Rediscovering The Beauty In Kdramas

time

When everything falls into place, we get drama gold. Most aim for it, but very rarely achieve it. Just a handful make the cut each year, but once they manage to grab our attention and our hearts, we never let go. These dramas become a part of our lives and we embrace what it means to us for quite some time. Some never even leave our thoughts while others fade into the past as quietly as they entered. That is the evolution of Kdramas. They’ve come a long way. How much more they grow and change, we will be here to keep track. I would say don’t let us down, but every year they never do.

snfl

*Softy’s Note: Believe it or not, I’ve been working on this for over a month now. I can prove it cuz this is what I wrote the first day.

“Winter is officially here. I woke up to the sound of shovel scraping cement and knew exactly what I would see when I looked out the window. Sure enough the entire street was covered in a white blanket and my heart felt what it always does when I see the first snowfall of the season: contentment. Despite all the ups and downs people have in their real lives, there is a certain solace in knowing the world continues on and the seasons come and go on their own time. The same thing applies to Kdramas. Each year a fresh batch of entertainment rolls out and our hearts choose new favorites among them. We tell ourselves it can’t get any better than this, but then another drama makes its presence known – some in a whisper like “I Live in Cheongdam-dong,” while other runaway hits shout it from the rooftops. Every show has its own unique blend of allure so what will hook you in is anyone’s guess, but when it does, dramas have amazing staying power.”

See? I told you. 🙂

cpmain

Does anyone ever forget their first kdrama. The one you loved so much you were willing to lose sleep, neglect your obligations, and break your own rule of talking to yourself by directing your frustrated comments at the screen?  It took me a while to think about it and I realized my favorite dramas have become my staple ones – those I use as a standard to gauge the caliber of present and future dramas. Longevity for dramas means they stay good no matter how many times I want to re-watch. Classic Kdramas have that quality which makes them the most satisfying to watch. The kind of contentment you only get when it fills every corner of your heart. I don’t know if anyone believes in serendipity, but just when I was trying to finish up my year end review and wrote that line, something coincidental happened. It sort of freaked me out cuz the weird thing is I rarely turn on my TV cuz everything is in Korean. It’s mostly cuz my stupid brain doesn’t know when to stop so even watching commercials drives me crazy cuz I find myself translating everything. So imagine my surprise when I was flipping channels and came across a few on cable that plays old dramas. I got to watch Coffee Prince and Kim Sam Soon through fresh eyes with an outlook that is a little jaded from viewing some bad dramas since those aired. If you compare the dramas from even five years ago to today, the biggest difference you will note is the speed. Back then they took their time with the story and didn’t rush it. They added quiet little moments and touches of simplicity done the right way. The charm was in the details. These days the plot has to move quickly or the audience might flip channels or in most cases – abuse the fast forward button. Watching those old shows got me thinking about what makes a great drama or a memorable character. I think the answer lies in the actor.  You have to love the character so much you are willing to sacrifice a little of yourself. It’s just too bad not that many actors are willing to go that extra step nowadays. For those who do, we are eternally grateful.

kids

I’m a strong believer of actors peaking too soon. You know what I mean right?  When they get the role of their lives that put them on the path to a brighter acting future. The ones they can’t live down cuz they did such a great job so others keep expecting that same level of outstanding performance. It’s like that one shining role defines their work for years to come. Perfect examples of that off the top of my head are Gong Yoo and YEH in Coffee Prince, Kim Sun Ah for MNIKSS (the way she gained weight, the way she walked, talked, and behaved – she became Samsoon heart and soul), Hyun Bin from Secret Garden, SJK from SKKS, and our favorite couple from OB to name just a few. Sure others have achieved that same greatness many times in a row, but there are very few cases of that. Kim Soo Hyun is one of them. When he was younger, he took on cameos for the child parts and did so well, he became more famous than the actors playing the grown characters. He should be nicknamed the “thunder stealer” cuz once he steps out of view, that character shines a little less bright. He’s like one of those consummate actors who are consistently good by choosing the right role that can showcase their talent or they take a small role and make it be the only thing people remember. Aside from KSH, the only other name I can think of that fits that bill is JW. He did his best work for Gakistal, but he put more of himself into Tae Hee.  I would categorize SJK as one too cuz I heard he was great in Nice Guy. Before that, I only remember how chillingly spellbinding he was in that scene in the woods when he played the king in Tree with deep roots. As for LMH’s breakout role, I would agree with most and say he dipped his toes in showing off potential with BOF cuz he was about the only good thing about that show, but City hunter and Faith put him on the right path to becoming a more serious actor. If he could tackle more challenging roles like SJK’s Nice Guy then he will definitely be in the running.

four

Based on the dramas and scene clips I watched this year, I would have to choose these as the break out stars to keep an eye out for cuz their time in the limelight is just one role away. Lee Sang Yeob from ILICDD and Nice Guy, Kim Yoo Jung and Yeo Jin Gu from MTETS, Jo Jeong Suk from K2H, Kim Sae Ron and Kang Chan Hee from Heaven’s Garden (he had a cameo on TTBY and Nice Guy as well). I didn’t watch Equator Man but I saw enough scenes from it and watched all of TTBY to know that Lee Hyun Woo is someone his peers need to consider as stiff competition cuz he can do both comedy and dramatic really well. Then there is Kim Woo Bin who can brood like nobody’s business. Problem is he needs to stick around in a drama and be the lead and stop taking on smaller roles and cameos. His talent deserves better than that. Who are your picks for the breakout stars of 2012?

An overview of Kdramas from 2012:

Why do these reviews feel like some kind of report card for the year. If the dramas could, I bet some would beg for us to grade on a curve by citing excuses like they had no choice but to lean heavily on the use of artistic license for so and so’s character to go off the deep end. Good thing I am not a harsh grader. Probably due to the fact that I am not a drama expert by any sense of the word. Mostly cuz I haven’t watched enough and don’t care to remember anyone’s names either real or fictional. That’s why I feel pigeonholed using the phrase “2012 Kdrama review” and wasn’t too sure if I would ever post this. Considering the fact that my blog is not one of those constant sources of info about kdramas and entertainers, I thought I should have at least one or two posts each year that are not “live recap” related. I’m not here to convince you or dissuade you from watching any of these shows so please don’t expect to read something that dissects what the whole show was about. I apologize in advance if I wrote anything negative about a show you love cuz I know how that feels, but I wanted to be honest about my opinions so please keep that in mind. In my humble opinion, the following shows made 2012 a great year in Kdramas.

ilicdd

A cut above the rest. I Live in Cheongdam-dong: Bet some of you didn’t see this coming, but this is my pick for the best drama of 2012. I know – I’m just as shocked as you. I certainly didn’t set out to fall in love with a 170 episode cable sitcom, but there you have it. No matter what I tell myself, it comes back to this drama and my love for it will not wane. If I had the option to hand pick everything I wanted in an ideal drama, this one is overflowing with each and every requirement. It’s not just that you get some of life’s greatest lessons packed into 20 mins or so of each episode that culminates to you declaring your love for this sitcom from the highest rooftop you know (like your own blog), it’s more about how a great show can make you see your own life and the world around you differently. With eyes that are less jaded and more optimistic and hopeful. There is no price for that and investing 170 episodes worth of your time seems painless in the long run with the reward you feel in every fiber of your being in the end. I’m telling you – when people write about meaningful shows that changed their lives, this was their go-to source for inspiration. Certain episodes make you pause and take a moment to see who you have become and check to see how much you like what you see reflected back and let me tell you, sometimes that silent answer is too deafening for words. It’s like this show has the power to point a moral compass mirror in your face and dare you to look.  As long as you have the courage to look and admit what you lack, there is hope for change. For all those moments of eye opening awareness alone, I owe this sitcom a heap of gratitude for some newly discovered parts of my humanity.

