The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling

Review: Queen In-hyun’s Man

73 Comments

THE SHORT VERDICT:

So. Good.

Despite my high expectations from all the rave comments online, I was still blown away. And that’s quite a feat, no matter which way you look at it.

The cinematography is gorgeous, the color palette is beautiful, and the writing is tight. The actors do a fantastic job bringing the characters to life. So fantastic, in fact, that Ji Hyun Woo fell for Yoo In Na for real. Which makes watching this drama extra awwww-inspiring coz you know all the lovey-dovey googly eyes he makes at her are for real 😉

It’s lovely, and worth a re-watch, even.

Queen In-hyun’s Man OST – 내 남자, 김붕도

 

THE LONG VERDICT:

I love that the show is well-written and well-made, and the production values are high. Everything looks polished, slick and expensive. It just helps to transport you into a fantasy world where everything is gorgeous and exists in intense technicolor.

It becomes easy to believe that one can time travel between Joseon times and modern times.

Everything felt confident and assured, from the writing to the directing to the acting. I never felt like the show was draggy, nor did I ever feel like the writers weren’t sure where they were going.

At just 45 minutes an episode, the show manages to pack a lot of substance into that time, and I was mostly left satisfied and not ready for the next episode.

I have to agree with all the other netizens before me, that this show probably has the most amazing kdrama hero ever written.

He’s not a jerk. He’s genuinely nice. And highly intelligent. And dignified. And good at martial arts. And has a sense of humor. And cute. And most of all, he’s smitten with the heroine and looks at her with loving eyes. That was the clincher. *squeeee*

Of course, he did fall for her in real life and they are now officially a couple. But that just adds to the knee-buckling effect of the loving gazes, coz you know that he’s not pretending. So. Sweet.

Look at those googly eyes:

Many netizens said that they were ruined forever by this drama, and that all other kdrama heroes simply paled in comparison to Ji Hyun-woo’s Kim Boong Do. I can see why; he really is an amazing character and Ji Hyun-woo really brought him to life in a captivating way.

The chemistry between our leads crackles in every scene, and their couple moments are so happy, easy-going and cute. And the story of their love is compelling and so deftly executed.

And of course, not forgetting the kisses!

There’s this one:

And here’s one more:

There’re definitely more, but I’ll let you discover the other kisses on your own 😉

The writers manage the balance between modern day and Joseon times very deftly, and often intersplice the scenes between the two eras to good effect, not only in terms of style and polish, but also in terms of telling us the story of both characters in their respective eras. Impressive.

The music was lovely, and used judiciously to add to the atmosphere of the drama. I never felt like the music was intruding on my fantasy world. Rather, the music seemed to add to the fantasy. Perfect.

It is such a lovely drama, and it has a happy ending to boot. I wasn’t even sure we would get a happy ending, but the show pulled it off.

[MAJOR SPOILER ALERT]

A number of viewers didn’t like the phone plot device used to bring him back, but I buy it. It does make sense to me.

It wasn’t the phone per se, but his decision to die that caused her to remember all her memories and then try to call him. His decision to pay the ultimate price was what triggered the chain of events that brought him back to the present.

Instead of a convenient plot device, I actually find that it’s more of a well-thought-out plot development, at least to me.

[END MAJOR SPOILER]

In the end, I love pretty much everything about this drama. And even after I had finished watching it, it stuck with me for quite a while.

But it stuck with me in a different way than Rooftop Prince.This obviously had a more overtly happy ending, and we’re not left guessing in terms of whether the true OTP got their happy ending. That point was rather heavily debated in the drama-verse for Rooftop Prince’s ending.

This drama sticks with me because of Ji Hyun-Woo’s loving gazes for Yoo In Na.

It’s a huge bonus to know that he really did fall for her and that he wasn’t faking the loving gazes. He is smitten for real, and it’s a pleasure to behold.

Such a lovely drama. I will re-visit this for sure. Love.

THE FINAL VERDICT:

I can see myself watching this again, and more than once. Swoon.

I haven’t met anyone yet who didn’t love this drama. I’m guessing you probably won’t be the first.

FINAL GRADE: A+

POST-SCRIPT:

Gorgeous MV that also happens to be super spoilery, but it’s too good not to share 😉

Also! Check out this deleted scene from the Director’s Cut. Sooo much chemistry amid all the hawt kisses:

Author: kfangurl

Proud to be a k-fangirl since 2007. Main diet of kdramas with movies and kpop on the side.

