The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling

FAVES

Here we go, in no particular order:

  • Goong
  • Hotelier
  • Coffee Prince
  • Pasta
  • Secret Garden
  • Sungkyunkwan Scandal
  • You’re Beautiful

Residency on this list is no guarantee.. I’ve had changes of heart on dramas that I used to love to bits.. But I do really love whatever’s on this list right now :)

I hope you find something to love from this list :)

~kfangurl

POST-SCRIPT: I plan to eventually put up reviews for all the shows on this list, so look out for those ^^

44 thoughts on “FAVES

  1. Looking forward to the reviews of Coffee Prince and Secret Garden. If you have seen Worlds Within, would love to hear your take on that. I am a huge Hyun Bin fan so I was swooning all over the place during that one! :-)

    • Yes, I will definitely be reviewing Coffee Prince and Secret Garden! I loved both those shows to bits, so I’m looking forward to reviewing them! I’m bumping it higher up my list of priorities now, since you’re asking for them ^^

      I actually have seen Worlds Within – I watched it for Hyun Bin! – so I’ll keep that in mind for a future review as well :)

  2. HB…supersonic sexy in WW. Seriously.Sexy. I was under his spell for a good 3-4 weeks after watching that one.

    • I actually watched Secret Garden first, so I found him sexier in SeGa than WW.. It’ll be interesting to go through WW again to see if I feel differently now. I’ve been surprised before, by my different response to a drama on a second watch! ^^

  3. I enjoyed that one a lot (not just for HB, although he certainly helped it a whole bunch) – but I liked the idea of seeing a drama about dramas, if you know what I mean. He is a pretty solid actor as well. Although he seemed to have thinned out a bit in SG. I prefer his build in WW. He is six feet tall too, and so should have a little more to grab onto….just saying! :-) But his dimples certainly have stayed intact! Let’s see what he will be up to post-military. I know his fan base is anxiously awaiting his next drama.

    • That’s true, it’s always interesting to see the workings of the drama-making world, since we consume them so voraciously ;) That’s a big reason I’m looking forward to checking out King of Dramas ^^

      I read that Binnie deliberately lost weight for SeGa, coz he felt it suited the character. Respect. I also thought he looked very delicious lean. I agree he should keep his regular weight a little less on the lean side though. And I’m definitely, definitely looking forward to what he picks as his come-back from MS! It’s been too long!

  4. You are just a blast to chat with. I saw SG before WW also and thought he was delightful – but something about him in WW really pushed me over. He’s a different kind of sexy than your GY. I am thinking GY is in a class all by himself.

    • Well, now.. GY is VERY special in my opinion ;) But I do have an enormous regard for Hyun Bin too. I have him high up on my mental list of brilliant k-actors. I think he’s fantastic, and sexy to boot. Most definitely on my radar ^^

  5. Concur. I defer to your expertise in the genre as I am a relative newbie to the K-drama world. Coffee Prince was my intro. It was enough to grab and hook me and toss me down the K-drama rabbit hole. I have not yet surfaced. My Lovely Sam Soon intro-ed me to HB. Went on a bit of a Kang Ji Hwan tirade after I watched Lie To Me, but always went back to Coffee Prince. I continue to come back to that one for various scenes in various episodes.

    • Lol! I tumbled into the kdrama rabbit hole 6 years ago, and now, more than 140 dramas later, I still haven’t surfaced! ;) It’s unusual for anyone to ever surface from this particular rabbit hole, methinks ;)

      Kang Ji Hwan is great, I have to agree. He’s an excellent actor and tends to have great chemistry with his leading ladies. There are lots of fantastic k-actors that I love – but Gong Yoo’s by far my absolute favorite <3

  6. GY sealed the deal for me with the alien scene of CP on a rewatch. I had forgotten about it and was completely caught off guard. Simply well-played and one of the best scenes to date in my very limited K-drama viewing history. As you said, he is VERY special.

  7. Hee heee….I look back at this exchange and cannot help but laugh because of the journey I have taken since and how my loyalty, love and fangirl obsession has changed so drastically. I will forever appreciate Binnie…but let’s face it, I have swerved completely off the edge and landed in Rainland! And although I have mildly crushed on Lee Min Ho (still am, actually) and feel the lure of Lee Jun Ki, no one will usurp the king of my K-heart. That man has taken up permanent residency and is not budging! It is a five alarm fire every time I discover something new of his. I am thrilled he has a few lovely headers in rotation here on your blog. Love…love..love! <3

    • Lol! I can understand.. I used to be a big Park Shi Hoo fangirl, and was quite smitten too, I’d say. But then one day I watched Chuno and Jang Hyuk showed up and I was promptly mesmerized. And then while I was still smitten with Jang Hyuk, one day I watched Big and was thunked by the awesomeness of Gong Yoo. Gosh, don’t I sound completely fickle right there? XD

      Glad you’re enjoying the Rain headers, Michele.. I’m fond of Rain myself, but really, I made those for you ;D

