You know, for a hot second, I thought I might actually like this show.
Right off the bat, it kinda-sorta felt like an off-shoot of Heirs, but better done and more interesting.
Similar to Heirs, Seducer’s drama world is also centered around a bunch of rich kids, with one pair of them sparking off each other, his sexy rebel cool to her prickly pouty petulance.
All that spark, whether acknowledged or not, is blocked – or would that be amplified? – by their parents getting hitched to each other. Oh, plus there’s also an innocent, not-rich girl in the center of it all.
Unlike Heirs, there is no Kim Tan character, which I counted as a huge plus, since I hated Kim Tan, with a passion.
…Too bad my cautiously positive first impression didn’t last very long at all. I lasted 10 half-hour episodes of this one, dragging my feet through the last few of those 10 episodes, and have had zero desire to go back to this one.
STUFF THAT WORKED FOR ME – AT FIRST
For the record, here’s the quick spotlight on the things that I liked about this show, at least for a while.
1. Woo Do Hwan as Si Hyun
This was my introduction to Woo Do Hwan, whom I’ve seen raves about around the dramaverse, and at least for Show’s initial stretch, I liked what I saw.
I found his screen presence very magnetic in Show’s early episodes, with Woo Do Hwan displaying a very strong, very male, kinda beastly sort of sensuality that I found very arresting.
Unfortunately, I felt that this fizzled out as Show’s episodes wore on, but we can talk about that later.
2. Si Hyun and Soo Ji
I felt that Si Hyun and Soo Ji (Moon Ga Young) shared the sparkiest connection among our cast of characters, and felt suitably absorbed in their shared scenes.
In true kdrama fashion, Show sets up Si Hyun and Soo Ji as rich kids with hidden sad stories, and that works for me, because I wanted to be able to feel sorry for these characters. Or at least, see them as more than just rich kids acting out for the hell of it.
At least for Show’s initial stretch, I found the dysfunction in Si Hyun and Soo Ji’s relationship very compelling, and I couldn’t look away.
The way they cleaved to each other; the crackly tension between them; the hyperawareness of each other; it was all quite mesmerizing and alluring.
In episode 3, when Soo Ji’s losing it and has squeezed her hand bloody with cut glass, the only thing that gets her to snap out of her meltdown, is the sight of Si Hyun, and her concern over why he’s bleeding from his head.
The way they cling to each other, tentatively looking over each other’s wounds, all bloody, is irresistibly captivating. Layer on the new information, that they are soon-to-be step-siblings, and that just makes everything even more messed up. I felt like I couldn’t look away.
3. The posh gang of 3
For a little while at least, I liked the scenes where we got to see Si Hyun, Soo Ji and Se Joo (Kim Min Jae) together.
I felt drawn to the three-way friendship that they shared. It felt like they knew one another from wayy back, and were deeply familiar with one another’s flaws and hurts and indiscretions, and casually accepted it all, and loved one another anyway.
Their opulent cave felt like a mash-up of luxurious excess and stolen freedom; a place where they were their own masters and could speak their minds. More than that, though, that felt like a space where they could cleave to one another.
4. Se Joo’s silent devotion
Se Joo is a character that crept up on me. From being the third member of the posh 3 party, just conveniently there to complete the picture, Se Joo eventually became the only thing to keep me going, in my watch of this show.
It didn’t take long for Show to demonstrate that Se Joo is fiercely loyal to Si Hyun and Soo Ji. He doesn’t hesitate to literally put his own body out there, in order to protect his friends.
In an early episode, he takes a beating and punishment-by-imprisonment for Si Hyun, and in episode 7, he’s happy to keep flirting with the noonas as long as he thinks Soo Ji is ok.
The moment he even smells that she might be in trouble, he flies right over to deliver a debilitating punch to the guy who’s trying to come on to Soo Ji.
The thing that really made me feel bad for Se Joo, though, is his hopeless devotion to Soo Ji, even though Soo Ji treats him like crap, all the time.
She behaves as if he has no feelings whatsoever, and every time Soo Ji stomped all over Se Joo’s heart, I felt so bad for him.
STUFF THAT DIDN’T WORK FOR ME
Here’s a quick rundown of the things that just didn’t work for me, in this show.
1. Joy as Tae Hee
Joy seems like a sweet person, but she is not a strong actress, and her delivery leaned pretty hollow for me.
This was a problem because she’s supposed to play Si Hyun’s love interest. I found myself unable to buy into the supposed romantic moments between Si Hyun and Tae Hee, and I feel like Joy’s limitations as an actress were definitely a factor.
2. Show tries to do too much, I think.
Show works to build a very interconnected, dysfunctional web of characters, and while I get the intention, I didn’t enjoy the execution much at all.
At the episode 3 mark, I I literally had to stop to think about who’s who and how everything mapped out, what with Si Hyun’s dad (Shin Sung Woo) marrying Soo Ji’s mother (Kim Seo Hyung), but seeming to pine over Tae Hee’s mother (Jun Mi Sun). I was all, “What the..?”
3. Show’s logic isn’t always clear
Some stuff didn’t make sense to me, and I’m not sure if it was because Show was light on logic, or whether I just missed something. But here are a couple of examples, just for the record.
For example, the transition between Si Hyun and Soo Ji, from “shall we get married” to “seduce the scholarship girl” remained unclear to me.
I never did manage to figure out how the two issues were related; the marriage would’ve been to get back at their parents; the seduction of the scholarship girl was to get back at the Jerk Oppa. Um. What?
I also found myself unable to understand why Soo Ji would work to befriend Cello Girl Hye Jung (Oh Ha Nee) all of a sudden.
On a tangent, I also disliked the lighthearted bongo-caper music that tended to play in the background, while these kids got up to their manipulating tricks. That didn’t help me feel more engaged with Show because I wanted Show to be compelling, not funny.
4. The Si Hyun-Soo Ji connection stops being interesting
I understand that Show is being faithful to the source material by having Soo Ji send Si Hyun, whom she likes, and who is going to be her stepbrother, to seduce Tae Hee, for revenge. I get that the idea is to show how messed up Soo Ji is, and I got that message loud and clear.
Soo Ji then continually being all jealous and controlling, because she can’t handle seeing Si Hyun being sweet on Tae Hee, is something that I could tolerate only up to a point.
It all felt like a hell of her own making, and so she didn’t get much sympathy from me, at all. Why insist that Si Hyun seduce Tae Hee, if she can’t handle the sight of Si Hyun being nice to Tae Hee?
My patience for Soo Ji getting jealous while pushing Si Hyun towards seducing Tae Hee, wore really thin by episode 8.
Not only was it all getting really old, I didn’t care for her spoiled-princess-brat behavior. I got that she’s supposed to be an upset hormonal immature teenager, but I really found her very unreasonable and unlikable, to be honest.
At the episode 7 mark, I realized that I’d lost interest in this show and this drama world. All the posh teen angst was going over my head; instead of feeling compelling, it just felt like a whole lot of navel-gazing to me. Not good.
By episode 8, I concluded that if I kept on watching this show, that it would likely spiral into a rage-watch, for me. Also not good.
