KDrama Classic Spotlight: Love Story in Harvard

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CAST

Kim Rae Won as Kim Hyun-woo
Kim Tae Hee as Lee Soo-in
Lee Jung Jin as Hong Jung-min
Kim Min as Yoo Jin-ah

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SYNOPSIS
Love Story in Harvard portrays the dream and love pursued by foreign students studying in Harvard. It demonstrates bright, hard-working, and romantic characters and storylines.

A young love story set at the famed Ivy League school in the United States. Kim Hyun Woo (Kim Rae Won), a 1st year law student at Harvard Law, enters into a rivalry with classmate Hong Jung Min (Lee Jung Jin) for the affections of beautiful medical student Lee Soo In (Kim Tae Hee). The two men are both from prestigious families, while Soo In is from a poor family. Can the trio resolve their romantic differences and chase their dreams at the same time?

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Love Story in Harvard Quick Review


I love the script of this drama. I love how they select the scenes of the stories. It stand outs in the typical korean romantic drama because of the sharpness and reality it portrays.  School set dramas typically sells, but I grew fond of it because I was in college when it was airing then so I can pretty much relate.

Kim Rae won is a favorite of mine when it comes to character portrayal. He always own the character he played and make it memorable and distinct to the rest of roles he took.  Whatever you give him, he will surely deliver.  I’m a sucker on finding-a-lost-love-and-realizing-the-love-is-still-there-drama so regardless of minimal inconsistencies and out of the context scenes, the fluidity and realistic appeal of the romantic elements were enough for me to put this on my favorite list.

It’s a modern love story with no pretense, and just pure bliss and understanding of how love may not work at some point of your life, because it could be waiting to be fulfilled at another time.

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KDrama Classic Spotlight: 1% of Anything (2003)

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MAIN CAST:
Kim Jung Hwa as Kim Da Hyun
Kang Dong Won as Lee Jae In

SYNOPSIS: (source drama wiki)

Kim Da Hyun (Kim Jung Hwa), is a young and sincere middle school teacher, who has little interest in money. She is also extremely warm-hearted and loves to help other people. When she helps carry an elderly man’s belongings from the train to another location, the elderly man is extremely thankful. This grandfather turns out to be the extremely rich owner of a well known conglomerate. His grandson, Lee Jae In (Kang Dong Won), is a quick-tempered businessman who rivals his grandfather, but in an almost comical way. In an order to “tame” his favorite grandson, the grandfather agrees to give his entire fortune to the person who marries Kim Jung Hwa, therefore forcing Kang to meet the girl whom his grandfather chose. Although at first Kim and Kang don’t get along because of Kang’s extremely cute but bad temper, their arguments bring them closer together. Kang starts to get jealous when Kim’s fellow teacher starts liking her too. Through the clever conditions that Kang’s grandfather makes, Kang starts a relationship he does not look forward too. However, what looked like a relationship that would 99% not work out, turns out to be the “perfect” match, the 1% chance.

1% of Anything Review

I first saw Kang Dong Won in “Wolf’s Temptations” movie, and I have already noticed that rough character suits him best. This is the only drama of Kim Jung Hwa that I’ve watched so far, but the lady is endearing and charming.

The storyline is simple and what’s good about it is they were able to execute it’s simplicity without making it look so dragging.  The interaction of the love couple was charmingly cute thanks to their extreme personalities.

This is a nice “date drama” to watch. It tackles the many possibilities of love and how can it sway you to something you’ve never done before.

The lead actor really made a good effort to keep it moving and charming.

 

KDrama Classic Spotlight: The bickering couple of Full House

 

MAIN CAST
Bi as Lee Young Jae
Song Hye Kyo as Han Ji Eun
Han Eun Jung as Kang Hye Won
Kim Sung Soo as Yoo Min Hyuk

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SYNOPSIS – (source: drama wiki)

Han Ji Eun (Song Hye Kyo) is a naive writer who got swindled out of everything she owned including her house by her best friends. Stranded in China, She managed to borrow money from an actor Lee Young Jae (Bi – Rain) to return to Korea. On her return, she found out that her house was bought by Lee Young Jae. In an attempt to get her possessions back, she entered in a contract marriage with Young Jae for one year. In spite of losing all, Ji Eun manages to be cheerful and takes things in strike and the business relationship between the two becomes personal as they start to rely and care for each other.

 

Full House Quick Review

Powerhouse couple Song Hye Kyo and Rain made this drama famous around Asia.  The story is a bit simple but because they portrayed their characters well, it brought out the refreshing, sassy vibe of the drama.  Their constant arguments, insensitivity and romantic moments are classic elements of dramas that will make you skip sleeping.

The modern Cinderella story of an aspiring scriptwriter and a famous actor who were forced to cohabitate when the former’s friends sold the house she inherited from her father.  We get a contract marriage plot in this love story which pushed the romance between a man and a woman who seemed unlikely to fall in love with each other.

The bickering scenes and the eventual falling in love were the strongest points of Full House.  The feel good premise still make me pick this drama when I don’t have anything on my plate to watch.  

Strong Woman Do Bong Soon Ep 1 Recap

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Welcome to Dobong gu, home of Do Bong Soon who lives in Dobong dong.  Here we will get to know a heroine with superhuman strength as she conquers her colorful life and her journey on finding love.

Strong Woman Do Bong Soon Episode Recaps

01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16

 
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Strong Woman Do Bong Soon Episode 1 – “Ridiculous Punks”
 
A young man in high school uniform cradles a bouquet of flowers in his arms as he sits on bus en route somewhere.  His reverie is cut off when the one of the bus tires suddenly burst and he nervously holds on for his dear life as the public vehicle swerves from left to right.  The bus driver tries hard to keep the bus on the road, but it moves toward a mother and her child walking on the sidewalk as the people inside the bus are thrown everywhere.
 
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Just then the berserking bus miraculously stops in the brink of the collision.  The young man crawls back to his seat and spots a small framed woman emerging from the back of the bus and walking away from the scene.  
 
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He stares intently at her to see her face, and just as the wind blows to show her face, the same high school boy who appears not young anymore wakes up from his dream to grumpily answer his ringing cellphone and introduces himself as Ahn Min Hyuk – the CEO of Ainsoft, a famous game developing company.
 
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The robotic sounding caller warns him to halt “Albertine Chronicles” which is a famous game Ainsoft launched or he will face death.  Unfazed of the blunt death threat, Min Hyuk responds how the psycho should have at least called him when he is sober so he could at least feel fear, and not when he interrupted his sleep.  *chuckles I like your character already Hyung Sik  The psycho continues with his bluff but the whining Min Hyuk hangs up and curses at the sleep invasion that just happened.
 
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A woman stuffs her mouth with ramyun to open her day.  She receives a text message of her failed job interview and gloomily works on filling out her resume for another job seeking adventure.  Her name is Do Bong Soon of Do Bong neighborhood in the district of Do Bong. *wink She answers the self-introduction essay and chirpily writes that she is a very special individual.  She narrates the secret about her  herculean strength which is a special power that is passed on to the female line of her family from her mother side.  However their special power cannot be used for personal greedy interest or they will suffer a misfortune.  Her mother suffered that ill fate after using her ability to bully people and coaxed money from them.  She used to be a prolific weightlifter but she woke up one day unable to carry the heavy barbel anymore.  In her loneliness, her father who is an average wrestler came to her mother’s rescue to appease her on her failed dream.  The rest is history and twins were given to them, with the first born baby girl greeting the doctor who delivered them from her mother’s womb with a strong punch announcing the power she inherited from her mother.
 
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Bong Soon shares her sentiments on how she strives to hide her power even when she sees social injustice over the years to avoid being put on a spotlight.  Landing a permanent job has also been a struggle for her, but she is positive to fulfill her dream of developing a web game that will showcase her true to life character.
 
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Bong Soon listens to the instructor in the game developing class she attends to about how creating games is no easy task as you have to make the game interesting to keep the interest of the users going.  He cites Ainsoft’s “Albertan Chronicles” and gossips about how the CEO of that company enjoys his life well to keep his mind fresh so he can conceive business strategies without any problem.
 
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On cue, Min Hyuk the CEO cozily zooms in a park on a hoverboard  and notices a man furtively watching him.  Instead of running away from him, the adorable CEO chases him, but was not able to get him for questioning.  Frustrated of the recent annoying privacy invasion he is getting, Min Hyuk orders his secretary to find a bodyguard for him.
 
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Bong Soon rides her bike on her way home not knowing that all those years of hiding her identity will be exposed that day when she witnessed a bus driver being bullied by thugs who blocked the road with a big truck and not letting the driver with kids on his bus to pass through.  The gang leader catches on Bong Soon’s attempt to report the incident to the police and takes her phone away.  Gang leader tries to scare her but she bickers back on how unfair it was to harm an old man.  He gets annoyed at her cheeky righteous citizen act and throws her phone to the ground.  Her phone gets broken but she maintains her sanity and bargains a last offer to replace her new phone, but the gangster responds with a slap on her face whining on her guts and her glare.  Min Hyuk’s car comes in the picture and calls the police about the incident. Bong Soon finally reaches her limit and disregards the jinx that might ensue if she uses her power.  She slaps his face back and we see her hand marking his face with some of his teeth falling off because of the immense pressure.  The other troublemakers come to help out the gang boss so she pushes them to a nearby sand truck.  
 
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Min Hyuk is bewildered on what has been happening as Bong Soon deals with the rest of the thugs dislocating bones here and there and sending them up in the air but still trying to negotiate the compensation for her mobile phone.  The children cheers on Bong Soon for defeating the bad guys as Min Hyuk wonders if the police is still necessary on what he just saw.  Bong Soon’s anthem plays as she poses cooly after pulverizing the brawl hungry men while Min Hyuk marvels at the supergirl his eyes just laid on.
 
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The children, villains and heroine meet at the police station where Bong Soon’s childhood friend In Gook Doo works as a detective.  He is an insufferable upright law officer who works by the book in upholding the law and justice system of the country.  Min Hyuk walks in the police station and finds Bong Soon debating whether she will enter the room or not.  She freshens up her breath and practices a small talk meant for Gook Doo.
 
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 She enters the noisy room silencing the complaining injured men.  Gook Doo starts to question Bong Soon who seems to be in another dimension as her eyes shoots heart to the glowing man of her dreams.  He asks about her details but he answers all his questions before she can even utter a word.  awww I think Ji Soo will give a cute fight as a second lead 
 
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Gook Doo summarizes the impossible premise told by the children and the gang members on how the seven burly thugs got beaten singlehandedly by her. He narrates all the injury incurred by the gangsters who are still agitated on what happened, but they cower meekly whenever Bong Soon turns her back to face them.  Gook Doo tells her that they need another testimony from a witness and worries about the consequence of what will happen to Bong Soon if the weird case is proven true, but she cannot come up clean in revealing what really transpired.
 
 
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 Enter Min Hyuk who presents himself as the witness and the one who made the call to the police.  He chuckles on the fictional story of the children and discloses how the men fought with each other and how the children might just be disillusioned of superhero movies they have watched before.  The thugs make an appeal to Min Hyuk’s story but they turn to a cocoon every time Bong Soon faces them.  This police confrontation will crack you up.
 
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Bong Soon’s name is cleared and she meets Min Hyuk with his secretary, Secretary Gong, outside the police station.  He coaxes her to utter some grateful words for her savior but she ignores him hinting how he was not man enough to help out in the situation they were in earlier if he was really there.
 
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 She walks away leaving them perplexed.  Secretary Gong mutters her ungratefulness, but Min Hyuk mumbles how she acted so sexy.  lol  They head back to the company and we see his cheerful interaction with his employees warming up the office.
 
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At Dobong Walnuts, Bong Soon’s mother bosses her husband while getting the store proceeds of the day.  Bong Soon arrives and mom picks on her and reminds her to marry a dumb person with lots of money if she cannot get a job.
 
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Back at the police station, Gook Doo explains that he knows Bong Soon because they live in the same neighborhood.  One detective mentions that Min Hyuk is the CEO of Ainsoft and is also a son of a chaebol family.  Meanwhile in the hospital, the gangsters are still fussing about their fate and curses Bong Soon on their battered bodies.  
 
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Bong Ki, Bong Soon’s twin brother who is a doctor in training at the hospital listens on the recent case of dislocated bones being discussed by the orthopaedic surgeon.  He points out how monstrously strong the culprit was for breaking the bones and then putting it back on the same place.  One doctor mutters how they should transfer the thugs to the psychiatric ward for claiming that a woman did that damage to them and Bong Ki goes back to memory lane when they were abducted by a bad ajussi and Bong Soon took charge in defeating the kidnapper through her powers.
 
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Back at their home, Bong Ki tells his noona how she destroyed completely the patients while she peels the walnuts with her bare hand.  She replies to not worry about her powers jinxing her since she she used her powers with good intention.  Worried on the repercussions of the chaos from yesterday, Bong Soon wakes up and is relieved that nothing serious happens to her face and that her power is still in full swing.
 
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Min Hyuk opens his day warming up with his punching bag and contemplates on his encounter with his stalker the day before.  He goes to his company in a sunny mood and scans the files of the prospective bodyguards to choose from, but no one fits his preference.  Just then he remembers the bizaare woman with extraordinary strength and orders Secretary Gong to get her.
 
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Secretary Gong reports to Min Hyuk that Guk Du refused to provide Bong Soon’s details citing laws that they will violate on that request.  The very same uptight attitude earns Gook Doo a post transfer when his undercover mission involved an assemblyman who ordered a lesson to be served for him.  He got transferred to Violent Crime Team 3 who likes watching old school crime tv shows to aid them in their investigation procedures.
 
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Min Hyuk pays a visit to a police official who is his father’s friend to get Bong Soon’s information.  The police official praises him for his hard word in setting up his own business but advises him on how he still needs help if he wants to achieve something in the future.
 
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Bong Soon blurts out how she should just do manual labor work to make use of her power but her mother reminds her of a punishment that awaits her if she abuses it.  Her phone rings and she meets up with Secretary Gong for a job offer.
 
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Bong Soon is almost tempted to bite the offer but knowing that she will be guarding the arrogant man from last time, she declines the offer and motions to leave.  Secretary Gong throws in a huge amount plus benefits so Bong Soon goes back to her seat. When she learns that the company the CEO owns is Ainsoft, it’s a done deal for her as it is also the dream company that she is intending to work for.
 
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Back at Do Bong Walnut cafe, Bong Soon’s mother and her cronies discuss filing a petition to prevent a high rise project that will be done in the neighborhood.  They spot Gook Doo’s mother approaching in the cafe all pretty and pompous in her writer persona.  Bong Soon’s father chummily raves about him being her fan and mentions her recent work that he likes.  Gook Doo’s mother brings out Bong Soon’s recent trip to the police station surprising Bong Soon’s parents.  
 
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Bong Soon is interrupted by her mother with the house chores and interrogates her on why she was at the police station.  Bong Joo assures her mother to not worry about the mojo and boasts on how she has gone through using her powers a lot but was never punished at all.  She adds how the genes she passed on might have been tweaked over the years that’s why her power is not carrying a curse anymore.  She happily declares securing a new job and proceeds to prepare food for Bong Ki who almost got hurt by his noona’s reckless neck lock on him.
 
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Bong Soon’s family sits on the table for the bibimbap she prepared for dinner.  She takes on Gook Doo’s phone call and savors the one-sided love she is having as he goes on his reminder of her taking extra precautions since the bad guys are known to be famous gangsters.  He lets her know that he will drop by to bring a taser for her protection.  Before she can tell him the good news of her getting a job, he hangs up disappointing Bong Soon a bit who was more than happy knowing how Gook Doo worries about her.  Her happiness translates to a little rolling on her bed until she fell from it causing a quick earthquake in their house and I giggled on how the family takes it as a normal occurrence in the household.
 
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The next morning Bong Soon meets Min Hyuk at Ainsoft for her job contract signing.  He learns how she previously submitted to work for the Game Planning and Development team and comments on her courage to work there when she lacks skills and experience.  She counters on how the company does not discriminate as per the projected image that is why she tried her luck in securing a job there.  She inquires how a healthy man like him needs a bodyguard and he responds how enemies line up to harm him and assures her that he is not an evil person.
 
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Bong Soon raises questions about her benefits, retirement plan, cafeteria, yoga classes and mixes up stock options to stop motions.  Min Hyuk is bewildered on the demands of her soon to be bodyguard and remarks that he will think about the stock options and the rest of the benefits she wants depending on her abilities.  She mutters the weak offer she is having which ticks Min Hyuk’s anger.   He clears the table between them and taunts her to arm wrestle with him to check on her skills.  She obliges and counters that he should try to pin her down instead of her initiating it.  
 
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He attempts with all his might but was unsuccessful.  She encourages him to use both his arms but gets the same result.  Bong Soon finally pins his arm down causing all his arm nerves to break down.  hahaha
 
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Min Hyuk orders Secretary Gong to bring the contract and Bong Soon is surprised to be offered such a big amount of money.  
 Secretary Gong communicates with Min Hyuk on his impulsive mood so he orders them to do a chicken fight to prove that she is worth the job.  
 
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The former refuses to fight with a woman but changes his mind when Min Hyuk throws his car as a prize if he will defeat his new bodyguard.  The fight commences but Bong Soon requests a quick stop asking for a helmet to protect Secretary Gong.  Min Hyuk orders jajangmyun and buys the helmet of the delivery man for the secretary to use.  
 
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The chicken fight of the century continues with Secretary Gong murmuring his annoyance and boasting at the same time.  Min Hyuk signals to begin and he attacks her right away.  Nonchalant Bong Soon gives a quick, soft nudge and on a classical music background, Secretary Gong zooms back to the wall behind him breaking it hard and then falling on the ground.  Bong Soon checks if he is alive and he luckily wakes up from fainting.  Bong Soon and Min Hyuk stares at the broken wall as Secretary Gong heads to the hospital.
 
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Min Hyuk checks if she is okay and tells her to proceed with what she was about to say.  Bong Soon makes an earnest appeal for a chance to work on the company’s game development and planning team if she does a good job protecting him.  Min Hyuk hesitates citing how he offered the job right now because of her skills, but agrees for the “chance” request if she will really do a good job.
 
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Bong Soon goes home and feels weird walking on their neighborhood.  She googles on key points to help her out with her new bodyguard job and beams when she receives a text message from Gook Doo to meet him quick for the taser he promised to give.  He reminds her to put it in good use.  He orders her to go back inside as she tries to open a conversation with his love relationship but his attention shifts to the timely phone call of his girlfriend.  She chases him to tell him about her new job but he hurriedly walks away.  
 
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Late at night Do Bong neighborhood’s quiet night is suddenly filled with police siren after a woman was discovered killed.  In the morning, the people flock to the murder scene as Gook Doo’s team convenes to work on the case.
 
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Bong Soon takes her first day at work and is surprised when a digital death threat shows on a TV screen at Min Hyuk’s office.  They sit and he confesses how he is getting those life portents left and right each day.  He insist on not getting help from the police since he does not trust them and divulges his intention of them working together in catching the psycho just like they are in a game.  
 
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He pitches an offer for her to move to Development and Planning if she successfully captures the culprit to which Bong Soon agrees.  Min Hyuk turns on the TV and the news on Dobong neighborhood murder case is on.  Just then he picks up his ringing phone and his stalker gives another scary warning to Min Hyuk.
 