      • This is too funny! My first K-Drama crush was Gong Yoo (Coffee Prince) and the second one So Ji Sub (Im sorry, I love you) But back then, I had no way of finding Kdramas so when a friend stopped sending me DVDs, that was the end of my first crushes. Years later, thanks to Netflix, I got to watch QSD and fell madly in love with Kim Nam Gil. That didnt last long (military service separated us) So I was oppa-less until Jang Hyuk came along in The Tree with deep roots, and I was “intrigued” but it wasnt until Chuno that he totally and absolutely hooked me (and has not let me go) But Im not entirely indifferent to the former oppas and I include Jo Hyung Yae and Song Joong Ki on this list :)

        • Haha!! I didn’t know that your encounter with JH was similar to mine! I was intrigued by him in Tree, and that’s why I decided to watch Chuno, and then, swoooonn~~ I was mesmerized. I still count GY as my big k-love, but JH is wayyy up there too! ^^

          Kim Nam Gil is back from the military, does this mean you’ll be opening your heart to him again? ;) I first noticed Kim Nam Gil in Lovers, have you seen that? He wasn’t lead, but he was hot gangster lead’s hot right-hand man and I totally sat up and took notice! I was like, who’s that hot guy?!? XD

          • Lovers? I have not watched! But Im taking note of it. My list of kdramas to watch is getting too long ;) My heart is unpredictable but KNG did own it completely for a month lol! Im paying close attention. I find him very charming and a very good actor.

            • KNG does have a certain charm about him.. I liked him enough to watch Bad Guy, which to me was just alright, even though he was lead. Lovers is one of the older kdramas.. Related to the Lovers series, I think. Y’know, Lovers in Paris, Lovers in Prague.. In Lovers, Lee Seo Jin plays a hot gangster who falls in love with an ordinary woman, and KNG is his broody loyal hot right hand man. So if you’re in the mood for a bit of old-school kdrama and you like hot gangsters and some KNG, this would be something to check out ^^

              • I absolutely despised Bad Guy. He was good in it but I found that drama to be horrible :p (I know, harsh words but I seriously hated it) It is the Iris2 of KNG dramas! (Then again, Ive only watched two so WTH do I know?) So yeah, it wasnt his military service that separated us, it was that “Bad guy”. He needs to make it up to me with a charming swoon worthy character soon ;)

                • Oh dear. But his come-back drama is Shark, which is a revenge melo that smacks of Bad Guy =X Guess there won’t be any renewed Kim Nam Gil love up in here for ya, unless you decide to go retro and check him out in Lovers! XD

  8. Awwwwwwww…….BIG hugs! Was it my sasaeng-edness where Rain is concerned that prompted such a sweet gesture?! LOL! I know I have many more dramas to see which will undoubtedly bring some well-deserved crushing (with some bordering on the inappropriate variety. I say this because the bulk of these actors are far younger than I am)! In the meantime, though, Rain remains a tough act to overcome – at least in this fangirl’s heart! :-)

    • Heh. No, you’re not a sasaeng, Michele ^^ A sasaeng is unreasonably aggressive and might literally stalk an actor at his home. A sasaeng would also attack others for saying anything negative about their idol. I’d say you’re more of a Serious Fan (my own phrase, not sure if that’s commonly used elsewhere) :) And the headers were my thank you, for sparking me with your collages, and for being such a great source of encouragement & support! So I’m super pleased that you’re enjoying them <3

  9. Relieved. I admit to being impulsive and just a little bit crazy…but I respect him so much and his privacy that I would never air drop into his backyard nor would I ever launch an attack on anyone talking smack about him! And, I am always happy to lend my encouragement, as you know, and would do so without being ‘rained’ on – however, I admit that your graciousness was that much sweeter, and the headers, icing on the cake! {{{Hugs}}}

  10. Looking forward to the day when you’ll write a review for You’re Beautiful…..I just love that show :) and your reviews as well !! :)

    • Aw, thanks, snow_white!! <3 I do love You're Beautiful too, it's such a fun watch, honestly! I promise I will get to it at some point, preferably with a full rewatch thrown in too, to maximize the fun! ^^

  11. Can’t wait to see your review on Goong and Coffee Prince!!!!
    By the way, I love Gong Yoo too!!!!

    • Aw, thanks! I hope to get a rewatch of Coffee Prince in, sometime not too far in the future – I figure that’d be a great time to write a review :)

  12. ..hello kfangurl…i just read a piece from drama fever blog that an American version of “BOF” will be aired hopefully by last quarter of 2013..the people behind the remake is raising $100,000.00 to cover the all expenses of the said project. It amazes me because American ethnicity is now ready to embrace Asian traditions? Do you think this will do?..as we all know western civilizations are poles apart from Asian…

    • I heard about that! I don’t know how much to believe it, till I see it.. It smells faintly of scam, the way it’s going about raising funds. And I can’t quite imagine the format working on US television, which is more into multi-seasons. And as you pointed out, a lot of the cultural nuances are different. I am guessing that many of those cultural details will be modified beyond recognition, to fit US TV. I’d be interested to see how it turns out, but let’s just say I’m not holding out a whole lotta hope :P

  13. Well as you said, hope it’s not a scam..one of the writers guarantee that they will not change the storyline. And they are hoping that the outcome will be supported by the television viewers. It could be a trial and error thing due to differences, nevertheless, I’ll go for it…at least they are ready to comprise transformations..

