weekly roundup // 9.15.19

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I’m very sporadic on these weekly roundups, and I feel like I’m explaining that every time I post. I’m going to be trying out doing these every other week to see if that fits into my schedule more. I enjoy doing these, because it forces me in a way to really keep on top of what’s out there and I do enjoy that aspect of being able to see what’s going on news wise in Hallyuland.

SCHEDULE▹▹

Dramas starting this week that I’m interested in: Secret Boutique and When Camellia Blooms (18)

Music I’ll be checking out: Seventeen (16), Dreamcatcher (18), VIXX (19)

ENLISTMENTS▹▹

Didn’t see any.

CASTINGS▹▹

-Daniel Henney has been cast in the newest Wheel of Time adaption.

-Momoland’s Yeonwoo will join Channel A’s Touch.

-9.9 Billion Woman has confirmed cast with Cho Yeo Jeong, Kim Kang Woo, Oh Na Ra, and Yoo Young Jae.

-Kim Jaejoong announced that he had to pull out of the Korean remake of Jane the Virgin.

-Son Ho Jun to start in comedy movie Stella.

-Lee Sung Kyun in talks to star in second season of Romantic Doctor Kim.

LINKS▹▹

-Youtube

Another day, another couple of new Youtube channels. This time it’s Ji Chang Wook and Ha Ye Seul’s turn.

-Black Culture in Korea

This is an interesting article taking a look at South Korea’s entertainment system and it’s appropriation of black culture.

-Stranger Season 2

Stranger/Secret Forest was announced that it would be returning for a second season. At this point, everyone has been confirmed onboard for the project except for Bae Doona.

-Academy Awards

The film Parasite has been officially entered for International Film award at the Academy Awards.

-Victoria

Along with Amber, Victoria announced her departure from SM.

-Netflix Content

Netflix is set to release a good amount of Korean content soon that includes some Originals and some specials like Park Na Rae’s comedy special and Busted season 2.

-SKY Castle Remake

There is talks for US remake of the drama SKY Castle. I know most are mixed, but this is one of the few remakes that I’ve heard of that makes sense. Not only do I think it can play directly or slightly with what is happened in the news with school scandals, it is a story that just can be adapted really well to a Western culture that to me just works.

-Viki Dramas

In case you missed it, Variety put out an article about Viki’s lineup. While the article’s information is almost entirely dated (there’s a list of new dramas that include things that Viki already has completely subbed and no new to me upcoming shows), it does provide a little more insight as to Viki’s reasonings and business choices in what they’ve been picking up.

-Monsta X

This is a really thoughtful and well written article about Monsta X and the journalist’s experience with them.

-Episode Cap

The NRTA has announced plans to cap cdramas episode numbers down to 40 episodes to combat dragging seasons. I’m not a Chinese drama watcher, but I do know that a lot of times the amount of episodes can effect the overall drama.

-Analog Trip

YT Premium show Analog Trip with the guys from TVXQ and some of the members of Super Junior has been announced premiering on Oct 9th

-Seoul Drag Queens

Interesting article on the growing number of drag queens in Korea and their role as activists.

VIDEOS▹▹

-This is a really sweet video from the React Channel that had ATEEZ coming to surprise some of the reactors after they reacted to their music. A lot of the reactors were fans, and it’s just a really sweet moment seeing them interact

-Wheenin’s Goodbye MV and song are both gorgeous

-More Monsta X and Oli goodness

-Dreamcatcher released the MV for their newest Japanese single, Breaking Out

♢♢♢

September TBR/W

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How is it already September?

This month FLEW by. I just looked at my last TBR/W and I realized that I accomplished none of it. None. I didn’t read a single page of any of the books for the readathon that I was really excited to participate in. I barely watched dramas. What have I been doing with my life? Well, work and trying to catch up and figure out how to make my life a little less chaotic and still do the things I want, but mostly I’ve been listening to more music and getting more into kpop.

This comes from a place where music is just more accessible for me to enjoy while I’m doing the things in life I have to (still not good enough at Korean to have dramas playing in the background), but also a little bit because I’ve been trying to avoid drama…drama. I’m kind of tired of constantly seeing people complain about things and harping on them for post after post, or saying pretty terrible things about actors just because they don’t enjoy their acting (or what is very obvious the character/director’s wishes). Kpop has just become my safe spot of sorts. It’s also just so easy to consume content that is only ten minutes here and there as opposed to an hour and a half for one episode.

So that’s why you are seeing me get more vocal about kpop if you follow me on my social media. It’s always been a thing I liked (I started listening to kpop/Asian music in high school), I just kept my timeline more focused on drama talk, but that’s been changing and it’s been actually a lot of fun. This doesn’t mean I’m stopping watching and talking about dramas. I still am (it would be a little problematic since I’m on a podcast where we talk about dramas), but I might not talk a lot about them. Or chances are I’m not watching dramas that you are interested in; I’m rarely watching what my timeline is.

I’m going to continue to work on a good pattern for my life and not worry about not meeting the standards I set for myself in regards to what I watch, but I still want to talk about what I want to accomplish and that is why I’m still going to be doing these TBR/Ws. It’s also just in my nature to plan things, and this fits that bill.

+ the books +

I was tempted to participate in the Raven Cycle readalong that is happening this month hosted by Books and Lala, but I don’t think I’ll be able to fit any sort of readathon in this month. I don’t have any books specifically that I want to read, but I do plan on fitting at least two books in this month in some way.


