Ji is there, but we still think her husband is a nice guy and it's not entirely apparent that the old gangster boss knows stuff. Mal Goo is still the bomb, though. He's like Ma Dong Seok Lite.

Top Star Yoo Baek (New) 

God DAMN but Kim Ji Suk got hot.  This show is ridiculous but it's moving fast and promises heart so I'm in.

God's Quiz - Reboot 

I'm completely enjoying this show. Last week, we had spontaneous combustion, this week we have zombies, and we have Kim Jae Won playing a really scary gangster dressed like a 70s pimp. However, I'm not sure whether people new to the franchise will get it or tune in long enough to get it. It's not flashy (despite the cool new technology by the competition) like lots of shows, but I am hoping that the friction we have between our traditional pathologists and the CODA crew with dissipate when they all realize that they are pawns in whatever game that mysterious funder is playing. I'm also hoping that the nail gun is not the 2018 version of the kettlebell.


An Oriental Odyssey 

This one's time is over. Almost everybody seems to think about dropping or has already dropped it. 

Ashes of Love

This was lovely throughout. I am considering recapping.

Rise of Phoenixes

I made it to episode 10. I'm already heartbroken


Prom Mai Dai Likit

Sigh. I want to like this show. I love our leads and the premise with the sister being betrayed on her wedding night had an interesting twist. But the villains here are over the top by even lakorns standards without half the reasons that other villains have for being villains. I may not be keeping up with this and only tune in near the end, especially since the preview shows that our couple will also have a period of angst when one feels obligated to take care of a blind ex. Sigh.
Shuk:  I've put this one on the back burner after about Episode 18. Several of my lakorn friends started spoilering a bit, so I made the decision to wait for more to subbed and dramarathon through the angsty parts. I do know that the main lead deliberately sleeps with several guys, which is pretty surprising in my book. It's currently airing with a rumoured 30 episodes.

Love By Chance (preview of review)

The show is over, but the behind the scenes drama remains. There is still chatter by international fans about this show. And because of the response to our twitter conversation, both Kakashi and Jo have asked that I do more than comment here but prepare a full series review with contributions from the international twitter group that will has been following it. It will take a couple of weeks though since one of my fact checkers is actually prepping for a trip to Thailand. (I want a Weir sweatshirt, Caitlyn!)


The Walking Dead 

The zombie killed Jesus!  And what the hell did Michonne do that things are so awkward between her and the folks from the Kingdom and Hilltop?

My Brilliant Friend (New) 

This show looks pretty promising, very atmospheric.  Life was very casually brutal for these folks, and I look forward to seeing how things develop for our two little friends.

It's actually really lovely to hear Italian again, although one of the girls speaks some kind of dialect I think, and it's not at all what I'm used to from when I was a little girl.  (The show is subtitled.  It may well be an Italian production, but it's on HBO.) My great grandfather came here from the hills outside Florence, and my grandfather was juuuuuust barely born here.  As a little girl, my grandfather and his brothers still spoke Italian to their father, who lived until I was 13 or so.  The rest of the family was all English-only except for the annual get together with Great-Grandpa's cousin Lorenzo. I only remember fabulous food (they cooked for three days to prepare! Made sausage, rolled pasta, stuffed all kinds of things in other things, roasted everything else, made lots of wine, you name it. ) And lots of laughing, with really excited chatter in Italian and occasional outbursts over on the bocce court, but it's a good memory.