The edit above is not in the order of my top 10 but the list below is. This was my first time making an edit so I was just trying to make it all fit, lol. Please feel free to tell me your thoughts on these dramas, I’d love to hear that ya’ll think!
1. Descendants of the Sun (Song Joong Ki, Song Hye Kyo, Jin Goo, Kim Ji Won)
This was the first drama I followed along with while it was airing and it cemented my stay in kdrama-land so I’ll forever be grateful for that. I loved everything about this drama from the cast to the plot, I thought it was unique and funny and so very enjoyable to watch. A soldier and doctor falling in love in the middle of a crisis with brilliantly amusing scenes and secondary characters? It’s a win for sure. I think it found the perfect balance between drama, action, romance, and comedy. Also, the OSTs in the drama were amazing; Talk Love by K.Will will forever be one of my favorites.
2. Goblin (Gong Yoo, Lee Dong Wook, Kim Go Eun)
So I’m cheating a little with this one because it didn’t finish airing in 2016, but this is currently my favorite drama so I felt obligated to put this on my list. This was my first real venture into a fantasy kdrama and I love everything about it. The aesthetics and cinematography is unreal, the cast is fantastic, the beginnings of romance is natural, but the bromance and friendships are probably my favorite things about this drama. It’s honestly just so witty and fun and the performance by each actor is amazing. It never fails to make me smile or laugh. Since it’s by the same writer as DOTS, it has the perfect combination of fantasy, romance, drama, and comedy. Also, the OSTS are wickedly good in this as well.
3. The K2 (Ji Chang Wook, Im YoonA, Song Yoon Ah)
Despite the drama surrounding the characters and it’s obvious problems story-wise, I loved The K2. One of my favorite genres is action-romance and this drama was packed with both. JCW is brilliant as always in acting but his action scenes were amazing. I thought the plot was pretty unique and the lead three gave great performances (I know people thought YoonA’s character was useless, but I didn’t; the story literally wouldn’t exist without her, lol). I have to praise Song Yoon Ah for her performance especially because this was the first time I empathized with the villain; I certainly didn’t agree with everything she did, but they gave a depth to her character that I really appreciated. There are some things I’ll never understand regarding the drama, but I don’t want to spoil anything for others so I won’t mention it here.
4. Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo (Lee Sung Kyung, Nam Joo Hyuk)
Again, this drama has yet to end, but I honestly think that this is one of the most brilliant dramas of 2016. It’s a feel-good, coming-of-age drama that balances romance, comedy, and friendship and that honestly delivers each week. It tackles first love and all the innocence and insecurities that comes with liking someone unattainable, it explores friendship between women and the unbreakable bond you can make with life-long friends in college, it shows characters with unhealthy issues taking the right steps to get help, and it shows how guys should treat girls and how naturally you can fall in love with your best friend. Most of all though, it tells us that it’s okay to fall out of love with your talents and what you have been doing your entire life; it’s okay to take a break, try new things, and find yourself. Brilliant cast, brilliant writing, and brilliant performances.
5. Reply 1988 (Lee Hye Ri, Park Bo Gum, Ryu Jun Yeol, Go Kyung Pyo, Lee Dong Hwi)
I’m late to the game but there are not enough words to describe what a good drama this is. I love that it focused so much on family bonds rather than romantic love. More than the individual families, the entire block was one big family that supported and took care of each other. I laughed, I cried, and I was happy when they were happy. The line between friendship and family is easily blurred in this drama because I swear the kids were more like family than they were friends. The parents’ friendship also made me happy because for once there was no evil parent or scheming; they all loved their kids and were such good friends with each other. There were so many lessons to learn from in this drama, it’s A+. Also, the goat noises made my life.
6. Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo (Lee Joon Ki, IU, Kang Ha Neul)
I had/have a love-hate relationship with this drama. This was my first saeguk drama and I did really like a lot of things about it. The cinematography was beautiful, it really was so well done. I liked most of the characters, especially early in the show when it was more funny and cute. And the actors, even the idol-actors, did well in my opinion. What I hated was how they tried to jam-pack the Chinese version into the last 4 episodes, the insanely terrible editing that just made it seem like the characterization for leads did not align at all with what we knew about them, and the ending. I truly detested the ending; it was sloppy and unnecessary. If they didn’t cut that one scene from that ending, I would have been satisfied but they chose to do a disservice to the characters and for that reason alone, I’ll probably never re-watch this drama.
