I am rushing to sneak this in because…
I have grown to hate Red Sorghum. SOBBBBZZZZZ I wanna murder this scriptwriter team, by the teen eps this is typical C frustrating angsty family drama when all have lost their brains and into nothing but petty bitching and digging silly holes to bury themselves in. Rumor is Mr Mo Yan’s own daughter is working on the writing/’consulting’ team and HOW DARE you allow crapping on your Daddy’s work. The characters have always been unapologetically raw, magnetic in their earthy grittiness, but now one is…how else to put it….but a self-centered, out of touch…hussy… which is all sorts of dumb in that harsh, unkind, judgmental, sexist world and the ‘Grandpapa’ is nothing but a walkable…dick. You just do not scream on the top of the lungs in the open you have committed adultery, any care about the lady’s head, honor, whatevers, whom you are screaming you are loving to death romping every chance you can in the sorghum field huh??!?!??????????? WTF. Still, it was worth it for the 10 eps or so I enjoyed if nothing for the SUPERB acting alone. I still am bowing to you Miss Zhou!Xun!
Still not over my disappointment with All Quiet In Beijing, especially now I have been comforted a few many times fr my RL friends and fams who have finished drama guaranteeing it will get better, much, by ep3. And I would love to trust them and their lovely taste, I do. Yet, I am terrified…what if I still don’t care for it by then?!?! I have sworn my never-dying love for PD Kong. SOBS.
Oh, and I have found my crack: Kyou wa Kaisha Yasumimasu shameless shoujo Marysue but Ayase is doing her magic anchoring it, and with all the dorama masterful restrain it ends up chock full of just right cute and subtle little quirks worming me in. I am not really a fan of Tamaki, but this little twist of him playing a busybody bugging into her business playboyish greasy CEO BUT he is a guy2, yet dorama guy2 is not as strict never getting girl guy2…I have not read manga do not spoil me even though that’s not really the draw who’s getting our mousy spinster. It charms lie in it is not trying too hard, nothing is bugging me (yet) and the bilibili vocal fandom is squealling SEAN!LAU! whenever the scene stealing doggie of the show is on. Yes, fandom, keep screaming out loud my uber bias, I will be pavlovianed to wag my tail.
That leaves me no freaken time for Kdramas, I have too much to catch up to join livewatching anyway so might as well wait till all is wrapped up and it stayed terrific to the last drop (Misaeng, me praying fingerstoescrossed). I mean, yes, we fiend always can find the time to be craycrayobsessed but I also have fam duties to watch tele with the hubs, things he oddly are addicted to (老表，你好Hea！/Come On Cousin, Elementary…) and laundry…and VOTE!
Got me at HELLO! ZHOU XUNNNNN!! Gosh, one look at her sparkling eyes of an innocent young girl I am a goner. She is here to prove she still owns EVERYTHING. SunLi Who?! As much as I bow to BettySun, she can not convince me as a young HuanHuan, not the case with a much older, almost 40yo Miss Z!X!. If you knew she has always been crazy good, she is even more unbelievably crazy good here proving herself a JiuEr against the gold standard of Gong!Li!…and I must say I am loving her JiuEr already half an ep in…part is she is allowed to spar geniusly with the owning IT! Zhu YaWen, darnit, I lost my marbles screaming he is the hottest BAMF oozing nothing but most attractive maleness ever on my screen when his Yu ZhanAo makes the first appearance nomming a mantao. AND the chemistry. I am still dazed. Was going to just check out an ep, a first impression, moving on to my piled up abandoned drama plate, alas.
I can not watch anything else.
Everything this promised and unbelievably more:
All Quiet in Peking/北平无战事
Ep1, I DO NOT LIKE IT. IT DISAPPOINTS ME!!!! I can’t wait but checked out the OP when it was first out, plagiarizing True Detective no doubt but still very stylized and me likey and coming from PD Kong/孔笙 who can do no wrong after Battle of ChangSha better things must be awaiting me. Not in ep1. GEEZ my only hope is PD Kong slacked for an ep and delegated the episode to a wet behind ears minion with just an outline of what should be delivered in the episode and the green thing knows nothing of editing nor storytelling and served me a chopsuey of headshots of the who’s who showing their prowess in line reading despite horrendous choppy editing. LESIGH.
But I will give it a few more episodes based on my good will and the acting is still SUPERB and I can watch that alone if it comes to it, super disappointed but still a feast to behold. I have not really heard any bad things about drama on my WL, but I am bracing for impact. Sadness. BUTBUTBUT the horrible fanminions are feeding me bromance and HOTNESS in LiuYe and ZuFeng (who is insanely scene stealing with the little I saw from ep……INSANELY!)
老表，你好Hea！/Come On Cousin
Saw 5 mins of it in HK, split my sides. From the same crew of 老表，你好嘢！/Inbound Troubles. It’s loads of slapstick, loads of hijinks, loads of stabs of everything current under the sun, not everyone’s cuppa but it’s mine.
I have not decided what I should even check out in Kdrama/Jdramalands yet, possibly Misaeng, definitely Misaeng. And P&P even for nothing else but Choi!Min!SOO! Then my dorama must watch Shinya Shokudo 3. When I have my old US favs back: American Horror Stories, Walking Dead, Sleepy Hollow etcetcetc: decisions, dilemmas, life and death, sleep is overrated yet still NO!F!TIME.
