I constantly update this list on the mother page, so if you are reading it through this post, you can check this LINK for the most updated version. I have a separate page for my kdrama full series recaps and reviews which links I have included in this list as well. This page is a good reference point for kdramas over the years since I have included quick reviews of those dramas that I did not write a full review on, but you might be curious if you are going to pick up or not. There are still some that I have not seen, but I included the titles in case you might need it. Also Reviews with Strikethroughs are not yet ready. I will constantly update this page. ^_^
I have rated it A(for Amazing), B+(for Breathtaking), B(for Beautiful), C+(for Cliche but Charming), C(for Crazy but Tolerable) D(for Disappointing), F(for Forget it). I added additional tips for your reference. My recent entries would be on a yearly basis from now on so the most recent dramas would be on the first entries.
♥ Strong Woman Do Bong Soon (2017) – 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 rom-com drama that deserve all the raves and hype from k-drama followers.
sweet ride, noona romance, second lead syndrome… this will so far be my best rom-com recommendation
GENRE: Romantic Comedy, Thriller GRADE: A
♥ Radiant Office (2017) – currently airing
♥ Whisper (2017) – currently airing
♥ Perfect Wife (2017) – currently airing
♥ Chief Kim (2017) – currently airing
♥ You Are Too Much (2017) – currently airing
♥ The Liar and His Lover (2017) – currently airing
♥ Tomorrow With You (2017) – 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
Focus and Patience! Bring buckets of it when you watch it and you will be rewarded by Lee Je Hoon oppa’s sweet gestures and kisses
GENRE: Romance, Drama, Supernatural GRADE: B
♥ Saimdang, Light’s Diary (2017) – currently airing
♥ Rebel: The Thief who stole the people (2017) – currently airing
♥ Voice (2017) – review coming up
♥ Defendant (2017) – review coming up
♥ Missing 9 (2017) – parking lot
♥ Hwarang: the Beginning (2016 – 2017) – Hwarang is definitely at par in terms of effective performance compared to fusion sageuk favorites due to its struggling plot momentum. I’m not supposed to say this, but the pretty boys were really the reason why I stayed calm on my seat. hahaha If not really for their impeccable chemistry and gang fights ala Malfoy’s Gang and Dumbledore’s army, I would have not stayed afloat.
It was so promising if not for a lot of things that happened and was set aside. This is where I got my first noona romance with Park Hyung Sik.
GENRE: Period, Brotherhood, Romance GRADE: C
♥ The Lonely Shining Goblin (2016 – 2017) – “Goblin” affirmed my kdrama fan girl spirit with its addictive pace, perceptive characters, detailed back story and the exciting race to its closure. I was at constant awe at how the yarning of the folklore and supernatural mise en scene fit so perfectly placed in the modern setting. The cast portraying a whole new chimeric world that I want to be a part of moved through the story seamlessly alternating a wistful and lively performance that burrowed straight to my kdramaaddict heart. *chuckles
The epic bromance and time transcending love will linger for a while in your heart
GENRE: Romance, Supernatural GRADE: A
♥ The Legend of the Blue Sea (2016) – Legend of the Blue Sea was strong on the candied-heart-fluttering moments of Joon Jae and Cheong, but even stronger on relaying the couple’s sweet and yet agonizing journey to endure the love they have in the present in the pretext of a human-mermaid romance impossibility. It neatly executed the narrative by using simple rules considering its metaphysical premise. It modernized the reincarnation plot, by playing the resident drama fix of how love overcomes anything and beyond everything.
The conman who can read his lady love’s mind sure gave me a lot of happy pills during those times
GENRE: Romantic Comedy, Fantasy GRADE: B+
♥ Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim (2016) – I admit I was missing Gregory House a lot so I sought comfort in Teacher Kim’s arms. I have not seen a lot of nicely done medical dramas in kdramaland so I did not set my hopes high in RDTK. I am glad that the story progressed and closed deftly and neatly along with the surgeries. A case where “Doctor Crush” suffered.
Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim Series Review
The engrossing narrative and chemistry of the cast blended so well, I could not ask for more.
GENRE: Medical, Drama GRADE: B+
♥ The Good Wife (2016) – parking lot
GENRE: Legal, Drama GRADE:
♥ Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo (2016) – I picked “Weightlifting Fairy” as one of the best kdramas of 2016 for being such a genuine coming of age story that beautifully captured the joy and pain and everything in between of being young… of building dreams and of falling in love for the first time.