+ the dramas +

Here’s some of my currently watching shows that either haven’t finished, or I want to chip away at more than my other on hold shows:

Not a lot of dramas premiering this month that I’m super into, but there are several that are interesting…and almost all are premiering on the same day. Apparently September 18th is the day that Jessie will be watching new shows.

September 18 July Found By Chance-어쩌다 발견한 하루 // MBC (Viki/Kocowa)

The cast on this high school drama is pretty solid, and I love the premise of a high school student finding out they are actually a web comic character. I think this one will be cute, and sometimes it’s nice to have that type of drama in the mix.

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September 18 Secret Boutique-시크릿 부티크 // SBS (Maybe Kocowa?)

This one just looks like it will be super interesting. Don't know too much about it, but the posters have been gorgeous so I’m expecting the drama to also be that way. Also, this trailer is kind of amazing even if I have no clue what they are saying.

September 18 When Cameillia Blooms-동백꽃 필 무렵 // KBS2 (No one yet)

I’m only sort of interested in this drama, as I like the cast. It’s being labeled as a romantic comedy thriller. I just. What?

September 28 Melting Me Softly-날 녹여주오 // tvN (Viki)

I’ve talked about this drama in several Weekly Roundups and have mentioned that the story for this one doesn’t intrigue me, which still is very true (especially since they’ve released the promo poster for it…wow). But the cast is getting me. I love Won Jin Ah and Yoon Se Ah. I’m really in it for those two.

I hope that you’ll bare with me as this blog keeps being sporadic, but no matter how much or how little I do with it, it’s fun for me and I’ll keep trying to create more content. Also follow me on twitter if you are into random tweets about both dramas and music.

weekly roundup // basically all of august

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I’ve been slacking on updating all the news that I’ve found interesting for the past couple of weeks, between starting back at work (and my life of unlimited free hours went away), the Monsta X concert/Noonas camping trip, and just general life stuff I haven’t been able to find the rhythm of incorporating the news posts and let it slip last month. BUT I have been keeping up with the news this month fairly regularly so I figured I would do a post of all of the especially interesting ones to catch up on everything (and I can clear out all of these bookmarks).

On to the news!

SCHEDULE▹▹

Dramas starting this week that I’m interested in: None

Music I’ll be checking out: Simon Dominic (2), Mamamoo’s WheeIn (4), CLC (6)

ENLISTMENTS▹▹

-100% Hyukjin began on the 26th of August.

-Lee Hong Ki from FTISLAND will enlist on Sep 30th,

-Crush mentioned that he would be enlisting some time next year.

CASTINGS▹▹

*I know I said I was moving them to links last post, but I figured I would still separate them out. However I’m still only talking about those that interest me and not every casting I see.

-Park Min Young and Kang Seo Joon

The two are in talks to lead a JTBC drama. This information was released at the beginning of last month, but no new word.

-Nichkhun Horror Film

I couldn’t find a proper English link so the announcement on twitter will have to do. Nichkhun from 2PM is currently filming in the Thai-horror film Cracked.

-Kim Seul Gi

The adorable Kim Seul Gi has signed on to the upcoming show, People with Flaws.

-Jung Hae Jin and Chae Soo Bin

The pair has been cast in the new tvN drama Half of Half.

-Lee Sang Yeob

Lee Sang Yeob has confirmed casting for the kdrama Good Casting.

LINKS▹▹

-Naver Manipulation

Basically ripped out of Search WWW, Naver potentially manipulated searches during the YG scandal. Important note: Naver is a YG investor.

-Jimin Park leaves JYP

Finally Jimin Park is free of the basement that is in JYP and has left the company after her contract expired. If you haven’t listened to her I highly suggest you do. She has a really great voice and her songs are great. Check out her parting MV down in the videos.

-Monsta X Jimmy Kimmel

The day I got back home, Monsta X performed on Jimmy Kimmel which is really great and wonderful, except for the fact that French Montana, who is on their English song ‘Who Do You Love’ forgot his part during the performance. There have been talk about how he was also drunk, showed up late, and generally being a terrible person with no respect to Monsta X nor the staff of Jimmy Kimmel. The worst part about this is second rapper (legitimately talented-English-speaking), I.M, literally has no part in this song because of French Montana. Sigh.

-S Korea/Japan Trade

I’m going to be completely honest as I don’t follow this international news much, but I did want to bring this up in the list. South Korea has removed Japan from it’s list of trusted trading partners. There is a good article up on Japan Times that incorporates what this could mean in terms of kpop and how the fans are reacting

-Youtube

So many more YouTube channels are coming out. Dowoon from Day6 has opened up a YouTube channel. Jisoo also opened up one. He’s our podcast mascot, how am I not going to bring up Jisoo’s youtube? And finally Ryeowook from Super Junior announced he would be opening up one soon.

-BTS Drama

BigHit announced that BTS’s universe is being turned into a drama. The coming of age drama will not be starring the boys.

-Monsta X I.M

This is a really great piece that highlights I.M’s position while the boys have been touring in the states. As the most fluent in English member, he’s had to step up. It’s a good piece and I.M deserved the shoutout.

-Taiwanese Dramas

Netflix has officially announced the dates for the Taiwanese dramas Triad Princess and The Ghost Bridge airing on their platform. Both have a card up on Netflix (US) so no worries on finding them. Always down for more Jasper Liu dramas.

-TMI News

There was an episode of the Korean show TMI News that had some idol guest on talking about invasion of privacy and how horrible it can be. This twitter thread has a good translation of it. Earlier in the month Heechul talked about what he has to do because of the invasion of his privacy and how much it effects his life.

