2015 Korean Dramas: A Year End Reflection

A continuation of my series before the year ends… Hopefully, I finish this year’s one on time…

As per usual, 2 different ratings, first is how much I liked it without regard to quality of plot, and the second is whether I would recommend it. Both are out of 10, with 10 being the most, and 1 being the least.

KBS2

Mon & Tues 21.55

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Who Are You – School 2015 (School 6) (7/10, 6/10)

High school drama with a mysterious twist. The young actresses and actors did really well, although there were some weak links… Overall, I enjoyed this charming drama, but wished for an ending that was a little different…

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Sassy, Go Go / Cheer Up (7/10, 7/10)

Short, fun, cheerful high school drama, with some real life experiences that school children encounter nowadays…

The above 2 high school dramas differed in genre and feel. The first is a little more fantastical-ish, with unknown twins and amnesia. While the second is more real-ish, with stress and self harm. 

Oh My Venus (6/10, 6/10)

An entertaining romantic comedy with totally adorable characters.

Fri & Sat 21:00

The Producers (5/10, 6/10)

Set in the background of the entertainment industry, this was a new drama format, with many cameos from real-life entertainers and actors. I didn’t really care for the show…

Fridays 21:20

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Spy (4/10, 4/10)

Had the potential to be good, but was quite the disappointment. The spy stuffs were not written well and had many many loopholes, I thought the actors and story premise were quite wasted.

SBS

Mon & Tue 21:55

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Heard It Through The Grapevine (7/10, 8/10)

A black comedy, where the son of a rich family impregnates his girlfriend, and her survival of their high expectations. This was captivating and had its light moments. I thought it long at times, but quite enjoyed it. One of the quality dramas of the year.

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High Society (5/10, 5/10)

A romance between the rich and the working class, and the obstacles they overcome to be together. I didn’t care for this, and thought it quite bland.

Mrs Cop (7/10, 8/10)

Cop show with the head of the team being a lady, dealing with harsh criminals and tough cases. Solid story line with engaging cast. One of the best of the year.

Wed & Thu 21:55

Girl Who Sees Smells (6/10, 7/10)

I was pleasantly surprised by Shin Se Kyung. The story line was relatively well written. Not sure how you would feel about Park Yoo Chun now though…

Mask (7/10, 7/10)

Romance with a melodramatic twist. Interesting story line with captivating cast. I really enjoyed this.

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Yong Pal (7/10, 5/10)

When this was first announced, I thought it would go in one particular direction, which I could see from the first few episodes, but then it veered into a totally different direction, and so… It could have been so much better, but sadly, didn’t deliver. It was fun to watch though…

Sat & Sun 21:50

The Time We Were Not In Love (5/10, 6/10)

A remake of the popular Taiwanese drama ‘In Time With You’. A bland remake. I enjoyed the original much more.

MBC

Mon & Tue 21:55

Hwajung (7/10, 6/10)

Long, historical drama. The plot was interesting, but not all actors could bring it, so sometimes it was quite jarring and fell flat. I did enjoyed it though, but could have been better.

Wed & Thu 21:55

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Angry Mom (7/10, 8/10)

Enjoyed this drama, where mom tackled her daughter’s bullies hands on, and in the meantime discovers other conspiracies. Excellent cast with entertaining story. One of my favourites of the year.

Warm and Cozy (5/10, 6/10)

Romantic comedy where it had its enjoyable moments. I didn’t really like this, I thought the cast was wasted and the story could have been better.

She Was Pretty (6/10, 6/10)

Fun, romantic comedy. Sadly I wasn’t as drawn to this as compared to my sisters. They enjoyed this thoroughly, scheduling a re-watch once in a while…

tvN

Mon & Tue 23:00

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Let’s Eat 2 (7/10, 7/10)

Romantic comedy with eating and eating and eating. Do not watch late at night or when there is no food in the house. Pleasant and entertaining, I liked it.

Fri & Sat 20:40

Ex-Girlfriend Club (6/10, 6/10)

Short romantic comedy with ex-girlfriends hi-jinks. It was fine, but forgettable.

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Oh My Ghostess (8/10, 8/10)

Seeing ghosts could be scary, but if it brought you the love of your life, how would you deal with it… Loved the story and the comical cast. One of the best and one of my favourites of the year.

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Twenty Again (8/10, 8/10)

Choi Ji Woo’s character rediscovering herself, in love and in life. Poignant story with a cast that delighted. One of the best and also one of my favourites of the year.

JTBC

Fri & Sat 20:30

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D-Day (6/10, 6/10)

Medical, natural disaster drama set in modern day Seoul. Thrilling but plots were repeated a few times…

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Noble, My Love (6/10, 6/10)

Light and enjoyable watch. Short and sweet. It was quite good.

Drama list, here.

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2014 and Earlier Chinese Dramas: Reflection

A master post for all Chinese dramas, including Taiwanese dramas, that I have seen up until the year 2014. Enjoy~

As per usual, 2 different ratings, first is how much I liked it without regard to quality of plot, and the second is whether I would recommend it. Both are out of 10, with 10 being the most, and 1 being the least. I know these shows are quite old, so these are based on my memory, and I would re-watch a few scenes if I don’t remember.

This list spans a little more than a decade. I started with Taiwanese Idol Dramas, then ventured into Mainland China Dramas. Dramas that I watched long time ago, I may not remember much of the story line, but I may remember some of the feelings that I had as I watched these shows… Some, I watched while it was airing, like really long ago, and others, I watched as recent as mid-2016.

2005

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綠光森林 / Green Forest, My Home (6/10, 6/10)

The first ever drama that I watched on the VCR. Angst-filled, and being as young as I was, I remember being brought to tears quite easily on many occasion.

2006

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王子變青蛙 / Prince turns into Frog (7/10, 7/10)

THE Taiwanese drama to watch, from long ago. Enjoyable.

愛情魔髮師 / The Magicians of Love (5/10, 5/10)

Drama in a hair salon.

微笑 Pasta / Smiling Pasta (6/10, 5/10)

Lighthearted romantic comedy.

