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.

76 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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    • Oh my. I looked up Golden Pouch, and it’s a 120-episode daily! I rarely ever watch dailies, tbh. I’ve finished maybe only 2 dailies in the 10 years that I’ve been watching dramas. Other times I start, but never reach the finish line. 😛 I think I’ll wait for this one to finish airing before I decide whether to watch.

      Also, welcome to the wonderful world of kdrama! Glad you’re enjoying yourself with all the bingewatching, though I do hope you get enough sleep! Otherwise, your addiction would be hard to sustain on so little sleep! 😉

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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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    • Lol. I know you’re sharp and ruthless when it comes to dropping dramas, Timescout! 😆 But you’re really good at spotting what doesn’t work for you. I, on the other hand, find that I’m less decisive about when to cut a drama off. 😛

      Lately, aside from kdramas, I’ve been watching Back to 1989, which was thanks to your recommendation. It’s not bad, despite its flaws. I’m just past the halfway mark on that one. I just got into the key Christmas night part of the show, which you’d mentioned as dark. I’m wondering how Show is going to wrap up its story, but am being cautious about it, since the TW dramas I’ve’ seen have tended towards weaker endings. 😛

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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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    • Thanks KS! I’ve heard good things about This Week My Wife Will Have An Affair, and have duly added it to my list. I’ve even acquired the episodes, and now, I just need the right mood to strike before I start watching it! 😊 As for the dropped posts, I didn’t use to do them, but they’ve proved pretty popular. Seems that folks are just as interested to know why I drop a show, as they like to know why I love the shows I love. 😊

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      • Oh yes, trust me I read many of your dropped posts, especially on the ones I have watched myself. They are very entertaining to read. 🙂 Okay, I pray the right mood strikes soon because I truly would love to see your reaction to TWMWWHAA.

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        • Thanks KS – that does give me a spot of motivation to write some of the dropped posts that I’m backlogged on! 😉 I still haven’t started on This Week My Wife Will Have An Affair, but I HAVE started on Age Of Youth, which was on my 2016 list, and I’m liking it quite well! 😊

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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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    • Thanks for the heads-up on Task Force 38, Islander! Very helpful, particularly since I don’t naturally reach for procedural type dramas. And thanks for the tip on Laurel Tree Tailors too. I don’t often watch 50 episode family dramas these days, but I will put this on the list for when I next feel like dipping my toes into one!

      Goblin is a mixed bag for me at the moment.. I can see why you couldn’t get into it. I’m 10 eps in at the moment, and sticking with it for now. 😊

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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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    • Yay that we’re mostly in agreement, Kat! 😊 And I get what you mean.. sometimes a drama just works for us, in spite of its flaws. Many have persuaded me to give Louis another chance, so perhaps he’ll grow on me yet. Like you, I’m not usually into legal dramas, but I just can’t help getting sucked into The Good Wife! Now that’s a sure sign that it’s an excellent drama! I’m not done watching it yet (am about halfway through as I type this), but I’m sure it’ll stay good through to the end.

      I have mixed feelings about Goblin (I’m at around the E10 mark).. sometimes it feels like nothing is happening. And then just when I feel like I should admit defeat, Show does something to make me sit up a little bit. I don’t know. I’ll have to report back when I’ve seen more of the show. Thanks for the heads-up on Beautiful Mind. It’s on my list, and I’ve heard good things. Pity it got cut.. Thank goodness Weightlifting Fairy didn’t suffer cuts for its low ratings! I think I would’ve cried a river if they had! 😅

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      • I almost didn’t watch Goblin because I had read comments about the pace, etc. However, I’m glad I did. For me, the gentle, slower pace worked because of the themes being explored. The relationships developed beautifully (I especially enjoyed the bromance), and the pace allowed time for reflection on the themes of love, loss and forgiveness. Having experienced the death of my husband, I found this show to be profoundly moving and not at all trite. It explored the issues of death, grief and living through loss, with respect and insight. Needless to say many tears were shed!

