Drama Year 2013: The Naughty or Nice List [Year-End Review]

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Yet another drama year has come to a close and it is time look back on the goodies (and the not-so-goodies) that the dramaworld brought us in 2013. 
Compared to 2012, this year was less exciting for me. Not only did I finish less dramas than last year, but also I never fell head-over-heels in love with the shows that I watched. That is not to say that the whole drama year sucked, because there were some gems among the stones. And thankfully I did manage to avoid the biggest trainwrecks of the year, more or less, and instead focused on finishing shows that I actually enjoyed watching. Overall, the year could have given us a more standouts and less disappointments, but hey, there's always the next year!

For this year's review I asked Santa and his handy Naughy-or-Nice list to help me out. As it turns out, the jolly guy in red is actually a Asian drama addict himself (I'm totally not lying, I swears) and he was more than glad to comment on the dramas. 
And as you might expect, the review itself is long. So be prepared to take naps in between to chew through this one. 

There are two parts of the review: 

1) Dramas that aired this year and which I watched in their entirety 
2) Dramas that aired this year, but which I haven't yet completed.

And all dramas are divided into three categories:
NICE = You did good, drama.
NAUGHTY = Time out for you, show!
NOT ON THE LIST = Huh? I totally forgot about you. Probably for a reason...

(NOTE: Half-way in writing my review I found out that Girlfriday from Dramabeans also had a similar idea as I did for her year-end review, which is a bit unfortunate because I never intended to copy anyone or anything. But I believe our opinions about dramas are quite different, so hopefully both our reviews can still peacefully co-exist in this blogosphere.)


 Dramas that aired this year and which I watched in their entirety 

Itazura na Kiss: Love in Tokyo

Category: NICE
Santa's comment: "Just as sweet as Christmas candy."

Even though it is hard for me to say which version I have enjoyed the most from the Itazura na Kiss franchise (as each version has been memorable in its own unique way), Love in Tokyo is definitely among the top two. This is mostly thanks to the relatively fast-paced plot, which never had me bored, and also thanks to the characters, who were perhaps most balanced and likable in this version. 
I also liked the cast, who I was unsure of at first, but who grew on me quickly, and by the end, it was sad to say farewell to them. The acting performances weren't perfect but, despite of some over-acting, the cast played their roles with affection and warmth (except for Naoki, who was as cold as ever) which was enough for me. I would say that Yuki Yamada was most memorable in his role as Kinnosuke, though he did over-exaggerate a lot in comedic parts (though, I have to point out Japanese comedy always very over-exaggerated). I did like him a lot in more quiet moments where Kinnosuke appeared to be quite mature and wise despite his otherwise goofy persona. But I also liked Honoka Miki and Yuki Furukawa and their playful interactions. Although sparks weren't flying in this version of their romance, I quite enjoyed the couple together. And hopefully this isn't the last we see of them (*gives her approval to the rumoured sequel*).

School 2013

Category: NICE
Santa's comment: "Delinquent kids with a heart of gold - definitely nice. But try to study more next year, okay?"

I have to admit that the stories about angsty and rebellious teens always get me quite easily, so School 2013 was bound to get my attention. However, I was quite surprised how quickly I became invested in the drama. Yes, some of the school stuff was repetitive (Oh dear, is In Jae getting fired? Again?) and bored me a bit in the final stretch of the drama. But the characters totally won me over. I loved the teachers and I loved the kids, and I rooted for them in different ways: for Nam Soon to make up with Heung Soo, for Se Chan to become a caring teacher, for In Jae to be able to get through to the students, and for Jung Ho to take responsibility for his own actions. Although we didn't get any love lines, I was actually quite okay with it because with other more intriguing interactions between characters I didn't miss romance one bit. In fact, I think that oftentimes friendships (and also parent-child/mentor/mentee relationships) are much more satisfying and heartwarming to watch than romantic story lines. 

Also, the ending pleasantly surprised me. Actually, I think School 2013 had one of the best endings this year. It was perfectly bittersweet, giving some closure on some of the characters but keeping things open-ended in general. I won't give away any spoilers but I really liked how they wrapped up Jung Ho's storyline without sugar-coating it, giving us something more realistic instead. And the very last scene spoke volumes about In Jae's character and her faith in her students. Very bittersweet indeed.

