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byof

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  1. @luvtokki Haha I've just spotted here and there on social media. The first two were from twitter and the last one was on AOA's Come See Me performance with dingo music on youtube. Hard to say if she wears it often or not, but she's worn it on three occasions now? My Country's wrap up party, when she got a friendship tattoo with Jimin and during the two Dingo music/AOA collab videos that were probably shot on the same day.
  2. Every time I spot Seolhyun wearing the red beaded couple bracelet that Hwi gifted Hee Jae just brings me straight back to how tragically sad the show's ending was.
  3. As much as I had my gripes with My Country: The New Age, in the end I still loved the series and I think it remains one of my favourite shows for 2019 with a soundtrack that complemented it so well. 'Flavour of life' is probably one of my favourites from the OST. It's such a serene and poignant track: starting with a simple piano medley, but when the string crescendo comes in with the traditional Hageum it's just wow. The balance between modern and traditional strings makes the track sound so pretty and really throws you into the Goryeo-Joseon era, especially accompanied with the show's beautiful cinematography. Another one of my favourites is an obligatory ballad from Jung Seung Hwan, 'Because it's you'. It's such a sweet, yet sad, and nostalgia inducing listen. The lyrics are also devastatingly heartbreaking in the context of the show. I personally feel like the track does drag a bit halfway when listening to it standalone, but the use of it inside the show was mostly fantastic. There's other tracks in that are great like 'River Flower' and 'Lost Castle', but I think these two are the ones that really throws me back into the drama when they come up in my Spotify playlist.
  4. Well, I just finished watching the finale subbed and man My Country ended on a devastatingly sad note. I'm honestly still gutted on the second watch. Despite its flaws, I'm seriously going to miss this one and it's definitely one of my favourite historical dramas. And quite easily my favourite historical drama of 2019. Overall, it was just so tightly produced: cinematography, acting, soundtrack, battle choreography--everything just oozed with style. I think it's definitely a great entry point for people who don't enjoy sageuk, and a probably bit less so for the more serious sageuk fans because when you dig a little deeper there's issues. The series was originally planned to run for 20 episodes, but 16 Episodes with an average episode run time of 70 minutes was what we got. This is no where near enough to cover the historical timeline of the end of Goryeo to start of the Joseon era and it really showed. At times I felt like from the character dialogue that things just happen off-screen and I feel like I'm just missing a whole great deal of context. As a proper historical drama about Joseon era, this is not the drama you want to be watching. Another one of my biggest gripes I've said and said again is that getting slashed, stabbed, or even impaled really does not mean much in the show for our main cast. It's just so disappointing that some form of decision was made in writing, direction, editing for really little to no gain at all. For starters, Seon Ho's immortal body guard--no more words to be said about this one. A more recent example would be Seon Ho stabbing Hwi at the end of Episode 14. The shot clearly shows Seon Ho's sword go right through his abdominal, but Hwi just shrugs it off, goes into battle straight away and says it's not that deep of a wound to Mun Bok in Episode 15. There's just straight up inconsistencies with fatal wounds being delivered for 'dramatic' effect, but then the next shot the wound disappears. It's incredibly jarring to watch and really waters down the fights, the great battle choreography and the series a a whole. Flaws aside, I think My Country at its core is character driven drama in a historical setting more anything. Hwi and Seon Ho, Hwi and Hee Jae, Bang Won and Yi Seong Gye, Nam Seon Ho and Nam Jeon. I was enthralled by the great production values, but stayed for the characters and the character dynamics. There's really not many dramas where I happen to like all the characters and I feel like My Country is one of them. I think the casting, acting, the chemistry between the cast was really spot on for the series overall and covered a lot of weaknesses of the show. This said, as much as I loved the characters they still did suffer from the irratic pacing of the series. There were often times where things would happen that really came out of nowhere. Seon Ho confessing to Hee Jae jumps to my mind, but there was definitely more than that. Either way the biggest loss, really, was that there was just so many interesting character developments that we didn't see. An extended arc of Hwi at Liaodong? Seon Ho's journey building influence with the Jurchens post Nam Jeons death? An extended journey of Hee Jae departing Iwharu to become the Queen's attendant? More Hee Jae Ihwharu politicking? I dream of a world where this series was 30 or 40 episodes long. Hwi, overall, from the start to beginning stayed honest, loyal, compassionate and warm at heart. A true bro. I feel like Yang Se Jong is just so well casted for Hwi as a character. He just looks like a warm, nice guy haha. Only complaints was that I would've to see more development and interactions with Hee Jae early on as the romance did jump the gun a bit and at times I felt like his leadership prowess, plotting skills came out of nowhere post Liao Dong time-skips. Seon Ho's character started so strong, but I feel like the writer really didn't know what to do with him half way through the show. As we find out in the finale he intended for him to go full circle with Hwi but after Nam Jeon died his character's motivations and drive just didn't quite make sense to me. I feel like if it wasn't for Woo Do-whan's stellar performance and his on-screen chemistry with Yang Se Jong I would have enjoyed his character much less. Hee Jae. The least popular of our three main leads from what I see. She was the queen's attendant, led Ihawru, negotiated with princes and kings. She was a boss. It's a shame there wasn't more scenes with her. I lowkey have a soft spot for Hee Jae, and I really would've loved to see an extended journey of her departure from Ihawaru and just more general Ihawaru shenanigans. She's smart, brave, kind and generous, possibly the most loyal girl you can get by the way she supported and protected Hwi over 10 years and it's really endearing. Her love story with Hwi is just so crushingly tragic and the finale hammered that in with the all the Hwi and Hee Jae scenes. I mean. That. Final. Scene. With Hwi gazing at his couples bracelet, with Seon Ho dead in his arms mumuring "You're going to cry again. And I wish you made you smile more when I could." And then the gates open and cue in Hee Jae at the gate seeing Hwi with a squadron of archers behind him primed to kill the love of her life. A terribly tragic throwback to the end of Episode 1 as Hee Jae watches Hwi and Seon Ho beat up the guards to sign up for the military exam. Ugh. I feel like I could write about this drama forever. When I find some time I'll think I'll have to do a re-watch, but for now: Hwi, Hee Jae, Seon Ho. You'll be missed.
