What I’ve Been Watching (2): Special Kdrama Edition

Most of you probably don’t know this, unless you follow me on Twitter, but I am super obsessed with kdrama right now. Since I’ve just finished my tenth one, I thought I would do a post about the ones I’ve watched and why I love it so hard.

Kdrama gets a lot of flack for being incredibly melodramatic, and I see that, but I really don’t think it’s THAT dramatic most of the time. Even the most incredibly over-the-top dramatic kdrama I’ve watched was way less absurdly dramatic than the show One Tree Hill. If you can watch American teen shows, you can probably handle kdrama.

You can find kdrama to watch on Netflix, Hulu or Dramafever if you’re in the US. I have no idea where to find things in other countries, sorry. There are more on the internet, but these are the places to go for a high quality image and the most accurate subtitles. Obviously, you have to be cool with subtitles.

Things You Have to Get Used To
  • The roles of men and women. If you’re familiar with manga, this probably won’t require much adjustment. It makes me sad that the guys generally are always in the position of power in a relationship, and the girls are always blushing and innocent, but that’s just how it is. Oh, and the girls will cry A LOT. But the guys generally do some crying too. In general, the guys are not as nice to their crushes or girlfriends as I feel they ought to be.
  • The lack of romantic action. Don’t go into kdrama for hot makeout or sex scenes, okay? You won’t find them very often. Most of the kissing is about as passionate as the ones in classic American movies, by which I mean it just involves mashing together of faces. It’s no good. I’ve seen a couple with decent kissing, but mostly you’re left disappointed. However, there is TONS of swoon, but it’s more about the little things. Oh, and sex will rarely be shown or hinted at, though I’ve seen a couple with under-the-sheets movement or them waking up together in the morning.
  • The handholding. This is related to the second point, but I want to stress two things about handholding in kdramas. First of all, holding hands is a BIG deal. If a guy grabs a girl’s wrist (this is a bit annoying sometimes and goes back to the gender roles in my first point) or takes her hand, this means a lot. Koreans are a lot less into PDA than Americans, so holding hands in public is a serious statement. Secondly, when a couple holds hands, they never interlace their fingers. I have yet to see this once.
  • The clothing, particularly for the guys. Prepare to see a lot of skinny jeans, earrings, sparkles and crazy hair. Plus, t-shirts that say nonsense things in English. Rarely does it stop the hotness. Oh, the guys will also be a lot more physically affectionate with each other than male best friends would be in the US.
  • The portrayal of Americans or Koreans raised in America. Basically, they think we’re all loud, obnoxious assholes who kiss everyone. The same is true in manga.
  • How bad most of them are at English. In every drama it seems, there’s at least one scene where a character tries to show off their intelligence by speaking English. This might be impressive to a Korean audience, but I usually end up laughing my ass off.
  • Long epidodes. Kdrama episodes are generally around the one hour mark, not 1 hour minus twenty minutes of commercials like we’re used to in the US.
Things I Love About Kdrama
  • There’s something you need to know if you’re going to watch kdrama: be prepared for it to suck you in completely and mess with your emotions. Even though the devices by which it does so are generally SO obvious, nothing makes me as emotional as a good kdrama. This is where to go for ALL THE FEELS.
  • The set length. Unlike most American shows, kdramas are generally don’t run for seasons. They have a set number of episodes with planned plots, and they run their course. Obviously, I often want more, but I appreciate that things don’t run until they’re terrible.
  • Most importantly, Asian guys are HOT, especially Korean men if the dramas are any indication.Β  For any male readers, yes, there are gorgeous girls too, but this the next two pics are for the straight ladies and gay dudes. Deal with it.
Gong Yoo in Coffee Prince
Lee Ki Woo in Flower Boy Ramyun Shop
    My First Ten Dramas

    I watched kdrama for the first time, because I saw one on Hulu and it sounded cute and I was just like whatever let’s try this. One of my favorite things in manga (for some odd reason) is a gender bender plot line, and that’s what Coffee Prince has and why I was lured in. Click on the drama’s title to check it out on DramaFever, which is my favorite place to watch kdrama (since Netflix did some weird things to the captions).


