Watchlog (November 2014)

It’s already mid-November and I’ve realized that I only managed to complete a total of four full-length dramas this year. Gasp! The past me would be rushing to finish whatever dramas I’ve put aside throughout the year because I used to hate dropping dramas without finishing them, but since I learned the joy (and relief) of being able to drop dramas, it’s like a new world for me. Definitely less dramas, but more time to deal with more pressing issues of real life. Or is it the other way around? Anyway, I’m back to civilization for these few days and that means..catching up with my dramas!

Let’s see…Three Musketeers is the fourth drama I’ve completed this year and while it can be regarded as underwhelming by some, it is an entertaining and enjoyable ride for me. Puppy Dal-hyang!!! (And his same-age horse…tell me it’s still alive, right?!) If anyone is still in doubt whether Yonghwa can act or not, just give this drama a try. It’s wonderful seeing the transformation of both Park Dal-hyang’s character and the actor, Jung Yong-hwa. I laughed, I cried, I shrieked, and I cheered for him. He’s improving by leaps and bounds…and no one can be Dal-hyang but him.

[tvN] Three Musketeers E11.mp4_000797702

(…at this rate I’m going to rattle about him all night…buuuuut I’m digging his new outfit! Mmmm)

Not sure if I’ll be able to put up a review about this show (because it deserves one!) but for now, if I have to list the reasons for anyone to start watching Three Musketeers, here they are, in no specific order:

[tvN] Three Musketeers E11.mp4_000689958

1- The Three Musketeers themselves, with their Plus One mentioned above. Lee Jin-wook is a hottie and a good kisser LOL and he’s nailing his portrayal as the sassy Crown Prince Sohyeon. You’ll grow to love this prince (as much as Dal-hyang came to like and respect this one fine specimen of a man) despite his complicated behaviour (certified by his best friends). Heo Seung-po the mood maker and troublemaker of the group, played by the amazing Yang Dong-geun, whose character is like a big brother to Dal-hyang: playful and enjoys teasing him but can be sympathetic when the time calls for it. His friendship with the Prince is total wuv. I can watch them argue back and forth all day long. Let’s not forget the flower monk-turned-official Ahn Min-seo, who devotes his life to serve the Prince and stay true to his religion while being oblivious to his pretty face that is like a women’s magnet. He’s the opposite of Seung-po, being the more serious one but still flexible. Don’t lose the chance to discover the newbie Jung Hae-in!

[tvn] Three Musketeers E10.mp4_001176925

2- The awesomesauce that is Kang Bin. Gaaaaaah Seo Hyun-jin darling! *hugs* Even if she no longer have to fight like Seol-nan did in Soo Baek-hyang, she pulls you in instantly with her portrayal of the lovable Crown Princess who is trying to capture her complex hubby. She’s not your ordinary whiny and helpless princess; Seo Hyun-jin makes Kang Bin an adorable and respectable consort. Although her character can’t really do much since she’s living in the palace most of the time, she shines when she comes face-to-face with Mi-ryung. I’m digging the bravery and the authority in her voice and expression! Can’t get enough of her? Go and watch King’s Daughter, Soo Baek-hyang….right now!

[tvN] Three Musketeers E12.mp4_001170359

3- Mi-ryung and the rest of the characters. It’s not hard to hate this evil and ambitious woman from the get-go but I find myself drawn to the pitiful girl who fell victim into her own greed. Her life might be cursed just like what she herself said, with all the hatred towards the world she lived in. To think that she cheated death for a number of times…hmmm…if she is going to become the evil Concubine Jo like I thought when I first saw her name, then she will be more scathing and worse than before. Oh, the other characters will make you want to hug or strangle them: Choi Myung-gil (hugs for him), Kim Ja-jeom (choke him!!!), and Injo (Arrrrrgggghhhh!!! *tears my own hair*). Jeon No-min, Park Young-gyu, and Kim Myung-soo are riveting. I love to love them and I love to hate their characters when necessary. Last but not least, Yonggoldae! I hope he will appear in Season 2, perhaps with some Korean skills he picked up along the way. Poor Kim Sung-min, give him the chance to speak his mother tongue in the drama!

One with the potential to be followed until the end…Bad Guys.

It has to be my yearning for TEN Series or I’m just in the mood for crime drama. Slick and sleek. Muehehehe. Blurry knives aside, there are some fights and blood but sufficient blurring works around to keep me entertained without being too distracted by the gore. Well, to be honest, there are a few guys who are distracting me at times but hey, that’s a minor issue I can handle…because who am I to complain when the distractions deserve the attention?

