2011 Drama Round-Up and Review

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I’ve watched so many dramas this year that it only seemed right to summarize my opinions of them (not to mention organize my thoughts  for the sake of my own sanity).  It’s been a pretty solid year, with plenty of pleasant surprises, and I hope that 2012 can offer up as much enjoyment.  Posts like this have been a huge help to me in the past when I didn’t know what to watch, so hopefully mine will help someone too.

Since this is more or less a visual blog, I’ve also posted a favorite MV (music video) to go with each review.  One each wasn’t nearly enough,  so I also made a youTube playlist of 113 MVs featuring the dramas of 2011.  I was very picky with my selection, so they’re all good!.  There are too many creators to thank them all here by name, but I do want to sincerely thank them for their hard work and the hours of enjoyment they’ve given me.  If you like a particular MV I would recommend subscribing to that person’s channel (it makes finding the best ones a lot easier!).

I know with 100% certainty that many people will disagree with my thoughts on certain dramas, so please don’t flame me!  I usually try not to be too negative but this post is entirely based on my unfiltered personal opinion, so please don’t be offended if I dislike a drama or an actor that you love.  I’d love to hear your own opinions on these shows (and others) so please comment!  If I know what people like, I will also know what people would like me to draw ;)

I’ve linked each drama to its synopsis over on the Drama-Addicts Wiki so you can read about any you haven’t heard of.  That way I can just focus on what I thought of them, and not specifically what they’re about.  I’ll avoid spoilers as much as I can (although the embedded MVs will be full of spoilers, so watch at your own peril).

*Gah.  I thought that I avoided embedding any videos that can’t be embedded, but I wasn’t even close.  I’ll try to swap them out eventually, but meanwhile they’ll open in a new tab.

The Best of the Best

Can You Hear My Heart (aka Listen to My Heart)

I’m not sure if I will ever love another weekend drama as much as I loved Can You Hear My Heart.  This drama kept me on the edge of my seat, touched my heart, and continuously surprised me with its flawless pacing and well-constructed plot.  Every one of the characters was extremely well developed, and I found myself caring about all of them.  This drama’s OTP (Kim Jae Won, Hwang Jung Eum) was by far the best of the year, but the “NTP” (non-true pairing) was also one of the bests (Namgoong Min).  Besides the obvious chemistry between the three leads, they were also just written extremely well, but differently than I’ve seen in other dramas.  I kept expecting them to follow the cliche rules of kdramaland for the sake of drama, but defying those cliches ended up being far more compelling.

The acting in CYHMH brought this show to a whole new level, and I have to give special credit to the kids for their portrayal of the leads during childhood, Jung Bo Suk for his role as the mentally disabled father, and Namgoong Min for breaking our hearts so deftly.

CYHMH was anything but fluff, and touched on some of the most poignant themes this year.  It deftly handled issues concerning family, disability and loyalty, but never got preachy and still satisfied like a romantic comedy.  The bromance was incredibly heartwarming; the affection between Dong Joo, Woo Ri and her father was heart melting.   The ending to this drama was fantastic, and throughout all the episodes this drama never lost steam.  Other than Woo Ri’s unfortunate hairstyle, it was essentially perfection.

I almost didn’t watch CYHMH because it sounded too melodramatic and I prefer shorter dramas.  Do not make that mistake!  If you haven’t yet watched it, why are you still here reading my silly post?  Get watching!  30 episodes won’t feel like enough.  If I had to force someone against their will to watch a 2011 drama, this would it.

*This drama has an extra special place in my heart because its fantastic use of color is what really got me started on drawing k-dramas.  Thank you CYHMH!  I also apologize for that very random screenshot, but I’ve always wanted to use it for something.

There are some other CYHMH MVs I love, but I feel like this one is the most thematically appropriate for the show (doesn’t include the last 4 episodes btw). Thanks to Ajewell for making it!

Protect The Boss

Protect the Boss is another drama I almost didn’t watch.  The teaser ads leading up to PTB’s premiere were extremely lame, and killed the little interest I had.  Ji Sung’s hair didn’t help. Thankfully a moment of boredom coaxed me into watching, and there was no looking back.

I thought that PTB would only aim to be funny, and it was (extremely) but it also managed to create meaningful story and depth, impressing me with how touching it made the more serious topics (such as agoraphobia).  Some of the year’s most ridiculous characters are in this drama, and yet in an instant they would become believably heart-wrenching.  Ji Sung’s character (Ji Heon) showed the greatest dichotomy that way, and I can’t think of a single other actor that could have sold Ji Heon as well as he did (he even managed to make bad hair and absurd clothing endearing!).  Ji Sung is incredible at layering emotions, and I think that his acting was ultimately what  made it possible for this drama to work so well.

PTB actually deserves some sort of award for its character creation.  All four leads were quirky and flawed, but incredibly endearing (I dare you not to love Wang Ji Hye as Na Yun in this drama).  Each of them had a unique but adorable relationship with the other three, and I enjoyed the friendships as much as the romances.  No single minor character was one-dimensional either, and absolutely everyone was funny and entertaining in their own way.  There are no “evil” characters in PTB, and I hope that other writers took note because it is a formula that can work extremely well.

I don’t think that this drama really needed the two episode extension it received, but I also don’t feel that it lagged as much as most dramas do towards the end.  A bit of lag was nonetheless felt, but PTB is so otherwise fantastic that it still easily makes my favorites list.

I really wanted to post this super funny video but it can’t be embedded. So then I was going to post this serious one, but it can’t embed either.  So now I’m posting one that only covers the first 8 episodes, but it’s great. Credit to Ayachan.

Dream High

It’s no secret that I’m a massive fan of anything that involves singing or dancing, so it’s not surprising that I loved Dream High.  That being said, I fully expected the story to be nonsensical fluff, and was once again pleasantly surprised.

For a “youth drama” this show had impressive depth and maturity.  I really felt like I was dreaming right along with all the hopeful teens, and acutely felt for them when they had those dreams crushed.  The singing and dancing did not disappoint, but this drama’s heart was what made it a favorite.  I laughed and cried, and eagerly sat on the edge of my seat dying to know what came next.

Unlike most youth dramas, Dream High wasn’t predictable.  I literally had no inkling of who Hye Mi (Suzy) would end up with, who K would be, or where everyone would end up, and I don’t think that’s ever happened before.  Both male leads had very compelling stories, and it’s rare for two ships to be so equally balanced.

I need to make special note of Kim Soo Hyun, who is such a powerhouse of talent that it’s not even fair.  In the early episodes I thought that he would just be some dopey character, but his growth and struggle ended up being my favorite part of the drama (and the boy can sing!).  KSH took his role very seriously, and if he didn’t break your heart you should probably see a doctor.  His haircuts also just kept getting better and better.  Bonus!

Usually I’m anti-drama-extension, but I do feel like Dream High could have used an extra episode.  The ending felt slightly rushed, and I wanted to know more.  Even though I hope that Dream High 2 is a standalone series, I wouldn’t mind some references to Dream High 1 just to fill in the blanks.

Despite being utterly fantastic, Dream High is  still a teen drama, so if you’re allergic to the genre you may want to stay away (even though it’s beyond me how someone could not like this show).

*Every time I hear the Dream High theme song I want to jump up and do a flash-mob.  That song has been off-and-on stuck in my head all year long.

The great visuals in Dream High make it a gold mine for MV makers.  That being said, finding one that includes the drama, the dancing, and all the characters is like finding a needle in a haystack.  Thank you to Anon for making just such a video.

Secret Garden

Secret Garden just barely squeaked onto this post since it mostly aired in 2010, but I loved it, so I’m including it!

Unlike the rest of the universe I’m not actually a huge Hyun Bin fan, but he was perfect for this role.  He pulled off the sarcastic, fashion-challenged, borderline-obsessive rich kid absolutely flawlessly. Ha Ji Won was equally perfect, and I loved her characters frequent changes from indignant tomboy to girly swooner. The chemistry between the two was through the roof, and watching the actors try to act like each other (after the body swaps) never got old.

Secret Garden was hilarious.  The sparkly track-suits, the body switching, the banter, the physical gags…all of it was pure gold.  The supporting cast was almost as great as the OTP, and the scope of the drama was greater than what most dramas bother with (time-jumps don’t count!).

On top of the hilarity, this was one of the more touching dramas this year and it did a good job of tugging at my hearstrings.  Most kdramas get more serious after ten episodes or so, and often thatmeans more boring.  In Secret Garden the episodes just got more heart-wrenching, so I was still on the edge of my seat completely invested and not even noticing the drop-off in humor.

Overall, Secret Garden does pretty much everything right, and I consider it a pretty iconic korean drama.  Surely everyone’s watched it by now?

Credit for this one goes to ADxxProd.  Very appropriate song choice!

The Not Quite Best of the Best 

Greatest Love (aka Best Love)

Oh Hong Sisters, how I love thee.  The Greatest Love gave me the biggest laughs this year, and did not disappoint my expectation of a zany story with snappy writing.  Even the music was funny, and the wacky plot felt believable enough that I didn’t lose interest or take the show lightly.  The idea of translating physical heart problems into emotional ones seems incredibly silly, and I suppose it is, but it was also done very cleverly and provided a lot of the humor.

The only reason this drama isn’t a favorite is because I didn’t feel myself as invested in Cha Seung Won’s character (Dokko Jin) as I would’ve liked.  His character was just a little too hammy for me to take seriously, and even though his offbeat charm was a big part of what made this drama so great, I just didn’t relate to the serious half of his personality enough (unlike Ji Sung’s character in PTB).

I would rank this as my third favorite Hong Sisters drama (after YaB and MGiaG) and would still consider it a “must watch”.  The references to pop culture and the horrific hilarity of a Hong Sisters dramas really can’t be matched.

I agree with Charisnova, the youtuber who made this, that this is an incredibly suitable song:

49 Days

49 Days is yet another drama that I almost didn’t watch.  I usually avoid shows that deal with “spirits” since I tend to find them lame or offensive.  49 Days managed to strike just the right tone, and achieved what I consider most important in a drama: strong character development and good story-telling.

