Drama grab-bag

Oh Misaeng… What am I going to do without you in my screen?

When it comes to kdramas, it is really hard to come by the level of awesome that is Misaeng. Oh yeah, there is hyped up and popular but true quality is sorely lacking in most offerings these days. Which makes me sad. Not that everything I pick up for viewing is stellar. I’ve watched and even loved some pretty well cooked turkeys over the years. 🙂 In any case most of one’s likes are subjective, which is why I generally try not to bash shows that don’t appeal to me. One person’s trash may be someone else’s treasure. Still, when a show is truly great, it’s great no matter what angle you view it and usually even nay-sayers have to grudgingly acknowledge that.

Misaeng continues to take me on a rollercoaster drive of emotions. This week gave me a good case of 2nd hand embarrasement, tears, laughter, compassion, fist pumps of glee… among other things. I just love character driven shows with a solid base of plot. Akin to YNS, in Misaeng every character counts, even those that just pay a bref visit. I love the fact that everyone feels so real and flawed like the rest of us. There aren’t many characters without any redeemable features, even the guys of resource team turned out not to be the total a-holes they seemed initially. I’ve got the feeling they were mostly acting out just to keep on the good side of their boss Chief Ma, who truly is one sorry excuse of a human being. Shallow end of pool: Assistant Manager Kang is hot. 😛 Maybe I should re-watch Chosun Police 3 to oggle him again as a kick-ass Joseon era copper with a painful past? I’m so very tempted now…

Pride & Prejudice is a pleasant albeit not very memorable watch. It fills in the moments when I feel like watching something that doesn’t demand too much of me. It’s not silly fluff but neither is it all that evocative as a crime show either. The characters have grown on me over time, I rather like all of them. Though Kang Soo is still my fave. He is just too adorable for words.^^

I’ve decided to halt Bad Guys till it’s all done. I’m about 5 episodes behind as it is anyway. It’s funny but there’s been far more OCN shows I ended up dropping than those I truly liked. Looking back only VP, TEN and God’s Quiz 1-2 (I’m pretending 3-4 does not exist) have made the cut and with TEN my inerest is more cerebreal than ‘Squee!!!’. That distinction goes to VP. XD Bad Guys is not quite in the level of the two but in terms of interest it’s still above GQ and WAY above everything else of OCN’s I’ve tried.

Then in the category of ‘unintentionally hilarious’ I’ve recently watched Hair Show, a 4 parter Drama Special from 2011. I doubt it’ll rival ‘WTF!Paris’ but it tries hard. LOL! Honestly! Just read the synopsis… O_o

A story that about the top 1% of hair designers in Kangnam who’re determined to display their skills and soothe the hearts of tired souls who’re exhausted from life with their warm hands. Ever since the fateful day when Lee Young Won took up a part-time job at J Hair Collection and saw how the designers there can bring out the beauty and stylishness that people had never thought they had possessed, she was determined to become a hair stylist and make people happy using the talent at her fingertips.

There was also ‘hair designers’ duking it out with their scissors and hair spray, plenty of posturing and stilted acting. Baek Jin Hee was overly perky but still the best of ’em. I’ve no idea what possesed me to pick this one up. At least it was short. I did get a bad case of hair envy though. The styles the guys were sporting would suit me SO fine. HA! If one wants to watch a drama about hair stylists one could do better with Beautiful Life. Jdramas tend to do these things better, besides it has KimuTaku in his peak as the lead. 😎

Drama grab-bag

Misaeng
Well, I have to say it’s curious times we are living when an office drama turns out to be more exciting than many shows supposed to be exciting. I’ve litterally been sitting at the edge of my seat for these two latest episodes. Of course they cut off just when things were approaching the boiling point and we are left to wait a week to find out how the do-or-die presentation of that Jordan deal went down. The fall out of the ‘Park Scandal’ in eps 9-10 reverberated throughout the different departments resulting in reshuffling of positions and even quite palpable awkwardness within our previously harmonious Sales Team 3. (Noooo!) Something that is felt even more in this week’s epis. To help the team out of ‘what should be our next hot item’ slump, Geu Rae decides to suggest a move that makes everyone antsy. From the cold open we DO know how it eventually shapes up but right now things aren’t going exactly smoothly. I hate cliffhangers! *pouts*

Yoo Na’s Street
It feels downright odd not to have new episodes of YNS to watch every Mon-Tue but at least I still have all of the un-subbed ones to rewatch eventually. There’s been some grumbling about the last few episodes but I have no complaints. As a whole YNS was a pretty consistently great. I don’t even have a beef with any of the characters, they all managed to be both annoying and lovable in turn. Lots of people seem to have had trouble digesting Chang Man’s more irritating personality traits but I loved how real they made him feel. Without them CM would have been far too good to be true.

