Although I have several dramas on rotation atm, none of them truly owns me the way e.g. Secret Love Affair did. They are all sort of comfy watches but pretty different from one another. So far I’ve been enjoying all, I’m just not compelled to write about any of them. That extra ‘squee!-factor’ has proven quite elusive in recent years. Which is why I’m always very happy when one of those dramas come along. 🙂
So, what am I watching then? Let’s see….
[No spoilers for the plots, just some general rambling abut the dramas in question.]
A New Leaf
I didn’t initially expect to like this one as much as I do. Leagal dramas tend to make my eyes glaze over but ANL has been surprisingly entertaining. It’s probably the Kim Myung Min factor, ha. Though, in all honesty the rest of the cast is good too and I’m intrigued by the plot as it hasn’t been all that predictable and after 10 episodes I’m still not sure of the direction it’s going to take. That’s always a bonus, especially as so many dramas in recent years have succumbed to serious script malfunctions. There are several of those currently on air too (I’m SO glad I had the sense to either drop them early on or deemed them too silly to even begin with). Of course there is no guarantee that ANL won’t derail later on but it’s been pretty solid so far so I’m optimistic. ^^ It has a nice balance of humour and more serious stuff and the leagal shenanigans have actually looked quite sensible and real. Romance is firmly on the backburner, which is another thing I like. ANL is not a romantic drama, it’s mostly about other kind of relationships. I’m not even sure if and how romance is going to be inserted in the story or who the OTP is going to be. Nor do I care, as long as it makes sense and fits in. 😀
Into The Flames
Still no subs for this one and I can understand why as I feel it’s not a subject to interest the majority of the foreign viewership. There are no pretty boys or fan favourites in the cast either. It is a very traditional drama and has a sort of oldfashioned feel to it, which imho fits very well with a story spanning several decades, starting from the end of WW2. It is a bit too shouty to my taste at times and there are curious bouts of overacting that make me roll my eyes. Especially Choi Chul Ho who plays the big oaf Choi Jong Ho overacts like a boss, LOL! But then Chul Ho is full of it, so it kinda fits. *g* I loved the teenage counterparts of the main threesome and thought they were a pretty good match with the adults. Where do they find all these interesting young’uns? I’d never even heard of the boys who played young Tae Hyung (Kim Kwon – Omg! I just realised he was Youg Woo’s pretty toyboy in SLA! Boy is a total noob and doesn’t have much of a resumé yet.) and Dae Chul (Yoon Hong Bin – who btw just had a small part in The New Leaf). ITF resembles Giant in tone but I don’t think it’s as well written or acted. I find the story of birth of Korean steelworks quite interesting though and the drama is set in a period of time that hasn’t been depicted very often, at least not in recent years. You’d think a drama like Into the Flames would be at least 50 epis long but surprisingly it only has 20, so no time to get draggy. I seem to have ‘a thing’ for this type of dramas as I really liked My Woman (set in the world of ship building/shipping) too, despite it’s obvious flaws. 🙂
Yoo Na’s Street
Another drama with no subs and no buzz what so ever. It’s a very laid back and cosy drama without any pretensions of grandeur or unnecessary bling. It’s both cute and rather funny at times but has a serious and contemplative side to it too. I really like the cast of odd characters who all seem to be petty criminals of some sort. Save for our hero Chang Man that is. XD He is ever so sweet and caring and by the looks of it will bring about change to the whole crowd. This is also VERY wordy drama and there are times I’d really like to have subs as my Korean is still not up to the conversations these people just luuurve to have. I don’t know why it is that sometimes I don’t have any problems with understanding most of the dialogue (e.g Wonderful Days) and sometimes my vocab fails me quite miserably. Odd.
I’ve also been following couple of Jdramas which are both procedurals. What else.
Border has been quite good and as ghost seeing detectives go, Border beats it’s Korean counterparts coming and going. ;P It’s better written, better acted and I’m loving Oguri Shun in this one. There’s something very captivating with his Ishikawa Ango. I also really like the meticuous and observient coroner Higa Mika. I wouldn’t mind watching a whole drama about her. The 9th and last epi (which I haven’t watched yet) aired this week so unless there is a sequel I’ll have to bide goodbye to Ango and his team-mates. I’m quite eager to see how they wrap the story up. What does Ango decide to do about the thing that allows him to see the ghosts? It’s been helpful but not with every case and the ability does have it’s down side.
Bitter Blood is a fun romp and I doubt anyone is expected to take it seriously. It does have some serious bits littered here and there but mostly it’s just pure comedy. Watabe Atsuro and Sato Takeru as a bickering father/son detective pair are comedy gold. They are definitely the best part of the show and in the hands of less good actors these two would be just gringeworthy or annoying. It’s fun watching them playing off of one another. The whole thing goes a bit OTT at times, granted but mostly it’s just hilarious. Take the latest epi for instance. It was totally loony and I giggled through most of it. My sense of humour is a bit wonky, so…. XD I’m not too thrilled with the arch of the ‘super criminal’ who has a beef with Watabe’s character but so far he’s been too comical to be taken seriously either. I just hope they don’t decide to kill off someone in the end for real. That would be a total let down.