Rants and Weekly Raves #274 (RAWR)

kakashi: Wishing you all Love, Peace, Happiness and Health in 2020!
SakiVI: I feel like an era of my life has been ending for a while and I've been desperately trying to hold on to it and it's slipping away no matter what. Anyway, I'll be going to a party.  How about everyone else?
Trotwood: I am going to try to get through this New Years holiday quietly--hopefully with a fairly large piece of cake. Maybe even a whole cake. Maybe cake for dinner. Do you guys realize this isn't just the last RAWR of the year but also of the decade? Readers, look  for our upcoming Drama Decade Wrap Up next week sometime. 


VIP (finale)

I had heard that there was disappointment in the finale, that people felt as though it were anticlimactic. However, I really really liked it. We were trolled by the preview that made it seem like YuRi was responsible for Jung Sun’s accident, but I was actually relieved that the show didn’t go down this makjang route. It was much more realistic what actually happened, and the responses by everyone were truly telling. I found the resolution of the corporate battle very satisfying and completely believable, which isn’t always true for these shows, and I loved how all the power was now in these women’s hands who had been belittled by their husbands, fathers, and male colleagues for so long.  I was also happy to see the options for how men can support the successful women they love in Min Na’s and Hyun Ah’s stories. Most importantly, the show gave me what I hoped for as well—a Jung Sun who stopped before she became a person she couldn’t like or respect. This is difficult to do when going forward through a painful divorce. 


Following on from last week's episodes, where Jun beat up Hui Ju's rotten husband, this week we find him performing community service.  At the hospice, of course.  Not many know of his connections and he mostly just grumpily goes about doing his chores, but eventually he and Kang have a basketball death match in the rain.  The grumpy director pulls them apart and reads them the riot act, but it doesn't really sink in.  As Kang said to him, they were raised to fight until someone wins.

That someone could be Kang, since Grandma is so pleased at the good press they all got when Hui Ju was saved. She tells Kang if he helps her shut down the hospice and turn it into some country club resort thing, she will leave all of Geosung to him.  Kang doesn't look that interested, but he doesn't say no, either.

That might be because he spends so much time thinking about Cha Young, though.  There's this funny bit where he has a conversation with the brother of the boy who died last week - the brother says to him that he knows Kang likes someone at the hospital, and that this person also knows Kang's feelings.  The boy is talking about one of the nurses, but Kang doesn't know that and makes a point to tell Cha Young there can never be anything between them.  Each insists to the other that they never ever never never never not once would think romantic thoughts, because of their relationships with Min Young.  Who has now been dead 4 years, apparently, but whatever.  It's not the most useless wall in the world, but it's close.  Meanwhile, the nurse who was really the person the boy meant  makes a very embarrassed apology to a completely confused Kang, who barely knew she was alive.  Fun times.

There's a teen at the hospice, a Korean boy who'd been adopted by an American family.  He is dying of a brain tumor and wanted nothing more than to taste his birthmother's kimchi stew one more time, so here he is. They find the mom and with her, a twin brother.  Who DOES that shit?  Give up one twin only?  Anyway, she makes the stew, but it's not quite right.  She's so over the top and the other son is so unapologetically greedy that it seems like they are scammers, but no:  it's really them.  

Cha Young asks the birth mother to make the soup again, and this time she adds some sugar.  Cha Young loses her shit because okay, she gave the boy up but at least she could have remembered important details, like the fact that he's very allergic to sugar.   She is REALLY pissed, but remember that her mother abandoned her, so it's personal.  The asshole son puts his hands on Cha Young and she gets shoved hard into the wall, knocking her head and making her see double.

Later, she realizes she can't taste or smell anything, and her dumbass brother does a good thing for once and makes her go to the hospital.  Verdict:  she might regain her senses, she might not.  Cha Young doesn't want anyone to know about this but is very worried that she won't be able to continue as a chef.  Then she goes on to make a perfect Vietnamese meal from memory as a special request from a patient, so...you tell me.

Oh, we also learn that the woman with Alzheimer's is actually the director's first wife, who left him for another man. I don't know if she turned up there because she knew he was there or not, but this certainly explains her guilty face every time she looks at him and his angry face every time he sees, thinks, or hears about her.

