Kdrama Watchlist
September 4, 2020 3:09 PM - Subscribe

Here's a thread for posting about what kdramas are in your to-be-watched list, or what shows you hope to see posted to Fanfare, or, just, anything to do with kdrama that doesn't already have a spot on the purple.
posted by oh yeah! to Kdrama Club (33 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Since I'm in between shows again, I wanted somewhere to list all the ones on my possibles radar, in no particular order:

Everything paisley sheep recommended in this comment which is on Netflix and I haven't already seen, so:
*Prison Playbook
*Hospital Playbook
*Reply 1997
*Reply 1994
*Reply 1988
*Hello, My Twenties (aka Age of Youth) - there's already a Fanfare thread for this one
*My Mister
*The Let's Eat series
*Chicago Typewriter

These were recommended during a kdrama fan panel at DragonCon 2019, only some of them were on Netflix last time I checked, but I wanted somewhere to put the list aside from the blurry screenshot in my con photo album, and maybe I'll find them later when I register for Viki:
*My First First Love
*Radio Romance
*My Horrible Boss
*Her Private Life
*Hotel Del Luna
*Nightmare Teacher
*Strong Woman Do Bong Soon
*White Nights
*Playful Kiss
*Absolute Boyfriend
*She Was Pretty
*The Beauty Inside
*Mendol: Ikemen Idol
*To the Beautiful You
*The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince
*Descendants of the Sun
*Dream High
*Guardian: The Lonely and Great God (aka Goblin)
*The Great Doctor
*Kill Me, Heal Me

A few more from this 'Best Korean Dramas of All Time' listicle:
*Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo
*Doctor Stranger
*My Love from the Star
*Mr Sunshine
*What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim
*Secret Garden
*I’m Not A Robot
*Sky Castle

And I think I have to give 'Memories of the Alhambra' another try - I got bored partway through episode 1 when last I tried it, but, a friend of a friend recommended it, and now that I've become a fan of Hyun Bin of 'Crash Landing Into You' maybe I will like it. And it looks like I've got a few more buried in my Netflix queue that may be worth trying: One More Time, Live, My Holo Love, The Bride of Habaek, My First First Love, and Chief of Staff.

And it's kind of a given that I'll be following any of the 'Netflix-original' 2-eps-a-week-format releases (coming up this month - Record of Youth, School Nurse Files)
posted by oh yeah! at 4:39 PM on September 4, 2020

After over a year of a major MAJOR drama slump, I'm intrigued by the upcoming jtbc drama, Private Life that premieres on the 16th. I don't know who (or if it) will be available for streaming, but the trailers are giving off a fun vibe about this show about a bunch of swindlers and a supposedly average salaryman. I love Go Kyung-pyo and am excited for his post-enlistment return. But really what I'm most looking forward to is that this is from the same writer of Heartless City (EXCELLENT and seems to be on Viki) and My Beautiful Bride (also excellent but I can't seem to find it legally available to stream). I don't know if this will be enough to knock me out of my slump, but it's been a long time since I was this eager for a show.

I'm also fascinated by everything I've read about The School Nurse Files premiering on Netflix on Sept 25th. It sounds like absolute madness, but in a fun way -- plus there's such a shortage of sci-fi type shows in dramaland that I kinda want to support it. The CGI will likely make me cringe, but Jung Yumi is always a win.

Even though I said I've been going through a major drama slump (and I have!), this past week I've been dealing with some major insomnia and idly hunting for things to play that are soothing and comforting, yet I don't need to give my full attention to. The last few days, I've been rewatching Coffee Prince for the first time in at least a decade, and it's giving me all the nostalgic feels. I remember downloading the soundtrack from some not-at-all legal site that was probably linked on Dramabeans, back when it was a baby website run only by one person. That started me off on a love of Korean indie music. Not to mention my undying love (still to this day) of one Waffle Prince aka Kim Jae-wook aka Handsome Oppa, the man with the most perfect cheekbones.