The Heirs

Category: NAUGHTY
Santa's comment: "I don't like spoiled children."

While The Heirs was not the trainwreck I expected it to be, it wasn't good either. I'm sorry if I'm going to offend someone with this but Kim Eun Sook is not a very good writer. Her dramas (Secret Garden, A Gentleman's Dignity) lack actual content and are filled with logical flaws (not to mention her idea of romance, which involves stalking, forced kisses, and nearly abusive male leads, makes me uncomfortable)And Heirs was no different from her earlier works - there just wasn't enough story for a 20-episode series. Just a bunch of spoiled teens who were competing with each other over whose first world problems are the biggest.
If I think back on the show, the first thing I think of (aside from Tan's terrible fashion) is the huge and quite talented cast sitting around and doing nothing. 90% of the show is about the main couple staring at each other in different locations. At first, the longing looks may seem sweet but ultimately it'll make you reach for the fast-forward button. The reason why I stuck with the show was purely because of my interest in the side-characters as the main couple did nothing for me (in my opinion, Eun Sang should have just stayed single, neither Tan nor Young Do was worth all that crap). But even though side-characters were much more intriguing, they were never really developed or used enough. And so my heart quietly wept for the wasted cast, especially for Choi Jin Hyuk, Kim Ji Won, Im Joo Eun and Kang Ha Neul
HOWEVER, I want to be clear that I did not hate Heirs. At the beginning, I actually enjoyed it. But it never was more than it could have been and that is just disappointing. 


Catergory: NOT ON THE LIST

Santa's comment: "I love your singing. But how about some Christmas carols now?"

Monstar was one of the many shows this year which I liked but didn't get super excited for. I can mostly blame it on the pacing which dragged out all conflicts and story lines, so that by the end I felt disinterested about the outcome. The writing was quite poignant when it dealt with the problems of the teen characters, yet it lacked punch because of the episode length. And I kinda wished that there was a bit less focus on the love triangle (quadrangle?) as it kinda killed my love for the characters in the latter half. Still, I think it was a pretty decent show and the stories of the characters are oftentimes really touching and heartwarming. It just takes a lot of patience to go through these half-an-hour episodes without getting bored from time to time.

But I do praise Monstar for is it's delightful music performances. Those were the reason why I continued watching the show even when the story started to drag along and I no longer felt interested about how the drama would end. The songs were always performed in a meaningful way that reflected the emotions of the characters and I was glad to be introduced to so many awesome songs that I hadn't been familiar with yet. So, while I wasn't in love with the entire show, I was definitely head over heels in love with the soundtrack. 

The Master's Sun

Category: NICE
Santa's comment: "Congrats on getting back on the Nice-list, Hong sisters! We all know on which list you spent the last year, so don't let any BIG disasters happen again, okay?"

I'll forgive you, Hong sisters. If it weren't for this drama, or to be more exact, if it weren't for this OTP I would have still carried on my grudge for the-drama-that-shall-not-be-named all through the year 2013. But thankfully you gave me what I wanted - a romantic pairing that I could root for with all my heart. I guess we're cool again. 

But seriously, The Master's Sun is probably my favourite romcom that came out this year. It was just the right mix of funny, cute and spooky. I know the writing was flawed in some parts and that the story wasn't particularly developed but it was satisfying, AND Hong sisters managed not to screw up the ending this time around (yay!). 
The the main conflict was rather weak, though, as it lacked tension and fell a bit flat in the end. However, thanks to the chemistry between Gong Hyo Jin and So Ji Sub, which kept the show afloat, I was distracted from the shortcomings. And truly, the couple was the real magic of the drama. I mean the fantasy aspect was also cool in theory, but the ghost-of-the-week story lines were rather predictable and even somewhat tedious. Nevertheless it was okay since the ghost investigations forced the main couple to spend time with each other, making me very happy. Actually, pretty much everything in the show was used as a device to either bring the couple together or to break them up, and while I wasn't exactly complaining I wished there was more content - bigger conflicts, more life-and-death moments, and scarier ghosts. Still, I was fairly happy with what we got and I completed the drama with only good memories, which is how it ought to be.

You're the Best, Lee Soon Shin

Category: NAUGHTY
Santa's comment: "If that's your best, you need to do better. 'Til next year." 