星蘋果樂園 / Legend of Star Apple (?/10, ?/10)

I remember nothing much of this, except that, I did watch this show…

剪刀 石頭 布 / A Game about Love (6/10, 5/10)

A little more melodramatic than the usual romantic comedy…

2007

櫻野3加1 / Ying Ye 3 Jia 1 (6/10, 5/10)

The beginning was enjoyable, then it faltered till the end.

公主小妹 / Romantic Princess (5/10, 6/10)

Lighthearted romantic comedy.

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放羊的星星 / My Lucky Star (6/10, 6/10)

Lighthearted romantic comedy. With a little more angst than the above.

轉角*遇到愛 / Corner with Love (6/10, 6/10)

Lighthearted romantic comedy. Although, I can’t remember how the angst came about for this…

惡女阿楚 / Mean Girl Ah Chu (?/10, ?/10)

I remember nothing much of this, except that, I did watch this show…

2008

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命中註定我愛你 / Fated to Love You (8/10, 7/10)

My absolute favourite Taiwanese drama ever. I schedule a re-watch almost once a year.

幸福的抉擇 / I Do? (6/10, 7/10)

Quite angst filled.

無敵珊寶妹 / Woody Sambo (4/10, 4/10)

I remember being not impressed at all, at anything whatsoever.

不良笑花 / Miss No Good (5/10, 5/10)

Her voice grated on my nerves.

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籃球火 / Hot Shot (7/10, 6/10)

I remember basketball, and that the guys were very pretty. Please refer above picture ^-^ I liked it.

霹靂MIT / Mysterious Incredible Terminator (6/10, 6/10)

Interesting mysteries set in a high school.

2009

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仙剑奇侠传3 / Chinese Paladin 3 / Xian Jian Qi Xia Zhuan 3 (7/10, 6/10)

Addictive story line, especially Tiffany Tang and Wallace Huo’s characters… I may have skipped university lectures to feed the addiction *squinty-eyes*

下一站, 幸福 / Autumn’s Concerto (7/10, 8/10)

Angst filled, but very captivating.

福氣又安康 / Easy Fortune Happy Life (6/10, 5/10)

I liked it, but wished it was more…

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痞子英雄 / Black & White (6/10, 7/10)

The first Taiwanese police drama that I watched. I was impressed, but I think it could have been better.

敲敲愛上你 / Knock Knock Loving You (5/10, 4/10)

So much angst.

敗犬女王 / My Queen (6/10, 7/10)

Not really my thing, I found it charmingly interesting.

2010

犀利人妻 / The Fierce Wife (5/10, 7/10)

Not my thing at all, but I enjoyed it cautiously.

女王不下班 / Four Gifts (?/10, ?/10)

I remember nothing much of this, except that, I did watch this show…

偷心大聖 P.S.男 / PS Man (4/10, 6/10)

I didn’t really like this…

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就想賴著妳 / Down With Love (6/10, 7/10)

Lighthearted romantic comedy. With some angst.

2011

夏家三千金 / The Xia Girls / My Daughter / Xia Jia San Qian Jin (6/10, 6/10)

This was so so so makjang. And so so so overboard. This has 80 episodes, if you want to dive in, I have warned you…

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怪侠一枝梅 / Strange Hero Yi Zhi Mei / The Vigilantes in Masks / Guai Xia Yi Zhi Mei (8/10, 8/10)

One of my favourite Chinese drama. Mysteries in ancient time.

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步步惊心 / Scarlet Heart / Startling By Each Step / Bu Bu Jing Xin (7/10, 9/10)

One of the best for the year, solid and captivating. But, it was so angst filled…

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我可能不會愛你 / In Time With You (7/10, 7/10)

Romantic comedy with refreshing characters. I thought this was better than the Korean remake.

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醉後決定愛上你 / Love You (7/10, 8/10)

One of Taiwan’s best romantic comedy ever. Really entertaining and a delight.

2012

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爱的蜜方 / Love Actually / Sweet Side of Love aka Love Recipe/ Ai De Mi Fang (6/10, 5/10)

I enjoyed this. There was cooking, and then some makjang stuffs…

爱情闯进门 / When Love Walked In / Ai Qing Chuang Jin Men (5/10, 4/10)

A lot like Romantic Princess after thinking about it. Tried hard but was a little blah…

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胜女的代价 / The Queen of SOP / Sheng Nu De Dai Jia (8/10, 7/10)

One of my favourite romantic comedy.

2013

笑傲江湖 / Swordsman / Xiao Ao Jiang Hu (6/10, 5/10)

Entertaining, but I didn’t really like it. The costumes were too colourful. It’s almost like, it was so bad, it was good kinda thing…

陆贞传奇 / Female Prime Minister (7/10, 8/10)

One of the best for the year. Captivating plot and delightful characters.

兰陵王 / 蘭陵王 / The Prince of Lan Ling / Lan Ling Wang (6/10, 7/10)

Enjoyable and entertaining. Filmed beautifully.

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沒有名字的甜點店 / Amour et Pâtisserie

A delightful watch, especially the desserts…

2014

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步步惊情 / Startling Love With Each Step / Scarlet Heart 2 / Bu Bu Jing Qing (4/10, 4/10)

It was filmed prettily, but sadly, a frustrated total waste of time.

大漠谣 / 风中奇缘 / 星月传奇 / Sound of the Desert / Ballad of the Desert / Da Mo Yao / Feng Zhong Qi Yuan (6/10, 7/10)

Based on the novel by Tong Hua. A pleasant enjoyable drama.

大汉贤后卫子夫 / Virtuous Queen of Han / Da Han Xian Hou Wei Zi Fu (5/10, 5/10)

Not a dramatic show. Mostly spent on talking…

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古剑奇谭 / Sword of Legends / Legend of the Ancient Sword / Gu Jian Qi Tan (7/10, 7/10)

Entertaining wu xia drama with charming interesting characters.

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金玉良缘 / Perfect Couple / Jin Yu Liang Yuan (8/10, 8/10)

One of my favourite Chinese drama ever. Romantic comedy with angst.

杉杉来了/ Boss and Me / Shan Shan Lai Le (6/10,  7/10)

Just completed in mid-2016. Lighthearted with some typical angst…

Wow. What a list.