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EPISODE 1 Quick Thoughts
 
We have a solid love triangle, vivacious main cast, cute storyline, and exciting pacing.  Need we ask more?  Strong Woman Do Bong Soon will surely stride for an amazing spectacle seeing the great chemistry of the trio and how the storytelling is neat and funny so far.  I love the character sketches.  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.  Oh and Bong Soon’s one sided love to Gook Doo is cute as hell.  I can’t wait to see the two guys fight for her heart already.  I love how the premiere week already laid the premise of Bong Soon’s power’s back story.  Park Hyung Sik is my happy pill these days and I am just a happy fan seeing him devote so much for his character.  Ji Soo is also doing a great job that if he continues like that we will get another taste of what Goblin and Reaper bromance left us.  I can’t wait for next week to happen and I hate that I have to count days because I have not been doing that at least since last year even with the influx of amazing kdramas.  At least there will be an alternative romcom cutesy to neutralize the heavy hitters airing these days in kdramaland.  -jediprincess
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KDrama Bucket Listing: The Best Fan-service Korean Drama Romcoms

This new project of mine is a useful guide since you have decided to join the kdramaaddict community.  Kdramaworld has been running for quite a while so I’ll share you the dramas that you need to complete and you might have missed along the way.

Since we are celebrating the love month, let’s commence this bucket listing activity with trendy romantic comedy dramas.  These stories are typically what initiated your kdrama cravings.

The sighs, the swoons, the squeals, the hot flushes, the involuntary parting of our lips on the kiss scenes, the hot oppas, the we-wish-we-can-be-the-leadgirl-moments… There are a lot of reasons why we love these kind of dramas. Most of the dramas in this list are runaway hits, others have sweet chemistry between the main leads. These are love pills that we can watch over and over again every year, and yet we don’t get tired of it. These are my favorite fan service romcoms, what’s on your list?

 

♥My Name is Kim Sam Soon  (Hyun Bin and Kim Sun Ah)

Sam Soon’s love adventure gave hope to girls with weight insecurities that they can still snatch the man of their dreams as not all men are blinded by pretty faces and hot bodies.  *chuckles

This is where I first met Hyun Bin oppa and I fell in love with his then chubby cheeks. *lol  I was on my early 20’s when this was aired, and I was not hooked at that time.  But when I watched it in my late 20’s, I was able to appreciate it more because the heroine’s sentiments appealed to me probably because I was at the stage of my life when I endured love frustrations and experienced being blissfully in love.

This is my first dose of contract relationship and it endeared me a lot as it left a love lesson that no matter how extremely different a man and a woman is, spending time together and getting to know each other in the process would warrant a leap of romantic emotion that can result to a sweet love declaration.

 

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♥ Full House (Rain and Song Hye Gyo)

The modern Cinderella story of an aspiring scriptwriter and a famous actor who were forced to cohabitate when the former’s friends sold the house she inherited from her father.  We get a contract marriage plot in this love story which pushed the romance between a man and a woman who seemed unlikely to fall in love with each other.

The bickering scenes and the eventual falling in love were the strongest points of Full House.  The feel good premise still make me pick this drama when I don’t have anything on my plate to watch.  

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♥ Princess Hours (Joo Ji Hoon and Yoon Eun Hye)

Any princess story appeals to most girls right away.  With a distant and yet secretly warm prince portrayed nicely by Joo Ji Hoon oppa, I can’t help but love the nines on the clouds of high when I was watching Lee Shin and Chae Kyung’s royal love story.

My pillows suffered a lot from strangulation on the emotional and heart fluttering scenes.  Actually Goong had mostly melodramatic tones, but it was neutralized by the lead girl’s vibrant presence and optimism to survive in the arranged marriage she was forced to take for the sake of her family.

This is one youth drama you should not miss as it is one of the kdrama staple classics.

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♥ My Girl (Lee Dong Wook and Lee Da Hae)

I know right?  Contracts are often part of kdrama plots.  For “My Girl”, we have a business conglomerate heir hiring a con-woman to pretend as his long-lost cousin to appease his ill grandfather, but ended up trapped in the lie they created when they started falling in love with each other.

The strong second leads supported well the romantic development by playing well the annoying ex-girlfriend and the how-could-you-not-love-him second lead man.

“My Girl” had a consistently addictive run and nicely done closure credit it to the bubbly heroine and her chemistry with the workaholic lead man chaebol.  

I think this is where I first saw that lead-man-following-drunk-lead-girl scene which became a guaranteed cute scene on rom-coms.

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♥ The First Shop of Coffee Prince (Gong Yoo and Yoon Eun Hye)

This cross-dressing heroine and coffee shop owner’s love ride slayed the ratings with the unique premise on how their romance was imagined.  

It was so cute when Gong Yoo’s character disregarded everything and was okay to admit that he could possibly be a homosexual due to his growing feelings on his pretending-to-be-a-man lead girl.

Coffee Prince’s ending was also sweet as it wrap up with how the lead man let go of his girl for the mean time to pursue her own dreams.  This is a must-watch grandpa classic that will not lose its appeal even after a few decades from now.

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♥ Boys Over Flowers (Lee Min Ho and Gu Hye Sun)

Almost Paradise… Yay!  This is Lee Min Ho’s breakthrough performance that swept hallyuland like a storm during its run.  Finally adapting the famous Japanese manga, the Korean version gave a pretty depiction of the rich-boy-poor-girl love story by projecting an elaborated presentation of the wealth disparity of the main love couple.  Sprinkling it with the flower boy bromance and their side love stories cemented a victorious run for this youth drama.

“Boys over Flowers” is a great initiating drama to welcome you in kdramaland.  It is feel-good, buoyant and everything sweet perfect on movie marathon sessions and rainy days.

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♥ My Girlfriend is a Gumiho (Shin Min Ah and Lee Seung Gi)

Fusing Korean folklore to a modern lovestory was notched perfectly by chilsung cider addicted Mi Ho and her action star wanna-be lead guy.  When a nine-tailed fox was released from a painting she was imprusoned to, she sealed a deal with a free spirited guy who does not have any dream but to become an action star.

The arresting face and portrayal of Shin Min Ah made Mi Ho one of my all-time favorite kdrama characters.  Hong sisters blended the supernatural and folklore premise in this drama in an innovative approach to complement the modern setting.

This is where I first saw the reversal of roles for the lead couple.  The always curious heroine took charge in taking care of her lead man in the most part of the story.  

The quirky interaction of the lead couple until reaching the eventual love zone was something you would root for while you are watching the narrative.

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♥ You’re Beautiful (Jang Geun Seuk and Park Shin Hye)

When her twin brother met an accident, Go Mi Nyu, a nun-to-be was forced to assume her brother’s identity  (Go Mi Nam) who was posed to join a famous boyband.  Having spent most of her time in the convent Mi Nam worked hard to adapt in a new world of cohabiting with her fellow band members.

There are a lot to love about ANJELL and the main lead couple.  The second lead also made an impressive showing to shake the official love pairing.

“You’re Beautiful” was brimming with witty humor and sweet scenes which propelled its run to a strong fanbase.  I think this is also was the start of me stalking Hong sisters dramas.

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♥ You’ve Fallen For Me (Park SHin Hye and Jung Yong Hwa)

This youth drama set in a Music school was the fulfilment of the second love pairing that we did not get from “You’re Beautiful”.  The refreshing tone and the campus romance drew smiles and sigh in me as Lee Shin suited up to his campus hearthrob role effortlessly and effectively.  

The music, the youthful vibe, the college setting dates endeared this drama to me.  Maybe because it just went free flowing and did not exert effort in placing overly conceived central conflict.  “You’ve Fallen For Me” is light and comforting perfect for your stoic days.

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♥ Discovery of Love (Eric Moon and Jung Yu Mi)

Now this was not as popular as the rest of the dramas in this list, but it belonged to my all-time favorite love dramas because of its superb screenplay and storytelling.

Yeorum is a furniture maker who was caught between her present boyfriend and her first love.  “Discovery of Love” took an ingenious path to uncover the woes and inhibitions of a woman in confronting love confusions that involved weighing down the amount of pain and love you are prepared to invest in a relationship.

You will thank me later after you watch it.

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♥ Another Oh Hae Young (Eric Moon and Seo Hyun Jin)

Yes I think I can declare that I stalk Eric oppa’s dramas as he mostly pick interestingly done projects.

Another Oh Hae Young was the best romance drama for 2016 banking on its realistic approach on the frustrations and bliss of trusting the love willingly given to someone only to be disappointed for not reciprocating it well.

The hot kisses, the brave heroine and the weird journey on how fate intertwined the love couples were some of the things you would love in this drama.

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♥ Legend of the Blue Sea (Lee Min Ho and Jun Ji Hyun)

Freshly caught from the kdrama sea, this mermaid-conman romance gave us laugh fits and heart-fluttering moments.  The love-fueled-mind-reading ability of Heo Joon Jae was a favorite twist of mine in this drama.  I got a lot of laugh trips from those scenes.

The writing was almost perfect except from that last episode auto pilot ending.  Nevertheless, “Legend of the Blue Sea” will surely warm your heart with the overflowing love vibes sketched in past and present timelines with reincarnation plot on the side.

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♥ The Greatest Love (Cha Seung Won and Gong Hyo Jin)

When a top actor, Dokko Jin got entangled to a third-rate actress, a hilarious romance ensues as he battled out his emotions only to succumb to it when an equally adorable traditional doctor wields his intention to be with the lead girl.

This is the third Hong sisters entry on my list and the trademark smart humor on the writing was evident.  I loved Cha Seung Won in City Hall and even more in his overconfident character in this story.  Gong Hyo Jin as always brings out any character given to her.  Her submissive and kind attitude neutralized Dokko Jin’s strong persona and forced him to become a better person worthy to accept and give love.

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♥ Rooftop Prince (Park Yoo Chun and Han Ji Min)

Time-traveling and a clueless Joseon prince who was transported to modern times made me a happy camper on its weekly run  because of the Prince and his warriors hilarious adjustments to technology powered way of living.

The romance was an added bonus, but when I look back it is really the cute bromance that sealed this drama in my kdrama memory compartment.

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♥ Flowerboy Ramyun Shop (Jung Il Woo and Lee Chung Ah)

Dear drama, you know you got me at Jung Il Woo.  

“Flower boy ramyun shop” checked the romcom essentials of cohabitation, mean love triangle, and rich boy poor girl love line.  The adorable chasing of the lead man to win the heroine’s heart was crazily sweet and in turn secured Jung Il Woo a spot inside my heart.  *chuckles

 

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♥ The Lonely Shining Goblin (Gong Yoo, Lee Dong Wook and Kim Go Eun 

You have two wonderful love pairings to indulge on and an extra equally sweet bromance for dessert.  What more can you ask for?

Drawn in folklore and chimeric premise, consider Goblin as a karmic prize for kdramaaddicts’ loyal following.  The polished storytelling and amazing cast portrayal nailed a quintessential drama that you can share with your grandchildren in the future.

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♥ Reply 1997 (Seo In Gook and Jung Eun Ji)

I chose the first story from the Reply Franchise as it gave an impressive showing of a first love story as well as friendship turned romance narrative.  Nostalgic in its projection, “Reply 1997” will give anyone a trip back to those wistful memories of their young, unrequited love.

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♥ The Master’s Sun (So Ji Sub and Gong Hyo Jin)

My final Hong sisters drama on the list went to a spooky millieu and was successful in doing so.  A ghost-seeing woman has been burdened by her ability all her life.  When she finally bumped with the person who can shield her from the compelling ghost request she keeps getting with and without her warrant, she stuck by the prickly rich department store owner and soon after developed a relationship with him.

“Master’s Sun” exhibited the usual comedic and romantic writing brilliance of the Hong sisters.  I meant to watch this before because of So Ji Sub oppa and I got more than I asked for.

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♥ Queen In Hyun’s Man (Ji Hyun Woo and Yoo Inna)

Abby’s Man aka Queen In Hyun’s Man stirred an excitement in me due to its avant-garde story of a time traveling Joseon scholar who utilized his talisman powered time-space wrinkling ability to hide in the present time while brewing his next moves on fulfiling his duty to the deposed Joseon Queen. 

An actress helped him to adapt to contemporary living and they eventually fell in love with each other.  “Queen In Hyun’s Man” was hip and fun and affirmed that my decision to eat kdramas for breakfast was valid.  *chuckles  

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♥ Healer (Ji Chang Wook and Park Min Young)

“Healer” put me on my longest kdrama character crush.  It was so severe that I watched all Ji Chang Wook dramas even the ones that were not worth watching.  That’s how much impact the drama gave me.  

The love progression was steady and engaging in this drama and you bet I was in dreamy land after that Healer hideout kissing binge.  “Healer” is the fulfilment of any adult woman’s ideal man.  

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♥ Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo (Lee Sung Kyung and Nam Joo Hyuk)

Credit the cast for their commitment to this coming of age drama.  It created an international cult following especially on the teens and the early-twenties.  “Weightlifting Fairy” was my first and last kdrama binge for 2016.  I initially had reservations if I will put it on my plate, but one night when I don’t have anything scheduled to watch anymore, I took it and was uncaring if I wake up the entire village with my laughter festival. 

This is the drama I will make my daughter watch when she goes to college so she can have an idea of the perfect college boyfriend.  *wink

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♥ Oh My Venus (So Ji Sub and Shin Min Ah)

There were a lot of sighs, swoons, melting moments and heart-stopping arrests when I watched coach-nim and Daegu beauty realized their love potential through a weight loss program.

To reclaim her goddess body, a woman sought the help of a famous weight loss coach to carry on with her project.  He was initially adamant about it, but she trapped him by threatening how she will reveal his identity to the world if he does not agree.  

“Oh My Venus” oozed with sweet, steamy scenes that will tickle your heart and imagination.  If you are on a weightloss program, watch this so coach-nim can inspire you.

 

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♥ Descendants of the Sun (Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Gyo)

Suave and prettily written, Captain Yoo Si Jin won my heart in his cool depiction of a military elite officer who got the girl he dreamt of even when their careers inhibit them to spend quality time with each other.

Thanks to Song-Song couple’s right on the dot chemistry, they were able to pull off a breathtaking lovestory that will be forever loved by many like me.

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♥ Something About 1% 2016 (Ha Suk Jin and Jeon So Min)

Cropping unnecessary scenes and light on its conflict, Something About 1 Percent is the exact description of a fan-service drama.

Jae In and Da Hyun’s love story progressed in an addictive pace through their sweet kisses.  It is a big, pink bubblewrap drama that will comfort you when you want to be alone after a break-up.

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♥ Oh My Ghost (Jo Jung Seok and Park Bo Young)

A virgin ghost hosted on a meek woman’s body to get a formal passport to afterlife.  The ghost helped the timid girl worked on the crush she harbored on the Chef of the restaurant she was working.  Chef-nim mistook the sudden changes in her personality as a psychological disorder and tried to help on but nurtured emotional feelings in the process.

“Oh My Ghost” was a quirky watch that will give you laugh fit and enough knee-weakening scenes to feed your love cravings.

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♥ It’s okay, this is love (Jo In Sung and Gong Hyo Jin)

Kdramaland has displayed refreshing love stories through the years and it keeps getting better.   The love story between a famous writer with some psychological issues and a psychiatrist was a runaway hit for me in 2014.  And not just because of Jo In Sung oppa, but due to the cast that you can’t help but fall in love.

It’s okay, this is love fulfilled the promise of a lingering chronicle of ardent love.  It may not appeal to tweens and young women but I’m sure that women in their 30’s will appreciate it a lot.

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♥ Fated to Love You (Jang Hyuk and Jang Na Ra)

When I look back on this drama, I can’t help but remember Jang Hyuk oppa’s outrageous laugh.  hahaha

“Fated to love you” tells the story of a one night stand that brought together an unlikely to fall in love couple.  Left with no choice they got married, but misunderstandings  and losing their baby separated them unfortunately.  Years after fate brought them together again and they finally get the validation that they have always been meant to be.

This is probably my favorite Jang Na Ra drama because it achieved a balanced story of how relationships have reasons why they are not meant to be at a particular moment.

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♥ A Gentleman’s Dignity (Jang Dong Gun and Kim Ha Neul)

Before the Goblin-GrimReaper Bromance, the brotherhood in this drama was my most favorite.  The snappy storyline and side love stories were some of the reasons why I picked this drama.  This is one of the earlier dramas from Goblin/DOTS writer so you will get an idea on how she has really worked on her skills over the years.

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♥ My Princess (Song Sung Heon and Kim Tae Hee)

The long lost last princess of Korea was found and to prepare her for her royal duties, the grandson of a rich family who nurtured the princess family wealth prepped her up in facing her new responsibilities.  Think Princess Diaries + Pretty Woman.

This is the first bribe I got from both the actors to notice them and they were successful in forming a cheery love story.

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♥ Myungwol the Spy (Eric Moon and Han Ye Seul)

A serving of a North Korean spy who got entangled emotionally with a South Korean top actor needed nothing else to convince me in watching it.

This is one hilarious romcom spectacle you should not miss.

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♥ Personal Taste (Lee Min Ho and Son Ye Jin)

The cute twist of the heroine misconceiving her lead man to be homosexual plus the cohabitation ride that slowly but surely built up the romance, this is the drama that secured Lee Min Ho a slot on my radar as I enjoyed their story immensely.

There are a lot of love and life lessons for women to learn on this drama as Gae In provided her insights on how focusing on personal dreams should come first before frustrations.

A must watch Lee Min Ho drama to add on your plate if you have just recently started liking him.

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♥ Secret Garden (Hyun Bin and Ha Ji Won)

This body-swapping stunt woman and chaebol love story exceeded everyone’s expectations in nailing an experimental supernatural love story.  

I swear that curl up sweet scene still make my heart flutters.  *chuckles  “Secret Garden” showed a reversal of gender roles as we are given a heroine with unfazed attitude who fell in love with a rich man who did everything to make her love him.

Now that I remember the “rain twist”.  There’s something about rain that makes it a staple twist in kdrama stories as projected in Goblin, My GF is a Gumiho and Secret Garden.  Anyway, I loved Hyun Bin here more than his stint in Samsoon probably because I am more inclined to like unusually imagined story premise.

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♥ Sungkyunkwan Scandal (Park Yoo Chun, Park Min Young and Yoo Ah In)

For me “Sungkyunkwan Scandal” is still my best pick for both school and youth drama even when the drama is set in Joseon era.  If you are curious why then take some time off and spend time with these scholar flower boys plus the cross dressing heroine.

If you liked the recent Moonlight Drawn by the Clouds, the missing nudges on that drama were effortlessly notched in Sungkyunkwan Scandal.

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♥ W:  Two Worlds (Lee Jong Suk and Han Hyo Joo)

“W” strode a scintillating first half but fell short on the labyrinth and depth of the ambitious plot the writer conceived.  Nonetheless, Kang Chul sweetly haunted my weak heart as he romanced his lady love.

Kang Chul is everyone’s dream guy and more.  If you want to forget a recent relationship set back feel free to enter the worlds of Kang Chul.