I have a lot to say about You're the Best, Lee Soon Shin, mostly bad things. But I want to forget my frustration and disappointment with the show for a moment and talk about the good stuff first. In that way, I can almost say that it wasn't a complete waste of time. There were actually quite a few positive things that came out of it. Okay, maybe just three good things: I found respect for IU, I got confirmation that Jo Jung Suk is simply awesome in every role he plays, and I discovered Jung Woo. The other stuff was...well, not worth my frustration.

The reason I hold on until the end was our main couple. I know I was extremely sceptical about IU and Jung Suk being paired up at first but they turned out to be so delightful together and, in the end, they were my only motivation to complete this show - I just had to see them happy. Unfortunately, there was too much of aggrivating drama in between that I consider myself to be heroic for being able to complete it.
Aside from the fact that the show is 50 episodes long and drags on quite a lot (fast-forward button is your best friend, by the way), it never makes you feel emotionally invested. Why? Because while it is advertised as heartwarming show about the importance of family ties, most of the time you cannot stand anyone in the family. The moms in the show are aggrivating and their fight over Soon Shin culminates into a competition on who can hurt her the most. How are you supposed to feel touched by the drama if the parents are undeserving of the children's love? The answer is that you CAN'T, which is why it miserably fails at being a good family drama. 


Dramas that aired this year, but which I haven't yet completed

Mi Rae's Choice/Marry Him if You Dare
(7 episodes watched)

Category: NAUGHTY

Santa's comment: "Mi Rae, I wouldn't even know what to bring you for Christmas. You're way too picky."

Blech. This is how this show makes me feel. Although it's technically in the section of dramas that I haven't completed yet, I am totally aware of how it progressed declined and how much the ending sucked. The thing I hate most is when a somebody promises you something, but then randomly changes their mind, and finally pretends that they never promised you anything. This is what MHIYD did. It promised a light romcom (possibly with lots of hot kisses, considering it had Lee Dong Gun and Yoon Eun Hye as the leads), but broke that promise half way in, pulling focus from the original OTP and putting it on the couple that was never meant to be. What's worse, the writer not only ruined the plot, but she ruined characters you liked before (*cough* Se Joo *cough*) in a failed attempt to raise the ratings. A huge waste of Lee Dong Gun's and Yoon Eun Hye's talent, and a huge waste of our time. 

Heartless City
(13 episodes watched)

Category: NICE

Santa's comment: "Absolutely nothing heartless about you, show. I know you were good this year." 

So badass. While it didn't receive that much attention from the average drama watchers, it is definitely, without a doubt, one of the best dramas the year 2013. It may be a bit premature for me to say this as I haven't even finished it yet, but I haven't heard anyone say one bad thing about this show, so I'm pretty sure my statement still holds.

What makes HC so good is that not only is it thrilling to watch, with all those awesome plot twists and cool fight scenes, but it also has an intriguing story and compelling characters that you care and constantly worry about. 
However, I do have one complaint - Nam Gyu Ri as Soo Min. Or actually, my problem is with the entire character and not just Gyu Ri's portrayal of her. I feel that Soo Min is just so misplaced in the drama where everyone works so hard to survive while she seems so naive and unaware about the seriousness of the situation. How I wish she was as awesome and as well-developed as Jin Sook's character is, but unfortunately she's not. It's not that I totally hate Soo Min, but I am working hard not to wanna slap her at times.

Saikou no Rikon
(6 episodes watched)

Category: NICE

Santa's comment: "Divorced people deserve presents, too."

What an odd show. Not just odd, but also oddly good. None of the characters are particularly likable, yet their complicated and flawed personalities keep me intrigued. I definitely like how the cast portrays them, annd I'm especially fond of Eita performance as Mitsuo who's both extremely annoying and super funny at the same time. The other characters are quite unconventional as well and their unexpected actions make for a peculiar watching experience. 
I find it interesting that even though all the two main couples are both going through serious marital problems and there's a lot of unresolved feelings in the air, they all still become friends with each other in the process. I'm not even sure if I should root for the couples to get back together or if I want simply them to stay as this strange but awesome group of friends. 
Another thing that I like about the drama is the dialogue, which is very fast, witty and humourous. Although I sometimes wish I could understand it a bit more, without the cultural barrier standing in the way, I've still collected quite a few meaningful quotes that have resonance with me. 
Overall, it's a lovely show that takes an unique approach to relationships. A recommended watch.

