I’ve dipped into quite a few different dramas this past week. I started Mi-rae’s Choice (aka Marry Him if You Dare) for the shallowest of reasons:
When it comes to the entertainment business, women are marginalized. Heavily. If you look at popular polls and discussions of end of the year awards both informal and formal, you're far more likely to find not just male nominees, but male winners. Examining the history of the Academy Awards shown in the infographic below, it's easy to see that women are severely underrepresented even in the most prestigious of awards cycles.
Oy, the pacing of this show! Tan has a complete and total breakdown and Eun-sang is really sad and I felt pretty much nothing. And so… I’ve gotten a bit ranty. I should say I enjoyed aspects of episodes 17 and 18, but the overall feeling is, unfortunately, an unhappy one.
In a nutshell: Melodrama. Almost pure, very nearly unadulterated, melodrama. Unfortunately, there were some delusions of deepness that kept things from attaining that delightful fever-pitch a classic melo does so well. Like the story’s villain getting weighed down by an unnecessary redemption arc, keeping him from the glorious heights of epic villainy I was hoping for. The overarching plot still works, filled with the sort of obsession and vengeance typical of a melo. The details get murky (sometimes to unintended comic effect when seemingly important events occur out of the blue, never to be mentioned again) but the actors carry on with great aplomb. If you’re watching for the melo — and that’s the only reason you should be watching — this drama almost satisfies. (If only the villain had been fully unleashed!) Continue reading
In a nutshell: Don’t let the elementary school setting or large child-actor cast fool you. This drama takes a dark dive into group psychology and the human psyche, with bullying scenes so intense they almost need a warning. (If you’ve ever been bullied, those scenes will cut to the bone.) We follow a bright and bubbly sixth grader, trying to survive the year despite her cruel teacher’s best efforts to break her. But is her teacher really the witch her nickname suggests? Or are there good motivations hidden beneath her foreboding exterior? The drama keeps the students and the viewers guessing. And the final reveal is compelling and thought provoking without whitewashing or undermining what has come before. Based off a Japanese Drama of the same name, this is a tightly told, highly satisfying, addictive watch. Definitely a must-see. Continue reading
And the stepped-up pace continues! These two episodes were all about alliances. And the making and breaking thereof. So the show both made my day and broke my heart. Which, since I’m slightly twisted, made me happy.
Spoilers for episodes 15 and 16 below…
Well, that went well! The meal came together — a little later than planned, but not by much and I’d put out munchies for just in case — and everyone seemed happy with their food. Including my grandmother! Which is awesome and means I’ve broken through a personal barrier and now feel comfortable cooking for her. More family dinners for the future! (Much less elaborate dinners though. Because Thanksgiving is crazy.)
We totally vegged yesterday, recuperating from all the cooking (3 days of prep, guys — crazy!) and watched us some Two Weeks. (We’re 8 episodes in.) The husband… kind of likes it. It’s not gripping him with the same intensity as say Gaksital or Heartless City or Tree with Deep Roots — but he’s engaged enough to want to see it through.
Very minor spoilers for Two Weeks below…