The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling

Year In Review: 2013


In in all, I’d hafta say that 2013 has been a big k-year for me. My biggest k-year ever, since I got on the k-train in 2007. After all, this is the year that I:

– experienced what it’s like to take care of a blog;

– discovered the awesome allure of Kim Woo Bin;

– went to my first fanmeet, ever;

– organized my first squee-fest (fun!)


– faced my first existential crisis as a blogger. (I survived. It’s all good.)

The downside of all that, though? I watched the least amount of drama, ever, since I got on the drama train.

Tsk. The irony, right?

School 2013 OST – Beautiful Days

I thought about not writing a year-in-review post, since I watched so few of the 2013 dramas. And then I thought, why the heck not? As a bona-fide resident of the dramaverse, I have every right to tell the dramaverse what I think, right?

And this is the season of giving. And forgiving.

So here’re my thoughts, all ye shows who’ve crossed my screen in 2013.

From the hearts-in-my-eyes accolades:

To the what-the-heck-were-you-thinking:

I’m gonna tell it like it is, shows. So that you’ll know how to do better next time.

Favorite Drama: School 2013

Aw. Looking back at the various 2013 dramas that I managed to watch, you really are the drama that captured my heart like no other drama did this year. (And I’m not even talking about Kim Woo Bin sneaking up on me and stealing my heart. Although that does give you extra brownie points for sure.)

Full of heart, with hopes and ideals and fears all mixed together in one kaleidoscopic world, and boasting my favorite bromance in all of dramaland, you, Show, are the unassuming little underdog who packed more of an emotional punch than many other big budget shows this year.

You were sweet, with just enough bitter to keep it raw and real; altogether lovely, and worth a second serve.

I ❤ you, Show.

Edit: Review is here.

Favorite Rom-Com: I Hear Your Voice

Show, I crown thee a noona romance to slay all other noona romances.

Yes, the chemistry between your OTP could’ve been more crackly, and yes, your legal system was cartoonish to a mickey mouse-ish sort of degree. But Lee Jong Suk sold this so earnestly and endearingly that I was very firmly rooting for him very fast. Plus, the wonderful theme of unconditional love that you served up gripped me by the heart and wouldn’t let go until I’d fallen over in complete surrender.

With the bonus of likable supporting characters and a wonderfully breezy, lovely OST, I was a happy camper willing to overlook all of your flaws.

Could I have a Park Soo Ha of my own, pretty please? Preferably in time for Christmas? No? Well then, how about in time for Valentine’s?

Edit: Review is here.

Most Illuminating Show: King Of Dramas

Satirical and cheeky, and peopled by an excellent cast, you gave us an unapologetic and unrelenting look at what goes on behind the scenes of our beloved dramas.

With enough realism and grit to make for an illuminating and fascinating watch, and enough campy to make it tongue-in-cheek and fun, all the while imbued with just enough whimsy to make it feel like a dreamy parallel universe, you, Show, felt fresh and unexpected and even a little daring, for poking fun at the k-ent industry while making plain some of the open secrets that we (mostly) already (sorta) knew.

You are by far the funnest and most thorough of the various dramas that have used the k-ent industry as a setting.

For giving us Anthony, and for forever changing the way I look at a drama, I forgive you, Show, for your weak ending.

Edit: Review is here.

Biggest Mental Workout: Nine

Nine, you are the most intelligently written of the time travel dramas that have graced our screens. Your time travel device and all of its accompanying ripple effects were one the most tightly written and well thought-out that I’ve come across.

You proved to be one big rollercoaster ride that kept me on the edge of my seat from episode to episode with all of your twists and turns, and I was always asking the question: “What will Sun Woo do now?”

Was it because I was too busy trying to keep up with the mental gymnastics? Or was it because your writers were too busy keeping track of their time travel device? My only beef with you is that I never felt fully engaged in an emotional way, even though there were times that actual tears left my eyes.

You’re a thought-provoking one. To put it mildly.

Edit: Review is here. Further dissection here.

The Underachiever: Flower Boy Next Door

An introspective watch disguised as a zany rom-com. At least, that’s how I like to see you.

When you were zany, you were so very zany. With a hero displaying the personality of an Energizer bunny, random flower boys populating the screen (and sometimes literally hanging from windows), and quirky sound effects to boot, one would be hard-pressed to not identify your world as manhwa-inspired.

Yet when you were introspective, you were so very thoughtful. We got to know a heroine who was a timid shut-in, desperate for the world at large to not notice her existence, and we followed her on her journey as she collided head-on with said Energizer bunny hero and was forced to take her first small, scary steps out into the world.

And if that had been your main arc and message, Show, I would’ve been such a happy camper. Instead, right towards the end, you decided to side-step our heroine’s eventual growth as an individual and feed us lots of treacly sweet couple stuff instead, which felt like noshing on empty calories.

You could’ve been so much better than that, Show. If only you knew.

Edit: Review is here.

Prettiest (& Most Disappointing) Show: That Winter, The Wind Blows

Oh, That Winter. You started off so well. Everything and everyone looked gorgeous and beautiful. Every scene perfectly lit and shot, backed with a wonderfully evocative OST.

Plus, you can even boast that you have the crackiest fauxcest I’ve ever seen in dramaland. Never before have I rooted harder for a “brother” to kiss his “sister.” Yes, Show. You did weird things to my brain. To all of our brains. I and all of dramaland felt the need for therapy as we ate up all the fauxcest you served up, and then craved for more.

But here’s the thing. Logic’s a really important foundation stone when you’re a drama. We didn’t expect you to be really strong in this area, but at least the semblance of some would have made a difference.

You left me bemused and very upset at your cop-out of an ending. But hey, at least you were oh-so-pretty while you were at it.

Edit: Review is here.

Weepiest Melo: I Miss You

OMG, Show. You got it all wrong. A drama doesn’t need to have tears in every single scene, nor go crazy with its plot and characters in order to qualify as a melo.

I tried to stick with you, Show. I really did. After all, you served up a very lovely Yoo Seung Ho with such delicious bedroomy eyes. But you made our heroine cry so much that Yoon Eun Hye’s face and eyes were constantly puffy. After a while, it just felt like you were trying to wring tears from me. Like you took actual pleasure in making your characters suffer, rather than in telling a coherent story.

Your manipulative penchant for suffering and tears is why I broke up with you after 13 episodes, Show. And I have it on good authority that I made the right decision.

Edit: Dropped post is here.

Most Underwhelming Show: Heirs

With so much hype preceding your arrival, it was going to be an uphill battle for you to live up to expectations one way or another. In that sense, I feel a little sorry for you, Show.

But really, you didn’t have to be that underwhelming.

Instead of fresh and zippy, you gave us slow and heavy. Instead of meaningful growth for our characters, you made us circle around the same things over and over. Instead of fleshing out some key relationships, you chose to gloss over almost every relationship. Instead of meaningful dramatic tension, you gave us one Big Bad Chairman Daddy and called it a day.

Still, for giving us Bo Na and Chan Young, who were the cutest thing about you, and for giving us Young Do, who was the most compelling person in your entire cast, I forgive you.

We may not always have California (and the jaw-droppingly bad Engrish to go with), but we will always have mesmerizing Young Do. ❤

Edit: Review is here.

Fun & Easy: Master’s Sun

Although I’m still dating you, Show, it’s been a pretty good 14 episodes that we’ve had together so far.

Overall, you’ve been a fun, easy, unchallenging watch. Sure, the story you’re telling is fairly simple, and sometimes I feel kinda disturbed by some of the hair-grabbing and other humiliation/mistreatment that your heroine’s had to bear, but you’ve got an OTP with excellent chemistry and a gorgeous OST that I really dig.

You haven’t been shout-it-from-the-mountaintops great, but you haven’t been all that bad either.

Just 3 more episodes to go. Don’t fail me now, Show.

Edit: Review is here.

Heartless City

Everyone swooned and waxed lyrical over your bad-boy allure so much that I approached you out of pure curiosity.

10 episodes in, you’re proving to be dark, twisty and mysterious, just like everyone said you were. It’s weird that I’m not head-over-heels smitten with you like everyone before me. You’re certainly interesting, though. And gritty. Yet elegant. And you sure know how to muddy up what’s supposed to be right and wrong, leading us into a glorious sea of uncertainty.