    • If this really happens, I’ll check it out, just to satisfy my curiosity. I’d want to see how they cast, and how it all translates onscreen. That’d be interesting!

  14. Really?! Will keep an eye out… I might have to watch BOF first then to prepare just out of curiosity… Although I’ve seen Meteor Garden ( Taiwan version that came out first) its been a few years… I forget what my opinion was… So it couldn’t have been awesome for me or I’d have remembered… I have a hard time imagining things not getting totally lost in translation.

    • What? You’re thinking of watching BOF just to compare it to this potential American remake? Um.. BOF’s not worth it, imo :P I honestly don’t think the remake’s going to be much good, and it’s going to be completely Americanized in the process, I’m sure. Maybe you should use those drama hours on more worthy dramas, lyricalpeach! ^^

  15. Thanks for the reinforcement reminder! ;) I don’t think I actually would make it if I tried, except for the Lee Min Ho eye candy. (Although the hair might disturb me). Goo Hye Sun was ok in Absolute Boyfriend even dubbed, during serious moments, so for a possible romantic scene… I am still at risk for considering it… hehe! btw I started Arang, just 40 mins into the first ep.

    • To be honest, Gu Hye Sun is the opposite of serious, subtle or restrained in BOF. I feel like she was instructed to overact or something, coz she was very OTT in BOF and it didn’t work in her favor. So that’s another point against BOF. The LMH eye candy doesn’t make up for all its flaws, imo. But.. If you’re very curious, I suppose there’s nothing like seeing it for yourself :P Heh.

      Arang, though! LOVE!!! I’m so glad you started it!! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!! <3 <3

  16. I just saw you did start IHYV! Nice! Let me know how it goes as you progress, send me your thought stream ;)

    • I’m liking IHYV a lot so far, and I’m only one episode in. I suspect that I will be impatient to finish this one, more than my schedule will actually allow, since I’m sure to travel again soon-ish. Let’s see how that all shakes out ^^

  17. Hello. my favs
    city hall and kingdom of the winds.
    as A middle aged male, i like good acting, good stories, pretty women, but also people with interesting faces, whether that be male or female, young or old. Who do i think has an interesting face
    this guy

    or at least he had in the early parts of jumong.

    • Hi there, martin!!! :D Welcome to the blog!! It’s always great to have another male voice among us – I’m sure the other guys who come here will enjoy having you around!

      Real Life has been hectic, which explains my laggy reply – so sorry! I’m catchin’ up on comments, one medium-sized chunk at a time!

      Oh, I LOVE City Hall! I thought the writing was carefully done, and Kim Sun Ah and Cha Seung Won had lovely chemistry as our lead couple. I haven’t watched Kingdom of the Winds myself, but I’ve heard good things. And I agree Hu Joon Ho has an interesting face! I feel like he’s been around forever, always popping up as a secondary character somewhere. And he manages to make those secondary characters quite compelling, if memory serves.

      Have you been watching kdrama for a long time, martin? :)

  18. I would guess I’m not your typical korean drama watcher. Let me introduce myself I’m a 53 year old irish guy, who has always been a big movie fan whether it be in english or any other language.
    How I gor into korean dramas .
    One evening on utube, i watched the movie The Chaser. I was more than impressed I followed that up with another korean movie, whose title I can’t remember. That got a thumbs up from me too. Eventually I wanted to find out if there were korean tv dramas out there with english subs. The first one I watched was Autumn in my heart. I did stop watching that for a while. I wanted to find out what dramas were getting good reviews. At the time Jumomg was the title I came across more than any other. But I couldm’t find any good links to watch it. Instead I found one that was a prequel to that Kingdom of the winds. which as i mentioned is one of my favs. On City Hall, yes one of my favs. But, when watching there was something about it, that I couldn’t pin down. Until, someone said it was very hollywood. That was it. How long have I watching K-drama. Well The chaser came out in 2008. So it isn’t more than 5 years ago.
    These days my english speaking drama is very small. Before getting into asian dramas. I was following shows like mad men, dexter, six feet under. II put it like this. I liked Apples (american dramas) Now I prefer Oranges (asian dramas) Even though I know there some really nice apples. Overall these days I prefer Oranges. But now and again, I will have a taste of an apple, and sometimes eat a whole one.
    Actually If I am watching an english speaking series. I shouldn’ just say American. it tends to be mini series/
    Yes, I did say Asian dramas, as I watch Japanese, chinese. hong kong etc etc.
    But I also am into dramas from other countries such The Killing, spiral, the Bridge, bogen.
    At the moment my weekly drama viewing consists of 2 korean including Jumong, one Japanese, one pakistani, one russian, and one american. The american one being Weeds. Well I was up to the second last series. I decided to try and finish it off.
    here are the asian series, i’ve seen so far, and my ratings. I know this is a korean drama, so I hope you will forgive my indulgence.
    J=japanese
    ch=chinese.Although it could be hong kong either.
    twn=taiwan
    ns=not sure