Now, I don’t really watch Taiwanese dramas at all. Only when there is something that really captivates me…

Mainland China dramas are quite long, but they have improved their quality over the years, say story line, effects and what nots… However, once in a while, you may still meet some that is just pure nonsense…

2014 Korean Dramas: A Year End Reflection

So. I decided to be more active here, and because I wanted my series to be continuous, I hereby bring to you a post that has been due since ages ago. Be ready for the onslaught of year end reflections that should have been posted in the past years… ^^

As per usual, 2 different ratings, first is how much I liked it without regard to quality of plot, and the second is whether I would recommend it. Both are out of 10, with 10 being the most, and 1 being the least. I know these shows are quite old, so these are based on my memory, and I would re-watch a few scenes if I don’t remember. Although some, I do re-watch the whole series when I have nothing on my plate~

KBS2

Mon & Tues 21.55

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Prime Minister & I (7/10, 7/10)

Warms up the dreary winter, perfect for the Christmas Season~

Trot Lovers (4/10, 5/10)

I enjoyed it initially, but didn’t like it as it progressed. By midway, it was quite boring. I remember enjoying the songs.

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Discovery of Love (6/10, 7/10)

A meeting of the exes who did not part on good terms. Enjoyed it, but quite forgettable. Has light and angst-y moments… as do all romantic comedies. But this has Eric. So, err, win…??

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Nae Il’s Cantabile (5/10, 6/10)

This was okay, but comparing to the original Japanese version, this was too pretty and white, like seriously, so bright, not quite like the source material. I LOVED the original to bits.

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Healer (9/10, 8/10)

Excellent, really loved it when it was airing, thrilling and compelling plot. But after several re-watches by 2016, found the ending to be a little anti-climatic.

Wed & Thurs 21.55

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Inspiring Generation (6/10,  7/10)

At the time of airing, this was quite entertaining and interesting. I was sad when Kim Jae Wook left midway, but this does have Yoon Hyun Min and Song Jae Rim… I’m not sure if you would watch this now though, what with Kim Hyun Joong and his private life.

Golden Cross (6/10, 7/10)

One man against the ultimate bad organisation. Compelling story but sometimes a little eyebrow raising. Like seriously, without any plastic surgery, you’re trying to pull off the whole I-just-look-really-similar-to-him…

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Joseon Gunman (7/10, 8/10)

Captivating story. I remember this being beautiful, both people and scenery.

Fri 20.55

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High School – Love On (7/10, 7/10)

A high school romance with some supernatural elements. Cheerful with some angst-y parts, although some complain about the age gap between the main actress and actors. So…??

Sat & Sun 19.55

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Wang’s Family (7/10, 6/10)

So much screeching and complaining as expected of a family drama with 50 episodes and with so many ladies in a family.

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What Happens to My Family? (7/10, 8/10) 

Also a family drama. But I enjoyed this way more than Wang’s Family. This has more heart and not as much screeching. Tugs on your heartstrings.

SBS

Mon & Tues 21.55.

One Warm Word (5/10, 7/10)

I actually have no idea why I watched this show, I don’t do affairs. But, definitely for those who enjoys contemplative shows. Explores family dynamics on both sides after the affair was found out.

God’s Gift – 14 Days (5/10, 7/10)

Intriguing premise, nerve wrecking, ending made no sense whatsoever. Or maybe, only I disliked the ending.

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Doctor Stranger (6/10, 4/10) 

Enjoyed the first 2 episodes. Then it all went down the drain. Although the entertainment value is still quite high…

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Punch (8/10, 8/10)

Excellent show from start to end. A political show with hints of romance, more on familial love and the daughter was just awesome.

Wed & Thurs 21.55

You Who Came From The Stars (6/10, 7/10)

It was okay. Jeon Ji Hyeon was awesome. I thought it was over-hyped though.

3 Days (6/10, 8/10) 

I liked it reasonably well, 3 days stretched over 16 episodes could be quite nerve wrecking. Again, not so sure if you would watch it now, what with Park Yoo Chun and his private life.

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You’re All Surrounded (6/10, 6/10) 

I was entertained, but thought it faltered midway through.

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It’s Okay, It’s Love (7/10, 8/10)

Charmingly insightful. This was engaging from start to end. Some may not like it though.

Pinocchio (7/10, 7/10)

One of the better shows for the year. A delight to watch, especially with the solid plot and excellent chemistry between the leads.

Sat & Sun 20.45

Passionate Love (6/10, 5/10)

I remember being entertained in the beginning, but then it got quite makjang.

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Glorious Day (8/10, 7/10)

One of my favourites of the year. Was just re-watching the whole thing again last night. Two families forced to live next to one another, and dramas ensues.

Sat & Sun 21.50

The Woman Who Married Three Times (6/10, 5/10)

I thought this was quite long for plot lines that kept happening in different ways.

Birth of a Beauty (6/10, 6/10)

Comedy with poignant moments.

MBC

Mon & Tues 21.55

Empress Ki (7/10, 8/10)

Exciting with engaging casts, but this is 51 episodes, so need time commitment.

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Triangle (5/10, 5/10)

This was quite mundane. I didn’t like it. I think it was supposed to be the next Giant, but alas, it failed.

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The Night Watchman (4/10, 4/10)

This was even more boring than the one above, I had to plow through painfully.

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Pride and Prejudice (6/10, 7/10)

Loved it in the beginning, but started to drag midway through. Could have a tighter plot, entertaining enough though.

Wed & Thurs 21.55

Cunning Single Lady (7/10, 6/10)

Romantic comedy that was charming and engaging. Overused plot lines but executed nicely. Was just re-watching this too awhile back.

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A New Leaf (7/10, 8/10)

Captivating legal drama. Solid plot and engaging cast.

Mon – Fri 20.50

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King’s Daughter, Soo Baek Hyang (8/10, 8/10)

Enjoyed the rare daily show that I attempted. Short episodes, easy to swallow. Entertaining story line and excellent cast and chemistry.

Sat & Sun 20.40

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A Little Love Never Hurts (6/10, 6/10)

Pleasantly entertaining. Quite long though.