[JTBC] 청담동 살아요.E125.120530.HDTV.H264.450p-Khai.avi_001768101

This is a perfect example of what I mean. You don’t just see the love in his eyes, you actually feel it. When you can feel the love in his heart through a screen, that’s when you know you are watching the best any drama can offer.

awc5

A Wife’s Credentials: Years from now I will recall certain scenes and I bet it will make me break down in tears again. Emotionally this drama is draining, but on the flip side, you are uplifted by the humanity interwoven in the love story. This drama shattered my provincial views on adultery and opened my heart to seeing how sometimes love just comes along and there is no need to qualify a relationship or give it a title. I used to wonder why it was called “A Wife’s Credentials” until I realized it might be a misnomer. It’s not just her role as a wife and mother that gives her the right to seek out the happiness she deserved. It was simply because she was a woman first and foremost. Despite her actions, she had every right to call herself a good mother and a decent human being. As you watch her go through her struggles, you find yourself cheering her on, only to realize later you are rooting for an affair. These two lead characters followed their hearts and paid a high price for their happiness by breaking some of their loved ones’ trusts along the way. What kept them morally upright was the mere fact that they had the kind of love that would compensate for the pain they caused and make up for it with their undying devotion to each other for the rest of their lives. This wasn’t an impulse affair that could easily bow out due to hardships or roadblocks, but a love that would transcend even both of their expectations that went beyond their ken. As a viewer transfixed on what would become of them, it was hard for us to look away. This was one drama that gives back as much as it shares with us. If any show could have the power of leaving us feeling like a better person for having watched it, this was it. That is why I placed this on my top two favorite of 2012.

moon

The Moon That Embraces The Sun: This was one of those epic love stories that just sweeps you away and your feet have a hard time reaching the ground for a long time. It had everything a great drama needed and more. I can’t even think of anything it lacked and only wish they had followed the book a little more. Those quiet moments in their childhood when their love began to blossom deserved more time in the limelight. As I watch this show garner more awards, I realize a lot of us were caught up by this drama to the extent that we couldn’t see any faults with it at the time. A few months ago before I saw many more great dramas after it, I would have sworn this was my top 3 favorite of 2012, but now I’m not so sure. Does it mean that it hasn’t lasted the test of time or does that only count after years have passed? One thing is for sure and I believe this very strongly – KSH deserved to win every award he got for his role as a king in love. Some of his scenes still haunt me, not just for his convincing acting, but more so cuz of how I feel watching him play Hwon. He really embraced that character and became Hwon in attitude and tone. It’s not fair to the show itself, but now I can’t help but feel this drama was out shadowed by its lead actor.  That’s what happens when you have greatness thrust upon you and you just run away with it by nailing every scene.

qihmbts

Queen In Hyun’s Man: There is a term for shows like this – sleeper hits. You have no idea what you are getting into by starting it, but by the end, all you want is more. I have no issues with the ending cuz everything that came before it already made up for any faults it could possibly have. Most of the time it felt like watching one long date that was headed towards a solid lasting relationship. These two leads blurred the lines of reality and confused what you saw on the screen with what was happening in real life. It got to a point where I didn’t know where the drama ended and reality began. That’s what you call sizzling chemistry and these two crackled and popped till the very end. I took the entire plot with a grain of salt to begin with so I had no qualms whatsoever with how they took liberties to tie up the loose ends at the finale. As long as it remains a drama I will relish the thought of viewing again, what is there to quibble about?

arangmn

Arang and the Magistrate: I love this drama like crazy. I couldn’t get enough of it and looked forward to each and every episode. The story of Arang and her Sato had that perfect blend of romance, mystery, and suspense to draw in any viewer. I fell so hard for these characters and their plight and could relive every moment with them, but one problem is holding me back. I’m too chicken to ever watch this drama again. More than likely I wont be able to buy the DVD for it either cuz the thought of staring at that scary woman’s face on my bookshelf gives me chills all over again. I lost track of how many heart attacks I got translating this late at night. Every little sound would make me jump out of my skin from fright and all that spooky music and cackling laughter didn’t help my poor nerves. Despite all that, someday soon I am going to muster up the courage to watch this again, but during the day when it’s sunny and with other people around for company. Under those conditions, who knows I might just make it through an episode without biting my nails. Totally skipping the scenes in the cave though cuz no amount of sunlight is going to help me get through those spine-tingling moments again.

kgak

Bridal Mask/Gaksital: {Spoiler alert – dont read if you havent watched yet} On one of my recaps for SKKS, I wrote an introduction about how much I appreciated that drama for bringing me closer to my heritage, but now I am going to have to amend that to include this show. To be perfectly honest, before it aired, I dreaded recapping this. If it wasn’t for JW, I would have never watched or recapped this show. I was so mad at JW for choosing to do this cuz he was leaving me no choice whatsoever. Pretty much, his dimples were tying my hands. There was nothing about Gaksital that appealed to me at all – the time period, the costumes, the premise, the fictional character of Gaksital, and the other actors – I would have avoided all of that if anyone other than JW was starring in it.  Soon after it began, I complained to my friends that I wanted to watch Big instead. Then one day I realized something shocking. I was actually enjoying it. I found myself genuinely caring about what happens to Gaksital and all those other characters.  What pushed me over from a regular fan to die hard was that scene in the woods when Gaksital was chasing down the trucks with the comfort women. I swear I cried buckets that night as I watched that girl’s grandma crying and waving as her granddaughter left for what she thought was a better future. The realization that her truck was never stopped and that someone like her went on to become a statistic in history just broke my heart in so many pieces I needed a moment to pull myself together. Then in that finale scene when Gaksital marched with all the other Koreans in the rain for a demonstration they knew could end their lives, I got so choked up and it never really cleared. I kept thinking about how, even if he survived that march, he would end up living as shadow of his former self cuz he lost everyone who mattered to him. It makes you wonder. No matter how great the cause, is it enough to sustain a grieving man’s will to live. My heart still feels full with everything I witnessed in this drama. I can’t believe it took a fictional character like this and his bravery to make me open my eyes to the tragic history Korea had to endure to be where it is today. So it turns out Gaksital was just one more reason why I should be praising JW’s great choices in projects. I will never doubt you again.

