Early Spring TV Report (2012)

FLOWERS ARE BLOOMING, TELEVISION IS BOOMING

Oy, lots of shows started up or back up and it seemed time to do another rundown round up.

K-Drama

ROOFTOP PRINCE (옥탑방 왕세자)

The drama is so cute and funny and you kinda a knew from the premise that you were coming along for a good ride.  So far I like the klutzy Yellow Ranger the best, Chi San (Choi Woo Shik).  He makes a very pretty girl.  Now the writers need to keep up with the freshness, humor and mystery that made the start so great.  Particularly the mystery of the death of the Princess.  I’m a drinker but I just didn’t see how soju would go with whipped cream.  I prefer salty foods with alcohol but I just had to try it out.  I love soju, I love whipped cream.  I realized quickly that there’s a method that begs to be followed.  If you sip the soju and eat the whipped cream, it makes the soju bitter.  Gotta down the whole shot and then spray the whipped cream.  Now gotta figure out a way to make this a drinking game while watching the drama.  Suggestions welcome.  (Warning: If I discover a good drinking game, the review may end up being incoherent.)

THE KING 2 HEARTS (더킹 투하츠)

I didn’t expect to like the drama so much.  The drama is a dark comedy but I expect the melo is in our future, especially with the North/South Korean aspect of it.  Seung Gi’s acting has improved vastly.  It appears that Yoon Je Moon is the villain yet again and apart from his role in Tree with Deep Roots, he’s going for more of the surreal, nonsensical comedy which I’m finding a little hard to digest.  Other than that, the sets for North Korea are amazing.  They poured a great deal of money into them and it really does resemble the footage I’ve seen of North Korea.  Ha Ji Won’s accent is spot on.  I’ve always harbored a desire to learn the accent and would listen to my grandmother but alas her accent has faded over the years.  I guess Ha Ji Won is going to serve as my new role model for that.  The drama can still tank but so far I’m liking it.

FASHION KING (패션왕)

Yeah… I don’t love this drama.  It has a lot of problems and most of them stem from the bad writing.  However, Yoo Ah In has kept me laughing because he’s so good with comedy.  I’m glad to see that he’s finally gotten a lead role because he’s talented.  Though, I’m more interested in Lee Je Hoon.  Because I’m majorly crushing him, I’m going to have to watch this drama all the way through.  Though after reading that he turned down The King 2 Hearts for this drama, I’m hoping the drama will make a turn for the better.  I secretly think it might have been better for him to take the lead in K2H though.

TWELVE MEN IN A YEAR (일년에 열두남자)

This drama is like Sex and the City where our main character is a writer who writes about her exploits with various men.  Being an astrologer, her column has her dating men from the different signs of the zodiac calendar.  It’s funny and thoughtful and I’m happy that it’s a cable show as they can approach modern relationship a bit more realistically.  Don’t expect all the episodes to be happy, lovey dovey relationships which makes the drama well-rounded.  I absolutely hated seeing Julien Kang playing a date rapist as I love him and his catchphrase on High Kick 3 but it is a reality of modern-day dating and an important tale to be told.

OPERATION PROPOSAL (프로포즈 대작전)

It’s scheduled to finish this week and I’m a bit behind.  I’m so sick of tired Baek Ho going back in time and getting yet another chance to marry his first and only love, Yi Seul.  I feel like at this point he doesn’t deserve the girl.  Plus, Park Eun Bin is so bland as an actress and her pairing with Yoo Seung Ho is so uninspiring.  I’m wondering if the Japanese version had the same concept in terms of the lead having multiple chances to get the girl.

K-Sitcom

HIGH KICK 3: THE REVENGE OF THE SHORT-LEGGED (하이킥! 짧은 다리의 역습)

The sitcom wraps this week and while not all the episode were winners, there were enough episodes that were touching and funny.  I liked most of the characters which made following their story worthwhile.  Finally, we get some development on the identity of Lee Juck’s future wife.

I NEED A FAIRY (선녀가 필요해)

So far the start has been wacky and I’ve been enjoying Cha In Pyo and Shim Hye Jin in it.  But I’d like to get some of the lovelines going… although I am a bit behind on this show.  I prefer to save them for weekends so I can watch them one after the other.

VAMPIRE IDOL (뱀파이어 아이돌)

Just as I think they’ve really solidified their writing and found a clearer direction for the sitcom, it looks like it will be canceled for low ratings.  Ah but isn’t that how it often happens?

