Drama Reviews, There's Something About Dramas

Drama Addict Diary: Run On, Jo Seung-woo, and the Virtues of Scruff

Drama Addict Diary is back and it’s very silly and trivial and full of pictures, even though I did not manage to stick in that one Lee Jun-ki one that I can’t seem to let go of. This is a highly untidy version of what’s been going on for me lately in drama-watching-land, and it’s three days late because I was, well, watching more drama. 😅

Oh darn you know what. Have it. Here is Oppa:

(I’m really just playing with this post, so let us know if you like it and maybe we’ll do it again! Or tell us you hate it—that’s also a valid option!)


Everyone really loves Run On, but I don’t. I’m not bored but I’m not gripped. I definitely don’t hate it and I enjoy it when I’m watching it. But I’m not in a hurry to watch it, and I forget about it when I’m not watching it. So it makes me feel like I’m watching it wrong. Am I watching it wrong? 

I’m watching it wrong. 😞

Im Shi-wan / Colin Morgan

OH I’VE GOT IT, what it is about Im Shi-wan here: his somewhat fey character puts me in mind of a young, ingenue-ish Colin Morgan (of BBC’s Merlin fame), circa 2008. At times, he has this charming, offbeat innocence, while at others, there’s a dangerous gleam in his boyish face, and that is the face of “I was born with it”. Crouching puppy, hidden dragon—with a core of unacknowledged sadness.

Aaaahh. Finished Forest of Secrets S1 (aka Stranger S1) and I finally watched it right this time. Wow. How does someone write like that? How does anyone write like that?

I will never write again.

My friend vaguely expressed a possible interest in maybe trying a K-drama, perhaps. So of course I immediately went to my list to pick out fifteen dramas I know she’ll love.

Just kidding, I picked out one. Okay fine, two. And yes maybe I spent a whole evening “sampling” first episodes again but that’s the kind of thing I would do for a friend because I am a good friend.

Did you know:

  • In the opening episode of I Hear Your Voice, remember how teen Jang Hye-sung (at this point played by Kim So-hyun) is wrongfully accused of injuring her classmate’s eye? WELL her tiny teen accuser is none other than KIM HYE-YOON! As in, Eun Dan-oh from Extraordinary You? I’d recognise that adorable pipsqueak anywheeereee, even when she’s crying “witch”!
  • In Temperature of Love’s second episode (which is really the second half of its first episode), do you know what Yang Se-jong says to Seo Hyun-jin? “Saguillaeyo?” (“사귈래요?”/ “Will you date me?”) And she replies, “Michyeosseoyo?” (“미쳤어요?”/“Are you mad?”) 
  • Remember: Park Bo-gum was the first choice for this role (he turned it down). Like think about it. How many times was that one line replayed in Record of Youth (to actual Seo Hyun-jin!), while the show got lost in its own swoon every time? (One of the things I got super tired of in Record.) Just how much did Ha Myung-hee want Bogummie to say those words? But it was fun to (finally) recognise the callback, lol. Especially when you also consider that it was also riffing on Seo’s earlier role in Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim/Doctor Romantic. That’s like Level 7 Intertextuality.
  • Also I would like to say that Yang Se-jong’s original rendition is decidedly superior. Like the way he looks at her, and the weighted silence before he says it: that’s what was missing from Record of Youth. The meaningful silences between the playful dialogue is a lot of what made it feel emotionally real, instead of a collection of quickfire quippery.
  • There is also a teeny Ryeoun (baby Shi-woo in 18 Again!) as the maknae chef in Yang Se-jong’s kitchen in the opening eps of Temperature of Love!
  • How nice is it to watch Park Ha-sun and Ryu Soo-young in Two Weeks now knowing that they not only got married in real life, but also have a baby daughter RIGHT NOW? That’s the best love story in that show, and also Two Weeks is a GREAT show, even the third time round.
  • Also watching actors be marshmallow-hearted papa bears with kids makes me ship them to be parents in real life. Lee Jun-ki, Jo Seung-woo, are you listening? Can you please go and have babies in real life and be squishy and heartachingly lovely dads? It is your GRAVEN DUTY. 얼른!!