73 thoughts on “Review: Queen In-hyun’s Man

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  3. Hi kfangurl! So I just finished this drama based on your all-time fav list/review and you are right. SO. GOOD. I watched ji hyun woo’s public confession and then yoo in na’s confirmation of their relationship on her radio show and it was so cute! They are my fav couple 🙂 I’m going to re-watch this drama. Thanks again. I don’t think I would have watched this if it wasn’t for your recommendation!

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    • Aw YAY!! 😀 I’m so glad you decided to check out this show – it’s just fabulous and so, so squee-worthy!! ❤ ❤ That all those lovey-dovey gazes and oogly-googly eyes that he was sending her way were REAL? Swoooonn~~~

      What are you watching next, MelloYello?? ^^

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      • Haha yeah! And he was kissing her for reals too! I notice how actors in kdrama seem to hold back in the kissing scenes, but he definitely went for it. What do you think I should watch next? I have seen Sungkyunkwan Scandal (which made the comment of ji hyun woo’s character attending the university that much funnier) and rooftop prince (looved the ending). I was thinking maybe “you’re beautiful” or “secret garden”?

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        • Lol! Yes the kissing was definitely, er, in earnest 😉 Ji Hyun Woo has cable to thank for the opportunity to kiss his leading lady with gusto – the kisses on cable tend to be less static due to more liberal guidelines ^^

          As for your next drama, those are both fun choices. Hyun Bin is excellent and quite hawt in Secret Garden, while You’re Beautiful has a fun, irreverent, campy, youth-ey vibe. I thought the ending of You’re Beautiful was more satisfying than Secret Garden, but overall both are worthy watches 🙂 Hope that helps you decide on something that fits your current mood! ^^

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  4. Lovely site. Love its clean look and layout. There’s a lot of good stuff here for me to read – makes me happy to find you.

    It may be too early to say this, but this will probably be my favorite show of ALL TIME! I have watched it endless times, and, in Episode 5 at that moment in the stacks, beginning when he does that spin turn, (you know the rest) was the most perfect call-back EVER in a drama.
    If they ended the series there, I would have been satisfied. 🙂 But they kept all of those tiny gems of perfection coming. OMG. I still squee.

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    • Aw, thanks jomo143!! I’m glad you popped on over to poke around the blog! I found yours coz it showed up as a WordPress suggestion and I remembered seeing your handle on the DB comment threads so I decided to visit. LOVE your writing style (& your lyrical talent!) and will definitely be back to explore some more! ^^

      YES, QIHM is absolutely, positively squee-worthy, and it manages to keep it coming all the way through. SO. Awesome. ❤ ❤ ❤ The tippy toe kiss – one of my fave moments in the show – had me simultaneously squee out loud and melt into a puddle ❤ Definitely one of my all time faves as well!! Worth MULTIPLE re-watches for sure! 😀

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  5. Yes the spin turn in the library! Haha. I have replayed that scene so many times! So great to have you ladies to squee with! Btw what does it mean to “ship” someone? There is a lot of interesting lingo that goes with watching Kdrama.

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    • Yes, that scene was definitely squee-worthy! ❤

      To answer your question, the word "ship" is often used in reference to a pairing, eg to ship the Ji Hyun Woo & Yoo In Na pairing in QIHM means to support / wish for that pairing. I believe it's inspired by the word worship. Often, the pairing doesn't actually happen in real life, and is inspired by the drama's lead characters. The ship pairings are often permutations of the 4 main leads which is a common feature in most kdramas.

      Btw, MelloYello, your comment has inspired me to work on a glossary of sorts, which I intend to post as a page when it's done. I realize I'm guilty of using a lot of terms in my reviews and posts without really explaining them, coz they are used so commonly. But it's true that not all of us are familiar with them, hence the idea for a glossary. Thanks for inspiring the idea – you can look out for the glossary which should be out soon-ish! ^^

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      • i am glad you love the phone ending. most reviewers hated it. but i really think it was perfect. for most part of the drama, it seems that the viewers were distracted by the powers of the talisman, and not notice all the phone conversations the leads were having. the talisman was an agent outside of the couple’s relationship, their main connection was with the phone. so i find it natural for the phone (or what it represents in their relationship) to transform into a talisman, once bong do had paid his debt (through his life) to the initial talisman

        anyway, i think “ship” actually comes from “relationship” and kind of evolved into getting on board for a particular coupling 🙂

