Group Watch: Poll!

Thanks everyone, for your many suggestions, thoughts and contributions on the Group Watch brainstorm!

Lots of worthy titles were floated, and as promised, I sifted through all of them, and shortlisted the most popular titles for this poll. I also made the executive decision to add 2 wild cards into the mix, which you’ll see in a bit. 😉

Except for Hikaru no Go, Mother and Stranger, I’ve seen the other shortlisted dramas, and I do believe they are each solidly worthy of your drama hours.

Some considerations

Before diving into the contenders who made the shortlist, here are what I think are the main considerations to keep in mind, while making your choice:

1. Availability

We want the Group Watch to be as accessible to everyone as possible, so free streaming options are always the best. If you know of other platforms where these shows are available, please do let us know in the comments!

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.

2. Commitment

I’ve broken down the commitment needed for each show below, so that you can easily tell at a glance, what kind of commitment each show would entail.

Contenders

Here are the shortlisted dramas in alphabetical order. The poll itself is at the end of the post. You may select up to THREE options! But if you just want to vote for one, you can do that too. You may also revote, if you change your mind.

Poll goes till end of Monday, 4 October 2021, my time (GMT+8).

Healer

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. 🤩 Review is here.

Romance: Yes.

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

Availability: 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]

This is one of the wild cards I added. Thanks Jiyuu for your enthusiasm on this one!

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.

Romance: From what I understand, no. (Correct me if I’m wrong!)

Commitment: 36 episodes. 3 eps per week = 12 weeks. (Each episode is about 40 minutes long, so 3 eps a week works out to 2 hours per week.)

Availability: Available for free on iQIYI.

Mother

I haven’t seen this one, 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.

Romance: From what I understand, no. (Correct me if I’m wrong!)

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

Availability: Available for free on Viki.

My Mister

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. Review is here.

Romance: Debatable.

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

Availability: Available for free on iQIYI and Viki.

Secret Love Affair

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. Review is here.

Romance: Yes.

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

Availability: Available for free on Viki.

Stranger / Secret Forest

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.

Romance: From what I understand, no. (Correct me if I’m wrong!)

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

Availability: Available for free on iQIYI.

Someday Or One Day [Taiwan]

This is the other wild card that I added to the mix. Thanks to Merij1 for suggesting it as a possibility!

I loved this one so much, when I watched it, and it turned out to be my drama of the year, in 2020. I found it really well-written, well-acted and well-executed, while remaining quintessentially Taiwanese. I loved that it managed to make me think and feel, at the same time, consistently. I personally think it’s best to go in as blind as possible with this one, so just know that our story has a fantasy twist, and it’s a romance. Review is here.

Romance: Yes.

Commitment: 13 episodes. 1 ep per week = 13 weeks. (1 episode is about 1 hour 12 minutes, so one episode a week makes the most sense.)

Availability: Available for free on Viki.

Poll

You may select up to THREE options! But if you just want to vote for one, you can do that too!  You may also revote, if you change your mind.

Poll goes till end of Monday, 4 October 2021, my time (GMT+8).

What shall we watch next?
  • Stranger 22%, 119 votes
    119 votes 22%
    119 votes - 22% of all votes
  • My Mister 21%, 114 votes
    114 votes 21%
    114 votes - 21% of all votes
  • Secret Love Affair 18%, 98 votes
    98 votes 18%
    98 votes - 18% of all votes
  • Someday Or One Day [Taiwan] 14%, 75 votes
    75 votes 14%
    75 votes - 14% of all votes
  • Healer 12%, 65 votes
    65 votes 12%
    65 votes - 12% of all votes
  • Mother 8%, 44 votes
    44 votes 8%
    44 votes - 8% of all votes
  • Hikaru no Go [China] 7%, 37 votes
    37 votes 7%
    37 votes - 7% of all votes
Total Votes: 552
Voters: 289
September 28, 2021 - October 5, 2021
Voting is closed

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merij1
merij1
7 days ago

@JJ, Shahz and phl1rxd: We started The Bond. May I ask how long it stays in their childhood?

My wife hates the father and doesn’t care to have him in her life much longer. I thought he would only be prominent at first, but we just started the 3rd episode and the story is still back in the 197os or so. How long before it advances to present time?

beez
13 days ago

I’m too late to vote (but y’all know I would’ve voted for Healer (if possible for all 3 of my votes 😆) Nothing fluffy on the list. It all looks pretty dark. While some of the shows were admittedly masterpieces, they’re not anything I want to rewatch soon (especially since I rewatched Secret Love Affair last year, My Mister for the first time last year as well, and I’m currently on episode 10 of Stranger.

merij1
merij1
14 days ago
Reply to  kfangurl

Thank you, kfangurl! We’ll back whatever you decide.

Maria
Maria
13 days ago
Reply to  kfangurl

Thank you. I wonder if we could start with the first three choices, and if one of the discussions fizzles out, so be it.

