Rants and Weekly Raves #227 (RAWR)

JoAnne: In search of things to calm my brain (and warm my hands) I am knitting a scarf.  For those who knit, it's the Zick Zack scarf, using two different self-striping fingering/sock yarns.  (If you choose the right color combos it ends up looking like a Missoni knit.  The jury is out on mine.) You can see a bunch of them (it's a very popular pattern) on Ravelry, plus the pattern itself is available for free. In other news, most of my drama-watching happened on the weekend. Today I watched six inches worth of scarf.

kakashi: Happy Birthday, Chen Kun!

Trotwood: I'm only sort of diving back into drama watching. There are things I planned to watch but I'm not sure I'll have the energy to ever catch up. So many meetings and trying to adjust to the 14-hour time difference didn't help either.

Panda: Happy Birthday Chennie 😍😍.

SakiVI: I inadvertently celebrated by watching the lesbian love story he was in, Painted Skin: The Resurrection. It was really good.


Less than Evil (Finale) 

I am mostly left feeling terribly sad for Bae Wool. In the end all she really wanted was for Tae Wook to take some action, any action, specifically because he cared about her, not because he felt guilty about what he'd done to her - and when she was saying that to him on the bridge there at the end, that's the moment it dawned on me that he did not ever really care about her, despite his very genuine feelings of guilt. 

Until that moment, I saw his behavior as trying to make up for what he did, a good man who had an ethical lapse and one that could mostly be understood by anyone - but what he was really doing was trying to make himself feel better. He even said he'd make the same choice again. So yes, he's trying to make up for it, but in a transactional way, not from any feeling for her specifically, this girl he sacrificed and inadvertently sent on a path of even more pain and abuse. There was never a moment after her mother died that anyone chose Bae Wool, and that to me is incredibly sad.

I'm glad they didn't die, and I'd like it if there was a second season. They certainly left room - and if ever there was a anti-hero we could love, it would Bae Wool,  Avenger of the Abused.

My Strange Hero 

Why. WHY does Oh Se Ho's mother hate him so much? Why has she hated him his entire life? My GOD she is an awful person. I don't think anyone is real to her except herself.

The Crowned Clown 

Yeo Jin Goo is getting all the awards this year, or would if this were later in the season.

I still can't believe YJG is all of 21. Boys has outacted almost all of kdramaland in just 8 episodes. I had a twitter discussion over the end of episode 8. That was simply heartwrenching 😭.  I understand the Secretary because HE did seem totally irredeemable and yet... and yet I couldn't help feeling so sorry for him. Especially in those last moments. And such a gorgeous shot/scene. All the applause.

The Last Empress 

Even the fans are getting a bit fatigued at what seems like a lack of progress in the crazy. I'm getting whiplash from the switching of alliances. I also am not sure I can get on the emporer/Sunny ship since he tried to kill her so many times no matter how earnest he is and how funny Sung Rok is in this role. And now our dubious bodyguard is dying?  What else?  I do want to give a shout out the child actress playing Ari. She, too is knocking it out of the park this week. She is settling in her role. She was never bad, but you can see a distinct improvement--less "acting" and more natural emotion.

My big problem is with Min Yoo Ra's big 'discovery' that Woobin is Wang Sik this week. Uh, hello. You watched him dig up his mother last week, you hateful schemer.
I dropped this ages ago. It was fun while I watched it.

Spring Must Be Coming 

If this is the Lee Yoori Spring Turns to Spring, then I love it!  It's so funny and I marathoned all available episodes.  Both actresses play both roles, ditzy and tough, so well!  Totally looking forward to Wednesday and Thursday now.

That's the one. It has a few different titles floating around.

Sky Castle (Finale) 

Well, well, well. They even made me think there's hope for Professor Cha. A solid ending (if a little long) to an exceptional program. The dark humor, the social commentary, the layers of various relationships and the depth of all the main characters...everyone involved brought their A game to this one, for sure.

This was such an amazing drama! Eps 1-19 were absolutely topnotch. The finale was boring and while the HEA for everyone was a tad suspect,it doesn't really detract from what was a great drama. I do hope some parents learn a couple of lessons from it too.

