Flashback KDrama Review: Queen of Reversals

Sweet and sent me to self-realizations for a day… Actually this drama got me because of Park Shi Hoo, didn’t read reviews about it which I normally do.  I’m just hopelessly in love with him so I just want to stare at his face even if I will not watch the story itself.  *giggles But I love how this drama turned out to be and there are lot of relationship ideas that were pointed out so prettily. 

 

My general perception on Hwang Tae Hee’s story is that of a woman forced to find her happiness, eventually getting it, but realizing that it was not the bliss she was supposed to have.  Her overcoming of setbacks and her guts to prove her worth is what you really call a success story, no big fortune presented, just achieving what she deserved and what she worked hard for.

Hwang Tae Hee worked as a distant team leader in an ad agency.  She met Bong Joon Soo in the same company and married him, but her main rival worked her way to strain their marriage.  She was forced to leave the company when her fate was manipulated by the Ad director, but after a few years, she was able to join the company again.  Just as her marriage was on the rocks and her career was in deep struggle, Goo Yong Shik, the chaebol son of the company she’s working with came in her life, and stood as her invisible butterfly wings.

Ain’t this woman so lucky?  She got another second chance in love, and that second chance was 10 times better than her former love. 

Hwang Tae Hee will be one of my favorite heroines.   It’s quite long so no chance that I stalked it online.  There were minimal lapses maybe because of the stretch of the story.  When I looked back I think it would have been better if it was not too long because the story itself was simply laid so extending it and adding unnecessary arc was safe but not really helping the story.  At any rate though, it was a worth watching narrative. 

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Flashback KDrama Review: Prosecutor Princess

Hello Again Ma Hye Ri!  Albeit the conflict centering to the hero’s revenge to his lead girl’s father, this drama has been one of my favorites with how it navigated to bringing in the love couple slowly and then shattering them into pieces after the revelations.

But in the end though, love prevails and while the hero had his own strong convictions with his retaliation, he let himself be swayed and let go of his pain to be with the woman he loves.  The “confrontation-kiss-scene” brought me to the edge of ever after and had me promised myself I will vow to be a single if it’s not Park Si Hoo that I’m gonna marry with.. *wink 

Surprisingly sweet, comforting and a lead actor to drool and you can use as a calming pill.  More than safe storyline and will get you hooked when you least expected it.  Intricately woven narrative with great lines and superbly layered sequence build up plus effectively personified characters who made me swoon over their commitment to their portrayals.  Given the heavy conflict, it surprisingly started flashy and breezy where character development for our heroine was a back story.

Give it a visit if you are tired with the romcoms airing these days.  I assure you it will be a nice stay.

Confession of Murder Movie Recap (2012)

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This thriller flick kicked start in an electric tone that it caught my attention all throughout its duration.  It was smooth and I hated that I didn’t figure out what was happening until the very end revelation.

Confession of Murder tells the intertwining fate of a police officer, a serial killer, the family of the victims and a serial-killer-wanna-be.

Lieutenant Choi had an encounter with a faceless serial killer who has created havoc in the city killing 10 women.  He almost pinned him but the slimy manslayer was able to escape.

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After 15 years when the statute of limitations from the murder committed ended, a book author emerged and released a book “Confession of Murder” claiming he was the serial killer of the cold case 15 years ago.  He was able to narrate in detail the details of the vicious killings.  The media and society feasted on the absurdity of the idea and were crossed on how to react on the ownership and the strange bravery of the handsome author.  And as soon as his identity was known public, the families of the women he murdered executed a plot to abduct him to reveal the location of where his final kill was.

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So the still-grieving families of the victims connived a ploy to abduct Lee Do Seok by pushing snakes to attack him while he was doing his swimming routine.  They intercepted him by posing as the emergency team but the real emergency team appeared so their plan was discovered.   The police bodyguards and Lt. Choi tried to claim Do-seok back in a gripping pursuit, but the 15-year-grief-stricken-villains came up victorious.  But Lt. Choi was able to track down the location of the hideout of the perpetrators and was able to rescue his newly-met nemesis.

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Do-seok gave an after-kidnapping interview and promised his appearance on a public television debate.  I love the involvement of media in this movie, it was really nonsensical cute and feisty, and they added the spice in the plot in their stubbornness to sensationalize the events.

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Public television debate came and the famous killer-turned-writer faced the police officer he evaded.  He remained firm with his early statement of the reason behind his surprise publication to the mixed response of the audience and his detractors.  The segment for phone-in questions was inserted and a strange caller spoke and recounted details that were familiar with Lieutenant Choi.  At the end of the call he claimed that he was the true serial killer.