Discovery of Love
Two episodes, and I am in love. Everything clicks, i have nothing to rant for a change over ANYTHING. I could probably have thoughts or words if i can part my eyes with this to have thoughts or words or ice showers or sth sthsth but yyyy should anyone:
Fated To Love You 2014:
I am calling it dramafiend sixth sense. Years of over the top outrageous emotional obsessing, raving and stabbing and hating so passionately this commodity results in you can sniff things with a senseless premonition. I have been watching along not even knowing why amid all my inner grumbles, but I did not drop it, super rare when I have a very low tolerance for kdrama these day, a speck for me to nitpick, in the trashbin you go, no mercy because if there is something to spot earlier on, it never gets better, only worse. I am hating myself for somewhat still interested in this thing despite my disinterest in the plot, cranky over JH’s out of control OTT interchanged with marvelous spot on emoting the next moment making me bipolar…and ABSOLUTELY adoring JNR, my Kr revelation and loving her character against every fiber of my middle fingering pushover-doormat-postit wimps sensibilities. Her MiYoung is a postit made of the softest harmless titanium sensible core from another planet I did not know existed till now, life has not been fair to her, but she is braving it her own alien tender cutest way. I can not be her MiYoung, but so very nice to know you my darling! And lovely slaying me sooo good angst galore in 11 and 12 another revelation I am actually a sucker for very good angst and the other A done to perfection. E12, I have not recovered yet, I know there will be crying but I started off the ep still giggling at JH’s muahahahaha mindlessly, thinking hey, what is all the big crying fest about my chingus?!?! BAM!!!! I got hit in my gut and it is all torn out me and I am left gutless wincing in pain and crying, and I call it what a most delicious surprise. I did not know this drama will wrung real emotions and care out of me but it is now owning my heart.
Hirugao/昼颜: Hubs loves Aya, I girlcrush Michiko and it promises me a nikkid Kazuki Kitamura ojisan, win, win and win. This is our guilty pleasure that is fastly turning into the dorama of the season. LOOK:
Snappy lines special thanks to snarky rhyming Csub: 相遇要卖弄风情，分手要残忍绝情 is delightful. The cinematography is lush yet strokes are not too deliberate, when I am expecting night time soap potboiler and you are serving me the dokidoki of almost puppy love from married obasans and their loversssss on the side ojisans…dare I say so very Ren’ai of yore, pure, poignant, controlled and nuanced, I am very pleasantly surprised. These are not model citizens, husbands and wives, these people are committing what we call sins and could be stoned to death in parts of our world but it feels just right watching. I am impressed. The ladies are another league of their own in awesomeness, the guys are very hammy and sorry KK ojisan, your character would’ve been super hot and bothering as he should be in MYYukata’s hands instead of your one note stinky face sleaze. There are many moments I am YYing a sistamance. Humor me!
Two episodes in, too early to judge but this grabs me at hello with a song a few minutes in: 朴树’s 《New Boy》. This is CN’s own Reply 1999 done more innocuously with very authentic flavor of highschool life in CN circa the late 90s. And the musician is exactly what the highschoolers would repeat as the lofty voice of their existence with a touch of trying too hard to be cool. I have no bearing to judge whether it truly is, I know nothing much about HS life in CN back then, have never seen CN highschoolers portrayed as…CN highschoolers in just tacky enough tracksuits nobody is chirpy about wearing but not bothering to fuss about it other than inserting a t shirt/sweats they assume it is cool, but not really. Ep1 is titled: 校服再丑，你再也穿不到了 No matter how fugly your school uniform is, you can never wear it again. Nobody are prancing around as flower boys and pretty princess, they are just awkward teenagers trying to be a tad cooler than they are, or simply just staying away from the spotlight of bullying. The teachers are looking like…teachers not some hasbeen ex-models here to rob the cradles. What impresses me the most is how mundane it is, but it has substance and a richness to its texture, there are numerous details and touches inserted, the daily raising of the flag, the chores allocation to the boys and girls, little interesting touches to my uneducated eyes but never made a big deal smugly asking for your praise of every detail, like being a SlamDunk fan is one who can sing the themesong not knowing a lick of Japanese, and randomly singing it as you are hopping on your bed about to sleep, not make a grand gesture of hey look! I KNOW SlamDunk, Wubai, whatever (argh, yes I find In a Good Way insufferable). This is not trying to mimic more successful school dramas of other dramaland, it is wholeheartedly trying to attempt a beast of its own that is speaking the voice of school life being a youngster in CN. Everything is just there as it should without fanfare. The plot is steady, a tad slow but not buggingly so. It is taking the time allowing me to assimilate the culture shock and time traveling. Every detail fits nondescriptly and like everything in our youth, it is always when it is gone that everything turns precious as nostalgia hits. Refreshing casting of NO plastics and gawdy makeup. I thought the lead 杨玏 is a facetwin of YuanHong, there is still resemblance but his face is slightly too old for his age to play a teenager and he is not attractive to me. That’s beside the point, the acting is all around solid. Not a flashy drama, but one I can sit down and immerse and relax in.
I am only obsessed with Battle of ChangSha, there is nothing else worth my time especially when I have checked some out.