Sat & Sun 21.45

Gold Rainbow (5/10, 5/10)

Quite makjang. Swallow-able but can be skipped.

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Hotel King (6/10, 5/10)

It was okay. The makjang elements were painful. Proceed very very carefully. The only thing I took away was that Lee Dong Wook is still very handsome.

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Legendary Witches (7/10, 6/10)

Slow and steady. A pleasant watch for me.

tvN

Mon & Tues 23.00

I Need Romance 3 (6/10, 7/10)

The first in the series for me. Noona-dongseng romantic comedy set in a home shopping network. Enjoyable.

Witch’s Romance (6/10, 7/10)

Remake of the 2009 Taiwanese drama My Queen. I remembered that I enjoyed this more, maybe because of Park Seo Joon..?

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My Secret Hotel (5/10, 6/10)

Romantic comedy with a quirky and spooky premise. Started off well, but faltered midway through. I remembered liking Yoo In Na’s work clothes though.

Thurs 23.00

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Let’s Eat (7/10, 8/10)

Don’t watch late at night, could be forced to look for food. Really entertaining and charming.

Fri & Sat 23.00

Emergency Couple (6/10, 6/10)

Entertaining but forgettable, cast was engaging.

Fri & Sat 20.40

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Marriage Not Dating (6/10, 7/10)

The plot and characters well written, there was movement and growth. Definitely recommended if in need of a good rom-com that gives all the feels.

Sun 21.00

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The Three Musketeers (7/10, 6/10)

Loved this delightful show. Short series, easy to digest.

TV Chosun

Fri & Sat 23.00

Bride of the Century (6/10, 6/10)

Engaging cast and entertaining plot in the otherwise predictable and overused plot.

OCN 

Sun 23.00

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God’s Quiz 4 (6/10, 7/10)

Continuation of one of my favourite series. But, I remembered not being quite excited for this season…

Sat 23.00

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Bad Guys (8/10, 9/10)

One of the best shows of the year. Alluring and thrilling.

JTBC

Mon & Tues 21.50

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Can We Love (5/10, 7/10)

I found it a little mundane, but may be a contemplative one for others.

List of dramas found here.

And that is it for 2014. On to 2015 and more.

I find myself quite weird. Some dramas I don’t mind the length, even though it is slow and steady, some I dread the length, even if it is a short-ish drama… I am so weird. =.=

Dramas that I have watched

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So, yesterday, I spent 4 hours or so scouring the list of dramas at MyDramaList.

OMG~ And people wonder why I don’t have a life… *pfft* It’s because I spend half my life in dramas. Duh~

The first drama I watched was about 10 years ago or even longer, not counting the ones that I watch with my family in front of the television, this first drama is borrowing a VCD box set of Beautiful Days (Korean Drama starring Choi Ji Woo and Lee Byung Hoon) and marathon-ing the whole drama in a few days. And I was hooked, never looking back.

10 years later, I am where I want to be, more or less, however, the dramas that I have watched, wowzes~ as of yesterday, I have clocked in 310 completed Asian dramas, currently watching 19 dramas and planning to watch 46 dramas. I myself cannot even imagine the amount of dramas that I am consuming. Hello, currently watching 19 dramas, and some are 2 episodes a week, I think I time-travel in my sleep… Plans to watch are not that bad, as some will not air until next year or even the year after that, especially Mainland China ones.

I don’t think that I am in the right business… Is there any business opportunities which involves drama watching? I work in the legal field and words and words and letters are my business, I am bored of my job even after only 2 years of working…

Anyways, My Drama List is here. Check it out for dramas that I have watched over the years. Oh, and add me as friend lah… Let’s fall into that hole-with-no-end of dramas together… Hehe =^^=

A little explanation on the ratings that I gave:-

  1. 4 is I-can’t-believed-that-I-even-wasted-the-time bad;
  2. 5 is so-so, nothing much;
  3. 6 is standard, tropes which are quite common, I may not really like it, but points for effort of the crew;
  4. 7 is good, I quite like it, either good storyline or I just like it;
  5. 8 is awesomely good, I really really liked it;
  6. 9 is OMG, my favourite, only City Hunter got this, some others came really close.

And, that’s it.

Soon, I’ll have to prepare my year end reflections on the dramas that I watched. Oh dear me~

May Dramas: First Impression

So, I interrupt my posting schedule, like I have a posting schedule, to write a short something. The newly premiered dramas are giving me all the good feels… finally, after a long Korean drama drought for me…

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Doctor Stranger – Monday and Tuesday – SBS

Starring Lee Jong Suk, Jin Se Yeon, Park Hae Jin and Kang Sora.

Having seen the all-over-the-place trailer before the premier, I did not actually have high hopes for the drama, I just knew that I was going to watch it, just not as obsessively as I am now… After 2 episodes,  I was left wanting more. The story of Park Hoon (Lee Jong Suk’s) and his father (cameo by Kim Sang Joong), how they were sent to North Korea to save the Premier and hope that war does not break out. And then, being abandoned by the South, so that the politician that sent them there would not have any defects in his background as he works towards the presidency. Father and son make do, and Hoon strives to be like his father, an exceptional doctor; and with Jae Hee (Jin Se Yeon’s), the love of his life, he retains his sunny disposition. But, due to Jae Hee’s father’s crime, the whole family is sent to concentration camps, and Hoon at the same time, is sent to the top medical facility in the North, to experiment and ‘to do great works’ – having to operate on healthy people, at the expense of his sanity. Somehow, he meets again with Jae Hee and loses his father at the same time, long story short, he attempts to seek asylum from the South while in Budapest, but got burned by the same politician. Hoon and Jae Hee got separated, with Hoon in the South and Jae Hee back in the camps. Hoon desperately seeks Jae Hee through the traffickers, but it looks like he won’t be meeting Jae Hee, in her true form, anytime soon.