    1. Coffee Prince (2007)

    Episodes: 17

    Plot: Go Eun Chan (Yoon Eun Hye) lives with her mother and younger sister. She does a lot of odd jobs so that the family will have enough money. Working as a delivery girl one night, she meets Choi Han Kyul (Gong Yoo), a playboy and heir, whose grandmother wants him to settle down and get married. He mistakes Eun Chan for a boy and hires her to pretend to be his gay lover to ruin his dates arranged by his grandmother. She’s so hard-up for money that she agrees to this ridiculous plan. Grandma then assigns Han Kyul the task of bringing a disgusting coffee shop into a money-making venture. He puts together a coffee shop where princes (hot guys) work, and Eun Chan is one of the employees.

    My reaction: I LOVED this. Yoon Eun Hye is adorable, so cute in fact that I chose my second drama because she was in it. Actually, I really loved all of the main actors, because Gong Yoo is wonderful and Lee Sun Gyun, who plays Han Kyul’s best friend, is oddly appealing to me. The crossdressing thing is more believable than in most, and Yoon Eun Hye does a good job playing a tomboy. This drama has a lot of humor, as people slowly catch on to Eun Chan’s gender and hijinks ensue.

    2. Goong (2006)

    Episodes: 24

    Plot: Goong is based on the manhwa of the same name, and is also known as Princess Hours. This series is set in an alternate universe where Korea still has a monarchy. When the king dies suddenly, the powers that be decide that the prince Lee Shin (Joo Ji Hoon) should be wed as soon as possible for an upswing in public relations, because mourning is sad and people haven’t been all that happy with the monarchy. Turns out Shin’s grandfather plotted with a friend and arranged for their grandchildren to marry, so Shin finds himself betrothed to commoner Shin Chae Kyung (Yoon Eun Hye).

    My reaction: This one is PAINFUL. I really liked it, but I’m not entirely sure if I could rewatch this one, because Shin is such a jerk for SO long. He intentionally hurts Chae Kyung’s feelings a whole lot, and encourages his girlfriend (who wouldn’t marry him because she wants to be a ballerina) in her bullying of Chae Kyung. Also, pretty much everything that happens with Lee Yul, Shin’s cousin and potential rival for the crown, is upsetting. It is awesome to see Yoon Eun Hye in such a different role, though. In the manhwa, it’s obvious earlier on that Shin has real feelings for Chae Kyung but is just super awkward and reserved (think Linus in Sabrina), but in the kdrama he definitely just comes off as an asshole for most of it.

    3. Heading to the Ground (2009)

    Episodes: 16

    Plot: Cha Bong Gun (Jung Yun Ho) dreams of being a pro soccer player, especially since his family struggles to get by. Kang Hae Bin (Go Ah Ra) wants to live her life her way and not have to listen to her wealthy father. She pursues her dream of being a sports agent, and takes on Bong Gun as her first client.

    My reaction: Of all of the ones that I’ve watched, this is probably the last one I would recommend it. I mean, I enjoyed it, because the main guy’s cute and it has funny moments, but it’s also the craziest one I’ve seen. Most of it is straightforward sports drama, but there’s this story arc in the middle with amnesia, accidentally being taken into a crooked mental hospital, a fire, and surprise inheritance that was just unnecessary. I definitely would not watch this one again.

    4. Oh! My Lady (2010)

    Episodes: 16

    Plot: Housewife Yoon Gae Hwa (Chae Rim), through a series of misadventures, becomes the manager of spoiled brat top star Sung Min Woo (Choi Si Won), so that she can earn enough money to regain custody of her daughter.

    My reaction: When I was trying to put together the list of kdrama I’d watched, I almost forgot this one, because it’s pretty forgettable. I definitely don’t remember most of the plot points. It was fun, and has one of the hottest actors (Choi Sin Won is GORGEOUS), but had way too many moments about kids for me to be too interested.

    5. On Air (2008)

    Episodes: 21

    Plot: We’re getting meta in this drama about the production of a kdrama. On Air follows four main characters, all involved in different pars of the production: actress Oh Seung Ah (Kim Ha Neul), manager Jang Ki Joon (Lee Bum Soo), director Lee Kyung Min (Park Yong Ha), and writer Seo Young Eun (Song Yoon Ah).

    My reaction: I don’t think this one has been hugely popular, but I actually really liked it. The interplay of the four characters is more complex than the other romance plots I’ve encountered up to this point, and the behind the scenes look at a drama is a whole lot of fun. I ended up caring about all of the main characters, though Oh Seung Ah was definitely my least favorite of the bunch.