Every time the kids gathered in their posh cave, it no longer felt intriguing to me. It just felt like I was watching a bunch of toothless cubs hanging around, pretending to play fierce.
Additionally, I didn’t find the purportedly romantic scenes very romantic at all. Si Hyun madhandling Tae Hee in episode 8 is supposed to be swoony, but I seriously disliked that he just picked up her as if she was a piece of furniture, and put her in his car.
I couldn’t swallow that this was behavior that Show was serving up as supposedly universally alluring. I also found Si Hyun’s behavior towards Tae Hee very weird, with the whole blowing hot and cold, casual “Oh I didn’t see you there” sort of vibe, when they’d already kissed, and she’d already confessed her feelings.
In all of this, I also suddenly found Woo Do Hwan no longer compelling. All of Si Hyun’s Great Seduction moves felt juvenile and feeble to my eyes, and that just wasn’t helping matters.
Si Hyun’s dad trying to woo Soo Ji’s mom was also really cringey to watch.
Everything just all felt very all over the place, to me. By episode 10, I felt like no one had chemistry with anyone. It just felt like everyone was simply going through the motions. The only time I felt a bit of a twinge in my heart, was when Se Joo’s face fell when Soo Ji hurt his feelings.
Given how everything seemed to be going to pot for me with this show, I figured it’d be wiser to drop out sooner rather than later.
After all, I don’t want to end up hating everyone on this show, right?
This show was awful… and I watched the whole thing (oh dear), just because of the character of Se Joo, whom I found, at least at first, the most interesting thing about this drama. I liked some of the overallacting, but the script was very bad, and I completely agree with the statement that at some point the actors felt like they were going through the motions the bad writing was dictating.
I really liked Heirs, unlike you kfangirl, and I suppose that is mainly what drew me to this kind of story, even though in my heart of hearts I knew that there was no way they could make a successful Kdrama using the material of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, even in a decaffeinated form… That novel was written to show how purely trashy the the pre-French revolution aristocracy was and one of the reasons (among many more objectionable others) why they ended up with their heads chopped off… This is no romance material. Everybody in the original story pays dearly for their exploitative actions. It’s a cautionary tale.
But in the world of Kdrama excusing bad behaviour is a narrative force and happy endings, or relative happy endings, are always possible. I was willing to see how this show would transform all this disfunction into a satisfactory k-drama style angsty love story. I soon realised it was doomed to fail. These are the reasons why, I think:
They didn’t use the character of Tae Hee to its full potential. She (and her influence on Shi Hyun) should have been the catalyst for all the problematic characters to change. I know this deviates heavily from the original, but as we all know, the 18th century novel was never written to have a sugary ending, unlike this drama.
Spliting the duo (Merteuil/Valmont) into a trio (Shi Hyun/Se Joo/Soo Ji) gave an interesting potential with regards to eventually redeeming the female evil character Soo Ji (Merteuil). It would have been so much better having Soo Jin uncovering romantic/passionate feelings for Se Joo earlier on… If you’re going to decaffeinate a story, making problematic characters progressively and believably become better people should have been a narrative priority. I think Soo Ji developing tender feelings for the clueless rich girl (the Cecile character from the original story, can’t remember name in drama) and being so protective of her very flawed mother was a step in the right direction, but it wasn’t quite enough. Se Joo should have been a more flawed, rawest version of what Tae Hee was for Shi Hyun. I felt the show wanted to do this but the plot did not allow for it, which resulted in very poor execution with that very anticlimactic scene at the bar.
I know that kdrama usually avoids dealing with the sexual awakening theme, but for this show to work, they needed to have gone for it. If the premise of Dangerous Liaisons is going to be used, it is a waste to concentrate on the pure side of love and neglect Shi Hyun’s potential to instruct Tae Hee about carnal passion. The story was asking for it.
As others have mentioned, the “bet” between the trio is not clear. It’s too complicated and becomes totally muddled later on in the story. You cannot really engage with the characters if you cannot understand the root of all their more over the top actions… Melodrama 101.
As for acting, I can tell that the actors in the trio were talented, in particular Kim Min Jae. Woo Do Hwan is pretty good, but fo me the way he carried his body was at times slightly wooden… He has improved his body acting though, because in the Eternal Monarch I did not notice it at all. Joy was the weakest link here for me too. Her character, as it was written, needed to carry some serious wounds from her past. A better actress would have given more pause, intensity and gravitas to this part.
Overall, give me Heirs any time of the day… The melodrama world there was built so much better.: the cruel and ruthless upper class was depicted as a patriarchal hell in which Kim Tan emerged as a the ultimate rebel. We knew exactly what the hero and heroine were fighting against. It was consistent. In The Great seducer aka Tempted though, the world in which this very corrupt teenage trio operate does not support their very weird dynamics. There is no parent or older figure actively operating in a similar twisted way. Everything ended up feeling slightly false and ridiculous.
On the plus side, there is a lot a lot of eye candy and decent performances here. That may be enough for some to finish this drama… It was enough for me! 😉
Late to this party but just commenting to report that I dropped it too! I like the trio so much and got so invested in sooji x shi hyun too much to tolerate the logic stretch…. kept thinking what if she just said yes to getting married??? Could have been a better drama with their wasted chemistry T.T
Ahaha! Hi5 that you dropped this too, Sy! 😆 This one just didn’t work, unfortunately. 😝
I had a feeling I wasn’t going to be very invested and i thought I would give it a shot but I only lasted up to ep 4. I just couldn’t get into it. I also am not a big fan of the ‘bet’ premise so it was bound to happened. Joy’s performance wasn’t really convincing and I didn’t like her character (I can’t even explain it but it just wasn’t working for me)
Lol. I think you made a good call dropping this one, liability! 😆 This one didn’t work for me either. Hi5? 😂
I agree with tae hee part.. i was excited to watch until the episode tae hee came.. it became boring because of her facial expression.. i like the three’s acting it makes me excited. But when almost all scene became tae hee i got pissed off and stop watching. Ive wasted 4hours watching taehee’s blank expression.
Yeah, this drama became a lot more boring and tame than it intended to be, unfortunately. Better 4 hours than 16? 😅
It was Kim Jaejoong (Hero) who got me into Kpop. Saw him in Dr Jin. One of my first dramas. He and Yoochun and Junsu left TVXQ5 in 2010. They make up JYJ. On hiatus now. Junsu in military. Jae and Micky doing solo promotion right now.
Dr. Jin, yes! That’s when I first saw Jae joon as well (probably my 5th or 6th Kdrama). I enjoyed Dr. Jin because at that time I was starry-eyed over Song Seung heon so was gobbling up everything he’d been in. I also found Lee Beom-Soo strangely handsome in Dr. Jin. I always pretend the modern day portions of that show don’t exist.
I watched this show till episode 20 and after that it was a torture to continue watching it.Shi Hyun is the supposed rich bad boy but he doesn’t give that feel.Moreover,Tae Hee falling in love with Shi Hyun felt a little weird.
Kdramas aren’t the same anymore, I can’t get addicted to them like I used to, I don’t wanna wake up till 4 in the morning for watching them.They get boring and repetitive after a while.
