What I’m Watching, Maknae Version

It’s been an unusual few months for me in dramaland — Chinese dramas have outnumbered Korean dramas in my currently-watching list AND I started TWO Chinese dramas that are fantasy and/or historical in nature. Come along as I share all my thoughts about what I’m watching, as well as the upcoming dramas I’m looking forward to.

Currently Watching

Blossoms in Adversity

This Chinese drama is historical in feel, though possibly not in fact, and drops the usual focus on the royal family almost immediately. Instead, the lens turns to the women of the Hua family, left to fend for themselves after their fathers, brothers, husbands, and sons are exiled on the whim of the current emperor.

The drama starts with a bang as a young Hua Zhi, who is accompanying her grandfather on a diplomatic trip, braves the elements to cut down a sail to help their boat safely navigate a storm. Several years later, she finds herself doing something similar to save her family. What a way to introduce the powerful character leading this story!

I’m loving the family dynamics as the Hua women find their way through this new path, and the potential for romance between Zhi and Gu Yan Xi, the disguised head of security for the kingdom. (If you want more opinions and information about this drama, watch out for a podcast from myself and Kdrama Jen. Coming soon!)

Chief Detective 1958

Any drama starring Lee Je Hoon will immediately grab my attention, but I have to admit the real draw for me was the nostalgia factor. It seems that a lot of Koreans grew up watching Chief Inspector, a long-running detective show, and are expecting good things from this prequel. I grew up watching long-running detective stories myself, so I understand where the nostalgia is coming from!

So far, Chief Detective 1958 been right up my alley. We have a rural detective, proud captor of 97 cattle thieves, who moves to Seoul to catch more criminals and finds himself battling corruption instead. Detective Park is a little bit folksy and very street-savvy as he adapts his country methods to the big city, taking the local gangs by surprise.

I’m only two episodes in, but it has everything I could want, including Lee Je Hoon assembling a dream team from a rice delivery man who has muscles for days, an overly-intelligent rookie who desperately wants to be brave, and Lee Dong Hwi as Mad Dog, who delights in biting off the ears of his enemies. This is gonna be fun.

Lovely Runner

This time-travel romance impresses me with EVERY single episode. The rules of time-travel have been thought through so very well, and that’s only the beginning of its appeal! Byeon Woo Seok and Kim Hye Yoon have chemistry for DAYS, which enhances the intricate plot that’s just starting to show its layers at 6 episodes in. I’m really hoping this drama sticks the landing, but the careful construction gives me hope. 

The Legend of Shen Li

I had no idea what I was getting into when I pushed play on this fantasy romance, but the other Fangirls raved so much that I had to see what they were so excited about. The dynamic between our strong warrior female lead and the frail mortal male with inexplicable magical abilities captivated me immediately, and the fresh feel to the story has kept me hooked. I am absolutely in love and can’t wait to see where the drama will take me next. (Kmuse and Kdrama Jen released a podcast episode on their six favorite Shen Li moments. You should check it out!)

What I’m Looking Forward To

The Midnight Romance in Hagwon – Wi Ha Joon as a romantic lead – need I say more?

The Atypical Family – Postmodern superheroes and Jang Ki Yong? Sign me up!

Crash – Police comedy with a stellar cast? I’m totally in.

What I’ve Dropped

Best Choice Ever – There was a lot of buzz on our Discord about this drama, AND it stars Xu Kai, so I decided to check it out. Two things kept me from continuing: a family member whose high-handed, uninformed actions drive the plot of this story, and how long it’s taking the main OTP to even NOTICE each other. I usually enjoy a good family drama, but this one wasn’t speaking to me. 

What I’m Thinking About 

Will Love in Spring – Much like Lee Je Hoon, I will try anything Li Xian stars in, so I’ll be pressing play on Will Love in Spring soon. The plot description is intriguing, which doesn’t hurt. 

Wonderful World – I’ve heard amazing things about Cha Eun Woo’s performance in this drama. Now that it’s made its way to Hulu, I’ll be checking it out. 

What about you, drama fans? What’s on your drama plate? What do you wish was on your drama plate? Drop down in the comments below and let me know!

Until the next drama flood, I remain – 

Karie the Maknae

Dramas with a Side of Kimchi

2 thoughts on “What I’m Watching, Maknae Version

  1. Thanks! Lovely Runner is just a joy to watch; it make me laugh out loud but also has all the romantic chemistry as well as drama. I have a theory though about who is ringing the doorbell in the first timeline, and that Sun Jae did not jump. I’ll wait and see as it might be totally off.

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