Woman of 9.9 Billion/9.9. billion Won Woman

There are so many (really SO MANY) scary people in this drama. The gangster who lost the money appears to have stolen it from someone else and is out to kill to get it back. And when will our hero and heroine figure that psycho husband is following them? I’m so anxious about it that I’m sure I’m missing other clues. Who is Leon? EVERYONE is afraid of him. Hee Ju has her husband’s and the little kid’s money, but it looks like she is conflicted about Seo Yeon despite the fact that she knows her friend had an affair with her husband; did she know about psycho husband or is she sympathetic because of their history. I think her husband should be more afraid of her than he is. I can’t believe we are only half way through, and we’re getting more relationships & new characters.

Crash Landing on You

I hear it's good. 

Queen: Love and War/Selection: The War Between Women

Don’t ask me why I started this show, but I’ve completely caught up with all four eps (I did ff thru the first couple because I don’t really need to see the executions/assassinations that cause our heroine to want revenge). I didn't even realize that our heroine is played by the much maligned Broom because I've never seen her in anything else. She is kind of bland here, but I'm interested in story enough to watch for now.  Basically, our heroine is the twin sister of the former queen who was beloved by the young king or at least he feels guilty about protecting her. Her dad was branded as a traitor because of his scandalous egalitarian writings, and her mom is now a very poorly treated servant. She agrees to play a minister’s (who just happens to look just like the queen) during the new queen selection process to try to suss out who the culprits are. The current queen dowager is in on it, and so is the minister, but I don’t think he’s a good guy—just using her for his own gain. Of course, there is the mean rivals as well as the nice girls in the selection process. The latest ep ends with the king realizing that the spitting image of the woman he’s trying to avenge is in the selection process. There’s also the other prince, who had been banished, who happens to have fallen in love with our heroine, too. I’m sad because I like him, but it’s Do Sang Woo, and he never gets to play an all good guy, so we know when he sees that he loses her, he will go dark.


Some Day or One Day

Everyone on twitter knows that I’m feeling sorry and scared for the second lead here Jun Jie (played by our favorite tall HIStory2 volleyball puppy, Patrick Shih). Sorry because it seems that the girl he likes is destined in his world to like his best friend AND sad because in the alt universe that has his friend and his girl in it, he doesn’t appear at all. However, because he liked the original girl so much, he notices that this new Yun Ru is completely different and starts to question things. At the same time, it looks like Wang Shen meets the little girl that is going to grow up to be Yu Xuang. It was touching to see this Yun Ru find out why her brother is so miserable and stick up for him and for her mother. It makes me wonder what will happen if they prevent Chen Ru’s death and the Chen Ru, not this new outgoing person, comes back. Something is going to happen soon though because our student sociopath is having increased visions of a Chen Ru who taunts him to kill her. Creepy and we are still 5 episodes away from finishing.


La Grande Maison Tokyo

One of my favorite things about this show is how there is such a depth of feeling between the characters, especially those who have worked together for so long. For example, despite (or because of?) the awkwardness of Kyono’s confession, we don’t have the typical love triangle battle at all. Obana actually does move out of Rinko’s garage, and Kyono rushes to his aid when he calls for help with his mentor’s restaurant. I love it even more that we see Obana now staying at Kyono’s place at the end of episode. They not only finally have a real conversation about their feelings concerning what occurred three years ago and their resolve to support Rinko no matter what. And she is going to need it because now that Rinda’s spy know that Obana covered for Shohei all those years ago, she is out to completely ruin them all. What the show has not done, though, is to really show why she is still so angry. She talks about her reputation, but she is still completely a star in the food world, so since we haven’t seen her suffer at all, her revenge just seems petty.

G-senjou no Anata to Watanashi/You and I on the G-String/You, Me, and Bach

All ten episodes of this show have been subbed!!! There are ten, and I’ve just completed # 5, so no spoilers please. In this episode, Yaeko decides that she will take the marriage hunting seriously, especially after feeling so despondent over her lack of success in job hunting. She also meets up accidentally with her ex who is having a hard time because his father is dying and his fiancé broke off their engagement. I liked the whole scene because they did have a nice lunch, strained, but with decency and caring all around, very mature. Yaeko realizes that she can’t hate him, partly I think because she doesn’t care that much. We also get confirmation that Rihito’s brother is a selfish ass (like we didn’t know that already), we also get Yuki’s MiL pulling through and pushing Yuki to get back to the violin. Rihito’s response to Yaeko finally dating is interesting, but do either of them even know what he’s thinking? I’m shipping them really hard, but I don’t want to get my hopes up.