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        • Yay! Glad you’re on board with the phone device too! I wish more people bought it, coz the general dissatisfaction with that in the ending has dampened people’s enjoyment of the show somewhat, & it’s such a lovely watch that it’s a pity for it to be marred even a little bit! ^^

          Yes, you’re right, “ship” actually comes from “relationship” – a blogger friend explained the origins of it to me, which I’ve included in the (fairly new) glossary page.. Do take a lookie if you have some time, I learned some awesome stuff from contributions from all my dramaverse friends! ^^

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  7. Your review is definitely my favorite! I didn’t like the “phone-ending” initially but your explanation makes sense. Will definitely re-watch this drama! 🙂

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  8. the best !!! still waiting for another heart breaking asian drama 🙂

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    • Yes, QIHM is such a lovely drama, isn’t it?? ❤ If you haven't checked out The King 2 Hearts, you might want to consider it too.. I thought it was pretty awesome and intense, and had a great arc for our hero's growth as well as a nicely matched OTP ^^

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  9. I WAS SUPRISE THAT YOU HAVE THAT KIND OF ACTOR. SWEET.

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  10. Pingback: Review: Nine [Nine: Nine Time Travels] | The Fangirl Verdict

  11. Honestly, it should be noted that In Na also [admitted] developing strong feeling for Hyun Woo during filming and she wanted to hold back until after filming to explore it further to ensure she wasn’t confused (as can happen when filming). Everyone makes it sounds like it was for the most part a one-sided love and In Na just decided to give it a “chance”. I also watched the drama and though I respect her as an actress (she’s quite underrated) it is also quite clear she looked at him with the same puppy dog eye’s as he did and that her expression’s were coming from some place very real in her heart.

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    • Aw, thanks for sharing that! It’s nice to know that 1, she *did* reciprocate his feelings, and that was before the Big Confession, and 2, she’s a self-aware, mature lady who is fully aware of the blurring between real and reel while in character. I enjoy her as an actress, and now, my respect for her has just gone up by quite a bit. Coz it’s hard to make that kind of call when your feelings are all over the place, and she did. Respect.

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  12. I started this one not too long ago then got distracted with other shows. But I love time travel themes so I will definitely pick it up again. Great review! And they really do look cute together.

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    • They are adorable together!!! I didn’t do the show enough justice, with this short review. There’s so much to love in this show.. The cinematography is sharp and slick, the music is lovely, the way the time travel is handled is clever, the OTP loveline is epic, and the OTP has wonderful, natural, crackling chemistry. One of my all-time faves, and a definite must-see! I’m SO glad you’re going to give this another chance!! 😀

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  13. I’ve been watching Korean Dramas for so long and so much that it seems that I have watched every plot possible. There was even a time where I had to stop watching Kdramas for its own sake, for me not to turn my back on it forever. But after I watched (and practically become obsessed with) QIHM, I remembered why I was even in love with Kdramas in the first place. Sadly, after watching this, I am in search for another Kdrama that will sweep me off my feet again since it left quite a high standard. This drama has the perfect blend of intrigue that doesn’t make it too draggy but is not too fast as well. Great review, two thumbs up! 😀

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    • Aw, thanks Bea!! I’m so glad you enjoyed my little review, and more importantly, the show itself! It’s one of my all-time faves, there’s so much to love in it!! ❤

      Drama fatigue can be quite a downer, so I’m glad you found a drama that still managed to hit all the right notes for ya! 😀 In terms of more dramas, the good news is there’re a number of dramas I’ve seen lately, that are each refreshing in their own way & don’t feel overly tropey. I’m just gonna throw a few titles at you, and hope that there’s something in there that you haven’t seen that feels interesting to you!

      – Arang and the Magistrate. Loved this! Intricate fantasy world, led by a spunky OTP where both parties are equally sassy. Great chemistry too!

      – Gaksital. Awesome, and very well-acted. Joo Won and Park Ki Woong are both brilliant, and the themes in the show are thought-provoking and ultimately inspiring.

      – History of the Salaryman. Different, unexpected and often hysterical.