Wow, you managed to get to E20! That’s double what I managed, Rhea! You’ve got more patience and determination than I do, for sure! 😅 Yes, I very much agree that Shi Hyun doesn’t quite give off the right feel for this story, and I also found the love story between him and Tae Hee very odd.
I agree, a lot of dramas feel quite cookie-cutter and aren’t worth staying up for. But there are still some gems out there.. just that we have to look harder for them. For some comforting cuteness, have you checked out Chinese drama A Love So Beautiful? It’s very charming and feel-good, and the kind of show I wouldn’t mind watching back-to-back episodes of. That might be a nice way to soothe your nerves, after plowing through 20 eps of the not-so-great Seducer? 😉
I should have known the minute they said it was inspired by Dangerous Liaisons that it wouldn’t go well because they have to go all in on the k-drama coincidence re: parent connections. Also, no one can be as truly vile as is necessary. So why even bother going there in the first place? I cannot remember when I dropped. It’s one of those I just decided wasn’t worth my time and stopped. Woo Do Hwan might be a promising actor, but he is not yet to the level of turning a poorly written character into something special. You walk away from some shows thinking, well that was crap but so and so was fantastic. Nope, he’s not there yet so if he is given a strong drama, he’ll do well but for all that Joy gets grief, I actually ended up more bothered by him. Maybe because my expectations were already where they needed to be with Joy.
I know you check into C-dramas once in a while. Stay away from Here to Heart: it has the most filler that I’ve ever seen in a Chinese drama and that’s saying something.
That’s very true.. the general kdrama conventions and guidelines basically dictate that they can’t make a show that’s true to the original intent of Dangerous Liaisons or Cruel Intentions. Not sure why they thought they could adapt it while changing the very essence that made it work in the first place.. 🤔 This is the first I’ve seen of Woo Do Hwan, and I’ve heard he’s much better in other shows that he’s done. So I do believe it’s the case of him getting a role that showcases his strengths, versus him being able to lift a role beyond what’s written on the page. I’ve put Mad Dog and Save Me on my list of Woo Do Hwan shows to check out, so I at least have good intentions about giving him a second chance! 😉
Thanks for the heads-up on Here to Heart, it definitely sounds like one to skip! 😅
Have you guys noticed a drastic change in Kdramas lately? No more doubt if a couple has had sex. It’s either plainly said or we see them in bed, under the covers, with bare shoulders peeking out! Heavens to Betsy! (There’s usually two feet of space between them though. 😄)
Heh. That’s true! Kdramas are becoming more upfront that way. But that scene in Money Flower does come to mind as well.. where Pil Joo’s sharing of Mal Ran’s bed was strongly communicated, but without us ever actually seeing them share that bed. I thought that was SO well done.
Agreed. But because of the K-subtlety, there was a fan debate as to if they were actually in a sexual relationship in Money Flower. I tried to tell people early on that context and their culture will tell you what you need to know. In Money Flower, Jang Hyuk touching of Lee Mi sook as he helped her on with her coat in the very first episode and the fact that her son stepped back and allowed it to happen by this “underling” man that they just picked up out of prison… The way Jang Hyuk would touch her, or her hair, which means nothing in western culture, means everything in K culture (on Kdrama anyway), the meetings in her quarters alone even though it was for business just isn’t done, etc.
Were you the blogger that said it wasn’t clear if Ji Chang Wook and Park Min Young’s characters had actually slept together in episodes 14-15? I thought it was one of the most clear Kdrama inferences that sex had taken place that I’d ever seen, myself.
But, in general, I tell people that if you see a couple on the bed, lying down, even if they have their clothes still on, even if they are on top of the covers, but especially if the covers are drawn over them, you can pretty much assume dot.dot.dot. I’ve gathered when a couple have “become close” based on far less K-evidence. 😊
SPOT. ON. m’dear! Everything you said about the nuances presented regarding Pil Joo’s relationship with Mal Ran is so true! Absolutely, all those little details pointed to them having a very.. special kind of relationship, one where he was afforded access and closeness where others were not. That definitely indicated the nature of their relationship, and every touch was calculated to tell us this.
No, I mustn’t have been the one who said it wasn’t clear if Ji Chang Wook and Park Min Young’s characters in Healer had actually slept together, because from where I was standing, it was clear as day. 😉
As for Healer….a guy does snuggle like that without getting results. I died right there!
Ohhh, Georgia Peach. Anybody that saw Healer knew exaccccctly what you meant. *having an uncomfortable purrrrr moment*
That snuggle was something else, wasn’t it? Brings out the mother and the lover! Keep hoping Ji Chang Wook will do another drama as good or better than this when gets out of MS.
Hmmmm. I didn’t see anything in those snuggles that made me fell motherly. Which particular snuggle are you referring to? *turns down my purrometer to try to pay closer attention*
The great thing about the kfangurl blog (apart from having the best reviews of Kdramas and other shows out there) is the level of interaction that is thoughtful, respectful, witty, funny and in-tune with what’s going on (I didn’t mention the swooning because for obvious reasons that’s not my thing – but, I do have a chuckle or two).
I’m not sure if I can really add anything intelligent here, but I am watching Dear Heaven at the moment (2005), and it’s right out there in terms of the subject matter. I had to do a double take on the date because it’s well ahead of its time in terms of the issues mentioned here.
When I watched Money Flower, to me it was very clear that it was all about control. The subtle things that happened were very deliberate and understood and I thought Lee Mi Sook portrayed these to perfection.
The debate about personal space and culture is very interesting. Given that I am Australian (and very luck to be so), the western question is thought provoking. For instance, with Aussies (despite what is portrayed in dramas, movies and by some of our celebrities), a bloke wouldn’t dare touch another woman’s hair unless he wanted to find himself “six feet under” or with a certain part of his anatomy removed by the person in question. Yes, Australian women aren’t backwards in coming forwards and the men can be, and quite often are, larrikins (and that portrayal in Australian shows is far more realistic).
What I have liked in some Kdramas of late is that there is no beating about the bush in the romance department ala Lawless Lawyer (Attorney). The relationship has developed without any of the usual angst etc. and in a mature way, except the writer might be on verge of blowing it.
