So last February is when I started watching korean dramas and since then it has just been a crazy snowball effect. I was trying to learn anything and everything possible about the hallyu wave and that is what this blog has kind of turned into. I just wanted to run down the list of dramas that I saw and in what order and what my general reactions to them were.
Since I am such a newb with korean entertainment, I feel like I watched a lot of the more popular well known dramas so I had a foundation to start building on. (like what actor’s/actress’ I enjoy the most, what genre ect ect.) I have also learned the entire korean alphabet and have been working on vocabulary as well. When I think about it, I have learned a lot and it hasn’t even been an entire year yet!
So here is my list.
First k drama ever was in last feb.
1. My Love From The Star 6/10
I was browsing on hulu one day and saw the picture for it of the lead actress and thought she was really pretty. I thought it might have been a japanese tv show so I had clicked on the description and found the synopsis interesting. After watching the first five minutes, I realized they were not speaking in japanese, it was korean! I remember physically pushing pause and thinking to myself about what I knew about korea. Sadly, the only thing I could think of was the division between north and south and that in elementary school I have a friend who was korean and that was about it.
So I can’t say I truly got fully addicted to My Love From the Star but it was really entertaining. Stuff that really stood out for me that kept me watching was the fashion, how funny the lead actress was and wanting to know about the murder case. It’s funny cause a lot of kdramas have romantic plot lines as I have come to fully understand but in this one, I understood that it was supposed to be in the forefront but I wasn’t feeling it. I didn’t think the chemistry was really there and I didn’t find anything about them that I could relate to. (However I did like the kiss scene at the end.)
Another thing that stood out was the fact that it was not over sexualized like many television shows in western culture. I wasn’t fully sold, but I found myself wanting more.
2. Boys Over Flowers 8/10
Alright. This is where my obsession started. After watching the first few episodes I was interested because of Jan Di. I LOOOVVVEEEDDD her character, she was cute and spunky and I wanted to see her stand up to the F4. I can’t say I was completely hooked in the beginning. It was a gradual process. I really hated Jun Pyo and I didn’t see how attractive Lee Min Ho was with his nasty attitude in the beginning. (did I have a lot to learn about the rich chaebol characters or what? hahaha) After seeing his softer side and how he really cared about Jan Di made me fall in love and then from that point onward I was appreciating every single damn scene with Lee Min Ho in it.
Around this time I had a really bad cyst and was bed ridden for a couple days while it drained, so what did I do? I stayed in bed and watched the entire series in two days! And I have no regrets. I had so many different emotions, I was laughing, crying, yelling at the screen because of stupid mistakes the characters made. Some scenes were just utterly ridiculous but let’s be honest, I was eating that shit up. I enjoyed every moment of Boys Over Flowers the first time I watched it. It was a guilty pleasure.
Note: I have watched many episodes from other dramas like Surplus Princess, to the beautiful you, liar game ect but I did not list them here because I have not finished watching them.
3. Personal Taste 6/10
So after Boys Over Flowers ended and reality set in that I couldn’t look at Lee Min Ho’s beautiful face anymore, I freaked out a little and started doing research on all of the dramas he had been in. Faith and Citty Hunter seemed really interesting but I felt like I was still so new at the kdrama thing, I needed something more light hearted and easy to follow.
Watching Personal Taste was an awesome experience. It was nice to see Lee Min Ho in a more mature role and I thought Son Yi Jin was cute in this one. The entire time I watched it I was wishing I could live in a house with that kind of architecture.
Although I found Personal Taste enjoyable, I was getting the same feelings that I did watching Boys Over Flowers! I was on a hunt to find something similar.
3. Playful Kiss 5.5/10
While doing my kdrama research a lot of people were recommending this one so I figured why not? It had Kim Hyun Joong in it and he played Ji Hoo in Boys Over Flowers. Let’s see him get the girl this time, I figured.
This….drama…..uhhh, guys where do I even begin? I wanted to absolutely hate it with a fiery passion but I didn’t because I liked almost all of the characters. The lead girl was soooo co dependent and obsessed with Hyun Joong’s character and I hated it! There was a second male lead in this one that loved her. (I think his name is Lee Tae Sung) And he was sooo fine! Ahhh I loved him. Kim Hyun Joong’s character treated her like absolute crap. And not the way Jun Pyo did to Jan Di. Like he seriously treated her like crap and she was completely okay with it. Pretty much I gritted my teeth and watched it for Lee Tae Sung and the lead girl’s friends. (they were funny!)
