I think all the followers of School 2017 would agree that not much happened on this coming-of-age drama, except the sweet boy crush we all felt towards Tae Woon. *wink I want to say, I was put on a cute school boys’ trance, … Continue reading
Bride of the Water God is my kdramaland heartache for 2017 since I am rooting for its artistic promise – only to be disappointed for failing to achieve it. There are a few addictive runs, but the cliff-hangers and direction of the … Continue reading
Once in a while, you witness a beautiful love story that you want to tell everyone about it because you want to share that stunning experience with them. That’s the exact feeling I had when I was watching Queen For Seven … Continue reading
We will get to the extremes of reality and fantasy for new Korean dramas that will kick off in the next two weeks.
Save Me (OCN)
Ok Taecyeon will rescue a damsel (Seo Ye Ji) trapped by a creepy cult following in OCN’s new offering. I have pretty much been loyal to OCN this year and have enjoyed most of their dramas so I trust in this new project. “Save Me” will replace “Duel” on the weekend slot.
Kim Jae Joong’s post army comeback drama has released adorale teasers so far that I have already added it on my weekly watchlist. The promise looks like “Operation Proposal” to me where the lead guy travel back to the past to prevent the wedding of his long running one-sided love. KBS is chirpy with their drama line up this year so we can fairly look forward to this new romcom. “Manhole” is slated every Wednesday and Thursday on KBS.
Go Kyung Pyo sports a crazy hair for his breakthrough lead man role. He rises from the bottom to become a CEO after delivering a hit app he developed. KBS has been successful with their undedog stories this year so let’s wait and see where the deliveryman will take us. “Strongest Deliveryman” will ride his motorbike every Friday and Saturday.
Duel delivers a mind-bending chase thriller with unwavering excitement and grit.
Trust OCN in conceiving crime stories that disregards the conventional cop drama approach by using conflicts that will make the most out of the viewers’ time. Duel navigated a heightened quest of heroes who blindly trusted each other to achieve their personal goals of saving a loved one and remembering lost memories.
“Duel” caught me off guard because I thought it will be straight cop and crime drama. So, I was not prepared when it broke my heart into pieces with its main conflict of a father seeking the abductor of his sick daughter who happens to be a human clone supported by a big conglomerate company. “Duel” will not sink in right away to engage you, but once you patiently cross the 6th episode, you will forget what your current real-life problems are, and would just want to reunite the hero to his beloved child.
Insanely Wicked But Engaging Plot
If told in scientific form, the detective’s daughter Soo Yeon is like the sun in the solar system, moving around her are the heroes and villains. The mystery solving plot unravels the details of the story that are traced to a 24 year old prohibited medical research on human cloning and a sort of cure-for-all vaccine. The story progresses as the serial killings of an evil clone happen. The movements of the plot are dependent on the quest to save the young girl until the discovery of the holy-grail-human-cure, who notches a more ardent contention for the dying people who needs her to survive. The ambitious medical plot about stem cell therapy and human clones seem awkward to a crime drama, but the moment your attention is settled to the story, your brain will become busy processing the what-ifs and OMG’s of the story.
Staunchly Intense Tone
The frantic pace and overwhelming tone will exhaust you every episode, but you end up craving for more. I tend to avoid problem-laden stories, but Duel breaks the exception easily as it made me see the importance of reaching the end of the tunnel for everyone in the story. I was so drawn in all the characters that the fight scenes full of blood spatters, broken bones and ripped flesh did not make me flinch as the episodes go on. In the waning moments when the coveted vaccine has been found, I really had hair-tugging moments on why the story always chooses the complicated road versus the easy one, but then the strength of the story is how the characters have good and evil resonance of their own that justify their growth in the story to the point of ludacris and selflessness.
Excellent Male Cast Portrayal
Given that the action-packed drama will cater more to the male audience, I really enjoyed the men-dominated cast because even with the heart-wrenching moments, the tear-inducing scenes are kept nicely at a bearable level. Yang Se Jong is a revelation. For a barely new actor, he is sensitive to his shifting roles. I can only imagine the focus he had to work on in giving two facets of distinct characters. Jung Jae Young showcased his seasoned acting to a point where I want to beg the writer to stop hurting him. *chuckles I won’t say that the lady cast are lousy in the story. They supported well, but it’s the boys that really held the story in place.
Impeccable Finish Line Race
Duel gives a satisfying closure after wrapping neatly all the conflicts presented in the story. After Episode 16, I heave a sigh of content because it made me feel like I am one of their team members in that neverending pursuit to destroy the evil villains. The heroes and villains in equilibrium give a gripping pendulum sways as the characters push the momentum of the narrative. I got what I never asked for in Duel, and that really made me happy.
Fight Scene Gaps
While chasing the fugutives, the prosecutor’s team with the police reinforcement have tracked them on the crime scenes, but they are always a step behind in the entrapment operations. The execution of getting through the sneaky villain and the people behind him are always failing. My patience was tested on the warehouse hostage exchange scene because I can’t believe they were outwitted again. I know that it’s possibly because the story was just hitting halfway and I’m exhausted as they really live up to the “chase thriller drama” tag, but come on, it was not logically possible for the villains to slip through a band of detectives. There are evident gaps on the execution of the fight scenes. Duel is bloody and brutal in the brawl scenes, but the characters seem to be invincible with their ability to regain their strength for almost every episode of dark and twisted exchange of nasty squabble. Like they can’t take a 2 hour nap and will be back in full health after altercations like that of MMA bouts. That for me is unbelievable.
Jung Jae Young plays Detective Jang Deuk Cheon who is saddled with financial constraints due to his daughter’s leukemia. Left with no choice when his daughter, Soo Yeon, is hospitalized, he agrees with Prosecutor Choi Jo Hye (Kim Jung Eun) to close a recent investigation so they can get the promised money he can use for Soo Yeon’s urgent expensive stem cell therapy.
After Soo Yeon’s emergency treatment they head home but the driver of the ambulance managed to subdue Detective Jang and takes off with the patient. Ransom money is demanded by the culprit to which the detective hysterically obliges, but the kidnapper flees with her daughter after learning the money is fake.
Enter the supposed kidnapper of his daughter, a man who has no recollection of his memory which the detective believes owing to how he remembers the evil eyes of the man who took his daughter. He helps him escape the impending prison time as he relies on his memory to track down his daughter. The amnesiac man encounters the mysterious man, Lee Sung Hoon, who shares the same face, DNA, and fingerprints as what he have. He also learns his name as Lee Sung Joon.
Sung Hoon mercilessly goes on a murder rampage as his evil deeds are blamed on Sung Joon. In their confrontation at an illegal dog-fight den, the latter meets a journalist who shares a connection from the past that Sung Joon is trying to remember.
In 1993, a doctor Lee Yung Sup who shares the same face as Sung Hoon and Sung Joon is engaged in an illegal stem cell research. The unlawful experiment backfired on him when the patients on trial escaped and took his organs for donation. The situation got complicated because he has injected the stem cells on his body not knowing that he will be killed the same day. That same stem cell research is given to the detective’s daughter who was kidnapped by one of the clones made from the dead Lee Yung Sup. Sung Joon regains his memory when they locate his friend and remembers his identity as a clone, like Sung Hoon, to the dead doctor Lee Yung Sup.
It turns out that the real vaccine was not injected by the dead doctor to his body, but was infact given to his dying daughter who was later adopted by a nurse he trusted. The daughter turns out to be present day Mi Rae who has been helping the Sung Joon and Detective Jang. Sung Joon who remembers glimpses of Doctor Lee’s memories uses his clone’s identity for a bargaining ticket to save Soo Yeon. He baits Sanyoung Pharmaceutical Company’s Chairman’s daughter of his recent memory recovery on where the real vaccine is. He successfully rescues Soo Yeon with the help of the police team as Prosecutor Choi demands the Chief Prosecutor to have Detective Jang be reinstated.
Prosecutor Choi who has connected the Chief Prosecutor’s involvement to Sanyoung devises a way to trap the evil business and evil boss. Sung Joon is reunited to Doctor Han Yu Ra who raised him and Sung Hoon when they were young. But Sung Hoon succumbs to the Chairman’s evil ploy to raise doubts by blaming Doctor Han’s inability to protect him in all those experiments done to him in the past 12 years. Sung Hoon calls the Doctor for a meet up, but accidentally eavesdrop on Mi Rae’s role as a carrier of the vaccine when Detective Jang consulted the doctor about the options for his dying daughter who responded to the stem cell treatment, but has been rapidly developing tumors in the body. Sung Hoon directs the doctor to another place to get through Mi Rae, but Detective Jang quickly stops him from leaving in the basement parking. Sung Hoon confronts his doctor-mom about what Chairman San Young revealed. In his rage he triggers the gun to Sung Joon but the doctor takes the bullet for him. The doctor ill-fatedly dies, just as Soo Yeon hits a critical condition. The evil chairman orders ro kidnap Mi Rae and the police team traces her to a suburb laboratory owned by the pharmaceutical company. Detective Jang and Sung Joon dress up in doctor’s robes to infiltrate the place. They get through the main door but outnumbered by the security officers of the building, Detective Jang sacrifices his body for Mi Rae and Sung Joon so they can drive away from the place. Mi Rae gives off her bone marrow as soon as she reaches the hospital, but the villain intercepted it by threatening Soo Yeon’s doctor.
Mi Rae’s bone marrow tug-of-war ensues as Sung Joon retrieves the box from the chairman’s minion. Sung Hoon heads to his evil clone’s lair to get the bone marrow so they engage to a fight where he is left no choice but to drug him to unconsciousness. The chairman’s bullies arrive in the house so Sung Hoon pretends to be his clone and claim that he injected the bone marrow to himself already. He is brought to the facility to get the bone marrow just as Sung Joon wakes up and realized what happened.
Sung Joon bravely goes to the Chairman to demand the release of Sung Hoon. Knowing how he will go sneaky with his words, he visited the recovering Detective Jang to present his Sung Hoon rescue plan. He also gives Mi Rae the bone marrow box to carry on with Soo Yeon’s procedure before heading to a final showdown with the villain. Pretending that he is subdued, he releases himself with a scalpel to slash the chairman’s neck as bullets rain on his body.
A year later, Soo Yeon with her now family of five visits Sung Joon in his resting place.
Duel is the second scifi drama that will enter my personal favorite list for 2017. I’m also surprised how it consumed me, and how I stayed patient in reaching the culmination of the story. Probably it is because Duel made me feel like I am part of the team and we are all in that moment together. *wink
If by any chance you want a real drama with pounces of action elements and inventive scifi plot, then by all means consider this excitingly crafted drama. “Duel” secures important messages about how human greed is neverending. It is a disease that will corrupt someone to the highest level of selfishness. It also gives a lasting impression on what makes a person as we see a human clone with a heart as big than what a real person could ever have. There are a lot more lessons on love, friendship and family that are neatly interjected in the story. Yes, it is amazing how they were able to blend that given the rip-roaring battle scenes. Duel is served best on a spree for you to feel the rush of the thrilling chase of the story.
As a Ji Chang Wook fan, I suffered a rebellious jealousy while watching Suspicious Partner. *grins When it got to the sweet kiss scenes where he glided his lips luxuriously on his lead girl, I squealed along with all the girls around the world, but I slept with tears in my eyes. *lol
So when he went to giving her morning kisses as the story progressed, I rested my case, and decided to cool off my one-sided fictional romance with him. *giggles
On that note, Suspicious Partner soared up on how the romance inevitably happened between a man and a woman, who found themselves trusting each other. The love declarations are impulsive outburst, which gives a relatable nudge for people, who at some point in their lives, recklessly chase a relationship that just beat excitedly in their hearts.
Happy Tuesday Everyone!
Dear Lookout, I have no regrets staying beside you since Day 1. Warts and all, I enjoyed the thrilling ride. Love, abby I am still shookt and recovering from the gripping finishing kick of Lookout. But as a rational KDrama … Continue reading
It’s Monday and I kinda miss Man to Man’s slot for my watch list today. I pray that Woman of Dignity will continue the lucky year of jTBC.
There are a lot of things that I like about Park Hae Jin’s recent spy drama. It totally obliterated the nightmare he gave me in “Cheese in the Trap”. So I guess Kim Go Eun and him are forgiven for that abysmal definition of plot turn of events.
What I will remember most about “Man to Man” is the rightly mixed concoction of story, humor and amusing cast… not to mention the bromance. I was not that swayed in the romance, but I appreciate that it added more layers to the hero. Anyway here is my hellokpop full review.
Happy Monday yorabun! ^_^
I have included ‘Chicago Typewriter’ on my Top K-Drama Picks for 2017 because I was blown away with how the story was knitted to a blend of real and imaginary emotion on a premise of switching timelines. Here is my … Continue reading
I thought this drama will be at 16 episode so I was surprise that it was really set at 13 Eps. But given the lengthening job they did to finally end Sung Hoon’s kissing prowess spectacle, I think reaching the … Continue reading
For my objective review on crime drama ‘Tunnel’, please check it at hellokpop. Since this is a genre that I have grown to love because of my attachment to Criminal Minds, at some point I joined the highs and lows, but the safe and neat narrative felt lacking in the end because it was always leaning on a safe side in explaining the links presented in the story. The trite flow and complacent writing that circled to the villain overshadowed the heroes and gave an imbalance on the character dimensions of the story.
I wish they had explained the catalyst of the time jump but they just sort of let it happen in the story. I know that it was laid as part of the plot framework, but in kdramaland everything has to be explained. lol
Overall, ‘Tunnel’ is still an exciting drama watch. The unexplained time element is the only thing that set it apart from the crime dramas focusing on serial killing and also my minimal complaint along with the predictable storyline.