It surprises me when people say that they don't like Coffee Prince, but I guess the fact that it's 13 years old now, with less stylish cinematography and a slow plot compared to modern dramas, doesn't make it the most exciting show ever. But it's comforting and familiar, and one of the few dramas in my early drama life that am actually happy to rewatch.
posted by paisley sheep at 1:14 AM on September 5, 2020

Also I just looked at the "Best Korean Dramas of All Time" list linked above and find it suspect that the oldest drama list is in fact Coffee Prince, with the majority of the shows listed airing 2016 or later (14 out of the 21, and only 2 before 2010). Even if they're just focusing on more modern shows, I'm not sure I trust a "best of" list that doesn't mention Signal or Misaeng.

But even excusing that there isn't a drama earlier than 2007 listed, most disappointingly is the last of sageuks -- no Jewel in the Palace? Six Flying Dragons? Chuno? Love in the Moonlight? Rookie Historian Goo Hae-ryung? Heck, I would even accept the not-at-all historically accurate Kingdom.

I know "best of" lists are all highly subjective, but this one feels more like someone who started watching dramas around 2015 and hasn't bothered to look back except for a couple of "classics" or break out much beyond the rom-com genre, so I'd take the suggestions as a grain of salt (or maybe I'm just salty because there is a generous handful on there that I'm like, "Really? REALLY?" because I thought those shows were not-so-great once you looked beyond the hype).

Anyway, I'm excited for any MeFite that has a huge "to watch" list and who will eventually discover new (or old) gems from dramaland, and maybe y'all will help grow my currently stagnant watch list!
posted by paisley sheep at 1:52 AM on September 5, 2020

Yeah, I noticed the lack of sageuks on that list and mine - so far I think I've only seen partial sageuks like "Live Up To Your Name" and "Mystic Pop-up Bar". Of your suggestions, I only see 'Rookie Historian' on Netflix, so, that's added to my list. ('Kingdom' is on Netflix too, of course, but I'm not generally up for zombie shows, even if it is by the writer of 'Signal')

I'm sure I would get something from Coffee Prince -- I made it through all 25 episodes of 'Boys Over Flowers' and that one looked like a high school AV club production compared to all the lavish-budget modern shows. (One of these days I'll have to add a thread for 'Boys Over Flowers')

I started watching 'Chicago Typewriter' last night. I'm still keeping up with Forest of Secrets/Stranger S2, and expect I'll be starting 'Record of Youth' on Monday, so, I'll probably finish 'Chicago Typewriter' in a couple of weeks.
posted by oh yeah! at 6:27 AM on September 5, 2020

The sageuk I've enjoyed the most so far is Love in the Moonlight/Moonlight Drawn by Clouds. I also liked The Crowned Clown (the first half more than the second, but it was a pretty great first half) and 100 Days My Prince (overall). Hoping to watch The Moon Embracing the Sun at some point. I do mostly get tired of the politics, especially since they're pretty repetitive, so if anyone has recommendations for non-depressing sageuks where the second half isn't an endgame between a scheming minister and the king/prince I'd love to hear. (On that note I just watched The Sleuth of the Ming Dynasty, which is a (really funny and heartwarming) historical cdrama where the politics took a welcome back note, even though there was a lot of it. I'd love to find more along that vein.)

Coffee Prince was fun and I agree about the waffles.

I've found some good shows looking through this list - I can't say I love everything she's loved, but most of the shows I've enjoyed are on there with ratings I more or less agree with.
posted by trig at 12:33 PM on September 5, 2020

Hey, so - I haven't even dipped my toe into the waters of South Korean films. But Netflix just added a new zombie movie starring Chicago Typewriter's Yoo Ah In, so I'm probably going to watch it soon. Should movies be given the kdrama/kdrama_club tag too? Or is there a big divide between film & television?
posted by oh yeah! at 4:38 PM on September 13, 2020

Regarding tv and film -- there's kind of a divide, yeah, but a lot of the viewing audience overlaps, so I don't see why we couldn't fold them into the kdrama tag.