rt

Rooftop Prince: I still get goose bumps from this show cuz I loved it so much I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming.  While it was airing, I actually tracked down that rooftop home on the hill just to see if the view was as great in real life. It’s sort of like the drama itself – what you see is what you got. What you took away from it was what you invested in the characters. This is one of those dramas that you look back on after you get some perspective and realize it dazzles a little less than you originally thought, but once you watch it again, that initial sparkle comes back to life once more.  It was the first of the time traveling dramas to air and for a good while it was the best, but then two others followed in its wake and made me reassess my original opinion that this was the best of the bunch. For comedy, it beats out the other two, Faith and QIHM, hands down. As far as which one tops the others, every individual will have to decide that for themselves.

faith

Faith/The Great Doctor: There isn’t enough room on this post to explain why I love this drama so much. It grabbed my full attention from the first episode and it was full speed ahead. I just got caught up in the story and the characters and never slowed down till the last scene. The experience of it took my breath away cuz I felt like I was caught in a whirlwind of fun and only allowed to slow down at the end. After the dust settled, I looked at it more carefully and should have been able to see the faults others see, but I just can’t. I like my dramas to go to places where I can’t imagine what will happen next. That’s the fun part and this drama did that. I refuse to backstab a show that was so entertaining and turn around weeks later saying something contrary. It’s not only unfair to the spirit and intent of the drama, but it’s something I won’t do in real life as well. There is one sad truth about it that I want to share. Turns out when you recap a drama live and have so many fans cheering you on, it enhances the enjoyment of the whole drama experience. Once the drama ends, you lose that. But as a testament to how good a show it was, I was watching it again these days on cable and realized I was right from the start. It’s still just as fun and engaging.

big

Big: I adored this little drama. It was like a cute giant teddy bear you wanted to squeeze like crazy every chance you got. The story tugged at the heartstrings just the right amount and kept you laughing with hilarious antics. It was honest when it mattered with just a tinge of melancholy mixed in when necessary. It never took itself too seriously and just as you would expect from a Hong sisters drama, you walked away feeling better for the experience of having watched it. Most importantly, it reinforced what I knew all along – that Gong Yoo is aging very well. I would watch this all over again in a heartbeat. It’s like this, I don’t need my presents wrapped up in neat tidy bows and I certainly don’t need my dramas to cross every “t” and dot every “i” cuz sometimes it’s better to fill in what’s missing with our imaginations. The Hong sisters trusted us to do that and I for one listened.

sufbb

Shut Up Flower Boy Band: Oh boy. This was one cable drama I didn’t see coming. I ended up joining the party late in the game, but once I got there and enjoyed every minute, I was cheering and rooting for the lead couple all the way. I am a huge fan of loyalty and self sacrifice for the sake of others and this drama had that in spades. It not only made you appreciate how a great band struggles to get their music out there, but you also learn about the sacrifices they must make to maintain their integrity for their music and each other. Every episode you watch repays you with a great story, moving dialogue, and kick a*& music. You will never look at a struggling rock band the same way ever again.

k2h

King 2Hearts: This is a perfect case of not being able to drink the Kool-Aid cuz it just wouldn’t go down smoothly. Trust me – I genuinely tried and really wanted to, but the plot had holes so big I could fit my hand through them. Every once in a while a drama comes along that the rest of the kdrama world loves and adores and I am left on the sidelines wondering why all the fuss. I love Seung Gi more than anyone, but I just didn’t see why everyone saw them as the perfect onscreen couple. Yes they had their moments of chemistry, but what two leads can’t in those same situations. I perpetually saw HJW as his noona and nothing I said could convince me otherwise. One thing I do agree with the masses about is this drama is worth watching. There are scenes with the king and his younger brother you just don’t want to miss. Plus the scenes with the princess and the man who loves her so adoringly need to be watched and savored for hopeless romantics to swoon over for years to come.

hgkids

Heaven’s Garden: This is the oddest drama ever. There are so many great scenes, original plot, and actors who are riveting, but the story moves like molasses. At first I was only able to download a few episodes and just got a taste of what was going on and was eager to watch the rest, but by the time I finally got the entire series downloaded, I had already moved on. It’s like a case of the writer being in the moment and churning out winning scenes, but lost the momentum and slowed everything down till he or she could get back into the groove again. Call it interspersal greatness if you will. At the time, I didn’t have the patience for that, but maybe years from now I will and go back and rewatch from the beginning to savor the experience properly.

ttbycast

To The Beautiful You: I remember liking this a lot more as I was watching, but now my feelings have changed. At first, I needed to watch this to balance out all the scary scenes from Arang so this drama was my saving grace those nights. I don’t need my dramas to be loud and obnoxious, but they need to make some noise. This one was too quiet. Everything was understated – the acting, the plot, the ending. The only thing it was “loud” about was how good looking the cast was – especially the leads. That adorable dog and the cameo by Kim Woo Bin was the added bonus. I never saw the other versions of this so I have nothing to compare, but I would call this harmless fun for the most part. Granted it did have certain moments where you question the writer’s sanity a bit, but other than that, for a drama with so many idol singers, it could have been far worse. Yes I mean Dream High 2.

fking

Fashion King: Don’t let their smiles fool you. I wish I had a lobotomy to wipe this drama from my memory. I almost didn’t write anything for this cuz I figured the less I say the better, but it turns out there are people who actually didn’t watch this yet. To those who enjoyed this drama, out of respect for you, I want to warn you not to read what I am about to write. For starters, I broke my own rule and went off the deep end after the finale and posted long rants on my blog on the side widgets. I felt such a betrayal when I learned that the last scene had been scripted from the start so they all knew exactly how and when this train wreck of a drama would derail. To think all that time, I trusted YAI and Lee Je Hoon’s acting chops enough to invest time in watching what was obviously a very poorly written drama – only to have my faith in their talents shattered. I truly believed if those two signed up for this, there just had to be nuggets of golden moments where I wouldn’t regret watching, but boy was I wrong. It’s a good thing Lee Je Hoon is in the army now so I have time to forgive him and forget about this. It’s sort of like he is doing penance for subjecting his fans to this crap. We all loved and admired him for his work on that war movie and Intro to architecture, but then he turned around and gave us this nightmare of a drama. At one point, I tried to justify the terrible acting and wondered if their characters were written like this so in a sense, they were doing a great job at their portrayals cuz they were making their characters so despicable. Then I snapped back to reality and thought if their acting was at least good, I could have tolerated the rest, but the quality of their work just wasn’t here at all. It’s like they didn’t like their own characters and just wanted to be done with this drama as well. The lesson I learned from all this was never solely trust the history of great acting and simply rely on what you see on the screen now. If it’s crap from the start, it’s not going to smell any better waiting for the drama to improve over time. If anything the stench will only increase, but by that time, I didn’t even have to hold my nose anymore cuz I had become immune to everything, but that finale just drove me over the edge. YAI is going to have to do at least three more great roles for me to give him a chance again cuz even now when I see his picture anywhere, I want to punch him. The only reason why I left his photo up on my side widget is cuz Thundie made me that when I began blogging and back then, foolish me vowed to never take MJS’s photo down. Besides YAI’s bad acting offended me in this drama, but the character of MJS is still innocent. Word of advice: if you’ve never seen this drama and want to remain a YAI or LJH fan, run for the hills and never look back.

