Announcement: Upcoming Group Watches!

Thanks to everyone who voted in the poll; 413 votes were cast by 224 voters, and Nirvana in Fire came out on top, with 94 votes, woot!

As promised, I’ve also made my Editor’s Choice group watch picks – plural, because it’s going to take two shows, not just one, to match the 18 weeks that it will take to complete our Nirvana in Fire group watch!

As you can tell from the collage, I’ve chosen My Girlfriend is a Gumiho and Kill Me, Heal Me for our Editor’s Choice group watches. As a matter of interest, My Girlfriend is a Gumiho came in second in the poll, with 83 votes, while Kill Me, Heal Me came in fourth, with 72 votes.

The experiment

This is all a bit of an experiment, albeit a slightly different one than when we started the last round of group watches. First of all, I’ve never actually attempted to write detailed episode notes for an intricate epic like Nirvana In Fire before, and therefore, I feel (suitably) slightly nervous.

The second thing is, My Girlfriend is a Gumiho is quite vintage, as a 2010 drama. I’m hopeful that Show’s age won’t deter you guys from giving it a chance. I’m also a tiny bit worried that Show may not have aged well, since it’s been 11 years since it aired. 🥺😅 However, I do remember it to be highly enjoyable, so I’m pretty confident we’ll have a good time.

Lastly, this is the first time I’m actually forecasting ahead, for the group watch. Kill Me, Heal Me‘s group watch will only start in July! Still, I thought it would be helpful to let you guys know now rather than later, so that you can perhaps better plan your drama plates.

In the sections below, I outline for each show, the schedule, availability and reasons to watch. If you know of other streaming sources that I haven’t mentioned, or if you’re passionate about the shows and want to help stir up some excitement for them to draw in more group watchers, feel free to share in the comments below!

Feel free to join all 3 group watches (like me! 😉), if you are able, since I think all the shows are worthy watches, or, feel free to pick the one you prefer. Or, try each one out for a bit, and then settle on one. I’m just very happy that you guys are excited to do this. ❤️

PS: Remember that you can always 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.

*PEOPLE’S CHOICE*

Group Watch 1: Nirvana In Fire

Schedule: Wednesdays, starting 26 May 2021. Posts will go live at 8:00am, my time (GMT+8)

Commitment: 54 episodes. 3 eps per week = 18 weeks. (Episodes are about 40 minutes each, if you don’t count the opening and closing songs, which means the commitment is about 2 hours a week, just like the other shows).

In other words: We will discuss E1-3 next Wednesday, 26 May 2021.

Availability: Available for free on Viki (US and Europe) here. I recommend avoiding the English-dubbed version, which is also available, and watching it in Mandarin with English subs.

Show is also available on YouTube (here), in HD and subbed, in some regions. Be alert to episode numbers, though. Some episodes are geo-restricted in my region, which can be a pain. But if all episodes are available to you, that’s really cool.

Why you should watch:

Nirvana in Fire is one of the best – if not the best – drama that I have watched to date (and I have watched a LOT of dramas! 😅). It’s so good on every front. The cinematography is excellent, the writing is intricate and consistent, the acting is first-rate across a very expansive cast, and the sets and costumes are clearly the result of a lot of meticulous preparation.

It’s reputed to be so well done, that there are new details to pick up on every rewatch. So join us, even if you’ve already seen this one! 😉 It takes about 4 episodes (or thereabouts) to get your bearings, but I hope to help ease that process, with my episode notes.

Nirvana In Fire review is here.

Trailer:

Nirvana In Fire Open Threads:

I’ll be linking the Open Threads here, for easy reference. You’ll also be able to find the Open Thread links on my Full List page.

E1-3 | E4-6 | E7-9 | E10-12 | E13-15 | E16-18 | E19-21 | E22-24 | E25-27 | E28-30 | E31-33 | E34-36 | E37-39 | E40-42 | E43-45 | E46-48 | E49-51 | E52-54

*EDITOR’S CHOICE*

Group Watch 2: My Girlfriend is a Gumiho

Schedule: Saturdays, starting 29 May 2021. Posts will go live at 8:00am, my time (GMT+8)

Commitment: 16 episodes. 2 eps per week = 8 weeks.

In other words: We will discuss E1&2 next Saturday, 29 May 2021.

Availability: Available for free on iQIYI (here) and Viu (here). Also available on Viki (here), if you have Viki Pass Plus, and on Kocowa (here), if you’re on a paid subscription.

Why you should watch: 

I watched this when it first aired, and loved it. It’s really cute and funny, but also manages to be moving and heartfelt. I remember laughing out loud at my screen – and also, crying big fat tears near the end, because I was so moved. Lee Seung Gi is adorkably hapless, and Shin Min Ah is ethereal, beautiful and completely delightful.

I mentally rated this one an A when I watched it, back in the day before I’d even started the blog. I feel like this would be a lovely, light watch, to balance out all the thrillers that are out in Dramaland these days.

Trailer:

Unfortunately, due to Show’s age, I couldn’t find a decent trailer on YouTube, but you can check out a pretty cute (unsubbed) trailer on Asianwiki here.