K-Variety/Reality

THE ROMANTIC (로맨틱)

In Infinity Challenge’s absence, I’ve been enjoying this matchmaking reality show.  I like how it’s not like Match as I didn’t take to that show at all.  While the Midnight questioning session is interesting, I look forward to the Preference Shuffle the most as it is not determined by looks but rather by your own personal taste.  So it’s almost like a lottery as you don’t know who you will end up with at the end.  We just started the 2nd trip of the show (I don’t think they’re calling it the 2nd Season.) with 10 new people and it has taken us to Turkey while the first trip took place in Croatia.  It’s kinda like the Bachelor but with a better setup.

RUNNING MAN (런닝맨)

Lately, they have been bringing on some really great guests.  I would like to see them return to some of the older games like “Find the Guest” or bringing back the punishments but all in all, the show still remains to be fresh and funny.  The Moon Piercing the Sun game with Han Ga In was clever.

1 NIGHT 2 DAYS: SEASON 2 (12: 시즌2)

So far, I’m liking the camaraderie of the new cast members.  Who knew Kim Jong Min would be dubbed Kim Sunbae this season?  He was my least favorite member last season when I first started watching the show but then he became that person I always relied on to make me laugh during the Strawberry game.  It was even nice that Lee Su Geun took that lead from the first episode by suggesting games to keep up the entertainment factor.  Unfortunately with all the new cast members, Uhm Tae Woong got quiet again.  Perhaps it’s because he just naturally shy and it may take him awhile to warm up to the new members.

American TV

RINGER

It’s been a good ride so far on Ringer.  Though the plot has been a bit soap-operaish, I don’t mind it too much as I take it all tongue-in-cheek.  I wish the twists were a bit more unpredictable but I’m glad that we got to see Machado’s backstory and why he’s so hellbent on putting Macawi away.  Now with the season finale approaching, Bridget needs to find out that Siobhan is still alive or else it would be too ridonculous to continue.

MAD MEN

I literally just finished watching Season 4 last night (it just took me 17 months, that’s all) and jumped straight into Season 5.  I have to say that Season 5 was a bit surreal, “zoo be zoo be zoo” and all.  When Season 4 ended Don had proposed to his secretary and Joan decided to keep Roger’s baby.  The true test that so much time had passed by was seeing Sally again.  She’s seems so grown-up now so upon viewing the first 2 episodes which aired back to back, it seemed like we were trying to figure out where the characters were and get back into the groove again.  I wasn’t blown away by the season premiere but I’m pretty sure that the show will build up to that point again.

IN PLAIN SIGHT & FAIRLY LEGAL

I’m glad this In Plain Sight is on its way out.  I don’t know where else this show can go in terms of changing the dynamic between Mary and her family, Marshall and Stan.  I’m eager to see the appearance of Mary’s dad, finally.  Fairly Legal is in its 2nd season and even at the end of the 1st season, it seemed to get stagnant.  I like the introduction of the new character, Ben, who becomes Kate’s nemesis and hopefully a love interest as I’d like to explore more of Kate’s messed up personal life rather than have the show just be about the cases she mediates.

PSYCH

I didn’t find the 1st half of the season very funny but the 2nd half started with a bang.  From the hilarious Indiana Jones episode to the very different but entertaining Shining episode, I love the parodies and pop culture references this show makes.  I expect though that we are going to be in for a big change by the season’s end because after 6 seasons there’s nowhere else to go but create a gamechanger.  Though, I’d like them to explore how Shawn’s lie affects his relationship with Juliet especially since he’s considering marriage.

SMASH

I think where I’ve gotten a little bored of Glee, this show has filled some of those shoes.  It’s drama behind the set of a musical.  The original songs are excellent and now I actually want to see Marilyn: The Musical on Broadway.  As you begin to see cracks with Ivy, Karen is still eager to fill those shoes and I like how her character progression is slowly winning me over.  Ellis is annoying and an opportunist but Julia was rude to him.  However, I’m glad that Eileen isn’t easily swayed by him and put him in his place.

THE RIVER

The horror in this show stepped up in the last few episodes of the season.  Although, I don’t know if I’ll be coming back to watch the 2nd season, if they get it.  A renewal on TV seems unlikely at this point.  It just wasn’t scary enough nor did it seem like the story was clearly worked out.  Rather it seemed like they wanted to do Paranormal Activity on TV and built up a story around it instead of the other way around and the show feels too gimmicky.  Lost was far more intriguing and thrilling in the first season than this series.