7. Age of Youth (Han Ye-ri, Han Seung-yeon, Park Eun-bin, Ryu Hwa-young, Park Hye-soo )
I loved everything about this drama. The friendship between the Belle Epoque girls made me smile; they grew from being so awkward with each other to being such good friends. They teased, fought, and took care of each other like any good roommates would do while living their own lives. The drama did brilliantly in highlighting each girl’s unique struggles and allowing them to grow because of them. There is nothing I didn’t like about this drama; it was funny, interesting, and just really good. The Belle Epoque girls are special.
8. The Legend of the Blue Sea (Lee Min Ho, Jun Ji Hyun)
I like drama a lot but mostly because of JJH’s character and performance. I’ve never failed to smile, laugh, or feel second-hand embarrassment for her character and that just really made the drama fun. I’m not really a big LMH fan, I think he’s an decent actor, but I think this is probably my favorite role of his. He’s actually doing really well and I really enjoy his character. One of my main issues is the plot and direction of the drama; I think it’s been a little sloppy and some things just don’t make sense and are poorly explained. Also it’s taking forever to get through some of the sub-plots and it honestly just feels like a waste of time. To be quite honest and in my opinion, if the leads weren’t as big stars as they are, this drama would not be doing as well as it is now.
9. Doctor Crush (Park Shin Hye, Kim Rae Won, Lee Sung Kyung, Yoon Kyun Sang)
The beginning of this drama was brilliant; PSH’s character was the epitome of a bad-girl who was also kind to her friends. I loved the plot; a girl with an attitude problem with no care in the world changing her ways and becoming a brilliant physician to not only prove people wrong but also to get revenge on the people that wronged/hurt her? Yeah, sign me up for a drama like that. The secondary characters were great, there really were some comedic scenes with them. I liked the medical part of the drama and PSH’s friendship with her childhood best friend and the other doctors. What I hated what that she never really got her revenge; they went with the most predictable way of the guy getting out of it for a medical drama and I hated that. He wasn’t even sincerely apologetic for what he had done. And honestly, I also hated that she never really called out step-mother for being such a terrible person. I had higher expectations for this drama.
10. Cinderella and the Four Knights (Park So Dam, Jung Il Woo, Ahn Jae Hyun)
This was definitely more of a feel good drama for me. I love the “cinderella” trope so this was just really cute. Park So Dam was just adorable and she made the story fun. There was nothing overly special about this drama; it was fun and light, there were some pretty-boys, and a sweet best friend. All the makings of a classic feel-good drama. My favorite thing would probably have to be the OSTs in this drama; they were all just so good and I still re-play some of them.
This is the only Taiwanese drama on my list. My choices were between Devil Beside You, Mars, and this one, and this one won. I am completely in love with Rainie Yang and Mike He as a duo because they know how to bring amazing chemistry to my screen. I didn’t just love the humor and cuteness of the drama, but also the storyline and powerful acting. Their love developed into something more than just a cute game. It was real. They weren’t going to let the fear of death stop them from loving each other. They wanted to be brave and strong for each other and I enjoyed that the most. Such a good drama. I recommend it!!
It's not a new drama but have you watched W? It's like one the best.
I haven’t seen it but I remember hearing good things about it.
babiimochii said: Have you seen oh my ghost? It’s a Kdrama that’s super cute
I did watch Oh My Ghostess and loved it! It’s probably in my top 10 (I think, I’ve never tried making a top 10 fave dramas – I have no idea how many I would put on the list.)
tinglingtickles replied to your post: haven’t watch a lot this year (I’m lying) but I’d say Lookout is my favorite so far
I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that one. Adding it to the list to check out.
hosxnna said:Watch Chicago Typewriter!! It’s so addicting and you definitely won’t regret watching it!
I like the title. Whenever I think of typewriters, I think of an elderly relative of mine who I loved dearly. She always let me sit in her office and play on her typewriter when I was a little girl. She has a strong connection to Chicago as well. I’m tempted to watch it based on that alone.
labyrinthsouls replied to your post: I really like strong woman Do Bong soon and my shy boss. They are fairly new and super cute!!