Currently airing:

보고싶다.E02.121108.HDTV.XviD-Baros.avi_002530530

I Miss You: There is a Korean term used frequently these days on all the dramas about the push and pull of love and I feel like that’s what is happening with this drama and me. All the great looking characters and beautiful cinematography pulls me, but then the makjang storyline pushes me out again. It keeps happening for almost every episode. Does this mean I will have fallen head over heels in love by the end? I sort of hope not cuz I don’t want this drama to end up being one of my favorites later. Mostly cuz I don’t relish the thought of having to re-watch any of those previous sad scenes ever again. This drama does make you think thought about what you would do in Jung Woo’s place. If you ask me, missing someone should have a limit. Just like hate – you only hate for a short time then let it go. Don’t let it fester and consume you or take up residence in your heart. Sometimes emotions like longing or even hatred fill a space of emptiness, but still leave gaping holes where a part of your soul feels missing. Guess there is a reason why writers talk about an empty hole in people’s hearts so often. This title fits the drama perfectly cuz it applies to all the characters, but you have to wonder when he stopped missing just her cuz now it’s the idea of her mixed in with his guilt. I used to replay a mental message to Jung Woo while I was watching him cry. I wanted to tell him: Forgive yourself for the mistake 14 yr old Jung Woo made cuz he was just a scared kid in a difficult situation and shouldn’t be held accountable for his actions. Grown up Jung Woo deserves better cuz he has repented and made amends to her mother and family over the years since then. You’ve earned your forgiveness so you don’t need to grovel for hers.

alice

Alice in Cheongdam-dong: Who knew throwing soy sauce on someone could get my enthusiasm for this drama rolling, but that’s what kick started my love for Seung Jo. I am 100% on his side now and will continue to watch to see just how many pieces Se Kyung’s plan will break his heart. I am hoping sooner or later he realizes her love for him was genuine, before it was glossed over with her greed for wealth and prestige.  Maybe that grain of truth will ease his heartache somewhat. It makes you wonder though. If a love started out unblemished and pure, just how tarnished can it get with the truth of her seeking a lavish lifestyle? Will it take losing that love for her to realize wealth has no place to reside in an empty heart? Even when she is this close to achieving her objective, she is hit with a wave of self doubt by questioning her actions and goes through a crisis of conscience – how genius is that. I’ve always been a sucker for fairytales and this one came around just about the same time as one of the best from last year – Secret Garden. Coincidence? Maybe. Fortuitous? You bet. Made this holiday more merry for everyone.

schoolcast

School 2013: I always wondered what it would be like to attend school in Korea and with this show, now I know. I would have been in sheer H-E-double hockey sticks. Thank goodness I got my education in the States. I want to kick out that principal cuz she is the worst administrator ever. Instead of placing importance on the kids and their education, she cares more about the school image and its reputation. You have to have students to exist so why just cater to their parents and step on the needs of the kids. I love that old gym teacher. He is the coolest guy ever. With every new episode, I find myself fascinated by the fact that I am into this drama heart and soul. From the first moment it made me cry, I knew I was a goner. I never dreamed I would care what happens to a group of high school kids this much, but I am rooting for them to all graduate to the next grade. It’s like other stories about underdogs, but told much better than you expect from a show like this. I think I fell for this drama mostly cuz of the two boys. I am a huge fan of bromance. Watching how Nam Soon jumps through hoops to get back into Heung Soo’s good graces just breaks my heart. What’s even more telling is how much Heung Soo is trying to keep him at bay, but that old lingering feeling of wanting to be friends again just tugs on his conscience. Every kind act by Nam Soon just chips away at the wall Heung Soo built around him to protect himself from letting Nam Soon inflict further pain. Judging from how it ended recently, I would say that wall is going to crumble down soon and I can’t wait to see how that unfolds.

kod

King of Dramas: For starters, I never once planned to watch this drama cuz I don’t care for any of the leads or the story. But I found out the actress from “I Live in Cheongdamdong” is in it so I jumped in at E3 and decided to kill one bird with two stones cuz I heard that was the episode Si Won came out. (I read about how Si Won flashed his abs in this episode so I thought if the comedy during that scene doesn’t grab my attention then nothing will.) That idea sort of backfired cuz I had no idea what I was getting myself into since I never saw any of his dramas before. For starters, in his opening scene during his fan concert, am I the only one who thought he sang “You wake me up” at the start of the song instead of “You raise me up?” That’s when frown number one formed. Then halfway into the show I had to fight off sudden drowsiness cuz Anthony has this droning voice like one of my professors that just puts me to sleep faster than I can say the drama title. The hardest to overlook is Anthony wearing more eyeliner and lip gloss than Si Won. The other thing is whoever his stylist is for this drama watched too much BOF cuz she thinks having a grown man wear fur trims on his coat makes him look dashing, but only someone like LMH could have pulled that look off and he barely managed to with his young good looking face. Safe to say, I am not invested enough to watch every episode. The two leads just don’t do anything for me. I can’t root for characters I don’t feel invested in and so far I only like that guy who is in charge of the broadcasting company. He is the only ethical “high up” person and I like how he thinks and works. I think some of the earlier obstacles the characters faced getting their drama on the air made me roll my eyes too much so now there is no way to go back from that. Damage is done and initial impression of KOD is not looking any better now that ratings have picked up. *wow I was a bit harsh huh? I wrote this a while back so take it with a grain of salt.  I do like the drama a little better now, but I can’t say I still like Anthony or the actor playing him any better. He still looks too old for her and I don’t get romantic vibes from them at all. On nights this airs, I always watch School first and then download this one for later.

jeonwc

Jeon Woo-chi: If I got bored enough, I was going to check this out, but I got caught up on my BBC and American dramas and totally forgot. If it hasn’t happened yet, I doubt it ever will. Totally cheering on CTH and Uee to do well though in the ratings cuz knowing how hard they work, they deserve the honor.

Will get around to watching one day:

Answer Me 1997: read and heard great things about this so I tried one random episode and realized I might need subs for this cuz their dialect is really hard to understand – even more than Joseon talk.

Nice Guy: I love and adore Song Joong Ki, but the makjang was just too much for me to swallow. I need time to forget the premise so I can dive in and maybe keep my head above water so I don’t drown in melo. My mistake the first time was not knowing what to expect and just kept my eyes focused on SJK. Even though he is handsome, that is no way to watch a drama.

Tried, but couldn’t finish for whatever the reason:

Gentlemen’s Dignity: I am a huge Secret Garden fan so same writer and the fact that it was Jang Dong Gun’s comeback to dramaland meant I was going to watch at least the first episode. I should have known a story revolving around four grown men who sort of act like high school boys wouldn’t appeal to me no matter how many more chances I gave it. It just got too depressing to watch cuz I couldn’t get past the wrinkles – counting them, comparing which one has more, which guy looked older, wondering whose bright idea this was to cast these four together, fast forwarding to Kim Woo Bin’s scenes only, etc so after a while, I just stopped. The more I watched the more my crush on JDG faded away. Now there is nothing left so it turns out you can outgrow a crush. You just have to wait till he comes out in a mediocre role that does nothing to improve his career cuz he could have phoned in his performance and it wouldn’t have mattered. Ok that was a bit harsh, but not sure if it was uncalled for. I guess I was holding onto a bit of a grudge. This is the writer for Secret Garden and JDG, a very solid actor –you would think the combination of those two would bring about drama magic. Maybe I should point my accusatory fingers elsewhere like most of the female characters I disliked – with the exception of that wealthy woman cuz some of her scenes were pretty good. I don’t know when, where, or how this drama fell apart for me, but it was early on and walking away from it made sense at the time. Life is too short to be so frustrated over a drama for an hour.

