My notes on K-dramas/variety this week (May 31- June 6 2014)

I wouldn’t say I’m burned out on dramas, but I’m taking a break from watching too many airing dramas at the same time. I’m currently following two Taiwanese dramas and one Japanese one, so I haven’t been following every currently airing Korean drama.  I also watch only one or two variety shows at a time, just out of preference. The shows I’ve watched in the lastweek are:

  • A Witch’s Romance
  • You’re All Surrounded
  • We Got Married Global Edition
  • Roommate

Spoilers ahead:

A Witch’s Romance is nearing it’s end. Episodes 13 gave us some much needed conversation between the lead pairing, with episode 14 upping the ante by adding tons of romance and cuteness. While the writing on this show always stayed interesting, it took a turn for the depressing for a few episodes, with Ji-yeon losing a lot of her fire and trying to be a Stepford wife for Shi-hoon, Dong-ha having a slight breakdown over losing her that involves punching strangers, Ji-yeon and  Dong-ha both taking turns being black-out drunk, and the threat that the OTP won’t even stay friends. Now, as someone who watched the original Taiwanese production My Queen, I can say with certainty that A Witch’s Romance handled the serious elements much better. Besides spending way too many episodes on the fiancee complication, My Queen never recovered the comfort and connection between the leads that they had in the beginning of the show. A Witch’s Romance did an excellent job of contrasting Ji-yeon’s easy, affectionate bickering with Dong-ha with her relationship with Shi-hoon, and never lost the chemistry between the two.

Episode 13 and 14 also featured some great moments from our favorite roommates. Soo Chul and Dong Ha talking to each other about their girls while not listening to the other one at all was cute, and there were lots of shots were the point was obviously to oogle the pretty. I’m okay with that.

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I appreciate the character of Soo Chul; he’s excellent comic relief at times, but he also sometimes seems like the perfect friend and support for Dong-ha. I dig characters with multiple dimensions. I don’t even know what to say with his wooing of Eun-Chae, though. It’s both adorable and something that would make me hit a male friend up the backside of his head.

Na Rae and Min Goo were also at their best this week (although they’ve been pretty close to awesome the whole show.) The friendship aspect is another thing I think A Witch’s Romance did much better than My Queen.

All things considered, these episodes were pretty golden. I’m a tiny bit worried about the conclusion, because the end of My Queen didn’t do it for me, but I’m just gonna have faith.

You’re All Surrounded only had one episode this week, but it was a momentous one. I have been watching this off and on and had decided not to watch, but I liked this episode so much I’ll be sticking around albeit probably with a bit of fast forwarding. I’m so glad a certain secret is out of the bag. But, on the other hand…Did anyone else find Tae-Il’s outed “secret” completely not a secret at all? Spoiler: He’s a doctor. When I heard that I was like…Yeah.  He kind of indirectly said that before.

We Got Married Global Edition I found the last two episodes greatly improved. Heechul-Puff really seem to be growing close, and I enjoyed Yagi Arisa’s mom a lot. Frankly, she seemed like more the type of person Key gets a long with, and Arisa relaxed when she was around and seemed less stiff. Episode 9 was a little slow, I don’t really like the overly elaborate romantic “events” on this show, but I since that’s been a standard through the shows 59387293840 couples (that might not be the exact number) I’m just gonna admit it’s here to stay.

Roommate I really like roommate, though I do have some reservations about it. If it gets canceled in Korea, the network should still put the remaining episodes on the internet. You know, so I can watch it. I was going to say because I think they can still make money that way, with sponsor and all that- but the main point is for me to be able to watch it. Personally, I don’t at all lament that Roommate is not more structured. I think this is because I grew up in the birth of the reality show period, where voyeurism was the main point. (Let’s be real.) I find it’s resemblance to 1990s era Real World charming. Here are my tips to keep it from getting canceled, though:

  1. Stop with the misleading editing, including ending every episode making us think something is going to happen to Bom.
  2. Stop with the couple-shipping. The people at home will make their own ships, and they don’t need you to cobble together scenes to make it look like something happened that didn’t, or slow down a shot to make it look like someone is staring at someone else, or write captions that suggest romance when the scene itself doesn’t. Really, viewers are home are excellent at thinking innocent things mean people are deeply in love with each other. The writing/editing/producing team doesn’t need to help.
  3. Show some things that make Nana look less conceited.
  4. Play up the friendships between the guys. The women have been shown bonding as a group but the guys haven’t except in small moments. Things like Dong-wook and Seo-Kang Joon buying a phone were good, but more, much more. Actually speaking of that-
  5. The show always mentions who the women think are cute. I know I said don’t go overboard with the romance, but I can’t imagine that the guys would never have talked about this at all. Mentions of ideal type and everything were made, but that’s not the same as saying who you really find attractive in the house. The women talking about it and the men not really talking about it, or just being jokingly flirty, makes it seem like the women are romance crazy and the men don’t care. Maybe that’s the point?
  6. Show Kang-Joon doing something besides being lusted at by everyone and being slightly dim. He’s a good actor but he’s very new, he’s super young, and he’s staying in this house with tons of established celebrities. There is material there besides “all the girls like him ’cause he’s pretty, and he says he can speak English but he can’t, and he sometimes says stuff that’s a little odd, like he likes sunsets.” Also, the competition aspect with Min Woo is cool, but it might get old.
  7. More Chanyeol, Min woo and Ga yeon.
  8. More Dong wook, but I wish every mention of him wasn’t connected with romance this early in the show.
  9. Either cut the length of the episodes, or show them in 1 hour pieces on two consecutive days.

So those are my thoughts for this week. Agree or disagree? Have more? Let me know.

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