Happy New Year!!
I’ve watched quite a few dramas this year so I thought I’d write up an end of year review to wind down the year with and just to keep track of the dramas I’m watching. I’ve been quite picky with the drama I’ve watched because as I’ve realized, time flies by much too quickly to watch bad drama!!
To keep this short and simple, I’ll limit myself to two sentences per drama. (Edit: I tried.)
Battle of Changsha
There was a gritty sense of realism about it and the fantastic directing and acting made me fall in love with all of the characters. I didn’t just watch the family, I followed along with their journey, sharing their joy and sadness until I felt a part of them which made it all the harder to say goodbye once the ending came.
Lan Ling Wang (2013)
I always thought that I didn’t like period dramas so I stayed far away from them and approached this drama only after hearing great reviews on it plus for Ariel Lin. This drama was definitely addicting with a great OST but I ended up loving Yuwen Yong (Daniel Chan) and all the small actions he does for Yang Xue Wu (Ariel Lin).
I watched this looking for more crack period drama after Lan Ling Wang and I wasn’t disappointed (at least not for the first 15 episodes, I recommend stopping at around episode 15 and pretending it ended there because the latter half just turned..weird), Wallace Huo!!! This is the first of his works that I’ve watched and all I can say is, I need more of him in my life!!
Female Prime Minister
Wow, I went from watching no period dramas to three this year!! This was also pretty addicting, even the melo/makjang parts. I liked watching Lu Zhen (Zhao Li Ying) work her way out of dilemmas, she’s a really charming girl but what made me love it the most is her romance with Gao Zhan (Chen Xiao).
Come & Eat, Shan Shan (Boss and Me)
I read Peanuts’ translations on the novel before the drama came out and I really enjoyed it, likewise, I also enjoyed the drama version, Zhao Li Ying is so cute, I found myself copying a lot of her hand on face movements haha. There isn’t much melo in it, just lots of nice fluffy romance (and way too much product placement for Rio) that don’t require much use of the brain so quite relaxing really.
You From The Stars
I feel like so much has been written on this drama already that I don’t really have anything else to add except for the fact that Jun Ju Hyun was absolutely amazing in her role as Cheon Song Yi, 5/5.
This is a hidden gem, one that I almost skipped past (luckily I didn’t) if it wasn’t for my curiosity of Yoon Hye Sang. It’s a classic revenge story, of a man (Yoon Hye Sang) out to take revenge on the main female lead (Han Ji Hye) but realizing his feeling for her along the way. Although this plot line may seem rather generic and overused, I assure you that this drama is different. The directing, music and cinematography are all very good but what made the difference for me was Yoon Hye Sang who gave such depth to his character, the raw emotions on his face are so real it makes you want to give him lots of cuddles and reassure him that everything is going to be alright. And then you have the vulnerable Han Young Woo (Han Ji Hye) who is desperately clinging to the strands of her ‘family’, refusing to let the facade be torn apart and at the same time wanting, needing, to believe in Yoon Hye Sang. This is a very good melodrama in which it gives you just enough melo to become attached and addicted but not so much that you get high blood pressure and end up wanting to punch everyone (which is usually the case between me and makjangs/melodramas).
It was a cute drama but I don’t remember much of it. Chang Min (Choi Jin Hyuk) and Jin Hee (Ji Hyo Song) were cute and I’m glad that they finally got the happy resolution they deserved.
Sly and Single Again
I can’t help but compare this with Emergency Couple especially since they’re both on a divorced couple coming back together again. If I had to choose which one was better though, I’d say Emergency Couple, just because it was that bit more entertaining, I really liked watching Joo Sang Wook (please act in more comedies!!) but this is more of a drama that should be watched without switching your brain on.
I’ve watched parts of the Japanese version of Liar Game and it was very good but I remember being frustrated at times over the lack of information (background) for the main characters outside the game, luckily though, this version covered that in more depth and I’m glad it decided to go it’s own route rather than completely follow the original version. The casting was spot on and I found myself growing more intrigued with the characters (especially Lee Sang Yoon and Shin Sung Rok but Kim So Eun and Lee Bi were also pretty awesome) than the actual games, Season 2 please!!
Wow, this was totally badass and definitely too underrated. A strong team of three criminals lead by a jaded cop with fight scenes that reminded me fondly of Cruel City, this was one of my favorite dramas of the year, please also give this drama a Season 2!!!
Discovery of Romance
Perhaps this drama was too realistic for me but I ended up watching it for the supporting couple (played by Yoon Hyun Min and Kim Seul Gie) alone. I thought Han Yoo Reum (Jung Yu Mi) was too selfish and indecisive in wanting to stay in her comfortable romance with current boyfriend, Nam Ha Jin (Sung Joon) but at the same time become attracted to her ex-boyfriend Kang Tae ha (Eric Mun, who by the way, improved by leaps and bounds from his last drama, Spy Myung Wool), she was quite controlling and expectant of Nam Ha Jin when she herself was doing whatever- I think that I would’ve felt much better if she had cut off her relationship with Nam Ha Jin right when she started feeling attracted to Kang Tae Ha and spent some time thinking over which one she wanted to be with more rather than clinging on to him and leading the poor boy on.
