This Month On Patreon: July 2021

Hi everyone! It’s already time for my July edition of This Month On Patreon! Can you believe we are now halfway through 2021?!? 🤯

This is my 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

Early Access (US$5): +Beyond Evil

Early Access Plus (US$10): +Doom At Your Service

VIP (US$15): +Youth Of May

VVIP (US$20): +Move To Heaven

Ultimate (US$25): +Racket Boys

* 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 Racket Boys, 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, Move To Heaven E6 will post today (1 July 2021), and Move To Heaven E7 will post in another 5 days, on 6 July 2021.

* For an actual example of episode notes, you can go here. 😊 It’s my E1 notes for She Would Never Know, a show which I loved, which I hope more folks would give a try. If you haven’t watched it, and your drama taste is like mine, please consider checking it out!

When Patreon-related reviews will post this month

This month, 3 of the shows I’m covering on Patreon will finish their cycles. Here’s when you can expect to see the reviews:

Youth Of May: 3 July 2021

Beyond Evil: 4 July 2021

Move To Heaven: 21 July 2021

Do stay tuned for those! 😃

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:

Youth Of May: possibly to be replaced by My Roommate is a Gumiho

Beyond Evil: possibly to be replaced by Monthly Magazine Home

Move To Heaven: possibly to be replaced by Hospital Playlist 2

Other back-up shows I have in mind (in case the shortlisted show doesn’t make my cut): Taxi Driver, Mine, Bossam.

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 start on Hospital Playlist 2 earlier, but Show’s once a week airing schedule means that if I started on it earlier (as a replacement for Youth Of May, for example), I’d run out of episodes to cover quite quickly, because my 5-day cycle goes faster than Show’s 7-day cycle.

Also, I would have liked to include You Are My Spring as one of the replacement shows, like for Youth Of May or Beyond Evil, but it only starts airing on 5 July 2021. I’ll definitely be putting it into the pool of shows for August, though!

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 Racket Boys 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 Racket Boys 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 with Vincenzo, and I’m happy to report that it worked out really well! 😃

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), Zombie Detective, Here’s My Plan and Hello, Me!. 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! 😅

What about one-time contributions?

If you prefer, you can also support the blog through easy one-time contributions by clicking on this other cute lil icon below.

I’m told that you don’t need to have a Paypal account in order to do so, but if that changes, or is different in your region, a Paypal account is pretty easy to set up; there are no sign-up fees involved, and you don’t have to keep a balance in it, unless you actually want to. You can choose to link a bank account, a debit card, or a credit card, to facilitate your contribution.

Click here to go directly to my Paypal.Me page!

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
16 days ago

@Sean – ohhhhhh. That. Yeah.

beez
21 days ago

@Sean – in sorry but “the kdrama industry jumping at its own shadow earlier this year…” ???? Are you possibly referring to productions bring delayed whenever someone tested positive for covid19? If not that, then what?

Sean
21 days ago
Reply to  beez

@beez, my comment was to do with how some productions were impacted by immense criticism for using certain actors and “historically inaccurate” portrayals of events and key figures. The fallout from this is far from over, I think.

beez
21 days ago

@Sean – please tell me the “obvious reasons” that I just can’t find anything that addicts me the way Kdrama used to????

I did enjoy Mad For Each Other. Just when I was becoming annoyed with FL’s over the top reactions, they showed us why and after that I was all in.

Sean
21 days ago
Reply to  beez

@beez, yes – that is part of it. It’s like a perfect storm of impacts that have lead to a “viewing bubble,” at least for me right now, which I have found is longer than any bubbles in the past. Such impacts include: changes to scheduling (some shows have been consigned to the viewing grave yard and so there are delays in subbing as a result), experimentation with only showing kdramas at one episode per week (which isn’t proving to be popular), the type of stories being aired at the moment, the kdrama industry jumping at its own shadow earlier this year, viewer ratings (there have been more than a few bombs, possibly because of the impacts I have mentioned above), some pandemic impacts, and spiralling production costs.

Netflix, in my view, has been quick to capitalise on this bubble, when you look at its very long production lead time re kdramas (if this wasn’t happening, there would be a much bigger bubble, as the long lead time helped smooth out the impact of the pandemic on the kdrama industry through launching shows it had already completed, on-time) and in terms of how it is gobbling up shows in any case.

Have I overthought any of this? Maybe. But, when you sift through stuff, even the tiniest crumbs (which is what I am prone to do, and which is sometimes a curse), certain conclusions start to jump out at you 😂

One show I am going to have to do a test run on is Revolutionary Sisters (a long run weekender). On some sites it has a very low rating, yet in SK the viewer ratings are through the roof (30%+), so three times Hospital Playlist 2 and Penthouse 3.