The new development created ruckus in the public and to support his claim the serial killer claiming the book author was fraud agreed on another public debate, and he even gave a tip of a location where he buried the last kill who turned out to be Lt. Choi’s ex-lover.

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Lt. Choi listened to the evidence they acquired in the past years to scrape some clues detrimental to the investigation and on the day of their face off, the two claiming the crime and the officer who failed to catch the serial killer, threw measuring glances to one another.

“J”, the other serial killer, chronicled how he did his last kill and on cue, a live external feed from the tip he earlier gave showed the skeleton of the last woman he massacred to the fury of Lt. Choi and her mother sitting in the audience stand.  After his boasting, Do-seok affirmed that he was not the serial killer but the son of the first woman who was killed.  He also revealed the conspiracy he put on together with Lt. Choi. 

They inadvertently planned the whole scheme to make the real killer go out from his rabbit hole to finally claim justice from all his evil doings. 

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Just because I don’t want to spoil everything and it’s a really must watch thriller, I would stop from here and would just give a strong encouragement to watch this movie.  I was on the edge of my seat on the chase-the-killer-fight scenes of this movie, and until now, I still can’t accept that I wasn’t able to deduce the ending twist of this movie.  *pout 

I thought when the “who’s the real killer conflict” was raised there will be a showdown between them, but there wasn’t.  Years of watching Dexter and Criminal Minds, I thought I have all of it figured out when it comes to socio and psychopaths, but this movie surprisingly amazed and amused me.  Well hidden, director… Well Done!   

Niftily written and cleanly executed… this was such a riveting delight and will be one of my favorites for the 2012 movies.

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The twisted romance of Alice in Cheongdamdong

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What would you do if you truly love the person but you started not with the right intention?

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Alice in Cheongdamdong joined the romance ride in Kdramaland this year obliterating the fantasy trend from 2012.  This Cinderella-like tale brimmed with interesting characters and have splashes of mirth, reality slaps, gold-digging lessons, PTSD nonsense and thought-provoking love arguments.  With a rich-girl-poor-guy love affair premise, this was not a case of true love, but a love that was proven to be true.

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Cha Seung-Jo came to Korea with the intention of getting back at the girl who loved him because of his rich man’s son’ status and then left him after getting paid by his father.  He led a Fashion company based in France and has affiliates in Korea and his “operation-ex-gf-payback” involved business dealing with the son of the family where his first love was married to. 

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Han Se-Kyung  who dreamed of entering the Fashion world surprisingly got hired by GN Company.  Her lack of Fashion education abroad has always overlooked her potentials and innate abilities.  Little did she know that her old High School nemesis was the wife of the son of the company who hired her, and that she was not hired because of her qualifications but because of her old classmate’s emotional caprice.

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Se-kyung and Seung-jo met when they got into a traffic accident, Seung-jo who was the President of Artemis, a Fashion company, pretended to be the Secretary of the President when they bargained on the aftermath of the minor accident. 

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Then Seung-jo proceeded to his plan and as his ex-girlfriend who turned out to be also Se-kyung’s frenemy arranged a welcoming and special treatment for their guest for the family’s business venture, color ran out of her face as she faced the man he left for money and ambition.  Yoon-joo who has used her pretty face to get what she wanted broke up with Seung-jo when they were living together in Paris.  She accepted the money offered by Seung-jo’s father and used his father’s recommendation to enter the elite society world.  Her hardword paid off as she eventually married a chaebol family son.

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Se-kyung eventually learned how she got accepted in the prominent Fashion company, but because of financial concerns she swallowed her pride and wallowed in the unfairness of life.  She was also facing problems with her 6-year relationship with her boyfriend.   When her boyfriend took off and stole products  from the company to sell illegally, she wrote a sincere letter to the President of the company to forgive her man’s mistake.  Moved by the feeling enclosed in the letter, Seung-jo let it go and admired the unfeigned love of that girl.  The break-up scene of Se-kyung and her 6-year love broke my heart and I was all tears because relationship like that really existed, relationship where you still love the person but you can’t do anything for him anymore.

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But Se-kyung got tired of trying to achieve her goals through her effort so she settled to going through a shortcut with Yoon-joo’s gold-digging lessons.  She asked Se-kyung to look for a white rabbit (an insider in the elite world) to chance upon a potential prince.  She was able to get Tommy Hong’s attention, a famous matchmaker in the A-list society, but because of the remaining non-defiant attitude Se-kyung has, they ended on the wrong foot.  It was a blessing for Se-kyung though because she got rescued by Seung-jo whom she doesn’t know the real identity yet and humiliated Tommy Hong in public.  She then decided to have Seung-jo as her new white rabbit.

