This Month On Patreon: May 2021

Hi everyone! Time flies, doesn’t it? It’s already time for my May edition of This Month On Patreon!

If you missed my inaugural April post, this is a new feature that I’ve decided to start, thanks to feedback from Mahima, who shared with me that she hadn’t realized that I have a Patreon page, until I’d mentioned it in my recent post on the Ji Soo bullying controversy.

That inspired me to start a monthly post on:

1. what’s happening on Patreon in a given month,

2. exactly when you can expect to see various Patreon-related reviews in the month,

3. what shows I’m considering for coverage on Patreon, to replace shows that have completed their cycles, and

4. what you can expect, as a patron.

I hope you guys find this helpful &/or informative, and I hope you’ll consider supporting me on Patreon! ❤️

Click here to go directly to my Patreon page!

Why I’m on Patreon

My work has been on hold for more than a year now, because of the pandemic, and this is my way of trying to create a viable alternative source of income. As it stands right now, it’s murky and uncertain, whether work can resume for me, and if so, when that might happen.

I love this blog and if I had to switch careers, I would most likely have to quit blogging (those of you who’ve blogged before, or are still blogging now, would know what I mean when I say that blogging takes up a LOT of time 😅). Rather than quit the blog, I decided to try blogging full-time, and that’s where Patreon – and everyone who values what I do on this blog – comes in.

I am very grateful for all the support that has already been given (thank you to all my existing patrons, you guys are the best! 😘). At the same time, the amount raised each month isn’t quite enough to cover my living expenses, and is still quite far from being a proper income, which is why I do hope that my Patreon page will be able to continue growing.

If you value the work that I do here on the blog, please consider supporting my work on Patreon. ❤️

Shows currently covered on Patreon + their tiers

Adblocker (US$1): Scripting Your Destiny**

Early Access (US$5): +Beyond Evil

Early Access Plus (US$10): +Oh! Master

VIP (US$15): +Sisyphus: The Myth

VVIP (US$20): +Navillera

Ultimate (US$25): +Vincenzo

* Just to be clear, the tier benefits are cumulative, so if you sign up for the Ultimate tier, you wouldn’t only receive episode notes for Vincenzo, you’d receive episodes notes for all the other shows as well!

* I publish one set of episode notes each day, so each show’s episode notes will publish once in 5 days, since I currently cover 5 shows on Patreon. For example, Vincenzo E12 will post today (1 May 2021), and Vincenzo E13 will post in another 5 days, on 6 May 2021.

* For an example of episode notes, they will look much like my group watch episode notes, except without screenshots. You can go here and here, for examples of episode notes. 😊

Scripting Your Destiny episode notes

** Currently, I have a special little bonus going on, where my Adblocker tier (and therefore, also all other patrons on other tiers) receive episode notes for Scripting Your Destiny. I didn’t want to upset my 5-day cycle, and so these notes are published on the same days as the notes for Beyond Evil.

** As a small glimpse into the Patreon experience, I’ve made the episode notes for the first 3 episodes of Scripting Your Destiny available to everyone; I hope you guys enjoy! You can check out those notes here: E1, E2 and E3.

** E4 notes for Scripting Your Destiny will be published on 5 May 2021. If you’d like to join me for the ride, you can do so by signing up for the Adblocker tier. 😊

Where to watch:

You can check out Scripting Your Destiny on iQIYI here, or on Viki here, with Viki Pass Standard.

If you’re geo-restricted, you can use Opera’s free, built-in, unlimited VPN to get around geo-restrictions. A tutorial on that can be found here, and an article on why it’s not illegal to use a VPN to access legal streaming content can be found here.

When Patreon-related reviews will post this month

This month, only 1 of the shows I’m covering on Patreon will finish its cycle. Here’s when you can expect to see the review:

Sisyphus: 9 May 2021

Do stay tuned for that! 😃

Of course, this just means that June is going to be more reviews-heavy, as more shows finish their Patreon cycles then. 😅

Replacement shows I’m considering

This isn’t yet cast in stone, because I’d need to check out the shows to make sure I like them enough to cover them on Patreon, but here are the ones that I’m considering:

Sisyphus: possibly to be replaced by Youth Of May

Other back-up shows I have in mind (in case the shortlisted show doesn’t make my cut): Taxi Driver, Undercover, Daebak Real Estate (Sell Your Haunted House).

If you have other great shows to suggest, do let me know in the comments! Please do remember to bear in mind their airing schedules, though.. for example, I really wish I could include Move To Heaven as one of the replacement shows, but it only starts airing on 14 May 2021.

Patreon Highlights

If you’re new to my Patreon page, here are a handful of things you might like to know:

1. ALL tiers receive my episode 1 notes for any show that I’m covering on Patreon. 

Therefore, if you’re curious about my Vincenzo notes, but aren’t sure whether you’d like them enough to want to join the Ultimate tier, joining the US$1 Adblock tier will give you immediate access to Vincenzo E1 notes. After this, if you wish to upgrade to the Ultimate tier, Patreon would simply charge you the difference, while immediately unlocking all the posts that your new tier entitles you to. That’s exactly what Michelle did, and I’m happy to report that she’s been happy with her decision and experience. 😃

2. The Ultimate tier also receives E1 notes for all shows that I’m watching, INCLUDING shows that I’m NOT covering on Patreon.

This has included E1 notes for shows like True Beauty, Lovestruck in the City, Sweet Home, Shanai Marriage Honey (Japan), Must You Go?, Love In Between (China), A Thousand Goodnights (Taiwan) and Zombie Detective. I call these posts Early Access Extras, and as a patron on the Ultimate tier, on average, you can expect to see about 2 of these posts each month.