Pride and Prejudice
Not really sure I’m going to continue with this. The cases have been kinda meh and I’m not really interested in the romance either. Seems to me that I’m actually watching P&P only for the cutie that is Kang Soo, LOL!

Bad Guys
I’m several episodes behind as RL has been somewhat hectic and this is not a ‘must watch’ drama for me. It has been pretty good so far but I can’t say I’m waiting for the next episode with baited breath. IDK but apart from VP and TEN none of the other OCN dramas has truly been able to hook me. I actually sampled the first episode of Dr Frost too but wasn’t sold on it so it’s out of The List for good.

The Rest
Haven’t been able to sample King’s Face yet, maybe later this week. Apart from Healer there doesn’t seem to be much of interest dramawise coming up in the near future. Maybe I’ll just grab something from my List Of Doom aka ‘stuff I haven’t managed to watch yet’ when I run out of currently airing dramas. Or finally finish Wonderful Days… maybe. 🙂

Drama grab-bag

Let’s start with Discovery of Romance… What a nice surprise it turned out to be. My track record with the writer-nim hasn’t been stellar but this one sort of came out of nowhere and got me good, LOL! Imho DoL is the most balanced work of the writer and even if it tackles many of the same aspects of love and relationships as her previous dramas, it managed to skirt around the pitfalls the others fell in. Jung Yoo Mi and Eric were pure awesome and the rest of the cast wasn’t too bad either. In many ways I think DoL is a little gem, albeit a misunderstood one. Too bad there were so many people who just didn’t ‘get’ it.

Just 4 more weeks of Yoo Na’s Street left, sniffle. This is one long drama that doesn’t feel like it’s dragging on and on. I don’t think it’s lost any steam like I’ve seen some saying, to me every episode is still as fresh as in the beginning. I care what happens to these people, get emotional when they are hurting and laugh out loud at the funnies. YNS has this clever way taking a tired trope and giving it a new twist. What other drama manages to make a ‘love triangle’ come out both rather hilarious and poignant? I still love, love, LOVE the characters!! Well, most of ’em. *g* There are a few I could do without but as YNS is a drama where every character counts, even the bad apples have a special place in the story. Another thing I love about YNS is that problems are never magnified up to wazoo just to add extra (makjangy) excitement. And they tend to get solved pretty darned fast too. People actually talk to each other, unless they make it clear they are miffed and won’t be talking, ha.

Picked up Bad Guys and so far so good. It has the Vampire Proz writer so we can expect a rather twisty story. The cast is grrrreat! I’m finding the characters pretty intriguing and waiting eagerly to know more about each of them. It’s OCN so bloody and violent is a given. This wasn’t instant love like VP but I am rooting for the bad guys. XD

Three Musketeers is still a silly little romp I rather enjoy watching. No brainpower needed so it’s my ‘winding down’ drama. Entertaining and easily digested.

I’m watching Wonderfull Season when I don’t feel like watching anything else, LOL! It’s a pretty traditional KBS weekend family drama. I think I need to find some time to watch more than one epi every once in a while to get back to the flow. It’s just that YNS is SO MUCH better in every way and compared to it the KBS brand of slice of life feels kinda dusty and dry. I like the characters well enough and the story per se isn’t bad at all but it lacks… something. It’ll probably be better to get back to it properly once YNS has ended to avoid any undue comparison.

Endless Love… sigh. Getting through it with a copius use of the FF-button. I did hope it would not succumb to the usual weekend melo malady but alas, that’s exactly what happened. Too much filler and not enough substance. The drama did start out pretty well but it didn’t take long befor it got overly weepy and started going around in circles. The pace picked up a bit around the mid point only to plunge back to treading water and re-using bits of plot from earlier episodes. Most of the characters lost any originality they may have had in the beginning, I was especially sad to see how the Lady Villain turn into a typical screechy hoyden. Jung Woong In’s Park Young Tae is the only truly interesting character left. He is always great as the Dastardy Adversary. 🙂 Endless Love is just too damned long. It’d probably been better as a mini with 20-24 epis, or even 30 epis at a pinch.

I was initially quite interested in Secret Door but the more I read about it, the less I wanted to watch it. My gut instinct was telling me ‘this ain’t it’ and as I’ve learned to trust my gut, I decided not to pick Secret Door up.^^ So, I’m still waiting for a more traditional sageuk to watch.

Next batch of dramas is just around the corner and the ones I’m most interested in are Misaeng, Modern Farmer, and Dr Frost.