The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling

Review: I Do, I Do

32 Comments

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THE SHORT VERDICT:

I Do, I Do is a show that seems to divide people. Most people say it’s too slow and boring, but there is also a fairly strong fan-base that loves it to bits.

I started on it feeling it was slow and that the chemistry between the leads wasn’t great, but somewhere along the way, I came around, and I actually enjoyed it fairly well.

Not fantastic, but not all bad.

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THE LONG VERDICT:

I love Kim Sun Ah, and I like rom-coms done right, so when I Do, I Do first started releasing stills and teasers, I had hopes that this would be a fun, light ride. Those hopes were pretty much ruined when I read the online comments that it was slow and boring.

Still, I decided to check it out, and after a slow start, I started to like it – a little. It’s on the slow side, but it’s not as bad as everyone else said it was.

STUFF THAT DIDN’T WORK

THE OVERLY COMEDIC TONE

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The tone at the beginning felt rather uneven.

It felt like the show was aiming for a comic feel with the set-up, but I didn’t feel it. Somehow, the comic feel fell flat for me, and I felt like I was dragging my feet through the first episode.

[MINOR SPOILER ALERT]

The introduction to our hero Park Tae Kang (Lee Jang Woo) is clearly going for a comedic tone, with his father dragging him by the ear to have his name removed from the family registry for spending dad’s life savings on a new motorcycle that he’s named Beyonce.

I don’t know what it is. I couldΒ see that it’s supposed to be funny, but I wasn’t amused. It felt like the writers were trying too hard, and it came across as unnatural and forced in my eyes.

[END MINOR SPOILER]

LACK OF OTP CHEMISTRY

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For a good part of the earlier episodes, I didn’t feel the chemistry between our OTP.

I found Kim Sun Ah’s Hwang Ji An too cold and aloof, and I found Lee Jang Woo too baby-faced and immature. Now, I have nothing against noona romances. In fact, I love a good noona romance and a part of me wants to be pursued by a hot younger man, so it wasn’t the age difference per se that put me off.

I just didn’t feel like they had chemistry, and their interactions felt unnatural and rather forced. I can forgive a lot in a middling drama if there is an OTP that I can get behind, so this was a big disappointment for me.

Combined with the uneven comic tone that the show was trying to serve up, this lack of OTP chemistry made it feel like a bunch of jigsaw puzzle pieces from different puzzles trying to fit together in one puzzle. It just didn’t fit right.

BORING CORPORATE STUFF

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The corporate plot mechanisms were boring and took up too much screen time.

I completely understand that a show needs some kind of context, and yes, there are some workplace dramas that I really love, like Pasta and City Hall. In both of those dramas, the workplace was an essential context within which the story was told, but mostly, neither context ever felt obtrusive.

Here, though, the corporate politicking felt exaggerated and its significance overly magnified. In fact, there were many times that I felt like the corporate conflicts were manufactured just to conjure up some filler.

[SPOILER ALERT]

When everyone from Ji An to the staff at large to 2nd female lead Yeom Na Ri (Im Soo Hyang) basically started worshipping the floor that Madam Jang (Oh Mi Hee) walked on, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes.

Regular features of the corporate politics included: Madam Jang making sarcastic, derogatory remarks at Na Ri’s expense, Na Ri getting down on her knees, Ji An and Na Ri trading barbed comments while tussling for power, and Madam Jang pressuring Ji An to give up her baby in order to qualify herself to be CEO.

It all got rather repetitive, and made the show feel slow and boring. I really didn’t want to see so much corporate politicking. I’d signed up for a romance, not boring corporate warfare in a shoe company which had been magnified to cartoonish extremes.

This was a big downer because it affected the tone and feel of the entire show.

[END SPOILER]

POOR PACING

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A related factor was the pacing of the show.

Certain things were dragged out for way too long and made the show feel much slower. One of my pet peeves with this show is how long everyone took to find out anything.

[SPOILER ALERT]

Firstly, it took quite a while for Ji An to find out that she was pregnant. And then it took forever for Tae Kang to find out that Ji An was pregnant.