-Lee Jong Hyun

The trash is out my friends. The trash has been taken out.

-Top 10 Static Shots of Power Lines With Cicada Noises

Really, this is the content I want to see.

-Amber Liu

Amber from f(x) officially has ended her contract with SM after ten years. While I love f(x) and always wanted them to comeback, this is the best move for her. SM has been doing nothing with the group, nor with Amber and she’s been having to do all the work. Excited to see what she does in the future.

VIDEOS▹▹

-Jimin Park’s ‘Stay Beautiful’ MV.

-Video of 2NE1 practicing that Kanauru took back in 2010.

-IU’s hair stylist talks about the looks she’s doing for her in Hotel Del Luna.

-Siyeon’s cover of ‘Eraser’ is too good.

-I really need you all to be listening to Tablo’s podcast. Here’s a clip of the most recent episode.

-Want to die of Monsta X with adorable kid cuteness?

-I don’t watch Bollywood (or any Indian content), but this series on Netflix India is so good that you don’t need any background to enjoy.

-This Dreamcatcher stage mix is insane.

♢♢♢

August TBR/W

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Things have been a little crazy this past week or two and I haven’t actually had a lot of time to sit down and really figure out my TBR/W for the month, so this month I will just stick to written form and forgo doing a video as well.

+ the books +

I have decided to participate (or try to participate) in one readathon this month: the Mythathon. There are a number of ways to do this readathon, but the most appealing part of it was that it’s for the entire month. I probably won’t be able to pick up a book till at least next week, so this really is the perfect readathon for me to be doing right now. You can find the announcement video here. I will be on Oya Team Air headed by The Novel Lush.

These are the challenges:

  1. Oya is the Orisha of wind and storms - read a book that takes place under hostile weather conditions: Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

  2. Oya is the Goddess of Death and Renewal - read a book where a character must reinvent themselves: Rebel Seoul by Axie Oh. This is going to be combined with the Certified Noonas Book Club pick.

  3. Oya is of the Yoruba tribe where women do not hunt - but she became a fierce warrior anyway. Read a book about an unconventional woman: Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

  4. Oya has 9 children and her lucky number is 9 - read a book with a number in the title: A Thousand Beginnings and Endings edited by Ellen Oh

  5. Group Book: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin

+ the dramas +

I have a couple of stragglers left over that are still currently airing that I’m still watching. I won’t put the ones that I’ve let fallen that I’m probably going to marathon at strange times. Here are my top returning ones:

There aren’t a crazy amount of new dramas this month, but there are a few that I will be trying to track down and find time to at least watch and feel out if I want to keep them or keep them in mind for a later time.

August 5 I Wanna Hear Your Song-너의 노래를 들려줘 // KBS2 (Viki)

I honestly am only interested in this one because I just don’t know what it’s suppossed to be. I thought it was going to be lighthearted, but it’s a thriller?

August 8 The Naked Director-全裸監督 // Netflix

This one, while probably not something I would go for, is a show that I’m going to try out because I just want to support more jdramas on the bigger stations. It’s Netflix produced, so I’m assuming that all the episodes will be released at once.

August 9 Be Melodramatic-멜로가 체질 // jTBC (Viki)

This was actually on my list for last month, and it got pushed back to this month. Still really interested in it. I enjoy these types of dramas so I’m hopeful that this one will be a good one to have on rotation.

August 31 Hell is Other People-타인은 지옥이다 // OCN (No word on subs)

Im Siwan. Lee Dong Wook. Dark and creepy. OCN. Did we expect me not try this one out?

weekly roundup // 8.4.19

First week back at work, so I’m sure I missed some news and didn’t get to see them. Especially with twitter being annoying and not showing all my followers on my phone. Makes things harder. I’m moving back to only linking and commenting on castings that I personally care about as opposed to keeping up with all of it. I don’t have much time and I enjoyed that format better. Look in the links section for them.

Read More

Four Episodes: In Time With You

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I’m starting a new series that is much like the First Impressions posts, but dives a little farther into the drama’s episodes without it being a full series review. While I’m not the type of person who subscribes to the “Four Episode” rule, I understand it’s merit for others. With these reviews I will talk about the first four episodes of a series (or first quarter if it’s a shorter one) and discuss whether I will or won’t be continuing on in with the series.

This first review is on the Japanese version of this particular show. I will only be talking about the first four episodes of this series, as I have not watched any of the other versions. Please be kind and not spoil this show in the comments by talking about the other version or past these four episodes.

Native Title: 僕はまだ君を愛さないことができる (also known as I Don’t Love You Yet)
Release Date: July 15th, 2019 (2 episodes a week)
Episode #: 16 45 minute episodes
Platform: Viki
Director: Couldn’t find the information
Writer: Couldn’t find the information
Genre: Friendship/Romance/Life
Starring: Adachi Rika, Asaka Kodai, Shirau Jin, Matsumoto Kiyo. Rest of the cast can be found here.

I’m starting this series off with a drama that I had not originally knew much about before watching, sans a non-subbed trailer I watched with my limited Japanese skills. Viki picked up it this month and since that is a a rare occurrence that they picked up an airing one, I knew that I was going to be trying it out. I love jdramas and I will jump at any chance to watch them legally. Bonus points that it’s a new show. I generally like more realistic and life based stories that deal with romance as opposed to the standard romcom-esque vibe that’s more common in the romance genre, and this one seemed like a good fit because of that.