3. You can interact with me and with one another, on Patreon.

There is a comment feature on Patreon, so much like here on the blog, you’d be able to comment on posts and share your thoughts with me and with other patrons. There is also a private message function, so you’d be able to message me directly on Patreon, if there’s something you’d like to talk with me about, but you feel isn’t relevant to the posts on Patreon themselves.

Aside from a web browser, you can also access my Patreon posts and messages on the Patreon app. You can find the Patreon app on Apple’s app store here, or on Google Play here.

4. You can feel safe to move between tiers at any time.

Because you are charged upfront on the 1st of each month, that tier’s privileges will continue to be open to you, even if you choose to move down a tier sometime during the month.

For example, if you were on the Early Access Plus tier, and on the 15th of the month, you decided that you’d like to move down one tier, to the Early Access Tier, you can make that change right away – but because you’ve already paid for Early Access Plus privileges, those will remain open to you until the end of the month. And then you will be charged your new tier rate, at the beginning of the following month.

If you choose to upgrade your tier, you can also do so at any time, and you will simply be charged the difference, eg, US$5, if you’re moving from the Early Access tier, to the Early Access Plus tier, and the additional privileges will be immediately unlocked for you as well. You will then be charged the new rate on the 1st of the following month.

Please let me know if this explanation isn’t clear! 😅

Thank you!

..And that’s about it, for this month’s updates! If you have suggestions for other things that you’d like me to include in these monthly update posts, do let me know in the comments, and I’ll see what I can do, to incorporate them into future posts. I aim to publish future update posts on the first of each month.

Thanks for reading, thanks for your support, and thank you for being here! Big hugs to ya! 🥰❤️😘

Once again, you can find my Patreon page by clicking on this cute lil icon below:

Thank you for your love and support! ❤️

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beez
2 months ago

@BE – I totally empathize.

BE
BE
2 months ago

@KFG–I am starting–one ep in–Bossam, new sageuk on Viki, hook poor widower/father live by his wits and athletic skills guy in cahoots with partner in crime mistakenly on one of their kidnap a widow for bucks and take her to a rich, paying interested suitor (some go willingly and even get in their bridal get ups for such) kidnaps the daughter of King Gwang Hae (just before Injo–The Fortress, Chuno–same King depicted in Crowned Clown, historically a then underated, tragic fellow who these days seems pretty good) and a concubine from the Lee Yangban family compound where she is living as a sequestered widow, the daughter in law of Lee Il Cheom (played by perennial sageuk villain, Lee Jae Yong), one of those conniving, power hungry ministers that populate such stories. First episode, while sporting nothing new, goes down pretty easily.
I will send reports.

Trent
2 months ago
Reply to  BE

@BE This is the same technique as demonstrated by lecherous painter on senior jumo in Chuno, yes?

Viki keeps throwing up the splash screen for this, and I might be tempted to give it a once over, except I’m a little (okay, a lot) overextended on dramas I’m following at the moment…

BE
BE
2 months ago
Reply to  Trent

Yes same bag them technique, which show says was a thing after late sixteenth C Japanese invasion in which there were many women widowed by the invasion and older men interested as “buyers”, and it appears as with chuno, poor men engaged in this kind of behavior to support themselves, albeit when I first googled “bossam” it led me to a kind of Korean pulled pork to be eaten in a lettuce wrap (probably originally cabbage) with sauces and side dishes…well, on the side. Maybe the food name would derive from the lettuce wrap is like the bag and the woman inside like the roasted meat, however coarse that connection is.
My situation is such–my back is a mess and so I am not able to be as active as I ordinarily would be–I seem to spend more time in K Drama land than I would ordinarily. There are a couple of dramas that I really would like to see once they appear on screen, but for now I am checking out things others here have mentioned and following my own nose.
I am kind of in a starting new ones phase, and while it is hard to tell if this one is anything special, early on seems pretty straightforward, with requisite number of sympathetic and antipathetic characters, I tend to like sageuks and am often pickier when it comes to dramas in contemporary settings, which I find I often drop after three or four episodes.
And after Sisyphus, I am not in the mood to hook into something I do not like after say four episodes. Too early with Bossom to tell anything more than story moves along and acting seems okay.

j3ffc
2 months ago
Reply to  BE

BE – sorry to hear about your back. I hope it improves and that your drama watching helps take your mind off of it.

beez
2 months ago
Reply to  j3ffc

@BE – YES. I meant to ask you about your back but real life interrupted and I hit “post” on my comment. Is this a new injury? Or is the back injury how you got into watching Kdramas in the first place? Is your injury permanent or do you anticipate a recovery?

beez
2 months ago
Reply to  BE

@BE – Thanks. I added it to my shortlist

BE
BE
2 months ago
Reply to  BE

PS actually widower does not accurately describe our protagonist, but if you are hooked in, you will find out he distrusts beautiful women for a reason.

beez
2 months ago
Reply to  BE

@BE – Never trust a big butt and a smile.” *Bell, Biv Devoe

Kay
Kay
2 months ago

Lots of interesting stuff going on over on Patreon 🙂 I really hope you’re able to get enough support to make a career of the blog. I certainly know how much time goes into it, hehe. And you do amazing work! 🙂

Kay
Kay
2 months ago
Reply to  kfangurl

Haha, same! We definitely have to sacrifice some actual drama hours to write about them, but writing about them is its own great experience too 😊

beez
2 months ago

@j3ffc (Although for some reason, while my email says I’m responding to j3ffc, WordPress says I’m responding to somebody who’s screenname is “Anonymous” shrug)