I Do I Do: One day I just realized no matter how much I want Kim Sun Ah to be good in this, after a certain point you need to wave that white flag and admit it’s never going to happen. The story was shallow to begin with and it pretty much stayed that way and no amount of wishing it would get better was going to change that. Going to chalk this up to her maybe wanting to wear great looking shoes so much she agreed to do this drama for a replica of that shoe closet to take home for her own. That would be my only incentive to play this character.

I love Lee Tae Ri: I heard great things about it so I checked it out and then realized it would never make any difference if I stopped watching so I did.

May Queen: I managed to watch some earlier childhood episodes while fighting off sleep and boredom and just knew I would never make it to the episodes with the cast grown up. I blame the whole shipping story line cuz nothing puts you to sleep faster than staring at a scene overlooking a busy harbor repeatedly on every episode.

Wild Romance: I love LDW so I really tried, but his crazy hair and her unruly mop of a hairstyle just made me pull mine to look like theirs.

A drama that made me realize I need to play more puzzle games to improve my memory cuz I nearly forgot to mention it:

K-Pop: The Ultimate Audition: I almost forgot about this little cable drama until I realized why. They ended abruptly cuz of low ratings. Not the best way to exit, but at least while it was on, some of us felt entertained and tuned in. Looking back on it, I have no idea why, but it may have been just the curiosity to watch how Micky’s little brother does in his own drama as the lead.  I think where the drama failed was cuz it took a premise that has been overdone and tried to turn it on its head, but all they did was make people dizzy cuz we felt like we were watching it upside down. Just the fact that I remembered watching it should count for something.

Never wanted to watch and highly unlikely I ever will:

Full House 2: The off beat fashion and nutty hairstyles proved to be too much of a turn off for me. If it’s good, you shouldnt have to sift through so much nonsense to get to it. I need the dramas to work hard to get my attention – not the other way around.

Dream High 2: more like “Nightmare High” cuz judging from some clips I saw, that was some terrible acting. Sort of hate they used the same name cuz it tarnished it.

No attempts to watch these: Take Care of Us, Captain, Light & Shadow, What’s Up, Padam Padam, History of the Salaryman, Dowager Queen Insoo, Color of Woman, Bachelor’s Vegetable Store, Love Rain, Feast of the Gods, I need romance 2012, Fermentation Family, The Equator Man, Dr. Jin, Ghost, Operation Proposal, Five Fingers, You Who Rolled In Unexpectedly, Haeundae Lovers, Standby, Vampire Idol, Oohlala Spouses, Horse Healer, Vampire Prosecutor 2, The Chaser, The Great Seer, My Daughter Seo Young, King’s dream, Rascal sons, My Love Madame Butterfly, Can We Get Married.

cake

In closing, I just wanted to add that my blog turned two on November 7th and I had this whole special post planned replete with more gorgeous cake pictures, but after Faith ended, I took a short break from recapping and time got away from me. I caught up on my neglected American and British dramas and didn’t go anywhere near a Korean drama for weeks. It’s been so long since I watched shows without translating so I must admit, I ended up stepping back from Kdramas for longer than I intended. What brought me right back was a Kdrama that kicked my emotions around and left me reeling just from its first impression alone. That was around the time 170 episodes of “I Live in Cheongdam-dong” floored me so much I had a hard time getting back up. It was just the jump start I needed to realize just how much I loved recapping. The whole time I kept wanting to post and share ideas I had about the episodes.

jwsm

Even though I didn’t celebrate with an actual cake and candles, that didn’t stop me from making a mental wish and it happened to be JW related. In one of his past interviews, he mentioned making an album on his list of agendas so I hope that gets moved up sometime soon. Either that or he sings one or two song on the OST for his new drama. More than that, I want him to film one of those travelogues. So far I watched Kim Bum traveling solo in London and SJK traveling through Australia and Japan alone. Kim Bum’s trip was sort of dull cuz he just doesn’t have that skill for charming the camera and felt more like a fashion show cuz he kept changing outfits, but SJK’s trips were amazing – especially his trip to Japan.  A small film crew follows them as they narrate about their lives, thoughts, experiences, but more importantly they share some very personal stories about their families, past loves, and friends. The whole show feels like an intimate trip with someone you just met and you grow closer as the trip progresses. I would literally kill to see JW film one of those cuz I bet he would open up a lot more than he should and probably giggle about it as the last scene fades out. I say he should travel through Europe or go backpacking cuz he seems more outdoorsy. I would watch that show in a new York minute and translate every word. I wonder how many candles on the cake I need to blow out to make that happen.

pnkck

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Extra.

39 comments on “Rediscovering The Beauty In Kdramas

  1. nonski says:

    yay! it’s up… i’ve been waiting for these. 🙂 off to read tho i already read the first paragraph before i realized, hmmm i must be the first commenter. lols. 🙂 kudos for a job well done and thank you again!

    Like

    • nonski says:

      ack! sorry it took me some time to get back… work. 

      this is what i love going back here Softy, i love to bits all your thoughts on a drama, even if at times, i don’t like that drama. Yours is not the usual review that dissects the technicalities of a drama or dwells on how good or bad are the merits of a drama. Reading through, you shared your feelings about the drama and that makes reading the review more fun. I love that you never did lash out on a drama for being bad but cuz if it is I don’t think I will be able to hold on my rants on a bad drama, lols, something like Fashion King. Hahaha.

      The journey that is OB, although it was last year, brought us a gem called Joo Won and like you, I believe it’s his most awesome performance still. Maybe it was due to the fact that we had so much bonding because of him. Or maybe because weekly we anticipated each and every episode and he delivered the goods. Never had an episode disappointed me. Maybe it was because of Joo Won or Uee or the other casts but one thing for sure, more than the wonderful story, they made the show so much more meaningful. And in line with your thoughts about the actor putting so much on a drama, the feelings extended to us.

      2012 has brought a diverse set of dramas and had me sleepless nights watching them live. I envy you so much for having watched ILICDD. I had been trying to download torrents but no one seems to be seeding it now.  Someday I would really wish to be able to read your recaps on ILICDD. I also started on AWC and liked it too but wasn’t able to finish. It got overshadowed by other dramas and I had issues with the lead’s relationship. I might be able to get back to it someday if I had the time.

      This year gave me some of my favorite dramas, that is, TMETS, Rooftop, Arang, Gaksital, SUFBB and Nice Guy. TMETS, I watched because of KSH but I got more. Really, really love the drama. You’re right. KSH owned the drama. He is much bigger than TMETS. I cannot get over Rooftop till now. I still go over the drama from time to time. Lols, Arang still scares me when I see mom.