I like cute.
moosemyselfandi replied to your post: Unsure if you’ve watched it and it came out quite a while ago, but I suggest Kill Me Heal Me to everyone who needs a recommendation. Then She Was Pretty should come right after. You’ll know why. I also really loved Oh My Ghostess and Shopping King Louie (actually anything wit Seo In Guk I love). But for recents, Strong Woman Do Bong Soon and Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo. I can also give Chinese drama recommendations (prob some Japanese too), of anyone would like
I never saw Kill Me, Heal Me – but I remember everyone talking about it when it was on. It sounds really interesting. Also, every Chinese/Taiwanese drama I’ve ever watched has been insane! The ones I’ve seen have been so slapstick and over the top ridiculous. But I low key love them. Also, I’m madly in love with Roy Chiu.
Yoonki-minn replied to your post: I have a long list ��: Tomorrow With You, Scarlet Heart: Moon Lovers, Moonlight Drawn by Clouds, Kill Me;Heal Me, Fight For My Way, Uncontrollably Fond, Goblin (I know you said no highschool, and idk if college counts but Weightlifting Fairy was reallyyy good). I have so much more but I’ll stop myself.
That’s quite a list! I tried watching Goblin and I just couldn’t get into it. Which is weird because I’m crazy in love with Gong Yoo and I have watched some truly awful stuff just to gaze upon him and his glorious acting abilities. I think I might have just been in the wrong frame of mind when I tried it. I might try again.
boootae-hyung replied to your post: Moon lovers, weightlifting fairy kim bok joo, suspicious partner are my favs
I’m starting to see a trend for certain dramas. Also, is Suspicious Partner the one with Ji Chang Wook? I fell so hard for him in Healer (god! I loved Healer!) - I’m tempted to watch something new with him in it.
serendipityhasfallen replied to your post: Okay it’s not a k drama but it’s a very funny light hearted show it’s called Sound of Your Heart Lee Kwang Soo is in it so you know it’s funny af
I like funny. I like Lee Kwang Soo. It looks like it’s a web series.
noona-youslydog replied to your post: I always recommend you’re all surrounded and more recently I’ve watched angry mom which was also good. There is a topic I feel angry mom doesn’t handle very well and part of the concept is a bit ridiculous BUT once you get past that it’s fab, I found the plot really gripping! It does involve a highschool but I definitely wouldn’t think of it as a teen drama
Thank you for giving some insight on what you liked about the show. I’ve heard of Angry Mom and know a little of the concept. You’re right that it’s ridiculous, but some of my favorite dramas have ridiculous concepts. Also, I’ve seen You’re All Surrounded and loved that one! It’s a great recommendation.
My Top 10 K-Dramas of 2013 - What's Yours? [Spoiler Alert]
2013 is about to end and K-dramaland has been kind in bringing us so many goodies this year. Below are my Top 10 favs on the year (my favs so it might not be yours so please don’t judge) :
The Book of the House of Gu
While the ending was a bit meh because WHY THE HELL did Lee Seung Gi have to be such a chaebol like person in modern Korea and all when it could have ended less cheesily but other than that I really enjoyed the drama. Suzy and Lee Seung Gi had great chemistry and the other characters were really well executed to, like Choi Jin Hyuk the forest god daddy and Yoo Yoon Seok as the possessed hyung. And god how much I love these two actors now.
This drama is amazing. It is still going on now (because it is those 50 ep super long dramas) but I am pretty sure I will cling on all 50 episodes. All the actors are superb and while I got a feeling Ha Ji Won and Joo Jin Mo are supposed to be the otp (because of the Ep 1 K-drama styled stare), I cannot help but love the chemistry and scenes between her and Ji Chang Wook (I love him but I am not being bias here). The puppy emperor is too adorable and right now there is more of a legit reason for the two to be together as they are both ally-less and alone in this freaky baddies infested court of intrigues. Like nearly everyone in this drama is up to something O.O I forsee myself going down with another ship after Reply 1994.