It would’ve been easy for 49 Days to get overly melodramatic or sappy, but it mixed in a healthy dose of humor and a message that was ultimately uplifting.  Episode 19 still made me cry more than any other show ever (it’s all your fault Jung Il Woo!) but it’s a drama that saves up for the sad moments, rather than beating you to death with them.  The motivations of the characters were easily understood, and I even found myself caring for the “bad” people.

I wasn’t familiar with any of the actors in this drama before watching, other than Jung Il Woo.  They all won me over (especially Jo Hyun Jae) and Jung Il Woo far exceeded the expectations I had for him after watching the Return of Iljimae.  He was good in RoI, but I never expected him to dig as deep as he did with the Scheduler (which is such a fantastic character btw).

My only gripe with this drama was the ending.  I would’ve been fine with it if it felt like it fit, but instead it felt a bit like a last minute writing change.  The rest of 49 Days was very carefully constructed and paced, but the ending used too much deus ex machina for the sake of surprising us and tying together some loose ends.  49 Days was 100% worth watching and the finale was still very good (I just felt it could have been better). I did think that the ending for the Scheduler was perfect.

A lot k-dramas feel like they’ve been done before, but not 49 Days.  Even if it hadn’t been so very well done, I would’ve loved it for being fresh and unique.

*Try watching episode 19 and then listening to Jung Il Woo’s Scarecrow (허수아비) song. I bet you can’t get through it it.

I couldn’t choose between posting a Kang/Ji Hyun MV or a Yi Soo/Yi Kyung MV, so I’m breaking the rules and posting one of each.  Not that I recommend watching 49 Days MVs if you’ve watched the drama.  It often results in weeping.  Credit to theBelovedVampire and LonsomeMultiAngel.

Heartstrings  (aka You’ve Fallen For Me)

Heartstrings is a drama that I loved, but would hesitate to recommend because of its simplicity.  Heartstrings is a bit like a designer tank top.  It’s not flashy, most people won’t notice it, and its quality is more easily felt than seen.  To some people that will probably translate as boring, and I find it hard to argue that a tank top is interesting.

Musically and visually I think this drama was one of the best of the year (just look at how many drawings it made me do!). Particularly throughout the first half of the show, the number of great new songs it churned out was impressive.  If you like CN Blue you will probably like this OST, although some of the best musical moments aren’t even on the OST.  Jung Yong Hwa was a great casting choice if only for his  musical talent, which matched perfectly with the soft colors and  mellow vibe of the show.  It also helped that he and Park Shin Hye have fantastic chemistry (I even shipped them in YaB).

Another thing I really like about this drama is that the characters just felt like real people acting like real people do.  Most dramas occasionally have characters step outside their established personalities for the sake of plot development, but Heartstrings seemed content to be a quiet little slice of life show that didn’t need such contrivances.

The most unfortunate thing to happen to this drama was Park Shin Hye’s car accident.  Besides forcing story changes and limiting PSH, it also resulted in an episode being cut, and that cut was noticeable.  Some of the side stories suffered as a result,  and the writing lost a bit of its focus.  This drama also isn’t going to win any acting awards, but Jung Yong Hwa has grown leaps and bounds since YaB and I found myself genuinely enjoying the cast.  They did feel a bit more like teenagers than adults, but I loved them anyways.

Even though this drama wasn’t a huge hit, it seems like one of the most popular dramas to make into MVs this year.  Surely that must mean something.

*For those who are suspicious, yes, Me Too Flower did inspire the tank top metaphor!

This video is actually mine, and it’s pretty terrible, but it includes their whole relationship (which was the point).  Unfortunately my computer couldn’t handle it after I got through about 10%, so I just had to get ‘er done.

Scent of a Woman

I really dislike Lee Dong Wook as an actor, and still thought Scent of a Woman was  a good drama (and lets be honest, Lee Dong Wook isn’t going to be a problem for anyone else but me).  Most shows are just entertainment, but SoaW actually made me want to live better, and that’s pretty rad.

Although I felt like the character development stagnated a bit mid-drama (too much moping!) the character arcs were extremely satisfying overall, and I was particularly moved by the second lead Eun Suk  (played by Eom Ki Jun) along with Kim Sun Ah’s fellow hospital patient.  The way different people handle grief and mortality is a universal issue, and I think anyone who watched this drama would find someone to relate to.

Normally I stay away from melodramas (happiness is my preferred emotion) but I would’ve been sorry to miss out on this one.  The ending was perfect.  It was believable, and it set the right tone with the right message at the right time.  Extra kudos to Lee Dong Wook and Kim Sun Ah for their riveting tango scene.  Watching it felt like an invasion of privacy, and that’s because they made the scene sizzle.

*I haven’t seen Robert Deniro’s Scent of a Woman, so I have no comparisons to make in that regard.

This video doesn’t really represent the drama, but it it wins points for being so stylish.

The Middling and Mediocre

My Princess

I remember enjoying My Princess while watching it, but unfortunately I don’t remember much else about it.  I know that it was super cute, that I liked the OTP, and that Kim Tae Hee had a killer shoe collection (I would’ve watched it for that alone).

I was never in danger of dropping My Princess, and I think that anyone who enjoys 16 episode trendy rom-coms would like it.  It had plenty of sweet moments, and I don’t remember ever getting bored.  I think the problem was that it didn’t do much that was new, and that’s why I forgot so much of it so quickly.  Basically it’s a standard chick flick.  It will make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, but probably won’t leave a deep impression.

This video has lots of My Princess cutenes…aka the stuff I remember.  Credit to POE.

Spy Myung Wol

What a controversial little drama this turned out to be!  I must admit, the first few episodes of Spy Myung Wol sunk their claws into me and had me hooked.  The premise was so absurd it was fabulous, and the offbeat characters were a joy to watch.

Much like its characters, Spy Myung Wol suffered from an identity crisis and ended up all over the place.  I won’t get into my opinions regarding Han Ye Seul not showing up to set and leaving the country, but the plot took some major hits as a result.  In the beginning the sudden plot shifts were part of what made this drama fun and exciting, but towards the end it just felt like disorganized writing.

Despite all the hiccups, Eric did a good enough acting job to make me go watch Que Sera Sera, and I have no regrets about watching this drama since there were so many great tidbits full of wacky charm.  It’s unfortunate that so much of this drama’s potential was squandered.

There are surprisingly few zany myung wol videos, so here’s one that’s mostly serious instead.  Credit to Evanstuhh!

The Princess’ Man

Princess’ Man was better and worse than I expected.  I thought that it would be an overly tragic melodrama (boo!) but that it would be extremely pretty to look at (huzzah!). It started out as both, but ended as neither.

In the first episode when Park Shin Hee’s father died, I literally laughed.  The scene couldn’t possibly have been more dramatic, and I wasn’t about to feel anything for characters that I didn’t even know.  After that I put the drama away for several weeks, but eventually came back to it to seek drawing inspiration.  Some of the early episodes did have great cinematography, but not as much as I expected.  Towards the end of the drama I didn’t find myself noticing the cinematography at all, which made me sad.

I did like the end of this drama, and it was better than I had hoped for, but overall Princess’ Man was just too cheesy for me.  It could have used a little bit more intrigue, or even more plot concerning the OTP’s relationship.  I thought the best episodes were the ones where they battled wits and started liking each other, but after that their interactions became fairly cliche and one-dimensional.  I would’ve much preferred some conversation over the numerous slow-motion flashbacks.

That being said, Le Se Ryung (Moon Chae Won) is one of my favorite sageuk heroines, and I loved her feistiness, even though it didn’t have as much opportunity to shine towards the end.   Similarly, I found Seung Yoo (Park Shi Hoo) to have much more spark and personality in the beginning, and though I realize it was due to circumstance, I found myself missing the real them.

I don’t regret watching it, and would recommend the Princess’ Man to major sageuk fans or those who adore the leads.   I think extra cheese and slow-motion are the norm with sageuks, but I’m still not used to it and need some faster pacing to keep myself invested.

If I’m honest, I like this MV more than I liked the drama.  Credit to snowcedarplanes.

City Hunter

“What? City Hunter…middling? Mediocre?”  I realize that I’m a minority, but I had very high hopes for this drama and wanted to love it as much as I love Time Between Dog and Wolf.  I think this is a great fusion genre, but ultimately City Hunter disappointed me.  If Heartstrings is a designer tank-top to me, then City Hunter is a cheap but flashy pair of high heels (lots of flair, quick to get compliments, irresistible at first sight, but a victim of shoddy workmanship and arguably not worth the sore feet).

All of the right elements were in place: a great premise, a hefty budget, trendy casting and good music.  Unfortunately City Hunter was so flawed that I just couldn’t take it seriously.  Usually I try to turn my brain off when I’m watching anything involving action (since it’s so frequently unrealistic) but City Hunter was so full of odd little mistakes that it became humorous.  You know how some kids think that no one can see them when their eyes are closed?  In City Hunter as long as the audience couldn’t see someone, no one else could either (which made escape oh-so-easy).

I’m not going to start listing off the hundreds of little flaws that I noticed since I don’t want to ruin the enjoyment of this show for anyone else, but what bothers me the most is that all thoselittle mistakes were a result of laziness.  No effort was put into researching anything, and none of the nonsense added anything to the show, or was necessary for plot development (in which case I’d be happy to let many errors slide).  For example, Lee Min Ho could have dealt with guard dogs in any number of ways, but instead he used a dog whistle to pacify them.  The only difference between a normal whistle and a dog whistle is that humans can’t hear the latter, and LMH should have had his face torn off (hopefully no one tries his technique in real life).  One little scene like that isn’t a big deal, but there was no reason for it and the drama as a whole was over-saturated with such things.  I’ve been criticized (IRL) for being hyper-logical all the time, and I guess it’s true because I just couldn’t make my brain accept this show.

