Korean Dramas: First Impression

I’m getting more and more hyped up with all these Kdramas airing right now. So, I just want to add my two cents on the dramas that I’m currently watching and these might help you find your drama to-watch as well.

 

Circle: Two Worlds Connected – Thrilling. Unpredictable. Gripping. Always keeping me at the edge of my seat. This show is one of my favorites among the ongoing dramas that I’m watching. I am not a fan of sci-fi or dystopian genre but the plot and the way this show presents its story to the viewers is what’s keeping me hook. I am as both enthralled with the two different worlds and I just badly want to know how things happened that led to the present/Brave New World Era. This Kdrama is a sci-fi but I love that there is still a touch of humanity in the storyline. Is losing memory, both the bad and good ones, the only way for the people to have a safe and peaceful lives?

Fight my Way – I’m still thinking if I am liking this show, but the premise of “bestfriends turning into lovers” is the reason why I’m watching it. The two leads’ chemistry is undeniable and I always love their banters and how they truly care with each other. I’m not yet interested with Dong Man’s taekwando arc yet I’m loving Ae Ra’s arc re: Announcer dream. For me, the magic of this show is the characters’ having normal lives, experiencing dilemmas that are realistic and relatable. So yeah, I’ll keep on watching it.

Lookout – I am quite frustrated with all the injustice but I am loving chemistry of the squad. The lead woman is a badass, but sometimes I don’t like how she acts rashly because of emotions. I love Bo Mi’s arc, which is the focus of the show right now. I am quite intrigue with the leader, and if you’re a viewer you probably know by now. I love how the actor (forgots his name, silly me) shifts from being playful, to edgy, to being mysterious. Will he really be loyal to the squad, or just plainly using them for revenge?

Suspicious Partner – My drama crack. Such a Ji Chang Wook fest. Ji Chang Wook. Ji Chang Wook. Ji Chang Wook. I am not buying most of the comedic antics but the romance is just captivating. The mystery/thriller side is not fully on the loop but I’m interested as well. I am quite afraid that something will go wrong with the characters. The murderer is just so creepy. I’m on the ride for the romance.. and the bromance. And oh, please, can someone shut off Yoo Jung and her hoobae? They’re pissing me off.

I’m planning to watch Duel and The Best Hit next. Oh geez. I just hope I can manage to watch all of them. All four ongoing dramas are just oh so good and now I can’t let them go.

Now, who says I need sleep? Bring it on!

Korean Drama: Healer

Let me start off by saying that Healer is my no.1 favorite Korean drama of all time. It has all the spices that I wanted: action, romance, a little bit of a thriller and politics. It built their own world that really works for me. Maybe the reason I love it, aside from the romance, is that the main characters are too idealistic. In the real world it will be very hard to sustain that idealism and you really have to face hard battles just to get the justice that we wanted, but Healer shows us that being idealistic can probably be the key to teach those bad people a lesson that this world doesn’t just revolve around them. I love how the writer incorporated two different era, the past and the present, to make a plot that is really interesting.

Of course, the romance is a plus factor on why I like it. The kisses, and the hug. OMG! I am smiling and squealing like an idiot whenever I watched those scenes! They were very generous in giving us lovey-dovey scenes and it’s not just the statue type of kissing. (You know what I mean by that. hihi) Ji Chang Wook and Park Min Young have a really great chemistry! This drama introduced me to Ji Chang Wook and that’s another reason to love it!

The ending gave me an impression that this whole show just gave me a glimpse of their world. Of how everything started. Of their first ever battle. And that ending is just the end of that part of their lives. Now in the present, in an alternate universe, there’s still Young Shin and Jeong Hoo, probably still reporters. They might be married now but still fighting off a different bad guy now (still a part of the “farmers”) with Moon Ho and the rest of the Some Day team. I think they are still madly in love with each other!

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The first time I watched this drama was March of 2015 and after two years, I decided to re-watch it again. Oh boy, it feels like watching it again for the first time. The scenes just never get too old for me. The plot and the conflict still works and even though I know what will happen already, I am still left in awe and amazed after they solved each problem and the plan they thought of in each situation (The Park Cheong Dol case/tape still amazes me).

I’ve never felt this in love and addicted in a Korean drama. Dramas come and go. Some will make a lasting impression but Healer made me felt more than a lasting impression. It leave a mark in my life. It gave me a sense of hope. It made me believe in the impossible. It told me that there is a true and lasting love. I am inspired with the characters. They are just like real human, flaws and all that. But even though they made mistakes, they can still do something remarkable. They can still love people. They can still forgive.

I am always saying this. The last time I felt this intensity of love for Asian dramas is Hana Yori Dango. Healer, for me, is not just a Kdrama. It’s my sensational Korean drama. Yes, it’s underrated in Korea. It doesn’t have that skyrocketing ratings. But I’m happy that while its run, international viewers really gave the love with this drama. I’m happy that in a small corner of the internet, there were people who rave and gave their thumbs up. I’m glad that people appreciates this drama.

