02 February, 2015

Whatcha Watchin'? A dewaanifordrama Update

So...um...I have been super AWOL in the Bloggersphere as of late. I'll credit that to the whole moving to another country thing, which always takes up a lot more emotional and physical energy than you can ever bargain for. That and my work load was rather insane for a while. All that aside, I've had a little more free time recently and being the K-drama addict aficionado that I am, I decided to dive right in and watch like a million currently airing dramas. I seriously shouldn't start to so many dramas, as I am absolutely terrible at finishing them. Oh well, live-watching is rather fun when you get to chat about and share in all the joys (and frustrations) that everyone else is revelling in too.

So here goes, here is what I've been watching as of late as far as currently airing shows. And I will try my hardest to be as spoiler free as possible, so if you haven't had a chance to dive in yet and watch any of the shows, you don't need to be afraid of spoilers.

Healer (Monday/Tuesday)

At first I was super reluctant to jump aboard the Healer train. Everyone was talking and raving about it, which sometimes makes me wary of a drama. Perhaps it's that "I will jump on the bandwagon and then the drama will crash and burn and I will be sad" fear that I have with K-drama. We've all been burned plenty of times before, right? Well, I am happy to say that I am firmly aboard and enjoying the show. It didn't really hook me though until about eight episodes into it. So if you've tried it and it wasn't floating your boat, I recommend you give it another try.

I really love Ji Chang Wook, though I am not sure I have ever finished a drama he's been in *looks away guiltily* (it's not him, I promise), and I'm really enjoying him as the Healer in this drama. He's cute, sassy at times, and manages to be cool and suave and sexy all at once, while still retaining a little bit of vulnerability. And of course his chemistry with Park Min Young is just fabulous! She is also hitting it out the park with this performance. It's as if the role were made for her! I also really love that she's a heroine that doesn't just wait to be rescued. She's got sass and fire and brains as well as a good dose of spunk. And I really love and appreciate that in any heroine, but especially in a K-drama. And she's also able to bring the emotion when needed.

Another reason I really love the drama is Yoo Ji Tae's performance. It's really nice having such an excellent actor on the cast (and really, there is a veritable hoard of excellence with this cast), but he pulls such an emotive gravitas to the role that draws me in. Of course, he's ridiculously good looking and charming, which just adds to the whole pull he has for me as well. And I think that as a character, he is so human and accessible and easy for the audience to relate to. I love it! And I heart him! And really, he's just one of the lovely characters and relationships that the drama is built on. I'm not mentioning them all here, but really, there are so many stories and relationships that I love in Healer, and I love how complex, and human and interesting they are.

While the first few episodes were a little slow in the build-up for me, I have definitely been happy as the drama has unfolded in the second act. The pieces have come together nicely and the plot manages an excellent push and pull with the audience by revealing just enough to keep our appetites whet, and yet hiding enough detail that we just have to watch another episode with bated breath. It makes for a rather impatient week while waiting for new episodes. I solved this problem by re-watching it with my sister online. Haha. Yay for modern technology! So yup, I highly recommend this. It also has some great OST pieces in it too, and Ji Chang Wook is going to add his lovely voice to the lot as well. I think his track will air with this week's episodes. Being the thriller that the drama is, the third act always makes me nervous as to who they're going to kill off. *bites fingernails*

(For those of you already watching, this scene made me bust up laughing so much)
Hyde, Jekyll, Me (Wednesday/Thursday)

Of course I started this for Binnie. I mean, who am I kidding?! He's my K-drama first love and all and dang it, he still makes my heart flutter majorly. The camera of course loves his face about as much as I do, so there is plenty for me to be happy about.

The first episode was a little slow and featured a rather strange episode with a gorilla. Just get past the gorilla and it does get better. For those of you who don't know the story, it involves a rather uptight man and his issues with dissociative identity disorder (also know as multiple personality disorder). While there is much to love about his cheerful and pleasant other self, Robin, I still love Goo Seo Jin quite a bit tonnes. Han Ji Min as Jang Ha Na is great, but she has been a bit too expressionless so far for my taste. Hopefully she'll warm up a bit. I like her, I really do, and the leads do seem to have a good rapport (maybe from working together before - though they weren't exactly on the best of terms , well their characters weren't, in The Fatal Encounter). I think I actually prefer the Goo Seo Jin/Jang Ha Na interactions more than the Robin/Jang Ha Na ones, but I'm not so sure yet. Ah! Second lead syndrome with the same person is definitely problematic ;)

