When Show is at its best, it’s warm, funny and cozy-slurpy in the best way. Mature leads with fantastic acting chops and great chemistry? A shiny-pretty rom-com world? Easy-breezy music to score it all? Check, check and check.
On the downside, Show attempts to fit in a side of murder, AND a keen spotlight on the potential hazards of a highly competitive academic system, and after a while, Show’s focus gets muddied with these extras.
The downsides aren’t enough to be a deal-breaker for me personally, but I do think that your mileage may vary.
Overall, I found this warm, fuzzy and worthwhile, despite Show’s narrative detours into less warm, less fuzzy things.
Show isn’t perfect by any means, but what it does right, it does so well, that I can’t help wanting to serve my heart up to Show on a plate.
It’s true that Show gets rather indulgent of itself from time to time, and it’s also true that some of the handling feels almost patronizing, in spots.
However, our characters continue to be lovable and wonderful, and Show continues to do an excellent job of teasing out their growth and relationships in a way that feels organic; it just has a way of grabbing my heart.
I have a Dear kfangurl question to ask! My question is whether you’ve ever had a problem watching the same actor in a different role, because you have such a strong impression of him/her in the first show you saw the actor in?
Asking because I just started watching K dramas last year, and i started with highly rated ones like Crash Landing on You and Healer, where the OTPs are so smashing that I was reluctant to see the actors in other shows as it would feel to me almost like they were cheating on their original OTP! Lol.
So far I haven’t “repeated” any actors besides Lee Jun Ki – I first saw him in Arang and the Magistrate and a few months later in Flower of Evil. But to me that felt ok as his performance made the two characters feel completely different. It probably helped that his Flower of Evil character was supposed to have antisocial personality disorder so has flattened emotions.
But now almost a year after watching Healer, I’m watching Park Min Young in Her Private Life and I keep getting flashbacks to her Healer performance, especially when the two characters overlap on certain traits like optimism, pluckiness and sunny smiles.
It’s probably a personal quirk but I do wonder if anyone faces this issue too! For now there are so many dramas out there that I can avoid repeats of actors but soon it won’t be an option! Ha ha.
Dear Kfangurl, Are supporting actors too funny to ever cast as leads?
I keep waiting for my favorites – Park Jin Joo, Kim Seul Gi and my all time favorite, Kim Sung Oh to be part of an OTP or at least a single lead in their own dramas. I’ve seen all of them give snippets of really moving scenes so their acting talent is not in question. What gives?
And phl1rxd writes:
I would love to see an article on your favorite supporting actors|actresses.
There are so many that pop up in our drama world all the time, and while they are not the leads, their work is great none-the-less.
Warm, wholesome goodness dressed in hospital garb, Hospital Playlist is the medical themed drama that even the medical drama-averse can easily love.
Hospital Playlist checks a lot of boxes, for me. The writing and directing is assured; the cast is outstanding individually and together.
The overall feel is balanced, with enough attention given to the cases of the day without losing focus on our key characters; the music is heartfelt and breezy, made even more special when performed by the cast.
The slice-of-life approach might feel meandering and slow to some, but in exchange, you really feel like a fly on these characters’ walls, in their professional and personal capacities.
The long episodes might feel intimidating at first, but once you grow to love the characters, the length of the episodes become more of a boon than a bane.
I legit didn’t want this one to end; highly recommend.
My last foray into a fantasy kdrama dealing with angels and devils didn’t go too well (I’m looking at you, Angel’s Last Mission, cough), so when I heard some rumblings of dissatisfaction on the grapevine about how this show about selling one’s soul to the devil seemed a little all over the place, I was ready to give this one a blind pass without actually taking the time to check it out.
Thank goodness for blog regular Putri, who convinced me to give this show a try, after she’d watched it and really liked it herself.
Once I actually got going with this show, I was pleasantly surprised by how engaging I found it, and now that I’ve emerged on the other side, I’m happy to report that Show even manages its mythology reasonably well.
Since one of my pet peeves with fantasy dramas is that the mythology isn’t clearly presented, &/or crumbles on itself by the end of the story, I count this a pretty big plus in Show’s favor.
The mythology presented isn’t perfect, sure, but it retains its structure enough, and is true enough to itself, that I found myself reasonably satisfied on this point.
Which then also helped me enjoy the rest of the story more, too. Plus! I even found myself jiving with Show’s humor, uh, most of the time. Win, win, and win.
Thank you, dear Putri, because I hafta say, I’m glad I didn’t end up missing out on this one.
Once upon a time, I used to categorize Jung Kyung Ho in my head as Dramaland’s go-to beta male, especially after seeing him in 2009’s Smile, You, where he was the sweetest beta male love interest to Lee Min Jung’s feisty broke chaebol.
(Twas a sweet and cute story, pity about the whopping 16-episode extension, which then resulted in lots ‘n lots of pointless and frustrating filler. Boo.)
Back then, I liked Jung Kyung Ho well enough, but mostly in a casual, almost cursory sort of way.
Compare that to today, when I would quite literally check out a show purely because Jung Kyung Ho is in it, y’know, because he is just so wonderful and brilliant and so good at what he does. *hearts in eyes* What an amazing evolution, eh?
So did I check out this show purely because Jung Kyung Ho is in it? Why, yes I did. Did I know what I was in for? No, can’t say I knew much at all, going in.
Did I eventually understand everything about this show, and its somewhat fantastical premise? I’m gonna hafta say, No, I do not.
But did I enjoy it all the way through anyway? Oh yessiree. I sure did. <3
A show that takes the dark topic of prison and crime, and infuses it all with warmth and hope, Prison Playbook is the unlikely contender for your heart that will likely make you laugh, cry, wring your heart dry, and then fill it right up again.
Writer-nim weaves a story that makes primary and secondary character pop, while every actor in our ensemble cast breathes actual life into the characters, and PD-nim’s signature touch comes alive in both the palpable sense of community and the corny jokes.
As a shining bonus, the bromance at the center of our story feels emotionally deep despite its often gruff surface.
You know how someone might sweep you breathlessly off your feet in the early stages of your courtship – it’s all gloriously giddy and everything seems quite perfect – until you actually start dating seriously, and then, slowly but surely, the illusion of perfection cracks to reveal his or her flaws?
Heh. SO MUCH like my experience with this show y’all. I loved this show in the beginning, but as the episodes progressed, the initial giddy shine wore off, and Show’s flaws came to the fore and made it a pretty uneven watch, overall.
BUT. Like that dating/relationship analogy, just because something’s not as perfect as it first seems, doesn’t discount the possibility of finding nuggets of substance, in the midst of the flaws, right?
Well, it actually took me a pretty long time to appreciate Heartless City. Truth be told, I was slow on the uptake with this one.
While many of my dramaland friends fell in instant love with this show (and others felt an instant disconnect), I fell somewhere in that vague no man’s land of not hating it, but not quite loving it either.
Show later fixed that by creeping up on me and laying firm hold on my heart in the later episodes, so much so that the moment I reached the end, I actually went right back to the beginning for a partial re-watch. Kinda crazy, but completely true.
So maybe my appreciation is sorta like fine wine? 😛