Some dramas are so bad than they would almost cure you from Dramaddiction.
Sun is coming out, temperatures are rising, finally! I feel like I’m an old bear coming out from hibernation (beware the hugs!). Lately, a significant part of the dramas aired in SK are disappointing me, may it be on the Big 3 or even on cable (that’s a sad first for me). It’s surely one of the reasons of my silence. You know, I gave up on ol’TV for a reason: Being fed crap programs was becoming untolerable. Let’s not stay there for too long dear PD and writers… On the other side, J doramas continue to rock my world and all kind of good things are in store for the rest of the year. In fact, they are so constantly satisfying than it’s not even funny. The good thing in being weary of the hyperbuzzed show (cough*IRISH*cough): It forces you to search for less accessible dramas. You also start paying attention to stuff you wouldn’t have considered before. Daily dramas, me? PFFFTTTT! And then, surprise! There is an emotional reward when you find THE little gem than no one saw coming. Here is an accountancy of my Drama watching for the last 2 months.
- School 2013. I loved the characters but just couldn’t give a green light to that boring and cheap cinematography: A teenager with a smartphone could have done better. That plus bloodied students in every single episode = I’m out. Was that school a training center for the Marines or something? I guess I’m not a fan of bullying as a premise even if it’s to give birth to the best bromance ever. (Always the same causes, the same consequences and the same solutions. Email me if you’re interested in the solutions).
- 7th Grade Civil Servant: I wanted to see Joo Won is something light, not in something written by a drugged monkey. This is not funny or exciting or romantic, this is… exactly that:
- A Great Way To Care: A HK drama about one of the biggest problems of our modern era: Mental illnesses. A female cop and a handsome Psychiatrist dealing with patients, victims, sect gurus (!!) and other cases. We had a bit of romance, a bit of family, some bromance, some serious and some funny. The beginning was chaotic but then it went better and better. The main actors are good, the episodes are only 42 mins long. The ending was a bit abrupt (I suspect a cancellation or a shortening) and an open one but it was worth the ride.
- Flower Boy Next Door: The overall feeling is not that bad but I expected more. Or something else. My problem with that show could be called an artistic disagreement. With the same ingredients but in different proportions, we could have had a tastier meal.
OK, I’m harsh here… Add “NOT ENTIRELY” and let’s call it quits.
Less useless storylines and less girls would have been nice. For a drama about flower boys, we had too many female characters. It’s not necessarily a problem, mind you, I just wish than tvN didn’t mix up his franchises: Flower Boys ≠ I Need Romance. Sidenote: According to The Vault, The next installment of the Oh boy! series should be based on the movie Cyrano Agency (which I liked a lot). Tentative title: Flower Boys Cyrano Agency. SO… Matchmaker Flower Boys Helping Girls Who Need Romance? Tag line: When the offer meets the demand.
- Dramas Currently airing:
- Avertising Genius Lee Tae Baek. Saw 10 eps. Also known as the most underrated drama on Earth. Basically, a kind of Fashion King (NO, DON’T GO AWAY!) which would have taken a right turn. Not perfect (workplace bitchiness, Jo Hyun Jae is handsome but stiff, Show is preachy at times) BUT it has a lot of ♥♥♥. It’s cute, inspirational and informative. I keep thinking it’s like a Korean version of the J dorama Pricele$s that I love so much (even the thermoses are here!).
- Cheer Up, Mr Kim!. Saw the 56 eps subbed. I so want to rush myself on the raws cause the subs have been interrupted for a mysterious reason but I won’t give in… The show is that good. It’s a daily, 33 mins per episode. It’s incredibly uplifting, modern and endearing: All my friends who started it are hooked now. If you really need a good reason to watch this, THERE:
Name: Yang jin Woo. Second Male Lead Syndrome, category broody bad boy. CLASSIC
- Horse Doctor. Saw 45 eps and must pinch myself to believe it. Like almost everyone, I’m wondering why I’m still watching this. The start was absolutely exciting then it became more and more Jin-esque and flat. The romance is almost nowhere to be seen (I know, in sageuks it’s slow… But here it’s non-existent). The story is a Möbius tape. ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzz. Agreed, it’s pretty to watch and the OST is beautiful. That’s it. Bracing myself for the 5 last eps and preheating my FF button.
I must miss the horses of the beginning. Come on, it’s Spring! I want to see a foaling!
- A Hundred’s Year Inheritance. 18 eps seen. The Show which is so bad than it’s good. The epitome of craptastic. The writer decided to showcase every form of EXCESS possible just to see if the censorship will react (Yes? No? Ok, let’s go on!). I keep thinking it’s a successful version of A Thousand Kisses (the hero’s mom comes directly from that dreaded show, redemption!). Hopefully, the romance is about to start and I must say, Lee Jung Jin has the cutest killer smile ever.
