- Arakawa Under the Bridge
- Rooftop Prince
- Pretty Little Liars
- The Legend of Korra
- True Blood
MY WESTERN TV LIST: ( Just a plain ol' list )
For I while I was wondering if I was just over the whole drama thing, because my watching habits have withered away to almost nothing. BUT! I started Queen In-hyun's Man and I looooooove it. I'm six episodes in and I love everything about it. The leads are excellent, the story is compelling (both dramatic, funny, and swoon worthy), and the time-travel aspect is really well implemented. My only major issue is the mustache-twirling nature of the baddie, who likes to sit alone in a dark room repeating a phrase the hero said over and over again. But that's an issue fairly commonplace in dramas.
It also probably doesn't hurt that it's a cable show and is therefor only around 40 minutes an episode. But the episodes move at such a good clip, and it's pieces together so well, those 40 minutes fly by for me.
What is everyone else watching? I feel so out of the loop right now.
I've read two romance novels since I last checked in: His at Night by Sherry Thomas and The Runaway Duke by Julie Anne Long. And I think I had unfair expectations for both, because I was hit twice by the disappointment stick.
Mild spoilers ahead:
If I were to chose, I'd say the Thomas books was stronger, if infinitely more frustrating. In His at Night, the hero pretends to be a simpleton in order to hide his true identity as a spy for the crown. Our heroine is in need of a husband to escape her abusive uncle. She traps him into a marriage and he remains bitter about it for the next 90% of the novel, even though he knows the awful situation was in. Though, I have to say that one big complaint I had was that the evil uncle never seemed that evil. He just came across as kind of a dick, but I never felt true fear or hate when it came to his character. Mostly, I just wanted to shake some sense into the hero, because he was a fool, and not because he was pretending to be.
When it comes to The Runaway Duke, I'm going to give Long a pass, because it was her first novel. And I'd rather an author improve from a less than impressive first outing, than fade immediately (I'm looking at you, Sarah Maclean). Our heroine is caught in a compromising situation with a fortune-hunting dandy, and rather than marry him she flees with the help of the family groom, who is secretly England's wealthiest duke (obviously). The character never really came to life for me. Rebecca, with her blunt honestly and drive to be a doctor, was better written than Connor, but not by much. The main issue is that even though there were high stakes, it never really felt it. It was painfully obvious that Connor would reclaim his title and everything would end happy. Of course, this is a given with any romance novel. But if you're going to have road trip story, it needs to be exciting (Lord Perfect is an excellent example of this, with multiple storylines that were great fun).
Over in kdrama land, my interest in Faith started fading over the last couple of episodes. There is only so much political intrigue and poorly choreographed fight scenes I can take. But episode 12 drew me back in. We got some great interaction between our leads (and how wonderful is Eun-soo? I love her) and some interesting story developments.
I'm toying with the idea of watching Arang and the Magistrate, since I've only heard wonderful things. I just.. can't seem to get over my aversion to Lee Jun-ki at the moment. :/
OH! And I've started to watch Farscape! I'm only partway through the second season but I'm really, really enjoying it.
I also started Rich Man, Poor Woman, but I'm only through the first episode so I'll reserve my opinion for the moment.
Recently I emerged from a romance novel binge. I absolutely inhaled Julie Anne Long's Pennyroyal Green series. They are an absolute BLAST. Anyone who enjoys historical romances full of humor and sexiness, definitely check it out. It's centered around two warring families, the Everseas and Redmonds (with a plotline that runs through all of the books that keeps getting built on) and features some truly, truly excellent female characters. I'm eagerly anticipating the next installment in November.
Instead of plowing through the rest of Long's books I decided to venture out. Unfortunately, there were a few missteps, like picking up a contemporary because it was written by a local author (AWFUL writing). I also gave Eloisa James another shot, after absolutely despising Potent Pleasures. But, I'd heard good things about the Desperate Duchesses series, so I thought I'd give it a try. I read the first and fifth (because it dealt with a couple introduced in the first book) and just wasn't that enamored. The problem, I believe, lies in James' writing style. I just don't like. At all. She is so impressed with her own intelligence, dropping Shakespeare and French all over the place. It's distracting and I don't enjoy it. Besides, the retconning regarding Elijah and Jessa's relationship for the fifth book was distracting. They couldn't stand each other in the first book, he hated everything about how she presented her in public (she was outrageous! he was a stand-up politician! his reputation would be ruined by her behavior!), but that was all horribly toned down by the time their book came around. They were secretly in love the whole time, blah blah blah. Didn't buy it. The only reason I read it was because I wanted to watch them fall in love and that's not what I got.
