4 Hopes for The Guest

Still can’t find any news on whether or not this show is getting licensed, but in the meantime, I’m going to pretend I’m an optimist. I love supernatural stuff and horror and Kim Jae-wook’s cheekbones, so I’m crossing my fingers that someone will get the show. In the meantime, here are my four hopes for it:

  1. Shamanism isn’t window dressing. Most places are calling Hwa-pyung a psychic, but he’s supposed to be descended from shamans. I’m like 95% certain I’ve never seen a serious and useful depiction of shamanism in a kdrama, and I want to see it treated seriously (and respectfully) in this show.
  2. Catholicism isn’t, either (I’m assuming Yoon is a Catholic priest…). Okay, look, I had a Catholic friend in high school who was very…interested in exorcism-related stuff (and seriously considered becoming a priest for a while, going so far as to study for it). I’d like this to be taken just as seriously as the shamanism and for me (as a non-Catholic) to feel like the writers did their research re: the theology.
  3. The supernatural rules make sense. We don’t have to know them all from the start, but I want them to be consistent and make sense and support the world building. Impress me with the clever application of the rules; don’t take the easy way out of any supernatural dilemmas.
  4. Gil-young doesn’t get sidelined in favor of the guys. The skeptic without powers can be sidelined hard in supernatural shows. She doesn’t have to believe right away, and she doesn’t have to have secret powers (though sign me up for that), but I want her to hold her own in the narrative. Please?

Will you be checking out The Guest? What are your hopes for the show?

A Historical, a Horror, and a Heartbreaker

There are three new dramas out this week, and I’m extremely excited for The Guest. (Please, let someone license it so I can watch it.) Are any of these on your list?

100 Days My Prince
16 episodes
tvN
Monday/Tuesday
Available on DramaFever.com

Crown Prince Lee Yool manages to survive an assassination attempt, but the attack leaves him with amnesia. He ends up taking the alias Won Duk while he tries to figure out who he really is. Meanwhile, Hong Sim starts the first ever detective agency in Joseon. She and Won Duk partner up for one hundred days to solve crimes while his memory recovers—and they start to fall for one another.

 

The Guest
16 episodes
OCN
Wednesday/Thursday
Availability unknown

A priest, a psychic, and a detective team up together to solve supernatural crimes. Choi Yoon is a priest who specializes in exorcisms and prefers to work alone. Yoon Hwa-pyung is a descendant of shamans who has an easy-going and even impulsive personality. Kang Gil-young is a detective who is skeptical of supernatural explanations for the crimes that she works to solve.

 

My Only One
50 episodes
KBS2
Saturday/Sunday
Available on Viki.com/KoCoWa.com

Kim Do-ran’s life is upended when she finds out that the people who raised her are actually her adoptive parents and that her biological parents were murderers. Do-ran tries to put her life back together and falls in love along the way.

Drabble Roundup: Three Sentences, Round 2

In July and August, I did a little AU drabble game with my followers. The game is closed now, and all requests have been fulfilled, but in case you missed it, here are the links to all the three-sentence fanfics I wrote:

Arang and the Magistrate

Flower Boy Next Door

Heirs

Healer

I Hear Your Voice

Innocent Man

Just Between Lovers

Queen In-hyun’s Man

Save Me

School 2013

Secret Love Affair

Splish-Splash Romance

Sungkyunkwan Scandal

White Christmas

Many thanks to everyone who sent in requests! I enjoyed it a lot.

Three Dramas to Start September

Hey there! I’m back or something. There are three new dramas airing this week. Will you be catching any? I’m personally interested in The Ghost Detective, but we’ll see if I can get access to it.

The Ghost Detective
32 (mini) episodes
KBS2
Wednesday/Thursday
Available on KoCoWa.com

Lee Da-il is a private investigator who can see ghosts, and he specializes in supernatural cases. With the help of his assistant Jung Yeo-wool, Da-il attempts to solve the case of his sibling’s mysterious death. The mystery deepens when Seon Woo-hye begins showing up at his crime scenes.

 

 

Devilish Joy
12 episodes
DramaX
Wednesday/Thursday
Available on DramaFever.com

Gong Ma-sung is a well-respected doctor and heir to the Sunwoo company. However, a tragic accident leaves him with a memory that only lasts a single day. He then meets Joo Gi-bbeum, a formerly popular actress, and falls in love—as best he can, considering his memory problems. Meanwhile, Ma-sung’s cousin, Sung Ki-joon, wants nothing more than to break into the entertainment world and prove that he’s better than Ma-sung, and Lee Ha-im, a successful and wealthy actress, can’t move past her own feelings for the amnesiac Ma-sung.