We had three new dramas opening this week and some more in the coming weeks. Hopefully this will be a start of a lively weekly drama line up.
My Secret Romance (Mon-Tue) Ep 7
Episode 8 was preempted just when the romance plot is thickening. argh The appetizer kiss scene in Episode 7 surprised me. I just felt that coming from their one night stand and meeting after, the awkwardness if will not be discussed should have at least drawn some line or urged Yoo Mi at least to question Jin Wook’s right to just kiss her as he pleases. I will still give the love plot in this drama a chance to redeem the story since we will be crossing the middle part so hopefully we can balance the romance and comedy. Technically they are trying to insert mushy scenes more than yarning the story, and even if it is acceptable in rom-com dramas I got a bit disappointed because I like the director’s work in Something About 1% last year. Give me a story next week, I like Jin Wook’s vacuum kisses but I want us to talk as well. *chuckles
The Liar and His Lover (Mon-Tue) Finale Week
So Rim and Han Gyul wrapped up their story on a safe landing. I have written the full review for hellokpop so if you want to watch it soon, check my recommendation. Overall I like the story before the pandemonium of conflicts in the closing sprint. It would have been nice if So Rim and Han Gyul were not pushed behind because of unresolved problems that they had to fit in the dying episodes.
Suspicious Partner (Wed-Thurs) Premiere Week
I signed up for this of course because of Ji Chang Wook oppa since they bribe me with his “first rom-com role” premise. What’s strange was that it felt weird seeing him slumped on a chair with paperworks. lol The love vibes with his lead girl is not yet settling in me, but I like Nam Ji Hyun so I’m positive that she will win me over. Here’s my opening thoughts for Suspicious Partner at hellokpop.
Ruler Master of the Mask (Wed-Thurs) Premiere Week
I skipped Rebel and Saimdang period dramas because I was not drawn by the initial premise and the actors playing on it. I like how the water system exploitation conflict will be the basis for the story’s premise. It is reminiscent of Flower in Prison and Tree With Deep Roots so I have picked up this drama on my list. Here’s also my hellokpop first impression for ‘Ruler’.
Man to Man (Fri-Sat) Ep 7-8
Ghost Agent K feels like Healer all over again and it’s making me feel so in love. *giggles Everything about this drama is perfectly executed so far. I like the placement of the conflicts as the spy missions for the hero, and I like how his character is showing amusing facets that is making the story more adorable. The bromance with action star Woon Gwang is also commendable along with the heroine’s intuitive nature. Friday and Saturday dramas are what’s keeping me happy weekly. If you are still considering watching this drama it won’t disappoint you.
Chicago Typewriter (Fri-Sat) Ep 9-10
Se Ju and the gang never looked back and keeps throwing on cryptic puzzle pieces little by little as the picture and connection of their past lives is reaching clarity at present time. What I am anticipating is whether the mistakes from their past lives will finally be atoned in their present lives. I think the limbo situation of ghost Jin Oh will be unraveled soon as well as the backstory of Seol’s trauma. ps. That 1930’s kiss scene was so hot. lol
Bad thief, Good Thief (Sat-Sun) Premiere Week
For a 50 episode drama the first two episodes are not enough for me to understand the intention of the production team. So I’m going to give it 10 episodes to prove its worth. The premiere week displayed back story that I did not feel entwined at all so come on drama entice me!
I think I fainted to sleep after my full review of this drama which I already published at hellokpop so you can view the full review from there. I did love this drama from its onset because I look forward … Continue reading
“Fated love is seeing your happy face in the eyes of the person you love”
And that’s how you tie up the loose ends, execute a heartfelt closure for a love that missed its timing, and celebrate how true love happens when you are patient enough to wait. If you are on a k-drama slump, this will hook you up back to oppa-land. The fast paced quirky rom-com promised an addictive run and delivered it in flying colors with a riveting thriller plot incorporated on the side.
It was a whimsical love ride with thugs, a psycho, a police, a gaming company CEO and a woman with extraordinary strength. The labyrinth was a whirlwind of cuteness and mirth and everything a fan would ask k-drama gods for a gift. Consistently endearing with amusing surprises along the way, “Strong Woman Do Bong Soon” is a steady delightful drama that deserve all the raves and hype it has been getting from k-drama followers.
I was always in a trampoline of stimulating emotions while watching Do Bong Soon’s story. From thrills to laughter to poignant bliss to heart flutters and to sweet tears, I already placed it in my all-time k-drama favorites. What made this drama so endearing was the perfect blend of the engaging love couple/triangle chemistry, the warranted humor even the slapstick travesty, and lastly, the charming tale of the heroine who bloomed to become a woman who acknowledged her strengths and frailties. Hers is a story that any girl can relate to. From those love confusions, career-where-I-am-going-questions and finding her worth as a person. “Strong Woman Do Bong Soon” might have been coated in chocolates and marshmallows, but it gave a tangible encouragement especially to women watching it.
Cast, Storyline and Conflict
I usually pick k-dramas to watch based on the history of the production team. There are a few that I chose because of the actors like how I signed up for “Strong Woman Do Bong Soon”. This is my no-reservations-i-just-love-parkhyungsik-so-im-going-to-watch-it drama. So, I was surprised that the premiere week gave me more than I expected and steadily raised my anticipation all throughout my devoted trailing. The energetic pacing, the charming CEO zooming on a hoverboard, the small framed heroine with herculean strength and the uptight hot detective, are some of the reasons why this drama has charmed and chained me in so many ways. Because of its intriguing plot, knee-weakening sweet moments and cute bickering, Bong-Bong and Min-Min’s love ride has been so invigorating.
We sure had a second lead syndrome with Ji Soo playing Bong Soon’s long running one-sided love, and it was a relief that the transition given to us so we can move on along with Bong Soon was well enacted in the narrative. Bong Soon’s one sided love to Gook Doo was cute as hell. Gook Doo’s line of how he was so overwhelmed with his emotions towards her that he missed knowing that she felt the same way made me sob and sigh as his pain attacked me in the finale episode. I liked how that scene properly sent off the alternate love pairing with a breathtaking moment which you rarely see from past rom-coms once they hit the culmination of the main love line. Usually the second lead will be disregarded like he never helped in highlighting the main love tale. The right love at the wrong time story of Bong Soon and Gook Doo was established well propelling an exciting race for the lead girl’s hand and perturbing heartache for the second lead that we also want to keep in our heart. The love triangle premise broke my heart when it has not even happened yet, so when we got to the steamier love plot it made everyone happy and confused at the same time since we have an equally adorable second lead.
My shameless noona romance with Park Hyung Sik was rewarded well, and I’m so happy for him landing a drama that was loved so much by the viewers. I love how our hero has figured out all the answers to his illustrious life and how he lives to his gaming company owner persona and treating every life setback as a challenge to overcome for him. Hyung Sik was awesome in projecting the same bread and butter rom-com element of bickering with the lead girl that seeing him caught in a love bug was quite a delightful watch. What’s amusing about his character was how he diverted from the lead man prototype by being soft-hearted and crazy over his girl dummy. It’s hard to put it in words but his interaction with Bong Soon cracked me up a lot because we got to see him hilarious without the love connection, so when we hit the romantic rope, he was a bundle of gaiety since he was drawn to rationalizing everything about their relationship and literally translating it to how his weird mind perceived it. Park Bo Young who has always been known for her brilliant portrayals owned her Bong Soon character by giving it a unique resonance even when her image was sketched with imperfections. And her stunning connection with Park Hyung Sik along with the ardent gazes and heart-stopping kisses has made me hug my pillow so hard while squealing like a highschool girl watching her crush shoot a basketball from afar.
The love progression turned so effective in inducing laughter fits because Min Hyuk’s one-of-a-kind hubris was always at lost, as his lady love knows what buttons to push to make him surrender at her fingertips. The dynamics of Bong Soon and Min Hyuk’s reversal of roles are clearly defined thanks to Park Couple’s committed portrayals. As a cushion for my weak heart, I did not give my all in trusting the production team, but I have a big faith to the awesome actors playing in the tv stage.
15 years of Korean drama following will give you a power to predict stories from its onset and a liability to easily give up on dramas showing no kick off promise. In a way, “Strong Woman Do Bong Soon” resurrected my old fan girl spirit, and made me reminisce when I was at that stage of being so forbearing with any kind of drama given to me regardless if it was good or bad. I found myself watching the drama without subtitles and scavenging YouTube for any drama related uploads available to kill time while waiting for the next episode to happen.
I only have a minimal complaint on the narrative. There were scenes I wish did not linger more or were used as fillers like the excessive thug frames. But overall, I am mostly satisfied with its simple premise and gleeful romantic realization. On this note, the only 1% pout I will give the story was how the writer should have capitalized more to Bong Soon’s power’s back story anecdotes or how Min Hyuk established his company, or any love couple’s mushy moment, than placing those gangster scenes that I am already not interested about after the 1 vs 30 encounter with Bong Soon. Bong-Bong and Min-Min’s story gave us a hybrid of fantasy and reality characters that helped in making the vibrancy of the story conspicuous. I like how our creepy conflict functioned as a neutralizer to the witty love interlude and the satire comedy we were high on for the most part of the story. We had a solid love triangle, a vivacious main cast, a cute storyline, and an exciting pacing that encouraged my usually swaying heart into 8 weeks of faithfulness in this series. The uncomplicated resolution of the side conflicts and the gripping chase of the focal problem were achieved reasonably without giving us the run arounds. Strong Woman Do Bong Soon sprinted an amazing spectacle with the stunning and lively depictions and comical storytelling. It was technically bare, but the simplicity and the fascinating cast synergy accompanied by the palpable humor kept the viewers warmly sedated and feeling good after watching it. While providing the gist of the background of our characters, “Strong Woman Do Bong Soon” presented the love premise and conflict in a smooth way. The ratings justified everything that we got from the narrative. Sometimes there are stories like Bong Soon’s that we all need a taste of each week to relieve life complications and uncertainties.
“Strong Woman Do Bong Soon” marked everything required on a k-drama rom-com checklist. It was also the brightest and most cheerful bulb that opened K-Dramaland 2017. The thing about first quarter k-dramas is that you tend to forget it if another beautiful drama comes in like what happened with “Descendants of the Sun” and “Goblin”. Both are equally amazing but we remember Goblin more. Now I don’t think it would happen to me. There were two points I know for sure I will still do after the finale. That it will stay on my phone to function as my cheering up pill and that I will rewatch it again this year and the next years to come joining my resident drama rejuvenating playlist. That’s what I did not do with the top two dramas last year. The hype was high while it was airing but the rewatch value is not that strong. That’s the advantage of feel-good rom-coms, you see it again because it is easy to watch and will just make you smile and giddy-ish even if you have seen the heart fluttering moments a lot of times already.
2017 K-DramaLand is so far not as explosive and busy compared to 2016 KDrama Parade so you have ample time to dive in this exceptional and amusing love tale. I rave on dramas that deserve to be praised, and that’s the case for me with Bong Soon and Min Hyuk’s story. I’m sure you will enjoy it the same way I did.
“Strong Woman Do Bong Soon” highlights the tale of Do Bong Soon who inherited a superhuman strength that is passed on from her maternal ancestors. Her incredible strength cannot be used for personal interest though, as it would cause an inevitable misfortune for her. An incident involving saving a bus driver bullied by thugs made her crossed paths with Ahn Min Hyuk, a pompous CEO of a gaming company who offered her a job to become his bodyguard. Bong Soon agreed considering the huge amount of money tied up with the job offer. The strange working agreement opened a connection for them, but he must wait for her to end a long running one-sided love with her police friend – Gook Doo. Complications arose when a neighborhood psycho abducted women and ended up taking Bong Soon’s best friend – Kyung Shim. She could rescue Kyung Shim, but the psycho’s failure triggered an obsession to punish Bong Soon. Min Hyuk promised Bong Soon that she will be transferred to Strategy Development Team if she will do a great job protecting him as well as uncovering his secret stalker. She managed to unravel the culprit and soon after she revealed to him her secret power. The thugs who cannot move on from the humiliation they got from Bong Soon’s hands tricked her to going to a place where they staged a 30 vs 1 combat with her. She pulverized the gangsters but failed to punish the big boss when a hiding thug zoomed to attack her with a knife but Min Hyuk ran to take the hit for her. From there, Min Hyuk who has been interested with her from the start escalated to being officially smitten as he recognized the girl from his dreams who once saved his life was Bong Soon. Bong Soon’s heart who has harbored a secret adoration with Gook Doo soon realized how her heart already changed who it beats for. Bong Soon’s friend was taken by the psycho again and in the process of saving her, she lost her power. During her most vulnerable moment, Min Hyuk stayed by her side. When he asked her to love him back she finally admits how she also have him in her heart. The villain who was chased by Gook Doo and fell on a cliff survived the fall and went to plan another revenge game with Bong Soon and Min Hyuk. He disguised as a reporter to enter the office and drugged Bong Soon who regained consciousness and a ticking bomb attached to her. Min Hyuk finds his girlfriend at the rooftop through the tracker necklace he gave her but was unable to open the door that separated them. Bong Soon begged with all the love she had for Min Hyuk and the heavens opened to give back her power enabling her to throw the bomb for an amazing firework display. Bong Soon who wanted to catch the psycho with her own hands asked Min Hyuk and Gook Doo to help her and they managed to trap him in a steel cage which Bong Soon threw in his escaping motion. Bong Soon who has been working on a game successfully got the nod for the first game she developed and officially entered the Strategy Development Team she so wanted to join. But working to save and help the weak people was causing her attendance issues at work so she ended up being sent back to Min Hyuk’s office as an intern. Min Hyuk proposed marriage when all the ruckus was settled and just when he thought that it will be an ever after, they got a twin daughter who took after their mother.