There is still a lot to be said for City Hunter.  It had a great vibe, an interesting story, and encompassed the whole emotional spectrum.  It’s incredibly stylish and makes for some of the best MVs around, despite Lee Min Ho’s pink pants. The Min/Min couple has great chemistry, as evidenced by their real life relationship. For fans of Lee Min Ho this show is a “must watch”, and even I was impressed by how badass he managed to be for a skinny pretty boy.  Even people who don’t care for LMH probably couldn’t go wrong with this drama; just be wary if you’re anal about details like me!

*The exciting part of Sad Run (from the OST) makes for a great phone notification.  I loved every time it started playing during the show.

There are so many good City Hunter MVs it’s absurd, and they range from all-action to all-romance.  I couldn’t decide what I wanted to go with, so I’m posting the one with the most extreme style. Credit to Transparent Darkness.

Paradise Ranch aka Paradise Farm

Paradise Ranch was so forgettable that I almost forgot to include it.  The only reason it’s not under “waste of time” is that I don’t remember being angry that I watched it.

I originally watched this drama for Lee Yeon Hee because I liked her in A Millionaire’s First Love (which I unfortunately watched without realizing it was a melodrama).  Honestly, I find Shim Chang Min so annoying that it’s a miracle I didn’t give this show up.  That face and that acting make for a cringe-worthy combination.  I know that he has a fan-base, particularly among TVXQ fans, but other than his voice I really don’t understand the appeal.  Regardless of how I feel about him as an actor, he also looks younger than his age and I think that someone with more maturity was needed to sell the role or a guy who was married, divorced, and met the same girl six years later.

Aspects of this show were cute, but poor acting often detracted from the sweeter moments. Joo Sang Wook was the definite highlight,  but I wouldn’t say he’s enough to make this drama worth watching.  It’s fluff, but unlike dramas like My Princess, it’s not good fluff.

This is a MV for the second lead shippers (and I was one of them when I watched this drama).  Credit to DontBeABetch55.

The Waste of Time

Royal Family

In retrospect, the only redeeming thing about Royal Family was Ji Sung.  I have low standards.  I hardly regret watching anything.  The plot almost got good, but then didn’t.  The romance almost got compelling, but then wasn’t.  It seemed like the drama was about to go somewhere interesting, and then it had the worst ending ever. 

The ending was so badly executed that I wasn’t sure if it was happy or sad.  I wasn’t even sure that it was the end.  My actual response was, “What?  Why did I just watch all that? Did I miscount the episodes?  Is there more?”

It’s a testament to Ji Sung’s acting that I got through the whole drama.  He’s one of those vacuum actors that can draw you in and make you care in an instant (and unfortunately for me, that’s what happened).  I didn’t even know who he was before watching this show, but his very first scene had me impressed.

I wouldn’t recommend this show to anyone, ever. Even visually it was bland. You might like parts of it if you imagine your own ending and skip the last couple episodes, but even then it’s probably not worth it.

I think Svetik is the only person to make a MV for this drama.   Thank goodness for Svetik.  She makes it seems like good MVs grow on trees!

The Unfinished

Birdie Buddy

I have a golf pro in the family, so I felt obligated to try Birdie Buddy.  My brain was tricked by the short episode length (combined with evil autoplay) and I suddenly realized that the drama was half over and nothing had happened yet.  There’s not really anything note-worthy about Birdie Buddy, and I can’t imagine that the ending is great enough to make the first half of the series worth it.

Baby Faced Beauty (aka Youthful Beauty)

I watched 16 out of 20 episodes (or was it 18?) of Baby Faced Beauty but will never finish it.  It started out great with good directing, a fun story, and concrete plot.  Unfortunately this show got repetitive and started looping plot devices right along with emotional states.  Eventually I couldn’t stand to look at the female lead’s mopey face for a moment longer and gave the drama up.

Thanks to TransparentDarkness for another MV!

Lie to Me

I watched all of Lie to Me except the last two episodes.  I don’t think that anyone considered it to be an expertly crafted drama, and its popularity was mostly based around the chemistry between Yoon Eun Hye and Kang Ji Hwan (which is valid; I’ve watched shows for much less than that!).  Unfortunately for me I find Ji Hwan’s eyes cold and reptilian, and think he would be perfectly cast in a Korean version of Sleeping With the Enemy (sorry, blame my brain…I know it’s broken).  Yoon Eun Hye’s character seemed sad or exasperated 90% of the time, so that made matters worse.  Sang Hee was by far my favorite character, and unfortunately he was borderline nonexistent towards the end, so my interest in continuing to watch the show became equally non-existent.

* I admit it, I posted a screenshot of Sang Hee instead of the OTP out of spite.  That’s the face he probably made from the sidelines while he was busy not being in the drama.

Thanks to TransparentDarkness again.  Seriously TP, stop making good MVs already!

Warrior Baek Dong Soo

I really wanted to love Warrior Baek Dong Soo, and genuinely did at times.  I was a big fan of the plot set-up, the characters, and the fantastic cinematography.  I’ve always had a soft spot for assassin’s with sad stories (seriously) so WBDS was right up my alley.  The bromances were fantastic, as were the rivalries.

Unfortunately my beloved characters stagnated and showed little growth over the course of many many episodes.  The melodrama also got a liiiittle too melodramatic for my tastes.  After about 20 minutes of mournful wailing I start to feel uncomfortable.

I had such a love/hate relationship with this drama that I found myself perpetually dropping it and picking it up again.  I can’t remember where I ended up, but I watched at least 20 episodes.  I inadvertently found out how it  ends, and that ending feels right to me.

Overall I think this drama could have used major condensing.  I think 20 episodes would’ve been plenty and kept more people interested.  I’m a bit sad that I didn’t see this drama through to its conclusion, but the though of picking it up yet again feels a bit too much like work.

This is another show with tons of great MVs.  The bromance was one of my favorite parts of this show, so this MV is about that.  Credit to Martyna267.

Romance Town

I thought that I loved Romance Town while I was watching it.  It had a fairly unique plot and a slightly offbeat assortment of characters that immediately caught my interest. I found it hard to predict what was going to happen next (which is always refreshing) and the group dynamic was consistently entertaining.  I particularly liked the twists on common cliches.  Instead of a girl without a shoe being given a piggyback, she was given a “foot” and I got to watch the cutest “three legged race” ever.  I hard a hard time choosing who to ship because the relationship with the second lead was so great too (I loved all that Spirit of the Mountain liver-stealing stuff).

So why did I stop watching?  I’m not sure.  About halfway through the drama I got too busy and missed a week.  After that I just never felt compelled to start up again.  Romance Town was decent in pretty much every category, but I suppose it didn’t excel enough in any one area to get me hooked.

*The original title, “Maids” was better suited to this show I think.  Or perhaps “Greed Town” would be more apt.  There’s a fair bit of romance, but it deals with a lot more than that.

Credit to Ayachan for this very appropriate MV.

The Currently Airing

Tree with Deep Roots (aka Deep Rooted Tree)

I’m pretty confident that Tree with Deep Roots will be my sageuk of the year.  The premise sounded incredibly boring and I only watched it so my brother wouldn’t have to be tortured by a k-drama rom-com, but this is another one that would’ve been a shame to miss. The pacing and expertly woven plot keep me on the edge of me seat, and so far this drama seems immune to overtly-cheesy-sageuk-disease.

The acting is some of the best I’ve seen this year (I’m looking at you Sejong 1 and Sejong 2!) and there is a ton of intrigue and action considering that this a drama about an alphabet.  Normally I don’t find political figures or kings all that entertaining, but this king has me hanging on his every word. Every episode has been so solid that I feel like it’s impossible to not be disappointed eventually, but I sincerely hope to be proven wrong.

Ojakkyo Brothers

I have to confess, a weekend family drama about a farm was not high on my “to watch” list.  Could there be a more mundane-sounding setup?  Fortunately Softy made a great Ojakgyo Brothers sales pitch and I didn’t miss out on this great drama.  It’s not the fastest paced show out of there, but it’s full of heart and deals with a gamut of family issues that anyone could relate to.  UEE has proven herself to be an appealing lead (not that she wasn’t great in You Are Beautiful) and the variance among the story-lines gives this drama widespread appeal.  The first 34 episodes have flown by, and it’s been great fun doing screenshots for Softy’s recaps over at Cadence.

With most dramas I can fairly accurately pinpoint why they’re so good, but Ojakkyo Brothers has some sort of X-factor that I don’t quite understand.  Maybe it’s the cast, or maybe it’s all the relatable stories, but either way it has been a very worthwhile watch, and I’ll be sad when it’s over.

* I probably should have posted a picture of the family, but I love that shot.

Thank you so much to Sailor Enigma for dedicating this OB MV to us.  I’m not just posting it her to be nice.  It’s one of the best I’ve seen.

The Musical

The Musical somewhat reminds me of a more somber version of Heartstrings.  It is seemingly simple but has complicated characters that keep me watching.  If nothing else, it deserves recognition for creating an 8 way love “triangle” that actually works.  Every person involved has a unique but well-developed personality, and I find myself wanting to know more about everyone.

My biggest issue with this drama is that the person I care about the least is the protagonist (Go Eun Bi).  She seems to lack the most depth, and frequently frustrates me by giving up or having a pity party.  I don’t find it believable that she would survive in the musical world, but I’m hoping that she steps up her game to become more deserving of her position (not to mention the affection of two great men).  Other than Eun Bi I think that this behind-the-scenes look at musicals is handled rather realistically, and I appreciate the many references to real musical pieces.  I’ve enjoyed recapping it, and I just hope that the end doesn’t disappoint me.

This is a great MV, mostly about the OTP.  Credit to annabell885.

Flower Boy Ramyun Shop

Even though I very much enjoy Flower Boy Ramyun Shop, I do think it is a bit over-rated.  I love it for it’s deliberate hamminess as well as its more serious moments, but it doesn’t quite feel real to me (I don’t mean “real” real of course, just real within k-dramaland).  I think the reason for this is Jung Il Woo’s character, Cha Ji Soo.  He’s funny, borderline crazy, and I love watching him, but that’s not enough.  I need to believe that Eun Bi (the female lead) would fall for him despite the large age gap, and so far I’m not completely buying it. I do love Ji Soo’s incredibly deranged personality though, so it’s not a bad trade-off.

