Mystery Queen 2

Yet More Olympics, #MeToo, and Drama News

Winter decided it wasn’t over here at my neck of the woods, so I am bundled inside, waiting for gaps between flurries to head out and run errands. If you are similarly trapped inside, here are some links to tide you over.

Mystery Queen 2

Mother, Episode 2

TL;DR: Turns out kidnapping a child is more difficult than anticipated.

Soo-jin’s letter to Ye-eun was a great way to kick off this episode. Even though episode one was all about showing us why Hye-na’s home life was so awful, episode two made Soo-jin’s thought process clear: she’s far more worried about Hye-na returning home than her being arrested for kidnapping. And the fact that she took the time to copy the audio recordings and photographs of Hye-na’s injuries means that she is sincerely worried that if she gets caught, Hye-na will be returned to Ja-young. That package also functions as a failsafe for her, that if she has exhausted all hope of escaping the country, Ye-eun will be given the truth of what happened and can decide whether or not to report it all to the police.

(I was particularly fond of the line about how Soo-jin though that she and Ye-eun could have been great friends if they’d met under other circumstances.) Continue reading “Mother, Episode 2”

Mystery Queen 2

Ghosts and Middle-Aged Love

There are two new dramas premiering this week–one about middle-aged couples finding love, and the other about a detective who can see ghosts. Are either of them on your watch list?

Should We Kiss First
SBS
32 (mini) episodes
Monday/Tuesday
Available on Viki.com/KoCoWa.com

Flight attendant Ahn Soon-jin is having a difficult time dealing with the death of her daughter and being asked to resign at work. Previously divorced, Soon-jin is certain she will never find real love—until she meets Son Moo-han, who works at an advertising company. Their budding relationship is complicated by their inexperience with love and the appearance of Soon-jin’s ex-husband, Eun Kyung-soo, and his new wife, Baek Ji-min.

 

Children of a Lesser God
OCN
16 episodes
Saturday/Sunday
Availability is unknown

Rookie detective Kim Dan has the supernatural ability to see ghosts. Her power allows her to see the moments of a victim’s death, and she hopes to use that information to catch murderers. Kim Dan ends up partnered with Chun Jae-in, a genius detective with a reputation for only caring about facts and logic. The two of them stumble upon a conspiracy, and they will have to work together in order to bring down the powerful group of people behind it.

Mystery Queen 2

Mother, Episode 1

TL;DR: This show is not for the faint of heart.

I think it would be best if I started out listing the trigger warnings for this episode: child neglect, domestic violence, child abuse (both physical and emotional), child sexual abuse (implied), murder of a child (described), bullying, and animal cruelty/death (described). There are also PTSD flashbacks to yet more child abuse and also a lot of scenes where the system fails to protect a vulnerable child. If you’re ready to handle that, then we can continue. If you’re not, then I would strongly suggest skipping this drama. Continue reading “Mother, Episode 1”

Mystery Queen 2

Even More Olympics, a Supernova, and Drama News

This was supposed to be my week of catching up, but sudden family things put the brakes on my ambition. Oh well, here’s hoping next week is more productive.

Mystery Queen 2

Closing – 4 Hopes for Just Between Lovers

I finally finished Just Between Lovers, so it’s time to look back and see whether or not the show fulfilled my hopes and dreams. (Spoiler alert: It did, in so many lovely ways.)

Kang-doo is not an asshole to Moon-soo. He could be prickly and blunt and sometimes said things she needed to hear but didn’t want to, but otherwise he spent the rest of the show making heart eyes at her and convinced he wasn’t good enough for her. Kang-doo never talked shit about her job or her trauma or her family or her, and it’s so easy to fall head-over-heels for a guy who is head-over-heels in love with someone else. As Moon-soo said, he was always on her side, and that’s something I will forever be happy about.

Kang-doo actually has something of substance to offer Moon-soo. It only took a few episodes to realize that Kang-doo was entirely willing to do his fair share of the emotional labor in their relationship, and it was wonderful. He cared about her and wanted her to be happy, just as much as she wanted him to be happy. Kang-doo proved himself worthy of Moon-soo’s love, and I felt like they were an evenly matched couple.

Moon-soo gets to have relationships with other women. Her mother was a major (and frequently negative) force in her life, but it was usually clear that they loved one another. On top of that, Moon-soo’s friend, Wan-jin, was always ready to fight people for her and to encourage Moon-soo to do this whole love and dating thing. We even got a cute, almost-mentorship between her and So-mi, though that should have been fleshed out much more.