Healer, you’ll always be my all time favorite Korean drama. Nothing beats you.

And for the third time, I have to face this post-withdrawal symptom again. I have to leave your world, and face mine. I hope you’re real (might sound delusional). But I really hope, that in some part of the world, there are people who have the same guts and bravery as you, ready to fight for democracy and justice, not swaying with what the world can offer. Just there, ready to fight and do anything for all those he loves.

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PS. not edited and proofread so sorry for the typos and wrong grammar. 😀

Korean Drama: Jealousy Incarnate

Disclaimer: Listening to Jealousy Incarnate’s OST while writing this.

I hereby claim that this drama is now officially included in my TOP 5 favorite K-dramas of all time. It hits all the humor and poignant aspects that I rarely found in a drama. I actually started watching this show as soon as it airs in Korea (last November 2016). I planned to watched it every week together with my other ongoing K-dramas. But then I was fully consumed with a different drama that I felt the need to drop it and focused on the other one. I was also getting bored in the first few episodes which led me not to watch it at that time. However, drama gods really has it way to let me watch this brilliant and wacky drama and so last week, I decided to binge-watch it. I started at 1st episode even though I’ve watched it already just to refresh me of the premise of the show. It has the same feeling. I felt like this show is not the right drama for me but there’s something in it that keeps pushing me to watch it. And as I progressed in each episode, I GOT HOOKED. Deeply-rooted hooked.

I’ve always loved how Gong Hyo Jin act this kind of characters. ‘Coz I feel like on paper these characters are dumb and stupid. It’s her magic to transform this silly character into something likable. She has the same character in The Best Love and Master’s Sun which I both love as well. I think that’s one of the reason why I gave this drama a chance. I like Gong Hyo Jin and find her acting superb. But then Jo Jung Seok and his brilliant comedic timing and acting chops comes in… and now I’m completely sold.

This is the best rom-com korean drama I’ve watched in such a long time. It raised my expectations and now I want other rom-com to be as good and brilliant as this show. I am not a fan of too much love triangle and jealousy but I am soooo looking forward with Lee Hwa Shin’s reaction everytime he gets jealous. Some sad and heartbreaking scenes became so funny and hilarious but when they really made some as sorrowful, it really is sad that I get my eyes bawled out because of too much crying (cue in: Lee Hwa Shin’s impotency scene).

Another reason why I love this drama is because of the chemistry between Pyo Na Ri and Lee Hwa Shin which is perfectly acted by Jo Jung Seok and Gong Hyo Jin. They are the heart of the show. I knew Jo Jung Seok because of the other dramas (that I don’t get to watch) and this is my first time really seeing him act and, oh boy, I now have a high respect with this oppa. He owns Lee Hwa Shin’s character and made me root for him to be happy until the end. Even though he is a jerk, arrogant and self-centered, I still want him to be with the girl until the end. It’s all because of Jo Jung Seok’s performance. When he is doing the comedic antics, he is sooo good and when he does the dramatic part, he is so good as well. He is such a surprise here and I never thought that he acts so brilliantly well.

I am honestly not that much interested with the side characters but they also gave some good LOL moments so I think it’s fine as well. The romance here is what makes me ride all along until the end. Thinking about all the actions that led to the love triangle and jealousy is cringey but it was so well-executed and became humorous that it became a very important aspect of the show.

I guess there is really a different feel between binge-watching a completed K-drama and having to wait each week for a new episode of an ongoing K-drama to watch. They are giving a different level of post-withdrawal symptom that I can’t really explain specifically. And that’s what I’m feeling now with Jealousy Incarnate. I am having a seriously post-withdrawal symptom. Same feeling that I got after I finished Healer (w/c is my TOP 1 fave K-drama of all time).

Thank you drama gods for not letting me slip this awesome show. Thank you drama gods for introducing Jo Jung Suk and his brilliant acting. Thank you.

Off to watch clips of Jealousy Incarnate!

Korean Drama: Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo

This drama started as an underdog drama. Having been on a same timeslot with the most anticipating comeback drama of Lee Min Ho and Jeon Ji Hyun, Legend of the Blue Sea. However, in its long run it became a Hallyu sensation that tugs everyone’s heart and make it duguem duguem.

The simplicity of the plot is its beauty. College student Bok Joo who is an aspiring weightlifter falls in love for the first time. It shows how a young lady fluorished that simple crush and did unimaginable ways just to see his crush. Asking him if he likes Messi (This had been a trend in our country), up to being a patient on his clinic, telling things that she likes it even if it’s not just to look good to his crush. Who doesn’t relate to that!?

Another beauty this show has is its friendship. Bok Joo is lucky to have two faithful friends who will support her in all endeavors, who will be there for her in times of laughter and crisis. Friends who will cry with you, be fat with you and be happy with you. I adore these trios! Their friendship is full of SWEEEEEG!!