Shan Shan Comes to Eat: The story is dull. Very. BUT this is still the first Cidolmodern drama that is working very decently within its confine and I stuck with it longer than I have ever in this genre. The production value is decent, nothing is an eyesore (well, for me ZH’s face is…so apples and oranges) It is watchable, just the plot (is there REALLY any) is putting me to sleep and fail to hold my interest. ZLY is a revelation. She is absolutely delightful, even when SS on paper, in the novel is still the typical dime a dozen fluffy romance novella cliche. Zhang Han is a forever allergy of mine, but I can tolerate him here because dull is already a great improvement from headdesky and this is really not. If I am in the mood and there is nothing out there to watch, I would happily flip through this without a headache and sleep like a baby.
Fated To Love You 2014: There really are actors who are not exactly master of their domain but can do one single genre perfectly, JNR is one of them. I have never really stuck with her dramas, she is not a disaster in acting, just never impressive enough to keep my eyes on her. Here she is the driver of this show, her character can have a million thing peeving me but she makes every annoyance cute and earnest. To be a very loveable doormat/post-it girl for me is nothing less than a miracle. The plot is still bizarrely insane but without JNR, who is born to do this genre and an overqualified JH, even if he can not rein in the OTT and is aping a CSW Dokko Jin a tad too much. I can not pay attention to every scene and I do not read every subtitle, just my luck I am riding along doing other more important things using drama as a cute distraction and whenever I pick up a scene, it is either JNR being very cute, or JNR totally making me care about her and almost have feelings, or there is some cute doggie, or JH doing his muahahahaha which I am pavlovian’d to follow it with my own muahahahaha when I do not even care about whether it is funny or what the heck is going on. It can be fun to totally be disengaged brain-wise and just laugh or feel along something this silly sometimes.
Kodoku no Gurume 4: There are many other doramas I need to sit down and seriously catch up but KnG is not one of them being strictly foodp0rn and ojisan crushing and no higher brain engaged. Exactly right thing at the right time.
Still absolutely in love with Fargo and River’s Edge. I LOVE RE’s ep8 so much I wept in joy at the end.
點金勝手/The Ultimate Addiction: M Club was clearly better written and much liked amongst my gfs (totally our gen!) but I am not terribly interested in it. I need very pretty men to stop my eyerolling with TVB. I ask, and TPTB gives me Bosco. I have never seen prettier upswings of the corner of the eye and mouth when he is smirking his badboy killer smile. And FINALLY he is paired with Nancy, whom I find easy on my eyes and ears, impossible a feat these days. Geez if you can’t speak Canto and can’t act, you need to get off my screen in a HKdrama, m’kay?! The plot is not worth much, but for the pretty?! No complaint here.
Yes, do thank Heavens giving you such a gorgeous face, Bosco.
犀利仁师/Incisive Great Teacher WallaceH’s cut:
This drama is for Nicky and SS’s fans, not me. I can watch silly and stupid but it is just not funny at all for me. My peeves, if you are going all out modernizing a period slapstick route, you need to be very very sharp and creative at least en pair with Longmen Express, if not, the modern speak BUGS me. And why the very very fugly clothes on everyone?! Fluorescent, Nicky?! REALLY?!And why is everyone looking so red like they r fried in painful sunburns?! But I am nothing but a very thorough fangirl thanks to the WH lovely fans/enablers, 30 min, peeps said it’s the funniest bits anyway, pretty, and painless. Poor WH though, he’s stuffed to the neck with the cheesiest lines no one should be made saying out loud, writer must’ve copied fr the most pretentious QQ siggies. I notice whenever he is asked to do/say ridiculous things on screen (which is whenever he has to open his mouth), he keeps shoving around like a restless child agitated.
屋顶上的绿宝石/Emerald on the Roof
Jumping in I thought this would be in the ‘I am watching crap so y’all don’t have to’ category and may probably make a spazz post out of a tanned beach boy WallaceH in SPECS! Who plays Violin like a cutest Derp! With Betty SunLi!! AT Piano!!! He grows up to be some investment banker in UK! In SUITS!! With some Harry Potter SPECS! In Scarfs! (but not Gryffindor!) The Magical Emerald Necklace is globetrotting with them! of Unbreakable! OTP! VooDoo! Enough of my nonsense. But this is surprisingly watchable. Still lame, but nothing hurting my head too much. Name me ONE WH past stuff that is truly watchable guys. THERE IS NONE! There is the evil Mommy, who is the only very annoying perpetual thing, a sleazy stepdad who…nicely got disposed of when we usually have to cringe and cringe and cringe at multiple attempted rapes of our damsel till the bitter end when either she dies or he dies or sth. Sun Li shows her worth, in ANY other working actress’ hands, ANY, even the best TWdramaland can offer, ie an Ariel, her character would come across as dumb sometimes and too good to be true the rest and won’t gel well with the young tomboy we met in the beginning evolving into the suffering noble idiotic heroine further down the line. She somehow miraculously is able to present it as a full character, smoothing all the creases out, it is still there, this is nowhere good nor perfect a scriptwriting job, but she makes everything (including her costars) many folds more tolerable. Then there is the most charismatic, crush-able Girl2 ever in an Asian drama I guess. Very smart, genuinely caring to EVERYBODY including heroine, except those with nefarious ideas towards her and her daddy’s wealth, assertive without being pushy, understanding, considerate, kindhearted, cool, can play mindgames the best out of everyone if she has to, and no lobotomies! Nor turning ebil on me! I am at the last stretch and hero is in a sticky situation his Mom has an irk on, calls Girl2 to look into it and they do not even know each other that well. And I go Yes! Smart Mommy picking the smartest most competent character of drama. Her falling for our Guy1 is actually much more nicely laid out I ship them. This is a TWdrama at heart, how bizarre?!