A lot of films are... "grittier"? ...I guess I'd say compared to dramas. It's often shocking for someone who's only really watched dramas to watch a Korean film, expecting them to be similar, only to be surprised by uncensored violence and sex and stuff. There can also be a sense of weird gatekeeping about films vs tv shows (that probably exists in every culture) because lots of times films are supposedly "better" than tv, especially since a lot of kdramas are written by women for women. The kind of attitude that believes films from respected male directors is better than a silly soap opera for housewives and teenagers.

But honestly, a lot of us who watch dramas also watch films, especially when we want to see an actor in other roles. Plus, thanks to Parasite, films might convince people to check out more dramas by following the kdrama tag, so I selfishly vote to keep it! Let's be inclusive!

I like Yoo Ah-in, but I also watched #Alive because I also am very fond of Park Shin-hye, his co-star, who I encountered during my early drama days with the trending hit of the time, You're Beautiful, where she played a cross-dressing nun in a k-pop group. I am very sentimentally attached to this drama, but hesitant to recommend it because it was... insane in all the ways Hong Sisters dramas typically are, but also part of its time and I don't think it has aged well. But I still listen to the soundtrack and am thankful that it introduced me to FTISLAND and CNBLUE, back before I discovered k-pop groups are mostly groups of singers and dancers, not people who play instruments in a band.

Anyway, speaking of Yoo Ah-in and crossdressing, a non-traditional (aka "fusion") saeguk that isn't totally mired in the dudes in hats trying to outsmart each other is Sungkyunkwan Scandal. Yoo Ah-in is technically the second lead but he and Song Joong-ki steal the entire drama (and for good reason!). It's mostly cute rom-com with way less of the politics.

Another fusion sageuk I enjoyed was Arang and the Magistrate, which has a horror bent to it. There's also the adorable time-travel Queen In-hyun's Man.

Things that are more sageuk (although still technically fusion since they're not super historically accurate) but less boring than dudes-in-hats are Tree With Deep Roots and Six Flying Dragons (which technically comes before TWDR but it aired later). They're gorgeously filmed but there's still lots of politics, although TWDR gave me a greater appreciation for hangul, the Korean written language.

Another sageuk I adore does have politics as its focus, but instead of old dudes in hats attempting to usurp and outwit, its young women in gorgeous outfits. Empress Ki is 51 episodes but somehow I managed to watch it all in one week.

Buuuut again, I'm not a sageuk expert -- I always want to watch them, but my attention span and historical knowledge fail me. I usually just stick to the fusion stuff.
posted by paisley sheep at 2:03 AM on September 15, 2020 [1 favorite]

Oh, and I just discovered that the premiere of Private Life has been pushed back to October due to covid. Which is the best thing to do, but I'm still sad since it was one I was really looking forward to.
posted by paisley sheep at 2:04 AM on September 15, 2020

...You're Beautiful, where she played a cross-dressing nun in a k-pop group. I am very sentimentally attached to this drama, but hesitant to recommend it because it was... insane in all the ways Hong Sisters dramas typically are, but also part of its time and I don't think it has aged well.

I actually just watched this recently and I almost quit watching because the first bits were so remarkably stupid, but then I decided to just go with the flow and the insane cuteness of the middle more than made up for the silliness and the overly-angsty home stretch. My memories are overwhelmingly fond.

(On the strength of that I started to watch Marry Me, Mary, which given the two male leads should have been incredibly charming, and parts of it are. But I got to a stretch of so much obnoxious stupidity that I've been taking a break that might be permanent. Plus I wouldn't have thought a show could waste the Waffle Prince if it tried, but this one really goes for it. Or maybe he just wasn't the greatest actor back then...)