I Hear Your Voice
(2 episodes watched)

Category: NICE
Santa's verdict: "I heard your voice too and it was the nicest thing ever."

I actually just recently started I Hear Your Voice and I'm still in not very far. Though I dod think it's a pretty cool show so far. I can't say that love it as much as the majority of viewers did back when it aired, but it has made a very good first impression on me.  
I really enjoy the mystery around the killer and I like the main characters quite a lot. Our heroine is so awesomely haughty and funny, Lee Jong Suk is adorbs as always, and the dorky lawyer cracks me up. However, I wish the show was a little bit darker and a bit more serious because as it is now it feels kind of a mismash of romance, fantasy, comedy, crime and law, and the transitions between them are a bit jarring. While I generally like a mixture of genres I'm not sure it works that well in this drama, or at least not all the time. I think the cinematography is a bit mismatched as well. The light colours and summery atmosphere is okay for the cute parts, but in scenes involving the killer it takes away the suspense. But there's still a long way for me to got so maybe I'll get used to it. 

Who Are You?
(8 episodes watched)

Santa's comment: "How could anyone hit their head so hard that they forget dating Kim Jae Wook? Did she fall down a chimney or something?"

Who Are You? is yet another show that didn't really stand out to me, even though there was nothing gravely wrong with it (well...there was one thing that was gravely wrong but I'll get to that) - the premise was pretty cool, the story had some mystery, the ghosts were creepy. But like with a lot of the shows this year, WAY failed to make an emotional impact on me. I watched it feeling emotionally disconnected. I didn't have much affection for the main couple and even though Si On and Gun Woo were likable on paper, they were underdeveloped and neither So Yi Hyun or Taecyeon played their roles with enough heart to make you care about them. But you are supposed to care. To make it worse, the only character I actually felt for was without a happy ending because...well, because he was deadKim Jae Wook' s performance as Sad Eyes (whateverhisnamewas) was the best in the drama (and he barely said anything!) but the character's heartbreak was too much for me to bear. In the end, Kim Jae Wook was both the reason why I watched this show and why I eventually quit it. 

Flower Boy Next Door
(7 episodes watched)

Category: NICE

Santa's comment: "I knew I shouldn't have given you those binoculars for last year's Christmas, Dok Mi." 

Although I did find Flower Boy Next Door adorable, humorous and fun, I couldn't appreciate it fully as I was too focused on shipping the wrong couple. I hate when that happens, especially since FBND is just the kind of drama that I should easily love. Unfortunately though, my affection for Kim Ji Hoon got in the way instead and I fell hard for Jin Rak's dorky hotness. I know I'm in the minority in this as most viewers seemed to love Yoon Si Yoon's portrayal of Enrique to bits, but sadly I couldn't take Enrique seriously as a romantic lead, at least not with all that aegyo. Sure, I found him amusing at times but mostly he was just too much and too all over the place. 

On the other hand, I'm glad for Park Shin Hye who finally landed a role where her character actually got to be her own person (too bad she took a step back with The Heirs, tho) and, as an introvert, I found Dok Mi's character very easy to relate to, and in a way I saw myself in her. Though, there is a one big difference between me and her - I'd pick Jin Rak.

(11 episodes watched)

Santa's comment: "For God's sake, just STOP CRYING already! You won't get into the Nice-list like that."

Pain and tears, tears and pain - I think that pretty much sums up Secret. Though, I have to admit that I wasn't so off-put by the melo with this showt. Maybe because I felt like the show fully dedicated itself to the melodrama aspect and did it fairly well. 

The cast, as well, put their everything into portraying the characters that I couldn't help but admire them a little for it. I can't imagine how draining it must have been for Hwang Jung Eum to cry so hard in every episode, but at least she didn't half-assed it. Ji Sung was also a worthy male lead, despite the fact that I didn't quite get the romance between the couple (the heroine was just too abused by all men). But it was perhaps Bae Soo Bin who surprised me by being the perfect villain. I hated him with passion and I kinda feel bad for Bae Soo Bin that the first time I really like him in a role is when he's playing such a douchebag. Unfortunate indeed.
I never really enjoyed watching Secret, but I was strangely intrigued by it at one point. I didn't even like the characters that much, yet I couldn't help but want to know where they would end up eventually. I guess it's the appeal of most melodramas - even if you care little about the characters, you still have that sickly interest in seeing how much suffering they have to go through before the show ends. The answer is a lot, as was also the case with Secret. 