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Se-kyung grew fonder and closer with Seung-jo-Secretary-Kim-identity and realized quickly that she doesn’t want her for a gold-compass anymore but Seung-jo revealed his true self first and declared his earnest love for her.  Clouded with her ambition regardless of the honest love she was really feeling for him, she hid the truth that she already knew he was rich.  Now Seung-jo suffered Post-traumatic-disorder from the emotional stress he got from his mother who left him at an early age and Yoon-joo, at that time that Se-kyung’s guilt to come clean was surging, she got a video message of Seung-jo’s past full of hurt and she also learned that the woman who left him was her friend and gold-digging teacher.  Yoon-joo confronted her and that scene was secretly recorded and submitted to Tommy Hong. 

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Now Tommy Hong was commissioned by Seung-jo’s father to fix the marriage between him and GN fashion’s daughter (Yoon-jo’s sister-in-law) Shin In Hwa and when he learned that Se-kyung will impede the nuptial talk he’s working on, he threatened Se-kyung with revealing her social-climbing style, but Se-kyung didn’t submit to his taunting and was firm in going on with her come-what-may attitude because she was worried on how Seung-jo won’t be able to take another stab on his heart because of his money.

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I had hair-tugging moments when Se-kyung was confused with the lie she started but she convinced me with her tenacity and justifying that even if her love was ugly, it was still love.  I love that line she mentioned about how poor girls were looked down because they married a rich man when rich girls who arranged marriages also marry for money.  There are a lot of reality check scenes in the drama inferring love disparities and that has made the texture of the story different from your typical you-and-me-against-my-rich-family premise.  Se-kyung was blatant with her intentions even if she knew that it will destroy her.  She was 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.

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Cheongdamdong Alice have many Korean drama clichés and if I may add product placements but it didn’t annoy me the way it typically annoys me because they bribed me with Park Shi Hoo’s smile.  *chuckles  The stuffed toy, the-airport-don’t leave-me-scene, and the pathetic-rich-girl-who can’t buy love were inserted strategically to when it was needed. 

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When all the rest knew except Seung-jo what her girlfriend’s charade was, Se-kyung doesn’t know how long her protective bubble can take it and when the truth was finally revealed and Seung-jo kept blocking her to affirm it, I can only imagine how someone’s heart will be shattered to pieces when they are willing to accept the lie because they love the person so much.

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That scene when Seung-jo was walking away from Se-kyung brought tears to my eyes because he was already prepared to accept that he was fooled again and was blocking it to sink deeper in him but then he got the confirmation from the person he doesn’t want to hear it from. 

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Se-kyung who thought she was ready to take the bullet out of her indecisiveness relied to the very thing she didn’t believe would work on the onset – LOVE—She thought love without fear does exist, but she was not prepared that the moment you love someone, you will also fear of losing him.

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This drama was like a sandwich, the middle part was the best of it but you won’t taste the best part without the beginning and the ending covering it.  Although the finale episode was sort of lecturing and safe, explaining the casualty of falling in love for the wrong reason was very well said.  The thesis-analyzation paper of Seung-jo sent me in laughing spree because if all love conflicts can be resolved with drawing probable causes and what-if’s there will be no Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club.  *giggles

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Seung-jo passed through 5 stages of grief in overcoming and renewing the love he had and he raised the most important message of the story.  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.

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Jane Austen said something about a single man of fortune universally acknowledged needing a woman to marry, yet she forgot to mention that a woman of pure love would also want to marry a man, not just because of love but his money.

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Romance stories were evolving in kdramaland, and I’m happy they always take notice of opportunities to improve the quality and creativity of the drama productions.  Park Shi Hoo occupied a big space in my heart dedicated to my imaginary boys.  His voice, his face, his eyes never fail to make me drool.  Mom has already approved of my marriage to him, we just have to meet.  *giggles  His blithe lead man portrayal here was far different from his sageuk vengeance-driven-Princess-man, but I liked him more here because of his awkward humor and dorky packaging.  Next to bad boys, girls swoon over dorks… *wink

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Alice in Cheongdamdong depicted a typical love story but twisting not just the conflicts and the characters, and in doing so it raised an imbalance that has made the story true.  Women dig any Cinderella-story because they wanted the feeling of being rescued.  In this love tale, the girl started the conflict, she made the the person who will rescue him part of the conflict, but she found the way to overcome it.  Way to go girl!  You rock! 

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It’s sort of refreshing to see the reversal of roles, to have the man as the vulnerable character in the story and the one needed to be saved.  This has been the strength of this love story. 

