2017 Best Korean Dramas

 

This is by far my busiest year watching and writing about K-dramas. I put up a lot of patience in finishing dramas even if some dramas struggled to stay in the finish line direction. *chuckles Nevertheless, it was a great year since I got one drama to add on my all-time favorites list.

Here are my Best Picks For 2017 Korean Dramas!

 

Chief Kim (KBS)

chief kim

Workplace comedy-drama Chief Kim delights with Nam Goong Min’s impeccable attack on his unique underdog role seeking to take down corporate politics through his keen mind and elaborated grasp of turning problems to opportunities. The upbeat tone and cast synergy fuel the quirks and lessons of the narrative.

Defendant (SBS)

2017 Korean Dramas

Carving a commanding impression as a legal drama to beat for 2017, the outwitting game of the hero and villain in Defendant triumphantly gifted its followers with nerve-wrecking mind games in a good versus evil theme. With solid performances from the hero and villain, Defendant deserves a spot on 2017 Best Korean Dramas.

Strong Woman Do Bong Soon (jTBC)

Korean Romance Dramas

The quirky fantasy rom-com secured immense following through the love couple’s endearing chemistry. Amidst the noticeable plot fillers, the love frames are what made Bong-bong and Min-min couple’s impressive social media branding.

Voice (OCN)

voice

Chasing a clever psychopath was brilliantly executed by the dauntless detective team of Voice. It is always at a high note, and not taking a chance to rest the grit and vigor of the story-building.

Circle (tvN)

Circle leans to an amazing sci-fi story perceptive to viewers, who may or may not be a fan of the genre. It never went wrong for being ambitiously inventive.  It never showed any signs of defiance, and was always sure of the track it was taking.  The brave movement of the story plus the incorporation of brotherly love would just blow your mind away.

Fight For My Way (KBS)

Fight For My Way

What made this modestly written K-Drama a hot topic can be credited to the unadorned narrative that describes what regular people do and feel in their mundane living. It 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.

Chicago Typewriter (tvN)

chicago typewriter

Chicago Typewriter defies creative boundaries as it switches the past and present timelines without losing the brilliant writing and fascinating characters that moved in the story. It takes pride on balancing romance and friendship. The ingenious weaving of the fictional thread sets a basic rule that the viewers have to accept — the dynamic reincarnation plot that involves a life affirming friendship between two friends who love the same girl.

Queen For Seven Days (KBS)

Seven Day Queen

Queen For Seven Days efficiently maximizes the staple government intrigues and character motivations to balance the frustrating love line. 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.

Stranger/Secret Forest (tvN)

Stranger

Stranger bravely dissects the cover ups happening in the police organization along with the corruption in the Prosecution Office without tiring the audience with pointless stop-overs. The series gives no more than what is required to story building, yet it makes sure how every detail conspires to present a comprehensible picture. It showcased sleek showdowns where intellect and power function as chess pieces proving how excessive tears and evil doings need not to be elaborately shown on-screen as long as it is neatly narrated.

Duel (OCN)

Duel

The mystery solving plot unravels the details of the story that are traced to a prohibited medical research of 24 years about human cloning and a sort of cure-for-all vaccine. The ambitious medical plot about stem cell therapy and human clones seem awkward to a crime drama, but the moment your attention is settled, your brain will become busy processing the what-ifs and OMG’s of the story.

Because This Is My First Life (tvN)

Because This Is My First Life

Powered by a vibrant cast, the heartfelt writing reinvented the trite rom-com cohabitation premise to a whole new level, leaving traces of feel-good love affirming moments that would make you smile after each chapter. If you want to deviate from the standard romance stories, with a relaxing drama that is intuitively penned, an overnight marathon of Se Hee and the gangs’ love journey will make you sigh and ponder about the sweet little moments of being in love.

