My Year in K Drama-2013 Part 1 of 3

My take away from this  year in drama was: it was a very odd year.  I did not have one crack drama.   We had dramas that never made the air, and others that stopped filming,  changes in lengths of dramas, and dramas that went through a whole list of cast changes.   Hyun Bin got out of the military at the end of 2012, and no drama or movie for 2013.  Which based on what we had on screen, maybe a wise choice.     We had a seriously annoying regression of no kisses and few kisses and completely chaste kisses, I mean more than normal for k drama.  We also had some great female characters in leading and support roles.  There were weird guy hair dos.   We had Lee Jong Suk everywhere, and not in a bad way.  This was the year of weird hate spewing forth for Lee Min Ho and Jang Geun Suk.  I personally have felt there has been a lot of intentional trolling, flaming, comment bombing, and thread hijacking on blogs and forums to the point that I really had to step out of some of the drama threads because it just was not fun.

Let me remind readers this is not a comprehensive review.  This is my personal opinion on the dramas that I chose to watch. There are many popular or acclaimed shows I do not watch because I know I will not enjoy them.  I do not watch most sageuks, melos, or family weekend shows.

My rating scale is seriously too complicated but here it is.

Coffee Prince Good/Watchable 1-10   Boys over Flowers Crack 1-10   Flower Boy Ramyun Shop Fun 1-10

I also want to rate dramas on strength of the female lead, and that means an empowered female lead that has agency,  but I am working the kinks out on that scale.  For now it will simply be Kim Sam Soon 1-10, and basically I am looking at the lead character damsel in distress level, ability to take care of herself (financially and otherwise), and owning her sexuality.

And the tried and true Dramabeans scale:  How much I enjoyed it 1-10  vs How good (quality) it was 1-10

Warning:  I’m super harsh on ratings.  I mean seriously, I’m rating against Coffee Prince.

School 2013 

CP-3  BOF-2 FBRS-4 KSS-there were girls?
6/6

school 2013

I know the drama makers dropped the love lines for the show to focus on the chemistry between Lee Jong Suk and Kim Woo Bin.    Which was okay because it was a teen demographic audience, so all we were going to get was bug eye lip presses if anything, anyway.  I can take bromances or leave them, I’m not a bromance worshipper.  “They” were not going to go with a homosexual romance, so we got an angst teen reformed bad boys friendship to repair and some mild homo-eroticism.   I cannot deny the two guys were magic onscreen, but really,  some of it got a little draggy and repetitive, on top of some really uncool and uninteresting teacher stuff.  And to be truthful, this is where my Woo Bin interest went from zero to well, I know his name now, and he looks like a creeper most of the time.    Because of the switch in plot, some of the other cast had little to do, which was a total waste of Park Se-young.   I came to this drama mostly because of her.  So  I was a little disappointed for the lack of storyline with her.  Lee Jong-suk was on my radar at the time, but just so.  I do not care for Woo Bin, if you haven’t figured that out yet,  or Daniel Choi.  I can take or leave Jang Na-ra.   What could have made this drama better?  No Daniel Choi, for me. Okay seriously, I’d say something more for the cast to do other than orbit LJS.  I love me some Lee Jong-suk, but really, the show was a total waste of make up for the female characters. Explore the girl friendships.  Hook LJS’s character up with Jang Na-ra’s character.  Have Daniel Choi’s character date a parent.  Or even better, the principal. Send Woo Bin’s character, or the bully kid to jail, because, you know let’s have some ramifications here for thugfuckery.

b57tEM1377470128

Image

The expression on Kim Woo Bin’s face in this one moment was the pay off for watching this series, and even I who am not a fan of KWB can admit,  this scene is possibly one of the best moments of watching Korean Drama ever.

Hot Scene?

tumblr_mg9t0uY9vu1qzc7cko1_r1_500This?

That Winter, The Wind Blows

CP-3  BOF-2  FBRS-1

KSS-3-blind girl walked around in super hump me heels, and convinced her “Oppa” to let her fondle him.  That’s gotta count.

6/5

Beautifully filmed drama with beautiful people.  Some loose ends, and no one knows why the hell the Secretary did the things she did other than she was bat shit crazy but no one seems to think that in the drama.  People think the ending is up for interpretation.  Not me for me, it was pretty clear.  What was your interpretation?

It lost me in episode 12 or 13 with Young’s funky character development and the insane troll logic medical stuff. The promise of sizzle from early on in the show fizzled out too. There was never ever enough Kim Bum. But is there ever?  It was a pretty ride that just got weird and choppy and bumpy the last four episodes.

oppa is amanFauxcest is kinda hot,   who knew?  oooh, yeah, Oppa, Noona, derp, the Koreans knew.

The Ending.  Sorry peeps.  They are ALL dead.  The simple reason?

There is absolutely NO reason to vague up a happy ending.

Hot scene?  Anything with long sweaters/coats and suspenders?

Flower Boy Next Door

fbnd

CP-7  BOF-4  FBRS-8

KSS-6-this is pretty high for such a chaste show but you know,  Dok-mi for all her issues was pretty independent.  If she had completely kicked pink chicken sideways from the get go and initiated some skinship with Enrique,  and had a friend, she would be a very strong character.