With Mad for Each Other, I can’t imagine anyone else playing the FL. She made the role her own. Even the “mother hens” were delightful 😊

beez
1 hour ago
Reply to  Sean

@Sean – I must say that although I feel a bit off kilter with shows like Hospital Playlist airing once a week, I recognize that that is just my dislike of change. I’ve been a proponent for Kdramas moving to one episode a week for safety and health reasons. Although I wonder if it really makes a difference for the cast and crew of Hospital Playlist because of the length of its episodes.

Carulhein
Carulhein
22 days ago

.

Last edited 22 days ago by Carulhein
Shree
Shree
23 days ago

Do you plan on checking out Devil Judge? It stars Ji Sung in the title role, and I heard on the podcast that you are fond of him, so I was curious if you were going to watch it. I really like him too and I am so excited for the first episode, airing on TVN July 3.

Shahz
Shahz
23 days ago

So I really tried and I mean really like my Roommate is Gumiho as Jang Ki-yong is so handsome in this🔥. But I couldn’t get past episode 2 despite his charms. I thought FL was too cartoonish and didn’t appeal to me at all I felt she was poorly directed rather than being rubbish (if that makes sense) and the humour didn’t land with me at all.

Taxi driver looks really interesting and after Beyond Evil I am happy to follow the hype! As for Hospital Playlist 2, it as cute, riveting and comforting as ever .

You are my spring is definitely on my list. So I may hang fire until you bring it to Patreon.

Mine also might be fun?! I planned to check out Monthly magazine but from people’s comments here it might not be that great. And I have to say the trailers didn’t hugely excite me as the story looked a bit forced.

Intrigued to see what you land on!

Leslie
22 days ago
Reply to  Shahz

I had the same feeling about FL/Hyeri in the first couple of episodes, but her character does calm down as show goes on. It reminded me of how I felt about Hwang Jung Eum in Kill Me, Heal Me. I almost dropped Show because of her OTT delivery in early episodes, but she, too, became less cartoonish. Meanwhile, Jang Ki Yong continues to be swoony…

Shahz
Shahz
22 days ago
Reply to  Leslie

Oh Leslie, you are tempting me to revisit!

Carulhein
Carulhein
22 days ago
Reply to  Leslie

I know! He is just amazing. And still watching show as episodes come out. Still enjoying it.

Carulhein
Carulhein
22 days ago
Reply to  Carulhein

.

Last edited 22 days ago by Carulhein
BE
BE
24 days ago

So I do not really understand the show cycle, but it strikes me after a good first few months of the year, summer seems like it has less going on, and then in autumn programming will pick up again. Is it typical for certain seasons to have better program runs?

Carulhein
Carulhein
24 days ago

Hi Kfangurl. Please please try At a distance Spring is green. The ratings are abysmal, but the show is awesome!!! All the main characters are so intriguing and just draw you in. I even went on Viki yesterday and watch new episode without subtitles until I told myself to get a grip because I don’t know what the hell they’re saying 😁😁

Sean
24 days ago

Sadly, kfangurl, I dropped Monthly Magazine Home after three episodes. It has a great theme, has a great cast, but I felt the actors were struggling to make it work. However, you (and others) may have a different view. My Roommate as a Gumiho, doesn’t appeal to me either(Dame Holly had some comments to make which more or less reinforced my thinking), nor does Mine (although it looks nice and glossy 😂)

I think my absolute favourite this year is Mad For Each Other (Just completed – 30 minute episodes that pack an emotional and funny punch all at the same time) and I am enjoying On The Verge of Insanity (eps 3 and 4 this week), where the seasoned actors reign supreme and which is also a who’s who of the older supporting actors.

I think as I have said before, Taxi Driver and Bossam are worth an investigative look 😊

Tbh, I am just about fully subscribed at the minute watching cdramas and jdoramas. I feel kdramaland is barren and lacking its normal wide-ranging selection (for obvious reasons I think). The shows I really want to see are still some time off yet.

Carulhein
Carulhein
24 days ago
Reply to  Sean

I’ve been watching My roommate is a gumiho and really like it. I don’t think it’s groundbreaking, but I’ve not been bored for one second and even the second couple is sooo cool!! Cutest second couple I’ve ever seen. Not to detract from main couple of course 😁

Sean
23 days ago
Reply to  Carulhein

I really like your enthusiasm, and it is the perfect foil to my thoughts on whether to watch MRIAG or not 😉 I have said this on the KFG blog before: I am not allowed to use the tv remote at home as my viewing choices are not always popular!