My Girlfriend is a Gumiho Open Threads:

I’ll be linking the Open Threads here, for easy reference. You’ll also be able to find the Open Thread links on my Full List page.

E1&2 | E3&4 | E5&6 | E7&8 | E9&10 | E11&12 | E13&14 | E15&16

Group Watch 3: Kill Me, Heal Me

Schedule: AFTER the group watch for My Girlfriend is a Gumiho concludes. Saturdays, starting 24 July 2021. Posts will go live at 8:00am, my time (GMT+8)

Commitment: 20 episodes. 2 eps per week = 10 weeks.

In other words: We will discuss E1&2 on Saturday, 24 July 2021, after we finish our watch of My Girlfriend is a Gumiho.

Availability: Available for free on Viu (here). Also available on Kocowa (here) if you’re on a paid subscription, and on Viki (here), if you have Viki Pass Plus.

Why you should watch: 

Ji Sung is flippin’ FANTASTIC in this, managing to make his multiple personalities actually feel like easily distinct characters, sometimes just by changing his gaze. It’s quite remarkable to witness. Add on robust performances by the rest of the cast, and several thought-provoking themes around pain, healing and identity, and you’ve got yourself quite the gripping watch.

I mentally rated this one an A- when I watched it; I just never got around to writing it the review it deserves. I figure the group watch will give me a chance to get all of those thoughts out, while sharing the experience with you guys. ❤️

Trailer:

Kill Me, Heal Me Open Threads:

I’ll be linking the Open Threads here, for easy reference. You’ll also be able to find the Open Thread links on my Full List page.

E1&2 | E3&4 | E5&6 | E7&8 | E9&10 | E11&12 | E13&14 | E15&16 | E17&18 | E19&20

In closing

..That’s about it, really! Now that we’ve got our group watch shows selected, please go forth and enjoy your first couple of episodes – and remember to tune in for the Open Thread posts, going live next week! ❤️

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[…] Remember how we voted for our group watches 2 months ago, you guys? […]

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[…] Open Threads are listed here. […]

beez
3 months ago

– as long as we believe it! 😆

beez
3 months ago

I googled it. Embarrassed. 😖 I’ve never heard of it. I thought you were spell-pronouncing “jam” in an extended drawn out way – as in “THAT’S my jawm!” 😂
I need to remember the 20-30 years I’ve got on most of y’all so even if I was undercover cool at one time…

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
3 months ago
Reply to  beez

@Beez – 😂 We are still cool! 😎

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
3 months ago

@Beez – don’t doubt your cred yet. Your way of spelling is probably correct for your location. The way I spelled it is correct for where I live. Google it & you will see. Crazy word isn’t it? 🤣😂😅

beez
3 months ago

– 😂😂😂😂 you messed it up as soon as you said “I’m going to try to be cool” 😆 even before you misspelled “jawm”.

(Although, maybe “jawn” is some new slang that I’m not up on??? The self doubt is real, showing the cracks in my cool!) DARN IT, PHL1RXD! YOU’VE EXPOSED ME!

beez
3 months ago

@KFG I’m going to put this in spoilers in case KMHM is ever up again and wins a group watch

KMHM
Ji Sung was so committed to this character. So I wonder why he chose to wear pants under his female personality’s skirt? I’m not sure but somehow I think that made it even funnier. Just wondering if you heard any bts commentary on that? I’m just wondering if he had an aversion to full on wearing a skirt (naked knees)? 😆 (It’s hard to imagine he would since he wore the full on face makeup & lipstick.

Monitagirl
Monitagirl
3 months ago

Hi Fangurl!
I just stumbled across your blog a few days ago and feel so at home already. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your reviews (which I have wholeheartedly agreed with so far) and just meandering around your site.
I would love to join your watch along if that’s ok. I have chosen My Girlfriend is a Gumiho as I haven’t seen that one yet. Edit to add…I bought one of your t-shirts already. I saw the one with Healer on it and given that was my 1st ever Kdrama knew it was a sign. It arrived today and I love it.
Thanks for your blog. x

Last edited 3 months ago by Monitagirl
beez
3 months ago

@BE – I @DF L don’t think that’s a spoiler at all because I bet everybody that watches will be thinking exactly that! I know that I sure was on my first watch and after watching a few minutes of Ep1 today, I was thinking

now THIS is a spoiler 😉
that was poorly done because since we only saw one eye of the person having the dream, the next person shown you would think to be the main character (who fell). It wasn’t until my third attempt to watch this show (getting past the first episode) that I realized the second character that we see is not the main character. And if your comment is a spoiler, I think it will be hella helpful in processing what’s going on for first-time watchers!

For anyone who sneaked a peak at my spoiler, rest assured that’s the one of only two missteps I can think of for the entire series. And the other “misstep” is more a sin of omission and is just my opinion of how I thought things should’ve been done on a production point. Other than that, the show is stellar!

Last edited 3 months ago by beez
CP
CP
3 months ago

I’m joining for the NIF group watch; it will be my first group watch and I’m so excited!

