Drama Grab Bag

I’m still finding it hard to muster up much interest in kdramas. I start them only to drop them or to put them on hold. Dragons is still on the shelf and Another Oh Hae Young + Police Unit 38 have now joined it, sigh. I know I would like Dear My Friends but unfortunately I’m not in the mood… Hopefully this new lot will be more succesfull in making me stick to at least one of them.

I’m not totally dramaless though. I already said my piece about Bijo to Danshi but I’ve got a couple of more on the roster as well.

W – Two Worlds
Surprisingly I really liked the two first episodes and I’m eager to see how and why the webtoon came alive. Is Kang Chul himself the driving force behind it or something more sinister? This writer seems to think that when it comes to supernatural ‘gifts’, you should be wary as there is always a price to pay. Despite of the seemingly different premise, the underlying theme in W is very similar to both Queen In Hyun’s Man and Nine. Messing with the time/past/destiny has repercussions. What will happen when the two worlds start to interact even more? When the lines of what is real and what is made up start to get blurred, who knows what the result will be.

There are viewers who think Han Hyo Joo is overacting but I don’t see it that way. Her delivery is quite in line with the character and what she’s been going through. I mean, just think about what happened to her! I’d probably be scared out of my wits myself and a slobbering wreck in the same situation. Actually, I found her bemusement really funny, I laughed quite a bit. Lee Jong Suk… well, I’m neither here nor there with the guy, not my kind of pretty but he fits the part. I’ve always found him likeable in the roles I’ve seen him in. There’s certain kind of warmth in the boy that for me much more compelling than his looks.^^

I know the writer-nim is good at world building but he does sometimes drop the ball in other respects. I loved Queen In Hyun’s Man but didn’t really warm up to neither Nine nor The Three Musketeers. Let’s hope he can keep me glued to the screen with this one, I’m really in need of a kdrama that I can feel properly attached to. It’s been rather long since the last one I really, really liked.

Bring It On, Ghost!
Light and breezy, with nothing much to annoy so far. It’s an easy watch, despite of Show’s unfortunate penchant for foisting totally unnecessary comic moments on us in the form of the Comic Duo. I always end up FFing through their part. The forced funny feels so irrelevant to the story and actually ends up disrupting the narrative flow. I’m not particularly amused by them either.

I like the bickering partnership of Hyun Ji and Bong Pal and I’d like their relationship to stay that way. It’s not because I’m ‘clutching my pearls’ for the ‘age thing’ but rather because I don’t think every dang kdrama needs a romance. There are plenty that would have been perfectly fine, or even better without. The two are cute as they are and I’d rather have a solid friendship than anything else. Kim So Hyun is nailing it as per usual and Taec is just fine as Bong Pal. This role seems tailormade for him, besides not demanding too much from him. Boy’s become better at emoting but he still has ways to go as a thespian.

Oddly enough I’m not all that interested in the mysteries either. No burning need to find out who killed Bong Pal’s mother, what happened to Hyn Ji nor who or what Hye Sung really is. I actually think that Hye Sung is possessed by a malicious ghost and he is behind both deaths. Everything seems to point that way but I could be wrong, it wouldn’t be the first time my guesses hit wide off the mark. πŸ™‚ I’m also wondering if Hyun Ji’s ghostly pal Kyung Ja will somehow be the one to help them unearth that mystery.

The Mystic Nine
I’m not sure if it’s nostalgia or all the pretty sets that appeal to me in The Mystic Nine. Maybe both. Well, there’s a lot of the other kind of ‘pretty’ as well. Not that I’m complaning. πŸ˜‰ The plot is a lot like in many of the “ripping yarns” I used to read when I was a kid. Their worlds a lot simpler to understand and the line between the good and the evil much more clear cut. I just looooved to raid my male cousins’ stack of books and magazines for all the exciting action, ha. But I digress, I do like this particular ‘ripping yarn’, even with the very obvious flaws. Nothing has been so bad I’d want to poke out my eyes so far but some things just stand out. Acting won’t win any awards in a hurry for sure. The CGI is laughably bad and so are many of the action scenes, which seem to be there just to make the guys to look cool. Well, they kinda do so I guess… success? πŸ˜€

Apart from the scenes it the mine/toomb the plot in the first 12 epis or so moves really slooooow. Lots of filler, though I don’t mind some of the fan service they offered, ha. Brooding Fo Ye is pretty. And I think I’m in love with his u-ni-form. Er Ye and the wifey Ya Tou are saccarine sweet but their scenes are… um, boring. Yes, they really, really love one another but nothing happens while they are at it! Fo Ye and his spunky bride to be Xin Yue are much more fun to watch. He is so amused by her antics and definitely taken by her but trying hard not to show it. I guess the first lot of episodes are all set-up and could be labelled as “stuff to make Er Ye join the band of merry grave robbers again”. So, maybe now that we’ve got that one obstacle removed we can finally get down to business and start exploring the mines/graves/what the Japanese are up to. I want action! Blood Zombies! Fleash eating bugs! Traps and Danger! Our guys kicking ass and taking names! The trailer promised us this: https://youtu.be/EAj4QdZUUQ4 – so, bring it on.