Border: Two episodes in. Hm. When did it start getting crazygood?!??! I am serious. Very typical procedural so far still like my first impression of it. (should I just trust my gut yet again it’s not drama, it’s me?!)
Penny Dreadful: One episode. I can not watch this alone nor after nightfall. I do not know when I can watch the next ep, which I desperately want to, very frightened.
Black Orphan: Checked out a few eps of S1. Seems like a keeper.
暗黑者/Death Notify CN webdrama starring some of the Longmen Express talented darlings. Loverboy gives a friendly nod, it seems to be gathering buzz. Seems like it is poking fun at dark, very bloody, twisty episodic murder mystery with our 大當家 cosplaying a derpy CN Sherlock.
Battle of ChangSha: Darn it. Y u so good. I am losing sleep gobbling up 3, 5 eps a day of horribly grainy LD vid that is only tolerable on a phone and only pausing when I need to cry. Every character is fleshed out amazingly with all their vices and awesomeness. I am amazed how great and devastating the Great Fire was handled. You read about a historical event and its devastation, you expected all the predictable beats to fall in place and still when a drama did such a fine job with its flourishes, it hits me in my heart and I am still tearing up, haunted. The only minor thing bugging me is how our young OTP is now accompanied by VERY cheesy ballad of heightened ‘swoony’ music whenever they are sharing the screen. It is so off, I need to mute it.
Fargo This is so maddeningly good it’s unbelievable, and it upstaged itself by the episode, the latest one in which I must’ve totally lost my mind enthralled, giggling hysterically uncontrollably at all the normally odd places…perhaps out of sheer fear and fascination of Billy Bob Thorton. All the performances are Oscar worthy. ALL. And I am still incoherent how genius I regard the writing nothing but gibberish is coming out me so I’ll stop.
Perfect Couple/金玉良缘 aka A beautiful all encompassing guide to how to kiss like a perfect ecchi shoujo manga hero, aka The Producer: how to get yourself a RL wifey. Oh goodness, after the end scene of the finale I have a big fat grin on my face, which I had it for the entire ep or any scene the OTP is being cringeworthy sweet go get a room but let me peek ok maybe not I can’t handle the sweets who am I kidding I can’t look away GAH. That is after 20 eps of nothing but headdesking godawful wtf and almost no NO OTP GOODNESS. *How fking DARE you dumbowriters?!?!* Who would’ve guessed for all the years I have been desperately wanting to fall head over heels over Wallace the very pretty checking out at least an ep of everything he did, and depressing myself sadly nothing connects and THIS silly very very very moronic beast does it?!?!?!? Not me. Now I am a Wallace stan, and I judge RL shipper but I would cry happy tears if they are madly in love in RL as well.
River’s Edge:大川端探偵社 this is my fav dorama of the season and only one I am watching almost. It’s strange and alluring, that’s a given with OJoe and the PD flaunting their usual, but there is sth oddly hearttugging every episode when there is not much of anything nor a story going on. Just a perfect 20 odd minutes of rum filled dark chocolate nightcap, close my eyes almost, enjoying the tripping, to the drugging music, in the moderation of once a wk. Perfect.
You Are All Surrounded Of course I lied, fickle and finicky are my middle name,s I still am checking out Kdramas, just nothing remotely sticks, not even the first 30, 40 mins of this but I got so fed up to even throw in the towel (and remote) this is the N th+ 12354769872 Kdrama not flailing me right away I don’t even want to push the stop button but just pick up a book and read instead, nonchalant and giving up on my world…and…then…40~min mark. It suddenly shakes and rattles me edge of the sit literally propping me up in throes of an onslaught of terrific plot and tight tight storytelling. That school scene, I was swearing, good kind of swearing. Sold. You must stay good, Show. You are my last hope on the Kdrama front. Be nice now.
Argh. Nope, it is MEHHH by ep3. So Sad.
I have decided to take a true, perhaps forever hiatus with Kdramas. I am not getting any younger, they are not getting better, even in the league of potboilers. Dramas should decently serve/entertain/intrigue me from start to end, not me finding a way to convince myself they are palatable and interesting and holding onto that futile hope when they are truly not. I have romped myself in the haystack for too long, time to cut it off.
Phew. That freed up time to catch up season-ful of other gems.
Fargo If I am only allowed an hour a week of tele, THIS. I am someone who can rewatch the movie enjoying it too much. This is close. Very.
There is a pair of beautiful D+cup boobs on display AND AN ODAGIRI JOE waking up from couch, his hair all tossled and did I say I AM GONE.
THREE currently airing Mr Odajiri doramas out there, all kinda watchable for a change (I saw this: OJoe in cascading sakura petals in アリスの棘 O__O ie MUST SEE!), can’t be more happy for you (and me), congrats on your second bundle of joy and you working hard on the college funds = Win+Win!
