Drama Grab Bag

Goodness, it has been quite a while since my last post! It’s not like don’t have any dramas to watch but rather I’ve had heck of a time trying to press ‘play’. It’s been a real struggle. Thus there hasn’t been much material to write about. Well, there are other factors too but I’m not going to go into that right now. Anyways, this post has been in the making for a loooong time and I’m SO glad I can finally publish something.^^

Forest of Secrets 2 / Stranger 2
Yup, it’s finally here. 🙂 As second seasons go, this was one I was very much looking forward to, despite of the fact that Korea’s track record with multiple seasons isn’t the best. Well, S2 of Cheo Yong was actually much better than S1, but that’s probably an anomaly. *g* As the first two episodes of S2 of FoS seem to have been mostly setup, it’s too early to tell how Drama will eventually turn out. The writing is still as assured as ever and the actors are doing fine but I don’t quite know how I feel about the directing. I loved Ahn Gil Ho’s take on season 1 but Park Hyun Suk (director S2) of course has his own way of presenting things. Maybe it’s because the beginning was in large part about police/prosecution office ‘big wigs’ politics, the start was a bit on the dry side. I don’t mind a slower start if Drama has an upward mobile trajectory from then on. Better than starting out with a bang and closing with a whimper. Going by the preview at the end of ep 2, the next epi promieses to be a bit more investigative, which is good. Season 1 managed to make even the politics interesting, but there’s no guarantee TPTB will able to replicate that. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Anyways, it was great to see all the returning characters, even the Weasel. 😀

Hospital Playlist
I’ve liked most of the dramas this production team has made and hoped Hospital Playlist would be along those lines too. I was not disapointed as it was sort of a mixture of the Reply series and Prison Playbook. I guess this is as close as kdramas can get to slice-of-life. I quite enjoyed myself, despite of the ridiculously long episodes. I do have to say that there were bits that could have been left out without the story suffering at all, thus keeping the episodes at manageable length. All the characters were very likeable, including the main supporting ones. Everyone got their time in the spotlight as well, which was nice. The main cast is of course kinda a ‘dream team’ and I think TPTB picked just the right people for the roles. Despite of the setting (a hospital) the whole drama had this oddly wholesame, homey feel that made it an easy watch. That said, as much as I liked Hospital Playlist and quite look forward to S2, it didn’t make a particularly lasting impression. But then, not many dramas do these days, regardless of the overall quality. Kfangurl has a very good, detailed review (all of hers are 😀 ) on Hospital Playlist, here at The Fangirl Verdict.

Mystic Pop-up Bar
A lovely little drama. A bit silly in an entertaining way but with a lot of heart. I liked the main trio a lot. I also found most of the episodic cases quite heartfelt and the overarching storyline was intriquing enough to keep me invested till the end. I think 12 episodes was just the perfect length to tell the story. I didn’t get the feeling that something vital was left out. People have been comparing Mysic to Hotel del Luna, but any resemblance there may be, is only superficial. I must say I prefer Mystic myself. It was less sombre in it’s outlook and the humorous bits were more to my liking. It had a better ending too, imho.

I’ll Find You on a Beautiful day / I’ll Come To You When The Weather Is Nice
I think Drama could have been better if it had been shorter. I loved the start but some of the magic got lost along the way. I didn’t mind the slower pace but after the half way point it felt like Drama was kinda spinning it’s wheels for a while. So, not quite Jasashii Jikan after all. 🙂 The OTP was… well, nice and I liked the fact their romance was pretty low key and warm. Not every romance has to be all fireworks and le grand passion, ha. The last minute separation seems to have irked people but I saw it as something Hae Won had to do in order to figure out who she really is and what she wants to do with her life. But yeah, she did come off as kinda self centered. My fave character was hands down Lee Jae Wook’s Jang Woo. What a great outing from LJW! He already caught my eye in Extraordinary You but now I’m really looking forward to what he’ll do next.

