Rants and Weekly Raves #322 (RAWR)

kakashi: First snow today! My cats aren't amused. I bought and erected a winter tent for my most delicate plants and am celebrating this as my weekly achievement. Today, I will go buy Chorizo Jam. Saw it in a shop last week and hesitated. Why, when I knew I'd buy it eventually anyway?

Trotwood: It warmed up here enough to have that cold front/warm front clash of torrential downpours, dangerous winds (enough to make driving tough), and threats of tornados. Jo and I are feeling lucky we kept power. I'm watching some new drama, but there are so many dramas out there that look interesting but I have no time or energy to start even with a holiday in US last week. Is anyone watching Insect Detective or The Wolf?  What about the new crop of Modern Chinese rom-coms? I've completely fallen behind in Falling into You & I don't think I'm invested enough to pick it back up again.

Panda: Popping in to say Hi!!!!!!


 

KOREA

My Wonderful Life

I know. I know. Last week, I said I might drop this show and pick it up for the last week, but I'm glad I didn't. It was a rewarding ride. Any other show would have pulled out the noble idiocy trope, but they didn't and like I said before Choi Sung Jae's Si Kyung is vying for Lee Si Kang's Hyun Joo from Happy Sisters title of freakin' perfect boyfriend. With his steadfastness providing another plot twist, I thought this week's review was going to be all about him, but Sang Ah was not going to have it. It was priceless watching her run off and threaten to throw corneas (yes, you read that correctly) off a roof and to see her taken down and the court confrontation? I applauded. More episodes to rewatch when I'm sad.

Get Revenge/Goddess of Revenge/Hera: the Goddess of Revenge

As regular readers of this blog know, I'm a sucker for revenge. I love revenge shows, but often I get too mad during the set up in the beginning of revenge dramas to watch the hero or heroine suffer for at least 6 episodes before they are pushed enough to start fighting back. This show is NOT like that. We get our heroine, played by Kim Sa Rang, put in an untenable position from the beginning and the back and forth between her and her ex-husband from the very beginning is a delight. It really is a set up to get her to start her job exposing powerful people doing horrible things. I love her side kick, played by Yoon So Yi (who I always like and am glad that she's now allowed to play something else but a victim/vengeful character herself), but I can't decide if our main lead is hero or not. I think he is debating that, too, when it's clear he just wants to use her as part of his revenge, but now is starting to feel empathy for her. Four eps out and all delicious.

The Uncanny Counter

I've said this on twitter and I'm saying it here. I think that The Uncanny Counter might be the show that replaces the hole that Mystic Pop-Up Bar left. I know it's too soon, but I think that this show is the one that will hurt my feelings the most if it turns out horrible. We've got the loveable grandparents. The great best friends, a new superhero found family, and a big bad that is very very scary. Those school bullies aren't going away any time soon either. I follow OCN on Instagram, and Ive been liking their bts of this show the best of the ones they've been promoting for months.

JAPAN

30sai made Dotei dato Mahoutsukai ni Narerorashii/Cherry Magic! 30 Years of Virginity Can Make You a Wizard

Why are episodes for this drama so short??!?!?! πŸ˜– Seriously, there is just so much to love each time. Kurosawa writing poems in his mind about Adachi. Adachi and Tsugi, our two 30-year old virgins seaking to each other telepathically? Adachi being such a good friend and Kurosawa helping him be a wingman? I guess the brevity just means that it's easier for us all to rewatch multiple times. I'm pretty sure this show has medicinal elements because i always feel better after watching. 

Marry Me!

I was behind in this show, but I'm glad because it means that I didn't have to wait a week to see episode 8 after episode 7 because that would have been too worrisome. The really asks how much are you willing to put up with to make the person you love happy. Because their marriage is part of  the government's program, Shin is required to keep a daily log about their lives. This was fine when the marriage was just a job, but he's been increasingly uncomfortable with telling about all of their interactions now that he's fallen in love with her. Of course, this comes to a head when they finally have sex. Who want to write about that to your boss? But what I liked the most about these episodes are that they gave more depth to Himari's character. She's always been portrayed as this innocent ball of sunshine an loyalty who must be protected from the world, but her claiming to want to be a real partner to Shin reminds him, and us, that she isn't a girl, but a grown woman who took care of grandparents since she was in middle school.