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        • Hugs. I’m really sorry for your loss, DramaTragic – the death of a spouse is no small deal, and I am so glad that you found Goblin a cathartic watch. That definitely elevates this above the average kdrama – at least for you personally – and that is precious indeed. I have my own “healing drama” as well, in Goong. That was my first kdrama and I watched it in the thick of a very dark personal time, of loss and rejection. I cried many cathartic tears as well, so I can very much relate. ❤

          I’m currently somewhat stalled on Goblin – and most other currently airing shows as well – but I will definitely go back to it. And I will keep your insight in mind, as I adjust my viewing lens. Thank you for that! 😊

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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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    • Awww, thank you lizzie!! You are so sweet, and I’ve never been called a hero before! I guess other people might say I have a drama problem, but hey, a hero in any context is worth celebrating, right? 😆

      Congrats on owning Moonlight on DVD!! DVD ownership is definitely a sign of true drama love! I own Goong on DVD, so I know! 😉 And YES, Weightlifting Fairy is so lovely too! I recently posted the review, which you can check out here! I admit that I use the word “love” a whole lot in the review 😛 I couldn’t help myself! And ooh, a post on Nam Joo Hyuk! Now there’s a thought! I’ve filed that away as a possibility.. I’ll need to do some research to see if there’s enough material to feature, but thanks for the suggestion! 😊

      And thank you for the lovely wishes! Indeed, no more pesky horrible viruses indeed! Only great health, great blessings, and great dramas – right back atcha! 😘

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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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    • Happy new year to you too, Jas!! I feel kind of bad for not finishing Please Come Back, Mister, coz I remember you really liked that one. 😛 But yay that we share similar thoughts on the other dramas we have in common! And I definitely will finish DMF and Signal – those are just too highly rated to miss out on! I will also keep 38 Task Force on the list, although I confess, my list is so long, I don’t know when I’ll get around to it. 😛

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      • Naww it’s okay kfangurl we all have preferences that differ, if I’m not wrong you’re not really into campy humour styles – I also didn’t expect that I would enjoy PCBM so much, lol. Yayyy ❤ definitely, they should not be missed. Hahaha my list is super long too, but I guess that's the life of drama fans 😄 Take your time with it!
        Sorry for the late reply ^^

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        • Sorry for MY late reply, Jas! I’ve been so behind on everything lately, especially with the Lunar New Year! You are absolutely right – I generally don’t take to campy humor too well. I sometimes find myself enjoying it when it’s not over-the-top strong, and accompanied by good writing and acting, but that combination rarely comes together. I did like the campy humor in Marriage Not Dating though, and very much too. Which is why I don’t avoid a show purely because its humor is broad. I feel like, Oh, MAYBE I will like it, so I should give it a try. It often doesn’t work out, though! 😝 In other news, I’m back into watching Dear My Friends, and liking it, and I’ve also started on Age Of Youth, which I like a lot as well. Yay for some progress, lol.

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          • I’m behind on lots of things too, and yes due to the Lunar New Year as well – last weekend was hectic! I also started to get busy this month, which means lesser time for dramas and blogging now! Yes but humor in kdramas tend to be exaggerated and OTT a lot of times, it may feel like its too forced. Ah I didn’t watch Marriage of Dating, but I agree! Comedy can be hit or miss depending on the viewer and how we appreciate it. Oh yay! I hope you enjoy it through the end ❤ prepare tissue! I have not watched Age of Youth though. I'm happy that you made progress kfangurl 🙂 I've been into japanese dramas recently haaa, and watching some kdramas in between too ^^

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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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    • I’m glad I checked it out too! I didn’t make it past E1 of the original, back in the day, so I wasn’t sure if I was going to check out the remake. I then heard too many good things to ignore it, so the curious cat in me won in the end, and I’m glad I didn’t miss out on this cute little show! 😊

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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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    • Wow, sounds like Romantic Doctor is better than the average medical drama! I rarely watch medical dramas coz they’re not really my cup of tea, and I used up a lot of my medical drama goodwill on Doctors in 2016 – which ultimately was disappointing. I’ll have to put Romantic Doctor on my list.. y’know, for when I’m finally ready to attempt another medical show! 😉

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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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    • Happy new year to you too, mayu! I hope this post will be helpful when you’re choosing 2016 dramas to check out! And yes, more and better dramas to us all, in 2017! 😊

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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

    • Aw! Has so much time passed already since you found me? Happy 2 years to us, cinnamonxspice! 😄 I’m super pleased that you’ve enjoyed the reviews and found them useful! That really does encourage me to keep on writing ’em!