Stove League
What a lovely little drama. It wasn’t perfect, but then what drama is, and I finished it with a smile on my face. Stove League is not a typical sports drama in a sense that it’s all about the behind the scenes of running a major league baseball team during the off season, aka Hot Stove League. You don’t actually have to be familiar with baseball to enjoy the drama as it’s centered on the people, both the players and the managment.

Dreams is the bottom team in the league, that hasn’t achieved much in years, mostly due to poor management and lack of enthusiam from all parties. Everyone seems to be in a rut, doing the same things year in year out and they don’t even realise this. Then in comes a new general manager Baek Seung Soo who totally shakes up the status quo. He is more or less treated as The Enemy at first but one by one he wins people on his side and they begin to see what his goal is. Unfortunately making the team better was not why he was actually hired so inevitably he clashes with Kwon Kyung Min, the reprentative of the head honchos and it’s a sort of a battle of wits from then on. As much as I liked Stove League, there are still parts that I didn’t care for. Drama was always at it’s best when it was about the people and what makes them tick. Just about everyone came off as a somewhat improved version of themselves in the end and I loved watching the their journeys to that point. What I could have done without was all of the utterly boring company stuff with Jaesong Group (owners of Dreams) and what went on with Kyung Min and his family. Drama didn’t need any of that. It was like the writer didn’t trust his/her ability to tell a good story without adding some needless “excitement” and strife. Or maybe it was TPTB of SBS who had trust issues. In the end I just FFd through all the bits with anything to do with the Jaesong Group and I don’t think I missed much. Baek Seung Soo is Namgoong Min at his best. 😀 It’s funny how I didn’t like him as an actor at all until after he took on playing serial killers, LOL! Guess something finally clicked while doing those darker roles, as he was SO bland before.

9 thoughts on “Drama Grab Bag

  1. Hello @Timescout I really enjoy your choice of dramas. The taste is very similar and the complaints i have with regards to a drama are beautifully expressed by you. I am looking forward to your next post :-).

    • Ah, thank you for your kind words. 🙂 I try my best but as I don’t have much time for dramas or blogging these days, it may be a while till my next post. I’m also a bit lacking in inspiration, which doesn’t help the situation.

      • Even i am at the crossroads . I started watching k-dramas couple of years ago and I started with the best ‘Forest of Secrets’. May be that is why i am disillusioned quite fast :-). When we start with the best ,every thing that follows pales in comparison :(. I am also quite struggling to find something that can hold my attention. Unfortunately it has been scarce :(. Suddenly everything around me feel mediocre (including me). I think as we grow older , we no longer want to give time to things that you would have given time when we are young. It is a blessing and a curse sometimes. We are no longer a wide eyed easily. Hopefully there are better things next year in life and in dramas. Wishing you a new year that will bring us happy and healthy life and a does of inspiration to look forward to :-). Always a pleasure to know your thoughts.

  2. Hospital Playlist is on my list but when I see the long length, I’m like, okay next time! *sigh*
    I wasn’t too much into SF2 in the beginning but by the end, I was on board fully.
    And yes, Stove League was so good!

  3. It’s great to see a good crop of dramas that you’ve enjoyed recently 🙂 Mystic Pop-Up Bar is the only one I’ve seen, and I too really enjoyed that one. Glad that Hospital Playlist, Stove League, and I’ll Come to You When the Weather is Nice fared well for you. Hoping that Forest of Secrets does too! 🙂

  4. Yay, glad you managed to hit play on Mystic Pop-up Bar and ended up enjoying it! I share your sentiments on it, down to how i prefer it to Del Luna too. 😉

    I can’t comment on the other shows since i either don’t watch ’em or dropped ’em early. 😅

  5. Aww, thanks for the lovely shout-out, Timescout!! 🥰❤️ You are very sweet! 😘 Looks like we are in agreement on all the show on this list – except FoS2, which I’m not yet watching. Otherwise, I completely agree with you, down to the corporate stuff in Stove League, AND, how bland Nam Goong Min used to be! 😄

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