In many ways Kdramas remind of a time long ago and that’s kind of nice. 🤗
Aw! Thanks Sean, for your very sweet estimation of the blog! I must agree that the reader interaction on the site is one of my favorite things <3
In terms of the earlier dramas, I'll take a wild stab and say that broadcasting guidelines probably weren't as developed as they are now, and the K-wave was only just taking off and finding its feet at that time. That might explain why you find the issues in the show well ahead of its time. YES, the subtle cues in Money Flower felt very deliberate indeed. What the cues communicated, felt clear to me, and I got the sense that a lot of thought had gone not only into the writing, but the directing as well. Really good! <3
That's so interesting, that personal space is so actively respected in Australia. I never really knew that, to be honest, even though my brother-in-law is Australian. I must admit this issue of personal space is one that has intrigued me, of late. I recently read on Facebook about a lady who moved to Europe, and the Ikea delivery guy who came to her house got all up in her personal space, touching her arm, and running his hands up her leg or something similar. The woman was very frightened and after she managed to get the guy to leave, she lodged a complaint with Ikea to no avail, and made a police report, also to no avail, because she had no evidence. She then posted her story on Facebook in desperation, and what got my attention, more than anything else, is that while a good chunk of people were sympathetic, a good half of the comments on her post were along the lines of, "Get over yourself," "Nothing happened," "The guy thought he was getting lucky, nothing happened, what's the big deal?" Upon closer inspection, I realized that many of these dismissive comments weren't made just by the men, but by women as well. That paints a very different picture about the respect for personal space than what you described, so reading what you wrote made me feel better about the state of the world. 😅
I get what you mean about kdramas feeling like they come from a different era. With so much of western entertainment glorifying casual hookups and easy speedy romances, it's really nice to watch kdramas and feel like the heart of the matter hasn't been forgotten after all. 🙂
PS: I've not started on Lawless Lawyer, but plan to, so I hope the writer doesn't blow it 😛
WHAT!!! even in sex-crazed North America that delivery guy would’ve been waaaay out of line! “Sex is everything” here but the emphasis is on consensual sex. Also because of our gun culture, I don’t think an average normal guy would try something like that. An actual rapist might take the chance that the young woman doesn’t have a gun, but he’s crazy to begin with.
Crazy, right?? Some people are accusing the woman of making it all up, but if things happened the way she described, then yes, he was wayyy out of line indeed. Shudder.
The Ikea incident would not be tolerated here. That’s not to say things don’t happen over here, because sadly they do. What I can comment on though from experience is, if such an incident happened here, the police would certainly follow up and there is even a good chance that a group of people would deal with the person concerned. In the workplace I would have dealt with it there and then (and in fact have).
Personal space for us is always a challenge. I have a colleague who I work with from time to time who is just the best person and a wonderful operator (a true champion of communities). Because of his good hearted nature he will always say “is it alright if I give you a hug”. The ladies don’t mind, because, once they get to know him, as it is part of his greeting and there is nothing else in it – I just roll my eyes though. By contrast, I had a situation earlier in the year where the President (Mayor) on the last day of my tenure said is it alright if I give you a hug. I said of course, as she is just one of the best people on the planet. Otherwise, for me it’s strictly my wife, the kids and maybe one or two family members or close friends.
As for Facebook, it is too easy for people to make inappropriate and destructive comments. I think Facebook and other platforms are great, but I draw a line at the nonsense and purile behaviour. It’s sad she had to experience the negative and thoughtless responses.
I’ve stalled on Lawless Lawyer, but will build up the courage to look at it again soon. In the meantime, Secretary Kim is a cracker and Are You Human Too is sort of okay. But, I’m still loving Shall We Get Married (Shall We Live Together).
Sketch is taking over first place in the spot that I thought Lawless Lawyer would be – a very tightly worn story so far. Even when I thought – “that was weak writing for the character to do [such]”, it turned out there’s a reason. I’m hoping writer doesn’t blow it at the finish line as so often happens in Kdrama.
@seanlfletcher – Agreee. I’ve often compared K-tv to 1950’s Hollywood TV when Lucy and Ricky had separate twin beds. The relaxation in censorship seems to coincide with S.K.’s abolishing the adultery laws in 2015.
I’ve enjoyed the innocence until now though. Not because I’m a prude, but the subtlety is the type of sexy like a dance of the seven veils -keep some mystery after being inundated with sex, sex and more sex on American tv (and in American real life of people jumping into bed on the first date). So when watching a Kdrama couple move through all the tropes of romance – liking each other/hating-bickering stage – when in the next scene they’re holding hands, I get just as excited as the characters’ friends and family because that’s no casual touch and we all know what it means.
P.S. What’s a “larrikins”?
A larrikin is a term that was first applied to Australians in the latter part of the 1800s. Most Aussies are conservative in nature, but have a strong larrikin streak that kicks in during certain situations. It refers to a person who is rowdy (disorderly), but good natured and has disregard for authority (institutions) and is someone who can be extremely cheeky at times. An example was the allocation of Australian troops under British command at Gallipoli, in Egypt and Europe during WW1. Given the troops were very young, and the situation, they had a total disregard for the British command. They followed the authority of the Australian officers, but would just say “get lost” re the British commanders. Eventually, this led to the Australian troops having their own command. Anyway, we have never let our British cousins forget this 😊
At the end of the day, a good drama or story will always trump the need to have things spelt out. I remember thinking Lucy and Ricky were fabulous. We had a wonderful drama here during the last five years called the Dr Blake Mysteries that was about Dr Blake and the relationship with his live in housekeeper/secretary. Yes, it was set in the 1950s and it took them until the completion of the series to get together 🤗
Dr Blake Mysteries – And we Americans though “Who’s The Boss” was an original concept. 😉 It’s all been done before.
The absolute best example of saying everything and nothing is the famous Oysters vs. Snails scene in Spartacus 1968 between Tony Curtis and Sir Lawrence Olivier. I saw that movie as a kid and had no idea of the under current. Had no questions for my parents as I understood the surface of the conversation. But when I saw it as an adult…!
“Larriken” and your explanation are going to be saved by me to share with my son and daughter-in-law. My son has a fondness for Australia and wanted to do his last semester in college required cross cultural semester there but it fell through. My daughter-in-law and I both love Australian male actors. We KNOW what we find sexy but had no word for it but now, we do! Thank you😉
Both my wife and I enjoyed Who’s the Boss all those years ago.
Spartacus – what a movie. It was like a melting pot of what was happening at the time in Hollywood. I spotted a movie the other day called Trumbo about the writer who wrote the scene you described from Spartacus, so I am going to have a look at it shortly.
Yes, that is Australian male actors to a tee! Australia is referred to as the Lucky Country, and it is. Well, hopefully your son can get out here at some point and have a good look around. Beautiful beaches, an ancient landscape and in the West during winter, wildflowers like no other in the World, that go on for as far as the eye can see.
Trumbo – I googled it. It stars Bryan Cranston who makes anything watchable. I’ll have to find time to check it out.
This has been shown on America’s public broadcasting. Have caught a few episodes. Too busy watching KDramas to get interested…shame on me! Thanks for your drama recommendation….btw.
Yes, it was all about control….and Pil Joo was in control most of his emotions. I’ll say again… I find it sad he was able to have sex with the one person he hated and despised the most. He sold his soul to get his revenge. Sleeping with the enemy is the ultimate in revenge, but is very costly to the human spirit. Mal Ran only ought she controlled Pil Joo. What a great drama!!!
And here in the U.S. if a guy touches my hair without permission….he is so dead!
And your comment about…’being nice’ I agree. I truely hope the KDrama stays conservative in what they show. Less is more. I believe the imagination is the real aphrodiac.
So, there we have it, you have saved me from sticking my big toe in the water! Each time I thought about having a look, I pulled back and now I am very satisfied that I can well and truly give it a miss.
I am slowly working my wat through the Second Half of My Life on Viki. I do need to remember to turn off the comments when I’m watching because many of the viewers are so judgemental. Anyway, sometimes you get some some funny ones.
I finished Switch – tick, completed My Husband – tick (but I’m not sure what happened in the final episodes), and My Mister – a very big tick (amazing story telling, acting, directing).