And then worst of all, it took forever for Tae Kang to find out that he was the father of Ji An’s baby. I mean, when you’re a 16 episode show built on this premise, you really shouldn’t wait 13 – THIRTEEN!! – whole episodes to let your hero know that he’s the father of the baby. Dude.Β Seriously.

For a drama which is built on the premise of Ji An’s accidental pregnancy and how that causes our OTP to come together, this show sure wasted a whole lot of time in what felt like a super duper slow-motion set-up.

[END SPOILER]

STUFF THAT DID WORK (SORT OF)

JO EUN SUNG (PARK GUN HYUNG)

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Yes, Jo Eun Sung (Park Gun Hyung) was a character that got a bit extreme at times, but overall, I rather liked him, so I’m parking him here instead of among the stuff that didn’t work.

[SPOILER ALERT]

I admit that I found it unbelievable when Eun Sung suddenly professed to love Ji An. For a guy who’s regularly gone to extremes in order to scare off all his blind dates in order to remain single, his sudden turnaround with Ji An came across as too sudden and very, very strange.

Plus, it’s not like she came across as very charming either. She was prickly, pretty much all-around unpleasant and pointedly clear that she wasn’t at all interested in dating him either.

Some might argue that it’s the thrill of a challenge that got him intrigued to know more about her, and perhaps that is the only way to make sense of it, but it still rang false to me.

[END SPOILER]

Once I put aside the unbelievability factor around Eun Sung’s feelings for Ji An, he really did seem like a really nice, good guy. In the earlier episodes, when I still found Tae Kang a strange match for Ji An, I actually wished that she would choose Eun Sung.

I found myself rooting for him as he went about wooing Ji An, and I also found myself thinking that if I were in her shoes, I would totally pick him.

[SPOILER ALERT]

Caveat:

Yes, it did get rather squicky when he insisted on being her gynecologist, and while some of the scenes around this were played for laughs, I did cringe at the very concept. Well, the concept and the breast massage demonstration he gave in the middle of a restaurant..! >.<

It also became really weird when he offered to be the father of Ji An’s baby, and then became her relationship counselor, friend and all-around supporter and caregiver in the later episodes. He became completely unreal, coz honestly, no one can be that nice and long-suffering after being rejected multiple times by the woman they supposedly love.

[END SPOILER]

THE OTP TURNAROUND

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I began to come around to our OTP in the later episodes.

Ji An began to show a little more vulnerability, and Tae Kang began to show that he’d grown up a little. The writers also let up on some of the comedic elements so that I could stop fighting the urge of seeing our hero as a little boy in an almost grown-up’s body.

Tae Kang’s sacrifices for Ji An began to feel endearing, and I began to actually root for our OTP.

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The couple moments that the writers served up began to feel engaging, sweet and heartwarming, which was a big turnaround for me. I actually went from not buying into the OTP to rooting for them.

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I liked that Tae Kang began to take charge of his life and make a stand for what he wanted and what he believed in.

[SPOILER ALERT]

I thought it was sweet that he wanted to marry Ji An even though he thought the baby was someone else’s. I think this is one of the reasons that the writers dragged it out for so long before letting him find out that he was really the father of Ji An’s baby.

Still. Spending more than three-quarters of your episode count on this kind of set-up is overdoing it.

[END SPOILER]

THE BROMANCE

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When Eun Sung and Tae Kang finally stopped their schoolboy fights and began to be reluctant friends, the bromance added a nice, refreshing touch to the drama.

[SPOILER ALERT]

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One of my favorite bromantic bits was when Tae Kang got Eun Sung to learn how to cook jokpal (pork hocks) for Ji An, because he knew that she would crave it after he’d left for the States.

There’s just something so sweet about a pair of blokes taking on the kitchen for the sake of the woman that they both care about.

[END SPOILER]

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All in all, I Do, I Do wasn’t what I had hoped it would be, but it did provide me with some pleasant, albeit low-key, entertainment.

I went in hoping to fall head-over-heels (pun not intended, heh!) in love, but came away fairly satisfied to have fallen quite warmly in like instead.

THE FINAL VERDICT:

Worth attempting, with the help of your trusty fast-forward button, which will gallantly save you during the boring stretches πŸ˜‰

FINAL GRADE: B-

POST-SCRIPT:

I enjoyed this song from the OST, which I found fun and light. Enjoy:

Author: kfangurl

Proud to be a k-fangirl since 2007. Main diet of kdramas with movies and kpop on the side.

