Bring on the Quirk

Oh, how I love to binge-watch dramas. Is there anything better on a cold winter’s night than to curl up on the couch with a giant bag of Double Stuff Oreo’s and watch shows for hours on end? I think not. I have extolled the virtues of binge-watching such classics as Goblin, Ashes of Love, and The Untamed many times. While on the hunt for other binge-able offerings, I thought of a few others that kept me hooked. Granted, these aren’t classics and nor are they mind-blowing… Just worth a few hours of your time consuming back to back episodes. What do they all have in common? The quirk-factor. They are a cross between horror, romance, and action-adventure that just tickles my fancy, and I’m looking for more.

So please take a walk with me through the land of the quirk and help me find more like them in drama-land.

Yes, I have a soft spot in my heart when horror meets mystery and romance. Just like the masterpiece Hotel Del Luna, The Ghost Bride touched on those three genres… Well, perhaps with a little more horror and a bucket full of quirk. Those scenes in the in-the-between world sent a chill up my spine… It was spooky. AND, I will admit those monster-headed minions freaked me out a bit. Heck, the ghost groom, Lim Tian Ching (portrayed by Kuang Tian), gave me the creeps but in a fun way because he was very easy on the eyes… For a spoiled rich ghost. The dynamics between Pan Li Lian (the spitfire Huang Pei Jia) and Er Lang (I love Chris Wu) were just fabulous. The bickering and budding romance…Like whipped cream and nuts on top of a big hot fudge sundae! With the gorgeous sets, phenomenal actors, and captivating story, I was sad there were only six episodes. I could have binged another six with this cast of intriguing characters.

Lim Tian Ching – Just a yummy naughty ghost

School Nurse Files was just six smallish episodes. I won’t say it was amazing as much as this was so bizarre, gross, scary, and cute that I just had to hurry and get all six watched as quickly as possible. First of all, Ahn Eun Young, the school nurse (brilliantly portrayed by Jung Yu Mi) was a strong complicated creature that bravely protected the children at the high school in which she worked. She even had a sword…..it was way cool. The intrepid Eun Young eventually got a sidekick, Hong In Pyo (played by Nam Joo Hyuk), who valiantly joined her quest to conquer the jellies.

To be sure, there was not a single “normal-ish” character in the entire show… Not one… Well, except for the bad guy. Every one of them had little oddities and foibles that just made this show hard to drop. A veritable quirk-a-palooza. Despite me wanting to turn off the TV with all the rather unsavory jelly weirdness, I couldn’t. ALL THOSE WONDERFUL CHARACTERS were SO COMPELLING. And the questions… I couldn’t help but have questions. Why was the school such a cesspool of the peculiar happenings? What’s up with the English teacher? How did the school nurse obtain her powers? Will the two leads ever lock lips? Want to know the answers? Binge those six episodes, and maybe you’ll be satisfied… Or not.

What’s with all the jelly stuff? This was the least disturbing one.

Have you seen Mystic Pop-up Bar? No, really, you haven’t? Well, put this on your watchlist because it is highly entertaining and jam-packed full of quirk. MPB is without horror but full of mystery, magic, lots of laughs… With some tear-jerking moments (I’m talking to you Kang Bae), especially between the three leads played by Hwang Jung Eum, Yook Sung Jae, and Choi Won Young. The story is entirely about these three seemingly unrelated people and how they build a very unconventional family.

No one in this show is truly over the top pretty or out of this world rich. The fantasy premise is strangely down to earth, which is not my usual cup of tea. Hwang Jung Eum does an amazing job as Wol Joo. Be warned, she’s loud… But then again, so am I. She’s got pluck… But then again, so do I. She holds a mean grudge… Ahem…sorry, can’t relate. This woman can hold her own against the other two male leads as well as any other character in the show and was a spectacular example of a strong and interesting female. Truth be told, my favorite character was Sam Shin (played by Oh Young Shil). Her relationship with Wol Joo is just too funny… Such a phenomenal example of true friendship. Who didn’t love the karaoke episode with So Chan Hwi?

Thank you darknesslovee for this awesome gif

The Master’s Sun was another quirk-fest full of scary ghosts, mysterious pasts, bold female characters and some eye candy (yes, So Ji Sub and Seo In Guk). Of course, this was written by my favorite k-drama authors, the Hong sisters. I have waxed eloquent on my affection for those lovely ladies who are writing virtuosi. As typical, they manage to scare me, annoy me, and push me to love and hate both leads, all before the third episode. Sometime around episode 5, I managed to both adore and loathe Tae Yi Ryung (Kim Yoo Ri) nailed the spoiled actress turned softy) and Kang Woo (sigh… Seo In Guk). Is there a bigger odd couple out there?

I’ll be honest, just when Tae Gong Shil (Gong Hyo Jin) irritated me too much with her odd whiny/not whiny character, Tae Yi Ryung and Kang Woo kept me hooked… That, and So Ji Sub was just plain pretty to look at when he wasn’t being so funny… Anyone out there loves his voice as much as I do? It was not hard to binge The Master’s Sun because it brought out the emotions in me: fear, love, irritation, and of course the most important… Laughter.

This ghost didn’t scare me… Just broke my heart

While none of these shows is my idea of a classic like Eternal Love, Ashes of Love, The Untamed, Goblin, or Hotel del Luna, they are nonetheless quirky and binge-able… And I want more. I beg you to impart your suggestions of quirky shows with a little of this, a little of that, and some eye candy. Winter is coming, and I need a reason to curl up on that couch with the bag of Double Stuff Oreos. Pretty please with sugar on it, I need the quirk!

What shows did you enjoy binge-watching? What is your idea of a show with quirk? Or do you prefer shows without the quirk?

Edited by: Cookie (1st editor)

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