The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling

Year In Review: 2016

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If there’s one conclusion I’m drawing this year, it’s that dramaland is literally exploding with new dramas on a regular basis, and it’s just not humanly possible to watch every drama that’s out there.

My drama instinct has always been to try to balance the urge to follow drama buzz (the niggling question of, “Omo! Am I missing out on something?”), and the desire to follow my heart (the “I don’t care that nobody cares about this show, I just feel like checking it out”). These days, with more drama offerings floating around the dramaverse than ever before, I think it’s even more important that I remember to stay true to my drama instincts. From here on out, no more hanging on pointlessly to a show that just isn’t quite working for me. It’s just not efficient spendage of drama hours – or time in general.

Next year, I will be more efficient with my use of drama time – and time in general. Ahem. *pinky swears* *resolves*

I’m.. slightly embarrassed at how many drama hours I’ve spent this year.

HOPE (희망) by 빨간의자 (REDCHAIR)

…In the meantime, though, you’ll soon see that I wasn’t quite as wise as I’d hoped to be, with my drama time spendage this year. I hung onto some dramas that I honestly would’ve been better off dropping, and ended up sidelining dramas that actually promise to be really good.

Oh well. It’s alright, 2017’s almost here, and there’s always new hope and new resolutions for the new year! But first, let’s talk about the dramas this year.

Like I did last year, I grouped the dramas into categories to make this post easier to digest. As always, I’ve also included dramas that started last year and ended this year, because I always feel like it’s fairer to judge a drama when it’s done airing. That just makes more sense to me, y’know?

THE ONES WORTH MAKING TIME FOR

Overall, I feel like 2016 was a patchier year than 2015, but thankfully, there still were dramas this year that grabbed my heart and wouldn’t let go.

There aren’t as many dramas in this section as I would like, but as you’ll see later in this post, that doesn’t mean that 2016 didn’t serve up a nice handful of gems. I just.. didn’t get around to finishing some of those gems yet.

Here are the ones that I did finish that I loved, and loved unreservedly.

Answer Me, 1988

So much warm gooey goodness, seriously. From the kids, to the parents, every character and relationship gets a moment in the spotlight, and a corresponding endearing spot in my heart. The big winner, overall, is the community of the neighborhood, which I ended up loving even more than the main loveline. That’s No Small Deal, coz I really did enjoy the loveline itself too. I legit never wanted this show to end, long episodes and all. ❤

Grade: A

Review: here.

Moonlight Drawn By Clouds

Egad. So Much Cute, seriously. In Show’s first half, the watch experience quite literally feels like a continuous explosion of puppies and rainbows, with generous servings of adorable marking every episode. The tone darkens and the pace slows in the last third, but Show never loses its emotional core, and managed to keep me engaged even through its driest patch. Park Bo Gum is break-out amazing in this, and I swoon. ❤

Grade: A

Review: here.

Page Turner

Such a short, compact, heartfelt little show. More than simple piano ambitions, this show explores identity and purpose, personal growth, friendship, love, and how people can help and support one another through the darkest of times. As a sweet bonus, Ji Soo is super endearing in this.

Grade: A

Flash Review: here.

Oh Hae Young Again

A sweetly melancholic narrative with spots of laugh-out-loud comedy that’s brought to life by a tender directing hand, a lovely and evocative OST, and excellent performances by the main cast. Seo Hyun Jin is So Good in this; she makes Hae Young feel like a living, breathing, flawed-but-endearing real person. Show could’ve done better in spots, but overall is still so worth the watch.

Grade: A-

Review: here.

SOLID WATCHES I’D RECOMMEND

Five Children

Warm, toasty and feel-good. I loved the everyday simplicity and warmth of Five Children, even as it explored a second-marriage OTP and what it means to merge two families into one. The writing isn’t particularly spectacular, but there’s a distinct heartfelt quality about it that I really liked. Great as a drama nightcap.

Grade: B+

Flash Review: here.

Marriage Contract

Warm, engaging, hopeful and heartfelt in spite of its terminal illness melo premise. The way the story unfolds is relatively predictable, but the excellent performances make it all feel real and worth the watch. Lee Seo Jin is very good in this, but the show really belongs to UEE, who absolutely slays as the terminally ill mom who’s trying to do her best for her daughter.

Grade: B+

Review: here.

Something About 1%

Simple, sunshiny and satisfyingly sweet. Episode 1 is a bit trying with its crazy setup and persistent coincidences, but once Show settles into its rhythm, it’s gratifyingly focused on the OTP relationship and not much else. Ha Suk Jin and Jun So Min share an easy, crackly chemistry whether they’re getting all bickery or kissy, and together, they make this an easy, fun and even somewhat cracktastic watch.

