On My Drama Radar: What I’m Currently Watching

Dramaland continues to churn out interesting productions this summer; it’s going to be a challenge to keep up. One show ending (e.g. Another Oh Hae Young) means three other more will pop up and grab a share of your drama time.

Every now and then I shall share my current watch list, along with my thoughts on them mid-series. Most of them will be ongoing series, but there may be an old drama or two that I’d pick up or revisit.

Beautiful Gong Shim (episode 14)

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I didn’t catch this on my radar until a few days before its pilot episode, and I initially didn’t plan on watching it. The synopsis smelled like just another mediocre drama, and having the idol Minah as the lead actress did not help pique my interest. But boy was I glad to eventually pick it up anyway.

It’s light and funny most of the time; and the interactions between Gong Shim and Ahn Dan-tae are hilarious. Minah has a charm that makes Gong Shim even more appealing. Sure it’s not without flaws; but it’s really just appreciated for light entertainment. That’s why I’m kinda bummed that things took a dramatic turn. Even though we see a glimpse of the old goofball Dan-tae in the recent episode, he’s not as upbeat as before. I just want his genuine humor back.

 

Lucky Romance (episode 11)

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To be honest, this caught my attention solely because of Ryu Jun-yeol. Like many others, I am curious to see how he gets on after his hit show Reply 1988. He in particular has not many projects under his belt, so being in a lead role opposite MBC’s darling Hwang Jeung-eum is a big deal.

While this show did not immediately get me hooked, I really appreciate the lead cast’s interpretation of their characters. We’ve all seen the typical cold, jerk male lead opposite the clumsy candy girl; but both actors steer away from the stereotypes and give a more emotional and grounded approach to their characters.

I’m just glad they’re already past the very uncomfortable storyline of “spending the night with a tiger”. But oh my, I didn’t think Je Soo-ho (Ryu Jun-yeol) was capable of being so forward with his advances, with the occasional mental breakdowns. He’s still awkward at times but totally endearing. Ryu Jun-yeol is slaying his part, and he shines more than anyone else in this drama hands down.

 

38 Task Force (episode 4)

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I like crime comedies. And when a production is about a con artist, I’m bound to check it out. This slightly reminds me of the American series White Collar, where a prison runaway works with the FBI to apprehend white collar criminals.

Smooth and slick cons are amazing to watch. The more complicated, the better. And it’s also tricky to make, especially in a TV drama. They haven’t pulled off a big one yet, but the show is putting little samples of what’s to come. It’s one thing to knowingly and boldly con a public officer; but to teach him how to swindle??? I’m just waiting for good stuff to happen. And also for some clarity on the deal between Seo In-guk’s and Sooyoung’s characters.

 

Doctors (episode 4)

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To be honest, if it weren’t for the cast’s appearance in Running Man, I would’ve forgotten about its premiere. Sure, the loveable Park Shin-hye is headlining it, but I am lukewarm towards medical dramas. It’s nice to see Park Shin-hye doing something different from her usual puppy image. Many are frowning upon the ahjussi romance so seeing them as adults should probably assuage some of the creepiness. We’ll find out. But it sure doesn’t stop the show from gaining high ratings.

The pieces of the love square are finally all in one place, and as early as now I’m already rooting for the second lead. I love how their bickering is both intellectual and smart-alecky, and you see similarities in their personality sets off chemistry.

I know some of what happened within the time skip will still be revealed throughout the drama. But my most important question is… “Will Ji Soo ever appear again??? Even as a flashback???”

 

Beautiful Mind (episode 4)

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Another medical drama. Another ahjussi-dongsaeng pairing. Same timeslot. Oh these networks know how to play.

But actually, the similarities end there. One is melodrama, the other is mystery-thriller. I just mentioned my apprehension towards medical dramas and yet here I am checking out another one. It’s mainly because of the dubbed “monster rookie” Park So-dam (I kinda know what to expect from Jang Hyuk already). While this girl is receiving so much hate in her role, I do want to give her the chance to grow – both as a character and as an actress working opposite a veteran.

Actors aside, the pilot episode amazed me with the production and the somewhat eerie atmosphere the drama brings. Maybe the following episodes will zoom on the characters further but right now I am appreciating the whole mystery that surrounds the hospital. As we move along the story, there are things unraveled but more questions follow.

 

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