    6. Pasta (2010)

    Episodes: 20

    Plot: The dramas of being a chef in a pasta restaurant. Seo Yoo Kyung (Gong Hyo Jin) has been a kitchen assistant for a long time and dreams of being a chef. Choi Hun Wook (Lee Sun Gyun) is brought in to be the head chef of the restaurant where she works. He bosses her around and they fall in love.

    My reaction: I have never wanted to eat pasta more in my entire life. This drama made me SO. HUNGRY. For the whole two weeks I was watching this, I wanted nothing so much in the world as pasta…for every meal. This one would have been a lot more enjoyable of Lee Sun Gyun’s character wasn’t such a jerk. I mean, he’s supposed to be, because chefs are very bossy – that’s the nature of the job – but I wish he didn’t treat Yoo Kyung the same way in their personal lives. It was nice to see that Lee Sun Gyun could play a very different role, since his character in Coffee Prince was pretty indecisive and friendly.

    7. My Sweet City (2008)

    Episodes: 16

    Plot: After a one night stand with a younger man, Oh Eun Joo (Choi Kang Hee) embarks on a relationship with him. At 31, Eun Joo is in a whole different place in her life than Yoon Tae Oh (Ji Hyun Woo), who works part-time jobs as he tries to get a job in the film industry. Eun Joo is embarrassed by their age gap and keeps him a secret from her friends. Meanwhile, she has a blind date with a business man closer to her age, Kim Young Soo (Lee Sun Gyun).

    My reaction: Okay, my description makes this sound like it’s all about the romance, but, actually, my favorite part was how much focus was on her bond with her two best friends. The three of them are all single and trying to choose between taking the easy route in their careers or trying for something they’re really passionate about. They do a lot of drinking and have sex. It’s definitely the most “risque” drama I’ve seen. It’s another side of Lee Sung Gyun once again. His character was my least favorite though, because, where the rest of the plot was realistic, he gets this crazy back story that ruins the last couple of episodes.

    8. Flower Boy Ramyun Shop (2011)

    Episodes: 16

    Plot: Yang Eun Bi (Lee Cheung Ah) is preparing for her civil service exam so that she can be a high school teacher. On the morning of her first day as a student teacher, she bumps into an attractive guy she’d seen once or twice before and asks him out, only to discover that he’s a student at her school and in her class. Cha Chi Soo (Jung Il Woo) is a bit of a megolomaniac and plays the awkwardness for all it’s worth. The eventually end up working at a ramen shop (flower boy means pretty boys work there) run by Choi Kang Hyuk, who hopes to make Eun Bi fall for him.

    My reaction: This drama is ridiculous, but it’s meant to be. I laughed a lot when I was watching this. Obviously, this might not be the best place to start for those new to kdrama, just because the whole flower boy and teacher-dating-student romance thing is likely to be off-putting. I never did come around to Chi Soo and Eun Bi as a couple. Why would anyone not go with Kang Hyuk, who is super hot and has the best abs that ever were?

    9. A Gentleman’s Dignity (2012)

    Episodes: 20

    Plot: In a gentleman’s Sex in the City, A Gentlaman’s Dignity focuses on four attractive, wealthy bachelors in their early 40s. The drama follows the relationships of all four, but the most central couple is architect Kim Do Jin (Jang Dong Geun) and teacher Seo Yi Soo (Kim Ha Neul).

    My reaction: I really wasn’t expecting to like this much, but I LOVED it so hard. It starts out really funny, though it does get a bit more serious as time goes on. Because there are so many more main characters, the drama can avoid having to throw as many obstacles in the path of a single relationship, so it’s never super depressing, since usually at least one couple is happy at any given time. Do Jin and Yi Soo are freaking cute once they get everything worked out, and I love it. I also have a lot of love for Park Min Sook (Kim Jung Nan), who is the older wife of philandering Lee Jung Rok (Lee Jong Hyuk). My only real issue with this one is that the big climactic conflict is when they learn that one of the four had a son eighteen years ago that he never knew about. Apparently that’s a HUGE deal in Korea and makes him damaged goods, but from an American POV it really didn’t seem that terrible. So you have a young, hot son that’s already grown? There’s no reason to break up over that. It’s not like you cheated or have a young kid that will take up all of your time.