- Childless Comfort. Saw the 34 eps available and I’m rewatching it now than the subs are arriving. Now, THAT is a good show. You couldn’t have guessed that when you saw the first poster, though:
Let’s go bare, depressing, cheap and boring. Mission achieved!
I prefer my own promo material. Sorry folks… Spring sap flow.
This drama is the proof than we should never stay on a first wrong impression. This show is aired on jtbc (cable) and it has now incredibly good reviews. Visually, it’s a treat: Camera work, choice of colors, perfect lightning. The characters are (almost) all interesting, including the baby and the elders. This drama is never boring. It’s kind of funny in a sense cause nothing happens much: It’s a pure slice of life drama. People wake up, cook, go to work or to school, argue, make love, drink coffee… Even if the ending of that drama was epicly bad, it will stay as one of my favorite for 2013.
Look at those ratings. 10% National wide! *Pride mama here*. Cr krdrama.org
- That Winter The Wind Blows. Saw 9 eps. It’s a well done melodrama. It’s beautiful to look at and the actors are good. I enjoy watching it, no question about that. And still, I know it will disappear like cotton candy once it’s over. Why? Because this drama is so controlled than it kills the life of its characters: Too self conscious. I’m sure than even snowflakes need an approval to land on the actors face. Secondly, since it’s written by the author of Padam Padam, I’m also tempted to compare and it’s not to THIS drama’s advantage. Both shows have a main male character who was framed and went to jail and basically has the Universe against him. In TWTWB, that character is wearing branded clothes and basically has no other thing to do in life than being an oppa. He lives in the biggest house of Korea and doesn’t starve. His only problem is that old unrequited love coming from a dead girlfriend and a psycho who sticks to him and a new potential girlfriend who is, excuse my French, a pain in the ass. And don’t serve me the crap of being blind equals being a victim (King of Dramas did the same deadly mistake): I have a blind person in my family and she had a life tougher than that. She managed. Money doesn’t bring love (or does it?) but it sure gives you freedom (and health insurance). If your life is shitty and about to end because of cancer, drop all those parasites who are sucking your blood, fly to an exotic modern island to have some medical treatment and then hire high class gigolos to entertain you. What stops you? JUST DO SOMETHING! Yep, the “poor little rich blind girl” premise doesn’t work well for me. I also wonder how much longer they will keep playing the card of the cat and mouse game between the OTP: The oppa or OPPA joke is getting old now and I need their relationship to evolve, may it be with love or hate. You can’t choose who you love but you can choose to trust someone. Take that step, woman!
- The Virus. Saw the 1st ep. Good start but not spectacular. Let’s see how it goes.
Yes, I’m warning you! Be good or else…
- Nobunaga No Chef. Saw 8 eps, Show will end at 9. Every History lesson should be given while eating some delicious food of the country and the era you’re studying. It’s some easy watching but I wish they would have stuck to the comedic tone: When it tries to be all serious you want to roll you eyes → A guy with a kitchen knife and a giant pan fighting samourais? Come on! This is not Gladiator…
Nobunaga Anthony Style
Nobunaga WTF Style. I have no idea who’s that guy actually. He just looks cool.
- Biblia Koshodou no Jiken Techou. Saw 6 eps. Let’s be honest: The show is not for everyone (bookworms, unite!) and needs you to be in the right mood. It’s very slow paced and we spend a lot of our time in a dusty dark library.
The 2 main characters are not super layered and my guess is that we won’t know them much better once this drama is over. Strangely, secondary characters have more depth and attractiveness. What is interesting is “the cases” and the story behind each book: Who wants it or hates it, why, what for? I watch this drama when I want to do some kind of meditation: The show has that ability to put you in a trance state (the OST helps a lot and the voice of the actress when she does some narration, too). Then your mind starts wandering… Hum. Not sure if what I wrote there will help you.
All I can say is: Try the experiment by yourself. “Look at the flame and relax.”
- Dinner. Saw 7 eps. The drama is having poor ratings in Japan and it’s a pity! Food J doramas are never bad. NEVER! Story takes place in an Italian restaurant. If you think it’s a bit like in the K drama Pasta, you’re not wrong. It’s well written, the food is to die for and the actor who plays the 100 000 Volts cook must be a Chef in real life. It’s realistic and all the characters (employees and clients) have a solid background. Sometimes it’s serious and other times it can go all goofy (1 particular episode had me really dead by laughter like if it was an episode of FRIENDS). Anyway it’s awesomely entertaining and if you’re in a drama slump, this could do the trick.
T and HK dramas:
- Substitute Princess (aka King Flower). Saw the 8 eps available in the whole world. Caution! Dramacrack! Also, don’t be fooled by the happy yippee poster and the cute opening of the drama.