Grade: B+

Flash Review: It’s coming! I promise!

Go Ho’s Starry Night

Fluffy, melty and quite cracktastic, this one was a surprise hit for me. Our heroine is relatable and likable, and her bevy of suitors is amusing. Kim Young Kwang, in particular, is roguishly melty in this. Most importantly, there is a strong sense of sincerity in our main characters, and a corresponding emotional heft to their relationships. Not bad at all, for a little web series.

Grade: B+

Flash Review: here.

Bring It On, Ghost

Easy, uncomplicated and consistently consistent, this little show with a big heart turned out to be much more enjoyable than I initially expected. The ghosts aren’t scary, our main characters are endearing, and their bickery ghostbusting is fun to watch. Kim So Hyun wears the aegyo amazingly well, and Taec’s improved acting also sweetens the deal.

Grade: B

Flash Review: here.

OKAY, IF IT’S YOUR STYLE/YOU CAN SPARE THE TIME

Jealousy Incarnate

I’ll admit that I didn’t love this the way many others did. I found the initial episodes messy, and the middle episodes repetitive and therefore frustrating. It didn’t help that I also found Jo Jung Suk’s Hwa Shin aggravating and stubborn. But, somehow, these characters grew on me, and I found myself rather fond of them by the end. During the middle slumpy episodes, the secondary characters helped a lot, by being more interesting and engaging than our main trio. Shout-out to the moms; they were my favorite pair of characters in this drama world.

Grade: B

Flash Review: It’s coming! I promise!

Drinking Solo

A drama that’s filled with quirky characters who – for the most part – become more likable and endearing, the deeper we get into the show. The central romance never did strike me as very compelling, but the narrative around the secondary characters’ personal growth and their enduring friendships worked really well, and I felt sorry to say goodbye to them by the end.

Grade: B

Flash Review: It’s coming! I promise!

Descendants Of The Sun

Overhyped and full of dramatic excess while full of logic slips and inconsistencies, DOTS manages to charm in spite of itself. Er, if you’re able to put aside your need for logic, that is. I never bought into the OTP romance, nor into the main storyline at large, but I loved the secondary OTP, the strong bromantic affection between our male leads, and most of all, Song Joong Ki in all of his magnificent swaggery splendor.

Grade: B

Review: here.

W-Two Worlds

Thrillingly interesting and twisty right off the bat, Show gets off to an excellent start, but eventually becomes too twisty for its own good, and ultimately fizzles into a bit of a flaily mess, leaving us with more questions than answers. Generally excellent execution of the two worlds, and several stand-out performances, help to take the edge off the disappointment. Plus, it’s rare to see such bold storytelling in dramaland, so props to Show for that.

Grade: B

Flash Review: here.

Imaginary Cat

Starts out cute, but tropes, a melo bent, and a completely unnecessary loveline with an annoying female lead muddies up the watch. But, the cat is so smart, fluffy and full of character, that for her alone, I have no regrets with this one.

Grade: B

Flash Review: here.

Cheese In The Trap

Show starts off very promisingly, with a carefully created drama world peopled with interesting characters, and said characters are generally delivered with nuance, restraint and finesse. Unfortunately, Show makes some very odd narrative choices in its second half, which basically keeps our male lead alienated from his audience all the way through to the end. A reasonably solid watch, if you can keep an open mind.

Grade: B-

Flash Review: here.

Lucky Romance

Predictable and formulaic in its beginning and end, and with a female lead written to consistently behave in bemusing and frustrating ways, this show would’ve been really easy to drop, if not for Ryu Joon Yeol’s wonderful and amazing interpretation of a nerdy, socially-awkward genius with a marshmallow heart. He alone made this worth the watch. As an added bonus, there’s a small stretch of OTP cracky in the middle episodes too.

Grade: C+

Flash Review: here.

Cinderella And The Four Knights

Clichéd and tropey, and pretty much old-school predictable with a huge helping of silly, Show is far from fresh and inventive. However, it really really helps to think of this as a live-action manga world. With that lens on, everything just makes a lot more sense. It also helps that Park So Dam is very winsome in this.

Grade: C++

Flash Review: It’s coming! I promise!

NOT REALLY WORTH THE EFFORT, TO BE BRUTALLY HONEST

Doctors

Show starts off strong, with an interesting, badass heroine and a heartfelt backstory, but soon loses its grip and slides into way too much hospital politics for my taste. Endearing secondary characters and a couple of interesting patient cases provide spots of spark, but Show becomes mostly just pleasantly boring past the first third.

Grade: C+

Flash Review: here.

Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo

Patchy writing, jerky direction and an unevenly matched cast make this show a bit of a mess, unfortunately. Lee Jun Ki is quite wonderful as 4th Prince after a bit of a shaky start, but Show’s relentless bent for tragedy for its own sake ultimately tanked this one for me.

Grade: C+

Review: here.

Mirror Of The Witch

Show starts off smart, bold and assured, and delivers a beautifully shot, fascinating, magicky story world peopled with interesting characters. Unfortunately, Show loses its grip halfway through its run, and a lot of Show’s logic falls apart, with no answers offered for earlier questions raised. The silver lining is that Show does manage to end on a poignant and rather touching note.

Grade: B-

Flash Review: here.

One More Happy Ending

Starts out fabulously fun and outrageously silly, but degenerates in the second half, into way too much manufactured weepy angst. In spite of its missteps, Show manages to deliver a heartfelt finale with a couple of meaningful themes to boot, but I honestly don’t know if it’s worth wading through all that angst to get there.

Grade: B-

Flash Review: here.

Oh My Venus

So Ji Sub is broody and handsome, and he, Sung Hoon and Henry make a cute trio of puppies. Unfortunately, this one didn’t work for me, largely because of the sketchy writing and the overly cutesy treatment of the OTP, whose connection I could never quite buy into as well.

Grade: C++

Review: here.

SHOWS THAT I JUST.. LOST INTEREST IN, SOMEHOW

Six Flying Dragons

Honestly, a 50-episode sageuk isn’t my usual thing, but I wanted to check this out because of the strong cast and the positive buzz. Sadly, I never could quite get into this one.

Things just got worse when I started watching Nirvana In Fire, which possesses some degree of similarity to Dragons in its strategist-plotting-to-put-a-new-king-on-the-throne setup. The thing is, Nirvana In Fire is such a cinematic and narrative masterpiece (review here), that everything in Dragons felt watered down and cheap in comparison (eep). I.. honestly can’t see myself going back to finish this one. Lots of other folks loved this one, though.

30 episodes in, this one feels like a potential B-.

Come Back, Ahjusshi

Show actually started out strongly poignant and engaging for me, and I really felt for the two ahjusshis as they pondered the lives that they’d so abruptly left. Rain and Oh Yeon Seo are pretty great in their roles as well. The thing is, the story cycles in place a fair bit, and the writers also throw in a bunch of nonsensical filler to distract the audience, which makes for some viewing frustration. It also doesn’t make sense to me that Rain’s ahjusshi is trying to woo back his wife, when he knows that he’s got limited time left on this earth, in this body.

9 episodes in, this one feels like a potential B-.

ACTIVELY AVOID, IF YOUR DRAMA TASTE IS ANYTHING LIKE MINE

Moorim School

Show started out with some measure of promise with its Disney-X-Men sort of vibe,  but soon degenerated into an all-too-serious snooze-fest focused on a Secretive Backstory that I couldn’t bring myself to care about. The consistently poor writing and accompanying stiff performances by many of the actors didn’t help either.

Dropped post: here.

High End Crush

Despite Show’s simple formula that should’ve made this an easy, mindless watch, this one just never worked for me. I couldn’t feel any OTP chemistry, I didn’t find the Intended Funny very funny at all, and worse, I found Jung Il Woo not very likable in this role. Other people liked this one, but I just couldn’t get into it, somehow.

Dropped post: here.

Beautiful Gong Shim

Another example of a show that other people liked that just didn’t work for me. I did like it well enough in the initial episodes, for the OTP quirky-cute, even though it was never full-on love. Once Show got heavily into birth secret territory and forgot all of its quirky-cute, though, I bailed.

Dropped post: here.

Entertainer

I wanted to give this one a chance, mostly for Ji Sung’s sake. But, being the kpop noob that I am, I found that all the stuff about boy bands and managers and music charts and all that, was not exactly interesting to me. I lasted all of one episode with this one, and never did muster up the interest to go back for more.

Uncontrollably Fond

I wanted to love this, for Woob’s sake, but – horror of horrors – this show actually drained me of all my Woob loyalty. The writing is patchy, and there are huge heaping servings of Angst with a capital A, but none of the angst felt organic to me. It just felt like everything was pieced together this way, simply to maximize the Drama of it all. I never cared about the characters, nor understood why they behaved the way they did. I dropped this one after 14 eps.

Dropped post: here.

The Man Living In Our House

This one started so funny and cute, that I sincerely rooted for it to be good. Kim Young Kwang is quite melty in this, Soo Ae is endearing with the cute, and both of them show excellent comic timing. I also loved the theme of found family. But then, by Show’s second half, angst, separation and some noble idiocy set in, and Show loses all of its initial spark. I literally forgot that I’d watched episode 12 and started it a second time, it was that forgettable. Eep.