A lot of comments from people who haven’t finished the show above noted they had started it but was deterred by the sheer volume of characters and general confusion in the first couple episodes. I believe in some of the other threads (maybe the NIF review post?) someone had posted a very good family tree/ character map. If it isn’t too much work, you could consider including it in every reveiw, but blanking out the characters who haven’t been introduced yet or any relationships that are spoilers, and then slowly update the tree with the new characters / relationships as they are revealed? I think having an understanding of the characters/ their relationships is half the battle when it comes to understanding this show (when I watched the show the 2nd time I had Wikipedia open with the list of characters for reference the entire time and found it helped significantly) – anyway, you dont’ have to do this if it’s too much work, it’s just a suggestion!

phl1rxd
3 months ago
Reply to  kfangurl

Hi Fangurl!

My personal list has a majority of the characters with a brief overview. Most of my “Other Peeps” category list is already by order of appearance. I can offer you some options:

I can try to update the rest by order of appearance and throw that up in a separate comment for each of your posts trying very hard to not give too much info. or
I can work on this today and tonight and send it to you to do whatever you would like, such as edit if you think there is too much info.or
Doing nothing is also an option.

Whatever is easier for you as just writing the posts is already a monumental task.

The Wiki fan site ‘people list’ is very comprehensive but it has a lot of big spoilers interspersed in their people descriptions (and has book based info as well) and is best viewed in later episodes.

The hardest thing is not dropping too much info on the characters, places and events so that everyone gets the ‘wow’ when it hits and hits and hits…

Those hits are thrilling and everyone should experience them. How much is too much or not enough? That is the question.

Just let me know if there is anything I can do for you. I am just so happy and grateful that you are doing this. When this is all over we can all go bungee jumping in the Yandang Mountains! 🙄🙄🙄

Sorry for all the edits!

j3ffc
3 months ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

Just to add my 2 won as (1) a first-time watcher and (2) someone who has been voted “most likely to be confused about characters when watching a new drama”. I’m three episodes in to NIF (keeping pace w/ the watch) and so far I’m doing OK. I recognize that there are a lot of characters and that relationships will be better known as we go along and accept that I’ll be confused part of the time, but I trust the creative team to let things be known at their own pace. I am also confident that kfangurl, through her recaps and comments, and the rest of you through your comments and occasional heads up, will help me get through this. I appreciate that many of you are willing to help with study aids of various types and I will gratefully use them if you provide them, but my main request would be to please not take on so much work that you impede your own enjoyment of the group watch. Or, alternatively, if doing it makes you happy – then have at it! Either way, we will get through this. And I’m definitely down for that bungee jumping….

phl1rxd
3 months ago
Reply to  j3ffc

Fangurl – I’m your gal – I am working on the character and places list per episode with minimum info – already up to E3.

No biggie Jeff – I have plenty of time and tons of notes that I have taken over the years. Perfect excuse for my nerdiness.

Wowsers FG – a new plug-in!

  1. I love the spoiler option. That is great! The format options are great! I am doing the happy dance over here as I was copying my comments in code from one of my WP sites and pasting here but your CSS did not allow a lot of what I wanted to display. Yes – a code option!!
  2. I will gladly exchange this new editing ability for the auto WP comment display.

Cowabunga!

beez
3 months ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

@My Girl Phl1rxd- slow your roll, homegirl! As your fellow FLERD, we can’t let them see the total nerdy package! “Cowabunga”. You’re giving away the entire rodeo. You gotta let ’em think we’ve got some cool. (That’s how we convert them and take over.) 😉 😂😂😂😂😂

phl1rxd
3 months ago
Reply to  beez

@Beez – That made me laugh! I am going to try to be cool…here I go….

NIF is my jawn.

🤣 😅 😂

P.S. – one of the cool thing about FG’s new plug in is that I got your above comment sent directly to my email in a very cool package.

Daggone it – I did not men to throw the rose in there – just getting my bearings.

891000876_wfWhf-Th.jpg
Last edited 3 months ago by phl1rxd
beez
3 months ago
Reply to  kfangurl

– I’m thanking you too! Without you, I would’ve never watched NIF in the first place! I’m excited that your notes will be available. Now I’ve got to get back to watching so I’m ready for the thread when it opens Although, I might watch *after* the thread is up and a couple of days after folks have commented so that when I watch I’ll notice things as they happen instead of having to go back to an episode to see what people are talking about. (And I’m watching the dubbed version only because 1) since I’ve already watched with subs, this time I can really watch the acting this time without my eyes always on the bottom of the screen; and 2) the dubbing seems to be different from when I tried to watch the first time years ago and the voice acting sounded soooo horrible!

BE
BE
3 months ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

I am wondering about whether a comment like this

spoiler? initial scene
I am wondering whether that battle scene at the beginning, whatever that is, is essential backstory or a dream that the character whose face is mostly hidden by his hair has dreamed? Both? What if so do they have to do with one another? And who is that guy?

phrased as such would be considered a spoiler.