That Winter, The Wind Blows
(5 episodes watched)


Santa's comment: "Stop flirting with your sister! That's not even naughty, that's just plain creepy."

The drama that I don't really remember much about. Like seriously, when I think back on it I can pretty much say only two things about the show. 

First, everything was so pretty. Not only the cinematography, but also the cast. However, despite being very pretty to look at, the main characters weren't really that compelling. I think it was because they weren't written very affectionately and and thus my feelings for them as characters remained rather lukewarm as well. Physically, Song Hye Gyo and Jo In Sung made a very appealing couple but the chemistry between them wasn't that remarkable either and so I couldn't completely get invested in the romance.
Second, there was something about fake incest. Yeah, I don't really recall any of the details of the plot but I remember being fairly interested for the first few episodes. However, since it lacked tension and excitement, I got bored very quickly. I guess the drama just failed to capture my attention fully. I stopped watching it at one point and had no reason to pick it up again. Right now, I feel like I might complete it someday, but I don't think that day will come very soon. 

Answer Me 1994
(11 episodes watched)

Category: NICE
Santa's comment: "Psst. I'll put you into the Nice-list if Team Chilbongie wins."

It's good that the second season of Answer Me which I was so afraid would flunk is actually pretty good. It's almost as fun, heartwarming and nostalgic, still doing a very good job with the popular culture references and the cameos. The characters are lovable and the cast does a wonderful job at portraying them. Yet, I feel that I may be the only one who misses 1997 when watching it. There are actually quite a few reasons why 1994 hasn't managed to capture my heart fully. (NOTE: as I'm wiriting this I am unaware about the ending, but I by the time this post is up I probably have read the spoilers.)
First of all, the length. The show is 21 episodes long and each episode lasts for an hour and a half, which is like crazy in my opinion. I don't mind spending more time with the characters but the plot has lost the punch that 1997 had and the story is just so dragged out.  
Secondly, the husband-mystery? Again? I admit that they are doing a good job with making us confused about who's the end-game, but honestly, it's quite annoying to have to keep guessing and stressing about it.
And thirdly, the possibility that Na Jung might be the end-couple with Trash kinda makes me uncomfortable. Don't get me wrong, I like Trash and I love him as the member of the Sung family but it's almost as if he's too close with Na Jung. They know each other so well, down to the weirdest habits, and it just isn't romantic anymore. I mean, it actually feels like she's falling in love with her own brother, even if they're not really related. I know it's all in my head, but I'm just grossed out by the thought of it.
So yeah, while generally do enjoy the drama I am already certain that it won't be able to top 1997 for me. It's just too exhausting to get through these half an hour episodes and to be rewarded with nothing more than more unanswered questions about the mystery husband. And I don't want to feel tired after watching a drama.

Two Weeks
(2 episodes watched)

Category: NICE
Santa's comment: "Two weeks to save your daughter? Pfft, that's nothing. Try delivering presents to the entire world in one night. Now that's hard."

I've only seen the two first episodes of Two Weeks, which means I don't have much to say about it yet. I was planning to complete it when it was airing but I got sidetracked by The Master's Sun instead. Sadly, this show just had a very poor timing for me.

My first impressions, though, were pretty positive. The show seems like it's going to be thrilling and suspenseful to watch, considering it's a-race-against-the-time kind of story. I hope we'll get some action and well-choreographed fighting scenes to keep the show as cool as possible. But I'm guessing that it's going to be pretty emotional as well and I'm already loving the interaction between Tae San and Soo Jin (who's just adorable). Since our hero is not really hero-material yet, I think it's going to be very interesting to follow his redemption arc. Lee Jun Ki plays Tae San wonderfully, and I hope that by the end I'll be touched by his impossible-sounding quest to save his daughter. If the show manages to do just that, I'm definitely going to be happy.

Nine: Nine Times Time Travel
(3 episodes watched)

Category: NICE
Santa's comment: "Time-travel may seem exciting but reindeers are a more reliable way of transport."

