Dec 29, 2013

A crackless 2013 in Dramaland

I feel like Kdramaland has betrayed me big time this year because when I was asked what's my top 3 korean dramas of 2013, I had to stop and think hard on my answer. After a full minute I am still not quite sure with my answer, I even asked if it's okay to include a Japanese drama? pfft!, I knew right then and there that 2013 is not a happy ride for me in Kdramaland.

It came to a point where I can't even call a certain drama a crack no matter how much I enjoyed watching it. I am always searching for that one tiny ingredient to make it click but I couldn't find that in any of the drama I watched this year. I also have a serious case of second lead syndrome. That's the problem when one writes a swoon-worthy second lead that overshadowed the main lead. It's just natural to root for the guy who will never have the girl, fist pump and all! Maybe that explains why I didn't write even a single drama review this year... or maybe I'm just lazy.

Anyhow, these are the dramas I watched in 2013 and why they failed to be my crack:

That Winter The Wind Blows

This drama is beautiful. It has a beautiful cast, beautiful winter scenes and pretty awesome acting from the beautiful main lead. It pretty much has the ingredients of a drama crack but the one thing I didn't like about That Winter The Wind Blows is the story itself. The faux incest kind of drama is so a decade ago and like everyone else, I'm over it!

School 2013

Oh the bromance! I can't remember anything else from School 2013 except the bromance that set the land on fire... er. set Lee Jong Seok and Kim Woo Bin on fire! Ohh the feels! But that was just it. I understand the struggle of the high school kids in this drama at an intellectual stand point but I can't relate to them. I was not a troublemaker nor an overachiever in my high school days so I just watch the whole thing with a detached curiousity.

Flower Boy Next Door

The third drama in the Oh Boy Series of tvN! The series had already got me mind, body and soul with Shut Up: Flower Boy Band so watching the third in the series is not a problem. Flower Boy Next Door has its charms and Yoon Shi Yoon is awesome as Enrique Geum. The enjoyed the first half so much as I watched Enrique shatter the comfort zone in which Dok Mi hides herself. It was sweet. What stopped this drama from being a drama crack was how they handled the few episodes leading to the finale and this is just the first drama that I had a problem with the ending.

Gu Family Book

If there ever was a drama that I'd put all my money for it to be good quality drama, it would be Gu Family Book. A sageuk that centered it's conflict in a Gumiho's quest to become human. How epic is that? Watching the first two episodes gave me enough reason to believe that this drama would be awesome and for the most part it was awesome. But then it became apparent that the story wouldn't go down the path as we envisioned it to take and right then and there I knew I was cheated. Hell, what's the point of all that talk about making Kang Chi human when we wouldn't be able to see him become one. This is one of the dramas that I hated the ending so much... and WTF happened to Sung Joon's hair?

Dating Agency: Cyrano

I didn't watch this drama for the romance because it's hard to actually feel giddy at Lee Jong Hyuk and Soo Young's cat-and-mouse antics when I spent every week watching him having quality bonding time with his son Junsu in Dad Where Are We Going?. I watched this drama out of loyalty to the Oh Boy Series. I loved the three previous installments so I might like Cyrano as well. It turned out to be a breathe of fresh air that I didn't know I need until this drama came along. The case-of-the-week format helped a lot in the over-all enjoyment I felt watching Cyrano. I mean the cameos are worth watching for!

I Hear Your Voice

This drama helped me assess what kind of a drama fan I am, sort of. It turned out that there is a limit to how much I appreciate and root for noona romances in dramaland. I guess I am okay with the concept of noona romance confined in my own little imagination or if the age of the involved parties are properly defined. I don't know. I'm still confused. Maybe I should blame Lee Jong Seok???! Take away the noona romance angle and I'm all in with I Hear Your Voice. The heroine is flawed in a real person way and the villain is so creepy I refuse to watch the drama at night. Arguably the best drama this year.


