Drama Grab Bag

I can’t believe it’s August already! Time just seems to whizz by in a blink of an eye. Still short on time and frequently short on inspiration and energy, hence no posts for ages. I’ve watched a plethora of dramas in the past fiew months but nothing that’s truly grabbed me enough to feel like I must write about it. Gone are the days of squee filled reaction posts, sigh. I’m trying hard to remember if I finished any dramas since May but can’t seem to recall a thing. What the heck have I been watching then!?

Ok, let’s start with the two dramas I’m most invested in atm. Both are cdramas that just suddenly dropped without much fanfare and I really like both of them.

The Untamed
Untamed is based on a popular fantasy BL web novel (ain’t they all these days) Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation / Mo Dao Zu Shi / 魔道祖师. I actually came across the S1 of the donghua (anime) a while back and got thoroughly hooked. Enough to read most of novel translations available at that point. So you might say I’m quite well spoiled for the plot. 🙂 I’m still enjoying the drama a lot as I find the story compelling and love the characters. There were plenty of naysayers when Drama premied as people were not convinced the rather green idol actors would be able to pull off playing Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji but the boys have been doing a pretty good job indeed. I could not imagine anyone else in these roles now. Drama has also been following the novel plot lines pretty faithfully, so even the novel affectionados are happy. Untamed is a pretty drama, and I don’t just mean the cast. ^^ CGI is not the worst I’ve seen around either. The concept art is absolutely lovely. I really like the OST as well, lot of it is instrumental. Drama has no romance but a pretty compelling bromance. Chemistry between the leads is undeniable though.;D

One of the banners I made from the concept art pictures. 🙂

Here’s the main theme, 无羁 Wu Ji sung by the two leads Xiao Zhan and Wang Yibo

They’ve released several OST playlists, here’s one
Wei Wuxian character song
Lan WangJi character song

Novoland: Eagle Flag
This one I’ve actually been looking forward to ever since I found out that it was in the make. The trailers looked EPIC but so did the ones from Tribes and Empires and we all know how that went down, sigh. I’m glad to say that so far Eagle Flag has exceeded expectations and has managed to avoid the pitfalls Tribes and Empires fell in to. Drama looks grand, plot doesn’t meander, acting’s good (great cast btw), I’m loving the story and it’s three leads. From the trailers for the upcoming episodes I surmise that the friendships are going to be put to test. Partly due to external manipulation and partly because Ji Ye’s tendency to go off half-cocked. Boy’s got issues but I’m hoping he’ll get past those. Asule is way more levelheaded and generally thinks before he leaps. He’s also more concerned of how his actions affect other people. For him, sword is a weapon to protect those he cares for. As for the third part of this triumvirate, Yu Ran is bold, spirited and bright with a quick wit. She often seems to be the voice of reason and just as often the one to get them in deep water due to some prank she’s pulled. I’m sure she’ll become more sombre as time goes by. All of them have to leave their childhood behind pretty quickly, so I’m not grudging them the brief times of bonding and leisurely fun. There’s loads of fighting, Eagle Flag is one of those dramas with epic battles and the body count… well, that’s kinda epic as well. I’m not too hot on extended battle scenes but as they too are part of the package, I’ll just go with the flow.

The first official trailer

And the final one

There’s yet another cdrama on my current roster but I’ve fallen waaaayyy behind with it. The Longest Day in Chang’an has been praised all around and it does shine. It’s technically almost flawless and period accurate, has an amazing cast and it looks absolutely fab. But, the director is Cao Dun, the dude who also directed Tribes and Empires. He has an uncanny eye for detal and it shows, but he also get’s so immersed in the nittygritty that he often can’t see the forest for the trees. Hence the overall story gets bogged down and eventually grinds to a halt. The threads get loose and the whole thing starts to unravel. I’ve read that there are already signs of that sort of stuff happening. Which is why I’m not going to speed up my watching. Better wait till I know Drama doesn’t crash and burn.

I’m also watching FAR too many kdramas as I can’t seem to be able to stop checking out the new offerings and adding some of them on my roster. At least for a while. As per usual, I’m dropping more of ’em than I’m keeping. 😀 Hotel del Luna is shaping up to be one of the better Hong Sisters’ dramas. It’s nothing ground breaking but Hong Sisters do know how to package their fare so that it appeals to most. I haven’t seen any major mid drama lag yet and if the Sisters just manage to keep the whole thing from going to pot in the 2nd half, I’m going to be happy. The other kdramas on my rostar are Watcher (pretty good), Rookie Historian Go Hae Ra (not too bad but I’ve started to loose interest already) and Designated Survivor (behind by several episodes). I’ll be checking out When The Devil Calls Your Name soon too. It’s Jung Kyoung Ho and Park Sung Woong re-union so how could I not! Besides I’ve read that it seems to be lighter in tone than expected. Another one to check out is A Moment at Eighteen. I did consider Class of Lies as well but I’m not in the mood for devil’s spawn students and horrible adults doing horrible deeds. I think At Eighteen will probably suit my palate much better right now.

I’m still at ep one of Tasogare Ryuuseigun. ;P I liked what I saw of it but poor drama has been ousted by all the others. I’m going to get to it one of these days.

5 thoughts on “Drama Grab Bag

  1. I’m checking out a lot of new dramas too because i keep dropping them after 1-2 eps and keep running out of something to watch. Everything looks serious and heavy and i kinda need lighter dramas for a change.

    For k-drama, so far i’m only following Hotel del Luna, but i’m already feeling the drag. After Beautiful World, i’m being extra cautious about high school dramas, and Class of Lies seems to be another version of that. At 18 is less evil but sadder. Park Sung-woong is great in When The Devil Calls Your Name, but i only checked out the first ep and wasn’t really feeling it.

  2. I have Eagle Flag on my list, and Chang’an too, so I’m happy to hear you’re enjoying Eagle Flag, but also, a little dismayed to hear that Chang’an is starting to lag. :/ Crossing my fingers that Chang’an will pull through! I just tried E1 of Rookie Historian last night, and it’s quite charming so far, if I don’t quibble with Cha Eun Woo’s very limited delivery.

    I’m also planning to check out When the Devil Calls Your Name and A Moment At Eighteen, with vague plans of taking a look at Hotel del Luna.. I realize I don’t generally do well with shows by the Hong Sisters, of late. When everyone was loving Master’s Sun I found it rather meh, so I’m proceeding with caution, amid the multiple raves. 😉

    • Well, that’s what I’ve read about Chang’an but I’m not yet far enough to say anything for sure myself. Let’s hope it was just a momentary blip and not something major.

      Rookie Historian does have a certain charm, but it hasn’t given me much to root for really. Next epi looks a bit more interesting as it moves away from the palace. Cha Eun Woo is definitely the weakest link there. He isn’t doing too badly as I don’t think the character demands much from him, but the nuances a better actor could have given the character are conspiously missing. I can look past that though as I’m not prticularly invested in anything. Drama is stricktly “filler” for me. 🙂

      Hong Sisters are a hit and miss for me. I’ve liked some of their dramas and some just didn’t suit me, for whatever reason. Master’s Sun was ok but it was by no means a masterpiece. I find Korean romcoms pretty forgettable on the whole.

  3. Wow, you really keeping busy! At least you’ve found a few you’re really enjoying though. The plus of having lots you’re initially interested in is that it’s more likely that a few will pan out. I think I’m going to have to give Novoland: Eagle Flag a look after everyone talking it up. See if it can break my cdrama rut, hehe

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