While the drama isn't perfect, and I'm sure it will have issues later, so far it's a fairly easy watch and there is more than enough to like. It also has some slick and smooth editing for the most part. I'm not totally blown away by the drama, but there is still plenty there to compel me to watch more. Man, I have sooo been burned by K-drama that it's hard for me to fall so in love with them, haha. Anyone else ever feel the same? Oh, and Sung Joon is in this one as well. *smiles*

Kill Me, Heal Me (Wednesday/Thursday)

I actually wasn't going to watch this one, but what can I say: Ji Sung, Ji Sung, Ji Sung. He was the only thing keeping me watching actually (until about episode 8 when Hwang Jung Eum finally calmed down a bit with the over-acting craziness). Ji Sung is just so excellent and I am greatly enjoying and being completely moved by his excellent portrayals of different identities (yup, it's another D.I.D. one). He is incredibly adept at portraying such different individuals and I am just enjoying him so much. He has also been able to deliver his suffering and emotion with such pathos. He's just great.

The production value on this is definitely not as slick as Hyde, Jekyll, Me, but it's got a really intriguing back story. And I also really love Park Seo Joon, so that's a bonus as well. Hmmm, there's not much more to say about this one. It's not excellent, but it's enjoyable. And if you happen to love this one with more passion, please add your voice in the comments below. Oh, and that gorgeous actor Oh Mi Seok is in it. I know he's a bad guy, but he's so nice to look at ;)

Heart to Heart (Friday/Saturday)

I picked this one up on a whim when someone else in the Twitterverse mentioned it. It is most definitely one of my favourite dramas currently airing. It's light and fresh and different enough to be a breath of fresh air in K-drama. I think it's also a really lovely look at human weakness and real problems in the context of relationships. It also has a rather interesting love triangle where I am not even sure who I want her to end up with. And the relationships are rather nicely constructed too and full of such openness. Yay!

Choi Kang Hee as Cha Hong Do is just lovely. She is funny and quirky and has a rather sharp tongue when paired with Chun Jung Myung as Ko Yi Suk. (I also really love and adore Chun Mung Myung's smiley face! He is seriously so adorable!!!) I do think that it's really funny that in K-drama there seems to be a preponderance of doctor-patient romantic relationships that would get real life people fired, but I get its use as a tool to push the leads together as is the case with the two of them.

The other lead, Lee Jae Yoon as Detective Jang is lovely as well. I already love Lee Jae Yoon, so I love seeing him in a K-drama again. He is a rather awkward, yet kind detective who the leading lady is in love with, but due to her social anxiety, she can't really talk to him. Ko Yi Suk serves then as a rather adorable and irascible foil to her social anxiety, and allows her to be her sassy self around him, all in the hopes of winning Dectectice Jang. And then she's the antidote to his patient phobia. Basically, there are all sorts of messy relationships in this drama, but I just really love the forthright tone of their conversations. There is no simpering in this drama, but rather some really direct conversation about feelings and everything, and I love that. I really do.

There are also some really lovely scenes with the haraboji while Cha Dong Ho is dressed up as a halmoeni (it helps her overcome her social phobia). And I also really like that the side-stories add to the dialogue about trauma, social phobias, depression, etc. in a way that is not as over-played as it sometimes is in K-drama. If you're not already watching this one, I hope it will pleasantly surprise you if you give it a try.

Maids (Friday/Saturday)

This drama has been rather plagued from the beginning with terrible luck. After the death of one of the writers in a fire, that also destroyed the set, the drama took a hiatus from filming and production, but they've started up again recently. I have also only seen the first two episodes, so this drama might tank, but so far it's beautifully executed.

I'm not the biggest fan of Jung Yoo Mi, but I really like her in Maids so far. She plays a noblewoman cast down to servant status after the supposed traitorous actions of her father. Of course, her first love gets lost in the process (though the drama is too early in its telling to know whether or not her fully abandons her or not). Then there is the hunky and broody Oh Ji Ho who plays a mysterious manservant in the house she is sent to who the drama synopsis says will become a romantic interest. So we'll have to see how that plays out. And of course there are plenty politically-scheming noblemen and officials and kings etc. galore. Otherwise it wouldn't be a sageuk, right?

I'll have to see how this one progresses, but so far it looks really interesting and I already love the costuming and pacing, and general tone of the drama. It also has some really gorgeous cinematography and some fascinating portrayals of the life and stories of servants. I'm looking forward to seeing how it will move forward.

Well, that's all for now folks. What are you watching in the current live-watch cycle? Is there anything else I should check out? Are you also watching any of the ones I mentioned? I am still trying to finish off the myriad dramas I started before, but hey, why not throw more into the mix, right? I look forward to reading what you've been watching!