I don’t have a problem with big age gaps when they’re done right, and I loved The Woman Who Still Wants to Marry, as well as Dal Ja’s Spring.  Kim Beom looked like he was 14, but I believed his relationship with Park Jin Hee because they felt like equals.  He regularly bested her in verbal battles and made her re-think aspects of her life.  He also brought out sides of her personality that had been laying dormant, and helped her focus on the more important things in life (which so often feel less important).

So what does Ji Soo offer Eun Bi? He doesn’t have many endearing qualities other than his looks.  He’s rude, demanding, lazy, disrespectful, and not all that smart.  He doesn’t understand women or the world around him, and is basically just a regular teenage boy with an added dose of immaturity.  He hasn’t even lured Eun Bi with the “fun of youth” or by acting genuinely charming, and she never seemed like she was suffering from the drudgery of mature living in the first place.  Yes, Eun Bi hears bells, but that’s not enough for me to buy their relationship.  *For the record, I do think has a very kind/sweet side to his personality, but no one’s seen it yet.

All that sounds very negative, but I’m still hooked and would watch this show to the end just for Kang Hyuk (Lee Ki Woo).  His disarming cheekiness puts a big grin on my face, and his mild autism makes me feel for him, but also makes him more entertaining (I apologize if it’s inappropriate for me to enjoy his lack of understanding for social boundaries).

I also love the dynamic between the other “flower boys” and think that the bunch as a whole is much more interesting than F4.  The writing is exceedingly clever at times, and I love the many layered conversations where two characters are talking about completely different things. Every episode provides plenty of fun moments, so my only demand is that Kang Kyuk gets some sort of happy ending.

This is a very cute video by StupidApples.

Me Too, Flower

As soon as Kim Jae Won got in an accident and had to drop out Me Too, Flower, it was off my list.  I streamed it one day in a desperate attempt to procrastinate, and ended up marathoning the first six episodes (my procrastination was a success!).

Even though it’s not my favorite, this drama is probably the one I’m most addicted to right now.  I’ve always liked the premise, and it delivers.  Yoon Shi Yoon does a surprisingly good job of playing the secretly rich valet Jae Hee.  The only point against him is that he isn’t Kim Jae Won, and really, that’s not his fault.  For someone less naturally suited to the role he is nailing it, and if not for the constant comparisons to KJW I think he would be receiving a lot of praise.  His chemistry with Lee Ji Ah (playing Bong Sun) is believable, as is his self-assurance and regret over the past.

The main characters have been extremely well developed, and I was impressed that the writers researched personality types so they could give Bong Sun an extremely accurate profile (yep, I looked it all up).  Many similar characters would feel disjointed and unrealistic, but the extra detail makes her feel very much like a real person.  She’s also the least tough “tough girl” I’ve probably every seen in a kdrama, which is rather endearing.

One of my favorite aspects of this show is that the characters don’t spend 14 episodes in denial about their feelings.  They are sometimes fickle or confused, but once they feel something they act on it.  Probably the main reason I’m so eager to watch new episodes is that these quick emotional decisions result in a quickly changing and unpredictable plot.  Hopefully this doesn’t mean that the story will stagnate later, but so far I’ve been very happy with the progress.

Unfortunately, Me Too Flower suffers from some awkward editing and directing.  It’s not so bad that it feels distracting, but it’s definitely not up to the current standard (which is quite high I might add!).  I think it’s mainly a result of delayed production while the team tried to wait for Kim Jae Won, and I’m impressed that they created such a good show with the time they did have.  I figure that the lack of lead time means this drama can only get better!

Thanks to Jomo for the great MV.  I love this song!

Vampire Prosecutor

With a title like Vampire Prosecutor, I had no expectations.  Cable dramas are often worth watching so I was set on giving it a shot, and am glad I did.  It’s as good as any other crime show out there, and I love the look and feel of this drama.  The plot never blows me away and some of the cases are a bit predictable, but I have yet to watch a crime drama where I was always surprised.

What I really like about Vampire Prosecutor is that “vampireness” is more of a character trait than it is the focus of the show. Of course it’s a necessary part of the premise and affects much of the plot, but it feels no different than Dr. Gregory House being incredibly smart, or Patrick Jayne being extremely astute.

Vampire Prosecutor is also one of the most stylish dramas this year.  Why is it that cable dramas always have the more interesting directing (ex. Joseon X-Files)?  It’s moody and dark with well-chosen music, and I particularly enjoy the “blood flash-backs” (I have no idea what to call them).

My only fear is that there are only a few episodes left, and there is still so much more that I want to know.  Unlike most kdramas the episodes in this show can almost stand alone, and I find myself sometimes wishing there was more carry-through plot.  The little tidbits we’re given are tantalizingly cruel.

Thanks again to Svetik for this MV!

Man of Honor (aka Glory Jane)

I don’t really like Chun Jung Myung and was going to let Man of Honor pass since the premise didn’t seem very interesting (I can take or leave Park Min Young since she always feels like the same character to mee).  I finally watched the first eleven episodes because it seemed like a strong fan-base had developed (and I don’t like to miss out on a good drama!).

The story turned out to be much better than I expected.  I didn’t predict that the characters would have such intricate pasts or that there would be so many rivalries and so much plotting.  As a result I was quite intrigued, although In Woo’s many struggles would’ve kept me watching regardless.

One thing I find weird about this drama is the slight usage of supernatural elements (like the homeless guy with the “magical” necklace from Jae In’s dad).  It seems awkward and unnecessary for the development of the plot, and like it’s being used an excuse for coincidences and deus ex machina.  Instead these devices just make the coincidences more noticeable!  Supernatural elements are fine when they drive the story (Family Man, Secret Garden, etc) but I’m not sure why Man of Honor bothered.

All that being said, I think am done with this show.  When Jae In and Young Kwang started thinking they were related I thought it would be a positive thing because it would allow them to quickly develop a genuine friendship.  Instead this drama went the faux-cest route and the characters started developing romantic feelings before realizing that they have no blood ties.  It creeps me out and the thought of watching now makes my face scrunch up.

Thanks to blackkxstar for this excellent MV.

What’s Up

Team Park Kyu!!

I’ve only watched one episode of What’s Up, but my initial thought was, “How did this not get picked up earlier?”  I absolutely loved the intro to the first episode with that French song playing in the background (although the end of it was ruined by Hades’ voice says “what’s up”).  In fact, all the music in that first episode was great.  The Phantom of the Opera is a favorite of mine, and it gives me chills every time I hear it.

On top of that, the story was surprisingly compelling surprisingly fast.  Im Ju Hwan’s spunky scam-artist character is great, and I felt my heart pounding right along with his at the scene of the accident.

I was expecting Daesung to play a typical ballad-singing idol, so I was pleasantly surprised to see him doing metal (even though I hated that first metal song).  I thought he was a bit cheesy at his audition, but I’ve always considered Daesung the cheesiest Big Bang member and don’t think it was over-acting in his case.  His characters’s insecurities make him pretty interesting (I bet there’s a history there) so I hope his acting ability is up to the challenge (he seemed decent so far).

The only real disappointments with the first episode were Im Ju Hwan’s wardrobe (he really needs to buy something from the current decade), the “what’s up” voice-overs and the lack of Lee Soo Hyeok.  Other than that, I’m very excited!

This is Hades’ (Daesung’s) MV from the the drama.  It’s interesting that they made an MV for a fictional character, and that MV doesn’t actually appear in the show! Thanks to loveKpopSubs for uploading.

*This drama needs a different name.  “What’s Up” is almost as bad to google as “The Musical”.

Upcoming This Year

Padam Padam (Dec. 5th)

The impossible has happened…Kim Bum looks like an adult!  It sort of weirds me out that I will no longer have a constant cheek-pinching impulse every time he’s on screen.

I’m actually really looking forward to Padam Padam because it has a very unique premise, and it seems like it will be more mature than most vibes.  The first long preview has me very impressed with the vibe and look of the show.

Even they’re both successful actors, I’m not familiar with either leads, but they look like great actors, and I already want to know more about their pasts.

While reading an article I read that Kim Bum thinks he’s a guardian angel.  Ooh…I like that.  I hope that we the audience don’t know the truth of it right away, since I like not knowing.

Added bonus:  There are dogs!  Lots and lots of dogs!  And they’re not tied up on two foot leashes :D

This is the five minute preview (no subs, sorry).  Thanks to Kikimbeom for uploading.

Bachelor’s Vegetable Store (Dec. 21st)

It’s not the greatest title around, but I like true stories and this sounds like a good one (man starts a small vegetable store and eventually turns it into a successful chain).  I expect that the real story will be pretty heavily altered, particularly since it sounds like this is going to have a bit of a Coffee Prince vibe with a store full of bachelors.  I liked Ji Chang Wook in Warrior Baek Dong Su and loved Wang Ji Hye in Protect the Boss, so I’ll definitely be checking this one out.

Vampire Idol (Dec. 5th?)

If I had to pick two Korean actors most likely to be vampires, it would be No Min Woo and Lee Soo Hyeok.  On top of them being perfect casting choices, I’m huge fans of them both, so I’ll definitely be tuning in to check this one out.  The tidbits I’ve heard regarding Vampire Idol are pretty odd-sounding, so I’m sort of hoping they go all out and make this drama absurdly funny (while poking some fun at the vampire genre in general).  Vampire Idol has the potential to be horrendously horrendous, but my fingers are crossed that it’s done right (like Vampire Prosecutor…but with the opposite strategy!).

Edit:  I just realized that this is a daily drama, which kills my interest pretty much completely.  How are they going to keep silly vampires interesting for 120 episodes? Bleh.