Dropped post: It’s coming!

The K2

I wanted to love this, for Ji Chang Wook, but never quite got into it properly. The writing and execution leans heavily indulgent, with lots of flashy, protracted fight scenes that looked exhausting for the actors to film, but which ultimately bored me. The narrative tension in this one also largely felt fantastical and messy, and I just never felt invested in any of it.

I also never got on board with the OTP pairing, which felt random and hollow to me. I was more interested in Song Yoon Ah’s antagonist character, who had seemed charismatic and intriguing from the outset, but sadly, becomes a much less interesting caricature of herself by the second half of the show. I dropped this one after 11 episodes.

Dropped post: It’s coming!

JURY’S STILL OUT

Signal

Grippy, twisty and full of tension. I really really liked this one while watching it, but I also found it quite hard to watch, being on the edge of my seat all the time. I somehow got sidetracked after 3 episodes, but I totally want to get back to this one.

3 episodes in, this one already feels like an A.

The Good Wife

I generally don’t lean towards legal or political shows, but even I find this one gripping and engaging. In its writing, direction and execution, this screams quality from the get-go. The very strong cast delivers excellently, and I can’t help but feel completely sucked in.

7 episodes in, this feels like a solid A.

Dear My Friends

Heartwarming and heartbreakingly poignant, I felt this was a quality drama from the very first episode. Show’s got a distinct everyday warmth about it, and I find the older protagonists’ perspectives refreshing. The matter-of-fact focus on death is the thing that terrifies me about finishing this. This is so going to make me cry, isn’t it?

But finish it I must, coz 3 episodes in, it already feels like an A.

Second To Last Love

This one flew under the radar for most folks, I think, being an unassuming weekend drama about second loves. After an initial bumpy stretch where I felt a bit bemused with the broad touches and the slightly exaggerated acting style, I’ve settled in to enjoy this one quite well.

I do quite like that this show also explores other issues besides a second chance at love. It also allows its characters to question themselves in terms of their goals, life choices and current state of happiness. It all feels pretty real, in that sense. I also like that Show doesn’t paint marriage as a cure-all, since there are characters in the show who are married, but aren’t having a good time either. In that sense, everyone’s searching for meaning and happiness, whatever their station in life is, and I like that.

13 episodes in, this one feels potentially like a solid B.

Shopping King Louis

So many of you loved this one and asked that I check it out, that I couldn’t ignore this show. 3 episodes in, I kinda-sorta think I probably won’t ever love it as much as many of you do. I find the OTP cute enough, sometimes, but oftentimes, I feel like bonking Louis on the head for doing something stupid that’s just going to make things harder for Bok Sil. I.. think I have trouble with male leads who are too much like men-children, to be honest.

3 episodes in, this feels like maybe a C+.

Love For A Thousand More

I have Amber to thank for pointing me towards this little web drama, which is turning out to be whimsical, yet earthy and cute. An immortal with the body of a young girl but the soul of an old crusty granny who’s lived for a thousand years, who dishes out relationship advice for a living, but personally swears off dating? Too cute to pass up, I say. As a bonus, amid the cute, Show even manages to touch on more thought-provoking things, like loneliness and personal significance. Not too shabby, for a little web drama.

7 episodes in (out of a total of 10), this feels like a solid B.

(For the curious, you can find this subbed and in HD, on YouTube.)

Edit: Flash Review is here!

CURRENTLY AIRING STUFF

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo

I had a feeling I’d like this one, but I’m pleasantly blown away by just how much I love it. I love the exploration of friendship blossoming into romance; I love the treatment of the coming-of-age struggles; I love the search for self and identity; most of all, I love Nam Joo Hyuk and Lee Sung Kyung in this. They both feel so real and relatable and likable. Plus, Nam Joo Hyuk is so melty in this; I swoon. ❤

12 episodes in, this strongly feels like an A.

Legend Of The Blue Sea

This show’s whimsical and pretty, but I’m not quite feeling the modern timeline as yet. I’m much more drawn to the Joseon storyline, which feels more poignant and compelling somehow. Maybe all I need is more time with this show, since it’s early days yet, for me. Jeon Ji Hyun is fantastic in this, all the time, whatever the timeline.

4 episodes in, this feels like a possible B+, if I can just get on board.

Goblin

Given my long-standing love for Gong Yoo, I knew I couldn’t not watch this one. I loved the first 4 episodes, and I felt very drawn to the melancholic beauty of it all. I also liked the idea of searching for one’s identity and sense of self.