 

Big Forest
16 episodes
tvN
Fridays
Availability unknown

Shin Dong-yub has had a fall from grace as a top star, and moves into Daerim-dong with Jung Sang-hoon, a single father making a living as a loan shark. They meet Im Chaeong-ah, a single mother, in their neighborhood.

Six New Dramas This Week

Just in case you were getting bored with summer, there are six new dramas out this week. Have you watched any of them yet?

Life
16 episodes
jTBC
Monday/Tuesday
Availability unknown

Doctor Ye Jin-woo works in an emergency room, and he is dedicated to saving every life he can with his ordinary skills. It doesn’t take long for him to butt heads with the university hospital’s chief director, Goo Seung-hyo, who is far more concerned about the numbers than the patients. As people’s ambitions and philosophies collide in the hospital, Jin-woo must figure out his own path.

Risky Romance
32 (mini) episodes
MBC
Monday/Tuesday
Available on Viki.com/KoCoWa.com

Endocrinologist Joo In-ah is fascinated by the hormones that influence sexual attraction, and she ends up choosing neurosurgeon Han Seung-joo as her research subject on the matter. Things get more complicated when Cha Jae-hwan, the son of the hospital director, finds himself interested in In-ah as well. These three strong, competitive personalities throw their hospital into chaos while they try to sort out their thoughts from their feelings and from their research.

 

Thirty But Seventeen
40 (mini) episodes
SBS
Monday/Tuesday
Available on DramaFever.com and Viki.com/KoCoWa.com

Woo Seo-ri wanted to be a professional violinist, but a tragic accident at the age of seventeen left her in a coma for thirteen years. Now at the age of thirty, she has suddenly woken up, but she is still emotionally a teenager. She reconnects with Gong Woo-jin, now a semi-reclusive set designer, who decides to atone for his involvement in that accident by helping Seo-ri adjust to a world that moved on without her.

Time
32 (mini) episodes
MBC
Wednesday/Thursday
Available on Viki.com/KoCoWa.com

Cheon Soo-ho is the son of a wealthy family, and as he nears the end of his life, his guilt for ruining Seol Ji-hyun’s life catches up to him. Ji-hyun is struggling to move on after the suspicious death of her younger sister, which was ruled a suicide. Soo-ho decides to devote what remains of his life to uncovering what truly happened to Ji-hyun’s sister but finds himself conflicted when he starts to fall for Ji-hyun.

 

Your Honor
32 (mini) episodes
SBS
Wednesday/Thursday
Available on Viki.com/KoCoWa.com

Identical twins Han Soo-ho and Han Kang-ho are only alike in looks. Where Soo-ho became a judge and earned a reputation as a fair and principled man, Kang-ho tangled with the other side of the law. After his sixth arrest (and jail time), Kang-ho is released, only to find that Soo-ho has disappeared. Kang-ho decides to take his brother’s place as a judge and live out this other life.

 

 

My ID Is Gangnam Beauty
16 episodes
jTBC
Friday/Saturday
Available on DramaFever.com

Based on a webtoon by Gi Maeng-gi, this drama focuses on Kang Mi-rae, who was bullied as a child for being ugly and ends up getting plastic surgery to try to fit in. But the bullying doesn’t stop in college, where she is now teased for being a “Gangnam Beauty.” However, a classmate named Do Kyung-suk and a grad student named Yeon Woo-young both become interested in Mi-rae. Kyung-suk helps Mi-rae gain confidence in herself while Mi-rae tries to figure out what “true beauty” means to her.

Hope You’re Hungry

Sometimes I am amused to see what is and is not deemed worthy of multiple seasons. Will you be checking out the latest installment of the Let’s Eat franchise? (Yes, I know I’m late.)

Let’s Eat 3
16 episodes
tvN
Monday/Tuesday
Available on Viki.com and DramaFever.com

Goo Dae-young is looking for something that only summer food and nostalgia can provide. After a long slump, he’s wishing for the simpler life of his college days. Dae-young runs into an old classmate, Lee Ji-woo, and together the two of them will reminisce about their twenties over delicious food and—maybe—fall in love.