    6/10
    100 Scene no Koi (j)
    bartender (j)
    7/10
    game rai, game rak (thai)
    white christmas
    autumn in my heart
    moving drama, if a little contrived at times. I thought the best performances came from The lead actress, the lady playing her real mother, and the guy playing tae sukh.
    zeni geba (j)
    coma
    freeze
    the devil
    8/10
    My too perfect sons
    This was a really nice drama with some wonderful naturalistic acting. I couldn’t fault any of the cast. As for the characters, Boksil as Boksil (you’ll have to see the drama to find what I mean by that) was my favourite. But
    in the second part of the drama, i grew to like Sujin. The scene with her looking into the window of the pharmacy and seeing images of the good times she had with Jipoong is one of my favoutites in asian drama, It showed me how good an actress Park Sun-Young was by allowing her to display a range of emotions.
    drunken kung fu (ch)
    attention please (J)
    mackarel run
    some very wacky visual which i liked. But for me it got more interesting around episode 4, when it settled down. Although the humour doesn’t disappear completly.
    I did think the second male lead was a bit too pretty for his own good.
    I guess I’ll have to get used to the two guys in love with one girl. Although this
    time, there is two girls attracted to one guy. Actually it could be three girls.
    The four leads are all likeable, although they don’t all like each other.
    My favourite characters were the tarot reader and her friend.
    The lead actress has beautiful eyes.

    rondo (j) with female korean lead.
    tas rak (thai)
    my sassy girl (j)
    mpd-psycho (J)
    Dr. Koto Shinryoujo (j)
    Guilty Akuma to Keiyakushita Onna (j)
    liar game (j)
    Ganbatte Ikimasshoi /give it all (j)
    the queens classroom (j) I see there is a korean version of it out this year. I would like check it out.
    sarp phusa (thai)
    7 days in life (tvb)
    Itazura na Kiss (j)
    athena :godess of war
    I haven’t read all the reviews, but I read most of them. So I would say I’m in the minority, when I say that Iprefer this to Iris.
    The main reasons being, I think it has better characters, and to use words the director of nts uses, it has more light and shade in storyline and acting, The best acting came came from Kim Min-Jong and the actor who the aforementioned employs
    after in a very funny scene hitting him in the face a number of times. There is a delightful scene between the two of them where they try to gain information by pretending to be who they are not.
    i also lliked Oh Yoon-Ah. This is the third thing I’ve seen her in, and the more I see her, the more I like her. She is not a great actress. But she is game, and wiling to try different things. She seems to like characters more than lead roles. She reminds me a bit of Cameron Diaz.
    Looking at her picture on Asianwiki, she looks a lot different.
    In Iris, a lot of the performances were rather one note. In this drama, at least some of the actors are given a chance to show they can do more than look very very serious.
    I thought there were some terrific gunfights
    Yes it has it’s faults. There were too many people being saved in the nick of time.
    who the hell was oh yoon ha talking to on the phone after she had been out drinking with Soo-Ae’s character.
    A major theme of this drama is redemption.
    Some viewers might not like the fact that a character who they would probably prefer to be killed isn’t, and another character who it would have been nice if they had lived doesn’t.
    As regards the plot about the north Korean agent from Iris.
    There are also some very funny lines in this, mostly coming from the characters i said i like. The director of Nts also said something i found amusing.He says says something about NTs upholding justice, and then says “you may find that cheesy and boring” You would never hear the director of homeland security in 24 says something like that.

    Regarding the special. It reminded me of the what was to me the best action scene, the one between the main villain, and another guy. in the first episode in the bathroom.
    a moment in peking (ch)
    please marry me
    Although it wasn’t my favourite drama, it did have my favourite cast of characters.
    I chose it after seeing oh yoon ah in Kingdom of the winds, where I thought she was sexy as hell. But I wasn’t sure if she could really act or not. In this drama, it took me a while to see that she could.
    Although she was probably the weakest in it. Her acting was acceptible, but not up to the standards of the other cast members.
    But once again I found her character to be my favourite. She also has one the warmest smiles I’ve seen.
    The best performances came from kim ji young as the main character Nam Jung Im
    and as her father and mother in law
    Baek Il Sub and Go Doo Shim.
    There are some beautiful relations in particular between kim ji young’s character and Go Doo Shim’s.
    my favourite moment was when
    Lee Da In as Yoo Da Hye tries to get
    Baek Il Sub’s character to do some vacumming.
    You like characters and then start disliking
    them, and vice versa.
    I should also thank this drama for introducing me to Susan Boyle. I had never heard of her.
    Was the drama overlong. I would say yes. But that doesm’t mean, I didn’t enjoy it.
    Even though I have lots of dramas to catch up. I think I’n going to search for another one with oh yoon ah in it.
    scent of a woman
    lovely drama with some beautiful performances especially from the lead actress and the lady playing her mother. What a wonderful relationship. Sometimes it was loving, sometimes they got on each other’s nerves.
    I love the fact of the toupee wearing tango teacher wasn’t made a figure of fun, and that the toupee is never used for comedy purposes.
    There were some lovely moments. My favourite was the dance on the beach with the elderly gentleman.

    The ending was spot on

    49 days
    iris
    review contains spoilers.

    Well 24 hangs a big shadow over this. But in 24 as far i recall, you never saw Kiefer Sutherland crying. This has some great action sequences. It also spends more time on the romance angle than 24 would.