10 more episodes with you, Show. I might just fall in love with you yet.

Edit: Review is here.

Other 2013 Dramas I Want to Check Out:

Well, that was a short list of watched dramas, wasn’t it? Yes, there are a number of 2013 dramas that I’ve still got on my radar.

In no particular order, going forward, I’d like to go on dates with:

The only problem, of course, is finding the time, with 2014 almost upon us, and whole slew of new dramas already invading our horizon.

Where is that time machine that dramaland served up last year when you need it?

A Slight Tangent:

On a somewhat related tangent, I did make time for some rewatches in 2013.


This rewatch started innocently enough. All I was in the mood for, really, was to drool over some serious eye candy after telling everyone on my Jang Hyuk post that they should watch Chuno, if only for the shirtless awesome.

But then, a few episodes in, I was completely blown away by how good Chuno really is, and decided I needed to write it a proper review. 13,000 words later, I’m more convinced than ever, that Chuno is a masterpiece.

Sungkyunkwan Scandal

Recently, I started a rewatch of Sungkyunkwan Scandal, coz Michele and I wanted to try out a Skype Squee thing. The idea, of course, is to watch something together while connected via Skype so that we can squee together.

Even though Sungkyunkwan Scandal sits on my All-Time Faves list, I am still happily blown away by just how cracky it is, even the second time around.

It’s cute, it’s engaging, it’s (so very) pretty, and absolutely, thoroughly addictive.

Edit: I finally wrote a review for Sungkyunkwan Scandal! Check it out here!

Attention, Dramaverse:

Which begs the question: why isn’t the dramaverse serving up dramas like these anymore?

I feel like so many shows these days start out promising and then get completely derailed. And the casualty count only seems to be increasing as we go.

Is it just that I’m noticing it more now than before, coz I’ve started blogging about it? Or is this really a new (& very disappointing) trend?

So many people I know have spoken about drama fatigue. I felt it a little, too, this year. But now that I’m watching Sungkyunkwan Scandal, I’m convinced that it’s not me, Dramaverse. It’s YOU.

C’mon, Dramaverse. Give us the good stuff. We know you can do it, coz you’ve done it before. Make 2014 awesome for us all.

I’m rooting for you. Fighting!

Author: kfangurl

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

117 thoughts on “Year In Review: 2013

  1. Pingback: Year In Review: 2014 | The Fangirl Verdict

  2. ohh?…you have mentioned from your previous comment that you have watched Grandpas over Flower..y’know i’ve seen some episodes of Sisters Over Flower which Lee Sung Gi’s served as porter for two ahjummas and two noonas on their trip to Croatia…..i kinda like it. It’s from tVN and Lee Sung Gi is so adorable….i’ve seen two episodes from Mnet…i am just wondering if you happen to know about this as well…


    • Oh, Noonas Over Flowers? I haven’t had a chance to actually watch it, but have been following the recaps over at DB.. It sounds quite adorable from what I can tell! 😀


      • yeah..i like it, it’s just that i couldn’t watch it religiously because i watch it through TV via cable system and my companies at home doesn’t adore k-ent thing as much as i do, i hope i find myself a DVD of copy of it…it’s my first time to see Lee Sung Gi talks in English in reality TV show..he’s quite adorable taking good care and tending to the needs of four ladies…


        • Yes, he does seem to have done an adorable job of not only taking care of the noonas, but entertaining them too. From what I read, there were times when the noonas had to take care of him more than he took care of them, HA. But that’s part of the entertainment for us, of course! 😉 I hope it becomes available sometime.. I haven’t been able to find it online yet, and that’s quite a bummer since it promises to be so good!


          • oh, hope you’ll have the chance to watch some episode of it as well, i find the two ahjummas here very lovable also. Kim Ja-ok and Yoon Yeo-jeong… suddenly, i remember her portraying the mother of Kim Sun Ah in MNIKSS, Kim Ja-ok is so good in that drama and seeing Yoon Yeo-jeong getting worried about Sung Gi’s break down moment finding them a transport is fun…isn’t Yoon Yeo-jeong portrays as Sung Gi’s mother in K2H?..


            • Aw. It does sound like a pretty adorable show; I do hope that it will become available with subs at some point. I do really like Ja Ok and Yeo Jung, they are such good-natured veterans, and each is SO different from the other, it must be quite amusing to see them together! And you’re absolutely right – Yeo Jung played Seung Gi’s mother in K2H, so it’s a reunion for them. Sweet! ^^


              • .it does for me, seeing only 2 episodes of it get me entice by it…and the two-veteran actresses are really lovable…Ja-ok is too cute while Yeo-jung being the oldest seem prettily smart….there was one scene there when a man approached her and conversed with her in Korean language, she was surprised….it turned out that the man lived in Korea and happened to recognize her…She was amazed when the man asked her if he could possibly take a photo with her.

                Mnet subbed it in English i just don’t know if it is already available on the net with English subbed…i think i need to check the rest on the net as well as i said i couldn’t watch it at home with my parents around..XD..


  3. YUP!@…there must be something about them….y’know?…whenever i am on my way to work and go malling and each time i saw some Asian foreign looking guy, i would stare and check whether that guy is Korean hahahaha!…i know it’s unethical to stare…but i don’t know…i guess i am making it a bad habit right now…LOL!


    • Omo. You bold, bare-faced staring girl, you! ;D But I know what you mean. That one time when I saw that guy who looked a lot like GY, I couldn’t stop staring either! But, we must try to behave.. at least a little! XD


      • 🙂 …hahaha…i do behave…at least i try not stare when the guy is looking..the worst?…i have to hear them talk!…to satisfy myself that the guy is Korean… 🙂 y’know?’s hard to resist not to look especially when the Asian looking guy is a cutie and has body framed of GY..LOL!


        • Giggle. I hope you are behaving, evez.. You don’t want those guys’ girlfriends to come after you for staring! XD I know it’s hard not to stare, though. I feel your struggle XD And I am chuckling just imagining you sidling up to them to listen to them talk, all secret-investigator-like. LOL! XD Our evez, the investigator!


          • 🙂 ahh don’t worry kfangirl, i believe i did behave just fine…though honestly sometimes i get caught up by staring hahahaha!…when the guy’s eyes met mine i would simply smile and have my eyes look in other direction…some will just smiled back and some will just stare back blankly and look bewildered..and have to say that is the most thrilling part of it..LOL!.. ❤


  4. LOL!..sometimes i wonder why i get addicted with this K-singers?…my music preference has turned upside down as well, honestly sixty percent of it belongs to K-ent?…what?what happen to my use to be active songs?….my!…Korean RNB/Korean OSTs has been keeping my playlists busy nowadays…and to add to my craziness i love listening to rapping songs of TOP, GD, and some SUJU’s songs and more…odd but true…

    Ottoke?…you see? honestly the first introduction of OSTs to me are from Chinese Drama…remember Meteor Garden?…those fabulous F4 Boys?…they sing some OSTs from that drama as well..the fact that i love Jerry Yan and Vaness Wu but how i come i didn’t hook on their songs?…

    ahhh Korean entertainment made me crazy and made me the queen of wishful thinking!LOL!@.@..


    • Tee hee. I’m not on the kpop train, but I can sort of imagine what that’s like. I used to watch mainly American/western TV shows, and now with kdrama in the picture, it’s taken over the entirety (almost) of my viewing menu! The only exceptions are the occasional movie that I watch in-flight. And even then, I often drop the in-flight movie after a while and go back to my dramas on my iPad. 😛

      So yes, I do kinda understand how k-something can take over a LOT of your life! I never used to be this way over any other type of entertainment either, so you’re right, there’s just SOMETHING about these k-stars and theirs shows/music. Something very absorbing and addictive 😉 Hee.


