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:

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Records of the Night Watchman: Thoughts as of Episode 8

Why am I still watching this show? I'll put it out there that this is visibly poor quality fare, though clearly I'm having trouble parting ways with it. Records is that unfortunate trifecta of horrible writing, weak acting, and janky directing. It alternates between boring me to the point of fast-forwarding and keeping me amused by the unintentional hilarity. I don't recommend it, but as of episode 8, I also intend to continue with it a few more episodes.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Temptation: Series Review as of Episode 12

Not sure what came over me, but I marathoned all the aired episodes of this show over the past two days. Qualitatively, it's far from great, with a hammy feel that distracts from the melodramatic story at its heart. The OST is laughably excessive with the heavy instrumentals, the writing is thisclose to being completely ridiculous, and the acting fairly mediocre. But what can I say, I like non-traditional drama stories, especially when they feature the woman as the one with the power.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Discovery of Love: An Irritating First Impression

Well, I guess not all dramas can be a hit, and Discovery of Love is a complete miss for me. For one, who else has realized that this is pretty much a rehash of I Need Romance 2012 for Jung Yumi? We've got two of the former franchise's members with Jung Yumi and Sung Joon, and the same staid tale of former lovers who broke up for whatever reason and are now on the path to reconciliation (but of course only after twisting with a perfect second male lead).

While I only saw a couple episodes of INR 2012, it was enough for me to immediately recognize that Jung is pretty much photocopying her previous role here. Everything from the fast talking, the circular banter, and the pouty, complaining faces, is identical. I couldn't stand her character in INR, and for the same reasons (and more), I can't stand her character here. Bleh, this girl seriously leaves a bad taste.

Surplus Princess: Episodes 1-2 Thoughts

TVN is really doing it right, and I'm happy to report that Surplus Princess is a surprisingly fun, frothy piece that blends mature, sexy humor with a whimsical fairytale and love story. The story itself is a derivation of the classic Little Mermaid tale, but with plenty of silly and fun twists thrown in to keep us amused. The biggest twist, as seen immediately in the order of characters on the poster above, is that the "prince" isn't the endgame - nope, the destined love for our mermaid instead falls to our average Joe, non-chaebol hero, which is truly a refreshing turn.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Three Musketeers: First Impressions

It's not often that I decide to write a post after watching only one episode, but holy cow this is an impressive outing for The Three Musketeers. I'll admit, I went in pretty skeptical, as I'm not a major fan of Jung Yong Hwa nor of the bromancy-sort of sageuks. But this show just does everything right. The tone is absolute perfection, managing to balance out the humor with just the right level of gravitas for me to still take the story seriously. It leaves me wondering, what can't this writer-director dual take on?

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Dropping It's Okay, It's Love after Episode 7

In many ways, this drama has been a great disappointment, although I have to say the strange first episode should have warned me for the draggy illogic to come. After episode 4's powerful clincher, I could have sworn this would be my new favorite drama. But while I admire its thoughtful dialog and unconventional plot as much as anyone, I'm just not a fan of the core story and the relationship it centers around. Hae Soo and Jae Yul, as individually unique as they are, don't spark for me as a couple, and the story itself has played out both predictably and painfully slowly.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Fated to Love You (Korea): Post-episode 12 thoughts

Well, 11-12 has to be two of the most miserable hours I've spent yet in dramaland. Depressing and completely out of whack with reality, yet hard to look away when you've made me care for the characters, damnit. I have realized that this version of the show does its worst on parts that require it to simultaneously preserve and veer away from the original FTLY. The first example was that drunken one-night stand, which involved making Min Young pluck a random bottle out of a fountain and drink it like that was totally rationale. The second example is all the crap we just sat through in episode 12.