Last edited 3 months ago by BE
snow
3 months ago

I have seen only My Girlfriend is a Gumiho and loved it. I have seen it twice but that was quite early during 2011-2013.

Both MGIAG and Kill Me Heal Me are also available on Neflix.

snow
3 months ago
Reply to  snow

*Netflix

(I can’t see the edit button, has it been removed?)

beez
3 months ago
Reply to  kfangurl

I see it! And I’m on my phone in mobile view. I’m gong to come back to edit this after switching to desktop view just to see if the switch changes what I can see/do.

No options were there when I switched to desktop view (this is Chrome on my phone). I had to switch back to mobile view to edit and to see the editing options.

One really good thing about the changes is immediately after confronting it trashes me right back to my comment. Before, (even before the ability to edit had vanished, I rarely edited because it had stopped taking me directly back to my comment once I hit “save” (or “post/send”). It was too difficult in really long threads to even find my comment so I just left it whatever it might say. So hopefully my auto correct never said anything rude or insulting to anyone. 🙏

Last edited 3 months ago by beez
j3ffc
3 months ago
Reply to  snow

Just to clarify, unfortunately none of the shows are available on Netflix in the US.

snow
3 months ago
Reply to  j3ffc

Oh I didn’t know that. But the dramas are there on Netflix in my region.

manukajoe
3 months ago
Reply to  snow

Since you mentioned it I discovered Gumiho is also on Netlfix in New Zealand (I have a downloaded one anyway). I have NIF on Youtube.

j3ffc
3 months ago
Reply to  snow

Yes, just wanted to let others know who might be looking about this particular geo-restrictions. What’s important is that you can get the programs!

phl1rxd
3 months ago

I am excited that in 4 days Fangurl will start the Nirvana in Fire group watch. Thank you Fangurl for undertaking this for us. To get us all in the mood let’s go to the Yandang Mountains in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province where it all begins. See you all on the other side of her 1st post…

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2ne7mUmcg8&w=560&h=315%5D

BE
BE
3 months ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

pretty cool

Elaine Phua
Elaine Phua
3 months ago

Hi kfangurl! I’m excited about the grou pwatch choices! I just wanted to pop in to say, please don’t feel stressed about the NIF episode notes! Don’t fel you have to “live up” to some imagined standard. Anyway the purpose of your episode notes is just to give us a starting point for conversation in the comments section! So just feel free to give impressionistic comments. The whole point is to stir up conversation 🙂

phl1rxd
3 months ago
Reply to  kfangurl

Hi Fangurl – no one does it better than you! No worries. The scope of this drama is intimidating but with your analytical smarts, sweet grace and top notch skills you will make short work of it.

joonminfan
joonminfan
3 months ago

I’m so excited about Nirvana in Fire! I’ve always wanted to watch it but got intimidated in the first 10 min by the sheer number of characters and the episode count. I will join in the group watch if I can! Anyway, I also wanted to recommend a show to you, kfangurl, seeing how you loved “In Time With You” like me, I thought you might you might enjoy “Adventure of the Ring”. I believe it’s only on HBO for now. Strongly recommended!

Gloglo
3 months ago

Looking forward to this! It will be my first ground watch on this site, so really excited about this and also interested in how different people will respond to these shows. I’m particularly excited about Nirvana on Fire.

Natalia
Natalia
3 months ago

Unfortunately, it seems that Nirvana on Fire will be a real struggle for me. I love the aesthetics, but so far I have not developed an interest for what the (complex!!) plot and I am still unable to tell who is who and what they are up to! I will try to watch ep. 3 too, but I am afraid I have not the attention span needed to go on with such a demanding show. I think I might switch to Gumiho after all – this one looks pretty easy to follow… Anyway, a clarification for my tired brains please: 8 am in GMT +8 is midnight in Greenwich time, which would mean 1 a.m. Central European Time?

Natalia
Natalia
3 months ago
Reply to  kfangurl

Hey K, thanks, it might help indeed if I have the notes when watching. Excellent suggestion!

Timescout
3 months ago

Mmmm… Nirvana in Fire. I watched some 10-15 episodes while it was airing but then along came Of Monks and Masters and got totally obsessed with it. I guess Monks is to me what Nirvana in Fire is to many others. 🙂 In the end I never managed to get back to NiF. So, I’ve been thinking that I might try to finally finish it with you guys. It’s just that I have the attention span of a gnat these days and I’m not sure if I have the stamina to stay the distance. 😀

Timescout
3 months ago
Reply to  kfangurl

Oh, my Monks Mania was back in… 2015, I believe, so I’ve well and truly finished it… twice. 😁 I’ll give NiF a go, but I can’t guarantee I’ll stick with it till the end. We’ll see, I guess. 😊

Timescout
3 months ago
Reply to  kfangurl

Ha, lack of subs has never stopped me from watching a drama I’m dead set on watching. 😉 Luckily Monks is quite ‘visual’ so you tend to get by even without understanding the language.