ROYAL PAINS & WHITE COLLAR

I didn’t get a chance to actually review the 2nd half of the past seasons of these 2 shows so I’ll do a short review here.  Royal Pains did bring back the Boris storyline, unfortunately I thought it was too late and the mystery was wrapped up too quickly.  They spent so much time building the suspense of it that I felt cheated at the simple conclusion.  And what about Boris’ condition and Marisa’s role in finding a cure?  I didn’t feel that much of big change happened in this part of the season and they left it entirely to the season finale to climax to the breakup of the practice.  But I hope that means Kyle Howard will return as Dr. Paul Van Dyke.  I’m still reeling from the fact that Adam aka Divya’s love interest in Season 2 hasn’t returned.  I did like Divya’s storyline this 2nd half as well as her relationship with Raj.  As for White Collar, Neal Caffrey is on the run again and his relationship is going to be on the rocks with Peter.  Again.  I suppose that’s the only cliffhanger this show can leave us on?  I guess I’m growing tired of the repetitiveness.

British TV

BEING HUMAN

I said I wasn’t coming back to this show after watching the last series especially since 3 of the main leads weren’t coming back but I forgot to delete it on my Tivo.  Actually Russell Tovey appeared in the first episode but quickly made his exit shortly thereafter.  Lenora Crichlow is the only one left from the original cast and Annie suddenly had new roommates.  Michael Socha reprised his role as Tom the werewolf and now that he has no family, he sought a family with Annie and George before George’s departure. Damien Molony plays Hal the vampire who was left behind after his previous roommates, also a werewolf and a ghost, died.  The good news is that they brought the funny back and my favorite episode so far has been Hold the Front Page which just aired on BBC America this past weekend.  It brought back teenage vampire, Adam, who is totally inappropriate but hilariously funny in his deadpan delivery.

WHITECHAPEL

This is more of an upcoming update as BBC America is scheduled to air this series again starting from tonight as part of the Dramaville format.  Unlike the previous 2 series which was based on a single case, this series will be 6 episodes long featuring 3 different cases, separated in 2 parts each.  I really liked the gruesome cases of Wire in the Blood and I don’t think the series needs to stick with real-life cases in order to continue so I’m interested in seeing how the format will change.

MISTRESSES***

This one partly belongs in the American TV category as I want to announce that ABC is commissioning a remake of the British show that’s scheduled to air this summer.  I expect that with the end of Desperate Housewives, ABC was looking for a replacement.  Yunjin Kim and Alyssa Milano have been casted in the remake but I really liked the British version too.  It’s about 4 friends and their love lives and like the title seems to suggest, there is some cheating.  For those that haven’t seen it, it’s worth seeing it for the cast.  Sharon Small, Orla Brady, Shelley Conn and Sarah Parish.  Fringe fans may recognized Orla Brady and Anna Torv.  Though, the show is NOTHING like Fringe.  Also Raza Jaffrey plays a bigger part on this show than he has been on Smash.

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7 thoughts on “Early Spring TV Report (2012)

  1. Woah, you watch tons of TV! Hahaha! As for the Operation Proposal Japanese version, the lead goes back in time multiple of times too. I got frustrated at him too at times but I think the comedy made it easier to stay. As for the Korean version, it’s not really a comedy so I guess it’s more frustrating. So there.

    I downloaded the pilot episode of Fairly Legal because I wanted to try it since the premise looks interesting but I was afraid to download the whole since I might not like it really. Maybe it’s just my bias but Wihte Collar is still amazing for me. Sure, it always had middling episodes but it always ends with a bang. What I understood was that Peter wanted him to run since Agent Kramer will get him either way so Peter Burke might not be really angry with Neal? I dunno.

    Anyway, thanks for the reviews! I gotta start watching the March kdramas since my semester’s done! Thank you! 😀

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    • Haha, yeah. Seeing how much I watch listed in a rundown… yeah, I’m totally nuts. But that’s probably due to the lack of sleep. lol. There are a couple of other shows that I wanted to start watching like Homeland or American Horror Story but sadly there aren’t enough hours in the day. 😦 Maybe one day I will do a massive catch up session like I did with Mad Men.

      As for White Collar, I do feel that the 2nd half of the season was better than the 1st half. I don’t know… I thought Peter had that look on his face like, ‘Oh no, things might not go so well for Neal.’ Then when Neal saw him, he read it on his face and although Peter didn’t immediately go after him or is angry, the FBI side of him knows that he can’t agree with Neal just running off. It just places the responsibility back on Peter’s shoulders to go catch Neal again. So in that light, being a friend to Neal has never been easy for Peter. I guess that’s how I saw it. It was more sad than anything else.

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      • Yeap, I think Peter wanted Neal to run but he was still shocked by the news. And yes, it would make Peter feel really conflicted since he doesn’t want to cuff up his friend but it’s his duty. Sigh. It was sad, yes, but then it also made me feel excited that the show is taking us somewhere though it might be circling back to season 1, or maybe a White Collar “prologue”, when Neal was running from Peter which we didn’t see ever.

        Btw, I don’t watch Glee but I saw this promo that Matt Bomer is guest-starring. Hahaha!

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