Saturday, April 17, 2021

Thoughts of the Week

It's been a while! (As usual, unfortunately.) Aside from life getting in the way, I also had a lovely spring break sprinkled in the middle. But don't you worry, because I spent all that time completing 10 –  yes, ten – dramas, in addition to starting seven more. 

Revenge Note Poster

The dramas range from some old favorites like School 2017 and My Sassy Girl, to currently airing drams River Where the Moon Rises and Mouse. Read on for my spoiler thoughts on all 17 kdramas!

Let's begin with the kdramas that I've completed!
School 2017: Felt like any other high school drama that focused on the OTP. I feel like the benefit of the School series is that you get the perspectives of many classmates. The drama dabbled in other students' lives, but very briefly and not satisfactory. I think I would've liked it better if it were called something else and not part of School. Aside from that, I wanted more from the story and more emphasis on the students rebelling against and conforming to the high-stakes ranking system. Oh well.

Clean with Passion for Now: Watching this during a pandemic has me siding with Sun-Gyeol even more that usual. Oh-Sol was truly a gross person, and her "sympathetic" excuse of her getting caught up studying didn't really work for me. It annoyed me that she hated people judging her based on her looks but does the exact same thing to others. You're depressed, dear, please seek therapy so you can shower again. Speaking of therapy, I hated the walking ethics violation, Dr. Choi. At least Grandpa was trying to help treat Sun-Gyeol's mysophobia in his horrible way, mainly because he himself suffered from some form of it himself. But Dr. Choi was in for it for his personal gain to win the girl, using patient-provider confidentiality against Sun-Gyeol outside of therapy. Let's not forget his creepy stalking, either. I'm sad that everyone treated Sun-Gyeol like he was broken instead of allowing him to be himself and giving him the tools he needed to adapt to an unsanitary world.

My Sassy Girl: Tonally all over the place. It didn't know whether it wanted to be a serious saeguk, a romantic comedy, or slapstick. It could've been a cute story of a "modern" Joseon, but it failed. I found it amusing that the show tried to force the summer season as the backdrop. It's clearly the dead of winter when you look around, but the set is filled with lush greenery and palm trees that were brought in to brighten it up. I kinda wish that Princess Hyemyung went off with the Qing prince so that Guyn Woo could succeed as a scholar. (Although, the Qing prince was such a sweet guy who deserved better than Princess Hyemyung.) At the same time, his annoying, nosy, and bratty sister ultimately was the cause of a lot of Gyun Woo's problems because she couldn't keep her mouth shut and was super desperate to fit in with the leader of the popular girls. Also, the casting was way off because Jun Da-Yeon was supposed to be this sought-after woman that all the men wanted to marry, but she looked 12 while the men were in their 20s. I couldn't take any of that storyline seriously.

Kiss Goblin: Very cute and simple story. It's low budget and has an after-school special feel, but the episodes are only 10 minutes and surprisingly fit a lot of plot within each. An easy watch with some hilarious bad acting, but all in good fun.

Mr. Queen: When it's funny, it's hilarious; when it's serious, it's dire; and when it's meal time, you're gonna get hungry. I've commented before that it tried to be two different shows, so I won't go talk about that again. All in all, I think it was a good series. I started to feel that the writers wrote themselves into a corner, which was evident in the finale. I'm not upset that Bong-Hwan went back to present day; he had to go back. (It was foreshadowed in the first episode, too.) I just hate the way he went back. And the drama essentially killed Original So-Young off and merged their memories instead of keeping her as a hidden persona who slowly gained the strength to live on her own. And I hate how after Bong-Hwan returned, So-Young was a whole new person (again) and everyone was just like, she's different but oh well.

Extraordinary You: I loved, loved, loved this drama. I was so sad when the high school story was coming to an end and characters began disappearing just as they were finally discovering themselves and living their own, true lives in the shadows. I found it interesting how various people dealt with knowing the truth. Some continued on playing their role, some made the best of a weird situation living a double life, while others fought fiercely against their character or shadow life. I also like how other characters were comfortable as written and didn't attempt to discover the truth, even when other awake characters tried to wake them up. Also, I want to see Rowoon acting in more dramas!

Revenge Note/Sweet Revenge: Super cute! I'm so happy that this was a light, young high school story instead of a crazy revenge story of older high school students. I'm sad that Cha Eun-Woo didn't get closure to his storyline because he was super sweet and endearing. I also love how fangirl mom birthed fangirl daughter, and dad was just along for the ride, lol. 