While You Were Sleeping (SBS)

While You Were Sleeping

Bringing together the thrills of the legal drama premise and the fated love frosted story is the strength which mobilizes the addictive surge of the drama. Thumbs up to the clear delineation of the heroes versus villain showdown that does not exaggerate. The quick-witted main leads maneuver the tale through their shared visions and are never stubborn to think ahead of the imaginary conflicts thrown at them. They patiently tackle together the maze-like answer to the final conflict.

Deserving of the Name (tvN)

Deserving of the Name

The smartly written time-slip drama of a celebrated Joseon acupuncturist transported in the modern times achieved the neat placement of time bending element on its supernatural stage. The medical plot fuses well to the intricate comparison between technology based and traditional medicine due to the winning performances of the main leads.

The Package (jTBC)

The Package

The fleeting romance of the lead couple in The Package radiates a resonating message that you can love instantaneously, fall out of it and love more at the right time. It is a romantic gift that is ironically spirited while running on a wistful narrative. The supporting chronicles appear like puzzle pieces meant to complete the entire picture of the plot. It results in an excellent capture of the drama’s ultimate message – how personal relationship, romantic or otherwise, won’t reveal apprehensions due to a man’s self-sacrificing nature.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

The Strong Woman who Stole Depunim’s Heart

 

“Fated love is seeing your happy face in the eyes of the person you love”

And that’s how you tie up the loose ends, execute a heartfelt closure for a love that missed its timing, and celebrate how true love happens when you are patient enough to wait.  If you are on a k-drama slump, this will hook you up back to oppa-land.  The fast paced quirky rom-com promised an addictive run and delivered it in flying colors with a riveting thriller plot incorporated on the side.  

It was a whimsical love ride with thugs, a psycho, a police, a gaming company CEO and a woman with extraordinary strength.  The labyrinth was a whirlwind of cuteness and mirth and everything a fan would ask k-drama gods for a gift. Consistently endearing with amusing surprises along the way, “Strong Woman Do Bong Soon” is a steady delightful drama that deserve all the raves and hype it has been getting from k-drama followers.

I was always in a trampoline of stimulating emotions while watching Do Bong Soon’s story.  From thrills to laughter to poignant bliss to heart flutters and to sweet tears, I already placed it in my all-time k-drama favorites.  What made this drama so endearing was the perfect blend of the engaging love couple/triangle chemistry, the warranted humor even the slapstick travesty, and lastly, the charming tale of the heroine who bloomed to become a woman who acknowledged her strengths and frailties.  Hers is a story that any girl can relate to.  From those love confusions, career-where-I-am-going-questions and finding her worth as a person.  “Strong Woman Do Bong Soon” might have been coated in chocolates and marshmallows, but it gave a tangible encouragement especially to women watching it.  

 

Cast, Storyline and Conflict

I usually pick k-dramas to watch based on the history of the production team. There are a few that I chose because of the actors like how I signed up for “Strong Woman Do Bong Soon”. This is my no-reservations-i-just-love-parkhyungsik-so-im-going-to-watch-it drama.  So, I was surprised that the premiere week gave me more than I expected and steadily raised my anticipation all throughout my devoted trailing.  The energetic pacing, the charming CEO zooming on a hoverboard, the small framed heroine with herculean strength and the uptight hot detective, are some of the reasons why this drama has charmed and chained me in so many ways.  Because of its intriguing plot, knee-weakening sweet moments and cute bickering, Bong-Bong and Min-Min’s love ride has been so invigorating.

We sure had a second lead syndrome with Ji Soo playing Bong Soon’s long running one-sided love, and it was a relief that the transition given to us so we can move on along with Bong Soon was well enacted in the narrative.  Bong Soon’s one sided love to Gook Doo was cute as hell.  Gook Doo’s line of how he was so overwhelmed with his emotions towards her that he missed knowing that she felt the same way made me sob and sigh as his pain attacked me in the finale episode.  I liked how that scene properly sent off the alternate love pairing with a breathtaking moment which you rarely see from past rom-coms once they hit the culmination of the main love line.  Usually the second lead will be disregarded like he never helped in highlighting the main love tale.  The right love at the wrong time story of Bong Soon and Gook Doo was established well propelling an exciting race for the lead girl’s hand and perturbing heartache for the second lead that we also want to keep in our heart.  The love triangle premise broke my heart when it has not even happened yet, so when we got to the steamier love plot it made everyone happy and confused at the same time since we have an equally adorable second lead.  