When the drama was first announced, stating that Jin Se Yeon would be playing Jae Hee and the doppelganger of Jae Hee, there were many speculations as in the true identity of the doppelganger. And I had a few ideas as well… It looks like my idea is not that far off, as the doppelganger appears in episode 3. I say doppelganger because, obviously, different name and background. But, I think that the doppelganger is Jae Hee, just with a different name, and probably being threatened by the North comrade that hates Hoon, and I am also thinking, being used by the politician (now, Prime Minister) for his own agenda against Hoon.

The drama’s pacing is just right, no dilly-dallying in the unnecessary parts and moves right along. I hope that the pacing keeps up, as by episode 3, the secondary characters have also been introduced, and does not falter. Acting wise, Jong Suk is really selling Hoon, I see no other previous shades of his previous works and just see Hoon. I have nothing against Se Yeon, and I quite like her, each to their own. Jong Suk and Se Yeon have this lovely chemistry together. The other two, not much yet, just that they look really pretty and I have liked them since before, so no worries. Although certain scenes are really intense and all that, especially being a medical/spy thriller, there are parts where it is lighthearted, and sunny, like really, a nice balance.

For now, I hope that Hoon confirms Jae Hee’s, or should I say, the doppelganger’s, identity soon, even if she denies it to the moon and back, my heart, it hurts, especially for Hoon. As Hoon lost his father because his father freaking sacrificed himself so that Hoon won’t be held back by him when Hoon has the chance to escape the North with Jae Hee. If this doesn’t hook you… the tears I cried…

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A New Leaf – Wednesday and Thursday – MBC

Starring Kim Myung Min, Park Min Young and Kim Sang Joong.

I was not actually planning to watch this drama, but just decided to download for lack of better things to do. I have no regrets. Suk Joo (Kim Myung Min’s) is a top top lawyer with Cha Young Woo’s firm (Kim Sang Joong’s), and Ji Yoon (Park Min Young’s) is a newly hired intern, graduating from a community college. The real drama begins when Suk Joo has an accident and gets amnesia, but retains all his skills and knowledge of the law. Ji Yoon is retained to help Suk Joo and also to prevent others from knowing of his predicament. They did not have a good relationship prior to this, due to a misunderstanding, but you know, all the more fun when they fall in love, if they do, and when he regains his memories.

I am enjoying this drama, and have finally seen the light, so to say, as to the love for Kim Myung Min. No, I did not watch The King of Dramas. But, I am getting whiplash from Kim Sang Joong, I will always remember him as evil daddy in City Hunter, but then after Gold Rainbow and as Hoon’s father in Doctor Stranger, it can be quite jarring when I watch this, or other dramas when he is all loving and such…

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You’re All Surrounded – Wednesday and Thursday – SBS

Starring Lee Seung Gi, Cha Seung Won, Go Ara, Ahn Jae Hyun and others.

Compelling back story, which was cleared up in 2 episodes, which progresses the story quite quickly. Of the main characters, of course, three would be intertwined already, just that no one is aware due to a name change on the part of the hero. I can’t wait for the reveal, hopefully soon, but I am not that hopeful, if not where is the drama… Rookie cops with a battle-hard veteran in the crimes unit, surely they will clash, however, there is always the bromance that will surely come soon, so that they will grow and build one another. Cannot wait.

 

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Hotel King – Saturday and Sunday – MBC

Starring Lee Dong Wook, Lee Da Hae and others. Long awaited reunion between Dong Wook and Da Hae, and they did not disappoint.

A bit melodramatic, but as expected of a weekend drama. There’s a bit of incest going on, but knowingly on one side while the other remains oblivious, but before falling deeper into the trap, he finally finds out the truth that he is in fact not related at all, and has been used all this time. I literally cried ‘Booyah’ at the screen… I was ecstatic that we could finally move on, and that it won’t be a sin when Jae Wan (Lee Dong Wook’s) finally can just say that he loves Mo Ne (Lee Da Hae’s) without heaven raining fire on them, the chemistry that they have with one another…

Having loved Dong Wook and Da Hae since My Girl days, I was happy that they will be working together again. And the bonus is that I am really liking the drama. The other secondary characters are also unique in their own ways, bringing life to their characters, and I am guessing, secrets which have not been shared at all. However, I must say that the drama progresses a little too slow for my taste, as expected for a weekender.

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Angel Eyes – Saturday and Sunday – SBS

Starring Lee Sang Yoon, Gu Hye Sun and others.

Quite a lovely childhood portion, with a nice transition into adulthood. I was going to write off this dramas as I was not that keen for a melo drama and especially being allergic to Gu Hye Sun since Boys Over Flowers, but surprisingly, I quite like her performance here, finally not as over-dramatic as before. Lee Sang Yoon is also back to a role that I enjoy, after that stint in Goddess of Fire, which I did not even watch pass the 5th episode count. The side characters are enjoyable and have stories of their own. And I must say, I was surprised that there is a twist in the hospital politics, not like the usual ones, but one which goes deeper and ensnares the main characters more intimately than thought previously, which is a plus in my book.

So, from what I wrote, kinda obvious that my most anticipated drama weekly for the next 8 weeks or so, is definitely Doctor Stranger, look at that essay… But those on this list, is my crack, more or less, for the coming months…

English Shows That I Watch

So, a distraction post from what I usually post about. More of a ‘Hey, I’m still alive, just a bit swamped with real life!’ kinda post.

Although I favour Asian dramas, I do watch some English shows, mostly American though. Currently, I have The Vampire Diaries, Revenge and Elementary on my plate.

I applied the same ratings system as before, my like and then my recommendation.

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The Vampire Diaries – Season 1 to 5 (7/10; 5/10)

I am up-to-date with the latest episode. A friend introduced me this show while the second season was airing, I was hesitant to begin the show due to the bitter aftertaste that the Twilight Trilogy left me with, but when I finally got around to it,  I marathon-ed till I was up-to-date. However, the latter seasons are not as interesting as the beginning of the show.

I did not get the whole Silas part, where Stephen’s and Elena’s ancestors were fated to be, and so, Stephen and Elena would also be fated to be together. The thing that I did not get was, if Amara was made the anchor to The Other Side by Qetsiyah, when did she give birth to continue her family line? And this applies to Silas as well. Because, err, Elena and Stephen are Amara’s and Silas’ descendants, so they would have had to continue their lineage right. And children of sisters or brothers are not considered your own descendants. So, I was mostly like ‘What in the world?’… The explanation was either skipped or I seriously missed it while I was watching the show.

