While the landscape of Korean entertainment can be vast and wondrous, it’s often the little things that make us fall in love, inspire awe, evoke secondhand embarrassment, or sometimes…break our hearts. In this segment, we ask our writers: Among the many things vying for your attention this week, what made your heart beat?

[Music/Idols/Dramas] Taeyeon’s “Weekend”, Seventeen, Hospital Playlist

I haven’t been keeping up with K-pop too much these days, but recently my summertime song has been “Weekend” by Taeyeon. The song had me hooked by the first listen, and I play it on repeat for an instant mood boost. 

Speaking of summer songs, Seventeen is a group that I associate with summertime bops, and I guess that’s something to continue to look forward to as all of the members have re-signed with Pledis Entertainment! Though they’ve been around since 2015, I only became a fan about a year ago, so I’m personally glad that for now there’s no end in sight for the group (and their show Going Seventeen). 

In terms of dramas, the second season of Hospital Playlist has been something I look forward to every Thursday! Much like its first season, the drama is generally very wholesome, and I love how gentle the drama feels against other dramas as well as real life. Something about watching five very kind, caring doctors and their equally charming family and friends puts a smile on my face every week. 

[Idols/Music/Dramas] Seventeen, WJSN, Nevertheless, The Devil Judge

Lynn, I totally second your celebration of Seventeen‘s re-signing with Pledis. I don’t think I’m devoted enough to call myself a proper Carat, but I definitely think that the K-pop world would be much less bright without Seventeen’s fun group dynamic and always astonishing dance skills. Plus, I’m still reeling from GFriend‘s unexpected disbandment (it is an indisputable fact that “Apple” was my song of 2020 because Spotify told me so with cold, hard numbers) so it’s nice to check a great group like Seventeen off my list of K-pop acts to worry about.

Speaking of wonderful groups, I spent most of last week working on a Side B article about SF9, and it got me thinking about the last Side B I wrote, back in May. That piece introduced me to the wonderful world of WJSN (Cosmic Girls), and they’ve quickly become one of my favorite girl groups. To be honest, I’ve been a little underwhelmed by this summer’s releases. Luckily, WJSN have got me covered with a treasure trove of fun, summery, twinkly bops. I’ve had “You Got” and “New Me” on replay for about a month straight! I also wanted to shout out their incredibly wacky b-side “Babyface” which is a quirky self-love earworm. What more could you ask for? 

On the drama side of things, I’m still very much enjoying Nevertheless. I also recently watched the first episode of The Devil Judge and was quite impressed. I feel like it is pretty rare for a drama to go all-in on a dystopian concept, and so far, the gritty world of The Devil Judge is visually captivating and conceptually intriguing. The cast is also phenomenal across the board, so I’m definitely jumping into episode two…as soon as my work schedule gives me time to, that is!

(Naver[1][2], YouTube[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]. Image via HYBE Labels, Pledis Entertainment)