I’m looking forward to meeting the rest of The Nine Gates as so far we’ve only got Fo Ye (no 1), Er Ye (no 2), Pi A Si (no 4), Ba Ye (no 8) and Jie Jiu (no 9). Pi A Si, albeit a rather interesting character, is a two faced, loose cannon with a chip on his shoulder and an unhealthy crush on the wife of his master. I don’t like ungratful bastard and I wouldn’t trust him any further than I can throw him. Ba Ye is the scaredy cat comic relief who starts out a bit annoying but is growing on me. He is kinda cute in his Fo Ye fanboying. They are good friends and he is actually helpful every once in a while. Jie Jiu seems like a good man to have around too, smart and capable. Oh, and we can’t forget Fo Ye’s trusty sidekick, Lt Zhang (luv him).

There is very little background info about anyone or anything, so you have to hunt for answers yourself, if you are interested. TPTB just drop us in the middle of the story and expect us to take it from there. Not to everyone’s liking, I’m sure. The original writer of the books Mystic Nine is based on doesn’t seem to go for that sort of stuff. There was preciously little background info in the Grave Robbers’ Cronicles (the sequel to this one) as well but I still enjoyed the books a lot. I read all 6 in 2 days, ha.

13 thoughts on “Drama Grab Bag

  1. You’ve got two Korean dramas in your grab bag this time πŸ˜€ Honestly I haven’t got round to reading up on them but good to have your take on them. I see you have quite a few on your upcoming possibilities too. Can’t wait for your 1st impression on Second to Last Love.

    • I’ve been so busy with other things lately that there hasn’t been much time for dramas (save for Fo Ye – ha!). I’ve still got most of last week’s episodes to watch. Not sure when I get to tackle those.

      LOL! My upcoming list does have more stuff than usually, I’d say. Oftentimes I’m hard pressed to find any kdramas that interest me enough to even consider them.^^ I’m going to give ‘Second to Last Love’ a go later this week. It looks fun.

  2. Totally enjoyed W-Two Worlds. You’re so right about LJS β€” he has warmth in his acting (though I find him pretty to..heh)..he suits the manhwa hero to the T.
    I don’t think HHJ overacted..in fact, she made me laugh a lot of times. I’m curious to know how the drama will unfold its vast premise.
    I’ve seen PU38 till ep4…I did like it..but can’t find the urge to continue…I mean I will..I just don’t have that feeling..can’t wait to watch.
    I completed Signal…loved it, despite feeling confused about the whole time loop thing..lol

  3. Only read recaps for Oh Hae-young, Dear My Friends and Police Unit 38. Didn’t really like the former when I caught bits of it, and found none of the characters likeable. Now currently nuts over Beautiful Mind. Jang Hyuk! ❀

    • I’m a bit iffy on Oh Hae Young too as the first fiew episodes I watched didn’t really hit the spot. I may or may not get back to it at some point. Same thing with PU38.

      I’ve been keeping tabs on Beautiful Mind to see if it’s something to pick up when it’s done. I don’t really like medical dramas and what I’ve so far read about the hospital politics/shenanigans in BM make my eyes glaze over – so booooring. Well, that’s what the FF button is for, I guess. πŸ™‚

      • Hahaha, usually the hospital politics just roll off me because Jang Hyuk is so compelling in this and I think the writer has integrated things pretty well (for a drama that was short on such a tight schedule). But generally, I just like having a drama that makes me think.

        PU38 fans say the story is slow off the blocks, but picks up as the episodes progress. As for OHY, it seemed the main characters had very little to zero growth.

        I hope W progresses well for you. I suppose Taecyeon’s acting has improved in Ghost?

        • Yeah, if the drama has enough substance, it’ll probably be enough to make you ignore the boring bits. I’ll wait to see how BM ends and pending no major last minute WTF!, I’ll probably add it to my roster.

          I’m hoping W will deliver as well. It had such a promising start so it’d be great if they were able to keep it up.

          As for Taec, I think he’s learned a fiew things but mostly it’s just that the role really fits him. I’ve noticed that working with good actors seem to help him do better. I think Assembly was a very good experience for him as it had such a great cast to learn from.

  4. Oh, yay that you’re enjoying W! I’ve been hearing so many good things, I feel like I need to start on that show soon ^^ I’m also planning to check out Bring it on, Ghost, so thanks for helping me to manage my expectations on that one πŸ™‚ I do agree that you’d like DMF.. I’m just a few epis into it, and it’s quite a breath of fresh air ❀

    • The first 2 epis of W were very good. It was surprisingly funny too, which I liked. Somehow it gave me a jdrama feel, which is always a good sign in my books. πŸ™‚

      Not expecting too much of Bring it on Ghost is just the right way to tackle that drama. It really doesn’t have much of substance but acts as easy filler when you want something like that.

      Definitely going to start DMF in the near future, time permitting. I’ll be much busier come August, so my drama watching has to be scaled down accordingly.

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