I have started Lawless Lawyer – whoah (its got it all), Investigation Couple – grumpiness vs enthusiasm (working well), About Time – it’s goodish (my bad), but Lee Sung Kyung is so damn good she is leaving the others in the shade and I’m not sure if her male counterpart can match her despite the good actor he is, and the Undateables – likeable.
Also dropped a few: Rich Man at the end of episode 5 – had potential, but I found for me, as I found with the Japanese original, so damn annoying and disappointing. Miss Harmmurabi at the end of episode 2 – it was like watching three different shows.
I finished a couple of Cdramas and it’s like they start off so well and then become train wrecks (eg Here to Heart). The one to look out for though is His Excellency’s First Love. It’s the first show in a long time where the back story is so good that you want to know more (plus it has that we are the fox clan from another planet thing going on!).
Also watching some good Jdramas including Miss Sherlock which is going well.
Then there are the Thai Lakorns, the Hong Kong dramas and the Tdramas (Meet me at 1006 – very good) and a number of movies (including the Chinese movie from 2012 – A Beautiful Life – and it was a beautiful movie too).
Anyway, back to my day job…
Yes, I do think you aren’t missing much by not checking this one out, Sean! And YAY that you’re still watching First Half; I hope you’re enjoying it! <3
I don't know how you do it, Sean, you seem to be able to bend time and space, you get so many dramas in! 😱 Color me impressed! Teach me your ways, O Multiple Drama Master! 😂 Thanks for the overview of all the shows you've been watching, it helps me to pick and choose too! 😉 I've got My Mister high on my list, and am also considering Lawless Lawyer and About Time. I really didn't enjoy the J-original of Rich Man, and so when I saw an early scene redone by the K-version, all the negative feelings came rising up again, and I decided to give the K-version a wide berth. 😛 His Excellency's First Love sounds out there and rather intriguing, I'll have to look it up! 🙂
The secret to multiple drama watching is bending space and time and watching said shows in multiple universes at the same time 😇.
A Chinese movie that is really out there is Hanson and the Beast. It is so whacky, I loved it! Imagine if you will, the captain of the local beast task force who, when he is fighting or going into action, does so to music from an audio player on his hip 🙀.
It’s a long weekend coming up, so I can get even more drama viewing in (after I’ve done all the right things of course 😊).
I can’t ignore “My Mister any longer as everyone says it’s so good that I’ll have to check it out.
It will be interesting to see what you think regarding My Mister. There were some episodes where I found myself holding my breath. On other occasions I put off watching an episode because I was so concerned that the writer would blow it. But, I can say, for me that didn’t happen. All, I can really say is, as I have stated elsewhere, My Mister is one of the three best shows I have ever watched. It sits up there alongside Deadwood and Game of Thrones. It just has this beautiful story running through it underneath everything that goes on.
@seanfletcher – that’s some high praise, indeed.
I was one of those folk who watched to the very bitter end! But that’s me. In my 5+ years of drama watch…I’ve only failed to finish one drama…no matter how bad and it was Reply 1988. Should I give it another try?
Like Beez I watched for Woo DoHwan and him only and got Kim MinJae as a bonus. As for Joy…please, please, please don’t do aego ever again!
Poor Great Seducer…not so great, right. And I think the biggest flaw in this whole drama was the premise that these characters were not even what could be called ‘young adults’. These were high schoolers….only three days out from graduation. All the actors were 20 something’s trying to have you believe they were teenagers…aka Heirs! Better premise…college graduates in their first year of their first job. THEN…this could have been played much darker and WDH would have been so much in his acting element. And yes, WDH is the reincarnation of James Dean!
Haven’t seen Save Me as of yet. Isn’t it pretty dark? I’ve not gotten over Money Flower as of yet. LOL.
Oh yeah…I’ve seen Mad Dog. Really liked this drama….
Hmmmm. Was Save Me dark? Dark subject matter – yes. Pulled off as dark as it should be – no. I can’t say too much because of spoilers.
It ranked a 7 on my ranking system. (I consider 5 to be average. It got one point for unusual subject matter for Kdrama.)
Save Me most certainly will be watched. I’m starting Fated To Love You tonight. Just finished Should We Kiss First…it completely took my heart by storm! The OTP was perfect and their story was line was sterling. The supporting cast was there for levity because of the main story line being soooo very deep!
Ooh, one more vote for Mad Dog! It’s new on my list, thanks to all the recommendations here 😉
Oh no, you watched this to the bitter end but didn’t finish Reply 1988? 😭 I loved Reply 1988, SO MUCH, so I’m rather sad that it didn’t work for you. 💔 What didn’t you like about it, if I may ask? 😛
Yes, you are so right, I do think that having the characters in high school really, well, almost disney-fied it, kind of? It wasn’t as dark as the source material intended, I believe. And while that can work for some shows, that just took away the main hook of this story.
I haven’t seen Save Me either.. but I’m told it’s pretty dark, at least compared to general kdrama fare. I’m also told it’s very interesting, so I might give it a whirl sometime.
So I should give Reply 1988 a retry? What I didn’t like….somehow the characters just didn’t click with me. I felt them cartoonish. Perhaps it was my mood. Some portions were good and I felt the characters were very believable….loved the music though.
Allow me to recommend Should We Kiss First. Kam Woo Sung and Kim Sun Ah are so very good. And their story line is excellent.
I count Reply 1988 as my most favorite among the Answer Me series, so I do hope you’ll give it another chance sometime! The sense of community was the kind of stuff that just warms the heart; I never wanted to say goodbye <3
I had Should We Kiss First on my list, and then when I dipped a toe in, it felt so sad and heavy that I panicked and promptly shelved the show indefinitely. 😛 But I'll give it another try, since you loved it so much! 🙂
Fangirl, I do hope you will give SWKF another try. It was not a light drama, although it did have its laugh out loud moments. But the theme was one of hope and love….can’t do any better than that. And of two people who chose to love one another despite all. I will try R1988.
Just finished FTLY. And you are so right. Our main characters were so very precious to one another. They really connected on the screen! Good acting, no great acting! Jang Hyuk is a force of nature! The way he switched from frivolious….the cover for his anxious heart…. to serious was something to watch. The other cast members were so classic, such familiar faces! The silliness was wonderful….love Korean humor!
Now…what to watch next?
@Georgia Peach – “What to watch next?”
At the risk of sounding like a broken record:
CHUNO! CHUNO! CHUNO!
Then after watching Chuno, go back and watch FTLY again and catch all the references to Chuno! (Several of Jang Hyuk’s other projects are paid h’ommage to, as well, in FTLY)
And believe me, you only think you love Jang Hyuk after watching Money Flower and FLTY – wait until you watch CHUNO!
I’m ahead of you…CHUNO HAS BEEN SEEN❗️ I loved it so much❣️ Like I told fangirl…Jang Hyuk is a force of nature. And I did catch the references to other of his work in FTLY…especially loved Park Joonhyung and the video for Mother….baby Jang Hyuk ! I’m hoping Wok of Love will also be good for him. But MF….OMG❗️The smexy Jang Hyuk is just too much for me.
