What I Did on My Summer Vacation
(An Essay by _jems_.)
Haha, you think I'm kidding, but I'm NOT. On Monday, my first official vacation day, I watched 15 episodes of Goong. That's over 16 hours of TV watching in one day! That takes dedication, let me tell you. (Also, it cracks me up to think that I'm getting extra pay to veg out in front of the TV for two weeks. And I don't mean that I have paid vacation, I mean that in Sweden WE ACTUALLY GET PAID MORE WHEN WE'RE ON VACATION. This country sometimes... *shakes head* ... *also, stays here forever*).
Honestly, it feels like entire countries have dedicated their television-making industries to delivering to me my favorite 'ship trope: asshole!boy falls for protagonist!girl and sets off on a path of redemption.
Of course, that's not to say there aren't problems.
Like the kissing. Oh god, THE KISSING. It KILLS ME that there is so little pretty kissing on these shows. I think typicrobots' description of the kissing style as "faceplanting" is pretty apt, and it's such a shame because good kisses on these shows would be so freakin' rewarding.
And then there's the fact that the redemption arc is often very weak. I'd really like for there to be more thought given to that part of the storyline. The best redemption arc so far would probably be My Lovely Sam Soon. Goong's wasn't bad either.
The love square has its own set of problems. Like the fact that I have yet to find a single asshole!boy/other!girl relationship even remotely interesting on any of these shows. Or the fact that sometimes asshole!boy is so much of an asshole that I keep wanting protagonist!girl to spend more time with other!guy just because I want her to be with someone who doesn't treat her like shit. (Though I don't really 'ship protagonist!girl/other!guy, I'm just often sick to death of the assholeishness.)
Nevertheless, I'm still completely loving this experience. And I'm pretty much fully immersed in it at the moment.
Let's see, where did we leave off...?
Hana Yori Dango While I liked the show, I didn't love, love, love it the way some people seem to. *waves to nyonyo* And I think a lot of it was because of the movie, because I wanted something with a bit more bite to round things off. I wanted dark and what I got was cute, so you can see how that would be disappointing. However, the desert island castaways thing was hilarious. Maybe not the actual scenes, BUT THE FACT THAT THEY ACTUALLY WENT THERE. Haha, so much love.
Full House The middle third was, hands down, the funniest handful of episodes I've seen so far. As usual, things got a little out of hand towards the end, but SO WORTH IT just for all that passive-aggressive-bordering-on-just-aggressive action in the middle. Also? RAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIN!
Goong I really, really enjoyed it! Around episode 15 or 16, the pacing was thrown off (did they get an additional order around that time, because it was REALLY noticeable how they started throwing new stuff into the mix and how they tried to stretch things out. Not to mention the increase in musical montages. OH GOD, THE MUSICAL MONTAGES!), but then in episode 23 there were two (count them - TWO!) honest-to-goodness good kisses. That more than made up for the weird pacing in the latter episodes. (Probably because pacing issues have become the norm, GOOD KISSING HASN'T.)
Only You The first show I watched that wasn't recced to me, and yeah, I'll probably be sticking with recs from now on. Not wholly bad, but wholly meh. It did have an asshole!boy who was showing his feelings left and right, but the change kind of happened overnight, which is why it was not my pick for best redemption arc. The arc was kind of...nonexistent.
Dal Ja's Spring The 'ship wasn't the main drawing-point for me with this one. I just really enjoyed watching a show that felt like a grown-up show, where grown up problems are dealt with in a grown-up way and then you move on. It wasn't until the last couple of episodes that they delved a little too deeply into the melodrama, but even that didn't feel unearned since up till then they'd done a really good job with having the characters actually talk to each other instead of having misunderstandings get in the way. It was probably a few episodes too long, though, would have been much better if it was the standard 16 episode run.
Shows what I have downloaded but not watched:
Boys Over Flowers. (So, I had planned to watch this right after Hana Yori Dango, but EVERYONE kept saying they couldn't finish it, and I started to see it as a personal challenge to watch all 25 episodes. But I figured that might kill this whole obsession dead if it is indeed as bad as everyone keeps saying. So I'm putting it off until the feeling passes.)
Capital Scandal. (I keep saving this one because I figure I'll need a palate cleanser after BOF. Heh.)
Goong S. (Anyone watch this? Since no one recced it along with Goong I'm just going to assume it sucks and go from there.)