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And that’s it! I would’ve liked to have posted this after Padam Padam aired, but I knew I would be too short on time. This year has left me very contented; it provided me with a good mix of things that I love and things that I’ve never seen before.  I’m extremely happy to see cable dramas coming to the forefront (ever since Someday I’ve been sold on them) and I feel pretty confident that Korean dramas are just going to keep on upping their game.

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I felt like my video of the day should be a Can You Hear My Heart video since I consider it my drama of the year.  This is on of my favorite CYHMH MVs, and credit goes to ayachan.

78 responses

  1. I really need to watch Can You Hear My Heart ASAP! I am missing out on a lot of greatness. T_T We pretty much had the same opinions on the dramas. But hmmm, I guess I need to give Me Too, Flower a chance. I bailed out when KJW wasn’t in it tomorrow. Thanks for the awesome reviews! :D

    • Yes, watch them both! Especially CYHMH, because you know that it’s good from beginning to end, and you really are missing out.
      So far Me Too Flower hasn’t disappointed, but you never know! I have been surprised at how much I’ve enjoyed it though :)

        • You’re already a KJW fan and haven’t watched?? You’re lucky your status hasn’t already been revoked! That show is what made me a KJW fan. I expect you to check in after Christmas to confirm that you’ve watched CYHMH, or I’ll have to officially announce that you’re removed from the fan club :P

          • HUHUHU I will, I will. Maybe I’m on probationary status right now. Hihi. School does not leave me time to do what I love, which is duh, watching KDramas. I rely on recaps and reviews. Poor me. Will definitely spazz to you when I get to watch it this break. Excited! Can’t waiiiiiiiiit!

  2. Must have been very exhausting to compose this very thorough and extensive review. However, i’m glad you did. I myself don’t have that much time or patience to actually check all these dramas out, but thanks to you I don’t even have to. I can just take my pick.
    Also, I am surprised that we had so many shows this year (and these are not even all of them). Romance Town and Baby-Faced Beauty, completely forgotten…I never finished either of them.
    And I maybe I should check Can You Hear My Heart? and Ojakgyo Brothers out…seems they are quite popular. Lot’s of people recommend them, though I find longer dramas a bit of a challenge.

    • It wasn’t supposed to be exhausting (I was going to spread the process out more) but it it did sort of turn out that way. Unfortunately once I start something I can’t stop, because then I just keep thinking about it constantly and go crazy.

      I’ve always strictly stayed away from long dramas too, and CYHMH was my first. You should definitely watch it though! I’d recommend Ojakgyo Brothers too, but I’d start with CYHMH since it’s shorter and faster paced. Trust me, you won’t regret it! After I watched it I couldn’t believe that I almost let it pass me by because of its length. You’ll seriously want more by the end.

  3. Wow Fanderay – this is why I wanted to post first cuz I would hate to follow this. Your review puts mine to shame. it must have taken you ages to write this up – love love love the video link idea. I will be parked here daily till i have watched all of them. Even though our drama taste varies, what we have in common is when we love something, we totally embrace it. So glad you were able to enjoy so many this year. Let’s hope this new year brings more inspirations for you to draw and hopefully more recaps too. Since you are doing the musical and it ends soon, how about what’s up next. :)

    • Yay, I’m glad you like the video idea! I was worried that I was wasting my time and no one would care. I don’t think you’ll ever get through the playlist I linked up top though…it’s over four and a half hours long!

      As far as recaps go, I’m not so sure! It has to be a drama that I feel is neglected elsewhere on the internet. I would’ve loved to do What’s Up, but it’s already started and I’m nowhere near to having enough time right now. It’s funny that you suggest What’s Up though, considering your uncanny hatred of all things musical!

      I did really like the first two episodes. Im Ju Hwan is great (not that you know since you haven’t watched Tamna Island!) but Lee Soo Hyeok is a major new favorite. I don’t think he’ll ever play a “normal” character in anything, but I find him extremely fascinating. I guess you probably don’t know who I’m talking about since you haven’t been watching Deep Rooted Tree. It’s this guy with the headphones:

      http://en.viki.com/channels/898-whats-up/videos/57430/5#108

      I wish I liked less dramas…it’s becoming problematic!

  4. Whoah, you seriously watched A LOT of dramas. Can You Hear My Heart would most likely top my list too this year. I thought it started out slow, at least for me it was so hard to get through at first. Then out of nowhere, it just suddenly got so good and so addictive.

    I hated the first half of first ep of What’s Up. It got progressively better and by the end of the pilot, I was looking forward to the next episode. But mannnn, Im Joohwan is so compelling. I never finished Tamra and was indifferent to him there, but I loved Jaeyoung right off the bat. I don’t know what is it about him, but he just demands your attention.

    • How far into Tamra did you get? At first when I was watching that drama, I didn’t understand what the big deal was. Park Kyu just seemed boring and uptight for a lead character, and then all of a sudden he got all sweet and emotional once he started caring about Beo Jin. Since he spent so many episodes being so strict and stodgy, when he later on laughed and cried it had a lot more impact, and I think that’s partially why so many people love that character.

      I really like Jae Young so far (I agree that he’s more compelling off the bat)but there’s a long way to go before I could like him as much as Park Kyu (he’ll have to ditch all the acid-wash clothing).

      btw, what did you hate about the first half of What’s Up? I loved that intro French scene, and then Im Ju Hwan’s scam artist stuff (not to mention the Phantom solo). I guess it did have a heavier tone than the second half of the episode (which I wasn’t fully expecting) but I like a bit of serious drama mixed in with my fluff :)

      Also, since we were talking about Tamra I just looked it up, and someone made an MV a few months ago!

      I’m pretty sure I cried like a baby when Park Kyu had that crying scene. Beo Jin is right outside calling for him, and he’s sobbing silently while he pretends not to care.

      *For anyone who is considering watching Tamra Island: MAKE SURE you watch the director’s cut (which is 21 episodes). Only 16 shorter episodes aired initially, and it ruined the drama from what I hear.

      • Man, it’s SO weird to see park kyu smiling as in smiling. He spent the entire time I was watching like he was smelling poop. It’s hilarious how uptight he was, lol. I got so far as 7 or 8 actually, but then I didn’t understand what was going on with the merchant conspiracy stuff so I kinda lost interest there. You know anywhere online that has 21 eps? I checked Dramafever and they only got the shorter one.

        • IJH’s smiles are worth the wait. Are you in the US? If so, Tamra Island is on Hulu. If not, I can direct you to some download sites with all the episodes. Also, when I watched the episodes on Hulu, some of them were out of order (it’s not hard to figure out, but I didn’t know what was going on at first).

          Btw, you twitter pic is the best!! Pillar is my favorite. Also…what? Jung Il Woo is in that Sun/Moon drama with KSH now??? Gah. It’s going to be one of those dramas where I ship both people, and that’s guaranteed misery. Awesome awesome misery.

          • What’s the last common episode between the unaired one and the 16 ep one? I figure I’ll just stream the common eps and download the rest.

            Gahhhhhh, I was spazzing so much when I heard Jung will be with Kim Soohyun in that drama. If they add Yoo Ah In, that’s it, I’m done for.

            Are you caught up with FBRS? Loving the new “twist”? Kang Hyuk is so cute, but he’s making me mad! It’s like, make a move, idiot! I’m shipping her with him so much, but Chisoo and Eunbi are slowly being cute too. I’m sad for my sleepy pillar.

            • Unfortunately I don’t think there ARE any common episodes. They cut footage out of every single episode :( I’m so glad that I didn’t start watching the 16 episode version version first, because it’s hard to know how to proceed!

              And yes, I am caught up on FBRS! I just watched E12 a couple hours ago. I can take or leave the twist, since I think it’s just a clever way to allow Eun Bi to keep both men in her lives (she should have to choose!).

              It’s impossible for me to be mad with Pillar. Compared to Ji Su he seems passive, but really he’s been quite bold. He compliments Eun Bi every single time he sees her, he’s constantly flirting and touching or lifting her, and he’s flat-out told her his intentions. He’s also tried to kiss her, held her hand, and taken her on date! I shouldn’t forget all the late-night cooking either…that makes him a keeper right off the bat. Plus he calls her his wife, and I absolutely love that.

              I think that if Pillar were a real person, he would get the girl, because usually really pushy guys (like Ji Su!) turn girls off. Pillar is obvious in his intent, but also respectful of Eun Bi’s feeligs, and he always takes action when he thinks her honor is in question. He is only reluctant when he has his feelings hurt or think he’s not wanted, and that just makes me want to hug him. So far he has so much more to offer than Ji Su! At least it looks like Ji Su will be a good cook now, so he won’t be completely useless. Poor Pillar though. I feel super attached to him and he really does deserve the girl. *sigh

  5. I love year-end round ups. And thank you for the post – it’s nice to be reminded of the year in dramas (and how quick a year it was!). I have mostly the same opinions as you with a couple of exceptions *cough* Greatest Love *cough* SOAW *cough* but to each his/ her own :) I am however totally with you on City Hunter. It was such a hit and didn’t EVERYONE love it? I kept wondering if it was only me who found it… underwhelming? Yes, it was stylish but aside from rooting for the baddie or the 2nd male lead, I found myself fast forwarding and even skipping an ep or 2 to get it over and done with.

    And oh, Myeong Wol. I never got over the heartache of falling so quickly head-over-heels in love with a show only to have that feeling so cruelly destroyed by RL drama and sloppy writing towards the end. Sigh. Never before since Bad Guy had I felt so betrayed by the bitter end. Dramatic? Heh… well, that’s what k-dramas do to all of us, right?

    Anyway, here’s to another year of dramas, great, bad or forgettable!

    • Did you love or hate Greatest Love and SoaW? I liked them both, but not as much as many people, so it’s hard to know which side you fall on :)

      I’m relieved you agree with me regarding City Hunter. I don’t mind differences of opinion at all, but I was a bit nervous about reviewing City Hunter since it has a rather fervent fan-base, and those fans may now want to boycott me or egg my house or something :P

      Thankfully I never watched Bad Guy, and I never will because people like you have been kind enough to warn me! That’s the trouble with watching dramas live…there’s always potential that they’ll stab you in the back!