    10. Heartstrings (2011)

    Episodes: 15

    Plot: Heartstrings is set in an arts university. Lee Shin (Jung Yong Hwa) heads up the popular local band “The Stupid,” and is the most popular guy in school. Lee Gyu Won (Park Shin Hye) has been raised on traditional Korean music and is skilled at the gayageum. Her grandfather, a traditional musician, urges her to practice constantly. The school’s hundredth anniversary celebration is approaching and a director with Broadway experience is brought in. He saw Gyu Won sing and wants her to act in the musical, rather than just play traditional music.

    My reaction: This is probably my new favorite kdrama. It is so cute and funny, and Lee Shin is the best kdrama boyfriend I have encountered thus far. He does try to take care of Gyu Won, but he respects her opinions and supports her in what she wants to do. If he puts his foot down about something, he explains why and convinces her it’s the right thing to do, rather than making pointless ultimatums. Plus, he trusts her wholeheartedly and never does anything to make her doubt his feelings for her once they’re together. Of course, who wouldn’t try to be the perfect boyfriend for Gyu Won? She’s freaking adorable. Also, I’m now a HUGE fan of CNBlue. Jung Yong Hwa is the lead guitar and singer in the group (they’re all in the drama and Lee Jung Hyun was in A Gentleman’s Dignity too). Several of there songs are in here, and they’ve now lead me into an obsession with Korean music. Woo!

    So have you ever watched any kdrama? If so, do you have some to recommend? If not, are you considering it?

    38 responses to “What I’ve Been Watching (2): Special Kdrama Edition”

    1. Have you watched Boys Over Flowers? That’s such a classic haha. Also, Shining Inheritance and King2Hearts are awesome. Love Lee Seunggi πŸ™‚ And for more Yonghwa, how about You’re Beautiful? Park Shin Hye is in that one too.
      While, we’re on the topic of Kpop, listen to SHINee!! They’re amazing.

      • Christina says:

        I started BOF, but I’ve read the manga and seen the anime of that one, and I really don’t like it that much. I’m not sure if I can handle it. I might go back to it and finish just because, but I’m not sure. You’re Beautiful is high on my list of dramas to watch, because I loved those two!

        Oh, I listened to a couple of SHINee songs, and they were definitely a lot of fun!

      • You keep forgetting the best Kdrama I watched 10 timesand I still enjoy it the best from the best from all Kdrama. Secret Garden.

      • Christina says:

        Well, I haven’t seen that one yet. I’ve only watched ten. Well, twelve now, and I’m partway through two more, but there’s hundreds. Can’t see them all in a couple months!

    2. alice-jane says:

      Coffee Prince! <3 That was probably my first ever Kdrama that I watched. I'm watching Boys Next Door, but I haven't made any progress since I haven't had any time to watch the second episode...

    3. Heather says:

      You know, I’ve never really had much of an interest in kdrama (probably because I didn’t know what it was), but now I want to watch Coffee Prince. If I do, I’ll let you know how it goes πŸ™‚ Good job, buddy!

      • Christina says:

        YAY! I think you will like them, since, like me, you can appreciate some ridiculous television. Oh, also, I think Coffee Prince is probably a good place to start. πŸ™‚

    4. Kirsten! says:

      Thanks for the recs! I watched the Antique movie a while back (which was adorable, and I totally recommend it), and have been dying to watch more Kdrama, but had no clue where to start- there are just so many πŸ™‚

      • Christina says:

        I’ve never heard of the movie. At the moment, I’m really not into movies. I don’t have the attention span. Honestly, I love how many there are because I can watch them forever. WIN!

    5. I sent your post to two of my friends who love kdrama, and one replied, “Omg, yaaaaah. EXCEPT, she doesn’t like BOF. Error.”

      • Christina says:

        God, I am trying with BOF. I really am. I’m going to finish it, but it’s so outdated looking and the acting is awful and the story. Oof. It’s rough.

