Mid Summer TV Report (2013)

ONCE UPON A MIDSUMMER NIGHT DREARY

Well not so dreary since the weather has been unusually autumn-like in my neck of the woods.  I’m not complaining because I love this weather but definitely a bit unusual.  So it’s that time again when I do a quick pass on what I’m currently watching on the tube.

K-Drama

WHO ARE YOU (후아유)

I was worried about the whole ghost premise as it resembled the plot of Master’s Sun as well.  The drama isn’t perfect as I think the pacing can be a little awkward and abrupt at times but I really enjoy the crime drama aspect of it.  Ok Taek Yeon’s acting is still a bit awkward at times but I actually think he’s improved since Dream High.  I like his character’s bravado.  Somehow So Yi Hyun didn’t come to mind when I read the character bio for Yang Shi Ohn because I guess I’ve always typecasted her as that rich, superficial type because I’ve only seen her in dramas where she’s type of character.  However, she totally embraces the role of the spirit seeing, tough cop.  So far, I’m really liking the drama.

GOOD DOCTOR (굿닥터)

Okay, I get that this is a medical drama but the exposition is annoying.  I appreciate the subtitles explaining the medical procedures because the Western words said with the Korean accent makes things like hyperbolic shock (or as they pronounce it: ha-ee-puh-bol-leh-mic sho-keu) incomprehensible.  As for Park Shi On (Joo Won), I understand that there are different kinds of autism but there’s something about his acting that just isn’t doing it for me.  I know people who are autistic and there’s just something I just can’t quite explain with words why his acting doesn’t really do it for me.  As for Kim Do Han (Joo Sang Wook), you are hot but you are no Dr. House.  I need a stronger reason to feel anything for his character whether it be anger or sympathy.  I don’t like that his character is riding that middling 2nd lead line.

BLADE AND FLOWER (칼과 꽃)

This drama is all about the romance for me between Yeon Choong (Uhm Tae Woong) and Princess Moo Young (Kim Ok Bin).  Honestly I tune all the political drama out which is a shame because it would add another complicated layer to their love story.  So far, it’s Uhm Tae Woong and Kim Ok Bin’s acting without words that really reels me in.

TWO WEEKS (투윅스)

For a drama with a lot of characters and motives, it is fast-paced and thrilling.  It didn’t waste time getting right to the dilemma and then moved on to the heart.  Because what’s the point of having a drama if you don’t have that emotional connection with the protagonist?  I’m intrigued and stressed at the same time because watching all 3 primetime dramas from the main networks is haard and makes me very sleepy the next day.

MASTER’S SUN (주군의 태양)

I’ve always thought a Hong sister’s drama started off strong so I’m going to guard my emotions carefully on this one.  What struck me this week is how so many different actors with different styles of acting end up being essentially the same character.  It’s funny that Joo Joong Won (So Ji Sub) reminded me of Dokko Jin (Cha Seung Won in Greatest Love) who in turn reminded me of Jo Anna (Han Ye Seul in Couple of Fantasy).  The list could be longer but you get the point.  It’s a good blend of the romcom with light moments of quirky horror.  At the core, the drama is filled with so many K-Drama clichés (poor heroine, chaebol hero, past love coming back to haunt them – in this case, literally haunting) but what’s so great about a Hong sister’s drama is that they take a familiar concept and make it their own with their wordplay and adorkable characters.  That’s why I love them.

K-Variety

DAD! WHERE ARE YOU GOING? (아빠! 어디가?)

The show has settled into their groove.  I do love it when the kids get to bring their siblings along.  The change of pace is exciting.  The kids provide entertainment all on their own due to the fact that they say the darnest things.  However, I wish that the producers continue to change up the challenges or allow time for them to explore some of the relationships between the kids and their dads, especially for Hoo’s enlightening statements in regards to his dad.

REAL MEN (진짜 사나이)

Since celebrity recruits haven’t been shown in the best publicity light lately for themselves and the army, this show has certainly done its best to highlight the good of the Korean Army.  Each week, the celebrities give their all to whatever troop they are with for that week.  Especially Sam Hammington.  He may not be the best… at much of anything except wrestling, but he certainly gives it his all.  It’s quite admirable for a guy who isn’t even Korean.

