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.  

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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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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That Winter, The Wind Blew Me Away

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And back from my kdrama hiatus, I finished this stunning, stirring and affectionate “I pretended to be a long lost brother to a blind heiress because I needed money to continue to live only to find myself waking up wanting to protect my fake little sister every single day” in between anti-histamine and sleeping.  Given the drama bucket I’ve piled in the past few years, making me stay sitting on a drama was a feat hard to achieve, and this year, “That Winter, The Wind Blows” was the first one to notch it, and no candy crush nor any other distraction can compete with Jo In Sung oppa for my attention.  *wink

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This is how a melodrama should be done, enough emotional scenes to stimulate the heart and tear ducts, but not bordering to weep fest.  This spectacle was like Innocent Man, but what was half-achieved by the former, was strongly fulfilled by this winter romance show.

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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.  These are the two love lessons I have learned from Oh Soo and Oh Young, and so far this year, they are my favorite love couple.

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A tale of not really brothers and sisters who were entangled by fate, unexpected fondness, blind trust, and true love, this drama blew me away on the early episodes and the intense scenes when the revelations were surging up.  It took me a while to be convinced on how the lead girl’s firm grasp of things disregarded how her hero abnegated his own happiness because he got infected with the love he was feeling for her, but as I realized, I without disability have insecurities and would really feel awful if I will be betrayed, how much more for a blind girl like her.  It always help to step on the character’s shoes to see through their perspective.

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Oh Soo together with his sidekick brother by affinity Jin Sung were famous gamblers in Gangnam, but when he can’t reciprocate the love of his sponsor’s mistress, So-ra, he was framed embezzling Mr. Kim’s money and was imprisoned for a year.

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When he got out of jail, he was forced to pay for the debt he didn’t acquire by Moo-chul who loathed him because he blamed him for the death of the woman they both loved in the past.  Time was ticking and when Oh Soo learned that his dead friend who has the same name as his was a long lost heir to a big conglomerate company, he seized the opportunity and assumed his dead friend’s identity.

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“Operation get some money and pretend I am my dead friend” proceeded and thanks to Oh Soo’s nimble mind, he was able to escape compromising situations requiring memories of his old friend that of course he didn’t have.  For him to settle his business, he has to deal with his supposed heiress-sister Oh Young who became blind after the separation of their parents.  She was taken care of by Secretary Wang, who was also the cause of divorce of her parents.  People around Oh-young are nice to her because of money so she shielded herself with a strong-this- is-what-I-want facade.  Oh Soo slowly broke the fortress her fake little sister put around her, and has made her understand that given her challenge in vision, she has to accept help from other people and be grateful and put confidence on them.

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Soon enough he gained her trust, but the pressure from the gambling world he came from were also building up.  Oh Soo discovered Young’s hiding place where she kept her video diary while she was growing up, and from there, the urge to protect the innocent girl who was putting a brave front all her life grew in his heart and blossomed to pure love.  He also learned how her condition would have been resolved from its early stage if not for the selfish reason of Secretary Wang, who really cared for Young as her own daughter but has made her live a life in prison.

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And then So-ra came back to spoil everything, in her little exposure in the story, she has managed to chafe me to a hilt as her selfishness pointed to Soo and Young’s suffering.  I abhorred her character.  She gave a whole new meaning to obsessive love. 

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So when Oh-young was dubious of her frailty condition, and she was really being pushed to get the surgery by Secretary Wang and Oh-soo, So-ra dropped the truth bomb that he was not her real brother.  At that point of the story, Oh-young was already having a hard time because she has fallen romantically in love with her brother.  So I was thinking that she would initially caved in after feeling she was stabbed in the back, but her blind whims and unreasonable and irreconcilable trust issues let it lingered and made her even more jaded.

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But since unrequited love can cure almost all kind of pain, on Oh-Young’s last attempt to make a fool out of herself, Oh-Soo in his knight-in-shining-armour self managed to rescue her suicide attempt, and I cried when she said… “I was not feeling scared of dying, I was actually waiting for you to come to me”.  When she woke up, they has a very heartfelt talk, and acknowledged that they both needed each other to live happily in their lives.