      – Life is Beautiful. Lovely, lovely family drama. So much to enjoy. Like sinking into a warm comforter at the end of a long day. ❤

      – Nine. A time-travel show from the folks behind QIHM. It’ll keep the wheels of your mind churning with all its time travel twists.

      – Vampire Prosecutor. Definitely not your typical kdrama. Broody, hot, crime-fighting vampire. Even the blood is prettily shot.

      – Answer Me 1997. Universally appealing, raw and real. Wonderfully natural chemistry between the leads.

      – King of Drama. I’m watching this now, and it’s great at turning drama tropes on their heads. Fun and engaging.

      I’ve also heard excellent things about Heartless City, that it’s flat-out amazing, even to the jaded drama viewer. That’s next on my watch list!

      Hope something in there strikes you as worth checking out! ^^

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  16. I started to get frustrated as the ending approached because I expected a tragic ending. It really was a beautiful drama and a sad ending would ruin it. But at the last part of episode 16, I was speechless. THIS DRAMA WAS SO GOOOOOOD! The best I have seen so far 🙂

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  17. And I LOVE YOUR REVIEW! 🙂 The pictures and the video. Thank you so much!

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    • Aw!! YAY that you enjoyed the review!! And the video – I’m SO glad you like it! It’s one of the best QIHM vids I’ve seen, it’s so good! 😀

      Totally agree with you, QIHM is definitely one of the most enjoyable dramas I’ve had the pleasure of watching. In fact, QIHM had a rather key role to play in how I started this blog, even. You can read more about that here, if you like. ^^

      Many people struggled with the phone thing in the ending, but I managed to find a way to make it work in my mind, so I’m an all-over happy camper where QIHM is concerned!

      What are you watching next, Abby? It’s hard to move on after QIHM, isn’t it? I remember finding it hard to move on after finishing it. So many people said that Kim Boong Do ruined them for all other kdrama heroes to come. And with good reason too. Such a swoony character! ❤

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      • Kim Boong Do was a fantastic person! Scholar, warrior and hot lover. all rolled into one!

        Chivalrous and loyal to his royal master. Determined to save the royal Queen from evil people at all costs, even with his life. Really, a commando in Joseon garb.

        Equally Devoted to his lady love, Hee-jin from 21st century Korea who happened to play Queen In-hyun in a “drama inside another drama” situation.

        If this guy is the REAL DEAL in Real life, then many would believe men from Joseon era are REAL MEN of Value and Character, when compared with today’s K-Pop sissies of today.

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        • Oh yes, I have to agree with you, red, that Kim Boong Do is an amazing character! I was so taken with him that I found it hard to move on after I finished watching this show. He effectively ruined all other male leads in dramaland for me, at least for a while! 😄

          If only more male leads were so amazing in our dramas. I’d love to see how the writers would work with that instead of the much more common cold chaebol jerk 😉

          Ah, on the more modern front, I recently found Park Seo Joon’s male lead character in Witch’s Romance pretty wonderful. If you haven’t seen it and are on the market for a noona romance with a very melty male lead, do check it out 🙂

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  22. The first thing I did after watching this drama… read this review! Girl, you are so right! It’s SO GOOD! Especially the last two episodes. Simply daebak! This is my conscious introduction to Ji Hyun Woo.. and I was wondering why in the present scenes he always seemed too dreamy. As an administrator his eyes were so purposeful, however, in the present those same eyes revealed he was afloat. So that was it! That he was taken by the most beautiful woman on earth was for real! So cute! And yes, the kisses! I like the car kiss. I could feel them! hehehe. I love that Yoo In Na responded to those meaningful kisses. Right… lucky Ji Hyun Woo. Oh wait… it was her character that initiated the kisses… love that in the heroine… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw! You are so sweet, kaiaraia!! ❤ This was one of my earliest reviews, and it’s hardly as organized or robust as I would’ve liked it to be. I’m so glad you enjoyed the show as much as I did, it’s really SO GOOD, isn’t it?? The kind of drama that stays with you, and the kind of male lead who basically spoils you for every other male lead, at least for a good while afterward.