      And OMG YES, Weightlifting Fairy is just 😍😍😍 – review is newly up, you can find it here! I hafta admit I couldn’t stop myself from gushing through the entire review – you’ve been warned! 😆

      As for Louis, I’ve been persuaded to give him another chance, so I won’t drop the show just yet. Hopefully I’ll grow to love the show as much as you did!

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  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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    • Heh. I guess I should qualify that Seven First Kisses’ grade is given taking into account what it is – a tiny little web drama that’s pretty much a glorified CF. On the other hand, I’m expecting much more from Goblin, with its much larger scope and room to develop. So, definitely not saying that Seven First Kisses is a better show than Goblin! (I hope that doesn’t turn out to be true; I’m not caught up on Goblin episodes! 😝)

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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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    • Glad you found this list useful, kfanatics! 😊 This isn’t an exhaustive list, since there are dramas I didn’t mention – dramaland is certainly moving faster than I can keep up with! 😛

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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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    • Happy 2017, phl!! 😄 I’m super chuffed that your find my ratings list so useful – it shows our similar tastes in dramas indeed!

      I’ve been persuaded to give Louis another chance, so I’m not giving up on him just yet. Hopefully I’ll grow to love the show as much as you did. 😉 Props to you for finishing Entertainer for the love of Ji Sung! (Btw, have you seen 2004’s Save Your Last Dance For Me? It’s classic Hallyu and kind of melo in the last stretch, but young Ji Sung is so swoony, I couldn’t help spazzing. 😍)

      Thanks for the tip on Snail – I have it on my list! My very long list, which I hope to make a dent in, somehow! 😅

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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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    • Sounds like you had a relatively good drama year, TrueBlue!! 😊 Yay that you loved AM88 and Moonlight, those were my top two dramas of 2016, hi5! While I didn’t love DOTS as much as you did, I do agree that it’s more than the sums of its parts. And 1% really is very cute, with great OTP chemistry.

      It’s too bad about K2 turning out the way it did, but I do agree that JCW clearly worked super hard, and has established himself as a go-to action actor. I hope his next drama will be a really good one!

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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…

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    • I.. have no idea how I managed to watch so many dramas either, to be honest!! I think I just didn’t make very wise decisions when it came to time, in 2016. 😝 There are quite a few meh dramas that I now feel I should’ve dropped, instead of wasting time finishing them. So you could be in the better position – finishing 4-5 solid dramas instead of spending time on shows that weren’t worth it!

      I absolutely plan on checking out Age of Youth, it sounds very good! And.. I will give Louis another chance. I was ready to drop it, coz I was getting so annoyed with Louis and the way he kept on doing dumb things that made things harder for Bok Sil. But you, and a couple of others, have convinced me that Louis is more lovable than I give Show credit for.

      I did start on Signal, but didn’t manage to finish it. On the plus side, we have fresh episodes of a reputedly excellent drama that we can marathon if desired! 😉

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  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

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    • Aw, right there with you, Stoica; I made some bad drama choices in 2016 too. Yay that you managed to check out Page Turner, it’s really such a little gem of a mini drama. Hopefully, my overview will help you pick a few 2016 dramas that will be more satisfying! 😊

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  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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    • Hi Ellie! Thanks for coming out and leaving a comment! Yay for first comments! 😊 I’m so pleased that you find the reviews and the site in general useful! That makes me happy, and motivates me to keep on writing! 😊

      Weightlifting Fairy didn’t have a bad ending, YAY! That made me really happy too! I’ve just posted my review on it, you can check it out here, to relive some of the sweetness. ❤

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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!

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    • Wow, you watched quite few dramas this year too, neve!! I’m glad you’re so full-on into dramas now, after a 5-year hiatus! And yes, I do have to agree that Weightlifting Fairy is wonderful. It’s way up there for me, in terms of dramas that made my heart swell. 😍 Answer Me 1988 is way up there too, in much the same effect, though via a slightly different medium and journey. Still, I think about AM88, and all I feel is ❤.