And of course, everyone loved this show because of the lead guy! Boyfriend goals to be honest! Not only he’s been there for Bok Joo in times of trouble, he’s been a great supporter as well! He prioritizes Bok Joo’s happiness above all, not being a hindrance to the goal Bok Joo wants for her life. He respects her in all her decisions and loved her for who she is and for what she looks like.

There are lots of cute banters and sweetness with our OTP. And I’m glad each of the character have given spotlight and let us have a glimpse of what their life is as well. I love each and everyone’s character growth and I love that they all have a happy ending!  I feel like they’ve shown us their lives as a youth. How they were able to survive those youth problems that we’re all familiar with. How it feels like to be in love for the first time and how it feels to be with them afar and having to built a new relationships in an unfamiliar and new place.

What started as an underdog drama is now so popular internationally. And I believe that this drama deserved the popularity that it’s gaining right now. This drama shows us nothing but love and growth. It shows us that being a youth is beautiful. They let us understand that being a youth is something that everyone must cherished as a part of our lives. No matter how awkward it gave us sometimes. There are still memories that can be looked back on as we age and reach the adulthood.

Kudos to the team for giving life to this incredible show!

Korean Dramas: Never Gets Old

Everyone of us needs a rest from all the stress this life is giving us. I have to admit that I always need a break from all dramas in work, in household, in friends and the like. Thank God for Korean dramas and books because I’ve found an outlet in these two arts.

My love of K-dramas started way back high school. I was already fascinated with Asian dramas since it was a trend here in our country. However, this Jdorama totally strucked my attention that I had to buy a DVD to watched the first season (I started with season 2). I was talking about Hana Yori Dango, the japanese version of the very famous Meteor Garden; though a fanatic would know that all three adaptations are based in manga. I got hooked really bad. Right after I finished both two seasons I cried really hard because it’s hard for me to let go of all the characters. My love for Hanadan didn’t stop there ‘coz I repeated all episodes everyday to the point I already memorized all the scenes. I know which episode is which and even the OSTs became the soundtrack of my life.

A friend of mine found out my new found happy pill (because, duh!, I can’t stop talking about it) and told me the news that there will be a korean adaptation of this drama. And because I got curious of what this version has in stored, I watched it. Should I make it a long story then? ‘Coz by now you might know that’s how my love for korean dramas started. Don’t get me wrong, Hana Yori Dango is a much better version. That’s a personal opinion, though. But thank God for Boys Over Flowers, I got to know Lee Min Ho. *squeals*

Since then, watching Kdramas had been nonstop. I’d been in the Kpop world as well and up to now there are some singers I still follow.

Before it become a daily routine to watch new episodes and discover more dramas. But college came and my life went 360 degrees. For some reason, I opted to let go of this addiction and start focusing on my own reality. Or so that was what I thought.

I keep coming back. And I wonder what is with these dramas that I still keep coming back, searching for it.

I just love the raw and poignant plot each dramas has to offer. Though there were some meh plots, it is still tolerable to watch. There are some dramas that have a formula of cliche plots but still managed to deliver it really fresh that it becomes so easy and wonderful to watch. Watching dramas became a habit for me. It became an outlet of all the stress that I have in life. Watching these fictional characters battling life on their own fictional world makes me stronger as well, that like them I can also overcome and surpass every hurdles that there is in my own drama.

I especially love a drama when it focuses on the growth of people. Sometimes they show that not everyone is perfect but each has a story to tell. No matter how bad their attitude is, there is still a room left for salvation. There is still a room for change and for new beginnings.

I love how each dramas define the meaning of love. Let’s admit it most of the dramas are on the romance genre or if not fully romance, there’s still a touch of it. People think that their making these viewers have a high standard of love (or a man, since lots of them are chaebols) but then it’s giving us hope that whether rich or average, we can still receive that kind of love. The kind of love that sends hearts and colors in spite of problems. The love that is sacrificial and full of hope. The love that can overcome all the battles in the world.

What’s better about it is that they present their plot in a most wonderful or absurd ways. They are so creative when it comes to the plot and story. There were chaebols, boy bands, girl pretending to be a boy, aliens, high school loves, time travel and a whole lot more. Who wouldn’t be fascinated, right? There are lots of things to offer and it keeps getting better and better throughout all these years. They managed to capture a big amount of audience that sometimes I get shock when I found out that these people, who I never imagined and thought to watch dramas, is actually watching it.

Recommended Korean dramas:

Classics – My Girl, You’re Beautiful, Boys Over Flowers, Full House

For starters – Healer, I Hear Your Voice, The Best Love, City Hunter

2016 Korean Dramas (there’s a lot!) – Moonlight Drawn by the Clouds, SIGNAL, W – Two Worlds

Now, off I go! Because I still have a korean drama to marathon! Shopping King Louis, here I go!

PS. I might talk about my fascination in books once I’m done with the two books that I’m reading.