D is for Dramas
I feel like it’s partially inevitable to avoid being sucked into K-dramas once you’re part of the K-pop fandom. I know I was. I’m not as hardcore as some of you out there, but I’ve done my fair share of viewing to finally have preferences.
The following is a list of all of the kdramas that I have completed, in order of how I watched them. I’ll include a short summary of each one followed by my thoughts on recommending it to someone. If you’re ever interested in dipping into the pool of K-dramas, or just want something new to watch, here you go!
1. Loving You 1000 Times
I’m not sure how to summarize this in just a couple of sentences. A couple wants a baby, a young girl is desperate for money for her father’s surgery, an illegitimate son strives to achieve his step-mother’s love, and there’s some romance sprinkled in the midst of all of that plus more. There are so many subplots that go on in this drama, but in the twisted way only a true drama can achieve, they all come together in the end.
Would I recommend this: If you are not familiar with dramas, then yes. I think this is a really good first drama for someone who has not yet experienced all of the twists of a classic Korean drama. For the regular drama-watcher, the drama and acting gets a little over the top at times, so no.
2. It’s Okay Daddy’s Girl
One of three brothers is killed, and a girl’s father is falsely accused of being the murderer. The remaining brothers and daughter team up to uncover the truth of the death. My main reason for watching this: Donghae 😉
Would I recommend this: Probably not, unless you’re a Donghae fan. The acting could have been better and I just didn’t find it that interesting.
3. Oh! My Lady
This hot-shot singer/actor finds out he has a little toddler daughter. He hires a nanny and they work through their differences to take care of the daughter and keep his career from going down the drain.
Would I recommend this: Yes, especially if you’re a fan of Siwon (or kids). I loved it. It’s really cute.
4. Boys Over Flowers
A love story between the rich, popular jerk and the sweet and innocent girl. We get the cute love story as well as the not-so-great life of the guy who supposedly has it all. Of course, they have to include a love triangle in there.
Would I recommend this: No. I don’t know why this is such a popular drama because I did not like it at all. The plot twists were torture and the ending was not satisfying in the least.
5. Dream High 2
After a law is passed requiring all celebrity minors to attend a full-time school, a group of K-pop singers are forced to join the regular kids at a performing arts school. Pretty much the entire cast are established K-pop singers.
Would I recommend this: Only if you’re a fan of someone in the cast. It was an interesting story, but if I didn’t already like the cast, I’m not sure if I would have liked this as much as I did.
6. Ms. Panda and Mr. Hedgehog
A girl struggling to keep her cafe from going under hires a shady, but skilled chef to take things over. At the same time, she is reunited with a childhood friend – the son of a famous food chain CEO – who has more than one reason to dislike the girl’s newest employee.
Would I recommend this: Yes. It is really cute and pretty underrated. If you like Donghae or Choi Jin Hyuk, this is definitely one to watch.
7. Dream High
The prequel to Dream High 2. This follows the lives of a few of the students of the school as they strive to fulfill their dreams of becoming singers.
Would I recommend this: Yes. The sequel was a little dry, but this one actually brings in some deeper issues amidst the teen romance.
8. Secret Garden
A man and woman from totally opposite worlds fall under a curse in which they switch bodies with each other. It is absolutely hilarious, and then very sweet as we watch their relationship grow.
Would I recommend this: Yes. The acting is great and the story is super funny and interesting.
9. Shut Up Flower Boy Band (“Shut Up and Let’s Go” on Netflix)
This is another difficult one to describe, because I don’t want to give anything away. Basically, a group of boys struggle to lead their band to success, though the personal lives of each member make the journey difficult.
Would I recommend this: I have a love-hate relationship with this drama, but in the end I would recommend this. A specific twist happens very early on, and I don’t think I’ll ever forgive the producers for that, but in the end it’s a good show. You might want to stop watching after the second episode, but the rest is worth it, I promise. I don’t cry often when watching things, but this one legitimately brought me to tears more than once.
10. You Are Beautiful
An innocent girl gets tricked into posing as her twin brother in his boy band. This drama follows her ups and downs in trying to adjust to life in the dorm with the other guys while trying to keep her identity a secret from everyone. Oddly enough, they manage to bring in a love triangle…or should I say love square?
Would I recommend this: No. Towards the end, I wasn’t even watching it for the main cast anymore because it got way too cheesy. I just wanted to see how Yonghwa’s character’s sideplot ended. Maybe watch this is you’re a fan of him, but be warned: you will fall in love with him, but then feel your heart break for him.
11. Boarding House No. 24
A man lures five very different individuals to live in his building as he tries to figure out which of them is his long-lost child. This comedy follows the adventures of the tenants as they grow from people who hate each other to best friends. This was the acting debut of VIXX’s Ken, one of my ultimate biases.
Would I recommend this: Yes… but I realize that it’s definitely not for everyone. It is totally cheesy and immature, but if you can get past all of the cheesiness, it is really funny. This is also a K-pop star-studded cast, so if you are a fan of any of them, you will definitely love this. (For Suju fans, Sungmin’s wife is in this!)
12. It’s Okay That’s Love
Hands down, my favorite drama of all time. A novelist and psychiatrist meet and end up living in the same building. They inevitably fall in love, but while doing so are forced to deal with the demons they’ve been hiding inside.
Would I recommend this: Absolutely. Best drama I’ve seen so far. The story is amazing, and the character development, for main characters and side characters alike, is outstanding. Even if you’re not into K-dramas or Korean culture, I would still recommend it. It’s one of my favorite shows, period.
Most of these can be found on Netflix, and if not you can try Dramafever or Viki. I have a couple that I started years ago and never finished, as well as a bunch that I want to watch, but nothing that I’m watching right now. I’m hesitant to jump into another drama knowing that if I do, I’ll be completely sucked in.
Question of the Day:
What are your favorite dramas? I’d love for some suggestions!
#NowPlaying: Get Down by Boys Republic. I was going to review this for Sunday, but time got the better of me. It’s a great song by a pretty underrated group.
Wanna talk K-pop? Follow me on Twitter @mystification86!