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♥ You From Another Star (Jun Ji Hyun and Kim Soo Hyun)

Since my favorite actress headlined this drama, it was already a given that I secured a spot for my busy time to watch it simultaneously as it aired.  In 2015, I let kdramas conclude first before I delve on them.  I had to break it because I trusted the girl who brought me to Hallyuland that she was up for a brilliant project.  She did not prove me wrong and I was on high savoring the beautiful alien and top actress love story that served as a lesson to current kdrama actresses roster to learn how rom-com should be done.  Kim Soo Hyun was a bonus like equivalent to $1 Million dollars.  The impeccable chemistry of the lead couple surged a memorable love story that would appeal to anyone.

“You From Another Star” is still my all time top pick for the Best Romcom Drama ever produced in kdramaland.  

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50 Korean Romance Dramas You Should Have Watched By Now

Schedule a weekend binge with these adorable and heart-fluttering Korean romance dramas.

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.

Goong (2006)

Korean Romance Dramas

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)

Korean Romance Dramas

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.

Korean Romance Dramas

Which star did you come from? (2006)

Korean Romance Dramas

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)

Korean Romance Dramas

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.

Korean Romance Dramas

You’re Beautiful (2009)

 Korean Romance Dramas

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)

Korean Romance Dramas

 

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.

 Korean Romance Dramas

Boys Over Flowers (2009)

Korean Romance Dramas

 

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)

Korean Romance Dramas

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.

Korean Romance Dramas

 

Dong Yi (2010)

Korean Romance Dramas

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)

Korean Romance Dramas

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.

Korean Romance Dramas

Sungkyunkwan Scandal (2010)

Korean Romance Dramas

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)

Korean Romance Dramas

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.

Secret Garden

The Greatest Love (2011)

Best Korean Romance Dramas

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)

Korean Romance Dramas

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.

Best Korean Romance Dramas

City Hunter (2011)

Best Korean Romance Dramas

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.

Best Korean Romance Dramas

Myungwol the Spy (2011)

Best Korean Romance Dramas

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.

Best Korean Romance Dramas

My Princess (2011)

Best Korean Romance Dramas

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.

Best Korean Romance Dramas

The Princess’ Man (2011)

Best Korean Romance Dramas

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)

Best Korean Romance Dramas

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.

Best Korean Romance Dramas

Flower Boy Ramyun Shop (2011)

Best Korean Romance Dramas

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)

Best Korean Romance Dramas

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.

Best Korean Romance Dramas

The Moon That Embraces the Sun (2012)

 Best Korean Romance Dramas

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)

Best Korean Romance Dramas

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)

Korean Romance Dramas

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 (2012)

Korean Romance Dramas

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.

Korean Romance Dramas

Cheongdamdong Alice (2012)

Korean Romance Dramas

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)

Korean Romance Dramas

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.

Korean Romance Dramas

A Gentleman’s Dignity (2012)

Korean Romance Dramas

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)

Korean Romance Dramas

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.

Korean Romance Dramas

Operation Proposal (2012)

Korean Romance Dramas

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.

 Korean Romance Dramas

The Master’s Sun (2013)

Korean Romance Dramas

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)

Korean Romance Dramas

“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)

Korean Romance Dramas

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)

Korean Romance Dramas

Discovery of Love walks on the unconventional path of presenting the love story between estranged couple and how they are able to realize that their love is true even then, and even years after.

The heart breaking dialogues during those “if you only did that” scenes rip me apart as a viewer due to its painful truth.  Given the situations and dilemmas raised in the story line, it is really how a normal person would have thrown words at his lost love who presents himself again just when you thought you are done and over him.  It gives a painful reminiscing of how after losing a cherished love, it makes us contemplate on how a lost love is a reminder of how beautiful things can change painfully in a moment, and there would be no way for you to prepare.  Hitting all the realistic elements of what it really takes to be in a relationship is the best part of the love triangle in this roller coaster romantic ride.  They dig on the root of love problems in a coherent world – the strength to let go of a half-baked love and the choice to be in a not so perfect but true love.

It’s okay, that’s love (2014)

Korean Romance Dramas

It might be the most unconventional modern romance drama but given that sickness in k-dramaland usually involves amnesia or anything fatal the unique illness conflict makes the drama attractive.

It’s okay, that’s love is just how relationship realities are translated in an ardent and unadulterated TV drama scenes.  It incites emotional outburst from a beautiful and heartfelt thread of painful and fervid love moments that will cut deep in anyone’s heart while recollecting memories of how it felt to love someone deeply without holding back.  Seamless and unfeigned, it progresses from warm to romantic to sacrificial to against-all-odds and eventually to you-were-meant-for-me love timeline. I saw all the faces of love tackled bravely and painfully in this love story.

Healer (2014)

Korean Romance Dramas

Healer is one of the best Korean dramas you should include in your list if you haven’t seen it yet.  It has a brilliant premise about a one-of-a-kind hero who chose to disconnect from the society, but accidentally grew attachment to a woman who drew him out of his hibernation.  The drama quaintly linked the furtive relationship of the characters while building up the plot’s climax and romance to perfection.  It is so addictive and a drama you can sit on with family, friends and even your lover.

The story’s main conflict focused on peeling the truth behind the lead couple’s fathers’ death while journeying on their fated love.  While a lot evolves in the story, it never missed it steps in binding the romance, the back story and the conflicts together. The story is intoxicating because it assimilates Healer’s Promethean skills and heartfelt media coverage to battle the conscience-less power players of the country.  When your cast is smart and the writing is nifty, there’s no way the notes will not be hit.

Kill Me, heal me (2015)

Korean Romance Dramas

The complexity of the multiple personality disorder fused with the fated but hindered romance of the main couple makes you ruminate the precepts of the story.

The ambitious writing of this drama is meticulous in inserting the conflict of the story, although it came to a point when it became too detailed dragging the denouement which they could have used in a few romantic notes in the penultimate episodes of the story.  Typically kdramas with power struggle plot involved unreasonable conspiracies but since the multiple personality is the carrying story conflict, it is good that it didn’t dwell on the money-filled but problematic chaebol world.  Beautiful in its strongest points and faint weaknesses, this is a melodrama that will leave you happy and intrigued.

My Love Eun Dong/Beloved Eun Dong (2015)

Korean Romance Dramas

A man’s unrequited romance to a woman who keeps being separated from him by fate.  My Love Eun Dong narrates a love story so blissful and agonizing like it came straight from a classic love novel.  The love couple meet when they were young and became each other’s puppy love, they meet again in college and they formally entered a relationship, but the girl, Eun Dong (Kim Sarang) who dreams of being an actress faces an accident which separated her again from the the lead man.  He becomes a top actor to fulfill her dream.  In his quest to find his true love, he commissions a ghost writer to help write a book about his love story.  Eun Dong who is suffering amnesia takes the job and while writing the book, her memory comes back.  She realizes the lies her current disabled husband and adopted father did to her.

The conflict of Eun Dong’s marriage situation while the lead man fervently waits for her is mind agonizing.  It is a test of justifying what you’ve been through to lose your greatest love and will you be happy if you reclaim your love that is legally not yours anymore.  The love triangle is in a helpless state trying to break out from that suffocating bind.  My Love Eun Dong uses a strong narrative which will put the audience on an emotional dilemma in finding a solution for everyone to be happy.  It leaves a lesson that love involves two people loving each other the best way they can and not how the people around them understands it.

Reply 1988 (2015)

Korean Romance Dramas

They say that as you age along, you get more sentimental as you look back on what has happened in your life. Sitting on this neighborhood drama set between 1988 – 1995 makes you reminisce the good old days of endearing family love and friendship full of memories and laughter.  Reply 1988 pays homage to the irreplaceable bliss of being young – of our young dreams and our young love. It gives you a trip to memory lane when technology hasn’t taken over the world yet— when friends meet up at a house to watch movies, to eat and to chat and when romance comes true by heartfelt love declarations, stolen kisses and warm hugs.

Hands down to the extent of the research and the meticulously vibrant writing that are fused together to bring up a heartwarming chronicle.  It feels like stepping to a time-warping machine and bringing out the best memories of our youth.  Delving on nostalgic premise, Reply 1988 brilliantly utilizes sweet melancholia by sending the viewers back to their very own youth.   It is a strip of mementos any person with a euphoric youth can relate to.

Oh My ghost (2015)

Korean Romance Dramas

Bright, cheerful and feel good are the  after-effects of Oh My Ghost chapter doses for me.  It consistently run the romance and comedy by seasoning it with adorable supernatural twist.  A timid girl connives with a wandering ghost to build up her self esteem in her plan to seduce the man she likes.  The man she likes is a famous chef who thinks his employee is suffering on a bipolar disorder hence she is switching from perky to shy attitude.  As romance slowly blooms between them, the wandering ghost’ sad death is revealed.

Park Bo Young is able to differentiate the two characters she portrayed resulting to the rom-com elements being fused well with the metaphysical plot of the story.  Each character’s story along with the conflicts entwined neatly to the conflict making the love story binding.  It’s hard not to drum your feet on your bed and grin when the hero goes to his usual i’m-the-man antics and the heroine’s pesky man cravings guided by the spirit hosting her body.  If you are needing a love elixir to boost your already blooming relationship of if you just want a perfect rom-com drama getaway, this drama will serve the purpose.

Descendants of the Sun (2016)

 Korean Romance Dramas

Rarely do we get a story in dramaland that is so affecting when the narrative is relying on the love plot.  Most of the time it maintains a decent showing but in the waning part of the series it will lose its magic.

The raves it got can be attributed to how fitting the actors to their character portrayals are, the snappy lines and giggle inducing captured frames and how the story depends on the fulfilment of the romance.   The charm of Captain Yoo Si Jin (Song Joong Ki) would have not been possible if his lead girl was not as endearing as our clever surgeon Mo Yeon (Song Hye Kyo).  Descendants of the Sun takes pride on capturing the heartfelt romance even with violence and disaster plot.  It marks lessons on patriotism, life, career and friendship.  It defies all kdrama overuse tropes by going to balanced character portrayals and earnest romance build up.  It is a drama so beautiful in each chapter, and even more stunning as it flows in the culminating closure.  It sends an inspiring message to become the best that we can ever be to the person we love, to the profession we have and to the life we live.

Another Oh Hae Young/Oh Hae Young Again (2016)

Another Oh Hae Young narrates the story of a woman whom after all the betrayals and half-hearted i-love-you replies, she still chooses to be with the man she loves.  She might appear weak for letting her love for him consume all the reasons why she should let him go.  She might look desperate for throwing away the fears she felt, the days she half-lived and the moments she almost gave up.  But at the end of it all, she just wanted to love and be loved back.

We typically get utopian love stories, but that iss not the case for Another Oh Hae Young, they shared the pain and the bliss in its barest and heart piercing manner.  The angst and confusion of qualifying love is stripped to its messiest and yet sweetest state just how someone would remember how he fought for his one great passionate love.  It details the real emotion someone has to go through when he is bargaining with love and when he is angry and missing the person at the same time.   It induces a love lesson on how you don’t overthink when you intend to love someone all the way, how you say I love you because that’s what you felt at that moment, and how you embrace the love feeling because you believe it to be true.  This sweet melodrama takes pride on its keen perception of the difference between how a man and a woman take on distinct approaches on loving someone while weighing on their pre-conceived inhibitions that the relationship might not work.

Legend of the blue sea (2016)

Korean Romance Dramas

The fusion of reincarnation plot and the mermaid-human romance appears trite on its onset, but as the plot thickens, the mythical element supports the romance driving point of the story.   It effortlessly keeps the viewers piqued on how the plot will unfold to stay invested on its future episodes.

The consistency of the plot while using alternate timelines of the past and the present would have gone ambiguous.  But the writer strategically alternates the focal character point from the heroine on its preliminary episodes, then maneuvers to a hero-centric plot halfway through the story.   Legend of the Blue Sea succeeds in a lively pace of intelligent storytelling with smart characters you will not hate as they don’t play dumb at hindrances thrown at them.  It is superb on the candied-heart-fluttering moments of the love couple, but even stronger on relaying the sweet and yet agonizing journey to endure the love they have in the present in the pretext of a human-mermaid romance impossibility.  It smartly spins the narrative by using simple rules considering its fantasy premise by modernizing the reincarnation plot, and by playing the resident drama fix of how love overcomes everything between two people fated to be together.

Something about 1% (2016)

Korean Romance Dramas

With its swift format following how web dramas usually are, this sweet love treat explores the story with each closing chapter with stunning lead couple’s chemistry.  the drama generously displays heart-fluttering scenes every chance they can get.

The premise of contract relationship has tendencies to overkill rom-com drama if not elaborated with the right amount of love progression.  Something About 1% translates how romance happens in reality which is by sharing conversations, bickering and meaningful events.  They are on a clear agreement that strings will not be attached only to succumb to the emotion that springs as a result of spending time with one another.  They are intending not to cross the wall they set initially, only to realize how binding shared memories can be in a relationship.  It is  refreshing to feel a romance drama that is not fortified with misplaced conflicts and negative vibes.  It may not be that polished or creatively conceived with twist and turns and top actors that can make such a romantic drama spree amazing.  But it is with its heartfelt and pure storytelling that made me pick as one of the rom-coms I’ve seen.  It leaves a message on how love does not happen in an instant.  You’d be lucky if you recognize it happening at the moment.  It is when we are not beside the person that we realize we are in love, and holding them in our arms is when we want to love them even more.

W:  Two Worlds (2016)

Korean Romance Dramas

W: Two Worlds imbibes an electrifying writing but it fails to close the story with a befitting ending.  Sprinting in a mind-blowing setting this rom-com about a manhwa hero crossing the real world pushes the audience to the extent of an imaginary world where everything is possible to happen.  The transition of the alternating worlds is a visual treat along with the love couple’s charming renditions.

Less the staggering twists and turns in the narrative, I still like how W: TwoWorlds is ambitious on how it vividly displayed and chronicled a love story that defied alternate universe.  It maneuvers to constant deviation and possibilities having the premise of “everything is possible to happen as long as they can draw it”.   The fantasy premise lets you feel immersed on the extent of chimeric world the story threads to, even when it hits a frustrating circle. Accelerating to its proxy-universe-deriding setting.  It presents a surreal drama experience and yet the romance development for the main leads is pragmatic and memorable. Be prepared for a mixed emotion spin as you frolic on this enslaving k-drama spectacle.

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo (2016)

Korean romance dramas

This is the drama I will make my daughter watch when she goes to college so she can have an idea of what a perfect college boyfriend is.  *wink   This campus romance pokes buried love memories set in their school life.   Weightlifting Fairy lunges to a momentum that viewers can relate to.

Buoyant and feel good, Bok Joo and the rest of the sports athlete in Haneul University give us an awesome time with their interactions and side chronicles.  It is a simple story with an almost non-existent conflict.  The hours spent watching them fall in love was like a comfort food and bubble wrap combined.   It is 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.

Goblin (2016)

Korean Romance Dramas

Goblin affirms your kdrama fan spirit with its addictive pace, perceptive characters, detailed back story and the exciting race to its closure.  It gives a constant awe at how the yarn of the folklore and supernatural mise-en-scene fit  perfectly to the modern setting.  What made Goblin such a novelty for a love story is how the transcendental element blends the mystical notes and sensible realities happening in the narrative.  It marks all the bullet points of a lingering story even though the metaphysical milieu is tricky. Although set on a melancholic tone, the dynamics of the cast and the lively humor cushioned the viewers so well given its inevitable tragic ending.  At times there are moments when it is languid, but it was necessary for the built up of the character connections to make the climactic conflict confrontation solid and stunning.

Goblin is beautifully done from its cinematography, story line and character portrayals.  The writing does a lot of impossible tweaks by conceiving an intricate realm while managing the labyrinth set for the story.  The exquisite tale of a man searching for the woman to end his immortality curse establishes a memory that k-drama followers will still love in the future.  It explores the boundless creativity of Korean culture through writer Kim Eun Sook’s sweet story manipulation.  See for yourself why this drama raised a cult following.

Strong Woman Do Bong Soon (2017)

Korean Romance Dramas

It is a whimsical love ride with thugs, a psycho, a police, a gaming company CEO and a woman with extraordinary strength.  The labyrinth is a whirlwind of cuteness, 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 romantic-comedy.  It reaches a heartfelt closure for a love that missed its timing, and celebrates how true love happens when you are patient enough to wait.

What made this drama so endearing is the perfect fusion of the love couple/triangle chemistry, the warranted humor even the slapstick travesty, and the charming tale of the heroine who blooms 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.  This drama might be coated in chocolates and marshmallows, but it provides a tangible encouragement especially to women watching it.

Fight For my way (2017)

Fight For My Way

Fight For My Way incidentally creates its own kind of beauty by presenting a cheerful cast, who channeled the honest storytelling to a good-humored spectacle. This leaves lingering lessons on chasing dreams while finding true love. Charting consistent impressive ratings, the chirpy synergy of four friends living a common life leaves an impression on how love and happiness are always within our reach if we are brave and forbearing enough to claim it.

Fight For My Way deviates from the idealistic rom-com stories by giving us characters living a typical life while adjusting to career pressure and  bleak future. The love story rides on an apprehensive note as the main couple works on giving a chance to a love that will break the friendship they shared for a long time.  The approachable framing of the love and life struggles makes this drama a comforting chronicle due to its vivid sketches on how common people fight their ways to claim the love and life they deserve.  It displays a well-thought scenario, from kickoff to its closure.  It is a rom-com delight that draws strength from the realistic and heartfelt conversations.  It has managed to avoid K-drama cliches, thanks to the genius depiction of how normal people live to dream and to love.

Queen For Seven Days (2017)

Queen For Seven Days

Queen For Seven Days tells the story of two brothers in contention of the King’s position.   It efficiently maximizes the staple government intrigues and character motivations to balance the frustrating love line.  That is one of the reasons why even with its weep fest premise, you end up forgetting the tears and being consumed on finding the best way possible to make the people of that eccentric love triangle to be happy.

When you think of those tragic love stories, you will remember them only as a sad tale. But not in this drama. While you grieve with the love couple who are forced to love each other from afar, you will accept that true love is kept in the heart with the best memories you have with someone, even if you cannot have future moments together.  This drama, though not achieving a happy ending fully, is still a satisfying romantic tale, which will appeal to people who know that love waits, love goes on, and love endures.  Queen For Seven Days leaves a lingering message on how an enduring love may not picture an ever after at the moment, yet it does not mean that it won’t fulfilled in the future.

We finally reach the end of this love drama countdown.  We hope you include our recommendations on your k-drama watch list.

The girl who wanted a love that  beats in her heart

 

Dear Another Oh Hae Young,

For the spot on bliss and tears you gave me as a woman and not as a kdrama critic this time, I forgave the extension to benefit some more money for the high ratings.  *chuckles  For me your story reached its most beautiful place when the heroine, after all the betrayals and half-hearted i-love-you replies and confusions, still chose to be with the man she loves.  She might appear weak for letting her love for him consume all the reasons why she should let him go.  She might look desperate for throwing away the fears she felt, the days she half-lived and the moments she almost gave up.  But at the end of it all, she just wanted to love and be loved back.   She just wanted a love that beats in her heart. 

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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.

SYNOPSIS

On the day before her wedding, Oh Hae Young told her parents that the wedding will be cancelled because of her change of heart.  Her parents who can’t understand why she passed on her wedding when she’s in the ripe age to get married was upset on how everyone they know will think about the current situation not knowing that it was the fiancé, Han Tae Jin, who called off the wedding but Oh Hae Young pleaded for him to make it appear that she halted their marriage plan.