◀ Happy Three Years!!!                                               First Blog Giveaway for the Healer OST ▶


  1. I have become obsessed with Ji Sung is Kill Me Heal me. With all the shenanigans about casting this drama and whether this drama was even going to air, I think it was fate because I cannot think of anyone else pulling this off in such a convincing manner. it's been a long time since I wanted a character to end up happy so badly.

  2. He is so great in it! I totally agree with you that he's absolutely perfect for the role. He really just makes the show, and yes, I also desperately want him to be happy and to experience healing. He really is such an excellent actor.

  3. Wow dewaani, you sure are watching tons!

    I'm the same as you in Healer. I didn't want to jump on the bandwagon so quickly, but I'm so glad I did! Chae YoungShin makes me so happy, because it's rare for dramaland to introduce to us a smart and kickbutt character like her. Park MinYoung is so refreshing in this role. It's also my first Ji Chang-Wook drama and after this, I think I have to watch his other dramas. He's a really good actor and very very very attractive. Did I say very attractive? :D

    Which one do you prefer Hyde, Jekyll, Me or Kill Me, Heal Me?

  4. That's what happens when you have some free time ;)

    I LOVE Chae Young Shin! You are so right about the rarity of characters such as hers in dramaland and I am so glad that the writernim has been so awesome with her. It makes my heart happy. I've watched a few other Ji Chang Wook characters (maybe a combined total of like 40 episodes) but still never finished any of them that I started. Haha. Oh well. He is VERY attractive. I do swoon though for Yoo Ji Tae though as well.

    I think that right now I prefer Hyde but that's mostly because of Binnie. I just luff him so much! I really am loving Ji Sung's performance in KMHM though. The drama took until episode 8 to get me properly interested, and for me that's just too long. Which do you prefer?

  5. Hi, deewanifordrama!
    I'm watching almost all the series that are mentioned above. I started 'kill me heal me' today. And I love, love, love Healer. It's equal parts because of chae young shin and Bong sookie. And how awesome are the secondary characters? There's cool ahjumma, the dad and his gangster friend. I love the five friends from the past too. It's strange but I feel really attached to them and I keep hoping for more flashbacks.
    About Maids, what do you think of oh ji ho's character killing the maid? It is beautifully shot . The scene where they chase the guy with the cart was shot extremely well.

  6. Hi Saema! I also love all the things you mentioned about Healer! I kind of wish that they would make a drama with just the five friends ㅋㅋㅋ I just love how they have such interesting and complicated relationships that tie the story together.

    And the cinematography for Maids is great! They are doing a great job. I need to check out this week's episodes soon ^^ Thanks for commenting!

  7. Hi Dewaani!

    My reply is really late but have you seen the final episode? Aaaaaah I love the trio till the very end! :) And I swoon over Yoo JiTae, too. He's so unbelievably good as MoonHo.

    I am watching neither. I'm trying to weigh my options first (lol) by reading reviews, and wait till I have more episodes to watch. I think I'll be watching KMHM first, though. :)

  8. There is no such thing as a late reply ^^ I just finished the two finale episodes about half an hour ago and of course I am still smitten with that trio. I was surprised they didn't clean up more ends, but hey, I think they left everything on a good note. There was a moment there that I almost started cursing. I am sure you know which moment. It was most definitely an entertaining watch. And I am very in love with Yoo Ji Tae (and of course Ji Chang Wook).

    That's probably a good idea to wait a little for more episodes. I'm definitely enjoying KMHM much more than I was at first. I know that Hyde isn't doing very well in Korea though I am not really sure why not. It's not amazing by any means, but it's decent. And of course Binnie is being marvellous!

    I also picked up Hogu's Love this week and I am liking it already. It's got a few twists in there that I was totally not expecting. And Maids just gets better and better!

  9. Yes, there are some questions left unanswered but overall, the ending's pretty good and really satisfying. I know that scene you're talking about! I reacted rather violently haha.

    I started Spy and Persevere Goo Hae Ra this week. Though both are okay, I'm not yet hooked! I'm planning to start KMHM and Hyde next week. Ugh, so many dramas. I think I'm going to wait for more episodes of Hogu's first. :D

  10. I totally agree that the ending was satisfying. I think that if I had to re-write it a little to make the last four episodes a little less slow and to tidier, I would have been a little happier ;) Haha. Man, I am such a perfectionist. I really did like that we got lots of cuddles and kisses. And not silly frozen ones. And yeah. I was like, um drama, if they all die, I will kill you! Haha.

    There are so many dramas!!!!!! EEK!!!! It makes a drama watchers life rather hard ;) hehehe. Though I really shouldn't complain. I've been thinking at looking at Persevere Goo Hae Ra. Let me know what you think.