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The finale episode was a combination of exquisite moments for me as the blind heiress and the conman finally sealed their love with a kiss, but Oh-soo has to deal with his final gambling showdown on the night when his girlfriend would also undergo the surgery.  Soo and Jin-sung were able to slap back Mr. Kim to avenge the unfounded grudge they didn’t deserve, but the vile villain took his last card to threaten Jin-sung.  Jin-sung stabbed his hyung in order for his family to live.

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Since a lie started the web of deceit, the swinging of how to keep it up moved to degrees of annoyance and appreciation to me because I got a heroine who was frail but not gullible at the same time. I have always liked Song Hye Gyo, and this is her “I’m sorry abby for making you watch A Reason to Live peace offering”, I supposed.  When the illness-dying twist emerged in the story, I was shouting, “why is she in the brink of death drama scenario again?”, but I was appeased with her superb portrayal showcasing a vulnerable character who has learned when to turn off her protective bubble to bring the best of her and to reconcile with the idea that bravery can also mean trusting people wholeheartedly without a hint of hesitation.  But, in the finale episodes, I detested her stubborn self, I mean, “hell I know you are blind, but stop being proud! and just live happily ever after with Oh-Soo oppa!”

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I have slight issues with how In Sung oppa exaggerated his acting sometimes, but given his hotness and knee-crumbling appeal, I let it slide and because at the strong scenes he was seamless in nailing it.  He was way beyond Cullen or Grey or the rest of the fictional sexiest man alive list.  He smiled.. he smirked… I fainted.  His every move in the camera was a justification of my korean drama addiction. *hearteyed

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The supporting people helped in maintaining the crisp and throes of the storyline.  Oh-soo’s bromance with Jin-sung was amusing and cute as Hee-sun’s bossy-ing around to the darkside-brothers was a breather on despondent situations where Oh-soo was involved.  There was also that double sided hyung-villain that I despised and then learned to love in the end because he died.  I just can’t comprehend why he can’t move on when he didn’t even have the Oh-soo’s ex-girlfriend’s love in the first place. 

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A lot of misplace love for the supporting villains, something that helped in strengthening the main lead characters and solidifying the conflict, but neglecting the redeeming point or karmic justice that would have been served for them.  I just want that So-ra girl to be crushed by a 10-wheeler truck, the way our local drama payback time always does.  *giggles

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I would be honest that there were dallying episodes after the mid-part of the story and Young’s indecisiveness which you have to tolerate because of her disability was the minus factor in the story.  There were inconsistencies in her character that were just salvaged because she was blind, but since I grew tired empathizing with her, I disliked how she saw through her visual impairment and felt how the people around her move to please her so as to gain favor from her, only to not rely on her instincts when it was needed.  All throughout she was in a battle of who-to-trust-and-not, and had she not submitted to weighing the twinge of trust properly, I would have been disappointed because the building of this drama was impeccable, but the fulfillment should be at least satisfying.

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I almost had an asthma attack in Oh Soo’s breakdown scene and how he was blaming himself on not just playing the con he started instead of making love complicate all things.  It was such a strong memorable moment that sent me to weep island, and will be on top of my favorite scenes this year on kdramaland.

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It was a safe ending.  It was not a happy-yey!-ever-after closure, but at least they were together.  And I’m happy about it. There were hanging questions that were not explained and karmic justice that were not served to some of the characters like Mr. Kim and So-ra, and they only focused on what the ultimate yearning of the love couple was —  for Young-i to see Soo oppa.  So they ended it in her quarter-blindness, it was like… “Okay, blind girl, you can be happy now, but don’t jump!”  Other than this puny finale episode sulking, I really loved this drama because it didn’t give me the satisfaction of getting a fairy-tale ending.  And because at those scenes that really mattered I was able to feel for the characters and the struggle they were hurdling.  It drove to the path of how Oh-soo and Oh-young’s self-contemplation on what they have to offer with each other to be worthy of each other’s love.  Oh-soo who has never saw meaning to his life has found it when he met a woman who was also sharing the same sentiment as his.  Sometimes it’s really the pain that makes the love so worth it, because without it you can never differentiate if you are willing to let go or to love the person.

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“That Winter, The Wind Blows” was a poignant love drama that will make you remember how you were scared to start a love you were unsure of, and how you took the odds to claim it.  This was a cure for people with “trust issues” and its delightful and piercing romance take will definitely appeal to people wanting to love… wanting to be in love and wanting to be loved back.  It was a splendid romantic drama ride for me.  It was not perfect but it was emotionally astonishing.