Nine is another show that I'm shelving for later because I want to marathon it without any interruptions. So far I haven't found the right time and it makes me sad because I did enjoy the first episodes quite a lot. I seriously could use a time-travel machine myself.

My first impressions about the drama were very good. There was a unique angle to the story which hadn't been used by all of the previous time-travel dramas yet and I became quickly intrigued by our main character and his mysterious back story. The only thing I'm not sure about is the female lead whose chipperness may become too distracting or even annoying if the actress doesn't tone it down. Lee Jin Wook, on the other hand, is so charming. I am really glad that he's getting more attention now and I think he fully deserves it. 
Overall, the drama has a bit darker and more intense vibe than any of the other time-travel shows so far, and I like it. I love that I can actually sense the danger of time-travel. There are definitely consequences to messing with it and I'm prepared for situations where the stakes are high and a lot can go wrong. I'm hopeful that Nine will deliver the thrills. 

Cyrano Dating Agency
(2 episodes watched)

Santa's comment: "Oh, you young kids nowadays are so helpless. Me and Mrs. Claus never needed any help to find each other."

I currently have no plans to pick Cyrano up again, despite the fact that I found it to be cute light-hearted fun. Something about it just never clicked with me. Probably the main issue was the lack of romantic spark between the main couple. I noticed that already in the first episode and I knew it would become a problem for me. I wouldn't really blame the actors for it because I did like both Soo Young and Lee Jong Hyuk in their roles. It's just that I wasn't quite buying them as a couple. It didn't help that Lee Chun Hee looked so good in this drama that I immediately started rooting for him to get the girl instead. 

The other thing that kinda put me off was the episodic structure of the plot. Several shows this year had the episodic pace and while it seems refreshing at first, it gets tedious after a while as I'm never that interested in the weekly mini-stories and I usually end up skipping them. It's just my personal preference, I guess. So until I'm in the mood for some dating hijinks, I'm gonna put this one aside for the time being.

Jang Ok Jung, Live By Love
(7 episodes watched)

Santa's comment: "Um...I don't think Christmas is celebrated in Joseon. So how about you wait for a couple of hundred years and you'll get your present then."

2013 was a bad year for sageuks. Jang Ok Jung, Live By Love was the only one I started this year and I didn't even finish it. The drama started out decent enough, although I was never fully invested in it. I liked the main couple, who very visually very good-looking together, and I was looking forward to the romance. But I guess I got bored pretty quickly and I then started seeing the flaws: the acting was inconsistent, the romance didn't move fast enough, and the story was becoming makjangish. I fell behind and I was uninspired to catch up, especially after I heard only bad things about upcoming episodes. So I dropped it. I'm still not aware whether the drama was able to pick up after those particularly makjangish episodes in the middle but if I'm being honest, I don't really care anymore. Jang Ok Jung never had my heart anyways. I just wish my only experience with a sageuk this year hadn't been this disappointing. 

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  1. LOVE the brief commentary and the lists! I totally agree with you on Heirs and the problems of Master's Sun being made totally okay by the awesome OTP's chemistry.

    Who Are You? OMG! That show had so many unbelievable plot holes it wasn't even funny. Not even my love of Kim Jae Wook can get me to finish that series. Such a waste of his acting talent. WHEN will he get a non-second male lead role and GET the girl? Well...he was dead in this drama, but STILL!

    I was also frustrated that the awesome Kim Ji Hoon got relegated to 2nd male lead inf FBND which I still need to finish. He's not 2nd male lead material at all! Hmph. I guess my only peeve, which isn't really a bad one, is that he was totally okay with Dok Mi taking her own time and hiding away from the world. That wasn't a good thing and It was nice that Enrique got her out and forced her back into the real world at long last. However...after episode 11...I kind of got fed up with the plot and put the show on hiatus in my watching.

    1. It really is unfair that Kim Jae Wook seems to ALWAYS play second male leads, which is weird because he's often more talented (in my opinion) than the actual male leads. I hear he's the second lead in the new drama Age of Feeling also...

      I know that logically Enrique was a better choice for Dok Mi, but my heart never accepted Enrique as the lead because I was too concentrated on Kim Ji Hoon. It was just so illogical to think of Kim Ji Hoon as the second male lead.