It has cute but it has also some dark stuff in it. Those who are nostalgic of the good old TW melodramas (like Autumn’s Concerto) will be in familiar territory. I came here for James Wen who is a darling of mine and I’m completely satisfied with his prestation. I also suspect than the best part for his character will be showcased in the second half of that drama once the love triangle starts for reelz. Now, what makes me very happy, is that guy: Chris Wu.
吳慷仁 aka Wu Kang Jen
I didn’t know him at all before starting this show and I must say he is a freaking good actor. I don’t cry easily when I watch dramas but his performance in the episodes 7 and 8 floored me. Since he can play warm, funny, desperate, threatening, business allure and sexy, I don’t take much risks in saying that he can virtually act in anything. You’re on my radar now, Sir!
- The Mysteries of Love. Saw 9 eps. A 2010 HK Forensic show (everyone and the gold fish is a cop in the heroine’s family) crossed with a family drama and a Halloween episode of the Simpsons. [I'm sober, thanks for asking...] Also, I need to know: Who translated the title for this show? I was almost expecting an erotic telefilm when I pressed the play button. Anyway, it’s currently my filling drama when nothing else is available and it probably should be ranked higher on my drama watching schedule. What makes me come back again and again, is the mindfuck. I’m pretty good at making predictions for this kind of shows but here it doesn’t work and I like that! If that matters for you, we also have 2 love lines in the background, 1 with the hot womanizer and the other with the cold scientist. Nothing new under the sun… I have to warn potential viewers though: The tone of the first 2 episodes is almost parodic and let’s just say, quite cringeworthy. It gets much better after that and then you can start enjoying that exotic delicacy.
By the way, you better watch this with a lamp on and not alone…
To close that post, let’s see what shows I’m waiting for in the next months:
- First, the Specials for my beloved J doramas: Rich Man, Poor Woman, Legal High and Pricele$s. If they are as good as the Special for Hotaru No Hikari, I don’t need to worry!
- All About My Date aka All About My Romance: This is probably the project which gives me the best vibes right now. First, it’s the only (!!) Korean rom-com on my radar for the 3 next months. Unless You Know Who drops a welcome bomb on us without warning, I depend on this drama for my survival. Next, we have a potentially awesome story: Politics, attraction, conflicts of interest, feminism… You did a good job on Protect The Boss, cook me that well, writer-nim! Finally, we have one of the most exciting casts: Shin Ha Kyun and Lee Min Jung as lovebirds.
I already hear the outraged screams: “He is too old for her!”. And I say PFFFT! They look adorable together, bring it the ahjussi love! But wait there is more: One of the secondary characters will be played by Kim Jung Nan, better known on this blog as The Queen in A Gentleman’s Dignity. It smells good by here, I tell ya’.
- God of the Workplace. Pros: The writer of Flower Boy Ramyun Shop + Oh Ji Ho as the male lead = I’m in, at least for the first episodes. Cons: Will come after Ad Genius Lee Tae Baek on KBS2. You can’t do less than 3.5% in ratings, right? RIGHT? This is your typical 50/50 project: It can be a sleeper or it can be the worst dud ever. Yeah, I’m taking risks with that prediction…
- When a Man Loves. Pros: It’s the writer who penned The Woman Who Still Wants To Marry (one of my fave rom-coms) and Equator Man. We also have Yeon Woo Jin as the second male lead. Cons: SSH and Shin Se Kyung in the same drama (shoot me!), plus it’s a MBC melo and a revenge drama. I don’t like revenge stuff, ottoke? Will try the first eps at least.
- Special Affairs Team season 2. Should air in April. The whole team is back and I sincerely hope it will be as good as season 1 (and better than season 2 of Vampire Prosecutor…)
We need to talk, man… A few details are bugging me about what happened last year.
- Kamo, Kyoto he Iku. Story: When her mother dies, a young woman named Kamo Ueba who works in the government, inherites the old family ryokan (traditional inn). She will have to deal with picky customers, irregular income, leaking roofs and loan sharks (the latter is only my guess). Will she survive the culture clash? This is a drama tailormade for me and I’m already in love with it.
- 35 Year Old High School Student. A J dorama with Ryoko Yonekura, who played the “lone wolf” doctor in Doctor X.
Her character seems to be mysterious here as well (a kind of freelance, rich and atypical social worker) but this time she will have to be VERY friendly with a group of problematic kids, in order to help them. Say with me: B.u.l.l.y.i.n.g. *sigh* I know, it’s a real problem in Japan… but can we limit the number of episodes dealing with THAT problem? Please? Just remember:
If you think than this motto strangely reminds you of the recent Drama Community Cyber War, you’re absolutely right.
“Everything comes back to Dramas. Everything comes back to dramabeans”.