Nam Joo Hyuk is kdrama gods’ gift to college girls and college girls at heart
GENRE: Rom-com, Youth GRADE: B+
♥ Entourage (2016) – Dropped it somewhere along the way, as there was nothing going on in the story at all… I like Seo Kang Joon, but it was really a sad project.
You are still my crush Seo Kang Joon even when this drama felt like hell
GENRE: Drama, Comedy, Bromance GRADE: F
♥ Goodbye Mr. Black (2016) – parking lot
GENRE: Action, Romance GRADE:
♥ Jang Young Shil (2016) – parking lot
GENRE: Period, Drama GRADE:
♥ The Man in Our House (2016) – I love Su Ae in Mask and some more of her works, but there was no hook for me even after watching Ep 8, so I gave up.
Love is not supposed to be inherited from your mom. period.
GENRE: Romantic Comedy, Drama GRADE: D
♥ Madame Antoine (2016) – parking lot
GENRE: Romance, Comedy GRADE:
♥ Neighborhood Lawyer Jo (2016) – parking lot
GENRE: Legal, Drama GRADE:
♥ Something About One Percent (2016) – Something About 1% is a surprise hit for me this year. I was prepared to drop it after 4 episodes, but boy I fell in love with the kiss scenes, lol I mean the story. *wink As Lee Jae In sedated my grieving heart from Scarlet Heart Ryeo, it pushed me back to meaningful existence with his sweet smile and steamy gazes. This amazingly done rom-com darted cheesy and predictable. Even now I still wonder how I got so addicted with everything so unadorned about it.
Dear Lee Jae In, you had me at your kisses.
GENRE: Romantic Comedy GRADE: B+
♥ K2 (2016) – oppa miyane i will work on you soon
K2 Series Review
GENRE: Action, Drama, Romance GRADE:
♥ Dear My Friends (2016) – parking lot
GENRE: Romance, Drama GRADE:
♥ Drinking Solo (2016) – What drew me to watching “Drinking Solo” was the simple storytelling, setting and character building. It was a plain picture of the struggles of students taking lessons to pass the civil service exam and the battles of the instructors in surviving the present day adult life complications versus those idealistic dreams they had when they were young. The love concerns inserted were additional bonus in amusing myself in watching the cast move on with their fictional life.
Cheers to a drama that celebrates the singlehood life
GENRE: Drama, Romantic Comedy GRADE: C+
♥ Beautiful Mind (2016) – parking lot
GENRE: Medical, Thriller GRADE:
♥ Shopping King Louie (2016) – While everything in kdramaland was serious in polishing the story and rendering remarkable character portrayals, “Shopping King Louis” came along like a comfort food frocking in all positivity it can have. Though having a simple premise, Bok Sil and Louis were entertaining me with their sweet and hilarious chemistry. The light and upbeat pace matches the optimism of the main leads.
This is a good drama to watch after wrenching your heart in Scarlet Heart and Uncontrollably Fond
GENRE: Romantic Comedy GRADE: B
♥ Oh My Geum Bi (2016) – parking lot
GENRE: Family, Comedy GRADE:
♥ On the Way to the Airport (2016) – We normally get those kind of third-party love affair stories, and we never achieve a proper explanation on the reason why people involve themselves in an illicit affair. “On the way to the Airport” touches this sensitive marital issue in a classy way that will make you cheer and understand why a man and a woman got caught in an entanglement behind their husband and wife’s back. What the story brought about is how marriage can be broken even with the most rational mind when a person finds a willing heart who can share his pain.
I like how subtle the approach is in tackling adultery in the narrative maybe because the writer sketched valid presentation of those phases that make a person lose the love he felt with his lover along the way.
On the Way to the Airport Series Review
How to be unfaithful to your spouse gracefully…
GENRE: Romance, Drama GRADE: B
♥ Laurel Tree Tailors (2016) – parking lot
GENRE: Romance, Family GRADE:
♥ Monster (2016) – parking lot
GENRE: Romance, Melodrama GRADE:
♥ Love in the Moonlight aka Moonlight Drawn by the Clouds (2016) – Eventhough Lee Young and Hong Ra On will not be hitting the pinnacle of my best dramas this year, the full drama package was commendable due to its poignant sketching of the main characters and the writer’s impeccable timing to pin me on my spot and not sway away from following the story in those moments when I almost did. Drawn on a historical premise, “Moonlight Drawn by the Clouds” is a sweet drama treat brimming with giddy-ish scenes that will make you reminisce that once special love when you were young.