MariaF
MariaF
13 days ago
Reply to  kfangurl

Thank you. I wonder if we could start with the first three choices, and if one of the discussions fizzles out, so be it.

eda harris
eda harris
14 days ago

hell, now i am trying to vote again to correct my supposedly votes that are actually not my votes, and it does not let me. here is what i am getting: ERROR: voting is blocked…

manukajoe
manukajoe
14 days ago
Reply to  eda harris

It says voting is closed

merij1
merij1
14 days ago
Reply to  manukajoe

Oh, that’s right. KFG had said voting would go till now:

“Poll goes till end of Monday, 4 October 2021, my time (GMT+8)”

eda harris
eda harris
14 days ago

something really weird is going on with this voting results. it shows now that i did not vote for ” my mister”, which is MY FIRST CHOISE, i even wrote it in my comments. instead it shows that i voted for “mother”, – NEVER DID.

manukajoe
manukajoe
14 days ago
Reply to  eda harris

My votes are showing correctly.

merij1
merij1
14 days ago
Reply to  manukajoe

Mine, as well.

Sara
15 days ago

Am I the only one who was actually excited to see Stranger in the lead? Haha. Oh well, whatever gets picked I want to try and join the discussions this time.

manukajoe
manukajoe
14 days ago
Reply to  Sara

It was my third pick. I don’t really know anything about it.

BE
BE
15 days ago

Here is a strange thing. Sometimes, I pop on right now, and my cookies or whatever aren’t working. Right now , on this post. It shows I voted for Stranger,My Mister, and Someday or One Day. The only show I have voted for is Secret Love Affair. Don’t know what to make of it.

merij1
merij1
15 days ago
Reply to  BE

Double whoa! So maybe it’s not nefarious, yet still wrong.

JJ
JJ
15 days ago
Reply to  merij1

– I have problems all day with Pages Not loading and Comments not updating when I check the time stamp. I did give KFG a heads up.

JJ
JJ
15 days ago
Reply to  merij1

– I, also, meant to say my Votes have not changed though.

JJ
JJ
15 days ago
Reply to  BE

@BE – I have had some technical issues myself with the page not loading and comments not loading on different posts today. I have alerted KFG to the issue.

eda harris
eda harris
14 days ago
Reply to  BE

i am now getting the same thing. it appears here that i did not vote for “my mister” (which was my #1 choice) and it looks like i voted for “mother”, which i never voted for. i tried to revote, but it would not let me, here is what i am getting:
ERROR: voting is blocked…,

eda harris
eda harris
14 days ago
Reply to  eda harris

i tried to post 2 comments about this issue, it registered, i saw it, but a bit later it disappeared. do not know what’s going on.

eda harris
eda harris
15 days ago

hi, everybody, it does smell fishy, just saying. so i just thought of a solution, and it might even be impossible to do it, but you judge. may be we (or kfangirl) can arrange that all people that actively participate in the discussions here, can be given a chance to vote twice. it will be recorded by this person right here, and it will specify what the vote/s are. this way we would have some sort of control. after all, these are the people who are involved and should have a bigger say in what we would want to engage in next, rather than people who just casually, sometimes or may be even rarely follow our comments, without ever contributing to the discussion itself. would that be justified? what do you think? and i do not know how this voting issue is arranged on this site, so may be kfangirl can help with this? merij1, i have to thank you for this idea popping into my brain.

merij1
merij1
15 days ago
Reply to  eda harris

I dunno. Just saying!

merij1
merij1
15 days ago

Sorry to sound conspiratorial, but this feels weird. Per the summary statistics, 273 separate “people” have voted on what a small handful should watch together next.

And the votes for Stranger just keep rising.

It was in third place after most votes had been cast, then suddenly jumped up roughly 25 votes, well past My Mister and SLA, over what I believe was a mere 24-hour period.

Is this legit, or creative use of one or more persons’ VPN?

Alternatively, is there a fan group for Stranger somewhere that heard about our voting pool and decided to weigh in?

(My wife and I loved Stranger, so this is not a diss on the show at all. )

merij1
merij1
15 days ago
Reply to  kfangurl

How many people voted last time?

merij1
merij1
15 days ago
Reply to  kfangurl

OK, that’s reassuring.

manukajoe
manukajoe
15 days ago
Reply to  kfangurl

It’s rare to get big swings though. Usually a poll is decided pretty early on, and you only get a swing if different blocks of votes have different voting or counting patterns. The US presidential election tends to count relatively more Dem voters early and more Rep ones come in towards the end for example.

merij1
merij1
17 days ago

Whoa. Where did all those votes for Stranger come from? It wasn’t even in 2nd place, last time I checked.

