While I was waiting for new episodes of other shows and trying to keep my Park Seo-joon addiction in check, I went back to my bookmarked shows to see what I’d overlooked and realized that I hadn’t checked out Season 2 of Queen of Mystery. I dove in, to see if they had done a good job sustaining the charms of Season 1 and I’m happy to report that, for the most part, they have, though there are some tonal shifts.
No spoilers of note…
What’s the same: Choi Kang-hee and Kwon Sang-woo still have the same playful banter, though now that she is divorced they are allowed to dance around whether or not they are ‘dating’ or interested in each other (because: no adultery allowed). She’s still insightful, he’s still surprised by her abilities but more willing to listen. Her friend, the Dosirak store owner is still her supportive bestie, and the aloof profiler is also a regular, though it seems he is doing his best to stay aloof.
What’s new: The emphasis shifts more to working inside a police station and Choi Kang-hee keeps trying to pass the entrance exam, but they’ve had her best pal take the test (and pass) and join in investigations. They have moved to a new station so the cast of colleagues and patrolmen have changed as a result, with mixed success. They’ve introduced a quirky forensic expert (who I found borderline annoying) and a former academy rival for Kwon Sang-woo (who I found easy on the eyes).
The story itself continues with the investigation into her parent’s mysterious deaths and his dead or missing long-ago girlfriend but they toss in a number of unrelated and slightly hit-or-miss extra cases in the early episodes. Some of those leave a couple of loose threads that I thought made things a little sloppy, but if they are going to have a Season 3 (as is hinted at, once again, at the end), maybe they have left those for plot points in the future.
Overall, I think that they have a decent formula and a likable couple and core cast in this series, so it’s a sufficiently pleasant way to pass the time. Would I watch a Season 3? Yes, I think so, which is enough of an endorsement these days!
New Dramas/Movies Of Interest
My Netflix alerts just let me know that Prison Playbook is going to be available on the 24th. That’s the one about a baseball player who’s convicted of some sort of crime (fraud?) and sent to prison where he meets Jung Kyung-ho and life (bromance?) happens. I keep seeing some good things about it on my social media feeds, and I really like Jung Kyung-ho and have since I first saw him in I’m Sorry I Loved You.
Queen of Mystery 2 is a thing and it’s coming soon! (February) I’m not sure if it will be before or after the Olympics, but I can’t wait. The promo pics for it look just as adorable as the original ones.
I had a chance to go see Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds last week (because I love Ha Jung-woo) and was not disappointed! I particularly enjoyed the mixture of relationship development and mythology building as they created the roles of the guardians. Plus, just about every character actor working in Korea today is in it. AND there is a “part 2” coming later this year which will feature the others who they couldn’t squeeze into the first part! It’s still playing in select theaters, but maybe not much beyond this week.
There is also a new Japanese movie opening this weekend (details and show locations here) starring the yummy Oguri Shun — Gintama. “Based on the best-selling action comedy manga by Hideaki Sorachi, GINTAMA takes place in an alternate Edo-period Japan, where an Alien race has taken control, forcing Samurai to lay down their swords. Once feared as the “White Demon,” former samurai Gintoki Sakata now works as an everyday handyman – until a master swordsman tasks Gintoki and his friends with finding the cursed sword Benizakura to keep it from falling into the wrong hands. Packed with the sword- swinging sci-fi action and offbeat humor that have made the manga a classic.”
Music and Other Stuff
I know I’m not the only one who loves Park Hyo-shin here, so I know my fellow fans will want to pick up his new single Sound of Winter. I love his voice… so mellow!
I found out about it because I’ve been spending (far too much) time watching a YouTube channel called “Classical Musicians React to Kpop”. It is the perfect way to validate my/your addiction to Kpop; a group of youngsters at a music academy/college in Canada (Eastman) watch MVs and react to what they see and hear. It’s fun listening to them analyze things like the beat, the shift between major and minor, tonic scales, etc. Oh, and have their minds exploded by the productions! I’m pleased to see that one of my favorite acts is one of theirs: AKMU, or Akdong Musician.