Passing on to the stages of grief, Hae Young’s parents can’t keep up anymore to her craziness and forced her to be kicked out of their house where she ended up renting a space with an unblocked door connecting to a neighbor tenant.  The hot neighbor is Park Do Kyung, a sound producer who has been seeing a psychiatrist because of his vivid visions of a woman whom he never met and who turned out to be Oh Hae Young.


In a ludicrous twist of fate, Park Do Kyung learned that the revenge he pulled on his ex-girlfriend’s supposed boyfriend who left him on their wedding day went to Oh Hae Young’s fiancé because they have the same name and attended the same high school.   Han Tae Jin was forced to end the relationship with her and provided a crazy reason for the break up because he will soon serve a jail sentence.


Hae Young and Do Kyung started up on a cold start as the latter is confused on the unexplained apparitions of her in his life.  He foresees what will happen between them and saw how he will die in the future.  After chasing over Do Kyung, and recognizing the reason why his consciousness gave him a peek of what his tomorrow will be, he finally reciprocated and take all the way his love for her unfazed of the premonition warnings he was getting. 


 Just as everything was settling, Hae Young learned why Tae Jin had to leave their wedding behind and has to confront the truth if her love for Do Kyung was worth the pain she went through when she was ditched in her wedding and if it is fair for her to leave her ex-boyfriend after knowing the reason why he had to hurt her.


In the end, Hae Young chose to follow her heart and embraced Do Kyung regardless of what happened before their romance’ fulfilment as Do Kyung learned how to break the unexplained mirage affecting his relationship with Hae Young.

STORY AND SCREENPLAY

“Another Oh Hae Young” was as prettily written as Descendants of the Sun, but even more heartfelt because of the realistic approach of the love plot.  The kisses were intense the arguments were heart-wrenching and the scenarios created were what you really do in a real love world.  


We typically get utopian love stories, but that was not the case for “Another Oh Hae Young”, they shared the pain and the bliss in its barest and heart piercing manner.  What drew the viewers is how the angst and confusion of qualifying love was stripped to its messiest and yet sweetest state just how someone would remember how he fought for his one great passionate love.


I think anyone who has loved someone to the point of being drained and crazy will have a weep fest watching the drama.  I can only imagine the heartbreak the writer of this drama had experienced in his life to capture the real emotion someone has to go through when he is bargaining with love and when he is angry and missing the person at the same time.  


If there’s one lesson Oh Hae Young and Park Do Kyung’s romance would leave their viewers is that how you don’t overthink when you intend to love someone all the way… how you say I love you because that’s what you felt at that moment… and how you embrace the love feeling because you believe it to be true.  


Another Oh Hae Young killed the hype of Descendants of the Sun effortlessly in my heart when I thought it will linger for a while because I can relate so much to the heroine on how she bravely fell in love while in pain and acknowledged that she can’t unlove the person overnight.  


CAST AND CONFLICT

I can’t help but admire Oh Hae Young for her fearless understanding and strength of her nothing-left-to-break-but-still-willing-to-love kind of heart and her relying to her family in her moments of vulnerability. 


Her love comprehension of her next door neighbor could-be-could-be-not one sided love, tested her unique character if she will love defying reasons or if she will love to understand everything in the process.  She is that perfect example of a woman who loves at the moment and will push to it regardless.  I was laughing hard when she was begging her parents’ permission for her to live in with her boyfriend.  How cool is that.  On that note, I love the direct and implied lessons her parents delivered in the story.  How they stood up and stayed with her in her moments when she can’t even think for herself. 


 Park Do Kyung also represented the kind of man, us girls dig.  That kind of man that will make it hard for you to calculate his next move or if he is testing the waters because he doesn’t want to complicate things


I love the supporting cast who went to portraying crazily amusing roles.  From Do Kyung’s jaded older sister who speaks French when drunk… which is usually every night… to the womanizer lawyer-best friend and easy go lucky younger brother with free spirited girlfriend and to rival Oh Hae Young who didn’t make her quasi villain character looked pitiful.  I only have high praises to Hae Young’s parents who supported their daughter as she embarked on all unimaginable things she did for love.  

RATINGS AND RECOMMENDATION

Another Oh Hae Young is not just your typical rom-com drama.  It takes pride on its keen perception of the difference between how a man and a woman take on distinct approaches on loving someone while weighing on their pre- conceived inhibitions that the relationship might not work.  It tackled playfully and seriously the kind of love someone can give after learning lessons from a heartbreak.

HOW I ENJOYED IT:  10/10

HOW I RECOMMENDED IT:  10/10

GRADE:  A+

20-10 Kdrama Addiction Challenge:  My 20 Best Korean Dramas of the last 10 Years

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aigoo  My head burst in selecting the best of the best from my memories.  I stayed strict to my simple qualifications of breakthrough writing, brilliant directing and beautiful cast portrayal.  This will be my first entry for this kdrama challenge and I’m excited to fill my list on my future posts.

Korean dramas have evolved to the most innovative themes in the past years.  The competition  is stiff and if the yearly trend is set, production companies will make their drama even more superb than the copied idea.  

There are myriad of stories to choose from in kdramaland hence the growing popularity in the world.  My last rule in this list stripped my being romantic self and reminded me to choose the most polished and creatively conceived story and not the main lead that made my heart fluttered.  *chuckles

So here are my picks for the best 20 kdramas in the last 10 years.

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Jumong:  Prince of the Legend (2007)

GENRE:  Period, Action, Romance, Drama, War

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This loooong period drama is the proof of my unwavering commitment to South Korean dramas.  *chuckles  While journeying with Jumong to the endless political wars, rooting for his love fulfilment with Seo So No and his ascencion to the empire he built, I learned about korean history, war strategies, economic principles and winning over people’s greed.  You know that Machiavelli book about politics and governance, skip that and watch Jumong for a more interactive education.  I promise it is more enjoyable.  Jumong managed to maintain the excitement even with its long run.  It made use of detailed and thrilling storytelling that hooked me to connect with the main hero.  True, there will be a lot going on in the story, so you might as well take notes and don’t fall asleep because when you wake up a lot already happened.  *giggles

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City Hall (2009)

Genre:  Drama, Romance, Comedy

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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 an uncomplicated premise, the writing was exceptionally thought provoking for women experiencing challenges in finding their worth not in the standard of what the society dictates but on the dreams they have as a woman.  A memorable performance for Kim Sun Ah and Cha Seung Won with a bonus heartfelt love story on the side.

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Dong Yi (2010)

Genre:  Historical, Romance, Drama

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It was beautifully imagined and crafted.  The conspiracies, surprise moves, evil ways, and fighting the evil ways are the reasons why I stayed afloat finishing this 60 episode period drama.  Dong Yi displayed such appealing and stimulating TV drama while presenting the richness and intricacies of Korean culture. More than how they presented the elaborated palace life, power struggles, vibrancy of the culture, I love that the narration was so subtle in its approach and yet so daring on its conviction.  The story was well developed and connected. I appreciate that they minimize the number of villains because I can only hold contempt of three to five people at the same time.  The beginning was dishearteningly good, the ending will make you pull the strings for it to end out of weary, if not for the fact that you so wanted to know what will happen to the bad guys… Now the middle part…. that was the best part of the series.  

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Sungkyunkwan Scandal (2010)

GENRE:  Period (sageuk fusion), Romance, Comedy

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 I present you “Sungkyunkwan Scandal” – the drama that changed my belief that sageuk presentations are not fun.  A bromance-filled tale incorporating a touch of traditional Korean history and way of living made the series so riveting, you will find yourself insatiable with the charm it has cast upon you.

Sungkyunkwan Scandal was a Hana Kimi-Boys-Over-Flower-fusion set in the Joseon era.  This is where I suffered the most mind-boggling Second-Lead-Man syndrome, in the end the second-lead prevailed.  *chuckles  This is a kind of school life every girl wished for, having three gorgeous men as your friends and even two fighting for your heart. Considering the setting was in traditional times, they were able to execute love melting and love sighing scene while studying in the library, getting stranded inside a wooden elevator, and all the rest of those happy moments shared by the Sungkyunkwan Scholars. Despite the political strain conflict, what I loved most on Sungkyunkwan was that it was full of optimism and the bravery of the characters stood alone making each of their portrayals worth remembering.   The drama gave epic romantic scenes, REALLY EPIC… the kind of sweet love scenes that when you tell your friends, you get transported back to the moment where you were actually watching it. *promise

 

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Secret Garden (2010)

GENRE:  Fantasy, Romance, Comedy

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The sparkling tracksuit, the sweet sit-up kiss and coffee kiss, the hilarious body swap and Hyun Bin’s melting gaze were some of the things that I remember most about “Secret Garden”.  It was a breather from prototype romcoms with its perfect blending of fantasy and romance and with its main love couple’s reversal of roles having a strong heroine and a weak-hearted but charming lead man.

“Secret Garden” is your drama to see when you want a kdrama marathon vacation.  It played well in keeping its excitement stable and hit a love progression where the viewers were left all cheering for it to happen.  The fantasy body-switching plot was a brilliant addition to keep the story bubbly but the strength of how the love couple communicated or should I say bicker along the way eventually realizing they were both rendered by the love bind they threw at each other unconsciously.

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The Greatest Love (2011)

GENRE:  Romance, Comedy

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The love drama staged in the showbiz land exhibited 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, their lives sort of crossing their paths every now and then and before he knew it, the cutely egoistic and blithely mischievous Dokko Jin’s protective instinct was awakened by the pure, sometimes vulnerable, but never failing to be optimistic and to trust in life character of Ae-jung.

This is my favorite battle-for-the-leading-lady’s-heart showcase, as the two lead men warmed my love veins with their creativity to let Ae Jung noticed how much they love her. The Greatest Love was like a heroin disarming me from earthly life making me thrive inside my protective romance bubble.  It was done short and sweet with basket full of romance delivered personally by cupid to all of us.

 

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City Hunter (2011)

GENRE:  Action, Drama, Romance, Thriller

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This action-filled series was definitely all business.  The reckless City Hunter left me awe-struck and wanting to be kidnapped and wishing he would rescue me.  Lee Min Ho playing devil-may-care-ass-kicking-casanova was enough not to scroll down the teaser and go straight on board the drama.  I should know.  I did.

With a pinch of romance, gorgeous fight scenes and definitive plot, City Hunter raised the bar to action drama set in modern times.  The nifty plot left life lessons and each episode was done where the tussles did not exhaust the viewers but left them wanting for 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.  I really thought his dark heart will not be swayed otherwise and that finale scene sent me moping reminiscing Vader saving Luke when the remaining inconspicuous goodness in his heart reminded him that he was his son regardless.  

The main character ensembles were so buffed making the story ever moving and exciting.  The show stopper “ajussi” and his online shopping addiction made me look like an occasional shopper.  The other dark apprentice was also oozingly hot orchestrating ruckus for City Hunter.  I liked that Kim Nana was also strong-willed and that he didn’t go to the usual sometimes mopey and always looking for a rescue lead woman.  Overall, this is a drama that will satisfy your cravings and your mind maunderings.  It was exceptionally done and a must see Kdrama delight.

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Ghost (2012)

GENRE:  Drama, Cyber crime, Action

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There were no guns triggered… no swords drawn… it was a battle between heroes and villains equipped with digital powers. It was an enthralling power game that involved, system hacking, all-knowing CCTV cameras, secret bugging, and heroes and villains almost equally genius to take one step ahead of each other.

Ghost/Phantom broke my love drama binge 360 degrees and I was left dumbstruck and on a cliff hanging state all throughout the series. I was like in a trampoline were I was bouncing up and down without the rush hitting the bottom level.  Ghost/Phantom will hold your interest in a very gripping fashion. The cunning power plays and counter measures were ever present to the story as it progressed. The brilliantly done ending emancipated the withheld secrets that were carefully and niftily hidden to achieve a closure befitting of this cyber world investigating drama classic.  Be prepared to be stimulated and trust me there will be no give-aways here… so you cannot defocus less you will be lost in the story.

The race on who gets to maneuver efficiently the power of the computers will earn the opposing team an instant digital karma so all the while, the villains and heroes have worked double time to raise the bar in outwitting one another.  If you want a breather from rom-coms, this cyber-crime drama should be on your list. The dexterous cast and perceptive plot will take you all the way to an exciting oblivion where you will feel like you are also part of this amazing team of cyberspace police officers.

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Queen In Hyun’s Man  (2012)

GENRE:  Romcom, Time traveling

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It’s over and done but Queen In Hyun’s Man now Abby’s man has left me insatiable.  The drive to bring the viewers to a spontaneous romance binge whilst holding the reign to an incessantly bewitching plot was quenchless and I thank kdramagod for that.  

“Queen In Hyun’s Man” disarmed me each and every episode with the deviant drama pulls and how it went maverick to what I was predicting to happen.  I had to grab my tarot card to check if my seer abilities need a refresher.  It deviated from the typical KDrama conflict norms of unresolved unfinished love issues, family problems, useless vengeance driven characters, personal exhausting battles and all those other tiring fillings they would insert to make the spectators just go with the flow. 

Given the time-voyaging premise of the story, I was amazed on how the production team worked on the smooth transitions.  It was playing at past and present ends without losing the spontaneity and fluidity of the story.  The writer whom I stalked from then on was a delightfully mischievous conceiver who got down to the nitty-gritty of the screenplay and pulling off the conflicts and its deliverance in a make-sense and you-got-me-there kind of vibe.  It was a supernatural rom-com drama at its best, no questions asked, period.

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The King 2 Hearts (2012)

GENRE:  Drama, RomCom, Thriller

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King 2 Hearts was 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 me to my assumed outcomes. That being said, what I applaud about this drama is how it seems predictable but will prove the viewers otherwise.  It met all the criteria for a superb kdrama and ended with conviction.  It has one of the most memorable villain who graced the evil camp land and it broke the struggle on second-lead-syndrome by killing off the character.  It was an honest story yet tender at the same time.

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Gaksital/Bridal Mask (2012)

GENRE:  Period, Action, War, Romance

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Move over Ajussi, City Hunter, Masked Rider Black, Shaider, Spiderman, Superman, Batman… and all the rest of those superheroes who took the imaginary world by storm… Gaksital has only a  flute and superb martial arts move, but for the first time in my life, I fell in love with a local hero.  A bromance defying all bromance invented… *giggles  Every episode, if not the same intensity as the last, always ended at a very strong note.  I found myself immensely enjoying the gun shots, punch sounds, skin rips, sword slashes, blood spatters, and cat-and-mouse chase.

Gaksital went to this milieu… “I accidentally killed my brother because our mother was killed by my bestfriend’s brother.  So I killed my bestfriend’s brother, but he caught me doing it and because of the circumstances and my family’s past which was just revealed to me when I have already denounced my patriotism to favor the Japanese empire, I’m not sorry I did it. A test of best-friends-forever pledge.  Yes, that it was.” How’s that for a conflict?  Not to add that they both love the same girl whom they met when they were young.  Avenging the death of their family members, first love duel plus fighting the Japanese regime.  If this looks crazy in writing, it was astonishingly gripping in action.

There are a lot of reasons why I would highly recommend this drama but I’ll start with its strength to depict a stimulating story brimming with facets of history and layered with conflicts and resolutions that disheartened and made me happy at the same time.  It was as if my father’s World War stories came to life, and I can only imagine how life was hard back then.    I’m enjoying period dramas lately, there’s just so much to learn that’s why maybe.  It has so much depth and substance and youth of today will learn a lot from it.  It was an epic tale that perfectly bloomed along with the characters and was so successful in sending out the Patriotic theme where love, loyalty, family and friendship where at stake. 

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Master’s Sun (2013)

GENRE:  RomCom, Supernatural

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Once in a while a surprisingly good love story would remind me why I became addicted to Korean Romantic Comedies.  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. 

“The Master’s Sun” has given me a lot of elating moments and back-to-when-I-had-my-first-love heart fluttering scenes.   In a way the calculated but not false-hope promising story pace has made me join the lead love couple in discovering the reasons why they fell in love with each other alongside why they were 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 fell in love with the person and how your mind will be overpowered by reasons.  

 It was a nicely blended romance which showed a love pair growing together while understanding why they both need each other. It was a relationship where the couple did what they can do so that they won’t end up in the position where they will ask “what they could have done”. Being with someone is not half-loving yourself and half-loving him. It should be loving the person with all you can.

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You Who Came From Another Star (2014)

GENRE:  RomCom, Scifi, Supernatural

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Rarely did a Korean romcom drama approach me and sweep me off of my feet every episode up to the finale, and to say that I was happy throughout my drama-stalking was an understatement, I was so elated with it.  You see, 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 From Another Star” drew a great following because of the vibrant characters who has really brought to life their fictional images to an unforgettable and you-can’t-help-but-relate-to kind of 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 gave a gratifying closure for the story.  You see once in a while jealousy, greed, family intervention, amnesia and annoying 3rd parties are not required to create a heartfelt love tale, you only need two hearts that love bravely and love back deeply.
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 romcom premise surged a romantic bliss, never looking back and coming strongly and  surely each chronicle episode and seemingly faultless in executing the how-to-make-a-perfect-romcom guidelines.
Fate, chance encounters and brave “i-love-you-right-now claims have never been so perfectly achieved until this love story graced kdrama screen and though there were minimal things that I wished was explained fully, I didn’t care less because the love progress moved to a pace where the character’s connection is sensitive to the story they are into, while the story glued out perfect pieces of events that maybe kdrama cliche, but were effectively used and concluded just the same.

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Nine Times Travel (2014)

GENRE:  Drama, Romance, Supernatural

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Notching superbly those climactic cliff-hangers and seamlessly presented the consistent timeline transitions and convergence, this drama would have mocked all the time-traveling stories that graced dramaland.  My Sherlock veins was immensely gratified that I paid less attention to the romantic side which in all fairness was also a satisfying bliss.  It was a balanced fusion of a character and plot-driven tale where its incredulous premise was chronicled unembellished and not leaning to injecting inconceivable trajectories due to its supernatural setting.

It was the story of a man who obtained 9 incense sticks that functioned as a time-trekking machine which helped him leave clues to his past self in escaping his looming death in the future.  His time warping brought him to events of 20 years ago and divulged pieces of information that his future self utilized to change the course of time in the past to protect the people he loved and his soon to be taken away life.  The incomprehensible plot paraded a stunning picture closed to perfection where I was set into constant debate with my thoughts, but Nine Times Travel was always emerging victorious when I’m deconstructing the path and curves on where it was heading.

It was an exceptional labyrinth themed story where the enchanted incense sticks functioned like Ariadne showing proudly the coherent flow of events and the liaison of the past and present time.
With its smart characters, nifty writing and dexterous editing I fell in love with this drama big time.

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Healer (2014)

GENRE: Drama, Action, Romance

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Healer is one of the best korean dramas you should include in your list if you haven’t seen it yet.  It has a brilliant premise about a one-of-a-kind hero who chose to disconnect from the society, but accidentally grew attachment to a woman who drew him out of his hibernation.  The drama quaintly linked the furtive relationship of the characters while building up the plot’s climax and romance to perfection.  It is so addictive, stimulating and amusing — and that one drama you can sit on with family, friends and even your lover.  I’m almost two years late to review this drama but I hope you can find time to watch one of the best dramas on my list.