Trent
17 days ago
Reply to  merij1

Whoa, seriously. Did a secret voting bloc all pile into the polling booth en masse in the last couple hours? (It was MM followed by SLA when I checked a few hours ago…).

merij1
merij1
17 days ago
Reply to  Trent

Vote early and often!

eda harris
eda harris
17 days ago
Reply to  merij1

what do you mean? can you vote more than once?

merij1
merij1
17 days ago
Reply to  eda harris

Ha. I was joking, using a tongue-in-cheek phrase from back in the day, referring to establishment-sanctioned illegal voting in places like Chicago.

That said, I doubt anyone would have thought this blog would need elaborate IP detection protocols for “What shall we watch next?” voting, so who knows?

Tbh, at first I thought it might be a prank that one of us regulars would soon ‘fess up to! lol

Last edited 17 days ago by merij1
eda harris
eda harris
17 days ago
Reply to  merij1

and i took you seriously!
but glad to be included in the club of regulars.

merij1
merij1
17 days ago
Reply to  eda harris

I’ll take that as a confession! jk!

eda harris
eda harris
16 days ago
Reply to  merij1

but i was NOT jk. you actually gave me an idea to utilize “vote early and often” in our next national election – in case a dystopian society (kind of like in devil judge) is threatening to come upon us here and now. i hope that this site is not monitored by some who would not be amused by such scary “jokes”. or is it? ha.

merij1
merij1
16 days ago
Reply to  eda harris

In the middle of the night I realized it was probably KFG herself who skewed the voting. Clearly she wants to watch Stranger, and Squid Games is messing with her head!

merij1
merij1
16 days ago
Reply to  kfangurl

Ah, but that’s only a half answer. You didn’t address whether Squid Games is messing with your head!

eda harris
eda harris
16 days ago
Reply to  merij1

wow! that keeps you awake at night, next thing you’ll need dramatherapy. i feel already i need some, since some of the dramas, especially the good ones, keep playing in my mind day and night, regardless of what i do or where i am. what to do???

j3ffc
j3ffc
15 days ago
Reply to  eda harris

Although I would not go so far as to say that Squid Games is messing with my head, I will cheerfully admit that my SG antidote this week is Hometown ChaChaCha!

eda harris
eda harris
16 days ago
Reply to  merij1

but i did NOT jk. you actually gave me an interesting idea to “vote early and often” in our next national election in case a kind of dystopian society as in devil judge is approaching fast and furious here and now. i hope that this site is not monitored by some people that will not be amused by such highly developed sense of humor. ha. see how close a korean drama can come to real life. just saying. but may be i should stick to strictly dramaland. sorry.

eda harris
eda harris
16 days ago
Reply to  eda harris

sorry, it was posted twice, since the first time it did not look likeit went through, my sincere apologies.

merij1
merij1
16 days ago
Reply to  eda harris

I just figured you were already following my advice. Early and often!

eda harris
eda harris
16 days ago
Reply to  merij1

not yet, not yet.

eda harris
eda harris
16 days ago
Reply to  eda harris

waiting for the right moment. i’ll report if you are interested.

manukajoe
manukajoe
17 days ago
Reply to  eda harris

I think someone’s been cheating the system. Either voting on multiple IP addresses or getting all their friends and relations to vote.

MC
MC
16 days ago
Reply to  merij1

OH yeah where did that happen ?!?! I mean I don’t mind since I voted for Stranger too. But My Mister had such a clear lead. And it’s a masterpiece. Ah well!!

BE
BE
17 days ago

I guess I am hoping for a 2nd choice to be in my wheel house. Do not know if I want to see Stranger again, afraid I will fall asleep in the middle of every episode. I do hope there is one or two among The Stranger advocates, who can bring something beyond just reax to discussions. Side but pertinent to show commentary really elevates these fora.
And a bit sad to see SLA fall back. Though I thought on a first watch My Mister was even better, I do think the lead performances in SLA can stand up to more repeated watches and the show raises so many issues, some of which sure to spark differences good for discussions.
So far the two I knew would get big discussions were Chuno & NIF because there was so much to chew on in each. And I suspected because of the Hyukster entourage here Money Flower might generate good discussions as well, even though it was not my cup of tea.
I do think that discussion generation potential should be a consideration for voters. I know KFG puts her heart into these and I would like to see her followers make the watches a collaborative effort.

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
16 days ago
Reply to  BE

@BE – I think My Mister and SLA will provide the most issues for the group to chew on. I agree that Fangurl puts in a tremendous amount of time into these and I love to see everybody get into the watches. Thank you BE for recognizing this.

eda harris
eda harris
18 days ago

i will be fine will any of the suggested choices, except “someday or one day”. i watched it mainly because fangirl is a big fan of greg hsu and he is good, and cute but the whole drama was borderline ok, i found it too twisted, too convoluted and kind of unbelievable even in the “dramas unbelievables”. i would not want to rewatch it. and of course “my mister” is #1 for me, with “stranger” next on my list.