We had a lot squeezed in for this adorable and gripping episode. Let’s cut the chase and go straight to the story.
Strong Woman Do Bong Soon Episode Recaps
Min-Min: Look at me.Bong-Bong: I am looking at you.Min-Min: Love me Back.Bong-Bong: I do love you.Min-Min: You’re as small as a peanut so you fit inside my heart. But I don’t think I fit inside yours.Bong-Bong: You are in here.
Worried about her friend in peril, Bong Soon can’t keep her promise to Min Hyuk and sets forth to the junk yard in trying to rescue Kyung Shim but psycho Jang Hyun moved to another location. In the midst of her woes, Min Hyuk was at lost on how reckless her decisions were. Bong Soon willingly accepted getting lured by the psycho, and thanks to Min Hyuk’s necklace tracker, he came in time to save her at the moment when she helplessly needed to be saved.
Strong Woman Do Bong Soon Episode Recaps
Strong Woman Do Bong Soon Episode 13 – “Nevertheless”
I can’t remember an emotionally draining drama where I did not cry, but “Tomorrow With You” really knocked my heart out, because I was hoping for the best that can happen to So Joon and Ma Rin’s love story given the arduous time-bending road they had to overcome to finally get a tomorrow with each other.
Lee Je Hoon oppa was so cool with the time-bending walkie/talkie sleeper hit “Signal” last year so I never pictured myself swooning over him because he is known for his poignant character portrayals. “Tomorrow With You” caught me easily with its time-traveling hero and his quest to prevent his eventual death in the future. We uncovered layers of mystery to another as we were presented with the future focal conflict of the love couple’s death that can be saved only if our hero can work on the circumstances happening at his present life, which of course he does not know about, but us viewers have already fathomed. Working out the strenuous hitch was no easy task if you have a perceptive wife who wanted everything in her married life done together.
I was thrilled watching the scenes unravel, and yet I was also frustrated trying to decipher the hindered rules as So Joon travels to the future. I like the sudden marriage plot. I like the back story. I like that he was forced to confront the main problem not with his initial urge to survive, but because he slowly but surely felt that his future involved Ma Rin because she crept in his heart without him realizing it… that he cannot picture a future without her anymore.
The way the story withheld the future twist by furtively hiding the key turning points and yet presenting well the essence of the time-traveling plot on the romantic premise, has made me on the edge of my seat trying to decipher the puzzle pieces that will help So Joon in case I bump with him in one of his sojourns. I like the laid-back-we-will-not- be-rushing here tone, so I was surprised that the big reveal to Ma Rin that she married a time-traveler came sooner than I expected. It was most of the time maintaining the wistful sphere thanks to our caught in between time wrinkling love couple. I can understand the urgency on So Joon’s end trying to protect Ma Rin, but how the latter responded after learning the truth was understandably confusing if So Joon keeps on hiding what their full story was about. In a way the narrative was sort of intermittently detaching on its own accord, but it finds a way to wake me up and entice me again.
That’s what it did when it crossed the middle part when we have established the villain and his wrongdoings.
Then we got to the conflict of So Joon conflicted between leaving Ma Rin of the present because of a warning from Ma Rin of the future, but true love always prevails so we got past that hurdle and they compromised to work on the repercussions of their actions that could make an impact to their supposed future fall out.
What I cannot understand sometimes, because we have so much going on in the future was how So Joon stubbornly overlooked the present moment. And whenever he goes to the future, it’s like he was getting bits of information that was not able to back up the premise of the integral conflict which was the future that won’t happen in two years time for them anymore. True that it started smoothly at the first half and every episode since then was problem stricken and gave a half-baked resolution. The villain conflict was resolved and he got jailed, but he still ended up vanishing in the subway. Ma Rin who could meet So Joon of the past decided not to and told Ki Doong to tell her husband a lie in a futile hope that his life will change for the better if she will not happen to his life at all.
On the finale episode, I was hoping for a glimmer of hope that he was still alive because hey dokpang is a time-traveler, goblin braved and endured that frozen limbo for 10 years to be with his bride so give me a time-traveler who could do as much for Ma Rin who patiently waited for him writing those future emails all those times. Someone from kdramagods haven heard my plea and gave me answers. But not after pushing deep the invisible knife piercing my heart as it gave those minutes of So Joon recovering from coma and waking up to the knowledge that his wife died 3 years ago, and she has a few days left to see and save her at her present living moment. I mean man that was so mean. It’s really a must for writers to be at their happiest moment when they are writing. I was tired worrying and hoping and going back to the past and future and living their present lives as well. So I was resolved to failing the drama for real.
But the drama literally saved the best for last. The frames of So Joon’s future escapades started to make sense as explained in the finale episode. Along with how Ma Rin chose to lie about their supposed failed marriage so that past So Joon can be reprieved of his fate.
The scenes that marked in me most were first, that scene when Ma Rin told So Joon how she got through those lonely days by stalking his time traveling past self who would constantly leave food and even send video messages for her. The other one was how when they survived their inevitable tragedy and lived as a normal married couple bickering with the usual wife’s nagging and the husband’s stubbornness, Ma Rin’s future emails would pop up to remind him of how much he was loved by her during those tumultuous times. I knew that ajussi will do the sacrifice when the camera panned at the scene when So Joon visited Ma Rin’s year 2022 graveyard so I was not surprised as their fate has been intertwined since the Namyeong station accident.
Since time-warping is a complex plot where the writer of the imagined world is the boss, I am okay with how he gave us the answer to how present time So Joon survived the fatal injury by skipping the year he was supposed to die, in exchange of losing his powers temporarily the moment he recovered from coma. It was a pertinent move to propel the climax of whether he can save his wife with all his might and yearning to her looming demise. So yes, I heaved a sigh when after all his attempts he successfully arrived to the present time where he belonged, to give everything he has for the last chance of saving himself and his wife to their imminent misfortune.
Unrequited and patient love was the binding tangible that cushioned So Joon and Ma Rin’s tale as it was a tough job to unlace the intricate connections of the characters’ present, past and future. But all those hints So Joon discovered were key points to how they eventually freed themselves from the initial burden.
“Tomorrow with You” tested my fortitude as together with the heroine I serenely calm myself and focus on the love promise dokpang gave to her. Although it was a sad ending for ajussi, it was a heartfelt gesture of a father’s love… to make sure that his daughter will be showered the love she deserved which he has failed to give.
This drama felt like a roller-coaster as I hiked on the twists and turns and got lost in time and space continuum. It might even give a frustrating ride so consider you are forewarned if you are not used to a story that you have to analyze from start to finish. Nevertheless I got my closure even if they fit it in less than 60 minutes. So Joon and Ma Rin’s road to ever after was definitely something I would not dare to have, but they gave me lessons on how compromise, patience and love are essentials that secure an unwavering relationship. -jediprincess
I used to watch KDramas, Doramas and Taiwan dramas religiously when I was younger, but since I find Korean dramas more well conceived, I have decided to just focus on hallyuwave dramas. But every now and then I watch other … Continue reading
‘Voice‘ narrates the story of a special police division team — Golden time. It is an exclusive task force group that solves urgent real-time incidents from phone calls received through the city’s emergency service line. Golden time team was formed in cooperation of the emergency call center and local police officers. Its prime responsibility is to race through the precarious time left for crime victims, who are held captive or being chased by their assailants and save them from the imminent danger.
Kang Kwon Joo and Moo Jin Hyuk lead the team. Their history goes back three years ago when Jin Hyuk’s wife was violently murdered by a serial killer and Kwon Joo’s police father who was near the site came to fulfil the police dispatch order, but ended up suffering the same fate. Kwon Joo, who has an incredible hearing prowess, listened to both murder scenes that night and vowed to avenge the death of his father. The police present the culprit, but Kwon Joo who knows the true voice of the culprit, denies that the man they caught is the true murderer. It causes a stir and headache on the police officials, who are already on a tight spot due to the public attention given to the savage killings. Kwon Joo is ordered to shut up, and even altering his father’s death cause to a hit-and-run case.
Three years later, Kwon Joo and Jin Hyuk’s path cross again. Through cases they solved in the Golden time unit, they establish trust between each other as Jin Hyuk learns of Kwon Joo’s hearing ability. She reveals to him the story of what happened the night their family members were slayed. She voices her thoughts on how someone in the police organization is covering the tracks of the main villain. As they investigate the recent serial killings, they uncover the clues to finally pin down the psychopath, who mercilessly took the lives of their loved ones and other innocent victims. When they finally solve the puzzle, they must deal with money power plays to overcome the insanely rich maniac, whose iniquities are overlooked because of his father’s powerful protection.
This is the only drama from the year-end group of 2016 that I have not written my thoughts yet on so I better take this opportunity before the 2017 opening dramas hit their endings. *wink
I admit I miss Gregory House and Teacher Kim is a sure reminder of my favorite doctor TV character, so I willingly jump in his arms. He is eccentric and yet brilliant… calculating and yet warm hearted. He battled through the career sabotage that he had and emerged victorious through it all.
“Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim” narrated the story of an amazing triple board certified surgeon, Boo Yong Joo, who shunned his life to a remote provincial hospital when he became a victim of politics in the big city hospital he worked before. There he met three young doctors whom he inspired and nurtured to become righteous and skilled surgeons. But his past came haunting him back as the villain who pinned the medical malpractice to him before was determined to destroy him fully so he can achieve his greedy aspirations as the CEO of the top hospital in Seoul. A VIP patient though left his operation in Teacher Kim’s hand, and the almost not possible to survive surgery was nailed deftly by Teacher Kim and his team leading him to redeem his stolen and lost glory.
I have not seen a lot of nicely done medical dramas in kdramaland so I did not set my hopes high when I was watching Romantic Doctor. I am glad that the story progressed along with polished and make-sense connections of the surgeries showcased. The characters’ stories moved well with the main conflict and provided resolutions to each character’s established problem whilst achieving the climactic bounce back from the focal conflict. That is the case where “Doctor Crush” suffered, the ability to make a cohering plot to the character’s individual stories.
The teacher-student relationship between Teacher Kim and his young surgeons was well-played in presenting their strengths and weaknesses through the furtive ill-fated links they had with each other. The romantic plot was just a bonus for its sassy insertion and for a refreshing note after those quick thrilling and emotional surgical side stories wrap up.
Teacher Kim and his team deserved the ratings they received because they worked well in delivering an outstanding cast ensembles in a genre that is hard to be successful on. It will be hard not to like this drama because it knew well how to play with the audience mind and emotions in hooking them up till the very last episode.
It is hard to pin point where the drama struggled because it was well written and well executed by the cast. Han Suk Kyu is a well-respected actor, and this is one definite reason why he has that reputation. A perfect everyday drama to watch after work before you sleep, “Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim” will teach you love and life lessons taken from real life pain, bliss and experiences.
In celebration of the international women’s month, let’s take a trip to some of the most memorable female characters who celebrated the passion and beauty of being a woman.
“Jumong” – Celebrating the woman who supports her man unconditionally with all she has
“City Hall” – Celebrating the woman who is not scared to share her dreams with her man
“Dae Jang Geum” – Celebrating the woman who knows how to win her battles
“Queen Seon Deok” – Celebrating the brilliant mind of a woman
“Scent of a Woman” – Celebrating the courage and faith of cancer-inflicted women
“My GF is a Gumiho” – Celebrating the woman who can become stronger for her man
“Personal Taste” – Celebrating the woman who embraces her vulnerabilities and works to convert it to become her strengths
“Dong Yi” – Celebrating the woman who made her rough journey an inspiration to make her push through her dreams even more
“Sungkyunkwan Scandal” – Celebrating the woman who understands and values her worth
“Secret Garden” – Celebrating the woman who is not afraid to challenge herself may it be love or her dreams
“The Greatest Love” – Celebrating the woman who hits her life’s rock bottom but rises again in the most graceful way
“Faith” – Celebrating the woman who knows how to be patient in love
“You Who Came From Another Star” – Celebrating the woman who hit a career slump but stayed being optimistic in life
“The Master’s Sun” – Celebrating the woman who overcomes her insecurity because she knows it has to come from her first
“Secret Love” – Celebrating the woman who was wronged and persecuted but remained steadfast to go on with her life
“Miss Korea” – Celebrating the woman who knows she is beautiful inside and out.
“Mask” – Celebrating the woman who is not afraid to admit she committed a mistake
“The Legendary Witch” – Celebrating the woman who chooses to become a blessing to the people around her
“On the way to the airport” – Celebrating the woman who chooses not to stay in a non-loving and disrespectful relationship
“The Flower in Prison” – Celebrating the woman who did not let life’s cruelties change how she views the goodness of life
“Another Oh Hae Young” – Celebrating the woman who wants a love that beats in her heart
“Jealousy Incarnate” – Celebrating the woman who chases her dream even if people puts her down
“One More Happy Ending” – Celebrating the woman who trusts that a divorce does not end her life
“Oh My Venus” – Celebrating the woman who challenges herself to work on her weight insecurities for her own self fulfilment
I have this recent pensive moment when I realized how there are amazing Asian dramas during its run that I won’t feel the urge to watch again for another serving. A good example of that for me is “Goblin”. I was raving and anticipating the episodes, but I would choose “Weightlifting Fairy” for another round if in case I need a kdrama pill to get me through a stress battle or if I just want to relax.
Though Goblin is addictively charming, the narrative was thorough so you get everything in one shot. It’s a kind of drama that you will remember the plot even ten years after. It’s weird, isn’t it? But there are really great dramas that are magical only on the first serving. Melodramas suffer a lot on this note because hey we won’t be liking to do a weep fest again since we saw that the evil villain was punished well, right?