    6. Lilian says:

      “Basically, they think we’re all loud, obnoxious assholes who kiss everyone”
      *squirts milk from nose*
      I don’t mind the kiss everyone part…

      I think Goong may have been one of my first KDramas. I remember loving it because I am a sucker for ancient costumes. I really liked the 2nd male lead though. I suspect it might be because I was already a fan of his music before I watched him act. I remember feeling uncomfortable at the end because of the cliffhanger ending though. And then I was very sad when plans for the sequel got canceled. *sigh*

      argh, Heading to the Ground!
      I think I lasted through two episodes of that, and I consider it a miracle.
      I watched it because I’m a fan of the main leads. I though (and still think) Go Ara is gorgeous and Yun Ho is hot (even though I am not as into KPop as I once was…but he was definitely my number one when Kpop was almost all I listened to.) But no matter how cute.hot I think Yun Ho is…his acting sucks. So I had to stop before my impression of him gets any worse.

      Oh My Lady! Was another one I started because I was a fan of the Choi Si Won (part of my Kpop phase) But I dropped after a few episodes because I was bored (and the romance between an ahjumma and a hot idol was too forced). Or course, I never watched until the end–so maybe they did work.

      I don’t remember much about Pasta!. Though I did want to eat some pasta while watching it.
      I remember something about cooking pasta a certain way that was supposed to make the texture extra good or something. And I remember her being left out on the highway and I was like “WHAT THE HECK? JERK.” Here’s another drama where I supported the 2nd lead. Alex was cute. *sigh*

      I was actually not a fan of Heartstrings. And I lasted until at least episode 14, until I threw the towel. I watched it because…yes, I liked the male lead, who is also a singer (I’m sensing a pattern here) and because I was rooting for them in You’re Beautiful–even though I knew there was no way they would be together. So I thought Heartstrings would satiate my OTP. But I got bored out of my mind.
      I really liked the cuteness of the other couple though (her rival)…and I pitied her rival more than her. Because that girl has some serious family issues despite her mean exterior. And I grew disinterested in the Gu Won because she had everything she ever wanted. She was the perfect, nice girl that everyone supported…she had the lead role, a bunch of friends, supportive family, and the hottest guy in school. While the “mean” girl worked super hard, but got upstaged by an “amateur”. *sigh*

      And I was kinda frustrated when Gu Won kept doing as she was told (even though I know it was part of the “slave” bet.) I did like YongHwa’s character, despite his reserved nature. Though I thought his teacher stalking thing in the beginning was scary.
      I just felt there was a lack of conflict to get me interested.

      I don’t watch as much KDrama as I once did. (I am in my book phase right now) But I still like a good comedy once in awhile. And MAYBE melodrama…if it isn’t too dark.

      • Christina says:

        I don’t mind it, I guess, except that it’s untrue. Like they think we kiss as a greeting here, but that’s more of a European thing.

        Oh man, I did love Goong, but the PAIN. Oh, I forgot about the ending, but wasn’t the monarchy on the verge of crashing or something serious like that? I hated the male lead most of the time. In the manhwa, he is freaking weird btw. I want a sequel, as much as the show hurt. I want more. I will watch Goong S at some point. The historical costumes were weird to me, but I’m used to them now, so maybe I could watch a historical.

        Heading to the Ground was crazy. You’re okay not having seen that. He’s not the best actor. haha. That also had a guy who’s supposed to be American and is the worst actor ever and who has sort of weird English.

        I will watch Choi Si Won do anything. He’s so hot. However, from what I remember (and as I said it was forgettable), I was never shipping them particularly. I’m not a big fan of age gap romances generally, no matter which is older. But Choi Si Won was shirtless a lot, so win.

        Oh, I really like the main actor in Pasta for some reason, but the second guy was cute. I didn’t want him to win though. Pasta was kind of forgettable too.

        Why did you give up with one episode to go? Lol. You’re weird. No matter how much I hated, I would finish at that point. Oh, I didn’t like her rival at all. I found her pig nose seriously distracting. Gyu Won did work really hard though, and it wasn’t so much that she was better at singing and dancing at the time, but that she had star quality. I see what you mean, but I loved her! I didn’t get why Lee Shin was the most popular guy in school though. He was not THAT attractive.

        I actually really appreciated the lack of conflict. It was a nice break from the traditional drama style.