      Thanks for the encouragement, and for hanging around my little corner of the interwebs – here’s to more and better dramas this year! 😘

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  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 ❤

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    • Yes, 2016 did feel somewhat patchy as a drama year, but there were definitely good dramas in the mix. I just didn’t get around to seeing all of ’em. 😛 Which is why Age of Youth is totally on my list, I’ve heard so many good things! I did love Moonlight and Weightlifting Fairy, so I’m glad you’ll be checking those out! Both of those shows had me shooting hearts out of my eyes, for reals. 😍😍😍

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  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.

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  27. Age Of Youth is definitely a must-watch. And if you’re interested in shows like these I’d recommend the C-drama version, Ode To Joy (not sure if you’ve heard of it) its very similar to AOY both in context and characters but OTJ is alot more draggy and warning: the romance may fall a bit flat but that might be done on purpose. But still worth a watch if you like realistic dramas.

    And omg didn’t realise you’re Singaporean!

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    • I’ve just started Age Of Youth (3 eps in so far), and I really like it! Which is great, coz I was feeling rather meh about the more current drama offerings. I did dip my toes into Ode To Joy, and it was not bad. Probably due to personal mood combined with the number of episodes it has, though, I wasn’t really feeling it, and didn’t continue.

      Ha, and yes, I’m Singaporean. Are you as well? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Personally I prefer Ode To Joy since it’s more realistic (sometimes depressingly so). But Age Of Youth is more energetic and fast-paced so it makes sense that you’ll like it better.

        Yes I am! Though I’ve relocated to Australia but still a Singaporean at heart!

        Liked by 1 person

  28. Thanks for these kind of lists! Tbh I really rely on your reviews and lists to know which dramas to watch, since I find your taste to be similar to mine. I agree with everything on your list except for the cinderella and four knights one. Idk why, but I find myself enjoying Cinderella and the Four Knights despite its cliched storyline. The writing had lots of plot holes and generally choppy transition between events but nonetheless its kind of like chicken soup for the soul kind of thing; it kind of leaves you feeling fuzzy inside after each episode. And I totally love the actors (with the exception of Naeun; the girl needs a little bit more training and experience). The main girl is strong and bright, Lee Jungshin surprisingly did a really good job, Ahn JaeHyun is just great, and I have and incredibly soft spot for Jung Il Woo. Its totally up to personal taste though, I happen to like mindless fluff (as long as they have great main actors).

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    • Glad you find the reviews and other lists helpful, sparrow! Makes me feel like all my hours of drama watching are going towards some kind of useful cause, ha! 😆

      As for Cinderella and the Four Knights, I did enjoy the watch in a mindless sort of way. Loved Park So Dam in particular, she’s a lovely bright ray of sunshine. But, the logic leaps and plot holes didn’t escape my notice either, and I could only give it a C++ in the end. That said, it still does sound like you enjoyed the watch more than I did! 😉

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  29. Loved Signal! But you’re right, it’s really hard to watch but worth every effort. Hope you finish it 🙂

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    • Thanks for the encouragement, Juna! I found the 3 eps that I did watch pretty hard to sit through, especially with the serial murders and all. 😝 I really do think Signal is worth the watch, though – I just need to steel myself enough to go back to it!

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  30. Hi Kfangirl. I’ve watched Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo and currently I am in a world full of hearts because of that. I am wondering if you can give me a good suggestion on what i can watch that is somehow the same or close to that genre of weightlifting fairy kim bok joo. hehehehe I am just blown away by that drama so i guess my standards had gotten so high because of that. thanks in advance for your response! (btw, may I know the meaning of ratings you gave to kdramas? like B, B+, A, A+, C, C++, ETC.? thanks)

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    • Hi there mariyowni! I’m so sorry this reply is coming to you so late! I wonder if you did manage to find a good follow-up drama to WF after all? 🙂 If you’re still up for a couple of suggestions, I’d like to suggest Age Of Youth, which I watched after WF and enjoyed very well. It’s also a coming of age sort of show. Another show that comes to mind is She Was Pretty, coz it’s also got a nice everyday feel to it, and also features a strong female friendship. As well as a nice emphasis on inner beauty and value of self. You can check out my reviews here and here, if that helps! 🙂

      As for the rating system, you can read more about that here. 🙂

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  31. I cannot believe I missed your post on this. haha! Now that I have read your Year in Review 2016, I feel like my taste in Korean dramas is significantly, though not completely, similar to yours. I just kept on nodding my head in agreement as I scrolled down through your list and explanations.

