Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Top 13 Favorite Korean Dramas

Top 13 Favorite Korean Dramas

I decided to list my favorite Kdramas because it has been over a year since my obsession began. I like dramas with solid stories, interesting characters and strong female leads. All the dramas below are ones that I really loved and rated a 10. 

The Princess’ Man

      Princess Se Ryung is the headstrong and forward-thinking daughter to Grand Prince Su Yang, who is determined to be King. She falls in love with the son of his mortal enemy, and their romance gets caught in the crossfire of her father's quest for the throne.

     The Princess' Man is a beautiful drama and one of the dramas that actually deserves every bit of it's popularity. A Joseon Romeo & Juliet, this drama is filled with revenge, murder,
palatial politics, romance, action and bits of comedy. Park Shi Hoo and Moon Chae Won are superb as the star crossed leads and the supporting characters are equally as good. I love this drama but I would have trouble re-watching because of how emotionally taxing it is. This is the best Korean drama that I've seen and I highly recommend it. 

Secret Garden

     The drama tells the story of Kim Joo Won, an arrogant and eccentric CEO who maintains the image of seeming perfection, and Gil Ra Im, a poor and humble stunt woman whose beauty and body are the object of envy amongst top actresses. Their accidental meeting, when Joo Won mistakes Ra Im for actress Park Chae Rin, marks the beginning of a tense, bickering relationship, through which Joo Won tries to hide a growing attraction to Ra Im that both confuses and disturbs him. To complicate matters further, a strange sequence of events results in them swapping bodies.

      Where do I even begin to describe how I feel about this drama? It was the second kdrama that I ever watched and it cemented my addiction to Asian dramas. It's not a completely perfect drama but it does so many things right and I've come to appreciate it even more after a year and 100+ dramas later. It had great characters, the leads had amazing chemistry, it was funny, it was romantic, it had great kiss scenes, the story didn't drag, the second female lead was awesome and most importantly it ended beautifully with all the story lines neatly tied up. 

Coffee Prince

     A tomboy is mistaken for a young man, but maintains the deception for the sake of employment. The situation is complicated when her male boss begins to develop feelings for this "boy".

     My first gender bender which made me love the subgenre. It's kind of a running joke that most of the time the female pretending to be a boy completely fails at looking anything close to masculine. Go Eun Chan however, manages to actually pass off as a believable male. Besides being the best gender bender, Coffee Prince is pretty great in many other areas as well. The soundtrack is amazing, Gong Yoo is fantastic, the kiss scenes are passionate and the side characters are interesting.

My Girlfriend is a Gumiho

        One day after Cha Dae Woong runs away from his grandfather, he accidentally frees a nine-tailed fox who was trapped in a painting for about 500 years. He didn't realize what he has done, until the Gumiho (nine-tailed fox),who took the form of a beautiful woman, appeared in front of him. Dae Woong was so frightened that he ran away from her and became severely injured. The Gumiho saved him by giving him her most precious bead to share with him the mystic fox strength, as she owed him her freedom. The Gumiho then asked him to help her become human and teach her how to act like one. As time goes by, their mutual relationship grew deeper as they start to fall for each other.

     One of the cutest kdramas but with depth. I fell hard for Shin Min Ah as Mi Ho-she was a great female lead that was upfront about her feelings which is quite rare in dramaland. Lee Seung Gi was also great and equally adorable as Dae Woong and No Min Woo sizzled as the mysterious Dong Joo. 

Me Too, Flower!

     A tough female police officer who suffers from depression falls in love with a young multimillionaire whom she initially believed was a parking attendant. Instead of counting her lucky stars, she is taken aback by how rich he is. Officer Cha Bong-sun is a peculiar woman who defies the rigid social hierarchy and rails against it. And Seo Jae-hee, the millionaire boyfriend, is an eccentric man who falls in love with this quirky police officer. 

     Me Too, Flower was a drama that didn't do well ratings wise but that I really enjoyed. I'm always a big fan of strong and unique female leads. Bong Sun isn't perfect by any means but that's what makes her so relatable-she suffers from depression as well as issues with anger and trust. This doesn't make her an unlikable character but rather a realistic one. Yoon Shi Yoon's character is so opposite from her yet they fit together so perfectly.

I Hear Your Voice

     A drama about public defenders who take on the toughest cases with less than 1% chance of winning. Jang Hye Sung is a bold, sassy, and comical female lawyer. She has a sharp tongue and finds it hard to be enthusiastic about what she does. Cha Kwan Woo is a serious, passionate and macho former police officer who becomes a government lawyer. Meanwhile, Park Soo Ha is a 19 year old boy who has the ability to read people's minds. Together they will team up to solve the cases no one else wants, cases that only have a one percent chance of being found innocent.

