Rants and Weekly Raves #196 (RAWR)

Note:  This conversation is pre-empted for a statement from, well, everyone:

Oh, so I should watch now?  

JoAnne: Who knows who the boy was who played the mute glue sniffer in this week's final Hammurabi episode? Is he an idol? Was that really him singing? I wondered if he was an idol before they ever went to the karaoke simply because he was so handsome...I can't even find images from the episode online.
Trotwood: It feels weird writing this right after you since I had lunch with you less than 24 hours ago and now we are far apart again. People, Jo is as funny in real life as she is here, but she is also so warm. I feel like I can skip a whole bunch of therapy sessions just after being with her. I'm only watching two Korean dramas right now, but I think I'll be settling in for some rewatches and some Thai dramas and finishing some projects during this new month of some hopeful rest. Anyone else able to take a break?
Awww...the feeling is very mutual. Our lunches are always a highlight for me!  I'm not sure we'd see each other more if we lived closer since your days are pretty packed, but I am glad we decided to make it at least twice a year and I'm hoping we do get to see each other in the Fall!
SakiVI: Once again, didn't watch anything except the dailies and I've officially dropped I'm A Mother Too.
kakashi: Dammit, is it MONDAY again? And way to make me jealous about real physical meetings, duh.
panda: I am so jealous about the meeting! I can't wait to meet you awesome ladies. To make me sadder, my Partner in Crime he is MIA right now :((
Unicorn Slippers come baaaaaaack


Partners for Justice 

This poor guy - he loses his love AND his best friend AND his dream of the future in one fell swoop and then some pissant little brother spends 10 years screaming that he murdered them, to boot.  I can see why he'd just give up for a minute, but I'm so glad that all the lab Scooby Gang isn't willing to give up and will dig for the truth.

About Time 

Our poor lovies are so so sad, and CEO Bao is throwing her weight/money around like a tornado hit - this woman is CA-RAZY.  And now Choi Mika's old lady friend is dead TOO?  Come on, Show - put our sweeties back together again soon.  Mika's only got a couple months left!

Ms. Hammurabi 

Every week this show makes me love it a little more. How adorable are the little lawyer next door and Mysterious Donna? And the gentle growth of the friendship between our Right and Left Hammurababies is very satisfying to watch. Her confession this week re the misery of her childhood and her feeling that all the people who come before her ARE her, in a way, answers why she fights so hard and sometimes so foolishly on their behalf. I wonder if the show will come up with a decent resolution? She can't continue on this way and it's clear she's burning that rich boy bridge. 
I have never seen someone put his foot in his mouth the way Lawyer Wang did with Do Yeon. After alll his efforts! I felt real pity for him but he did need to be taught to do better. I was very happy she forgave him relatively easily, he's so whipped. Our judges continue to grow closer and there is now definitely a different spark from Miss to Mister. I still feel she's not cut to be a judge. A defense lawyer will suit much better. I do want that odious judge to get his just reward too, I felt all the anger and frustration when he got promoted.
Who IS this puppy?  WHO?

Are You Human Too? 

Lots of discussion on the TList this week about whether we think RoboShin is anatomically correct. My vote is for yes. Someone raised the excellent point that he can talk to anything computerized and mentioned that there are some, ahem, adult toys that are computerized. Really? Tell me more...
Sex robots are the latest fad! Usually, they have female parts though
Pretty sure if he's got parts they ain't female.

Come and Hug Me 

Okay, first of all, I refuse to believe that was Hyun Moo standing over Reporter Slime's obviously dead body (yay?) - I know he hates her and I know he's really angry at his brother but his obvious revulsion and fear at that other guy's actions let us know that Hyun Moo is a bully but he's never been a murderer. We all agree that Hyun Moo is exactly as much of a victim in this as Nak Won and Na Moo, right? Right? Just because he's not as likable or sympathetic does not mean he wasn't hurt as badly, or even worse. Plus...I'm harboring a bit of a suspicion that he's the one that hit Dad that night, and let the other two get away.