My shameless noona romance with Park Hyung Sik was rewarded well, and I’m so happy for him landing a drama that was loved so much by the viewers.  I love how our hero has figured out all the answers to his illustrious life and how he lives to his gaming company owner persona and treating every life setback as a challenge to overcome for him.  Hyung Sik was awesome in projecting the same bread and butter rom-com element of bickering with the lead girl that seeing him caught in a love bug was quite a delightful watch. What’s amusing about his character was how he diverted from the lead man prototype by being soft-hearted and crazy over his girl dummy.  It’s hard to put it in words but his interaction with Bong Soon cracked me up a lot because we got to see him hilarious without the love connection, so when we hit the romantic rope, he was a bundle of gaiety since he was drawn to rationalizing everything about their relationship and literally translating it to how his weird mind perceived it.  Park Bo Young who has always been known for her brilliant portrayals owned her Bong Soon character by giving it a unique resonance even when her image was sketched with imperfections.  And her stunning connection with Park Hyung Sik along with the ardent gazes and heart-stopping kisses has made me hug my pillow so hard while squealing like a highschool girl watching her crush shoot a basketball from afar.

The love progression turned so effective in inducing laughter fits because Min Hyuk’s one-of-a-kind hubris was always at lost, as his lady love knows what buttons to push to make him surrender at her fingertips.  The dynamics of Bong Soon and Min Hyuk’s reversal of roles are clearly defined thanks to Park Couple’s committed portrayals.  As a cushion for my weak heart, I did not give my all in trusting the production team, but I have a big faith to the awesome actors playing in the tv stage.  

15 years of Korean drama following will give you a power to predict stories from its onset and a liability to easily give up on dramas showing no kick off promise.  In a way, “Strong Woman Do Bong Soon” resurrected my old fan girl spirit, and made me reminisce when I was at that stage of being so forbearing with any kind of drama given to me regardless if it was good or bad.  I found myself watching the drama without subtitles and scavenging YouTube for any drama related uploads available to kill time while waiting for the next episode to happen.

I only have a minimal complaint on the narrative.  There were scenes I wish did not linger more or were used as fillers like the excessive thug frames.  But overall, I am mostly satisfied with its simple premise and gleeful romantic realization.  On this note, the only 1% pout I will give the story was how the writer should have capitalized more to Bong Soon’s power’s back story anecdotes or how Min Hyuk established his company, or any love couple’s mushy moment, than placing those gangster scenes that I am already not interested about after the 1 vs 30 encounter with Bong Soon.  Bong-Bong and Min-Min’s story gave us a hybrid of fantasy and reality characters that helped in making the vibrancy of the story conspicuous.  I like how our creepy conflict functioned as a neutralizer to the witty love interlude and the satire comedy we were high on for the most part of the story.  We had a solid love triangle, a vivacious main cast, a cute storyline, and an exciting pacing that encouraged my usually swaying heart into 8 weeks of faithfulness in this series.  The uncomplicated resolution of the side conflicts and the gripping chase of the focal problem were achieved reasonably without giving us the run arounds.  Strong Woman Do Bong Soon sprinted an amazing spectacle with the stunning and lively depictions and comical storytelling.  It was technically bare, but the simplicity and the fascinating cast synergy accompanied by the palpable humor kept the viewers warmly sedated and feeling good after watching it.  While providing the gist of the background of our characters, “Strong Woman Do Bong Soon” presented the love premise and conflict in a smooth way.  The ratings justified everything that we got from the narrative.  Sometimes there are stories like Bong Soon’s that we all need a taste of each week to relieve life complications and uncertainties.