      • Lilian says:

        “Like they think we kiss as a greeting here, but that’s more of a European thing.”
        I don’t think I’ve ever been kissed in greeting. *sigh* I don’t know enough Europeans.
        WELL, actually prep/”popular” girls always (cheek) kiss in greeting too. Or is it just a Hawaii thing? hmmm. *shrug*

        I think if you go into to Goong S expecting something of Goong’s caliber–you will be disappointed. *points to self* I lasted until the end of Goong S, but I was bored. I also watched it because the male lead is a singer I liked…I think I’ll watch anything as long as the male lead is a singer.

        “That also had a guy who’s supposed to be American and is the worst actor ever and who has sort of weird English.”
        Every time I hear Engrish in k-dramas, I’m like “Y U NO HIRE ME? I can so speak English better than these actresses!” or I’m like “psssshhh, you call that good English?!” The thing is that I know it’s poor English, but everyone in the drama thinks it’s the fanciest thing ever.

        “Why did you give up with one episode to go?”
        Well, I DIDN’T KNOW I WAS NEAR THE END. And I was like “why am I still bothering, I don’t care about these characters? *yawn*” at that point. I just really wanted to like it, but I found it underwhelming. I was “chasing” the drama too, anticipating each episode every week–hoping it will get better.

        “I found her pig nose seriously distracting”
        SUPERFICIAL ALERT!

        maybe Lee Shin had the whole mysterious vibe, the whole “broken, mysterious guy” thing that girls fall for? Or maybe all the girls are like “HE IGNORED ME! HE MUST LIKE ME!! *squeal*”

        “I actually really appreciated the lack of conflict. It was a nice break from the traditional drama style.”
        You are the weirdo! So if I filmed a drama about watching paint dry…

      • Christina says:

        I have been, but it’s mostly old people who do that here, like grandparents. I could do without it. Well, the European thing is the air kiss on the cheeks, but in manga an American-raised person will show up and kiss everyone on the lips. I don’t think the popular girls did that at my school. Don’t know.

        Haha, you are weak to singers, but you actually hate their acting. Maybe there’s something to be learned here?

        I know. I always die laughing, because everyone’s so impressed, but it’s SO BAD. I want them to hire me as a consultant/to play any white person they need.

        There are only fifteen episodes. Hahahaha.

        HER CAREER IS BASED ON BEING PRETTY, SO I CAN BE SUPERFICIAL.

        Maybe. Hahaha. We do like the chase.

        No. Unless the paint is drying on a guy with really hot abs…then maybe.

      • Lilian says:

        “but it’s mostly old people who do that here, like grandparents”
        I rarely even hug my parents…and I think my grandpa gave me a “what are you doing?” look when I hugged him. Ah, culture differences…

        “I don’t think the popular girls did that at my school.”
        The popular girls in my school would do double cheek kisses. Like Tyra-Banks style.

        “Maybe there’s something to be learned here?”
        I..I…I….I HAVE HOPE. I will give them time to grow.
        Not ALL of them are awful, Yong Hwa is fine!

        “HER CAREER IS BASED ON BEING PRETTY, SO I CAN BE SUPERFICIAL.”
        MAYBE THIS IS WHY YOU NEED TO STICK WITH BOOKS SOMETIMES. SO YOU CAN’T SAY “SHE HAS A PIG NOSE!” *wonders if you feel the same if Heartstrings was a novel instead*

        New business scheme, here I come!

      • Christina says:

        Wow, the popular girls at your school sound really annoying. Like more so than usual.

        Maybe the lesson is just that you don’t actually like kdrama. That could be it.

        I don’t know. I probably still wouldn’t like her. The way she let Lee Shin pant after her was seriously inappropriate. When she got locked into her rehearsal space, she called a STUDENT. Is there no one else you could call for help than the student who has a crush on you? That’s so wrong. She was leading him on intentionally until her ex showed up, though I did appreciate that once he came back, she shut things down quickly and decisively.

      • Lilian says:

        They are just…very affectionate. Why do I imagine some backstabbing? I watch too much tv.

        I find kdramas are often like books, where I am addicted to some, very disappointed in others–and sometimes I just have to plunge through others. When I read a bunch of “meh” books in a row, I wonder if I really do like reading, or am I lying to myself. AHHHHH!!!

        Is that what happened? My memory is foggy…but I’ll take your word for it.

      • Christina says:

        OR MAYBE THEY DO BACKSTAB. The tv wouldn’t lie to me.

