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Posts Tagged ‘Arang and the Magistrate’

AAAAAHHHHH!!! Ohmigosh, just when I thought I could safely put Arang and the Magistrate to bed, Lee Jun Ki tweets a picture of cast and crew that is so adorable I simply HAVE to post it. So, here. Enjoy. Click on pic for a bigger version!

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Well, what do you know. Perhaps there is after all something to be said for a drama falling off the cliff some time before the end. I watched the last two episodes of Arang and the Magistrate grudgingly, just because I’ve come too far to give up now. But actually I had already a couple of episodes ago gotten bored of its facile storying and paper-thin characterization. I was bracing myself to hate the ending. But, surprisingly, I didn’t.

[somewhat spoilery musings follow after the break]

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Huh. Um. Uh. Well. How shall I put this? That was a whole lot of nothing. I’d say that I’m shocked at how quickly a drama which showed so much promising originality in its first four episodes has descended into sheer forgettability. Except that I’m not really shocked because we’ve seen this sort of thing happen so often in this crazy manic conveyor-belt that is k-drama making.

I found this episode so boring, I probably derived more amusement from the above pic Lee Jun Ki tweeted recently of the cast horsing around while filming it.

[spoilery rant after the break]

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Right. It’s taken long enough, but Arang and the Magistrate has finally lost me. Time-stamp: Episode 17.

I tolerated its driftings long after it lost its unique vision, because it still appealed to me at a pleasantly mindless level and because I was coasting on goodwill. But right at the start of Episode 17, I suddenly felt this subtle but fatal shift. From gratifying to gratuitous. From fluffiness to inexcusable logic fail. From holding my interest to causing my eyeballs to roll. Too obvious. Too maudlin. So much lame comedy. So much acting-by-numbers. So much clumsy exposition. So much yawningly trite romance. I’m even losing interest in Lee Jun Ki (how can this be?).

And, at this stage, with only three episodes left, I feel I have to watch to the end. I can’t just drop it now. Please, show, please. Please try to resuscitate a bit? You just need to make one last push to the finishing line.

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Decisions decisions.

What hard times these are, for a conscientious noona such as myself. I can’t remember the last time two such lovely young men have been in such equally dire need of my tender ministrations.

Come, my precious JK, come to your noona. Let me smooth your furrowed brow.

But… which JK?

[Largely non-spoilery stream of consciousness on their relative merits follows…]

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You know that phrase that pops up as a corny K-drama confession: “Now I see you as a man / woman”? I don’t know if anything is lost in translation, and to non-Asian ears it might seem rather tame as a love confession (as opposed to “Hey, Baby, you’re hot, let’s get it on!”), but in any event I totally get it. I think it’s rather sweet, actually. And perfectly and accurately descriptive. It’s that moment when your friend or acquaintance ceases to be merely a friend or acquaintance and starts to register as an attractive, sexual being.

Answer Me 1997 is good at mapping this point in the journey; but I’m not talking about Answer Me. I’m talking about me and Lee Jun Gi.

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Dear Show…

Dear Arang and the Magistrate,

I know you’re tight on budget, but from here on do you think you could go easy on the plastic flowers, experimental bad hair, lamentable costumes and cheesy smoke machine? Please bring a little more of that delectable otherworldly imagination instead.

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