Antonio
19 days ago

It is wrong to include My Mister in any poll, because he will always be the winner.

I truly think it is the most extraordinary work of art ever created by man and is capable of transcending any boundaries or culture.

I envy very much those who have not yet seen it. Watching My Mister is a mystical experience.

PP
PP
19 days ago

I’m rooting for either 2nd place Secret Love Affair or 3rd place Healer to emerge as a group watch choice. If either of those options are in, this would be my first time joining the group watch, ever since I started lurking on this site from the end of 2020. The last completed drama I had watched was My Mister, hence revisiting it may not be as impactful at the moment. I wanted to keep the feelings I had associated with it linger in my mind for a little while, lol

Solange Giménez
Solange Giménez
19 days ago

You need to watch Stranger so I hope that stay in the three options, thanks to you I watched My mister and Someday or one day definitely in the top ten of my favourite dramas, the other ones looks interesting so it’s a really good list. I love your blog! 💛

Last edited 19 days ago by Solange Giménez
JJ
JJ
19 days ago

@KFG – Thanks for the Shortlist!!! Sniffle 😢 Search:WWW did not make the Shortlist nor did The Bond 😭 (shamelessly plugging those both under the guise of being upset 😬) for this round. Maybe one day? ☺️

Ok, on to the important stuff. I am soooo excited My Mister and SLA are in the lead at the moment. And I am really fine with all of them since I have seen some and would like to see the other ones. I did do a revote and switch out Healer for Mother though only because My Mister, SLA and Mother all seem to be heavy hitters, so I thought I wanted to keep Healer as my third vote.

Very much looking forward to what the group decides 🙂

From this list do you also pick the Editor’s Choice?

merij1
merij1
19 days ago
Reply to  JJ

Hmm. Now that it’s neck and neck , anyone care to lobby me to change my vote?

If it came down to My Mister and SLA, which should we watch?

JJ
JJ
19 days ago
Reply to  merij1

Hi Merij1 – Thats a tough call, I love both of them equally for different reasons and I really want to hear/read other’s views on both of them. Selfishly, just because its so fresh I would love for us to do a group watch of My Mister, then do SLA. I found SLA to be so profound for so many reasons that I am still mulling the whole experience over.

Maria
Maria
19 days ago
Reply to  merij1

Both!

merij1
merij1
19 days ago
Reply to  JJ

JJ, I’ve added The Bond to my Watch List. We don’t usually start anything with that many episodes, but this may be an exception! I take it you thought it ended well?

JJ
JJ
19 days ago
Reply to  merij1

– YAY!!! Oh I hope Shahz see this note from you 🙂 I normally do not do this many episodes either! Which is why I avoid the group watch of NIF 🙂 Shahz convinced me to give The Bond and chance and I just fell in love immediately with the music and story. We have 3 episodes lefts, so cant tell you how I think it ends, yet. We have a binged planned for this wknd., so we can let you know more next week 🙂

merij1
merij1
19 days ago
Reply to  JJ

OK, please do!

JJ
JJ
18 days ago
Reply to  merij1

Most definitely 🙂

merij1
merij1
18 days ago
Reply to  JJ

I’ve already started the pitch to my wife. I just need confirmation that it ends well.

She is one of five siblings who are extremely close. Her youngest brother just died unexpectedly. It’s been a couple of months but it’s all she can think about each night as she goes to bed.

So I’m thinking this might be a good wholesome show for her right now.

JJ
JJ
18 days ago
Reply to  merij1

Oh Merij1 – I am very sorry to hear about your wife’s loss of a sibling. My deepest condolences to your wife, her family and you.

With that in mind, Shahz and I will let you know about how we feel about the ending and give you our spoiler free opinion. What I can say now is I feel it is a beautiful Show about family specifically about the siblings lives and relationships with each other. And the music is gorgeous.

Shahz and I have already discussed a possible immediate rewach we love the Show so much. So we could all watch together if you want and discuss on Drama Exchange. Or we have been trying lobby (pre Squid Game excitement) for a The Bond Corner on Patreon :=)

merij1
merij1
18 days ago
Reply to  JJ

I guess I need to look up the Drama Exchange. Is that your site, or merely a haunt you frequent? (Is it the one on Tumblr?)

Last edited 18 days ago by merij1
JJ
JJ
18 days ago
Reply to  merij1

Oh sorry, merij1, its on Patreon!!! KFG created a monthly post where those of us on Patreon can discuss other dramas not being covered on Patreon or discussed here. Shahz and I thought basically took it over for the past week or so discussing ad naseum about The Bond.

You can find it under 2021 or the title Drama Exchange. Let know if you cant find it. Shahz and I do put SPOILER ALERTS when we discuss in depth The Bond so as not to ruin for everyone. Let me know if you cannot find it 🙂

merij1
merij1
18 days ago
Reply to  JJ

Ah. I haven’t been logging into my Patreon account that often — I support a songwriter and a fantasy novelist in addition to KFG — so now you’re giving me motivation.

merij1
merij1
18 days ago
Reply to  kfangurl

Whoa. 344 comments just on the September edition. An entire universe I’ve been missing out on!