      And YES, that the dreamy lovey-dovey gazes were rooted in Real Life FEEEELINGS is just cracktastic, fantastic goodness! I melt into a puddle every time I see him looking at her like that, coz I know he’s really feeling it. D’aw. ❤

      Definitely with you about the heroine initiating kisses! I loved that about her, and thought it was supremely cute that she kept making up excuses to kiss him. I felt second-hand embarrassment for her too, but more than that, I thought it was super funny that he totally saw through her efforts to find excuses to kiss him. Those amused, knowing looks in his eyes. THUD. Completely swooned me out!

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  23. May I share this superhawt clip…

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    • You have excellent taste, kaiaraia!! 😀 I chanced on this exact same clip a little while ago, and genuinely enjoyed watching their very natural, crackling chemistry in this! It’s too bad this was deleted from the final cut, but YAY for YouTube, where deleted scenes are still made available to hungry audiences like us! ^^

      Like

      • This had me thinking, girl. Romantic scenes are a dime a dozen in Western movies/dramas as well as in our local showbiz industry. But look at us giggle whenever we see a good one in kdramas… and its just a kiss. Oh…well one of the reasons I got attracted to kdramas was the absence of sex and violence.

        Like

        • I’m with you there, kaiaraia.. When I first got into kdrama, the lack of sex and violence was a big draw, after having been inundated with both from a tv diet heavy on the American offerings. Now, though, the cable channels are pushing the envelop on both of those counts, so I’ve got mixed feelings about that. I mean, it good to try new things and not get trapped in the same old cliches.. But at the same time, let’s not lose all the cliches, coz I actually rather like some of them!

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          • Looking at it on their end, they’re probably tired of the strict and conservative guidelines for the kind and amount of romance that they can show on their free tv. I remember Gong Yoo commenting that there is no true romcom in Korea. Hence, the shift towards sex and violence of cable channels. But you’re right. Let’s hope Kdrama does not lose its identity. Otherwise, I might end up not watching any drama at all. 😦

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            • Oh, did GY say that? What did he mean, about there not being true rom-com in Korea? What’s a true rom-com in his book? I do love many of the rom-coms that Korea’s given me, so I wouldn’t exactly say that myself..

              Yes, while I appreciate the cable channels trying out different styles and approaches, I do hope they keep the sex and violence to a minimum, or at least, limit it to certain shows only. I love kdrama for its emotional hook more than anything else, so I hope they realize that. I think the biggest thing that’s affecting the quality of kdramas these days, isn’t the strict network guidelines, but the liveshoot system. So many promising dramas get mangled in the time crunch and it’s a huge pity. I can think of a bunch of dramas off the top of my head which started well, but slid into slipshod slap-dash territory in the end. Fix that instead, drama people! Believe me, the fans will thank you for it!

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              • Yes, I’ve larned that from his earlier interviews not just once. He pointed out its just comedy, not romantic comedy. I think he believes the romance part is lacking. Remember that film where he said that much could be done about the sex scenes… the movie being rated as x?

                Right, crunch time will take out lots and lots of creativity.

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                • Omo. That kind of rom-com would require a complete revamping of the Korean network guidelines! But I think I get where he’s coming from. Even without revamping the network guidelines to allow sex scenes, I think many of the rom-coms can afford to emphasize the romance more. There are some rom-coms that really are lacking in the romance department. Like Romance Town. I watched the whole thing thinking, Really, is that all? coz there was so very little romance in it!

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  25. I’m thinking about which couple I loved the most in dramaland and I do think that they are the one! (maybe equally ranked with the Nine: Time Travel Nine Times’s couple though^^). Reading your review make me want to re-watch this drama! SO MUCH! I hope Ji Hyun Woo’s new drama will be as awesome as this one (even if Yu In Na is not his partner. I was so sad when I learnt that they had broken up T-T they were so lovely together…)
    (silly question but what is the meaning of OTP?)

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    • Oh yes, I loved Ji Hyun Woo and Yoo In Na in this! The dopey dreamy eyes he was making at her all series long – GOLD. Just, can’t be replaced. Coz those were real hearts in his eyes. ❤ It really is a pity that they broke up. :/ Like you, I have a desire to rewatch this one.. just that I keep putting it off, coz there’re so many other dramas that I haven’t seen, that I want to check out too.