    But it also has moments of which didn’t cut it with me
    (1) When Kim Sun Hwa is shooting at Kim Hyun Joon she’s not really a very good shot is she.
    As a matter of fact, a lot of people who tried to kill him are very bad shots
    (2) the reason for the main character to gang up with the terrorists and attack NSS seemed weak. They had nothing to do with what happened to him. That was IRIS.
    Is there something I’ve forgotten.
    (3) The final confrontion between Vick and Kim Hyun Joon, More should have made on how Kim got into the place. As a matter of fact, i thought that Vick would have made sure that no one was following him. Assuming that Kim was just too smart for him, you would imagine Vick have had lots of alarms in his place. So there should have been a sequence showing Kim getting into the building. Then when he has the opportunity to kill him, or take him in, he decides to throw his gun away and kick the you know what out of him. Not only that, he leaves the gun conviently near for Vick to attempt to kill him.
    (4) The confrontation where the s.w,a.t team leader pulls a gun on Kim. That was just too silly.
    (5) The hostages disguised as terrorists. Well kim, and san wee were plainly being fired at. So unless a quick bit of hypnotism was done on the hostages to make them believe they really were terrorists, I don’t understand why they would fire on them.

    my favourite character was the north korean female agent Kim Sun Hwa.
    She was serious mode most of the time. But on the few occassions, she did smile, it was lovely to see.
    My least favourite was the section chief. Where all of the other acting was minimilist, he went in the other direction. I liked him at first, but then his over the top expressions weren’t to my liking.
    So why after all my complaints, do i rate the series so highly.
    Well, it’s compelling. it keeps you on your toes. you want to know what’s gonna happen. That’s a big plus.
    I would like to see some of these actors (i include the ladies) in other stuff, because i found it hard to gauge just how well they can act.

    my favourite scene is where the section chief and others come to Choi Seung Hee’s house on her birthday. But they find her in a very bad way. I just liked the way it changed from light to dark

    triangle
    This was a totally gripping mystery drama. In these days of multiple plot, it was rather refreshing to see a drama that had only one. I do like the multiple plots. But as they say, a change is as good as a rest.
    big
    Spoiler coming up

    The two leads were great. My other favourite charactor was Da Ren’s teacher friend.
    But what was the ending about.
    They were supposed to have switched bodies back. But the ending didn’t show that. Maybe Da ren was so used to seeing the kkj as the older guy, that, that’s how she saw him as that,even when he appeared as himself.

    damo
    Spoilers.
    Beautiful performance by Ha Ji-won.

    But I was troubled by the following.
    (1) Why did the captain take so long to tell Jang, that Chai was his sister. Was it because he wanted him to kill him, so that he wouldn’t have to kill the brother of the girl he was in love with.
    (2) Jang was too quick to believe that Chai would have been involved in the masacare of the lepers. He had spent enough time with her in the cave to know, that she wasn;t the type of person to do something like that. Even if he did believe it, it wasn’t in his nature not to have looked in her eyes before he lilled her. Obviously the idea was to make him believe he had killed her. but what happens if he ran into her afterwards. If it had been me, i think it would have been better to have threatened the life of the rebel girl.
    (3) When Jang finds that Jai is alive, after he was supposed to have killed her, he doesn’t seem too surprised

    (4) The ending. It didn’t get the tear ducts going. Maybe because, I knew that it was going to be tragic, But as far as I could see, she still stabs him, even after she finds out that he’s her brother. Okay. maybe, she was just too blinded with the idea of revenge against the man who killed the captain.

    Anyway, here’s my ending.
    The captain is not dead. He finds out that Jai has gone to kill her brother. As she delivers the death blow, he (the captain)cries out that he’s her brother. But it’s too late. She cries in aguish, and finally kills herself.

    Oh, one other thing. The wuxia element. Exciting enough to watch. But in relation to Jai, because I can only think about in relation to her. Sometimes she used it, and sometimes she didn’t. Was it only effective in certain hours of the day or what? [Smile]

    Hagetaka (j)
    boys over flowers
    terrific performance by the lead actress. A reviewer on dvd beaver said she was a cross between Stan laurel, and Guelita Masina. She does smile like Stan Laurel okay. Not too many scenes that brought a tear. I smiled more than cried. The level of violence in it caught me by surprise. Maybe it was the title that threw me. But then again I should have been prepared, when the series starts with an attempted suicide. I would describe it one’s own happiness for a friends. There is friendship between women, friendship between men, even if it sometimes leads to jealousy and violence, and friendship bettween men and women ie f4 and Jan Di. Overall it;’s a series I admired more than liked, particularly for the lead actress. The rest of the cast are ok, but no real standouts acting wise. I do wonder why only 3 of the f4 members were given decent storylines.
    Perhaps in the japanese and/or korean version, we get to find out more about the gangsters son.

    my name is kim sam soon
    wonderful lead character, and a terrific performance from Kim Sun-Ah.
    At the same, i find it a bit sad that she considers herself an old maid at 30.
    Although 1t made me laugh, every time she said it.
    The fact that she was considered fat is also to my mind ridiculus. I can see a reason for calling herself fat. I guess many women of even that size would consider themselves overweight. But it’s the idea that others considered her fat is more troubling.
    Also on her age-30. Well, it seems she was 30 in real life, but I bet there are ordinary korean women out there of that age who would love to look that good.
    So even though I liked the show. To me it preached some bad messages.
    (1) being thirty and not married is tantamount to being an old maid
    (2) being a little overweigh is the same as being fat.