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The drama follows two best friends, Mitari Yo and Ishida Ren. They’ve been friends since high school, and have kept up their relationship as they’ve gotten out of school and into the workforce. Yo is about to turn 30 and single, having just come off of a somewhat horrible relationship, and the two decide to bet on who is first to get married before officially turning 30. Yo works at a shoe company, and is very heavily drawn to shoes and the different styles. Because of this and the need for Yo to find her love, the show plays on the Cinderella story. While it is used pretty regularly throughout the show, I do find that it is integrated in a way that isn’t annoying. They don’t try to make this any sort of a forced retelling or use every point as a tie in. It’s cute, and adds a sweetness to her character and the drama.

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The series started off a little slow for me. The set up for the relationship history between the two leads was a little jarring, as it used flashbacks to their time in school. The actors played themselves as younger versions, and the editing made those scenes feel abrupt, with little filter to decipher when we were back in present day. However as the story moved on and those scenes diminished, the pacing got better and a lot more easier to immerse myself into the story. By the end of the second episode I was really invested in the show.

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I favor friends not becoming lovers, but am not opposed to it especially when it is not a sudden realization on both parts. The relationship has already been set up that at least Ren does have feelings for Yo, so this will be a constant element throughout the drama and I’m fine with that. Partly, because I really do love the two of them together. They share very sweet and simple moments effortlessly and there are points in the drama you see them interacting as if they already in a relationship. I’ve seen other dramas play up the relationship as the girl finds the guy more of a brother, but this drama doesn’t take this stance. For the most part they are played more as friends than siblings and it’s not off putting for the plot. We do get to see some of the elements that make them very much a part of each others lives. Ren is a part of her family, as Yo is his. Their moments aren’t forced or pushed, and they show how simply the two enjoy each other’s company. They are comfortable with each other and are able to let their guard down when together. This is in parallel to their other relationships, specifically Yo’s. When she is with Ryusei, she is uncomfortable and always worrying about what to say and how to act.

I talk a lot about found family because it is one of my top dramas tropes, but I also love caring and quirky families. The way that this drama portrays both Yo’s and Ren’s families fulfill that for me. They are funny and weird, but in the realistic way that most families are. Yo’s brother is delightfully odd and obsessively into insects. Though the family doesn’t share his love, they accept him fully. Her Mom and Dad are loving and kind and there are moments you see how they ejoy each others company. Ren’s family is the same way. He lives with his mother and sister who are free spirited and fun. The odd man out in a house full of girls (I either missed or it wasn’t discussed where his father is) he still is kind and respectable. With both families you never not feel the warmth and love from them.

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As of right now, the only thing that is really concerning me is the two love interest characters. This is not because they are rivals. While an unpopular opinion, I would not be upset with the drama if it veered in a direction where the two main leads went their separate ways. I’m just hoping that the characters stay consistent in that is more realistic to come to that decision more than just a divergent to keep the viewer anticipating what could happen. The fourth episode ends with us finding out about Ryusei having a family at home, with his intentions more to advance his career than genuinely liking Yo. While it is a bit cliched and would have rather that story line play out a little differently, he does not worry me as much as Maki. She is verging on a bit of a too heightened character that seems to not fit the tone of the drama. I’m hoping that at this point it is more that the drama is playing up the fact they we, as an audience, aren’t understanding her true motivations. She can just very well be immature and too young to handle her emotions in regards to her feelings for Ren that it is carrying out in less than ideal ways. I just hope it stays that way and she doesn’t become more of an unstable, almost comical character. It would not fit the tone.

I was also worried in the beginning how much the main character would be harping on her age. While they showed that internal conflict several times, the drama has evolved into that not being a central theme. The two do make this bet with an age limit, but there are already moments where we see Yo’s character slowly looking into why she is fearing it and if it is warranted. It’s the moment in time when you don’t know where you are going in life. Finding what you do and don’t want to do as opposed to what is thought to be the norm. This uncertainty in the character has left that plot much less contrived. I was glad to see that.

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I think it’s pretty clear that I will be continuing on with the series. While I worry about Maki and hope that it doesn’t lead into the direction I fear, it’s not enough to make me worried about continuing on. There are just too many good moments for me between the leads and the lead’s interactions with their families that will keep me more than enough entertained. I’m invested in the characters and story and genuinely enjoy watching it. In fact it’s one of the few dramas that I’m currently watching that I try to watch the moment it’s fully subbed. Even with the Cinderella theme and it being more of a romance with some standard tropes, it is not drastically over the top. I appreciate the quietness and more realistic tone of the drama, and I’m enjoying watching the story unfold and seeing where the characters go.

Have you been watching In Time With You? What do you think?

weekly roundup // 7.28.19

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SCHEDULE▹▹

Dramas starting this week that I’m interested in: When the Devil Calls Your Name (31)

Music I’ll be checking out: None

ENLISTMENTS▹▹

-Jonghwan from 100PERCENT enlisted on the 22nd

-Bang Youngguk of B.A.P announced his enlistment for August 1

CASTINGS▹▹

-Simon Liu and Akwafina in Marvel’s Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

-Kim Jae Joong to star in Jane the Virgin Remake. Kim Bo Ra in talks to star as Jane

-Ji Seung Hyun confirmed for JTBC’s My Country

-Lee Dong Hwi, Jung Hye Sung, Park Ho San, and Kim Byung Chul for Cheap Cheonlima Mart

-Son Dam Bi in When the Camilla Blooms

-Lee Yoo Ri confirmed to star in the movie, Singer

-Kim Dam Mi in the movie, The Witch

-Seo In Guk and Lee Soo Hyuk for the movie, Pipeline

-Lee Sun Gyun Jung Ryeo Won confirmed for the drama, Civil War of Prosecutors

-Jo In Sung and Bae Sung Woo considering drama by It’s Okay That’s Love writer

LINKS▹▹

-Aimer

I love the Japanese artist Aimer and will always be excited for new music

-Tablo Podcast

Tablo from Epik High has been hinting towards doing a podcast since he was on Eric Nam’s and not it looks likes it’s coming soon.