  5. That was a completely and utterly depressing ending. I'll definitely have to do a rewatch with English subs before I do a final write up and gather my thoughts on the series as a whole, but man Hwi, Seon Ho, Hee Jae's story is just so tragic. I'm honestly at a loss of words. I normally dig my sad endings, but after all they went through, I really just wanted a happy ending for Hwi and Hee Jae. I'm so gutted.
  6. Episode 13 is out for me (Netflix Australia) now, but it only has Traditional Chinese and Vietnamese subtitles. Netflix is just intentionally trolling me at this point. Edit: Hurray, Netflix screwed up forgot to put English subs. Took it down and put it back up again and now it has English subs.
  7. Good news, just saw that episode 13 and 14 will be out on the 19th and 20th. Netflix (Australia). THIS BETTER BE REAL.
  8. So I actually contacted Netflix live support. I'm watching from Netflix Australia, so things could possibly differ across regions, but customer support told me there 'is a possibility of a licensing issue' and there's really no telling when the rest of the episodes will be released or not. Crossed fingers that their customer support doesn't know what's actually going on, but I'm pessimistic and I don't have high hopes. Also, going by that release schedule on whats-on-netflix from that tweet, last weeks episodes should of also been delayed by a day, but it wasn't. So I'm not sure how credible it is to be honest.
  9. Wow, Netflix really did us dirty. I actually stayed up till very late to watch the episode, but it never came. I remember all 16 episodes used to be listed on the mobile app with the release dates of each episode up until 23rd Nov, but it's been pulled down now It makes absolutely zero sense to license 12 episodes out of a 16 episode series and leave their viewers hanging in limbo. Seriously.
  10. Uh oh, Hee Jae is looking real distressed in that still. Writers, please. Don't touch the Hee Jaes. This shows already bleak and depressing enough :(. Also, is it just me or is survey link not working?
  11. I need me some of Seon Ho's muscles. Jokes aside, the problem with this is it that it takes all tension out of these battle scenes with our lead characters. The battle scenes would otherwise be so good, but it's unfortunately dragged down by the fact that we've been shown time and time again that slashes, stabs, or even getting impaled does not mean much at all in this show. What should've been an epic, climatic battle scene becomes a bit flat, because at the back of the mind you just know, there's still x amount of episodes to go, so he's just going to survive this. We've had too many instances where people on the receiving end of what should be fatal injuries, shrug it off and miraculously live. Major consistent gripes with this on the show. P.S Immortal body guard who has a personal vendetta against Hwi survived another stab in the chest from Chi-Do. I swear this guy should of died at least 3 times already in this show.
  12. Mixed thoughts about this episode. I couldn't help but not notice Hui Jae & Hui Jae's bodyguard run up to help, but then shown to be chilling as Yeon takes the blade in the stomach. Yeons death could have been set up and executed a whole lot better. There was also the instance at the start of the episode where Bang Won's bodyguard 'slashes' Hwi and he falls to the ground--except no blood, no wound to show afterwards. I mean was it all theatrics and we're being shown that Seon Ho is just blind and blatantly can't see he's getting pranked or...? Nothing has yet to top that immortal Liaodong death squad assassin getting rammed in the chest with a sword by Hwi and waking up the next morning good as new, but still it's immersion breaking.
  13. I think the story definitely suffers from being bound by historical events, skipping through history a bit too quickly and thus withholding a great deal of valuable context. Essentially we got cliff notes from episode 3 to 5, where, really, a great deal of things happened: Invasion of Liaodong. Coup. Beginnings of friction between Bang Won and Yi Seong-gye and co. The real meat of of the war and the coupe wasn't really shown to us, so it feels like our characters we knew from first two episodes took a massive leap through time, through these historical events--and the end result is a bit disorientating. Hwi's characterization is the biggest victim of this. Bang Won's contribution to overthrowing the previous rule, feelings of betrayal lacked exposition. Hee Jai's journey in becoming the Queen's most trusted subject... Personally, I think Seon Ho's character arc actually felt the most coherent to me out of them all. As of now, the first two episodes still remain to be my favourite episodes. I think the series really did start strong in establishing our three fictional main characters of different backgrounds and viewpoints of what 'their country' should be, and the premise of showing their journey during the transitional period between Goreyon and Joseon was really compelling, but you can't fit that in 16 episodes. So, instead we're getting snapshots of these characters throughout these historical events. That being said I still thoroughly enjoy it for what it is. I do agree with you that the character development does leave a lot to be desired, and there's also times where I feel like things have happened off-screen and I wasn't told about it lol, but overall I still do think all our characters are surprisingly charismatic and I don't find it hard getting invested in them. The cinematography, the set, the acting, the soundtrack are definitely the stronger aspects of the series and the overall packaging and presentation is quite stellar imo. But yeah, what can ya do if the character development and writing is becoming a deal breaker for you.
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