I’m staying on top of my kdramas and k-entertainment this week. With single digit temperatures and snow drifts knee-high, I am staying in evenings with a fire, tea and honey, and my shows. It’s easy to get in 4 hours from 8 p.m. to midnight; just think, in three nights that’s twelve hours right there. And that’s not even counting weekends. Here’s a minicap of what I watched during this chilly January week.
Saturday, January 7
Goblin ep 5 & 6
I’m catching up on this one and finding the overarching theme of afterlife and dying heavy.
Dong Wook as The Grim Reaper (with no name) portrays the sentiments of that theme well. It’s a curse to know as much as he does.
This is such a tear-jerker scene when the man’s dog (who had already gone on to the afterlife) meets his master at the door and they climb the “stairway to heaven” together.
I Live Alone ep 188
Kim Yeon Koung is Korea’s champion volleyball player and the top paid player in the world. She trains and lives in Istanbul most of the year, but happily visits her family in Korea during her vacation. Fans meet her at the airport and she obliges them with pictures and greetings, gives an interview, and finally heads for home to her apartment in Suwon with her father who has come to pick her up.
In her free time, she watches Legend of the Blue Sea and can’t stop humming the theme song all day long. Just like us!
Poor Si Eon is nervous over KBS Awards night. He is nominated for a couple of categories, Best Couple, Best Rookie Actor, and spruces up for the gala event.
Well, Si Eon didn’t win anything this year, but he cheers on his peers, takes a selfie with the cast of W, and remembers to get Jong Suk’s autograph for his mother.
Legend of the Blue Sea ep 15
Looming water issues make me nervous. Joon Jae stands at the cross walk waiting for the light to turn green thinking he is meeting up with Cheong, but who is that vaguely familiar woman beside her?
I like the way this show fills in the viewers with facts, rumors, and fun trivia on K-celebs. (Interview with Lee Jonghyuk, successful middle-aged actor. He is 44.)
There are pros and cons to Korean entertainment’s fan-based/fan-driven popularity. As Heidi Klum would say, “One day you’re in, the next – you’re out.” M.I.B. has recently disbanded; KangNam (one of the members) has found a place on variety shows and hopes to become a permanent on Law of the Jungle.
What’s up, Shinhwa? (Korea’s longest running idol group.) K-celebs work hard to keep a high profile with their fans and make frequent fan meetings and appearances. A spot on EW is always met with appreciation and a good interview.
Infinite Challenge 511 with Big Bang!
At least half of the episode was super fantastic (baby) exciting with Big Bang members who put up with everything that Infinite Challenge throws their way.
I think it’s especially hilarious how starstruck Jaeseok is with Big Bang, GDragon in particular. (That’s okay, Jaeseok, so am I.) His grin is literally from ear to ear. It’s very cute.
Kwanghee made his mark by winning the dance challenge against every single member, showing the many hours of practice he puts in learning Big Bang’s dance moves. It was Kwanghee at his best. “His joints move freely.”
The second half was the continuation of Santa Jaeseok and the bad costumed reindeer passing out the gifts to viewers. How can they even mix the two halves of this episode together?
Monday, January 9
Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim ep 17 & 18
Which will win out, hospital politics or saving lives? Does is really have to be one or the other? Not only is Dong Joo (Yoon Yeon Seok) scratching his brain to know what is true, but so is young Dr. Do whose father is the head honcho and, up to this point, has called all the shots his way. “The world where what powerful people say is considered as a fact while powerless people’s words are considered as a wild rumor” ~ will things continue like this?
ep 18 Dong Joo finally reveals the real underlying reason why he has followed Dr. Kim. In a situation where ethics and the doctor’s best call on which patient to treat first presents itself, Dong Joo is reminded all too clearly of the day his father’s treatment was set aside in favor of a VIP patient. As a result, Dong Joo’s father died, and he has held that against Dr. Kim for all these years. Now he confronts Dr. Kim and asks if that was how he made the decision that day as the entire staff watch on. Meanwhile, a reporter visits the restaurant where Dong Joo’s mother works and probes for information about the day. What really happened?
Kpop Star season 6 ep 8
All three judges were impressed with fifth graders Hyun Jin and Jong Seob who teamed up and beat their competition. They both rapped and danced well enough that JYP’s Jin Young and YGE’s Hyun Suk said they’d recruit them on the spot if this was trainee auditions. Keep an eye on these two!
Tuesday, January 10
More family troubles with a son who wants his independence and a mother who wants his attention; a daughter whose yo-yo dieting is creating disharmony in her family; and a new mother whose own mother is interfering with her child rearing. Somehow, coming on the show seems to smooth out misunderstandings and there is great emphasis on making a “pledge” in front of Korea to do better – whatever that is in each situation – and I think many of those people do try to keep their promises. The celebrity panel and weekly guests (AOA’s Cho A and Hye Jeong this week) also promote positive conversation and address Korean cultural expectations, stigmas, and don’t hesitate to point out bad behavior.
Wednesday, January 11
The Legend of the Blue Sea ep 16
Yay, the longed for mother/son reunion finally happens!
Deliquent Mermaid, Downstairs Mister – ever since Onion in Flower Boy Ramen Shop, I just love how nicknames stick in kdramas. Really, Cheong is so refreshingly innocent in her motives. I just love that she is delighted that she randomly chose her birthday on the very day Joon Jae and his mother reunite. I’m still intrigued as to why Joon Jae can hear Cheong’s thoughts.
Weightlifting Fairy, Kim Bok Joo ep 16 (final)
Look at these two lovesick birds missing each other from a distance as they train. Sweet, sweet!
Then they graduate, then their families meet, then Joon Hyung proposes for their future for a happy ever after ending. I loved how lighthearted and balanced this kdrama was. Joon Hyung and Bok Joo are meant for each other. ♥
Thursday, January 12
More Big Bang! The entertainment shows are smart to start out the new year with top idol group Big Bang for high ratings. Their appearance also coincides with their 10-year anniversary as an idol group. T.O.P. said Weekly Idol is the #1 show their fans want to see them on.
In keeping with Weekly Idol’s low budget antics, the members jump rope, play pass-the-apple (skinship), and just mess around in general with ConiDoni (Defconn and Hyeong Don). Men being silly.
Big Bang anytime is a good time!
Friday, January 13
Abnormal Summit 131
For the new year, Abnormal Summit featured several guest panelists along with the regulars (several were on holiday vacation): Tristan from UK; Olga from Russia; Ceren from Turkey; Khalid from Malaysia; Anita from Ghana; Nikolai from Norway; and writer Cho Seong-yeon representing Korea. Some are students studying for advanced degrees at Korean universities and others are involved in business ventures.
I was surprised at some of the aggressive comments that were meant to invite a heated response like border disputes, airway and seaway confrontations, and political issues such as the EU and NATO and elections. Still, the members are positive and well informed with their varying points of view.
1N2D continues the Flower Men Winter Camp special with our handsome Hwarang cast members. Min Ho seemed really annoyed at Joon Ho’s lack of playing fair (cheating, going to far) especially when it involved a plunge into the icy waters and losing the dinner game.
“Is this what One Night Two Days is about?” Poor Min Ho, I on his side on this one.
Another week filled with some of my favorite Korean shows. With a couple of the kdramas ending, I’m looking forward to something new in 2017. It’s a kdrama life for me, for me, a kdrama life for me!