-One Piece

It’s been announced that the manga, One Piece, will be adapted into a live action drama for Western audiences and written by Marvel’s Matt Owen.

-KBS Program Cut

Because of a deficit, KBS plans to remove some of their long running programs, which could include my beloved Drama Specials. They suggested also reducing drama lengths down to 50 minutes, which is much needed anyways. Rarely dramas need that length.

-Weathering With You

The Japanese animated film, Weathering With You, premiered last week and now it’s headed to Tronto’s International Film Festival

-MTV Music Categories

Good article on the look at the way MTV categorizes their categories, specifically for International music that is popular and how it separates them.

-JYP Distribution

I missed this when it first came out in March, but JYP signed a deal with The Orchard for their artist music to be sold in stores here in America. I have a pretty sizable 2PM collection, but it’s still not their entire discography. Making it easier for me to have access to it won’t help my wallet.

-Hotel Del Luna Filming Locations

This article shows some of the filming locations for Hotel Del Luna. The Seoul Book Bogo is now on the top of my list if I ever visit Seoul (I didn’t know it was a real spot. Book lovers paradise!)

-Park Seo Joon YouTube

Honestly, at this point I should just have a YouTube corner.

VIDEOS▹▹

-Really loving Yuki Akira’s newest song, Lone Wolf

-JeA (Brown Eyed Girls) was in this adorable video where she was paired with kids to talk about her career (which most of them weren’t alive for).

-Monsta X did a Jenga Truth or Dare. It’s great

-So Jung’s song for the Love Affairs in the Afternoon is out

-EXO-SC’s Closer to You is a pretty good song

-Dreamcatcher did a cute video where they cover popular boy band dances

-Did we expect Taemin’s Famous to be anything but great?

♢♢♢

First Impressions: Watcher

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Disclaimer: If you haven’t watched the first two episode of this drama, there will be spoilers for those in this review.

Native Title: 왓쳐
Release Date: July 6th, 2019 (released every Sat and Sun)
Episode #: 16 hour long episodes
Platform: Viki
Director: Ahn Gill Ho (Stranger, Memories of the Alhambra)
Writer: Han Sang Woon (The Good Wife)
Genre: Crime/Thriller
Starring: Han Seok Kyu, Seo Kang Joon, and Kim Hyun Joo. Rest of the cast can be found here.

Fitting to be firing back up the first impressions posts with this drama, as the last one that I wrote was for another Seo Kang Joon drama, Are you Human Too. Watcher was high on my watch list out of the new crop of dramas for the month because of two reasons: this is an OCN drama and I tend to enjoy their dramas more than the other networks, and because I very much enjoyed Seo Kang Joon’s performance in Are You Human Too. I was excited to see him in another drama that was in a genre I much more preferred than his last drama, Third Charm. The kid has talent for his age, and I enjoy watching it.

Crime dramas, in general, are what I gravitate towards the most as far as a specific genre. I like stories that involve puzzles and require the audience to be figuring out the clues with the characters to find out what is actually happening. In general, this is mostly seen and done better in crime dramas as opposed to any other genre, and it’s why I tend to favor them most. If the crime drama doesn’t have that element, I’m much more likely to not get invested and drop it all together. For this drama, however, that was very much not the case.

The drama captured me from the very beginning. I was very much intrigued by what was going on and what was happening with the storyline. I’ve noticed there are a lot of times in dramas that I tend to be slightly bored, or let my mind wander, and this was not the case for this one. From the very beginning when we see Young Goon as a young child sitting wrapped in a blanket at the police station with headless adults asking him questions about his father and flashes of his helpless mother dying, it sucks me into the story and the why’s.

I’ve always enjoyed stories where there is the “competent underdog” of sorts, the mistreated when they are in fact good at what they do. You see glimpses of that in Chi Kwang. He is banished to the basement where there’s not even a working water cooler, no other staff to help because of the position he is in. And yet, he is known by others for his work. He has the basement office because there are higher ups that know his worth in the precinct, he is there because he hasn’t been entirely written off and this is all they could do. The Internal Affairs department is by default a department (whether it is liked or not) an essential one, and highly important especially while police corruption cases are at a high. The series touches on the public perception a lot and although it can be said he was put there because it was a much hated job internally, things can be said for allowing him to be the one calling the shots there.

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Corruption in police is a trope that I don’t tend to enjoy as much. It’s on par with the “bumbling idiot” cop, as I start to really empathize with the innocent on how those in power and that are there to help them are clearly failing them. However, with this drama I did not mind it. I wonder if it is because of how closely of a tied connection it is for all the characters that there is a sense of the victims taking back the power that pushes me through it? Whatever it is, it’s working.

One of the elements that this drama does well, and is highly effective is it’s use of flashbacks. Every drama has them, it’s something we can’t get away from, but in this drama it is used to pull you into the mind of the characters. The flashbacks aren’t really for us. On the surface, yes - they help you fill in the clues as to what’s going on especially with a drama that has a lot of story that shaped what it is today from the past, but the flashbacks are really to drive the mentality of the character and to understand why they are doing what they are doing. They are haunted by these memories of the past, and the flashbacks are set up to be abrupt almost debilitating reminders. Attorney Han’s hands being drenched in blood as she is watching them (a literal washing the blood off her hands, perhaps?), Young Goon not being able to stop the corrupt cop as he watches on from his past turmoil as a child, frozen. It plays nicely in the show and never once did it not make me even more curious of their past storylines.