What makes the dramas on my list timeless and enjoyable for a rerun would be the excellent pacing and impeccable cast chemistry. The writing was also sporadic hence you forgot the details often so when you rewatch it, you’d be surprised that you missed it. The key scenes in these dramas were also polished to perfection that you melt like crazy even when you have seen it a hundred times. Off I went to kdrama dungeon and pick the dramas that would work wonders to any kind of rollercoaster emotions you might be having or when weekends need to be spent in kdrama binge-watching.
Let’s start with the last 7 years list for this first part, and we will delve on the classic kdramas for the second part.
Legend of the Blue Sea
Because the mind-reading conman perfectly loved back the always curious mermaid who only dreams to be loved by him…
- lead man mind-reading ability
- quick to uptake heroine
- the no reservation kisses
- the smooth timeline transition
- the careful use of reincarnation plot
- the hilariously cute one-sided love of the second lead woman
- the bromance ala Ocean’s Eleven
- the effort of Lee Min Ho to match Jun Ji Hyun
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo
Because you have all the license to be happy, stupid, hopeful and sad when you are chasing your college romance…
- the swag girl friends
- the friendship turned romance
- Joon Young is your college boyfriend poster boy
- the lively heroine who loves and lives incidentally
- the mushy new couple dates and jealousies
Descendants of the Sun
Because no other man can suavely chase a woman and love her amidst disaster and career barriers like Captain Yoo Si Jin…
- the cool Captain portrayal of Song Joong Ki
- the topless morning jog of the soldiers
- the equally engrossing second love pairing
- the love chase fulfilment
- the crazy humor scattered and neatly placed in the story
- the nifty writing
Something About One Percent
Because it is your perfect rom-com drama trimmed to remove all the unnecessary fillers, making you just fell and enjoy the kisses and the sweets…
- fast-paced and lively writing
- engrossing love couple
- lee jae in is a rare prototype of kdramaland chaebol
- the lead couple always communicate
- the melting kisses
- the heroine who knows how to tame her lead man well
Another Oh Hae Young
Because there’s no other kdrama character that can teach you how to be brave when it comes to loving like Oh Hae Young…
- heartfelt screenplay
- beautifully captured what-i-did-for-love scenes
- a memorable heroine
- Eric Moon oppa’s melting and intense kisses
Because it is a nostalgic growing up story that will remind you of the neighborhood you grew up with along with the memories you shared with your friends and family…
- perfectly selected cast
- the husband guessing game was well hidden
- the outlandish and witty humor spread evenly
- a deserving second lead syndrome
- an engrossing love tale that never gave up
- Bora and Sun Woo’s noona romance
- the sibling fights
- the neighborhood friendship
Because the basic need of a woman in love is to feel safe in the arms of the man she loves…
- Ji Chang Wook slayed his “Healer” character
- ajumma hacker is the best side kick ever
- the narrative was neatly written considering a socio-political premise
- Yoo Ji Tae is the uncle you will wish you can have
- the love progression was intricately written and that’s why it was so affecting
Because the character portrayals are mindblowingly wicked…
- the hero and villain showdowns are amazing
- Kim Rae Won oppa at one of his best element
- the cliff-hangers were superb and yet the continuity of story was never compromised
- the grit and the passionate cast chemistry
- the intelligent and thrilling writing
Finding True Love
Because this first love drama will haunt you of your very own love failures and bliss…
- the spectacular transitioning narrative based on the characters’ memories
- the equally fought love triangle
- Jung Yu Mi as Yeo Rum perfectly captured the faces of woman in love and falling out of love
- the mushy moments were fortified to a more realistic romantic scenes
- the screenplay is relatable to the audience who lost and find love again
You Who Came from the Stars
Because an alien and a top actress falling in love in fictional world does not need any further teaser to entice you.
- the neat and mischievous storytelling was consistent all throughout
- Jun Ji Hyun owned Cheon Song Yi’s character very well
- all those crazy things Song Yi did for Do Min Joon’s love
- all those secret things Do Min Joon did for Song Yi’s love
- the fusion of fantasy and reality in a romance setting was well-conceived and well-played
- Do Min Joon is love
Because once in a year in our adult lives, we hit mid-life crisis syndrome that no chocolates can heal…
- brave characters and inspiring storyline
- is equivalent to 100 self-help books
- Jang Geu Rae will remind you of your past, present and future career woes
- the best workplace drama for me so far
The Master’s Sun
Because a CEO who loves a ghost whisperer heroine and waits for her to settle in her own fears is everything but romance…
- So Ji Sub oppa in his first rom-com role was refreshing
- Gong Hyo Jin channelled her ghost-seeing character so well
- the romcom resident bickerings and mushy scenes are ever present
- another stellar writing from Hong sisters
Nine: Nine Times Travel
Because no matter how many times you watch it, you will be awed by its labyrinth twist…
- the brilliant time traveling premise and timeline switching scenes were neatly tied to perfection
- the editing and directing were notched superbly
- the young versions of the main actors did well in their roles
- Lee Jin Wook at his best
Queen In Hyun’s Man
Because this is the best time-traveling romantic comedy drama yet so far…
- the smart hero and the quirky heroine
- the neat alignment of the time traveling premise
- the time traveling rules was explained well
- the kisses are sigh-inducing coming from a Joseon scholar
- Kim Boong Do’s flexibility in adapting to different worlds was impeccable
Because any fangirl can relate to the hilarious journey of the lead girl to claim her fangirl and real romance…
- the high school friendship circle will remind you of the one you had before
- the sweet unrealized young love that was given a second chance
- Jung Eun Ji nailed the boygroup fangirl character superbly
- Yoon Yoon will remind you of your high school crush who is also every other girl’s crush
- without Reply 1997, nostalgic siblings of the Reply series would have not been aired so just pay respect lol
Flower Boy Ramyun Shop
Because this is your perfect noona romance drama, and it threw in an equally hot second lead to confuse your heart…
- the cohabitation of the flower crew felt like watching the Starwars’ Ewoks enjoying a Rock festival
- the romance built up was slow but surely sweet and addictive
- the lead girl tug-of-war between long lost half brothers was mind bogglingly sweet
- the storyline is flirtatious
- brimming with sweet and comic scenes
Because this is the epitome of how a fusion-sageuk should be done… youthful and flirty but thrilling with character conflicts and political conspiracies…
- the sassy historical school setting
- the cross-dressing heroine was energetic in promoting girl power
- the Sungkyunkwan Scholars were the best PMS pills ever
- the narrative was fresh and amusing
- the love line was mushy
- Yoo Ah In will give you a second lead syndrome
My GF is a Gumiho
Because the folk-tale infused romance will make you remember Mi Ho in rainy days…
- Mi Ho’s character will wake you up from a kdrama drift
- The folklore infused love tale was engrossing to watch thanks to Mi Ho’s childlike take of the mundane modern things
- Lee Seung Gi secured his leading man belt with his easy-go-lucky-chaebol-grandson who dreams to become a movie action star
- the reversal of roles span the comedy and propel the romance in the story
Because the body swapping chaebol-stunt-woman romance felt good and cute at the same time…
- The almost kiss scenes like the sit-up scene will make anything flutter
- the eccentric CEO in sparkling tracksuit chasing the girl of his dreams was epic
- the strong-willed lead girl who makes a point to straighten up the chaebol who loved her
- the swift and zippy narrative
- the romance satiating screenplay
Here goes another spree watching suggestion perfect for when you are currently in an imaginary romance with your favorite Korean actor.
Jung Woo Sung
He rarely does linger in kdramaland and works incessantly in stringing movies in the past ten years. Jung Woo Sung oppa is your quintessential poster boy for your ideal action/drama star, but he did well in Romantic Melodramas as well.
FAMOUS WORKS: The Fox with Nine Tails, Born to Kill, Beat, City of the Rising Sun, Musa the Warrior, A Moment to Remember, Sad Movie, Daisy, The Good The Bad and the Strange, The Restless, Reign of Assassins, Athena the Movie, Cold Eyes, The Divine Move, Scarlet Innocence, Don’t Forget Me, Athena Goddess of War, Padam Padam
Jun Ji Hyun
As the other half of the pairing that led me to kdramaland, Jun Ji Hyun secured a special place in my heart. I have been religiously watching her movies and her recent side trips in dramaland. She has reinvented herself over the years. Watching her will educate you on the difference between a real actress’ portrayal versus a girl group idol turned actress role playing.
FAMOUS WORKS: Il Mare, My Sassy Girl, Windstruck, Daisy, The Thieves, You who came from another star, The Berlin File, Assassination, Legend of the Blue Sea
So Ji Sub
I have been in a long running one-sided romance with him. Who won’t? His mesmerizing gaze and his countenance just disarms me and sends me to a world where only the two of us exist. *giggles In movies, he typically do action so when he made a comeback with the hit Master’s Sun in an engrossing and eccentric department store CEO role, I loved him even more.
FAMOUS WORKS: We Are Dating Now, What Happened in Bali, Sorry I Love You, Cain and Abel, Road Number One, Ghost, Master’s Sun, Oh My Venus
Son Ye Jin
A chameleon actress, she can easily transition to any role given to her with her expressive gaze and almost perfect rendition of her roles. Most of her movies were a hit for me as she can easily draw you to her characters.
FAMOUS WORKS: Lover’s Concerto, The Classic, Crazy First Love, Summer Scent, A Moment to Remember, April Snow, Alone in Love, My Wife Got Married, Spotlight, White Night, Personal Taste, Spellbound, The Tower, Blood and Ties, Shark, The Pirates, The Truth Beneath, The Last Princess
Jo In Sung
I first met him in The Classic but fell in love with him in What Happened in Bali. Jo In Sung oppa fits the leading man role especially in Romance genre because of his handsome features. He has also experimented on his roles to challenge himself and improve his acting.
FAMOUS WORKS: Piano, Shoot for the Star, What Happened in Bali, Spring Day, The Classic, Love of North and South, A Dirty carnival, A Frozen Flower, That Winter The Wind Blows, It’s Okay that’s Love, The King
Han Hyo Joo
“Dong Yi” made me a fan of Han Hyo Joo since I was not that into her in her earlier dramas. Since then she has successfully crossed the film scene with memorable pictures in the most recent years.
FAMOUS WORKS: Spring Waltz, Iljimae, Shining Inheritance, Dong Yi, Postman to Heaven, W: Two Worlds, Adlib Night, Always, Love 911, Masquerade, Cold Eyes, Cest si Bon, Beauty Inside, Love Lies
Kang Dong Won
Kang Dong Won oppa is more famous in the big screen. His last stint in dramaland was “One Percent of Anything” which is a dear watch. As a sought after movie actor, his collection includes box office and critically acclaimed films.
FAMOUS WORKS: One Percent of Anything, Magic, Too Beautiful Too Lie, Temptation of Wolves, Duelist, Maundy Thursday, Voice of Murderer, M, Jeon Woo Chi, Secret Reunion, Psychic, Camella Love for Sale, The X, Kundo Age of the Rampant, My Palpitating Life, The Priests, A Violent Prosecutor, Vanishing Time, Master
Song Hye Gyo
A known kdrama royalty, we first loved her in the tearjerker Autumn Tale and loved her even more in Full House. Her charming demeanor and stunning beauty transcends through time a decade and a half after and still going on.
FAMOUS WORKS: Autumn Tale, All In, Hotelier, Shining Days, Full House, Crazy First Love, A Reason to Live, Hwang Jin Yi, The World that they Live in, That Winter the Wind Blows, The Grandmaster, The Queens, Descendants of the Sun
Yoo Ah In
I actually liked Yoo Ah In when he was just a second lead in Sungkyunkwan Scandal. He has rich emotions when working on his roles without appearing exaggerated. He initially got me with his kissable lips *chuckles, but he has clearly proven his passion for his craft as he progressed to a bankable actor of his generation.
FAMOUS WORKS: Sungkyunkwan Scandal, Fashion King, Jang Ok Jung Live In Love, Secret Love Affair, Six Flying Dragons, Antique Bakery, Punch, Tough as Iron, Veteran, The Throne, Like for Likes
Park Bo Young
Acting wise, Park Bo Young is definitely the front-runner in the batch of actresses in her generation. Her knack on owning her roles has made her synonymous to the projects she starred in. Whether it may be young or zippy or heartbreaking, she always bring her A-game to her portrayals.
FAMOUS WORKS: Our School ET, Jungle Fish, Speedy Scandal, Don’t Click, A Werewolf Boy, Snow Queen, Hot Young Bloods, The Silenced, You Call it Passion, Collective Invention, Oh My Ghostess, Strong Woman Do Bong Soon
Cha Seung Won
The young generation might not find this ajussi hot, but his Dokko Jin and Jo Gook characters I keep dearly in my heart. You have to watch City Hall and realize how the wedding proposal there looks so surreal. He is known these days for his chajumma stint in variety show “Three Meals a Day Fishing Village” which is fun to watch if you like laid back cooking show set up.
FAMOUS WORKS: City Hall, Athena: Goddess of War, The Greatest Love, You’re All Surrounded, Hwajung, Blades of Blood, 71 Into the Fire, Athena the Movie, Man on High Heels
Gong Hyo Jin
Like a wine, Gong Hyo Jin keeps getting better and her drama choices hits home in me. She’s best served in rom-coms. She was able to establish impeccable chemistry with her lead men and her comic timing is also impressive.
FAMOUS WORKS: Sang Doo Let’s Go to School, Biscuit teacher and Star candy, Thank you, Pasta, The Greatest Love, Master’s Sun, It’s okay that’s love, The Producers, Jealousy Incarnate, Crush and Blush, Love Fiction, Missing Boomerang Family, Sisters on the Road
Song Seung Heon
I have a complicated relationship with Song Seung Heon oppa because I was not consistently drawn by him since his projects are kinda sporadic. I sure lovw his classics so he deserves a spot on this list.