Crown Prince Park Bo Gum effect at its best
GENRE: Period, Drama, Romance GRADE: B
♥ Woman with a Suitcase (2016) – parking lot
GENRE: Romance, Comedy GRADE:
♥ Moonlovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo (2016) – Albeit the tormenting emotional strain I got with Scarlet Heart Ryeo, it will belong on my favorites for this year because I love that it became even more believable and fervent due to the plot’s instability and the main characters indecisiveness. It was a situation that might have killed the drama, but because the essential character motivations were clearly drawn, as a viewer I enjoyed that feeble and vulnerable facet of the production. Even with the unfazed heartrending tone all throughout, I take Scarlet Heart Ryeo with all my heart because I believe that a happy ending does not measure how great a love can be.
The series aftermath pained and haunted me. 4th Prince So, I’m here for you now, tomorrow and everyday in between.
GENRE: Period, Supernatural, Romance, Melodrama GRADE: B
♥ Marriage Contract (2016) – parking lot
GENRE: Romance, Drama GRADE:
♥ Fantastic (2016) – Even with the dying premise, I have grown to love “Fantastic” because of the dexterous cast and how they blend together supporting each other’s friendship and stories. Fantastic is an optimistic story that not only encourages through its love theme, but also with how the main characters were able to leave really cool life lessons as they tackled the roles they played in the narrative.
The feisty writer and her journey to love and sickness is an uplifting story of how a woman who braves the odds through the encouragement of her loved ones
GENRE: Romantic Comedy GRADE: C+
♥ Wanted (2016) – parking lot
GENRE: Thriller, Drama GRADE:
♥ Jealousy Incarnate (2016) – Sure, there were a lot going on in “Jealousy Incarnate” that sometimes the sporadic mini plots did not equate well to its overall make, but the eager and vibrant cast made up to that missing push the story failed to achieve. Honestly the safe ever-after ending failed to complement those strong moments of the lead cast along with the story conflict they had to face together hilariously and painfully. Nevertheless, I did enjoy the sweet ride and the endearing couple who tackled the friendship defying love chase.
It was good while it lasts. There were highs and lows, but the ending went to autopilot mode
GENRE: Romantic Comedy GRADE: C+
♥Vampire Detective (2016) – parking lot
GENRE: Supernatural, Action GRADE:
♥ Cinderella and the Four Knights (2016) – Well at least you can get ample fan service to this story of cousins who were tamed harmoniously by a girl who was hired by their grandfather. The characters were endearing but the story was too trite.
Cinderella and the Four Knights Series Review
See how much I love you Jung Il Woo oppa? After your army duty please deviate from this kind of dramas.
GENRE: Youth, Romantic Comedy GRADE: C+
♥Let’s Fight Ghost (2016) – parking lot
GENRE: Romance, Fantasy GRADE:
♥ W: Two Worlds (2016) – Less the staggering twists and turns that were ever present in the narrative, I still like how “W:TwoWorlds” was so ambitious on how it vividly displayed and chronicled a love story that defied alternate universe. It maneuvered to constant deviation and possibilities having the premise of “everything is possible to happen as long as they can draw it”. I love smart characters playing in the story so I have to give it to Yeon Joo on how she perceives efficiently in moments when Kang Chul is hindered by the limitations of his heroic role which was dependent on his fictional character. All throughout its showing, I was immersed on the extent of chimeric world the story would thread to, even when it hit a frustrating circle, but then it bounced back to a neatly delineated denouement although I would have wanted for another hour of extension.
Interesting Note: It would have been so perfect if not for the midway confusion and safe landing
GENRE: Supernatural, Romance, Thriller GRADE: B
♥Mrs. Cop 2 (2016) – parking lot
GENRE: Crime, Thriller GRADE:
♥ Age of Youth (2016) – Tailored to show the common faces of women, this honest drama has a melancholic resonance as it progressed to strengthening the bond of the 5 women living together in a dormitory who all have baggages from their past that haunt them in their present lives. “Age of Youth” is a retrospective youth drama about women in their 20’s. The five ladies promenaded their love inhibitions, self-esteem issues, school worries, what happens after school disappointments and all the rest of typical predicaments, 20’s women usually worry about.