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Out of all the characters and plots of the story, I find Attorney Han to be the most intriguing. I love a character that is presented in a way that makes the audience second guess every motivation, or in turn every feeling they (the audience) have for them. We don’t know what she is doing or why for the most part, we can only guess and even with those guesses the show makes you question everything you thought and make you believe that you could be wrong. She also sets up a character that I enjoy the most: the morally grey character. So many times characters are presented as cut and dry, especially in kdramas. If they are a villain, they are a villain: an almost caricature of what a villain actually is. We don’t see the characters that are neither extremely one way of the other. Not every villain is a villain all the time, not every good guy is good all the time. Having her presented as a character that is neither and both at the same time is intriguing, and honestly what I find most fascinating about the entire drama.

I do enjoy how all the characters are starting to come together and are intertwined. I find it fascinating the glimpse you see of how Attorney Han is remorseful towards Young Goon. I especially enjoyed that even though Young Goon’s father is a corrupt cop, it is only brought up a handful of times. They don’t make as big of a deal out of it as another drama would. Chi Kwang has a such a strong relationship to Young Goon, as he is not only the one to investigate his father but you find out that Young Goon’s father was a mentor to him, and yet that doesn’t stop Chi Kwang from distrusting him or using that as a means to get vengeance. So many normal tropes that could have happened, didn’t and that’s refreshing. It also helps keep you on your toes and that is essential in this drama as it is part of the overall tone itself. In the end, it is only really Soo Yeon’s character that is underdeveloped. I don’t know if this is because her connection has yet to come into light, or that because she doesn’t have a connected storyline she will be pushed to the side as filler. Either way we’ll have to see how her character plays more as the series progresses.

All-in-all this was a great start for a drama for me. It left me wanting more after the ending of the second episode. I thought about all the puzzles that needed to be fit together for a while and I’m excited to see how this one progresses. As long as it doesn’t lose steam as the four work together and focus on the bits and pieces of the puzzle and try to skew away from that in trying to come up with content to fit the amount of screen time they have, I think this could end up to be a solid drama.

tbr/w: july + koreadathon

tbr/w: july + koreadathon

I can’t believe that it is already the end of the month. This month flew by fast and I’m not really prepared for it.

This month is going to be slightly crazy, as it’s my last month off contract and I will be trying to get everything I possibly can done during the days when I have the most amount of free time. I’m also participating in two different readathons, and the amount of shows premiering this month is slightly insane.

Read More

Weekly Roundup // 6-16-19

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Lots of things happened this week. I’m going to start trying to keep up with enlistments/casting news that I come across in their own sections.

The video, if you’d rather watch, is at the end of the post.

SCHEDULE▹▹

Dramas starting this week that I’m interested in: None

Music I’ll be checking out: Yesung (18), Red Velvet, Stray Kids (19), JeA (20th)

ENLISTMENTS▹▹

-Chansung left and it was super adorable and Jun.K, Taec, and nichkhun were there as proud parents.

-Park Hyung Sik, ZE:A, “Strong Woman Do Bong Soon”, officially enlisted on the 9th.

-Actor Kim Soo Hyun (“My Love From Another Star”) will be officially discharged on the 1st of July.

-Taeil (BlockB) enlisted on the 10th.

-Lee Won Geun (“Jugglers”) enlisted on the 12th.

CASTINGS▹▹

-Goo Won & Kim Seul Gi in talks for “People With Flaws”

-Choi Kang Hee (“Queen of Mystery”) in “Miss Casting”

-Kim Tae Woo (“Black”, “Romance is a Bonus Book”) and Jung Joon Ho (“Sky Castle”, “Iris”) cast the drama, “The Joseon Romantic Comedy Tale of NokDu”.

-Kim Hye Yoon (Sky Castle), Ro Woon (Sf9, “Where Stars Land”) and Lee Jae Wook (“Memories of the Alhambra”) in the coming of age drama, “A Day Found By Chance.”

-Song Jae Rim (“Clean with a Passion for Now”) and Kim Seul Gi (“Oh My Ghostess”) cast in JTBC surfing reality show.

-Lee Min Ki (“Beauty Inside”) and Lee Yoo Young (“My Fellow Citizens”) for the OCN drama, “Everyone Lies”.

-Jisoo (BlackPink) and Nichkhun (2PM) in “Arthdal Chronicles”.

LINKS▹▹

-Sulli Solo

Sulli (former member of fx) has announced that she will be making a solo comeback. I don’t follow Sulli closely, but she has been targeted with a lot of unnecessary hate and I’m glad to see she is picking up new projects.

-BI of iKON

I don’t want to talk much about this, but this whole situation is a mess and if you need to learn more I urge you to do so.

-Yoo Jae Suk Variety

Yoo Jae Suk is confirmed to star in variety show on YouTube called “Relay Camera”. I’m a Youtube person, so I find this super interesting as it will be airing on YouTube. And I’m a fan of Jae Suk.

-Kim Go Eun in Film Musical

Go Eun will be starring in a film musical based on the play Hero. Although all reports say that this is the first film musical Korea has produced, I don’t think is accurate. I don’t think I’ve ever heard Kim Go Eun sing, but hopefully this will be subbed somewhere that I can watch it.

-Misery

The main posters for Misery are out, and I’ve never wanted to see a show more.

