The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling

Year In Review: 2017

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You guys might remember that this time last year, I pinky-swore-resolved to make better use of my drama hours – and better use of time in general –Β in 2017. Now that 2017 has flown by in what feels like a flash, and it’s time to check in all over again, I’m happy to report that I think I did.. pretty ok, all things considered. πŸ™‚

Some of you know that I went through a drama-cum-blogging slump somewhere in the middle of 2017, and ended up not only neglecting the blog in a big way (I’m really sorry you guys! I did read every single comment, even though I didn’t respond to any, during my slump), but not watching a whole lot of drama either, for about 2-3 months (gasp!Β The horror!).

When I was watching dramas, though, I paid a lot less attention to what dramas were trending at the moment, and a lot more attention to my mood, and how much I was enjoying the dramas on my screen – or not.Β This meant that I ended up dropping more dramas this year than I have in previous years – if I just wasn’t feeling a show, I’d be much quicker to drop it –Β  and, it also meant that I missed out on some good dramas because I just wasn’t in the right mood. On the upside, though, I found that I ended up feeling happier in general, with my 2017 drama-watching experience. That’s not a bad trade-off, right?

I can’t believe it’s already time to reflect on 2017 though..

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo OST β€“Β λ°λ¦¬λŸ¬ 갈게 (I’ll Pick You Up)

WAS 2017 A BAD DRAMA YEAR?

One of the refrains I’ve heard around the dramaverse lately, is that 2017 was a really meh drama year. At the same time, I’ve seen comments where people protested this sentiment, because there were so many good dramas that they ended up enjoying this year. And so I thought I’d start this year-in-review post by weighing in, just a little bit, on whether I think 2017 was a bad drama year after all.

The short answer is.. I don’t think it was terrible, necessarily. But, I can see why people might find it a frustrating drama year.

From my observation, it appears that Dramaland is exploding with new dramas more than ever before, as more and more players get into the game to try and vie for ratings, profits, and viewers’ limited drama hours. Out of these drama players, it seems to me that many of them are more focused on the commercial side of things, than on the creative side of things. A well-told story doesn’t often seem to be the priority, and many dramas end up feeling like hastily patched together collections of drama tropes and storytelling shorthand. As a result, I feel like there are a lot more mediocre dramas that you have to sift through, to find the ones that are worth your time.

Getting your hopes up over a drama, and then diving in and waiting for it to get good, as your drama hours are frittered away, and then feeling disappointed when Show doesn’t actually get good, can be a frustrating experience. Having that happen over and over again, as you sift through a whole lot of mediocre dramas, can be downright aggravating.

I think that’s one of the reasons lots of drama fans have been frustrated with 2017 as a drama year. Of course, there are other factors at play as well; our personal tastes and moods, our personal drama-watching history, the challenges we are facing in our Real Lives all come into play as well.

Personally, I can’t say that I’ve had a bad drama year, because – drama slump and all – I managed to find a solid handful of dramas that I truly loved. In fact, there are more dramas in this category this year, than in my last year-in-review collection. And, a whole bunch of others that I found solid, worthy watches as well. Not bad at all, I hafta say.

In this post, as in my other year-in-review posts, I’m gonna break it all down for you guys, so that maybe you’ll end up finding a gem or two that you might’ve missed in 2017, and possibly also avoid a trainwreck or two that you might’ve otherwise invested time in. I’m basically gonna try and make your drama year better – y’know, coz I’m just helpful that way. πŸ˜‰

THE ONES WORTH MAKING TIME FOR

If you’ve been around the blog for a bit, you’d probably have noticed that I’ve been exploring new drama waters of late. Besides Korean dramas, I’ve also been dipping my toes into dramas from China, Taiwan and Japan. It turns out that out of the Taiwanese and Japanese dramas I watched this year, none of them are actually from 2017. But, there areΒ a number of Chinese dramas from 2017 that I wanted to share with you guys, and so, you’ll notice that I’ve split some sections into two, with a spotlight each, on dramas from Korea and China.

As before, I’m including dramas that started in 2016 but ended in 2017 in this post. It always makes more sense to me to credit a drama (or otherwise), after it’s finished its run.

This first section is where I’ve put my drama crack; these were the dramas that grabbed my heart and wouldn’t let go. These were the ones that I wanted to watch back-to-back episodes of, and the ones where I was sorry to get to the end and have to say goodbye to characters that I had come to love.

KOREA

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo

So everyday and relatable, with lovable, earnest characters that feel like they could’ve been my best friends. Lee Sung Kyung and Nam Joo Hyuk are great separately in this show, but they are truly wonderful together, with chemistry that shoots out of my screen and knocks me right over. As a bonus, we also get heartfelt friendships, characters with a passion for working hard to achieve their dreams, and a breezy, ear-wormy OST. I wanted this show to just go on, forever. ❀

Grade: A+

Review: here.

Father Is Strange

Warm, toasty and heartfelt, this earned a spot among my all-time favorite family dramas. Mom and Dad share such an enduring, loving relationship, and their kids have their own lovelines, which are in turn amusing and poignant. Lee Joon and Jung So Min are especially adorable together, while Lee Yoo Ri steals just about every scene she’s in, by being one of the most awesome female characters I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know, in dramaland. I would watch this family for a hundred episodes.

Grade: A

Flash Review: here.

Lingerie Girls’ Generation

I freaking love this little show that popped out of nowhere and promptly stole my heart. I loved the nostalgic 1970s vibe, I loved the slightly awkward teenaged characters, and I loved being able to share in their journeys towards adulthood, maturity and true love, in the midst of an era that was sometimes dark and troubling. I loved, too, how the youthful energy and hope of our characters was never more than temporarily dampened, in spite of it all. Over and above everything else, I loved Dong Moon, played to adorkable perfection by Seo Young Joo. *hearts in eyes*

Grade: A-

Flash Review: here.