Give me drama suggestions any time…..😽
@Georgia Peach – I wasn’t sure if I had poured my never exhausting Chuno love out on you already. 😁 I looked through this post and didn’t see that you were already one of my victims so I poured it on as usual. So glad you’ve already seen it.
I only have a few Kdramas that I feel are must -see ( most of which you’ve probably already seen as I consider them classics) :
Classics: Coffee Prince; Secret Garden; My Name is Kim Sam Soon
Jang Hyuk: Chuno; Tree with Deep Roots; FTLY; Beautiful Mind; Shine or Go Crazy
Healer – is everything to modern rom-com/ action that Chuno is to Saeguk
-Six Flying Dragons (Yoo Ah in is the next premiere actor of the next generation that will be filling Jang Hyuk’s large shoes as Hyukie moves into ahjusshi actor territory)
Honorable mention: I Heard it Through the Grapevine (or as I like to call it What Happens When a Candy Finally Gets her Chaeboel). Dark comedy where Go Ah-Sung gets pregnant by Lee Joon and they marry but she is far from accepted in the high society of her in-laws.
Honorable mention: Lookout! Just to see actress and amateur boxer Li Si Young throwing elbows and being a realistic female action star is worth it. And the acting chops of her male co-star is pretty amazing as well.
If you’ve seen all of these already, let me know and I’ll list my B list. 😁 And please return the recommendation favor?
Beez, your list of must sees is great. Have seen all but MNIKSS. I’ve seen all of JH except BM and it is on the list. Yes, yes, yes to Healer. All a KDrama is supported to be. A role of a lifetime for JCW. But you know how military service always does RIGHT by our KDrama boys…so you can never tell what will happen when he gets out! Did like Suspicious Partner…not so much K2…there were many electric moments with Song YoonAh though. SixFD was a tour de force! (The sound track…especially Kim Junsu’s Tim Is You.)Loved every second YAI was on the screen and I’ve watched all I can find of his. CT was also wonderful…whole cast was spectacular! Let me suggest Secret Love Affair. The best of the best Noona Dramas. YAI is….OMG! Some of my four star dramas not on your list: Nice Guy, An Incomplete Life, Secret Love Affair, Rooftop Prince, On The Way To The Airport, Goblin, Dear My Friends. Any and all of Jo In Sung, Lee Joong Ki, Jung Il Woo, So Ji Sub, Lee Dong Wook. My first KDrama was Moon Embracing The Sun and so I have followed all the actors and actresses in that drama! What a fortunate day that was when I discovered KDramas! Went to Seoul last year and was mesmerized! Email me at Georgiapeach47100@yahoo.com. I don’t think fangirl would want us to chat it up on her blog!
Oops….Kim Junsu….Time Is You. 😘
“Kim Junsu….Time Is You” I’ll check the synopsis.
Thanks for the reccs. Talk to you soon as soon as I’m settled in.
Junsu is a singer and he did an OST for SixFD. He did a bit part in Scent of A Woman where he played himself. He does musical theater mostly no dramas. He is one third of JYJ.
Ahhhh. I see. I know the one called Hero, and of course Mickey Yoochan. But both of them are actors (I know nothing about Kpop). But you listed Jinsu as if he’s one of your favorite actors?
Please excuse any typos because the box to type in has become squeeched to showing one letter at a time:
My Name is Kim Sam Soon is a MUST SEE. I didn’t even mean to capitalize that but since my keyboard did and it’s fitting… Sam Soon is often referred to as “the Kdrama that started it all”. Before that they were pretty cheesy in quality (afterwards too). It’s part of the first Hallyu wave (along with Full House). Trust me, must…see.
I keep starting Secret Love Affair but can’t seem to make it past the first couple of sloooow, dark episodes. I’ll get to it though as I’ve seen everything else YAI’s been in.
Seen Nice Guy. Had opposite reaction as everyone else. Didn’t like it but liked the amnesia ending that, while far fetched considering it was going around like it was catching, I liked that ending for SJK’s character.
Is Incomplete Life the same as Misaeng? If so, really liked it. Seen your list except for
The Way To The Airport and Dear My Friends. I’ll check out their synopsis and see if I’ll add them to my list. Definitely will be picking up Secret Love Affair again.
As to the actors you mentioned Jo In Sung (too effeminate (in real life also) to make my bias list although I loved A Frozen Flower; hated the blind girl/Oppa show); Lee Joong Ki (I’m on his bus right now (soon to be a train with Lawless Lawyer). Liked Scarlet, liked Scholar despite its shortcomings by way of script & lead actress; Two Weeks was okay) ; Jung Il Woo (totally unfamiliar), So Ji Sub (lights my soul, and other things on fire! So much so that I’ve watched everything (except the newest movie and right now have a REALLY old drama of his that just came in the mail from Netflix that is called Delicious Proposal), Lee Dong Wook (I’ve sampled, and hated all that I’ve seen – My Girl; Bubble Gum; Blade Man (loved him in Goblin though).
Okay. I’ll reach out to you at your email (but it will be a couple of weeks because I’m moving (ugh). I’m so happy to have someone to gush over YAI in Six Flying Dragons and Chicago Typewriter with!
Speaking of CT, I’m currently watching Scandal in Old Seoul because it’s written by the same writer. So far it’s okay but I had to let go of my preconceived wish to revisit the characters and setting of CT. It is the same setting but the soundstage, OST and costumes make me think Judy Garland will pop out at any minute singing “clang clang clang went the trolley…!” Ok. Catch you on your email soon as I can. Watch for username Jue14.
Just butting in to say, this is so cool, that you ladies are chatting! 😀 Also, anytime you want to chat it up on the blog, feel free to do so! I actually love when folks start chatting with each other around here. Makes it feel so warm and cozy – plus, stuff you share can benefit other readers too. ❤😘
kfangurl – you’re awesome. I was worried (and I could tell GeorgiaPeach was too) that we had “jumped the shark” and highjacked the blog. So thanks again and everybody pray for me – I’m exhausted from moving and I have 4 new devices I’m trying to learn to use while going thru this. Eek! I’m moving next door which is worse that regular moving because I would just hire movers and be done with it. Instead I’m trying to do it by myself a bit at a time.
No pray for me…I’ll be 10 days without a KDrama. Withdrawal!!! I’ll be in Kenya and no time to watch. Good luck on the moving…I’ve done a ‘just next door’ kind of move…terrible. Tell me what to watch when I get back! Lawless Lawyer?
Oh wow! 10 days in Kenya! That sounds pretty special! Safe travels, Georgia! You can catch up on allll the dramas when you get back! 😉
Lucky me! WiFi! It’s unsecured though. Hope I still have money in my bank account when I get home. 😩
Lawless Lawyer and Sketch are my drama crack right now BUT as we all know, Kdrama writers can blow it all before or with the last episode. So I’ll let you know if it’s worth checking them both out when you return. Safe travels!