Did you respond in the wrong thread to me? Or did WordPress twist things up? (It’s okay to tell me if I’m the one who’s turned around and all mixed up. Wouldn’t be the first time and certainly won’t… 😆)

j3ffc
2 months ago
Reply to  beez

I think it came out in this thread below your question, but it was just to identify OMG as Oh My Ghost…..hope you can find this one.

beez
2 months ago
Reply to  j3ffc

@j3ffc – it was actually a Money Flower comment that ended up in this thread. Then a second email followed with the same text but this time in the correct Money Flower thread. I just figured you’d realized it and corrected it by re-posting in the right thread. If you didn’t, then Word Press was having a brain fart. 😆

beez
2 months ago
Reply to  j3ffc

While we’re on the subject, if you guys don’t access kfg’s site through your email, how do you keep up with all the comments? If I try to read on the web site, some comments do appear directly below who the person is responding to, but sometimes the comments are at the very beginning of the entire page of comments, and sometimes wedged between others’ comments. Does the web site “ping” you or give you some sort of signal indicator of a new comment and where on the page it appears?

j3ffc
2 months ago
Reply to  beez

Ah yes, that one was my fault. I put it in the wrong place and then moved it to the right thread. I do follow largely on email, which is why I often post stupid things just to get myself in the thread 😉.

Trent
2 months ago
Reply to  beez

@beez I’m kind of a hybrid; I get notice of new comments through email (and usually read them in the email; like j3ffc said, that means I have to make some sort of comment to new threads to set up email notices for that thread), but then I usually go to the actual webpage to reply to something with a follow up comment.

It so happens that since I get email notice of new posts from KFG, and also because she usually puts up new group watch open thread posts at around 5 pm my time (PS/DT), which is right around when I’m finishing up work and have some free time, so y’all generally get stuck with my blatherings as one of the first comments on the open thread.

BE
BE
2 months ago
Reply to  beez

@ beez: I hate to say this, but I just now discovered the notify me of new comments via email option. In the past I have just gone nuts thumbing through old posts. Yuk. And folks must wonder why I make so many typos, yuk, my poor old man’s eyes.

phl1rxd
2 months ago
Reply to  beez

@Beez –

FWIW – To see comments on any one of FG’s post I have to first comment. There is a box to click if I want to see all comments that subsequently occur for that particular post. If I do not click the box before I submit my comment I will not see any other comments unless they reply directly to my comment. Before FG upgraded the site there was an option to see everything. I was on that plan until I saw how many email Fangurl actually got in one day and it was a tremendous amount.

So once I comment and select that box I will then see every comment fly into my inbox. If I want to reply to that comment I click at the very top of the email on the word ‘commented’ in this line (for example – BE ‘commented’ on This Month On Patreon: May 2021 and it brings me directly to that exact comment and not to the bottom of the page). If you click the ‘Reply’ at the end of the email it takes you to the bottom of the post (you cannot see who you are replying to) and that may be why you are having problems with comments being nested improperly. If you click ‘Comments’ at the bottom of the email it takes you to the latest top comment on that post. Try clicking all three places I just mentioned and you will see what I am saying.

I do not know if I helped or made it worse. I hope I helped.

I never use my phone and always use my PC because I move at the speed of a turtle when I comment. So slow that I often get logged out of my WP account. 🐢🐢🐢

beez
2 months ago

– I keep seeing you guys talking about a drama called “OMG”. At first I thought “What drama is this that I’ve never heard of?” Not that I’ve heard of every single drama in existence, but that title stands out so I’m sure I would have heard something about it. And the way you guys are saying how awesome it is, I would’ve come across someone mentioning it. So I searched “OMG” on AsianWiki with no results. Are you guys talking about a western show maybe?

j3ffc
2 months ago
Reply to  beez

Sorry, Beez, I started using that in a conversation about Oh My Ghost(ess). One of my early faves.

beez
2 months ago
Reply to  j3ffc

@j3ffc – Ahhhh noggin clunk I did see you use that earlier but I had context for it with the mention of Park Bo young, etc. Just reading from my email only shows your current comment and the one that you’re responding to. Now I remember.

Trent
2 months ago
Reply to  beez

@beez Sorry, beez, that was just lazy shorthand for Oh My Ghost (my first Park Bo-yeong encounter!).

beez
2 months ago
Reply to  Trent

@Trent – No, it’s fine! We all abbreviate these titles and actors’ names. I just couldn’t follow that time. When I lose the topic in the emails, I do try to find the conversation on the actual web site. But sometimes Word Press scatters stuff so much or others’ comments get in between so…

phl1rxd
2 months ago

Hi Fangurl – I just want to say that I am totally enjoying your Patreon posts. I have started a few of the dramas you have covered and was not disappointed. You have a gift for breaking down all the elements of a drama, not just what is seen but what is felt by the viewers. The posts are a gift! Love your Patreon and I would love for more folks to be able to enjoy the delicate drama dissections you do.

Andy Mejias
2 months ago

I did not either. Nice to know.

beez
2 months ago

@lfangurl – it royally blows my mind how busy you are. 🤕 when I can’t seem to stick to my much, much, smaller schedule at all!

BE
BE
2 months ago
Reply to  beez

So agree, albeit I bet beez in your heyday, you put in the hours.

beez
2 months ago
Reply to  BE

@BE – if you mean work in real life, all while eventually being a single mom, then hecky yeah! If you mean my Kdrama watching and hanging out on discussion blogs – then heck yeah, that too! An excessive amount. A LOT! A WHOLE LOT! BUT that was all fun with no demands to meet the needs of the masses like Kfangurl has to do.