      2013 is turning out to be a great year for dramas and here is another prime example. I Hear Your Voice was really hyped on the net so I decided to check it out and was surprised by how fantastic it was.  There are a lot of courtroom cases and legal proceedings but they were interesting and well paced. The story was good, the characters are great and the drama was all around superb.

That Winter, The Wind Blows

       "The Winter, The Wind Blows" is a story about a man who is known to be the best gambler in Cheongdam neighborhood. He lives a meaningless life after being abandoned by his parents and failing at his first love relationship. In order to pay his debt, he starts living with a rich girl who is the heir to a large corporation. However, he falls in love with the girl, who is also as lonely as him. She has also lived a difficult life. She has lost her eyesight and her father has passed away. She will have to protect herself from those around her.

       A great melodrama and one of my favorites of the year. The thing I really love about TWTWB is that all the characters are flawed-they all are a mixture of good and bad traits making them more realistic. I was glued to the screen while watching and I'm pretty sure that I cried at least once every episode. 

Shut Up! Flower Boy Band

      Byung Hee is the crazy, free-spirited leader and vocalist of the popular underground rock group, Eye Candy. Joining him is mood-maker Ji Hyuk, chic Hyun Soo, playboy Ha Jin, silent Do Il and baby-faced Kyung Jong. These boys rule their school until a redevelopment plan forces the delinquent-ridden school to close down. They're all assigned a transfer to Jungsang High, but debate whether it's even worth returning to high school at all. However, due to an outside confrontation with Jungsang's current ruling band, Strawberry Fields, Eye Candy decides to attend Jungsang out of spite and rule the school once again.

     Bromance rules in this drama and I loved every second of it. Besides the unique focus on friendship, SUFBB also has one of the best soundtracks of any drama I've ever watched. 

Sungkyunkwan Scandal

       Sungkyunkwan Scandal is set in Sungkyunkwan University in the late Joseon era during the reign of King Jeongjo, revolving around the exploits and love stories of four youths. When her younger brother's illness worsens and their family is in danger of being evicted from their house for lack of money, Kim Yoon Hee enters the school under his name, disguised as a boy in her desperation to support him. There, she becomes friends with the intelligent and upright Lee Sun Joon, the playboy Goo Yong Ha and rebellious Moon Jae Shin.

     Being a historical drama and a gender bender, SS combines two of my favorite genres in one.  Although the main story line is good, it's ultimately the supporting characters that make this drama amazing. 

Reply 1997

     "Reply 1997" will focus on the extreme fan culture that emerged in the 1990's when idol groups took center stage and K-pop was blossoming. Moving back and forth between the ’90s and today, the story centers on the life of Seong Si Won, who idolizes boyband H.O.T, and her 5 high school friends.

      My favorite drama of 2012, Reply 1997 was quite a surprise in the fact that it had so many twists and turns. It is funny and sad, heart-warming and heart wrenching but well worth the roller coaster of emotions that you endure. 

Can You Hear My Heart?

      The love story of Cha Dong Joo, man who's been rendered deaf after an accident but pretends he can hear, and Bong Woo Ri, a woman who's intelligent but pretends she's dim-witted to protect the dignity of her mentally handicapped father.

    Can You Hear My Heart is another melodrama that had me in tears for the majority of it's 30 episodes.  CYHMH is full of angst, tears and secrets but manages to rise above it's cliche ridden plot to become something more than the sum of it's parts. The two male leads (Dong Joo and Ma Ro) are amazing and more than enough reason to watch this one.

Unexpected You

     This drama tells the story of a TV series director Cha Yoon Hee and a surgeon Bang Gwi Nam after they get married. Things become complicated when Yoon Hee meets her unreasonable mother-in-law Uhm Chung Ae and all of her in-laws.

    The longest drama on this list and still the longest one that I have to complete (58 episodes). There are a lot of characters but each one has an interesting story and personality. Out of all of the relationships in this drama the one between tomboyish Bang Yi Sook and eccentric Chun Jae Yong is my favorite.

Smile, You

     Seo Jung In is the second daughter of a chaebol family, whose family suddenly meets with financial ruin. She is dumped by her husband, Lee Han Se, after their wedding ceremony when his family finds out about her family's financial problems. Her family is then left with no other alternative but to move in with their longtime chauffeur's family. The once rich and spoiled daughter and her family must now learn how to adjust to life as commoners in the Kang household.

      I am a huge fan of love/hate relationships and they don't get any better than that of Jung In and Hyun Su. The progression of their relationship from hate to love is both hilarious and romantic.  Smile, You is a longer drama (45 episodes) but just as all the dramas on this list, it is well worth the time. 

*The plot synopsis for each drama was taken from http://mydramalist.com/-a great site to find, rate and discuss Asian dramas.

No comments:

Post a Comment