      But here’s my most fave… Gaksital, SUFBB and Nice Guy. I don’t know if I would have appreciated the drama less if not due to your blog. Makes me appreciate the drama more. I am not very fond of action dramas but Gaksital is just different. The drama just hits you right here… on the spot… on the heart. I can’t explain but Gaksital will always have a special place in my heart. SUFBB and NG also made its mark on me and love them very much. SUFBB is so full of pretty, rocking OST and great acting which you wouldn’t expect from idols. On another note, Nice Guy did not appeal to me initially but after 2-3 episodes, I was a hopeless case. I really recommend you’d be able to see NG. I also hoped you’d like KOD.

      Sorry my comment got too long.  Thanks again for the awesome reviews.

      Like

      • Softy says:

        Never apologize for long comment posts – I love them.
        Hope you change your mind and finish AWC and hopefully be able to seed ILICDD cuz you are going to need the videos when I recap it. I probably won’t go so crazy on the screencaps for those cuz the words are more important. It’s some of the best drama writing out there. It lacks what all the hits dramas of 2012 had – there is no makjang stuff and hardly any melo. It doesn’t create drama out of thin air. It just elevates sincerity and integrity to a new high. Just talking about it makes me want to watch it again.
        P.S. I forgot to reply to your other comment, but don’t worry about mailing off that box. There really is no need to go through that trouble. It’s the thought that counts. With that said, if you really want to, you can wait till my bday in august or next Xmas to mail it. 🙂

        Like

        • nonski says:

          awww softy now i’m dying to watch ILICDD. just one person opening their downloaded torrent of ILICDD would be enough, and i hope there is still one around. 🙂

          lols, your bday is still so far away. it’s here just waiting to go to the post office. i hope you’ll like the contents.

          forgot to mention Alice… i love it. i am not really a fan of PSH but this drama is just him. he is owning it.

          Like

    • nonski says:

      loved the cake images! 🙂

      Like

  2. wanzhaf says:

    Why do i still came here when i didnt watch some of the drama that Softy recap? Its because Softy is the best recaper in town 🙂 and i value her POV. Kudos to you Softy for the well done review. I was smiling reading this and might be tempted to watch some of it when time permits, especially AICD, after MY end. And hope its not too late to wish you Happy New Year, and may our interest of 2013 drama be the same so that i camp here like before 🙂 . All the best

    Like

    • Softy says:

      Happy new year to you too – it seems like ages ago since we met on SKKS. The only dramas I am currently planning to recap is FB Next door, JW’s new one, and LSG and Suzy in March so I hope our interests match up with one of those. 🙂

      Like

  3. chokichoki says:

    Love love love what you wrote! Here’s my two cents:

    I’m with you on K2H. I was so excited to watch LSG back on screen but that was just bland. I lost interest after ep. 3 and I didn’t even bother reading through the recaps. What a waste of talent. His performance was good but everything else was a turn-off.

    As for Arang, I love it to death! Many said Arang’s character mellowed down and lost her sparks but I’d say that’s human. And it just fits well with the whole story. Too bad it didn’t get as much recognition. So….Anyone knows how to get the original DVD??

    School 2013 is my new fav now. It’s fun to see how the characters are pitted against each other especially the two teachers. Are you planning to recap it anytime soon?

    Thanks Softy!

    Like

  4. Enz says:

    Thanks softy.. I really enjoyed the write up. You write a lot from your heart and it always touches a nerve.. The same nerve that feeds my lacrimal glands and I never fail to tear up. It’s my special gift along with sleeping in any position and any time or place.

    I thought the standout actors this year, from the few dramas I have seen, are Jo jeun sok ( I never completed K2H but he was just perfect in that role and then I saw him in architecture 101 and he was great there too), song joong ki ( in nice guy and then I watched pitch perfect and really enjoyed his performance there too)- I loved how he lowered his voice for nice guy.. Gorgeous voice. I think lee je hoon is outstanding too.

    Like you, I watched SUFBB late, as in the last few days of 2012! It turned out to be my favourite. It’s so good to be able to watch a drama and not have to suspend disbelief or roll eyes at the storyline or characters’ motivation or choices and just be carried emotionally with the drama and enjoy a great coming of age story about friendship, young love and personal growth through dilemmas faced and choices made.

    I enjoyed quite a few dramas this year but none except SUFBB felt really whole for me.

    Oh, I didn’t watch TTBY but I watched the return if iljimae and lee hyun woo was in it. I remember then thinking this kid can really act.

    I am not so sure that joo won’s personality would lend itself to making a good travelogue with just him. I think he is too shy for it. Song joong ki is very natural in any situation and I can imagine that he would be able to make really interesting travel documentaries.

    Btw, if you read this, how can I find that travelogue with SJK please? I would LOVE to watch it

    Sorry this is so long. Thanks for the post. And for the year that was. Looking forward to 2013 dramas now 🙂

    Like

    • Softy says:

      So sorrry, but I have no idea where you can watch it. I caught a repeat of it on cable. Probably won’t be able to find any torrents for something like that.
      Even if JW is shy, I think he would talk enough and share his thoughts. The most important thing is we would get to see him as he is without the support of the other hyungs – away from the sets – away from the comfort of home – being in that vulnerable state, I bet we get who he is as a person and not the actor or performer. Even if he turns out to be dull, I rather find out in a setting like that. Something tells me he could turn out to be more interesting than we thought.

      Like

      • Enz says:

        I hope I didn’t come across as implying that joo won would not be interesting or have nothing to say. From 2d1n, it does seem to me that he is shy and always mindful of what he says so as not to offend anyone etc. if that is the case, I think he would find it difficult, at least initially, to open up to folks he meets during the travels and to the camera too.

        I remember watching an interview with ewan mcgregor as he had travelled the world with his bike and his best friend and they made a travel documentary of it and he talks about how hard it is to speak to the camera like that. And not be an actor.

        In any case, I hope your wish will come true 🙂

        Like

        • Softy says:

          No worries. I didn’t think you were implying that and I agree with you that his personality might not be suited to be on camera alone, but it would still be fun to see him break out of his comfort zone. I noticed that only really popular actors get to film those so that was one other reason I wanted him to make one. It would mean that he is a huge star. Even though he gained a lot of popularity, he still isn’t someone like Micky, LSG, SJK or LMH cuz any one of them could cuz a stampede at an airport but JW still just travels with his managers and no bodyguards.
          I saw some clips of those documentaries Ewan made with his motorcycle friend. He was on Leno talking about it. He looked so tired and yet so alive – like he was truly enjoying life.
          That wish might not come true, but I sure hope he makes an album. I miss him singing.

