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Everyone’s enlisting, basically

Well, at least all the people I care about. Oh, and there’s some other news, too, I guess.

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The King Loves, Episode 1 [DROPPED]

TL;DR: You should be impressed that I actually finished this episode.

I could have saved myself an hour’s annoyance if I had just bailed on the show when Won’s condescending sexism reared its ugly head, but I was willing to give him an episode to see if there was any hint of the start of a character arc. Unfortunately, the bulk of an episode was actually a flashback, and it turns out that present-day him is actually worse than little-kid him. Continue reading “The King Loves, Episode 1 [DROPPED]”

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4 Hopes for The King Loves

I’ll be honest, this show really wasn’t on my radar—ugh, another historical love triangle that will probably end in death—until news broke that Song Ji-na had become the main writer for the drama. I’ve been waiting two and a half years for her to be back in drama land, and I’m excited. Please, please don’t let me down. These are the four things I want out of this show:

  1. Wang Won and Wang Rin are both viable love interests. The greatest failing of many a love triangle is how hard it is to convince the audience (read: me) that the potential love interests have an equal chance of making the heroine blissfully happy. If I am not genuinely torn about who she should pick in the end, the triangle has failed and is a waste of screen time.
  2. Eun San gets to be something more than a prize. Please make her a character in her own right with emotional arcs and plots independent of the boys. Let her noes—and her yeses—be respected, and allow her to choose who, if anyone, she wants to be with in the end.
  3. The trio has a convincing friendship. Look, if you’re going to frame the romance as the tragedy(?) that tears a trio apart, make sure I actually mourn the friendship. And no, framing it as a bromance with a lady tossed in for flavor every now and then absolutely doesn’t count. Give me friendship equality or don’t bother.
  4. The politics are interesting. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t always get the nuances of what happens in the palace, but we’ve got royalty and an ambitious crown prince—politics will surely be in play. Few things kill my enthusiasm for sageuks as boring politics, so if we do end up with a lot of the, please make them of the high-stakes variety.

Will you be watching The King Loves? What are your hopes for the show?

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Four new dramas for midsummer

There’s something new for pretty much any taste this week, from the latest installment of the School franchise to a fantasy romance. I’m definitely going to check out The King Loves–please handle kings and romance and tragedy better than SDQ did–and may pick up another, depending on how I feel.

The King Loves
40 (mini) episodes, MBC
Monday/Tuesday
Available on Viki.com

Crown Prince Wang Won is eager for his father’s throne. His closest friend and trusted ally is Wang Rin, who also serves as his bodyguard. The two of them meet and become friends with the beautiful Eun San, daughter of the wealthiest man in the Goryeo Dynasty. The trio’s deep friendship is eventually put to the test when Wang Won and Wang Rin both fall in love with Eun San.

The King Loves is an adaptation of a 2011 novel of the same name by Kim Yi-ryung.

 

School 2017
16 episodes, KBS2
Monday/Tuesday
Available on Viki.com

High school student and webtoon artist Ra Eun-ho is determined to keep her sixth-place class ranking in order to get into the same college as a boy she has a crush on. But her academic future gets thrown into uncertainty when school officials believe she is a delinquent student. Meanwhile, the wealthy and rebellious Hyun Tae-woon gets transferred to Eun-ho’s school after being kicked out of his U.S. high school and immediately begins causing problems. Song Dae-hwi is a handsome student who gets good grades,. stands up for the weak, and often butt heas with Hong Nam-joo, another student. Eun-ho and the others will try to figure out how to survive a school system that puts their academic rankings above all other aspects of their lives.

Man Who Dies to Live
24 (mini) episodes, MBC
Wednesday/Thursday
Available on OnDemandKorea.com

In the 1970s, Jang Dal-goo traveled to the Middle East, where he adopted a new identity and became a successful count. He eventually flees the country in order to avoid a marriage he doesn’t want and returns to South Korea. Lee Ji-young, Dal-goo’s now grown up daughter, is married and an aspiring writer. Her husband, Kang Ho-rim, is a regular salaryman, and the two of them are entirely unprepared for Dal-goo’s reappearance in their lives.