  5. aww! about that OST you shared from Heirs?…honestly it’s one of my favorite…LOL! can make you feel batty yes, but Changmin of 2AM did render his voice greatly!..if there’s another reasons why i love Heirs aside from adorable castings it is because of some nice OSTs…and the one you shared here is just one of the best…<3<3<3 😉


    • Lol. You are always so sweet, evez!! You’re one of the few people I know who didn’t get impatient with that song as the series went on. I didn’t mind it much at first, but by the time we were halfway through the show, I was rolling my eyes every time they whipped out the song to inform us that Love is the Momennnnttt..!! XD

      Y’know, I think if the script had been stronger, I might’ve had more patience with the song. So you and dewaani have a point. On its own, it’s not.. terrible 😉


      • hahaha!!!like what i said i love that song…i don’t know why i am so in love with Korean singers that can render rnb and slow rock genre greatly…LOL!

        and i remember reading a comment about it…the overused scenes while playing the OST over and over… 😉


        • Yes, I do have to agree that many of the Korean singers have a way of making a song extra addictive and immersive with their delivery. I don’t know if it’s to do with the sound of the Korean language.. I kinda think it’s a factor coz I suspect it might not sound as dreamy if the songs were all in English, for example ^^

          And absolutely yes. With overuse, an ok song can become infuriating. Like I always say, context is everything 😉


  6. hi..just seen seen this and you never failed to made me feel we share the same taste :)….pease find time to watch secret..and find a space in your kheart for ji sung..let us never mind lee bo young….


    • Ah! Ji Sung! I was so smitten with him in Save Your Last Dance For Me! I found him sooo swoony and charming and suave. And in that same show, I found Lee Bo Young completely clingy and aggravating, heh. And that’s where the couple met and fell in love in real life – the irony, lol. I shall add Secret to the list, thanks for the tip ^^ I am not often in the mood for melos (I am STILL making my way towards watching Nice Guy! >.<) but I've heard that Secret can be really cracky, so.. on the list it goes!


  7. ..oh my the first time i opened this post leaving a comment is unavailable and since i am missing a lot from this blog these days it’s only now i can say and jot a few words…of course! it’s another great post from you kfangirl!…sometimes i wonder where you get all the ideas for your writing despite of your busy skeds!…it’s been hard to keep up lately from this blog…hope i’ll be able to read all the comments one of this day!…

    with all the dramas you mentioned i fell in love with:


    and not so good HEIRS–okay!…like what you said it’s underwhelming…i managed to finish watching it coz of adorable castings!…especially those men in suits and coats!…minus LMH’s “fugly sweaters” like what Ddee said…Young Do, Kim Tan and Kim Won saved that drama..LOL!…

    and 2013 is leaving us 2 more days to go…and before it does i want to say thank you very much!

    …thank you for being receptive and being lovely to all of US!…i also want to thank all your fellow bloggers and to all regular visitors who eventually became friends…it’s been a wonderful 2013 for me knowing this site…and honestly the greatest gift i had for this year is acquiring friends from your site and be able to know them…hope to be with you again and have more fun for the coming year!!!…HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!..HOPE TO SEE YOU AGAIN NEXT YEAR WITH GREAT BRAINSTORMING AND SQUEEZZ!!!

    here’s a lovely song from RA.d….for you Kfangirl and for everyone!..hope you like it…<3<3<3…KOMAWO!!!


    • Aw! Thanks for the adorable vid, evez!! 😀 Kim Seul Gi is so cute in this! And what an apt theme: of thank yous and sticking together. Indeed, thank YOU, evez, for loving this place like your very own. You are such a positive, happy unnie, so sweetly taking care of new commenters & so warmly bonding everyone else who hangs out here. It’s been a pleasure hanging out with you, and I’m looking forward to another year of shared spazz and insightful conversations ❤


      • 😉 and it always a pleasure to me visiting this site as always!….hope everyone will make this site more livelier with lot of goodies to share to spazz and squee with!!..

        …and isn’t is Kim Seul Gi so cute here?…i adore his cuteness in “FBND” and “Reply 1994”..she’s not strikingly beautiful but she is a charmer when she acts..<3

        ..i thought of sharing the vid to express my thankfulness to you and to the rest of the ladies here…RA.d's song has a good lyrics and nice rhythm…<3


        • Aw! I love that you enjoy hanging out here, evez! ❤ Thank you for the very nice song!

          And yes, I love Kim Seul Gi! She is adorable and super likable. I loved her in FBND. I haven’t watched Reply 1994 yet – I plan to, soon! – and it’s great to know that she’s as likable as ever in it! I couldn’t get enough of her in FBND. She stole the show, she did ^^


  8. I only just got to this post now T T. I’ve been wondering if I should do an end of year post or not…or just finish some of the other posts I’ve got going. You’ve inspired me to at least try to write something. As always I love your zippy tone, and just overall cuteness. And I totally agree, it’s the dramaverse that’s letting us down – that and all the money hungry sharks who only care about the ratings and not about the quality *sigh*.


    • Aw! Yay that this post inspired you, dewaani!! 😀 I’d wondered whether to write one, mostly coz I’d watched so few of the 2013 shows. In the end, I realized that even then, there are probably people who’re curious about what I have to say about what I did manage to watch. So, it’s probably the same for you – your readers are probably curious about what you have to say, even if you didn’t manage to watch a lot of shows. That’s an idea that I’ve been chewing on of late, as I wondered whether to bother with an Heirs review, since so much has already been said about the show. I realized that be that as it may, people who follow this blog are likely to still be interested to know what I think. So an Heirs review is coming. Hopefully in the not-too-distant future! 😛

      Yes, the dramaverse has not had a good 2013. Everything just feels so much more commercialized of late. I have hope though, that things might get better. I’m 2 eps into You From Another Star and really liking it. The writing feels thoughtful, and the cast is doing great in bringing the script to life. I’m really digging it so far. Hopefully this is a sign of more good things to come, in 2014 ^^v


      • Yeah, I’ve been really sick for about a month, and I’ve also been trying to pack up etc. during that time, so it’s left me little to no energy for drama watching or writing. I think all my end of year reviews are just going to have to be late ^^ oh well.

        I always think it’s a good idea to be able to post one’s thoughts if one can – but then again – don’t feel too much pressure.

        I’ve been hearing good things about “You From Another Star” – I think I will have to check it out!

        Loves and hugs my friend! 😀


        • Aw, boo that you’ve been sick dewaani!! 😦 It sounds like you’ve been having a rough time. *sends over a soft duvet and an extra-large box of hugs* I hope you’re feeling all better now, and that 2014’s been kind to you. ❤ Don’t push yourself too hard to get into the swing of things. Health and well-being come first. Always.

          And yes, I think you’d like You From Another Star – what I’ve seen of it anyway 😛 I’ve fallen behind on the watching, and now have 2 weeks’ worth of episodes for a mini-marathon! But everything I’ve seen so far has made me happy. Fingers crossed that Show will hold steady and be great all the way to the end!

          Smooches, chingu! ❤❤❤


          • Sadly I am still sick…but such is life. ^^ I greatly appreciate the duvet and the hugs ❤

            I shall have to start watching it soon then! Love ya!


            • What a bummer to be sick for what sounds like an extended period 😦 This calls for the big guns. *sends over steaming pot of ginseng chicken soup, another extra-large box of hugs, and the deluxe box of Choi Jin Hyuk snuggles*

              I just watched E3 of You From Another Star, and I’m still liking it a lot, so yes, do check it out! Love you right back! ❤❤


              • Ah! Choi Jin Hyuk snuggles!!! LOVE!!!!!

                So…I watched the first drama I’ve watch since August…”Man from the Stars”…I stayed up until 5 AM watching. Silly me! But it is lovely! I’m only at episode 4, but I can’t wait for more. Thank you for the recommendation! ❤❤❤


                • Hee. I thought you’d like those Choi Jin Hyuk snuggles!! 😀 Here. *hands over deluxe box of Choi Jin Hyuk murmured sweet nothings* These will make you all better AND soothe you to sleep.. And they work really well when used in conjunction with the snuggles too. Er. If you haven’t used those all up yet..! ^.~

                  AND! I am so stoked that you’re loving You From Another Star!! 😀 Staying up till 5am is a definite sign of love! Not great for someone who’s trying to recuperate, sure.. But they DO say that love conquers all..? 😉


                  • Buahahahahaha! You certainly know what I want 😉 *sigh* Choi Jin Hyuk *sigh* 😉 Seriously, I am so glad for the Internets so I can have chingus like you!!! ❤❤❤

                    You From Another Star! Soooooooooooo cute!!!!!!! I already love both Kim Soo Hyun and Cheon Ji Hyun, but now I love them even more!!!