The story’s main conflict focused on peeling the truth behind the lead couple’s fathers’ death while journeying on their fated love.  It aligned to Healer’s character strength to propel the excitement while he did his gripping missions… circled on Young Shin’s character as the focal tug-of-war battle between the Moon brothers’ villain and hero complicated relationship and surged high to the my-father-might-have-killed-your-father-but-i-promise-i-love-you-and-i-will-protect-you love plot of the main leads. Healer justified the superb writing with how the characters went passionately driven to bring out a scintillating storytelling.  While a lot progressed in the story, it never missed it steps in binding the romance, the back story and the conflicts together.

The story got so intoxicating because it assimilated Healer’s Promethean skills and heartfelt media coverage to battle the conscience-less power players of the country.  When your cast is smart and the writing is nifty, there’s no way the notes will not be hit. 

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Misaeng (2014)

GENRE:  Melodrama, Drama

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Without supernatural intervention or genius fusion ideas, I landed on a pensive mode while watching the reflective and heart wrenching workplace drama “Misaeng”. And it’s very rare for me to do so because my excessively diverted mind usually craves for something different and evolving but with Misaeng, I was sent back to ponder on my forgotten dreams, regrets and what-nows?

Misaeng provided an engaging experience for me because of its wonderful cast and their interaction. Though mostly shot in the office premise, the candid pantry small talks, the rooftop heartfelt confrontations, the cubicle power struggles were able to capture in detail and in pure emotions the many faces of employees struggling everyday to get their job done.  It was like stepping to a company’s door, sitting silently in a corner while you watch all of the employees get to their job. For the jobless and people who wish for a different job it would be a great encouraging watch.

It is hard these days to find a human TV drama that follows the fundamentals of how and why storytelling emerged to inspire people.  We frequently have to see stories to escape from the problems we are facing so sitting down upfront a courageous and flaw-filled human nature TV presentation chronicling what is true and happening, what we hide to people relying on us and what we don’t want to admit to ourselves because of too much pride has had me really feel high spirited to surmise that fulfilling personal goals need not be happening in an instant and all at the same time.

With its simplicity and amazing depiction of the daily life of the working class, Misaeng is no frills, never superficial and all heart and a must watch for all of us on board and soon to be boarding on the corporate world. 

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Punch (2015)

GENRE:  Courtroom Drama

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Awed and at the edge of my seat every episode’s finishing kick, I can’t help but wondered how brilliant the writer of this story by bringing out a drama where heroes and villains don’t waste time outmanipulating each other to secure the highest possible position befitting to their greed and wickedness.  With a dying man as a lead hero in charge to intellectually brawl with his superiors in the Prosecutor’s office, the stake was always at the highest as the people involved raced to protect their families, reputations and personal ambitions.

Punch is a literal badass with its scintillating and intelligent writing.  It was full of surprises that will make the viewers grab their hair out of frustration.  I wondered how much hate the writer might have stored in himself to motivate him to write a chronicle that was able to maintain a level of grit all throughout his depiction of the corrupt Korean Prosecutors Office.    It was a nerve wrecking display of shrewdness played equally well by all the characters who was in the running to claim the most cunning of ’em all crown.

 

Reply 1988 (2015)

GENRE:  Drama, Period, Romance

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They say that as you age along, you get more sentimental as you look back on what has happened in your life. Sitting on this neighborhood drama set between 1988 – 1995 made me reminisce the good old days of endearing family love and friendship full of memories and laughter. “Answer me 1988” pays homage to the irreplaceable bliss of being young – of our young dreams and our young love. It gives you a trip to memory lane when technology hasn’t taken over the world yet— when friends meet up at a house to watch movies, to eat and to chat and when romance comes true by heartfelt love declarations, stolen kisses and warm hugs.

Hands down to the extent of the research and the meticulously vibrant writing that were fused together to bring up a chronicle that warms the heart and lingers in one’s mind. The setting, side stories and the cast ensemble will make the viewers feel like stepping to a time-warping machine and bringing out the best memories we could ever have in our lives.

 I only have the very best things to say for the neighborhood I grew fond watching, for the childhood buddies who defined lifetime friendship and for the sincere love that bloomed from the purest friendship and memories.  Delving on nostalgic premise “Reply 1988” brilliantly use sweet melancholia by sending the viewers back to their very own youth, like it did to me. It made me want to pay a short visit to the street I grew up with and reminisce the times when I hang out with my childhood friends to play traditional local games. It made me glad that most of my precious memories were not digitally induced as is the case of the youth nowadays. And it reminded me to still go for the purest romance I can ever have that won’t make use much of the world- wide web and social media.

Reply 1988 is a strip of mementos any person with a euphoric youth can relate to. I strongly vouch for this drama if you have a weekend to spare. 

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Descendants of the Sun (2016)

GENRE:  Romance, Action, Drama

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Rarely do we get a story in dramaland that is so affecting when the narrative is relying on the love plot.  Most of the time it maintains a decent showing but in the waning part of the series it will lose its magic.  No romance kdrama has made it to my top favorites basing on the screenplay and the acting.  What they all failed to achieve, DOTS casually slayed in a watch-us-this-is-how-it-should-be-done manner.

The raves it got can be attributed to how fit the actors to their characters were, the realistic-sometimes-cheesy-most-of-the-time-pure-love of the main characters, the snappy lines and giggle inducing captured frames and how the story depended on the fulfilment of the romance just as the romance bloomed because of the flowing story.  The issues resolved in the story focused on braving the odds for love and the death defying conflict in the finishing kick of the series.  The charm of Captain Yoo Si Jin would have not been possible if his lead girl was not as endearing as our clever surgeon Mo Yeon.

I gave a 10/10 score for Descendants of the Sun for its ingenuity in capturing the heartfelt romance even with violence and disaster plot.  It left lessons on patriotism, life, career and friendship.  There are stories that need not to be embellished because they can stand alone when you chronicle it without confusion and with a direction. 
“Descendants of the Sun” defied all the resident kdrama cliches and presented a balanced character portrayals and heartfelt, unscripted romance.  I have never seen a drama so beautiful in each chapters and even more stunning as it flows in the culminating closure.

Not only did the drama nail the romantic notes to an almost impossible perfection, but it created a story where every person who knows how to love can relate to.  It left an inspiring message to become the best that we can ever be to the person we love, to the profession we have and to the life we live. 

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Goblin (2016)

Genre:  Romance, Supernatural

 

Arguably the best korean drama that aired for 2016, “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 kdrama-addict heart. *chuckles

The summary does not justify all that happened in the story as the cast were intricately connected through their past and present lives.  What made Goblin such a novelty for a love story with transcendental element is how it neatly blended the mystical notes and sensible realities to propel the narrative without losing focus and as simply told as it can be.  The drama made me yearn a romantic interlude with men like Goblin or Grim Reaper.  I was on a long moony phase struck with the impact of the characters who fervidly brought life to their sketched personas.  Goblin marked all the bullet points of a lingering story even though the metaphysical milieu was very tricky. Although set on a melancholic tone, the dynamics of the cast and the lively humor cushioned the viewers so well given its inevitable tragic scenario ending.  At times there are moments when it was languid, but it was necessary for the built up of the character connections to make the climactic conflict confrontation solid and stunning.

Breathtaking – Goblin has always been beautifully done from its cinematography, storyline and character portrayals.  The writer did a lot of impossible tweaks and conceived an intricate realm and made sure that she will succeed on the labyrinth she has set for her story.  With actors embracing their roles so well, the exquisite tale of a man searching for the woman to end his immortality curse established a memory that kdramaland followers will still love in the future.

Goblin explored the boundless creativity of Korean culture through writer Kim Eun Sook’s sweet story manipulation.  See for yourself why this drama raised a cult following.

Hae-soo and Jae-yeol’s crazy world of love

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It might be the most unconventional modern romance drama I have ever seen but it has such a very affecting and unique story given that sickness in k-dramaland usually involves amnesia or anything fatal. Perhaps it comes with me being at my 30’s too that I don’t like being given tailored romantic dramas with the usual illness premise that is sometimes really tiring to watch. Sure I did enjoy “Fated To Love You” because it followed all the bullet points needed for a rom-com drama, but I’ll be placing Hae-soo and Jae-yeol’s love story as my favorites this year tied with the magical chemistry-filled connection of Do Min-joon and Cheon Song-yi in You From Another Star.

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A famed fiction writer Jang Jae-yeol moved to his house he rented out when his crib required renovation. There he met two psychiatrists and a psychiatric patient with Tourette syndrome living in the most entertaining and reckless fashion that totally deviated from his being neat freak living given his obsessive-compulsive disorder. Plot got meatier when the inevitable connection of Jae-yeol to the virgin psychiatrist, Hae-soo, who just recently broken up with her cheating boyfriend grew so strong and mutual to the surprise of both parties with extreme perception differences.

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Just when both of them surrendered to the idea that yes indeed they were in love, Jae-yeol’s childhood trauma matured resulting to “you-and-me-and my-schizophrenic-self” conflict that has made Hae-soo’s mother revolt on their relationship after suffering all her life taking care of her invalid husband. Jae-yeol while struggling to accept his sickness resorted to pushing his heroine away, but ended up realizing that he needed her while trying to reconcile his life.

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The dots connecting the characters in small groups are as functional as when you view the cast as a whole. The friendship circle of the psychiatrists presenting a utopian human interaction that doesn’t follow bias and excess baggages was a delightful package that has driven the deft writing of the storyline. Jae-yeol’s emotionally wounded family was a picture of how even the most dysfunctional family need one another to heal each other’s wound while Hae-soo’s misplaced hatred with her mother’s infidelity that helped sent her to medical school has created a scar inside her which her professional self can’t even cure

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True this might not appeal to hopeless romantics, but I’m sure everyone who has felt that moment when they give everything because of love would surely love this amazing story which I will be happily placing in my all-time favorites.

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“It’s okay that’s love” is just how relationship realities are translated in a cherished, ardent, unadulterated, lingering, failing, and blissful TV drama scenes. The last 4 episodes has had me at my knees clutching my pillow, trying to subdue the emotional outburst from a beautiful and heartfelt thread of painful and fervid love moments that cut deep in my heart and my very own memories of how it felt to love someone deeply without holding back.

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Seamless and unfeigned, it progressed from warm to romantic to sacrificial to against-all-odds and eventually to you-were-meant-for-me. I saw all the faces of love tackled bravely and painfully in this love story.

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Without annoying third parties and excessive misunderstanding scenes, I grew fond of all the characters while enjoying a love narrative which took a different approach to defy rom-com rules by presenting the genuine feel of being with someone… the scare, the heart flutters, the denials and the bliss.

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The fate of a successful romance lies not on how much effort each other has to put on to keep the love going because love is always never enough… it is always the choice to love someone that keeps a relationship endure.

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And Yes! They did Discover Romance

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One of the reasons why I like this drama so much is because it went to the unconventional path of presenting the love story between estranged couple and how they were able to realize that their love was true even then, and even years after.

I wept over the heart breaking dialogues during those “if you only did that” scenes and it honestly ripped me apart because of how truthful those lines are, and because given the situations and dilemmas raised in the storyline, it was really how a normal person would have thrown words at his lost love who presented himself to you again, and just when you thought that you are done and over him, you will realize that he has never left in the first place.

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It gave us that painful reminiscing of how after losing a love we greatly cherished, it would make us discern on how someone will always remind us that beautiful things change painfully in a moment, and there would be no way for you to prepare.

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Han Yo-Reum has a happy life and stable doctor-boyfriend Nam Ha-Jin. Her story looks perfect as she lives quirkily with her two best friends while enjoying woodwork as her career. In her attempt to catch her faithful boyfriend who was forced by his adopted mother to go on blind dates, she chanced upon her ex-boyfriend from 5 years ago, Kang Tae-Ha. Having inherited his family’s interior design company, he commissioned Yo-reum to collaborate in their projects while brewing his intentions in trying to win her back again. And as they meet up in doing the projects, glimpses from their past were narrated in flashbacks while they try to assess why fate led them to another chance in their future.

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I barely suffered from a second-lead syndrome because I’m not really a fan of comfortable relationship. Well in this aspect I know that people have different perspectives, but I want a love that will bring me the extremes of pain and bliss. I remembered Yo-reum’s best friend saying how love should be a mixture of emotions, how you fight and make up for the indifferences and understand that it should always lead to a compromise.

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Moving in a slow but sure path the first half of the love memoir spectacle featured the background story that have made the viewers joined the heroine when she was finally overwhelmed in trying to justify that her stable relationship is what she needed in her life, and not the old flame that kept throwing her to myriad of emotions she can’t process.

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Hitting all the realistic elements of what it really takes to be in a relationship was the best part of the love triangle in this roller coaster romantic ride. Diverting to the usual cushioned approach or drama-infused conflicts they usually put on their storyline, they dug to the root of love problems in a coherent world – the strength to let go of a half-baked love and the choice to be in a not so perfect but true love.

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This is definitely one of my favorite dramas for 2014 because of the splendid screenplay and amazing casts that brought to life the story’s simplicity and yet affecting adult romantic life.   -jediprincess

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The One-night Stand that Turned to a Fated Love

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Rom-coms are as always the main drawers of Hallyu wave followers through the years therefore competition to present a romcom that will stick and hook the audience has always been a tough case… Some may start strong and then dwindle in the end and some may start slow but go frenzily good towards it closure. “Fated to love you” has hit all the bullet points of a typical rom-com, even the cliches and the character prototypes but its endearing lead couple won my heart over even if there were dragging moments in the story.

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I think being able to put up strong romance filled scenes as well as the chemistry between the eccentric, suave and winner of the best male laugh ever in the kdramaland and the meek and good-hearted heroine created a venue where audience are reminded that they too once dreamt of a Cinderella-ish romance.

Being able to focus on Lee Gun and Kim Mi Young’s relationship as it build up from perfect strangers to true love drew a connection that all viewers can relate to. It was able to examine how much a person is willing to give because of love.

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After a blurry one-night-stand, Lee Gun was forced to marry a girl he barely know, Kim Mi Young and turned his back to a long-time girlfriend who prioritized her career than being with him. Soon enough he learned to love his new wife but was forced to give her up because of a genetic amnesia illness which is ever thriving in kdramaland. Facing personal problems and company issues, Lee Gun was left no choice but to push away Mi-young while breaking his heart in the process, and with the pain she was trying to bear, she unfortunately had an accident and lost the baby she was carrying.

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Mi-young was convinced by Daniel to go to Paris and study painting as part of her healing process. Years after she came back to Korea as a budding successful artist. In her first exhibit, she posted her painting in memory of her lost child. Lee Gun who has been tracking her success visited the exhibit and bought the painting. Mi-young who was not meaning to sell the piece tried reaching out to the buyer and in his hope of connecting with her, Lee Gun pretended to be a woman and eventually become Mi-young’s secret confidante.

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The estranged husband and wife got entangled again as Lee Gun’s company hired Mi-young to paint their products’ packaging and hidden sparks that both were trying to hide eventually freed themself up. Mi-young eventually learned why Lee Gun tried to protect her by pushing her away because he was scared that his genetic amnesia will hurt her just like what it did to his father and their family.

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Mi-young realizing all that happened bravely claimed her ex-husband back but a minor conflict arose when her mother refused of igniting their relationship because of his illness, but the couple showed they were willing to take the odds to be together and their sincere love has won their mother over.

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Fated To Love You invested on the bread and butter of Rom-Com dramas and luck was on their side because they have such endearing couples that made the easily foreseen scenarios still appealing to watch. They worked on the essence of “timing” in romance and remained steadfast with their theme until the conclusion and resolution of the love story. Now I have seen the Taiwan version of this drama and although the Korean couple won the heartflutters and bliss category, their Taiwanese counterparts I can say were stronger in the heavy scenes.

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I have a slight issue to the sacrificial move of the hero when he pushed away his wife when he learned of his disease while being pressured as well by the business he has to lead because well it was something that made his character inconsistent to the Prince Charming they pictured him to be early on. That and the obvious unnecessary scenes to propel the story when they should have neatly closed it.

It’s a comfort drama pill you can watch in the rainy days but its romantic magic will definitely wear out after 3 or maybe 4 rerun sessions.

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Hello Miss Korea! Basha!

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How do you define a single woman’s worth?  Is it in the amount of love she can give?  Is it how far she extended herself to chase her dreams?  Or is it when she was able to define what makes her happy?

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Miss Korea ran a woman empowering story of which all ladies can relate to.  It featured the strength in a woman’s failures and the weakness in a woman’s inability to not love fully.  It has clear and minimal conflicts to focus on which helped me stay on track in moments when the story flow is going dry and lacking of spontaneity.

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Although the transition of plots and conflicts move after 3 or 4 episodes, Miss Korea is such a woman strengthening drama to see.  It presents those dreams a woman usually want… those wants a woman normally dreams… her insecurities, her triumphs, her vulnerabilities and her strength to pick up herself from the slump and her ability to acknowledge her failures but never letting it hinder to try and do better. 

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And while I enjoyed the beauty pageant boot camp, and Venus tips here and there, and Lee Yeon Hee’s flawless skill to suit any character and Lee Sun Kyun’s adorkable oppa performance, I also appreciated the indirect lessons this kdrama taught a girl… “to believe that you are beautiful, to be comfortable with your skin and that the best make up and make over that you can freely have is loving someone and being loved.

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Oh Ji Young has been working as an elevator girl in a shopping mall in the 90’s. She is loved and respected by her younger workmates as she stands up for them against their vile supervisor who doesn’t waste his time in humiliating and taking advantage of the girls every day. A true beauty, Ji-young was every boy’s dream when she was in High School, and when she was presented with another chance to be the woman she could have been, even if it was from the man who broke her heart, she agreed to plunge in the dangerous and cunning world of beauty pageantry.

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A dark horse in the competition, Oh Ji Young was determined to secure the crown that would put her back in chasing her own dreams as a woman against fellow beauty queen aspirants groomed by the leading country’s salon while saving her first love’s cosmetic company which was in the brink of bankruptcy and was trying to back her up in their limited capabilities.

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Hitting the culmination where she notched the Miss Korea crown, I felt was also the end of the story. After all, it was a character-oriented plot where the romantic hints were not the main drawer of the conflict and the story, but the persevering voyage of the heroine to be a woman of value to herself, her family and the man she loved. The last episodes were just reconciling sprinkles to end a closure safely and satisfyingly and without leaving me to ask the whats and the whys of the pre-disclosed side conflicts. In this year’s parade of melodramas and vengeance driven productions, I can even say that I might pick it at my Top 10 for 2014.  True, it may be not endearing all the time but it is such a story you can sit back and watch and feel so nostalgic, blessed and happy about being a woman you were before, you are right now, and you would be in the future.

