Nov. 25th, 2015

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HELLO MONSTER/I REMEMBER YOU

I'm still being haunted by this show. I need for my version to be real, because Hyeon and Joon Young are so perfect together.

Hyeon has feelings. In the first episode, he did not deny it when the reporter asked if he was talking about his first love. He immediately had suspicions about Dr. Joon Ho, but never came out and asked except when he needed a distraction to give Cha Ji An time to escape. Even then, his expression in that scene is like meeting someone you've always wanted to meet, instead of confirming your father's killer. He never tried to hurt him EXCEPT when he found Min already stabbed. So yes, he loves Min more... He's not actually driven to find Joon Young and bring him to justice the way Cha Ji An is. He just hates him for taking Min away, and teaching him to kill... Other than that, he seems fascinated by the man up until he confirms who Min is. Then he has even more feelings. For his brother.

(Really Cha Ji An, as much as I like you, it's hard to see the space for you within this already messed up trio.)

Joon Young has feelings, too. He wants them to live together. He tells young Hyeon his secret and saves him from his father's incarceration, and then sets him free to choose his own path. Grabbing Min is obviously not planned, but he might have thought to remove Min and so Hyeon will not be tainted by the two of them. He stays close enough to watch over Hyeon's house, hoping and waiting. He enjoys working with Hyeon, and enjoys playing with him, too, even if that involves siccing criminals onto him and his brother. He's not stupid and he sees the threats coming his way, but he lets them come. He lets them try to catch/hurt him, like Cha Ji An, or the other guy who tried to stab him. The exception seems to be Hyeon's foster mother, but only when her suspicions are already raised. He let her live in peace for years, but come close enough and he killed her off. The question is, what's so special about Cha Ji An and Hyeon? Why does he let them live? I think he sees them like his children, since he's responsible for the radical shifts in their lives.

And then the biggest mystery is Joon Young's relationship with Min which is also fatherly, but complicated by their knowing each other too well. There is affection, but lack of trust. There is attempted murder but also nurturing/taking care after. Min finds in Joon Young someone he can be himself with, but he still holds himself in check. He's all control and coldness. Only Hyeon brings out the child in him, the warmth and playfulness. They grew up together but they don't treat each other like allies, but more like two kings skirting each other's territories. (I.E. Hyeon)

I HAVE A LOVER

I am still watching even though it's only halfway through and already I am tired of everyone else on this show except the twins and their respective partners. I wrote something in my paper diary about the amnesia trope used here, how it served to set up the love triangle, keep her away from her real family, and to freeze her in place. The latter is what grates at me. Everyone's waiting for her to gain her memories again, so she can choose if she would forgive her ex or not. But it's just annoying to me that he's had four years to grieve, four years that he didn't even bother reaching out for her, four years to keep Seol Ri at arm's length but still in sight. While she's stuck.

I started writing an AU where she didn't lose her memories, and so puts everything together pretty quickly but I stalled because I didn't know what I wanted to happen. Do I put her as new owner of the company? Do I pit her against her ex? I toyed with the idea of her bonding with her former sister-in-law, but she scares me. Her loyalty to her husband and her hatred of her stepmother scares me. And then I started getting annoyed at Baek So for keeping Hae Kang in the dark because he wanted to protect her. Men making decisions for women FOR THEIR OWN GOOD seems to be a pet peeve of mine. (Although really, this applies to any relationship you can have with another adult whether parent to grown-up children, or between friends.)

So I'm just sticking around because I want to witness that process of grieving that got stalled by the amnesia. I want to see her remember the pain but journey through it to the other side. And I want their family to reunite, and I want Seol Ri to eat dirt. She really became a one-tone villain here, inept and desperate, a terrible combination. At the start you sort of want her to make something of her life since she seems to be smart. But now it's only her greed for love that drives her. Nothing about her work is shown anymore. And her ploys against Hae Kang are pathetic at best. They don't move the plot along; they just stall it. She's also strangely passive for a villain.

I'M SORRY, I LOVE YOU

Yes, a T-drama. A 13 episode one at that. Lots of 49 Days feels here, but strangely hopeful. The ending is superb. (Especially given that I watched a couple of other T-dramas and the endings gave me whiplash, like in Boysitter.) The stalker nerd thing at the beginning was a bit skeevy but he grows out of it soon enough. I love Mystic Dragon, too. I want all the fanfic, but it is strangely difficult to write. Lots of subtext and ot3. And yet the words just won't come. I don't know, maybe it's culture clash. I feel unable to write Taiwanese ghost stories?

Maybe I just need to do a rewrite of the whole thing from beginning to end, instead of picking a random spot in the middle to build an AU on. This show is more bromance than Bromance.

BROMANCE

Another T-drama. This time with a totally ridiculous excuse to get the girl to crossdress as a guy until she turns 26. Don't really like the girl though I watched her in Two Fathers and in Because of You (partnered with the same guy, even.) and the guy is so adorable here. He looks good enough to eat. It's like, yes the girl can kick ass and therefore pass as a guy but give her the slightest provocation and she starts falling apart and crying. On the one hand, I guess that seems like emotional complexity or whatever. On the other hand, I think she goes overboard with her hysterics. How about a little competence? How about instead of clinging to your wounded love, check his injuries and call for an ambulance? Maybe it's just that T-drama as a whole loves to exaggerate. Not a lot of subtlety here. The guy on the other hand is under-acting. Where's the big gay freakout? (Actually I don't mind it, but it just seems odd that he's ok with it right away.)

There are some nice moments, like that scene with the guy and his sister where she gives up on the crossdresser, and when they're all grieving for the missing dad. The other pairing looks cute but I'm not interested in sick-girl romances. I also like the girl and her cousin talking about when she changes back. I want the show to explore that more, the weird feeling of having to learn feminine behaviour at that age. And then having manly habits that are difficult to eradicate. But no, it's mostly played for laughs.

SOME JDRAMAS

Whose titles are difficult to remember. The one with the detective who forgets everything when she falls asleep. I'm loving that. I like that the mysteries are non-gory, and there's humour, but also an undercurrent of sadness. Then Samurai Sensei which I am only watching because of Kamike Ryunosuke. That swordfight of theirs... I like how his roles are so ambiguous. (Girl's Speech, Keizoku SPEC 2, etc.) Then another detective show featuring that cute guy from Pin to Kona. Not too bad. Linked mysteries, feel-good endings, and a guy who doesn't seem to be into girls but is into money and food. And loves his little sister, but also resents that she gets showered with everything while he doesn't even get allowance or tuition. Lots of angst potential there.

January 2017

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