                    • Tee hee. It’s not hard for one fangirl to understand another! 😉 Plus, with THAT voice, I thought the sweet nothings were a priority send! ;D

                      Ikr?!? WHAT a nice way to start the drama year, seriously. Thoughtful writing AND excellent execution from the actors. I don’t dig that destiny song on the OST coz it’s kinda toooo obvious, but for all the other goodies Show is serving up, I can let it slide ^.~


                    • Haha, yeah, the destiny track is definitely on the cheesy side, but hardly as bad as “aaaaaaaalmoooooost paaaaaaaaaraaaaaaadise!” 😉


                    • True, dat. Or, “Love is the momennnnttt..” That song was driving me up the wall long before we ended the drama! >.<


                    • I am not sure if I know that one. Which drama was it again? Have I just wiped it from my mind?


                    • Heirs. Which I’m now just realizing you probably didn’t see, coz you mentioned you haven’t watched drama in a while. 😛

                      Here’s a peek at the song that eventually drove us all batty over time:


                    • Aw! There were some really great parts to that song. I totally realizing that it must have driven you all batty, but yeah, I kind of liked it. I think at heart I am Korean enough to love a nice sappy, sad ballad ;D


                    • Also, Lee Min Ho looks like an airbrushed human.


                    • Hahaha!! Well. I didn’t hate it at first, but over time, with overuse and paired with an underwhelming script, most of us got real tired of it real fast. 😛

                      Also, I’m thinking that with your Choi Jin Hyuk love, that you won’t have any spare ogle-power left for Lee Min Ho while watching Heirs. Coz much as Choi Jin Hyuk was under-utilized in Heirs along with almost everyone else, he did look very, very fine, hee. 😉


                    • LOL. Yeah. I am sort of glad I missed Heirs…though I do love me some Choi Jin Hyuk ;D


                    • Gasp! You mean to say you’re going to pass up some Choi Jin Hyuk screentime in Heirs? I bet this is because he’s got Emergency Couple coming out. Choi Jin Hyuk as a romantic lead!!! Surely you’re not going to pass THAT one up? ;D


                    • Hahahaha…I might just have to endure Heirs for him 😉


                    • Hee. Spoken like a true fangirl, dewaani! 😉 I knew Choi Jin Hyuk would eventually draw you in ^^ On a side note, let’s see how you feel by the end of the show, about “Love is the momennnntttt” muahaha!! ;D


                    • Hahahaha…maybe…I might just not get to it…or I might just have to go and re-watch episodes of “You From Another Star” ;D


                    • Heh. Whatever it takes, I say ;D


  9. Hey! The way you wrote this made me laugh countless times >_< I really wanted to comment to tell you that if you happen to be wondering what to watch next and maybe you also happen to be in a slice-of-life drama mood…….you should really try out Reply 1994, assuming you've seen Reply 1997. Hopefully it can stand up to all your glorious criticism if you do happen to pick it 🙂


    • Hee. I’m glad you enjoyed the read, So-Ra!! 😀 I did enjoy a lot of things about Reply 1997, plus I’ve heard mostly good things about R1994, so it’s definitely pretty high on my priority list.

      And! I giggled at “glorious criticism” HAHA! XD I hope I’m not being overly critical of our kdramas.. I know they aren’t all supposed to be masterpieces. I just want more coherence and heart and quality in the writing and execution, is all *bats lashes innocently*


  10. hm, i’ve seen only “She is WOW” and “The Queen’s Classroom” from that list. out of those two, “The Queens Classroom” is imho the better one, really worth watching … even if just for the sake of “a nice example of thinking outside the box”.


    • Thanks for the tip, INTJ! I do think I’ve heard more consistently good things about The Queen’s Classroom.. Reactions for She is WOW have been generally positive, though I’ve come across some rants too.


      • ihmo a drama or movie is really good if it makes one think … apart from enjoying watching it. therefore, while it was fun watching both. “The Queens Classroom” made me think about what i have done (and what i’m currently doing) to make this world a better one. of course, following a (more or less ideal) model isn’t the best way to live ones life … but one can learn (from different models) and thus become a model for others … even if it’s not (just) about some kind of legacy (of one’s own life). anyway: don’t take anybody’s thoughts as an absolute truth, watch them and decide (their value) for yourself …


        • That’s a good point, INTJ – it’s a rare drama that makes you think, so one that does do that is a rare gem indeed. For me, another huge piece of the puzzle in terms of what makes a drama great, is a drama that manages to engage me emotionally, and get me in the heart. A heart connection can make me forgive a lot, coz that heart connection is so precious. A drama that can engage both the heart and mind? Gold. 🙂

          Absolutely agree that it’s better to watch a show yourself and make up your own mind. I’ve been known to have radically different responses to dramas than the general viewership, sometimes enjoying a show that others hated, or disliking a show that everyone else loved. It was way easier to check out all the shows myself when I wasn’t blogging though, I hafta admit. I managed to watch so few of the 2013 shows while 2013 was still here! XD Going forward, I do hope to watch more shows in 2014 – let’s see how I do! ^^


  11. “After all, you served up a very lovely Yoo Seung Ho with such delicious bedroomy eyes.” Yes to this. Seung Ho was one of the reasons I watched I Miss You in the first place, which was a terrible reason to watch it, lol. But he really was lovely. And then he freaking went into the military!

    The whole ‘promising dramas derailing’ thing has always happened. They always start off well, and half way through you’ll be raving about it, and then by the end you’ll just be like “god what happened, show! I loved you so much before!” It’s sad how often that happens. I just assume it’s a combination of too many episodes + live shooting. They have a story but they don’t have time to actually develop it properly, they just have to write what they can so that something airs that week.


    • Heh. Your reason for watching IMY is the exact reason I watched IMY, Caitlyn! XD Although, I waited till he’d been in the military for some time before starting on this one. I figured that the extra missing-him-this-is-the-only-fresh-YSH-until-he’s-done factor would help me make it through to the end. No dice, though. I just couldn’t do it! XD

      I agree that the phenomenon of dramas derailing has been around for a long time.. It’s just.. I dunno. I feel like this year in particular, it happened a lot more than previous years. Was that just my imagination? I don’t know. I just know that I’m not the only one who’s feeling like 2013’s been a particularly patchy year for dramas. And I really hope that things will improve next year, or I may spend much more of my time on rewatching old favorites than checking out new dramas! 😛


  12. Lovely re-cap kfangurl! The squeefest was definitely a highlight for me too!
    First, I love that perfect screencap of Siwon! Oh thank god for Anthony, what would dramaland do without Anthony??!
    Second, hands down IHYV and School 2013 stood above the pack for me too.
    Third, Heartless City, it had me in a vice grip until ep 10, and then it started to unravel for me. But gosh if it didn’t give me the year’s most gut-wrenching, heart-destroying scenes and the BEST soundtrack, and the most memorable characters and performances.
    And last, I have to give some props to Two Weeks, the year’s most underrated show for the sheer audacity for being CONSISTENT, and solid from start to finish! Apparently that’s hard to do *grumps*.
    Here’s to 2014! May dramaland be good to all of us! 🙂


    • Aw! THANKS, DDee!! 😀 And thank YOU, for being the mastermind behind the squeefest! If you hadn’t suggested it, we may never have had that awesome squee party – with more to come! ;D

      Hee. I do love that screencap of Siwon too – he was SUCH a hoot in KoD! I didn’t even care that my screencap for KoD didn’t feature our leads, ha! Not to detract from Kim Myung Min’s greatness as Anthony, or Jung Ryeo Won’s winsome turn as Go Eun. But you just gotta love Siwon in this, dontcha? XD

      I’m just starting on E11 of Heartless City, so I’m curious to see if I experience a similar decline in my experience with the show that you did. And thanks for the recommendation on Two Weeks! I’d been looking forward to that one, and it’s good to know that it delivered solidly. It doesn’t sound like much, but in 2013’s drama landscape, it is something to celebrate.

      Truly, may 2014 be a better drama year for us all! *shakes fist threateningly at the dramaverse*


  13. This was such a cute post. I loved how you ‘talk’ to some of the dramas. Keep up all the terrific work, regardless of whether it’s a 13,000 word review or some crazy post (like dream dramas. 😉 or just your fan-girl musings and concerns. We love to read them. I do!


