Navillera episode 1, Kung Fu, The Irregulars, Masked Singer US, Thunder Force – What I’m Watching 4/9/21
Navillera episode 1 leads some of the superb shows I’ve been watching this week. Because I was so impressed by several of the lead actors on Western TV this week, I decided to start sharing everything I watch instead of just focusing on mainly Korean dramas.
There may be some light spoilers in terms of basic summaries, but I plan to concentrate more on how each show made me feel.
Navillera episode 1
Navillera is about an elderly man who wants to learn ballet and the relationship he develops with the young ballerino who teaches him. I am a little behind on watching this, but I plan to catch up next week.
Navillera episode 1 starts with Sim Doek-Chool (played by Park In Hwan) attending a funeral of his longtime friend. He and his other friends sit around and muse that their generation doesn’t have much time left. The lighting is dim and Doek-Chool looks hopeless and lost. His hopelessness continues as his family railroads him and each other at family dinner.
Doek-Chool overhears music and comes across Lee Chae Rok (Song Kang) practicing for a ballet audition. Doek Chool’s awe of Chae Rok dancing shines through the screen. Tragedy, family, and age can’t keep Doek Chool from pursuing dance.
This show is a mood! It’s beautifully shot and I felt everything right along with Doek Chool. The lighting and the music are perfect accompianment to the tender emotional story of each character. Even the cell phone sounds play in harmony to the music. I’m also so glad to see a drama with a unique bromance.
I look forward to more episodes of this series.
Western TV & Streaming
I am glad to see so much main lead representation from Asian actors in Western media recently. I’m also glad to note that there’s some great stuff to watch on television right now.
Kung Fu (CW)
I’d been waiting for the premiere of Kung Fu on the CW. An adaptation of the 70’s show starring David Carradine. Olivia Liang plays Nicky, a Harvard dropout escaping her controlling mother who spends three years in a Shaolin monestary until it is destroyed by a group of raiders.
I enjoyed the action immensely and thought the fight scenes were lots of fun. I also really like Liang. But like many CW shows, the writing suffers a bit. The pilot episode was fairly predictable and prone to tropes. Nicky’s humor is the most refreshing thing about the writing, but I am afraid this show will descend into angsty moroseness like a lot of other CW shows.
The Irregulars (Netflix)
Chinese-born Irish actress Thaddea Graham steals the show in this fantastic fantasy sequel to Sherlock Holmes. I was really impressed by the level of emotion and depth she brought to the character of Beatrice in The Irregulars. There were a few times I cried right along with her.
But the great casting didn’t stop there, because I liked almost everything about The Irregulars. The story is well-paced with lots of action and great dialogue. Even with the fantasy overtones, each of the main characters was realistic and going through their own personal transformation story.
The Masked Singer US (Fox)
I’ve been a fan of The Masked Singer since season 1 of the Korean variety show (my favorite performance from that season is by Eunji of Apink). I have to admit I think Ken Jeong’s comedy gets a bit old in the US incarnation (his Korean Masked Singer performance is a riot and he’s a surprisingly good singer), but I am really liking Niecy Nash as this season’s guest host while Nick Cannon recovered from COVID 19.
My current favorite this season is Black Swan, with Seashell as a close second. Seashell’s voice I reconized pretty early, but I’m not gonna spoil it here! I do tend to like female singers, though I was a Wayne Brady fan all the way through season 3.
This week’s episode had a twist that was pretty disappointing, but one I could see coming for several episodes. I do think the addition of wildcards has been fun.
Thunder Force (Netflix)
I was a bit under the weather toward the end of the week, so I wanted to watch something that didn’t require a lot from me. I usually like Melissa McCarthy movies, so I watched the latest Netflix Friday movie Thunder Force. Thunder Force is about two childhood friends, Lydia and Emily, who become superheroes as adults with a serum made by Emily (played by Octavia Spencer).
It’s not high television, but if you like goofy Melissa McCarthy movies, then it will occupy an evening fairly pleasantly. There’s some action, but it’s mostly about the relationships of the characters. McCarthy is McCarthy, Spencer gives the movie grounding and humanity, and Jason Bateman adds a weird romantic element as a half-crab, half-human love interest for McCarthy’s character. I also enjoyed Pom Klementieff (who you might know as Mantis from the Marvel movies) as a laser-shooting villain.
What are you watching?
Tell me what you think of Navillera episode 1 or the other shows I’ve been watching! Or share with me your current favorite watch!