Thanks for the sageuk recs! I have seen Queen In-hyun's Man (in terrible youtube quality, unfortunately, since it doesn't seem to be available anywhere) and it was indeed fun.
posted by trig at 12:08 PM on September 15, 2020

And since I guess this is a place to put recommendations: I just watched Queen of Mystery, and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Trigger warning though: there are a few serial killer episodes that spend more time than I would have liked on the psychopaths in action. It wasn't as excessive as in Strong Woman Do Bong Soon, though.

Hong Sisters reminds me that Hwayugi (A Korean Odyssey) also had a lot of really fun parts. I couldn't believe that the very stately queen from The Crowned Clown was played by the same actress as the zombie in Hwayugi. That was one of the most hilarious performances I've seen.

Another one I've enjoyed recently is Are You Human Too?
posted by trig at 12:23 PM on September 15, 2020

Mary Me Mary was a hot mess. I started watching it and was like "OMG THIS IS ADORABLE I LOVE IT" in the first few episodes, but then it gradually became totally bonkers and I think I bailed on the show when the writer did. However, in its defense, the soundtrack was really good --"Take Care, My Bus!" still rocks.

Also Waffle Prince is maybe my favorite actor -- he's not the best actor ever but he's not the worst, and I've been irrationally attached to him since Coffee Prince, and he's got ridiculous charisma no matter what he does (but then again I am biased!). He did have a terrible string of luck with dramas during his early days, leading up to the disaster that was Inspiring Generation and then an agonizingly-long hiatus. I'm just glad he's finally found a good agency (the same one that Gong Yoo is with, actually!) and can explore more projects that suit his interests and talents. He really got his second wind with Voice, proving he's more than just a set of pretty cheekbones.
posted by paisley sheep at 1:14 PM on September 15, 2020

Ah, watching that clip reminds me of how much potential MMM had, and wasted. Happy New Year!

I wouldn't even mind bonkers if it wasn't the abusive-parents-and-exes-plus-suitors-negating-agency-of-female-characters kind of bonkers. If it were at the level of nuns washing sexy sculpture gardens I could have dealt with it! Wrt Kim Jae Wook I couldn't tell if he'd been directed to act that woodenly or if it was his choice, but either way... the extent to which it didn't work was amazing. (Being a fellow fan of cheekbones I also started to watch Antique, but it actually felt really homophobic and I didn't have the patience to find out if that was not ultimately the case.) He was great in Her Private Life, though.

All this is reminding me of how much I liked Jang Geun Seuk in You're Beautiful and MMM. I have Switch and Love Rain on my list - hopefully they do better things with him. (I mean hopefully he gets to smile evilly while dissecting plush animals, but that's probably too much to ask for.)
posted by trig at 3:25 PM on September 15, 2020

Confession time - I splurged on some Beanieboxes earlier this month that finally delivered. While I can ostensibly say that I did it to throw a little support at the Dramabeans website for all the recaps I've read, it's probably equally true that I've succumbed to the subliminal pressure of PPL (I'm still grossed out by Subway though, they'll never win me over on that one). Can't wait to try a coffee stick tomorrow morning, ha!
posted by oh yeah! at 12:15 PM on September 29, 2020

No red ginseng? What about your health?!
posted by trig at 6:20 PM on September 29, 2020

I’ve watched more Korean films than kdramas, but I’ve really been into Forest of Secrets/Stranger, and now we are finished that, so I’m thinking of starting Signal—a friend who had never watched a kdrama before ended up watching it and highly recommended it. I am also thinking School Nurse Files looks fun! Plus I have Crash Landing on You and It’s Okay Not To Be Okay in my queue on recommendation from another friend. (She recently watched Black and didn’t like it, but I feel like it’s more because it’s not her kind of thing than a problem with the show itself.) Too much to watch, too little time...
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:04 AM on October 5, 2020

Signal is terrific - I didn't find the very end completely satisfying, but not in a show-killing way (it's no 'Black' WTF?-finale, that's for sure), just in that it leaves you hanging a bit for a second season, and here we are 4 years later with no S2 in sight. Between 'Crash Landing' and 'It's Okay', I think 'Crash Landing' was better overall, but I liked them both a lot. 'School Nurse Files' was an odd duck of a show, but it's only 6 episodes.
posted by oh yeah! at 5:05 AM on October 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

My list current contains multitudes, as I stalk my favourite actors, and my housemate and I keep seeing previews and adding them to the netflix watchlist. And then I discovered Viki, and the list got even longer.

