Rants and Weekly Raves #78 (RAWR)

kakashi: This is a very long RAWR. It seems we're collectively watching the whole of TV.   
JoAnne: I'm melting, I'm melting...
Why, is it hot there? .... ah. No. You mean because of Mr. Sex below. I still can't believe he is making me watch his shit drama.

A. Shows

Six Flying Dragons

Jaehyus: So, I completely fell behind on Six Flying Dragons and now it feels like homework to even try catching up. I'm done: I'll just keep reading recaps where I find them, and that's only because my mind likes a completed story. Plus Yoo AhIn got really annoying. But, then I watched him as a tortured Prince Sado in The Throne, and he nailed that role. He was just really, really good. Perhaps he's better as a tortured neurotic than as an evil genius? 
It's funny how this show seems to go on and on forever. Some love it, some hate it and continue watching, some are very indifferent. Some shows are like that - very divided viewership response
I haven't heard anyone complain about it, really.  It does seem like it's been running forever, but I still absolutely intend to marathon at some point.

Mrs Cop 2

Anyone? What surprises me most about this drama is how quickly they pulled it off. Other dramas are seemingly discussed for months or even years.
I'm watching it, and where I hated the first one within the first 15 minutes, I'm loving this one.  However, I can't get it on Viki or the dreaded DF here in the US.  So, I have to wait for it to magically show up on places that shall not be mentioned here.
I hated the first one just like you - within the first few minutes - and then I ignored it from that point on. I had heard the news of a season 2 with a bit of shock since it meant plenty must have liked it, and then I think I heard that none of the original actors were returning? After that I heard nothing, but once it started people have seemed generally pleased, and it's got Im Seulong, who I always enjoy. Still, I'm not interested enough to go hunt it down.
Perfect place for this article, then: The Things I Would Do To Seulong. Also, I like our heroine's Goth Ahjumma look. 

Pied Piper

No subs. Dark Smurf Subs is on it though. Ever time this happens (a show not being "picked up"), it saddens me, because I think about the criteria used for what is picked up and what is not, and I can't help but think that it's sad that idol-oppas and fluff-romance are the only things that seem to matter. Either the people who run these platforms THINK we're like that (empty-headed stupid fangirls) or the majority IS like that indeed. But like so often, the question is to which degree demand shapes supply or whether it's actually the supply that shapes demand and user behavior.
It's very strange that this one was left off the table for international viewers. It's got name actors, the genre has been gaining traction, and it had buzz in the community. It must be a timing thing. Still, we will do our part, as we did for Bad Guys. If it's any good, we should consider doing something here, too. If not recaps, then reviews. Spreading the word, you know?

Five Children

A young, moderately successful widower and a pretty, competent divorcee end up working together and are immediately drawn into each other's personal lives. There's a comraderie and support that is very sweet to see. The story centers on them but there's plenty about their families (parents, siblings) and co-workers. There are the obligatory people you want to beat senseless but most of the story lines are quite charming, and I'm really enjoying the main couple plus his feckless brother reuniting with a first love hiding the fact that she's now down on her luck, and his grumpy sister who has a bit of an inferiority complex, but gets hilariously tangled up with Sung Hoon, the overly conceited model/pro golfer. The tone is mostly humorous and light, but they don't shy away from the emotional fallout of various situations. I like it!

Marriage Contract

Pretty good so far. I like the family drama in it and I'm looking forward to the romance.  Subs come early on viu. But you need to be in Singapore (sort of, cough cough cough).
I'm watching on Viki, and subs come plenty fast enough for me - I think they're mostly ready same-day. I love me some grumpy-pants SeoJinnie, always, and UEE always gets me with her odd little mix of fragility and toughness. The concept is implausible in the extreme, but when have I ever let that stop me? Right now my biggest wishes are 1)they put that child on a LEASH, and 2) UEE's death sentence is somehow cancelled. Let the falling in love begin!

