I worked hard to keep up with my kdrama and k-variety viewing for the first week in December as we wind down another year in kdramaland. Here’s what I’m watching:
Friday Dec. 2
Infinity Challenge – The IC team had some mission challenges to complete before the year’s end. Jun Ha “hugging a polar bear” actually turned into a pretty fantastic trip to the North Pole.
Sometimes I think the IC team has some outrageously amazing experiences and opportunities that go way beyond the preparation of the members. I often find myself holding my breath with both the IC members and the show’s ideas wondering if the combination is going to be a lead balloon flop or conceptualize into a raging success. If nothing else, IC is unpredictable and I have to admit that its charms have a hook.
The expedition in search of polar bears outside the town of Churchill, Canada, on the Hudson Bay was thrilling. Even Myung Soo (the “ahjumma Grinch” in my book) couldn’t damper the raw exhilaration of polar bear sightings in the wild.
Traveling in the super awesome tundra buggy is something I would love to do and added it to my bucket list.
Okay, the set at home base left something to be desired and although it looked like some degree of effort went into the polar bear cutouts the overall effect was a grade school gymnasium stage. In this day and age of projected images and Korea’s amazing internet technology, couldn’t they have created a spectacular 3D panorama?
Kwanghee’s tattooed eyebrows, I dunno…. (Although, you might have realized already, that I am always rooting for our Kwanghee!) I recommend this episode; you can watch it at: http://dramacool.io/infinity-challenge-episode-508.html
Goblin episode 1
I grabbed coffee and a couple of macaroons and plopped down, excited for a new kdrama about curious creatures like goblins and the Grim Reaper and the lore of their existence. I’m loving the line-up of actors, too:
Goblin Kim Shin (Gong Yoo)
Grim Reaper Wang Yeo (Lee Dong Wook). Such a fitting role for our solemn Dong Wookie.
Goblin’s Wife Ji Eun-Tak (Kim Go-Eun). I hardly recognized her without her “dog fur” hair in Cheese in the Trap.
Goblin’s nephew Yoo Duk-Hwa (Yook Sungjae).
Saturday Dec. 3
WGM – Goodbye, 33 couple, I’ll miss you! Jota and Jin Kyung adored each other. Both were very athletic and went head to head for some fiercely competitive activities. Even Jota’s father told him to let Jin Kyung win sometimes. The two of them had really nice chemistry without being overly sweet. Jota’s popularity and demand have soared with his appearance on this show.
On the other hand, Juk Goo has her work cut out with Sleepy as her WGM husband. I dunno if Sleepy can get it together and I really, really hope that Juk Goo isn’t always disappointed. Sleepy did surprise everyone when he presented matching rings that he had engraved with their names and the date, November 17, 2016. The ceremony was patterned after Won Bin and Lee Na-young’s simple wedding in a wheat field. It suited them well. We’ll be looking for Sleepy to up his game (Gyu Ri [Fury] the dog is cute enough but it could become Juk Goo’s nemesis.)
Hip Hop Tribe 2- Game of Thrones ep 7
The 1:1 competition phase is fierce continues with high stakes and some praiseworthy rap.If all a team’s selected members fail, then the team is killed off. J haven’t decided which team I am rooting for to the end.
Sunday Dec. 4
Goblin ep 2
These two bromancing characters from the netherworld – so handsome!
Immortal Songs 2 – My all-time favorite Korean music show that educates me on Korea’s music culture past and present. I am blown away weekly at the quality of performances and the tributes to those who have made a mark on Korean music. I always mention the green room conversation which is informative, entertaining, and known as one of the best backstage on-air discussions. Lo♥ve this show.
My Wife is having an Affair This Week ep 11 & 12 (final)
Twelve episodes is a good number – not too long, not too short – especially for a melodrama. The most curious thing about this kdrama for me was the intense level of interest on social media by strangers and how much influence the online conversation about Toycrane and his wife had. It was actually kind of scary to think that the tides could shift based on strangers’ input. Or maybe the affirmation and different points of view helped Hyun Woo and Soo Yeon sort out their own feelings. I also thought the side stories carried their own weight pretty well, like the building romance between Bo-Young (BoA) and Joon-Young, and the crumbling marriage between sleazy Yoon-Ki and his wife. Lee Sung-Kyun is always a favorite – Pasta forever! I give this kdrama a B grade.
Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim ep 9, 10
The giant crash pile-up felt rather forced in terms of creating a scenario where Seo-Jung and Dong-Joo can show their skills without the restrictions of the watchful eye of Dr. Kim. By episode 10 don’t you agree that there is a sinister, dark side of Dr. Kim? I wonder if his up-front bare bones style isn’t really covering up something else unsavory. Korean’s hospital politics is dirty business. The drama seems a little uneven because the characters’ personalities are very uneven and hard to read.
Hello Counselor – This issues that people bring to this show never cease to amaze me. Interesting, in a Korean sort of way.
Wednesday/Thursday Dec. 6-7
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo ep 7, 8
Bok Joo is such a good kid and finds herself stuck between meeting the expectations (sometimes based on wrong presumptions) of her coaches and father, and wanting to be with the person who has made her heart flutter by pretending to need a weight-loss program at his clinic. She wants both – a true coming-of-age dilemma where love and reality clash. Joon Hyung, a friend from childhood, has developed a crush on Bok Joo who still treats him like s slug-in-the-arm buddy. In fact, she has the flutters for his older brother. It is a one-sided love, and poor Bok Joo has created a misunderstanding that has gotten her in trouble with her coaches and father. The adults in her life should trust Bok Joo, based on her stellar student and daughter status thus far.
Meanwhile, Shi Ho, ex-girlfriend of Joon Hyung and – unfortunately – Bok Joo’s roommate, is a major brat with major issues who gets away with practically murder. Someone stop this girl! This kdrama reminds me of To The Beautiful You. Does anyone else get similar vibes? Grade this week: C
Minoz Mermaid (Min Ho fans well know that we are called minoz) aka Legend of the Blue Sea 9, 10
Thank you, thank you for the guest appearance of Jo Jung Suk who plays a mermaid who has been on land that he’s almost forgotten their underworld language. They meet at the edge of the sea where Sim Chung is about to jump in for food and as he lunges to save her, they realize they are long lost friends. The discovery of pearls as currency in the land world is hilarious, and he and Sim Chung watch a tear jerker of a kdrama to collect a bagful of mermaid tears (pearls). Now Sim Chung is in business. Add to that his clever ruse to make Joon Jae jealous, and we get a taste of that humor that makes kdramas so squee-worthy.
“The easiest thing in the world is to be disappointed by another person.” (ep 8). Grade this week: B
What are you watching that you would recommend?