32 thoughts on “Review: I Do, I Do

  1. I agree with your evaluation! This was actually the first drama I watched after a month long break so I think I enjoyed it even more just because I was so drama deprived. I actually skipped the first episode (because I read a recap of it to see if I found the premise interesting), so I think that might have actually helped me since the second episode fit with the tone of the show overall. Still I agree, when I look back, I cannot say how there was thirteen episodes of drama when it seems like so little was accomplished. I probably would have liked it if they had exposed the two raising the baby together, but I guess that’s a drama for another day…

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    • I agree!! They should’ve moved the big reveal way up front, and used the time to explore other things! As it is, I didn’t like the time skip at the end, which I found weird. They could’ve walked us through that entire period if they’d managed their time better in the earlier episodes. Tsk. >.<

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  2. i was thinking whether to watch it or not….thanks for the review….
    But i guess if it’s advised to use fast forward button, i’ll just skip this one πŸ˜‰

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    • Well, with so many other shinier dramas out there, I’d say you wouldn’t be missing too much πŸ˜‰

      Btw, rainbow, is that you?? I got so confused when I couldn’t find your old blog anymore!

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      • haha….ya, i started a new one…and i thought of changing the profile name as well πŸ˜€

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        • This must be your new way of getting ready for Iris 2.. taking on a new identity & everything! πŸ˜‰

          A rose by any other name – or in this case, a rainbow by any other name – is just as welcome πŸ˜‰ It’s good to have you back! I checked out your new blog, it’s nice & clean looking, Congrats on the fresh start! πŸ˜€

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  3. Wow! Wonderful review! I must say that they are exactly my thoughts as well (that I just can’t put into words). This drama is quite a “difficult” drama for me because it makes me feel so confused whether it’s a like or not. Apparently it’s in between. It has strong and brave points that not every drama tackles. It’s cute at times. And also romantic at times. At times. For me if we were to breakdown this drama into many pieces I can just simply pick up the really great points, throw away the annoying/boring parts and stare blankly at the meh parts.
    Overall I like the feel of warmth (lukewarm?) and lightness of this drama. I also like the message it tries to convey (sell?). It actually has a lot of potential that was just not executed correctly. It’s a drama I want to love. I can say I love it but… urgh! There’s always this little “but” getting in the way!

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    • Aw, thanks alodia!! I’m so glad you enjoyed the review! πŸ™‚

      Yes, this show is one of those that I want to like, but I just can’t recommend wholeheartedly coz it had so many flaws. Yet, there was something rather warm about it that crept up on me by the end, so that I couldn’t hate it even though I couldn’t love it! >.< So glad I'm not the only one who feels that way about I Do, I Do!! πŸ˜€

      Btw, I wandered over to check out your blog, and it's awesome! You've got some great stuff going on there. I've got some exploring to do! πŸ˜‰

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      • Exactly exactly!!!! Honestly I haven’t watched it in full (I watched it live but there were times I was late or I completely missed an episode) but still planning to do so. My mom watched it in our room but I was usually doing something else when she’s watching so I can only hear it most of the time. For good scenes I will watch with her. I get to watch a big part of the final episode (unfortunately it was the episode I missed during the live broadcast). AND yes the warm feeling was there. It was REALLY there! I said, it’s not that bad after all. Koreans also think it was so-so. And that it lacks the magnet/pull that will make you run home so as not to miss an episode. But there was definitely something there.
        And yes it’s not something I can recommend wholeheartedly, unlike, say, City Hall – that I can confidently recommend to the first random person I meet on the street tomorrow.
        Thanks for visiting my blog. Awesome? Yeah, awesome rants! Hahaha. πŸ˜‰

        *woah! Her Over Flowers started playing as I was reading my comment before I click the Post Comment button. Cool! πŸ™‚ Keep it up! I’m also exploring your blog since I also love Korean dramas. πŸ™‚

