We are at the end of our Nirvana In Fire and Kill Me, Heal Me group watches, y’all – where has the time gone?!?
I hope you guys have been having fun with the group watches! I especially appreciate those of you who managed to join both group watches &/or have been active on the Open Threads. Sharing your reactions and your thoughts really makes the experience richer for everyone. Thank you for playing! ❤️
It’s time to brainstorm on what we should watch next, as a community. Here are some initial ideas, feel free to let me know what you think, in the comments!
Some things to consider
1. Group watch benefits
I realized that one of the cool things about having the group watches, is that even though we are watching shows that have long completed their runs, we still get to have that “live watch” experience, by sharing the experience as a community. I think that’s pretty cool. So let’s pick dramas that have already completed their runs?
In picking a show, we do need to take into account availability, so that anyone who wants to join in, can join in.
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. You can also sign up for a free account with ProtonMail. All their users get access to their VPN service for free.
Fair warning that this may not work for all streaming platforms, as some of you have shared that only paid VPN services work with platforms like Viu.
4. How are we going to choose?
I will gather some of the most popular options from the comments in this post, and put them into a poll next Wednesday, which I’ll announce in a new post. After a week of voting, I’ll announce the winning show, and our first Open Thread can kick off a week after that.
So, in summary:
Brainstorming: today until Tuesday, 28 September 2021.
Poll: Wednesday, 29 September, until Tuesday, 5 October 2021.
Announcement: Wednesday, 6 October 2021.
First Open Thread for People’s Choice group watch: Wednesday, 13 October 2021.
First Open Thread for Editor’s Choice group watch: Saturday, 16 October 2021.
You can totally add more suggestions in the comments, but to kick things off, off the top of my head, here are a few dramas that I thought we might want to consider, in alphabetical order.
Dr. Romantic 2
I thought you guys might be interested to revisit the Doldam crew, after finishing Season 1 together. I’ve heard that Season 2 is just as enjoyable as Season 1 – if not more so.
16 episodes. Available for free on iQIYI and Viu. Also available on Kocowa if you have a paid subscription, and on Viki, if you have Viki Pass Plus.
BE suggested this one as a possibility, and I’m happy to include it because it’s one of my all-time favorites. This one’s got romance, action, melodrama; a bit of something for everyone. Plus, y’all know I just can’t help swooning, every time Healer casually parkours off a building. 🤩
20 episodes. Available for free on iQIYI and Viu. Also available on Viki with Viki Pass Plus, or on Kocowa if you have a paid subscription.
Hikaru no Go [China]
I haven’t yet seen this one, but I’ve heard very promising things, like Show has excellent production values, is a fantastic adaptation of the manga source material, is mostly well-paced, thought-provoking and even a bit educational, while featuring an affecting friendship. My mum watched this one, and she says she’d give it an A.
36 episodes. Available for free on iQIYI.
I haven’t seen this one either, but am told that it’s a very solid watch. It’s not an easy topic, since child abuse is part of the story, but I’ve heard that it’s touching, warm, and beautiful, with fantastic acting by the cast.
16 episodes. Available for free on Viki.
A legit masterpiece that I think all drama fans ought to check out, at least once. It’s thoughtful, gritty, beautiful, dark and haunting, and celebrates so well, what it means to connect as humans. Also, the OST is ethereal and hauntingly beautiful.
16 episodes. Available for free on iQIYI and Viki.
Nirvana In Fire 2: The Wind Blows in Changlin
I thought I’d offer this as a suggestion, since we’ve just finished NIF together. This is not a direct continuation of NIF; it’s the same drama world, but the story takes place a couple of generations further down the line, than our original NIF crew.
I found this a lot more of a slow burn than NIF, but those who’d wished that we’d had the opportunity to follow our protagonist’s story from the beginning (instead of learning about it via flashbacks) might like this sequel’s approach, since that’s exactly where we start.
I found this slow-going (so that might not be great for a group watch, since we might lose everyone along the way, before it gets really good 😝), but by the end, I was firmly satisfied with where Show takes us, and where it leaves us. I also did find Show thoroughly stirring, towards the end.
50 episodes. Available for free on Viki.
Secret Love Affair
This one was also suggested by BE. Thoroughly absorbing because of our story, our leads, their soul connection, and an amazing OST that makes the watch even more immersive. Beautiful, thought-provoking, and ultimately hopeful.
16 episodes. Available for free on Viki.
Stranger / Secret Forest / Forest Of Secrets
I’ve heard so much about how fantastic this show is, that I’m quite curious to see whether I’ll love it like everyone else. Maybe a group watch – and the company that it provides – is just what I need, to finally commit to this one.
16 episodes. Available for free on iQIYI.
The Disguiser [China]
Elaine suggested this as a possible follow-up to NIF, since many cast members of NIF also acted in this. Fun fact: this show was made before NIF, but only became popular after NIF, because of the shared cast and NIF’s success. I got about a third of the way in, before I wandered off, because I am a wuss about torture scenes. But, I would be game to give this another go, if you guys would like to watch this together.
Just so you know, it took me several tries to get into this one, purely because I’d found it unsettling to see our characters from NIF as different people. I lasted all of 5 minutes, on my first try, after seeing Wang Kai not as royalty, but as someone’s driver. 😱 I.. wasn’t ready for it. 😅
Ah, and for the record, and as fair warning, my mom remarked that she thinks this one might lean a little too nationalistic for some international viewers.
41 episodes. Available on YouTube and Viki.
Like I said, these are just some initial suggestions! Please feel free to add your ideas in the comments below, and we can figure out together, what we should watch next, as a community. ❤️