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:

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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!

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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.

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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!

Certified Wandering Earth

This week on the podcast we talked about the Chinese movie, The Wandering Earth, a sci-fi/end of the world/destruction film that was a mega hit when released in China, and did well in the screenings internationally. It currently sits at #3 on the top grossing movies of 2019.

Netflix acquired the rights to the movie, yet released it quietly. In the episode we talk about why we liked the film, why Netflix is promoting it the way they are, and talk about the author of the book it was based on:

This episode is under an entire “spoiler alert” so go watch the movie and come back to listen!

Podcast: Certified Trot

The first week of the month we dedicate our episode to music, and this week we chose to talk about trot.

If you aren’t aware of what trot is or just haven’t dived into it, hopefully this episode will spark your interest in this music genre. Kpop isn’t the only music coming out of Korea that you should be listening to.

For all the music episodes I make a massive Youtube playlist to accompany it. Any video that we talk about (that is available to find) is in the list, in order. It really helps if you want to see the clips we are referencing, or the music we individually like. I also threw in some extras at the end:

We also have a Spotify playlist:

Time Codes:

:00 What watching/news/coming up

25:07 Game

27:52 Trot talk

Weekly Roundup // 5-5-19

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The Weekly roundup is baaaaaaaaaack! These are just a few things I’ve found around as I start back up the series.

SCHEDULE▹▹

Dramas starting this week that I’m interested in: The Secret Life of My Secretary, Abyss (6), Save Me 2 (8)

Music I’ll be checking out: Eric Nam (8), Henry, Xiumin (9)

LINKS▹▹

-Ji Chang Wook

Ji Chang Wook is out of the military and has accepted his first role: Melt Me, a sci-fi romcom. I’m not going to lie, I’ll probably watch the first episode, even though it sounds super weird.

-Death Note the Musical

I grew up performing, and currently work professionally in theatre, so it will always be an interest of mine. I’m trying to make more of a conscious effort to find Asian-entertainment theatre news. I created a hashtag #wkdtheatre on twitter to keep all of it in a central location. I’ll be adding what I find around the web (whether it be news or random videos) on a semi consistent basis. It’s a little harder to find because of the language barrier, but I’ll try to keep it up.

-Pop Culture

Interesting read about the effects of pop culture and how it has become something that is a chore just to be able to be part of the conversation and feel included. It relates heavily to us as drama watchers and how you can feel ousted when you aren’t watching (or don’t like) what the popular show is and it’s effects on their ability to be part of true conversations.

-Fin.K.L Variety Show

There’s probably no way I won’t be watching this variety show. Fin.K.L has a place in my heart with Forever Love. Let’s also be honest, there is very rarely a time I’m not down with watching a variety show.

-MBC Mon/Tues Dramas

MBC has decided to get rid of the Monday/Tuesday (as well as the Saturday) drama slots after seeing drops in viewership. This effects us less as International viewers (who already have delays on airings because of subs, etc), but could lead to unexpected effects.

-Ladies Code Comeback

I love, love, love Ladies Code. Sure, we got a Christmas song and I loved both Sojung and Ashley’s solos, but I’ve wanted more, 2016’s Myst3ry was the last comeback. IT’S FINALLY HAPPENING.

-EXID

And in news that I knew would happen but still breaks my heart, Hani and Jeonghwa have decided not to renew their contracts with Banana Culture, putting EXID in “hiatus” after their May comeback. I’m excited for the future solo releases, but will be sad to not see them together. I don’t have any strong hope in them producing anything past this comeback together.

VIDEOS▹▹

Epik High did a video with Buzzfeed about “Their First Times” and it’s just as amazing and hilarious as you would expect from them:

Heechul finally has a solo out, Old Movie. He legitimately has a great voice, I just don’t understand why it’s taken this long.

Slightly obsessed with Reol’s song, Gekihaku:

I also became a huge fan of Band Maid (seriously, where have I been??). Here’s their newest song, Gion-cho:

Park Bom’s new song, 4:44 came out a couple of days ago:

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May 2019 Dramas

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May 4 Different Dreams-이몽 // MBC Saturdays (Kocowa, Viki)

Espionage drama set during the Japanese colonial occupation. Looking forward to this one because it looks intriguing and the costume design is gorgeous. I also have to support Kim Kyu Jong.