Now, several episodes later, I feel like nothing much seems to happen each episode, and all we get is a lot of Pretty, sprinkled with playground humor. I hope Show tightens up its storytelling soon, because I’m starting to get bored, and the episode lengths don’t help.

7 episodes in, this feels like a potential B-, or C+ even, if Show doesn’t change course.

Seven First Kisses

Ha. I’m just watching this for the frothy parade of Pretty, to be honest. This is one long unabashed CF for Lotte Duty Free, but it’s light, breezy fun, and every episode zips by in a matter of minutes.

7 episodes in, this feels like a B. Y’know, for what it is.

Edit: Flash Review is here!

Hwarang

Given the very low-rent, cheesy promo material, I didn’t actually have high hopes for this, but just 2 episodes in, I think I might actually like this. There was a lot of blood and angst in episode 2, but along with that came an emotional heft that I wasn’t expecting from this show. Park Seo Joon is quite riveting despite the bad wig, and Park Hyung Sik is promisingly broody and restrained.

2 episodes in, this feels potentially like a B.

2016 SHOWS STILL ON MY LIST

And because I’m greedy and curious, and because one’s watch list just has to keep growing no matter how much drama you’ve already watched, here are the 2016 shows that are still on my radar. I would like to get around to these, but a quick check on this same section in my 2015 review proves that my good intentions never quite translated into actual watching. Oopsie.

Anyway. Let me state my good intentions for the record:

This Week My Wife Will Have An Affair. So many of you have reached out to me to say that this one’s worth the watch that I’m genuinely curious.

Beautiful Mind. Because of the ardent love that fans of this show have for it. And because, Jang Hyuk. ❤

Task Force 38. This really doesn’t strike me as my kind of show, but again, so many of you have persuaded me that this is a good, fun watch, that I’m actually curious now.

Age Of Youth. I’ve heard too many good things to pass this one up. Plus, many of my long-time blogosphere friends who know my taste in dramas assure me that I will love this.

Baek Hee Has Returned. I’ve heard good things about this one, and at just 4 episodes, this seems like it’s a solid, quick little watch.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

…And that, folks, is everything! Phew! I mean, ta da~!

I honestly didn’t think it’d be possible to talk about more shows this year after last year’s 39, but – gulp – I realize I’ve talked about 42 dramas in this post. 42! That is a lot of drama. In my defense, I did drop more dramas this year, and I also checked out more mini web series as well. So perhaps a drama intervention isn’t quite necessary yet, heh.

Like I said in the beginning of this post, you can see that I wasn’t as wise as I could’ve been, in how I spent my drama hours. I ended up finishing way more meh dramas than I ever wanted to, when I could’ve spent the time watching the dramas that actually promise to be good. Which is totally something that I resolve to fix next year.

Here’s looking forward to more cracktastic dramas in 2017, with my new drama resolutions firmly in place! I know I’m being optimistic, but hey, it never hurts to dream, right?

Author: kfangurl

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

28 thoughts on “Year In Review: 2016

  1. Maybe you can include in your “show still on your list” golden pouch. Its a daily family drama that i cannot wait to watch.

    Although im a newbie in kdrama world i have already spent countless sleepless nights trying to bingewatch on my favorite drama series. I am not sure when i would get over this addiction but at this point in my life i would like to immediately pack my bags and migrate to korea!! Hahaha..

    Agree with your rating 90% of the time. Looks like we have the same taste in kdrama..almost!
    Happy new year to you!! Lets wait and see what 2017 have in store for us!!

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  2. Oh dear… of the fully aired dramas mentioned in this post I’ve actually managed to finish 11, LOL! Yup, I’m quite happy to give a drama Das Boot when it fails to grab me and/or gets annoying or I just loose interest for some reason. There are plenty of other fish in the drama-sea so why waste time on something you don’t fully enjoy?

    I more or less agree with you on all counts here. 🙂

    Have you watched anything else besides kdramas lately? My list has started to be really heavily cdrama laden these days, ha.

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  3. Wow! That is an impressive list of dramas. I can’t believe you’d even make time to write up reason-to-drop entry for each drama dropped. That is dedication. I am in awe. The number one drama for me this year, by far, is This Week My Wife Will Have an Affair. It has everything: humor, pathos, good directing, good acting, believable characters, realistic story, and very good pacing at 12 episodes only. It’s really unlike most K-dramas out there. Hope you would enjoy it too if you ever get around to it.

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  4. Impressive! Gotta give a shout out to Page Turner on your A list. Definitely worth it. Super short but packs more feels than some full length dramas. Thanks for sharing your list!