BE
BE
2 months ago
Reply to  beez

@beez: I meant work. KFG is a hard working person–and having been a critic on the side, but not a blogger AND patreonteer with an international following responding both in the blog and patreon site but via email–and I also having had a career in responding to other people’s writing, following her these days, even knowing this is her passion, I find not only the quantity of her output astonishing, but the quality as well.
What we do is a hobby here. I do think discussion blogs can be wonderful, but also some are inevitably toxic; KFG’s managing of this site, her friendly, sometimes corrective as such in a very subtle manner, tolerant, not to mention well organized running of her site must demand also along with being a rare talent, an enormous amount of time investment. Talk about a diverse group of followers!
And still, I can imagine you were in your own profession a hard working and thoughtful person/ The single parent thing…lately I have been trying to remember how I was able to do what I was able to do when my kids were little (and they only spent a few months a year with me). I must have been a different person, someone out of a superhero comic book or something. I just cannot imagine how the eff I did it. My oldest daughter was a full time single mom, who managed to pull herself up by the bootstraps to the point she has become a hospital foundation supervisor all the while, and I am simply stunned by her, but also witness to the almost crushing stress she has had in doing so. Heck yeah.

phl1rxd
2 months ago
Reply to  BE

BE – being a single Mom is so difficult. I raised two children alone so I empathize with her. You are so correct about the stress. My best wishes for her journey!

phl1rxd
2 months ago
Reply to  beez

@Beez – Yes ma’am. Fangurl has been on fire 🔥🔥 the last year. I seriously do not know how she stays so organized. The quality of reviews has remained top notch as well. It is fascinating to see how she dissects a drama in Patreon.

Shahz
Shahz
3 months ago

So another shout out for Sell you Haunted house. I am really enjoying it. Also Doom at your service is one I would be really interested in for similar reasons to Trent I really like Park Bo Young. I saw her first in Strong Girl and although the show had very many faults she was adorable as in fact was the ml.

And similar to Sean I have watched Undercover on the BBC. So highly unlikely to watch the K version but what I will say is that it is a great show and you will have a wealth of material to unpack.

Interesting you are watching 1000 nights . I thought finally a TW show that I could get to grips with but I have abandoned it midway as I lost interest in it when the travel element stopped. I probably need to return.

beez
2 months ago
Reply to  Shahz

@Park Bo young fans – I enjoyed her so much in the movie Scandal Makers https://asianwiki.com/Scandal_Makers And that’s really the only time that I’ve liked Cha Tae-Hyun

Shahz
Shahz
2 months ago
Reply to  beez

@beez. Thank you so much for sharing I will take a look.

Shahz
Shahz
2 months ago
Reply to  kfangurl

I might revisit when I have more time on my hands. It does feel like an love letter to Taiwan and loved the father.
Sell your haunted house isn’t ground breaking but it is entertaining and episodes fly by.

seankfletcher
3 months ago

Well, KFG, I am going to give a big, big plug for Sell Your Haunted House, because it is truly daebak/awesome! and Jang Na Ra is back to her very best and showing that other side to her re her action capabilities and sternness (in a fun way). It is also a who’s who of support and guest actors and for phl’s benefit Ahn Kil Kang is the baddie CEO in this one (and very smooth at playing the role too)!

As much as I like Taxi Driver and Law School (for now), Sell Your Haunted House goes above and beyond in the entertainment stakes.

I am looking forward to your review on Sisyphus for a whole range of reasons!

Yes, Scripting Your Destiny is a fun little watch. There should be more of these little gems.

As for Undercover, I am in two minds as it is based on the BBC show, so I am familiar with the story. However, I am interested to see how they will change it up. I might drop in on Move to Heaven – just depends, but it looks interesting.

Apart from that I have a couple of really good jdramas on the go and more than a few cdramas (of which I drop more than I watch). I am still making my way through Hospital Playlist.

Trent
2 months ago
Reply to  seankfletcher

Okay, enough people have said good things about Sell Your Haunted House that I thought I’d give the first ep. a try, and it was entertaining enough to keep me going on to the second ep, at least. I haven’t seen either of the leads before, but Nara is impressive so far, and Jung Yong-hwa is likewise very fun (plus, let’s just say that totally gratuitous pool scene…that’s a smokin’ side of beefcake, let’s be honest here). Are we going to have a noona romance on our hands? I wouldn’t bet against it…

phl1rxd
2 months ago
Reply to  Trent

Trent – you cracked me up with the pool scene comment! Thanks for that laugh.🤣🤣🤣🤣

Trent
2 months ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

Well, I mean, but where was the lie? Dude was cut; his six pack had a six pack!

(I got to the part in I think ep. 2 where the contract as a medium has a chastity clause that specifies he must remain “chaste”, and had a good chuckle envisioning all the good times a decent script writer is going to have with that down the road…)

BE
BE
2 months ago
Reply to  Trent

@Trent: Ahn Kil Kang was Jak Kwi, the mountain outlaw, in Chuno.

Trent
2 months ago
Reply to  BE

Yeah, I realized that after about the second time he appeared on screen, and I was like…wait, I know I’ve seen that dude in something before… (turns out he was also the gatekeeper to the Samdocheon in Tale of the Nine-tailed, so I had recently seen him in two different productions). Anyway, he’s great fun to watch in everything I’ve seen him in so far…

Also, the show (Sell Your Haunted House) continues to impress. I’m usually take it or leave it on occult-leaning shows, but this has been actually interesting so far, and Nara really is killing it as the goth-adjacent, no-nonsense, take-no-prisoners exorcist.