FAMOUS WORKS: Happy Together, Calla, Autumn in my Heart, He Was Cool, Make it Big, Summer Scent, East of Eden, A Better Tomorrow, My Princess, Dr. Jin, Ghost in your arms again, When a Man Falls in Love, Obsessed, Wonderful Nightmare, Saimdang Light’s Diary
Kim A Joong
She is that one actress who surprisingly made this list without me realizing it. *chuckles Her excellent choices on tackling roles given to her in varied colors made her roles memorable hence she is trusted with amazing offers.
FAMOUS WORKS: 200 Pounds Beauty, My PS Partner, The Accidental Couple, Sign, Steal My Heart, Punch, Wanted, The King
Eric Moon/Moon Jung Hyuk
This oppa I dearly love. He is quite lucky because the history of his works is quite successful. He has also picked interesting roles and made it his own. His previous three rom-coms were all love drama spectacle for me.
FAMOUS WORKS: Invincible Parachute Agent, Diary of June, Que Sera Sera, Strongest Chil Woo, Myungwol the Spy, Discovery of Love, Another Oh Hae Young
Lee Yeon Hee
Smartly traversing films and television dramas, Lee Yeon Hee has picked her acting challenges very well based on the positive outcome of her works.
FAMOUS WORKS: A Millionaire’s First Love, M, One Fine Day, My Love, Hello Schoolgirl, East of Eden, Paradise Ranch, Phantom, Marriage Blue, My Way, Phantom, Miss Korea, Detective K, Hwajung
Kim Soo Hyun
I know it’s surprising but Kim Soo Hyun has not reached yet the oppa stage for me. As we all know the rule is anyone younger as long as he is cute and gives you the hear flutter, he is considered oppa. I enjoyed his recent dramas and movies, but I don’t swoon that much the way I do with my resident oppas. I’m still waiting for that one drama that will make my knees weak.
FAMOUS WORKS: Jungle Fish, Dream High, Giant, The Moon the Embraces the Sun, You Who Came from the Stars, Producer, The Thieves, Secretly Greatly, Real
Kim Ha Neul
As a veteran actress she has explored various genres on her decorated celebrity life. What I like most about her is how she reinvents herself by taking risks on her acting choices than playing safe to roles she is comfortable with.
FAMOUS WORKS: Secret, Ditto, My Tutor Friend, Piano, Stained Glass, Too Beautiful to Lie, Almost Love, Lovers of Six years, My GF is an Agent, On air, Blind, You’re my Pet, Road Number 1, A Gentleman’s Dignity, Don’t Forget Me, On the way to the Airport, Misbehavior
Lee Min Ho
His mother might have prayed a lot for his son’s success and we cannot disregard how he has been honing his craft through the years to prove that he is more than just a pretty face. From trendy to action dramas, we can’t help but be amazed at his charisma and dimples. *chuckles
FAMOUS WORKS: Boys Before Flowers, Personal Preference, City Hunter, Faith, The Heirs, Legend of the Blue Sea, Bounty Hunters, Gangnam Blues
Han Ji Min
Her charming demeanor helped a lot in landing her lingering roles and commercially successful projects. While she has an impeccable comedic timing, she is also good when tears are to be summoned from her arsenal.
FAMOUS WORKS: Capital Scandal, Yi San, Cain and Abel, Padam Padam, Rooftop Prince, Hyde Jekyll and Me, Detective K Secret of Virtuous Widow, The Plan Man, Salut d Amour, The Age of Shadows
Kim Sun Ah
She is famous as Kim Sam Soon from the kdrama classic “My Name is Kim Sam Soon”, but I loved her more in City Hall and her stint in Scent of a Woman inspired to make the most out of my life. She is best in portraying women empowering stories celebrating girl power and assuring that vulnerabilities are but normal. While she is not that consistent in hitting big kdrama hitters, she gave me three classics that I watch when I’m sad.
FAMOUS WORKS: My Name is Kim Sam Soon, City Hall, Scent of a Woman, I do I do, Masked Prosecutor, S Diary, She’s on Duty, Happy Ero Christmas, Pitch High, The Five
Joo Ji Hoon
I loved him as Crown Prince Lee Shin in Goong (Princess Hours). Since then, even when he had that scandal, I think he is one of the most expressive actors that can slay characters in romantic melodramas. His movie portfolio is a bit varied but he is known to make his portrayal poignant and neat.
FAMOUS WORKS: Goong, The Devil, Five Fingers, Medical Top Team, Mask, Antique Bakery, Naked Kitchen, I am a King, Marriage Blue, Love Suspects, Confession, The Treacherous
Don’t panic if you are looking for your favorite actor/actress, and it’s not here yet. This is a two-part list so kindly bear with me until I publish the next part. -jediprincess♥♥♥
Because I remained faithful to the end, I decided to ruminate and write my thoughts about Hwarang before I fall asleep. I only like three things about Hwarang. 1. Park Hyung Sik 2. The warrior school setting 3. The scattered … Continue reading
1. Hello breathtaking cinematography! 2. Gong Yoo oppa in long mane and warrior clothing is hot. 3. Thank kdramagod we don’t linger much on the backstory. 4. That is a fiery red scarf. 5. If the Grim Reaper with kissable … Continue reading
“Everyone spends their youthful years. It’s a time that we are beautiful because we can be immature and yet we shine brightly. We are not afraid because we have nothing to lose and our hearts flutter because we can have … Continue reading
Just how do I choose which dramas to watch when a new set of drama premiere in hallyuland? I actually rely on the production team more than the actors. There are a few exceptions like So Ji Sub, Jo In Sung, Cha Tae Hyun, Yoo Ah In, Lee Min Ho and Jun Ji Hyun dramas, but I mostly put my faith on the works headlined by the conceivers of the story. Deciding on which dramas to keep, park and drop is a skill you should work on in order for you to still get a life and plenty of sleep while nurturing your kdrama-addiction. *chuckles Trust me, you will eventually hit that stage when you have seen a lot so you want to see something new for a change.
I have learned to trust the previous works of these writers and directors. Those who hit one or two dramas in me, I still have reservations. So if the first eight episodes of their new work seems not going anywhere, I will skip it and move on to another story.
I still do trust new writers and directors. It is important that we do because the more narratives and worlds these growing production teams want to explore, the more happy we will be as viewers.
This list will help you whom to trust in case you have specific genres you prefer to binge watch.
The Seasoned Writer
Choi Wan Kyu’s works span 23 years of classic favorites and modern surprises. If you want to have a grasp of Korean history, he is great in exploring period narratives and is also strong in character-driven stories. He is superb in handling big cast productions and long-running storylines.
NOTABLE WORKS: General Hospital 1 & 2, All In, Jumong, Lovestory in Harvard, Gourmet, Swallow the Sun, Iris, Midas, Lights and Shadows, Triangle and Flower in Prison
The Sentimental Writer
I loved how almost all her love stories led me to warranted self-introspection because of her ability to sketch poignant stories and lingering characters. Noh Hee Kyung can switch from refreshing comedies to tear-jerkers inside her love stories. She also dares to traverse variety of love setting that surprisingly endeared the viewers.
NOTABLE WORKS: More Beautiful than a flower, Goodbye Solo, The world that they live in, Padam padam, That Winter the Wind Blows, It’s Okay, that’s Love, Dear My Friends
The Star Writer
Her ability to tap to what the general audience like has been an amazing talent. I once thought she is overrated, but I got to give it to her because her recent works in the past eight years were all striking. Kim Eun Sook works wonder mostly on romantic-comedies. She has forged indelible love couples and bromance through the years.
NOTABLE WORKS: Lovers in Paris, City Hall, Secret Garden, A Gentleman’s Dignity, The Heirs, Descendants of the Sun, The Lonely, Shining Goblin
The Nimble Director
I had a lot of fun in Myungwol the Spy and Sungkyunkwan Scandal while I had some retrospection in Goodbye Solo. Director Hwang In Hyuk is stunning in designing polished dramas and injecting clever humor all throughout the story.
NOTABLE WORKS: Goodbye Solo, Empress Chunchu, Sungkyunkwan Scandal, Myungwol the Spy, Assembly, Laurel Tree Tailors
The Flexible Director
Deft on bringing life to ardent melodramas, Boo Sung Chul PD can throw charming humor when required by the plot. I just found out that I like him while doing my research, so I made sure he is marked well for his future projects.
NOTABLE WORKS: Lobbyist, Star’s Lover, You’re Beautiful, My GF is a Gumiho, Jang Ok Jung, Living in Love, The Heirs, Mask, Our Gab Soon
The Trendy Director
One look at his works and you will know that he is the god of trendy, youthful rom-coms. He has a knack of keeping up well on heart-fluttering scenarios even as the time evolves. I look forward to him proving this claim on his future projects.
The Master of Thriller Writing
His pace will surely leave you at the edge of your seat, but he sure knows how to weave a story by making the characters and the plot as one. I fell in love with him at “Punch” but the rest of his works are equally amazing.
NOTABLE WORKS: Punch, Empire of God, The Chaser
The Mushy Screenwriter
Yang Hee Sung writer’s character sketches are vibrant and energetic. His recent works made me feel warm and he can sure blend romance and comedy right on point.
NOTABLE WORKS: Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo, Oh My Ghost, Highschooler King of Life, Soonpoong Clinic
The Sassy Screenwriter
Before her big hit in You Who Came from Another Star, she already showed that addictive cheery vibe in her earlier dramas. The situations she has written in her stories have brought out the best of the comic timings in the actors starring in her dramas, and I thank her for that.
NOTABLE WORKS: Legend of the Blue Sea, Producers, You Who Came from the Stars, You Who Rolled in Unexpectedly, Queen of Reversals
The Affectionate Director
Baek Sang Hoon can transition from young love themed dramas to real romance stories by stirring the plot well and hooking the viewers with the actors’ portrayal.
NOTABLE WORKS: Moonlight Drawn by the Clouds, Descendants of the Sun, Who Are You School 2015, Secret Love
The Chameleon Director
This director’s portfolio boasts with great actors in various genres. Analyzing his works made me realize how he is quick to uptake in building the synergy of the love couple without forcing it, but by perfecting scenes that captured the characters well in their moments of falling in love.
NOTABLE WORKS: Goblin, Descendants of the Sun, Secret Love, Discovery of Love, School 2013, Dream High
The Exciting Director
As reflected on his noteworthy creations, Yoon Sung Shik can go on serious storytelling to perky narratives. His strength is he knows well when to place the hook on his stories and he makes the cast as a whole shine together.
NOTABLE WORKS: Hwarang, The King’s Face, Bridal Mask, Lee Soon Shin is the Best
The Storytelling Guru
Expert in long-running stories, Lee Sung Joon PD has made memorable dramas mostly on period drama setting. He can do standard narration, but he is also stunning when he tweaks it to a fusion sageuk.
NOTABLE WORKS: The Scholar Who Walks at Night, Empress Ki, The Moon that Embraces the Sun, May Queen, Gyebaek, The Duo, Creating Destiny
The Romance Sensitive Director
The string of dramas on his file screamed a lot about painful and patient love. He can be charming with the light scenes, but he will throw you at a weep fest on the emotionally stirring scenes.
NOTABLE WORKS: Moonlight Drawn by the Clouds, Discovery of Love, Who Are You School 2015, Dream High
The Mischievous Romantic Screenwriter
Jung Hyun Jung writer is my long lost friend from parallel universe who might have peeked on my very own lovestories, thereby translating it in the TV screen. *chuckles What I like about him is how she creates those love frames that anyone can relate to. From the blooming romance, to sad goodbyes, and to love second chances. She is also great on lively ambiance and his screenplay is top knotch.
NOTABLE WORKS: Five Children, Because it’s the first time, Discovery of Love, I Need Romance 1, 2 and 3
The Ardent Director
Known for emotionally draining melodramas, Kim Kyu Tae induced witty humor in his directing, but never lost his focus in displaying the tearjerking scenes. He is excellent in capturing the love progression of the main couple.
NOTABLE WORKS: Scarlet Heart Ryeo, It’s Okay, that’s love, Padam padam, That winter the wind blows, Iris, A Love to Kill
The Snappy Director
I love how Jang Tae Yoo PD is flexible on historical dramas and modern dramas. Just ruminating on what he did in Tree With Deep Roots and You From Another Star was fascinating. He deftly navigates the story without losing its footing and neatly wrapped everything to a plausible closure.
NOTABLE WORKS: You from Another Star, Tree with Deep Roots, The Painter of the Wind, Money’s Warfare
The Cheerful Writer
The love lines he created are lingering and engaging. The love couples he introduced to us have lived well in the setting he created so naturally that we were able to relate to them easily.
NOTABLE WORKS: Full House, You’ve fallen for me, Producers, The World that they live in, Which star did you come from?
The Innovative Writer
Song Jae Jung writer is unfazed in establishing realms where he can bring the viewers in awe and wonder. His impeccable skills to draw chimeric worlds swept me off my feet. He is a master of push and pull when it comes to inducing excitement.
NOTABLE WORKS: W: Two Worlds, The Three Musketeers, Nine: Nine Times Travel, Queen In Hyun’s Man, Highkick through the Roof
The Nostalgic Writer/PD Tandem
Giving us the elaborated “Reply Series” required thorough research and attention to details. A trip down to the memory lanes of our high school and college life as well as our growing up years in the local neighborhood was achieved to perfection by these wonderful duo. The Reply Series are kept dear in my heart and belong to the drama pills that aid me during rainy days.