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You Who Came From The Stars Episode 11 & 12 Quick Musings

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If this drama will conclude satisfyingly with a well-knit succession of resolving the impossibility of an alien and a human falling in love with each other, I can now answer that question – “What’s my favorite korean drama?, without hesitation.  ^_^

You Who Came From The Stars episode 11 was a bliss. I laughed, cried and melted with Song-yi and Min-joon’s love story. And this is my favorite epilogue.. so painfully sweet. I just hope that it was just Min-joon’s premonition of an eventual danger and her realization of the man she’s been in love with would prevent his perilous encounter with the psychopath. Song-yi’s one night moving on from a painful one sided love fix was so hilarious and it made me remember all those crazy text messages and phone calls I did when I was also on that same boat. Kkk

8 episodes left and I’m feeling so depressed thinking on how my favorite alien who was not minding his earth life for the past 400 years now wants to gamble in his remaining 2 months stay because he fell in love with a human.  I was laying on my bed staring at the ceiling and feeling the same predicament as what he’s having.  This drama is so affecting and so fluid that while as a viewer, it’s giving me viable resolutions that are easy to imagined, I am left holding a pillow showing my puppy face and begging kdramagod to just have him become a human or her become an alien so they can live happily ever after.   Well the latter would be much more fun considering how she would be taking advantage of her alien powers.  And yes Twilight director, if you ever see this drama, this is how you make supernatural love tale so poignant and splendid in live action. period.

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I hope the greedy psychopath didn’t take Min-joon’s sacrificial offer to vindicate the evil deeds he’s been doing, and I hope Hui-kyung will stop snooping and really do some action and help our love couple from his evil brother, because if the drama will suppose not give Song-yi and Min-joon a fulfilment to reciprocate their love, at least they should give them two months of doing cotton candy kiss, walking in a garden with couple jacket and all those sweet couple things.  *please

The way it is threading though is like Min-joon’s weakening alien self really has to leave the earth.  So I have been devising closing scenarios like Min-joon momentarily leaves and will join a reality show in his planet with being a human as a prize or when his 2 months end he will lose his alien power, and saved Song-yi from evil psychopath one last time, and will be in comatose state where his soul will found Tae-yang to help him tell Song-yi who the culprit is.  Or Song-yi making a scene when Min-joon’s alien brothers pick him up doing his 15 second fairy thing and making them fall in love with her too and they will just settle for alien invasion. *chuckles

I have this feeling I would really have a hard time sending off this drama, but at least it will make love month this 2014 more so memorable because of it.

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You Who Came From The Stars Halfway Ramblings

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You Who Came From The Stars” came up so strong and has set the bar for kimchidramaland way too early this 2014, and if this is a positive omen, I can hardly wait for a year so promising.

Feisty and fun, it has surely and splendidly build up the conflict, the romance, and the conflicting romance, binding me in perplexing contemplation of my own drama finale forecast. Will he stay an alien? Will his space shuttle be stuck in Mars? Will Gu Family Book finally show up and make him a human? Will she trade her lonely top star status and be a pretty alien? Or will she open the time capsule under the sassy girl tree while waiting for Gyeon-woo oppa. Tsssss It’s been a while since I’ve been dying of anticipation to what the conclusion of the drama I am stalking would be, so dear Mr. Director and Ms. Writer you are both doing a great job. *bow
I am excited to witness the fictional fulfillment of how love will magically work its way to make this alien and human love story feasible.

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I love the execution of the characters in this tv delight because the main leads will be able to stand alone even if an eventual story slip might happen, which I doubt would be triggered anyway considering how the writer calculates the pacing without looking so dragging and predictable. It’s like a mixture of amazing awkwardness, cuteness and honesty… the conservative, recluse, pretending to be nonchalant but truly caring alien professor and the clueless vivacious cute in her self-centered way top actress, have been nourishing their romance in a traditional negotiating way where the girl always wins and the boy ends up giving in. Thus feeding on this premise, I fell in love with how they are coming to terms that they love one another.

Cheers to a runaway first half hit! I now look forward to the alien vs chaebol psychopath showdown alongside the eventual love admittance thread down the remaining episodes. I also want to see Song-yi claim her top actress status by teaching her envious double-sided friend that faking friendship guarantees losing a true friend.

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Less the tears, sob stories and dramatic dialogues, “You Who Came From The Stars” is as crisp, engaging and gripping even without using the typical emotion inducing drama scenarios. Thriving on the character ups and downs, it etches facets of realities that teaches how people struggled to concede with their insecurities and are always won over by finding faults at something or someone they won’t even have to bother. Cheon Song Yi has had me girl crushing on her proud vulnerable self whose pain all women can relate to – that is pretending something doesn’t hurt when in reality it’s making you sob when you are alone. Her trying to rescue her self regardless of the crazy fix she succumbs to has earned her a charming heroine who would stay strong in the face of her adversities but would not hesitate to ask for help when she can no longer take it.

Most of the kdrama characters I grew fond of were of the eyecandy-princey-darcy-ish-jackdawson-ish kind of guys, and this will be the first time I am going to place a girl character on my favorite list. Not that Min-joon is overshadowed by his lead girl. Their chemistry is surprisingly impeccable with or without love furtive insinuations meaning to have the other party take notice. Theirs was a tv screen relationship definitely worth watching and undoubtedly addictive because of their extreme personalities and willingness to compromise knowingly and unknowingly to their differences.

Perfect for love month, if you are up to a romantic spree with your special someone… grab your popcorn, soda and a dash of this adorable romance drama.

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You and Me Against My Rich Life: HEIRS Kdrama Series Review

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The extent of  how affecting Lee Min Ho’s melting gazes and suave moves is something that us girls can’t explain and would rather not  complain about.  Though he suffered bringing out the story to compete or at least level to kdrama favorite rom-coms, Kim Tan was a fascinating character in Kdramaland in his The Inheritors’ performance.

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Bearing the weight of the most highly anticipated drama for 2013, the large cast ensembles barely managed to get their stories and their interaction with the rest of the characters in full swing whilst trying to support the romance plot brewed the moment the show kicked in.

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It started slow, got addictive in the middling part and closed safely in the ending.  It was even a tough tale to begin with, considering the rich boy-poor girl love story milleu, there’s really not much room for the story to develop and for the characters to be loved fully, so ending with a closure without forcing “years after ending” and just focusing on the main characters’ yearnings and pain being answered and achieved has made this youth tale a sweet watch.

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Heir to a huge business conglomerate, Kim Tan has lived a luxurious and lonely life.  He has a biological mom he can’t be open to the public because it would sacrifice his position as an heir/major stockholder in his father’s company, a bride-to-be that was arranged for him to help their company become even bigger, and a brother who exiled him in fear of his own position as the first heir.  Meekly living abroad and following his brother’s desire, he found a turning point in his life, when he met poor girl Cha Eun-sang who was visiting her sister abroad.  Their quick summer interlude slowly build to a blossoming fondness that made Kim Tan chose to confront his brother and finished his forced exile and go back to Korea.  Just as he was settling in, fate gifted him of reuniting with Eun-sang who was living in their house as their servant’s daughter.  To complicate the already you-and-me-against-your-family’s-riches, Kim Tan’s former bestfriend turned frenemy also fell in love with Eun-sang and together they constantly engaged in brawls because of her.  Eun-sang finally acknowledged Kim Tan’s love throwing away the insecurities and apprehensions, but the final test of their love emerged when Tan’s father imposed a halt to the relationship they can’t afford to be in.  But in the end they survive the pressure and sustain their love after defying the rich father, the rich third parties and the hesitations and fears.

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Kim Tan’s angsty this-is-a-cruel-rich-life sessions wallowing in tears and pain because his money can’t make him be with his indecisive first love was a reminder of how love is meant for both parties to work on to be together, and that one party can’t bear the love for both of them to work as love requires compromise and mutual decision to be with one another.

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I saw Kim Tan battled the odds and Eun-sang responding most of the time in her half-hearted i-love-you-too, but showing what they were made up of in defying what needed to be overcome for their love to carry on was what made their romance special.

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It was surprising how Heirs connected its audience to the story even if the conflict was so worn out or should I say now tried and tested. Slow starting I guess paved a way for the audience to feel each and every character’s pain and bliss. The right moments and the right things to say at those moments cemented the connection well, making me understand why Young-do and Won have to be gritty and unreasonable and why Eun-sang can be so indecisive most of the time. It just all boils down to all of them caring for Tan.

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Inasmuch as I wanted to help Tan carry the weight of the crown, I’m glad he endured it and made the remaining episodes prove to us that trendy drama with recycled plots are best served with a heartfelt first love fight with your parents. *wink  I initially didn’t expect much from Lee Min Ho when the news of him taking another rich boy role happened. I mean he can just be his princey self and I will shrilling gurly scream on my pillow. But he was soo good at this drama and I can’t help but notice. Out of all the kiss scenes he had, his college boy kisses in this drama really made me feel sweet sixteen-ish, and that claiming my girl kiss on Ep 16 was the best kiss in kdramaland 2013 for me, soo sweet it radiated to me from the computer screen. *chuckles

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HEIRS was a late bloomer. I love that the characters moved to a positive redemption and the rich-boy-poor-girl love story did not thred to a fairytale with stubborn Cinderella and not thinking Prince Charming even if it moved to a predictable ending. Being stronger with its imperfections, it has managed to tug my emotions with the heartwarming and love affirming romantic scenes that has made me feel lovestruck and giddy-ish. Flaws and all, I love that this drama reminded me that at one point in our lives, when we were younger, we love blindedly, truthfully, happily and beyond reasons. We went from bliss to pain to staying together to letting go, and it has improved our love perspective as a person. -jediprincess ^_^

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2013 Pink Lightsaber K-Drama Year-end Ramblings

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While my entire stay in kdramaland for 2013 was not as faithful as I have been for 2012, I enjoyed it just the same, and I even added one drama to my all time personal favorites.
I hope I can find time next year to wrap up all my half-ways and quarterly done series reviews before 2014 first quarter wanes. 

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The deft writing and skillful directing of Nine Time Travels was a runaway hit for me sending me to pulsating “damn-this-drama-is-so-good moments.  There was no wasted episode and the characters and the time-voyaging plot harmoniously achieved an almost perfect production where conflicts and loose ends are tied and untied all throughout the story and then managed to climax in a euphoric scale where I was left marveling and renewing my kdrama addiction contract yet again.

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The ghost-seeing heroine and her adorable shield chaebol heir managed to etch their drama poster to my wall of kdrama favorites.  Joong-won and Tae-yang has had me really enjoyed the feeling of being in love just by watching how their romance blossomed.  True, that there were moments when the plot was trying to catch up with the romance but Master’s Sun notched a fun and yet epic love story of Harry&Sally proportion.  Refreshing and caffeinated, you will find yourself loving the main couple here.

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Reply 1994 worked its way to me and never looked back after once it felt that I’m hooked and addicted.  This drama rounded up the remaining spot of my top 3 dramas this year alongside Nine and Master’s Sun.  There’s just so much warming and reassuring feeling I felt while staying hooked at the cast ensembles and each of their stories.  And while I’m still waiting for Na-jung’s guess my eventual husband contest, I vouched that men and women of my age would really enjoy it as it is a reminder of us 10 years ago.  Sweetly nostalgic, I highly recommend this in your watchlist.

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I also enjoyed the love tearjerkers early this year… I Miss You That Winter The Wind Blows and When A Man Loves had made me forcedfully used up tissue rolls with the amount of weeping I spent stalking them through ups and downs, craziness and annoyance and heart flutters and bliss. 

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I am sorry I didn’t really enjoy I Hear Your Voice and Gu Family book.  The former didn’t hit the yellow chakra in me, the latter being not able to sustain the hype of the promising storyline. Heirs was surely overrated but I loved the two lead boys there, and the pantry kiss though the lead girl acted stoic was one of the best kiss Lee Min Ho has ever given in his career.  Marry Him If You Dare less the wtf ending would have been nice.  I mean I was all waiting for Mirae’s choice, but at the last minute the writer gave me the power to choose for Mirae, what’s that about?

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Joo Won didn’t wait for next year and worked on redeeming the disappointing and madly done Level 7 Civil Servant through his savant Good Doctor character which made me feast on heartwarming feelings and some new found medical knowledge.  I consider this a family drama that your mom would surely love.  Another drama mom would like is School 2013, although centered in the High Schooler’s life, the friendship and simply narrated but neatly acted story was a winning performance.

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Safely finishing their dramas, Cha Tae Hyun oppa lifted Jeon Woo Chi to a decent ending as my crush Yoo Ah In melted me over and over again to his King Sukjong role with the infamous Joseon concubine Jang Ok Jung.  Show me some magic and Tae Hyun oppa’s impeccable comic and winning performance and I’m on the ride babe.  And that swaying from the history book depiction of Jang Ok Jung story admittedly diminished my once felt angst towards Joseon’s femme fatale.  After all I’m a sucker of a two-way romance. 

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Mandate of Heaven following a Joseon fugitive plot who proved his innocence while saving his sick daughter against the court and Royal family conspiracies and the niftily done King of dramas which reminded me painfully of my once dream to become a TV drama writer were bubble wrap dramas which comforted me and made me feel good after watching them.

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Cheongdamdong Alice, Dating Agency: Cyrano, and Monstar gave me the after sweet taste of an afternoon in a park munching ice cream and cotton candy while The Great Seer and Flower-boy next door fairly amused me but certainly will be those forgettable dramas on my list this year.

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Two Weeks and Heartless City were the underrated but rockstars and dark horses in kdramaland for me this year.  The action packed thrilling plot had me most of the time on the edge of my seat anticipating the next badass move and powerplays that will unfold.

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Unfortunately I’m still trying hard to finish War of Flowers, Empire of Gold, Secret Love and Empress Ki so I can’t say much about them yet.  You From Another Star, Pretty Boy, Golden Rainbow, Miss Korea, Prime Minister and I will be on my 2014 list as it crosses over the Horse year.

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True this year was not as fabulous as last year.  It was mostly mediocre and passing dramas but there are a few good finds and 3 stellar dramas for me.  As my love time can only permit me for this quick recap, I am closing this with my pink lightsaber favorites this year.

Nine Times Travel
Master’s Sun
Reply 1994
That Winter The Wind Blows
Heartless City
King of Dramas
Jang Ok Jung
Mandate of Heaven
Two Weeks
Cheongdamdong Alice

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Hello 2014!  I’m looking forward to my kdrama treats from you!  ^_^

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Heirs Korean Drama Episode 9 Quick Musings

 

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Dear Eun-sang your hair is soo long it’s already extending here to where I am sitting. I want to step on it but Kim Tan might kill me. *chuckles We have now reached a brawly kind of love. I feel envious why I never had a complicated love life in High School. For what its worth, I’m feeling the intensity of how a love that felt so right and destined to be can’t go on because it can’t happen. Did Aunt Aphrodite miss this rich-boy-poor-girl love story? Though we are still moving at a crawling pace, I can feel the emotions drowning the characters and immersing me. It’s a disheartening feel how Kim Tan asserts how he wants to protect the girl he loves, but Eun-sang rejects that protection knowing she has to protect him too.

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Most second leads are usually meek, and I have a love-you-hate-you relationship with Young-do. I hate him when he’s starting to act unreasonable, but for the first time today I saw a facet and flicker of hope to salvage his unstable character which now I think will be a work-in-progress since he is starting to like a girl.

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We are on two stubborn boys showdown and because it can’t be settled by money but by a girl’s heart.  I’m up for who would win this contest.

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Heirs KDrama Episode 1 Musings

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So after the shower of teasers, Heirs finally happened and episode 1 kicked off  introducing the rich young heirs and the poor girl heroine.  The quick topless beach shower scene had me sweetly sigh, and I would have been drowned by it if they added a few more minutes of that euphoric-hello-leeminho-spectacle.  *chuckles

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Our rich boy Kim Tan has been living abroad being an heir to a huge conglomerate company.  He has some hyung-issues and live that I’m-rich-but-I’m-lonely life.  He came across Cha Eun-sang who visited her sister in the US who they thought was studying and getting married to a nice young man, but Eun-sang discovered the lies her sister made and even ranaway with the money their mother gave for her supposed wedding.

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Kim Tan witnessed the sisters’ confrontation scene and felt sorry towards the girl.  When his friend thought Eun-sang’s bean powder was some drugs, he took it and she chased after him.  They tangled up and scattered the powder that made Tan’s friend hospitalized because of an allergy attack.  The police took Eun-sang’s passport and because the officer knew Tan, Eun-sang asked him a favor to let her know when it will be claimed.  Tan drove Eun-sang home but no one was there.  Her pride insisted on just waiting for her sister so Tan left.  Just as she was sitting in front of the house, a group of teenage boys scared her.  She took on her luggage and just then Tan’s convertible stopped at her side and he asked her if she wants to stay in his house.

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I have this feeling that this will play on a serious tone.  I just hope that it will move to a lighter note since we have established 18-year old heirs as main characters.  I don’t know what spices the writer would be inserting to make this rich-boy-poor-girl story work, but I’m really hoping although in kdrama reality it’s not possible, that they won’t dig in on that she’s-poor-you-can’t-be-with-her plot.  I don’t also know how they are going to make the screen time for all the boys work but I’m liking that Woo-bin is on a bad boy rich rebel character.  To be honest since this is highly anticipated, I am not going to expect something in case I will get disappointed.  At any rate there’s always Lee min Ho to appease me.  If it will stuck up, they can just show the boys’ faces all the time.   But you know, it would be a bonus if this will not be your typical angsty rich people sad life story.  Please don’t be.  

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Episode 1 fairly touched some of the premises and connections of the characters, and since we are yet to meet the other players, I decided to wait for the completion of this dramas’ introduction.  It was a pretty start for the lead couple as they showcased what is expected of them, adding some spike on it and reverting to the preconceived notion of what they could be.    I am going to give this drama at least 6 episodes to hook me.  So Lee Min Ho, amuse me. ^_^

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The shining love of Joong-won and Tae-yang

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Once in a while a surprisingly good love story would remind me why I became addicted to Korean Romantic Comedies.  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.

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Although there was a lengthening kick in the final stretch, “The Master’s Sun” has given me a lot of elating moments and back-to-when-I-had-my-first-love heart fluttering scenes.   In a way the calculated but not false-hope promising story pace has made me join the lead love couple in discovering the reasons why they fell in love with each other alongside why they were in denial and scared to admit it. 

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What can I say? Hong sisters are back for a cotton candy vengeance. They have created the perfect lead man and heroine to score a romance frequently seen in kdramaland and yet watching them together would make you ask for MORE… It was really an endearing and sweet “I’m-sorry-Abby-for-making-you-watch-BIG-now-drool-at-sojisub oppa” gift by my favorite Korean scriptwriters… The romance was built slowly, surely and strongly… It brought the rich-boy-plain-girl romance in a whole new level as Tae Yang and Joong Won fully understand the extent of how much emotions they can invest to each other. So refreshingly done and yet so polished. I’m running out of adjectives.  *wink

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A once promising student, Tae Gong-shil, was called “Tae-yang” when she was studying because of her brilliant mind, but she unfortunately met an accident and woke up to a creepy ability.  She could see ghost.  For years, it caused her to live a hard life as ghost after ghost came to ask favor for their souls to be at peace.  Alcohol intoxication is also a no-no because a spirit can take over her body if she’s drunk.  She lived as if waking up in a hospital, a jail or even a tomb is normal, until she met the person who will change her life.

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A rich chaebol CEO, Joo Joong-won has only been living to make his very rich self even richer.  Having an estranged relationship with his father because of a trauma from his past, he has built a cold exterior that no one can get through… until he met her.