Madame Antoine (Finale)

Yes, yes, the experiment. Very problematic. But everything else! Not crack, by any means, but a solidly enjoyable show. Sometimes the main couple could be irritating in their back and forth, but damn, they were some messed up folks and it took time for them to get straight. I liked all three couples, but my favorite, the one that brought me to tears in the finale and a few times before that - hands down, Professor Bae and her puppy, Choi Seung Chan. They handled it quite gracefully, I think, because after all, it was a 38 year age difference, and that would be hard to swallow in any direction. But all she wanted, in the face of her most-likely-fatal illness, was a chance to enjoy the typical, sweet moments of life with someone who made her feel like a girl again. It wasn't about sex, it was about youth and possibility. Seung Chan genuinely liked her, and in the end he was able to give her just exactly that, freely and from his heart. I loved it. I loved them. The acting was fine, the sets, the costumes, and the people occupying them were all lovely, the emotional story was better than the plot device - overall...a B? Yeah, a B. Maybe a B-.

Come Back, Ahjussi

Tonight I watched My Beloved cry, hump a car, writhe in the dirt, and stuff into his mouth food that he took from someone else's. Mouth. (I'm pretty sure he faked eating it.) Yes. Of course, I also watched Oh Yeon Seo and Honey Lee come very close to making out.
I feel like I need to drop this (time, really), but then, I see pictures of this on my T-list and it is SO CRAZY and I want to see it all. Hey, are those gay/lesbian scenes deliberate? I mean ... is it a statement?
They play with it - the writers - but nothing has happened so far.  
This is a surprisingly grown-up kdrama comedy.  I wonder if the writers write for SNL as well? Anyway, I rather love it. I hope it stays awesome. 
It becomes both more sad and more funny by the week, and my love increases exponentially with each episode aired.  PS - we knew there was something about Manager Jung, didn't we?  I just hope it's a misdirect. 

Descendants of the Sun

Well. I am not sure Mr. Sex's sex appeal is strong enough to make me watch this any further. I think my 7 year old could write a better story.
I think episode 5 was supposed to be mostly humorous snippets of serious situations, and I think it wasn't executed well.
I hated the "car incident" the most. SO STUPID. Yes, everything about it.
What did work for me, suddenly, was their conflict - I didn't expect that. I totally buy it, as of tonight. The story is stupid, but they are not. They are drawn to each other, and she is trying to fight that not because he might kill someone, but because he goes away, and every time could be the last time she ever sees him. He doesn't fit her picture. Whose picture would he fit, really?
He knows this and understands it, so he waits for her to work through it. He doesn't insist, he doesn't get angry or frustrated. He simply waits, and when the opportunity arises for him to show how much he cares, he takes it. Every time, because he might never get another chance. Even though he knows she might decide against him, he never misses the chance to put himself out there and say 'it's hard for me, too, but this is how I feel about you.' That would be pretty damn compelling even if it didn't come with Song Joong Ki's face.
I was on board their "relationship" from the beginning (and remain so). That part is indeed about the only thing that works. They are pretty straight with each other, and I like that. They are both interested, they're not hiding it (she a bit more, but only a little), but they also both know that attraction isn't everything in a functioning relationship. Yes, I like that. It's very mature. He has a job that a) forces him to be mobile and go wherever he needs to go at very short notice and b) he could die (almost) every day. Even I would think about getting myself in too deep with someone like that, even if they had SJK's face and voice.
I like the dialogue between the two a lot, and I understand the conflict. But man, if he was looking at me like that, I don't care what reservations I had, I'd be jumping his bones so quick his head would be spinning. (I'm allowed to say that, right?)