GENRE: Youth, Drama, Romance GRADE: B
♥Miss Temper and Nam Jun Gi (2016) – parking lot
GENRE: Romance, Comedy GRADE:
♥ Uncontrollably Fond (2016) – The thing about Uncontrollably Fond is that it tapped into those memories of lost and depressing love that people don’t want to look back anymore in their lives. It was not a happy-ever-after kind of romance that appeals typically to almost anyone, instead it delved to the most shameful, most regretful and most painful things anyone can do because of love. Uncontrollably Fond won’t appeal to those who craved light and sweet type of romantic stories you can indulge to this narrative but be aware that you will be put on tormenting spot most of the time. Though deemed to have been badly written, there was a thread that held the loyal viewers and that’s the dying scenario of the lead man. I stayed until the end because I believe that not all love stories are wrapped in kisses and sweet memories. There are those that are melancholic and yet lives on as someone’s one great love.
Disclaimer: Prepare a lot of tissue and patience
GENRE: Melodrama, Romance GRADE: C+
♥ This Week My Wife is Having an Affair (2016) – parking lot
GENRE: Romance, Comedy GRADE:
♥ Doctors (2016) – I credit the starpower of the cast for raking in high ratings. Even though the story did not deserve it at the very least. When the surgeries took over the story, it was a feeling of journeying to Mt. Mordor to destroy the one ring of them all for me. I was tired needing an elixir of life that would push me to understand if I was watching a drama or I’m learning to become a doctor through a confused medical documentary. The writing was so bad it did not even complement the character sketches when they could have expanded it more given the complexity of the main roles drawn. A little believable sprinkle of love complications would have broken the languid development of the story, but they throw in a lovable second male lead who settled to the proverbial fate of second lead syndrome.
Disclaimer: Kim Rae Won oppa wae?! wae?! wae?!
GENRE: Medical, Melodrama GRADE: C
♥ Oh Hae Young Again (2016) – Another Oh Hae Young took me by surprise because I was not hooked on its opening episodes. I gave it another chance because I know how great Eric Moon was in his previous roles and I’m happy I didn’t give up easily. The love progression was realistic and at the same time surreal. It tapped on those moments when we were all left hanging and indecisive to admit that we were in love.
Romance Meter: Messy, heartfelt and blissfully sweet
GENRE: Romance, Melodrama, Comedy GRADE: A
♥ Task Force 38 (2016) – Task Force 38 is straight to the point with the premise, the conflict, and how the people moving in the story resolved and closed it. It helped that even with the serious topic, the protagonists were drawn as suave robinhood and upright citizen who only wanted to make sure that no one is above the law in paying taxes. True it made use of an illegal approach to defeat the baddies by brewing schemes to make them forcedfully pay what they owe which is still technically bad, but it fairly explained the limited options in stopping corruption when the people responsible for it are puppets of organized crime group. Life really has inconvenient realities that can’t be dealt with by justice. So as long as you get to the resolution even if the means defy law as long as there are no life threatened, then just settle with it.
Plus Factor: The con team blended so well
GENRE: Crime, Heist, Drama GRADE: B
♥ Mirror of the Witch (2016) – I have a thing for witchcraft stories that’s maybe why I found the story appealing. The magical rules mixed with folklore and saving the long lost princess sprinted to a sporadic run, but managed to enchant me up until the very last round. Mirror of the Witch target specific audience like me who believe Hogwarts really exist. Though lacking in terms of polished storytelling, stubborn conflicts and saddening ending, if you want a breather or an alternative to kdrama cliches then plunge on it.
Mirror of the Witch Series Review
Interesting Note: The supernatural ride was frustratingly fun
GENRE: Supernatural, Romance GRADE: C
♥ Beautiful Gong Shim (2016) – 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.
Interesting Note: For some odd reason it will endear you with its simplicity
GENRE: Romantic Comedy GRADE: C+
♥ Lucky Romance (2016) – The yin-yang love battle between the science oriented lead man and the superstitious heroine started cute, stayed sweet and hilarious but pushed its luck too far in securing a safe ending. That being said, I won’t whine but I won’t give high praises for it. Lucky romance is like your summer fling, it was good while it lasted, but then eventually when it ended, there was no lingering feeling.
Sad Note: It has a lot of promise but…the heroine was indecisive and full of worries
GENRE: Romantic Comedy GRADE: C
♥ One More Happy Ending (2016) – Cooked and prepared like your average romcom, One More Happy Ending was a delightful watch. I would like also to applaud the strong side stories of the supporting characters which were equally vibrant as the main love story. The plot delved on the varying emotions of women struggling to keep up with love and relationship. The marriage camp and relationship board sticker ideas were also some of the cutesies I will remember about this refreshing romcom. This most likely will appeal to singles in 30’s who have failed their marriage once… who are finding the love lost along the way in their current marriage… who are unsure of finally settling down and who have been waiting for the right person to come along.
love second chances affirming drama
GENRE: Rom-com, Friendship GRADE: C+
♥ Come Back Ajussi (2016) – parking lot or will watch it again if Rain oppa will give a good kdrama in the future. I just can’t go back without dozing on it anymore.