While you were Sleeping
I Hate you Juliet
Bride of the Century
The Masters Sun
Legend of the Blue Sea
Uncontrollably Fond
You are my Destiny
Love in the Moonlight
Record of Youth
Her Private Life
Bring it on Ghost
Hotel Del Luna
Something in the Rain
My Mister
Hospital Playlist
Hospital Ship
Love Alarm
Designated Survivor
Tune in for love

I also may have another go at:

Reply 1997
Beethoven Virus
Let's Eat

I'm currently watching A Korean Odyssey (by myself) and Itaewon Class (with my housemate), and greatly enjoying both.

In a disturbingly short amount of time I've watched Crash Landing on You, Coffee Prince, The King - Eternal Monarch, Memories of the Alhambra, Inheritors, Mystic Pop-up Bar and You're Beautiful. Favourites have been Crash Landing and Coffee Prince. Inheritors has also become an almost instant "comfort watch" after binging it waiting for Covid results, and I'm dipping in and out of it when I have things to do that make reading every subtitle possible (sewing etc). It's delightfully Gossip Girl, has a great cast and soundtrack. It also introduced my to K-pop, and now I'm listening to "I'm Saying" by Lee hong ki on repeat, and I've almost learnt all the words so I can sing along.
posted by kjs4 at 10:02 PM on November 12, 2020

I watched 'Record of Youth' as the episodes dropped on Netflix, but by the end I didn't find it memorable/compelling enough to want to add a Fanfare thread for it, but maybe I should do one anyway for completion's sake. I'm watching 'Start-Up' and 'Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol' weekly on Netflix now, and enjoying them both, so I'm sure I'll add them to Fanfare once I reach the finales.
posted by oh yeah! at 4:16 AM on November 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

And now I'm watching Hospital Ship and Personal Taste. Itaewon was a good watch, but I've now almost completely forgotten it. A Korean Odyssey botched the end a bit, though not so badly that I wouldn't recommend it.

And I added to "When I saw you" to my K-pop playlist (from A Korean Odyssey), which is half heartfelt Korean, half slightly odd English.
posted by kjs4 at 11:05 PM on November 22, 2020

Wow, Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol botched their ending so badly, maybe the worst of any kdrama I've watched so far, as bad as if not worse than "Black". Really hope "Start-Up" can end strong. I watched the first episode of "The Uncanny Counter" today, which didn't really wow me, but, since it's another 2-episodes-a-week Netflix show I'll see where it goes. And I watched one episode of 2017's "Strongest Deliveryman" that just got added to Netflix, which also didn't bowl me over yet, but it stars Chicago Typewriter's puppy-dog-eyed Go Kyung Pyo and Start-Up's Kim Seon Ho, and seems to have had positive reviews so I'll give it time to grow on me.
posted by oh yeah! at 5:43 PM on November 28, 2020

I've had a lot of personal chaos going on lately so my fun-watching has been mostly vaguely pretending to watch whatever HGTV/Food Network show my mum has on TV, but I've watched the first two episodes of The Uncanny Counter (on Netflix) and I love it! I haven't read the webtoon it's based on so I have no idea if it's accurate to the source material, but I think I might actually stick with this one. Found families in supernatural settings are apparently a huge weakness of mine.

Oh and I did finish Private Lives and it was... eh. Not this writer's greatest work, but it made for nice background noise while I was working on other things.