For now, I mostly watch the show for Caroline. And I was not that happy when the Originals got their own show, I really shipped Caroline and Klaus together, despite all the Klaus had done, Caroline brings out the good in him. And I loved Rebekah. I have not begun watching The Originals, and the whole Hayley being pregnant is not a selling point for me. And apparently, Rebekah is leaving The Originals, info that I got from Tumblr, so I am relieved that I have not started the show. The other characters are starting to bore me, I have no idea how much longer I am going to continue with this show. Like, seriously.

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Revenge – Season 1 to 3 (8/10; 7/10)

This has the almost always present Korean drama element, revenge, as evidenced by the title, duh. I always felt that this show was like a Korean drama, it just has all the other elements of a typical American show. But, I am enjoying the show. Just that, it is getting quite long, entering the 3rd season already, and Emily still has a long way to go. Hopefully, with her officially a Mrs Grayson, the Grayson family’s ultimate demise will be soon. Like, really soon.

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Elementary – Season 1 to 2 (9/10; 9/10)

I have just started this show, so still halfway through season 1. Based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, this is set in New York, and where Watson is a lady. This is more of a crime procedural as opposed to Sherlock, see below for more explanation. I would say that this contemporary update is more of a crime procedural with two of Doyle’s beloved characters, with emphasis on the relationship between Sherlock and Watson.

I am savouring this slowly. I love the developing relationship between Sherlock and Joan, nicely done, from sober companion to, hopefully, partners, soon. 

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Sherlock – Season 1 to 3 (10/10; 10/10)

A show that I really love. Also based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, this is set in the present time, incorporating the advancement of technology into the crimes and the solving of it. As opposed to Elementary, Sherlock is more of a reinterpretation of Conan’s stories, set in modern times. For example, in Season 1, ‘A Study in Pink’ is loosely based on ‘A Study in Scarlet’, ‘The Blind Banker’ is loosely based on ‘The Adventure of the Dancing Man’, ‘The Valley of Fear’ and ‘The Sign of the Four’; with the other 2 seasons having a similar format.

This, I watched as it was airing, downloading it as soon as it was available. I then proceeded to introduce this drama to my brother and sisters. They are recent converts, but love the show as much as I do… This is a British drama, each season only has 3 episodes, which are about 1 and 1/2 hours each. The schedule for season 4 is not set yet, but apparently, may be scheduled for 2014 Christmas. I am eagerly awaiting this Christmas present!

Elementary and Sherlock are similar yet absolutely different. I love both and recommend them as well. But, I have seen that some may like one but not the other. Well, each to his own.

And, these are shows that I actively watch, and one, which I am eagerly anticipating.

I do have other English shows that are on my To Watch List, NCIS, The Mentalist, Downtown Abbey, Suits, The Blacklist, Hawaii Five-O and a few others. Oh gosh. I cannot wait to clear the list. Although it doesn’t look like it will be cleared any time soon…

2013 TVB Dramas: A Year End Reflection

In recent years, I have cut down on the TVB dramas that I watch, mostly due to the declining quality and just general lack of interest. However, I do watch the occasional show if it is interesting enough or it is a sequel to an original show that I really liked. I am a huge fan of police / crime procedural shows, and Hong Kong does (did?) make them well, and every year, there are at least a few that dots the drama landscape. And well, this year is no different.

The past year, in 2013, TVB dramas had quite a few sequels to popular originals that aired a few years ago. Putting it mildly, the shows that aired was, disappointing. I did, however, watch two other shows that are not sequels, they were, hmm, okay, I guess.

I also included a ratings meter which I did for the 2013 Korean dramas post, which are 2 different ratings, first is how much I liked it without regard to quality of plot, and the second is whether I would recommend it. Both are out of 10, with 10 being the most, and 1 being the least.

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Friendly Fire (7/10; 7/10)

Starring Micheal Tse, Tavia Yeung and Sammy Leung. I don’t quite remember the premise of the show, but I do remember that it was entertaining when I was watching it. This aired in the beginning of 2013, which explains the lack of memory.

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A Great Way To Care 2 (8/10; 7/10)

I loved, loved the original, so I was eagerly anticipating the sequel. Starring Alex Fong, Tavia Yeung and Yoyo Mung. I did missed Kate Tsui from the 1st season, but, oh wells. This sequel was enjoyable, although not as good as the original, but enough, considering TVB’s track record. Tavia’s character was really interesting and she did really well, especially near the end of the show, where she had multiple personality disorder, although I am not exactly sure of the exact term of her diagnosis. I also enjoyed the cases that they encountered, combining mental disorders with the crimes that had been committed.

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Triumph In The Skies 2 (5/10; 4/10)

The sequel to the extremely popular show 10 years ago. Starring Francis Ng, Julian Cheung, Myolie Wu, Chen Fala, Kenneth Ma and Ron Ng. This sequel was quite a letdown. The original was, especially should you watch it now, quite old fashioned, with the fashion and hairstyles, which was expected, but it had a story line that captivated the audience from the beginning to the end. Whereas for the sequel, the story line is almost non-existent or just plain boring, and at 43 episodes, not a good thing. The drama did have multiple love lines, which was entertaining at first, but it got a little stale by the half way mark.

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Sniper Standoff (6/10; 6/10)

Starring Micheal Tse, Eddie Cheung, Kathy Chow and Kate Tsui. The only other drama that I watched which is not a sequel to an original. This drama is quite interesting, where each characters have their own conflicting emotions and issues that can be quite troublesome, not only to themselves but also to those that surrounds them.

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The Hippocratic Crush 2 (7/10; 6/10)

Starring Kenneth Ma, Tavia Yeung and Lawrence Ng. This was the second drama that I eagerly anticipated, and I must say, this did not live up to the hype that was given to it by me. The story line was just mediocre, and I think that there are too many characters in the show, that there was not enough time to deal with them all. And the story line could be quite erratic at times, paced quite fast, and then seriously slow, and then the end, damn fast.

