KDramas that you can watch over and over again… because… Part 1

I have this recent pensive moment when I realized how there are amazing Asian dramas during its run that I won’t feel the urge to watch again for another serving.  A good example of that for me is “Goblin”.  I was raving and anticipating the episodes, but I would choose “Weightlifting Fairy” for another round if in case I need a kdrama pill to get me through a stress battle or if I just want to relax.  

Though Goblin is addictively charming, the narrative was thorough so you get everything in one shot.  It’s a kind of drama that you will remember the plot even ten years after. It’s weird, isn’t it?  But there are really great dramas that are magical only on the first serving.  Melodramas suffer a lot on this note because hey we won’t be liking to do a weep fest again since we saw that the evil villain was punished well, right?  

What makes the dramas on my list timeless and enjoyable for a rerun would be the excellent pacing and impeccable cast chemistry.  The writing was also sporadic hence you forgot the details often so when you rewatch it, you’d be surprised that you missed it.  The key scenes in these dramas were also polished to perfection that you melt like crazy even when you have seen it a hundred times.  Off I went to kdrama dungeon and pick the dramas that would work wonders to any kind of rollercoaster emotions you might be having or when weekends need to be spent in kdrama binge-watching. 

Let’s start with the last 7 years list for this first part, and we will delve on the classic kdramas for the second part.

 

Legend of the Blue Sea

Because the mind-reading conman perfectly loved back the always curious mermaid who only dreams to be loved by him…

Key Points:

  • lead man mind-reading ability
  • quick to uptake heroine
  • the no reservation kisses
  • the smooth timeline transition
  • the careful use of reincarnation plot
  • the hilariously cute one-sided love of the second lead woman
  • the bromance ala Ocean’s Eleven
  • the effort of Lee Min Ho to match Jun Ji Hyun

tlobs

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo

Because you have all the license to be happy, stupid, hopeful and sad when you are chasing your college romance…

Key Points:

  • the swag girl friends
  • the friendship turned romance
  • Joon Young is your college boyfriend poster boy
  • the lively heroine who loves and lives incidentally
  • the mushy new couple dates and jealousies

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Descendants of the Sun

Because no other man can suavely chase a woman and love her amidst disaster and career barriers like Captain Yoo Si Jin…  

Key Points:

  • the cool Captain portrayal of Song Joong Ki
  • the topless morning jog of the soldiers
  • the equally engrossing second love pairing
  • the love chase fulfilment
  • the crazy humor scattered and neatly placed in the story
  • the nifty writing

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Something About One Percent

Because it is your perfect rom-com drama trimmed to remove all the unnecessary fillers, making you just fell and enjoy the kisses and the sweets…

Key Points:

  • fast-paced and lively writing
  • engrossing love couple
  • lee jae in is a rare prototype of kdramaland chaebol
  • the lead couple always communicate
  • the melting kisses
  • the heroine who knows how to tame her lead man well

one_percent_of_anything_2016

Another Oh Hae Young

Because there’s no other kdrama character that can teach you how to be brave when it comes to loving like Oh Hae Young…

Key Points:

  • heartfelt screenplay
  • beautifully captured what-i-did-for-love scenes 
  • a memorable heroine
  • Eric Moon oppa’s melting and intense kisses

another_oh_hae_young

  Reply 1988

Because it is a nostalgic growing up story that will remind you of the neighborhood you grew up with along with the memories you shared with your friends and family…

Key Points:

  • perfectly selected cast 
  • the husband guessing game was well hidden
  • the outlandish and witty humor spread evenly
  • a deserving second lead syndrome
  • an engrossing love tale that never gave up
  • Bora and Sun Woo’s noona romance
  • the sibling fights
  • the neighborhood friendship

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Healer

Because the basic need of a woman in love is to feel safe in the arms of the man she loves…

Key Points:

  • Ji Chang Wook slayed his “Healer” character
  • ajumma hacker is the best side kick ever
  • the narrative was neatly written considering a socio-political premise
  • Yoo Ji Tae is the uncle you will wish you can have
  • the love progression was intricately written and that’s why it was so affecting

healer_official_poster

Punch

Because the character portrayals are mindblowingly wicked…

Key Points:  

  • the hero and villain showdowns are amazing
  • Kim Rae Won oppa at one of his best element
  • the cliff-hangers were superb and yet the continuity of story was never compromised
  • the grit and the passionate cast chemistry 
  • the intelligent and thrilling writing

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Finding True Love

Because this first love drama will haunt you of your very own love failures and bliss…

Key Points:

  • the spectacular transitioning narrative based on the characters’ memories
  • the equally fought love triangle
  • Jung Yu Mi as Yeo Rum perfectly captured the faces of woman in love and falling out of love
  • the mushy moments were fortified to a more realistic romantic scenes
  • the screenplay is relatable to the audience who lost and find love again

 

discovery_of_love

You Who Came from the Stars

Because an alien and a top actress falling in love in fictional world does not need any further teaser to entice you.