I DID get that in Sherry Thomas' Ravishing The Heiress, which is all about two young people who are forced to marry, because he is an earl with no money, and she is an heiress who's father wants a title in the family. The hero, Fitz, is of course in love with his childhood sweetheart and hates that he'll never be able to be with her. Millie, our heroine, falls in love with him immediately, but hides her true feelings. They make a pact to not consummate their marriage for eight years. The books flashes back and forth between the present and important events in their marriage, showing how the affection they have for each other blossoms. It's horribly romantic, though I didn't want to shake both of them. But I thought it was a truly lovely story. It's the second in a series, and I just loved it so much, the first installement paled in comparison to me. Though from reviews I've read most people like the first better. I'm excited to read the third, and final book.
Anyway, if you read romances, check out Julie Anne Long and Sherry Thomas!
I'm through episode 6 of Big. It's OK. Although how they've managed to AIR six episodes without anything really happening is beyond me. Things appear to have picked up with episode 5, so I'm hoping the drama is finding it's groove. We'll see.
Dramas have kind of fallen by the wayside because any tv I've been watching has been with other people (two sisters - one bonus one is living with us this summer). And dramas are kind of a niche thing, you know? So, when I do have alone time I have to decide between dramas or books and reading's been winning out as of late. I finally got around to reading A Dance With Dragons or whatever the lastest ASOIAF book is called. What a waste of my time. I wish I could understand why that book needed to be so long when NOTHING HAPPENED. Maybe I'll just stick to summaries in the future, since I still vaguely care about what happens to Arya and Sansa.
And then I did an A:TLA rewatch. But now my plate it clear! I am determined to finish Rooftop Prince. Although, I could very well get distracted by Big. WHO KNOWS. Time will tell. But, I've crossed the halfway point with RP despite it kind of boring me. Hopefully it picks up again. I still wish it was just a show about Park Ha and the three sidekicks. The prince and Se-na can go be on another show as far as I'm concerned.
SUMMER TV! I'm finishing up a rewatch of True Blood's last season before I start the next. I also have Bunheads on dvr, so I hope that's fun. I'm really only checking it out because of Amy Sherman-Palladino. Besides Pretty Little Liars I tend to steer clear of ABC Family shows. Jane by Design makes me watch to kill puppies.
Work has been pretty great. I got a raise so that's super. I'm supervising people which is a little scary but also cool? I want to be a good manager, but I'm dealing with some big internal battles because I don't want people to hate me. I just need to get more comfortable with confronting people when they do things wrong instead of going behind the scenes and cleaning it up for them. It just sometimes seems easier if I do everything because I know it's going to get done correctly... but it also makes my life kind of impossible.
As far as summer plans go I think I'm going to go on a cemetery tour! Sounds fun, right? :D I've inherited a bunch of family genealogy information. It's all in binders, so I've made it my mission to move everything into the digital world. It's all from my dad's side of the family and mostly his father's side. I have information going back to 1860, when they packed up and moved from Virginia to Illinois via Indiana. I have much, much less on my grandmother's family. So once I get all of my paternal grandfather's information squared away I'd love to delve into that and really learn how to research this whole ancestry thing. Because I really have no idea where to start when it comes to that. There is all kinds of conflicting/incomplete information out there. I think people just said whatever they wanted when the census came to town.
Anyway, I want to go get shots of tombstones because I'm creepy like that.
EDIT: OH ALSO! I wanted to catch up on everything I've missed, since I haven't even been ON this website in ages. And it wouldn't let me go past 120 entries on my friends list! D:
Real life is been... quite full. Especially in the work realm. And I just haven't been watching that many dramas. I gave King 2 Hearts a try for four episodes but was bored (not quite to tears... but nearly there). I think I just need to stay away from North Korean spy dramas. I don't even know what that show was trying to be. But if it was trying to be dull, it really succeeded. Maybe it got better after 4 episodes, maybe other people liked it, but its not for me. And I'm past staying with dramas I don't care anything about.
I did randomly start Rooftop Prince even though I had no intention of doing so. And I surprisingly REALLY enjoy it. I'm totally in it for the comedic aspect of it, because the romance (through six episodes) leaves me completely unengaged. I think I just don't care about the male lead. But when the drama stays in the comedy realm I am completely on board. I haven't laughed like that at a drama in a long time.