    That being said, I know you love Gong Yoo and I am curious to see your final thoughts about Goblin. I’d give it around B grade because it was a very entertaining drama for me. I went in not expecting a lot given that it is a KES drama and we know she is not the most profound and brilliant writer out there. However, I do think this is her best work so far. The premise of Goblin spells epic to me, but KES decided to serve a middling drama. A shame, but I think she served the best to her limited abilities. I’m quite surprised that she wrote this when she wrote Heirs. lol

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    • Heh. And I cannot believe it’s taken me this long to reply to your comment! 😛 So sorry, MC, life’s been hectic and blog and drama matters sort of fell to the wayside for a bit.

      Great to hear that our drama tastes are similar – it’s always nice to have company, particularly in dramaland! I am currently stalled on Goblin, so I don’t have a final grade for it yet. I feel I need to be in a more contemplative mood to better appreciate the show’s atmospheric touch and slower pace. Some people are aggravated by the slow pace, and when I found myself getting impatient too, I figured it was better to put it on pause for a bit. Others have told me that they loved the show, so it might be a mood thing that will turn my opinion around! But yes, it does boggle the mind that the same writer who wrote Goblin also wrote Heirs. I hated Heirs. SO. MUCH. 😝

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  32. hey! going through you list to see which ones to drop and which ones to bump up n my watchlist 🙂 thank you for putting this list together , it’s such a huge help for me 🙂 and as you, i just lost interst in come back ahjussi around episode 11 or 12, i liked it but i don’t know, it could have been even more somehow,
    i am sort of in a drama slump right now, i even started dae jang geum and stopped watching cause i just did not feel like it (will watch further, loved the episodes i have seen), and finishing up weightlifting fairy ( which i love) but don’t know what to watch after, i need something light/fluffy/positive to keep me going,

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    • Hey there Sia! I’m so sorry that my reply is ONE MONTH late! 😭 I hope you’re well, and that you managed to find something good to fill your drama plate! I’m currently really enjoying Strong Woman Do Bong Soon, but it’s still airing, so if you’re looking to marathon, this might not work for you at the moment. I also recently really liked Age Of Youth (review is here), and I think you’d like it too. If you haven’t seen it, I do recommend it! 😀

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      • i was wondering where you were 🙂 well after weightlifting fairy, i watched some american sci-fi series and picked up goblin on a whim, fell in love with lee dong wook and yoo in na, but not the series itself (i fast forwarded through a lot of the episodes). I prefer marathoning 🙂 i’ll watch Strong Woman DBS when it’s done (already counting down actually 😀 ). Age of Youth it is! i’ll watch it next! thanks for getting back 🙂 and looking forward to your upcoming reviews

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        • Sorry, it was a combination of RL busy, under the weather blahs, drama slump and a touch of writer’s block too. 😅 It’s not as serious as it might sound – I just fell super behind on comments, and was intimidated at catching up. 😛

          I do think you’ll like Do Bong Soon, it’s got a wacky sort of tone that doesn’t always work, but both sides of the OTP are endearing and easy to love. And Park Hyung Sik is 😍.

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          • don’t be sorry 🙂 i was just getting a bit worried, next time, just put it at the right side box where you put mini-updates 🙂 btw, i don’t know if you ended up finishing goblin, but if you haven’t, there is like a 5minute youtube video summarizing goblin story line, i suggest watching it, you won’t miss much 😉 that way you free up time to watch something beter

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            • I will! Thanks for being so sweet & understanding, Sia!! ❤ I haven’t finished Goblin.. I got stalled at around the E10 mark, mostly coz I felt like I was in a drama slump. The story itself looked like it was about to get interesting, but I just wasn’t in the mood for the show and put it aside for another time. I do plan to go back to it (soonish, maybe), but if that doesn’t work out, I’ll know to look for that YouTube video!! 😁

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