Reunited Worlds
40 (mini) episodes, SBS
Wednesday/Thursday
Availability unknown

Jung Jung-won and Sung Hae-sung were childhood friends, until Hae-sung was killed in car accident when the two of them were 19. Twelve years later, Hae-sung appears out of nowhere, not having aged a day while Jung-won is now 31. While Jung-won tries to come to terms with the fact that her dead first love is alive again, Hae-sung tries to figure out how to fit back into a family and a world that have left him over a decade behind.


Which of these dramas are on your watch list?

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Horse laundering, substitute drivers, and drama news

Still in the middle of a heatwave here, and I am so very over it.

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Naked Fireman, Episode 4 [END]

TL;DR: Awww, that was cute. Good job, everyone.

It’s just so refreshing when a show doesn’t fail you in the finale. This episode kept its focus squarely on the two most important things: taking down the bad guy and getting Cheol-soo and Jin-ah together. Everything else—Seong-jin and Song-ja’s relationship, Kwang-ho’s cancer—all took a back seat. There were more important things to tackle, and the episode was all the better for it (while also giving us just enough to be content with its happy ending). Continue reading “Naked Fireman, Episode 4 [END]”

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Naked Fireman, Episode 3

TL;DR: Who said you were allowed to almost make me cry twice?

Look, two of my absolute favorite character-related things are loyalty and found family, and Naked Fireman just delivered both of those things to me when I was not expecting them. This episode had some of the best bromance and surrogate father scenes I’ve seen in ages, and I’m both astonished that it happened and upset that I don’t see this quality of relationships in shows that are four to five times as long as this one. Continue reading “Naked Fireman, Episode 3”

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The movies on my to-watch list

Like I said a couple days ago, I have been compiling a list of drama specials and movies that I need to watch at some point. The drama specials list is short and easily managed, but I’ve got eighteen movies on my list. Frankly, I’m not even sure where to start.

So help me out! Tell me (in comments, via tumblr, or on twitter) which three movies on this list you think I should start with:

The Admiral
Apartment
Architecture 101
Death Bell
Dongju
The Face Reader
The Handmaiden
Hot Young Bloods
Like for Likes
Monster
My Annoying Brother
Penny Pinchers
Silenced (The Crucible)
Sunny
Time Renegades
Train to Busan
A Werewolf Boy
White

You can even suggest movies that aren’t on this list, provided they’re available on Viki, DramaFever, or Amazon. (Sorry, I don’t have a Netflix account.) Whichever movie gets the most votes will be the one I watch first!

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Student unions, HIV tests, and drama news

I don’t know what the weather’s like where you are, but I’m melting. We’re in the middle of a two-week heat wave that I sincerely hope will end soon. Many thanks to whoever invented ice cream and air conditioning because I don’t know how I’d survive otherwise.

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The next ten days

Now that Circle is over and I’ve dropped SDQ, I’ve got a bit of a gap in my drama-watching schedule. I’ve got two episodes left of Naked Fireman, which I ought to finish this weekend, barring unexpected ridiculousness. That still leaves me with ten days before anything I’m interested in actually starts.

Luckily, I’ve kept a list of movies and drama specials for just such an occasion. I’m hoping to make a significant dent in those or Running Man (now that I’m seven months behind…) and maybe catch up on some music rec meme stuff and other miscellaneous items. Maybe if I get my shit together, I’ll be able to write the next chapter of DL.

The first half of the year has been kind of bleh when it came to kdramas, though at least I managed to finish two currently airing shows (Solomon’s Perjury and Circle) and one non-current drama special (Splash Splash Love). That actually puts me right on track to finish four currently airing shows this year. A low goal, I know, but I do hope that the second half of the year is much better than the first.

What upcoming dramas are you looking forward to in the second half of 2017? How many have you finished this year?