Drama Addict Diary: Uncanny Queens, Uniforms and More Jo Seung-woo

Friends. I think you will regret asking for more of these. It is untidy inside my brain. But with the overwhelming 100% POPULARITY of the last one, I felt like I had to at least let this one out. But don’t go thinking this is regular! I am a woman of limited and finite thoughts, and the holes in the sieve are large. Also beware spoilers. One spoiler. Or three, for the price of one.

Okay experiment: I’ve hidden some spoilers below, hover over the bold text to see them!


DEAR DIARY,

I am (wo)manfully working my way through half-finished dramas as an exercise in discipline and perseverance. Who knew that that is what K-dramas would teach me. I finished TWO SHOWS this week! *pats self on back*

One was God’s Gift—14 Days, the other was The Uncanny Counter. I have lotsa thoughts on both, the former of which has been whipped into a treatise on the ending, and the latter of which I may try to slap together into a pretend-review, but also, let’s face it, it probably won’t happen so let me give you five on it right now:

1. I really, really liked it!

2. If you didn’t, I don’t want to know!

3. Sohn Ho-joooon!

4. What!! They’ve already confirmed a second season? YES!

5. Look, I don’t care that it did this. I can love people before they are dead and so should you.

Mr. Queen episodes are too long. I’m enjoying it but they make me TIRED which feels like being bored even though I am actually not bored, just tired, and SHOCK it makes dull errands inviting! Guess how much cooking and housework I get done when trying to watch this! Clue: more than usual.

Somebody please tell the network it is okay for a show to be 20 episodes that are an hour long or even 24 episodes that are 45 minutes long! Oh, tvN I miss your brief flirtation with short runtimes back in 2012/13. What happened to you? Who hurt you?

…oh it’s because you killed Byung-hee isn’t it? Well that’s on you, I certainly did not vote for that. In fact there are still hordes voting against it RIGHT NOW. If there were a petition for people Dramaland has to resuscitate, Byung-hee is up there in the Top 5.

Got tired (not bored! tired!) in the middle of Episode 7 of Mr. Queen, just as it was about to get REALLY INTERESTING. Took a youtube break and watched a bunch of recommendations because I want the algorithm to know everything about my taste, choices and preferences and then use the information to later kill me because that is what all AI does in the end.

It’s weird to hear people still describing BTS as a foreign band instead of a global or international one. Little word, big difference. There’s a touch of small-world insularity in insisting on using “foreign” and it feels deliberately minimising. Also stop sounding so surprised by it. Come on, you work in entertainment, you do not live under a rock.

BUT ANYWAY the fruit of my soul-selling labours: I just discovered John Cena is a BTS fan, and not in a condescending way. I also just discovered who John Cena is.

Don’t you just LOVE what Shin Hye-sun is doing in Mr. Queen though? How is she so good. I swear I see Choi Jin-hyuk the entire time she is doing her thing. Which actually I resent a little because I did not sign up for a Choi Jin-hyuk drama.

Still trying to convince a (different) friend to watch a K-drama, specifically Signal. ACTUALLY I smoothly slid in with the suggestion when she told me she was bored except it maybe wasn’t as smooth as I thought because she had to ask me not to be offended if she didn’t like it.

“I would never! 😱” I told her. Which was a lie because obviously I would. 

But I am patient. I also watched two things she recommended so now she OWES me. And if she can watch a 59-episode Turkish drama, 16 hours of magnificent nailbiting heartbreaking television is CAKE. The kind you pay an obscene amount for but do not regret one bit as long as someone else is paying. Man I am thinking of one specific cake but I don’t give my PPL away for free.

I think sometimes people get resisty because they can see your crazy eyes they detect that you want it too much and it sets off their inner alarm bells. However! I have been VERY COOL so I do not think she knows how MUCH I want her to K-drama.

Look, even cute white halmonis are coming on BBC saying K-drama got them through lockdown! It is Officially Mainstream…however we feel about that.

When I first watched Rooftop Prince (my third ever K-drama), I could not FOR THE LIFE OF ME tell the four main men apart. I just couldn’t. I had a sad little notepad with their tracksuit colours tagged to their names and a brief description of their characters. Ridiculous, isn’t it? 😅 😂 I look at that cast now and I find it ridiculous.

But remembering that the confusion was real makes me hesitate to recommend my fave Hwarang to K-drama virgins, because the boys are basically in uniform 90% of the time. (And it’s a beauteous uniform! But it makes them…uniform. Which might be hard for someone who is watching it for the first time.)