 

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Korean Love Drama List

Might as well blog these K-Dramas who stayed with me when I’m sad, flirty, happy and in love…  Here’s a taste of feel-good Korean Romantic dramas, you might want to watch with your friends, partners,  and soon to be “future” person… ^_^ = my personal favorite

♥ Flower Boy Ramyun Shop (2011) – 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 an adorable Second Lead as an extra perk, you’re a descendant of Lord Voldemort if you fail to appreciate it.

♥ The Princess’ Man (2011)A period drama taking the Romeo and Juliet romance background.  With one of the vilest villain my eyes has set upon on television.  Nonetheless, for a not so sageuk fan like me it stirred emotions and glue-like substance to make me stay in touch with it and finishing it till the end.  Marvelously done music and editing and with richly personified characters, this is a drama worth of a red carpet recognition.  (10/10/10)

♥Scent of a Woman (2011) I won’t forget Yeon-jae and Ji-wook’s love story.  Theirs is full of passion, trust and commitment to love each other whatever the future holds.  To date this is my favorite Korean drama ever and Yeon-jae and Ji-wook’s lovestory will always be special in my heart.  A love tale that has made me cried big time, but still made me feel hopeful after the tears.  Scent of a Woman is so life and love affirming that it affected me in a way that it made me get so serious with making my own bucket list.  If a newbie will ask me what I can recommend for a first time watcher, without hesitation, I will certainly recommend this drama.


♥You’ve Fallen for me aka Heartstrings (2011) I would recommend this to anyone suffering extreme heartache to trigger their ability to love again.  This is refreshingly sweet and the kind of drama you’ll watch and never get tired of it..  Oozing with sweet moments and a lead actor who knew what buttons to tickle and make you filled of heart flutters.  A little lapses and a sort of rushed ending but Lee Shin made up for all those little things it was missing.


♥Myungwol the Spy (2011)The sort-of-chaos that happened during the airing of this drama didn’t stop me from being immersed on the characters and the funny, exciting. full of twist, and undeniably pretty story. I became interested with Eric because of his character here, and when I check on his other dramas, the man sure can act and is really hot. Since rom-com dramas are everywhere in the kimchidrama land, it’s hard to generate a love story of a man and a woman that you haven’t seen, heard or read before, true there may have been love stories about spies, but the crisp and outlandish of Myungwol took me by surprise, and I just love surprises.

♥City Hunter (2011) – I’m very fond of the lead couple after watching them in their respective Kdramas and I’ve loved them even more in this drama.  Very charming display of their characters. A story of revenge and realizing that there’s more to life than revenge.  It’s hard not to fall for this drama because it hit all the elements you can ask for.  Superb directing, scriptwriting and acting.  I could not ask for more.  ^_^

♥Best Love aka The Greatest Love (2011) – I was so in love with this drama when it was airing.  As always Hong sisters got me with their lead couple bickering-turned-to-loving.  It’s full of heart flutters and bliss.  A story of a striving-to-remain-in-the-Korean-showbizness woman and a top-Korean-actor.  It’s one of my favorites for 2011.  It might make you skip work if you watch it during work days so better watch it on a weekend.  It’s also the first time I fell in love to the second male lead almost at the same level as the first male lead.   I don’t know what kind of water Hong sisters drink for them to come up with really good love stories.  Dokko Jin entered my lead man Hall of Fame list and Pil-joo joined Geol-ah to my “really-they-deserved-the-girl” list.  This is something you will dream of when you sleep and a very good reason for you to bargain with time to speed up so that the day of its airing can happen.  Certified on Abby’s must-watch list. Full of ahhs and ohhs, this is one of the best rom-com dramas I’ve watched so far.  Consider you’re forewarned.

♥Baby Faced Beauty (2011) – it’s light, refreshing and full of hope and dreams.  The character development will slowly and surely capture you.  A story of a 34-year old woman who has to set aside her dream of being a designer to take the role of the breadwinner in the family.  She was given an opportunity to have her dream but she has to pretend she’s 9 years younger.  It may be slow moving but you will end up loving the story.

