Weekend Drama Report 23.03.20

We’re starting a new weekly feature on the blog, so that we—and you—can continue the drama discussion in between our monthly Long Yaks. Let us know what you think of the Weekend Drama Report, as well as any suggestions that would improve it!

Here’s what we’ve started, finished, dropped, or kept watching this week. What have you caught up on this weekend? 

(Note: We’ll mention major plot details, but will try to keep spoilers to minimum.)


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When the Weather is Fine 

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This is the exact show I needed right now. I started this a little late because after hearing how good it was from Saya and Paroma, I didn’t want to run out of episodes right away, but this drama is actually perfect for savouring. It’s melancholy without being depressing, moody without being slow, literary without being pretentious—and although I wondered what the production meant by calling this a “healing drama”, that’s exactly what it is. Park Min-young and Seo Kang-joon are wonderful as the deeply private, quietly intense Hae-won and Eun-seob. There’s more unsaid than said in their conversations, and they have both a severe awkwardness and a visceral comfort with each other that I can’t get enough of. Eun-seob silently losing his mind when Hae-won pays him a small compliment is the cutest and most relatable I’ve ever seen Seo Kang-joon. I’m officially over my nonsensical aversion to him—he’s wonderful here! Park Min-young wholly embodies Hae-won’s wounded caution, the way she holds herself back from people as a result of her truly awful high school years. And every side character gives me so much life: Aunt/Noona of the blunt words and perpetual sunglasses, Lee Jae-wook as the energetic and transparent-as-glass life of the party, Hwi in all her bratty hilarity. I love that the title in Korean, I’ll Find You on a Beautiful Day, is about the broken friendship that wounded Hae-won so deeply, not the central romance. And it gets me that Eun-seob thinks of himself as useless at comforting people, but is always right at Hae-won’s elbow with tea or coffee or a flashlight or a home to stay in. All I want to do is spend more time with these people, and it doesn’t matter much where the plot goes; this drama is all about exquisite moments.

Hospital Playlist

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Ahhhh, why is there only one episode a weeeek?! Give me more Jo Jung-seok awkwardly dealing with being both a dad and a doctor (that Darth Vader helmet OMG); more Yoo Yeon-seok being too emotionally involved with his patients; more Jeon Mi-do being both a superlatively competent surgeon and a totally tone-deaf lead vocalist; more Jung Kyung-ho constantly bickering with his friends but deeply caring for them deep down. Also, Kim Hae-sook and her exasperation with her highly pious children will never not be funny. The complete jettisoning of hospital politics in the first hour is a perfect expression of why this legendary team (of the Reply series) have the iconic voice they do in K-drama. They somehow always manage to get you right in the heart while you’re still gasping from laughter, so that you don’t quite know what the tears are for—without ever giving you tonal whiplash or weighing down the drama with corny sentiment. My only regret is that we’ll only be able to watch twelve episodes of this absolute gem. 


6

When the Weather is Fine

Waiting for episodes 5&6 for over ten days was torture! I don’t think this drama has a plot, so much as it has an atmosphere. From the very first scene, when Park Min-young walks up the road to her grandmother’s house in the cold, northern village, I could feel the bite of the weather, the hard concrete under her soles, and the wide openness of the valley. The cottages, the roads, the freezing pipes on winter nights are all very real characters in the story. And then, Im Eun-seob [Seo Kang-joon] met Mok Hae-won [Park Min-young], and I was lost to the cuteness of his quiet, warm crush on her. The thing that truly stuns is how unconditional his feelings are. He never pushes them on her. It’s obvious when Hae-won arrives in the village that she’s depressed. So, it’s a relief to watch Eun-seob quietly help her, talk to her, listen to her and never shift to courting her when she’s clearly not ready. But now episode 6 has ended, and the tables seem to be turning. Was there more to Eun-seob’s patience than just being a super nice guy? Did he never want Hae-won to reciprocate? I have so many questions and next week is so far away!

Hospital Playlist

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I could know this PD and writer’s work on any drama without any billing. From the first shot, all I could think of was that these two had created the Reply series. I knew it already, but there’s something so distinctive about the rough edits, efficient shots, simple blocking of scenes to get the most out of character interactions while letting the setting build itself up around the people walking, working, laughing in them. Just as Weather is all about the atmosphere of the setting, Hospital is all about the ceaseless back and forth between characters. And there are SO many characters. But it doesn’t matter, because you don’t get a moment to wonder about names when crisis after crisis hit our sleep-deprived doctors between flashbacks and current-day band practise sessions. I love every bit of it. From the heavy nods to the Reply series to the meta jokes involving dead painters, the show has my heart. After all, who can argue against this pair’s favourite drama theme? People are never what you assume. Situations are never what you believe. And also that most people are weird, but good. Love it!

Forest

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I’m dropping this hard. I like Park Hae-jin, but the story started his interactions with Jo Bo-ah on such a strident note that I was cringing through the entire first episode. I don’t like either of their characters here and have no interest in their inevitable romance. While the show started with a great cold open – one that left our hero in the middle of a burning forest – the style they chose to build up to this twist is extremely jarring. I’ve lost all patience with the drama. Gbye!

Well Intended Love Season 2 

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If you loved season 1, you’ll hate this season. If you hated season 1, you’ll hate this season more. This is a retelling of the same story, except in this version of the tale, our dashing hero chooses not to make his love believe that she has cancer. But he manages to be even more insidiously manipulative, frequently gaslighting the girl and ignoring her boundaries. The one aspect of season 1 that I had really enjoyed was the slow progression of the romance after the duo entered their marriage of convenience. In Season 2, the restrained male lead is replaced by a horny, entitled, aggressive asshole who keeps forcing hugs and kisses on a clearly uncomfortable woman. I couldn’t stomach more than 6 episodes of this. Give it a hard pass.

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3 thoughts on “Weekend Drama Report 23.03.20

Add yours

  1. In WIL/2, I keep looking for faces from the first show – where’s the crazy half brother? – so I haven’t gotten very far. It’s quite odd!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was doing the same thing. Waiting for secondary plot lines to kick into gear. But they’ve just stripped it off all excess fat, and then gone in and taken the heart out as well. It made the drama as ‘light’ as possible with no enjoyable substance at all.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Im always glad to hear more good things about Hospital Playlist. The ability of the writers to convince you that these people have known each other for their entire adulthood is pretty amazing

    Liked by 1 person

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