          Like

  5. Enz says:

    Oh and sung joon was pitch perfect too in SUFBB. :). So he is another I am watching dramas for and will try to watch can we get married for him and for the director (who did que sera sera 2007 which I love)

    Like

  6. SS says:

    AWESOME, Softy! http://i1144.photobucket.com/albums/o486/thousandwords5/GIF/02_zpsb91b985d.gif

    Thank you, Softy, what a wonderful piece.And of course, I love your wish, may it come soon 🙂

    Got more of these uber cute Joo Won gifs from naver blog (post on soompi by coolreborn)

    Like

    • Softy says:

      Ooooh I love the last two the most. Thanks so much for sharing.
      It’s finally time fo his drama to start in a few weeks. I keep thinking this one might be his easiest role to date. He won’t have to yell and cry so much like the other 3 dramas. Plus this will be more romantic comedy with very little angst. Part of me is so glad he decided to take on a less challenging role, but the other half is scared this one will end up being everyone’s least fav character out of his 4 dramas and people will say he is coasting on his fame. I can’t wait for the press conference to find out what his reasons were for choosing this role and what he thinks of his character. Knowing him he will put in 100% effort, but will anyone be able to tell. Keeping my fingers crossed. 🙂

      Like

  7. nina says:

    I actually think you write the best year end review! Thanks for posting this, such a pleasure reading it! I immediately wanted to watch ILICD right after I finished reading it, but there’s no sub… NOOOOOO!
    But… How I wish you would love king of dramassssss! Anthonyyyyy Kim turns out to be one of my fav character and the drama, one of my fav! 😛

    Like

    • Softy says:

      So sorry about KOD, but I love that my readers understand when I don’t go crazy for the same dramas as them. I really did try to love it cuz the lead from ILICDD is in it playing that actress, but the drama just doesn’t get to me like School and Alice ICD does.
      Trust me if ILICDD wasn’t 170eps I would have already finished translating by now, but it’s over 82gigs – that’s like the size of 3 or 4 dramas between 16-20eps each. Don’t fear cuz there is a condensed recap of it coming in parts – like maybe 10 to 20 eps at a time or something. It’s just too good to overlook. 🙂

      Like

  8. Anonymous says:

    Thanks so much for this Softy, i’ve been looking for something new to watch. You helped me alot in deciding. I think i’ll start with king2hearts and i’m also thinking about i miss you…the only thing is, im scared it’s going to be too depressing and sad for me.

    One drama i am watching atm is jeon woo chi, i really hope you do decide to watch it. It’s really good. It does start off a little slow in the first few episodes (imo) but it’s worth it watching.

    Like

    • Softy says:

      Glad I could help you in selecting your next drama to watch.
      jeon woo chi has CTH and Uee on it so trust me, I will end up catching it on reruns on tv one of these days. 🙂

      Like

  9. `Eun says:

    Very well said. 🙂

    Like

  10. ck1Oz says:

    Happy New Year softy. Hope this year started out right and you have lots of sleep, less crying and safe taxi rides home 🙂
    Sorry I haven’t been coming as much it’s getting too late for live streaming and am too old to stay up till 3-4am and then work.
    I have to say, was reading your closing paragraph and going ” aww… ” and up POPS a Joo Won photo. LOL.
    You summary for Gaksital was really touching. Me too, I had to be dragged screaming to that drama it was too gut wretching for me. Towards the end, I dreaded the episodes. Not that I didn’t love it and it wasn’t memorable. It was just a huge amount of destiny and sadness and fate. OMG.
    I would never ever volunteer to work on such a tragic story again, I don’t know how you could bear repeating the scenes again and again to translate it. It was torture rewatching it so many times editing it for viki.
    I finally downloaded ILICDD and will start it soon, it’s been pushed back because I still haven’t finished the last 5 episodes of NIce Guy.
    Reply Me 1997- The Super Busan Team has released subs softy and you would love it. I would say it was one of the hardest to translate not only because of the accents but because of the amount of referencing- you had to be Korean and lived in that time to get why it was important at that time I think.
    I think you should try it and not put it under the to do pile one day. Because it is well written, the cast has amazing chemistry and the lines, the lines are so clever. Plus a huge big plus, the songs are just absolutely perfect for the scenes. I would say though if you don’t get the Busan dialect do NOT use the Dramafever subs because it is insufficient. Somehow to my surprise Reply Me 1997 has entered into my top 5 drama list. It is that good. It reaffirms your faith in your childhood friends. Plus family, amazing family support.
    Sorry for the long post. Miss you and miss visiting your posts during live recaps.
    Have a great year with everything you wish for drama-wise. Your type of story, your casting bias and OTP choices. 🙂 Plus lots of good writing please.

    Like

    • Softy says:

      Happy new year to you too dear friend. 🙂

      Yes I noticed you’ve been busy these days and saw your comments here and on DB once in a while.
      Let me know when you start ILICDD so I can gush about it cuz the only person I could squeal over it was Joonni so far.
      I already promised Blue and Joonni I would watch Answer me, then I found out that Thundie is loving it too, so now with you saying great things about it, I have to watch it for sure. Most of my readers seem to love it as well so I made sure to download it early before there were no seeders so I am good to go.
      Looks like 2013 will have some great new stuff for us so I hope you can make time to drop by more often. 🙂

      Like

      • ck1Oz says:

        Soon. I am starting ILICDD soon but not marathoning like you 🙂 I need some sleep.
        My NY resolution was to spend less time on viki and more for real life. Discovered that I had downloaded 33 drama series for 2012. HORRORS, luckily I didn’t actually watch all of them.
        You planning to watch more dramas this year? Your review list was not very long 🙂

        Okay another reason for Reply Me 1997- I actually learnt a lot on Korean culture from this series, Plus the romantic in me absolutely fell in love with the song choices.
        Little moments in the episodes catches your heart. Don’t know whether it’s an incentive to watch or not… but if you have any night free- watch it, because I have a strong feeling it will touch your heart so much you would bawl. And from what I recall, when you cry you love it more 🙂 whichever episodes you recap. Hahaha.

        Like

  11. epyc says:

    I am so very pleased that your two top picks are exactly the same as my mine.

    ILICDD is head and shoulder above all others, to me. It is the best a drama could offer no matter which department you are after. Watching it is more than watching a drama or following a story – it is about reflecting on life with its beauty, warts and all. But, with doses of humor, optimism and conviction, this could be a world of hope. I will be forever grateful to the production team behind ILICDD for the magical journey that we are able to travel with the CDD clan. I am sure it will be a top favorite drama for a long, long time.

    AWC is a love story told in the most understated but heartfelt way. It is a shining example of how exquisite Kdrama can be.

    It really saddened me that both ILICDD and AWC are little known or mentioned among the international Kdrama fandom. So, a big thank you to you, Softy!

    Like

    • Softy says:

      Wow what a coincidence that we chose the same two dramas. I love what you wrote about them and couldn’t agree more. I truly believe if they’d aired on a major network and there had been subs for them, they would be popular world wide just like OB. Let’s hope we get more gems like those in 2013.