BE
BE
2 months ago
Reply to  Trent

@Trent: best thing I have seen him in was Queen Seondeok, in which he plays a very twisted, tortured swordsman and henchman assassin for show’s central villain.

phl1rxd
2 months ago
Reply to  seankfletcher

Sean – you got my number 🤣😅😂 with that observation on my beloved Ahn Kil Kang. Ha! I too am loving Sell Your Haunted House and our girl Na Ra is kicking it (literally and figuratively). If I may make an observation – I love her with black hair. Kang Mal-Geum stands out in her role as capable Hwa-Jung and I am curious to see what is beyond all that cool. Fun Fact – my son and I both have that exact same necklace and we both keep it hanging off our cars’ rear view mirrors. We call it our protection. So I laughed when I saw what they were using one for In Bum. 😊😊 This drama is right up my alley!

Move to Heaven looks to be a perfect fit for me and the trailer moved me to tears. More boxes of tissues to buy after Navillera, which was a pure treasure.

I got through 2 episodes of Law School and was so confused I have not went back to it. I almost dropped it in E1 (or 2?) when the law student looked at the law professor (Lee Jung Eun) who was losing her baby and bleeding out all over the hospital bed and he said “Do you mind if I take a look?”. I was like what the heck did he just say to his professor? Let me know if it gets better and I will go back to it. I just could not get into the groove of this drama. Am I missing something? Are these real scenes? Are these flashbacks? I can’t even tell.

My bet is that you very much enjoyed Sisyphus. Somewhere out there in the Internet there is a dissertation on the time travel FAQs of this drama. I read it in the first few weeks after it aired, said “Sean would be interested in reading this science paper” and darn it, I promptly lost the bookmark. I found it at MDL and my guess is that you have already found and read it. If I ever find it again I will post the link here. I believe that you would enjoy it. I myself found it fascinating.

I did a binge watch of Scripting and I did enjoy it as well. It was cute. I too was called to Hospital Playlist and plan to watch that as soon as my new, hot CDrama, The Long Ballad, finishes airing. I am taken by this drama. Not by Reba, but by NIF’s little Fei Liu all grown up. Leo Wu is really quite good in this and I hope he takes bigger and more challenging roles as there is a lot behind that smile. Also the second leads have such chemistry I just cannot stop watching it. I am even watching newly released episodes raw. I even read the available manhua chapters.

Now, life would be perfect if some dear soul would sub Minning Town and Of Monks and Masters…

seankfletcher
2 months ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

Lol re AKK 😂 I was thinking the same thing with Na Ra’s hair, phl! That is a great fun fact regarding the necklace. I was wondering whether they were a made prop or whether they were purchased from somewhere else – now we know. Kang Mal-Geum is great in Haunted and I liked her very much as the mysterious manager in Please Don’t Date Him.

I have yet to watch Navillera. I have nearly pushed the start button a few times.

With Law School, it is interesting for me because of the training I conduct on the law here in Australia. So, I have been able to do a complete compare and contrast regarding key legal concepts and types of law. It does have very good moments. Yes, the whole baby thing was a more than a touch overdone. Turns out he was a former medical student. There are flashbacks, and it appears to be loosely based on How To Get Away WIth Murder, although it is like a complete re-write and is more “moral” than the American show.

I did enjoy Sisyphus, although it disappeared into a wormhole of its own up until the last episode. The first six episodes were awesome and I liked the dystopian scenes in it. I did read that time travel paper. It was a really good update on current thinking regarding what may be possible.

I will have a look at the Long Ballard. I have started watching The Imperial Coroner. It has something engaging about it.

I had a quick look re Mining Town (The Love of Mountains and Seas) and watched the first five minutes. It is on New Hit Drama (You Tube). It has both subs and is dubbed. I am going to keep watching the first episode – it drew me right in. I have drawn a blank on Of Monks and Monsters for now 😊

BE
BE
2 months ago
Reply to  seankfletcher

: When the time comes I will try to summarize the difference between quantum theory, via Feynman, that is behavior of particles at the quantum level, and Newtonian physics, behavior of material objects on our corporeal level, and why Sisyphus was so effing bogus from start to finish, not to mention Camus’ essay on the Myth of Sisyphus and the myth itself, which also is why Sisyphus was so effing bogus from start to finish, a maddening bunch of hokum pokum dressed up as something intellectual when in fact it was really a tv serial that should have been a game, which would have made it much more interesting–ie, the player gets to be Han Tae Sul or Seo Hae trying to prevent an apocolypse, and we get to put up with why the adversaries can’t shoot straight rather than the cheesy explanation for that given in show. And the real flaw at its heart: although it was a story rife with possibilities for parodic humor, it remained throughout stodgily humorless.

Trent
2 months ago
Reply to  BE

I took the title “Sisyphus” to be a fairly crude signalling device: meant to alert us to the fact that the narrative was recursive and iterative (this becomes explicit in later episodes, which try to make clear that the cycle of events are a loop that has happened before, with slight changes each time). I don’t think there’s really anything in the way of deeper mythic resonance beyond that, to be honest.

And of course it’s hokum, but let’s be honest, any time loop or time travel story is hokum on some level, it’s just the more it resorts to techno-babble by throwing in cool-sounding buzzwords like “quantum,” etc. the more the bones of the con stand revealed.

Alluding here to your comment re: Sisyphus on another thread, about its internal logic and coherence: my overall view on the show is that it was composed of discrete chunks and episodes of story that held together on their own, but the connective tissue stitching the chunks together signally failed to do so in a way that was consistent and made sense, even internally. To borrow a military metaphor, it had a number of (more-or-less) tactical successes, embedded in an overall strategic failure.