What's Wrong with Secretary Kim? 

Answer: There is nothing wrong with Secretary Kim. Nothing at all. She demonstrates common sense and extremely fine taste in men.
I'm not even watching the show, and I saw that kiss.
Kinda hard to miss on Twitter :D - I'm two episodes behind (yes, I'm still watching! Amazing) but I'm assuming we're moving into angst territory soon and that I won't watch. Not interested. But I want to say that I'm happy Park Seo-Joon has turned out so well and that he isn't even as young as I thought he was.
Awww, remember how much we loved Witch's Romance? It faltered in places but it was overall fun.
SWOON.  My swooning has 80% to do with our female lead, who goes right up to her man and tells him the facts so there is no misunderstanding...To the gentle way she kissed him when she KNEW he simply couldn't make the next step... And Swoooon to the Kiss that followed. See, this drama is razor thin on plot but it has great characters- leads and supporting. I keep laughing in each episode and that is more than I can say of most "romcoms". I am in love with PSJ BF, his savage mom and gentle and so sexy Secretary Yang. I have also seen that kiss about 6 ce so yess, can't wait till Wed.

Lawless Lawyer 

I had no idea it was ending at 16 episodes and I was ALL set for at least another 4, but it ended really well tonight all the same. Very satisfying justice meted out, good future plans for our Lawless crew, and I'd say more than a hint at a season 2, which I fully support.
This show was something else, huh? Everyone just threw themselves into it completely, and we got some amazing characters out of the deal. I was thoroughly satisfied by An Oh Ju's end, and yet completely sorry to see him go. Maybe I would have wished for a bit more humiliation for Cha Moon Sook because it seems to me she still really doesn't think she's in the wrong, but I was happy with Nam's punishment and Cha's in jail for the rest of her life, so I'll have to accept that as sufficient!
I loved the story, loved the twists and turns of the double-crosses, loved the romance because they didn't let it rob Ha Jae Yi of herself, and loved the Lawless Gang of enthusiastic former gangsters, who provided lots of humor in exactly the right moments. I'm sad to see everyone go. Let's hope there's another season!

This is going right up there for me with Signal and Secret Forest. However, unlike those shows, I can see myself rewatching this one because despite the pain, it wasn't as painful. This show was able to insert joy and laughter because it created a character set on not just vengeance but justice. Bong San Pil's and Jae Yi's mothers were women who taught their children well and instilled so much warmth in them that the anger over their loss did not sour them on the world. The two men that raised them after the mother's disappeared kept that alive rather than try to break them.
The fight scenes in this show were stellar. There wasn't a weak one in the bunch. I don't usually see fight scenes this good in Korean dramas that don't involve Jang Hyuk. I came to really love the Prosecutor Chun Seung Bum character to the point that I said out loud that I'd marry him even though I've no intention of getting married ever again. I also appreciated the ending for Gwan Dong, for it showed that he did have some loyalty at the end, which was debatable i think even for An Oh Ju, and how both Bang Pil and Oh Ju clearly felt sorry.
This was a quality show throughout. I, too, wanted more humiliation for Cha. However, I'm not sure what level of humiliation would be satisfactory for me.I think I liked episode 15 better than 16, but that is not say that I didn't feel satisfied with the ending. I concur with everything that Jo said, especially about Jae Yi's agency until the end and how their love didn't weaken them but only made them stronger together. It also sows that you can have an excellent 16-episode (no splitting up hours) show.


Okay, this week bordered on the realm of...yeah, right. Apparently, I can buy people getting visions of the future through sketches but I draw the line at cops administering off-label drugs to patients in an effort to bring them out of a coma.
I'm relieved to see that Brother isn't an outright criminal - well he is because he's killing people but you know what I mean. He's like Robin Hood the Murderer, I guess.

