Drama Grab Bag


Well, I’m back. Sort of. I still don’t have much time for blogging nor all that much incentive either, but I’m watching stuff and I actually found it in me to write one of these again. 😄 So, I guess things are moving to the right direction…

Navilleira
What a wonderful, heartwarming and posive show, despite of having a certain sense of melancholy and sadness voven into the story. Everything about this drama is worth a praise, from the writing and directing to acting and music. Everyone involved did a bang up job but not enough can be said about the star of the show, Park In Hwan as Deok Chul. He is the heart of the story. Deok Chul is such a lovable, gentle soul but without being a pushover. He knows when to stand firm and when to give way. He had a profundly positive effect on so many of the other characters, just by being who he is. I wish I’d had a grampa like him. 🙂 I’ve never seen Song Kang in anything but he totally won me over as Chae Rok. I’m sure they used a body double in the more difficult ballet scenes but Song Kang truly made me believe that Shae Rok is a ballrino. He really looked like one, even in posture. Those long limbs and the graceful way he moved, boy is so tall and well built too. 😀 Navillera was the drama that finally pulled me back from my kdrama hiatus. I’m glad to be back, even if not in full blogging mode yet.^^ There’s a great review by kfangurl at The Fangirl Verdict. She is so much better than I in putting into words what I think and feel about this drama. Go read it.

The Imperial Coroner
I really liked this one a lot. It’s always great to have a crime show where everyone is smart. Well, perhaps not old head eunuch’s lackey nor his pet general, granted. 🙂 Drama isn’t anything new or earth shattering but the plot is pretty tightly woven and story moves along at a brisk pace. No filler, which is a bonus when it comes to cdramas and at 36 episodes of ca 40 minutes each, it’s not too long either. There is an overarching storyline as well as episodic cases, all of which tie to the bigger plot, so it’s pretty much the same story all the way. Thankfully there isn’t too much palace politics and I found all the plotting and scheming quite well done. Some viewers might have found the illustrated explanations of how the victims were killed not that interesting but I liked them. I think it was a clever way to go around not having the funds to set up a coroner’s examination with a ‘real’ body. I loved the main characters and the fact that they had not been unnecessarily “prettyfied” by filters and what not. The actors also look good but naturally so and no-one has that cookie-cutter “idol face”, which is another bonus to me. This isn’t a high end production, so the props and costuming are perhaps lacking in some ways but look good enough to my eyes. There really isn’t anything that is so out of place as to distract me from the actual story. The OTP is very likeable and I liked how the romance was woven into the story without it hijacking the spotlight from the actual plot. There is also another couple and their bickering side romance, which was nicely handled as well and not intrusive in any way. All in all a very enjoyable watch that I looked forward to each week.

The Long Ballad and Word of Honor
I’m quite behind with both, as I sorta-kinda lost interest, but I do inted to finish both.

Long Ballad is long. Way too many episodes and there is a lot of going around in circles. The story isn’t very complicated and could have been easly told in a shorter time. I ended up FFing through a lot of the less interesting bits as per usual. 😉 One thing to take away is that Leo Wu has grown up nicely, not the cute little scamper of NiF anymore. Also, his Mane of Glory is worth of an award. Gosh, I wish most sageuks had wigs like that!

Word of Honor, what can I say. I’m nowhere near as enamored with it as so many others are. Frankly, I think the adoration it’s mostly due to the epic (b)romance of the two main leads and how the production got away with inserting so much flirting and innuendo without getting stomped by the cencors. Take that away and the rest of it isn’t all that riveting. Imho, The Untamed has a lot more interesting story and smarter villains. But that’s just me, no need to take offence if WoH is the best thing since sliced bread to you. The main actors are doing a pretty good job… and my, are they easy on the eyes! 😀

Beautiful Mind
(This was written waaayyyy back when, in last year, ha)
I think this was the first kdrama to feature a lead with a medical condition that makes them unable to feel and understand feelings. Jang Hyuk did pretty well, but I was never quite able to escape thinking that he was somewhat miscast. The romance didn’t do much for me, but the OTP had their moments and I liked that there were no meddling second leads. The corporate shenanigans and all the brouhaha about the stemcell recearch and whatnot were boring has heck, hence I FFed through most of that stuff. I seem to recall that the epi count got cut. I can see why, as there really wasn’t enough content to fill even the 14 episodes we got. The best part for me were the case-of-the-week bits. Yes, I did tear up more than once. 🙂 I also kinda liked the comic relief by the ‘greek chorus’ of the 6 doctors, even though the humour often was very much tacked on. Another thing I found fun was spotting familiar faces… “Hello there Jo Jae Wan… and Dong Ha. Ah, Oh Jung Se playing another asswipe chaebol heir with daddy issues, I see. Long time no see, Seo Joon Young! Whatever happened to you, I wonder. Wait, isn’t that Jang Ki Yong?” 😀 Medical dramas on the whole have to be taken with a large pinch salt and Beautiful Mind isn’t any different. I mean, people who’ve had a major surgery like organ transplant or brain surgery sure don’t go trapsing around, fit as a fiddle, just days after they’ve been operated. Yeah, certainly worth an eyeroll or two. Drama did manage to say something relevant about ethics and what it means to be a good doctor, and ask who is the real ‘monster’. Is it someone who can’t feel beause of how they are wired or someone who kills people for their own gain? That last minute drama with the lung transplant tough… sigh. Did we really need that?

9 thoughts on “Drama Grab Bag

  1. I’m glad you enjoyed Navillera too! It was such an inspiring and heartfelt drama. And yes, Deok Chul was the heart of the show and the definition of pure and lovable. How could you not root for that wonderful man? His journey was so special and moving 🙂

  2. Thanks for the lovely shout-out, Timescout!! ❤️ So glad to hear that Navillera brought you back to dramas! It really is that special. 🤩❤️ I’m told that Move To Heaven gives similar feels, so I’m checking that out next. Maybe you might want to give it a look? 😊

  3. Hi Timescout – great wrap up of The Imperial Coroner. I find myself really missing this drama. I loved the characters and felt immersed in their stories from E1. I was fascinated by the Head Eunuch and his hair obsession. 😄 That was well played by the actor. I sat and thought the other day about whether I liked it better than Ancient Detective, but I think they are very good each in their own way. I also loved the graphics that were developed for this drama. The drama just had good vibes for lack of a better way to say it.

    I finished the Long Ballad for Leo Wu. It got very draggy towards the end. I think Leo has a long career ahead of him and he has already been in the biz most of his life. It was nice to see how he is maturing in his roles.

    Navilleira – I probably went through a half a box of tissues on that drama and I also want Deok Chul in my family. I hope he wins an award for this role at the end of the year,

    Have a wonderful day today!

    • Thanks. ☺ I think I actually like Ancient Detective a tad more, but both have good things going for them. Quite often these dramas with a lower budget turn out to be better than many of those with more resources. Less flashy but e.g better scripts.

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