Drama grab-bag

I think I’ve written this post several times in my head already but I never seemed to have time to actually write it. So, let’s give it a go then.

This week’s episodes of Heard It Through the Grapevine were just as awesome as the previous ones. It’s laugh out loud hilarious in places and usually when you least expect it. I’m thoughly enjoying In Sang’s a-poley parents’ discomfiture and their attempts at saving face with any means available misfiring on them. Every time they mention another plan in the making I start giggling as I’m pretty sure it will go hilairously awry. And yet this is a drama that has a solid and pretty serious foundation, which it never forgets either. They give us a peek behind the facade of the stifling and rigid world of the traditional ‘old money’ and what it means to be part of it. I do fear our young ‘uns will have a tough time ahead but I think they’ll make it. Seo Bom is pretty resilient and a lot smarter than Mr Han and wifey give her credit for. She’ll make a man out of In Sang, given time. Wouldn’t surprise me if she ends up running the whole house. Also, can I just say how much I love the soundtrack?! All those musical cues they are giving, like the horror show bgm playing when In Sang and the male servant were creeping around the house. It just amuses me no end how much TPTB seem to enjoy doing this project.

Heart to Heart took the fast train to Angstville thus earning a filthy look from me. Have I mentioned how much I hate the needless ending angst? Even with the more serious moments this drama was oddly warm&fuzzy, it didn’t really need to go ‘there’ for the last few episodes. I knew that they had to somehow explain both Hong Do’s social phobia and Yi Suk’s problems but couldn’t they find some other way to do it? It felt like I wasn’t watching the same drama at all anymore. Not happy about that past connection trope either. I new that the OTP would sort things out in the end as they are that sort of people but something was lost during all that angsting. The connection I had with the drama just sort of evaporated and out went the previous enjoyment of watching it with it. Gold star goes to Se Ro. She started out this mildly annoying comic relief but turned out to be the most together and level headed character of them all. I really liked her in the end.

Another show wringing tears this past week was Kill Me, Heal Me but as it always had this more serious undercurrent, never far from the surface, the moment the shit hit the fan never felt out of place but rather an orangic development. This is where the story was always ment to go. It wasn’t a tag-on but an essential part of the whole. Ji Sung is still going on all cylinders here. He is truly acting his heart out and makes a pretty great team with Hwang Jung Eum. The rest of the cast ain’t bad either.

Decided to drop Persevere Ho Hae Ra. I was loosing interest by each epi and the love triangle bores me to tears. I don’t know what people see in Se Jong but to I think he is as intriguing as colour beige. Ray is only marginally more interesting but that might just be because I have a soft spot for Jin Young. 🙂 Save for Tae Poong the rest of the characters don’t have much of an impact on anything, they are just sort of there. It’s gone back to being a collection of scenes stiched together with musical numbers. Plot, what plot? Even the fun seems to be gone, gone, gone. I dozed through the latest episode and finally thought “why is it I’m watching this again?” Time me and drama parted ways, I’d say.

In the first impressions section we have Bluebird’s House and Unkind Women. As I’m slightly demented I decided to check out both. I rather liked Bluebird’s House to begin with but as the episodes went by I started to loose interest. I’m already bored enough to ff through most of the episodes and the plot is as predictable as can be, so I’m giving it das boot. On the other hand the first epi of Unkind Women didn’t exactly set me a-fire with interest and there was some rather annoying overacting going on. I think the fact that I had a hard time following the dialog had something to do with it too. Second ep was already more interesting, so I’m giving it a few more weeks before I make up my mind. The whole things has the trappings to go full on makjangy melo at some point so I’m a bit wary but so far things seem to be ok on that front.

The current watch list… sorta

Know what, I’m pretty happy with my current drama choices. None of them have me panting for the next episode but they make me happy, each in their own way. And that’s what matters, really.

Kill Me, Heal Me turned out to be lot better than I expected. I guess that’s rather the common assessment of the drama. There were so many people doubting that anything would come out of a drama that had so many problems in getting everything together. Just goes to show that you really can’t tell how things will turn out in the end. There have been several very hyped up and looked forward to dramas that have turned out to be solid disappointments too. I think they were very, very lucky to get Ji Sung to fill in on the lead position, right at the last minute. He is the one that drives the drama and gives it it’s emotional centre. There’s also the comfortable way he and Hwang Jung Eum act together. The elusive ‘chemistry’ at work. I’m just as intrigued as everyone else about the central mystery of who Do Hyun really is and what is his connection with Ri Jin and Ri On. I have a theory or two but I’m probably just as far off with them as the next person, ha. Show is very good at muddying the waters and probably filled with red herrings too. This is one show I do like to speculate and can’t wait to see how wrong… or right I actually was. 🙂 I’m also glad it still has funny moments but we are now at that point of the story that usually ushers in the aaannnngst. I’m just hoping they’ll make it organic and something that fits in. Manufactured angst is one of my pet peeves and it usually manages to disrupt the flow of the story as the strings of the pupetteer become overly obvious. I’d like to feel them emotions, not be forced to accept the angsty bits as something that starts about ep 11 because the Grand Kdarama Manual says so.