    • Aw! ❤ THANKS, Lady G!! 😀 It’s always a pleasure to chat with you, no matter what the post is about, and I definitely look forward to more chats and squees with you next year!

      Also. Yes, don’t some dramas need serious talking-to? Especially those underachiever dramas. Tsk.


  14. Awesome!!! School 2013 & I Hear your Voice still remain my favorite from 2013 (and are actually the only shows I watched from start to finish) #fangirldilemma)


    • Ha! We do have excellent (& similar!) taste, don’t we! 😀 I highly approve. If I could’ve only finished 2 dramas in 2013, I would’ve picked the same 2 shows too! Of course, I would’ve found a way to also watch Heirs. Just for Woobie, of course 😉 ❤


      • ehh! There’s a chunk of my original that’s missing *scratches head* I think I was saying something along the lines of wanting to watch SKKS again, but that I have like gazillions shows on my HD waiting to be watched. Hence the #fangirldilemma hash-tag LOL!


        • LOL! I was kinda wondering about that!! I thought maybe your fangirl dilemma was about picking the 2 shows you finished, haha! Now it makes a WHOLE lot more sense, I hafta admit! XD

          I am with you, maknae. I also have a gazillion shows on my HD waiting to be watched; who knows when I’ll get around to them all? What I CAN say is, I am THOROUGHLY enjoying my SKKS rewatch. It’s even better the second time around, coz I can now pick up more nuances from the dialogue since I’m less dependent on the subs. And it’s just soooo much breezy, addictive fun! The perfect pick-me-up for anyone who’s got a hint of drama fatigue or the holiday blues ^^


  15. I agree with you on Heirs! It started off quite well actually, but by episode 3 it got daggy and boring. And it kept being so, only pickig up at around the 11th episode? Even so I expected better :/ but like you said, the fever around this drama was it’s downfall-to-be anyway, they shouldn’t have raised our expectations so much.


    • Yes, Heirs did get draggy and boring, didn’t it? At first, I thought maybe it was just my mood.. Or maybe it was coz they were just setting up the story.. I made so many excuses for Heirs, hoping it’d get better, but honestly, it was way too little, way too late. Even if Heirs had no fighting chance of living up to the hype, it really could’ve been better than it was. And that is just a crying shame, really. All that time and money, to make.. this? Sigh.


  16. I wish you Happy Holidays! Thank you for your review. I am glad you worked out your blogging angst because your voice is most welcome in this k-drama blogging universe. No pressure, ha ha! I will take anything I can get 🙂

    I am the person who has commented with you before about finishing dramas and how I am not very good at it. I did go back and watch the last episode of Dream High. (Sigh!) And, yes you are right. It is the Dramaverse that is the problem.

    You would be proud of me. I actually watched from beginning to the last episode—I Hear Your Voice. Two Times! Your review really captured how I felt about the drama. It lingered on my mind for a long time as well. I liked the small scenes, the ones that acknowledged that the audience is smart. This thought is what leads me to what I think is wrong with the Dramaverse. It doesn’t seem to think that us viewers are intelligent-that we understand allegory-that we actually understand metaphor. We don’t need everything spelled out for us. We enjoy filling in the subtle blanks. (Unless they are plot holes, then we fill those things in with snarky recaps- ha ha!)

    Enjoying Reply 1994 even with the shipping wars. I do think the whole husband thing is detracting from what could be an interesting story. I also loved School 2013. Being a teacher, I could identify with some of the moments and it was interesting to see Korea struggling with defining how to teach a new generation of students. Most of my “watching” was actually reading recaps and reviews since I didn’t have any time to invest in watching. So, keep writing okay!

    Going on vacation for two weeks to enjoy time with family and friends. My mom (who hooked me into K-dramas in the first place) and I will make sure to raise a glass to the K-Drama world. May it be well for 2014. May we have more dramas to rave about, may we continue to chat and lurk, and enjoy each other’s company!

    Take care…


    • phxajumma!! 😀 Great to see you again!! I remember our conversation from before! And yes, I am super proud of you, not only for finishing Dream High, but for watching IHYV from end to end, TWICE!! *wild applause* I’m super pleased for you! ^^

      And yes, I do wish the Dramaverse would wake up and realize that collectively, we as an audience aren’t loving what they’re serving up of late. I want stories that are written coherently and where the story logic is kept intact. I don’t begrudge the shows the PPL and such. I just want my dramas to have stories with heart, and which are coherent. The whole reason we all love kdramas so much is coz we connected emotionally with the kdramas that drew us in. Now I’m finding that emotional connection distinctly weaker than before, and I think therein lies a huge missing link.

      Aw, I’m so glad you loved School 2013 too! That really was the show that stole my heart. I do plan to check out Reply 1994 (hopefully sooner rather than later!) coz I’ve been hearing generally good things.

      Thanks for your sweet words of encouragement, phxajumma! It’s great to know that my voice is welcome and appreciated here in the k-blogosphere, thank you! ❤ I hope to bring you guys more reviews next year than I did this year! Have a lovely vacation with your family! I love that your mom and you share a love for kdrama! My mom enjoys kdrama too, so I get to enjoy drama-talk with her too, and I think it’s extremely cool 🙂


      • I am currently with the family enjoying my vacation and thought I would check in. I knew you would be proud of me watching the end of dramas –ha ha!

        I agree with having stories that have heart. There are a thousands of stories about love but what makes each one unique is the person writing it. Telling his or her story in the way he/she wants it told. I think there is a lot of the uniqueness of the writers missing at times and the voice of the story gets lost in all the hoopla of the business. The good news is that some stories still make it through, enough to give us hope. Kind of like panning for gold..the idea of getting that next nugget.

        My mother is the one who got me involved in Korean drama back in 2009. The rest of the family thinks we are crazy with our obsession, but it is a lot of fun to have her to discuss with. We don’t always like the same thing though so at times we end up trying to convince the other to watch what we are watching. She does watch way more than me. I read more of my dramas through recaps or your reviews than actually watch. We are good friends, but the Kdrama makes us even closer, we we live a 4 hour plane ride apart. I love calling her the next morning to fangirl about an episode that I know she also caught the night before. We have a good time! We are hitting a Korean market and restaurant next week.

        You would like this story. This happened last month. I had been obsessing over watching Giant again. Just couldn’t get it out of my head. I just kept thinking about Giant. Well, my mom called me and told me that she was getting in a drama slump and didn’t feel the dramas out were capturing her attention and seemed to lack that intensity. So, she started telling me that she wanted to watch an older drama and decided on, guess what? Giant. She said she couldn’t help herself, she started obsessing over Giant. I just about fell of my chair and told her what I was planning on starting it again that weekend. Well she ended up re-watching it and I ended up “watching” it through reading it. So we have been having a lot of fun talking about it.

        Chat more later and I’ll keep checking in!


        • Aw! What a great story about bonding with your mom over Giant, phxajumma!! 😀 Talk about being in sync! That is just seriously super cool! I LOVE IT! 😀 The only thing that would’ve made this story even more perfect is if you’d both started rewatching Giant at the same time, before you spoke on the phone! XD

          Also, it sounds like you and your mom have a great time bonding over kdramas in general, and I love that. My mom and I have kdrama related conversations pretty regularly, even though it’s been a while since we watched anything at the same time. I try to watch ahead of her, coz she’s got a habit of giving away spoilers if we’re talking about a drama I haven’t seen, heh 😛

          I like your analogy of panning for gold, phxajumma!! The gold nuggets seem to be a little sparse this year, but I’ve got positive hopes for 2014. In fact, I just started on You From Another Star, and 2 eps in, I’m really enjoying it. It feels thoughtfully written, and our leads are doing a fine job. Jeon Ji Hyun is great; she manages to make her ditzy egoistic Hallyu star a sympathetic character, and I am liking this a lot so far! There is hope yet for dramaland! ^^


          • Totally am loving You From Another Start too. I am keeping my fingers crossed. I know what you mean about spoiler alerts as my mom says all the time, “I don’t’ want to spoil it for you…I don’t want to spoil it for you…but let me tell you just this part!” Then, of course she tells me a spoiler! Mothers for you right?