8/8

I had some issues with this drama when it aired.  But it was MY problem,  not the drama.  I went into it wanting to see Yoon Si Yoon in an adult drama where he could throw some heat, and was not paying attention to the awesome in this drama.   In retrospect, this drama is so very good,  save for the accidental kiss trope, the obvious stretch for conflict toward the end,  and the cliched mean girl.    I’ve re-watched some of it and fell in love with the entire cast of characters.

Dok-mi is probably one of the most relatable characters ever. She’s going on my list of all time favorite characters.  Thank you writers for writing a mest girl that was just trying to live her life.  And even though it’s just fiction, it’s nice to have a happy ending for the girl with issues.

The whole cast was a hoot and really just stellar work by everyone. From Jin-rak’s drunken propensity for English to the crazy awesome editor to Enrique the mafia guy, so much fun.

pandaboygifYou had me with the Panda suit.

Just for the record I totally love Yoon Si Yoon from watching Barefoot Friends and if I ever met him I would so try to put him in my pocket and take him home to be my squishy.

If I was going to have babies with a K celeb-it would be YSY.  Or Tablo.  Because intelligent is totally hot.

Ahem.  Wiping the crazy off my face and continuing on.

badboypanda

Hot Scene?  Not so much, but if you slo mo Yoon Si Yoon lip action…..

Full House 2

CP-3 BOF-3  FBRS-6

KSS-3.5-Man OK is not a bad character, she had her own ideas for life and a careeer, but  just a little too much investment in trying to please her g-pa and the guy jerking her around.

7/5

(Note:  This ran at the end of 2012 but I did not watch all of it completely until 2013-so it is included in my 2013 viewing)

omgaegyo

Wow, this drama got a lot of backlash, for being named Full House 2, and for the crazy fashion and the bad hair. it was named Full House 2 because home is where the heart is,  just as in the first Full House, and there in lies the only comparison that should be made.  Well other than that Full House was and is a very popular drama with outrageous silly characters, so hey, parody, people.   Very few people saw it for what it was, not to be taken seriously, it was a brilliant parody of the Korean entertainment business.   The hair, the clothes, were all outrageous intentionally.    If you watch it understanding that it was a parody, it is bloody hysterical.  No friggin Min Woo and Park friggin Ki-woong.  They ROCKED.

Hot Scene?

fh2This should happen more often.

ohboy

Monstar

CP-4 BOF-4  FBRS-4

KSS-2

7/6

The little show that could.  Impressive acting for such a green k pop star Yong Joon-hyung of B2ST fame.  It floundered in the end,  it went too slow too far in without time to wrap the stories.   Oh the writer(s) created an incredibly complex character with Kang Haneul as Sun-woo and then just left him hanging in the wind because there was simply not enough time to cover the whole cast.  The take away?  We need a spin-off sequel with Sun-woo and Kim Na-na.  An adult spin off,  because Kang Haneul and Dahee threw way too much heat for a teen romp.   Make it happen Drama Gods.

Kim friggin’ Na’na.

Hot Scene?  The mouth breathing almost kiss.  Sun Woo and Kim Nana scenes,  Sun Woo in the blue t-shirt.

Who Are You

CP-3  BOF-2 FBRS-3

KSS-1.5-You have a top of her class female cop that is a moron and is constantly being saved. No.

5/5 because I am a sucker for Sc00by Doo mysteries.   I actually enjoyed the ghost of the week, alot.

Taecyeon made an excellent combo of Shaggy and Scooby.

kjwcry

Kim friggin Jae-wook

That is all.

Hot Scenes?  Not so much.

Medical Top Team

CP-3  BOF-2 FBRS-2

KSS-4.5

5.5/5

This drama really was actually halfway decent despite the non love for it.  I enjoyed it.  Kwan Sang-woo was incredibly charming especially in scenes with the children.   Joo Ji-hoon is a god.  Even with totally weird hair, I could NOT look away.     I was really disappointed in the lack of presence from Jung Ryeo-won in her role, or should I say the gross misuse of a wonderful actress.   The character had strength but not a lot of personality.

Hot scenes?  Just pretty men breathing.

Choi Min Ho, he did okay.    I have a hard time reconciling that this is the same guy:

minho

More in the next installment.

The third installment will cover my “best of ” thoughts.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Caitlyn (@miss_kayti)
    Dec 24, 2013 @ 05:57:15

    I agree. With everything. School 2013 got a bit draggy, cast of Full House 2 was awesome, That Winter lost me around ep 12 as well, and Monstar lost itself at the end, although I still liked it. I love that gif last from Flower Boy Next Door. Yoon Si Yoon was the guy I got from that show, so i’m happy for that, and I also quite liked Park Shin Hye in a low key role. Yay for instalments; i look forward to the next one. It will probably just be me agreeing with you again, lol

    Reply

    • randomsoju
      Dec 24, 2013 @ 18:18:40

      YSY is a treasure. I kind of feel he is wasted in PM&I but boyfriend has got to work just like we do. I have not watched Baker King, but I had “found” him in Me Too Flower, which despite it’s uneven tone, I really love. I’m waiting for Reply 94 to wrap before doing the 2nd installment. I like how you said Monstar lost itself in the end!

      Reply

  2. Amanda (@Outside_Seoul)
    Dec 30, 2013 @ 10:02:57

    I hadn’t noticed the dearth of hot scenes this year, but you’re completely right. It seems as if Kdrama is actually regressing in terms of skinship—could it be the work of the new president?

    Reply

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