OP is delicious. Tokyo Jihen esque delicious ED too. And every note in between. You know you have a lovely director 大根仁 at play.
Speaking of which I am obligated to watch First Class, Erika! But the Dra!ma!tic oonze!oonze!oonze! eurotechno! blaring is killjoy. It is squarely at my expectation. I think Erika is as naturally awesome as always on screen, cliches galore, b8tches are being b8tchy as C fans are saying this is a J Office Legend of ZhenHuan.
And I think out of the hugest cast of yummy ojisans in MOZU Maki is the hottest dude kicking all their asses. Kagawa-sama always have my soft spot, but he is swimming leisurely in his typecast too much. And Nishijima has successfully display more than enough manpain to be a JBatman which kind of tires me. It just has not grab my butt stuck to the screen yet after 1 LONG ep.
Honey Bee Man The genre is 熟龄偶像劇 ie ripe/middle age modern idol drama fluff, which is exactly what it is and hitting everything it promises to. I thought I need to park my brain at door, but I ended up laughing and crying with the characters. I had a lot of joy watching it and NONE of the headdesky blood spitting silly warts.
I have never seen this so I am checking it out, it is a few short seasons and a few episodes in , it is harmless and Veronica is loveable. I am not hooked yet, should I?! Perhaps not.
Masters of Sex
Picking this up again after trying an episode. I mean if everything else fails to engage me in this there is period pOrn, no!??
There is a sheen of respect and decency from the crew that got through to me, and for that I stuck on 150 episode. I would not call it absolutely amazing but Anne earned my respect as an actress pulling off an Asadora, even when story is glossed over, and second half was not as superfluously dazzling me with foodp)rn and magic dust, it did warm the cockles of my heart without fail. And I love all their faces, finally I do not have to watch a dorama and cringe at my dated, out of the loop aesthetics which I am clinging on proudly.
聖なる怪物たち/ The Holy Monsters
I miss me some Masaki Okada. I do not do that well with medical dramas anymore, and episode one was not exactly terrific, but I miss a good looking boy on my screen playing doctor and there are some decent acting. Lets see if the writing will pick up.
The 2010 紅樓夢/ Dream of the Red Chamber is promptly dropped. It was all stylishly moody and fine for a few episodes but the storytelling is so traumatically horribly nonexistent. A ton of beautiful moving period ornaments sashaying around to eerie music does not a drama make. I do not think they operate on a proper script. At All.
舞乐传奇 (Legend of SouthWest Dance and Music) I am finally done! ! ! It is the best original script I have seen out of all dramalands, perhaps there are more entertaining stuff out there, but this has been a fun exercise for nitpicking…because for someone who could be as cold a monster as to penalize a Lee BoYoung for wearing eyeliner and fake eyelashes, I can not find one damning logic hole and this is what old school wuxia is about so there are a LOT of angst and drama, everyone have their secrets and that leads to tonnes of plot twists, To handle this enormous handful while flying under the radar of the censors and juggling all the demands being a joint production between CN and Burma and coming out on top…I have nothing but respect. I am more grateful this little drama is appreciated by the most talented fangirls, I have been biting my fingers off from clicking all the glorious fanvids in fear of spoilers and I have not seen this much high quality stuff for last good few years coming for the hordes of CN netizen. It is one thing to be mass popular, and another stratosphere of true quality when it is a manic hit for the cool bebes feeding fandom with the best of the best. I expect to just dive in for weeks enjoying the fruit of the fandom and not surfacing. Bliss.
灵魂摆渡: A tiny webdrama of twenty <30min episodes about a convenient store guy who has The Eyes. This is what Master Sun should aspire to be if it has a capable writer and none of that saccharine romantic fluff, earnestly willing to explore the philosophical, spiritual Q of what makes us human and the supernatural from a Chinese pov. It is truly scary as shit, done with a budget of peanuts with unknowns, but this is where one can appreciate good solid scriptwriting. C webdramas look like a very promising creative channel to watch out for!
True Detective: Damaged a-holes functioning around a rotten darkness inside or engulfing. They are trying to stay afloat…or not, doing the world some good, or a hell lot of bad. There is a lot of very beautiful crafty bullshit that these characters are saying and doing un-apologetically, elevated by the delivery of M.M. You can not pry me away from something this brokenly beautiful.
3 Days: is promptly dropped, it is not terrible but has some tiny inane flaws that are not quite dealbreaker yet but I know will be, then there is Chunnie who has improved but still so very out of place. Bottom line is the writing is NOT brilliant enough to sail the ship an episode pr 2 in for me.
God’s Gift 14 Days: I will give it another episode but there are snags I can not ignore, touches of trying too hard to scream Angst! Tears! Dark! but is not as affecting for me as it is trying damn hard to hammer in with a lot of music and visual cues. There is a backbone of an intriguing story to tell but I have a hint of writer gobbled up more than he/she can chew and there are clumsiness and predictability in how a plot is transitioned to the next. I think it will peeve me more and more. I do not see true immersion in LBY, technically she is sound, there is a lot of expected textbook standards met, not any surprising brilliance to flail me over. If I can nitpick a VERY worried mom of a young child has the time and care to don heavily kohl’d eyeliner that won’t smudge and fake lashes, I am just not as emotionally engaged as I expected to with tearjerker written all over it.