Top Star Yoo Baek (Finale) 

Another solid show, surprisingly.  Tons of heart, a decent pace to the story, well-acted*, gorgeous scenery, and a trio of young lovers trying to figure out where they belong (and with whom.)  All in all I think this was an excellent start to Kim Ji Suk's career as a leading man, and we've been waiting for that for a while.

*I think we could have done without the country bumpkin buffoonery, or with it being dialed back a notch or two - but maybe that works better in Korea.  To me it felt sort of like the 'locals' from the Andy Griffith Show, or Green Acres - and yes, I'm having to dig back 40 years in US shows to find the right sort of example.  It's not offensive, it's just...unnecessary.  

Romance is a Bonus Book (New) 

I am really enjoying this show. And though at least half of my twitter conversation is about how we all have 2nd lead syndrome, I wouldn't mind if she spent most of the show without a love interest. Yes the leas has been in love with her over half his life, but this, to me is not his story, but Dan Yi's and the story of books. I nearly wept during the scene where the newbies get taken to what I call the book graveyard and the montage of the various ways people mistreat books. I also felt for Dan Y's life and the sacrifices she is making for her daughter and what she gives up to get back on track. I can relate to the idea of taking any job, even one for which others might think you are over qualified, to pay for something your kid needs. Or the idea that what she likes about her new job, despite being treated like a minion, is that people call her by her name and don't merely think of her as someone's mom. People forget how women are erased when they become mothers. The show has a warmth and comfortable pace laced with humor that is fine to see.

I watched all 4 episodes last night, AFTER the Superbowl. I like it a lot! And I definitely have SLS for Shoe Puppy, but I will hold out hope that Eun Ho ends up with his hoobae and Dan-i ends up with Shoe Puppy. I don't think they fit the little 'musical interludes' in very well, though. How about you?


The Story of Ming Lan 

Still waiting to binge 20 episodes at once. 

Why?  Two episodes a day works very well for me. If there's more, I never get anything else done.  Right now, Ming Lan has her former Big Madam's sister constantly at her stepmother-in-law's house. Does this woman have nothing else to do?  The aunt, I mean.  It must take ages to travel at a slow walk in whatever that hand-carried thing they travel in is called, with servants walking alongside, and then to sit and chat for ages with her buddy, the evil mother-in-law.  I would have thought she had her own household to bully. 

Never Let You Go

I'm still watching though I am super behind. It's fairly light with little angst for me which is surprising considering all the intrigue and the fact that now we have the Mom of the house of Mo wanting the death of our heroine because her husband fell in love with the heroine's mother, too. I'm beginning to think of Bu Qi's mom as some Helen of Troy figure.  Even Mom's faithful servant wonders why she can't move on since she got her revenge by having the woman's house burnt down; she's also the person who told the emperor where she was and thus caused them to flee and for her to give birth prematurely. I'm already feeling sorry for Mo Ruo Fei, who knows nothing about this. What will this do to him/her when he finds out the truth? Also, how does our hero manage to genuinely hate her and like her at the same time?  

I've somehow picked this up too. I find it dull but light, but I love Mo Ruo Fei, and it's overall okay I guess.   And Bu Qi's mom: no man ever looked at her and said, "meh"?

Never Gone

The first trailer I saw of this show was really misleading because it focused on the secondary couplde making me think they were the main couple, and honestly i decided to watch under this mistaken idea. However, I'm pleased that I am getting what I am because I don't think I'd have the patience for the love the woman of the pair has maintained for the guy. However, the main couple played by Elvis Han and Yang Zi Shan in the adult versions have pulled me in.  I also really really like their childhood counterparts (and frankly they are going to have to up their game to help me not to keep being disappointed that a flashback is over). All of them meet in school with him falling for her, but she being focused on trying to fit into the "smart" class so she can take care of her family, especially her sick dad. They clearly belong together and there are hints that they do get together but now they are estranged (though still deeply in love). I've only been able to watch 5 eps, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to be crying a bunch before I'm done. I don't know anyone else watching, so I hope I get some comments.

Oh, I wanted to check this out.


Caution, Hazardous Wife + May I Blackmail you

Watched both shows on Viki. They're both fun shows that don't require much to enjoy. Plus Blackmail has DEANNNNNN and Wife has a lovely sismance. Also Wife deals with adult conversations which was a pleasant surprise.