Timescout
3 months ago
Reply to  kfangurl

Sometimes it pays to be tanacious, I guess. 😀

Btw, going by the comments it seems that people tend to get confused with all these characters in NiF. Weeell, someone has made a nifty Character Guide. Might be helpful to some. (hope that link works the way it should)

Natalia
Natalia
3 months ago
Reply to  Timescout

❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ THANK YOU!

Timescout
3 months ago
Reply to  Natalia

You are welcome. 🙂

manukajoe
3 months ago
Reply to  Timescout

That is O for Orsome!

Geo
Geo
3 months ago
Reply to  Timescout

@Timescout: Where can one view Of Monks and Masters? I did a quick check of my usual sources but can’t seem to find it? Does it have a different, more well known title? Any show that can upstage NIF is worth looking into.

Timescout
3 months ago
Reply to  Geo

@Geo – It’s still available in YT, I believe, but you have to search with it’s Chinese title. Unfortunately Of Monks and Masters does not have subs, so it’s pretty much an unknown quantity to most of us linguistically challenged. I watched it raw and enjoyed the heck out of it. I don’t speak Chinese either. 😅 Still my fave Cdrama to date.

Geo
Geo
3 months ago
Reply to  Timescout

@Timescout: Thanks for the info. I may follow you in watching the Raw version on YT as I looked at the beginning of the first episode, I think, and it was intriguing. That takes a lot of courage and persistence to watch the Raw version as my knowledge of mandarin is close to zero but we’ll see.

Timescout
3 months ago
Reply to  Geo

@Geo – For me watching Monks was a very immersive experience. I was taking note on anything that might give me more info on what was going on; expressions, body language, visual cues, sounds… anything. Thankfully the director is very good, I loved his/her use of colour, light/shadow etc. Drama looks gorgeous. I also got quite a bit of help from an online pal, who sadly isn’t active anymore. Back in the day I did write couple of posts, that might be of help…. or not, mainly my own musings with some character descriptions and the likes. No plot spoilers. 🙂

phl1rxd
3 months ago
Reply to  Timescout

Hi Timescout – got a question for you.How would one go about getting a subber to work on that? Just curious. There are a few subbers with blogs who do great work – I am assuming unpaid work. I think you need a segmenter to break up the scenes? Would love to know your thoughts on this.

I also watched this raw as it is right up my alley – thank you a bunch for mentioning it. I really struggled though. Thanks for writing about it as well as that helped.

Timescout
3 months ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

I’m actually not sure. I guess one could ask a subber or a subbing group if they would be interested in taking up the drama. I know an online pal of mine once paid for a group to sub one of her fave cdramas but that was years ago. It’s hard work but most subbers do it for free. Since the emergence leagal drama sites, most independent subbers and subbing groups have mostly just disappeared, at least when it comes to kdramas and cdramas.

As for the process of subbing itself, I believe that if it’s just one person, he/she will do all the work themsleves: translating, writing, timing, QC etc. Very time consuming, especially timing (I’ve done that for my own usage and it can be a pain). Subbing groups have X amount of people who split the workload between themselves, ie there’s translator/translators, timer/timers and someone doing the QC. Some groups I’ve know of had main and sort of ‘specialist’ translators who had their own niche of knowleage. Larger groups (the likes of Viki) have segmenters as well.

phl1rxd
3 months ago
Reply to  Timescout

Many thanks for the info Timescout. 😍 I never thought of the legal aspect which is a big factor. I may reach out to a blogger whose work I admire. Maybe, if there are no legal ramifications [surely there must be], she can point me to someone who may be interested. Thanks the quick reply Timescout and thanks so much for mentioning this drama. I have your two posts bookmarked. 😆 I have to laugh at myself trying to watch it raw. I mostly stared at the main male lead who has such a fascinating face.

Cathy
Cathy
3 months ago

So excited about all three picks! I have been intimidated to start Nirvana in Fire due to its length and subject matter, so it will definitely help my understanding to do the group watch. I watched My Girlfriend is a Gumiho three months ago and smiled throughout the whole drama. I’ll watch again just to see Shin Min-ah’s dimples and Lee Seung-gi’s smitten gazes. Kill Me Heal Me sounds really interesting.

Thanks for all your hard work organizing these group watches and writing the episode notes, kfangurl!

Geo
Geo
3 months ago

It’s kind of ironic that while Dr Romantic and Money Flower were the subjects of the just concluded group watch, I was watching NIF and My Girlfriend is A Gumiho (a light show to offset NIF) and these shows are now the subject of the upcoming group watch. I’m in for a NIF re-watch as I’m sure I missed quite a few of the details and I’m looking for insights and answers from more knowledgeable viewers. I may also join the Gumiho group watch, if only to see Shin Min-ah again in a role she was born to play. I’ll see about KMHM when the time comes.

I’m at a loose end, drama wise, these days as my time is more constrained so I hope I can join both group watches. I’m steadfastly resisting starting any new shows so I don’t get side-tracked from the Group Watch, which is how I ended up missing Money Flower after idly starting NIF and then becoming consumed by it. I’ve watched a couple of Korean movies to fill my free time and I’m surprised how different they are from Kdramas in tone and focus on “dark” issues, not to mention the violence and nudity. One movie was really well done but still a little disturbing so I’m not sure how much I’ll watch these movies in future. Their biggest plus is the approximately 2 hour time commitment.