Ossan's Love: In the Sky (finale)

Maybe it’s because nothing can be as bad as the finale to the show that not be named, that I was not as annoyed as some people were by this finale. It did go on for too long, which is rare in a Japanese drama. But up until the last five minutes, I couldn’t’ figure out why people were so annoyed by the show. I even admit that I teared up at all the retirement discussions/commemorations. I didn’t know how they were going to address the weird love hexagon, they created. I liked how they dug deeper into these friendships and the convo that Naruse had with Haruta about how he’d never date him because Haruta changed him so much.  But, though I can see now that this show was an AU for Kurosawa to get his happy ending, I still didn’t buy this change, so the ending fell flat to me.

Follow Saretara Owari

Talk about scary people! This group of friends are horrible people. When I found out what they did to their former teacher, I had to agree with Junko in thinking she is the likely culprit to want to get back at them all. None of them besides Sotoro and Yuma feel badly for what happened. I might have been able to chock up their unfeeling responses at the time, especially the girls who were clearly jealous of her, to their youth, but even now they want to blame her for her responses when they were cruel and when Yuki posted so many things about her just so he could be more popular on the internet. I’m glad this episode wasn’t subbed with ep 6. Even though they were probably aired as a pair. These two seem to be a pair thematically the way the others were. I hope Yuki gets his comeuppance soon because I find his ghoulish desire to record and post about the hurtful things happening to his friends pretty disturbing.

Nee Sensei, Shiranai no?

If you want to be wrapped in a bundle of fluff, you should watch this show. I watched two episodes, so I'm all caught up with the subbed episodes. Each episode is only about a half hour and we just following Hanai trying to navigate her way through her really demanding manga job and having her first boyfriend, Riichi. He is so smitten with her because partly because she is so focused on her work and has another interesting life outside of him unlike the other women in his past, and Riichi just really adores her and takes care of her to the point that one of her staff that's had a crush on her gives up because he, too, thinks Riichi is the perfect boyfriend. I could watch him watch her lovingly all day long. He is also completely attracted to her but is respectful of her boundaries. I said I knew the actress is going to be a problem, but right now she is only a problem because Hanai cannot understand  why  Riichi likes her. Now that her manga is being turned into a live action drama though, Hana won't be able to avoid confronting this new challenge. 


Until We Meet Again

Once again we open with an attack from the past, and we get to learn more about Korn. His father hates him because Korn doesn’t want to take over the family business; he doesn’t seem to respect his dad because his dad uses violence to get people to repay their loans, typical gangster stuff. We also see his little brothers watching the argument and him getting hit. It’s heartbreaking to watch them try to console him. In fact, despite the infamous send you upstairs to wake up your boyfriend scene, I was more broken up during the beach scene where Korn and In simultaneous ask each other to date. They are SO HAPPY, and we all know how it ends. As I’ve said on twitter, I believe that In is this beautifully pure of heart being that rescues Korn from his dark life. He only wishes for one thing repeatedly—to be with Korn forever—DeanParm is the universe’s promise to his wish.

Blacklist (finale)

So much over the top dramatic music. So much chocolate milk product placement. Everyone's favorite teacher keeps going on her psychopathic rages, drugging students, sexual assaulting them, and throwing them off buildings.But somehow we still have a happy ending with pretty much paired off. They have set it up, so they can make a sequel, but I probably won't be watching.

Dark Blue Kiss (finale)

Well if the show which shall not be named had a finale that was unnecessarily dark and distasteful, this finale is the epitome of sweet fan service. It’s ironic because through the other episodes—as you’ve seen in my comments here—this was the show that disappointed me the most. It was full of unnecessary angst and lack of addressing what I thought were more important and complex issues between these two couples and the pressure coming out can have on all the relationships characters have. Instead, we got a fairly traditional annoying, underdeveloped 2nd lead who causes havoc. What this does is lead up to is a conclusion where Pete comes to the rescue and our OTP make up, and we just watch SunMork be cute. I’m not going to lie. I’ve watched this episode three times since it aired with subs on Saturday.


The Mandalorian

Liked the finale. They wrapped some bits up nicely and left plenty open for the next Season. Mando graduated to official Daddy - and he even has a name! Din Djarin (in case you want to whisper it at night). What more can we ask for? (More Cara Dune, less fillers next time, no sad droid deaths and I'm not sure about the little trick with the helmet and the droid ("no living thing" --> we all know what Pedro looks like), but I guess Disney is not know for subtleties and neither is the whole Star Wars franchise)
P.S. Each episode of the season reportedly cost 15 million to make. Are they crazy?

The Witcher 

I'm now (re)reading the books and singing "Toss a Coin to Your Witcher" incessantly.