I'm also slowly watching My Girl which is pretty good. Yoo-rin is fantastic. Gong-chan has the potential to be so, I'm still waiting since I've heard so many great things about him. But MAN, I can't be the only one who intensely dislikes Lee Jun-ki's character, right?
OH! And I watched the SPEC SP and like all things SPEC it was great. And made me want to watch the drama again, which I probably will.
I gave the first two episodes of Wild Romance a shot but it didn't do anything for me. And after the fiasco of Flower Boy Ramyun Shop I'm not about to stick to a drama that I'm not hooked on. There is too much out there to waste time on something that doesn't click. Then I started History of a Salaryman, but was so beat when I was watching it that I drifted in and out of consciousness during the second episode. So, even though I liked it, I also have a mental block when it comes to picking it back up... because I FELL ASLEEP during it.
Book reading has been very slow, even though I told myself that I was going to read more this year. I still need to finish True Grit which I enjoy, but I also need to be in the right mood to read. I randomly picked up a YA ebook called Angelfall (yeah, I know... angels. But it was on $0.99!!!) and was pleasantly surprised with it. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series. Though I'm not keen on waiting. I'm all about coming into a series once it's done (Hunger Games!) or nearly (Leviathan!).
In less fun book news I'm reading The Land of Painted Caves the final (FINALLY) installment in Jean Auel's Earth's Children series (historical fiction set 30,000 years ago). She started writing them 30 odd years ago with Clan of the Cave Bear (A book that I still enjoy despite the precipitous drop in quality throughout the rest of the series) and is finally wrapping up this pile of dog poo.
Personally, I started the series early in high school when just the first four books were out. The first three are pretty good, but the series just got worse and more boring with each book. And now we're on the 6th book and there just isn't. any. plot. But I have to finish it. I'm about 2/3 of the way through the 800 pages and it is PAINFUL. If I have to read any more descriptions of cave paintings, the multitude of uses for cattails, or how strange Ayla's accent sounds... I can't be held responsible for my actions.
As an extra bonus, it's a Google TV. So, while Hulu is (obnoxiously) blocked, I can surf the internet. Which means dramas on the big screen!
All that's left now is to get my HD service turned on.
Nothing much else to report. My mother is in town for the week, so I haven't been watching dramas. Once the company is gone though, I'm definitely going to check out Wild Romance. What is everyone else looking forward to? As far as I can recall nothing on the jdrama schedule caught my eye, but it's been a while since I looked.
Oh! I also want to check out the twdrama, Skip Beat!. Who is watching that?
( Spoilers for City Hall and FBRS )
Anyway, now I can catch up on What's Up, start Padam Padam, and wait for Wild Romance to start. Everyone else can check out that Moon-Sun saguek... let me know if it's worth it.
Currently I'm watching only one airing drama: Flower Boy Ramyun Shop. I was completely ready to drop it after the first two episodes because it just didn't click with me, but everyone else loved it so much I decided to give it another shot. And it was better! But now I'm ten episodes in, not invested at all, kind of hate the two male leads, but pretty much commited. I've passed the point of no return. I just can't bare to stop when I've already put this much time into a show. I just really wished I liked it better.
I went ahead and started City Hall... and it's kind of a mirror of my dealings with FBRS. Initially I wasn't enamored of it, but there is so much love for this show in drama fandom I gave it another try. And then it was good! For a while... Now I'm ten episodes in and the election has only now begun and I feel like it will never. end. ( Spoiler through 10, again! )
Either I just keep picking dramas that are wrong for me or I've become IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE. This could very well be the case.
I'm anxiously awaiting subs for What's Up. Given the writer I have ever growing hopes for this show. Is it only getting subbed on viki? That's a bummer.
Anyway, I keep trolling the What's Up tracked tag on tumblr and people are only posting caps of Daesung (from Big Bang). What's a girl gotta do to get some Oh Man-seok up in this joint? Apparently he plays a drunk music professor? Can the show just be about him? The kids can sing and dance in the background. I don't really care.
Maybe I'll just go watch The Vineyard Man. AGAIN.
Long time no see, lj-dom! Kind of took an unexpected hiatus there, so my apologies. Didn't mean to, but work just kind of exploded in my face and is only now becoming a bit more reasonable. I've checked in here and there but haven't been spending any extended periods of time on livejournal. What down-time I have has mainly been spent over on tumblr, where it's really easy to look at pretty pictures and funny gifs and not have to put any real thought into anything. I kept meaning to make an lj update, but I knew I wanted to talk about the dramas I've been watching and the idea of doing a round-up post just became more and more intimidated. BUT I'M GOING TO DO IT.