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        • I’m surprised that you haven’t watched it in full yet, seeing as how you’re such a big Kim Sun Ah fan! Yeah, there is that nugget of goodness in this show which makes it a waste to ignore, but it’s definitely no City Hall. I love City Hall – it’s just such a fantastic show! I plan to watch it again sometime! πŸ™‚

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          • I’m surprised too! Haha. No actually there’s one more reason I can’t get myself to watch it. It aired when I was in Korea (and I also get to visit the set). My stay in Korea were the happiest days of my life and I miss it sooo much. When I returned home I can’t get myself to watch it because it reminds me so much of my stay in Korea and it makes me sad. I can’t even listen to the OSTs because that’ s all I listen to there. I have moved on now. But I’ m still trying to find time to watch. XD

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      • I’ve read before that the drama script won some awards. I am also reading the novel version. I’m still on chapter one but the novel did a better job in giving Ji Ahn some heart early on. I don’t know why they had to wait many episodes before they reveal Ji Ahn’s heart in the drama. Maybe they were trying out something there that just didn’t work. I actually liked the fact that before she became a director she was once a low-leveled employee who was bullied and that after she put her ‘life’ on the line for her first design it failed. Anyway, I’ll let you know how the novel will turn out. But you may have to wait.. uhm 1-2 years before I can finish it. XD

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        • Oh, I didn’t know that this show was based on a novel!! I can see why a novel might give us better insight into the inner thoughts and emotions of the characters.. That can be more challenging to translate onto the screen. Yes, let me know how the novel turns out – when you finish it eventually! πŸ˜‰

          I also wanted to say, your blog shows your dedication to learning Korean, and I really admire that! I learn almost all my Korean from watching kdrama, but have not taken lessons or tried writing hangul. I can read it fairly ok, but I’m far, FAR from your level of proficiency! Salute! πŸ˜€

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          • Ah no, no. I don’t think it was a novel first (the same way Kim Sam Soon and Alice in Cheondamdong were). I think they just turned it into a novel. You know what? I’m not so sure now… They have the knack of turning dramas to novels in Korea (like Secret Garden, Gentleman’s Dignity). But they usually do that after the show aired. I have only started reading Gentleman’s and so far the novel is just basically the drama turned into words.Novel based dramas are usually aired a year or two after the novel was published and are totallydifferent plot/narration-wise. I Do I Do was released just after the first week of airing. The book info shows two writers (the drama writer and the drama-to-novel writer). But since the book was done before drama ended the script must have been complete by then? All I know it won 1st place on a writing contest but it was not clear (to me?) Whether it won as a tv screenplay, novel, story or what-not. XD

            Anyway the first part of the novel was a young Ji Ahn and how she fell in love with shoes – which could turn out as a cute scene but was only summarized by Ji Ahn to Tae Kang in a scene on her shoe closet.

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            • Oh wow. I didn’t know all that! How interesting! πŸ˜€

              In that case, it really is rather odd that the novel did better at Ji An’s characterization! It’s almost like they knew where the drama lacked, and beefed up the novel to make up for it, Lol! ^^

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  4. I think this is actually the first k-drama I watched! Now after watching sooo many others, this one feels a bit weak … but I agree that the chemistry improved enough toward the end, although I didn’t love this drama, it was ok to start with. Some of Kim SunAh’s facial expressions, I liked better in My Name Is Kim Sam Soon… Seeing her first in I Do, I Do, I didn’t fall in love with her. What I thought was decent about this drama was Tae Kang’s honesty in wanting to struggle appropriately, make things right, and make every attempt to become the man she needed, and her slowly lowering her guard and allowing it. Kind of nice πŸ™‚

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    • Aw. This was your very first kdrama? That’s so unexpected, really! Coz most people are introduced to kdrama via more of a crack drama, like Coffee Prince, or at least, a drama with a lot of buzz, like SeGa or BOF.. I Do I Do is neither, and doesn’t even have a very strong delivery of a story to make it absorbing and engaging! I’m so glad you didn’t drop kdrama like a hot potato after finishing I Do I Do, coz this really isn’t one of the better ones! XD

      Yes, I’d say that I Do I Do was kinda nice by the end, but had too many flaws for it to merit a recommendation, let alone a rewatch!