Ok, I admit it, I’m enjoying Persever, Go Hae Ra quite a bit now. ;D The scenes have started to look like they are actually part of a whole and I think the young cast has finally found the flow and don’t seem so awkward anymore. It’s also laugh out loud funny at times. Most of the fun served by Shim Hyung Tak’s Tae Poong. He is fracking hi-la-ri-ous! I love the guy. OMG! I feel like giggling just thinking about ep 5. LOL! The drama is at it’s best when it’s fun or in the more quiet, contemplative and heartwarming moments. It’s the times they try to go full on angst when things sorta fall appart. I’m just not buying it.

Heart to Heart is my darling atm. It just makes me feel overly happy and content. I’m not big on shipping but Hong Do & Yi Suk are SO darned cute. PIE especially makes me squee, he’s so, so adorable. XD Hong Do is my girl. Quirky and lovable with the ability to see things other’s don’t. She is so wonderfully direct with everything, not just with her feelings. I love how compatible those two are. They don’t so much complete each other than complement each other. Each brings the other out of his/her shell and makes the other bloom. The courting isn’t without it’s conflicts but they get solved at lightning speed. I guess I’ve become sort conditioned to expect a misunderstanding or some other mishap that gets dragged out for episodes on end but not so in HtH. These people actually talk to each other. They may get angry or disappointed at something the other does… or does not, as it may be but they talk things through. I actually really like how all the chacters have been drawn so far. Even Ahn So Hee’s Se Ro has a proper place in the scheme of things, she isn’t just annoying filler like it seemed to begin with. Oh, and I wish some people would give the ‘but he’s acting so unethically!’ a rest. What kdrama profession actually has been presented as it is in reality? Drama psychology is just like e.g drama medicine or drama law & order – nothing much to do with real life.

Not talking about Healer. It’s in the doghouse.

Drama grab-bag

The brouhaha around Healer continues but I’m still not getting the “feels”. It’s an ok drama and I do tend to watch the episodes as soon as they are available but I don’t have any burning need to write about them. I’ve been pondering about the popularity and came to the conclusion that the main draw is a) Ji Chang Wook, b) Ji Chang Wook, c) Ji Chang Wook, d) the OTP + romance and the rest comes somwhere behind these. XD The story is journeying on a pretty well travelled path and the premise of a group of friends, one of which is coveting his friends wife, has shades of Resurrection in it. Anyways, with Healer I’ve got my Mon-Tue covered.

Kill Me, Heal Me turned out to be a lot more enjoyable than I anticipated. It’s sort of bizarre funny with some poignant and lovely scenes sprinkled here and there. Then there’s also the mystery of WTH! happened to Do Hyun to splinter his personality and how are he, Ri Jin and Ri Ohn connected. Ji Sung is wonderful in all the different aspects of Do Hyun. 🙂 There’s something oddly fragile about the character, even when it’s Se Gi. Hwang Jung Eum still overacts like there’s no tomorrow but I don’t think it’s her fault entirely. PD Nim should really tone it down. Park Seo Joon continues to be a delight to watch. His role isn’t all that central, at least atm, but he just grabs your attention whenever he’s in a scene. Definitely holding his own.

I wasn’t initially going to pick up Heart to Heart but after reading few reactions to the first few episodes got me interested enough to give it a go. I really liked it! It’s delightfully quirky and just enough off kilter to suit me, ha. There’s a definite j-drama feel to it. I like the characters, yes even Chun Jung Myung’s Yi Suk. 🙂 Boy is a prat but as that’s not all he is, he gets a pass. Most of the time. He is self-centerd and often thoughtless, saying and doing things without thinking how they affect others but I’ve got the feeling the rudeness is at least partly a defence mechanism. Underneath all that he is oddly childlike, which is something he shares with Choi Kang Hee’s Hong Do. Both are also socially inept, only it manifests differently. I love Hong Do, she is a bundle of contradictions. Extremely shy and wary of people and yet curious about many things and can be very opinionated and vocal but only with Yi Suk or when in disguise it seems. Her years long crush on Detective Jang is adorable but it’s just that – a crush mixed up with hero worship. The good detective is a typical 2nd lead, too nice. His soft approach to Hong Do has not been able to bring her out of her shell. What she needed was someone like Yi Suk who barged through her barreers by treating her just like he treats everyone else. ;P They connect; she cancells out his inability to deal with certain people and he her social phobia and blushing. Together they make a pretty good team. If only he could stop turning into a 3rd grader half the time he is with her. The stunts he pulls thinking they are funny… I’d be ready strangle him too.^^

Still undecided about Persevere Goo Hae Ra. The 3rd epi was slightly better than the two before but it’s still mostly just a collection of scenes stitched together and acting is all over the place. The plot moves at a snails pace and as this is a once a week drama, it feels even slower. None of the leads are as easily and instantly appealing as Sul Chan was, I had such a soft spot for that boy. *g* They are all sorta colourless. I’m also not too thrilled about the use of ‘flash forward’ in the beginning of each epi. It’s clunky and doesn’t really add anything relevant to the episode. Still, I’m mildy interesed in seeing how the ‘new’ addition will shake things up.

I couldn’t muster any interest in the new Binnie drama. Also checked out Shine or Go Crazy but it’s not my cup of tea at all. Instead I decided to go with Ouroboros, which has all the makings of a crack drama. I loved the first episode and can’t wait for more!