Originally, this post was just going to be pictures of the dramas that I have watched and the following two sentences:

“I have no idea what to say about TVB dramas anymore.

They suck.”

Oops.

TVB really need to brush up on the execution of their dramas. Although they do have a monopoly in Hong Kong, but I am not sure if monopoly is the right term, I mean, they are like the only other TV channel, is ATV still around? I only know of ATV from the articles that I read over the years, little tid-bits that are picked up which are insignificant. Malaysia only broadcasts TVB shows, and that is through Astro, a paid cable provider, and where subscriptions to TVB shows are paid separately.

Anyways, was it kinda obvious that I only watch shows with certain someones? So, actors and actresses that I enjoy, in no particular order, includes: Tavia Yeung, Kenneth Ma, Micheal Tse, Ron Ng, Moses Chan, Kevin Cheng, Linda Chung, Bosco Wong, Kate Tsui, Steven Ma, Charmaine Sheh, and that is about it.

And, that’s it. Hopefully, 2014 is a better year.

Love Rain: A Reflection

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So, I know that this drama aired 2 years ago, but I only completed this recently.

I just want to vent a little. Let me get it out of my system, and hopefully, I’ll be back to my normal posting schedule (like I have one?!?! Haha).

Anyways.

So, this whole first love thing, I just… can’t comprehend.

I would actually have liked it more if Hana (Yoona’s character) and Tae Sung (Kim Young Kwang’s character) was the end game.

The whole Hana and Seo Jun (Jang Geun Suk’s character) love story was dragged out all the way… the ‘let’s date’; ‘damn my dad is your mom’s first love, need to break up with you’ angst part; ‘oh, my mom is your dad’s first love, why didn’t you tell me’ angst; ‘my mom’s happiness is really important’; ‘but now I don’t care anymore, I just want to be happy with you’; ‘BUT, my mom is more important’… and it goes on… and on and on…

The whole drama is 20 episodes, and it is set in the 1970’s and the present day, that is 2012. Yoona and Jang Geun Suk play the parents in the 70’s and in the present day, are Hana and Seo Jun. I won’t even mention about the whole 70’s part, it was so excruciatingly slow moving, that I just went and watch starting from episode 5, where it skips a few decades and dives into the present day.

Back to Hana and Tae Sung. Why I wanted them to be the end game? Its because, I think that first loves can be a sweet memory, but then life just goes on. Like the parents of Hana and Seo Jun (Lee Mi Sook and Jung Jin Young’s characters respectively), they were not together in the 70’s because of misunderstandings, and in the end, I guessed it was just assumed that they are together, just not ‘together’? And, well, Hana and Tae Sung, Tae Sung is the ‘available option’, and I think, sometimes, when things gets too hard, it is fine to just go for the next best option. After all, Hana and Seo Jun are first loves to one another right? I would think that the ‘lovers’ before (and I use ‘lovers’ for the sake of Seo Jun) are more like crushes, in Hana’s sake, and distractions.

Unless, of course, first loves don’t work out when it is one-sided? Like in the case for Tae Sung? Because since Hana and Seo Jun are first loves, their love was requited at the same time, so, err… kudos to them? Because they managed to love the other the same time as the other loved them.

So, for me, first loves is something to reminisce on a rainy day. It may not work out due to the many variables in life, and especially when one is fresh and young to the world… But then also, this may be an exception, there are of course people out there who end up marrying their first loves, and live their happily ever after…

Just that, this is my personal opinion, which I wanted to vent…

I still want Hana and Tae Sung together though…

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2013 Korean Dramas: A Year End Reflection

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An all-in-one post on the Korean Dramas that I watched in 2013, those that I completed. I have included a ratings of sort, and a one-liner, or two-liners, or… ya, you get the point. So there will be 2 different ratings, first is how much I liked it without regard to quality of plot, and the second is whether I would recommend it. Both are out of 10, with 10 being the most, and 1 being the least.

If you notice, some of the dramas are from 2012, I thought that I would include those that completed airing in 2013, so the dramas that are still airing as we enter into the new year, won’t be mentioned. Just a heads up.

KBS2

Mon & Tues 21.55

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School 2013 (8/10; 8/10)

Where the world was introduced to Kim Woo Bin… fine, and Lee Jong Suk, but still… Kim Woo Bin. Watch for the bromance.

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Shark (7/10; 5/10)

Really liked the relationship between the brother and sister. But, I still wonder why Kim Nam Gil chose this drama as his comeback? His character freaking died again. And… the plot was damn slow…

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Good Doctor (7/10; 8/10)

Fairly well written, although the hospital politics/drama could be more interesting, but overall, a good show.

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Marry Him If You Dare (4/10; 5/10)

Started well enough, but somehow got lost in the middle. But, Jung Yong Hwa improved, which is a good thing in my book. And this reminded me why I usually avoid time travel shows, the loopholes…

Wed & Thurs 21.55

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IRIS 2 (5/10; 3/10)

Overhyped. The original had story and sense. This, had, none. Only pretty people. I love a good action drama, but this only had action, and no drama.

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Secret (7/10; 8/10)

Marathoned this in 2 days. Awesome show with a great cast. Revenge plan gone awry, especially if one falls for the person of supposed hate.

Sat & Sun 19.55

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My Daughter Seo Young (8/10; 8/10)

My first foray into the weekend 50 episodes drama. One of my best decisions ever. Compelling story line and well acted by the actors and actresses.

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Lee Soon Shin Is The Best (6/10; 4/10)

Started off well enough, then the story line got a bit off course, ended up watching for the couple above, who were more interesting than IU’s and Jo Jung Seok’s characters. Its fine to miss this show, and save yourself 50 hours plus.

SBS

Mon & Tues 21.55

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Empire Of Gold (6/10; 8/10)

A well written business rivalry drama, where no one can be trusted, especially the step-mother, cousin, sister-in-law, married-for-benefits-husband. Conclusion, trust yourself, and only yourself, and you’ll end up with everything, but will be all alone.