Key Points:

  • the neat and mischievous storytelling was consistent all throughout
  • Jun Ji Hyun owned Cheon Song Yi’s character very well
  • all those crazy things Song Yi did for Do Min Joon’s love
  • all those secret things Do Min Joon did for Song Yi’s love
  • the fusion of fantasy and reality in a romance setting was well-conceived and well-played
  • Do Min Joon is love

 

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Misaeng

Because once in a year in our adult lives, we hit mid-life crisis syndrome that no chocolates can heal…

Key Points:

  • brave characters and inspiring storyline
  • is equivalent to 100 self-help books
  • Jang Geu Rae will remind you of your past, present and future career woes
  • the best workplace drama for me so far

misaeng

The Master’s Sun

Because a CEO who loves a ghost whisperer heroine and waits for her to settle in her own fears is everything but romance…

Key Points:

  • So Ji Sub oppa in his first rom-com role was refreshing
  • Gong Hyo Jin channelled her ghost-seeing character so well
  • the romcom resident bickerings and mushy scenes are ever present
  • another stellar writing from Hong sisters

masters_sun

Nine:  Nine Times Travel

Because no matter how many times you watch it, you will be awed by its labyrinth twist…

Key Points:

  • the brilliant time traveling premise and timeline switching scenes were neatly tied to perfection
  • the editing and directing were notched superbly
  • the young versions of the main actors did well in their roles
  • Lee Jin Wook at his best

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  Queen In Hyun’s Man

Because this is the best time-traveling romantic comedy drama yet so far…

Key Points:

  • the smart hero and the quirky heroine 
  • the neat alignment of the time traveling premise
  • the time traveling rules was explained well
  • the kisses are sigh-inducing coming from a Joseon scholar
  • Kim Boong Do’s flexibility in adapting to different worlds was impeccable

queeninhyunsman

Reply 1997

Because any fangirl can relate to the hilarious journey of the lead girl to claim her fangirl and real romance…

Key Points:

  • the high school friendship circle will remind you of the one you had before
  • the sweet unrealized young love that was given a second chance 
  • Jung Eun Ji nailed the boygroup fangirl character superbly
  • Yoon Yoon will remind you of your high school crush who is also every other girl’s crush
  • without Reply 1997, nostalgic siblings of the Reply series would have not been aired so just pay respect lol

 

 

answerme1997

  Flower Boy Ramyun Shop

Because this is your perfect noona romance drama, and it threw in an equally hot second lead to confuse your heart…

Key Points:

  • the cohabitation of the flower crew felt like watching the Starwars’ Ewoks enjoying a Rock festival
  • the romance built up was slow but surely sweet and addictive
  • the lead girl tug-of-war between long lost half brothers was mind bogglingly sweet
  • the storyline is flirtatious
  • brimming with sweet and comic scenes

flowerboyramyunshop
 

Sungkyunkwan Scandal

Because this is the epitome of how a fusion-sageuk should be done… youthful and flirty but thrilling with character conflicts and political conspiracies…

Key Points: 

  • the sassy historical school setting
  • the cross-dressing heroine was energetic in promoting girl power
  • the Sungkyunkwan Scholars were the best PMS pills ever
  • the narrative was fresh and amusing
  • the love line was mushy
  • Yoo Ah In will give you a second lead syndrome

 

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  My GF is a Gumiho

Because the folk-tale infused romance will make you remember Mi Ho in rainy days…

Key Points:

  • Mi Ho’s character will wake you up from a kdrama drift
  • The folklore infused love tale was engrossing to watch thanks to Mi Ho’s childlike take of the mundane modern things
  • Lee Seung Gi secured his leading man belt with his easy-go-lucky-chaebol-grandson who dreams to become a movie action star
  • the reversal of roles span the comedy and propel the romance in the story

mygirlfriendgumiho

Secret Garden

Because the body swapping chaebol-stunt-woman romance felt good and cute at the same time…

Key Points:

  • The almost kiss scenes like the sit-up scene will make anything flutter
  • the eccentric CEO in sparkling tracksuit chasing the girl of his dreams was epic
  • the strong-willed lead girl who makes a point to straighten up the chaebol who loved her
  • the swift and zippy narrative
  • the romance satiating screenplay

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