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The daddy-and-first-love-issues, the brave but twisted love of the heroine, the circumstances of why the main love was in a tug-of-war setting, the opposing beliefs in romance were detrimental factors in imaginary and real-life ever-after.  Cheongdamdong Alice was able to hit all those considerations of people who are looking for the kind of love they deserve.  Sometimes love started because it was meant to be but it has to end because we have to get the love we deserve.  If you are looking for a romance, this drama will show you the love at its purest, vilest and fulfilling appearance.

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Swift, straightforward and sweet.  Cheongdamdong Alice will be in my romantic drama favorite list.  -jediprincess

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The Princess’ Man who will be mine in another lifetime

This Romeo-and-Juliet-like drama sent me to the edge of a cliff and I got affected so much with the struggles and motivations of the main characters.  It has the best villain you will hate and love at the same time because he was so effective to his role as the evil Crown Prince Su Yang who defied fate and the heavens to fulfill his wish of sitting on the Royal throne.

In his ambition to ascend to the Royal throne Crown Prince Su Yang pulled all the evilness in the world by killing all the people that would hinder him in his goal even his brothers, relatives and government officials.  The odds submit to his cunning ways and finally achieved the power he so wanted to have.

Meanwhile his most cherished daughter, Lee Se Ryung, fell in love with the son of his arch enemy, Kim Seung Yoo.  What started to be a sweet romance turned into a nightmare as Seung Yoo is torn between the love he felt for the daughter of the man who killed his father and brother.

Princess Se Ryung who saw and realized the dark side of her father rebelled and fought hard to be with the man she kept dearly in her heart.  It was a long shot even making her took an arrow on his behalf but the cold exterior of Seung Yoo melted with Se-ryung’s sincere adoration towards him.

My dilemma every time I watch a period drama is I have to do a background check and keep my attention focused so I won’t miss the important details, and with my grasshopper-ish attention span, it was really hard, but no matter how dramatic the series went, I did not halt my horse and stayed with it because they made it so stirring and so emotionally invoking.

The directing and cinematography were captured efficiently projecting a gripping story throughout its conclusion.  How they maneuvered the movements of the conflict without making the protagonists looked so annoyingly pathetic was strategically laid which made me admire the writer of the story. 

The acting was top-notch.  Everyone stepped up and portrayed their characters as they balance their roles to complement and support each other.  I was so moved with how the lead couple struggled to claim the love that is rightfully theirs.   Feeling Seung-yoo’s pain sent me crying and cursing at the King who I believe was Voldie’s cousin, and I applaud Se-ryung’s facets of characters displayed throughout the story.  Again, the main villain here I hated so much and was already placed in my hall of famers.

The Princess’ Man is a drama so complete and will suffice the addiction you will endure as you gape each episode.   It has a conflict that was justified well and was concluded in a realistic manner.  It was agonizing and yet a very 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 feel in your arms that person who defined you what is love.

Abby’s 2010 KDrama Picks

The OC-me-with-a-sort-of-eidetic-memory resulted in creating the list for my favorite dramas aired in 2010.  I know this is more than 365 days late but still I want to share it.  ^_^

P.S  Again, I’m more into romance genre so don’t ask if a critically acclaimed drama was not on my list.  ^_^

♥ Stars Falling From the Sky (Jan-Mar) – I was clueless of who the lead couples were when I watched this drama and with no pre-conceived feelings with the actors and still liking it very much, that says a lot about how good this love yarn was.  I like strong heroines and I like them even more when they show their vulnerability and make adjustments to their liabilities.  A woman was forced to leave her usual girly and well-off life when her parents died.  She was left taking care of her color-coded siblings.  The instant family set-up and the love you have tried to give up but you ended up falling even more made me so fond of this drama.

♥ Prosecutor Princess (Mar-May) – Intricately woven narrative with great lines and superbly layered sequence build up plus effectively personified characters made me swoon over this drama. The “confrontation-kiss-scene” brought me to the edge of ever after and had me promised myself I will vow to be a single if it’s not Park Shi Hoo that I’m gonna marry with.. *giggles  Although I had some issues with the lead girl (partly because of jealousy), she has nailed the important scenes so that was good enough for me.  This is alluring and classic, a great watch and will live up to your expectation.

♥ Personal Preference (Mar – May) – It was a witty and sort of safe encore for Lee Min Ho to pick this drama because he was able to escape his Gu Jun Pyo character.  I mean when you hit stardom, viewers have tendencies to lean on the character they want you to be playing more than the character the actor wants to act on.  So I can say his choice to star in this romcom was a wise move and instead of focusing the attention to him, he and Son Ye-jin equally shared the glory playing yin and yang to this beautiful romance.  I have seen a lot of Ye-jin unni’s performance, this was not my favorite but regardless I like how she would challenge herself to deviate from the characters she portrayed before, like if someone will ask me where she was good at, it will take me a while to answer it.  Starred by my favorite actress and another one-sided love of mine, I could not ask for more. *giggles There were lots of bright tones here which I can say compensated to some dry moments and knots that were loosely conspicuous in a kdrama addict’s eye. The doting scenes melted me and made me craved for more so some scenes that are really unnecessary were left forgotten.