    ireland
    Nice drama. Good acting. For the most part it’s a straight drama. But i thought it was parodying one particular cliche of korean drama ie the piggyback ride. There are a few attempts at it, but only one sucessful one, where one of the main actors
    carries the other. Now the last episode gets a bit weird. I’ll put it like this, if you din’t like the ending of “Big” you won’t be happy with this one either, and I’m still not sure whether he was her brother or not.
    I was more impressed with hyun bin here, than in my name is kim sam soon. I guess, because she shows a broader range. The scenes with the ex pastor really helped.
    I guess there weren’t many memorable sequences. Well if there were, I can’t remember them. Which could of course mean, they
    just weren’t memorable to me. But there is one outstanding monologue sequence in a car with kim min;jeoong when she
    gets some good news.it shows how good this actress is.
    NOTE. The irish sequences were shot in jeju island.
    Darna-2009 (filipino)
    Klin Kaew Klang Jai (thai)
    code of law (singapore)
    Meteor garden-season 1. twn)
    My Love Patzzi

    9/10
    DAe Joyoung
    DAe Joyoung.
    I started this last october, and finally finished today.
    SPOILERS, so don’t read unless you have seen the full series.

    If this series had a poster it would be say something like “The story of one of Korea’s greatest hereoes” But just as applicable would be a line spoken by one of the main characters, which went something like “Nobody remains a friend forever, and nobody remains an enemy forever.
    I’ll divide my review into sections.
    Performances.
    I’ll give names of characters, as I’m not very good at remembering actors names. It’s too tedious to keep looking them up.
    Best performance. Li Geom. (blood son of chulin and Daejo young
    Usually I am more impressed by the older actors in korean costume/historical dramas. But this guy was excellent. I want to see him in more stuff.

    The last king of goguryeo, whose name I can’t remember.
    Wu Zeitan.
    dae joyung’s father
    Those for me were the best performances.

    Best character and look at me performance
    xui rengui

    Funniest moment.
    When Xui Rengui tells hongpei to take his purple cloak off referring to it as a curtain.

    Most poignant scene.
    The death of Geomlan.

    The dialogue.
    There are at least two types of dialogue here.
    Professional screen dialogue, and dialogue that sounds like it was
    written for a school play, or that youngsters might say when playing war games.

    The battle/fight/violence scenes.
    Was all that jumping up and down really how they faught in those days. As episodes wore on, scenes became more graphic.
    At first that impressed me, but later I became unconvinced by how unlikely looking the blood was. It looked just too much like strawberry jam.

    Scenes that kind of grew tiresome.
    “Give me death your majesty” I was hoping that for once someone would actually get what they were supposedly looking for.
    Daejoung (mostly) in disguise and peeering up from under his big hat.

    Characters i found a bit tiresome, but I suppose I got used to them.
    Heuk sodol, and the guy with the weird voice.

    A fascinating story, that kept me enthrallled.
    Overlong, probably.
    But still 9/10
    giant
    acting
    a+
    Hwang Jung-Eum+Park Sang-Min
    a
    Jeong Bo-Seok+Kim Seo-Hyung+Lee Beom-Soo
    b+
    Lee Ki-Young
    b
    Joo Sang-Wook+Park Jin-Hee+Yun Yu-Seon+Moon Hee-Kyeong
    c
    Lee Ki-Young+the cast of people working for kang-mo or gangmo depending on which translation you watch.

    At times I would have given this a ten, but it didn’t quiet sustain the
    quality all the way through. The music at certain dramatic moments could have used a bit more subtlety.

    As in other korean dramas, some great emotionally powwrful scenes.

    great villian in jo/cho pil-yeon.
    most interesting character Jo Min-Woo, because we get to see both sides of him.

    Dr X (j)
    yalu river flows. (ch)
    secret garden
    Very funny, very touching. For the most part, a wonderful screenplay. The chemistry was good between the two leads. Bit then I often find that in these dramas. It had cliches common to korean dramas. But I tend to overlook those. The two leads gave good performances, but there were no real standouts. It made me laugh, smile, cry.
    14 Sai No Haha (j)
    warrior baek dong suk
    This only the second costume drama, I managed to complete. The first being Kingdom of the winds, which I think surpasses this. Although this has some of the best characters I’ve seen in an asian drama.

    Top characters
    skylord. This character left the series too early. He is the most charismatic baddie, I have come across in a long time. He should have a series of his own,

    Moosa Baek Dong Soo. Vicous, pathetic, funny

    The queen. She looks like butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth, but her heart is blacker than night.

    jin joo. She’s feisty as hell, and more interesting than who i presume is the lead female
    Bubbling under
    commander hong, who is as cunning as hell,
    ga ok. She’s probably the first character I liked, but found others more interesting as the show went on.
    kenzo-enigmatic
    Yes, all but one are baddies

    It;s a while since I’ve seen four winds, but I think this series has more comedy. It has some great one liners such as one of the characters being referred to as a male gigolo,
    It also has a nice little joke. that doesn’t outstay it’s welcome concerning ears being pulled.
    A major theme of the drama would seem to be redemption.
    The most moving scene is where jin joo tells the pirate chief exactly how she feels about him.
    The thing I’m not sure what to say without just writing. The actress playing ga ok plays the mother of a charactor who in real life is only
    8 years younger than her. I think the acress playing the daughter is supposed to be playing young.
    The most actorly scene, is where skylord cries over the dearh of the woman he loved.