♥49 Days (2011)I found the premise intriguing as it involves fantasy intervention… it slowly picked up in my system but having a soft spot for I’m-here-for-you-all-along-why-can’t-you-notice-me kind of love, it won me over.  Neat and prettily written story with twists and gasps, and will be on my top 3 dramas for 2011.

♥Dream High (2011)Breezy, glee-like-maybe-even-better, and lead actors that will put you most of the time in the land of “i want to be with you”… I say this is a dark horse this year and the musical bearing sets it apart from the rest of the dramas this season.

♥My Princess (2011) – one of my favorite behind-bickering-they-love-each-other couple.  The only Song Seong Heon drama that I like.  Very appealing and enticing.  Kim Tae Hee proved she can do the light and classy… a must watch, eye-candy and worth recommending.  ^_^

♥ Secret Garden (2010) – 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. ^_^

♥Queen of Reversals (2010) – 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.  Hwang Tae Hee will be one of my favorite heroines. 


♥ City Hall (2009)I’ve watched this drama after I came across Dokko Jin, and the politics-based love story blew me away.  The closing scene was shot so perfectly I promised myself I will vow to be a single if I won’t get that kind of romantic scene for a wedding proposal.

♥ You’re Beautiful (2009) – Jang Geun Seok still lingers in my dreams because of this drama. Hong sisters have done a superb job crafting this drama.  One of the few dramas who killed me with so much anticipation. Great chemistry between our favorite K-band characters. After Jang geun Seok swept me off my feet here I hunted all his Korean movies and watched it. Amazingly sweet and with lots of love vibes. Fast paced, beautifully crafted, sweet moments at it’s best. ^_^

♥ My GF is a Gumiho (2010)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. Incorporating folklore and romance on its best… nicely done, great acting, witty screen play, and definitely on my top 3 K-Drama of 2010. ^_^

♥Sungkyunkwan Scandal (2010)Bromance incorporating a touch of traditional Korean history and way of living made the series riveting… such charming characters and will leave butterflies in your tummy.   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.  Our F4 scholars made me so in love for a while and even now I still am in love with Geol Ah.  Definitely this has a spot on top Korean dramas on Abby-land.

♥ Personal Preference (2010) – 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.  Your typical I’m-here-to-protect-you-love-story but with a twist.  ^_^

♥ Prosecutor Princess (2010) – 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 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 This is alluring and classic, a great watch and will live up to your expectation.

♥ Mischievous/Playful Kiss (2010) – I’ve seen how Japan and Taiwanese’ did their live adaptation so there’s always the comparison, I still prefer Taiwan’s version though, but this is quirky, lovely and you’ll have so many ways to love it.

♥ Iris (2009) – Since it was big budgeted and composed of top stars in Korea, it should definitely be worth watching… riveting, fast paced and top notch… But I’ve watched lots of spy dramas so it didn’t at all affect me.

♥ Boys Before Flowers (2009) – When it was aired in Korea, it was like the anticipation of Harry Potter book 7 for me, I’m so excited of Wednesdays because I get to watch it. Teen romance bliss at it’s best. ^_^

♥ Beethoven Virus (2009) – Great acting, scriptwriting and directing… It will slowly creep its way to you, and without you realizing it you are deeply immersed in each character’s life.

♥Coffee Prince (2007)Coffee Prince cemented my growing fondness towards Yoon Eun Hye.  *giggles  I liked her in Goong, and I like her even more here.  The music was so refreshing.  How the love grew between the lead characters was simply laid and yet so affecting and definitive.  If you are currently having a bitter heart because of a failed relationship it can surely disarm you and walk you through appreciating love again.  Addictive and will make you believe in love if you are unable to do so… ^_^

♥ Shining Inheritance (2010) –  I rarely watch mellow drama but there was something engaging in this modern-day-Cinderella-meets-spoiled-prince-romantic-interlude.  Seeing Han Hyo Joo in a different light was a surprise because I was not happy when I first saw her in Spring Waltz.  If not for the brilliant portrayal of the villain step mom here and how Eun-sung struggled and defeated the odds, the story will really not go beyond plain to interesting.  It took a while for me to fall in love, but I did eventually. A love story that builds up nicely.

♥ Love story in Harvard – Kim Rae Won is an actor that can easily sink in to any character he takes, and until now he still amuses me how he does that.  He’s so feel good and engaging to look at, and he effectively displayed that in LSIH.  There are a lot of heart-fluttering scenes which KRW nailed superbly.  I’m a sucker for 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.

