A warm, heartfelt little show, Mystic is sometimes a little (or a lot) sillier than I usually like, but is, on the whole, so sincere and full of heart, that I can’t quibble with it too much.
Hwang Jung Eum is quite wonderful as our protagonist Wol Joo, and importantly, displays zero screechy tendencies in this role. Choi Won Young and Yoon Sung Jae round out the little Mystic team really nicely, and these three make a surprisingly endearing trio, as they strive to help their customers resolve their grudges – for heavenly credit, of course.
The overarching backstory is bittersweet and poignant, and Show does a nice job tying it in with our grudges of the day, with an impressive degree of consistency. Importantly, Show starts strong and manages to end strong as well, making for a solid and satisfying watch, overall.
Confession: this Dear kfangurl post wasn’t actually triggered by a Dear kfangurl question. It just made sense to group it with the other Dear kfangurl posts, coz that’s where the other lists on the blog live, heh.
BUT! This post was triggered by a conversation with my friend Jan on Twitter.
Basically, yesterday, Jan had remarked that she was looking for a Kim Ji Suk fix, and I’d suggested 20th Century Boy and Girl, in which he is the sweet, perfect boyfriend. Less than 24 hours later, Jan’s super happy with the drama suggestion, and her tweets are filled with happy spazz, and she’s also said that this was the rom-com she’d been looking for.
..Which got me thinking. With all the darker &/or heavier shows that Dramaland’s been serving up of late (like World of the Married, Graceful Friends, Flower of Evil and It’s Okay To Not Be Okay), as solid as these shows are, maybe some – or many? – of you guys might be looking for something lighter to make these dark pandemic days a little brighter.
Betrayal, revenge and dysfunction are the key words that this show seems to be live by; all the characters in this drama world are painted in suspicious shades of gray, as they seek to outwit and outdo one another, for their own purposes.
This is definitely not the show for you, if you’re looking for sweet romance. But, if you find yourself in the mood for hyperbolic animosity, or, if you’re willing to take a walk on the dark side to see the fantastic performances of the actors – especially Kim Hee Ae, who is magnificent in this – then this show is a wild rollercoaster of a ride that should keep you on the edge of your seat.
You guys might remember that I ended up dropping Greasy Melo (despite my love for Jang Hyuk), back when it first aired (Dropped post is here). Show’s brand of whimsy just wasn’t working for me, and I found myself feeling more bemused than anything, the more I watched.
HOWEVER. I’ve learned that friend of the blog Dame Holly (also known around the interwebs as Lee Tennant) is much more attuned to – and gifted at understanding – the use of metaphors, symbolism and visual storytelling than I am, and she definitely has more appreciation for Greasy Melo than I could ever muster. So I asked her to share her insights on Greasy Melo with us, in the hope that we I could absorb some of her conceptual prowess. I hope you guys enjoy!
Warm, wholesome goodness dressed in hospital garb, Hospital Playlist is the medical themed drama that even the medical drama-averse can easily love.
Hospital Playlist checks a lot of boxes, for me. The writing and directing is assured; the cast is outstanding individually and together; the overall feel is balanced, with enough attention given to the cases of the day without losing focus on our key characters; the music is heartfelt and breezy, made even more special when performed by the cast.
The slice-of-life approach might feel meandering and slow to some, but in exchange, you really feel like a fly on these characters’ walls, in their professional and personal capacities. The long episodes might feel intimidating at first, but once you grow to love the characters, the length of the episodes become more of a boon than a bane.
I legit didn’t want this one to end; highly recommend.
Today I just wanted to bring a few updates to your attention, just to make sure everyone’s on the same page. 🙂
I also wanted to say, phl recently mentioned to me that the blog’s become a lot livelier this year, and I totally agree. It’s really so great to see you guys enjoy hanging out on the blog, and chatting with one another. It makes me feel such a sense of community here, and that wouldn’t be possible without you guys. Thanks for being here!! 🥰
More lens adjustments are needed for this show than the average kdrama, but with the right lens, Show is a warm and sweet watch experience that manages to feel satisfying, in spite of its flaws, and in spite of Show having had 4 episodes sliced off from its run, in the middle of its run.
If you’re able to dial down your need for logic, and to some extent, cohesiveness, Show presents a thoughtful thematic exploration of love and loss, solitude and solidarity, and the confusing, bemusing journey of dealing with all of those things.
Jung Hae In and Chae Soo Bin are lovely in this, particularly together. This was worth the extra lens management, in my opinion.
So I checked out this show because a number of you had mentioned this to me as a drama that you enjoyed, and, I’d also seen a fair number of positive remarks and a good amount of assorted squee about it as well. Since I’ve said that I’d like to include more Japanese dramas on my drama plate, I felt that it would be quite remiss of me to not check this out.
Now that I’ve emerged on the other side, I think it’s quite safe to say that overall, I didn’t manage to enjoy this one as much as everyone else did. But, for the record, this show did eventually grow on me towards the end, and I ended my watch enjoying the cozy-swoony feels that everyone else seemed to be talking about.
I think that this show would appeal to quite a niche sort of audience, which is why I’m here to help you figure out if you’ll like this one – before you invest the drama hours. I know; I’m so helpful that way, aren’t I? 😉
Measured, quiet and thoughtful, I really liked this show, for the most part. I enjoyed the deliberate, considered vibe of the writing and the overall handling, and the small town setting feels refreshing and different. For a good stretch, watching this show feels like a nice dose of therapy, away from the roar of current affairs and world events.
However, I struggled quite significantly from episode 13 onwards, with certain plot developments making me legit angry with Show. BUT, Show manages to turn things around just enough in its final steps, to end on a sufficiently positive and uplifting note.
I wanted Show to be better, especially given its strong start, but I suppose it could’ve been worse. For the record, I really enjoyed Seo Kang Joon in this.
Show takes a while to settle, suspension of disbelief is required, and the legal stuff is there more as set-dressing than to actually drive our story forward, but if you like it when characters get more of the spotlight than story events themselves, and you don’t mind glossing over various plot point resolutions, then this might work for you.
Once our story gets into its groove, it feels quite similar to a caper film, with plot developments and resolutions painted in broad, rather campy, irreverent strokes. It took a while for our characters to grow on me, not least because of the morally ambiguous characterization our writers choose to give them, but I did grow fond of (most of) our characters by Show’s end, which is a plus.
Both Kim Hye Soo and Joo Ji Hoon give fantastic performances, and together, they basically carry the entire show, while sharing a very sparky chemistry.