    Another thing I liked was the grit shown by charactors it might not have been expected of eg the son of commander hong, when confronted by skylord.

    my gripe. Although Im grateful for subs, it would nice if modern speech was not in it

    best action scene. Where the two male leads take on a load of bad guys.

    hana yori dango (j)
    iris 2
    Terrific. This for me is better than the original. I found myself questioning it less than that. Section chief Oh is not as irrating, as I found him in the original.
    Jang Hyuk is excellent as the damaged (aren’t they all) agent. But all of the cast turn in good performances particularly Lee Da-Hae as the love interest.
    There are quite a lot of hand to hand combat scenes. Some better than others. The best one for me is between Lim Soo-Hyang) Yoon So-Yi.
    There also some nice comedy moments, particularly a howlingy funny sequence involving a gangster/arms dealer. Well he’s listed on asian wiki as arms dealer. But he came across as more of a gangster to me.
    Park sang wook is great in what is basically a cameo role as the aforementioned.
    The story for me is tighter than in the original. There’s also a nice cameo at the end from.. Well I won’t say who. But the sequence ends with two women showing a bunch of guys that you can;t put a good woman down, or a bad one for that matter. It made me think “Oh, those two should have their own series together” But it would me more lighthearted than iris; maybe as two female private eyes [Smile]
    sequences that made me go “hmmm”
    It is obvious when Park Tae Hee how Park Tae Hee dealt so easily with
    iris agents, how good she was. Yet only two are sent to tail her afterwards.
    At least one great snow chase scene. Was there two, I can’t remember.

    Some great fashion too, particularly Lee Da Hae’s trench coat, and Oh Yeon-Su white outfit.
    Then there is Lee Da Hae’s great walk, when she enters her place of work, and the sound of her
    shoes. I also liked the music.
    Then there is Kim Young-Chul as Baek san. who was 60 in feburary, and whips guys younger
    than him. I see he majored in physical education. Well, it certainly shows in Iris 2. What’s also
    nice that he looks his age, and yet the scenes of him dealing with the enemy are totally convincing/

    The Chaser.
    terrific drama is absorbing all the way. Although ostensibly a revenge thriller, Power is as much a central theme. The cast are great with some terrific characters. My favourite being Jang Shin-Young as Shin Hye-ra.
    The ending is rather abrupt. from googling it looks like there was going to be a one off special, but it never happened.
    Dong yi
    9/10
    SPOILERS

    Han Hyo-joo is marvelous in the leading role.She is backed up a terrific cast. For me, the standouts
    were Park Ha-sun as queen Inhyeon, Jung Jin-young as Seo Yong Gi. I
    first came across this actor in Kingdom of the winds, and loved his
    performance as King Yuri. It’s probably the best portrayal of a king
    I’ve seen. It’s how I would want a king to be. Oh Yeon Seo as Queen
    Inwon, Kim Yoo Jung playing Dong Yi as a child first spoiler Nam Da Reum
    as Dong yi’s second child second Spoiler the guy who played Dong Yi’s
    nemesis after the death of Lady Jang. The drama itself is a terrific
    mixture of romance, political intrigue, romance, adventure, mystery and
    some comedy as well. For me, the comedy was probably the weakest part.
    I’m not saying I didn’t laugh at the antics of the two court musicians,
    or the idiot who was obsessed with Dong Yi, But I never warmed too any
    of those characters. My favorites scenes Queen inheyon’s return to the
    palace Dong yi’s entry to the palace Dong yi’s return to the palace
    Jung Jin-young smiling in the last episode. most moving scene-Dong yi
    cradling her dead child Dong yi and Chun soo finding each other again.
    I loved the tenderness of the scenes between Dong Yi and her second
    son. The romance between Dong Yi and the king was very convincing. The
    realtionship between the two princes’s was very well done. Yes, you
    could say the drama was quiet predictable, and that Dong Yi would
    always turn up trumps.But the drama was so well told, that it didn’t
    matter, and yes, it is a great story. There is a lot of love in this
    series. The love between Dong Yi and her two children, between the king
    and Dong yI. But also between Lady Jangm and her mother, and brother.
    Yes, they are the villains, but they are also willing to lay down their
    lives for each other. At one point, Dong Yi says something like “Even
    the most evil person hides a tender heart” At first I thought”Really”.
    But then I thought about it more, and realised it was true. Heck, even
    Hitler loved somebody. Although I’m not quite sure that’s what the
    scriptwriters meant. Now a few things that bugged me. (1) When Consort
    Chun/Choi/Dong yi’s room is being searched for the deployment records,
    lady Yu,(was it her) and her two helpers are discovered by one of the
    consort’s attendants. Lady Yu tells her helpers to get rid of her,
    which obviously meant to kill her. Did those two girls really look,
    like they could kill anybody. But leaving that aside, there is only a
    brief mention of the girl’s dissapearence afterwards. There is no
    investigation into it. I also thought that the drama didn’t have to go
    so far as to have Dong Yi lose a child, so that the king wouldn’t have
    had to execute her. Surely he could have stood his ground with the
    ministers, and said “Look, I’m having the woman I love, exiled. If
    that’s not good enough for you, tough luck” Highly recommended.
    oh, yes. One other character, i liked
    Kang Yoo Mi as Ae Jong. It’s nice to see a young person, who wasn’t a beauty.
    I suspected, she might have been a comedien.
    chuno
    favourite characters min cho bok yi, seol hwa. best performance by Ha Si-eun as Lee Sun Young, the woman with cerebal palsy. Yes, an obvious choice to make. But i think it was an extrordinary performance. 2 questions. (1) what happened to eop bok. (2) when the guards or whatever had hye won’s picture in front of them. Even if she had some kind of disease, it was plain that it was her. it would have been better if she had worn something to hide her face.