God’s Gift 14 Days
I LOVED THIS DRAMA!!! I was hooked right from the start, especially with Ki Dong Chan as the beloved ahjusshi Jo Seung Woo, the plot with action packed with lots of twists and turns which made me glued to the screen, not wanting to miss a single second. Then the WTF ending landed. I was so dumbstruck by the WTFery that I didn’t, couldn’t, believe that was the end (I still don’t). Because how!? Why!? WTF!?
I was expecting a thriller, something like God’s Gift 14 Days but perhaps with a tighter plotline and better ending so I admit to being slightly disappointed when I realised it wasn’t the case. Nonetheless, the drama was still enjoyable enough for me to watch to the end and Lee Joon’s superb acting performance as a psychopath did help in making the drama more interesting.
Age of Feeling
The first nine episodes were great and I expectant of more good things from this drama but then the writer change happened and well, I still remember how there was an entire episode dedicated to fighting over coffin. The plot seemed to go around and around in circles and frankly, I’m amazed I even finished this.
Marriage Not Dating
This was a sweet and fluffy drama with lots of comedy and a cute and loveable couple, Ki Tae (Yeon Woo Jin) and Jang Mi (Han Groo). I’ll remember this drama fondly.
Bride of the Century
I marathoned this and it was good as a drama I didn’t need to use my brains for but nothing really stood out for me.
High School King of Savvy
Lee Min Seok (Seo In Guk) and the Team Leader (Jo Han Cheol) were hilarious and gave the drama most of the comedy that had me randomly bursting out laughing. Perhaps it’s due to the age gap but I didn’t feel any romance between the main ‘couple’ and thus I found myself skipping a few of their ‘couple-y’ parts but overall I found this an enjoyable and lighthearted watch.
This was a disappointing watch for some but strangely enough, I found myself liking it quite a bit, maybe it was because of Hae Young (Lee Jin Han <3)’s persistence and maybe it was because I marathoned the thing so I didn’t really get the chance to mull over each episode and the parts that were lacking. I just wish that Nam Sang Hyo (Yoo In Ah) was a bit more decisive and that they actually sat down to properly talk about the past which would’ve lead to a lot less miscommunication and a lot more happy moments for the couple.
I was quite curious about this drama that looked pretty whacky but I didn’t really like it that much, I felt that the plotline was too rushed and the romance wasn’t that well developed but alas, they did pretty well for a short ten episodes (or so I thought until I watched Bad Guys which blew me away with a short eleven episodes!!)
Fated To Love You
It started out pretty well, Jang Hyuk brought so much life (and craziness) to his character that it made me cackle with glee. However the initial amusement I got out of this soon faded near the middle when they were being all wish-washy. Life’s too short to be like that!!!
This was quite entertaining to watch and had me hooked but I never really liked Lee Yeon Hee and despite her big improvement in acting, I still wasn’t able to finish it.
Jang Bori Is Here
I found myself struggling between Kim Ji Hoon and a makjang plotline that I feel allergic to. Eventually (Episode 2), the makjang plotline became too much and I ran far far away, despite how attractive Kim Ji Hoon looks (especially when he smiles!!) Now considering whether I should go and watch all the Kim Ji Hoon scenes (plus didn’t this drama win Best Drama of the Year down at MBC End of Year Awards? That must mean this drama is better than I thought right..maybe I should continue…the struggle is real.)
Hilarious jokes but I don’t feel any chemistry between Lee Min Ki (Lee Hong Ki) and Kang Yoon Hee (Lee Ha Nui) or between Kang Hyeok (Lee Min Woo) and Kang Yoon Hee. Don’t force it!!!
How can a drama about office politics be so addicting to watch!? The struggles of the workers in this are so real. The acting, visuals, directing and writing for this is so good that I feel myself mesmerized in their world, feeling helpless at the problems they face.
In A Good Way
This drama is so good I’m completely perplexed at why I haven’t finished it yet (I started this in March). Marathon time?
Still To Watch
It’s Okay, It’s Love
Pride and Prejudice
What’s With This Family
Ballad of the Desert
In conclusion, 2014 has been a year that has crept up on me, where I felt like I haven’t done much but looking back now, I’ve actually watched quite a few. Most of the dramas I watched were good but there were a few dazzling gems among them, Liar Game, Bad Guys, Battle of Changsha, Full Sun and… I really want to add God’s Gift 14 Days…Can’t we pretend the ending never happened!?!?