New K-Dramas To Watch On Viki This Fall

Ready to play with yellows and crimsons? Here are new K-dramas to look forward this autumn!

When Time Stopped

A man goes back and forth in the time-space continuum, with no regard for the passing of time and aging. Joon Woo (Kim Hyun Joong) leads a lonely existence due to his special ability. One day, he meets a woman who makes time matter for the first time in his life. Will he be able to be with her? “When Time Stopped” is a 2018 Viki Original drama series. It is “Boys Over Flowers” star Kim Hyun Joong’s comeback drama after “Inspiring Generation” in 2014.

Watch it on Viki.

Love Alert

What could a top actress and a dermatologist have in common? Not much when the top actress is Yoon Yoo Jung (Yoon Eun Hye) and the dermatologist is Cha Woo Hyun (Chun Jung Myung). Yoo Jung has enjoyed great career success but bad relationship failures. But she’s still optimistic that the right man will come along. Woo Hyun is a sought-after doctor but is pessimistic and can’t be bothered with female entanglements. When Yoo Jung and Woo Hyun accidentally get involved in a scandal in the media, it’ll take all the finesse that Han Jae Kyung (Han Go Eun), the president of Yoo Jung’s agency, can muster. What kind of an agreement will be agreed between Yoo Jung and Woo to weather the storm? 

Watch in Viki.

Mama Fairy and the Woodcutter

A fantasy tale of a wingless fairy who needs to await the reincarnation of her former husband to try to locate her lost wings and return to heaven.

Watch it on Viki.

Dokgo Rewind

He couldn’t protect his twin brother. Now, he wants revenge. Kang Hyuk (EXO’s Sehun) is devastated when school bullies cause the death of his twin brother, Kang Hoo. He wants to go after the bad kids at his high school and make them pay for what they did. With the help of Kim Hyun Sun (Kang Mina) and Kim Jong Il (Jo Byung Gyu), Kang Hyuk seeks justice, but at what price will he get it?  “Dokgo Rewind” is a 2018 South Korean web drama series directed by Choi Eun Jong. It is based on a popular webtoon.

Watch it on Viki.


You may also check my November 2018 Korean Drama New Releases at Hellokpop.

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KDrama Classic Spotlight: The First Shop of Coffee Prince

Hail to the grandmother of kdramas with cross-dressing heroines.  This is a follow up hit for Yoon Eun Hye and the drama that made me look at Gong Yoo as an oppa. *wink “Coffee Prince” developed in a feel good manner where the lead man battled out the possibility of his affection to a fellow guy not knowing that the heroine was a real woman in disguise.

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 and the cast interaction was also dynamic.  

It was something new when it was aired hence the rave because we saw an unconventional romance between a strong-willed heroine who has to pretend she was a man  to secure a job in a coffee shop for her family.  

The scenes where Gong Yoo was trying to reconcile his feelings with a guy come what may were hilariously interpreted and will definitely put a smile on your face.  It was so cute that 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.

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 is also one of those dramas where the lead man was presented as someone who wanted to fulfill his woman’s dreams first because that’s one the best definitions of love a man can gift her woman.

This is a must-watch grandpa classic that will not lose its appeal even after a few years from go by.  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.

KDrama Classic Spotlight: Goong “Princess Hours”

 

This is one of those dramas that I watched a few times in a year for my own traditional kdrama celebration, and if I’m under major emotional stress, typically another failed relationship or when  my favorite basketball team didn’t get the championship again.  

Crown Prince Lee Shin and Crown Princess Chae-gyung’s love story is the typical I-was-not-meaning-to-fall-for-you-but-I-fell-anyway romance.  You will love how the marriage for convenience and ancestor’s promise to marry their future descendants paved the way to one of Korea’s most endeared romance tale of young love.

The first episodes introduced us to the characters and prepared us to switch and familiarize ourselves between modern times and palace life.  Chae-gyung is your usual high school girl and her fate changes when due to financial problems she succumbed to an arranged marriage to Korea’s modern time Crown Prince for her to save her family from financial problems.  Lee Shin who was rejected when he proposed to his girlfriend Min Hyo-rin agreed to the marriage talk which originated from his late grandfather’s wish to marry his descendant to the descendant of a palace worker who saved his life, who turned out to be Chae-gyung’s grandfather.  On their wedding day, Hyo-rin was trying to reach her ballerina dream, changed her intention and realized too late that she wanted Lee Shin more than anything in her life.   