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  5. First episode of Task Force 38, I was sure this was’t for me. However, I soon grew to love this show and couldn’t anticipate what would happen next. Stick with it! I watched 20 to the end, but probably dropped as many. Can’t get into Goblin no matter how much hype. Laurel Tree Tailors is well worth watching, BTW, at 50 episodes.

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  6. I liked some more than you and vise versa, but find we are in agreement more often than not. Even with a few I disagree on, I can’t argue with your issues with them….they just worked for me for whatever reason. I think Shopping King Louie gets better and better as it goes on. I thought at first Louie would drive me crazy. The Good Wife is probably one of my favorite dramas of the year and not a fan of the legal dramas usually. Just good storytelling and pacing in TGW so I bow to the writer who adapted it. I’ve added a few to my watch list from what you’ve seen and liked so thanks for that. Sometimes a drama goes under the radar.

    Oh and I’m so disappointed in Goblin so far. Love the genre, the set up was solid, the production value high quality, good actors….and then I realized not much is going on and with the overlong episodes, it’s really noticeable.

    ps: It took me 5 episodes to get into Beautiful Mind. I think they handled getting their episodes cut as well as can be expected.

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  7. You’re a true hero to people like me kfangurl haha. I wish I could check out this many dramas in a year. You know what, maybe I will this 2017. I’m getting there. I’ve commented here before and said that I’ve just recently revived my enthusiasm for kdramas and since then I’ve managed to start watching more dramas–both old and new ones! Thank you for compiling these into one post, it’ll be most useful to me as a reference.
    I’m so happy to have read your review of MDBC! I’m still so in love with it and very excited to own it on DVD soon!!!
    In addition to that, I’m even happier to see you loving WFKBJ just as much as I am too right now. Gah, if it weren’t for Lee Jong Suk’s cameo I never would have checked it out while it was on air, but the heavens knew I needed a great source of inspiration right at that moment, and that drama definitely gave that and continues to give that to me. Looking forward to your review on that! Should be fun!
    (side note: will we be seeing a Nam Joo Hyuk or perhaps a Lee Sung Kyung appreciation post soon too? Hahaha I’m just a little too in love with the both of them right now, and to think I’ve only just been taken over by Bogummy fever. My poor fangirl heart can only take so much, but so far it’s pretty happy right now ❤️)

    So excited about 2017! I wish you all the best things to come your way next year and hopefully no more pesky viruses–only great health and great blessings! Thank you and more power to you and your blog!

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  8. Reblogged this on The Sunny Town and commented:
    This a great drama year in review written by kfangurl. I agree w/ everything. As usual. Do check it out!

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  9. Ooh you finished a lot more dramas than I did! And I think there are many shows here I didn’t watch (or not yet at least) on your top list, and all the way through the year’s review. Hehe but I share similar thoughts on some dramas that I’ve seen too, lol. Like Doctors, MotW, Entertainer.. And yes you should watch 38 Task Force! & finish DMF as well as Signal 😀 Thanks for sharing your thoughts of the year, kfangurl! I wish you all the best for the new year!

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  10. I’m glad you watch 1% of something. I really love the show. Like a lot!!

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  11. Omg I just started watching Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo today and it’s SO good. It’s adorable, totally and utterly heartwarming and real. I love ALL the characters. And tbh the characterization of the characters and situations is so true to college/school life. LOVE IT.

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    • Update. I ADORE Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Ju, but at the same time I really don’t like how good it is. Like, it’s definitely not overly angsty and is so heartwarming, but at the same time, because it’s so good, damn I cry so much. Lee Sung Kyung and Nam Joo Hyuk (and basically everyone else) is so darn smashingly good. Everytime Bok Ju cries, I do too. Uncontrollably. It’s not angsty, but I’m so emotionally invested and everything is so real and the obstacles of life and self-discovery so universal and so us, that I just cry all the time with the characters.

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    • AHHH! It’s so adorable!!! Can’t wait for next week/ep 14 now!!! The best part is the feels are so real and omg it’s so relatable. I don’t think I hate ANY of the characters. No protagonists; just bad situations and the obstacles of life. I cry and squeal and giggle and feel all the real feel right along with the characters.

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  12. Why oh Why you haven’t watched Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim?!?! It is a lot better than almost drama that currently airing now and It deserves all those high ratings. But really, nobody ever talk about it! And that makes me sad, even you didn’t even mentioned it in this post:( It has solid cast and story with every single episode very thrilling, It feels like it is the “Signal” of medical drama.Plus, My one and only Queen, SEO HYUN JIN is definitely AWESOME there! She makes me love her and love her again<3. You SHOULD definitely watch it!