  2. You're making me want to watch so many dramas! Even though I know I'll get bored with most of them. Sigh... I've only finished one 2013 dramas. I started a few others but got so bored. Are dramas getting slower or am I just getting more impatient? Whatever. Still looking forward to 2014 though. Hopefully I can watch more dramas this year!

    1. It's okay to take your time choosing a drama to watch :) I think that 2013 was kind of a slow drama year for everyone, hopefully 2014 will be more exciting.

  3. "In fact, I think that oftentimes friendships (and also parent-child/mentor/mentee relationships) are much more satisfying and heartwarming to watch than romantic story lines. "

    *nods vigorously*

    School's ending hit me in two rounds. I remember telling myself 1 week before the close, that 'if everything ends in a good enough manner, School will be entering my Top 5 fav dramas of all time.' And then. It ended, and I was left sitting there thinking. "Huh.?" Okay...... But, I guess it's still Top 5 material. It wasn't until I thought about for some weeks and then rewatched it twice that I fully realized how much I loved open-ended-ness. Because that is realism. People's lives don't just end mid-stream. They continue on past what we know of them, and that's how.. it just goes. It satisfied me 100x more than if there'd be some perfectly happy and final closure.

    -- I seriously still miss my time watching Mischievous Kiss. I want to go back to those days. That show filled up my heart in ways I never thought possible. *happy sighs* Strangely enough, Monstar did that for me too to an extent, though it wasn't truthfully an awesome show.

    I'm still waiting to find some Lee Soon Shin romantic couple cuts only version. I'm not sure if I could even be bothered to be constantly hitting the fast forward button. It sounds like too much work. :P

    Ok. naptime now. I'll come back and read the rest later. I already read through Santa's comments a couple days go. They are excellent. :D

    1. Yeah, School's ending was just right with that open ending. I was really happy that it ended that way.

      I kinda miss Mischievous Kiss as well. It was just so fun and cute and it never bored me even though I knew the story by heart. Monstar strangerly never had that effect on me, though.

  4. Yeah, Soon Shin, i was watching it for the main couple as well. Most adorable, natural, cute, sweet, wonderful couple in dramaland this year. I loved them to bits. Until they made Jo Jung Suk do a stupid noble idiot thing that didn't actually make a scrap of difference to anything. Man I hated them for doing that! Seriously, I wanted to walk into the writers room and chop off some heads.

    Heirs: "But it never was more than it could have been and that is just disappointing." I went the opposite way. I think it was never better than it could have been, but it wasn't as bad as it could've been either. So i really didn't mind it, in the end. I mean, my expectations couldn't get any lower when it started so it could only go up for me, lol

    Patiently waiting for a Love in Tokyo sequel. Patiently... patiently...

    1. I think in the review I made it sound like I didn't like Heirs that much, which isn't true because I did enjoy it to an extent. It's just that when it turned out not to suck that much as I initially expected I started wanting more. I was intrigued by the side-characters and I want so much more from those interactions, but I was disappointed when all focus was turned on that dreadfully slow and frustrating romantic triangle when there was so much more interesting stuff going on the sidelines.
      AND I was furious that Won was the only character in the show who didn't have a happy ending (sorry, I'm biased towards Choi Jin Hyuk).

  5. Hey there,
    I just nominated you for the Liebster Award. Congrats!! :))
    Please see the link below for the details

    1. Thank you for the nomination!

      Since I already did my Liebster post last year, I have simply updated it with your questions. Of course, I also nominate you back so feel free to read my post and answer my questions as well:


  6. "
    Santa's comment: "How could anyone hit their head so hard that they forget dating Kim Jae Wook? Did she fall down a chimney or something?"
    Haha, LOL. Santa is hilarious, and so correct. On that one premise, the show almost falls apart, doesn't it!?

    1. Yup, aside from being awesome for bringing us gifts every year Santa's also a pretty funny guy. Who would have known, huh? :D

      As for Who Are You, the show also fell apart for me because KJW's character was completely screwed over in it, and of course I was rooting for him all the way. I know I should be glad that Si On found happiness with a new man after her fiance's death, but no, I'm extremely bitter about it. And don't expect that the following makes any sense but...she should've chosen the dead guy...


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