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Two dramas that I missed

Because who needs queues and I totally needed a week to recover from my vacation. Last week there were two new dramas, and while neither is my cup of tea, one of them might be yours. Have you started watching either?

Meloholic
10 episodes, OCN
Monday/Tuesday
Available on Viki.com

When Yoo Eun-ho touches someone, he can read that person’s mind. That power has made him suspicious of others since he can tell whenever they are lying, and that mistrust has spilled over into his romantic life. But Eun-ho is in for a surprise when he meets Han Ye-ri, a woman whose mind and words always match up—and who also happens to have two personalities.

Meloholic is based on the 2010­–2013 webtoon of the same name by 팀겟네임/Team Get-Name.

 

Money Flower
24 episodes, MBC
Saturday
Available on Viki.com

The rich have few moral limits when it comes to protecting the wealth they have hoarded, and others will do anything to rise to their ranks—or tear them down. Kang Pil-joo had a difficult childhood growing up in an orphanage, but as an adult he is the managing director of a corporate legal team. Na Mo-hyun lives a very different life as a middle school science teacher and environmental activist. Will Mo-hyun’s dreams of a fateful love be dashed by greed?

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Dying alone, passports, and drama news

I had a lovely time in Japan and apparently needed a full week to recover and get back to my internet responsibilities. Ooops. (Did I miss anything important? Let me know!) In any case, here’s a scattering of links that I think are worth your time:

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While You Were Sleeping, Episodes 11 & 12

TL;DR: Oh my god, our leads are genre savvy! \o/

I am absolutely delighted that our heroes have realized that their dreams are not just a way to observe the future—they can use them to deliberately convey crucial information to their present selves. I’m crossing my fingers that this means we can really start playing with timelines and possibilities, especially since this has a huge chance of creating ripple effects where the contents of their dreams change or they have more conflicting dreams with less obvious cause and effects than the domestic abuse case. Continue reading “While You Were Sleeping, Episodes 11 & 12”

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Queen In-hyun’s Man, Episode 5

TL;DR: Would you look at all that cute.

When I say that QIHM is one of my all-time favorite romances, this episode is one (of many) that serves as evidence. Too often speculative fiction crashes and burns when it forgets about its characters and their relationships for the sake of being flashy and clever and smug, but QIHM never loses sight of the fact that the heart of the story is getting Hee-jin and Boong-do together. Now that they’ve become intertwined in each other’s lives, their desire to see and be near one another—and all of the forces working to keep them apart—is what drives the story. Continue reading “Queen In-hyun’s Man, Episode 5”

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One behind-the-scenes weekender for you

Don’t let the ridiculous episode count fool you–this one’s really only clocking in at sixty. (How long until you think broadcast rules can be changed so we don’t have to deal with this ridiculousness?) Will you be watching it?

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120 (mini) episodes, SBS
Saturday
Available on KOCOWA.com/Viki.com

Ha Do-na is an assistant PD and is frustrated by the fact that she is the only one of her peers still stuck at the assistant level, never having been able to take charge of a show of her own. To make matters worse, her mother’s unexpected return results in the end of her current relationship. While she tries to pick up the pieces of her heart, Do-na gets caught up in two other people’s lives: haughty PD Shin Dong-woo, and the seven-years-without-a-debut actor Kim Bum-woo. Meanwhile, veteran actress and chaebol wife Song Mi-ja finds her fantasy life crumbling to the point that she can’t even get minor roles.

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While You Were Sleeping, Episodes 9 & 10

TL;DR: This was a very nice reveal of the heroine’s backstory and likely the hook into the ultimate overarching storyline.

I’ve spent the last few episodes worried about Hong-joo’s emotional distance from the plot and the risk of her getting sidelined, but now I’m hopeful that she is, in fact, the heart of the show. I hadn’t thought to question Hong-joo working at her mother’s restaurant—it’s a family business, and they’re all that each other has left. Plus, it would be pretty convenient to have her mother as a boss in case Hong-joo ever needed to run out of work on account of a dream. The actual answer is far more complicated and infinitely more satisfying: Hong-joo dreamed she would die as a reporter. Continue reading “While You Were Sleeping, Episodes 9 & 10”

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Measles, war preppers, and drama news

A mixed bag of news this week. I will try harder to come up with fewer depressing articles next week.