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  13. Hola Fangirl 😊😊

    ¡Que gran trabajo con este post! Me he quedado alucinada *_*.

    Si te soy sincera, yo de esta temporada vi poquitos dramas asi que apenas si puedo comentar nada de todos los que viste, salvo que yo también quiero darles una oportunidad ^^.

    Espero que en este 2017 puedas enamorarte de muchisimos dramas, tanto de 2017 como antiguos.

    Feliz año nuevo!!

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  14. Wow…hats off to you for topping last year’s record with a whopping 42 dramas!! You’ll forever be my role model in drama watching😂 how time flies… I remember stumbling upon your blog back in 2014 and now 2016’s over already!? You deserve a HUGE thank you for consistently churning out such candid, entertaining and detailed reviews of dramas that either has me squealing along or nodding in agreement if I watched them, or helping me narrow down my drama choices given the very limited drama hours I have.
    I’m quite satisfied with how I used my time on dramas this year, honestly; most of the dramas I completed were rated As and Bs by your standards, with the exception of Lucky Romance, and I only hung on because of Ryu Jun Yeol who made it all worthwhile, as you said😉 And WEIGHTLIFTING FAIRY ERMAGAWD. I’m so in love with that show! Especially Lee Sung Kyung and Nam Joon Hyuk- they’re TOO CUTE, I tell ya. I’ll be eagerly waiting for your review on it😆
    The only thing I can’t agree with is your sentiments towards Shopping King Louie. I thought Bok shil and Louie were so adorable together and it’s one of my favorite dramas this year. But oh well, different people different tastes I guess!
    Happy new year and all the best for 2017!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I can’t resist to comment that I’m surprised you actually gave Seven First Kisses higher temporary score than Goblin, lmao. I’m up-to-date with Goblin’s episodes, but not Seven First Kisses’s, and there are moments when I think that Goblin is taking forever to move. Still…

    Happy New Year!

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  16. Yep. 2016 brought us lots of Kdramas, oppas and so much feels. Thank you for listing all the kdramas, I need to watch some of them as well

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  17. I LOVE YOUR REVIEWS OMG. also i do recommend AGE OF YOUTH, despite of having only 12 eps it tackles a lot of issues and gives emphasis on the stories of each of the characters. plus it’s so relatable and funny!! ^u^

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  18. Just wanted to wish you health, happiness, love and KDrama enjoyment in 2017. I really appreciate all the work you do to write this blog, and as I say – “to the kfangirl ratings list at once!” as soon as I finish a drama to find my next one. Lol!

    So sorry you are not enjoying king Louis as I just loved the two leads. I dropped every show on your “actually avoid” list except for Entertainer (I cringed…a lot and I do mean a lot) because I am a Ji Sung kinda gal. Dropped Squad 38 as well as DOTS at episode 12. Loved the OST for Another Oh Hae Young.

    Happy 2017!

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  19. Almost forgot – my top rated drama of 2016 is ‘When a Snail Falls in Love’. Excellent and with Wang Kai to boot. Awesomeness. Seriously good.

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  20. I loved Moonlight Drawn by Clouds and Reply 1988. Such great shows. Both are great gems. Great writing, directing, acting…with lots of heartfelt surprises. Park Bo Gum is so wonderful in both. What I find really interesting about PBG is he looks young, I mean, he is young … but then he can really deliver the romance like no body’s business.

    Now, the K2. Like you, I also wanted to love the K2 because I’m a super fan of JCW. He’s such a great actor and definitely has made the action genre his own. I feel so bitter and disappointed that a perfectly good, gripping premise was wasted with half-baked writing and further worsened by poor directing, editing, and over-the-top musical score. To be perfectly honest, I like Je Ha. I think it’s a perfectly good character with an engaging backstory. JCW totally owned it. His screen presence is so impactful I thought I was watching a movie on the big screen. Unfortunately, I actually gave up watching K2 at episode 8, but I’m coming back to it again, only because I love JCW so much, being totally floored by his action sequences. The second time watching K2, I start to hold this show a bit dearer to my heart (still hate the background music)- mainly because to me, it represents a watershed moment in Kdrama land where for the first time, there is a convincingly realistic action-packed themed drama. And although to me this is not JCW’s best work, I still feel that it also is a defining moment for him, in terms of firmly establishing him as one of Korea’s best actors and the one to call on if you want to make an action-movie/drama. I hope there will be more shows like this (although with better writing, directing and less annoying music) in the future and I feel that JCW has accomplished an amazing feat for Korean dramas (Asian dramas in general)! You deserve every penny you got from TvN, JCW. I hope they paid you very well.