Oh my! You’re doing it yourself?! My move was a little similar, since we were moving to a nearby apartment, and I feel your pain. We hired movers for the big items, but we did move at least half our stuff by ourselves. It takes forever, and it’s so tiring while you’re at it! Big hugs to you, my dear. I hope you get through your move soon! <3
It’s a temporary (one year) move. I just moved into one side of a duplex in May that I cosigned for with my daughter in law and the mortgage lender insisted that I moved in with her (had to provide proof that I changed my address before we could close). So we’ve been cramped in a 2 bedroom duplex with double everything (two households) in an effort to give the existing tenant time to find a new place. So the tenant moved out earlier than she said she would and my daughter in law has headed back up north to help my son with something with his business and I’m moving my stuff by myself into the vacated unit which we never really got to look closely at because it was occupied so I’m arrangng for repairs and cleaning before I actually start dragging furniture and STUFF next door. I may just box it up like a real move and hire movers but I’d rather move stuff slowly rather than pack AGAIN after having just packed, and unpacked, in May. *deep breath*
Oh my goodness. You sure have your work cut out for you, beez! 😱 I imagine that must feel like some kind of never-ending story, since you just did the whole packing-unpacking thing in May! Hugs. I’m sorry I can’t come over and help you move stuff, but here’s a virtual cookie, to go with that virtual hug. 🍪 Hang in there, you’ll get through this! ❤😘
strangely, just hearing that makes me feel better!
Based on your recommendation, I’ve put SWKF back on the list, Georgia! 😀 The theme of hope and love is definitely something that appeals to me. So glad you enjoyed FTLY, it grabbed me in the heart way more than I’d originally expected it to. <3 The snail couple turned out to be so sweet together.
As for what to watch next.. have you dipped your toes into Chinese dramas? Coz I truly love a few C-dramas, and would highly recommend them. Nirvana in Fire is amazing, and if you loved Chuno, I'd wager you'd love NIF too. For an uplifting, elegant story of personal growth with mature characters in the center, I highly recommend The First Half of My Life. And for cracky romance that is quite epic, Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms is great. And for youthy, feel-good cuteness with lashings of nostalgia, I loved A Love So Beautiful. I hope that helps! 🙂
Fangirl, I have made a foray into Chinese dramas at the recommendation of a friend who loves them…especially the fantasy ones. And yes, NIF was the first she got me to watch and I have to say I was VERY impressed by the script, costumes/sets, handsome Chinese actors. She got me to watch TMOPB (which she watched back to back). I’ve yet to recover from Ye Hua/Mark Chao letting that main of black hair down from the top-not. 😉😉😉. Will try the other ones you suggest. Loved Wallace Hugo in Love Me If You Dare. The production quality was somewhat poor, but the story was excellent and WH is a very good actor…I think.
Just finished Switch with Jang Guen Suk…a nice bit of fluff..especially when JGS smiles his devilish smile and roll so his beautiful brown eyes…
And thanks for giving us the okay to ‘chat it up’ on your blog….😘
Oh, YAY that you loved NIF & Peaches! 😀 And yes, I must agree that Mark Chao as Ye Hua was just.. mesmerizing. 😍😍😍 I tried Love Me If You Dare, but I didn’t manage to finish. I concede Wallace is a very handsome man though 😉 Yes, do give First Half of My Life and A Love So Beautiful a chance! I loved both, even though they are very different shows. <3 I heard that Switch was pretty good, so it's on my list for at least a toe-dip! 😉 Also, no worries, chat it up around here, anytime! 😘
I thought of watching this before it premiered…But gradually read more negative things than positive and dropped the idea 😃
Well, that was a smart move you made there, snow! 😉 I somehow decided to start on this as it began airing. Most probably because I was curious to see Woo Do Hwan in action, since I’d heard so much about him. That didn’t turn out so well in the end, heh. 😛 I guess I’ll catch him in something else.
Doo Hwan was very good in Mad Dog, which was a pretty good show all around. There is a romance but it is not front and center and waaay in the background. More than just alluded to but no kiss brcause it’s an ensemble cast and two members happen to like each other and that is an undercurrent that eventually leads to a relationship but not played out on screen. Of more importance is the ensembles’ family -like relationship, the cases they solve, and the final bringing to justice of the big bads.
I have to admit that I wasn’t very interested in Mad Dog coz of its premise (insurance fraud) and those very uninspiring posters. But.. I guess I’m gonna have to put it on my list now that everyone’s been saying Woo Do Hwan’s so good in it. Plus, it slipped my attention before, but Mad Dog stars Yoo Ji Tae. I’ve got Yoo Ji Tae appreciating eyes 😍😍(heh), so that definitely is a big plus! 😉
Yes, definitely put it on your list. I think I liked Woo Do Hwan so much in Mad Dog and Save Me, because he’s a tough, sexy, capable character in the shows, but he has to pretend to be cute and dorky to hide his true intentions in the both shows. Very much like Ji Chang Wook’s two personas in Healer, (I’m remembering Bong Soon fondly 🤗) , a show I know you loved.
….Bong Soo, not Bong Soon, thank you auto-correct 🤨
WELL NOW. You sure know how to grab my attention, TorixBear! 😆 I freaking LURVE Healer, and to hear you say that Woo Do Hwan gets to be Healer-esque, definitely makes me sit up and take notice! I’ve duly bumped Mad Dog up my watch list! And yes, Bong Sookie was sooo adorable! 😍😍
No offense to TorixBear but for me Doo Hwan is nowhere near Healeresque. He’s the silent brooding type in every role that I’ve seen him in (which is his James Dean appeal (I think) ). No bad azz Healer-type action scenes either. He does hide that he’s a good guy in Mad Dog which is a bit of a spoiler, but in no way is it the fun, super hero dual (multiple) personas that Healer gave us. Mad Dog is good but I just don’t want you going in with a false sense of what you’re expecting or you may just drop it. It’s much more serious in tone than Healer was (although Healer had it’s serious moments, but Healer gave you a hyped up feeling as if watching an action rom-com that just happened to have a great story surrounding it).
Mad Dog plays more like a police procedural (insurance fraud investigation) but with good character development of the main characters.
Ooh, ok, got that – thanks beez! 🙂 Yes, it’s definitely better that I get a clearer idea of what to expect, so that I can manage my expectations better!
No, you’re right he’s only like the Bong Soo character in Healer, when he’s playing the cute dork role in Mad Dog and Save Me. His real character in these shows is serious and capable (and bad-ass in Save Me), it was the contrasting dual-character similarities that reminded me of Healer. 🙂
Healer and Bong soookie. *sigh* I’m a goner. 🙂
@TorixBear – I could be mistaken because I do have memory issues, but to me, Doo Hwan’s character in Save Me was heroic in the sense that he never gave up but it was done with no bad azzery at all. lol Which probably made it more realistically heroic because he had no fighting skills whatsoever, just an awkward, determined to help teenager. Which that was really cool it was portrayed that way.
😄 His fighting did it for me though… 😉
@TorixBear – I’m sorry. Of course we all like different things and I didn’t mean to rain on what you like. (Just like my friends and family can’t understand why I turn into goo when Jeff Goldbloom does his Jursssic Park speech. Or why I like Loki instead of Thor (I don’t understand it myself). 😄
Joy is a terrible actress, as has been evident from her first drama. She should just stick to her girl group. I also don’t understand the appeal of Woo Do-hwan.
