adelagia: (community | brain wrinkled)
[personal profile] adelagia
Way back when summer was still new and I was celebrating being freshly off work for an extended period and therefore had nothing to do -- HAPPY, HALCYON DAYS -- I got super into Korean dramas again. After watching City Hunter a few years ago and it knocking every standard for drama out of the park, I didn't feel like watching any other K-dramas, feeling quite certain none of them would measure up.

Over the summer, I managed to get over it and get three more under my belt (and a few that I started and then just ended up reading recaps for instead): School 2013; Pinocchio; and Signal.

They're all great in different ways, though if I only get to rec one, I aggressively rec Signal. More on that in a bit.

School 2013
What's awesome about it: It's a high school drama about a low-performing school and more specifically, about the "bad" class, the quiet, still-waters-run-deep student who doesn't listen to lessons but hears everything, the inexperienced teacher with her heart in the right place. It's kind of difficult, actually, to pin down an easy summary for it, because it's all about the relationships between the characters -- and I'm not talking romantic relationships; in fact, what worked so well for it was that it didn't have any canon romances, and centered itself on character growth instead. Also, it has THE CUTEST, ANGSTIEST BROMANCE EVER. (And the actors are BFFs in real life; SO ADORABLE.)

Pinocchio
What's awesome about it: A female lead who says what she means, doesn't take any crap, and goes for exactly what she wants? THANK YOU, I'LL TAKE TEN. No noble idiocy or inane love triangles to be found here; the lead couple are refreshingly communicative and honest with each other and cute cute cute.

Signal
What's awesome about it: It's my new City Hunter. After watching this, I'm off K-dramas again. The premise is a time paradox: a police profiler hears someone calling his name over a radio transmission and he finds an old walkie-talkie and starts getting messages from the past to help solve cold case crimes, from a detective who, in the present, has been missing and presumed dead for over a decade. It's part murder mystery(/ies) and part thriller, grounded in profound emotion. It's about the human connections we make, the decisions that change the course of history, the lifelong regrets about the things we never said. I can't tell you how many times I cried while watching this -- and listen, I cry at A LOT of things, but I know when I'm being manipulated to cry and when I'm not; Signal isn't by any stretch of the imagination a tearjerker melodrama. It earns every tear and gasp and howl of injustice. And the acting in this by actors who play the veteran detectives, OMG.

I will say, I didn't get fully hooked until about episode 4, so if you do give this a looksee, make it at least that far before you decide whether or not you want to go on. AND YOU WILL. (Also, watch it on Dramafever. At the time I watched it, Viki didn't have it fully subbed.)

tl;dr: Watch Signal. Do it do it do it.
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