This is just my own reaction, obviously, but the discrete narrative chunks, along with the relatively high production values, made it reasonably watchable through to the end.

(Other manifest flaws, besides the overall incoherence: as you’ve alluded several times, the main villain organization (Control bureau) was incompetent. The romance between the main characters was uninteresting, unbelievable, and uncompelling (Park Shin-hye stuck once again in a Memories of the Alhambra situation: “we’ve got two mega-stars, we must perforce have them in a romance” (just swap Cho Seung-woo in for Hyun Bin)). The after-effects of what was apparently a very localized “apocalypse” seemed wildly unbelievable given a couple moments of thought. Etc. etc.)

BE
BE
2 months ago
Reply to  Trent

@I agree with your analysis, and certainly feel for Park Shin Hye, who can enact half of an OTP, but was doomed in this, but for these two things: the first is the repeated signaling of the phrase; “the myth” and the name in the title. They could have called it Groundhog Day if a recursive loop not a myth concerning the issue of human consciousness and free will and its famous commentary by Albert Camus were all that was there there. And the repeated citation of Stephen Hawking on the nature of the future also intimated a high brow rationale. They could have just made up the name of a fictional physicist, but Hawking was specifically referenced.
What is sad, the single important idea posited by show–humans are ultimately too selfish and self absorbed in the end to make the requisite sacrifices to keep our species as a whole from destroying ourselves even when we ought to know better, thus making us vulnerable to being gaslighted by manipulative, power hungry, already powerful and very wealthy, sociopathic individuals–got buried in show’s excessive fruit loop cereal bowl.
It employed good actors, not always well, and not always well casted, a few good characters, and it had a kinetic pace, which was slightly addictive. It had a mystery to be unraveled which kept people past a certain point on a hook, which is why its finish was especially egregious in its ridiculous suppositions, one in particular that did not hold up by show’s own rules for a happily ever after kick to it, or proffered the old “it was all a dream” suppository, take your pick.
Time travel if it is used well as a narrative strategy simply placed with no more than a few rules to it written therein can be a useful one in contemplating history, memory, the future, and imaginative speculation. But if as in Sisyphus the rules to it are not only so numerous they are hard to follow, if they are based on some sort of bastardization of actual science, or if they are simply given up on two thirds the way through, so that the problem of simultaneity, which first has rules to it, and later do not, are blasted into smithereens, then it simply is impossible for many watchers to go along with it.

Trent
2 months ago
Reply to  BE

@BE This all fair commentary, and I don’t really disagree with any of it.

Re: the actors, I actually like Park Shin-hye, so I am happy to be in the middle of Pinocchio at the moment, where she is not only playing a fun, relatable character, but is also in a far more organic, believable romance.

And Cho Seung-woo seems fine as an actor, I just think getting stuck with the role of Han Tae-seul, stereotypical assh*le genius engineer who realizes the error of his selfish ways, was kind of a dead end. It actually increased my desire to check out Stranger, to see what he can do in a (from what I can tell) widely praised role, playing opposite someone with the acting chops of Bae Doona.

BE
BE
2 months ago
Reply to  Trent

@Trent: I am glad so many folks here recommended Pinocchio, which has as far fetched a gimmick at its core as time travel, and has that old corruption + cheobol + government vs. honest and righteous actors suffering from some childhood trauma resulting from said corruption, et al, theme to it. I am glad because seeing Park Shin-Hye play an otp role with a fella more her age (and someone who does not in the least also look or act like her father) with whom she has an abiding relationship that has grown over time and shared awakening experiences gave me some understanding for her passionate following.
Insofar as Cho Seung-Woo is concerned, in a way his believability in Sisyphus is even more compromised by his role in Stranger, which has a very odd premise, in which he is largely asexual, with an actual physical condition rendering him like Sherlock Holmes, more a rational thinker than a romantic personality. Thus seeing him in Sisyphus with his particular set of acting quirks, I found it hard to think of him as the socalled playboy previous to show’s action or some sort of romantic sizzle to the much younger appearing character played by Park Shin Hye.
Bae Doona is wonderful in Stranger, and albeit I am male, thus perhaps biased in that I think she is the real leading character, even if he has much more screen time, even if he is the stranger to whom the English title refers. (I probably will not touch another thing he is in with a Camus title attached, yuk. Save me, save me from a K Drama titled The Plague in which he plays lead as small town doctor.) Both her character and her skill as an ensemble actor humanizes his character considerably. In both seasons, I watched the show to watch her work.

phl1rxd
2 months ago
Reply to  seankfletcher

Hey there Sean –

Navillera is a tearjerker. I just could not stop crying as the drama was so moving. To say it is beautiful is an understatement. It brought back a lot of memories of my father.

Thanks for the wrap on Law School. Still on the fence to pick back up or leave it as dropped.

I just knew you would find and read that dissertation on Sisyphus. I really did bookmark to save for you once FG posts on the drama. I thought of you right away whikle I was reading it and said to myself “Self – Sean would like this. Bookmark this baby now!”. Then Poof! It went the way of the rest of ‘I don’t remember what I did with it’ items.

My love of The Long Ballad has a lot to do with Leo Wu. He has been in the business for so long and I like to keep up with what he is doing plus I genuinely like the drama. Gets a little wonky in places but overall a good drama.

I started The Imperial Coroner about an hour before you posted the above. So, I am blown away by the tight script, the superb casting, the tempo of the drama and the actual detective story. This was a surprise I definitely did not see coming. It is better than Ancient Detective which i enjoyed immensely. What a cutie-patootie Chu Chu is!! I am loving this one Sean. It is right up my alley and has all the feels of Medical Examiner Dr. Qin, plus some. The head eunuch alone is a wonder to behold in action in his room.