Also they all have the same (beauteous) hair—apart from Park Seo-joon whose starting mane was an ugleous disgrace which was finally and thankfully solved by giving him the same hair as everyone else. And it’s a big ensemble drama with a LOT of characters. You don’t want to confuse the noobs into giving up.

Also, nobody should watch Rooftop Prince ever again, for reasons many and varied, including:

1. Male lead is sexual predator

2. Male lead character also an utter buttface—that character is why I hated the actor from the start (unfair, but look, eventually justified!)

3. Stupid, wtf waste of an ending

4. All the above reasons outweigh any and all of the drama’s good points

I wish it would stop appearing in “best of” lists. The only thing it’s best at is giving you ragestroke.

Forest of Secrets withdrawal continues. Found old v-live interview (part 1, part 2) I forgot to watch before. Drama production stuff is so interesting and I realise (again)(and again) that I have no idea how TV teevees. Here are some fun bits:

  • Ankle parade: viewers are enamoured of Jo Seung-woo’s ankles and then he and Lee Joon-hyuk engage in a micro-bout of “foot-acting” as they compare their ankle game hahaha. They both have very fine ankles. (Pun fun: “foot-acting” is a Korean idiomatic expression for bad acting.)
Sorry, I think there is one clear winner here, and it’s the same dude who won the Lee Joon-hyuk Award for Being Lee Joon-hyuk.

  • Bae Doona sends herself flowers (peonies!) to cheer herself up after a hard day working. She says after flower-gazing for half an hour, she feels refreshed and energised. That’s deep and endearing and I need some flowers to try this right now.

  • Jo Seung-woo ribbed for “making her buy her own flowers” and he says he doesn’t send her flowers because he doesn’t want to create misunderstandings. That is a little sad, isn’t it? To not be able to do simple friendly things because you always have to have nunchi of being constantly scrutinised and (over)interpreted.
  • Jo Seung-woo talking about how hard it is to act Shi-mok: “Strangely in this project, I discovered how full of emotions I am.” (SEE MY GOD’S GIFT VOMIT…if I have posted it yet. If not: oops, look out for it.)
  • When asked if there are any lovelines in the drama, Jo Seung-woo says, “Whether there is or isn’t…I’m not really sure.” THIS MEANS THERE IS ROOM FOR POSSIBILITIES! YES PLEASE! But don’t make me wait until Season 5 when I will be 64 years old. (PS, nothing wrong with that age, it is just quite distant from me right now. 😅)
  • Come on, stop asking people about their ideal types! Poor Jo Seung-woo, visibly uncomfortable at being singled out, can only give best diplomatic answer: “They are all my type!” 
  • Also hilarious how Bae Doona teases him about losing out to Jo Jung-seok on a role, hee! (Bae was working on Drug King at the time—Jo worked with director Woo Min-ho in his previous project, Inside Men, and joked that he got rejected second time around.)
  • Lee Joon-hyuk when asked if he was prepared to be hated on because of his villainous character gives a tiny smile and says, oh but I think Dong-jae has some cute moments! Why do I love this so much. 😭😭😭
  • Shin hye-sun says that while Lee Joon-hyuk is filming, it’s like lasers are coming out of his eyes, but as soon as the camera is off, he turns into a puppy—and then Lee laughs sheepishly while everyone agrees he is a puppy, HA!
Yesterday’s maknae is today’s QUEEN.
  • Loooove that Shin Hye-sun is such a star in her own right now! 😍
  • Lee Joon-hyuk and Shin Hye-sun were both so nervous about the (live) interview that they had the shakes (which Jo Seung-woo comes out and tells everyone, lol—man kept tipping that tea). You can hear the quiver in Shin’s voice sometimes, and Lee showed the camera that he was still trembling. Look, nerves happen even to stars! Doing a live is hard, even for pros.
  • Also Jo Seung-woo apparently keeps telling Shin Hye-sun to stop moving/moving her hands. He, Bae Doona and Yoo Jae-myung are very composed throughout the interview, especially Bae Doona. Unni is a pro among pros.
  • Lee Joon-hyuk has played a prosecutor three times! That’s City Hunter (2011), Equator Man (2012) and Forest of Secrets S1 (2017). Four times if you count Season 2 as its own show (which you kinda should).
  • Which reminds me to watch Equator Man
  • Perhaps in 2039
  • Or never

Here’s something to tide you over until Season 3 and also ruin the opening for you forever. It is THE BEST: 

Never say this unni isn’t good to you~

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