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In one of Tae-yang’s spirit-favor-operation, she hitched at Joong-won’s car after his driver was blinded when a lightning struck.  Not really wanting to give a ride to the weird girl in that stormy night, Joong-won was forced to oblige, when she fearfully screamed when a ghost appeared before her.  They stopped at a place to calm down the frightened Tae-yang and when a ghost tried to chase Tae-yang, she realized that when she touches Joong-won, the ghost vanished.

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Having found a way to shelter herself from the spirit attacks she so not wanted, she went to Joong-won’s mall to get a cleaning lady job.   Tae-yang’s ghost-seeing ability has put her on situations that made her interact with snob Joong-won and without him realizing it, Joong-won fell in love with her because of their casper-ish adventures.  Although Tae-yang felt the same way her woes of putting him in danger because of her ability hindered her in staying in his arms.

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A romantic comedy needs a “hook factor” to keep a loyal following.  At times the story may be incomprehensible and recycled but the lead actor is eye-candy or the acting is mediocre but the story and writing is brilliant and refreshing.  Master’s Sun doesn’t fall in any of those categories.  It has a solid chemistry from the main lead which made the quirky writing and story appeared like a classic fairy tale.

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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 fell in love with the person and how your mind will be overpowered by reasons.  

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When I learned that So Ji Sub oppa will be in this drama, it was already a done deal for me even if it would turn out bad, so seeing him make those boyish smile, mischievous smile, flirty smile, melting smile and all the rest of the smiles and grins he made in this drama, I felt my heart-broken self curse was healed.  *chuckles  The onscreen chemistry with Gong Hyo Jin really worked out well.  Her chameleon self can really create a vibrant, lasting character that complements the love tale prince.  I gasped, blushed, giggled and cried to the love admittance push-and-pull and jedi-mindtricking by this lead couple. 

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Master’s Sun has always been consistent with its cliff-hangers and that’s why maybe kdramaland addicts have been raving and buzzing about it. It is so caffeinated like that feeling when you are in the beginning of a relationship when you don’t want a night to end and yet you want another day to begin. This has been making me act like a prisoner marking my calendar, waiting for that day that I know I will be happy. *chuckles

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All throughout the series, they have established the main conflict involving Hee-joo while inserting those other ghost cases in building up the circumstances that helped in making Joong-won and Tae-yang get closer and that sweet finale episode sealed this beautiful romance with a passionate kiss.  True there were some insertions that didn’t give the answer why it was included, but Joong-won has made me just disregard those lapses.  The supporting cast and the side love stories were also neatly included.  I am delighted that they didn’t pull a make-believe transition towards its finale.  While it went to the amnesia cliché, it didn’t make it like they were stuck somewhere. It went strong to portraying how even without his memories of her, his connection with her is somehow still intact and his reflexes were helping him to fathom what and who he was supposed to be missing.

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I am still feeling the after-warmth of Joon-won and Tae-yang’s love story.  I did get annoyed at how how she was playing hard to get in the dying episodes, but then I just realized how hard it really is to feel that you don’t deserve someone’s love. Master’s Sun is all I will remember in kdramaland this year. It was a nicely blended romance which showed a love pair growing together while understanding why they both need each other. It was a relationship where the couple did what they can do so that they won’t end up in the position where they will ask “what they could have done”. Being with someone is not half-loving yourself and half-loving him. It should be loving the person with all you can.

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It’s amazing how one drama can make me forget all the rest of the bad kdramas this year.  I’m still waiting for Heirs and Jun Ji Hyun’s drama, but I have placed Master’s Sun to my top pick this year (waiting for possible company) and included it to my All-time favourites. -jediprincess

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Master’s Sun Episode 14 KDrama Musings

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Tae-yang escaped Joong-won’s interrogation about her relationship to him by providing him answers to his questions but withdrawing the essentials behind their connection.  Without his memory he  cannot comprehend how she got closer to him and she explained that she has a special sixth sense that was of value to him but when he got hurt, feeling bad about it, she distanced herself from him.  He told her how things happened to him which in his sane mind was unlikely of him to do and yet he did it.  He also thought that he is forgetting very important but he can’t piece out the details.  He asked her if it was because of her and to evade his instinctive query, she replied that he did forget something and grabbed the cans of beer he left inside her fridge.

Joong-won questioned his uncle about his knowledge about Tae-yang and him and he responded that he can only give him answers based on the rumours about it but of course it was far from what really truly happened between them.  Late at night Tae-yang and Kang-woo shared some drinks.  Kang-woo worried about her situation since her shelter can’t remember her and she might be scared again because of the ghosts.  Tae-yang replied that she won’t be scared anymore because when she saw Joong-won’s wandering soul in the hospital that day she was so scared that nothing can top up that fright anymore.  She was already resigned to not dragging Joong-won in her life anymore.  She told him about her plans to go back to school asa her ghostly friends can help her out anyway to test questions.  Kang-woo quipped that since he’s good at protecting, he will be protecting her and they raised their cans to cheer each other up.

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Joong-won meanwhile was still in deep contemplation about his situation.  He muttered that something felt missing in his body which of course all of us know mean that he’s feeling empty.

The next morning Madam Shaman visited tae-yang and reminded her of their contract in saving Joong-won and as it turned out Tae-yang became her ghost bounty hunter.  She was tasked to gather dead unmarried single women for her after-life match making business so off she played tomb-raiding while holding on Joong-won’s necklace everytime she gets scared. 

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While Yi-ryun was being convinced by her manager about a Hollywood project, she saw Tae-yang with Madam Shaman speaking with clients.  She talked with Kang-woo about her possible shoot outside the country and mentioned how she saw Tae-yang with a witch-looking ajumma.

Kang-woo deduced who the weird looking ajumma was and asked Tae-yang about it.  She confirmed what he learned and told him not to worry as Madam Go knew her pretty well.

At work, Joong-won while browsing his voice recorder heard Tae-yang’s recording when she took in Secretary Kim’s post for a day.  Bothered by things always popping up linking him to Tae-yang, he went to her room and stared at an empty space which was seen by his aunt.

Tae-yang and Madam Shaman went to meet a client who was bothered by his dead ex-gf showing in his dreams.  He is getting married soon so he doesn’t want to be bothered by it.  At the same restaurant, Hana and Joong-won’s aunt waited for Joong-won for their lunch.  Joong-won arrived and saw Tae-yang happily chatting with the client confirming her knowledge of his dead ex-gf so he pressed himself to their meeting.  He touched her and the ghost disappeared so she scolded him for touching her when she’s working but Joong-won scared the ajussi to run and get lost if he wanted to be safe.  He proceeded to their lunch table and again looked at Hanna’s sun necklace wondering why he was so drawn to it.

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Aunt asked Madam Shaman a favour about Joong-won’s ghost thus Tae-yang was summoned to their lunch.  Aunt asked if she sees a ghost in the room and Tae-yang confirmed it and  both Hanna and Joong-won’s  faces were startled.

“Cha Hee-joo ssi.  I don’t want to see you anymore.  So please tell us now, who was the person who made you die.  I will tell him.”

Joong-won stood up, touched her and made Hee-joo disappear.  Tae-yang again reminded him not to touch her when she’s working.  He grabbed her to talk outside and again denounced the reason why she has to let him go.  She warned him not to touch her again.

Secretary Kim figured out what happened to his niece Hanna and realized his new identity as well.  Kang-woo provided Joong-won with the evidence about Hee-joo’s twin so Joong-won learned about him trying to look for Hee-joo’s accomplice.

The ajussi who stabbed Joong-won went to Kingdom Mall looking for Tae-yang but was halted by Kang-woo’s martial arts moves.  He pleaded to Joong-won how he didn’t mean what he did but necause he covered himself to Tae-yang, he got hit instead.  Joong-won can’t understand why he was willing to die for her but Kang-woo confirmed and told him that he was willing to die just to save her.

Joong-won went crazy trying to solve his memory-loss-jigsaw-ouzzle and even resorted to the ghosts at Tae-yang’s used-to-be room for answers.

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Tae-yang asked Madam Go if she knew how she obtained her powers and she responded that it could be because of her soul that wandered for 3 years after an accident.  Then we see Tae-yang’s ghost-coffee-loving-friend talking with a man who appeared to be also seeing ghosts.  What???  We only have 3 episodes and we have another male contender for the heroine’s heart?

Aunt asked Joong-won to become Hanna’s partner at an event.  His uncle told him that he was refrained from sharing anything about Tae-yang but he’ll do it now.  He told Joong-won how Tae-yang went to the hospital everyday, crying about his situation.  He also confirmed how his heart stopped and he literally died and came back to life.  He gave him an indirect advice that the sparkling-rich woman his aunt kept pushing to him could make a good life but he was willing to throw his life for ghost-seeing-poor Tae-yang.  That was the best line uncle said so far in this series.

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Tae-yang went to Joong-won’s office thinking it was Secretary Kim who summoned her but it was in fact Joong-won.  They were on for confrontation #3.  Joong-won began his predicament by stating how he has been trying to grasp what happened to him and it has always been pointing to her.  He presented evidence and questioned Tae-yang like he was a lawyer but Tae-yang while admitting that she saw his soul, didn’t tell him what he told her when he vanished.

Kang-woo also concluded Hanna’s identity and was about to report it to Secretary Kim but the latter conveyed first his relationship to Hee-joo and Hanna.

Tae-yang and Madam Go went to their client’s wedding and Tae-yang finally convinced the dead ex-gf to let go of him since he is now married.  They saw Joong-won and Hanna on their way to attend an event.  Uncle mentioned how he saw Tae-yang in the lobby but Joong-won ignored it.  He told him how Tae-yang was bound to serve Madam Go for some weird contract.  Joong-won didn’t waste time and confronted Madam Shaman about it.  She asked if he’s interested to restore his memory but he dismissed it by saying he just wanted to know what the contract was but she hinted anyway that he just have to remember something he forgot before he woke up.  He still insisted about the worth of compensation and not wanting to go further with her taunting to restore his memory.  He muttered that all has been lost and he doesn’t want to dwell on it.  Madam Go responded how Tae-yang has been taking all the pain for him and he replied how he knew it that’s why he wanted to do his share.  He asked her how much the contract cost one last time and Madam Go replied how Tae-yang gave all her self so he can start calculating on that note.

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Mind-exhausted to the puzzle he has been trying to solve, he leaned on the door and remembered how he stared at Tae-yang one time while she was resting at her office room.  His aunt and Hanna noticed him and they asked if he’s okay.  He excused himself and told them how he was not really feeling well.  He was again drawn by Hanna’s sun necklace.  He moved his hand trying to scoop something to hold and then voila!  His memory of the necklace came back.  He told them that he will look for something he lost.  Hanna tried to halt him and asked if her necklace was not the one he lost and he replied that it was the same but hers was not genuine.

Tae-yang pleaded to Hee-joo not to appeal her request anymore as she doesn’t care about Joong-won anymore.  She was about to throw Joong-won’s sun necklace but he got in time and stopped her from doing it. 

“Did you really think you could do without your safety shelter?”

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My Thoughts:

This episode was a stubborn episode, until the dying minutes when Joong-won recovered his forgotten memories, the characters kept circling about “his stubborn urge to unravel the mystery of Tae-yang’s connection to him” and “her stubborn self denying his probing and still sacrificing their happiness because of her scary thought that she’ll put him on danger”.

If the man-seeing-ghost will be adding some jealousy push for Tae-yang and Joong-won I would love it.  I would like to see how Joong-won will take it knowing that the other man is at an advantage since he can relate to Tae-yang’s 6th sense very well.  For all we know he could be Tae-yang’s boyfriend while her soul was wandering for 3 years and when he was resurrected, he waited for the perfect timing to get their love story another chance in the real world. I’ll stop now, my imagination is running wild for endless possibilities.

3 episodes left and any moment they will reveal the truth about Hee-joo and Hanna’s crime.

Joong-won who has always been pushing what he felt towards Tae-yang again did it one more time this episode that I felt like it’s also a refreshing thing in kdramas when you have a stubborn romantic lead man who not even an amnesia was able to stop him from claiming the woman in his heart.

I see a very exciting episode 15 coming up as with his memory back I know Joong-won will not back down to convince Tae-yang just as how she should not be stubborn to think that she will bring misfortune to him.

 Episode 15, I am ready for you!  ^_^

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The Master’s Sun Episode 13 KDrama Musings

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So they settled with the amnesia excuse.   I said I won’t whine.  So okay.  I’m not feeling better, I have exhausted all the So Ji Sub videos I can get from the video sites to help me with my meds, so I will just let this one cliché pass… plus I felt that they used it wisely anyway.

master13-00012master13-00019a ****Summary**** Tae-yang remembered the shaman woman who told her about the risk of her abilities and when to seek her guidance.  The shaman woman went Ursula and agreed to help her by waging her ghostly power.  They summoned back Joong-won to the living by using the sun necklace he gave her but calling him back will also erase the memory of him.  So now they use the necklace not for getting back the memory but erasing it, although I might think that it will still be useful in this drama’s conclusion. Joong-won woke up and when his aunt realized he has lost all his memories of Tae-yang.  He can only remember that stormy night when he taunted the thunder to strike him.  Aunt took that opportunity and asked her husband and Secretary Kim not to mention Tae-yang to Joong-won.  When he went home, he saw the wolf/sheep books that he was trying to read and was surprised when along with his amnesia his dyslexia was miraculously healed. Bored at home he visited his mall and crossed path with Tae-yang… The bench ajussi ghost tried to help by moving the trash can so Joong-won noticed Tae-yang’s back but his aunt saw what’s going to happen and so she revert his attention. 1379597304_574662 When Secretary Kim mentioned him receiving a special public duty award, he cannot fathom the heroic acts he was told he has done lately.  He stepped out of his room and even his reflexes are pointing to him in seeking the most important person his memory cannot remember. He entered Tae-yang’s room and again was surprised to learn he created that office.  Tae-yang was packing her things up with Kang-woo and chose not to face him. Knowing how Tae-yang’s heart was breaking, Kang-woo suited our favourite second lead costume and assured her that he will be there to protect her, but she politely declined his offer as she still thinks that being close to her might also put him in danger.   Yi-ryung showed up at Tae-yang’s rooftop place but Kang Woo was able to stop her from her potential bullying.  Bravely and openly showing her one-sided adoration towards Kang-woo, he thanked her for giving him an idea to become diligent with what he feels for Tae-yang. While on her car, Yi-ryung was having disturbing thoughts about Kang Woo and Tae-yang and over at Joong-won’s place his family was having dinner with Hana.  He asked his aunt about the books and her husband slipped nthat it could probably related to his someone special.  But quick to the charade they were playing Hana remarked that she owned it and left it by accident last time she was introduced to the housekeeper.  Aunt and Ha Na are pushing for a possible match with Joong-won and our poor heroine found the same books at a store and remembered how Joong-won told her he read that book and it caused his head to burst. 201309192244561710_1 Yi-ryung took action to mark her man and so she set up a date for Joong-won and Tae-yang at the place he declared his love for her.  While Tae-yang waits for Yi-ryung a ghost popped up but Joong-won also approached and calmed her down, and his immediate touch made the ghost vanished.  And at this point I was really feeling the pain, she must have been feeling.  She knew it was Joong-won’s touch that made her feel safe but she’s choosing not to make him remember her because she was stuck on that notion that she’s putting him on danger.  Joong-won quipped that he noticed her because they were reading the same book and mentioned how he felt something intense as well when he touched her, he asked if she felt it too, but she still didn’t face him and sobbed silently. Joong-won contemplated about his shelter-incident with Tae-yang but he can’t piece out when he felt that. 주군의-태양.E12.130912.HDTV_.X264.720p-BarosG07-47-08 Secretary Kim asked permission from Joong-won for a vacation.  It was also revealed his relationship with twins Hee-joo and Hana.  He was in contact with Hana but failed to locate Hee-joo when she was still alive.  And as we all know, it was revealed that the twins orchestrated the abduction and when Hee-joo died, Hana survived with the jewelry ransom. The brother-kids at Tae-yang’s study motel building went to seek their toy prizes and again surprised amnesiac Joong-won why he gave out his business cards and shop-all-you-want promise to those kids. And finally at the dying minutes of this episode the kids reminded him of they helped him read and how he was a special person to someone.  He asked the name of that person again and they said her name Tae Gong Shil/Tae yang. Then we see Tae-yang coming back home with a guest ghost – Cha Hee-joo.  She asked her to lend her body if she loved Joong-won.  But then Joong-won came, and touched her so Hee-joo wanished. 

“On that stormy night, who are you?  Are you Tae-yang?”

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QUICK MUSINGS

On that stormy night, who are you?  Are you Tae-yang? And they left us hanging on that question?  Depending on Tae-yang’s answer and Joong-won’s response after her reply.  We don’t know yet if he is feigning ignorance that his memory came back after the kids helped him tried to remember her.  I drew out these possible scenarios because I have to put it in writing so I won’t be thinking about it until next week.  The final 4 episodes I think would be very meaty, and I’m happy that the amount of sigh I made while waiting for this episode to be subbed paid off… calmed me and relieved my week-old broken heart.

Tae-yang confirms + Joong-won recovered his memory = Yey!  Joong-won ♥ Tae-yang 4ever!!!

Tae-yang confirms + Joong-won still has amnesia = Joong-won will ask questions until he gets the answer to all his questions

Tae-yang denies + Joong-won recovered his memory = Joong-won will push for their love once more 

Tae-yang denies + Joong-won still has amnesia = Joong-won might just go with his aunt’s plans and not push to uncovering that “something” missing in his life.

Tsss I am now even using Math because of this drama.  *chuckles

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If all these scenarios won’t happen, and Joong-won remained amnesiac, then the surprise Hee-joo’s visit to Tae-yang will play an important role, if she will show up again and Tae-yang agrees.  I think her ghostly self realized that it was stupid to protect her evil twin so she will use Tae-yang’s body to warn Joong-won about it. I want to watch a lot of heart fluttering “Joong-Won-Tae-Yang moments”.  Who doesn’t?  There will be I think one final conflict that will close Hee-joo’s case once and for all and we don’t know yet if the evil shaman woman will show up again to make Tae-yang fulfil her promise.

Master’s Sun has always been consistent with its cliff-hangers and that’s why maybe kdramaland addicts have been raving and buzzing about it.  It is so caffeinated like that feeling when you are in the beginning of a relationship when you don’t want a night to end and yet you want another day to begin.  This has been making me act like a prisoner marking my calendar, waiting for that day that I know I will be happy.  *chuckles

This episode surprised me because whilst it went to the amnesia cliché, it didn’t make it like they were stuck somewhere.  It went strong to portraying how even without his memories of her, his connection with her is somehow still intact and his reflexes were helping him to fathom what he was supposed to be missing.  Given his curious self, I’m sure he will get to the bottom of it soon.  When I say “soon”, I’m hopeful, it’s the next episode.  I just wished that Tae-yang will stop blaming herself and also push herself to him instead of nursing a broken heart that isn’t supposed to be broken anyway. 

I am liking that all throughout the series, they have established the main conflict involving Hee-joo while inserting those other ghost cases in building up the circumstances that helped in making Joong-won and Tae-yang get closer and I am confident that the trajectory of the finale will be awesome and full of love.  ^_^

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The Sweet Music and Young Love of “Monstar”

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I was really adamant to see Monstar at first, I thought it would be another youth drama with characters having parental issues, but when I saw it was only 12 episodes I gave it a chance because its coinciding airing summer productions were all disappointingly flat and unmoving. It was like a sad summer kdrama ensembles special that I have caught up with all the variety shows.  