“Strong Woman Do Bong Soon” marked everything required on a k-drama rom-com checklist.  It was also the brightest and most cheerful bulb that opened K-Dramaland 2017.  The thing about first quarter k-dramas is that you tend to forget it if another beautiful drama comes in like what happened with “Descendants of the Sun” and “Goblin”.  Both are equally amazing but we remember Goblin more.  Now I don’t think it would happen to me.  There were two points I know for sure I will still do after the finale.  That it will stay on my phone to function as my cheering up pill and that I will rewatch it again this year and the next years to come joining my resident drama rejuvenating playlist.  That’s what I did not do with the top two dramas last year.  The hype was high while it was airing but the rewatch value is not that strong.  That’s the advantage of feel-good rom-coms, you see it again because it is easy to watch and will just make you smile and giddy-ish even if you have seen the heart fluttering moments a lot of times already.


2017 K-DramaLand is so far not as explosive and busy compared to 2016 KDrama Parade so you have ample time to dive in this exceptional and amusing love tale.  I rave on dramas that deserve to be praised, and that’s the case for me with Bong Soon and Min Hyuk’s story.  I’m sure you will enjoy it the same way I did.  

-jediprincess

 

Summary

“Strong Woman Do Bong Soon” highlights the tale of Do Bong Soon who inherited a superhuman strength that is passed on from her maternal ancestors. Her incredible strength cannot be used for personal interest though, as it would cause an inevitable misfortune for her. An incident involving saving a bus driver bullied by thugs made her crossed paths with Ahn Min Hyuk, a pompous CEO of a gaming company who offered her a job to become his bodyguard. Bong Soon agreed considering the huge amount of money tied up with the job offer.  The strange working agreement opened a connection for them, but he must wait for her to end a long running one-sided love with her police friend – Gook Doo.  Complications arose when a neighborhood psycho abducted women and ended up taking Bong Soon’s best friend – Kyung Shim.  She could rescue Kyung Shim, but the psycho’s failure triggered an obsession to punish Bong Soon.  Min Hyuk promised Bong Soon that she will be transferred to Strategy Development Team if she will do a great job protecting him as well as uncovering his secret stalker.  She managed to unravel the culprit and soon after she revealed to him her secret power.  The thugs who cannot move on from the humiliation they got from Bong Soon’s hands tricked her to going to a place where they staged a 30 vs 1 combat with her.  She pulverized the gangsters but failed to punish the big boss when a hiding thug zoomed to attack her with a knife but Min Hyuk ran to take the hit for her.  From there, Min Hyuk who has been interested with her from the start escalated to being officially smitten as he recognized the girl from his dreams who once saved his life was Bong Soon.  Bong Soon’s heart who has harbored a secret adoration with Gook Doo soon realized how her heart already changed who it beats for.  Bong Soon’s friend was taken by the psycho again and in the process of saving her, she lost her power.  During her most vulnerable moment, Min Hyuk stayed by her side.  When he asked her to love him back she finally admits how she also have him in her heart.  The villain who was chased by Gook Doo and fell on a cliff survived the fall and went to plan another revenge game with Bong Soon and Min Hyuk.  He disguised as a reporter to enter the office and drugged Bong Soon who regained consciousness and a ticking bomb attached to her.  Min Hyuk finds his girlfriend at the rooftop through the tracker necklace he gave her but was unable to open the door that separated them.  Bong Soon begged with all the love she had for Min Hyuk and the heavens opened to give back her power enabling her to throw the bomb for an amazing firework display.  Bong Soon who wanted to catch the psycho with her own hands asked Min Hyuk and Gook Doo to help her and they managed to trap him in a steel cage which Bong Soon threw in his escaping motion.  Bong Soon who has been working on a game successfully got the nod for the first game she developed and officially entered the Strategy Development Team she so wanted to join.  But working to save and help the weak people was causing her attendance issues at work so she ended up being sent back to Min Hyuk’s office as an intern.  Min Hyuk proposed marriage when all the ruckus was settled and just when he thought that it will be an ever after, they got a twin daughter who took after their mother.