PS. Did we learn tonight that Jin Gu values his sunbae more than his sunbae's daughter, and that's why he agreed to break up with her? Is that what that was?
I don't think so. But then, I don't know what happened and don't get it (unless it's some noble idiocy thing?) I just know that I really like this actor. Even if he walks right in front of special forces who are doing shooting practice.
Every time I see him, I like him more.  It's been true since the start, it's just that we don't see him much. The first time I saw him was a few years ago in a movie called Truck, where he plays a serial killer.  It's a battle of wits between him and fairly simple-minded delivery man - very much worth checking out.
Episode 6 is too stupid for words. Who in the world thinks Special Ops trained for CSAR can or would just go into a foreign country to "help" in a small-scale (civilian!) emergency situation because their girlfriends decided to stay there and "help"!?? Oh, and who in the world thinks general surgeons (or whatever they are) can and should and would just "help" in such an emergency situation? I am so fed up with this kind of bullshit. Why does Kdrama always have to be that goddamn sloppy in doing their research?! There are so many solid scenarios that would have served the same purpose (separating our OTP and then uniting our OTP but not really, cause - oh my - danger). It's not that they did not have the time to focus on a decent script this time, right?!
Well, I for one was really engaged in episode 6. For some reason, DotS's first episode of the week usually bores me (the car scene was beyond absurd - I'm pretty sure going over a cliff like that is equivalent to hitting a brick wall at 100 miles an hour but hey, she did take in some water.) I tend to get engaged by the second episode and can't wait until the next week's.  I hate war scenarios, so the earthquake was a welcome crisis. I really didn't give it a second thought who should or shouldn't be there as I actually thought that the group of doctors WOULD feel compelled to help in a crisis situation with half their team still there. Actually, I didn't care how or why they should be there, I was just glad that Shi Jin and Mo Yeon would be reunited. The boot tying scene was worth it.
The whole reason they were there is weak, since they weren't there to be special ops forces but as a 'vacation' of sorts where all they have to do is be normal troops. Garbage in, garbage out. Same for the surgeons: would they have really been there in the first place? Probably not. Korea doesn't want to sweat the details.  They paint in broad strokes when it comes to this sort of thing, and I mostly ignore it like I would skim the technical detail paragraphs in a Ken Follett/Robert Ludlow book.  

Refresh Man

Looks promising. The girl who was the bright student with big dreams hasn't really lived up to her potential, and the class loser who secretly loved her has more than exceeded any expectations, in large part because he wanted to prove that he could be worthy of her. They lost contact, but now he's back and somewhat surprised to see how little she's done - his somewhat harsh treatment of her is a reflection of both his disappointment and his desire for her to do better. This is always a plot line I enjoy, and Aaron is reaaally good at both innocent boy and sexy man who ignores personal space. Plus: they have the best menswear tailor in all of Taiwan. All hail The Pants of Glory!

One More Happy Ending

I struggled to finish this, only because I was ready to wrap it up last week and found their bickering and her rejection of his marriage offer tiresome. But overall it was a better than average rom com, filled with a lot of adorable moments.

Signal (Finale) (Noooooooooo)

Trotwood: It is over. It s over. I am shaking with withdrawal symptoms. I love this show. I wish this show were a member of my family so I could show the love I have for it by making it food--that is how much I love this show.  I will reply to others when I'm more coherent (just finished finale).
In a K-Drama first, we have a show that could have been extended and not suffered for it.  It's not that they wasted time and then rushed the ending.  No time was wasted!  The ending is not rushed!  It's our perfect baby drama and I love it just like it is!  But if I could have a wish...just a small one...it's that I could actually see the implied ending come to fruition.  Unless they're also implying that this is endless loop of try, try again, which is ALSO PERFECT DON'T GET ME WRONG, but slightly tiring.  Dear Lt. Lee Jae Han:  I love you more than the beautiful banker.  I don't even like to cook and yet, like Trot, I wish to feed you to show you my love.  Park Hae Young and Cha Soo Hyun, you are an awesome team.  Kakashi - there is a romance, yes - but you are not going to mind it at all, and it's not the pretty boy with the pretty cop.  I promise you this.
And can I comment on her clothes? How happy am I that they have a female detectives who wears clothes that make sense to her character and to her job all the time. Regular shoes. Layers that we all know don't need special cleaning. A real woman with clothes that she can wear kicking ass, which she can do. I have been placing all my love on Jae Han (and he deserves it), but I love her, too. I'd want her to be my friend even as a young green cop as well as the aged, focused cop. I am so glad she got some happiness.I'm fine with the continuous loop ending, but I also feel it is the one show I've seen in years where it makes sense to have another season, not just because it's popular or like American shows because we know it has been picked up for another season. My only concern would be that this season had some happiness. The big bad in any next season is almost too scary to behold. I find him scarier than Chairman Kang of the grilling people's face fame in Beautiful Banker because he has far more power.  I'd have to be hooked up to my blood pressure monitor the entire time, and I don't think my nerves can take it. I don't think there'd be any happy in that one.
I would LOVE a second season.  One where all 3 of our very competent cops are 1)reunited in the same time period, and 2) go after the congressman and take his ass DOWN.
I have seen 4 episodes so far and am not quite as much in love as you guys, but it's certainly one of those KDramas that give you hope that they can actually do good stuff if they want to.  