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Then came this delightful school drama with vivacious musical insertions, I found myself swooning and giggling at how the equally gorgeous and talented high school boys score points to win the heart of a bright-eyed guitar girl whose social skills was nurtured by growing up with talking to a sheep.  Albeit my short lived baffled look when I can’t find the meaning of “Monstar” in the search engines, I really enjoyed hanging out with these teens.

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Monstar is that sweet summer walk you had with your crush when you were young and the unadulterated fleeting kiss you shared with your first love. It’s an endearing youth drama that was neatly planned that even with its predictable plot, the story as a whole flowed in cheerfulness, vibrant characters, friendship and blush-inducing romantic interludes.

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Yoon Seol Chan was a famous band vocalist with incredible musicality but poor social skills.  His temperament was sporadic and most of the time unreasonable that the talent agency housing him was struggling to clear each trouble he might catch which is basically most of the time.  In one of his filming schedule he first met the girl who would change his ways without him realizing it after.

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Min Se Yi was a transfer student who was lost wandering the school which was currently busy because of an on-going video shoot.  While exploring her new school with her cellphone, she entered the space where Seol-chan was exchanging words with his lead actress in the video production they were working with.  The teen actress confiscated Se-yi’s camera when she thought she was a student paparazzi and returned it to Seol-chan who realized Se-yi was really not intending to eavesdrop on them in their awkward kiss position but was really taking a picture of a lip poster.

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Their second encounter happened fast and indirectly when Seol-chan thought Se-yi was hit by their van when they were trying to evade the swarming of Seol-chan’s screaming fan girls, but it was a fluke and he ended up being kissed by a desperate follower whom received a face slap instead of a kiss back from him. 

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Because of the fan-slap situation Seol-chan’s talent agency was left no choice but to send him to school to purify his image.  From there he became seat-mate with Se-yi who was also rejected by the silent-girl-bully Na-na. 

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Class president Jung Sun-woo was tasked by the home room teacher to take care of the new student and idol student who came in late to school.  Little by little an old feeling that he had from his childhood crush resurfaced as he gets closer with the little girl who was Se-yi all grown up.

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The homeroom teacher who was also Se-yi’s aunt was being pressured by the school principal to convince the mini orchestra club whose members were from the elite family to perform in a charity event, but “AllForOne” don’t want to engage in that activity.  The teacher saw a glimpse of hope when she heard Se-yi and Sun-woo’s duet for their practical exam and when an incident involving vandalism in Gyeongbuk palace happened, a forced band was formed as they were made to believe that they will be in dire position if they won’t form a band and practice a production for the charity event. 

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A friendship circle emerged as the music bond them all together.  As Seol-chan’s anger management accidental program was giving positive effects on him, he has also realized that he was falling in love with Se-yi who was also eyed by Sun-woo who has kept her in his heart for years… and thus the young love sweet love triangle emerged.

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When “AllForOne” realized the charity performance was not a bad gig after all, they expressed intention of their participation to the school vice principal and because Color Bar (Se-yi and Seol-chan’s group) was already putting their might on it, a contest was launched to determine who will be the performers.  Sun-woo also left AllForOne to join the underdog students’ band.

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It was a fiery exchange of musical talent but “AllForOne” emerged victorious but Color Bar trended so much in the World Wide Web and Se-yi and Seol-chan finally mutually acknowledged their love connection by sealing it with a kiss. 

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Nearing to the story’s culmination the lead girl discovered a trauma from her past that almost didn’t make them appear to their second battle with AllForOne, but her Idol Prince Charming rose to the occasion and used his own wound to strengthen his girl who sheltered herself all her life by fronting her optimistic, free-spirited outlook.

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Monstar is a drama case where an extension was needed, and with or without an extension, it would not make it less beautiful.  I rarely pick youth themed series because I don’t like it when the immature characters are moving in an immature plot.  So I thought I hit jackpot by sitting prettily as the characters charmed me with how they move in the story.  No hassles, no pout moments, just smoothly moving tale of the typical faces of youth as they battle whatever life throws at them.

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The love lines strengthened and gave zest to this drama, while the splendid music made it so addictive, it was the main love couple, the strong love triangle taunts and the prototype love square I-love-a-boy-who-love-a-girl-who-love-another-boy context that made Monstar not just your boring and recycled youth drama spectacle.

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There were no wasted sub-stories and the plot was always steady focusing on one simple conflict after another while maintaining the sweet sizzling brewing of the blossoming romance between the young love couple.  The 3 way one sided love story between Se-yi and Sun-woo and Sun-woo and Nana produced most of the love lessons I learned or shall I say I once learned but now forgotten.  That brave Se-yi’s rejection of Sun-woo after giving him a sweet I’m-sorry-I-can’t-love-you-back date was piercing but it was one of my favorite moments because the lead girl was decisive but knew the extent of what she can do to cushion the pain she will be inducing.  Nana on the other hand spoke a lot of quotable lines all throughout while her tough composure made her bear the pain of seeing someone she loves love another girl who loves another man.  I like the girls in this drama, they swerved from the typical lead girl drama face to bring about girls who cried for a reason.

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Since the cast were mostly rookie actors, I liked that the director didn’t force the issue to present real-acting required scenarios.  The production sketched mediocrely with how the story grew, and portrayed the people simply and sincerely.   They played it safe, but they play it safe refreshingly and gorgeously. 

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I was also crushing on Se-yi, there’s something about her face that’s really engaging, and her pureness and her bracing naivety will trigger a lot of kdrama lead girl for her I think.  Her lead boys gave candid and staunch performance and yes it may not be a seasoned acting but they did make me blush anyway.  I love those boys. Period. CAPSLOCK.

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4 months more and my yearly favorites bucket is now half-filled, thanks to this engrossing tale of all of us when we were eighteen.  Sassy and sweet, this will be 2013’s youth drama to beat for me. -jediprincess

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The lovestory of rich-Bond-wanna-be and bright-eyed breadwinner Level 7 Civil Servants

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Commencing at a very strong note with hilarious situations and a lot of cutesiness, Level 7 Civil Servant hit a boulder midway as it got struck with trust issues that would have been easy to explain scenarios if not for the writer’s sticking to unreasonable judgment perception that he only understood. The happiness saved from its early episodes dropped fast as it went berserk and confused on the main conflict the show was talking about and even in the dying episodes it was acting like it was a more than 50-episode sageuk when it will be soon hitting the closure.

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So there were two stories, the love story between rich-boy and poor-girl agent and NIS leaders being stalked out of revenge by the weak villains in the story. They put it together and they created chaos. Or we can just say there were two parts, the “happy” part and the “what happened?” part… they forced it together and left me disappointed… not Big-fashion-king-disappointment but it was a sad tv experience because I was so hooked in the first 10 episodes only to be left stranded when the drama writer switched to his Jekyll character.

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There were a lot of inefficient and inconsistent characters who functioned as annoying conflict and regular fillers to the story and I disliked how the cast have all moments of decreased IQ and skills in moments when they were required to use either their intellect and muscles. The cluttered patriotic sense was really all over in the series that I felt like I was watching Paris Hilton in a Criminal Minds episode.

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Rich, debonair-devil-may-care-I-have-rich-father’s-money to spend on dreamt of entering NIS (chief intelligence bureau in Korea) eversince he saw James Bond when he was young. Pampered by his mother and bribed by a new car he agreed to match-making sessions and met Kim Kyung-ja who was paid by her friend to pose as a daughter of a diplomat to attend the scheduled blind dates. After a not so pleasant first encounter, they met again at NIS training camp and slowly changed from bickering to understanding each other’s pain and dream.

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Pil-hoon’s rich father covertly engaged in a deal with an NIS wanted person and his connection was being used by the bureau to track down the fugitive. The discipline officer faked Pil-hoon’s dismissal and gave him a secret mission to stay close to his father and Pil-hoon who has aboji issues was left no choice but to comply out of filial duties and his patriotic drive.

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The villains in the story were composed of a 3-man crew who were children of then NIS accomplices who were also trading illegal weapons. After their families were wiped out, they vowed to avenge their families’ fate by killing the NIS leaders involved. They have managed to kill two already, but the second leader they killed also fatally wounded the leader leaving his girlfriend and younger brother to carry on their vile payback mission.

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Pil-hoon/Gil-ro started working in his father’s company and after a year, he got a surprise when Kyung-ja/Seo-won applied in their company as a new employee, little did he know that she was on an NIS mission to get closer to him to obtain the documents they needed which was under Pil-hoon’s father’s care.

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Seo-won knew that if her cover will be discovered, it will shatter Gil-ro and although she truly has genuine feelings for Gil-ro she has to accomplish her task. Then came the unveiling of his girlfriend’s intention which was also the turning point as the story turned hazy. Gil-ro was appeased by the betrayal he felt and his love for Seo-won overpowered the honesty issues he first can’t forgive.

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Gil-ro joined the team in their chase to track down the remaining two villains but the internal movement in the agency where the NIS Director conspired with the villain girl to obtain valuable information in the expense of selling down the bureau’s river was really uncalled for I think. I just can’t understand why in their immense power they were actually laying cards with the baddies when they should just take actions. I mean the fiend-duo didn’t hold a detonator for the agency building so I can’t understand why they made it look  so hard for the NIS people to close down the mission.

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I was not caring anymore when it hit the finale episode, I just want it to end because I can’t comprehend what they were trying to chalk up or if they were really trying to. And then they pulled that “kidnap-the-lead-girl-thing” and discipline-officer’s hospital absolution of sin moment and I was sent to purgatory. If the revenge and romance plot will be divided, it would have stood alone and it would have been okay but it was really a fusion gone bad. 

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The love moments of Gil-ro and Seo-won and the breaking of those love moments were the only flicker of bliss that gasped every now and then in that 20-episode series. It was a disheartening thought because it has lot of potentials but it got perplexed and wasn’t able to get back to its footing.

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Like a bubble gum it will be sweet in the beginning but it will turn tasteless as you chew it. Well, Joo Won will be there to drool with but this will be a forgettable project of his. 

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Level 7 Civil Servant was not badly thought but it was badly executed. So I won’t say that it was a bad drama as there were episodes that really showed promise but the more important ones were notched unsuccessfully. So I’ll be safe in saying “watch it at your own risk”. -jediprincess ^_^

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The love, the flowerboys and the neighbor.

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Flower Boy Neighbor started very strong with its interesting characters, humor and romantic developments between the love receivers and givers, however it failed to accomplish a closure befitting of its cheerful beginning and heartfelt middle revelations due to the lead girl’s inconsistent and indecisive nature and the lead man’s inability to own the love he worked so hard to earn.  When you have made a she-agoraphobic embraced the past she was trying to forget and you scored another miracle by having her fallen in love with you, that’s already an extra-mile in the world of love.  No other things can come between the two of you if you both agree to face it no matter what.  And that is why the ending for me was a half-baked-okay-let’s-just-end-it conceived one, but then again it pulled a lot of crazy-Abby-laughing scenes for me from its onset, so there, the 3rd Flower-boy series would be absolved of not nailing a worthy and fulfilling ending.

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Go Dok Mi has shut herself to outside communication because of the trauma from her past.  The only entertainment value in her agoraphobic life was her peeping on a cute neighbor, but she was soon discovered when the cousin of the cute neighbor, Enrique, realized her binocular moments with his cousin.  Enrique was on a short visit to Korea because of her game business.  He was famous in the gamer and nerd world because of the games he developed.  He also harbored a long-running secret adoration to a girl who loves his cousin hyung.safe_image.php211a8_neighbor01-00040a

In streaks of awkward moments he got curious about Go Dok-mi’s hermit life and before he realized it, he wanted to  heal her sad past and show her what she ahs been missing in her life.

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To complete and make the love conflict move, son-of-chaebol-and-frustrated-webtoon-artist Jin-rak has been secretly loving the girl next door who was afraid to see the world.  Everyday he writes an encouragement note attached to a milk carton for her, but his secret love failed to launch because sunny Enrique in his blithe personality warmed Dok-mi’s heart. 

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So far Jin-rak tops my list on the best supporting male lead.  He stabilized the story and gave a depth to the simple love conflict.  I dig “mimi” love big time, I don’t know why but his version of love was the same as that of the doctor 2nd lead in Greatest Love.  It was a very sincere love but then again no matter how honest a love is, it has to be reciprocated.

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Enrique won me over with his suave, comic and don’t-worry-be-happy-smell-the-roses-life-is-beautiful-attitude, but at the end of the day I liked him but not to a point of loving him.  Maybe because this drama was just for the refreshing feel of love, it was that kind of love you look back sometimes even when you are happily in love with someone.

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I have issues on the moments when Dok-mi can’t make up her mind and was dwelling on “I’m ruining his dream” thing because realistically, since she has already came to terms with her hermit self and has acknowledged that she has also the capability to love, she should have not gone to the extent of dawdling around and playing a she-loves-me-she-loves-me-not game with Enrique.

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In all truthfulness I liked the “Jack Dawson I’ll show you the world love story of Enrique and Dok-mi, but this time I felt more on the unreturned and unwarranted love of Jin-rak to Dok-mi, because it was so heartfelt and realistic.  To make me remember more of the second lead’s love meant that the focal love tale was not cemented well. 

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This was a good while it last drama case, but you eventually will forget as time passes by.  While there are a few moments that will make you feel good and love-filled, it was not a solid love story you get to tell your friends.  It lost the vigor along the way when they have inserted the “love, dream, leave” triumvirate.

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The conflicts that arose in the story were half-acceptable, I really hated the nerd fans controlling the gamer-god Enrique, and the latter can’t do anything about it.   I mean, man if this is a modern-time problem, can you just give me a “you-and-me-against-the-world” love barrier  instead of geeks between Romeo and Juliet kind of conflict.  That basically was the weakness of this story, the “challenges” that pushed the characters to redeem and expound their personas and the resulting effect of the discord to how they deal with their emotions.

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Sassy and sweet, this is a soothing spectacle perfect for teens this summer. I would still recommend this for a nice watch, but consider you’re forewarned on a quasi-Lie-To-Me closing episodes.  If you want to go with an upbeat characters, cute couple bickerings and cotton candy scenes, and a fairly done love story, go get your binoculars and take a peek at Flower Boy neighbor. -jediprincess

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The Romance We all Need

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It was like watching my very own love story in the television screen (less the ever-after part)… I cried… I reminisced… I laughed and for a moment, I yearned how it feels to be in a blissful, addictive, sometimes-painful-yet-binding and worth taking a risk kind of romance.  Before the love month wanes, “I Need Romance” filled me up with so much retrospection and argued with my existing love standpoint and rules of dating. 

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This love drama was tailored in a sex and the city vibe and narrated the modern love stories of women in their 30’s and how they struggled to keep a romantic relationship and the lack of it. 

The funk and the feistiness of the story and characters, the importance of sex, love and honesty in a relationship along with the sassy girl friendship were enough for me to be drawn and stayed peeking at these lovely women who covered the different faces of a relationship love boat.

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In-young has been in a 10-year relationship with Sung-soo, it was your typical because-we-have-alot-of-memories-we-can’t-break-up kind of love, but their commitment was shattered when Sung-soo entertained a fleeting romance.  He liked both girls but in a different degrees.  His love for In-young was seasoned through time, and sealed by the familiarity, comfort and memories, whereas the new love was making him refreshed, it was thrilling him and was attacking his basic instinct.  He tried to fight it off, but a moment of laxing his guard has caused him an affair that broke his long-running relationship.  *pffftt *feltFamiliar

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Sung-soo finally got his break as a Film Director, it was for him a great opportunity for his sort of bum activities all those years to make the woman who has stick with him happy, but his heart got swayed by a young, vibrant lady… And before him realizing it, even if nothing intimate has happened to them yet, his girlfriend’s instinct knew it and ended the relationship.  It is true for people who has been together for a while to be lost after a “trust” issue, for a woman at best, she will pretend that it will be okay, but then eventually she will sort to giving him a chance to recycle the love.  After late nights and sinking down the blame though, when you see the person standing in front of you, sometimes it would just take him merely standing there to wipe all the pain away.  Sung-soo and In-young survived the preliminary unfaithfulness surge until… The real infidelity happened.

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They resumed their couple life, but when someone has cheated on you, paranoia are like internet pop-ups, it will annoy you.  And when the Juliet-stricken third party who went extra mile with her idea of love succumbed to the mistress position because of the clouded love she felt towards Sung-soo, her hardwork paid off and they engaged in a covert affair.

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That moment when In-young saw in her very eyes the man she loved with all her heart happily chatting with his mistress in a place and day she thought was reserved for them because the day was special for them, will touch and make any woman who has been cheated on cry big time, because of the weight of the scene…  The thing about cheating is that women will try not to believe the lie and will stick to the person but when they get the concrete confirmation, it will break them in the most unimaginable-no-icecream-can-cure-painful way. There were no words, just tears agonizingly falling down her face… It was a perfectly hurting scene I was crying all along.  And when she tried to battle it making her busy in the day, the night time was killing her.  She was also in a spree of bargaining and justifying that she didn’t deserve that fate but sometimes you just really wake up and it’s as if you don’t know the person and as if you never loved each other.  I sympathized with her badgering her ex-boyfriend, because it’s how typically women tried their very best to move on.  She wanted to make him feel the same hell she was feeling, but in reality, it will never be like that, when you can’t find yourself time to sleep, that other person actually can do it.  *sniff sniff

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A man knows a woman loves him by the usual saying of “I Love You” and when he sees her at her most “love-me-begging” state… Sung-soo knew these truths with In-young and to be fair with him, even after the damage, I would really forgive him because he realized his mistake and he knew he could never turn back time but he has all his lifetime to love her even more than he did before.

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But to make their love realized fully, In-young met someone who helped her renewed her faith in love… That someone who appeared to be like her when she was with Sung-soo.  She has learned to love him but at the end of the day, sometimes the love we felt for someone can’t make us choose to sacrifice what we really are and what we really feel. Not all love begins as if it was meant to be, but In-young relied on giving up a new love because she wanted a love that has been happening.

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After all the pain, you will eventually learn that you either love someone or not love anyone at all.  When In-young saw Sung-soo kneeling at her father and begging for forgiveness at what he did to his daughter, I knew right there and then that In-young will be back in Sung-soo’s arms.  There’s just a familiarity and unbreakable connection when you’ve been with someone for a long time.  When trust has become an issue, it will be a haunting wall between a couple, but as long as there is love… Love will always forgive and give second chances.  What would make love go away?  Time and Acceptance.

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I Need Romance was a very fulfilling love drama to watch.  It drew the depth of commitment and the pain it comes when loving so amazingly and truthfully.  It has been bound realistically that the problems and happiness made the story so moving that I was able to relate to it.  When a drama can make me sit to finish it in one sitting, that drama is definitely superb and brimming with exciting-real-world love, Sung-soo and In-young’s adoration did it to me.  I strongly vouched for this romantic series, women should watch it, and men should learn a lot from it.

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No one is born a complete person.  You live your life half-finished and become complete as you get older.  A lot of things will happen when you are young, even if things don’t work out, don’t drag yourself on it.

 

PS.  Images are from HanCinema.net