    overall, a terrific drama.

    10/10
    kingdom of the winds (fav)
    the sandglass
    An excellent crime drama. Anybody who saw seen the old b/w movie manhattan melodrama (the film john dillinger had been to see, before being shot) will recognise one of the threads running through tjhe story. I was also reminded of The Godfather. highly recommonded

    black and white (twn) (fav)
    mother (j)
    Soredemo, Ikite Yuku (a masterpiece) (fav)
    the city hall 10) (fav)
    What a wonderful show.
    Kim seon-ah is absolutely perfect as the mayor who never compromises, no matter what she is put through. Whether she is playing a comedy scene, drama, romance, drama, or just being cute, she is totally convincing.
    She is backed up by a terrific cast.
    I do remember thinking in certain parts while watching that there was a hollywood elememt to it.
    although I’m not quite sure where.

    mr brain (j)

    • Ok, WOW. Martin, you have the honor of having posted the longest comment, ever, in the history of this blog!! I feel like you deserve a trophy or something! ^^

      I am definitely with you on preferring Oranges to Apples now.. I used to enjoy some American shows before discovering kdrama, and now, even though there are some American shows which are reportedly very good, I just simply prefer my kdramas now. I occasionally include a J-dorama in the mix, and that’s about it. I’m nowhere near as varied or eclectic as you with my drama consumption! Pakistani, Russian, HK, Taiwanese and even Mainland China? You certainly have a big drama heart, with enough room for them all!

      I haven’t seen many of the dramas you’ve listed, but I’ve heard good things about the k-version of The Queen’s Classroom. It should be interesting comparing the 2 versions, I think!

      As for My Name is Kim Sam Soon.. the “old maid at 30″ mindset is a very Korean thing, I believe. So it’s not so much that she believes it per se, but more than that, that society at large believes it and treats her accordingly. For that reason, I think the show is much loved for having a heroine who breaks convention in so many ways: she doesn’t have a makeover, or go on a diet, or become a gentler personality. She is fabulous as she is, and gets the guy to boot. I didn’t love this show as much as so many others did, but I do think Sam Soon is a kickass heroine ^^

      Have you considered Tree With Deep Roots, Martin? Or Chuno? These 2 rank way up there in my mental list of brilliant kdramas, and I do think they have a lot of appeal for the male audience. Gaksital is another one that I really liked, that I think you might enjoy too ^^

      • Hi again. So I’ve gone from the shortest comment to the longest. :)
        I want to watch as mamy asian dramas as I can. So yes, i will be considering many including tree.
        But I did mention Chuno. Maybe the comment was so long that your eyes glazed over.
        here’s what i said about it.
        chuno
        favourite characters min cho bok yi, seol hwa. best performance by Ha Si-eun as Lee Sun Young, the woman with cerebal palsy. Yes, an obvious choice to make. But i think it was an extrordinary performance. 2 questions. (1) what happened to eop bok. (2) when the guards or whatever had hye won’s picture in front of them. Even if she had some kind of disease, it was plain that it was her. it would have been better if she had worn something to hide her face.
        overall, a terrific drama.
        POSTING REVIEW of classroom in reviews section

        • Oopsie! I missed your Chuno remarks! It’s not that my eyes glazed over, I assure you. I will confess right now that as I read your epic comment, I was all ninja-like, dodging spoilers for shows I hadn’t watched. I must’ve accidentally dodged Chuno thinking it was part of your comments for a show I hadn’t seen :P

          And yes, I was super impressed with Ha Si Eun. Her delivery was so heartbreakingly genuine, despite the confines that she had to work within. And I did love Cho Bok and Seolhwa.

          As for what happened to Eop Bok, I believe he died in making his statement of storming the palace. There is no way the palace officials would’ve let him live after that.

          For the scene where Eonnyeon faked the disease, I believe the idea was that the guards were so horrified by the gruesome and contagious disease and so fearful for their own safety that they were quicker than usual in waving her on.

          I so agree that Chuno is a terrific drama. In fact, I got more appreciation of the show on my second watch, and the more I wrote about it in my review, the more I was convinced that it is an absolutely masterpiece :)

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