NOTABLE WORKS: Reply 1997, Reply 1994, Reply 1988
The Period Drama Experts
These masters of acclaimed period dramas intricately wove the stories to present an elaborated picture of character driven stories based on historical setting. Through their dramas I was forced to hit Korean history books as well leading me to a forced history lessons as well.
NOTABLE WORKS: Dae Jang Geum, Yi San, Flower in Prison, Dong Yi, Horse Doctor, Six Flying Dragons, Tree With Deep Roots, Queen Seon Deok, Hwajung
The Resonating Screenwriter
There’s something about the vibrancy of the cast portrayal in his stories that left a lingering effect in me. While he sprinkled comedic notes, he discussed the characters in detail so well that you can’t help but cheer on them. Kim Won Suk lead me at cheerful bliss in Sungkyunkwan Scandal and made me want to leave my regular job at Misaeng. *chuckles He is one complicated writer that you would surely love.
NOTABLE WORKS: Signal, Misaeng, Monstar, Sungkyunkwan Scandal, Partners
The Smart Screenwriter
I first noticed her at “Ghost” and since then, I’ve become her fan. For a girl, I like that she is valiant and polished in working mostly on thrillers with crime genre as premise. You have to sit on her dramas to understand what I am saying, but she is sure one intelligent writer worthy to stalk on.
NOTABLE WORKS: Signal, Three Days, Ghost, Sign
The Reliable Veteran Writer
Song Ji Na’s career spanned two decades of writing and she amazingly adapted to the changing times and was able to bring stories you won’t expect she could pull. Such was the case for Healer and Faith, which I thought was made by a young writer only to find out that it was conceived by a veteran writer. If you want a taste of reality and fantasy, then Song Ji Na’s dramas will be a perfect fit for you.
NOTABLE WORKS: Healer, Faith, The Legend, A Man’s Story, Kaist, The Sandglass, Eye of Dawn
The Perky Sisters-Writer Tandem
Now I am starting to miss these two. Most of their dramas are quirky and lovable. Although my most hated drama came from them, most of my favorites were also written by them. Such is the irony in kdramaland. *lol They are a resident rom-com writer favorites and has created memorable love couples through the years.
NOTABLE WORKS: The Master’s Sun, The Greatest Love, You’re Beautiful, My GF is a Gumiho, My Girl, Sassy Girl Chun Hyang, Hong Gil Dong
The Midas Touch Director
Jin Hyuk PD is sensitive in executing the written stories to moving pictures. That being said he is the kind of director that any writer would want to work with because he visualizes well the scenarios based on the written text. His projects are of different genres, but he can pull it off with breathtaking cinematography and yarning of the story.
NOTABLE WORKS: The Legend of the Blue Sea, The Master’s Sun, City Hunter, Prosecutor Princess, Shining Inheritance, Doctor Stranger
Dear kdramagod, it’s me abby. Just like the Belle Epoque girls, I too have a lot of regrets and dreams when I was in my 20’s. Coming from a disappointing drama stalking from summer dramas that turned stale halfway … Continue reading
Second serving of love has never been this lively until these adorable families connected through marriages and made their family even bigger, wackier and happier. “Five Children” was the first family weekend drama I finished and it was a feat I’m so proud of because it was 54 episodes.
So how did I manage to endure this long running drama? The majority of the credit, I would give to Sang Min and Yeon tae’s love line because it was a refreshing romantic progression that made use of that we-were-not-expecting-to-fall-inlove premise in a delightful kind of way. I’m not saying that the main couple’s romance was not that striking, but because I’m still single I was able to relate more to Sang Min and Yeon Tae’s.
Let’s meet the families first. We have the Lee Family – where Lee Sang Tae, a widow and a father of two children, Bin and Soo, belongs. His parents ran a small restaurant and is the eldest brother of Kim Ho Tae, a striving film director and Kim Yeon Tae, a primary school teacher. He is affiliated to Jang Jin Joo who is his deceased wife’s sister and Yeon Tae’s close friend. Yeon Tae is also friends with Kim Tae Min who is the brother of his boyfriend Kim Sang Min and boyfriend of Jin Joo. We have three elder couples the Lee aboji and omoni, Jin Joo’s parents and Sang Tae’s parents-in-law through his deceased wife and Kim Brothers’ parents – Kim aboji and omoni. Lee Sang Tae married Ahn Mi Jung, a divorcee with three children, Woo Young, Woo Ri, Woo Joo with their father Yoon In Chul who had an affair with Kang So Young who used to be Ahn Mi Jung’s friend.
It appeared like we have a lot of characters in this drama, but once you break it down through families, it’s very easy to track. So the story started with Ahn Mi Jung working with Lee Sang Tae in the same company and they grow feelings over time. Wounded from her first failed marriage, Mi Jung single-handedly raised her children and made her children believed that their father was working abroad when they were already divorced and he was living with another woman who used to be Mi Jung’s friend. Sang Tae on the other hand is torn between his own parents and his parents-in-law in raising his two children. He fell in love with Mi Jung’s countenance in sustaining her career alongside being a mother to three children. They eventually succumbed to romance, and when they were confronted with an opportunity to try a second marriage, they had to consider five children and five elders who might not feel comfortable with the choice they were bound to make. Through honest conversations, the marriage pushed through which joined their families together. The new father and mother had to adjust in breaking in the walls of the new children they got through the second marriage. Mi Jung had to communicate also with Bin and Soo’s grandparents who moved in to the same building they rented, and in the course of time they saw Mi Jung’s sincere motherly heart to their grandchildren and she won over their hearts and lived harmoniously with them.
“Five Children” presented lessons about filial love, parenting, friendship, failed relationship, romantic love, life uncertainties and personal worth. It covered almost all the facets of the common struggles adults face in daily lives and in the long run. I like how the dynamics of an extended family was pictured in the series. It was messy, rowdy and crazy, but at the end of the day, the people interacted, listened and accepted decisions that are beyond their control and that they should not worry about.
There were three secondary love lines that were linked to the four families and those supporting love parts were equally spirited adding sweets and spices to an already amusing narrative. Ho Tae who struggled in his film directing career battled through his slump and eventually married his first love who was working in his parents’ restaurant. Through his dream of becoming a better man to his supportive wife, he got a happy ending on his marriage life and career. Jin Joo born from a rich household fell in love with a man whose parents value personality than money. She was not accepted by Tae Min’s mother initially because of her bleak future having not finished a college degree. She accepted the challenge and showed his parents that she can still achieve her personal dreams no matter how late she starts working on it. Yeon Tae who harbored feelings with her friend Tae Min ended up being together with her first love’s brother who acted as her confidante when Tae Min pursued Jin Joo. Sang Min who was caught off guard when cupid’s bow hit him with YeonDoo virus gave in to the idea that he was really truly, madly deeply in love with the girl that was never in his dreams but virally deconstructed his heart to an unimaginable addiction that made him even more a better person.
In its entirety, “Five Children” presented a glimpse of an everyday Korean family life with beautified love milieus. It taught me a thing or two about the generation gaps when joining a new family. The story was clear with its most important lesson on how communication plays a vital role in empathizing and understanding the situation you have with someone in any kind of relationship. It left a positive encouragement to pursue romance regardless of how many times you might have failed in the past and how much pain you might go through until you finally get it.
It might overwhelm your drama addiction spare time so pace yourself if in case you would want to enter Mi Jung and Sang Tae’s family. For its feel good approach and fetching family and love memories framed each episode, I am happy having been able to sprint my way to see all of the characters smiling through the happy endings they achieved. -jediprincess♥♥♥
With the amount of romance dramas brandishing in KDramaLand 2016, a story maneuvered by a con-artist and his snappy team helping out an employee of the city’s Taxation office in retrieving unpaid revenues from greedy rich people surprisingly caught and … Continue reading
I didn’t expect anything from this drama to start with, and I guess that’s the reason why even with the cliche plot, I still like the cute friends-turned-lovers bickerings and antics of Gong Shim and Ahn Dan Tae.
A typical neighborhood love that bloomed from pure trust and understanding between unexpected friends and their journey to acknowledge that they were built so perfectly for each other because it is their destiny to fall in love eventually. Crossing the line between friends and romance requires a courageous stance that you know what you are doing and you are prepared to take a leap of faith. Love is not romance until it is reciprocated. The impeccable sassy and cheesy chemistry of Dan Tae and Gong Shim has had me on laughing fits most of the time. Their comic characters were drawn so well and so compatible to each other that they compensated to the predictable plot of the series. KDramas are known for the weird-looking kisses but the delightful love couple made sure to redefine the awkward kiss scenes and made me giggle a lot with the enchanting build up of their love story.
Lawyer Ahn Dan Tae in his jogger pants and Tom Sawyer attitude appeared to be not a practicioner of law, but he is. He met Gong Shim when he rented out the rooftop place of her family. Gong Shim has always been shunned by the success and physical beauty of her older lawyer sister. She studied horticulture but struggled in securing a regular job. Her good nature poked Dan Tae’s protective instinct, and little by little he found himself helping out Gong Shim whenever she is on a predicament and pushing her to follow her dreams.
Their friendship became trio after Seok Joon Soo from a chaebol family joined their circle. Joon Soo who also noticed the kindred spirit and warm heart of Gong Shim started liking her secretly. Gong Shim was able to enter Star Group owned by Joon Soo’s family as his father’s secretary, but when his mother found out that her son likes Gong Shim, she was fired immediately.
Ahn Dan Tae became close to Joon Soo’s grandmother as he takes on a part-time driver job for her. She asked for his help to find her long lost grandson who was kidnapped on Joon Soo’s first birthday. It turned out that Joon Soo’s uncle was the culprit and he was given to his adopted father who lost his child and was left no choice but to keep him to appease his grieving wife. Also upon learning that Joon pyo was in danger of being killed, he fled with his family and made Joon Pyo assumed his dead son’s identity. Dan Tae eventually stumbled on the truth his father kept him from and revealed to his grandmother that he is her long lost Joon Pyo who lost his memory after witnessing his mother’s death when he was being kidnapped.
Gong Shim and Dan Tae acknowledged their feelings to each other but the latter still hasn’t revealed his true identity. Eventually Dan Tae and Joon Soo pinned down evil uncle and sent him to prison. Dan Tae had to leave for US for his adopted father’s surgery and business management education. Unfortunately he bid goodbye through a phonecall to Gong Shim as their flight was pushed earlier and she was not able to arrive early in the airport.
A year after, Gong Shim no longer wears a wig and is doing great designing covers on Joon Soo’s company, Dan Tae returned and jumped on a conclusion that his cousin and Gong Shim were dating. He was cold on a business meeting but after Joon Soo cleared his weird thoughts, he claimed back Gong Shim’s heart once again.
STORY & SCREENPLAY
I mentioned how “Beautiful Gong Shim” played on trite scenarios but even if it did, it didn’t wear me out because the cast especially the main love couple were so endearing to watch in their comic takes and cutesy moments. It was the kind of love story that I rooted for because the romance built up so genuinely from friendship and dismissed the usual uncalled for love complications present in traditional kdrama romcoms. Gong Shim and Dan Tae left me feeling good after closing the book of their story and in the near future if I looked back on their story, at least there will be something for me to remember because of the refreshing take of the narrative.
There’s nothing fancy in the drama, it followed the basic ingredients of a romcom but leaned on the main leads’ personal struggles while discovering their romance. The quirky vibe of the love couple on their romantic moments were the generator of zest and appeal from the onset till the finale episodes. I was used to seeing Nam Goong Min in his evil roles so his laid back approach here mixed with Gong Shim’s free spirited portrayal compensated to the threadbare setting. Sure, the conflict dragged up until the closing episodes but it did not annoy me much because the series refused to dig on so much negativity. True that the last minute break up plot was not needed but as usual the charming heroine threw her grudges and trust the man he loved right away after learning the reason why he never contacted her. They always talk to each other in quirky and honest kind of way all the time. Their dorky love just make me overlook the technical points and just happily engage on the bright side they always offer.
It was the no dull moment frames captured that made me really like the drama a lot. The comedic notes were always present to Gong Shim and Dan Tae’s interaction as well as the rest of the cast members that you will just find yourself laughing together with them.
CAST & CONFLICT
The strong connection of the main leads and the friendship circle slight love triangle at some point square because of Gong Shim’s sister propelled the hook factor of the story. Nothing much new was presented but the keen commitment to bring out the characters fully on how the writer pictured it was a feat that was successfully notched by the people moving in the story. The story’s goal is for the hero to retrieve his life and memory that was altered by the villain and for the lead girl to pursue a quest in making her dreams come true and making a mark for herself. There was a sad conflict when the truth about Joon Soo’s uncle being the perpetrator of Joon Pyo’s abduction was revealed and thank God Joon Soo was written to be a smart character and didn’t succumb to settling for the worst out of filial love.
That’s what I like about this drama as a whole, it gave me only one villain to despise and there was no redemption for him either which realistically speaking was drawn justly given the crime he committed. I liked that at the end of it all Dan Tae and his family forgave and forgot and remained living in one roof as again. Gong Shim who recognized her weaknesses went through moments of wallowing on her self worth, but never stayed long and went on focusing on things she still have. She walked on the screen in such positive energy that you can’t help but cheer for her optimism. Dan Tae defied the lead man protype by presenting an appealing hero who was amusing and reliable at the same time. He might not framed those sweet moments in classic kdrama romcom trend but his wacky spirit complemented by Gong Shim’s vibrant character was a refreshing spectacle all throughout.