Carulhein
Carulhein
24 days ago
Reply to  Sean

I’m still watching Monthly Magazine Home. I have some ambiguous feelings about it, but I love Kim Ji Suk, so I will endure a bit longer because I don’t hate the show. 😁. He’s softening up as a character and while the real estate theme was a bit too much in your face at the start, I feel that they are getting into the soul of the show now and I’m starting to like it.

Sean
23 days ago
Reply to  Carulhein

I think it’s great you are continuing on with your watch and you are starting to like it, Carulhein 😊 There were definitely some elements I found interesting such as writing an article from a bottom line perspective instead of one that is warm and cosy, but it ended up for me being that glossy magazine you find in the doctor’s surgery that had pages missing (“Stop” was used a bit too much, cutting off further interaction) and articles that were at odds with itself (e.g. he is a master realtor, but his vblog isn’t popular). Perhaps I needed to be more patient 😂

Carulhein
Carulhein
22 days ago
Reply to  Sean

Perhaps there just isn’t anything else on at the moment. 😁 But I sympathise with your remote problem. My family is not into kdrama at all, so I’ve been voted out of any remote control decision making. 🤣

Last edited 22 days ago by Carulhein
Sean
22 days ago
Reply to  kfangurl

Yes, I found the early episodes of Taxi very tough to watch, initially. Some of it was too close to the bone. You do need to be in a good headspace and, that’s right, some of it was based on real events. This is explained in later episodes. Perhaps you should “park” it for now and not leave the meter running 😜

There is a delightful little dog in Mad for Each Other, I am sure you will find him cute too.

BE
BE
19 days ago
Reply to  Sean

During the down times, I am always trying to find oldies I missed that are widely recommended. Inre Bossum, I know a lot of folks really like it, and it scratched my sageuk itch for a few episodes, and while I really like the leads, it struck me as if I had seen this show over and over some time in the past, it being the tropiest sageuk I can remember. I love sageuks, but I do think it must be progressively more difficult to produce ones in which story seems fresh, which is why in part comedic stories such as Sungkyunkwan Scandal and Mr. Queen, despite flaws in their story telling, or the sagekuk structure in more modern historical dramas have greater coin for me. Bossum takes place around the time of the movie, The Fortress, and the series, Chuno, and suffers by contrast with the two of them, especially the latter, which are truly unique unto themselves.

Last edited 19 days ago by BE
Sean
19 days ago
Reply to  BE

I actually do the same during the kdrama downtimes, BE. However, this year I have found cdramas are emerging in earnest and I have watched more than I can remember. Some have been very good and others have fallen foul of losing their way, especially the 47 episode format. The characters tend to go cray cray at about the 26-30 episode mark and then all hell breaks loose, leaving a very unsatisfactory ending i.e. either dead or totally unresolved.

I think if Chuno was made now, it would be a different show. This would be due to that pressure of coming up with a fresh sageuk. In some ways, kdramaland has locked itself into this dilemma through using key historical figures and times. So one way to break out of this dilemma is to keep making fusion sageuks, or imbuing shows with modern influences. That being said, there certainly has been some good ones and a comedic take is always welcome (For me, Arang and the Magistrate is the best in this regard). The other method is to create a micro pocket story, such as Bossam, which is weaved into the gaps of a key historical moment.

I understand that sageuk itch all too well. Although I gave Chuno a decent rating, I didn’t adore it like some other watchers we know 😉 I haven’t seen The Fortress, which I think, given the story, is interesting that it is a movie. I will need to take a look.

What I like about Kingdom 1 and 2, and it’s not because of the zombies, is that you get a very good look at how the people lived at that time. There is an extremely high level of attention paid to the detail re the day to day existence. It’s not glossed over at all.To digress, the reason I like historical jdramas is because they maintain an unbelievable historical accuracy (even the ones that are aimed at the young gaming community).

So with Bossam, I have, after my initial disgruntlement, found it refreshing. So much so, I find the tropes very much like Tinkerbell and her magical pixie dust. We have decent people, who when it is all said and done, come to live their lives with a certain graciousness, despite being on the most wanted list and subject to the tyranny of the King’s chief minister, thus setting the scene historically for what becomes a change in the monarch shortly thereafter these “events.” I do hope the final episodes give the show justice. Otherwise my earlier change of heart would have been for naught and I will have to change my rose coloured glasses once more 🤣

BE
BE
19 days ago
Reply to  Sean

I liked Kingdom as well. Strangely the way the zombie element is utilized while giving show personality all its own and tempering the zombie motif, one that for me is an especially weak motif as what possible nuance exists when it comes to a zombie villain, into a metaphor that speaks exactly to what you liked about the show, bringing to life the condition of the people of that historical era.

