And the Great Drama Slump of 2017 Continues
Two months ago, I wrote about the massive drama slump I was facing. At the time, there were a handful of promising shows coming up, so I thought the slump would have to pass sooner or later.
Now it's October, and despite attempting to watch quite a few shows, I have managed to finish exactly ONE K-DRAMA since mid-July (two if you count Age of Youth 2, though I'll be re-watching with subtitles).
I'm genuinely starting to wonder: is it just me? Or is the second half of this year genuinely kind of lackluster? Let's take a look at everything I've watched—or tried to watch—in the last three months of drudgery.
K-dramas I actually finished
School 2017: As of my previous post, I genuinely thought I would give this one a pass. But then I started seeing adorable screencaps everywhere, and I ended up marathoning eight episodes in a row to catch up. Is it the best show I've ever seen in my life? No. I certainly could have used less emphasis on X, and the last few episodes left some things to be desired.
But it was a breezy, feel-good watch with likable leads and a central couple I couldn't help but squee over a little. I'm starting to wonder why high school dramas seem to be the only ones lately that sell the romance. They actually manage to convince me that these couples genuinely like being around each other! What a novel idea.
Age of Youth 2: Literally the only show giving me any hope in K-dramas right now. Age of Youth was my favorite drama of last year, and the sequel feels like I'm picking up where I left off with some wonderful old friends. Because of licensing debacles, I've been watching the whole thing raw, but I'll post a full review once I finish re-watching with subtitles. Thank you, Belle Epoque, for giving me life.
K-dramas I tried very hard to like
Bride of the Water God: It started out as a fun, pretty, guilty-pleasure watch. But the mythos behind the whole thing never quite came together, and I spent so much of the show wondering why anyone was doing anything that I eventually skipped five episodes and tuned in only for the finale.
Don't get me started on that finale. You're going to sacrifice your life so someone else can pull a dead body out of the water? Yeah, no. You don't deserve to be in charge of tying your own shoes, let alone the entire realm of the gods.
Manhole: Oof, where to start. I had some mild hopes at first, but it very quickly felt like Pil was learning nothing at all, and Soo Jin became an empty shell of a character who was simply there to be acted upon. From what I hear, I didn't miss much bailing on this one early.
Strongest Deliveryman: Again, I started out hopeful here, but I realized at some point that I didn't really feel like watching the next episode—ever. Not actively bad, but I never connected to the leads the way other viewers seemed to. Kyung Soo was so incredibly boring to me (and had so incredibly terrible hair to boot), and I couldn't bring myself to finish the whole show just for the second leads.
Girls' Generation 1979: What I liked about the portion I saw of this show is that it had a dark side without being overly melodramatic. In fact, it almost threw me off how matter-of-fact the drama was about tough subjects, and it also gave me a glimpse into an era of Korean history that I know very little about.
That being said, I got halfway though without actually caring about a single character. The non-serious half of the show essentially involved a series of people seeing each other for the first time and then falling in love, and none of the actors were quite experienced enough to make it feel realistic or poignant. It's like a less-good Answer Me with 50% more blank stares.
Live Up to Your Name: I tried. I really, really tried. But. *whispers* I don't actually like Kim Nam Gil's slapstick side that much.
Temperature of Love: I think I may be in the minority on this one, but the first couple of episodes left me decidedly lukewarm (yep, made the obvious temperature joke here). The dialogue tried way too hard to be clever, leaving what seems like it wanted to be a pleasant slice-of-life show feeling way too stilted and manufactured.
Also. What's with the music on this show? One moment, we've got 90s synth in the background, and then suddenly we're riding a train to a Masterpiece Classics soundtrack.
Are you in a K-drama slump?
Someone please tell me it's not just me. Or am I just missing out on amazing shows? I can tell you right now I can't bring myself to care about While You Were Sleeping, but maybe next week's premieres will jump-start some interest?