After reading great blogs from the likes of Javabeans, Thundie and Dahee Fanel that discuss their love for K-dramas, I’ve been inspired to start my own. I was debating whether or not I should for a while, but I officially joined the WITHs2 sub team and am currently working on my first translation as of today, and that pushed me to give this a try too. I have an eclectic taste in dramas, and I’d like to begin putting my thoughts out there as well. I’ll start with naming a few of my favorites. Most of them mirror the ones that the other great k-drama bloggers rave about, but I have a few that aren’t run-of-the-mill gushworthy choices. So without further ado, here is my Top Ten Favorite Dramas List (in no particular order).
When I first read about this sitcom/Very Funny Drama on Javabeans’s wonderful site, I felt compelled to give it a shot just because she’s never let me down before with her various recommendations. When I saw that Lee Soo Kyung was heading the cast, I wasn’t terribly impressed because I only ever saw her on variety shows such as the oldie but goodie Real Romance Love Letter and she annoyed me to death, but because I read only good things about Soulmate, I gave it a shot and boy, am I glad I did. It was a fast-paced, surprisingly touching drama that contains a few of my all-time favorite scenes in any k-drama I’ve watched (i.e: the pay phone scene between Lee Soo Kyung and Shin Dong Wook.) You wouldn’t think watching the first few episodes that such a funny show could instill such hope in us old spinsters that True Love really does exist, but it did and I’m so glad I had the chance to witness that. The only con that I can think of regarding Soulmate is that it’s really fast-paced so for those of us who aren’t fluent in Korean, it might be a tad bit difficult to keep up with. But Soulmate definitely was one of the most engaging and captivating dramas I’ve ever seen.
2. Biscuit Teacher and Star Candy
Yes, I know, not the most conventional to choose as one of my favorites, but I need to list it nonetheless. There’s something about Gong Hyo Jin acting as a well-meaning, motivated teacher who finds her greatest joy in teaching at the school she was expelled from that brightens up my day. Not to mention Gong Yoo is absolutely adorable here, but all superficial reasons aside, I loved the various storylines in which Gong Hyo Jin makes a difference in her students’ lives just by caring about them and lending them a hand or an ear or even a shoulder to cry on. Also, the romance that develops between her and Gong Yoo is one of my all-time faves because they’re so damn cute together.
3. Bad Family
I’m a sucker for dramas that are family oriented because for much of my life, I wasn’t very big on family. It was only as I grew older and learned more about life that I realized that above anyone else, family can always be counted on to be there for you whenever you need them, and Bad Family conveys that perfectly. Eight lonely strangers learn to depend on each other just as a real family does, and in turn, becomes a real family as a result. Kim Myung Min and Nam Sang Mi made this drama for me not only because they had good chemistry whether they were bickering or unwillingly developing feelings for each other, but because they, along with the rest of the cast, gave this drama heart and soul. It reminded me of what family truly means… people that will be there for you through thick and thin. Also a plus? This drama is hilarious.
4. Flowers for My Life
I am a die-hard fan of Bryan Fuller, which means I count Pushing Daisies, Wonderfalls and Dead Like Me among my obsessions. I love these TV shows to pieces, and one thought that came to mind several times as I was watching Flowers was that it was reminiscent of the sense of humor that’s used in these shows as well. Cha Tae Hyun embodies Wang Dae Bak perfectly, turning what could’ve been a flat character into one that shows great depth and strength. Kang Hye Jung killed it as Na Hana, one of the more lovable yet hopelessly flawed leading ladies in any k-drama. Given the plot of the story, Flowers could’ve taken a wrong turn and become all gloom-and-doom, but it never veered off course, and consistently left a lasting impression on me. To think that a drama that focuses on funeral homes and death made me laugh and cry, sometimes at the same time, is telling about the quality of it. Flowers hit upon the rare combination of good directing, good acting and a good script, and I really wish it received more attention from viewers.
5. Just Looking/That Fool/Accidental Couple
This drama could very easily have been a bad one. So what was the saving grace of Accidental Couple? The incomparable Hwang Jung Min. He took a character that could’ve been a dull, dim-witted one and gave him incredible wisdom and an eternal optimism about life. When Gu Dong Baek smiled, I smiled. When Gu Dong Baek cried, I cried. Every emotion Hwang Jung Min displayed onscreen as Gu Dong Baek was felt by the viewers as well, that’s how amazing Hwang Jung Min’s performance was. I personally thought he and Kim Ah Joong had good chemistry, but that might just be because I have nothing against her and all I wanted was for Gu Dong Baek to have his happy ending. I think it was Dahee Fanel who said that they could spend forever just watching Gu Dong Baek, Han Ji Soo, Sang Chul and Min Ji interact in their warm, loving manner and I strongly second that notion. As the drama progressed, it was obvious that the actors built up a rapport with each other, playing off each other’s emotions and making the relationships within the drama all the more believable. Although Accidental Couple had a mediocre script and some of the actors were sorely lacking in the talent department, I have to count it as one of my favorites because of the sheer greatness that is Hwang Jung Min, and how utterly adorable the relationship is between the two main leads.
I was going to list all ten favorites in this entry, but it’s already really long so I’ll continue in the next installment. Thanks for reading y’all, and hope you have a great day!