Chae-gyung entered the Palace and proceeded with her princess training while she often bickered with Lee Shin.  Eventually though and without realizing it, she soon found herself falling in love with him, which she tried to restrict because she knew he liked Hyo-rin.  The second male lead completing the love quadrangle is Prince Yul, who was Prince Shin’s cousin, and who eventually grew fond of the princess.  He was supposed to become the Crown Prince if not for the death of his father.

The main conflicts I say would be the  how the lead couples had the difficulty of admitting their teue feelings to each other and the quest to prove who really deserved the throne per Yul’s mother’s obsession.  

What I loved here is I saw how the loved progressed from nothing at all to “I want you to be always beside me” kind of adoration.  They matured as the romance grew, and they grew as the romance matured.  The heart-felt lines were superbly delivered and left me feeling the pain and the bliss at that moment.

There were a few lag time and scenes that were not really necessary and were just there to fill up the minutes, but like a package, it’s so pretty outside, you have to take time to unwrap it and feel happy at what a beautiful gift it was.  It’s the same thing with Goong, it slowly moves, but then it will leave you breathless in depicting a stunning and heartfelt love picture.

 

I still get heart flutters on that scene after Lee Shin’s Thailand escapade with the ex-gf when the princess confronted the ex and she fainted and then Lee Shin carried her and nursed her back to life.  And that love admittance back hug scene after the fire conflict… I remembered how I was holding my teddy bear’s hand and swaying it like crazy because I was so elated that at last they finally  realized they loved each other for real.  *giggles

 

 

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 of 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.  -jediprincess♡♡♡

 

 

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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KMovie Musings: My Black Minidress (2011)

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A friendship tale of four ladies and their challenges as they face the real world.  It is a story of the frustrations of not being able to conjure in reality what you have dreamt, and getting by with it with a little help from your friends and yourself.

It made me miss my girlfriends, I sent them “iluvu” messages after watching it.  *wink

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Most girls can relate to the story of these ladies.  I did, maybe because I was also stuck with the job I was not expecting to have, and maybe because when I and my girls grew up, our priorities changed as our problems became harder.  What I got from this movie was a “friendship check”… a reminder to find some time and catch up with them and see how they have been.

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This was a simply laid movie with minimal light tones.  Not all the characters were strongly portrayed though, that’s I guess what I can fail in this movie.  They presented the struggles of each character and had it solved because of their friendship.  Their own personal struggles were not dealt with accordingly.  At some point it’s really plain and dragging but you have to finish it to realize that there’s an after-effect.

It is not a perfect friendship movie, but it’s laid back and a few perky notes is enough for you to consider hanging out with these women.

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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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The Tears and Love when you miss someone dearly

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You know that child story about the princess who can’t cry?  If I give her a copy of “I Miss You”, she will cry all those tears she missed in her life.  After time-travelling expeditions last year, it’s romance after romance coaxing me, teasing me in different faces and approaches this year in kdramaland.  So here I am, love-filled, all-smiles, happily camping in the shower of rose petals.

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Staying away from the chaebol-love-you-hate-you love stories, “I Miss You” plunged to a dark and painful romance between a girl who was left behind by her friend and first love, and the man who waited for 14 years to make up for letting go of the girl he first loved.

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Tissue, more tissue and a lot of tissue.  Prepare for the weep fest and constant swaying and sighing over why Harry placed himself on that love triangle when he could have stayed by my side.  *chuckles  This is a sure headache that even Sherlock won’t resolve.  We normally get a love triangle where the third wheel stood as the villain because the main couple’s love is really unrequited, but this time, I was weeping, confused, annoyed and don’t know what to do on thinking how complicated their love was.  The people involved in the agonizing love triangle just chose to dwell on hurting each other’s feeling because of the depth of the reasons why they were holding back what they really felt, and why they were taking that path.  They were unaware that they were hurting me in the process because they were crying at any chance they can… and so did I.  *pout

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You remember Winter Sonata?  When I was watching it on the local channel, my brother was always complaining how Choi Ji Woo cried every episode?  I Miss You almost broke that record but the story it was threading sufficed the sort of emotional outbreak that spited the vulnerable side of me. 