Neechan no Koibito/Our Sister's Soulmate

Now that the team has switched over from the Halloween theme to the best ever Christmas sales push, the question is how will Momoko and Manato ever meet again. We see that they really are good for each other, and I like the way the show sets up Momoko's protective instincts for him. Usually, it's the ML that starts to feel this was, but this shift in duties should come as no surprise since Momoko has been presented to us with this characteristic since she started working in high school to take care of her three brothers after her parents die.  Manato is so happy being part of the team, but he seems resigned to not only given up that joy but any possibility of retaining the happiness he feels when he's with Momoko. Even his mother seems worried. Damn it, this show needs to give us Manato's back story!!!

Shichinin no Hisho/Seven Secretaries

Another week and more horrible people taken down. However, we also get back story of why we have a Korean actress playing one of the "secretaries" and why she has her own reasons for being a part of the group. I'm glad they decided to allow the silly newbie to be part of their group because she is earnest and really does want to learn and help. And watching Nanao punch people will never get old. I think they should put that in her contract whenever she signs on to act in a new show. She should be required to punch someone at least once every three episodes.

PHILIPPINES

Pearl Next Door

Admit it. I know at least once in your drama viewing experience you thought, why can't the female lead just date both of the options the show provides. It's the kind of dilemma that lights up the internet discussion about shows. The Korean Reply franchise bases each season around who will the heroine pick. We continue here with Pearl's dilemma, go after the person she's always liked who has just confessed but still isn't sure about their relationship or move forward with a person who is openly courting her and has had a crush on her for maybe a decade. Lots of people on the internet are team Alex. She is that second lead who doesn't hold back. She's even the one who suggests to Pearl that she should date both her and Karleen, so she can decide. But is this something Pearl is ready to risk? Would you?

Boys Lockdown (series review)

As I mentioned before, the Philippines are cranking out COVID themed short dramas like nobody's business. I'm watching a number, and you can imagine with that kind of quantity and the kinds of serious restrictions on filming that lots are kind of crappy. I'm not going to do weekly reviews of them all, but I will do series reviews of the ones that I would recommend. This is definitely one I would recommend. At six episodes of only 25 minutes a piece, it's quite easy to marathon the whole thing in one sitting. The characters are well fleshed out, the music is good, and the overall quality is solid. I like how they show the different ways people are dealing with the pandemic. the way Chen's sister breaks down because she feels guilty for feeling sorry for herself when the world and government seem to have gone crazy rings true. And though this isn't the best show of 2020, it might have the best meet cute, I've seen in awhile. Will anyone top "I met your dad when I bumped into him wearing a matching tiny penis face mask and accidentally picked up his sister's birth control pills"? I think not.

Ben X Jim (series review)

While Boys Lockdown was all bright sunshine cinematography which matched the warmth and sincerity of the couple and their support networks, Ben X Jim was all dark greens and night time shots. Even the day shots were dark, and I don't think it was just because of the lower budget that so many of these short dramas are working under. Ben and Jim were best friends growing up. It's very clear from the outset that Ben has had a crush on Ben since he was a kid and as broken hearted when his neighbor and family abruptly moved away. But Jim is coming back to the house and feelings erupt to the surface when his return brings also a very nice girlfriend, a new earnest suitor for Ben, and ben's crazy ex boyfriend. The truth behind why Jim's family left is lakorn worthy and even though the ending was rushed, it still worked. Lots of tears with happy ending, so if you need to suffer before you can be happy, you should watch this. Seven episodes at 30 minutes a piece.
 

WESTERN

The Mandalorian

Baby Yoda has a name! And it's not Yoda. Last week's episode was good and the internet went absolutely gaga over Ahsoka Tano's appearance. Not that I knew who that was before the internet went gaga, but hey! Anytime is a good time.