JJ
JJ
18 days ago
Reply to  kfangurl

Agreed!!! Just jump right in 🙂

merij1
merij1
18 days ago
Reply to  kfangurl

Will do! I also need to catch up on the final two episodes of Kill Me/Heal Me. Work is busy right now.

JJ
JJ
18 days ago
Reply to  merij1

Merij1 – GULP! Yes, thats mostly Shahz and I “chatting” about The Bond for the past couple weeks. We were very careful to include Spoiler warnings though 🙂 Trent joined in the fun to interrupt as he calls it our Bond Fest 🙂 So lots of stuff in there other than just The Bond. Such as Yumi’s Cells, You Raise Me Up, Dali and Cocky Prince, I Am Not A Robot and many others. Its been very fun 🙂 Come join us at the Drama Exchange!!!!

JJ
JJ
18 days ago
Reply to  kfangurl

@KFG – I know, so sorry! Shahz and I kinda got out of control over The Bond 😇 We love Drama Exchange so much as well as The Bond!!! 🥰

JJ
JJ
18 days ago
Reply to  merij1

– ohhhhhh, a fantasy writer?! Which one? 🙂

Yes! Come back to KFG’s Patreon please 🙂

merij1
merij1
18 days ago
Reply to  JJ

The fantasy author is J.V. Jones. A Brit who now lives in San Diego. She is most known for two series: The Book of Words (The Baker’s Boy, etc.) and A Sword of Shadows.

A great writer, but she hit serious writer’s block/depression after a personal trauma and never finished the Sword of Shadows series. The last volume came out in 2010.

So a number of us are supporting her as she climbs back into her writing career.

JJ
JJ
18 days ago
Reply to  merij1

Merij1 – Thanks for sharing as I have not heard of this fantasy writer. Oh thats so hard for the author and the fans. I hope she finds her way back to writing.

Ah she is under Tor Publishing. Ill have to check out this series and share with my friends. As you probably know, always looking for a good new fantasy author.

I generally love the authors from DAW Publishing. Have you read Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind?

merij1
merij1
18 days ago
Reply to  JJ

Start with The Book of Words. Sword of Shadows may never get completed!

The latter is excellent, but you don’t need another series like GoT that you love which never makes it to the finish line. (GoT might get there, but I’m dubious. Luckily I never read the books.)

JJ
JJ
18 days ago
Reply to  merij1

Ah ok, thanks for the heads up!

Luckily, I have never read nor seen GoT 🙂

merij1
merij1
18 days ago
Reply to  JJ

I’ve ordered a copy of The Name of the Wind!

Trent
18 days ago
Reply to  merij1

I love it and its sequel (The Wise Man’s Fear) to pieces–have read both several times–but be aware that it’s part of a trilogy and the author (who has alluded to mental health issues at various points in recent years) has been stuck trying unsuccessfully to finish the third book for about a decade now.

Which is tough on all of us that really really want that last book (same as GRRM’s fans, except we want the last two books…).

JJ
JJ
18 days ago
Reply to  Trent

@Trent – AWESOME!!! See, I told ya, fantasy is totally my Wheelhouse and Comfort Zone 🙂 Yours as well, I see 🙂

Wasnt The Name of the Wind truly an amazing read. Still takes my breath away remembering the experience. Such fantastic storytelling. The Wise Man’s Fear was great as well for his sophmore novel, I though did feel he wandered a bit too long in the forest was the only thing I noticed. But, that could have been I was way too impatient to finish the story.

I hope he is able to finish the third book, but so much time has passed I am now ok with it and just wish him well. He truly is one of the great fantasy writers I put up there with C. J. Cherryh and Mercedes Lackey from DAW.

JJ
JJ
18 days ago
Reply to  merij1

GAH!!!! I forgot to mention, which is why I thought of him, he is an author yet to finish his series as well. Here is his website
https://www.patrickrothfuss.com/content/index.asp

However, his debut novel is so worth the read. Truly an amazing fantasy novel. I gobbled it up as quickly as I could when a friend suggested the novel to me.

Sorry I didnt say anything sooner 🙁

eda harris
eda harris
16 days ago
Reply to  merij1

so sorry to hear about your brother-in-law and your wife’s suffering due to it. i would suggest something that might help with grief – homeopathic remedy ignatia, get 200c or even if you can get 1m or 10 m. if it’s pellets, take 5 pellets under the tongue, 4-5 times a day. i was managing a homeopathic and herbs pharmacy, so know about those things. also, get holy basil from himalaya (on amazon), take one in the morning and one at night. if you have other questions in regards to this, just let me know. i would email you personally, but do not have your email. or i am fine with this site, if it’s ok with you.