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You have to prepare for the selfishness and development of the characters moving through the story.  Heck you just have to understand all of them because they all suffered from the trauma of their past.  On the 16th episode, I was shouting, let’s just have Harry reunite with his mom and have Su-yeon and Jung-woo live happily ever after, but after Harry’s revelation, I was tugging my hair, broken hearted on how far his obsession went.  He could have just gone here to marry me, but going to that extent… sigh…

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I felt like I was a part of the family that has waited for Su-yeon to come back that when she got reunited with her family, I was also crying incessantly.  And although I really want to comfort my Harry, I have to give space for him to reflect on his actions.  His noona romance really has gone way beyond revenge but I, my mom and my aunt were still siding on Harry.  My mom because he’s eye-candy cute and my aunt because he lived a hard life.  I know right?  I really came from this family.

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When my mom was complaining how cheesy they were on the 17th episode, my aunt replied in teary eyes… “If you have known how far they have suffered to finally be together”.  It’s different how generations explain love.  *giggles

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So the story goes like this.  Shadowed by the notorious reputation of her father who has also abused her physically, Lee So Yeon was your typical wallflower at school and was the resident go-to girl for the bullies’ power tripping.  When her father was caught by the police, So-yeon and her mother suffered from the harsh treatment of the neighborhood and only when Han Jung-woo became her friend that she saw life in a different perspective.

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Han Jung Woo was studying in the US but decided to come back to Korea and while he was walking one night, he saw So Yeon at a park and approached her.  So Yeon was surprised that he didn’t know that she was the infamous murderer’s daughter.  So Yeon tried to run away, but the rain fell and feeling happy that for the first time another person acknowledged her, she went back to the park and lend her umbrella to Jung-woo.  He promised to return the umbrella the next day but his grandfather passed away.

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On a dark battle of inheritance quest, Jung-woo’s grandfather died which caused the tension in the family as his father and his grandfather’s mistress fought for the old man’s money.  Jung-woo’s father shoved his father’s mistress even damaging his half-brother’s leg when he let loose of his vicious pet dogs to chase him.  The young master was able to escape and was hidden by her mother’s friend and landed as So Yeon’s neighbor.
 Jung-woo transferred to So Yeon’s school.  Watching her being bullied, he decided to be her only friend even after hearing the stories about her.  Confused that for the first time, someone has treated her nice, Lee So Yeon found her first friend.

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But the new-found-friends would become the eventual casualties on the money war Jung-woo’s family was waging.  Jung-woo’s grandfather’s mistress ordered him to be kidnapped and because So-yeon chased after the plan, they were both captured in an abandoned warehouse.  The two suffered pain, assault and unimaginable trauma.  Jung-woo’s father intervened , and the young man was able to escape leaving So-yeon behind who was almost hit by a car.  She was rescued  by the kid with a wounded leg who was the son of Jung-woo’s grandfather’s mistress.  He escaped his brother’s vicious dogs and was hidden by his mother’s friend and their family’s nurse.

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Cut to years after and we saw So-yeon changing her name to Zoe Lou, she has become a famous designer and has been with wealthy debonair Harry Borrison.  After years of premeditated payback Harry Borrison set forth to Korea to face the long lost brother who almost killed him.  He was planning on making his son who became a police officer catch his father’s evil doings.

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Jung-woo left his rich life and lived with So-yeon’s mother and has been living in the hopes that someday she will come back because he knows she was alive somewhere but what he was notprepared was the fact that his leaving her behind has made her hated him so much.

The obsession, longing and all those things you can do for love were the prime movement drawer of the story, and one man’s greed of money set the story to happen.

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Harry Borrison/Kang Hyun Jun felt like a Math equation for me with no geek help I can try to lure to help me out solve the problem.  It’s just so hard hating his villainy obsessive self everytime the camera zoomed in to his super princey face.  I, my mom and my aunt felt the same.  That’s 3 generations of women, that’s a prolific charisma draw.  This is why I prefer it when they put ugly-faced or crazy-faced villains because it’s very easy to hate them.

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Han Jung-woo has made Hachiko looked like he was not loyal with the amount of years he waited for So-yeon to come back.  He was yielding and leaning to his role effectively shielding the vulnerable lead girl but making her strong at the same time.  For some reason, Yoo Chun has really a knack of choosing good projects that can showcase the best of his side as an actor. 

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Zoe Lou/Lee So Yeon was what the Beegees was describing in Melody Fair.  I was piling a mountain of tissue every episode each time she will break down and cry.  I have sort of anticipated and almost in the brink of hating why she has to cry every time but then again the story calls for it.  I really missed her performance in the old drama favorites and she really came strong here after her abysmal previous dramas.