            • Lol! Indeed. Moms. They mean well, but they just can’t keep spoilers to themselves! XD My mother will persist in describing a drama to me, even when I’ve made it clear that I haven’t seen the drama yet. Which makes avoiding spoilers doubly hard! This is why I try to only provide her with dramas that I’ve seen or have no intention of watching, HA. 😛

              I’ve fallen behind on You From Another Star, with all the New Year social stuff. I’m just 2 eps in so far.. On the upside, I guess I can do a mini-marathon of the remaining eps! 😉


  17. Hee! And now I’m thinking… hmm, I guess I should do a year in review? 😉 I do agree, though — this was a year of promising shows fizzling out. There were definitely some gooders, but you had to root around to find them. And there weren’t that many.

    For some reason IMY worked for me. But I think I was watching it more for the political context — I’d been curious about how rape was handled after being surprised by how Dream High handled it — so that’s what I was concentrating on. Though yeah, had to swim through a massive sea of tears to do it. 😉 )

    I am so, so, so eager to read your reaction to Heartless City, by the way. Just so you know. 😀


    • Heh. It’s not a must-do, though it is a common practice in the k-blogosphere. I say go for it – I’d love to read your year-end review! 😀 As for the year, I tend to feel like 2013’s dramas experienced a sharp drop in quality. I feel like 2012 was a much better drama year, overall. And I don’t know if it’s just the effect of having watched KoD, but now so many of the dramas feel overly commercialized. Like, so many external factors mess with the story, that story integrity is no longer a thing in k-ent. I hope I’m wrong. I want 2014 to bring us better dramas!

      Oh my, yes. IMY was a sea of tears! Although I can see why it’d be more bearable if you had something specific in mind that you were looking for. That, and your generally kinder and sweeter response to dramas in general! I was in it just for Yoo Seung Ho. And even though the boy is an excellent actor, and has the dreamiest bedroom eyes, he couldn’t keep me on board that massive ship of misery. 😛

      Thanks for the vote of confidence on Heartless City – I’m curious to see how I like it too, coz I’m still watching it, and still undecided! XD


  18. Excellent year in review! The only drama from 2013 that I watched beginning to end was Master’s Sun. I think it will always hold a huge, special, and amazing spot in my drama heart because this is the drama that I convinced my hubby to watch. So I highly doubt that it will ever be kicked out of my all time favorites. Master’s Sun got my hubby well and properly hooked on dramas! Though, as I do my best to look at it objectively, I absolutely agree that it was an easy and fun ride without too many complications. Which is perhaps why it was the best way to get my hubby hooked!


    • Aw, thanks Jaime!! Glad you enjoyed the read! And I am so happy for you that your hubs is now properly hooked on kdrama! For that achievement alone, Master’s Sun deserves its place on your list of all-time faves!! 😉 Coz now you’ve got the amazing option of spending time with your hubs AND with kdrama, AT THE SAME TIME. How mindblowingly awesome is that?!? 😀 Married drama fans the world over are probably envious of you now ^.~


      • Oh yeah Master’s Sun will most likely always be in the top five 🙂 if for no other reason than it hooked the hubby. I made a list of dramas and let him pick our next show so we’re watching I Hear Your Voice which totally surprised me. But I’m not complaining! I know I feel so lucky! I get to spend quality time with him and still get drama time without the hubby or my dramas feeling ignored kekeke.


        • Eeeee!!! You’re going to watch IHYV with the hubs?! 😀 Is this your first watch too? Coz you’re gonna lurrrve this noona romance, methinks! Maybe just pre-warn the hubs about the show’s laughable legal system and its idea of making an argument in court! XD


          • Yes!!! I was totally surprised by his choice. It is my very first time watching it and I’m way uber excited for the noona romance if it. We’re on episode 4 and he’s already making comments about the legal system. But he’s having a good chuckle with it so I think we’re safe!


            • Oh my. I was completely taken by Lee Jong Suk as Park Soo Ha in IHYV. I already loved him in School 2013, but he made me love him even more in IHYV! I’m guessing you’ll love him lots too 😀

              And yes. The legal system in that world is a whole lot of DUH, from beginning to end. It’s way better to shrug it off with a laugh, so that you can concentrate on what the show does do well, and that’s bring characters and relationships to life ^^ Can’t wait to hear how you guys like it as you go! ^^


              • Watching IHYV makes me want to watch School 2013 so much that it is hard not to watch it now without the hubs! But I’m going to try and wait, though from what I’ve seen and heard from you I wouldn’t mind watching it again at all lol. We’ll see how much willpower I have while we watching IHYV.

                Omo! I am so loving this story! The hubby is too. We are always talking about what we think is going to happen next. He’s just as cute watching this as he was watching Master’s Sun. He keeps yelling at Attorney Cha when he makes a move on Attorney Jang keke he’s shipping her with Soo Ha something fierce. I tease him about it all the time.


                • Hee. Would your hubs mind if you broke down and watched School 2013 without him?? Maybe looking at it this way would help: seeing Lee Jong Suk in just one role at at time would probably help with keeping you immersed in the drama. It can be distracting watching the same lead actor/actress in 2 dramas at once, imo. Although, I watched Joo Won in Gaksital in Ojakgyo Brothers at the same time and he was so, so good that I always felt the 2 characters were distinct; I never felt confused about the 2 even though they both had Joo Won’s face. And yes, I recommend both of those dramas, if you’ve not seen them! ^^

                  I LOVE that your hubs seems to enjoy noona romances as much as you do! XD Are you by any chance his noona? Coz that would definitely make sense! 😉


                  • I was waiting to start School 2013 because I have a hard time watching the same actor in two roles at the same time. My old brain just has a difficult time with that. But now that we’ve finished IHYV I’m totally going to watch School 2013, with or without the hubby 🙂

                    I know right? It is just so adorable that he’s enjoying the Noona romance so much. No, he’s my Oppa but only by a year.


                    • Oh, it’s not an old-brain thing, let me assure you!! 😀 I’ve pretty much always tried not to watch the same actor in 2 roles at the same time. It’s just that one time that I took so long to finish Ojakgyo Brothers that it overlapped with my Gaksital watch. Or was that the other way around? Anyway. My strong belief is that keeping an actor on your screen just one drama at a time is a good thing. Not only does it help to increase the sense of realism and believability of the show you’re watching, it helps to ration out the available actor goodies and make it all last longer 😉

                      Hee. I love that you can call your hubs Oppa. Have you started? I’m thinking he might get a kick out of you addressing him as Oppa! 😀


                    • I’m glad that it isn’t just me! I just like to be able to immerse myself in the characters I’m currently watching and by adding in a second role in a second drama by the same actor it just messes with my ability to completely dive in.

                      Hehe I’ve called him Oppa a few times he just gives me this look that means he thinks I’m adorable but just a little weird. Though we haven’t watched a drama yet where anyone calls Oppa a lot so I don’t think he has a feel for it. But that won’t stop me from calling him Oppa! 


                    • Exactly! Seeing the same actor on your screen in 2 different roles in 2 dramas at the same time is just messing with the immersion. I actually make an effort to avoid watching more than one drama at a time, of an actor/actress. Joo Won was so excellent in both Gaksital and Ojakgyo Brothers, though, that I was never even tempted to think that his 2 characters were the same person. And this, even though on paper, the 2 characters had similarities. Like, both characters were policemen and men of few words. YET. Not once did I even think they were the same person. He was THAT good. I highly recommend both those shows, btw ^^

                      Gah. Your hubs sounds like SUCH a treasure. I mean, to look at you like you’re adorable even though he thinks you’re being weird. Omo. I DEFINITELY need one of those! XD


                    • I’ll be sure to put those dramas on the list! I’ve had Ojakgyo Brother’s recommended to me a few times over so I think that’s a sign. But I don’t know much about Gaksital, but I’ve added it anyway! I really did luck out with the huby, he’s such a good guy and puts up with my squeeing and fangirling like a champ.


                    • Ojakgyo Brothers is lovely. Definitely put that on your list. Gaksital is pretty intense, and can be hard to watch at points, but it’s quite brilliant and a pretty moving and inspiring watch that I highly recommend. You just need to be in the right mood for it. So.. don’t start on that when you’re in the mood for a rom-com, is what I’m sayin’ 😉


                    • Ojakgyo Brothers is on the list as having a Noona Romance in it lol so I’m sure at some point I’ll watch it. Because I’m a little obsessed I’ll probably end up watching every Noona Romance I can heh. I’ve also added Gaksital, but I will be sure to watch when I’m in the right mood.