Sang Doo, Let's Go to School

Operation Jo Relives Her Trauma continues apace.  I'm on episode 5. For those of you who remember, that's when he decides to attend the school where Eun Hwan teaches and where he'd been the security guard (before he punched her bratty brother in the face.)  I remember lots of hijinks coming up during the student phase, so that's good.  I still cry every single episode as something happens that reminds me of the end, or if I hear Jung Chul's song, or okay let's face I press play on the video.  FINE. 

Trot keeps asking me why I'm doing this.  I really don't know.  No, that's not true.  I'm doing it because I want to see if the end will have the same effect on me, and also because I want to see if I 'watch' the drama differently with 7 years under my belt.  The answer to the latter is yes, but of course the jury is out on the first.  Just understand that my gentle tears of anticipatory sorrow during this rewatch so far do not in any way resemble the gut-wrenching, had to stay home from work the next day, felt like a family member died reaction I had the FIRST time I saw this.  That anguish hangover lasted for days.  Even as recently as this year, trying to tell my mom the plot, my throat closed up and my eyes filled with tears. 

Do you have a drama like this?  Also...if I don't have the same reaction at the end...is that better, or worse?

Life on Mars

I'm up to where he meets his dad now. I think I shot myself in the foot by watching the US version last weekend because now I'm not as intrigued by this one. It's still as good, and I know there'll be differences, but I know the general story now. Sigh.

Secrets and Lies (new daily)

I dropped I am a Mother, too, after the baby poop tasting event. (Yes, you read that correctly (It was revolting)). I have actually started this show from the beginning, which I generally don't do with dailies, but I will see. I like having a half hour show to watch while I eat breakfast or lunch. Anyway, we have two best friends, one bubbly and cheerful and the other who likes her and her mom but who has a birth secret and a rich family she hides from the other two because she wants people to just like her and not her money. This birth secret is exposed in the first five eps, so they are setting her to take an evil turn. We'll see how this goes. I've got Sunny Again Tomorrow in the wings if this doesn't work out.
What Trot said. Except she and I will watch together I guess sometime in August because I'm now watching this with dad who is visiting until then.  It's fun watching dramas together in a family.

Sunny Again Tomorrow (daily)

This daily isn't new, but I have been looking at eps sporadically trying to get over the Perfect Boyfriend of Happy Sisters and because SakiVI has made me addicted to watching dailies with my breakfast. This is yet another birth secret show where we have a plucky working class female and a silver spoon female who become friends through work at a home shopping network connection. 38 episodes have aired, and apparently it's the most popular daily now in Korea, but it is the slowest one to get subbed (so this may be more of a lunchtime show) There is a love square with the plucky female crushing on her childhood friend who likes the silver spoon girl who likes the lead guy who is falling for the plucky girl. What I also like is that there is a romance growing between one of the guy's father's and the person we all know is the real mother of the plucky lead, showing that people aren't dead to life after 35.
I'm bit by bit catching up on this. I wonder how they will sort all this out?  Silver Spoon Girl isn't really a Silver Spoon, but she does seem very entitled. 

This show has also inspired me to come up with a term to describe a specific type of female character in dailies. In a regular drama, if such a character got up tot he same shenanigans as they do in a daily, there would be no redemption, but in 120 episodes, there is time for the writers to create sympathy for characters who not only lie, cheat, commit forgery and arson, but also who are responsible for deaths, kidnappings, poisoning, child abandonment, embezzlement, etc. These roles are usually the best roles in the dramas. I've decided to call these women (it's almost always women) "the wretcheds." 

Wretcheds: Hwang Ji Eun (Sunny Again Tomorrow), Shin Hwa Kyung (Secrets and Lies), Jo Hwa Young/HoeJo (Happy Sisters), Hang Se Hee/Mad (Teacher Oh Soo Nam), Hong Se Na (Sweet Enemy)


Legend of Fuyao 

I watched the first episode but just barely. I probably should go back and pay attention.
Haven't found time. Hear it tanks around episode 14.
I haven't felt any desire to make good on my half-assed intention above.