I think they keep giving Joy these exceedingly “pure and innocent” type characters, which probably is in keeping with her image. But she’s really not a strong actress, unfortunately. I’ve heard that Woo Do Hwan is very good in Save Me and Mad Dog, so I might give one of those a whirl sometime. This show didn’t do him any favors, I thought. 😛
Sorry this did not work out for you, Unni. But, selfish girl that I am, I’m pulling for reviews about Suits and a Chicago Typewriter! Wooooo!!!!
Ha! You are a very focused girl, m’dear! 😂 I haven’t started on Chicago Typewriter, but I am definitely enjoying Suits! MUCH more than I thought I would! <3
Watched it all. (Woo Do Hwan has made by bias list) Even though I could tell I had begun to hate it and everyone in it and attached to it. And over at kjtamusings’ blog, I even began to defend Jerk Oppa over the main characters and put forth as his defense that we’d like him too if they provided us his woo woo woo backstory too.
My thoughts at the end of the show blasted everybody except Tae hee. And then I realized I didn’t include her because I’d simply forgotten about her. How’s that for the character that everyone else’s actions centered around.
Your use of the words “rage-watch” describe perfectly the mode that I watched this in, and not because the despicable characters’ behavior is supposed to enrage you but because, like you said, the logic/explanations usually made zero sense other than we know the source material dictates they take these actions. The material at hand did not do well in explaining the bet between Soo ji and Shi kyun. (Or maybe it was lost in translation of the subtitles.)
SPOILER. DO NOT READ BELOW IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW (I only do this on shows Kfangurl has dropped):
Sejoo loses it in later episodes. He goes from the most stable and least toxic of the Toxic Trio to what seems almost a break in sanity.
Oh yeah. It ended with a happy ending for all. Which only made me madder.
OMG beez, you made me giggle so hard, with your comment! 😆 You are hilarious, and I love you. <3 Your fangirl love is pretty darn epic by my standards.. to think that you not only watched this entire show for Woo Do Hwan, but tried to make sense of it all, AND created a defense for a side character like Jerk Oppa. That's just so dedicated! You deserve a medal, my dear. 🥇😉
My grasp of Korean has improved quite a bit over the years, and unless I missed something critical, I don't think Show actually provided a good explanation for the bet. Also, bummer about Se Joo! He was the reason I even made it to E10 of this show, coz I felt sorry for him, and Kim Min Jae was delivering his scenes with an emotional resonance that I found lacking in the other characters as I progressed through the episodes. Also, happy ending for all?!? Seriously, that is a huge departure from the source material! I thought since they were sticking quite close to major points like the bet, that they'd at least retain a semblance of the original's ending. I feel so bad for you suffering through this rage watch, beez. HUGS. <3 Here's a virtual cookie, just in case it helps you feel better! 🍪
*munches cookie* I just felt Jerk Oppa was bearing the brunt of everyone’s (in the comment section) rage. But if we were given his bad “poor little rich kid” family life (or if he looked like Doo hwan or Kim Min Jae), we’d have excused his behavior too. In fact, as big a jerk wad as he continued to be, his actions were nowhere near as coldly manipulative or mean and calculating as the Toxic Trio.
That’s a great point.. Jerk Oppa probably had his own sad story, and he wasn’t being as toxic as our main trio even. I didn’t get far enough in the show to see more of him, so in my head he was more of a side character, there just to be a catalyst for the bet that I never did understand.
I watched with anticipation after being impressed with Woo Do Hwan in ‘Save Me’ and ‘Mad Dog’, and having not seen the Cruel Intentions film. I managed to sit through it all, but in retrospect, really should have bailed about the same time as you. Initially I was hooked by the rich kid trio, and sat grinning away every time the three were on screen together. But as the show progressed, it went downhill. I think a lot of it was the writing – trying to cram too much in, so the story was all over the place, with some fairly superfluous characters and irrational, irritating behaviour that anyone would struggle to buy in to.
I really liked Moon Ga Young’s Soo Ji, she did well with what she was given. But Se Joo’s character (and his sad, puppy eyes) was all that kept me watching in the end, and I hope Kim Min Jae gets a good lead role soon.
As always, love your reviews and recommendations; the only ones that are on my wavelength 🙂
Aw, thanks TorixBear, that is so sweet of you to say! <3 I'm glad you feel we're on the same wavelength, and I'm sorry you have viewer's regret with this one. I just took a peek at a late episode (E18), and based on the glimpses of angst and frustration and general acting out that I saw, I felt a distinct sense of relief that I decided to bail on this one.
Thanks for affirming my sense that this show was trying to do too much, and that the story was all over the place. Sometimes, while watching this, I felt slightly crazy, like, wait, what, did I black out and miss something huge, coz this doesn’t make sense to me? 😆 Yes, Kim Min Jae was definitely one of Show’s stronger points, and I found myself feeling more for Se Joo than I’d expected. I’m curious to see Kim Min Jae take on bigger and meatier roles going forward; he can be interesting when he’s given the chance. 🙂
The 1st paragraph of jill’s post is almost exactly why I never even considered this one. I just knew the whole thing would end up totally “dilluted”. No way would a regular Korean network keep the original premise of the story. And they just had to add the lame love story. OCN is probably be the only one that would dare to do a proper adaptation. 😅
Lol! I would’ve never pegged this as your kind of show either, Timescout! You were very right to give this one a wide berth. OCN would definitely do a better job since it isn’t afraid to lean dark. I wonder if jTBC would do a better job too.. I have the impression that they’ve serving up some pretty solid shows in recent months.
Like you, I gave the show a chance (although I bailed before you did), but I suspected from the moment it was announced that it would be a disappointment–I had a hunch Kdramaland would water down the story and the characters too much. And that’s exactly what I thought happened with this drama. It tries to make the mains sympathetic, but it loses the whole spirit of the original in the process. In Dangerous Liaisons, the main characters are vicious, petty and amoral, and the story works because of that. They’re also sophisticated and world-weary. If you take away those qualities, you get Cruel Intentions. Bratty rich kids with a chip on their shoulder don’t make for as compelling a story, imo. But at least CI had a good cast and some sexytimes. This adaptation takes out the sexiness and the edginess and just leaves us with a mediocre story about confused, neglected teens.
I also wanted to see Woo Do Hwan in action, but he (and Joy) disappointed me with a lacklustre performance. Maybe it was hard for them because their characters were all over the place. Probably the only thing I was interested in after a few episodes was Se Joo’s story, but I just couldn’t bring myself to keep going with it for the sake of one character. The show ended up being another in a long line of overhyped dramas that didn’t quite deliver…
Well said, Jill!! *wild applause* I think you really hit the nail on the head. This version took out all the darker bits to vanilla-ify it for general audiences, but that was the very thing that caused this show to fail as hard as it did. The ratings for this were abysmal, so it looks like the very audience Show was contorting itself to please, wasn’t taking to it after all. Hopefully the networks learn something from this and do better next time 😛
PS: I now wish I’d bailed on this sooner, coz the few extra episodes I convinced myself to endure were far from worth it. 😅
“Vanilla-ify It” Exactly! May I borrow this phrase? I think I’ll be able to use it quite a bit in the future 😉
Lol! Yes of course, feel free to throw that phrase about – I just hope you don’t have TOO much reason to! 😉