Coffee Princess K-drama Roundup – June 2023

(Funny—this list is where I can really see where I went off the rails in April when that novel exploded into my brain. Hopefully, I will be able to find my way back on.)

**Stuff I watched until April 24th**

Full House – I felt like Ha Needo from 25/21 while happily bingeing this drama, and I was all in for the first 10 episodes. But then it draaaaagged. The side characters felt super flat, as if the writer had no idea what they wanted to do with the story, so the actors had zero motivation. Even the main characters became weird for no discernible reason. I was super annoyed by the end. I really wanted to love this!!

Angel’s Last Mission: Love – OMG. It’s about an angel and a ballerina, and it incorporates like a million storytelling devices I love. JUST WATCH IT. 10/10. It made The List (see link below).

Cheer Up – I thought this would have way more dancing. But it’s still a delightful school fantasy…fantastic because the problems are SO bad and the solutions are SO simple. (Like…they forgive a girl for attempted murder and we’re all cool with it by the end.) Fun, but you can’t take it too seriously.

The Law Cafe – Lee Seung-gi and Lee Se-young reunite (Hwayugi / A Korean Odyssey) in this delightful comedy about a young lawyer who opens a coffee shop and the genius who’s been in love with her since high school. But as beautiful and perfect as those two are, the real star is Jo Han-chul (Hometown ChaChaCha and everything else) having WAY to much fun as the crazy Bad Uncle, and I’m 💯 here for it.

The Heavenly Idol – We start with national treasure Kim “I’ll make sure you never forget” Min-kyu (Business Proposal) as a super powerful healer/high priest fighting the Devil and his horde in a fantasy world. Suddenly, he finds himself trapped in the body of an idol in a group dangerously close to disbanding (the term is “fail-dol”). Wackiness ensues! It’s just a ton of fun. I enjoyed the heck out of it.

**Stuff I watched after April 24**

(While I was writing the novel, I kept spacing out every time I tried to relax and watch a show. For that reason, I could only watch things I had already seen before. But since I wasn’t doing these write-ups back then, I thought I should add them now!)

My Roommate is a Gumiho – Really, this should also be on The List (adding it right now). It’s just so well done, and the cast is *chef’s kiss*. A loudmouthy klutz ends up bumping into a hot gumiho and ingesting his fox bead. Of course, for reasons, she must hang on to it…but that requires him hanging on to her, to protect his precious fox bead. So she has to live with him for a while. And it just unfolds beautifully. Major bonus points for having cameos of two of my very favorite character actors: Oh Jung-se and Lee Jun-hyeok (both were also in Touch Your Heart).

So I Married the Anti-Fan – Omg I love this drama so much. She didn’t mean to be his anti-fan. It was one bad moment at a party. But that glittery shoe she threw at him will live on the internet forever now. He lost nothing. She lost her job. So when she’s approached by a producer to star opposite him in a reality show called “So I Married the Anti-Fan,” she has no choice but to say yes. And they get to know each other as people. And it’s beautiful. And the fact that I was writing about a group of idols starring in a reality show at the time made this storyline resonate with me even more. If you haven’t seen this one yet, you really should.

Sh**ting Stars – Yup, this one should be on The List, too (adding it). It was topical because it’s also about a famous idol and a workaholic…and the story isn’t enemies-to-friends so much as it is chaotic-friends-to-romantic-friends. He loves driving her nuts, and she puts up with it because he’s MegaFamous and it’s literally her job. But what if…WHAT IF…what if he actually loved her loved her? Again, this story is so well cast and well done. AND, not only is there a great B-couple, but also a C, D, E, and F couple. It all works. Which is just…a lot to deliver. But this story does it.

Imitation – since I was writing about idols (and I had *just* watched Heavenly Idol and You’re Beautiful), I pulled this one up. I forgot how much I loved it. A 3-girl group who fell by the wayside for reasons (omg the Peak Time flashbacks) stages a comeback. And the leader of this group has a history with the leader of the most popular K-pop boy group in the country. Like, from way back, before she was even a trainee. Yes, there’s romance, but it’s mostly all about the business of being an idol. And I’m pretty sure everyone who starred in it actually is/was an idol. Just…so good. So good. The kids are all right.

True Beauty – It was way past time for me to watch this classic again. An ugly young girl who loves horror comic books and heavy metal is bullied so badly at her school that—after contemplating suicide—she teaches herself beauty makeup and transfers to another school. Where she suddenly finds herself caught between two hot guys who used to be best friends and are now bitter rivals. OMG. Cha Eun-woo really is precious and all, and I know he’s her destiny and whatever…but Hwang In-yeop still owns a piece my heart because of this drama and always, always will.

…and then I just watched Peak Time again. And wrote. Right up until I left for stormchasing.

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