I LOVE YOU KANG HA NEUL! YOU ARE SO AWESOME! Where have you been all my life? Oh, yes, I saw you last year in To The Beautiful You but let's just pretend that drama never happened. LOL. The way I praise Kang Ha Neul feels like he's the main character. Oh well, you can't blame me. Sun Woo is every girl's fantasy. Handsome, intelligent, music lover and a good son at that. I was ready to have the second lead syndrome and cheer for him to get the girl but them he made music with Nana and everything else fade compared to the feels I had for our second pair! Granted, they weren't the main focus on this drama but hell I savoured every drop of my OTP moments. I'm still singing Human Love until now! Monstar has the potential to be my drama crack if only it didn't became lukewarm as it approached the finale and the ending? What a cliffhanger! Do we get a season 2?

Master's Sun

After the Big disaster last year, I was reluctant to watch Master's Sun for fear that it might become a waste of time. But my love for So Ji Sub prevailed and I'm happy to say that Master's Sun didn't receive the same fate as Big. Thank the drama gods the Hong Sisters got their magic pen back. I enjoyed the chemistry but not the heroine. I get that a lot with these writers.

Mirae's Choice

I enjoyed the first few episodes of Mirae's Choice. Feisty Yoon Eun Hye is back with a perm! I crossed my fingers that it would deliver despite the loopholes in their version of time travel. Seriously, I did but what a shame. Someone asked in Twitter if fandom can kill a drama? I answered; Yes. Totally. That's what happened with Mirae's Choice. There were manipulations behind the scene because a certain character has legions of fans that's why no matter how absurd it would become, they pushed him on the limelight leaving us confused at the end. It's a common knowledge now that the ending they gave us was not what YEH and the rest of the cast signed up for. What a shame.


Against all odds, and the odds was never on my favor in the first place because Kim Eun Seok and I are not bestfriends, I enjoyed watching Heirs. I enjoyed it a lot. That's mainly due to the fact that I looooove everyone in the drama because they were awesome in their previous dramas... ??! I can't explain it better than that. HAHA. The story is frustratingly slow and annoyingly biased to the central couple but that's okay. I've come to accept that as the writer's bread and butter. Thank the drama gods for Bona and Chanyoung who made this drama bearable!

Answer Me 1994

I felt cheated. Big time. It's not an issue on how my ship went Titanic on me but it's how the story was told. It's five episodes too long that I got bored out of my wits. I would've dealt with the end game with an open-mind if only it didn't took that long to get to that point. The writer spent half the time trolling around and I hated her for that. What a waste of time and emotion. The battle scars I got from the fanwar wasn't worth it at all. Thank the drama gods there won't be a third Reply drama in the future!

That's my 2013 in Kdramaland. I made wrong choices, I know, but I guess it's for the better because now I'm back to watching J-, TW- and C-dramas to satisfy my cravings. I'm not saying I'm ditching Kdramaland, I'm just happy that I'm back to appreciating Asian dramas in general. In a year when even the best kisses in Kdramaland didn't make my heart melt into a pile of goo, it's always helpful to have other options. Asian dramas for the win!

2014, please be good!

PS: If you've noticed someone out of place in the topmost image, then you probably know the Jdorama included in my Top 3 dramas of 2013. ^_^

PPS: Liu Chuan, wu ai ni!


  1. Liu Chuan would be happy to know that you decided to travel back in time just to see him ;), on the bright side you saw two dramas where Kim Woo Bin Oppa is the bomb diggity despite the bad year.

  2. 2013 is fine IMO. I have lots of amazing ride:
    - Heartless City (Doc.. oh Doc.. Jung Kyung Ho is best here imo)
    - Incarnation of Money (Kang Ji Hwan love)
    - I Hear Your Voice (I actually love the noona-love here)
    - Two Weeks (love Lee Jun Ki in actions)
    - You're the Best Lee Soon Shin (I'm a die hard fan of the OTP)
    - Queen of Ambition
    - Secret

    I read lots of amazing reviews on Nine: Nine Time Travels, too. I haven't had the time to catch this one though ..