        You mean they vary in quality? HOW DARE THEY? I became obsessed with all of these to some degree I think, though obviously some more than others. Even the ones I liked less, I still HAD TO KNOW.

        That is what happened.

    7. Lilian says:

      Because I reached the character limit *pout*:

      I recommend: Shining Inheritance, King of Baking Kim Tak Goo, 49 Days (addicting story—but the ending made me want to flip tables. ARGH.), The Man Who Can’t Get Married and The Greatest Love (genuinely hilarious)
      If you don’t mind something darker: Temptation of an Angel. (Basically a guy gets plastic surgery to get revenge on his ex-wife who cheated on him and his wealth.)
      Or maybe a korean movie: 200lb beauty
      …I have a feeling I can go on and on with recommendations.

      I find that I am pickier with KDramas, or I’ve “outgrown” the cliche storylines. And I roll my eyes when I see a car crash or amnesia. AND I find that I keep supporting the guy who never gets the girl even though he is SUPER nice and SUPER cute. *sigh* And somehow all the kdramas I’ve been watching lately have poor chemistry between leads. Or maybe it’s just me, because everyone is squealing and I’m like “did I miss something? can these actors be any more emotionless?”

      Lilian @ A Novel Toybox

      • Christina says:

        I DNFed King of Baking Kim Tak Goo after an episode and a half. Does it get better then?

        I hope I don’t outgrow it. πŸ™ Seriously that supporting guy thing was the one thing I didn’t like about Flower Boy Ramyun Shop. The guy she didn’t choose is age-appropriate, tall, hot, nice, caring and has abs made of magic. He’s the guy in the still up above. I mean, what self-respecting woman would go with a whiny brat of a high schooler over him? NONE.

      • Lilian says:

        I forgot what happened in the beginning of King of Baking (so maybe it was boring?) but I remember being hooked. It’s mostly a melodrama though of cancer…family secrets, all that stuff.

        “I mean, what self-respecting woman would go with a whiny brat of a high schooler over him? NONE.”
        This happens so often to me. I have a tendency to support underdogs. *sigh* “WHAT IN THE WORLD IS WRONG WITH THIS WOMAN??”
        It happened in Ohlala Couple (I think I told you,) but unlike other dramas where the guy has at least SOME redeeming quality–the guy in Ohlala Spouses had none, unless you count crying all the time because his ex-wife was happy with another man. Basically he verbally abuses his wife while he cheats with a hotter, younger woman…and then his wife finds out and divorces him. Then he gets super jealous when she finds love with another man. And he starts whining. A lot.

        I didn’t finish that drama after I found out how it ended (I read a summary) because I was like “I do NOT approve of this junk. hmph.”

        Lilian @ A Novel Toybox

      • Christina says:

        I watched like two hours of it and the MC wasn’t even in it yet, and it had nothing to do with baking and everyone was ugly and annoying, so I gave up.

        Yup, that happens to me a lot and it’s a struggle. I was rooting for the second guy for most of Coffee Prince, but I was brought around on that. I think that happened in Goong too. But in FBRS, I was never convinced.

        Wow. I do not want to watch that. More like Ohnono couple.

      • Lilian says:

        The baking comes later I think. It’s been awhile since I’ve watched it…but I THINK it was a “forgettable kid actually has hidden talents, learns from a master, and blows everyone else out of the water” kind of drama.

        I think the drama even had a poll where you could vote which guy you wanted the main girl to be with. And the 2nd guy won. But they still didn’t rewrite the drama. *Sigh*
        I think the drama says a lot about the writer’s values.
        I would’ve rather had her not choose any of them and be an free, independent woman than go back to her abusive relationship. But of course: it’s a kdrama. Apparently you HAVE to end up with the male lead even if the supporting guy is a perfect guy sent from heaven.
        Ohnono Couple indeed.

      • Christina says:

        Huh. Well, since you vouch for it, I will put it on my list. If I hate it, you are getting disgruntled tweets.

        HOW RUDE. Why have a poll like that if you’re not going to listen to the results?

        So many of the guys are such jerks. Which makes me wonder why I am so attracted to Koreans. This cannot be healthy.

      • Lilian says:

        “If I hate it, you are getting disgruntled tweets.”
        Oh shoot. If you hate it, I’M SO SORRRRRYYYY. *gets ready to apologize profusely* Maybe you should watch The Greatest Love instead then. Even if you hate it…you will still get a smile on your face. I hope.