Joon Soo as a second lead crawled slightly in my heart because of his kind demeanor, and I’m happy that when the realization of his one sided love hit him, he didn’t go crazy trying to force the issue. Gong Mi was a character left in the corner after her greedy streak. Not that her character mattered but I think she was placed there to make the heroine stronger by overcoming hurdles like her. *chuckles
Over all this light romcom tackled the main discord and personal conflicts heads on with sure steps and engrossing ways. They went less is more with inserting the conflict and pushed to heartfelt rendition of the characters.
RATING & RECOMMENDATION
“Beautiful Gong Shim” had this unique sense of drawing you and before you realize it, you look forward to the story. It might not be smartly written with out of this world plot or sweetly created with perfect romantic premise, but it was a moving story with engaging characters that worked harmoniously to present a pure, relatable and charming story telling.
How much I enjoyed it: 8/10
How much I recommend it: 8/10
Schedule a weekend binge with these adorable and heart-fluttering Korean romance dramas.
Kdrama fandom can all agree that a string of Korean romance dramas usually trigger the KDrama addiction. The unique and imaginative plots deviate from the basic triumvirate plot of cops-lawyer-doctor TV shows. On that note, it is one genre list that is hard to write because viewers have varied taste on what love stories would appeal to them.
I want to go as far as 10 years ago but video resources might not be available anymore. We will focus our drama reminiscing instead from 2006 onward. But let’s do a quick stop on those classic Korean dramas your mom or aunt might have told you about. Early 21st century marked the surge of Hallyu wave. The dominant genres are romance and melodramas. Most of the recurring love plots we have seen in the past 10 years can be traced on these timeless Korean romance dramas. It was this period that “Endless Love” series by revered director Yoon Seok Ho aired. These seasoned themed dramas spark the popularity of most actors that are still active today. Autumn in My Heart, Winter Sonata, Summer Scent and Spring Waltz are breakout performances of present top actresses – Song Hye Gyo, Choi Ji Woo, Sohn Ye Jin and Han Hyo Joo.
Benchmark rom-com dramas such as Attic Cat, Full House, My Lovely Samsoon and My Girl are forerunners of perennial kdrama elements like cohabitation, couple bickering, and rich-boy-poor-girl story premise. The melodramas at present have toned down compared to its predecessors. Stairway to Heaven, What Happened in Bali, Save the Last Dance for Me and A Love to Kill are dramas that would exhaust you emotionally, yet they are strong in giving you love affirming lessons.
There is no definitive yardstick on the best Korean romance dramas, but I’ll give you breakthrough and memorable dramas that you might have missed and you want to revisit.
A high school girl becomes the country’s princess, but the prince she married is still caught up with his first love.
Crown Prince Lee Shin and Princess Chae-gyung’s love story is the typical I-was-not-meaning-to-fall-for-you-but-I-fell-anyway romance. The love progresses from nothing at all to “I want you to be always beside me” kind of adoration. There are frustrating moments but the eventual love admittance washes out some of the senseless and slow runs. Princess Hours gives a youthful presence while combining the individual growth of the main leads that are forced to marry due to their ancestors’ promise.
My girl (2006)
A rich man hires a woman to pretend as his lost cousin so his sick grandfather will feel better. The con backfires as they fall in love with each other.
Lee Dong Wook and Lee Da Hae’s first pairing is a zesty cohabitation where the couple bicker a lot until romance knocks them out to submission. The road to the love realization threads on happy notes and lies. My Girl leaves a message on how time makes you braver to love someone, and how love stays true when separated by time.
Which star did you come from? (2006)
After the death of his girlfriend, a film director secludes himself only to be reminded of the past he unhinged from, by meeting a woman who looks exactly like his dead ex-gf. It turned out that the woman is indeed his ex-gf’s long lost sister, and her family is against their relationship since they blame him for the death of his ex-gf.
This is one of those pioneering love dramas where the writer is focused on conceiving a resolution for the conflict by trusting the magical power of love through fiction writing, instead of throwing unnecessary setbacks to hurt the main leads. It pushes the love couple to tackle their indifference head on by relying on how they trust and love each other.
The world that they live in (2008)
Set in TV drama world, the lead couple are both working as production directors. It does not have quirky plots but it uses clever humor through Song Hye Kyo and Hyun’s Bin portrayal of a workplace couple struggling to give and receive the best love possible. Without so much embellishment, the plain yet heartfelt emotions of the couple rediscovering their love for each other in varied ways shows what a normal relationship should be – messy, uncertain, forbearing.
You’re Beautiful (2009)
Preparing to be a nun, a young woman is forced to assume her twin’s identity who is supposed to join an idol group, but fell on comatose after an accident.
Perky and fast-paced, the well written script is filled with sweet moments of being young and in love. Looking back this is still my favorite Park Shin Hye drama because she displayed a memorable heroine that is naive but refreshing, vulnerable and persevering. With 3 men battling for the lead girl’s attention and parading their skills regardless if it’s awkward or not, it is hilarious watch to see the love-struck idol members bleed love to claim her heart. You’re Beautiful shows a clear picture of how love is meant to be enjoyed at the moment and chased at the right time.
City Hall (2009)
This politics based romance drama crawled in my heart without me realizing it. It beat the regular favorites Coffee Prince, Goong and even My Lovely Samsoon to get to the top of my list, because it’s not your conventional drama with cushioned and frosted romance. It is a love story where the prince did not rescue his damsel in distress, but pushed her to be brave and resolve things on her own. With uncomplicated premise, the writing is exceptionally thought provoking for any woman experiencing challenges in finding her worth not in the standard of what the society dictates, but on the dreams she has as a woman. A memorable performance for Kim Sun Ah and Cha Seung Won who perfectly pictured a love declaration frame that is yet to beat from the rest of Korean romance dramas I have seen.
Boys Over Flowers (2009)
A young man (Lee Min Ho) from a rich household falls in love with a girl (Gu Hye Sun) from a poor family background. When she resisted his temperament, he starts bullying her but eventually fell in love with her charm.
This manga based drama swept my heart when it was adapted by Taiwan TV back when I was in my college days. It was so popular and introduced me to my first fictional love Dau Ming Si. So I had high expectations when Korea took it for their own production. I say they presented it well and good, that I went back to being in my teens, and even watching it in raw videos every week when it was airing. What made it different from the rest of the remakes done is it stayed on the original context of young and sweet high school love as well as a strong battle between the main and second lead in claiming the lead girl’s heart. It may not be perfect because of the moments when the drama has to ride its popularity, but it is an addictive drama that can be enjoyed by the whole family.
My Girlfriend is a gumiho (2010)
A rich, lazy college student (Lee Seung Gi) dreams of becoming an action star accidentally freed a pretty woman from an enchanted picture. She turns out to be a nine-tailed-fox imprisoned for a long time. The two work on their dreams of becoming an actor and becoming a human and soon enough fell in love with each other.
The fantasy and reality mixture of the story is what kept the engrossing vibe. Shin Min Ah’s gumiho character perks up the drama in providing laugh trip moments due to her journey in adapting to the human world. The love fulfillment although hindered with the supernatural bead that binds the main love couple is a neat conflict catalyst cementing the love connection which grew on the course of them wanting to be each other’s protector and person.
Dong Yi (2010)
It is beautifully imagined and crafted. The political conspiracies, woman-empowering message and the love story are the reasons why I enjoy this 60 episode period drama. Dong Yi displays a stimulating TV drama while presenting the intricacies and controversies of Korean Joseon Monarchy. They present the elaborated palace life, power struggles and vibrancy of the culture with clever layering of romance. I love that the narration is subtle in its approach, yet daring on its conviction. The beginning is disheartening, the ending will make you pull the strings for it to end out of weary, but you tend to hold on to feel gratified on the conflict’s dissipation. Now the middle part, that is the best part of the series.
Personal Taste (2010)
A vulnerable lead girl (Sohn Ye Jin) is betrayed by her best friend who seduced her ex-boyfriend. She meets an architect (Lee Min Ho), who is on a mission to redeem his father’s lost glory by analyzing a house designed by a legendary architect who is the lead girl’s father. Our lead girl mistook her hero to be homosexual and let him board in her house but then later on, they develop feelings for each other.
There are lots of bright tones which compensate to dry moments when the lead girl is stuck on wallowing in her lack of self-esteem. The doting scenes melt and made me crave for more. Why it made this list is because even if I refrain from weak heroines, the romance is sweet and satisfying in the sense that the lead girl redeemed herself through her hero’s encouragement to be a better version of herself, while the hero learned to step back and appreciate the people around him instead of keeping all his woes alone.
Sungkyunkwan Scandal (2010)
I present you Sungkyunkwan Scandal – the drama that changed my belief that historical presentations are not fun. A bromance-filled tale incorporating a touch of traditional Korean history set in Joseon era’s premiere school.
Sungkyunkwan Scandal is a Hana-Kimi-Boys-Over-Flower-fusion set in the Joseon period. It is where I suffered the most mind-boggling Second-Lead syndrome, in the end the second-lead prevailed. *chuckles This is a kind of school life every girl wishes for which is having three gorgeous men as your friends and even two fighting for your heart. Considering the setting is in traditional times, they are able to execute love melting scenes while studying in the library, getting stranded inside a wooden elevator, and all the rest of those happy moments shared by the scholars. Despite the political strain conflict, what I loved most in the narrative is the optimism and bravery of the characters which help in making their portrayals worth remembering. The drama gives epic romantic scenes that romantic scenes that when you tell your friends, you get transported back to the moment when you were actually watching it.
Secret Garden (2010)
The sparkling tracksuit, the sweet sit-up kiss and coffee kiss, the hilarious body swap, Ha Ji Won‘s stunt woman portrayal, and Hyun Bin’s melting gaze are some of the things that I remember most about “Secret Garden”. It is a breather from rom-com prototypes with its perfect blending of fantasy and romance.
Secret Garden is your drama to see when you want a kdrama marathon vacation. It plays well in keeping the excitement stable and hits a love progression which the viewers loyally cheer for. The fantasy body-switching plot is a brilliant addition to keep the story bubbly as well as the reversal of roles for the strong heroine and weak but charming lead man. The strength of how the love couple bicker along the way to realize they are both rendered by the love bind they throw at each other unconsciously will make you mark this drama as an all-time favorite.
The Greatest Love (2011)
The love drama staged in the showbiz land exhibits a top actor in his prime and a struggling actress who used to be from a famous girl group but was condemned unfairly by the public’s judgment. In a series of forming-a-love-story event, they keep on crossing the same path every now and then, and before he knew it, the cutely egoistic and blithely mischievous Dokko Jin’s protective instinct is awakened by the pure-sometimes-vulnerable character of Ae-jung.
This is my favorite battle-for-the-leading-lady’s-heart showcase, as the two lead men warm my love veins with their creativity to let Ae Jung notice how much they love her. The Greatest Love s disarms the viewers from earthly life and draws them to thrive inside a protective romantic bubble. It is done short and sweet with basket full of happy hearts delivered personally by cupid to all of us.
Scent of a Woman (2011)
Looking back what I like most about this drama is how for a change I got the conflict first in one big blow at the beginning of the series and I stayed glued at it even when I get the picture of expected possibilities. I felt that the tears, the smiles, the bright side, the falling flower petals, the optimism, the strong heroine and Lee Dong Wook are all perfectly placed to the finish line.
Knowing the initially laid problem, Scent of a Woman anticipates how they will reach the climax, and how the characters will play together to achieve it. As a viewer, it made me prepare for the pain because of the heroine’s inevitable dying conflict. I am happy that the story comes up with an ending that Eun-jae, Ji-wook and I deserve. It is a conclusion that is befitting of the death defying romance premise. This is one of the most endearing love melodramas I have seen. It is love and life affirming. If you are looking for a drama that will make you laugh, fall in love, cry and be hopeful all at the same time, this one is for you.
City Hunter (2011)
The reckless hero and action-filled drama City Hunter played by Lee Min Ho leaves a gripping impression that girls may want to be kidnapped, wishing the lead man would rescue them. Lee Min Ho playing devil-may-care-ass-kicking-casanova is enough not to scroll down the teaser and go straight on board the drama. Trust me on this. With a pinch of romance, gorgeous fight scenes and definitive plot, it raised the bar to action drama set in modern times. The nifty plot provides life lessons owing to the base pretext of the main character’s family issues. Each episode is done where the tussles did not exhaust the viewers but place them on trance for wanting more.
Directing and editing wise, this is one of those dramas which knew how to pull cliff hangers even to the finale episode where the hate-you-love-you character of Jin-pyo showed a befitting redemption. The main character ensembles are so buffed in making the story ever moving and exciting. The show stopper “ajussi” and his online shopping addiction makes me look like an occasional shopper. The other dark apprentice is also oozingly hot orchestrating ruckus for City Hunter. I liked that lead girl Kim Nana (Park Min Young) is strong-willed. She does not go to the usual mopey and always looking for a rescue lead woman. Overall, this is a drama that will satisfy your cravings. It is exceptionally done and a must see Kdrama delight.
Myungwol the Spy (2011)
The endearing eye-candy Kang-woo and equally charming Myung-wol are source of a few weeks of cheerfulness for me when I was watching Myungwol the Spy. This dandy show is oozing with cute couple bickering. The premise of having the heroine protecting the leading man is a novelty on the usual weakly pictured leading ladies needing a chaebol-in-the-shining-armor to rescue them.
A North Korean spy, Myung-wol, infiltrates South Korea in her goal to seduce Hallyu superstar Kang-Woo played by Eric Moon. Her persistence pays off but her true intention will make or break an impossible love affair. This lively rom-com lets you see the dynamics of a spy incognito heroine and the top actor with immense hubris who fell in love with his protector.
My Princess (2011)
The long lost princess of Korea embarks on re-claiming the honor of her royal family in the modern times. But it is not easy owing to her need to prove her worth as a princess to the country along with the evident rivals determined to stop the Monarchy’s re-emergence. She relies between the devil and the deep blue sea to fulfill her filial responsibility.