Moon-soo is respected at her work. Except for that one team lead who insinuated she was getting her jobs based on sex appeal as opposed to talent, everyone in the office respected Moon-soo and her abilities. And Moon-soo shut down that team lead quite easily, so that was refreshing. I’m extremely happy that she was able to flex her design muscles with the memorial park.

So what did you think? Did Just Between Lovers fulfill your expectations? Let me know!

Mystery Queen 2

Sure Hope You Like Short Track Speed Racing

Just in case you aren’t already drowning in Olympic-themed items, our new drama this week is sponsored by the Ministry of Science and ICT and the Korea Radio Promotion Association with the help of the Pyeongchang Committee. It is about two short track speed skaters, their competition, and their love for an ex-figure skater. Will you be checking it out?

Short
OCN
4 episodes
Monday/Tuesday
Available on Viki.com

Kang Ho-young was scouted by Kangbaek University for speed skating. Even though he is a rookie, he quickly begins to challenge Park Eun-ho, the so-called king of short track speed skating and son of a prestigious sports family. The two of them end up in a friendly rivalry, both on the track and off, when they fall in love with Yoo Ji-na. Ji-na was a figure skater until an injury ended her career. Now back in Korea after studying abroad, Ji-na has decided to audition for a girl group.

Mystery Queen 2

Just Between Lovers, Episode 16 [END]

TL;DR: It is immensely satisfying when a show wraps up nicely. Good job, everyone.

It is a wonderful thing when a show does not betray your trust. Just Between Lovers always remembered that Moon-soo, Kang-doo, and their happiness were the most important elements of the drama, and this final episode showcased them at their best. The drama was a lovely exploration of grief, healing, forgiveness, and love—and how, sometimes, the best thing to do is to move on. Continue reading “Just Between Lovers, Episode 16 [END]”

Mystery Queen 2

More Olympics, Happiness, and Drama News

So far I have watched some figure skating and moguls, and I hope to catch some other events. What about you? I’m trying not to drown you in links to articles.

The Pyeongchang Olympics: “NK art troupe rehearses for rare performances in S. Korea,” “North Korea’s Kim Yo-jong Is Coming to PyeongChang: Will She Be Kim Jong-un’s Messenger?” “Olympics open with pride and theatrics,” and “2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics [Photos].”

The Park Geun-hye saga: “Appeals court tosses out Lee Jae-yong’s bribery conviction,” and “Appellate ruling in Lee Jae-yong case is a bad sign for Park Geun-hye.”

Seo Ji-hyun, #MeToo, and other related items: “More women coming forward with stories of sexual abuse following Seo Ji-hyun’s allegations,” “Poet alleges sexual harassment by acclaimed literary figure,” “Kim Ki-duk’s film still headed to Berlin amid film fest’s #MeToo spotlight,” “Survey shows 20% of women in Korean film industry forced into unwanted sexual contact,” and “Seoul ordered to compensate family of sexually harassed city civil servant who killed herself.”

“Those in 20s, 30s least happy among age groups in S. Korea: Survey.” I feel really bad for the can in the infographic.

“Here Are The Shows Canceled Or Rescheduled This Weekend Due To 2018 PyeongChang Olympics.” FYI

“Police arrest Jung Suk-won on drug tip.” Yikes.

“Go Hyun-jung to leave SBS drama amid conflict” and “Go Hyun Jung’s Side Responds To Viewers’ Requests For Her To Come Back To ‘Return.'” What is going on here?

“Lee Da Hee, Park Byung Eun, And Kim Hyun Sook Bring Even Greater Chemistry To ‘Mystery Queen 2.'” Good luck!

Mystery Queen 2

Just Between Lovers, Episode 15

TL;DR: It was obvious ages ago that we were heading in this direction, yet I’m still upset because all of these characters are upset.

The thing that struck me the most in this episode is how very easily Moon-soo and Kang-doo’s relationship could have become toxic. In a lesser production’s hands, it likely would have. Moon-soo has kept a suffocating grip on her own guilt and trauma, to the point that she is intimately familiar with self-loathing. If she hadn’t asked Sung-jae to meet her at the mall, if she hadn’t crawled through that small section of rubble first, if she could have taken better care of her mother, if, if, if— She has shouldered all this pain on her own, mostly in silence, for years, and every time she learns more about what happened or comes closer to one of her many breaking points, she has new reasons to despise herself. Continue reading “Just Between Lovers, Episode 15”