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This trio main character has ardently explained what a complicated love was.  My favorite line was So-yeon’s “I have always loved you, just not the way you wanted it.  That pretty much tells the gist of their love discord.  It’s always hard to be the receiving end of unfulfilled love, and even harder to know that you can’t love a man who has loved you more than his life.

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I thought all of them will go crazy in the finale episode, and I was scared that they might pull a memories-in-bali closing of just killing the love triangle characters so there will be no problem anymore.  I was a bit annoyed by that confrontation and negotiation with Harry to stop his foolishness, but that was one of the best scene in the whole series.  All three of them were in to their characters.  They settled everything right there and then, and that’s what I liked about it.  They were the main characters entangled in that conflict, and in the end they must find a way to end it.  And they resolved it in a tearful, blame throwing, why-can’t you-love-me-manner?.  I liked it. period.

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The romance of Jung-woo and So-yeon eventually kicked a well-deserved ever-after, after all the things that happened,I don’t want them saddled by my family doesn’t like you surprise ending conflict.  Good thing father who doesn’t know anything but money got jailed, I just hate him, he did all the problems and there’s no redeeming concept for him in the end.  You see I love all the tears in this drama, but there are neither black or white concepts on the motivational conflict.  The ending wishful thinking of what if the three of them met each other differently was a nice ending trick.  It was a cushion for a safe, well-explained and goodness-prevail-in-the-end windup.  What I can’t understand is how Jung-woo’s father was.  I mean he was all about money and evil all throughout that there was no character development.  I thought Harry was set to avenge his past but his hatred vanished and he even conspired with him.  That was not explained well, I won’t buy that because he loved the girl thought that’s why his priority changed.  I’m stubborn.  I won’t.

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I sympathized and understood why So-yeon chose not to be reunited with her family and Jung-woo and I’m glad she decided fast to face herself without prejudice.  You see a kiss always change a woman’s heart.  She was so vulnerable considering the trauma she had with her father that she won’t really be able to put up with her strong face without hurting herself in the process.

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Harry, my Harry showed a different meaning to the word antagonist.  Much as I want to hate him and when all his best laid plans were executed for his vengeance streak, I was still faithful and can’t bring myself to hate him.  Sweet-unrequited-one-sided love, that’s what it can do.   Tssss You loved the wrong girl!

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“I Miss You” appeared to be a bundle of contradiction for me as I was fighting for my tears not to fall to no avail and at some point the emotion rush exhausted me.  There were moments were I was like… Don’t cry!  Don’t cry!  I said stop crying! And then I just ended up drawing the tissue roll to join the cast on their episodic sob fest.  To be honest, it was bordering to melodrama overkill where it was really living to the tears and more tears vision.  If not for the sad tone on the onset that has had me prepared as well as the painful love premise, I would have not lingered.  I know I’m such a lousy liar it was really because of Harry and his devilish handsome stare.

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I mentioned that I’m on a love roll this year.  So far, I Miss You would be the yardstick for the romantic melo drama this year.  Strongly portrayed and definitely worth the tears. ^_^

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half-lying that i like “Lie To Me”

Lie to Me started on the right track, groped it’s way safely to it’s love climax and ended in a lame disappointing note. It was a closure overkill mainly because the story passed unnecessary conflicts to finally reach a conclusion.

 What I remember most was the scene when Gong Ah-jung poured out her “why there are no cherry blossom?” broken hearted self to her father.

 

Gong Ah-jung was a civil service officer handling tourism affairs. When she was put on a situation where she has to save her face to her first love and her friend who dated her first love, she used the eccentric hotel business empire heir Hyun Ki Joon as her husband. The lie in an exaggerated point left them forced to pretend that they were really in fact married to help each of them in their personal urgent situations.

 

At first they were on an unfriendly note but romance blossomed as they get to hero-is-sick situations and heroine-needs-rescuing instances. But the lie that made them together caused the uncertainty of what they really feel for each other. It sent them to a long road, and if I may add, unnecessary trek to finally admit the love they felt for each other.

 

There are frustratingly good to watch dramas, but Lie To Me went otherwise. While the gossip-vengeance-and-personal interest-driven LIE kicked off the story, it clung desperately to skepticism and failed to achieve a decent ending. It was there waiting for a sign to bungee jump when there were no stars to wish for.

 It was an over extension and they suffered the consequences of it. If not for the star power of the lead couple, I won’t remain faithful.

 

A few adorable scenes here and there but nothing much to brag about to the kdrama brimming bucket of love.

 I can only wish to see the lead couple in another production worthy of their talent. Lie to Me was an easy watch, and they deserve something more than that.