There have been quite a lot of new shows lately, in addition to good ones that are still continuing. I must say we are quite spoiled for choice for shows from a wide variety of genres during this period. Here are some shows I’m following lately and my current thoughts on them.
The King Eternal Monarch (up to episode 13)
The intensity has certainly waned ever since that huge clash on the street between Lee Gon and Lee Rim’s forces in Episode 11. I was expecting things to heat up and both Lee Gon and Lee Rim to start moving chess pieces faster and take more decisive action. However, they both seem to be taking their time and giving each other time to react.
We still have many questions unanswered and there are only three episodes left. We are getting reveals, but they aren’t picked up in the subsequent episode, like Court Lady Noh’s reveal. I was surprised that Lee Gon was not alert enough to prevent himself from getting poisoned by Luna, yet he was able to make that huge realisation just before he collapsed. Also, I was not as shocked by the reveal as there weren’t many other characters left who could have been there to save him, plus the moment Tae-Eul gave him that jacket, I already saw it coming.
Let’s hope we get more answers this weekend and that things get taken up a notch!
Mystic Pop-up Bar (up to episode 4)
This show is a whole lot of fun! While both TKEM and Mystic Pop-up Bar are both supernatural shows with a lot of world-building to do, Mystic Pop-up Bar takes itself far less seriously and keeps adding new rules, new aspects and new characters to its world-building in each episode. It does so with such light-heartedness that we are less inclined to scrutinise it.
I much preferred the first two episodes where we saw the characters in the case of the week going through personal triumphs and changes, as opposed to the cases in Episodes 3 and 4 where our trio basically used their powers to tweak the circumstances and situations in favour of the characters they were trying to save. Those stories felt more meaningful to me, though my heartstrings were certainly also pulled by all the stories lately.
What’s most delightful is the chemistry between Wool-Ju, Manager Gwi and Kangbae and how they play to each other’s strengths. I’m loving the little snippets of back-story that we get in each episode – it’s sufficient to tantalise us to want to find out more, yet it also deepens our understanding of our characters and where they are now.
When My Love Blooms (up to Episode 10)
The relationships and emotions in this series definitely go deep and just when you think there cannot be any more pain, each episode takes us deeper and deeper into the suffering felt by Ji-Soo and Jae-Hyun – both in the past and the present. There’s so much in this show about trauma, healing, reconciliation, relationships and ultimately just growing as people.
What I’m loving the most about this show is that it gives its characters time and space to talk, to connect and understand each other – be it our lead couple, or between them and their sons or between friends. The relationships, the characters and their stories get so deeply fleshed out.
I’m loving the performances by Yoo Ji-Tae and Lee Bo-Young so much too!