May 6 Abyss-어비스 // tvN Monday-Tuesdays (Netflix)

Supernatural drama where the two main leads die, and are revived in a different body from a soul-reviving marble called the Abyss. With Park Bo Young and Ahn Hyo Seop as leads, this one is probably going to be entertaining. I also love a good supernatural, and with this being on Netflix it’s a safe bet that I will be trying this one out.

May 6 Secret Life of My Secretary-초면에 사랑합니다 // SBS Monday-Tuesdays (Kocowa, Viki)

No one knows what this one is about. Does he have facial blindness? Is he actually blind? Did he kill someone? Who knows. Not super interested in this one (it doesn’t look to be my type drama) but I might check this out just to see what’s going on. I absolutely loved Jin Ki Joo in Come and Hug Me.

May 8 Save Me 2-구해줘 2 // OCN Wednesday-Thursdays (Godspeed)

I have not watched the first season of Save Me, but was told that it wasn’t needed. Thriller/psychological drama about a town and their connection with an over zealous religious group. As long as I can find a place to access subs, I’m 100% down with this one.

May 11 Voice 3-보이스 3 // OCN Saturday-Sundays (Godspeed)

Third season of the Voice series that follows an Emergency call center. As far as I know, this one is a continuation, and I have not watched the other two seasons so I probably won’t be watching this one, but may check out the first season this summer.

May 15 Absolute Boyfriend-절대 그이 // SBS Wednesday-Thursdays (Viki)

Romcom about a girl who falls in love with a robot, based on the Japanese manga. Honestly, I’ll probably watch this one. The cast looks pretty great with Yeo Jin Goo, Bang Min Ah, and Hong Jong Hyun.

May 15 Angels Last Mission: Love-단, 하나의 사랑 // KBS Wednesday-Thursdays (Kocowa)

An angel recieves a mission to find true love for the main character, but in turn falls in love. Hands down my most excited drama of the bunch. The teasers look great (which I know is iffy because it can go a different route), but I’m hoping for a semi-dark melo.

May 22 One Spring Night-봄밤 // MBC Wednesday-Thursdays (Probably Kocowa, Viki)

Jung Hae In and Han Ji Min star in a story about a couple’s relationship. It seems to be a noona romance that isn’t the central premise? Not much is out, and there isn’t a teaser that I can find. Honestly, not super interested in this one.

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May 29 The Wind Blows-바람이 분다 // JTBC Monday-Tuesdays (Viki)

A married couple divorces after one finds out they have Alzheimer’s and the reunite years later. Pretty sure this is a remake of a Japanese drama. Probably another show I will not be watching.

May 31 Aide-보좌관 // JTBC Friday- Saturdays (No word if Viki has it)

Political drama about a chief aide and young lawyer. Not super into political dramas, and this one might be harder to find subbed.

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Podcast: Certified First Loves

I promised myself that I would start updating this blog once I got off contract and can dedicate more time that is usually spent doing my actual job, and here I am. Success!

As you probably know, I’m part of the podcast The Certified Noonas. We post an episode once a week (on Mondays), and we’ve been working hard on it for the past 6 months. It’s a lot of fun, but a good bit of work (even with four of us total), so naturally I want to share that work. I’m going to try to remember to post about it every week.

This week we watched and discussed the first 8 episodes of My First First Love on Netflix, starring Jisoo, Jung Chae Yeon, and Jung Jin Young. The rest of the cast can be found here.

Along with talking about those episodes, we also played a game of MASH but with a twist. I was cracking up while editing that part, it’s probably our best game yet (even though I’m obviously biased).

Listen to the podcast here (spoilers are listed in the time codes below, but we do talk about all 8 episodes):

Time Codes

:20 What looking forward to in May

15:09 MASH

29:17 First First Love talk

38:12-38:41 First Time spoiler

1:17 Outro

Kdrama Newbie

I rarely post anything in this blog, so it’s not surprising that I haven’t made an actual announcement that I am on a podcast, but chances are you are coming here from twitter and already know that I’m part of the podcast Certified Noonas. Our last episode we strayed from our normal content and decided to do an episode dedicated to being a kdrama newbie. We talked a bit about some of our own personal tips and tricks with navigating this new world you may have found yourself in.

In the episode we discuss a ton of different things and figured that a sole blog post dedicated to all the links that we mentioned might be easier than just looking through the description on the episode.

The Certified Noonas massive list of all our specific links (including our personal twitters and social media for the podcast) can be found here.

Places to track your drama viewing: My Drama List, TV Time

Podcasts Mentioned: Drama Kandy, Noona Ya Business, The KThree, Fall for It. All of those podcasts are active on twitter, so make sure to check them out for more content.