There was also a couple of weeks where I comfort-binged an old fave, Flower Boy Next Door, just because of how disappointed I was with Private Lives despite how much I love Go Kyung-pyo.

I've been super out-of-the-loop of dramaland for the past couple of years but there are some upcoming shows in the next month or so that actually interest me (or maybe I just have the ability now to be interested in a show, ha). Maybe I'll get back to watching a bajillion shows a year again!
posted by paisley sheep at 6:53 PM on December 5, 2020

I watched the first episode of Private Lives, but didn't find myself motivated to keep going since it wasn't being recapped at Dramabeans, good to know I'm not missing a gem. I'm enjoying Uncanny Counter though too. And Strongest Delivery Man has totally won me over, I'm up to episode 9 tonight. Tomorrow's the finale of Start Up, I feel reasonably confident that it will end satisfyingly.
posted by oh yeah! at 8:07 PM on December 5, 2020

I've finished Hospital Ship, Personal Taste and Secret Garden. All were very entertaining.

Secret Garden was full of the Rich man/poor girl "that's not romantic, that's harrassment" cliches, but was worth watching to see the actors play each others characters. Hyun Bin was particularly delightful as a woman. Also, I now feel the need to watch everything that Lee Jong-suk has been in, and just started Doctor Stranger.

Sadly, none had any good songs in their soundtracks. So it's Lee Hongki on repeat still.
posted by kjs4 at 9:21 PM on December 9, 2020

I'm trying to decide if it's worth the energy to start one of the bajillion shows that are premiering this week and next, or if I'll just wait and instead focus on my annual rewatch of the drama special White Christmas, which I skipped last year because of crazy life reasons. I need me some teenage noir eye-candy!

I still want to keep up with Uncanny Counter, although I'm still only on ep 4 -- it requires my full attention so I can't just binge it like I normally would!
posted by paisley sheep at 10:38 PM on December 13, 2020

paisley sheep, is White Christmas this one? Any ideas on where to stream it? I'd so love to watch a Christmas Korean drama, but none of the Australian options seem to have it.
posted by kjs4 at 6:07 PM on December 14, 2020

Yes, kjs4, that's the one! I think it might be on Viki? Or it was at one time.

I downloaded it ages ago so that's how I watch it. I recommend it if you can find it! It will probably feel a little "old fashioned" because it doesn't have the slick cameras that are used today, but it still feels unique and one-of-a-kind (although with the cable explosion the last couple of years, the noir-ish drama isn't quite as rare). Plus it's full of actor-models when they were rookies before they became famous, so it's kind of fun to rewatch since they're so young! And full of potential before they ruined it (*cries over Sung Joon's career trajectory*)! And Lee Soo-hyuk still has his old nose!

It also has Lee El in one of her early roles but a role that is still one of my favorite of hers, even though she has many other amazing roles since then (can you tell I love her???).
posted by paisley sheep at 7:23 PM on December 15, 2020 [1 favorite]

Sadly, I couldn't find a copy of White Christmas that I could chromecast to the TV in order to force my housemates to watch it too. Next year maybe. Though by then I might have discovered a completely new genre of netflix to obsess over.

I did finish Heartstrings and When the Camellia Blooms, which were lovely. Also Doctor Stranger, which was a highly absorbing binge watch, if eventually slightly unsatisfying. I made the mistake of continuing to watch all of Descendants of the Sun, even after it revealed itself to be mostly about eye-candy and the protagonists almost dying. Not recommended at all.

I then went down a very long youtube rabbithole after discovering that two of the guys in the K-pop group Stray Kids are Australian. I found the combination of the Korean idol aesthetic sounding like local schoolkids to be bizarrely compelling. Two of their songs are now on my Korean playlist, along with one from Heartstrings (Kang Min Hyuk is always delightful), diluting the Lee Hongki somewhat.
posted by kjs4 at 9:33 PM on January 4, 2021

I just watched Mr. Queen, which... is definitely different! I found it really enjoyable (except for the end, which I really didn't like, but apparently I'm in the minority on that?)