A Mini Drama and Melodrama

Just two dramas for you this week: one is a mini musical and the other is a reconstructive surgery melodrama. I might check out To Jenny since it’s so short. Are either on your list?

To Jenny
KBS2
2 episodes
Tuesdays
Available on Viki.com/KoCoWa.com

Park Jung-min’s whole life is music, and while he dreams of someday becoming a famous musician, his stage fright gets in the way of his talent. When he runs into Kwon Na-ra again—the girl he has had a crush on for seven years but was too shy to talk to, let alone confess to—he decides to push past his fear. But Na-ra isn’t interested in catching anyone’s attention, right now. After the girl group she was in failed, she just wants to disappear. Can Jung-min write a song that will connect their hearts?

Let Me Introduce Her
SBS
40 (mini) episodes
Saturdays
Available on Viki.com/KoCoWa.com

After facial reconstruction surgery, Ji Eun-han wakes up without her memories. Her surgeon, Hang Kang-woo, tries to help her piece together her past life, and in the process, he finds himself falling for her. Meanwhile, Eun-han’s husband, anchorman Kang Chan-ki, has a seemingly perfect life—but he has secrets of his own.

What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim, Episode 6

TL;DR: So now I’m confused.

I continue to have mixed feelings about the development of Mi-so and Young-joon’s romance, even though in some respects I actually enjoy that Young-joon is making obvious effort to take her feelings and desires and tastes into consideration. It is clear that he likes her and wants her to be happy—he even took a day off work to see that she did!—but there’s this nagging feeling that won’t go away. Continue reading “What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim, Episode 6”

Protests, Small Bits of Happiness, and Drama News

I hope your corner of the world isn’t melting like mine is. In other news, apparently the military considered invoking martial law in 2017 and a ridiculous amount of chaebol offspring actually do study abroad like the dramas say.

The Park Geun-hye saga: “Military considered martial law if constitutional court rejected Park’s impeachment in 2017” and Ex-Blue House aide detained over Sewol.”

Investigations into the Lee Myung-bak government: “BAI directly links Lee Myung-bak to Four Rivers Project disaster.”

Korean Air scandals: “Arrest warrant denied for Korean Air’s Cho.”

Yemeni asylum seekers on Jeju: “Yemeni asylum seekers on Jeju still need medical assistance: human rights agency” and “Religious leaders call for South Koreans to embrace Yemeni asylum seekers.”

#MeToo: “Reopened actress suicide case shows prosecution did not indict any of key suspects in 2009.”

“Sweet side of life.” This article is about the delightful trend of dessert cafes and the people who stop by regularly for small, inexpensive bits of happiness. (I would totally do this.)

“Asiana Airlines workers hold protest over ‘no-meal fiasco.'” Employees are protesting the disruption of in-flight meal service allegedly caused by the owner family’s greed.

“Over half of chaebol offspring graduate university overseas, assessment finds.” Guess it’s not just a kdrama trope.

“What I Discovered While Making a ‘Sexuality Map.'” A personal essay about an exercise that helps you sort out what you want to do, might try out, and don’t want at all, along with an overview of female desire and society.

“Suzy, Lee Dong-wook split.” Oh, good.

“‘What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim’ Switches Up The Landscape Of Wednesday-Thursday Ratings.” They’re hitting 8% and easily surpassing the public broadcasting dramas.

“Actress Han Ji-min to return after three-year hiatus.” The Wife I Know will begin on August 1.

“‘Fight My Way’ Writer To Reportedly Return With New Drama.” Good news for those of you who enjoyed that drama.

“Dream High actor to enlist in the military this month.” By which we mean Wooyoung. Serve safely!

“Ha Ji Won To Come Back In Spy Thriller Drama.” Interesting.

What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim, Episode 5

TL;DR: I’m hoping that this is just a momentary stumble because I wasn’t exactly thrilled with how this episode went.

I’m concerned by the laziness in this episode over furthering the romantic awkwardness/awareness between Young-joon and Mi-so. With any luck, this is just a hiccup with the transition between writers, because my enthusiasm for the show is starting to cool.  My biggest problem is not the recyclde romcom tropes, but rather it’s the fact that Young-joon seems to have forgotten Mi-so’s declaration that unwanted consideration isn’t consideration at all. More to the point, it’s how self-satisfied he is about doing things for her when he hasn’t asked if she wants them. Continue reading “What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim, Episode 5”