      Kim Sun Ah’s a very good actress, in my opinion, and I felt like she was a little bit wasted in I Do I Do. In terms of dramas that I enjoyed by Kim Sun Ah, I actually like City Hall more than Kim Sam Soon. City Hall has a nice balance of humor and romance, and she has nice chemistry with Cha Seung Won. Kim Sun Ah also delivered quite beautifully in Scent of a Woman. Despite the melo premise, Scent’s not a bad watch, and she shares some seriously smoldering scenes with Lee Dong Wook, who was fresh out of the military at the time, and extra hot ;D

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  5. Now that I think about it, it might have been Playful Kiss, which disappointed me a LOT because ISWAK and TKA were so well done… 50 hours condensed to like 14-16 just doesn’t do it. The acting was stiff. I know a lot of people like BOF and Kim Hyun Joong but I just can’t go watch BOF since I’ve seen Meteor Garden and Playful Kiss was just … not all there. I really thought it was bland by comparison, it lacked the warmth of the Taiwanese version. Which Taiwan dramas have you seen? I can name the ones I really recommend on one hand πŸ˜‰

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    • Funny that you mentioned Playful Kiss! I had quite the weird turnaround with that show. I hated it on my first watch, and finished it partly coz I was watching it live and got caught up in the fan frenzy, and partly out of a morbid curiosity. I thought KHJ’s acting was terrible, and I hated that Jung So Min’s character was such a doormat. I wasn’t familiar with the story prior to watching PK, and I kept expecting Seung Jo to turn around and start treating Ha Ni nicely. Didn’t happen. Or at least, didn’t happen the way I envisioned in my mind.

      Fast forward a couple of years, and one day, the mood to rewatch PK hit me, out of the blue. I decided to try on the first ep, just to see, and I was pleasantly surprised that I really enjoyed the cute, colorful world. Sure, the writing & acting was still flawed, but I found the ambience of the show really nice. I found it cheerful and happy and just a nice place to linger in. I even stayed up late to watch more eps even though I already knew what was going to happen! XD Long story short, I finally understood the appeal of PK and why its got a fanbase that loves it to bits. I also was better able to pick up the signs that hinted at Seung Jo’s changing feelings, which I’d missed before. Now, I wouldn’t discount the possibility of revisiting PK at some point, when I feel like hanging out in that colorful, cute, chirpy, happy world. Funny how that turned out! ^^

      As for TW dramas, now that I think about it, I only really remember finishing Corner With Love. I thought it was pretty cute, and I felt quite engaged by it. I’ve watched bits and pieces of other TW dramas as they aired on local TV, but I never actually followed them through to the end except for Corner With Love.

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  6. I’ve seen Corner With Love – Barbie and Show were not bad together in that… the OST is nice at the moment but not in my list of favorites for the long-term. I think I know what you mean about PK – I might be willing to give some parts a re-watch later on… but if you’re willing and able and if you don’t mind the Mandarin, go for ISWAK and TKA. The chemistry is very real (the actors balance each other very well in real life as friends) and the character growth is spread out really nicely. Since it’s 50 hours (30+20), you get to see a lot of what day to day life was like and there are more stories so you can see the love develop very slowly – she gets a hold of him with her determination and he can’t shake it off. It takes a long time for that to happen, so when it finally does, that culmination really shows, it’s not a surprise to the viewer, although Xiang Qin (= Ha Ni) definitely lacks the confidence to believe that the guy she’s been crushing on for years really does love her… even after they’re married she’s insecure. Now I feel like I need to re-watch PK so I can give you a better comparison πŸ˜‰ Perhaps I’ll tolerate it better this round.

    Because ISWAK and TKA are not compact, you have to really engage with the characters – it may feel a bit slow in some sections, because there is more side-story about the family. It’s much more of an ensemble cast πŸ™‚ I think I’ve probably watched the set all the way through at least 3-4 times since 2008. Plus if you like to get your kisses in, you will get that in TKA πŸ˜‰ along with all the other struggles and growth they face.