One hint for first time viewers of NIF (no spoiler) is to fast forward through the introduction to the episodes; the introduction is beautiful and really well done but it’s quite long so I just skipped it after seeing it once.

j3ffc
3 months ago
Reply to  Geo

I see what you mean about the intro to NIF, Geo. I, too, watched it once but in hopes of keeping up with the group watch will sacrifice it going forward. Which is had for me…I really like the opening sequences of shows. On that same subject, and again with no spoilers, it’s worth seeking out the opening sequence of My Girlfriend is a Gumiho just once b/c it really sets a fun retro vibe for the show. It’s not on Viki in the US but it is on Viu or Viki/Singapore (if you do the VPN thing (or live in Singapore!). I’ll continue looking for a video of it and post in the the first group watch for the show.

A general disappointment with Viki is that they often skip the opening sequences.

beez
3 months ago
Reply to  kfangurl

@Geo – Scandalmakers is a really cute movie starring Park Bo Young

beez
3 months ago
Reply to  kfangurl

@Geo – and I forgot to mention Mr. Zoo: The Missing VIP starting Lee Sung-Min

Geo
Geo
3 months ago
Reply to  beez

@KFG;@beez: Thanks for the movie recommendations. Scandal Makers looks light and fun and Pak Bo Young is a delight to watch so may view that next.

Trent
3 months ago
Reply to  Geo

@Geo. I just watched Scandal Makers last week, and it’s kind of a delight. Park Bo-young is young (around 18 when it was filmed, I believe), and hasn’t yet come into her full powers, so to speak, and also the role isn’t super-meaty. And it takes kind of a gauzy view of young single parenthood.

ALL THAT SAID, however, it’s light and fun and laugh out loud funny in spots, and it has some real heart to it. Definitely worth the time, IMO.

deliaerre
deliaerre
3 months ago

I am on board with you! although I may not have too much time to comment, I will read!

laos7
3 months ago

It’ll be my 3rd time trying to finish NIF, because I never managed to watch the last 4 episodes – I didn’t want the closure to something so perfect. FLAWLESS. Maybe the 3rd time is the charm? 😉

Like, seriously, it’s so goooooood. So, so good. I get goosebumps just thinking about it.

It’ll be my first time joining the group watch and I hope it’ll be lots of fun!

zuzubee123
3 months ago

I have never been a part of a group watch before but maybe this can be the push I need to FINALLY watch Nirvana on Fire. It’s been on my plan to watch list on MDL for ages and for some reason I just can’t get myself to dive in.

Natalia
Natalia
3 months ago

So, I ll try watching Nirvana with you. It will be my first ever Chinese drama. I usually avoid Cdramas because of how long they are! I hope I will be able to do this, although I am watching 5 more shows right now…

manukajoe
3 months ago
Reply to  Natalia

I’m learning Chinese and I’ve struggled to find C dramas that are worth watching. I recommend two: Someday or One Day (Taiwan 想见你) and Unrequited Love (China 暗恋:生橘淮南)

Natalia
Natalia
3 months ago
Reply to  manukajoe

Thank!
If Nirvana doesn’t knock me out, I will give them a try!
Oh, and congrats for learning a language that difficult… I have worked with Chinese colleagues for years, I am still unable to remember one single word!

manukajoe
3 months ago
Reply to  Natalia

I have just watched Ep 1-3 of Nirvana In Fire, and it’s not as bad as I feared. The first episode is a little confusing but it settles down after that.

manukajoe
3 months ago
Reply to  Natalia

And yeah, learning Chinese is hard! 😀 I can hold a simple conversation now, but boy it’s like learning 2 languages at once.

phl1rxd
3 months ago
Reply to  manukajoe

Good for you Joe! I am starting an online Mandarin class. I will say that watching CDramas helps. I am wishing us both luck!

manukajoe
3 months ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

I’m finding 1 on 1 tutoring on italki to be an amazingly good way to learn.

manukajoe
3 months ago
Reply to  Natalia

Oh and Victim’s Game is very good too. A short forensic drama (Taiwan).

phl1rxd
3 months ago
Reply to  manukajoe

Hi Joe – I enjoyed that drama as well. I thank my buddy Sean for that recommendation.

BE
BE
3 months ago

Looking forward to NIF, especially since I know how much heavy lifting will be going on by you, perhaps even some insight into Chinese phrases v. translations on the Viki, and phl1rxd. Will at least try the other two, and will probably be a bit less conversational as both will be first time watches for me, and I tend to be less analytical first time around.
Thanks so much K.

BE
BE
3 months ago
Reply to  kfangurl

@KFG I think the beginning episodes and those somewhere in the middle leg of show where it takes so many episodes to pull the train up to the top of the narrative mountain and then get it rolling downhill will be the real challenge. After that to the end show will probably carry itself for you.