My Romantic Some Recipe: Clearly, I was on a Cha Eun-Woo binge after True Beauty, haha. Another short drama (in both number and length of episodes) that fit a surprising amount of story progression in each episode. I found the cardboard cutout scenario to be subtly hilarious as a running gag. I thought the end was cute with *super spoiler alert* Mi-Nyeo's reality being Eun-Woo's dream. I'm glad the journey helped her get over her crush on jerk Kang Jun.

Best Mistake: I thought this was a cute high school drama that got better and better as it went on. I'm sad that our class president ends up alone. Although there's a second season, I'm not invested enough to continue, especially since I felt season one wrapped up nicely, and I hear that *Best Mistake 2 spoiler* Joo-Ho ends up alone again.

Thirty But Seventeen/Still 17: A cute drama about timing and missed chances. I felt that some story lines were handled poorly (eg, Hyeong-Tae and Uncle Hyun-Kyu) while others were shoved in as plot devices (eg, Tae-Rin, the house being sold or not, Jennifer's side story). It was a nice watch, but not something I would pick up again.

Hit the Top/The Best Hit: It took a while for this drama to settle into its pacing. It felt very much like a daily drama at first, with all the plots loosely strung together. It really proves how great of an actor Yoon Shi-Yoon is because you could feel the difference in the show when he was the focus and when he wasn't. I think the show tried too hard to fit in the many, many cameos, to the point that MC Drill was not a believable character. (C'mon, he's obviously way older than all other trainees.) I had hoped that the drama would focus on the two fathers helping the son in the music industry (plus two dads shenanigans), but we don't even see the results since Ji-Hoon debuts at the literal last second. Too much backstory and not enough present story.

Heartstrings/You've Fallen for Me: Ugh, another drama with so much wasted potential. Where was the love square? (I know, I usually hate them, but the chemistry and tension was there!) Why does everything hedge on Hee-Joo's mood? Why did she get friends and a boyfriend in the end after being horrible all series? Why is Lee Shin the perfect boyfriend that Kyu-Won doesn't deserve? Why does Shin randomly get critically injured in the 11th hour for no reason whatsoever? And, most importantly, why doesn't Kyu-Won learn anything by the end of the series? She still has low self-esteem, puts everyone before herself, and doesn't see the value of her own life. Kyu-Won doesn't deserve a win, either. Throw the whole drama away.

But wait, there's more! As if a marathon of ten shows wasn't enough, I started several others. I did drop a couple, and I'll tell you why in addition to sharing my love of the ones I'm still watching. 
The Tale of Nokdu: I've tried a few times, but I just can't get into this drama. After four episodes, it's taking too long to get to the point. I found the first episode interesting, but now we're just meandering. I've heard it's funny, so I'll try to come back to it at some point.

River Where the Moon Rises: I was so excited for this drama after watching the first episode. It's Goreyo, it's dark, there's action. I put it on the back burner to enjoy with a friend who only likes badass kdramas and then.... Real-life drama breaks loose. I just can't with CGI faces and actor changes. I do feel sorry for the rest of the cast who did nothing wrong. I don't think I'll return to this drama.

High-End Crush: Another drama I tried to get into but failed by episode four. Not even Jung Il-Woo could keep me interested. Maybe I'll try again, maybe I won't.

Mouse: Loved this since day one. I wish I found a really good recapping website or blog that could keep up with the airing schedule. It would've been great to have a place to discuss theories on. I don't want to go into too much detail, because that's part of the fun of the drama. Special shout out to whomever on set/on the writing team shoe-horned a way for Lee Seung-Gi to get into a suit in episode ten. 

Not to be outdone by myself, I also picked up a show to rewatch!

Goong/Princess Hours: Yes, I'm revisiting one of my favorite dramas of all time. Partly because after watching Heartstrings' Lee Shin, I could help but be reminded of Goong's Lee Shin. I would go into more detail about all my feelings, but I think I'll review this in the return of my Throwback Thursday series in a couple of weeks!
You'd think that would be enough, but you don't know me well if you believe that. I finally got my Netflix account to work on my phone (it kept logging me out, even though I have the top-tier account), so now I can watch Netflix-airing dramas on the go. I'll probably start with a serious catch up marathon of Vincenzo to try and catch up before it ends, and then find some old favorites like Crash Landing on You.

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