        And this is why I am scared of recommending stuff to people. Every recommendation is like a testament to my taste.

        KDramas are making me think that in Korea tall, hot, perfect guys are everywhere…*swoons*

      • Christina says:

        Ha, yes! This is why I’m bot happy and freaked out when someone reads a book based on my recommendation.

        I have a friend who went to Seoul briefly and she said that was pretty true. I WANT TO GO TO THERE.

    8. Jamie says:

      This is awesome!! I’ve always been so curious seeing talk about kdrama and seeing it on Hulu but I never knew where to start! Thank you!! I hope I get into them!

    9. KM says:

      Yeah…I didn’t like “Pasta” either. Normally, I can stomach their more traditional gender roles because I can chalk it up to cultural differences. But I don’t think that one had anything to do with culture or his job – he was just a jerk. #dislike

      YES! HEARTSTRINGS! <3333 I now have hope that if you liked that drama, you'll like my book if it ever gets published lol

    10. OMGOMGOMG KDRAMASS!! YESHHHHH! I NEEEEED TO START WATCHING THEM NOOOOW!! *saves post to bookmark* πŸ˜› Now I will have things to watch! Mwaahahahaha! Love you! Omg, please write more~ <333 fdafjdfakjf <---Can't contain my fangirling! πŸ˜›

    11. Lynn K. says:

      Hehe, I’ve been thinking of picking them up again. Quite a few I’ve never heard of listed here!

      I used to tag along with my mum and aunt and watched those old ones years ago! Winter Sonata, Stairway to Heaven, *something* Bali, Summer Scent (?)…AND FULL HOUSE. I loved Full House. It was the only one I rewatched.

      Then later came Boys Over Flowers, Coffee Prince (which I barely remember for some reason, Goong (I wanted her with the cousin!!!), OML, something about a talent school (with IU), Smiling Inheritance (?), Gumiho…*faulty memory* I watched most of them w/ Chinese subs so I don’t quite recall their English names.

      Gonna watch To The Beautiful You next. Another manga based one that I just found out about yesterday!

    12. ConnieOnnie says:

      I have only finished watching two Kdrama’s Flower Boy Next Door & Heartstrings. I started watching Flower Boy & Ramen Shop but did not finish because I completely agree who would pick what’s his face over Kang Hyuk. I just didn’t think I could stand it so I stopped watching but I might go back and finish. Wasn’t Heartstrings the best? I will have to watch Coffee Prince next.
      ConnieOnnie recently posted…Team Adam Lives OnMy Profile

    13. Kate C. says:

      It’s gonna be so hard not to take up a novel sized space with my comments, because I’m a total Kdrama addict. As in, I watch it live (or as live as you can get via Viki.com) and I watch it more than US tv now.

      My top dramas, because of loveable characters, guys who are NOT total chaebol jerk characters, and adorable romances:

      1) Greatest Love (also called Best love). It really is the Best Love of all time. I could not root harder for a couple.

      2) Queen In-Hyun’s Man. All other drama heroes should take notes from the MC. Totally supports the girl, respects her, and treats her like an equal. Also, the main couple fell in love during this drama and he confessed his love to her in their press conference afterward. SQUEEEEE! It’s magic.

      3) Coffee Prince. If you can fall in love with someone and not care what gender they are, THAT IS LOVE. *sigh*

      4) King 2 Hearts. Lee Seung Gi plays the best character and he is paired with my favorite actress from Secret Garden Ha Ji Won. She is so freaking Kick Ass in this drama. She plays a North Korean Assassin. Cute, funny, and suspenseful.

      5) I Hear Your Voice. It’s a new addition to my list, but man, so good. It’s a Noona romance and the hero is so freaking cute!!! I Heart Him so much!

      BTW- I just want to comment on the smooching stuff. It’s true, that most of them are “wide eyed” kisses, because Korean TV is publicly funded and has to meet certain public decency standards. Imagine my surprise when I saw my first Kmovie! hahaha The cable shows are the ones that usually show more racy stuff. All the dramas on MY list have good (or AMAZING) smooches, though. πŸ™‚
      Also, I pretty much agree with everything you said.

      That’s it from me. Otherwise I will go on for DAYZ.

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