Secret Love Affair: I watched, therefore I can nitpick. I do not enjoy the pace and the setup, I do not need scenes and scenes of side characters I felt caricatures. Evil ladybosses, uncaring husband, hoo hum career, I do not need reasons to establish a causation of what ultimately are choices and honesty to oneselve to obligations and we juggle, we weigh in and we cut losses. I see some playing the piano and it is screaming at me WOW. Instantaneous. Stroking chords, them clicking it, I can insert descriptives but that is me witnessing an affair, with their fingers, on the pianoforte. ‘Tis happened, boat’s sailed. I am not against deeper discussions but they need better editing and packing of more powerful punches competing for attention of a YAI and KHA come together on my screen. Still arguably the best thing Kdramaland is offering, but I am underwhelmed.
Hong Lou Meng 2010: I have not properly watched it, and just decided I want to. It attracted mixed reviews, mostly criticizing the ‘avant-garde’ touches. Yup, I just use that to describe a Cdrama period on the freaken big 4 classic Dream of The Red Chamber. I see freshness, I see mood and light and art and the attempts everywhere trying to be innovative in its retelling of a very obscure veiled prose of nothing but killer beautiful nuances and impressions of words, poetry. There is a scene in ep3 that is simply put the first sexual experience of our young princeling that is done shockingly well with all the restraint and beats, staying authentic to the prose, veiled, shades, poems, chinese paintings, all hinting and implying the act, extremely frank and explicit with flowing of fabrics and flickering of eyes and faces, not a piece of clothing is shed but it is erotic with PD Li ShaoHong’s patented arsenal of eerie music and innuendos. I say bravo! And I must be a bigger fan of PD Li than I realized, so please why lower yourself in an Heirs remake. You clearly is still very proud and have standards you have an eye for refinement, why soil it irreversibly in week old dried poop not even worth poking fun at?!
Gilded Chopsticks: TVB. That should tell you nothing is serious about it, but that does not mean it can not do its niche very amusingly. This is TVB’s slapstick fluffy take on a big mashup on EVERY iconic show ever done on Prince 4 and his siblings. There is a bit of BuBuJingXin mix with ZhenHuan (a Concubine Hwa that is not deliciously vicious a witch we cared SO MUCH), then I see some 李衛當官 in it, smorgasbord of everything under the sun with a lot of snarky HK canto comedy penned by the talented Wong Cho Lam/王祖藍 and at the core of it, this is a show about food and manga-ish food battles. Very fast-paced and breezy fun. It stepped all over 10+ episodes of BBJX Plot in the first ep. Fine by me!
I ONLY HAVE TIME TO WATCH ONE THING. ONE.
舞乐传奇 (Legend of SouthWest Dance and Music): e31/42 11 episodes may take me weeks to finish, just RL and no time, but I am adding it to my best Cdrama list as is. IT is THAT good. And Lin GengXin is a….horrible actor…and he is the lead…and that usually is major dealbreaker but even him sucking is not doing a dent, IT IS THAT GOOD! Of course it’s all due to everything else being almost close to a faultlessness. It is not flawless, but faultless is a pretty darn good standard. I am dropping EVERYTHING else and dedicating every drop of my drama time watching this little kitschy looking drama no one is watching.
I will finish up StarMan, that is my go-to Kfluff but it lost a bit of steam where I left off a week or so ago. Other than that I am dropping everything. Even though I have heard of polar opposite opinions of PM&I‘s ending, story just stop being engaging enough for me to even be nosy to catch up…so dropped. Miss Korea was sooooooooooo boring and one note even when I still utterly love what LYH is doing and she is the one carrying the show for me and I kinda wanna stick with show just to give her a virtual cheer on, but… my eyelids have another mind of their own.
Family duty: Watched the two 45min episodes with one eye of 愛情來的時候/A Time of Love, TVB’s attempt at Renai/Pure Romance Drama Special they are calling it microfilm. The scenery is making it worthwhile easing the meh of the lackluster predictable ‘plot’, cinematography is quite lovely and sharp for the usual typical TVB super daytime soap lighting, but gosh was it harsh and too realistic for KateTsui’s plastic surgeries. James Wen and Chris Wang are clearly in their element and they are not asked to do any heavy lifting but just be attractive men attracted to Kate and they are nailing it better than I’ve seen them in their TWdramas outings without all the TWidoldrama kitsch. Haven’t seen Charmaine Sheh for a good while, never truly loved her but she has improved steadily through the years, kicking Kenneth Ma at the curb. I can never get his appeal. He has decent looks but geez, absolutely skill-less, just because one has loyally worked at TVB all his life for nearly 20 years does not earn one leading man status. Worst yet, how can you not pick up some passable emoting through the years?!?!?! The drill of working under the TVB’s slavery contract is even if you are beyond help, the workload will force some skills into you after the years and insane workload…like gavage for foie gras. Just not Kenneth Ma. I am actually looking forward to Linda Chung and Yeon Jung-hoon’s vignette set in Seoul, less the YJH part, it looks every bit like TVB is trying to parrot Kdrama cliches but I have grown quite fond of Linda’s acting through the years. I used to be super allergic to her but last few years I have often picked her as the actress I do not mind getting that stupid TVB best actress award. She has shown me at least she is working at it very hard and improving, that is all that matters towards greatness someday.