Shahz
Shahz
19 days ago
Reply to  JJ

I have just seen it and I am smiling 😂

JJ
JJ
19 days ago
Reply to  Shahz

🥰

Ele Nash
20 days ago

Good shortlist, kfangurl! I’m hoping Secret Love Affair wins because I haven’t seen it and, well, ah, I do love a love story 😍 Failing that, happy to try either of the other two I haven’t seen, Someday or One Day, or Hikaru no Go.

Trent
20 days ago

Btw, My Mister and Stranger are both also available on (U.S.) Netflix…

I’m also selfishly kinda rooting for SLA a bit just because I haven’t seen it yet.

JJ
JJ
20 days ago
Reply to  Trent

I am with you Trent about selfishly rooting for SLA, but I have seen it. You have to see it. KFG gave me a push to watch it. I binged it in a wknd……I say no more…..

uyen
20 days ago

I love My Mister and would totally be happy to rewatch, but I’m also seeing Secret Love Affair coming in close and haven’t seen that but have heard rave things so selfishly would love to watch that lol. Both would be great though, I’m enjoying watching Lost right now and have seen some comparisons to both My Mister and SLA, which makes me want to bring SLA up more on my to-watch list

Timescout
20 days ago

Many good dramas on that list. Mmmm… I often wonder if I’m the only one on the planet who was not charmed by Healer.

I doubt I’ll have time to participate so I leave the polling to others. I will read everything the group watch produces though. 😄

manukajoe
manukajoe
20 days ago
Reply to  Timescout

I gave Healer a 7/10. It was solid but didn’t charm me.

Trent
20 days ago
Reply to  Timescout

Hey welcome to the Contrarian’s Club! I sometimes feel like I’m the only person in kdramaland who didn’t love Coffee Prince…

(I did love Healer though, sorry. Personal tastes are weird and wonderful things…)

manukajoe
manukajoe
20 days ago
Reply to  Trent

Is Coffee Prince good? I heard lots of good things. But a couple of eps didn’t grab me. And I’m more of a Goblin guy. It’s old too isn’t it?

merij1
merij1
19 days ago
Reply to  manukajoe

Coffee Prince goes back to 2007, I think. But unlike a few other shows from that era, it didn’t feel dated to me. Probably the production has that older feel, visually. But I don’t recall thinking that out loud.

It’s on my shortest short list of all time favorites.

As I recall, the initial episodes are fine but not exceptional.

Trent
19 days ago
Reply to  manukajoe

Hoo boy, you’re asking the wrong guy, but I’ll try to put on my objective hat. First off, I do agree with I think it was merij1 in the last thread who pointed out that Coffee Prince allowed people to grapple with the idea of a gay relationship without the actual gay relationship.

As I put it once, it allows the audience to have its cake and eat it too, by first stepping into the shoes of the ML to wrestle with the implication of his burgeoning feelings for someone that he believes is a man, and then ending up with a totally conventional M/F OTP in the end (since the FL is only masquerading as a man). But I do give the show (nearly) full credit for playing it straight, as it were, and really having the ML honestly examine and work through his feelings to come to the conclusion that what matters is his love for this person and not their gender.

As for the rest…I’m just out of step with everyone, in that I didn’t find the couple dynamic between the main pairing to be cute, adorable, or squee-worthy, although I can see how people see it as all of those things. (I personally found Gong Yoo’s ML to be–the above self-examination aside–immature and kind of a jerk; Yoon Eun-hye’s FL presents as spunky and adorable and somehow she just…wasn’t, for me. But that’s on me!)

I actually liked the secondary pairing best; they have kind of a quirky, messed up couple dynamic too, but at least it’s a lot more interesting (to me; again, I think I’m firmly in the minority there). The 2FL is a hot mess, but fun to watch; the 2ML is played by The Voice (Lee Sun-Kyun, who reappears a decade+ later as the ML in My Mister).

merij1
merij1
19 days ago
Reply to  Trent

I too enjoyed the secondary OTP in Coffee Prince. Although 2ML Lee Sun-kyun‘s (AKA The Voice) and 2FL Chae Jung-an‘s characters are not admirable, I really enjoyed them both. Especially the upfront way they discussed and kidded each other about their relationship issues.

This was the first show where I noticed the difference in how men and women viewers perceive flawed characters of their own gender.

I really liked Chae Jung-an‘s 2FL. She was a narcissist who took the 2ML’s adoration for granted and had treated him badly, up till near the end of the show, that is. But she was real and proved capable of self-reflection and growth.

However, I also liked her because, as a man, I found her extremely attractive.

Whereas KFG was repulsed by those some same flaws — in particular, her character being an attractive woman who uses that gift so carelessly to manipulate men.

Reciprocally, I feel the same way about a number of these attractive MLs that the women commenting here often give a pass on vile behavior.