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Kpop Friday: f(x)’s “4 Walls”

It has been a stressful week, and I needed a song that I could just relax to while sipping some hot chocolate and Bailey’s. “4 Walls” was the first pick on my kpop playlist, and it was exactly what I needed.

While I definitely love the happy, upbeat f(x) of “All Mine,” “4 Walls” is a much moodier song despite its heavy reliance on synth sounds. It starts out reserved, almost quiet, though the transition into the first chorus and then Amber’s rap verse quickly ramps up the song’s intensity. The vocal performances in this one feel very tightly controlled and deliberate, even though there are a number of adlibs and soaring/fluttering notes up above.

There are several great parts in this song, from the harmonies on the chorus to Amber’s lovely alto singing, though I think my absolute favorite part is the bridge. I love how it drops down bare-bones chimes, beat, and the melody and then slowly adds background vocals before going back to the full instrumentation.

The MV is fascinating, if a little incomprehensible for me. It feels more like an aesthetic than a coherent story–not that that’s a bad thing, far from it. There are lots of little clever moments where the camera cuts between members doing the same or similar actions, and I enjoyed how the transition from mundane reality to the magical forest was marked by a literal expansion of the world(/video). The MV is a little too muted for me to call it whimsical, but there is a subdued sense of wonder throughout.

You should definitely give “4 Walls” a shot if you haven’t already. It’s one of my favorites.

Buy “4 Walls” on iTunes || Buy the 4 Walls album on Amazon
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If you want to recommend me songs, you can do so through the music rec meme on my tumblr! Just send me an ask with up to five songs (they don’t have to be kpop), and I’ll listen to and rate them.

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5 reasons to watch Circle: Two Worlds Connected

While Circle wasn’t a perfect show, I’ve got to admit that it’s one of the stronger sci-fi kdramas I’ve run across. And as such, I do think it’s worth your time if you’ve got it to spare. Just remember you’re probably going to need to take a break every now and then—things can get intense.

1. It’s only twelve episodes.

The worst tragedy is watching a story desperately over-expand to try to fill up the space it really just isn’t meant to take. Or worse, endlessly recycle plot points or going off the rails because they have to use up every single one of their weeks because the next show literally hasn’t started filming yet. The writer, director, network, and anyone else involved in calling the shots on the length for this show made an excellent decision to limit it to just twelve episodes. Any further, and it would have required pointless plot twists or lumbering B-plots to take up air time. Circle knew where it wanted to go, and it went there in a timely fashion, for the most part. Continue reading “5 reasons to watch Circle: Two Worlds Connected”

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4 hopes for Avengers Social Club

Still no word yet (that I can find) about whether or not this will be licensed somewhere, but I’d like to watch it. It has been a long time since I’ve watched a kdrama centered on middle-aged ladies, and I’m always a sucker for a well-deserved revenge, so this could be exactly my thing. If, you know, someone picks it up. In the meantime, here are four things I hope will happen:

  1. Jung-hye and Mi-sook will leave their husbands. Look, life’s too short to waste it telling yourself a piece of trash will cease to be a piece of trash, and I am exceptionally done with kdramas were male relatives/lovers/whatever are forgiven for basically everything under the sun. Once these two get their revenge (for “betrayal” and domestic violence, respectively), I want them to get the hell out of Dodge. Permanently.
  2. We get lots of social commentary about the expectations of women in society and how they intersect with class. Jung-hye’s the chaebol daughter who did her best in a business marriage as a housewife, Mi-sook’s a housewife and an orphan whose husband has a respected career, and Do-hee sounds like she could be lower middle class/working class as a widowed fishseller at a traditional market. This setup is ripe for an exploration of feminist and classist issues, and I hope the writers go headlong into it.
  3. The ladies become BFFs. Okay, maybe this is gimme with this setup, but I’m paranoid, okay? They don’t have to like each other right away, but by the end of this, I want the three of them to totally be ready to bury bodies for each other and provide alibis.
  4. Soo-kyum doesn’t overtake the narrative. I’ve only seen him in one poster, so I hope he stays in a similarly small portion of the story. I’m worried that he might overtake Jung-hye’s revenge scheme considering they’re targeting at least one of the same people. Let her shine, Soo-kyum. You can help her out, but don’t take over her status as the lead.

Will you be watching the show? If so, what are your hopes for it?