                    • Ah! You’re right, there IS a noona romance in Ojakgyo Brothers! It’s not the main romance, but that noona romance did have its swoony moments too, and I liked it. Hey – that could be one of your main Things, as a blogger. The Noona Romance! 😀 You could inhale ’em all, and become an authoritative voice on the noona romance. Which ones are good, which ones are meh.. What’s critical to a noona romance, etc. Something to think about, maybe? ^^

                      Note of fair warning, though – there is no noona romance in Gaksital. I repeat – no noona romance. But still a very worthy watch, heh 😉


                    • Omo you are a brilliant and amazing woman, have I told you that recently? Really though, that is a spectacular idea! I did write a miniature article about what I look for in a Noona Romance and gathered a list of all the shows I could find through days of research that had a Noona Romance in them. But I could absolutely expand on that article and really dig into what makes a Noona Romance work for me. Wow… now I really want to do that!

                      I made the list of shows because I couldn’t find a list anywhere! DramaBeans had a small article about suggested K-Dramas that had a Noona Romance theme. But I wanted to know if there were more from other Asian countries too. I guess I’m sort of already on the path.

                      No Noona Romance? psssh then I can’t watch it! 😛 Just kidding of course! Gaksital could be a good one to suggest to the hubby too.


                    • Pshaw. Thankies, you sweet thang, you ❤ And hey, the noona romance niche totally works with your blog name too, have you noticed? ;D You could totally become Noona Romance Central in the blogosphere. And since you searched for a list and couldn’t find one, making one for the blogosphere would totally fill an existing need! ^^

                      Oh, Gaksital is definitely a show that has guy appeal. Save it for a day when you’re both a little saturated with fluffy rom-coms and are hungry for something deeper and meatier. That’s when Gaksital will hit the spot, and hit it good. ^.~


                    • True! The name of my blog already sort of sets me up for being a go to place for Noona Romances. I think I will really have to consider this idea! Of course this means I’ll need to shift my focus and watch as many of the dramas on my Noona Romance list as I can. That doesn’t sound too bad though lol. It would be rather nifty to be able to help other obsessed Noonas find dramas to fulfill that obsession.

                      I’ve got Gaksital on the list for future dramas. I briefly told the hubs about it and he seemed interested. If we started it I’ll be sure to let you know.


                    • Lol. I say do what feels right.. I’m just throwing out ideas as they come to me. Not all ideas will align with what you want to do personally, and that should always take precedence over popular opinion 😉 And yes, I’d love to hear how you and your hubs feel about Gaksital when you do decide to watch it! 🙂


                    • Too late, I’ve already started. 😛 I created a rating system similar to the rating system that I use for reviews. However, this one is only to rate the Noona Romance part of the show. I’ve written up a tentative plan to help direct me towards having a solid place for Noona Reviews. I think I might even ask for guest bloggers to add their opinions too, but we’ll see!


                    • Ooh, sounds like a pretty exciting plan! What fun, to see your space evolve as you gain clarity on what you want to do. It’s like watching a baby grow up. Just without the tantrums and night feeds, ha. I look forward to seeing what you’ve got up your sleeves! 😀


  19. Okay, about I Miss You: this was only the third kdrama I watched and while I didn’t LOVE it I have appreciation for it. Mostly because of the first four episodes with the younger actors. I seriously feel in love with Yeo Jin Goo. Even though he’s so young I don’t care! He’s the best and I will watch him in whatever, over and over again 🙂 Also I just love Yoon Eun Hye and Micky was intriguing to me as Jung Woo. Which was why I started rewatching it recently but gave up around Ep. 13 (just like you!) because most of the good stuff was over already lol

    Also, Heartless City: I am really looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this show. It really is so unique for a kdrama and kept me emotionally conflicted throughout. And Lee Jae Yoon, SWOON. He’s part of the reason why I’m watching Golden Rainbow right now. But mostly I started watching that show for Kim Yoo Jung because I think she might be Meryl Streep in the making. Seriously, it’s not fair that she is such a good actress as well as being so insanely beautiful. I’m really excited to see her take a lead role one of these days. Especially if it’s with the young Lee Min Ho (see: I read somewhere that he told her to wait six or so year “then you and oppa can do adult roles together”!!! I find it so adorable that he has this crush on her and is excited for them both to be old enough to do that. They are kind of my OTP 😀


    • Yeo Jin Goo….I am TOTALLY on board with that! He is mesmerizing to watch, even at his very young age. I thought he completely nailed the young Dong Soo in Warrior Baek Dong Soo and was intelligent, charming, and engaging as the young Gyeom in Iljimae. In fact, that is where I first saw him and was captivated by his screen presence and maturity. He is definitely one to watch, indeed.

      I hung in there for I Miss You in its entirety and was completely aggravated by (and with) the final episode. I was particularly unhappy with how the writers handled Harry (Yoo Seung Ho). I thought Yoochun did very well – but the story line and all that ensued after the three leads were reunited as adults just faltered. But, it was a treat to see Yoo Seung Ho in the early eps looking all smoldery and swoony, yes I agree with that all day!


    • Oh yes, the earlier eps of IMY were way better than the later ones! Also, I tend to think that we are more forgiving of our earlier dramas, generally speaking. I love Goong heaps, but I am aware that it’s got some gaping flaws that drag it down. But it being my first drama ever, the rose-colored glasses helped me love it to pieces in spite of its flaws ^^

      Heartless City is turning out to be very different from other dramas.. I haven’t made up my mind how I like it, but it’s definitely interesting. And it’s mind-blowing to me, to see Jung Kyung Ho being all tattooed and badass; he’d always been Mr. Mild Mannered before this show! Funny thing, I actually feel like Lee Jae Yoon shares the same kind of look as Kim Woo Bin – they’ve both got similar angular type features – but while I’m completely and head-over-heels smitten with KWB, I don’t feel a thing when LJY graces my screen, even though I know in my head that he is good-looking. I can’t figure it out. XD

      And! What a super-cute story about young LMH and KYJ!! That’s just adorable, that he wants to act with her when they’re all grown up! XD Can’t blame him, though. KYJ is not only so, so pretty, but such an excellent actress. Any actor of any age would find it a pleasure to act with her, I’m sure! ^^


  20. Well, you know my track record with 2013…. *g*

    Even though I actually managed to finish 12 dramas (wow! that many?), there were only a handful that truly made an impact; Heartless City, Adolescence Medley and the first half of Blade&Petal. An honorable mention goes to Monstar, Sirius, TEN2 and The Strange Housekeeper.

    The Prime Minister and I (quite liking it so far)
    Answer Me 1994 (started out fine, got bogged down in the middle – jury’s still out)

    2013 dramas on my to-watch list:
    Cruel Palace – War of Flowers
    The End of the World
    The Queen’s Classroom

    I agree ” it’s not me, Dramaverse. It’s YOU!”


    • Wow. You managed to finish 12 whole dramas?!? I am very impressed! Especially considering how so few seemed to really appeal to you! Salute!

      Are the honorable-mention dramas worth watching? I’ve heard very mixed reactions to Monstar and The Strange Housekeeper. I’d been eager to check out Monstar until everyone seemed to get really upset with it towards the end. It’s been moved to my on-hold list now, for safekeeping!

      Ripgal raved about End of the World, so I’m keen to check it out too! I’ve also heard generally good things about The Queen’s Classroom, so that’s also on the watch list.

      All things said and done, though, I’m convinced that even the good (better?) dramas these days don’t actually match the levels of excellence that past dramas have reached. And I’m not even talking about super old dramas, even. I’d love to see more stuff like Chuno. Or SKKS. Or Coffee Prince. I don’t know if it’s my imagination, but these days the dramas actually feel more commercially driven than before. Like the story can go to pot so much more easily. Or is that just an effect of having watched KoD? 😛


      • Heh! Yes, ‘honorable mention’ means I rather liked them, warts and all.