    I actually really loved DOTS – I know it’s not perfect. Some plot twists are not plausible. But I’m willing to overlook them because the sum of DOTS is so much better than its individual parts. The best thing about this show are: 1) a smart and independent main female character 2) a smart and strong, but not emotionally-wounded male character 3) a beautiful love story that is exciting yet at the same time emotionally engaging and believable, despite some of the outrageous circumstances surrounding it 4) beautiful friendships and 5) laugh out loud moments from the beginning to the end. This is one rare Kdrama where I do not find “draggy” from start to finish.

    Lastly, I also really like 1%. I still find the premise of contract dating totally weird – I mean, in real life, can you really “date” someone if you start out with a contract? Once I made myself forget this caveat, then I grew to like the show. Hands down, best kissing scenes E.V.E.R.

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  21. I don’t know how you manage to watch so many dramas :O But I guess I’m happy with the 4-5 dramas I finished this year, at least I more or less enjoyed them all.

    I definitely recommend checking out Age of Youth, though. For the longest time I wanted good dramas that depicted female friendships and 2016 gave us two – Age of Youth and Dear My Friends (which I’ll have to pick up soon).

    I’m also gonna present my case for Shopping King Louis because I thought it was adorable. Louis may be a bit annoying at first with his shopaholic tendencies, but it’s worth it for Seo In Guk’s comedic performance. Besides, Louis does grow up in the second half of the series and it’s really sweet how he adores Bok Shil. A relatively conflict-free drama, but I had lots of fun.

    I do regret not watching Signal before the year came to an end, because I have a feeling I’ll like it. It would have been nice to have one more drama to check off at the end of the year. Oh well…

    Like

  22. This year I made some bad choices.

    Oh My Venus: C
    Jung Do Jun: C+++
    The Equator Man: C+++
    The Royal Gambler: B
    The Legend: C+++
    38 Task Force: B+++
    Page Turner: A

    Like

  23. Hi, this is my first time leaving a comment in ur blog, even though not a first-time reader of your articles. Let me start by saying that the fangirl verdict had become my go-to destination for kdrama reviews. I started my descent into the world of kdrama in 2016 (a rookie), and since then, I have been binge-watching an embarassing amount of dramas. My hubby cursed kdramas because it introduced me to Gong Yoo, and your article about him made it worse. Ehe😜he😝he😛

    I watched a lot of kdramas because of your reviews. And the most recent one was Weightlifting Fairy. It was sooo good. Funny, heartwarming, beautifully paced, and so darn cute. I just finished ep 15 and now I’m afraid.
    Afraid because at times kdrama’s ending can be so cruel. I read that there’s a possibility of a break up. That it might not be a hea. I’m gonna be so devastated if that’s true — this is one effect of kdrama that I do not like.

    Does anyone know if it’s going to be a happy ending or not? I’m not going to watch the final episode until one of you tell me that it is a happy ending.

    Oh kdramas, what have u done to my ordinary-normal-ish life? How the hell kdramas can have this kind of emotional effect on my psyche?

    Kdramas — my guilty pleasure.

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  24. You still beat me to it. I watched 40 Kdramas this year, and not all were released in 2016. I did watch 18 Korean movies on top of that, though. And I started in May after 5+ years of zero Kdramas haha… But this isn’t a competition. Kudos to your fangirling and reviewing prowess, I’m so impressed!

    For me, my #1 favorite in 2016 turned out to be Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo even though it hasn’t ended yet. It’s pretty close to the perfect Kdama for me, even though the final verdict depends on the finale this week. I’m praying to Kdrama gods for a happy ending!!! 2016 in general was a pretty shit year, so I’m hoping this amazing little show will turn it around.

    Happy new year. I hope to see more of your reviews this year!

    Like

  25. Hello 🙂

    You have watched a lot last year, I only could digest completely Another Oh Hae Young (Seo Hyun Jin and the ost made that drama for me), 1% of something (so lively and cutesy the main couple were adorable), One more happy ending (I had too much expectation of the main couple, I wish director could have done a better work), Oh my Venus (that was only candy for the eye) y Age of youth, you should really consider watching that one I’m sure you are going to love belle epoque.
    I dropped Descendants of the sun, couldn’t live up to my expectations and wow I completely forgot I also watched W, ugh that ending. Moonlight it’s on my radar and I’m ready to watch weighlifting….
    I hope we can have better dramas on 2017, I was not tempted a lot last year like in previous years.

    Happy New Year, take care ❤

    Like

  26. Please watch Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo, I’m pretty sure you will love it. 🙂 Happy New Year! 🙂 virtual hugs and kisses from Singapore.

    Like

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