WifeyDuty: True Detective. It is top-notch good stuff. I am awake half the time which, seriously all things consider, this is superduperexcellent stuff. I fell asleep droolzing at Joon Ji Hyun for Christ’s sake!! And I still want to steal her from her husband to be my MINE.
Ep 10 (or 11) of Can We Love. Usually with a show I dropped, when I was given a head’s up of an interesting scene further down the line, that was usually enough for me to brave it through. I seldom was so disinterested even for that and with a guy in it that I can just stare at for a few minutes and feel breathing, or my day is worthwhile, after all. What a boringly turgid offensive show that is not interesting enough to even hate watch, pretending to be slice of life human drama but just a bunch of lazy caricatures doing cliches no dancing and singing and lovely Uhmforce can keep it afloat. So I have squarely watched e1, skipped around e2, jumped to Uhmforce karaoke scene, checked out 5 min of e6 and watched how 100% accurate I saw through that woman. And 5 min of e10/11. It was all because I was told it has a passing comment about HyunBinnie or sth MNIKSS and PD Kim and I still love Uhmforce very much… yet I still did not make it to scene.
Sherlock S3: e1 is slick, shrills and silly. Darnit Sherlock, you were at that grave where we left off!!! You clearly were experiencing human emotions the kind that desperately wanted to hug and pet JOHN like any human being had that very moment. Where was ANY of that?!! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU other than you have lost your heart!?!?!?!!? It is not one bit funny taking it as a game of charade. MF is gold and his Watson is awesome, but shame on you BC/Gatiss/Sherlock. Not cool. At all. E2 is much better, at least there is some case solving, engaging our brains more than milking how fucking much we miss the highly functioning sociopath or whatever he wanna tag himself thinking it’s so witty we normal lowly humans won’t ever get it. <_<
The Pursuit of Happiness: I have just got my hands on all the episodes in HD, neatly in folders in EVERYTHING that will play it lest I decide on some YiKang goodness to weak my knees over anytime, anywhere, and I will have it handy. I am planning on spazzposting rewatches about it till you all abandon me and that is ok because I can have YiKang all to myself as Tony Yang has graciously gifted us/me to have and to own in his sweet farewell to TPoH weibo.
Prime Minister and I: Crack. Candy. Unicorns. Puppies. Lee Beom Soo. Yoona. Fireworks = recipe for sweet drama fluffy bliss
StarBoyHallyuHOTTIE: I can’t remember its name properly and it is not drama I am watching anyway, nor the boy, but simply girlcrushing the fine goddess JJH. I am batting for the other team, guys, so get out of my way JJH’s hubs and fanboys (and my hubs).
Coffee Cat Mama/貓屎媽媽: The Cantonese title is literally Cat Poop MaMa, but of course it is a wordplay on civet coffee/Kopi Luwak and the crazily ageless Michelle Yim (I am calling her the HK Lee Mi Sook) who plays Marcia (sounds like ‘cat poop’ in cantonese) the birth mother of a pair of sisters in the middle of it. Very silly, quite funny, Super blatantly slashy like never before even as shameless as TVB is ‘fondly’ called TVBL nowadays. This is cutely acted all around with a lot of heart to the characters, full of wisecracking oneliners, typical HKdrama sitcom-y slapstick I will forever have a soft spot for, so all I am asking is don’t go too headdesky moronic crappy down the road. Stay silly, stay not taking yourself serious at all and let me have a daily giggle at the end of the day. I was not going to have time for it, but slash is so the IT thing in mainland, or as they coin it they love their GEG inasmuch my weibo is bombed by nothing but Sherlock (predictable), KimWoobin and his bromances (very understandable) and…this and that is why I give it a try. There are already slashy fanvids and little fancaps vignettes all over the place.
Gochisousan: up to date in a week. 90 episodes 15 minutes each is still mad, but I just can’t stop…and will be tiding it over with Amachan. I have not followed an asadora rabidly since…Ashin. So good, like rekindling a old friendship. I am still not a fan of Anne, she is overdoing the cutesy as the 17 year old Meiko, but it’s minor. Writing is solidly steadfast, extremely flawlessly gorgeous foodpOrn everywhere. I was just thankful for the break in my salivary glands for those few episodes on natto and I hate natto more than Higashide Masahiro’s Yutaro.and hello cutiepie! I need to know you better. Everything is so speckless, I now get the groove why it is splendid to start a morning with a 15 min of good old cute.
舞乐传奇 (Legend of SouthWest Dance and Music): This looks beyond crap, beyond. Just the title is screaming at you to run far faraway (trust me, the original Chinese title is still literally Legend of Dance and Music, just without the SouthWest), and the cast is not getting anyone’s hope up. Also, if you haven’t got your laugh of the week, google what Lin GengXin(BBJX’s Prince 14) looks like and tell me you did not get a fresh hernia. I was sure it won’t even make the mark as craptastic and have no plans of even checking one single cap out. Last few days I have heard nothing but deskflipping flailing praises I thought the world has united to mess with me and my stupid nosiness. Ep1…gosh…they are not trolling. How? It is not game changing good, just watchable, everything is oddly…decent. And just the fact I do not have a rant and things are…making sense…makes this the runaway biggest 2014 cult hit in Cdramaland. People are coining this Journey to the North, and gushing this little silly thing makes DMY et al based around that vicinity absolutely irrelevant.