        Monstar’s problem is that it’s a 20 epi drama squished into 12 epis, so of course it’s lacking. The writer didn’t have enough time to flesh out the characters properly nor to tell the story in full, which is a pity. Still, it’s pretty decent for something that was basically made to showcase it’s stars and sell music. Worked for me, I loved the music. 😉 The ending did not bother me as I more or less got what I wanted for the OTP. Yong Jun Hyung’s cluess idol was a hoot. I loved the boy. ^^

        The Strange Housekeeper wasn’t bad at all, especially compared to some of the turkeys we got this year. It’s something a bit different and sort of feels like a jdrama. Kdrama remakes hardly ever do that.

        I agree, the quality of dramas these days is not what it used to be. I feel that the writing especially has gone downhill a lot. The stories and characters fail to grab me, oftentimes I don’t feel a thing when I’m watching or I get angry, which is probably worse. It could well be that the market forces have bulldozed over good writing.


        • Well. Tempered expectations can do a lot to make a drama more palatable, so I might just give Monstar a chance just to see for myself how I like it. I tried out a couple of minutes last night, while waiting for some files to finish transferring, and it looked fresh and quite promising. I can kinda see why everyone loved it so quickly.

          Y’know, I did watch the first 2 eps of You From Another Star last night, and I ended up really enjoying it. It actually feels like thought and care went into the writing, and Jeon Ji Hyun manages to make her character sympathetic while being a bit of a ditzy diva with an ego, and that’s quite an accomplishment, imo! I’m crossing my fingers for this one, coz it’s the rare recent show where the writing doesn’t feel too driven by market forces. And seems to have a heart. So far. I’m seriously hoping this is a promise of more good writing to come for all our dramas!


          • It is better to be a bit cautious if a drama gets mixed reviews. I probably enjoyed Monstar more than most because I did not have any expectations even after I’d watched a few epis and liked what I saw. The other thing is that I didn’t really care for the 2nd lead. I thought he was too boringly perfect to begin with and then acted like an ass for the rest of the show. To me Monstar was always about Seol Chan, it was his story first and foremost.

            I did have a hunch that ‘You From Another Star’ could be your cup of tea. 🙂 Sadly it’s yet another drama I could not connect with. I felt nothing for the characters nor their story, hence I got throughly bored. I have found another drama to watch though, ‘One Warm Word’. Did a short first impressions post @ LJ for it. I’m feeling a-plenty for all the characters there, even if they are not the most sympathetic. Writing’s been wonderfully nuanced so far.


            • Thanks for the tip, Timescout!! I shall proceed with caution with Monstar.. So many people loved it in its first half that I’m curious to see what the fuss was about. I know the ending was a non-ending, although I’m a little hazy on specifics. Knowing that going in might be super helpful though, since my expectations won’t be sky-high and therefore come crashing down on my expectant, vulnerable heart, heh. I shall STEEL myself for this, lol.

              Aw! You SO know my taste in drama, Timescout!! 😀 I am kinda behind on the show now, due to Christmas & New Year crazy-schedule-ness, but I really do like what I’ve seen so far. It’s too bad the show didn’t appeal to you. :/ But! Yay that you found something to enjoy in One Warm Word! I’ll keep my fingers crossed for ya, that it stays strong all the way to the end. I’ve also added it to my list of shows to check out, coz if it gets the ok from you, it is definitely worth checking out ^^


              • I found Monstar absolutely delightful! Sure it had it’s hiccups, but all in all it was fresh and the music was fantastic – it more than made up for it’s inadequacies. This is what I said about it on our ratings page:

                “What a lovely, pleasant, heartwarming gem! I watched it all in a week, and loved the laid back, yet well-paced storylines. Each of the characters are loveable, and boy are they a talented group. I was really impressed with BEAST’s Jun Hyung’s Yoon Seol Chan, and Kang Ha Neul was just lovely as Jung Seon Woo – man, that man has a “voice of honey” to quote a friend’s mother. Ha Yeon Soo, GLAM’s Dahee, and the rest of the Colorbar crew put up heartfelt and moving performances. The OST is one of the best I’ve heard in a high school drama (and in many others as well). With just enough angst to keep it interesting, lots of happy feels, and a few tears, this one’s a keeper for sure!”


                • Oh! That’s some VERY lovely things that you have to say about Monstar, dewaani!! 😀 Sounds like going in with the right sort of expectations is the key to enjoying Monstar, and now that I’ve been well-prepped, I feel like I’m better positioned to enjoy it than if I’d gone in blind. And I did like the little that I saw of Kang Ha Neul in Heirs.. I’d like to see more of him and Monstar sounds like a good way to do that ^^ I hope I come away with a report of Monstar that’s just as glowing!


  21. Hi kgurl, I broke up with Heirs and fell in love with Reply 1994! Hope you get more free time to watch kdrama in 2014. Happy holidays!


    • Happy holidays to you too, MelloYello! 😀 Aw, sounds like Reply 1994 is a worthy watch! Which is always good to know ^^ I couldn’t break up with Heirs, coz of Woobie. And he made it worth my while by being pretty awesome ^^ And YES! I do hope I manage to watch more drama next year!


  22. LOL, I was wondering why I couldn’t post a comment before!

    Anyway, like I said, I totally agree with you on Heirs and Missing You (I placed MY down as a 2012 drama). There was so much going in for Heirs; it had a renowned writer to it and some big names. However, it just failed to lived up to anywhere to to its hype. The characters were all very flat because they weren’t fleshed out! Furthermore, the OTP lacked chemistry and their relationship just went in circles with Kim Tan forcing the relationship on her. I think the biggest problem was that it had a huge cast with poorly written characters. The plot wasn’t all that great either. The best thing that came out it was Kim Woo Bin who really shone in his character and the cute lovebirds, Lee Bo Na and Yoon Chan Young.

    I’m currently watching Cruel CIty/Heartless City out of curiosity too! Though I am only one episode in. I hope I don’t get disappointed!


    • Gah. I’m just glad that I caught the disabled comments thing after only an hour of posting. Now it’s all fixed, though, so YAY! ^^ It’s been happening here and there with a couple of other bloggers, so you wanna be extra careful when posting, just to make sure!

      I decided that all shows ENDING in 2013 would qualify, coz otherwise, my list of 2013 shows would be even more paltry! XD And yes, IMY was all-around terrible. I wanted to check it out for Yoo Seung Ho, but even his charm and intense bedroomy eyes could not keep me on that weepfest train.

      And Heirs. Yes, yes and yes: Kim Woo Bin, Bo Na and Chan Young. Those really were the 3 things that Heirs had going for it. How did a show with so many resources going for it – cast, writer, budget – manage to fail so thoroughly? But for Kim Woo Bin and the awesome he brought, I have no regrets 😛

      Heartless City – I think most people fall in love with this quite quickly, so I’m not super hopeful that I’ll suddenly fall in love.. though it’s not impossible. It’s definitely different and fascinating though! I’m curious to see how you like it! ^^


      • I am so glad that it has never happened to me before!

        I don’t think MY was all-round terrible. It was actually quite good for what it was worth, maybe just a bit too much tears.

        Kim Woo Bin really stole the thunder from the leads! I loved Bo Na and Chan Young! They are such a cute couple! LOL, I wonder too! I think the writing was the main letdown, it was just so shallow!

        I better get to watching it then! 😛


        • “Just a bit too much tears”? Aw, misscupcakees, you are clearly way more tolerant than I am! XD I felt like I was swimming in a sea of tears by the time I hit E13, and no amount of smoldery Yoo Seung Ho could persuade me to hang on to the bitter end! 😛

          Exactly. The writing in Heirs was really shallow. There was so much potential to flesh characters out, along with their relationships, but all we got was a lot of boring stuff, with our OTP circling around the same problems over and over again. What a waste.


          • At least you got 13 eps in! There were quite some YHS there!

            I know! It’s like they only glossed over everything! Kim Tan and Eun Sang’s relationship was really poorly developed. There wasn’t much to their relationship because they kept running around in circles!


            • Yes, I did get quite a nice dose of YSH in the 13 eps of IMY that I did watch, so no regrets there. He managed to be so very swoony, even though he was playing well above his real age. Mad props to him!

              Y’know, I never was fully on board the Kim Tan-Eun Sang train.. and that probably had a fair bit to do with the circular go-nowhere writing around their relationship. It had nothing to do with Woobie being 2nd lead, I promise! I thought he’d make a really interesting match with Rachel, actually. THAT is something I would’ve liked to see! ^.~


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