The Fortress is bleak, but the lead actors are phenomenal, and the cinematography is just amazing. And it is singularly un romantic, a hard look at a hard time.

One of the the many ways Chuno excels is its mix of entertainment strategies, film making references, and characterizations. And I must say, I think elements of its story telling and characterizations continue to be imitated, so speaking of it being made now strikes me as, I don’t know, taking the fish out of its water.

I think most folks have responded to Bossam very positively, and I am an outlier on its account. Perhaps if I stuck with it a little longer (I think I quit after episode 8), I might have a different opinion as I do think the leads were doing fine and attractive enough characters, but if one were to teach a college course checklist for sageuks it just struck me that show writer just put x’s neatly into every box, but could not ever go outside any of those boxes, beginning with evil Left State Minister (even giving the role to an actor who has been repeatedly typecast into such roles), check, all the way till I felt check mated. But like I say, it seems like I have been alone in that perspective. And I am happy to hear you and so many others have enjoyed it.

Last edited 19 days ago by BE
Sean
19 days ago
Reply to  BE

Thank you, BE. I look at all the shows I haven’t liked or enjoyed and I have often found myself sitting on my own, as it were. Actually, I could see the college course sageuk checklist coming in very handy for dissecting future shows.

There are shows that are classics and should never be remade, and yet they are. There are very few that are successfully so, as they, as you perceptively put it: “taking the fish out of its water.”

I was just watching the first half of episode 1 of Devil Judge. It has a great cast. I loved the opening minutes, in fact so much so, I was waiting for Judge Dredd to pop out and do his thing. Then we have those soft kdrama script footnotes dropping in afterwards that I hope won’t undermine what could be a very good dystopian story.

Paulina
Paulina
17 days ago
Reply to  Sean

I love Mad for Each Other too. I am hoping maybe we could have a group watch of it? I’d love to watch it again and learn other people’s views.

Trent
24 days ago

Ooh, I’ve been flirting with taking the plunge with My Roommate is a Gumiho, love both Hyeri and Kang Ha-na (and I actually thought Jang Ki-young was pretty watchable in Sweet and Sour, even though his character was a bit of a cad). I’ve been waiting for it to get a good ways into its run, just in case I feel the urge to binge. Also, already being in the middle of a Gumiho show, I didn’t want to feel overburdened with foxes…but this looks different enough in style and tone that probably not an issue.

Of course I just couldn’t resist starting with Hospital Playlist 2 already, it’s such a comfort watch. Love those five characters…

Taxi Driver…I have mixed feelings about. It started off with some good clean this-is-wrong-but-it-feels-good vigilante justice action, then tried to get more deep and philosophical near the end, and I’m not sure how well it succeeded.

I see some good things being said about Mine, and it seems like it has been doing pretty well in the ratings? Definitely a possibility.

And of course, I will continue to be the lone voice in the wilderness singing the praises of Law School, which has completed its run, and which was extremely my jam and I very much enjoyed all the way through to the end… I was even inspired to go see if I could find Beethoven Virus anywhere, just because Kim Myung-min was so good, but it doesn’t seem conveniently streamable anywhere reasonable…

Trent
22 days ago
Reply to  kfangurl

A perfectly defensible take! Yes, there’s quite a bit of fairly raw stuff, I’m guessing not only to adhere to the “inspired by true events” tag, but also to stimulate the audience’s desire to see the vigilante justice delivered by the protagonists. It’s fairly atavistic, IMO, and why I characterized the protagonists’ methods as “wrong-but-feels-good”.

But it’s not just the first case; follow-up cases deal with exploitation and revenge porn, organ harvesting, etc. There’s absolutely no shame in tapping out and saying “that’s not for me, thanks.”

Trent
22 days ago
Reply to  kfangurl

I actually found the exploitation/revenge porn arc the hardest to watch, but I guess it was also “mission accomplished,” since it did make me mad enough that it was a pleasure to see Lee Je-hoon (who plays–very effectively–the “muscle” or “enforcer” among the protagonists) beat up the bad guys in that one…

I am very looking forward to your overall thoughts on Beyond Evil, including the final episode! I know we don’t get a vote on replacement, but I would personally be more interested in both Mine and Bossam, than Monthly Magazine Home

BE
BE
19 days ago
Reply to  kfangurl

After Beyond Evil and Youth of May, there is something to be said for Racquet Boys, a throw back bit of comfort breakfast cereal. And between RB and Move to Heaven, it does seem like we are seeing a young character actor who has real potential to become a presence of substance as he matures.