C’est la vie! C’est l’amour!

Last edited 19 days ago by merij1
Trent
19 days ago
Reply to  merij1

I think that’s a really percipient comment about how men and women assess flawed characters of their own gender differently.

If I’m being totally honest, I’d have to agree that one reason I found Chae Jung-an’s 2FL in Coffee Prince interesting and watchable is that she was, as you say, extremely attractive.

And I have noticed that I have reacted a little, sometimes a lot, more harshly to various MLs in various dramas that I felt were letting down the side or being jerks, that nevertheless were more appreciated by at least some of the female audience.

(Another semi-random example of what may be the same phenomenon: I found Seo Ye-ji’s FL in IOTNBO incandescent, fantastically watchable from beginning to end; it was only after it was over that I occasionally encountered people–usually women, from what I can tell–really put off by her antics, couldn’t stand her, etc.).

I don’t want to be overly reductive about it, either by over-hyping the gender angle, or by implying that physical beauty is a complete proxy or replacement for character assessment (it absolutely isn’t!), but…there is something to it what you say, I think.

JJ
JJ
18 days ago
Reply to  Trent

@Trent – I LOVED Seo Ye Ji’s character in IOTNBO. Loved her. She played her so well and so perfectly and didnt make her into a caraciture at all from my view point. She was so intense and unapologetic for how she lived her life and how she acted. Oh! She was so awesome.

BE
BE
18 days ago
Reply to  Trent

Personally, I thought 2FL was the most honest, least fictional seeming character in show, and the one who really was trying to grow and have her relationship grow in the way someone like her might.

Trent
18 days ago
Reply to  BE

Yeah, I tend to think you’re probably correct…she was a mess and also initially kinda narcissistic, but she did bumble and thrash her way into a realization that she cared for The Voice and that it ultimately wasn’t fair or sustainable to not reciprocate his commitment.

BE
BE
18 days ago
Reply to  manukajoe

Though they do not get as much credit as I thought they deserved, 1st and 2nd FL were two of the reasons, along with the coffee princelings and Kim Chang Wan’s eccentric coffee uncle, I liked show. But then I did not like Goblin at all, and I found ML in CP…a kind of narcissistic fellow whom if he were dating my daughter, I would tend to take him out the front door by the earlobe and offer him some advice on how to respect a woman.

merij1
merij1
18 days ago
Reply to  BE

We started Goblin and I was all in, but my wife had a similar reaction (to yours) with Gong Yoo‘s ML, despite loving him in Coffee Prince. She had problems with both the flat affect and the age difference relative to the FL.

One can understand the flat affect, given that character’s looong and lonely history, but understanding something isn’t enough to make you want to experience more of it. She and I shared a similar reaction to Kim Soo-hyun‘s ML in You From Another Star, which we watched to the end primarily for Jun Ji-hyun’s FL.

Surprisingly, to me at least, my wife totally liked Lee Dong-wook‘s Grim Reaper character in Goblin. At least in the two episodes we watched.

Last edited 18 days ago by merij1
JJ
JJ
18 days ago
Reply to  merij1

Merij1 – I loooooved Goblin so much (music is amazing to me), but avoided it for some time because of the age difference between the two lead characters. I had to look up what High School Senior age range was in Korea before giving it a peek. So I can sympathize with your wife on that angle. I think they said High School Sr was 20 or 21. Still quite an age difference. I did like though they did not deal or introduce any overt sexuality or hints of it.

Jun Ji Hyun, to me, is flat out amazing. Her physical comedy in Legend of the Blue Sea completely blew me away which led me to You From Another Star where she did not disappoint at all.

Loved Lee Dong Wook in Goblin! Never minded when we broke from the main story line to the Grim Reaper’s 🙂 Did you know he has/had a talk show and Gong Yoo appeared for an episode for in depth discussions. Pretty neat.

merij1
merij1
18 days ago
Reply to  JJ

I intend to get back to Goblin without her. It’s just that I only rarely watch anything solo.

merij1
merij1
18 days ago
Reply to  BE

Regarding secondary characters in Coffee Prince, what about the super handsome, vaguely Japanese-ish waffle cook guy? Haha. He was adorable. We followed him (Kim Jae-wook) to Her Private Life.

JJ
JJ
18 days ago
Reply to  merij1

Merij1 – Love him, too! Since I saw him in Coffee Prince and the special they did on Coffee Prince, I went to find Her Private Life. So enjoyable and just plain fun 🙂

Timescout
20 days ago
Reply to  Trent

Oh, I’ve been in The Club for a while now. 😄 My taste often doesn’t seem to align with what is popular. Not hot on romance in general. I know, I’m odd, ha.