Sungkyunkwan Scandal (Aug – Nov) – I’m not a fan of sageuk drama and girl-pretending-a-boy-because-of-an-urgent reason is not something new for me, but I was blown away by the progress of the story and the build up of the romance in this love drama.  This is also the first time I equally like the first lead man and the second lead man.  (who wouldn’t fall for Geol Ah? *sigh).  The person you will love after your first love is like Sungkyunkwan for me.  I can’t help but love this drama each episode I was watching.  It was so addictive and full of love, and I was even surprised to have felt that way considering that it was a fusion-sageuk drama.  Having F4 like drama aired in the past few years, I say SKKS in its own right deserved so much applause.   Definitely this has a spot on top Korean dramas on Abby-land.

 

This is the perkiest period drama I’ve seen so far, if I may add it’s also the most romantic.  Considering the setting was in traditional times, they were able to execute love melting and love sighing scenes.

 

Kim Yoon Hee has assumed her sick brother’s identity and has been working as a scribe in a book store.  When financial constraint hit their family, she temporarily choked her personal convictions, and agreed to sit on the entrance exam on behalf of an aspiring Sungkyunkwan student, but another aspiring upright Sungkyunkwan scholar learned of her intentions and moved by her interesting character, he managed to have her entered the school. 

 

Under the disguise of a man, she ventured in a university populated by male and soon weaved a close friendship with intelligent Lee Sun Joon, debonair Goo Yong Ha and defiant Moon Jae Shin.  The exploits of this quartet will make you crave for more of them while they play on your TV screen.

 

This is also where your second male lead is equally as charming as your main lead, well in my case I liked Jae Shin more, and since his portrayal there, I became his stalker.   The romantic scenes laid were all heart blowing and amazingly done considering its sageuk premise.

 

Queen of Reversals (Oct 2010- Feb 2011) – Sweet and sent me to self-realizing for a day… Actually this drama got me because of Park Shi Hoo, didn’t read reviews about it which I normally do.  I’m just hopelessly in love with him so I just want to stare at his face even if I will not watch the story itself.  *giggles But I love how this drama turned out to be and there are lot of relationship ideas that were pointed out so prettily. 

 

My general perception on Hwang Tae Hee’s story is that of a woman forced to find her happiness, eventually getting it, but realizing that it was not the bliss she was supposed to have.  Her overcoming of setbacks and her guts to prove her worth is what you really call a success story, no big fortune presented, just achieving what she deserved and what she worked hard for.

 

Hwang Tae Hee worked as a distant team leader in an ad agency.  She met Bong Joon Soo in the same company and married him, but her main rival worked her way to strain their marriage.  She was forced to leave the company when her fate was manipulated by the Ad director, but after a few years, she was able to join the company again.  Just as her marriage was on the rocks and her career was in deep struggle, Goo Yong Shik, the chaebol son of the company she’s working with came in her life, and stood as her invisible butterfly wings.

 

Ain’t this woman so lucky?  She got another second chance in love, and that second chance was 10 times better than her former love. 

 

Hwang Tae Hee will be one of my favorite heroines.   It’s quite long so no chance that I stalked it online.  There were minimal lapses maybe because of the stretch of the story.  When I looked back I think it would have been better if it was not too long because the story itself was simply laid so extending it and adding unnecessary arc was safe but not really helping the story.  At any rate though, it was a worth gaping narrative. 

 

♥ My GF is a Gumiho (Aug – Oct) – Being a self-confessed fan of the Hong sisters, I really enjoyed the supernatural-mythical-romantic elements in this drama.  One of the most remembered couple I guess in the Kdramaland. I was already a Sin Min Ah fan even before and her light and natural take on her character made me love her even more.  Beautiful, never a dull moment and will always be on anyone’s top favorites. 

♥ Secret Garden (Nov 2010 – Jan 2011)  – Hyun Bin + Ha Ji Won = I’m a happy camper?  The drama woke up my inability of falling in love again with a fictional character Kim Joo Won.  Engaging and strong performance by the characters, amusing screenplay and a story that will linger and can work as a coping pill to boredom or heartbreak.  I had high expectations about this team up, and they did not fail me.  Sunny characters, a twist worth of de Maupassant, and an endearing-classic-my-mom-doesn’t-like-you-but-i-love-you love story.  Fresh and scintillating… worthy of being absent for a day… My top pick for 2010.