      I’m crossing my fingers that Trot Lovers will be good. I love Jung Eun Ji, and I think she and Ji Hyun Woo have a similar sort of warm vibe. It’ll be fun to see them spark off each other 🙂 And yay that you found the glossary! It’s an ongoing project that gets expanded from time to time as people make suggestions &/or ask questions. Hope it’ll come in handy again for you sometime! 😀

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  26. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh OTP means “One True Pairing”! (just saw your glossary-> really helpful^^)

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  27. I loved this drama’s ending! Even though I found my way to see Rooftop Prince’s ending as happy, just as you did, I love that there was no question that this pair had a happily ever after 🙂 That makes QIHM much more re-watch worthy for me. I’m not sure yet if I will ever revisit Rooftop Prince, but QIHM definitely!

    I never had a problem with the “phone ending” and I was surprised to find that so many people did. It really added to the magic for me when that phone lit up after all that time. Some people were saying things like “how did it stay charged all that time?” and “how could he get a signal?”, but I think that’s the point, it’s magical, beyond reality (just like time travel).

    You mentioned Secret Garden in one of your comments above….did you do a review for that? I didn’t see one but maybe I overlooked it? I tried to watch it recently but I’m stuck around episode 5. So many people love it, and I like the idea of it, but the leading male character (I can’t remember the character names just now) is so mean to the lead female, I can’t imagine rooting for a romance between them, so I gave it up for now.

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    • Aw, I’m glad you enjoyed this drama and its ending, Lora! 🙂 I really, really enjoyed QIHM; it’s the drama that indirectly got me to start blogging, in fact! I know the phone ending frustrated a lot of viewers, but because I found a way to make sense of it, I loved the ending unreservedly. And I’m glad that drama dared to give the leads an overt happy ending, rather than an implied one that involves reincarnation etc.

      As for Secret Garden, I get what you mean about the meanness of Hyun Bin’s character. I watched the show quite a long while ago, and my drama tastes have evolved somewhat since then. Back then, I didn’t have much of a problem with his meanness, and managed to focus almost completely on the swoony bits. More recently, though, I had trouble accepting similarly mean & rather violent behavior from the male lead in Master’s Sun. Which makes me think that if I were to watch Secret Garden again now, I might have similar issues with the writing around the male lead. I can only say that Hyun Bin manages to be very swoony in the show, despite the character’s mean streak in the beginning.

      Also, even back when I first watched it, I found the ending a little on the weak side. I wasn’t completely satisfied with it, even though there were swoony moments in the final stretch that made me tear up. If you’re willing to turn a blind eye to these things, it’s still worth checking out for the Hyun Bin hawt. If you prefer not to, you can always spend your drama hours on other shows 🙂

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      • I may revisit Secret Garden sometime just for the Hyun Bin hawt 🙂 But I doubt I’ll ever love it as many people seem to. From the clips I’ve seen of later episodes it looks like his character never changes much.

        When I first started watching dramas several years ago I too found it easier to turn a blind eye to the meanness of some characters. At first I was just so captivated by the newness of Korean dramas, but now I am a lot more picky. And now I see just how many mean characters there are in Korean dramas, especially in the older ones!! I hope in the future writers will take a cue from QIHM and see that they can make both the male and female leads likeable and kind to each other, and still make an awesome drama!!

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        • Lol. Prickly &/or cold male leads are almost a staple in dramaland, so I think it’ll be some time before we see that tide actually turning! Having said that, I think the nice male lead is becoming slightly more common these days. Witch’s Romance is a fairly recent show that had a lovely, warm, nice male lead. Of course, they made the female lead on the prickly side, to balance it out. Let’s Eat is another warm little fun show that I liked, and that had a nice male lead too. Female lead was a little grumpy, but she was mostly misunderstood. Not perfect in the writing, but a drama that I’m glad I didn’t pass on, coz I liked it a lot more than I expected to 🙂

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  33. Hi, I’m new to this and not entirely new to Kdrama but haven’t really watched many, maybe a couple of shows? Maybe it’s because I’ve caught scenes from dramas that people were watching while I happen to be there that I felt was very clichéd and may have seen some early ones that made me think all Kdramas are melodramatic angst-fests with protagonists and antagonists that just don’t make much sense in real life. Admittedly, an early childhood diet of Hong Kong dramas have kinda dulled my interest in most series because they are so prolific, with good production values. The downside is after a while, a lot of shows seems the same to me, and some early Kdramas I watched reminded me of the HK ones. I’ve skipped most Kdramas, because I don’t even watch that many shows (of any country) on a regular basis. I think the only Kdrama I enjoyed watching from way back was Pasta, and I remembered thinking how normal the characters were, and the people in the romantic square (another thing I learnt from your blog, lol) wasn’t super mean/nasty, but it didn’t really encourage me to find more. The synopsis from most of the popular ones don’t grab me either, so I didn’t bother for years.