      • I LOVED both Greatest Love and SOAW. It’s a combination of the Hong sisters and the wonderful cast I suppose. Sure, CSW seemed seriously unhinged at times but I have a soft spot for him so I can overlook those moments especially when Hyo Jin and Kye Sang were equally brilliant in their roles. As for SOAW, plot-wise perhaps nothing groundbreaking but I really loved how its characters (except for the annoying baddies, ie 2nd female lead and all the rich folks) evolved. And the ending could’ve been sloppy or one that would have prodded many to use up entire tissue boxes in one sitting. I’m glad the writers had more decency than that. I hate when I’m being “told” to feel…

        While I usually lurk, I do occasionally leave a comment on blogs. I daren’t though on City Hunter till now. Some might lock down my ISP or whatchamacallit, track me down and beat me into submission with their Min Ho/ City Hunter merchandise.

        I don’t regret watching Bad Guy (and far be it for me to discourage anyone since tastes do vary lol), but the last 2 eps and especially the last 30 mins (which I never bothered to watch since I knew, just KNEW what was in store for me *wails*) seriously kept me pissed off for months. I do get very emotionally attached to well-written characters and/or actors’ performances, you see. But everything went downhill toward the end. Nam Gil’s then-upcoming enlistment I’m sure threw the team off, hence the mad scramble to complete the rest of the eps. That in turn ended up hurting innocent bystanders like me! :D

        Oops… sorry for the rambling. It seems like I’ve written a partial essay here.

        • City Hunter was meh for me too. It was fun, the first half or so, but I found it got pretty repetitive and I wasn’t patient enough to follow it till the big twist or whatever they had at the end. Plus, this is me being picky, but how the heck can someone work at the Blue House in cropped pink pants??

          • Rofl…I wondered that too. Along with how someone like Kim Nana could work for the president (I’m pretty sure she needs more training, and would be axed after one mistake).

            It’s hard to believe there are three of us…we’ve practically started a club. This is good. There is strength in numbers.

          • OMG one more kindred spirit. As Fanderay says, we can practically start a club! And pink cropped pants ain’t a big deal when we’re going with Na Na being a bodyguard. Yeah, that’s totally probable. LOL

        • Don’t worry, I love rambling. That’s all I do! The whole point of comments is discussion like this :)

          As far as Greatest Love goes, I don’t think it could have been done much better, but the nature of the character just didn’t get me as attached to him as I’m used to. It’s practically a perfect drama, but I need to feel a tiny bit more emotional investment for a show to become a favorite. I don’t have a soft spot for CSW though (although I loved him in City Hall).

          I get majorly attached to certain characters too, so I know what you mean about Bad Guy, and still have no interest in watching! I’m already constantly worried about current dramas going downhill and making me resentful, so going into something knowing I’ll be bitter is probably a bad idea!

          Btw, your comment about being beaten into submission by LMH merchandise cracked me up. I picture them forcing you to wear City Hunter socks (like the Oska socks in Secret Garden) and making you join a fan club once you’ve given in :P

          • I get what you’re saying about GL. It’s like that for me too sometimes. Two or more items on the perfect k-drama checklist can be done right (writing/ directing/ acting/ chemistry/ casting/ cinematography/ OST) but sometimes despite it all, the drama can fail to reel you in. That emotional investment is certainly an unquantifiable thing. Although I am trying to recall when that last happened for me (tis a sign of old age :p)…

            I’m usually quite easy-going (I mean I kinda went through Heartstrings, CH, Romance Town this year which were pretty meh for me) and survived. Underwhelming stuff but I got through it without having to check myself in for anger management class. But there will be that occasional show that just leaves you feeling all sorts of crazy I guess…

            OMG now I can’t erase that mental image you’ve put in my head. City Hunter socks? Only if CSW were to peel them off me ala Joo Won with Ra Im’s in SG. Oh but if CSW were in this fantasy, then I guess I wouldn’t mind having more CH/ Min Ho apparel on me? That might be worth being forced to join the fan club :p

            • Wait wait wait…you can’t remember the last time you felt emotionally invested? You DID watch Can You Hear My Heart right? I don’t know if it’s worse if you haven’t watched it, or if you watched it and didn’t feel anything.

              If CSW were in your fantasy you might not mind the CH apparel, but you probably wouldn’t mind having it taken off either :P I don’t live in Korea, but I bet City Hunter socks DO exist.

              • Oops… I guess I didn’t phrase that correctly. I meant, I can’t remember the last perfect (on paper) drama that didn’t move me (and there have been a few I’m pretty sure)… quite like GL for you. But yeah, I have yet to watch CYHMH. It’s on my list though I swear! *defensive*

                I’m pretty sure there ARE CH socks *shudders*

                • All I can read is “blah blah blah….HAVE YET TO WATCH CYHMH…blah blah” It had better be on the top of your list! It seems like it’s the favorite of everyone who has watched it this year, so you are missing out!

                  If you don’t watch it I am going to send you City Hunter socks.

  6. Hi,

    I got to know your blog while reading about The Musical. Haven’t watched half as many dramas as you but the two that I’ve loved most this year happen to be in your best of the best list!

    Can You Hear My Heart (still in the middle of it, ache so much for Maru oppa) and Dream High! :D

    Come to think of it, they’re the only two complete 2011 k-dramas that i’ve finished this year. I kept rewatching Dream High when it was over and couldn’t believe that there wouldn’t be any more episodes of beloved Sam Dong.

    The other three or four that I attempted I didn’t manage to finish (Best Love, City Hunter, Scent of a Woman and Romance Town). Looking forward to What’s Up loads!

    PS: Loved Park Kyu in Tamra, especially loved the fact that the main male lead was so sweet and considerate towards the female lead. Drama cliches dictate that to be the second male lead character, usually.

    • I’m so jealous that you’re mid-CYHMH right now. I wish I could recapture the feeling of watching it for the first time. Ma Ru is a total heartbreaker, and you’ll pretty much want to hug him every episode.

      At least Dream High 2 is coming out this coming year, but sequels aren’t usually that great, and it won’t be the same without Sam Dong. I’m super excited about Kim Soo Hyun’s new fusion sageuk though. I feel pretty confident that it’s going to be awesome.

      I really like What’s Up so far, and even though I don’t have time to recap it I would like to do something with it (on top of drawing). Maybe I’ll do screecap posts, or make some MVs or something. I’ve loved the directing style so far.

      PS: You are so right about Park Kyu not being cliche. I usually fall for the second leads, so maybe that’s why I liked him so much!

  7. Thanks for the round-up…always like your recap and drawing…

    CYHMY is easily my top drama this year – like u said.. the acting were excellent and story well written and developed… my other top pick will be TWDR, DH, and TPM (guessed we are quite different opinion on this one).. i normally not a big sageuk fan but i have 2 on my top list this year… throw in BBJX from china.. will round up my top 5.. other drama that i really enjoy but did not make it to my top 5 has to be Greatest Love, 49 days, PTB, heartstrings and CH…

    for the currently airing drama.. VP is one that I really enjoyed… and the musical is highly addictive and so as ITWY from taiwan..

    there is one drama i really did enjoyed and I don’t think everyone will agree is INR.. i found it extremely addictive.. i did not like the ending.. but i found this drama very entertaining and very realistic.. love the music too…

    and there is a drama is just simply fun to watch.. FBRS it is.. i’m simple watching it for a good laugh.. and with LKW and JIW.. what’s no to love…

    there are some dramas that I really not sure why i watched it all the way through… WBDS and Spy MW…*sigh*… for WBDS.. i watched for the action and the eye candies.. and SMW started off very decent .. then came the drama behind the drama.. then i just simple couldn’t drop it…

    i have not checked out OB and i heard great thing about it.. and i am reallly looking forward to watch What’s up.. i love singing and dancing drama.. so will defintely check it out.

    again.. thanks for the write-up.

    • Wow, it sounds like you watched as many dramas as I did! That’s an impressive list. Even though I know there are lots of good ones, I stay away from non-Korean dramas because then I’ll have way too many to watch!

      I’m a little jealous that you finished WBDS, because even though that drama went downhill, I’m sure it had some great moments, especially towards the end (it had lots of good cinematography too).

      INR is I Need Romance right? I hear mostly good things about it, and I’ll probably check it out some day when I’m sick or something. I don’t know if I would find it as addictive as typical dramas, but I bet I would like it.

      Youre still watching TwDR right? I can’t believe how good it’s getting!

      • Yes.. i really do watched a lot of drama.. usually late at night since i worked full time… i only watched c-drama and/or tdrama if i heard they are good… the good think for me is that I don’t have to wait for eng sub…

        I finished WBDS because I found it entertaining and really pretty to look at.. the cinematography and the pretty faces.. solid acting mostly from more seasoned actors.. and i really did enjoyed the first part of the drama.. then the story started to get even more sillier.. but since I have already invested so much time in this drama.. i might as well finished it… the ending that I hate…. oh why… the most silly ending…

        INR = I Need Romance… a lot of people compare it to Womens Still want to marry.. and a lot of people think that WSWTM is better than INR.. I am one of the rare case thing that they are quite different and I actually enjoyed INR more… INR is also pretty to look at.. interesting directing and I found acting pretty solid across the board.. I am not a big fan of the ending even though it ended realistically… Do check it out… it’s entertaining to watch… a lot of pretty in the drama too..

        I did not want to watch TWDR at the begining… because I am not a big sageuk fan… and the story does not really appeal too me.. but after I heard so much good thing about it.. i marathon the first 4 ep.. mostly because of SJK.. to be honest.. the 1st ep did not interest me… but i sticked to it and now i am loving it… it’s a very solid drama.

        • I looooooooooved WWSWTM, so now I’m definitely going to have to check out INR. I’m also a sucker for interesting directing, so even if the plot isn’t that great I won’t care :P

          I thought the TWDR plot sounded super boring too…and now I think it’s the best written sageuk this year. I guess that’ll teach me not to judge a book by its cover!