Crazy note: The cast was great, the writing was not
GENRE: Romance, Supernatural GRADE: D
♥ Entertainer (2016) – Sadly, in my melancholic attempt to look back on “Entertainer”, there’s nothing much that I remember about it, no matter how much heart Ji Sung oppa gave to the drama. The story as a whole was not something that I would reminisce in the future. Sure there were a little highlighted moments especially those musical performances but they were overshadowed by the lack of the vibrancy of the storytelling. So I’ll be making this a very quick review. Skip it when you have a pile of kdrama on queue to watch. Even if you will watch it for Ji Sung oppa, there’s nothing much oppa-happiness-pill that you would get anyway, so settle with other dramas that would make the most out of your time. I watched it because I was counting on Ji Sung oppa’s choice given that I liked most of the dramas he did, but there’s really nothing much going on.
Disclaimer: Remember how sad it was when Dobby died
You would wonder how Ji Sung oppa even took this drama
GENRE: Drama, Musical, Romance GRADE: D
♥ Flower in Prison (2016) – Bracing myself with a lengthy period drama run, what hooked my loyalty to weekender “Flower in Prison” was its balanced execution of political struggle, neat narrative, infuriating villains and optimistic underdogs. I journeyed with the heroine Ok Nyeo in exploring the situation of state prison, merchant organization as well as the early days of defending crime convicted victims who can’t fend for themselves circa Joseon era.
Disclaimer: It had a pretty much brilliant run, but a little frustrating in the end
GENRE: Period, Drama GRADE: B+
♥ Five Children (2016) – 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.
Interesting Note: The secondary romance were better than the main one
GENRE: Family, Romance GRADE: B
♥ Jackpot (2016) – Jackpot managed to nail the fundamental elements of a historical drama. It has a thrilling plot with Joseon gambling scene on the side, birth secret and family issues, conspiracy woven conflicts and the strong showdowns of the villain and the hero. Though it may not be perfect, it presented a solid story that didn’t go astray but focused on the main character’ discovery of the lessons they have to learn on their own journeys.
GENRE: Historical, Drama GRADE: C+
♥ The Neighborhood Hero (2016) – parking lot I still trust you Park Shi Hoo oppa
Neighborhood Hero Series Review
GENRE: Thriller, Drama, Crime GRADE:
♥ Descendants of the Sun (2016) – Creating a 3rd Hallyu wave, Descendants of the Sun defied the spring boring drama stigma and emerged with an amazing story that captured the hearts of the viewers. Definitely one of the best for 2016.
Romance Meter: Captain Yoo Si Jin was made for us girls but let’s have some boundaries. I will take the lips. *blush
Addiction Alert: Will Hook you from Episode 1
GENRE: Romance, Drama GRADE: A
♥ Signal (2016) – Signal tells about two police officers from the past and present communicating through a broken radio in solving cases that were happening in the past and were re-opened from cold cases vault in the present. The cases involved led them to discovering the connection they had in the past and the clues from the present to be given, so the future can be changed to save them and their loved ones.
Plus Factor: Brilliant use of time element
GENRE: Thriller, Drama GRADE: B+
♥ Master God of Noodles (2016) – parking lot
GENRE: Romance, Drama GRADE:
♥ Cheese in the Trap (2016) – I don’t know how to start my thoughts about this drama but I will try. It felt like that sweetest romance you had which turned a nightmare overnight. I want to blame the writer and PD for sleepwalking somewhere, but out of the initial cutesies and romance, I will try to be forgiving. It was still not as bad as “Big” drama but it was a case of a company not being able to put up with its employees’ rallies settled amicably to giving some chocolates, going to the moon and just disappearing to the unknown. Haha
Disclaimer: The love vibes was vibrant on the first half and just like a playful love… but it disappeared without any explanation
GENRE: Romantic Comedy GRADE: D
♥ Remember: Son’s War (2016) – Remember: Son’s War came strong to my attention once it hit the TV waves. It was heading in a thrilling direction where revenge is the premise and where the characters can’t trust one another.
Cry-o-Meter: Prepare half tissue roll for the heartfelt scenes
GRADE: Court Drama, Revenge GRADE: B Read more