Heaven's Promise/Ice Adonis

Because I was feeling impatient with waiting for new eps of Heaven's Promise with Lee Yoo Ri of Minjung notoriety, I ended up marathoning Ice Adonis, and by marathoning, I mean watching every few eps or so because these daily dramas don't move that fast.  I'm still only half way through.  And I'm pretty much sure Heaven's Promise is basically the same story as Ice Adonis: young Candy gets messed up by a rich family with a weird obsession with stealing her children and boyfriends and ruining her livelihood while irrationally hating her for being in a lower socio-economic class.  The majority of the story, that is, after 30 or 40 eps, is about her revenge.  Anyway, here are some pics of Lee Yoo Ri. Guess which are Heaven's Promise and which are Ice Adonis: 

Kazoku No Katachi

My current fave.  It's got the youngest member of SMAP, a Japanese Man-Band, Shingo Katori, and he's awesome.  Plus, he looks like a frog, and I've always kinda, sorta, liked frogs.  
He plays a singleton who has saved up for his own double-level condo in Tokyo, no less, and is all set to live peacefully and healthily in his "castle" alone, set to his set schedule and diet and exercise plan, only for his aging father and 13 year-old stepbrother to show up.  The show is extremely funny, but also touching, as it develops the characters, particularly, Shingo's and his neighbour, a woman, Hanako, who is also set on living alone.  (Her mother moves in, though.)  Hanako is played by Ueno Juri,
 who is always charming in anything she does.  Anyway, here's a SMAP performance.  Notice how Shingo is the only one to flash a smile. (The rest seem horribly resigned to their aging man-band fate.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIkEuBs1rjY

W. Shows


Sadly, this show is not going anywhere; sideways at best, if that. I do have some hopes in Mazikeen though. After all, she is the war leader of the Lilim. Act like it, gurl.
What does it mean, now that there's no way back for Lucy?  He was going to let her go, but she cut him off before he could say it.  Is she giving up on her plans that easily?  That doesn't seem likely. Is she going to double-cross him in some way?  Is that even possible?

Jane the Virgin

I'm a happy camper. I've been #TeamMichael from the start and they're SO CUTE together. SO CUTE! I must say, this drama has managed to stay good in (almost) every single episode. Bravo, writers. That's not simple feat. One needs just to compare to other shows. *evil sideeye to SHITSHOWs*
FINE WHATEVER. #IAmNowOnAStupidSillyBoringShip

The Magicians

The opposite of a ShitShow. I am very glad to have this in my life. As the Dean said in this episode "We don't know what happens next". Indeed we do not - every episode is full of surprises.
Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyy did you put the The Bunny here?  I can't watch this show during my lunch breaks any more.  It's one thing to worry about naked asses suddenly appearing but when I scream in horror, that's another. 


Ah, this is an amazing show. Every single actor in this is unbelievably good (the script is too), but what gets me the most is the sense of threat that hangs over every single thing Jake does. Or doesn't do. How did you put it, JoAnne? "This cannot end well". Never has a seemingly normal life been so friggin scary.
I just think that since this IS Stephen King, the point will have to be that it's the ultimate hubris to believe that you can fuck with the past and not have it fuck you back in some unimaginably huge way, so every moment of this show is infused with anxiety for me. Maybe skipping Kennedy's assassination fills the world with thousands upon thousands of Pennywise the Clowns. I would just drop dead in the street.

Shadowy Tools

This week's episode was quite bearable! A few comically awful lines as always, but the rest worked. Surprises, surprises, there are always some. Anyway, have a bit of Alec. Gay and beautiful.
He is that, but I'm still not coming back to this. I read the books and saw the movie. It's enough.