  8. Thanks for the review! I love these end of the year reviews – helps me find out which good dramas I missed :] (But it also makes me realize how time has flown by so fast :| I started watching dramas November of 2010.)

    Sadly, I haven’t watched many dramas lately at all! (School and life in general. /sobs) But I’m kind of proud of myself for having resistance keke. I have to pick up watching Protect the Boss, Heartstrings, and CYHMH (I know! I’m so behind.) I’m also planning to join the Ojakgyo Brothers craze! And after going over your list again, I just realized the only dramas I watched completely are TPM, DH, SG, My Princess, and Paradise Ranch. T__T I feel like I spent a lot of time watching older dramas I missed before.

    I’d like to thank you again for the review! I found out about your blog recently, and I adore your drawings! It’s so fun discussing kdramas :D

    • Time really has flown! It’s kind of scary. That being said, maybe it wouldn’t go by so fast if I didn’t watch so many dang dramas!

      Watching old dramas is definitely worthwhile, and I marathoned practically every good drama in existence before I watched a single drama as it aired (I was sort of bitter when I ran out of old dramas to watch).

      That being said, CYHMH is now officially an “old” drama, so get watching! PTB and Heartstrings too of course :P Hopefully you have lots of time, b/c you should also joing the OB craze (haha, sorry, I’m a bad influence).

      I’m glad you discovered this blog; thanks for commenting :)

  9. Btw, I found you through your OB posts on Cadence. Love, love, love! Thank you so much for doing it! I’m watching the older episodes every weekend on KBS World then a couple of hours later, I read your posts for the latest ep happenings. Thanks for all your effort in spreading the joy! :D

    • That’s awesome! It’s pretty cool that OB is turning into such a big craze since I don’t think many people thought to watch it at first (myself included). The newest episodes are especially good, and i think the last 14 are going to fly by.

      • I haven’t been so into a family drama since Sons of Sol Pharmacy. OB is pretty much what Sol Pharmacy was for me. I’ve even been pushing (and not so gently I might add) my colleague who’s into k-dramas to start! EVERYONE needs to start on OB.

        • YESSSS!!!! THIS! SO MUCH! I keep telling everyone I know who’s into kdrama to please, dear god, please watch Ojakgyo.

          I’m reliving my Sol Pharmacy madness through Ojakgyo as well. I remember bawling at 4am while watching SSP after skipping a week worth of classes just to catch up with the damn thing. I feel like OB is capturing that all over again.

          • I feel like a total noob, but ummm…what is Sol Pharmacy? Until CYHMH I avoided family dramas like the plague, but now you guys have me all curious. It’s kinda pathetic but I’m literally thinking, “I’m jealous! I want to cry at four in the morning too!”

          • OMG someone else knows Sol Pharmacy! This was about 2 family KBS dramas ago – 2 years back. And yes! watching OB is so like capturing that feeling all over again except this time, there’s Joo Won!

            Fanderay, you dig out Sol Pharmacy and I’ll watch CYHMH. Fair trade off, no? Otherwise, I’ll, I’ll… I don’t know what. But I’ll do something… fairly threatening!

            • What the…when were you guys going to tell me that it’s FIFTY-FOUR episodes long! I’ve never watched a drama that long! If it’ll make you watch CYHMH though…I’m in. I think City Hunter socks are the threat of the moment, and that scares me into submission anyways.

              I definitely won’t be able to watch until the new year though. Besides being very busy (and out of town) over the holidays, I’m also watching 8 dramas right now and have The Musical Recaps to do. I must be crazy to watch so many dramas. I can’t NOT watch them though…what if they’re good?!

              If you have time, you should start CYHMH sooner of course. I’m jealous that you get to watch it for the first time, and I’m already finished it :(

              • LOL. I don’t think I’ll be able to start CYHMH till next year too. I too am watching a few dramas at the moment (not 8 though!) and have another 2 fully dl-ed for full appreciation over the Xmas break (when I’m not spending time with the family that is LOL) AND I’m midway through helping with fansubs AND there’s lurking to be done on blogs. I don’t know how you find time for recaps on top of everything else. You don’t sleep, do you?

                And exactly! We need to watch everything because it COULD be good. Aside from Love Story in Harvard, which I never finished (9 hours of my life I’ll never get back), I almost always stay till the very end because… well, just in case!

                Don’t be jealous. :) You’ll get to start on Sol Pharmacy. And if you don’t like that, then imma gonna send truckloads of CH socks to your place…

                • this reply window is getting veeeeeery skinny. What fansubs do you help with? I often wish I was fluent in Korean (or Chinese) so I could help do subs, but I guess I should probably be happy that I don’t have more to commit to!

                  Anyways, it’s a deal then. We will watch our respective dramas in the new year! I sort of hope there’s not a million amazing dramas starting then :P

                  • IKR? lol. I’m with DarkSmurf currently editing Vampire Prosecutor. I wish I knew more Korean (I only understand key words and the swear words!) or even Chinese so it’s less of a struggle working on the subs. You know how you’ll get the feeling sometimes like something got left out of the subs? Well, that’s the extent of my capability – that so called feeling. Everything else is trying to get someone fluent in the language to help put the pieces together. And then c-subs are sometimes not accurate (hence affecting translations) or you can’t get a k-translator to help… oops sorry went on longer about this than I meant to lol. Basically, I’m just saying I struggle (a lot!) but still I persevere. :)

                    A million new dramas be damned (you know I didn’t mean that :p), a deal’s a deal. I’ll be sure to check back on you next year missy… hehe.

  10. Hi Fanderay!

    This is my first visit to your blog – I didn’t realize that you had one, although I have been appreciating your OB posts over at Cadence. I’m excited to see these drawings you speak of!

    Wonderful year-end review. Putting a MV with each review is such a good idea – I got to read your reviews and also relive some of the best moments of these shows. I definitely agree with you about CYHMH being the best drama of the year. No contest. It’s the best long drama I’ve ever watched – and it didn’t drag for a moment.

    LOL at your nitpicking of City Hunter. I tend to turn my brain off when I watch any kind of action drama or movie, because I figure it hasn’t got a lot to do with reality anyway – more about the coolness factor. Which it had. But there were definitely moments where I rolled my eyes. Plus I appreciate CH for opening my eyes to Lee Min-ho’s charm – still not as crazy about him as most people are, but I can see why they like him now.

    I will look forward to reading more from you – I’m excited to have discovered your lovely blog! :)

    • Oh, also I LOVED episode 1 of What’s Up, and I’m with you – how could they not have picked this up before now? Totally in love with Im Ju-hwan’s rapscallion character, the music, the story so far… everything. :)

      • Oh my goodness…thank you!!! When I was writing my review there was a word on the tip of my tongue that I wanted to use to describe Im Ju Hwan, and I couldn’t think of it for the life of me. It was rapscallion! I feel sooo much better now.

        I rewatched the intro to episode 1 of What’s Up today, and realized that the yellow balloon is in every single shot. I also noticed that they’re all dressed in black like they’re going to a funeral, so in a panic I counted all the characters to make sure they were all alive. No one’s missing, so that’s good, but I still can’t help but wonder if that sequence has significance. They even have different haircuts! Im Ju Hwan needs to get that haircut asap…I’m not loving the 80’s hair.

        • Haha, he’s a con artist but you can’t hate him. A rascal with a coscience. IJH pulls him off perfectly, which is amazing considering how good he was as the uptight yangban Park Kyu. I loved the Phantom of the Opera scene too, beautiful song and wonderfully acted by IJH.

          I noticed the balloon and funeral vibes as well. It probably isn’t the victim of the accident in ep. 1, because no one else knows about it and that scene is seemingly from the future. And although I don’t hate IJH’s hair right now – it’s the college-slacker afro, which seems very appropriate – he certainly cleans up amazingly well. *fans self* Looking forward to that too. :)

          • I could handle his hair OR his clothing, but the two combined make him look like he’s starring in the original version of Fame. I guess it doesn’t really matter though when it’s IJH….he could probably get away with wearing a dress.

    • I really did try SO hard to turn my brain off while watching City Hunter. It just didn’t work well enough, but the silly stuff was entertaining in its own way at least :P

      I’m so happy to see that so many people watched CYHMH! I’m pretty sure every single person who has watched it has said it was the best drama of the year. It’s pretty much the only drama everyone agrees on, and that never happens!

      Thankfully I found LMH more charming in CH than I did in Boys Over Flowers. When I watched Boys Over Flowers I didn’t know he was a big deal, and I was literally like, “What?? Why is she choosing the ugly guy??” I didn’t even like BoF that much, but I actually cried for the second lead (Kim Hyun Joong). She called him her “soulmate” but still didn’t want to be with him! WTH?? (hahah, can you tell I’m bitter?).

      I love Softy’s blog (Cadence) and she is the one who convinced me to start this blog in the first place, so I’m always happy when people discover me that way :)

      • Heh, I HATED BOF with a passion. I loved Hana Yori Dango so much, the manga and the jdrama, which was perfectly cast, wonderfully acted, silly and fun in the way only live-action Japanese manga adaptations can pull off, and heart-tugging and romantic at the right moments. So I probably wouldn’t have loved BOF that much even if it was good, but it was just SO BAD. And the massive popularity it enjoyed added insult to injury, lol. I definitely didn’t see LMH’s appeal then either, all I could see was his big nose and ugly hair. :D

        Also, I’ve had a chance to check out your paintings, and they are brilliant! I am in awe of your talent. Thank you for taking the time to share these treasures with us. It must already take a lot of time to do the art itself. You are unique in the kdrama world.

  11. Hey Fanderay,

    I visit ur site quite often but didn’t realize u had put up this year-end review.
    I always like this kind of review and man did u watch a lot!

    I, however, did not get to watch much drama (classessss) :( so I always find it helpful to read other drama fans’ opinions.

    Well, I happen to love City Hunter! I know, I know, some people have difficulty liking it, but to each her own, right?