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    • Wow. 30 + 20 is no small commitment!! To think that you’ve watched it all 3-4 times already! I salute your ISWAK and TKA love! ;D

      Your glowing description has put this on my watch list – GASP! A TW drama on MY watch list?!? It’s a big day! ;D – maybe for when I feel like a family drama. I often watch family dramas as a nightcap, and those tend to be at least 50 episodes and not very fast moving. I’ll warn, though, that I have a TON of dramas on my watch list! When will I get to them all?? XD

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  7. whoo hoo! That’s like me agreeing to Dong Yi. I’ve heard it’s good but I just don’t know if I can manage it!!! I do own one subbed Japanese anime… – Tomodachi fansubs’ Marmalade Boy. hehehe!!! 72 episodes, but they’re half hour ones.

    I’m so happy you’re going to give it a try πŸ˜€ Let me know if you get to it, how you feel. Just remember that any over-acting will be worth it when you get to the good stuff πŸ™‚ It’s soooo cute. And I’m actually putting PK on my re-watch list, so we are even hehehe… Will let you know when I get to it.

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    • I’ll let you know when I get to it! Right now, your description of Autumn’s Concerto is sounding more appealing. I might rotate that into my nightcap pool, soon-ish. Right now that’s mainly taken by By Land And Sky, a family kdrama with 100+ half-hour eps.

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  8. 100?! wow… that’s still 50 hours. πŸ™‚ I generally don’t have that patience… I actually watched The X Family which was over 50 eps, a Taiwan idol-fantasy drama as a sequel to K.O. One (which was humorous with way too much slapstick and over-acting. I fast forwarded the first time I watched that as I groaned. You wouldn’t like them.) The only things I rewatched are the stupid slapstick tidbits like this song about what this guy wants to eat, he’s in someone’s face (the camera) singing about all kinds of food. Kind of hilarious πŸ™‚

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    • When it comes to long shows like the 50+ episode family dramas, or the 100+ episode dailies, I usually watch them in a very laid-back, casual sort of way. I took months to finish Unstoppable High Kick, which was 167 half-hour episodes, but it was pretty fun, and I could leave it for weeks at a time without watching it, and yet it’d feel familiar and cozy when I came back to it.

      Besides the shorter dramas that I’m watching, I’ve got several long ones on my plate at the moment. I Live in Cheongdamdong is 170 half-hour eps, and I’m about 90 eps in. Vampire Idol is 79 half-hour eps. By Land and Sky has 165 eps. High Kick 2 has 126 eps. I don’t expect to finish any of them very soon, but they are a very nice kind of comfort food to have on the side πŸ™‚

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  9. I think I lack the patience for those – I’d have to like the entire cast to be watching the many storylines in order to tolerate it. It’s like soap operas. I get so much satisfaction out of the mid-length (14-20-ish episode) dramas that are well-done compared to those where the story doesn’t fit the length or it drags out on and on just to continue it. It’s like 90210 that I watched in uni… it starts out as fairly interesting but too many seasons go by and all the main characters have slept with each other by then. I think it’s good for evening dramas to die after a certain length πŸ˜€ I prefer hour-long episodic to half hour. You have a lot of patience to enjoy them in bit parts. I do OK with the US shows I watch that are weekly episodes, but I prefer marathons πŸ˜€ It feels very indulgent and engaging to watch them in that way, hehehe… I’ve seen tidbits of long-running Taiwan dramas and they feel so boring… I don’t think I’d do better with Korean ones.. but I will keep any great recommendations in mine in case someday I actually have lots of spare time πŸ˜€

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    • Not all the long ones are good. But there are handful that are worth mentioning. A lot of people who don’t like long shows actually surprised themselves with how much they loved Ojakgyo Brothers. It’s a family drama with 58 hour-long episodes, but it’s very enjoyable and feels like watching several short romances combined into one. Some of the romantic scenes are better than those in many shorter dramas, imo. I highly recommend it. I have a trailer posted in my review, which you can check out πŸ™‚

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  10. ooh… Ok. I’ll keep an open mind about it πŸ˜€ Family dramas make the connections between characters more cohesive. The other long one I watched (X Family), as strange as it might have been with superpowers and fantasy and alternate dimensions, worked because of the comedy and family-ties stories πŸ™‚

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  11. Pingback: kfangirl’s 2012 Drama Awards [Repost] | The Fangirl Verdict

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