I felt so bereft after finishing Stranger S1 that I accidentally, without even really noticing it, just slipped into watching God’s Gift – 14 Days again. I started it five minutes ago but I am already six ten twelve thirteen episodes in? Idk how. And:

1. It is still so good

2. I haven’t forgotten how it ends

3. I thought I wouldn’t care but I think it may still upset me even if forewarned is forearmed?

4. I blame Jo Seung-woo

5. How is there not even the smallest trace of Shi-mok in Dong-chan? Not the slightest bit. NOTHING. That is what you call a master. Also, I think Shi-mok is peak hair. It’s so shiny and swooshy like a shampoo ad!

6. Also further reinforces my hypothesis that every actor is improved by at least one bout as a scruffy detective. Or ex-detective in Dong-ch— I mean Jo Seung-woo’s case. Level up, up, up!

7. Though actually, God’s Gift Jo Seung-woo was my first Jo Seung-woo. He then made me go watch a dubious film called Who Are You, which I don’t remember a lot about except:
    a) It wasn’t all that
    b) Jo Seung-woo was TINY

8. I contemplated watching Horse Doctor again. That is, I contemplated it again—I haven’t watched it before. But you know it is like 49 episodes? And I am not really interested…in…horse doctoring? Sorry horses. I am only interested in cat dramas. And I mean the type that is Yoo-Seung-ho-with-cats not L-is-a-cat-boy-creature-thing.

Yoo Seung-ho + cat. What? Look, I didn’t just shoehorn it in, it was APPROPRIATE.

Episode 7 of God’s Gift: Lee Bo-young has just swung open a secret door and I am. so. scared. watching this. SO SCARED. Even though I have watched it before (…seven years ago?! 😱), I am terrified ABSOLUTELY PANTSLESS. Why am I watching this 😭

but it’s also so so good

But wouldn’t you watch the heck out of it with this pair if it was?

I have been thinking about…wait, I can’t remember who said it, but recently, another drama writer (I think) talked about how she only writes crimes that have happened, as her way of not adding to the evil in the world.

And still, the depravity you see even in drama villains is really chilling.

Episode 13. I promised Paroma and Anisa I’d post this yesterday the day before yesterday two days ago but I didn’t because I was busy…watching more God’s Gift. Actually, I think it is watching me. 😱

Why is it so hard to watch two episodes of a new show back-to-back, but this one is just a loooong hair-raising slide into eeeeeeee and nuuuuuuu and nnhhhhhhnnnnggghghhh!! (Also let it be known that there is plenty of yessssssss. So much, so 😍)

Scruffy, saturi-speaking marshmallow-with-perennial-five-o’clock-shadow Jo Seung-woo really is the best Jo Seung-woo. Ribbing, laughing, crying, fighting, joking, detecting, protecting, dropping a light touch on Ahjumma’s arm or shoulder or back without it ever coming off proprietary, never taking over her space: whatever it is, he nails it and takes you with him.

He also sings:

You’re welcome.

Okay I have episodes to watch now and also sleep to catch up on, bye.


12 thoughts on “Drama Addict Diary: Run On, Jo Seung-woo, and the Virtues of Scruff”

    1. hehehehe if you enjoy, I enjoy! I also feel like my brain is no longer capable of moving out of second gear kdrama talk anymore 😂😂😂 (ps! which dramas didn’t you watch?)

      Liked by 1 person

        1. hahaha nobody saw Horse Doctor! (I might have to sample at least one episode…for science?)

          but WHAT how did you miss Stranger and Dr Romantic?! (I hate that title btw)

          I highly recommend GG though – ending treatise to come!

          Liked by 2 people

  1. I discovered Im Si-Wan thanks to Run On (very late but I’m already halfway through Misaeng, so I’m catching up) and I thought the EXACT same thing about him and Colin Morgan! Their crying faces are the same and so heartbreaking. Run On is slow but it’s been a really enjoyable ride and it’s a nice palate cleanser to watch between other high drama shows.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yes, bless you someone who sees it too! (also hi natalie!! so nice to see you again!!! *hug* <3)

      I think *that* Colin Morgan was basically made of magic, and every time ISW brings it out, I gasp a little. It's difficult to even describe, but it's what is so gripping about his character.

      I like saving episodes of it to watch too – palate cleanser is just the right way to describe it!

      Liked by 3 people

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