Drama Current’s website and their twitter for the monthly #kdramachat.

Immy’s Daebak KPOP Radio and their twitter. The radio show happens every Sunday, but she uses twitter to get requests in, so follow both!

Youtubers: Outspoken Artistry and React to the K

After doing the podcasts, we realized there were some people and sites we left out, but I think this is a good initial introduction into some things that people may not have known about. Who knows, a part 2 might happen in the new year…

Watch List of Doom

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It’s the beginning of November, and seeing as how I haven’t done a currently watching post since this summer, an update felt needed.

To be honest, I am a bit behind on some of the airing shows. Between the demise of DramaFever (and subsequent discussions on twitter), the start of the new podcast I’m in (Certified Noonas, check us out!), and getting sick (to the point that I couldn’t even watch anything), I’ve been playing major catch up. I sadly have to spend most of my day at work so it’s been slow, but this past week I made a huge dent and I’m sure I’ll be caught up by the end of this week.

-CURRENTLY AIRING-

Where Stars Land - 여우각시별

Despite this past weeks direction into a territory I don’t want, and the fact that everyone seems to hate this drama, I am really enjoying it. Is it perfect? Absolutely not, but it’s a fluffy pretty drama with actors I like and hidden moments that I am really enjoying. I might do a full review on this one once the show is completed, because I have a lot to say on it.

The Beauty Inside - 뷰티 인사이드

This is the surprise drama for me. It has taken my heart. I was not in the mood to watch this when it first aired, and figured with the plot that it would be an okay show but not something I would fall in love with. I was wrong. The characters relationship’s are fantastic, and I’m in love with the moments they are taking with the two leads just enjoying each other’s company. Episode 10 had me tearing up; it was a beautiful episode.

The Smile Has Left Your Eyes - 하늘에서 내리는 일억개의 별

This show is so good. It is by far my favorite of the group. The writing is fantastic, the acting outstanding. I am intrigued and it’s always leaving me wondering what is going on and why. The whole tone of the show is fantastic. I’ve been really good and haven’t spoiled myself from the jdrama version, because I am loving the feeling of being on the edge of my seat every week.

Terius Behind Me - 내 뒤에 테리우스

I have no clue what is going on with this show. It isn’t a good show. At all. It doesn’t know what it wants to be and changes every single episode but I find myself not being able to look away. I’m more intrigued by it’s existence than anything else.

The Player - 플레이어

I’m fairly far behind on this show and it ends next week, but it’s still on the list because I really loved it and have every intention on catching up (maybe before the finale? A girl can dream). The cast has some killer chemistry and they are having fun which shows. And Krystal. I liked her before, and now have a crush on her.

Ms Ma, Nemesis - 미스 마, 복수의 여신

This best way to describe this show is a great weekend afternoon watch. I’m not an Agatha Christie fan so I don’t know how closely it is following to the Miss Marple stories, but I am a mystery/crime fan and this one is fun.

Twelve Nights - 열두밤

I started this drama purely because we wanted to discuss it on the podcast and liked it much more than I thought. I probably wouldn’t have even picked it up if I didn’t have to talk about it, but it’s a nice quiet show.

-EVERYTHING ELSE-

100 Days Prince - 백일의 낭군님

I’m really not a sageuk fan, so I tend to not even attempt any of the ones that air, but too many people were talking about this one, and I’m definitely one to be moved by peer pressure. I ended up marathoning a ton of episodes one weekend…and then DramaFever was killed. I haven’t really picked it up again, and I fear it might end up in that “on hold” hole that I like to put things that I know the ending to but hope that I can watch it.

Love Myself or You/Pleasantly Surprised - 喜歡·一個人

I feel like I always want to have one non-Korean drama on my watch list, and this one came on because of that. And Jasper Liu’s smile. He has a very nice smile. It’s been sort of sidelined - have you seen that airing watch list I have accumulated? I still pick up an episode here and there and need to finish it soon.

Sassy Go Go/Cheer Up - 발칙하게 고고

This was also a show that I picked up before this crazy round of shows, and now that Ghost Detective is done I’ve moved it back to the watch list in hopes to get me to watch it again. I’m about half way through the series, but it is a high school drama and I just have to be in the mood to watch it.

I also watch my same variety/reality shows pretty much weekly: Running Man, Home Alone, and Happy Together.

I try to be fairly good about updating My Drama List, so if you find you really want to check out what I’m watching, that’s a good spot.