Drama Grab Bag

Wow! Another post, I’m on a roll… not. 🙂 Fiew thoughts on some dramas on my current roster/recently viewed.

The Village
The Village has managed to keep me entertained. The plot is sufficiently twisty and you can’t be absolutely sure which clues are true and which red herrings, yet I’ve never felt that TPTB don’t know where they are going. The writing is very assured, no stalling, hesitating or odd flights of fancy. The heroine could be a bit more assertive as now she tends to be overshadowed by just about everyone else. It’s a minor quibble though as I don’t think she was even ment to be particularly ‘kick ass’. She did find it in herself to become an active participant in the hunt for the killer(s). Who actually killed her sister is still up for grabs though. At this point it could be anyone and I haven’t yet overruled the possibility that she wasn’t killed at all, LOL! I do hope the revelation is sufficiently surprising and not some lame duck.

In a drama that is very much plot driven the stand-out character is definitely Choi Jae Woong’s Ahgassi. The way CJW depicts this very ambivalent character is wonderful. It’s hard to figure out what to make of him, especially in the beginning. Is he good? Is he bad? No matter which way the wind blows any given moment, I’m never indifferent when it comes to him. Ji Sook is another one you can’t really ignore. She is like a powder keg poised on getting ignited by the smallest of sparks. I believe the lady is quite unhinged, on top of being manipulative and viley, ha. A fine job by Shin Eun Kyung. Come next week we’ll hopefully see the whole thing unravel, leaving no secrets unexposed.

Oh My Venus
It’s a romcom. With Shin Min Ah and So Ji Sub. Seriously, I’m trying very hard to find something else to say but that’s about it. 😉 It’s harmless fluff, it hasn’t offended me so far and I like it. The story isn’t anything new but that pairing is so winning that they manage to sell it with ease. I luff SJS in comedic roles, so… Full re-caps at Dramabeans, in case there is someone who is not aware of that.^^

Love Me If You Dare
I finally picked this one up a week or so ago and watched about 10 episodes straight. Which probably means I didn’t hate it at sight. *g* A geeeenius profiler, Jin Yan (what’s with all these geniuses in dramaland lately?), with a tragic past and PTSD and a spunky uni student, Jian Yao (who originally takes up a temp translatiang job with him) pair up as a seluthing duo. Well, there’s a third and forth wheel as well, but who’s counting. 🙂 She eventually ends up as her assistant and together they help the cops solve the most difficult cases… and fall in love in the process. There’s a mysterious geeeenius serial killer stalker too. Of course there is. What crime show worth their salt doesn’t have at least one evil mastermind tucked away somewhere.

As crime procedurals go Love Me If You Dare is pretty good. The cases so far have been mostly interesting and I’m finding the bigger series arch quite dark and intriguing. The only gripe I’m having is that in the recent epis they’ve decided to go with more loveydovey and it breaks the flow, as per usual. Yeah, the OTP interactions are cute but as I’m more interested in the crime solving I tend to get impatient with the all the romancing. Favourite character: hero’s sidekick, Fu Ziyu. He’s very entertaining without being the designated OTT comic relief. I love how he’s always so amused at the way his best pal is clueless about many mundane, everyday things. Like it took the Geeeenius ages to figure out that he is totally smitten with the pretty assistant. On the other hand, it took him no time at all to make his move and sweep her off her feet once he got the first part of the equation established. XD Jin Yan really enjoys making grand gestures, I guess ‘less is more’ is not in his lexicon. Well, he’s not short on cash I dare say.

Wu Xin: The Monster Hunter
What a delightfull romp! One of those “disengeage your brain, sit back and enjoy” type of shows. The plot is actually quite good and as I don’t watch many wuxia shows this was something different for a change. Apparently the cast consists of noobs but I wouldn’t have guessed.

The Monster Hunter is set at some point in the Republican era and the hero is Wu Xin, who doesn’t know where he comes from, how long he has lived, or what he is. He wanders the earth with no purpose in life and no money. During one of his destitute spells, he meets Yue Ya who gives him her last morsel of food. To repay her kindness and get more food in their stomach, he decides to capitalize his only skill set: Killing monsters. They begin a wondrous and often dangerous adventure of fighting supernatural evil, one paying customer at a time. ~ “Dramawiki”

Or if we go by kumaxell @ For the Love of Drama

Wu Xin: The Monster Killer (无心法师) is about immortal potato furry worm man, warlord, and country girl fighting immortal body snatching bride and her horde of voodoo paper dolls and zombies. Action. Romance. Comedy. A drama filled with awesome goodness.