      Like

  12. conjie008 says:

    My thoughts on your reviews/recapping on the dramas. By all means, I didn’t get to watch all of those in your list and the once that you commented. I only read the ones I watched, so I skipped down-ward…but I’ll try and put some effort on to your recommendation of dramas. Some of the dramas, just doesn’t intrigue me much..unless a title catches my attention or some story line. In my point of view, a drama has to have a history, or some kind of compelling story line..which makes people curious. There’s that saying “curiosity kill a cat “…That writer has to have a vast of imagination to foresee the outcome of an ending, and still makes it interesting thru out the whole drama duration. I loved the way you commented on “Arang and the Magistrate “..I laugh so hard as I was reading it, my stomach ached. “Arang and the Magistrate “ it has its own charisma & simplicity to it. Each episode kept me on edged every time and the ending didn’t disappoint me at all..but they sorted themselves of rushing it. The Director / Camera & Writer did an outstanding job..still needs work on continuous focusing on angles (split-diopter is never used on side by side focus on any of the drama that I’ve seen). Most of the Cameraman needs to go back to school on focusing..
    “The Moon Embraces the Sun “, your comments was completely on the top of it. I fully agree on everything you said, I wasted ..I don’t know how many box of Kleenex..the jump on years was too much but I liked that ending.
    “Queen In Hyun Man “..what can I say…my left hemisphere brain was working overtime on this drama. It kept me imagining on different level of outcome. The ending made sense..overall, I wasn’t disappointed.
    “Nice Guy “…had my heart & full attention..every space of my brain was working overtime for a certain conclusion. I was so impress on their Acting/Image capability for manipulation..mind over matter.. my sense of IQ & imagination was intrigued by all of it.
    “Faith “, this drama engulf me in a whole different way, because I encounter different people that enjoyed watching the same drama that I liked. Fiction or Non-Fiction..history always wins me over, specially if it’s combined w/ great story line & cast. As an avid-filmed my scrutiny went out the door..because of pure entertainment mind / body. Thanks Softy for a Year Ending enjoyment recaps. Enjoy the gift..when you see Joonni

    Like

    • Softy says:

      Thanks conjie – looking forward to your gift when Joonni gets here. She is going to be so cold since she is coming from a state with warm weather. We get Alaskan temp here during the day even – it was like 9 degrees F. how all these drama people film outside in this weather amazes me. Just today my eyes were tearing up from the cold wind and my eyelashes froze together. It was so freaky. 🙂

      Like

      • conjie008 says:

        So sorry, about my other comment’s on “continuous focusing “..shooting/perfectionist just over took my finger at the moment!! LOL
        Softy, I hope that you’ll change your mind on recapping “Sageuk drama “. For the sake of all your “fans “ who adores your writing skill..and reading them..even though it’s late night. I’ll always look forward to your recapping drama!!
        Thanks a million

        Like

  13. Please watch Nice Guy, I think you are missing a great show. The first episode probably wouldn’t work for you, cause it dind’t work for me either, actually I started to watched after episode 2, cause my sister was watching it next to me. I told her I didn’t wanted to watch it, but then I notices Song Jong Ki from Running Man was there, and also Moon Chae Won from The Princess Man, and I got curious. But after the 3th episode when the protagonist actually talk I got hook. You would not regret it if you watch it. I dind’t sleep all night Watching all the episodes, It was really addicting, you should wacth these series, and I promise you, there are going to be scenes that you wont forget for life.

    Like

    • Softy says:

      Don’t worry – I will watch this soon. I love SJK so I really do want to see this – especially after all the awards it got and clips they showed. But the ending is ruined for me cuz I read a spoiler on it. 🙂

      Like

  14. houstontwin says:

    Softy,
    I love reading what you have to say even when I don”t agree with you. Your writing comes across as sincere…a very important quality!
    I’m not sure that I’ve seen subs for the “I Live In… ” drama;but I’ll try to find them.
    I really like the lead in King of Drama. He is not particularly good-looking but he is a subtle and versatile actor. I agree that he seems too old for the female lead. You should see him in Bad Family-a heart warming comedy!

    Like

  15. KimLuvv says:

    You have to try What’s Up! Its totally underrated! I tend to really like some dark dramas and basically this one was like Dream High but more dark and mature like. It made me love every single character on there and it had Jo Jung Suk from King 2 Hearts!! Absolutely loved it to pieces!

    Like

  16. ziren87 says:

    Hi Softy…
    Thank you so much for the 2012 recaps you’ve done…its been a pleasure reading all your recaps…and hopefully i will be able to catch up this 2013 for some of the kdramas you’ve mentioned…i also would like to watch nice guy and answers to 1997…

    Happy New Year to you and hope you continue sharing your kdrama recaps with us.

    Like

  17. Yaya says:

    Thanks for the recap. Reply 1997 is a highly recommended drama. I started watching it after I read good reviews on it. Then I know why people loveeee it because i simply fall in lovee with all the characters and the storylive. It’s such a simple story but ut has that suspense element in it. Definitely one of the best dramas of 2012 🙂

    Like

  18. My2Girls says:

    Dearest Softy,

    I hope that you do not think that I have abandoned you this year. Though I have not commented on your blog since OB I still check in regularly. I agree with Nonski that the fun in reading your “year in review” is that it comes from the heart. I appreciate that what you right is based purely on a your connection to a drama and not on the technical merits of the drama. I enjoyed reading your post more than any other year end review (shhhhh! don’t pass that around I don’t want any hurt feelings).

    I will not bore you with where our opinions diverge (cough…KOD…cough) but I would like to say if you really are having a tough week and you NEED something absolutely non-taxing to take your mind off of the stress do give Full House 2 a try – it surprised me in it’s sweetness and I rather enjoyed it. But I watched it when I was having a horrible week and the escape was much needed. For that reason I have skipped a lot of melo this year. No Nice Guy and I love the leads! No Gakitsal (but I read every single one of your recaps so I feel like I watched it). Since my toddler takes so much more time and energy these days I have to be very selective about what I choose to watch. I will definitely use your review as a guide. For instance Fashion King = BAD! See you have saved me from hours of frustration already.

    As always thank you for all of your love and dedication to this blog, it’s readers and to the larger Kdrama world. You are a treasure and I hope you all wonderful things in 2013!

    Amy

    Like

  19. Maria says:

    Softy, I watched and liked most of the dramas you praised here. But worth noting is how you liked Big and Gong Yoo (would that include Lee Min Jung too – Smile You, remember?) as well, and I am really happy about that. Big got very nasty recaps and comments at dramabeans I was surprised why they just didn’t stop wasting time watching and recapping and could have saved me the heartbreak reading some of them. Heartbreak’s a “big” word and a bit exaggerated but I really loved the drama and while I’ve seen Gong Yoo first on his 2 old movies, this was a great way to rediscover him, and how he still is eye-candy. Another favorite from last year’s Wild Romance. I hope you give it a try sometime and get past the couple’s hairstyles. It was good fun and the actors were great. The laughs helped me through the lowest point of my professional life — it’s playdate was fortuitous. Of course, aside from lift I got from the remaining 2012 episodes of Ojakgyo. Have a blessed year ahead!

    Like

  20. feima says:

    Hi Softy ~ i started to watch ILICDD eventhough no subs and i dont understand Korean at all! but reading here and there snips of high praises of this show made it worthwhile ~ Thanks so much for your review ~ Here’s to year 2013. Your faithful fan ❤ ❤

    Like

  21. freya says:

    I definitely will watch the moon that embraces the sun and gaksital after finishing cheongdamdong alice…love your review ^_^

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s