This is the best Kim Tae Hee and Song Seung Heon performance that I have enjoyed. Sassy couple fights, well rendered sweet hero display, and the mischievous yet vulnerable princess make up the delightful run of this love spectacle. It threads on the princess-dark-knight love tale and maintains the bliss of the romantic narrative. My Princess is that drama you watch with your girlfriends on a pyjama night when you don’t want to talk about work and love problems and just want to rest and feel each other’s presence. Sweetly made for a woman who loves freely as it can be.
The Princess’ Man (2011)
This Romeo-and-Juliet-like melodrama sends the viewers due to the poignant struggles and motivations of the love couple. The directing and cinematography are captured efficiently projecting an emotionally draining love chronicle. How they maneuver the movements of the conflict without making the protagonists looked so annoyingly pathetic is strategically done which made me admire the writer of the story. It is a moving narrative of how the lead couple patiently wait to claim the love that is rightfully theirs. It is an agonizing yet a loving tale that will remind you of the risks in committing yourself to someone, the bittersweet pain of coming to terms that love has always casualties, and the reality that until you learn to forgive, you will not be able to keep in your arms the person who defined you what is love.
I Need Romance (2011)
I Need Romance is brimming with romance retrospection. It might argue with your existing love standpoint and rules of dating. It makes you yearn how it feels to be in a blissful, addictive, sometimes-painful-yet-binding and worth taking a risk kind of love.
Tailored in a sex and the city vibe, it narrates modern stories of women in their 30’s and how they struggle to keep their romantic relationship and the lack of it. It features plucky characters and the importance of sex and honesty in a relationship. The sassy friendship of the lead girls cover different faces of relationships that make or break a person. It draws the depth of commitment and the pain it comes when loving someone truthfully. It is a drama can make you finish it in one sitting due to its addictive and realistic taste.
Flower Boy Ramyun Shop (2011)
Flower Boy Ramyun Shop is a ball of sweetness powered by endearing characters. It is one of the quirkiest-so-pleasing-to-watch-cast-ensembles. It is a love ride that you will keep in your heart because of the memorable characters in lead and supporting roles. The humor and the love triangle keeps the engaging run topped by the eye candy relief of the flower boy filled cast.
What I love in this drama is when lead men are all business in claiming the cup on Eun-bi’s heart. It reminds me of when Legolas and Gimli cutely belittle each other at their orc killing showdown. The “you are mine” kiss scene after Chi-soo (Jung Il Woo) snatched Eun-bi while she is on a date with Pillar has been one of my favorite kdrama saccharine moments. I crave for more and the drama sufficed me beyond what I expected.
Queen In Hyun’s Man (2012)
The drive to bring the viewers to a spontaneous romantic binge while holding the reign to a bewitching plot is quenchless with this time-slip-rom-com delight.
Queen In Hyun’s Man disarms the viewers each episode through its creative drama pulls by going maverick to is predicted to happen. It swerves from the typical KDrama cliches of unfinished love issues, family problems, useless vengeance driven characters, and all those personal exhausting battles. Given the time-voyaging premise of the story, the production team work diligently on the smooth timeline transitions with witty humor. It plays the past and present ends without losing the fluidity of the story. The story line pulls off and amazing conflict deliverance in a make-sense attitude. It is a supernatural rom-com drama at its best, no questions asked, period.
The Moon That Embraces the Sun (2012)
This drama open in a grand fireworks display. The ratings stayed up even if there were times that I was wishing for it to speed up. But the production team sure know when they should wake you up when you were about to doze off so I remain positively raving.
The young love which bloomed and defied time, reasons, and political issues are reasons why the production is applauded immensely. The strong and consistent character portrayals, supernatural seasonings, family issues and brotherly love cemented the viewers’ loyalty. It is euphoric on its strong notes and contemplating on its sad tones. My verdict? This is a drama full of love and anguish, but you will eventually CHERISH it.
King 2 Hearts (2012)
King 2 Hearts is staged in a quasi-utopian Korean world where the North and South Koreans are sort of in peaceful communicating terms.
King 2 Hearts has always been polished, calculated but never failing to entice and push the audience to the assumed outcomes. That being said, what I applaud about this drama is how it seems predictable but it will act otherwise. It meets all the criteria for a superb k-drama in terms of directing and acting plus it ends with conviction. It has one of the most memorable villain who graced the evil camp land and a heartbreaking second lead character conclusion. It is an honest yet tender love picture of a man and woman who overcome political ideologies and personal reservations.
May Queen (2012)
Sitting on a 38-episode melodrama where birth secret, superhero villains, revenge-and-greed-driven plot needs to be munched is a feat so hard to do if you are impatient. I love how Korean dramas are tailored in bringing fans to different worlds. This time I learned something about the shipbuilding industry as the story evolves around characters moving in the oil exploration and shipbuilding business. I feel elated exploring the ocean, ships, drilling rigs, oil discovery and the realistic and moving love story of May Queen.
All the fundamentals of a melodrama are present as the narrative crawled to its finale – the-most-vilest-of-‘em-all-villains, good-natured-overly-optimistic-lead-girl and the good-prevailing-over-wickedness-theme. It is a slow-moving drama but all are explained on the conflicts raised — the motivation, the actions after the intentions and the resolution. This drama compensates the long run to explain everything they have to explain. They make sure that each main character revolved and redeemed their personas. This drama is my yardstick to melodrama that’s not taking the romance as an integral part.
Faith is not a polished drama, in fact it is slow moving, but it is moving to a direction where it urges the viewers to join the drama production — cheering for them, feeling each of the character’s pain, engrossed with the happy moments and frustrated with the inability to end the villains vile ways. It is successful in establishing a connection that will not make it forgettable.
Assimilating the action plot with the supernatural spices and decorating it with folklore, having a band of villains equipped with mojos, a sassy modern day doctor that is lost cutely to a new kind of thriving she is forced to live, and the Thor-ish General are the essentials that made this drama such an enthralling TV experience. The provocative plot matches the annoying villain assaults and the firm, arresting retaliation of the underdogs A drama moving through governance contention and draped by the traditional settings normally sets a serious tone, but how the heroes and the villains pull the tricks on their sleeves ease out the ambiance to set an immersing watch. Faith’s ability to balance the transcendent elemental nonsense is plausible to how it mounts to the story’s peak. The back to the future arc links the primary message of the narrative. The essence of how a person should believe in the love he deserves.
Cheongdamdong Alice (2012)
What would you do if you truly love the person but you started not with the right intention? This Cinderella-like tale brims with interesting characters and has splashes of mirth, reality slaps, gold-digging lessons, PTSD nonsense and thought-provoking love arguments. There are a lot of reality check scenes in the drama inferring love disparities that has made the texture of the story different from your typical you-and-me-against-my-rich-family premise. The heroine is blatant with her intentions even if she knew that it will destroy her. She is not your typical “I don’t care if you’re rich I just love you” girl because she’s been through a relationship saddled with financial constraint, and in the real world when you build a future with someone, love will be a foundation but money will sustain it.
This love tale depicts a typical love story with twisted conflicts and characters. It raises an imbalance that has made the story true. Women dig any Cinderella-story because they want the feeling of being rescued. In this love tale, the girl starts the conflict, she makes the the person who will rescue him part of the conflict, but she finds the way to overcome it. Way to go girl! This drama teaches a lesson that there are always reasons why you love someone and you can never ask for a proof of it. When love fails, you can never go back but you can always start again. Cheongdamdong Alice is able to hit all those considerations of people who are looking for the kind of love they deserve. Sometimes love starts because it is meant to be but it has to end because we have to get the love we deserve.
Rooftop Prince (2012)
Joseon Era – All was doing well with Crown Prince Yi-gak (Park Yoochun). The empire is smooth sailing and he enjoys afternoon walks with his princess and riddle games with his sister-in-law. Until a morning of surprise when the Crown Princess is found dead floating on a lake. Determined to catch the culprit on the Princess’ death, he gathered 3 of the most useful Joseon men he could find and off they go to uncover the mystery. In their pursuit to unveil the cause of the Princess’ death, they are transported 300 years after to modern Korea and landed to the lead girl’s rooftop house. From there the real adventure begins.
This is the first drama I saw with reincarnation plot in full swing. The adorable 3 Musketeers are a bundle of bliss showering me laughter fits on how they acclimatize to modern living. The romance is not rushed, and with that love-transcending-time premise, excuse me Romeo and Juliet here’s the couple to beat. It is not your perfect drama technical and script wise, in fact there are a few labyrinth-bound story plots and out of place conflicts, but then again the sweet moments and the humor are overpowering so you would hardly notice the lapses.
A Gentleman’s Dignity (2012)
A Gentleman’s Dignity tells the story of a brotherhood of middle-aged men 40+ who grew up as friends since high school and nurture their friendship since then. The morning breakfast forums, the constant cover ups to survive the feisty wife, the one-sided love, the mischievous-kiss-may-december-love-affair, the now-we-break-up-tomorrow-we’ll-get-back relationship, the opening hilarious anecdotes, the sweetest, heart-wrenching love declarations and love-believe-me’s, and the bromance are some of the reasons why I highly recommend this rom-com favorite.
From a woman’s perspective, I enjoy these blow up F4 boys as having them all together is the strongest point of the drama. The conflicts mainly focus on finding and keeping a functioning relationship for them. I have generally positive feelings toward this drama. All those minor-so-what-situational-supporting-conflict I disregard because the story and the characters have sketched love anecdotes that can make people ponder on how they deal with commitment issues. This drama makes you remember how vulnerable and defiant you become because of love.
Reply 1997 (2012)
Answer Me 1997 sprints all the way to the audience’ hearts with its vibrant characters, nostalgic premise, fan girl foolish escapades, friendship and crazy first love. Nothing magical, mythical and supernatural, just a pure trip down to the moments of when we were young. Spicing up the story with flashback element, the drama switches from present to the later part of the ‘90’s showcasing tamagotchi, flip top phones and other ancestors of the modern technology in their conceiving stage.
This engrossing first love drama shares a wonderful friends-turned-lovers journey without hassles. It will make you recollect the good old times when you first passionately and recklessly fell in love. The charming screenplay brings out the best of the newbie artists. The evasion from rom-com clichés makes the plot a winner. Reply 1997 grows on you without you realizing it. This is a wistful memoir of that point in time that we first fell in love.
Operation Proposal (2012)
A young man who lacks confidence in declaring his love to the woman he adore since they were young cries in despair of letting go of his one great love. A bored time conductor is moved by his lamentation so he is given a magical potion to drink and a weird incantation to go back to the past so he can correct the wrong choices he made in his life and make room for the love he thought is meant for him.
Operation Proposal is richly narrated by moving the romance from young love to a taking-time-to-realize kind of love. It goes down to two main points: How far you are going to wait for someone for them to realize your worth and that you are waiting? And being brave to fall in love by discarding the what-if’s and saying it at the very moment you are feeling it. It is a refreshing feel to have a conflict that is not evil. The lead character is competing with himself – with his past self for that matter and his forbearance endures his painstaking drive to be with the girl he loved.
The Master’s Sun (2013)
In the sea of dramas where stories are usually woven from the rich-boy-poor-girl love affair or the male-pretending-lead-girl, a you-and-me-against-the-ghosts love story hit all the romantic nerves in my body even with its comic spooky vibes.
In a way the calculated but not false-hope promising story pace invites the viewers to back up the lead love couple in discovering the reasons why they fell in love with each other alongside why they are in denial and scared to admit it. When you have a stubborn romantic lead man who with-and-without amnesia know how to claim the heart of the woman he loves, and a heroine who struggles in confusion to the path on how she is supposed to love her man, it will give you a love tale full of acceptance and understanding. It will inspire you to trust why your heart falls in love with the person and how your mind will be overpowered by reasons. It is a nicely blended romance that reminds how being with someone is not half-loving yourself and half-loving the person. It should be loving the person with all you can.
That Winter The Wind Blows (2013)
“I pretended to be a long lost brother to a blind heiress because I need money to continue to live only to find myself waking up wanting to protect my fake little sister every single day” is the story premise of this melodrama. That Winter the Wind Blows nails adequate emotional scenes to stimulate the heart and tear ducts, but not bordering to a draining weep fest. Loving someone when you are literally blind takes faith beyond reasons, and finding a reason to live because you love someone takes bravery beyond faith.
A tale of not really brothers and sisters who are entangled by fate, unexpected fondness, blind trust, and true love, this drama surges up with the intense revelations and love conflict. It was not a happy-yey!-ever-after closure, but at least they end up together. Sometimes it’s really the pain that makes the love worth it, because without it you can never differentiate if you are willing to let go or to love the person. That Winter, The Wind Blows was a poignant love drama that will make you remember how you are scared to start a love you are unsure of, and how you took the odds to claim it. It is not perfect but it is emotionally stunning.
My Love From the Star/You Who Came From the stars (2014)
Love stories need not to be so big romantic kind of way, not that I didn’t like the “alien-who-loved-me” twist but You Who Came From the Stars draws a great following because of the vibrant characters who bring to life their fictional images to an unforgettable way. I think the lightness of the conflicts and not involving much negative emotion, but focusing on making the lead couple work their way to defy the cosmic problem inhibiting them from being together gives a gratifying closure for the story.
Feisty and fun, it has surely and splendidly built up the conflict, the romance, and the conflicting romance, binding me in perplexing contemplation on how a drama with typical love pretext propels a romantic bliss without never looking back. It comes strongly and surely each chapter seemingly faultless in executing the how-to-make-a-perfect-romcom guidelines.
Discovery of Love (2014)
Discovery of Love walks on the unconventional path of presenting the