LOL! That might actually be the better description. The drama is filled to the brim with Teh Pretteh – the cast, the costumes, the scenery, how it looks over all. The FX is a bit wonky in places but I’ve seen way, way worse so it wasn’t like I’d be hung up on that. I fell in love with the winsome triumvirate of good ‘guys’; Wu Xin, his ladylove Yue Ya and the hilariously awesome Commander Gu Xuan Wu, almost at get go. There’s bromance, romance and BFF – what’s not to love. Monster killing pretty boy is cute as a button, that boyish charm just slaaayyyys but Commander Gu is the stand out, scene stealing, for ever childish, shameless and the most hilarious warlord of Republican era China. He’s the perfect sidekick who’ll whinge and nag like the best of the ladies but still has your back when it matters. And he looks like a long lost brother of Choi Woo Shik. 🙂 Luff the guy!

As fun as the drama is, don’t expect a happily ever after. The boy thing whatever is immortal after all and we all know how it tends to go with immortal/mortal pairings. Somehow the ending was very fitting though, I wouldn’t change it.

Feast your eyes with the pretty: https://youtu.be/VZLQyi5iaZo
That theme song is so haunting and evocative.
And here’s a trailer: https://youtu.be/8D12R01BpCg

Otona Joshi
There really aren’t many dramas centering on female friendship so it’s always nice when I come across one. If I like it, even better. Otona Joshi tells about three, single 40 something ladies, Nakahara Aki and her good friends Osaki Moeko and Sakata Midori. Aki is a career woman in advertising, Moeko a flower shop manager, and Midori a divorced mother of three boys, the youngest of which is still in middle school. We follow the three friends as they tackle sudden bumps in their daily life, work and romantic entanglements.

I wasn’t quite sure what to make of this drama to begin with but the characters grew on me and after a while I found myself enjoying the intertwined stories and the cracking dialogue. These ladies have a strong bond and are ready to support one another, through thick and thin. The central char Aki looks quite poised and assured but underneath she is vulnerable and the hurt of failed relationships have left their mark. I love her bantering partnership with Takayama Fumio, the brusque former scriptwriter of copious romance dramas she hires to consult on the romance app her company is developing. Theirs is a working relationship to begin with but there’s dicernible attraction floating around now, although neither wants to admit it. They’d make a good match, me thinks.

What do you know, there actually is a plot! How riveting, wouldn’t have guessed going by the first episodes. Which is not surprising, considering the episodes are just ca. 25 min and half of the time is dedicated to brawling. Highly choreographed mass fight scenes are the name of the game, so plot is strictly secondary. H&L is, like kiret4 @ LJ pointed out, “a compilation of all yankee/brawling shows you’ve ever watched: Tokyo Tribe, Crows Zero/Explode, Gachiban series…” Have to admit though that those fight scenes are darned well done. The best take so far being the acrobatic parkour thingy/style of the Rude Boys. I have NO idea how they managed to do that on top of the pipes and beams and whatnot without falling.

So… the plot. A nameless town is ruled by 5 fifedoms gangs and the area is called S.W.O.R.D – a combination of first letters of the gang names. Each gang has a distinct style, even their own signature songs, heh. As long as no-one decides to rock the boat, there is a precarious power balance that is kept by mutual, unspoken agreement. Anything can shatter the relative peace though and now it seems there are outside forces moving in on the game, determined to do just that. The focus, so to speak, is on Sannoh Association with a core group of 4 guys (later 6) and Sannoh seems to be the most ‘normal’ of the five gangs. For some reason they have been picked up as the ones to push, to get things moving. Maybe because the leader and his nbr 2 are Ex-Mugen (a gang that used to rule the whole town). The plot moves at snail’s pace, for obvious reasons, but there have been glimpses at past events and what’s happening in the shadows. In ep 6 we actually got a revelation I was not expecting. Well done, show.^^

H&L would totally be a guilty pleasure… if I was actually feeling any guilt, that is. 😀 Never claimed everything I choose to watch is quality. I haven’t really been able to determine why I’m enjoying H&L, apart from the frequent visits to the shallow end of the pool. LOL! I am curious to find out how Mugen was broken and who exactly is behind the recent provocations. Ah, there are times when I’m so easily amused.

4 thoughts on “Drama Grab Bag

  1. I really liked the character f Aghashi…the actor really stood out among the sea of actors and characters in Village. I liked the show as well but it didn’t exactly click all boxes of qualities I want in my thrillers but still a different turn for kdramas and it managed to keep interest and mystery till the end.
    I’m loving the main pair in OMV and the boys as well…rest everything is such a bore. LOL.

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