RUNNING MAN (런닝맨)

This show has been dwindling in interest for me for some time now.  The guests lately are just okay.  Recently there was an episode in which Ji Suk Jin gets hit and the entire show holds a trial.  Never have I fallen asleep during a Running Man episode but this episode was a snoozefest.  It’s too bad because the character actors they casted would have been great if you just let them alone to do the same old boring tasks.

1 NIGHT 2 DAYS (1박2일)

There was a rumor going around recently which said this show was going to get canceled.  If it does, it wouldn’t be a huge loss for me but I watch out of loyalty now.  I think the all time low is when they brought Soo Ae on the show because she just didn’t fit it.  They were harder on the actresses during the Actress Special.  But of course that was during, Na PD’s reign.  However, I do like Yoo Hae Jin on the show.  Not sure how to fix this show other than to say the chemistry between the cast needs to be more genuine and they need to be more creative with the challenges.

OUR NEIGHBORHOOD VARIETY SPORTS (우리동네 예체능)

Every week when I watch this show, I feel like I’m watching an Olympic match.  I so badly want the Ye-Che-Neung team to win and often they don’t.  I get that with every match, the team gets better at the sport but watching 3 or 4 straight matches of badminton or bowling tends to get a bit boring.

GRANDPAS OVER FLOWERS (꽃보다 할배)

This Friday, the first season of Grandpas Over Flowers came to an end.  This is why Na PD is so good at what he does.  He may be evil but he can bring heart and hilarity all in one show.  This show feels like going on vacation with a great bunch of friends.  You may not have been familiar with them at the start of the trip, there may be that initial awkwardness, but by the end you’re family.

KIM BYUNG MAN’S LAWS OF THE JUNGLE (김병만의 정글의 법칙)

The group is now in the Caribbean.  I realized the magic of this variety show is the cast.  Not just the location.  In the last two trips, I felt like there were one or two cast members who didn’t really have a great variety personality and so it drags the whole team down.  We’re still early in the Caribbean trip and I haven’t watch this past Friday’s episode but for now this show is just whatever.

WE GOT MARRIED (우리 결혼 했어요)

I may have to say goodbye soon to We Got Married.  They’ve had a good run and I’ve been pretty damn loyal but other than Jung In and Jung Chi, I’m not really into the other two couples.  Jung In and Jung Chi bring the funny, Jin Woon and Joon Hee are pretty to look at but I find Tae Min and Na Eun’s first relationships jitters thing a bit boring.  I’m actually 2 episodes behind on this variety show now.

American TV

SUITS

The foundation may be shaky at Pearson Darby but there’s a nice buddy dramedy to the show that I’m so glad that Harvey and Mike have found their way back to each other again.  I’m excited for the show to go back 10 years to see how Donna and Harvey found their way to each other.  Was their relationship always platonic?  Also, I’m loving Max Beesley on the show.  Donna’s too awesome not give her some personal time fun.

BREAKING BAD

Oh my gerd, oh my gerd.  Honestly, if I watched the season premiere to this last half of the final season earlier in the night my Bananas post would have been all about this.  Sorry Master’s Sun, but I would have totally put you on the back burner.  Don’t worry Breaking Bad, I’ll make it up to you by featuring you in the upcoming Banana’s post.  After I watch the 2nd episode.  I love the way this show plays with time.  Just the storytelling alone is a marvel because the episodes always starts off with snippet or clue of the bigger picture.  Also that scene between Walt and Hank.  What, what?  Did not expect that to escalate so fast.  If you’re not watching this series… seeeriously, why aren’t you watching?

COVERT AFFAIRS

Oh Covert Affairs, it’s been a struggle.  At first, I did hope for Annie and Auggie to get together but that quickly faded away when I noticed that Piper Peribo’s acting range was limited to horse face, shock face and smirk face.  The introduction of Arthur’s secret love child didn’t help matters.  Looks like we may soon be parting ways.

ROYAL PAINS

My zeal for Royal Pains has been dwindling over the years but with Boris’ “death”, the intrigue is definitely back.  Now that chapter has ended, I’m a bit concerned about the Hank addicted to pills issue but I still enjoy watching this summer treat.

COPPER

I have to be in the mood to watch this show.  But when I do I enjoy it.  I think watching episode back to back helps because the story development can be quite slow.  While I could be forgiving of that during the first season, I’m less so in its second season.  Let’s get to the story already.  Though the show is still enjoyable when watched in chunks.