-Aggretsuko

Aggretsuko season 2 trailer is out, and the show is officially up on Netflix. I highly recommend this show, it’s adorable and touches on things that you wouldn’t expect. Can’t wait to find the time to watch the second season!

-Season 2 of First First Love

Netflix is finally releasing the (not really season but a forced break that was entirely not written into the show so seemed abrupt) two of My First First Love on July 26. It had already been reported that they had filmed the entirety of the show, and I’d love to see the numbers for the second season vs the first, because I’m positive the not needed break hurt them. Thanks Netflix, I hate it.

-On Netflix

The article talks about some of the Asian content you can be looking forward to on Netflix, it doesn’t explain why Netflix is purposefully forcing a weird model of breaking them into seasons if the shows have not been set up to be that way, just for their Asian content. Also more news can be found here.

-YG

Well, would you look at that. Stocks are still plummeting, it will be interesting to see how YG the company will be able - if they can - to comeback from these controversies. YG and his brother were trash, but their artists and workers still there that depend upon their salary to live and who have nothing to do with what happened and I feel for them. Vote for CEO Dara. More info here.

VIDEOS▹▹

-Sorn from CLC reacts to…CLC:

-Ken Kamikita’s released a tracklist teaser for his album “Arche” dropping on the 26th:

-U-KNOW “Follow” is out and I love it:

-ATEEZ came out with new music, I’m enjoying “Wave”

-Been really into this new-to-me jrock group, The Winking Owl. Here’s their music video for “君のままで (Stay with You)”

-Nine Chen ft Shi Shi “北京的夜晚 (Beijing Night).” I really enjoy this song (and of course Shi Shi!) and now want to listen to more Nine Chen:

Here’s the news in video form:

♢♢♢

Weekly Roundup // 6-10-19

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Hello friends! Sorry that I’ve been MIA for the past couple of weeks, life got in the way and I’m hoping to jump back into doing consistent posts, and I have a lot of other projects that are in the works.

One of those projects is to do a video to accompany these posts, I won’t talk about all of the links that I post here on the blog, but will expand upon them some more. If you are the video type as opposed to the reading type, this might be for you:

I’ll be back to more updated news next week.

SCHEDULE▹▹

Dramas starting this week that I’m interested in: None!

Music I’ll be checking out: Ateez (10), TVXQ’s YunHo (12), Monsta X (14)

LINKS▹▹

-Lee Min Ho and Kim Go Eun

This is old news, but I do want to briefly talk about the casting of Lee Min Ho and Kim Go Eun in Kim Eun Sook’s new drama. I think it’s interesting that both actors have worked with her before (Lee Min Ho in Heirs, Kim Go Eun in Goblin) and speaks to them agreeing to work on a show again. I’m excited to see what is in store with this production, even the if the drama itself doesn’t sound like something that I would be into initially. I’m willing to give everything a try.

-Pristin Disbands

While Pristin wasn’t a favorite of mine, I had been following them to see what they were going to do after what seemed to be a great debut. It’s sad that issues behind the scenes has forced this, but honestly I had been expecting this for a while. At least the girls are finally free from that tie and can start pursuing other projects.

-Enlistment News

Another lot of enlistment news: Chansung (2PM) will officially enlist on the 11th of this month, Junho (also from 2PM) made a surprise enlistment announcement and went at the end of May, and D.O. from EXO surprised everyone by announcing he was going to enlist in July. While Chansung and Junho were to be expected (they have to enlist this year no matter what), D.O.’s was a surprise. I think it’s a smart move, and that he’s in the perfect spot in his life to leave now and not only guarantee acting projects afterwards (which looks to be his main career goal), but also be young enough to be able to get a variety or roles.

-Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin

In other casting news, Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin look to be joining the writer from Legend of the Blue Sea in a production. I’m super interested in this decision, because I feel it could be a powerhouse coupling. Not only are the seasoned actors even in the drama world, they also had great chemistry in The Negotiation and think it’s a solid and wise move for the drama and the actors.

-SS501

I’m a fan of SS501, or at least what it once was, they were my first kpop boy band that I followed and enjoyed, so I figured I would leave this link here so you can see a bit of their history. I will say, it’s not the best list, as it ends abruptly and almost like it’s supposed to have a second part (they are missing some much of the newer stuff that the members have been doing since they all have gotten out of military), but they will always have a place in my heart.

-Joon Lee Comedy

If you didn’t see it, you have to check out Joon Lee’s Instagram for a ton of really great and funny videos. His kdrama that was done entirely on Instagram with filters is a work of art, honestly.

VIDEOS▹▹

-Donghae and Eunhyuk are my favorites of Super Junior:

-Xcalibur the Musical made this really great behind the scenes video where they interviewed the creative team that is worth a watch:

-I love React to the K (it’s the only reaction channel I follow). Here they are reacting to Henry’s newest song:

-I’m one of those people who tend to favor Girl’s Generations solo music more than group, and Yoona just came back with a good song for the summer:

-I found this MV off of another site, I wasn’t a fan of t-ara, but I’m digging this new Japanese single from Eun Jung:

-Young Saeng also came out with a new mini album:

-CL was also featured on a song by PKCZ with Afrojack

-And Lee Hi is back (!!!!)

Next week I’ll be back to normal and talking about some more recent news. Check out my channel if you are interested!

♢♢♢

Certified Genres: Variety

We were a little bit loose this week and didn’t have anything planned to watch, so we ended up with a new monthly feature. We listed a bunch of genres, picked one out of a jar, and discussed our favorite show from the genre. We drew variety shows this week:

We also spent some time discussing what we have been watching. Happy listening!