Just watch the drama for them:

[OCN] Bad Guys E04.avi_000623022

Kim Sang-joong (I like the way he says, “You bastard!”),

[OCN] Bad Guys E06.avi_001290404

Ma Dong-seok (Big teddy bear who is a softie at heart),

[OCN] Bad Guys E05.avi_001089058

Jo Dong-hyuk (His fight scenes = LOVE <3),

[OCN] Bad Guys E04.avi_000901059

and Park Hae-jin (Psycho maknae who is the object of everyone’s affection)

I don’t want to spoil anything so that’s why I’m restraining myself from talking too much about the plot…the less you know, the better it would be (probably). Discovery of the year made earlier by me:

[OCN] Bad Guys E05.avi_001567000

I know I’ve seen this guy somewhere before…and he turned out to be Yunho’s rival soccer star in Heading to the Ground (don’t judge me, I was in DBSK phase back then!). He looks younger here! Must be the military service doing wonders…or he’s secretly aging backwards, slowly turning into a high school student. For the curious minds, his name is Kim Jae-seung.

Secret Door. Oh, how much I wished for you to have better ratings each week, but it seems that fate is not on your side this time. Story is moving along with a time jump (almost at LTE speed?) and we are approaching the doom. So this is how it feels to know that the hero will lose at the end of the day: a sense of ominous foreboding all the time and the characters’ lines are hinting what is in store for them in the future. Oh, my heart!

Secret Door Ep 14.mp4_002612870

Yeongjo is still insecure as ever, even after taking away all the rights to rule as a regent from Yi Seon (Sado). The best thing about the time jump is Seon, who is finally growing up from the painful wake up call he experienced about the ugly side of his father, and he in turn uses the trick of many faces against Yeongjo, who is the master of it. Pwahahaha! It’s still one of my favourite scenes, and Kim Taek continues to blackmail Yeongjo afterwards. Although his naive idealist self does resurface once in a while, it’s still a treat to watch Seon tricking and winning against the Noron (whose ministers are really hilarious when they are bickering) once in a while, before he experiences his downfall. Am I ready to watch the end? *sobs*

Secret Door Ep 16.mp4_001483997

Lee Je-hoon is hawt, yo!

Scene stealer of the season has got to be Park Eun-bin.

Secret Door Ep15.mp4_000443906

Who has ever thought that this portrayal of Lady Hyegyeong would be more than a mere political rival for Sado? The character does come off quite strong at first, displaying her ability to pull the strings in order for her to steer the direction in her (hubby’s) favour and proving herself as a background player in the political game. Intrusive and hard-headed on the outside, Princess Hyegyeong in this version unveils a vulnerable and soft side of her beneath the layers of the royal robes and her mask as the nation’s future queen. Her high hopes for Seon to become a great king in the future surpasses her own desire to receive any kind of romantic notions from him. However, she is still a woman deep down in her heart, harboring a mixture of love, hope, and respect for Seon, who is her husband, the future king, and the father of her child(ren?). Even though she is virtually a consort without much power, she is willing to do anything to save Seon from danger that might befalls onto him. History has dictated how this will end and neglecting all the political stuff, it will be worth anticipating how Princess Hyegyeong will turn her back on the Crown Prince she tried to protect with all her might and heart in order to save the future, that is her son, Yi San. With all the overflowing emotions shown by her, it will be painful.

Secret Door Ep 16.mp4_003069193

Family scenes like this is my heart’s Achilles heels. The dialogues in this scene? Just kill me, show! *tears*

I am still wondering if we are really going to witness Sado’s descent into madness in this adaptation…because if it does happen, it will happen at LTE speed at this rate. We’re already in 1958 according to the drama’s timeline, and if there’s something that will be painful enough for him to be driven into craziness, the show needs to do a believable job at that one. The political discord is more than enough of a reason for him to be killed by Yeongjo since the father already showed the capability to kill the son, but if the mental sickness is featured even for a bit, it will provide a nice nod to the memoirs, even if the historical accuracy is debatable.

Upcoming dramas on my radar..King’s Face and Maids. I’m drawn to sageuk nowadays..

I’m still trying to find the missing mood for movies, because I have a bunch of those I’d like to check out but I’m not in the mood for them. One example is King’s Wrath/The Fatal Encounter. Coincidentally, it’s about Sado’s son Yi San, who will become Jeongjo. So far I’ve skimmed through the movie and I like what I see…

The.Fatal.Encounter.2014.XviD.AC3.2AUDIO-Zoom.avi_000821784

Hyun Bin is beautiful and Han Ji-min is beautiful. Beautiful people on my screen!

Dear mood, where art thou????