♥ Goong (Princess Hours) – Growing love was really sweet in this drama and would make you remember your first love.   Great Music, great lines.  The build up of love is heart felt and lingering.  ^_^

♥ A Love To Kill – Classic directing and editing, decent conflict didn’t make the drama so dragging. Rain at his best.  ^_^

♥ Full House – Light and carefree. Cute couple fights and the famous 3 bear song made me smile a lot while watching it.  The sweet and simple storyline made tit a runaway hit.  ^_^

♥ Autumn Tale –  A very sad moving love story.  If serendipity has a twin evil brother, it was lurking the whole time in the story..  A few sweet moments, and a drama that is anti-ever-after.   The twist and simplicity of the story was very heartwarming. Heart-tugging storyline and will definitely linger in your heart.A lot of people cried over this KDrama. The twist and simplicity of the story was very heartwarming. Heart-tugging storyline and will definitely linger in your heart.

♥ What happened in Bali –  This is my favorite drama ending. There are only a few kdramas with decent endings, and if I’m strange because I love the ending of the ill-fated love triangle that this love interlude presented, I don’t care! *giggles At least they have provided a closure and a very strong closure for that matter.  Realistic and smokin’ hot.   Stirring and stimulating. Not a happily ever after drama, but definitely high grade scriptwriting and directing. Realistic and sensational. ^_^

♥ Love Marriage –   I was kinda hesitant when I first took my DVD copy of this drama to watch.  When I look at the lead couple it felt like they were not in sync physically.  There’s nothing spectacular about the story itself and is very laid back, and that’s maybe the reason why I fell for it.   Snappy scriptwriting, spirited lead actors and adorable love story.

♥ 1% of anything – A lovestory between a sweet middle school teacher and a hot tempered rich man. Fun, refreshing and one of the reason why Kang Dong Won is in my Korean Prince list.  ^_^

♥ Which Star did you come from – Poignant twist in the story can go either way depending on how you would want to take it. Neat storyline, but sometimes slow moving.  Light, eye-pleasing and another Kim Rae Won hit for me.

♥ Delightful Girl Chun Hyang – perky and bubbly… with lots of zest and romance…  Watched it after My Girl, and this sent me stalking Hong sisters from then on.

♥ Hanoi Bride – Lee Dong Wook is my favorite actor that’s why I watched it… quick, typical love story, somewhat great acting….

♥ Hello Miss – slow, sometimes entertaining, the only good thing here is Lee Dae Hee.

♥ La Dolce Vita – mature, splendid and realistic… marvelous acting and storyline…  If you have been induced by light rom-com dramas full of raining rose petals and couple bickering, this will be something new for your taste.

♥ My Lovely Samsoon –  I really think Hyun Bin was given by Heavenly Father to me, and until now I still have that illusion. *giggles He’s that actor whose gaze can make me so mesmerize and drool of what it feels like to be with him, in short I was meant for him, and it’s a one side love. Sam Soon is an addictive drama, subconsciously and in the real world. The writing and the weight of the story was justified by the endearing couple. It something which will nudge you of what you have experienced at some point sometime in your relationship.  Upbeat, mesmerizing, engaging and one of my favorites.  ^_^

♥ Fireworks – dreary storyline elevation… the only good thing to watch is the lead actor… tolerable and forgettable…

♥ Witch Yoo Hee – This was where I first noticed Jae Hee and his smooth smile. I have funny and sweet moments with this drama, but it’s just all that I guess. It was sort of more than an inch safe. Had it add more inflections and deleted unnnecessary scenes it would have been nicer.  Sometimes scattered and sometimes amusing.

♥ Stained Glass – typical, can be stirring at some point… sometimes spiritless… In between mediocre and above expectation I guess… Strikingly cute but not enough to make you remember it.

♥ Last Scandal – nice storyline, superb acting and chemistry between the lead actors, edifying and passionate.

♥ Save the Last Dance For MeA beautiful moving story of finding love and falling in love all over again to the same person.  It is my favorite Eugene drama.  At some point it was slow moving but it essentially helped the narrative of the drama.  This is like a love story taken out of your favorite harlequin novel but with a more pronounced lingering effect.  Deeply moving… fascinating characters… spell binding story…