One of the best medical K-dramas in a good long time and Joo Won was played the role of an awkward genius young doctor with savant syndrome perfectly. The background to his character made the drama all the more interesting and perhaps brought the idea of helping people in a medical drama without being that cheesy (because his character has more reason to stop people from dying and to believe in it stubbornly). Moon Chae Won was also great and jksjkdnslkakncklas it’s just a drama that I would highly recommend. It just makes me feel fluffy inside :)
I Can Hear Your Voice
I had my doubts when I first started because it had the oh we met when we were young thing going on but I think the age difference yet opposite to what you expect in the maturity of the characters really got my attention in the get go. Lee Jong Suk portrayed his mind-reader role really well and I like how the story made his use of it for justice less forced on like what you would expect from a show with a super power possessing lead. Lee Bo Young nailed the playful immature and at times condescending public defender who grew to care for others like she used to while keeping the sassy attitude. Also kudos to Kim Sohyun who played Lee Bo Young’s counter part really well, allowing the growth in the character to be all the more realistic. I also admire the work done for Lee Da Hee’s storyline as most second female leads get demoted to the love ruining villainess and cunning master of manipulation without much explanation or some really unrealistic back story. But this role had development and a reasonable story too so YAY! Also, this drama had one of the better K-drama endings in the year to boot :D
Nine: Nine Times Time Travel
So I heard an American Version is being made and I am not surprised. This drama was that good. Unlike the overused back in time model used by many dramas already, this drama actually had a murder mystery for us to follow, with the hero’s love life being tossed back and forth in the most gut wrenching ways possible with every change he makes to the reality keeping us on our toes. This was a great breakout role for Lee Jin Wook who portrayed our cold city man time traveller extremely well while bringing out his emotions at each discovery and change with ease. Jo Yoon Hee was also a pleasant surprise (for me because I never watched anything with her in it before) and her role as the cute but tough journalist was a breathe of fresh air from the pretty poor girl or stunning idol heroines as of late.
Queen of Ambition
Seriously, this drama is so melo, it made me have my doubts in humanity. If North Korea hates Kim Tae Hee for Stairway to Heaven, someone needs to smuggle this drama there and they will discover that things only get worst with Soo Ae. You think she will kill an old man? NO. She tells him his missing son is dead. You think she will blackmail someone with proof of dirty secrets? NO. She does that with so much skill she can out pwn a manipulative CEO with blank sheets of A4 paper. She is that good. And there is Kwon Sang Woo, whose amazing acting brought the hero, the man blinded by love now out for revenge, so believable to the point when he was really out to get her, you are scared of him too. Basically you have two amazing actors on a show down of wits and life ruining. Splendid stuff to wet your pants from fear but also cry your eyes out for our poor second male lead of TVXQ‘s Yunho and second female lead Go Jun Hee who involuntarily gets stuck in the mix.
One of my favourite dramas of the year no doubt. While it was not super dramatic like Queen of Ambition or good at mystery as Nine (why you drag this hubby mystery for so long…), this was one of the best slice of life coming of age K-dramas ever. The emphasis on friendship and growing up together as a family was done fantastically, giving time for all characters to flesh them out into people that seem so real that we cannot help but love (maybe not to Yoo Yoon Seok’s love line though, oh well he left the show with all the woman who watched the drama dying to marry him) Go Ara was also really good, kicking all the critics away with a slipper (say that in Masandialect XD) as the epic Na Jung who grew from wild girl to mature woman. Jung Woo also broke out as the reliable and manly Oppa for all Korean women (who will trash your house).
Korea and its school problems have been touched on in many dramas but School 2013 has to be the most direct one of all. Apparently, there is even more work done in Korean schools now against bullying because of the success of the drama. And of course other than great acting from Choi Daniel and Jang Na Ra, School 2013 won’t be so great without the famous bromance between Lee Jong Suk and Kim Woobin, which led to a real life bromance off screen (and speculations that the two are a gay couple)
Oh betrayal. After watching Queen of Ambition and Secret, it really makes me wonder if that many people go to jail for their loved ones in Korea. Isn’t it guaranteed they will betray you and leave you to rot in there? Isn’t that the point? Oh well, I won’t complain since this drama is so good and this is needed to get it going! Ji Sung was AMAZING (wow you and your wifey are a on roll this year ;) ) and Hwang Jung Eum did such a good job. And Lee Da HeeAGAIN (you killing these second female lead roles girl) wowed me. Now thank you, Bae Soo Bin for doing so well in reminding me yet again that power ruins people in K-dramaland.
The Sun of My Master
The smartest drama of the year - seriously a female lead who sees ghost and a male lead who by touching her stops that from happening; THE PERFECT FORMULA FOR ENDLESS SKINSHIP OPPORTUNITIES!!! Now add in Kong Hyo Jin as the ghost seeing girl and So Ji Sub as the guy she must touch - BAM! Fans = dead. Ok, just to ensure we kill a few more fangirls, let’s also add in Seo In Guk and give him a super hot role and let Infinite's L be mini So Ji Sub! Other than an wonderful storyline, that’s enough reason to watch it, but seriously, watch it for the story XD
What’s your Top 10 K-Dramas of the Year? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below and may the drama sharing begin (and the road to more excuse for holiday procrastination!)