Saturday, August 30, 2014

Dramas Update: What I'm watching and what I've dropped for August


I thought it might be fun to do a regular series of posts where I update you on what I'm most eagerly watching every week and what hasn't worked out. Here's the August update:



Currently Watching:

Surplus Princess (The Mermaid): This show has skyrocketed to the top of my list. It's hilarious, sweet and romantic while still feeling grounded. I reviewed it here, and since then it's only continued to increase my affections. Highly recommended.

Temptation: I mentioned previously both my like and dislike for this show, but after episodes 13-14, I think this has firmly planted itself in the like category. As melo as this show gets, it does make me care, and I'm generally happy with the way the plot's playing out. And can I just say how much I love Kwon Sang Woo? Hot, hot guy.

My Secret Hotel: The whole dramaverse is watching this show, and for good reason. I can't say I care very much about the main romance, which falls just short of being passionate or cute enough to make me invested, but I find the drama itself to be incredibly easy and pleasant to sit through. Everything looks gorgeous (and I love Yoo Inna's wardrobe), the music is dreamy and catchy, and the plot is intriguing enough to keep me wondering without driving me crazy. Overall a fun watch.

The Three Musketeers: This one's all about the style. It feels so suave and slick while watching that you can't help but get swept up. As for the plot, I can't say it's terribly gripping as of yet, mainly because I'm not a fan of the whole "your dead ex magically shows up" or of the swashbuckling fighting stuff. But undeniably a great drama, reviewed here.

Records of the Night Watchman (The Night Watchman's Journal): I'm still somewhat asking myself why this is on my list. No, definitely not a great watch, but sometimes you just have that random piece of junk that you're oddly attracted to. Reviewed here.


Dropped

Endless Love: I could only sit through one episode (with liberal use of the fast forward button) and even that was too much. I liked both Hwang Jun Eum and Jung Kyung Ho in their previous projects, Secret and Heartless City, but it seemed like both regressed a horrific amount in this show's premiere. Both looked pretty bad, with Hwang's laugh lines oddly prominent and Jung's hair an unflattering mess, and it was even more ridiculous once you realized they were meant to be playing high schoolers in this sequence. Add on a whole lot of shrieky, some very stupid decisions, a torture scene, and extremely tepid chemistry between all three legs of this brothers love triangle, and you get this nightmare of a show. I honestly can't forget it fast enough.

Trot Lovers: This one almost doesn't count as a drop, because I watched all the way through episode 15. Yes, I sat through all of that amnesia, psycho second-lead, meaningless circular angst crap. A lot of it was because I waited until those episodes were already aired, which makes it almost horribly easy to keep clicking the next button. I also was just dying for the villains to finally get their just rewards, though that also took painfully long. And lastly, I'm just sad because the first half of this show was so freaking cute.

Discovery of Love: This was an easy one to rule out, and I think I've expounded enough on my thoughts here.

Fated to Love You: Ugh, another show where you want to keep watching because of an incredible first half, but there's only so much illogic and repetitive non-action one can stomach. I think I dropped off around episode 12, because clearly this writer didn't have a clue as to how to fill out the remaining 8 hours. What emerged was crap that made no sense and completely destroyed Gun for me, and since he was the main reason why I loved the drama in the first place, I just couldn't deal with it.

It's Okay, It's Love: The fake psychology kind of angers me now that I look back. This is one show that took itself way the hell too seriously, and that's never fun. It had a pompous air and pompous characters that never made me care one way or the other. Full thoughts on my drop here.

Joseon Gunman: I never felt inclined to pick it up after episode 8, which I think was wise given the reviews I've read on how repetitive and staid the plot became. Lee Jun Ki and I still haven't made it through one full drama together.

A New Leaf: I briefly picked this back up this week after stalling at episode 9, and I have to say this is one slow, law-heavy drama. I can't directly dislike it, because it has this odd appeal and thoughtful air, not to mention the cases seem mostly intelligent. But it's also downright boring, and as of episode 13 I had to call it off.



High School King of Savvy: I started this last week, and am currently on episode 5. I generally like it, but similar to A New Leaf I'm not feeling much of a push to continue, and find a lot of it just plain dull. It pretty much puts me to sleep every time, which probably has a lot to do with the strange pacing. Nothing seems to really happen in this show, and the stuff that does is horribly unrealistic and sometimes outright stupid (e.g., every time he's "forced" to do stuff with/for his two classmates.) I'm ok with the romance, as age gaps never bothered me, but there's also not a whole lot of passion or feeling there. I like the quirkiness in the leading lady, but again I'm frustrated by how stupid she is sometimes. Might watch a couple more episodes, but for now planning to quit.


On My To-Watch / To-Finish List

Witch's Romance: This has been on my list since it started airing, because My Queen is one of those classics that sticks with you, and I'm always up for a good noona drama.

Doctor Stranger: Is it stupid that I want to check it out despite all the horrid reviews and despite my general dislike for Jin Se Yeon? I love Lee Jong Seok, and I kind of just want to see what this is all about.

Bride of the Century: I don't care for either lead actor, but the positive reviews have piqued my interest. If it's as steadfastly good as people claim, I'm willing to put aside my reservations.

Secret Love Affair: I watched up through episode 4 back when it was still airing, then put it on hold. It's definitely hard to get in the mood for a dark, likely unhappy tale, though the quality in the episodes I watched was impressive and Yoo Ah In surprisingly appealing.

Hotel King: Stuck on episode 14, and I'll admit things really took a nosedive in pacing after episode 12, right when our lead man decides to go the noble and distant route. But I have so much goodwill left for our main pair and from the early episodes that I do plan to go back and try again at some point.


That's it for now, though that was also one long list. So many dramas these days, yet it still feels rare to find one that sticks. Anyways, I'll plan to do another update in a month or so.

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