A man (more specifically, a 21st-century devoted womanizer with a metastasized ego) finds himself in the body of a queen in the Joseon era. This show goes places. It was kind of amazing to see issues of gender identity and sexuality be addressed like that in a Korean show. (I loved the therapy-type conversation the main character had with the unwitting court doctor, and the conclusion said character came to.) Though at the same time I thought some things were also pretty problematic in terms of consent - there were multiple times where characters didn't actually understand who they were making love to at a given moment. Plus the whole question of whether the original queen was still inside her body or not...

The acting is incredibly good - I'd only ever seen the lead actress in a really wimpy, drippy, super-stereotypical "women are gentle timid flowers" role, and to see the things she got to do here was amazing and really made me want to see more roles like that for women. It was a hell of a performance. And there's a ton of humor, good music, standout moments, and chemistry. Definitely one of the more memorable shows I've seen.
posted by trig at 1:27 PM on March 21, 2021

(except for the end, which I really didn't like, but apparently I'm in the minority on that?)

I didn't watch Mr. Queen since it didn't end up on Netflix US, but I did take a peek at the Dramabeans finale recap post, since I'd been intrigued by the premise when the site had started recapping it, and wanted to see how bad I should feel about having missed it. I got the impression that a lot of people were disappointed with the ending, and that I didn't have to keep it in mind for when/if I ever start using Viki for catching up on all the non-Netflix-ed kdramas.

Just finished 'Run On', which I liked. There are a bunch of current shows partway through their Netflix runs that I wanted to check out (Sisyphus, Vincenzo, Hello Me, Love ft Marriage & Divorce) but at this point I guess I'll just wait to see what the consensus is on them at season's end. There's a new one starting tomorrow "Navillera", so I'll probably be keeping up with that one live. And my best friend, having now seen every Kdrama that I've pre-screened for her, is starting 'Korean Odyssey', so, I will probably watch that one now too so we can talk about it.
posted by oh yeah! at 5:14 PM on March 21, 2021

I strongly disliked the ending, but I enjoyed the rest of the show so much despite its flaws (and seriously, it has such an epic performance) that I'd actually still really recommend it. It definitely stands out among the shows I've watched. Plus it feels kind of culturally significant with regards to what it does with gender and sex, though I don't know how it felt to viewers in Korea. The ending sort of feels like the writers weren't quite brave enough to accept the implications of what they'd set up, or like there might have been pressure on them to steer away. I can see a lot of fanfiction coming out of it.

I thought Korean Odyssey ended up being pretty fun, though it took a while for me to get there, and dear lord was there some bad CGI in that ending. But the middle was worth the rest of it imo.

I also watched While You Were Sleeping recently and found it kind of underwhelming, and The Romance of Tiger and Rose (a Chinese gender-flip drama) which eventually turned out pretty endearing.
posted by trig at 5:55 PM on March 21, 2021

I watched the premiere two episodes of Navillera - the dance sequences are shot a la Flashdance/Footloose/The Cutting Edge -- from a distance/in shadow/from the back when it's the body double doing the actual dancing, tight shot of head & shoulders only when the actor is in shot. I'm sure it's hard to find an actor who can do great ballet or a great ballet dancer who can do kdrama acting, but it would have been cool if they had found their Billy Eliot. Still, Park In Hwan as the old man kinda won me over by the second episode, so I think there's a chance this will be a decent drama in the end.
posted by oh yeah! at 4:53 PM on March 25, 2021

Speaking of, the dancing in Ballerino was far from great, but it was a pretty good 2-episode drama with some great acting by the lead.
posted by trig at 10:33 PM on March 25, 2021

Looks like I waited too long to get around to watching the 'Let's Eat' and 'Reply' shows on Netflix, they're coming off the site on September 30th. Ah well, maybe they'll return someday.
posted by oh yeah! at 5:40 PM on September 6, 2021

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