BIG thanks for the Minning Town link. I watched the first two episodes and was impressed by the acting and the story. It is a very good ensemble cast and I was drawn into the characters pretty quickly. Plus it is also based on a true story so that makes it more appealing to me.

Of Monks and Masters is an un-subbed Chinese drama that I actually watched raw. It is beautifully shot. Many thanks to Timescout and her blog A Touch of Drama for turning me onto this hidden gem. Since I signed up for a Mandarin language course maybe in two years I will be able to watch again and not need subs. 🤣😂😅 I am definitely going to give it my best shot.

BE
BE
2 months ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

: I loved Navillera for its economy and its sentiments. As an old fella I am especially vulnerable to these shows soppy with old person problems. I hope you have seen Dear My Family, a kind of Navillera X 5.

Trent
2 months ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

Re: Law School, I don’t want to advocate one way or the other on whether you (or anyone) should pick it (back) up, because I know the way everyone reacts to and engages with shows is different. So make your choice with my blessing! (I know, not like you needed it or anything…)

That said, at the half-way point (the 8th episode came out today, and I just watched it a couple hours ago), I am still seriously loving it quite a lot. Part of that is that I myself went to law school, and even though it was in a different time and a different country, there are still enough similarities to be compelling to me (the hyper-focus on parsing of statutes and legal meaning as an integral part of the plot is like catnip).

Part of it is the characters are really interesting and the actors playing them are doing a great job (man, I really hope some career opportunities open up for Ryu Hye-young, because I seriously love watching her act, and I think she gets even more range to run here than as Song Bo-ra in Reply 1988 (where I also loved her)).

Part of it is the twisty nature of the plot so far, which I’m sure some would parse as “disorganized” or “lacking coherence,” but to me has been seriously cracky as far as compelling watching. Going hand in hand with that is the central whodunnit, which still hasn’t been solved, although we have cycled through several potential suspects.

One content warning I feel I should mention: the latest twist to surface in the last episode or two deals with relationship abuse and (the threat of) revenge porn.

So anyway, sorry, just wanted to get my thoughts out about it at the midway point. I don’t expect others to be into to, but I’m super enjoying it so far.

beez
2 months ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

– The Lonnnnnnng Ballad is killing me. I’m up to episode 13 (18 according to Viki but that’s because they don’t have an autoplay off option on my tv app and it likes to run while I’m asleep). Anyway, there’s not enough screen time for Leo Woo (is that his name?) And the couple only run into each other for 3 minutes per episode. Please tell me it (three romamce) gets better because I’m on the verge of dropping it.

beez
2 months ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

– help me out here, please, with Long Slow Ballad. So I’m in the first part of episode 14 and Little A’dou has been captured. Big Fat Turd guy brings him to the city gate and Princess/Commander Li’s men hold her back from opening the gate because they say Big Fatty and his men are too close to the gate and will storm their way in thus sacrificing the entire city in an effort to save one boy. Meanwhile they execute Little A’dou who managed to cry out that no reinforcements are coming. Then Leo Wu and his men are coming and yet Princess/Commander and her men run down and open the gate to engage in battle even though there are even more opposing troops now? Did I misunderstand sunbathing? What am I missing?

phl1rxd
2 months ago
Reply to  beez

@Beez – you crack me right up. 🤣😂😅 Did you recognize that Big Fat Turd guy? He is Baili QI from NIF – the one fighter the three little kids beat up. Lil’ Bit Fei Liu has grown well wouldn’t you say? HA! I agree the scene with Adou was like “Cry me a river”. 😭😭😭

So it is long and the romance is sloooow and most of the feelz are with the second leads. I am up to date on it.

I am staying with it for Leo Wu. I personally like the slow burn of the romance. I had a few issues with the way the script is handling FL’s character – she can be really hard nosed. But otherwise it is a good fit for me. I am also watching the Imperial Coroner which is quite good. You may want to drop TLB and check out TIC – you may like it better.

Some dramas just do not work – no biggie! Onward and upward Beez!

beez
2 months ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

– I wondered if he was the same actor from NIF but didn’t want to assume there’s only one overweight actor in China …

I can take the slow burn as long as I know the pay off I’d coming. (Hey, I watched Embroidery & the Sword. They were married 2 years before they had sex! Talk about a slow burn.)

I don’t know if I’ll check out Imperial Coroner because I’ve got Bossam dangling out the corner of my eye.

beez
2 months ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

– well I’m up to episode 20 and it has gotten better. But I must say if I were running an awards event, this show would get Worst Wigs. I just can’t take any of them seriously as I can’t stop the distraction of the bad wigs. The only wig that’s at all decent is on Tang Uncle Betrayer.

phl1rxd
2 months ago
Reply to  beez

@Beez – Yes, and there was more hair in that show than at the World of Wigs store. It had to have taken them hours to do their hair every day. Think about having to do all those braids. Yikes!

I did finish TLB but got sick of the ‘lady in red’ and the FL did not excite me at all. The author never finished the original work so the scriptwriter really had free rein to do whatever. The one thing I really did enjoy was Leo Wu.

