K-Drama Couch: “Encounter”, “Memories Of The Alhambra” & “Fates And Furies” Make Anticipated Premieres
We officially entered 2019 K-Drama season with highly-anticipated dramas from powerhouse Korean actors.
Vaunting strong premieres seem to be an auspicious portent of what to anticipate on Korean dramas that will air in 2019.
This week, four dramas: Clean With Passion For Now, Fates and Furies, Encounter and Memories of the Alhambra, launched their pilot episodes in romantic colors.
Along with the new beginnings are closures for Korean dramas that we have grown fond with. Matrimonial Chaos, Where Stars Land, Room No. 9 and Bad Papa concluded their run in the last week of November.
In case you missed our launch last week with this segment, K-Drama Couch will be the weekly venue for our team to help you keep updated with Korean dramas that we have picked up for coverage.
Read through our roundup last week: K-Drama Couch: Finales & Premieres Mark End Of 2018 Korean Drama Season
*Note: covers 2018 Korean Dramas from November 26 – December 2
Clean With Passion for Now tells the story of two people who are total opposites but somehow keep getting their paths crossed. Kim Yoo Jung plays the charming yet unlucky Gil Oh Sol, who, despite her best efforts, has yet to land a job. Yoon Gyun Sang is the handsome CEO Jang Sun Gyeol. He runs a successful cleaning company because of his hatred for anything filthy.
Fates and Furies
Powered by a stellar cast, Fates and Furies tells of a tangled tale between two couples and the lives they lead.
Good shoes take people to good places. Taking shoe making business as a backdrop, the same holds true for this drama. A good story can bring us a good drama, just as good acting bring about great scenes. This is what Fates and Furies brought for its pilot week.
Notching impressive nationwide viewership rating, Encounter secured an all-time new high record for the network with 8.6% and 10.2% ratings. On its first two episodes, the amazing feat topped all pay TV platforms including terrestrial channels.
Not showing any hesitation in picturing the age and social class disparity in the narrative, appears to be the charming point it is heading to. The honest conversations are sedating the viewers to a comfy ride that can be watched with a smile.
Read: Encounter Premiere Recap
Memories of the Alhambra
Taking the route of virtual reality, tvN’s highly-anticipated series introduced a hero on a business deal quest to secure a cutting-edge augmented reality game. Neatly laying down the framework with apparent clues to unravel in the next chapters of the stories were unleashed with convictions. With its imaginative picture, it was no surprise why Hyun Bin took on the role for his small screen comeback.
Currently Airing K-Dramas
Tale of Fairy (Mon-Tue/tvN)
This guess-the-husband-by-being-patient-with-the-plot game is not cute to be honest. Injecting cohering flashbacks to fit in the flow of the story is a necessity in the remaining episodes. There are not many drawing points to root for Professor Jung and Fairy Seon since the romance line was awkward to begin with. So let’s hope the series has been saving the best for its last stretch.
God’s Quiz Reboot (Wed-Thur/OCN)
God’s Quiz Reboot tackles bullying taken to the extreme in this week’s latest episodes.
Victim #1 Ji Young Gil, an animal trader and pet shop owner, is discovered to have an accelerated case of rabies, which puzzles the crew because rabies was extinguished in Korea in 2005. Three more victims, rich students from a nearby high school, also turn up dead in an abandoned building a few kilometers away from where the first victim was found. A zombie hunter becomes Victim #5 as he stumbles into an abandoned church searching for rumored zombies. He enters a dark room, turns around, and gets attacked. His video captures the face of his attacker — Lim Do Yun, a bullied high school student more commonly called “Loser”.
God’s Quiz Reboot is becoming my weekly highlight. I am really enjoying the different cases they work on and how they solve these cases. It’s different from the usual medical crime dramas. From the high-tech CODAS, PMCT machines, and digital autopsy tables, it truly shows how technology has opened doors for forensic specialists to investigate their cases in more details and in lesser time. I also like that they fearlessly tackle social issues, most especially social injustices. The first four episodes have dealt with how unfairly treated the poor and weak can be, and how the rich manipulate matters into their favor. However, we can count on Dr. Han and the rest of the team to do everything they can to prevent this from happening.
Feel Good To Die (Wed-Thur/KBS)
Baek Jin Sang and Lee Roo Da are now working together at the first MW Chicken franchise. However, this move creates a rift between her and acting team Leader Park. He can’t seem to understand her motivation in helping Baek Jin Sang. The management sticks to their ploy of closing under-performing franchises but the franchise owners go to the main branch and cause a ruckus.
He is also becoming aware of Lee Roo Da. He gets nervous when Kang Joon Ho asks Roo Da if she likes him. Both deny it vehemently. Kang Joon Ho also gets himself assigned to the same franchise and the employees are not happy with Baek Jin Sang. They don’t believe he can achieve what the main branch set for them in order to avoid the restaurant’s shutdown. Baek Jin Sang uses all his cunning ideas to outwit Director Yu. She is about to curse at him when someone pushes Lee Roo Da towards Director Yu. This makes Baek Jin Sang’s heart beat faster.
Feel Good To Die continues to amuse and now that romance is blossoming, at least at Baek Jin Sang’s part, it is fun to see him get struck by the love bug. Imagine a by-the-book and anti-social autocratic boss starts to dissect Lee Roo Da’s every action and twist it romantically, it is just hilarious.