BE
BE
3 months ago
Reply to  kfangurl

@KFG: Oh this will be right up your alleyway as a writer K. Rewatching ep 1 now, I see, this has more characters than the opening chapter of War and Peace. No wonder it was so confusing to begin with. Still I must say on the rewatch, there is something, like rereading Chapter 1 of War and Peace, delightful in seeing how this first episode is laying out the whole. Good luck K. This one will really enhance your ability to fly off the rooftops in that one-two-three from side to side motion.

manukajoe
3 months ago
Reply to  kfangurl

Also Ep 1 has some Chinese location subtitles that do not get translated. I felt it became much easier in Ep 2 once the action focused on one location for a while.

BE
BE
3 months ago
Reply to  manukajoe

This leads me to wonder if locations are mapped.

beez
3 months ago

@KFG – I’m definitely on board. You know I wanted a group watch of NIF so ✔ and Gumiho is cute ✔ and I’m really looking forward to rewatching KMHM ✔ because even though I watched it while it aired, it took me a while to warm up to it. Reason being is Hyun Bin was starting on his own multiple personality show at the same time and that’s where my initial interest lay. But once I accepted the big goose egg that drama was laying, then I began to pay closer attention to what Ji sung was doing. So it will be great to enter KMHM with fully focused attention from the start.

beez
3 months ago
Reply to  kfangurl

@KFG – I love Binnie but I doubt he could’ve done as much as Ji Sung did with the role in KMHM. Especially certain “aspects”. lol I didn’t know he turned down the role in KMHM. I hope the subject comes up again so we all can discuss what that role could never have been with Hyun bin playing it.

phl1rxd
3 months ago

Fangurl! All great picks. Excited about NIF. I started working on my comments 2 weeks ago. I have 59 pages of old and new notes and lists and I am only up to E17. Yikes I am such a NIF nerd.

I can help everyone with trivia, behind the scenes fun facts, poetry and music used as well as background detail from the novel to help everybody get a 360 degree view of NIF (without spoilers but with sources). I feel good that at least all of those notes I took every time I watched it has paid off. Somehow I do not feel so guilty about my ahem…attraction (who am I fooling – the correct word is addiction) to this drama.

KMHM is in my top 3 KDrama list. Gumiho is as cute as it can be. Something for everyone!

phl1rxd
3 months ago
Reply to  kfangurl

Hi Fangurl – I am not worthy to write for your blog. I sat there the other day and looked at my chicken scratch and just laughed. However, I have people places and things.lists without spoilers (other sites do have spoilers on their lists). Jeez – the lists are so darn long and still a work in progress. You do have the basic list I sent you a little while back (repost) and if you think it would help please feel free to use.

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
3 months ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

, your enthusiasm and expertise about NIF would be greatly appreciated by a confused but curious newbie like me.

phl1rxd
3 months ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

Snow Flower – got lots on the music for you.

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
3 months ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

Yay! I just composed a piano piece in Asian style:

https://soundcloud.com/snow_flower_piano/vermilion-silk

phl1rxd
3 months ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

Yay! I love that BE’s link inspired you as it did me. Big thanks BE!

I just listened to your composition and it is so beautiful Snow Flower! You are so talented and I am in awe of your skills.

Here is a little something for you both – in the novel Mei Chang Su is a gifted guqin musician. I wish that they had brought that into the drama! I would have loved to see that.

Here is an actual song that was played in the drama entitled The [Male] Phoenix Seeks His Mate.

BE
BE
3 months ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

@snow flower–lovely music
: it might be fun to imagine scenes in which we see him play as we go. It would certainly suit the character as portrayed by Hu Ge.

BE
BE
3 months ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

@Snow Flower: mood music. I suggest you check out the entire channel from which this selection derives: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-8AOJbdsDQ

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
3 months ago
Reply to  BE

Thank you, @BE! Just listened and subscribed.

beez
3 months ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

– I am ROARING laughing about your notes. In a good way. If not for your encouragement, I never would have gone back to finish NIF after I’d dropped it twice after episode 1.

phl1rxd
3 months ago
Reply to  beez

@Beez – here is how I am unworthy to post and only to comment (you will get this). On one of my notes I begin with the comment with “Its Malice in the Palace” and for another I began with “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble” so I am def not worthy.

beez
3 months ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

– no! You are SO worthy! I would love it if all your comments are in street vernacular to describe what’s going on!

MC
MC
3 months ago

Fangurl! You are truly dedicated! Can’t wait for these shows. Will do my best to join.

Can I ask, where are you watching NIF? I tried to search for it in the past and could only find it on non legal sites lol. Help a fellow Singaporean out please! 😀

manukajoe
3 months ago
Reply to  MC

I’ll be watching on Youtube. You should be able to get that in Singapore right?

manukajoe
3 months ago
Reply to  manukajoe

Watched Ep1-3 on Youtube last night (“China Zone” channel), HD is very nice. Had a audio glitch in Ep1 for a few minutes.