Abby’s 2011 Korean Drama Picks ^_^

 

 

My 2011 officially ends at the end of November, that’s why I’m going to have this year-end report.  *giggles (just kidding)

It’s just that since I’ll be very busy come Christmas season (I was deprived of Christmas and New Year’s eve in the past 5 years), I decided to write my thoughts about how I enjoyed staying at KDramaLand this year.

No ratings…  

I’ll just pick my BEST 10 Korean Dramas this year.

As to what my deciding points are?

The drama while it was airing should:

  •  Made me ditch a work day because I got disarmed by its adoring vibe, I have to watch it online to satisfy my addiction.
  •  Held me sleepless and zombie-like at work because my mind dwelt at what’s going to happen in the story and how prince-like and endearing the main lead actor was.  *blush
  •  Stimulated my emotions and rejuvenated the love nerves in my body big time. 

P.S I don’t care about the minor lapses in the technical aspect as long as I enjoyed watching it.  I let the producers and directors do their job as the creators, and I let myself do my job as a kdrama addict and blogger.

So without further adieu, here are my best choices for the KDramas aired this year. ^_^

Dream High (Jan-Feb 2011) – Fresh, full of music, and with a lot of youthful vibes..  It is the kind of watch you want after a suicidal traffic day.  The interesting characters were able to build up their personages in a manner that made their character striking and adorable.  The music was soothing, and I firmly believe that it’s gorgeous, and even better than Glee.  (and not because I’m Asian)

Set in a music school, pristine preppies will work hard in proving their potentials and skills as it intertwines with their personal issues, rivalries, friendship and romance.

♥ My Princess (Jan-Feb 2011) – The popularity of Kim Tae Hee and Song Seung Heon hasn’t reached me yet.  I don’t know if they will get to the point of it, but they haven’t occupied a space in my heart yet.  But I liked the outcome when they starred in one of the opening spectacles of this year.  It may not have given me the “my-girl-ish” kind of fondness, but there are really moments that I was able to painfully and delightfully relate to the characters.

The long lost princess of Korea will embark on re-claiming the honor of her royal family in the modern times, but it will not be easy owing to her need to prove her worth as a princess to her country which she herself is clueless as to how to pull it off and the evident rivals determined to stop the Monarchy’s re-emergence.  She has to rely between the devil and the deep blue sea to achieve what was expected of her.

This drama has been Kim Tae Hee’s way of saying sorry to me after I saw her movie Grand Prix. (Pardon me, I’m having a Princess moment here… *giggles)  Also, this is my favorite Seong Heon oppa’s performance to date.

Sassy couple fights, well rendered sweet hero display, and the mischievous yet vulnerable princess… These are some of the reasons why this love tale was pleasing and captivating.

♥ The Greatest Love aka Best Love – I was infatuated and in the dreamy land the whole duration of its airing.  How can this kimchi delight got so interesting and love affirming each episode was a question only the Hong sisters I guess can answer.  It was an early birthday present as Dokko Jin and Pil-joo made my heart so confused on whose side would I belong.  Every story arc crawled in my system vigorously resuscitated my dying love veins.

Ae Jung tried to stay afloat in the show business, and in a twist of fate she encountered the top-star, overbearing but you-can’t-help-but-fall-in-love-with Dokko Jin.  Ae Jung could have been cousins with Rapunzel as equally gentle, traditional doctor Pil-joo joined the love boat.  The bragging of the lead men of what they can do to make her happy and her own fight to build up the reputation that was mistakenly tainted brought me to romantic oblivion.

Captivating, clever and undeniably charming.  ^_^  Cha Seung Won, how do you age and yet you still manage to be oozingly hot?

Baby-faced Beauty (May-July 2011) – Coming from a TV hiatus, Jang Nara proved her worth in this TV interlude.  The persona she portrayed was engaging, full of hope and heart-warming.  The villain vibes balanced the typical “bully-the-damsel-in-distress” owing to the fact that they paved the way to bring out the eventual transformation of the primary character from being meek and forbearing to being confident and reasonably defiant.

Staged in the Fashion Design Industry the female protagonist will try to win back the dream she forced herself to forget because she has to raise money for her family when she was younger.  Blessed with a youthful look, she assumed her little sister’s identity to work as a fashion designer.  Her acquiescent attitude and her brimming talent will lead her to retrieve her lost yearning but she has to bear and overcome jealousy, personal confidence issues, and a budding romance in the work place.