DEXTER

We’re nearing the end and I’ve been pretty patient for over a year.  The first 6 seasons have been pretty great but in the last year, I just have not been as excited about the show like I previously was.  I wished for some twist to major characters which didn’t happen.  Instead there were other big twists which left me annoyed rather than intrigued me.  I feel like there is only one end for Dexter and for now I just want to know how it happens.

TRUE BLOOD

Why am I still watching this show?  The season finale is airing tonight and I feel like we spent most of this season going around in circles.  Sookie goes to faerie land talks to Warlow and goes back to home talks to Bill.  I can’t imagine what this show can do that we get me interested again.  Saw an article recently about what they can do to fix Sam Merlotte’s character.  Honestly, I didn’t read it.  I love Sam but I don’t think they can do anything to save this character.

RAY DONOVAN

I was biding my time before I was going to write a review but I guess this mini review will have to suffice.  The it-job of American TV lately has been the fixer.  Don’t really know what kind of degree you need to do a job like this but they have sure been fascinating.  Really, I think it’s the actor who makes the job and character interesting.  Take Kerry Washington in Scandal.  However, Liev Schreiber makes Ray all his own and he’s great at it: a family man who fixes the lives of ungrateful celebrities and the rich elite.  Add to that Jon Voight who goes beyond a deadbeat, good-for-nothing dad.  The show is Sopranos meets Entourage meets Scandal.

THE NEWSROOM

Aaah, in my zeal to put up the post, I can’t believe I forgot about The Newsroom.  Thanks for the regular broadcast of the show to remind me.  Duh!  This season we deal with the fictional story of Operation Genoa.  I was wondering how the writers would pull off doing more stories.  Here’s how they’re dealing with it.  I still love The Newsroom’s intelligent, zippy writing and quirky but well-spoken characters.  I’ve changed my mind about some of the characters (Don) while I’m still annoyed at others (Maggie).  Well, I’m a little more forgiving of her after she went through her traumatic ordeal in Africa.  A wee little.

British TV

BEING HUMAN (BBC)

I said I wasn’t going to watch the BBC version anymore and here I am again.  The show just finished its American run on BBC America.  There was a good bit of horror and action but the highlight of the series was Phil Davis as the devil.  However for most of the series, he was in a wheelchair as a cranky old man yelling obscenities at random times.  The series ends with a nice ribboned bow and honestly after the dark turn, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  It was alright but it certainly isn’t the show I fell in love with in Series 1.  I loved the amusing wit of the series, hated the dark moral lecture which this series ventured into.

BROADCHURCH

After seeing David Tennant in the dreadfully boring Spies of Warsaw, I want to tread carefully in the aftermath of his great turn as the Doctor.  Broadchurch feels like a good old British crime drama.  Thrilling and dark, I’m intrigued by what skeletons will be revealed in this small town crime drama.

Note about upcoming Fall Season Shows (American TV)

So I kind had to do some spring cleaning of my Tivo Season Pass Manager.  I’ll admit that I’m pretty damn loyal but there were a lot of shows on that list that just weren’t entertaining me anymore.  As harsh as it may sound, it was time to clean house in order to make room for new shows premiering this Fall.  It was hard to let Glee go, especially considering the Cory Monteith tribute episode will be happening this Fall, but my heart just wasn’t with the new cast members and I just wasn’t look forward to the episode where Finn’s death is explained.  I’ve already said goodbye to The Following (it was easy to do), but the other deletions were Nikita, Ripper Street and Bates Motel.  Don’t get me wrong.  I still believe that Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore are fantastic and deserve their Emmy noms but I could do without the rest of the town.  I’m looking at you Sheriff Romero aka Eyeliner Guy (Nester Carbonell).  I actually think that Covert Affairs and Vampire Diaries are close to ending up in the trash bin but haven’t tossed them just yet.  I’m keeping an eye on you…

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One thought on “Mid Summer TV Report (2013)

  1. Wow that’s a lot of TV! Respect! Who Are You is probably my most entertaining drama at the moment. Pure undemanding entertainment. US TV has declined considerably on my watch list since I discovered dramas but I’m so gearing up to watch Breaking Bad end. I’m bracing myself and waiting to marathon it when it’s done because I think the weekly wait will kill me. About Ripper Street, sorry to see you dropped it, I actually preferred that to Copper!

    Like

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