Blind Massage/推拿: A few episodes in, already worming me in. The story is interesting of a rare topic in C drama, characters have enough story to tell. The novel is not easily translatable, and so far this is lighter in tone. Seeing the world through the blind. Lets see.
- The Walking Dead: That half-season finale will SLAY me till February.
- American Horror Story: Coven I’m just happy I’m still sleeping relatively well. Do you know how good a show has to be for a superwimp like me to sit through a show I can’t even make it through S1E1 for a dozen times no matter how hard I try and I like what I saw?!?!!?!! Cannibal didn’t make it for a reference. The draw, GIRL POWER. Witch power, whatever you call it. Sick of white male heroes saving the day and doing everything?! This is the show for you. A fan of Lilian Li and dreamt for decades for a show fleshing out all her horror story with the right tone and richness and moral ambiguity and again the Girl Power?! Here have a kickass American version of that dream first.
- Sleepy Hollow: Tom Mison is gorgeous and i have hair envy, even when he’s spotting those tiny buns as sideburns which Princess Leia reinterpreted, but it is Abbie that everyone is glued to the tele for. The character feels real and competent and vulnerable without a hair of OTT.
- South Park: It is not a depressing thought to grow old with this thing. If you have watched some GoT, go watch them roasting it Black like blackfriday for the Winter…is coming. It still fascinates me why say Bill G., GRRMartin have not sued their genius asses off.
- Downton Abbey S4: I dropped it after 2 episodes, just did not feel any plotlines have anything interesting to offer. But I suddenly picked it up at e7 for no particular reason and it is miraculously sharper. I do not know if Fellows wrote every word Maggie Smith utters for her Lady Violet, but those are the most brilliant convincing lines befitting the feistiest Grannie EVER.
- JohnLock is coming.
- End of the World: Finally I am in the mood for finishing such an intense ride. The best Kdrama of 2013.
- R1994. 15 min. I have always liked Go Ara, perhaps just the gorgeous. She never bugs me as an actress even in mostly duds. So I am holding this out till I am sure this is solid because I would mostly fall for Jung Woo too, then it will break my heart 3x more if drama craps on me like R1997 did. <- I know myself very well. Deep end of a JW fiend pool now.
- Let’s Eat: Checked out an ep, breezy food p0rn, nothing offensive, feels more dorama trendy a la Love Shuffle. Let’s see if my piqued interest grows into lublub.
Japan: (to be honest, I have no time)
- 猫侍: Kitamura Kazuki as a samurai and catlover. That is all.
- Ando Lloyd. I’m not offended, I’m not wow’d. Lets see how long this can keep me tuned in.
- Legal High 2: I am not interested in the case of the week at all, but what else should I look at when Masato is dancing and singing and making faces and shaking bonbons? Nowhere else but Masaki ❤
China: (no time as well)
- Dream of Red Chamber 1987: I have never watched the classic intently, still considered one of the most perfect C TV adaptation ever. Lets see how it stood up after 26 years.
- 愛的生存之道/ The Pursuit of Happiness: Very solid stuff. Right balance of heightened adult romance, great leads who are just naturally taking up the identity of their characters instead of copping it out on their star power/charisma alone. In my books, this is what ITWY whined to be but so not hitting it. Bottom line, characters I do not mind spending time with and caring about…in a TWdrama, that is unicorns and puppies and rainbows having a party. Sonia grabbed my attention being surprisingly natural in Black and White. I am not a fan of Fierce Wife but her acting is one of the best things out of it. Tony has always been a true thespian since I’ve caught eye of him in such a memorable role in Crystal Boys, who is still underrated, still needs his huge break. GO! WATCH! THIS IS NOW MY FAV CURRENT SHOW
- 錢多多煉愛記: Fans of Godfrey Gao (haha I have been calling him Geoffrey all along, my bad) and Sunny Wang, I bet you are already lapping this up just for the amount of skin. I am not, hot men they are, not decent actors made. I give it a try because of producer 陈正道 I love his 盛夏光年. If he can pull a Joseph Chang on a cameo in this, it is worth every minute. This is a bit wittier and funnier than the normal headdesky C trendy, not by much, but it delivers on the raunchy and slash. I feel bad for the heroine already, there is the typical vavavoom hot model-esque Girl2 AND Sunny to fend off her man. Good luck.
Hong Kong /TVB:
- Bounty Lady – My盛Lady: In Dayo Wong I trust. The title itself is so colloquially laden with multitudes of snarky word play. This is a drama poking fun at the single ladies a bit past prime when prime‘ in HK if according to the twats has a cut-off of 25 years old. Dayo is one of the best of the best HK standup comedian (his day job) ever, this is worth it for the one liners alone. The ladies are surprisingly not JUST confined in the extremely disgusting, cringeworthy stereotypes, not saying it’s not there. This can be unapologetically offensive to sensibilities and I am just in for some witty lines and a few chuckles. They do not get me too batty for one. There is solid acting all around. Of course brownie points when one of the most loveable character LURVES HBinnie (for real in RL as a binnie friend have seen her at HB’s HK fanmeet):