♥ City Hunter (May-July 2011) – It was perfectly directed, crisply written and impeccably conceived.  Every episode was not a bore and every cliff-hangers will really give you the sadistic anticipating feel.  yes, Lee Min Ho is growing Zeus-like in each drama he has been, more so in here.  Park Min Young finally made my official favorite KdramaLady leads in her vivacious portrayal here. 

The main male lead was trained since young to be strong and mighty in preparation of his upcoming superhero-ish act in the future.  Jump forward to the future he plots on revealing corrupt government officials who also damaged his father’s life.

If you are looking for a solid and gripping story, here’s for your taste.  If your boyfriend is too manly, here’s something you can share with him that will not make him complain. 

You’ve Fallen For Me aka Heartstrings (June-Aug 2011) – Lee Shin and his boy-next-door-rockstar-god-self. (I could not ask for more. *giggles) 

It was a quintessential young romance at its best and simultaneously cupid’s favorite love tale personified.

It is a classic hate-that-I-love-you television spectacle that will swept the audience off their feet due to its invigorating romantic spirit.

Campus heartthrob Lee Shin crossed path with traditional music student.  It started as a one-sided love on the girl’s part, but eventually he realized her worth.  It will remind you of the lazy afternoons with your first love and the feel of not wanting to end the day when you had your first young love.

Vibrant and full of exuberance, I’m sure you’ll not get tired of watching it as much as you can.

♥ Scent of A Woman – (July-Sept 2011) – It is my favorite Korean drama to date.  It swept me off my feet without even trying and not just because Dong Wook oppa was really nice, sweet and hot there.  It’s just that the drama was a total package.  It was simple, classic, comforting and with lots of emotions.  It was an epitome of a perfect love story.  It was not just that of a man and a woman in their unrequited love, but a person’s realization of how powerful love is.  It was love for your mother, for your friend, for yourself and for this life.

A dying woman deprived herself of the many wonderful things to try in her life.  She then sets to experience all the things she’s missing on the remaining days of it, but when she fell in love, she will bargain with time as she realized a reason for her to live.

If you won’t fall for this story, I really think Mars needs moms.  Just kidding.  It’s undeniably love and life-affirming.  ^_^

Myung-wol the Spy (Jul-Sept 2011) – The endearing eye-candy Kang-woo and the equally loveable and charming Myung-wol were the source of a few weeks of bliss and cheerfulness for me.  I had a little issue when the closure was nearing, but granted that Eric has been recently my September month boyfriend, I’ll let it pass.  I will just etch the happy and flirty moments with them.

This dandy show was oozing with cute couple bickerings.  The premise of having the heroine protecting the leading man was a relief on the usual vulnerable leading ladies needing a chaebol-in-the-shining-armor to rescue them.

A North Korean spy, Myungwol, infiltrated South Korea in her goal to seduce Hallyu supahstar Kang-Woo.  Her persistence will pay off but her true intention will make or break an impossible love affair.

The Princess’ Man (July-Oct 2011) – I’m perpetually in spat with my attention problems, that’s why I don’t watch much of period dramas, but Park Shi Hoo haunted me sweetly in my dreams, and when I’m awake so it came to pass that I camped in our living room and focused myself in watching this sageuk production.  Good thing that they started rom-com because it got my system glued conditioned to stay, because if not considering how heavy the plot and how I detested the villain of the story, I would have been banished by Shi-hoo while I was watching the remaining episodes.

The setting was in the reign of Crown Prince Su-yang.  It was Romeo and Juliet with a vile father in between.  This is full of drama but not in a tear-jerker kind of way.  It was a love that the heavens won’t allow, but the ardor of the lovers sufficed to permit their forbidden passion.

P.S  My brother liked this drama, he stayed with it for almost 20 hours, at some point I dozed off, but he remained fervently loyal.  For this drama to catch my brother’s taste, it must be something, just saying.

♥ Flower Boy Ramyun Shop (Oct-Dec 2011) – There were two things that happened so sweetly to my KDramaLand stay this year… Scent of a Woman and my newest favorite which now shares the top spot for my highly-recommended Kdramas – Flower Boy Ramyun Shop… 

The light, feel-good and fast-paced vibe sent me wanting for more, and ended up being satisfied as each episode ends.  Without trying that much the characters grew on me and Cha Chi Soo tied with Dokko Jin this year for my favorite male leads.  One of the best for 2011, it swept me off my feet the way Prince Charming could have never done it to me.  Charming and full of romantic bliss plus a Second Lead as an extra perk, you’re a descendant of Lord Voldemort if you fail to appreciate it.