The Imperial Coroner is running circles around The Long Ballad and is leaving it in the dust. It may be become one of my top 3 of the year. But – I love detective dramas so it right up my alley.

beez
2 months ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

– The Long Ballad stand out character (for me) – Moo jin!

beez
2 months ago
Reply to  seankfletcher

@seank – I love Ahn Kil Kang too! I might just check out this haunted house thingee show (even though I dislike horror/occult). I can take or leave Jang Nara but she did get me to enjoy the totally makjang Last Empress so…

seankfletcher
2 months ago
Reply to  beez

@beez – Yes, if I see AKK, I have to check out the show. Jang Na Ra is acting her socks off in this one and handing out an acting lesson at the same time. If you do get to watch some of it, I think you will enjoy it. There is a great rationale behind each story.

phl1rxd
2 months ago
Reply to  beez

@Beez – It is like Zombie Detective in that you normally would not watch the show, but once you do you are like “This is good”.

beez
2 months ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

Zombie Detective was like a guilty pleasure

phl1rxd
2 months ago
Reply to  beez

@Beez – Amen to that! Choi Jin-Hyuk – that’s all I have to say,

beez
2 months ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

– funny. Before Zombie Detective, I didn’t care for him very much.

phl1rxd
2 months ago
Reply to  beez

@Beez – I know exactly what you are referring to. He has gotten better. I just love that voice.

beez
2 months ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

– I’m glad you know what I mean because a lot of the time, I don’t know myself. 😆 It’s usually just the way an actor/actress makes me feel.

Trent
3 months ago

Aww, I’m sad we won’t get your thoughts on Law School! I guess I’m the only one that’s into it…

I’ve been enjoying Taxi Driver more than I thought I would through six episodes, to be honest. I thought I’d give the first episode a try and then I kept being entertained, and now here we are. It’s not particularly deep, and in general I’m wary about vigilante-glorifying shows, but if you are able to keep your “this is escapist fare; do not apply in real life” lens firmly in place…like I said, fairly entertaining to see some very sleazy, villainous characters get their comeuppance.

Had you given any thought to Doom at Your Service? It looks like it begins its run on May 10th, which would just slip into your open slot? I think I might at least check it out for an episode or two. I don’t know that I would normally be that interested, but only recently had my first Park Bo-young encounter, when I watched Oh My Ghost several weeks ago, and well…let’s just say I’m more interested now.

Youth of May…I might also give a look. I understand it’s probably required watching for hard-core Lee Do-hyun fans, which fair enough. I really liked Go Min-si in Sweet Home (and Love Alarm, although her character was a total pill), so something for everyone!

j3ffc
2 months ago
Reply to  Trent

Oooh, OMG was my second drama and I just loved it at the time. Not only did you get Park Bo-young and Kim Seul-gi, both of whom are great just by themselves (plus my first exposure to Shin Hye-sun!!!), but you got the extra layer of PB-y PLAYING KS-g, which was just delicious. Plus I thought it stuck the ending pretty darn well. If I didn’t have like a million dramas all queued up already, I’d rewatch that one in a minute.

beez
2 months ago
Reply to  j3ffc

@j3ffc – I need more Kim Seulgi in my life!

Trent
2 months ago
Reply to  beez

@beez I just watched Splash Splash Love just because she was in it (and it was so short, so no big time commitment), so I sympathize!

beez
2 months ago
Reply to  Trent

@Trent – have you seen her in Queen of the Ring? Super cute (her and the story)

Shahz
Shahz
2 months ago
Reply to  beez

@beez she is adorable

phl1rxd
2 months ago
Reply to  beez

@Beez – Yes indeedy do – I love her.

Trent
2 months ago
Reply to  j3ffc

I know, it was a little bit weird getting Shin Hye-sun in a secondary role, after just seeing her in both Mr Queen and Thirty But Seventeen.

I am not generally that swayed by aegyo (it can be super annoying, in fact, if not done just right), but good gracious if Park Bo-young didn’t bring just nuclear levels of aegyo in OMG and kind of blow me away. Kind of wild how she switched between such totally different personalities. Really quite a fun fluffy little drama…and instantly converted me into a PBY fan.

(I didn’t really ever have much intention of seeing Abyss, it doesn’t appear to have done all that well, but on the other hand, it’s got PBY, Ahn Hyo-seop, and Han So-hee, all of whom I’ve really liked recently, so…)

j3ffc
2 months ago
Reply to  Trent

I’ve been hesitant to watch Abyss for the reason you mention but maybe Doom will do better. I liked Park Bo-young in the film On Your Wedding Day (she convincingly played quite an age range in that) and she was great in Werewolf Boy (her first big feature, I think). I’m a little more than half-way through Mr. Queen and hopefully will have time to check out Doom or Sell soon.

beez
2 months ago
Reply to  j3ffc

@j3ffc – Nope. not PBY’s first movie at all. Far from it. Whenever you want to know such things you can go here 😉 https://asianwiki.com/Park_Bo-Young

j3ffc
2 months ago
Reply to  beez

Thanks, Beez! I had totally forgotten about Scandal Maker, which I had also liked.

phl1rxd
2 months ago
Reply to  Trent

@Trent – OMG is a real classic.

@Trent @ j3ffc – I dropped Abyss around E4. It just was not clicking for me and I faulted the writing not the actors.

Trent
2 months ago
Reply to  kfangurl

Yeah, I realized after I went and looked at the dates again that they don’t quite align this time. I’m going to see what vibe the first couple eps give off, although as noted, there’s a high chance that the powerful gravitational field that is Park Bo-young awesomeness will render other issues moot….

I assume the new patreon pick will be Youth of May? I checked out the first couple eps and was more interested/engaged than I expected, to be honest. I have liked Go Min-si in previous projects, but I’m finding her kind of stunning here. There are several shots with she and Lee Do-hyun where the cinematography is just breathtaking. Looking forward to your thoughts.