Time Codes:

:00 Intro

1:23 What we are watching

42:36 Genre game #1: Variety

1:18:00 Outro

Like our content and want to help out? Check out our ko-fi page for bonus content, or by rating/reviewing/sharing the podcast. Everything helps! https://ko-fi.com/certifiednoonas

Natalia’s fan goods can be found at: https://sojunights.threadless.com/

As always we you can find us on the social medias under CertifiedNoonas or you can email us at certifiednoonas@gmail.com. We are also on all of your favorite places to listen to podcasts.

Weekly Roundup // 5-19-19

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Not a lot of links this past week, but a ton of great music was released!

SCHEDULE▹▹

Dramas starting this week that I’m interested in: Angel’s Last Mission Love (22)

Music I’ll be checking out: GOT7, Kyuhyun (20), Hyolyn (23)

LINKS▹▹

-Lee Dong Wook

Lee Dong Wook is confirmed for the upcoming drama, with Im Siwan. The teaser looks amazing.

-We Bare Bears

The Cartoon Network show, We Bare Bears, announced an appearance of the group Monsta X and it’s just as adorable as expected, and surprisingly spot on. The creators have done the fans right.

-Chungha

Chungha confirmed a June comeback. I love her voice, and her music so I’m excited to see what she puts out.

-Disney x Hulu

Disney made a deal with Comcast to take over Hulu. I don’t know much about what Hulu has in the Asian entertainment market, but I do know that I had seen previous articles about the second season of the jdrama Criminologist Himura and Mystery Writer Arisugawa which was attached to Hulu. Maybe they are gearing up as a competitor to the upcoming AT&T-Warner Bros streaming service?

-Taecyeon

Taec was discharged from the military this week, and Chansung came to see him and they are just adorable. He’s also already set up fan meetings, and started work with his new agency, 51K.

VIDEOS▹▹

The YouTube series, React, is always pretty good but they’ve started doing videos where they get the subject of the video to react to the reactors. This time, it was the jpop group Perfume, and it’s great.

Kyuhyun (Super Junior) officially releases music this week, but this past week released this adorable video that has all his favorite things. I’ve missed his voice since he’s been in the military.

Always on the hunt for new to me music, this song by Wetter is great:

Ladies Code’s comeback song is fantastic and I love every second of it. The part in the MV where they are sitting in the theater watching a clip of So Wonderful? Beautiful and perfect.

And because I can’t get enough of how great it is, here’s their first official comeback stage:

Soyou also came out with a new song with Ovan. I love her voice, and the music video is the perfect song for a rainy day.

Seriously, it was the week of awesome female comebacks, EXID was no exception:

And to round out the week of girl groups, Bom, Dara, CL, and Minzy of 2NE1 got together to celebrate their 10th anniversary and live streamed. I miss them so much, and didn’t expect to hear them say “What’s up we 2NE1” again.

♢♢♢

books. dramas. wine.

One thing that may not be known about me is that I’ve had a Youtube channel for a very long time. It has gone through it’s ups and downs of times of activity. My channel started as a weight loss channel, and even though I added some other things along the way (vlogs, and a few attempts at different content that never stuck), I just couldn’t get back into it like when I first started it. For the past two years, I’ve done little to nothing on the channel. I just stopped making things.

I focused more on the wkd twitter account, sometimes this blog, and then the majority of the rest of my free time went to the podcast. Inherently, it takes a lot of time to keep up with the podcast. We have shows we watch for specific episodes, and top that with the other shows I watch along with editing episodes, a lot of my time has gone to that. I’ve stopped doing some of the things I love in favor of it. Which was fine, for a while, but I’ve been wanting to find a way to do the podcast but also work on my creative things. I wanted to make videos again, I just didn’t know how. Weight loss videos were not my thing anymore. They didn’t help me creatively, and were slightly negative to my mental health. But there was this nostalgia attached to the channel only being about that for as long as it has been that was preventing me from moving on.

Until after one random chat with the Noonas where we were discussing Pride and Prejudice, it clicked. Along with not doing videos, I’ve also stopped reading as much as I used to. Reading has always been a love of mine, but it is always the first thing that I will give up in favor of other interests. Throughout the years I’ve wanted to get back into finding myself lost in a good book and being able to incorporate times of reading even while doing other things. So I suggested a book club. It was something that I wanted to do, but knew that the other ladies were already into reading I thought suggesting it would be good. I get to read more, and it can be combined with the podcast, it seemed like the perfect way to mesh what I wanted to do together.

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And then, as most random plans do (and our moment of collective motivation to do everything), I was thinking about fun things that this book club meant I mentioned a fun bookish video idea. In reality I’ve been wanting to incorporate book videos into my channel for a while, but it just felt weird if they weren’t on topic or it being the sole purpose of the channel. I watch a lot of booktube, and I’ve always thought how much it is similar to the drama watching community. We all have dramas to be watched, books to read. We all have our favorite genre, we jump at giving recommendations to anyone and anything. That’s when it kind of clicked.

So, here I am officially introducing my new channel direction where I combine my love of dramas, the want to make the time for books, and the need to work on videos again. It feels nice to have finally found something that I’m excited for. It just seems like I’ve been throwing ideas at a wall for such a long time, and having none of it stick, and then this happened so naturally and seems like so much fun. I had a good time with my old videos (10 years!), but it’s time to do something different.

So, if you are like me and really love Asian dramas and also books follow along here. Here’s to new and fun projects!