Children of Nobody (Week 2/Wed-Thur/MBC)
Dead bodies keep on showing up as Cha Woo Kyung tries to identify the little girl in the green dress. Detectives Kang Ji Heon and Jeon Soo Young investigate the death of a man, only to rule it as suicide. Evidence clearly points to it but a passage from a scary poem makes Ji Heon suspicious. Cha Woo Kyung and her husband file for divorce and she denies seeing the girl when he asks her. She seems to get used to the things she is seeing and she is even more curious to find out the identity of the girl.
The second week still finished in a high note as the mystery continues. We may finally see the girl in the green dress based on the last episode’s ending (It was such a cliffhanger!). The passages in each poem are corresponding to a death of a person. It was such a nice part of the narrative as it adds more intriguing feelings to the story. As a viewer, I am also not sure if the things which Cha Woo Kyung is seeing are all signs of either she is going insane or there is something supernatural behind it.
Sky Castle (Fri-Sat/jTBC)
Sky Castle did not impress me on its first outing. But out of love for Chan Hee, I picked up where I left off from the first week.
While I am still not that engage with its core conflict, I am beginning to enjoy the character interactions. Incidentally, it is also giving quick lessons on child rearing while picturing different looks of dysfunctional families.
This week, I felt so thankful that my father let me read as I please when I was young. There is a balance on the portrayals of the youth cast and veteran actors.
P.S Dear life, don’t let me have a daughter like Ye Seo in the future.
The Last Empress (Week 2/Wed-Thur/SBS)
Dominating further the second week of The Last Empress are the villains, so much so I am trying to be scared of the fate of Oh Sunny. Entering a den of lion, Empress Oh Sunny is not aware that she will become a sacrificial lamb without her permission.
Choi Jin Hyuk finally makes his appearance, taking the new identity of Chun Woo Bin. Plotting his revenge for the death of his mother, he enters the palace as a bodyguard for Sunny. By the way, burly Na Wang Shik’s dramatic transformation from diet and work-out is inspiring. *chuckles But it does not make sense. Plastic surgery would have been a more convincing way to explain the change in physical appearance.
Conspiracies and outwitting games are in the horizon. I hope Oh Sunny will stay safe. Lee Elijah is actually standing out for her role as a manipulative woman in contention with the equally cunning mother of the emperor.
A Promise to the Gods (Week 2/Sat/MBC)
Ji Young and Jae Wook decide to proceed with the artificial insemination, although both their spouses are against it at first. Min Ho, Ji Young’s husband is hesitant, but he is touched when he gets the chance to speak with Hyeon Woo. He gives his blessing without much condition unlike Na Kyung. She found out that she can never get pregnant, so she uses the opportunity to claim parental rights over the baby.
A lot of touching scenes happened in this week’s episodes. All characters were able to convey the right emotions and nailed those tear-jerking scenes. Their actions surely have consequences and I just can’t wait for the next episodes now that Ji Young has given birth to another boy and Jae Wook’s mother knows of Na Kyung’s bogus pregnancy.
Priest (Week 2/Sat-Sun/OCN)
The spirit that possessed the boy transfers to Dr. Ham’s colleague, Dr. Song. At first, they think it is just a case of sleepwalking. But later, they discover that the spirit comes out when Dr. Song is asleep as it resides in her consciousness. He finds Dr. Song but they are trapped inside her consciousness. As they try to get out, they are transported to Soo Min’s childhood home where he sees his own mother possessed. Both are able to get out. However Soo Min does not find the demon that possessed Dr. Song. It has some lingering effects on Dr. Song’s emotional, psychological and physical state.
They once again perform the ritual, where Soo Min enters Dr. Song’s subconscious. The young priest struggles within Dr. Song’s dream as the evil spirit plays tricks on him. In the real world, Dr. Ham saves Oh Soo Min who seems to have drowned. The thing that he saw Dr. Song’s dream bothers him and asks Dr. Ham if they have known each other prior to their meeting at the funeral. She says no.
We got to know how Father Moon and Dr. Ham knew each other. The episodes are starting to provide insights to the characters – which is a good thing. I know some viewers keep comparing Priest to The Guest, but the only thing I see that they have in common, is the spirit possession. The combination of science and religion definitely makes the Priest to stand out on its own.
Love Alert (Wed/Thur/MBN)
Things are getting complicated as Woo Hyun’s chaebol status is already out. Yoo Jung’s agency knows about it and starts to prevent her from seeing him. The Kanghan Group daughter also instructs her henchman to investigate Yoo Jung’s life, especially her past.
Sung Hoon confesses his feelings to Yoo Jung but she clearly sees him as a friend. Now Woo Hyun and Yoon Jung seem to be in a real breakup after their fake one. I wonder what other tactics the Kanghan Group daughter will employ just so she gets Woo Hyun to the altar. I also don’t know what it will take for her to understand Woo Hyun is never going to marry her. Geez, when will she get the hint?
When Time Stopped (Finale week/KBSW)
Sacrifices are made in order to restore balance. However, destiny makes sure the two main characters meet in the end. A lot have happened between Sun Ah and Joon Woo even in their past lives. However, the link between these two is stronger than any powers.
It was a bittersweet finale as someone had to perish in order for another to live a normal life. Also, a person has to keep losing his memories to forget the pain. But at least someone remembers it all that when the right time comes, those memories will be remembered.
Tale of Fairy, The Last Empress, Sky Castle, Hymn of Death, Encounter, Memories of the Alhambra, and Bad Detective will be covered by abbyinhallyuland.
When Time Stopped, Love Alert, Children of Nobody, Priest and A Promise To The Gods will be written by Emylyn.
God’s Quiz Reboot, Clean With Passion For Now, Fates and Furies, and My Strange Hero will be handled by Nicole.
How does this story make you feel?