Why? Because I haven't been that enamoured of the crop recently. I don't know if I've just been picking the wrong ones (mainly I've been picking the wrong ones) or the quality has just been sub-par. Nothing's been that great, but I've powered through some.
( City Hunter )
( Protect the Boss )
( Spy Myung-wol )
( Scent of a Woman )
So, I guess there wasn't a whole lot that I actually watched. I think Protect the Boss and Myung-wol just made it FEEL like an eternity. Also, my sister is making me watch Boys Over Flowers again (she's never seen it and wanted to after we watched City Hunter) and it makes me want to die. I did watch a bunch of other stuff though, hence the next category
THIRD: NON-DRAMA-DRAMAS (or, everything else)
( Downton Abbey )
( Sherlock )
( North & South )
( Misfits )
( Young Justice )
( Doctor Who )
FOURTH: THE FUTURE
What is everyone watching right now? I'm currently watching Flower Boy Ramyun Shop. After initally wanting to give it a pass after the first episode I'm glad I stayed with it. I'm enjoying Eun-bi more as a character and Ba-wool is pretty adorable. I don't think humor is Jung Il-woo's strong point, but he's doing a decent job as Cha Chi-soo (though I keep wondering when he's going to come completely unhinged). The only real problem I have is Kang-hyuk who I initally found amusing with the whole "too lazy to open his backpack" thing. But he quickly veered from cute to obnoxious when he laid that guilt trip on Eun-bi. She's not your wife, dude. Step off.
The only thing I have waiting in the wings is What's Up which starts in December. I'm thinking about watching something older, maybe City Hall or Story of a Man. Any jdrama suggestions?
City Hunter has been a very pleasant surprise, as I've mentioned before. For the moment it ranks right up there as one of the best dramas I've watched this year (behind SPEC, obviously - BTW HOW PSYCHED AM I THAT WE GET AN SP AND MOVIE? ANSWER: VERY.)
However, I made the mistake of starting season 5 of Dexter while also watching City Hunter. And man, what I had thought was pretty suspenseful in City Hunter kind of pales in comparison to Dexter. Luckily, for now, City Hunter seems to be leaning more towards the lighter side of things. I'm sure we'll start veering into more drama as the episode count gets higher, and by then I'll be done with Dexter.
Of course, this is the first season of Dexter I've watched... which means the rest of the seasons are now on my to-watch list after I finish this one.
Anyway, I'm still over here thinking "Oh, it can't possibly be that good" while at the same time thinking "What if it is? But what if, like Orpheus, I look back and this amazing drama that everyone loves evaporates into a confusing mess? IT WILL BE MY FAULT". So... I might be a little dramatic, but the fact remains that it eventually got built up so much in my head I was positive it'd be a disappointment.
BUT I WATCHED THE FIRST TWO EPISODES ANYWAY. And yeah...it's pretty good.
YOU WIN, F-LIST!
Mostly I've been working. And I'm legitimately busy at work now (new job is going pretty well!), so I don't have the freedom to peruse LJ as often as I used (or would like) to. Plus, I'm kind of all about tumblr at the moment. I'm upsydownsy over there. CH-ch-ch-ch-check it out.
BUT, I have been watching dramas. I wrapped up Get Karl! Oh Soo-jung, Best Love, and Lie to Me in the last week. And I enjoyed them all for the most part, though none were spectacular. They are rom-coms, which is my go-to genre. I'm pretty much guaranteed to like a rom-com granted it's not exheedingly un-romantic or un-comedic. But there has to be something extra to push it over the top for me. And while I liked these three, none of them possessed that extra spark, they were always missing something.
LIE TO ME
Screencap courtesy of Koala's Playground
I actually don't have much to complain about with this little show. I went into it with very low expectations, because it was all thrown together so quickly. They didn't even start shooting it until a month before the air date, right? And casting was all kind of last minute. The entire thing just had disaster written all over it. And narratively, it was. The set-up was clunky to say the very least. Those first couple of episodes were pretty painful, but then ( ... spoilers for this show and then talk about Best Love and Get Karl! )
NEXT UP: What is everyone watching this coming season? Myung-wol the Spy is the only kdrama I'm going to be watching (at the moment). I'm definitely going to check out the Ouran drama (though I'm wary) and Arakawa Under the Bridge even though I've never read the manga or watched the anime, I just find Kiritani Mirei freaking adorable.
( Spoilers if you don't know Magneto's deal... and then a few points about all the previous movies )