Disclaimer: this post was written by the author under pressure. Please excuse all the incoherent rambles πŸ˜‰

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19 thoughts on “Watchlog (November 2014)

  1. Thanks for your updates !
    I was in historical mood completely this year. Starting with Empress Qi, followed by Dong Yi and Queen Seon Duk, both twice. A few shorter and modern drama’s in between for balance. Yi San was different. I made it till episode 41, and finally dropped it. What a luxury indeed to do that ! It kept dragging on and on, and now I am a bit tired of “Chunaaaah ! I deserve to die !!!”
    But your recommendations make me eager again. After all I have to be prepared for next year, when Sado comes out.

  2. This year I was on historical drama a lot. Starting with Empress Qi, followed by Dong Yi and Queen Seon Duk, both twice.
    Yi San put me off recently, I made it till episode 42, after pausing a few times already and finally dropped it altogether. Dragging on and on.
    I was getting tired of too much “Chunaaah, I deserve to die !!!”
    But your recommendations make me eager again,
    After all, I have to prepare for next year, when Sado comes out with Moon Geun Young!

    1. LOL I can understand how the phrase can be frustrating when you have heard it about hundreds of times in the historical dramas πŸ˜€ I don’t have thr chance to watch Yi San yet, but good luck in finishing it! Aja aja!

  3. Yay! Another Three Musketeers commentary! There aren’t as many places to read about it so thanks! I enjoyed reading your thoughts on it! =) It’s been a while since it ended…but I still can’t help myself from searching for more places to read about this show. The wait for next season is killing me. I’ve loved Seo Hyun Jin since I saw her in Soo Baek Hyang. Actually, I got introduced to that show because of your site so thanks so much! (I was following your Empress Ki recaps back then lol and I ended up reading your SBH post) SHJ was most likely 90% the reason I watched Musketeers but I’m glad it turned out to be a really entertaining watch overall and I really loved the Crown Couple. They only get a few minutes each ep (which makes me sad lol) but the more the story progressed, they really made those few minutes count. Always alternating between heartbreaking to adorkable. Hahaha! I also really loved Kang Bin’s quiet courage/strength/patience. She can be child-like at times but she also steps up to the plate when necessary (loved all her confrontation scenes with Mi Ryung, especially how she gained her confidence/conviction with each and every encounter). Like in the palace (ep8), when Kang Bin was saying ‘how dare you come here?’, she could barely even look at Mi Ryung, she kept looking down. Those little beats by SHJ always killed me. But by ep 10 during that palanquin scene, her conviction while she was delivering that ‘don’t you dare dictate my life for me’ speech, damn! Idk how many times I replayed that scene. Her elegant clumsiness (if that makes sense) also always made me LOL. If you can go on and on about Dal Hyang… I can probably go on and on about Kang Bin (and also Seol Nan). Hahaha! Waah how did I write this much? =O

    1. I just finished the drama few hours before I wrote this post, so that’s why I seem to be so excited while writing it. Hehehe!
      Ahhh Crown Couple ❀ Those years spent by Kang Bin in patience finally paid off and I was crying while cheering for Sohyeon and her! Yup yup she felt inferior to Mi Ryung at first but realizing how the girl did not deserve the position of Crown Princess from the beginning, Kang Bin gained confidence to protect her position and her life. I miss them already!
      By the way, no worries for the long comment. It's always a delight to read them! ^^v

      1. Aaaah I miss them too! They were my OTP from the start… even though So Hyun was always so vague/cryptic and I always wanted to wipe the smug grin off his face when he used jokes instead of really talking to her. I could 100% understand her frustation with him. LOL! I really wanted him to realize her worth and I wanted them to work it out. Well…he did have some moments where he was a bit sincere/sweet towards her in the 1st half of drama…but still I felt really bad for her…I just wanted her to be happy and feel loved. Her wish at the end of ep 8 really broke my heart. T-T So I was beyond happy for her once So Hyun started reciprocating her feelings. I died in ep 9 during that palanquin scene. T-T Again, he was still being cryptic but she figured it out and that smile she flashed him was sooo bittersweet given the situation. I loved every second of that scene + the OST. And I also loved that once So Hyun had his closure with Mi Ryung…he went full throttle with his growing feelings for his wife and didn’t waste any more time. ^___^ He was so cute waiting/pining for his wife in ep 11 (at least he had a little taste of what his wife had to endure for 5 yrs =P). Now it tickles me that wifey is starting to mess with him. Their final scene in ep 12 was so so so adorable. It was a joy to watch Lee Jin Wook and Seo Hyun Jin play off of each other’s characters, they were really in sync. I hope Kang Bin gets to be even more awesome in the following seasons. I wrote so much again LOL. =P