Korean Drama Fan
3 months ago

I haven’t seen My Girlfriend is a Gumiho in a long time and I think I was only able to see a few episodes and then I got busy, but let me tell you I do not think anybody else could have played Shin Min Ah’s part. She was ethereal, pretty, innocent, adorable and just a joy to watch. Anytime I see Lee Seung Gi in a drama he never disappoints. He is such a good actor. I need to watch the rest of the drama soon!

Drama Fan
3 months ago

I wrote a whole thing and it didn’t publish 🙁 I was saying, Im in for NIF (kinda nervous about it too) Im in for Gumiho (a lighhearted classic to balance things) Not joining KMHM cause I already watched it but, Its a fun one and Im sure the group will enjoy it 😊

Princess Jasmine
3 months ago

Looks like very interesting choices….but unfortunately have to miss out on Nirvana on Fire as I really need a break from historical dramas after Mr.Queen (which I am watching right now);
But I am definitely joining in for “Kill Me / Heal Me” and I am already putting it down on my calendar; It was on my watchlist and group watch might be the best way to enjoy this…take care and have a good day all of you

j3ffc
3 months ago

Kfangurl: I continue to be so impressed by your dedication to drama evaluation and education and am excited to participate in this new experiment. Thank you in advance.

NIF was no surprise, given the comments all along and your long-stated enthusiasm for the show, and I will say that I am looking forward to experiencing it in this context (as I am one who will definitely need the input of the wiser and more experienced members of our group for background and clarification).

I am also surprised by the other two halves of the bill, as I totally expected the Editor’s Choice to be Stranger. But I would have never chosen Kill Me, Heal Me on my own and that’s one of the beauties of this format. And Gumiho will be my first re-watch ever but I am totally on board because (1) I enjoyed it the first time through, (2) except for having watched it on a subpar site, which required VPN and a painfully slow connection and so watching it on Viki will be a dream, and (3) Shin Min-ah (yes, I’m a guy). I just watched it last year and, although there are vintage elements that have to be accounted for, I think applying the right lens will do the trick (I’ll say more when we get into it).

See you all on the flip-flop!

Kay
Kay
3 months ago

Oh wow! Count me as surprised that 2 of my all time favorite dramas (My Girlfriend is a Gumiho & Kill Me Heal Me) made the cut! And actually did quite well in the poll 🙂 You know my immense love for My Girlfriend is a Gumiho as my all time favorite drama. It’s still my number one even after having seen hundreds of dramas.

Now, I tend to like older dramas, so the whole aging aspect isn’t usually a problem for me, but I do think Gumiho holds up fairly well. It does feel like dramas of its time in terms of atmosphere and plot structure, but the comedy, adorable romance, and nice story hold up. Of course, it doesn’t have the same shiny and new super polished look of today’s dramas, but it still still looks decent. I hope some new fans will tune in to watch the magic that is Lee Seung Gi and Shin Min Ah in a truly fun and heartfelt drama 🙂

Drama Fan
3 months ago
Reply to  Kay

This is very encouraging 👍

Kay
Kay
3 months ago
Reply to  kfangurl

Yes, to celebrate I just had to watch a few parts of my fav episodes last night (although they’re practically all my favorite episode 😂 ). Definitely a bit retro in style, but still very nice. It’s a true rom-com in the sense that there is just an abundance of cute with the humorous interactions between Lee Seung Gi and Shin Min Ah firing almost non-stop. I don’t see many dramas that I feel pull off or even attempt that. Closest for me would be Shopping King Louie as most of their interactions were very fun and positive.

You can for sure count me in for the re-watch though. How could I possible turn down the kdrama that tops all kdramas? 😂😍😂

manukajoe
3 months ago
Reply to  Kay

Gumiho reminds me of Goblin, and also Tale of the Nine Tailed, which both have similar premises.

Kay
Kay
3 months ago
Reply to  manukajoe

Yes, they all have that engaging supernatural premise to them. My Girlfriend is a Gumiho is a lot fluffier though. More rom-com than melo. All great dramas for sure 🙂

Kay
Kay
3 months ago
Reply to  kfangurl

Same here! We’ll all be grinning from ear to ear with every face she makes. She is pure joy in this role 🙂

phl1rxd
3 months ago
Reply to  Kay

Hi Kay – I am hearing Lee Sun Hee sing Fox Rain in my head right now. 😂😆

🎵🎶 Dubirubiruraffa, Dubirubiruraffa, Dubirubiru, Dubirubiru🎵🎶

Kay
Kay
3 months ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

Yes!!!! 😍 Ever since I watched some of my favorite scenes the other night Fox Rain has been playing in my head too! Perfection, hehe ❤

Eta Wardana
3 months ago

Really excited! This will be my first ever time watching a Chinese drama and I’m kind of nervous haha.

Trent
3 months ago

Yaay!! I’m so excited! I voted for two of the three (Nirvana, KMHM), and am definitely excited about the third as well (Gumiho! My very first Shin Min-ah and Lee Seung-gi experience!!).

Can’t wait to dig in with everyone…

manukajoe
3 months ago

Wah I am so excited! And starting very soon! Lucky for me I am already halfway through Gumiho, so I have a bit of breathing space, but I have to be careful not to spoil anything! Thanks to all!