Rich kid Cha Chi Soo struggled in the realization of the emotions he was feeling opposite a lady he never thought he would harbor feelings for.  Set in a ramyun shop, the lively characters and the witty plot will surely win your preference and heart.  *giggles

P.S Having gained a lot of mementos from watching these fascinating dramas this year, I prepared this list to appreciate and take notice of what it has been in the KDramaHaven in the past almost 365 days.

(Also I’m still in the process of watching Vampire Prosecutor, A Thousand Day Promise, Tree With Deep Roots, Man of Honor and The Musical. Should I find any interesting there, I’ll just update this as soon as I can)

Best Male Second Leads

– Lee Ki Woo as Choi Kang Hyuk (Flower-boy Ramyun Shop)

– Yoon Kye Sang as Yoon Pil Joo (The Greatest Love)

Best Female Second Lead

– Kim Min Seo as Kang Yoon Seo (Baby-faced Beauty)

Best Male Performance

– Park Shi Hoo as Kim Seung Yoo (The Princess’ Man)

Best Female Performance

– Kim Sun Ah as Lee Yeon Jae (Scent of a Woman)

Hall-of-Famer Character

– Cha Seung Won as Dokko Jin (The Greatest Love)

Best Scene-stealer Characters

– Kim Sang Ho as Bae Man Deok (City Hunter)

– Im Se Mi as Cha Bo Woon (You’ve Fallen for me)

Best Kick-ass Character

– Lee Min Ho as Lee Yoon Sung (City Hunter)

Best Feel-good character

– Kim Tae Hee as Lee Seol (My Princess)

Best Inspiring Character

– Jang Na Ra as Lee So Young (Baby-faced Beauty)

Best “blush-inducing-character”

– Jung Yong Hwa as Lee Shin (You’ve Fallen For Me)

Best cuddly-bear-character

– Kang Min Hyuk as Yeo Joon Hee (You’ve Fallen For Me)

Best Love-you-Hate-you character

– Kim Sang Joong as Lee Jin Pyo (City Hunter)

Best Lead Man Kisser

– Jung Il Woo as Cha Chi Soo (Flower Boy Ramyun Shop)

Best you-can’t help-but-drool-character

– Lee Dong Wook as Kang Ji Wook (Scent of a Woman)

Best I-want-to-see-you-in-my-dream character

– Hero Jaejoong as Cha Moo Won (Protect the Boss)

– Eric as Kang-woo (Myungwol the Spy)

Best Chaebol Prince Character

– Song Seung Hun as Park Hae Young (My Princess)

– Jung Il Woo as Cha Chi Soo (Flower Boy Ramyun Shop)

Best Couples

– Kim Na Na and Lee Yoon Sung (City Hunter)

– Cha Chi Soo and Yang Eun Bi (Flower Boy Ramyun Shop)

– Lee Yeon Jae and Kang Ji Woon (Scent of a Woman)

Best Bromance

– Lee Yoon Sung and Bae Man Deok “ajussi” (City Hunter)

Best Villain

– Kim Young Chul as Prince Suyang (The Princess’ Man)

Best Ensemble Cast

– Flower Boy Ramyun Shop

Best Fight Scenes

– The Princess’ Man and City Hunter

Best Story

– The Greatest Love

Best Editing

– The Princess Man

Best Directing

– City Hunter

Best Scriptwriting

– The Greatest Love and Flower Boy Ramyun Shop

Best Drama

– The Princess’ Man and City Hunter

Best Chocolatey Sweet Drama

– The Greatest Love and Flower Boy Ramyun Shop

Best Tears and Bliss Drama

– Scent of a Woman

Best Jaw-dropping moment

– The ending scene of City Hunter

Best I’m-running-out-of-tissue scene

– Chae Eun Suk’s crying scene after his patient died (Scent of a Woman)

– Choi Kang Hyuk letting go of Eun-bi scene (Flower Boy Ramyun Shop)

Best Cotton-candy darling scenes

– Kang Ji Wook fulfilling Yeon-jae’s bucket list

– Piljoo and Dokko Jin’s shoes auction battle

– Lee Shin and Kyu-won’s relationship coming out scenes

Best Love Declaration Scene

– Yang Eun Bi’s love declaration to Cha Chi Soo

– Kang Ji Wook’s declaration of love to Yeon-jae

Best See How Much I Love you scene

– Lee Se Ryung taking the arrow hit for Seung-yoo (The Princess Man)

– Yoon-sung giving blood to Kim Nana after she took the bullet for him (City Hunter)

Best Kiss

– Se Ryung and Seung Yoo surrounded by the temple lights kiss

– Chi Soo snatching Eun-bi from a date with Kang-hyuk and giving her the kiss of jealousy