        1. Hehehehe Now that Yoon Seo had caught Sohyeon’s weakness (that is herself!), nothing can stop her from the petty revenge over what he did to her in the past πŸ˜› It’s really a long journey to break the ice that is in Sohyeon’s heart but once the ice is broken, there’s not much problem in emitting the fire in him! Watching how Yoon Seo waited and finally broke down in ep 8 before witnessing Sohyeon’s reciprocating her feelings is just lovely. Kyaaah I’m still brimming with tears each time I hear Yoon Seo’s theme song! ❀

  4. I’ve dropped more dramas this year than in my cumulative years of viewing. That does not mean there are more bad ones, it simply means I am less tolerant. It’s rather liberating, to just say no instead of maybe, and get sucked in and waste hours of my life. I’ve certainly been more selective of what I have even started. I”ve never been one to follow the crowd or be a band wagon jumper-not that I watch stuff no one watches, I just abide by my own counsel rather than be influenced by what my peeps are watching generally. I’ve definitely learned over the years that just because a favorite peep is raving over a drama, does not mean I should ignore my own preferences if I know there is something about it that doesn’t suit me.

    I will be including a dropped and why I dropped section of my year end review this year, that feels kind of negative, but I also feel I need to keep it real.

    1. ” I’ve definitely learned over the years that just because a favorite peep is raving over a drama, does not mean I should ignore my own preferences if I know there is something about it that doesn’t suit me.”
      THIS. Sometimes the pet peeves of mine are what turn me off from a cult drama and it should not be a weird thing to do if we’re to deviate from the majority! The dropped dramas section sounds great! it can help people to be more critical in making their drama choice πŸ™‚

      1. It’s not weird, it’s just personal taste. The only ones that make it a weird thing are immature sheep and bullies that lead the sheep, and that can go either way, whether it’s a clique of squeers or haters, because along with cult dramas, there are dramas that it becomes “cool” to hate. Having an opinion just puts you in target range for people that live to argue or attack or need to validate their own choices. I just believe in stating my opinion as I feel the need and letting it go at that. I refuse to get caught up in someone elses’ agenda or their need to be right lol. Fighting!

  5. I have become more selective as well, but the flame is not down yet.
    One of my first drama’s was Boys Before Flowers, and watched it twice.
    I liked it, but when I tried again lately, 5 years later, I did not get beyond the 4th episode.
    Everything was new the first time: Korea, kimchi, the filial customs of Korea, and many other things.
    But it is too sweet now, too much blown up with semi-luxury commercials.

    And now, after a long period of historical dramas. I needed a reset with a light drama
    That was “My Girl” !
    I am not for the romantic drama’s all the time, but this one is really fresh still.
    Nice complicated stories with a good cast and fresh humor.

    With Christmas appearing and the weather finally changing, Secret Garden is on the file again.

    Following the crowds is not my thing either, people around me know that πŸ™‚
    ( At work I eat my lunch, which is any variation with kimchi nowadays. )

    1. It’s all beautiful to our eyes at first but as the time goes by, we are forced to choose what appeals to us the most as we know more about it πŸ˜‰

      I am watching a light drama too, just for a break over the political machinations in sageuk. Haha! The good thing about these light and fluffy dramas is we only need to enjoy the humour without squeezing out brains~

  6. And what a coincidence..
    I had an eye on Hotel King, to watch it one day, but forgot about it and did not really look into the details.

    “My Girl was” a proper reset, finally I started with “Hotel King”, never realizing that Lee Dong and Lee Da Hae were playing together again, after 9 years.
    Such a strong team in a drama that takes you in it right from the first 10 minutes.
    2014 has not been a bad year for KDrama at all !

    1. I’m still waiting for the right moment to watch Hotel King because of the leads! Right now I’m enjoying the drama Birth of a Beauty. It’s like seeing the lovely Jo Anna being reincarnated as Sara, but definitely kinder than the heroine of Fantasy Couple. Ah, Han Ye-seul is not afraid to show the ugly side of her when it comes to acting!

  7. Thank you for this post. I’m now tempted to give Three Musketeers a try! I’m wary of sageuk dramas lately, and it’s been a while since I enjoyed a Jung YongHwa drama. I love him, but I’m not that fond of his acting. I’m pleased to hear that he has improved! πŸ™‚

    I’m also enjoying Bad Guys a lot! I haven’t seen TEN, though. Is it really good? πŸ™‚

    1. Give it a go if you’re looking for a light sageuk! Three Musketeers might not be a conventional sageuk, it’s like a little bit of everything but still an enjoyable ride.

      Bad Guys is like TEN, in the sense that the latter also use a high-end ensemble to solve crimes but TEN gathers the policemen instead of the bad guys πŸ˜€ It’s gorier (now that’s a real word!) than Bad Guys because they’re mostly dealing with murder cases but very entertaining. I personally like Season 1 more but Season 2 is still good.

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