    However, I recently watched Coffee Prince because I was bored and looking for something and remembered that my sister liked it. LOVE LOVE LOVE the show, omg, the acting was awesome, and Gong Yoo’s expressions love-struck expressions were so amazingly realistic I hoped the stars ended up together after the show. I fell in love Gong Yoo and Yoon Eun-hye, which led me to watch Goong, which I didn’t enjoy quite as much (fast-forwarded through many non-couple scenes), though I found the lead pair charming. I was looking up reviews for Goong when I found your blog a few days ago, and decided to pick an A-list drama from your list to watch, and resisted reading the review until I was through.

    I watch You From Another Star in one sitting (total binge, thankfully on my off day!) and it was AMAZEBALLS. I’m now also in love with Kim Soo-Hyun too. Then I picked QIHM from your list and omg, LOVE IT! I see what you mean by this being an early review because I don’t see the character breakdown that you did with other reviews, but may I just say I love how you melt, swoon and rawr your way through reviews. It’s always at points where I’d rawr, swoon and melt myself.

    I was slightly surprised with the phone bit at the ending, but I don’t think it was too weird. My theory was that the palace probably has some sort of magic to it as well, since it’s still standing in the modern day and may be a place where time ‘leaks’, and I think the writers of the show foreshadowed that with the scene where they were both standing back to back in the courtyard in different centuries and she started to feel something again even after forgetting him. That may be a factor, the other being the fact that it’s probably their destiny to be together, which was why they were thrown together repeatedly early on. I feel though, that the palace itself, or its proximity, had something to do with the call being able to come through. As in, the walls through time were thinner there, because he made his jump from there the first time. That’s just my theory, but what do you think of it?

    I kept waiting for the scene from the first episode of the show, which didn’t happen? The one where he was on a horse and jumped the wall and landed in modern day Seoul and she got out of her car and they just stood there and stare at each other? Or did I miss something? I have to confess that I do fast-forward through some bits when I’m binge-watching.

    This show is as good as the rating you gave it, and I can’t wait to go through your list of A-list shows to see what else you’d recommend. I might even venture as far as the B-list O_O We’ll see, but thank you so very much for your recommendations. Thanks to it, I’ve just seen two lovely, lovely shows that have left a deep impression. I’ll definitely be dropping by again. Thank you for all your hard work! ❤

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    • Hi there Aurorenoire! 😀 Wow! Welcome to the wonderful world of kdrama!! You’re very right in saying that not all the dramas are attention grabbing, but the ones that are – Woah Nelly, you just can’t help but eat it all up and then keep on clicking on the next episode for more, eh? 😉

      I do think our taste in dramas is pretty similar, coz I loved Pasta as well, and just never wrote it a review. There are SO many shows I haven’t reviewed, since I started blogging only about 150 dramas into my drama journey! 😛 Yay that you loved Coffee Prince, and You From Another Star, and Queen In Hyun’s Man! ❤ Those are some of my all-time favorites, they are just so good! YES, I highly recommend all the A-list shows I've got on my list on the blog. But there are some shows that I've promised everyone reviews on, that I want to recommend as well. I'd love for you to check out Healer. I LOVED it. Like, freaking, OMG-HELP-ME LOVED it. A very swoony hero who’s got a superhero flavor about him (from parkouring off buildings at the drop of a hat), a lovable, courageous, quirky heroine, super cracky OTP chemistry, and many endearing characters. I love it so much that I want to write it one of my epically monstrous reviews, and just haven’t finished writing it yet. 😛

      Also – a lot of the B shows are worth a watch, particularly if I rated it a B+, so I hope you work your way around to those at some point! 🙂 I can’t wait to hear how you enjoy the other shows, so do feel free to pop on by to let me know anytime, Aurorenoire! 😀

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      • Sorry for the late reply, I keep forgetting to check my email and missed your response! I’ve watched Pasta again, because it’s been so many years and love it! I wish they’d have better kisses tho’, some are just so stiff! I watched You’re Beautiful recently and I feel the heroine is half-terrified every time she’s kissed. -_- The show was ok on FF. Healer isn’t on Netflix or iflix, I think, so I’ll have to find another source, but I’ll definitely check it out!