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The Strange Housekeeper (6/10; 7/10)

Quirky, mysterious, dramatic, but ultimately, warm…

Wed & Thurs 21.55

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That Winter, The Wind Blows (7/10; 5/10)

I quite enjoyed it, especially the pretty people and pretty palette. But, story wise, hmm, not much to get on with. Man masquerades as blind woman’s brother to con her a few million won, somehow, fell in love with her, but, still owe loan sharks money, cue, poker game showdown. Ending, they got their happily ever after, and did I mention, she can see again… Somehow, reading the story in a few sentences, I wonder how this drama attracted me at all…

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I Hear Your Voice (8/10; 8/10)

One of my favourites of the year. A sassy heroine and a mind reading hero to the rescue.

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Master’s Sun (8/10; 7/10)

Love. So gloomy and damn hilarious.

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The Heirs (7/10; 5/10)

Overhyped, and overhyped. The only thing I liked about it was, obviously, Kim Woo Bin. I disliked Lee Min Ho’s character. (Please refer here.) And, I should continue my Heirs series, soon.

Sat & Sun 21.50

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Incarnation Of Money (7/10; 7/10)

Fantastically hilarious, with mysterious and sinister elements… A good watch.

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Goddess of Marriage (4/10; 3/10)

Nope, you don’t have to watch this. Fine. the drama disappointed me, I was actually looking forward to this, but it just let me down, big time. Somehow, I just can’t give a logical explanation for the dislike. I just didn’t like this drama. I should dedicate a post to this drama, to vent my feelings…

MBC

Mon & Tues 21.55

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Gu Family Book (4/10; 4/10)

This wasn’t really my cup of tea, and the whole ending thing… I went ‘Huh~’…

Wed & Thurs 21.55

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Queen’t Classroom (5/10; 6/10)

An interesting watch, even I learned a few life lessons.

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Two Weeks (7/10; 8/10)

The whole drama occurred over two weeks, so it was quite a nail-biting experience. Hero needs to avoid capture by the prosecutors, the police and the mobsters, because he got framed in a murder, and he needs to stay healthy and bacteria-free for a surgery to save his recently discovered daughter. Whew~ One awesome show.

Sat & Sun 21.45

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Hundred Year Inheritance (5/10; 4/10)

Every makjang element that you know of, thrown right into this mess, and I think it was even before the 20th episode count. And the total episode count for this drama is 50.

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Scandal: A Shocking And Wrongful Incident (8/10; 8/10)

One of the best dramas of the year, solid story and solid acting by the whole cast.

tvN

Mon & Tues 23.00

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Flower Boy Next Door (7/10; 7/10)

Lovely characters that feel real. The story line was of the non-exciting type, which I enjoyed very much. Need some nice reflective-ish drama once in a while…

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Dating Agency: Cyrano (5/10; 5/10)

Quite enjoyable, but quite forgettable.

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Who Are You (6/10; 5/10)

Kim Jae Wook was so so so wasted.

tvN, Mnet, KM & Onstyle

Fri 21.50

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Monstar (7/10; 6/10)

I enjoyed this short high school drama, and the OST is super awesome.

JTBC

Mon & Tues 21.50

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Heartless City (8/10; 8/10)

Love. Dark and intriguing. An underworld drama done right.

E Channel 

Sat 23.00

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Unemployed Romance (3/10; 3/10)

I wasn’t really a fan of the format, half of the episodes were from the heroine’s point of view, and the other episodes from the hero’s. And the story line, not as interesting as initially thought.

And, that’s it. My two-cents input. Hope you enjoyed my thoughts for each dramas that I watched. How did your drama watching of year 2013 go?

So, I got the list of dramas from here. And out of these 107 dramas, which includes daily dramas, I have watched 30 dramas. Wow.

Ps. Is it obvious that I sneak in Kim Woo Bin’s photo each time I do a general post. Hehe.

The Prime Minister And I: First Impression

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This drama stars Lee Bum Soo as the titular Prime Minister, Kwon Yul; Im Yoon Ah as Nam Da Jung, a reporter with a tabloid paper; Yoon Shi Yoon as Kang In Ho, the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff; Chae Jung Ahn as Seo Hye Joo, the Prime Minister’s Public Relations Officer; and Ryu Jin as Park Joon Ki, a rival in the political world who happens to be Yul’s brother-in-law.

The drama tells of how the Prime Minister, a widower with three children, has a contract marriage with a reporter that was initially sent out on a job to scoop up any scandals that he may have with his Public Relations Officer. They start off with the wrong foot, causing misunderstandings to abound. But as they start to know one another, they find that underneath the mask which the whole worlds sees, there is that which draws them toward one another. And through the contract marriage, which was to stop further scandals, they will slowly find love…

So, I wasn’t actually planning to watch this drama at all. After all, it does have Yoona in it. I don’t hate her, but I’m also not her fan. The only show with Yoona that I watched was Love Rain, and oh boy, was that a snooze-fest. However, Koala (of Koala’s Playground) recommended it, so I took a dive and never looked back. And Yoona is short of amazing in it. She is a lot younger than Lee Bum Soo, but from what can be seen, they do have chemistry together, like lots. It is definitely not like that drama, err, Cinderella Man or something like that. I watched that drama a total of 10 minutes, and could not stomach that. The interaction between Yoona and the guy was like really awkward, I was cringing the entire time. But here, so much better, and ok, maybe also because she is older. Oh, and Yoona doesn’t overact here at all. No wide eyes staring around… Huh. I must say, Yoona is improving… Lee Bum Soo, well, I love Giant, one awesome show, and he was awesome in it, so, looking forward to his performance. In relation to Yoon Shi Yoon, nothing needs to be said, his character is interesting, definitely a backstory there somewhere. And he has never failed to bring it before, so no worries on this front. The others, I haven’t noticed them much yet… Oops.

Anyways, one word, ‘Wow’, this drama is seriously what I want for the Christmas season. The drama has heart, lots of it, humour and little bits of villain parts. After all, there must always be a Grinch around…

The drama is zippy and fun, there are no dragged out misunderstandings at all. The episodes pass by so soon, and I am left with anticipation after each episode. I also got my sister hooked onto the drama, and she is pestering me for new episodes…

I definitely recommend it for this upcoming Christmas season.

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