JJ
JJ
20 days ago
Reply to  Trent

@Trent – you might be the only one in Kdramaland who didnt love Coffee Prince 😜 Will forgive you for this oversight 😉😉😉 since you did love Healer ! Teasing! You are correct, everyone has personal tastes and its ok 🙂

Princess Jazz
Princess Jazz
20 days ago

I voted in for My mister – as the story seems intriguing and healing and I think that a group watch will add in layers to its already beautiful plot line.

BE
BE
20 days ago

Of those I have seen, I would say two stand out by a considerable margin—My Mister, a recent classic by comparison with the 2nd, Secret Love Affair. Part of my preference for SLA is that it is now a seven year old drama, and there is simply so much in show that is ripe for discussion, even a few things that might lead to interesting disagreements. And there is this: compared with most romantic K dramas, Secret Love Affair seems quite adult in its depth and complexity by contrast with much of K Drama’s infatuation oriented dramas. This is not about “liking,” but about “loving” in its whole beautiful, messy, agonizing, sublime 9 yards. Indeed almost all the most serious themes of contemporary K drama are addressed in an amazingly deep and realistic fashion. What is a life worth living? Yeah, that goes to the heart of the matter in this; there is just so much to chew on, beginning with the casual violence among women populating the cheobol to the immediate issue of vast age, class, and power differentials between the otp. And yes the acting is phenomenal, the sound track as good as anything in my experience, and drama itself riveting. Story, too, is about an artist, the production values of which and physical acting chops of ML render thoroughly convincing, the plight of FL even more so.
My Mister is what it is: I would call it The Beautiful Losers, a thoroughly great piece of work. Heart warming and heart breaking both.
Of the 2 entertainments I have seen, Healer and Stranger, the former is pretty fast paced and well plotted, and very entertaining, the latter is well acted but a bit slow paced, certainly not in the category, imo, of Healer. There is no one in Stranger so appealing for example as the hacker sh jimmy in Healer.
As for the rest, Mother looks intriguing to me cause I like serious straight up drama. I tried Someday or One Day, but it did not capture my attention, and I know nothing about Hikaru No Go.

BE
BE
20 days ago
Reply to  BE

Hacker ahjumma, darn autocorrect!

Trent
20 days ago
Reply to  BE

Hacker ahjumma is indeed a fantastically entertaining character.

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
19 days ago
Reply to  Trent

I third that! Hacker ahjumma was a force of nature. Her role in Healer is unforgettable.

manukajoe
manukajoe
20 days ago
Reply to  BE

BE, have you watched Misty (K drama about female news anchor)? I think you would like it. Someday or One Day takes a few eps to get going, start is rough, then catches fire in a good way. I have now watched 10 eps of HNG and it’s kind of slumped for me. Maybe it gets better again later.

BE
BE
20 days ago
Reply to  manukajoe

I started Misty but for some reason it did not connect for me. You recommended it to me previously, but it just did not connect.

JJ
JJ
20 days ago
Reply to  BE

@BE – Thank you for your comments on SLA! KFG highly suggested SLA to me and I still have a hard time talking about the Show because it was such a moving experience on so many levels. I would love to see a group discussion on SLA because there is so much to discuss about SLA. I did not realize it was 7 years old. I think this will be another one, like Coffee Prince, that stands the test of time. Thank you for all your thoughts on the other Shows. 🙂

Kay
Kay
20 days ago

I went for Healer and Someday or One Day. Both are amazing dramas! 🙂

manukajoe
manukajoe
20 days ago
Reply to  Kay

Go SOOD!

seankfletcher
seankfletcher
20 days ago

A super duper list, kfangurl 😊 It will be interesting to see the results 😉

Elzbieta Gozdziak
20 days ago

Stranger has two seasons. Both are excellent. Healer is the best drama hands down.

manukajoe
manukajoe
20 days ago

My sister is a huge Healer fan too.

Trent
20 days ago

What a great short list. I’ve seen three of them, but I’d sign up to see any of the three, and definitely any of the ones I haven’t seen.

Tough choice, what to do?!

manukajoe
manukajoe
20 days ago

This is hard since I’ve seen some of these before and probably don’t want to watch them again, so I’m worried that one of them will win. Or maybe it just helps me narrow down my choices 🙂

Last edited 20 days ago by manukajoe
manukajoe
manukajoe
20 days ago
Reply to  manukajoe

If you guys choose My Mister, I might watch Hotel De Luna to compare IU’s acting.

BE
BE
18 days ago
Reply to  manukajoe

I am afraid you may be disappointed. Whomever was directing IU in My Mister did a terrific job with her, especially in how

IU My Mister
she as Li Ji An so subtly from the second through eighth episode becomes infatuated with Dong Hoon, and from there on in cuts loose, as well as how she always had that tough girl strut to her walking gait contrasted with her earnest running facial expressions.
.

Her character in Hotel del Luna was more, imo, a caricature, or at best a fantasy character with far less nuance.

manukajoe
manukajoe
18 days ago
Reply to  BE

Yes, I watched a bit last night, and it seemed very shallow.