4. Faith The Great Doctor 7/10
So after the terrible disappointment with Playful Kiss I figured, fuck it I need Lee Min Ho in my life so I put on Faith. I really enjoyed all of Faith and this is one where I watched multiple episodes in one sitting. The entire progression with the war went on a little too slow for my liking but I did enjoy Lee Min Ho’s character as Choi Young. I loved the overall story and the ending was one of my favorite endings I have seen in a kdrama to date. I should also make note this is when I was exposed to actor Philip Lee I think his name is and I was happy when I saw him in Secret Garden.
Oh, one last thing, my boyfriend actually was interested in this one. All of the other ones he rolled his eyes at haha.
5. The Heirs 5.5/10
So at this point I was still super in love with Lee Min Ho and there was a new drama that was buzzing all over drama land called The Heirs. Pretty much same plot line as Boys Over Flowers, I was excited!
I have come to realize that certain dramas (The Heirs, My Love From The Star) are so over rated and they aren’t even that great. Although I did enjoy certain pieces of Heirs (Kim Woo Bin, the mute mom, the relationships between the mothers ect) I really didn’t like how feminine they made Lee Min Ho’s character. Like…after watching this I didn’t find him that attractive. Actually, after watching The Heirs I took a break from watching kdramas because I was so disappointed. I mean at that point I was like, what other dramas am I going to watch? Lee Min Ho isn’t in them…
6. Coffee Prince 10/10
The Gods in heaven sent Coffee Prince to me. And Gong Yoo!!! So after my disappointment with Lee Min Ho in Heirs, it was so nice to watch a new drama and actually find a male lead attractive. The entire story was executed perfectly and the chemistry between Gong Yoo and Yoon Eun Hye is so amazing, they go from being best friends to lovers. This drama especially touched me because it isn’t the typical, “seperate the two and give them heartache.” scenario. The music wasn’t over played and annoying, I mean seriously, everything was perfect in my book. This is still my favorite drama to date.
7. Secret Garden 7/10
For the most part I found Secret Garden enjoyable. This is where I was introduced to Hyun Bin who I find to be an exceptional actor. The only reason I am not super crazy about this one is the main actress unfortunantely is not up to par with Hyun Bin’s acting skills. At least for me, it was REALLY obvious Hyun Bin had committed to his role 100% and she was somewhere in the 72% range.
8. City Hunter 9.5/10
After finally getting over my disappointment with Heirs, I decided it was time to watch City Hunter. To my surprise I found it on Netflix so I didn’t have to watch it on my computer! I watched it on my PS3 and my boyfriend actually joined me in watching it. He never thought he would get used to the subtitles but he did because he got into the story along with me. The entire thing was enjoyable for both of us and I am really glad I got to have that experience with my boyfriend. So ladies! If you like watching kdramas and have a boyfriend, I highly recommend watching City Hunter with him lol.
9. My Name is Kim Sam Soon 8/10
I have heard this is the mother of all Kdramas so why wouldn’t I want to watch it?! I have to say I absolutely loved the entire drama, one of the funniest ones I have seen. Kim Sun Ah’s acting really stood out for me so she instantly became a favorite and of course Hyun Bin was awesome. One of my favorite scenes is the piano scene ;)
10. Scent of a Woman 9.5/10
So I decided to watch this one because of Kim Sun Ah and lemme tell you…you’re going to need some tissues lol! For some reason I found this one listed as a romantic comedy…it is not! This is a melodrama if I ever did see one. It is about dealing with cancer and death so it is a serious subject. I kept thinking by the end she was going to me miraculously healed and if that was the case I was going to hate the whole thing but that is not what happened. It was much more realistic so this is one of my favorite kdrama endings along with Faith.
11. Rooftop Prince 10/10
This I believe is the only other drama besides coffee prince that I give a 10/10 to. I loved the story, the directing, writing, acting and everything about it. Sometimes I myself can get a little spoiled and I saw myself in the Crown Prince which made me laugh. When he gets mad and yells it feels like I am looking at a male version of myself. This is a must watch for EVERYONE!
12. Goong 7/10
And now I end 2014 off with Goong. I am almost done watching it! I have to say that I really do enjoy it but it is sooooo slow right now! I am on episode 19 and I am almost 10% positive they could have made this show shorter. I am finding myself dozing off every time the elders are having a conversation. All their conversations are almost always the same. But I have to say that I do love Yoon Eun Hye in this drama.
After I finish Goong I will probably try and finish some dramas I am almost done with (surplus princess and liar game mainly)
I feel very good with this year of discovering the hallyu wave and I can’t wait for next year!