Ooooh, Leyan arrives!  Our sweetie pie Panty Melter is very clear on which girl he wants, though, and wastes no time in reassuring QianXing that it's her.  Meanwhile, poor Zijun is left being really kind and sweet and getting NO notice.


Black Revenge (finale)

Wow. This was definitely a lesson in revenge and the people who caused everything die but the heroine is set up to be sorry and sad for the rest of her life having to raise the little boy who is the product of the affair that her husband had with her sister. Ouch. I suppose that we had to have her suffer because she affected so many with her revenge, but I'm not sure the equivalency is there with the pain and loss she suffered herself. Still, I'd recommend if you want something twisty, brief, and with interesting characterization. Not a top fav of mine though. The psychiatrist was as odd and scary and focused as I thought, but her reasoning was not as interesting as the resulting plot of revenge that she created and was not in any way in proportion.

Miss Devil

So this is really what a typical day working for Miss Devil is like:

She sends our poor hapless hero to get rid of someone. He tries to defend that person. The person ends up resigning and being much happier afterwards--lather, rinse, repeat--I'd be bored by this if it weren't for our quirky Miss Devil team, the real warmth that our hero has with his family, and the fact that Nanao kicks somebody's butt (in spectacular high red heels) in every episode and is getting closer to her goal: cleaning out the real rats in this company. But I really want to find out more of her backstory and the secrets that have been hidden in the hotel fire. The entire drama as been subbed, so I will be able to find out. Hurray!


Killing Eve

I spent the first 10 minutes (maybe) of episode 1 thinking yeah, what's so special about this? Another crime show with the Brit-style quirk rather than US-style quirk? Then Villanelle smiled at that little girl after observing how the ice cream guy did it, and I thought 'oh, I like her. She'll be fun to watch.'

Three full episodes later I forced myself to go to bed. I woke up counting the hours until I could watch more. It was 13, by the way. I'm already cursing the fact that by the time I go to bed tonight, I will be out of episodes - because I know I'll watch all 5 remaining in Season 1 tonight.

It's not that it's a female-centric show. It's not the far-flung locations. It's not that Villanelle is a female assassin or that she doesn't use typically female assassin tricks. It's not that Eve (so far) is basically a normal person who just happens to think murder is fascinating, and has the kind of brain that picks up patterns without even realizing it. She's smart and I like her, but ohh, Jodie Comer's Villanelle. She's what it is, for me. She's reason enough to watch even if the story sucked (it doesn't), reason enough to watch even if the locations weren't gorgeous (they are), reason enough to watch even if the acting was mediocre otherwise (it is not.)

Take a beast of prey - any one of them, really, but not something that would look menacing simply because of size or teeth or claws. You shouldn't be afraid of it on sight, unless it happens to look directly at you. Remove the fur, teach it to walk upright and to speak, and you have Villanelle. She is Other, endlessly fascinated by observing humans, but completely unaffected (thus far) by their concerns, their pains, certainly not their deaths. She's a bug collector, and we're bugs. I want to know why she is the way she is, and I love that she has a very complicated set of feelings about women with great hair, of all things.

Update: I finished the season and now I have to wait (along with millions of others) for Season Two and no one even knows when that will be!!! Also: Eve's got balls of steel.


Liza has offered twice now to quit, and Charles keeps saying that Millennial does need her and he's sorry for his passive-aggressive bullshit, but then he doesn't exactly stop the passive-aggressive bullshit. Maybe next week that will translate into human growth, who knows. In the mean time, we can squee over Diana and her HOT Staten Island Italian Stallion plumber, yowza.


This gets crazier by the week and it's so hard for me to explain. This last episode was painful to watch because it felt so raw. Our heroine thought she had taken adequate measures to protect herself from ridicule but somehow those ass-y men found new ways to take it  up a notch. The one that hurt most was from Dominic though and now she's no longer a double agent but In It to win it so to speak. I am both terrified and sympathetic. BTW, Jennifer has claimed it's first female victim so the rules are definitely changing and that makes them even deadlier.