    I think ur reviews are good and that’s quite a huge compliment coming from me ‘coz the folks back at DB totally spoil me with their excellent writings.
    You manage to get ur opinions across without being too harsh and well…b****y!

    Oh, btw, if u could somehow miraculously manage to spare time, could u pretty please do some sketchings on Goong?
    We’ve talked about it like waaay back, and well, this past monday was my birthday, and I would be over the moon if I’ll be able to have that as my belated birthday present :D

    Thank u so much

    xoxo

    • Ack, I totally forgot about Goong! I’m not a bad person (I promise!) but I AM a forgetful one. Part of the problem back when you made the request is that I didn’t have any Goong episodes on my computer, and I was at my bandwidth limit for the month (which thankfully hasn’t happened since).

      I was hoping to find a really colorful scene, like maybe this one:

      Do you know what episode that is? And can you recommend any other episodes with colorful scenes? I would go insane if I had to go through every single episode looking for a good shot!

      I promise that a Goong drawing will be one of my next drawings, but unfortunately I’m not sure when I’ll be able to squeak any sort of drawing in (I’ve had a simple Heaven’s Postman drawing half-done for weeks). I’m leaving in a couple days and I have way too much to do because I put everything off for the sake of OB and The Musical (which is something I would do again in a heartbeat).

      And don’t worry, I can completely understand why you love City Hunter. It’s because I understand why it’s so enjoyable that I was so frustrated with my brain for not letting me just sit back and enjoy all the fun.

      I’m relieved to hear that I didn’t come off as b****y at all. Writing reviews is always a bit nerve-wracking because I know how dear some of these dramas are to people, but I don’t want to be dishonest just so I don’t offend anyone!

      btw, Happy Happy Birthday!! I hope you had a fun day :)

      • Thank you so much for the wish.
        Ya…I had a paper on my birthday, so I didn’t exactly have a blast! lol

        I can totally wait as long as I know that it will come up someday!
        I think that is episode 23…
        And of course I’ll send you colourful scenes from the drama :D

        i know you must be super busy with all your work and on top of that, Christmas is coming up (don’t mean to be impolite if you’re not Christian)
        So, I’ll be very grateful if you could do Goong drawing, and as i said before, I can wait..
        And I’ll be happy to remind you time and again :)

        • Thank you, I will check out episode 23! I have the worst memory ever for what happens in which episodes of dramas. Sometimes when I guess I’m about eight episodes off ><

          You're right that I'll be busy, and I unfortunately won't really have control over my own schedule for the next month, but I'll be drawing again in January :) You probably won't need to remind me now, but feel free to anyways :D Merry Christmas!

        • Hey Olsen!

          In case you’re wondering, I am still working on this! I downloaded a few episodes and took lots of screenshots, but there was always some tiny thing I didn’t like about every shot (bad lighting, or one of them would have a bad facial expression or something). I had forgotten how romantic episode 23 was…there were tons of great scenes to choose from, but I’m picky :)

          Anyways, now I’m in trouble because of this whole megaupload/fileserve thing that’s going on. Since it’s an older drama I’m not sure there are torrents anymore, which means it’s going to be hard for me to take screenshots of any more episodes!

          So I have a question! Do you happen to have a higher quality version of this image?

          Also…I forget…do you care if it’s one of my digital drawings or a watercolor? That scene would work better as a digital painting.

          Which episode did that scene happen btw?

  12. I really love your review of Me Too Flower! Reflects much of what I think.

    And I started out the same way as you. Streamed it one day to procrastinate from doing work, and…. ended up watching many episodes at one go.

    It’s also my most favorite drama of the moment, despite all the raving about Flower Boy Ramyun Shop. This drama seems more realistic, and I am able to relate to the characters more.

    Thanks for your review!

    • Haha, I’m glad to know that I’m not the only person who ends up watching dramas in a moment of weakness! I can’t believe how awesome Yoon Shi Yoon is doing as the lead. It’s really to bad that most people aren’t watching the show because they don’t think he could match up to Kim Jae Won :(

  13. I’m late reading this, but I loved it! This is the first year in review I’ve read so far that I generally agree with across the board. (Not that I’ve seen nearly as many as you of course lol)
    I also had a similar marathoning experience with Me Too Flower over the past few days. I really like it, but I fear it’s going to take a really annoying turn now. The last episode or so have just been so dramatic and high emotion.

    Anyway, I love your thoughts on the dramas, so I’ll definitely remember to check back more often.

    • Even though there are no wrong opinions in kdramaland, it’s always nice to find someone with similar taste, since it can be very helpful! I’m very behind on every drama right now, which often results in me dropping a bunch of dramas, but I think Me Too Flower I will actually finish. I think it’s going to lose some of it’s charm, but YSY is so great that I bet I’ll still like it anyways. Did you watch the whole thing?

  14. Pingback: 2011 à Kdrama-land – Mieux vaut tard que jamais | minalapinou

  15. Hello there! I’ve only recently discovered your blog but this will be my first time coming out of lurking.

    “Posts like this have been a huge help to me in the past when I didn’t know what to watch, so hopefully mine will help someone too.”

    Done. Your post and those videos have compelled me to watch Protect the Boss. Especially that funny video.

    And thank you so much for writing this year end review. It looks like you put a lot of time and effort into it, even adding videos. And kudos and cookies to you for mentioning Can You Hear My Heart. Your blog and Softy’s might have been the only ones I personally read who gave it the recognition it deserves.

    It’s good to see another drama lover’s perspective. There’s a lot of things I agree with and there are some things I don’t. Your Secret Garden post brought me back lol. I guess it’s more of a 2011 drama if we think about it. I remember really liking it the first half but then the magic wore off for me (no pun intended) when I found that I couldn’t get behind Joo Won’s antics sometimes and that Ra Im kept devolving into a doormat character (my two cents!). I do give it props for its ending and THAT KISS!

    I’m still in the middle of watching TWDR and it’s slowly replacing My Princess’ Man as my fave saeguk of the year. It’s funny because I think it was Momosan’s year end review that finally gave me the final push to watch it (been putting if off for quite sometime).

    I also promised myself that I wouldn’t watch Vampire Prosecuter because I’m just so absolutely sick and tired of the vampire hype that’s been going on in the last couple of years due to a certain sparkly someone. But…it seems like everyone has had something good to say about VP so maybe.

    But anyways, I want to thank you for writing this. I thought your review had a lot of heart and you’ve convinced me to look into a couple of dramas I wanted to gloss over. Have a great rest of the year! Cheers!

    • I haven’t watched the last two episodes of TWDR yet and I think I know what’s coming. I’m kind of scared! I definitely think the writing is a lot better than in the Princess’ Man although I can definitely see why most people would prefer PM. Since I’m a sucker for chick flicky kdramas I’m sort of surprised that I prefer TWDR, but it’s had pretty much perfect pacing and the intrigue is all fantastic.

      I haven’t watched the end of VP yet, and it’s not addictive as a lot of dramas, but it really is well made and interesting. It doesn’t feel at all like the typical vampire show. My mom convinced me to go with her to the latest Twilight movie while she was in town visiting, and I was ready to walk out it was so boring. I must admit that I rather like Vampire Diaries, so I’m not quite an anti-fan of the genre, but Vampire Prosecutor doesn’t really seem to fit into the genre at all. If anything, it should be compared to other crime shows.

      I tried watching Secret Garden a second time and didn’t end up quite finishing it, so I suppose I have to agree that the second half wasn’t as good as the first half. That being said, I don’t usually try to watch any drama a second time (YaB is the only exception) so I reviewed SG based on my first viewing since that’s a much fairer comparison (the fact that I even tried speaks volumes!).

      It makes me so happy every time someone posts about their mutual appreciation for CYHMH. If I do rewatch another drama, that will be the next on my list!

      Happy New Year, and Thanks for de-lurking :)

    • I’m finally catching up! I had always liked the first 2 episodes somewhat, but I started getting really into it around episode 4. Kang Chil’s crazy eyes were a bit too much for me at first, but now I find him much more enjoyable to watch. I love Ji Na, and think she’s one of the best acted female leads I’ve seen in a long time. And of course…Kim Beom! The directing and everything is great, and even though I’m often skeptical of these supernatural dramas (49 Days, Secret Garden, etc) I always seem to end up liking them.

  16. hello!,I like your writing very much! share we keep in touch more approximately your post on AOL? I need an expert in this area to solve my problem. May be that is you! Having a look forward to peer you.

  17. Hi. First. I love the drawings. I will disagree with you on Warrior. I thought it was a terrific drama, and had some of the best characters I’ve seen in a drama, particularly the baddies. Skylord was one of the mosr charismatic characters I’ve evercome across. My only gripe, was with the subbing. If it’s a period drama, then let’s not have modern words such as brtat, merc, crap. But i watched episodes featuring subs from different fansub groups. perhaps another group had done a fan sub I would have preferred. I know i found the subbing of kingdom of the four winds excellent.
    Refarding scent of a woman. The film starred Al Pacino and Not De Niro, and the only connection between the movie and the series is the tango.

  18. hi, i’m sorry but i really liked city hunter and best love but i stopped tamra the island at episode 1 as you said that it was the worst !!! i’m going to give it a second try!!! and will try to finish protect the boss but i agree with paradise ranch and some other dramas !!!for can you hear my heart it was awesome , strong and touching , i really enjoyed it

  19. Fanderay,
    my favorite artist and drama enthusiast.. just like me. hahaha.. I’m a fan of myself.
    I could find no better artist than you online. And I wish you will contact me. Please email me at colyn7@yahoo.com I hope your love for dramas especially heartstrings would make you contact me. I have mentioned to you before that I want to work with you for a project. I hope you remember.

    For this post, it must have taken a considerable amount of time. or no? because for me, it would have taken some time. I’m a slow poke. Thanks for this, i have a direction of what drama to watch. I love reading reviews and it really helps me choose… cause I can’t afford to waste some time.

    Fanderay, please do contact me.Thanks!

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