        I have actually checked out a few B shows because I liked the way the premise sounds, and skipped others, like Gaksital, because I don’t think it’d be my thing, although I may change my mind later. As you said, sometimes you just need the right lens (or mood), to tackle certain shows. I forgot to mention I’ve watched Cantabile Tomorrow because I love the manga, anime and J-drama so much (I have read/watched all of them), and it’s charming. I couldn’t get past the first episode of Dream High, though I may try again some other time. Thank you for taking the time to reply! I’ll try to comment on your reviews of other dramas I’ve watched so it’d be more relevant. Cheers!

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        • Sorry for MY late reply, Aurorenoire! Life’s been really hectic in the past month for me, and I’m only just now resurfacing with a new post, AND catching up on comments! 🙂

          It’s so true that mood counts for so much, when it comes to picking a show to watch.. I’m glad you enjoyed Pasta again – I loved that show and watched it a few times.. At least 2.5, I think? 😄 I liked Cantabile Tomorrow quite well in spite of its flaws, but have no point of comparison since I didn’t watch any other version of it.

          I agree that Park Shin Hye’s character is too timid in You’re Beautiful.. But I did enjoy that as a fun, fluffy sort of watch. I hope you’ll give Dream High another go – maybe when you’re in a High School Musical sort of mood? And yes, definitely check out Healer – I still love it now, and still plan to write it a huge review. Hopefully in the not-too-distant future! 😛

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  34. Hi. I started watching korean dramas last year and I just finished Queen In Hyun’s Man, the 31st drama which I finished. After watching, I always check for reviews online to see if I share the same opinion as others, and to clear any misconceptions or confusions. Your reviews in particular are well structured and comprehensive for me so this is one of the sites I check after finishing a drama.

    I would like to thank you for the explanation regarding the phone in the last episode. I was one of those who didn’t like it at first because I thought too that it was too convenient, but after reading this and analyzing the plot again, you’re right it actually makes sense. Since I enjoyed almost everything else in the drama, the storyline, the chemistry of the actors, the music, and many more, I couldn’t accept that the ending lacked logic.

    We appreciate the reviews that you wrote. When I finish more dramas in the future, I will surely visit this site again. 😀

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    • Aw, thanks Miguel!! I’m so glad that you found this review helpful, AND that you enjoy the blog as a whole! It’s always so great to meet fellow fans who understand the drama love. ❤ Happy drama watching, and I look forward to chatting dramas with you again! 🙂

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  35. Its the end of 2016 and i just got to watch this awesooooome kdrama!!! I love everything about it. I watched this because of the good reviews this drama has via asianwiki. I only read your review when I was in ep16 already. And all I can say is… I agree to every word you said.
    I ship Ji Hyun Woo and Yoo In Na for reel and for real. Not sure maybe because they have feelings for each other when theyre filming thats why everythings seemed to be real. But gaaaaah! Im sooo hooked! Why did they even have to split? Hope they get back soon. I heard theyre both single.
    I buy the phone thing in the end. Thats the only way he could go back. The phone is somewhat “memorable” to them as they only communicate through it.
    Aaaand I love the kissing scenes! I like the pasta kisses to be honest. and when he “we should be eating this everyday” lol.
    Oh and the deleted scenes. Steamy. Hahaha
    Hope I can watch a drama like this again. But I want to “kno” Ji Hyun Woo more so probably Ill be watching his latest works after thanks!

    감사합니다 For this review!

    Like

    • Ah, I’m glad you enjoyed this show, Karisma! It’s never too late to discover a great show, and this one was one of my top picks for 2012! 🙂 It’s sad that Ji Hyun Woo and Yoo In Na broke up, but the chemistry in this show was real for sure. And like you said, who knows, maybe they will get back together again? 🙂

      I’ve heard that Awl is very good, but I haven’t gotten around to checking it out, so I don’t have an informed opinion of it. I only know that it’s not a romance, but it’s well done, and Ji Hyun Woo is good in it. 🙂

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  36. Girl that deleted scene had me like 👀.

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