Because This Is My First Life

I didn’t love the way Show’s ending was handled, but for the most part, this show was truly a gem. The casting and acting is on-point, the direction is tender, the OST is lilting and evocative, and the writing is outstandingly thoughtful. Lee Min Ki and Jung So Min are fantastic in their roles, and they share a warm, believable chemistry that easily cranks up to sizzling when the occasion calls for it. I truly wish the ending had been written differently, but I won’t let that stop me from appreciating Show’s first 14 episodes, which made this show feel head-and-shoulders above its peers.

Grade: A-

Flash Review: here.

CHINA

Three Lives Three Worlds: Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms

With the exception of a touch of clunky CGI and some questionable timeline logic, this one was super easy to love. This is a love story so intense that it literally spans millennia, and because it’s brought to life by well-cast actors who make their roles pop, it’s just so easy to get completely sucked in. Mark Chao is uber melty as our story’s hero, Yang Mi makes a beautiful, strong heroine, and I swoon, flail, and then swoon again, at their palpably electric chemistry.Β SO MUCH CRACKY GOODNESS, Y’ALL. ❀

Grade: A-

Flash Review: here.

A Love So Beautiful

This one feels like it might be inspired by the Itazura Na Kiss / Mischievous Kiss / Playful Kiss franchise, except I personally like this one better. Yes, it’s a story about a simple girl who likes a smart boy, but, importantly, Boy isn’t as mean as in the franchise, and Girl doesn’t build her life around him, unlike the franchise. Earnest performances by fresh-faced newish actors who feel like their characters, a happy Spring palette, an easy-breezy soundtrack, and a homey slice-of-life feel all come together to make this watch easy yet pretty cracky.Β So simple, cute and pleasant that I had to stop myself from gobbling this up all at once.

Grade: A-

Flash Review:Β here.

Fight My Way OST – ꡿λͺ¨λ‹ (Good Morning)

SOLID WATCHES I’D RECOMMEND

Age Of Youth 2

A solid continuation of the journey of our Belle Epoque girls. There are new characters in our drama world, cameos by old beloved characters, and even a complete actor-change – and therefore face change – for one of our girls. But, it still feels like the same world, mostly, and it’s quite a pleasure to follow them on their journeys through life, for just a little while longer. Some arcs got less attention than they deserved, while others got more attention than I thought they deserved, but all in all, this was a satisfying reunion with beloved characters.

Grade:Β B++

Review: here.

Fight My Way

A fun friends-to-lovers story that feels slice-of-life homey, but still manages to serve up generous helpings of giddy romance. I love the loyalty and friendship among our four main characters, but it’sΒ Park Seo Joon and Kim Ji Won who steal the show as our OTP. Their bickering friendship is made all the more endearing and adorable by his he-man bumbling impulsive ways, and her feisty-yet-vulnerable-yet-passionate character. I couldn’t get enough of these two, for reals.

Grade: B++

Review: here.

Go Back Spouses

A show that’s not very elegant in its idea of humor or characterization, but which manages to pack a wallop of a heartfelt punch that other, more expensively-produced shows ought to be jealous of. Both Sohn Ho Joon and Jang Na Ra are great, but to me, it was Kim Mi Kyung’s wonderfully warm, poignant and moving performance as Mom who stole my heart – and the show. Jang Ki Yong as Jin Joo’s young smitten suitor made me squee as well. Totes recommend.

Grade: B++

Flash Review: here.

Suspicious Partner

A drama that manages to mix crime and romance quite successfully, for the most part. The supporting cast is solid, while Ji Chang Wook and Nam Ji Hyun are great as our main couple, and deliver an OTP connection that feels deep, organic and true. Dong Ha also delivers an stand-out performance that feels layered, faceted and empathetic; he literally lifts his character from interesting to fascinating, with his delivery. Show sags in its later episodes, but its satisfying ending helps make it worth the while.

Grade: B+

Review: here.

20th Century Boy And Girl

A lovely, angst-lite, charming little show that not only features Kim Ji Suk in his meltiest role to date, but also my favorite trio of girlfriends of dramaland in 2017. Yes, a healthy dose of suspension of disbelief is required around certain aspects of this drama world, but the warmth and loyalty – and generally healthy conversation! – that gets showcased among the friends and the lovers, made this a very enjoyable watch for me. Works super well as a drama nightcap, to put your mind and heart into a warm, cozy place, before you drift off to dreams which are hopefully just as sweet.

Grade: B

Flash Review: here.

The King Loves

The politics are on the clunky side, and Show doesn’t always successfully balance its focus on politics with its focus on its characters, butΒ this one managed to suck me in and get under my skin anyway. Im Si Wan turns in an excellent performance as our titular king, while Hong Jong Hyun and Yoona both exceed my expectations with their performances. The relationships are solidly compelling, and our key characters share a good chemistry. The lovely costuming, beautiful color palette and melodious OST also come together to help bring this love story to life. For the record, this one lingered with me after I got to the end.

Grade: B

Review: here.

The Gentlemen of Wolgyesu Tailor Shop

A warm family drama that didn’t quite steal my heart, but which I found solidly engaging, nonetheless. Some characters were aggravating to watch in spots, but generally speaking, they all grew on me reasonably well by the time I got to the end. Not a bad drama nightcap, which is how I watched it.

Grade: B

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

Strong Woman Do Bong Soon

I love-love-love Park Hyung Sik and Park Bo Young together; they are uber cute separately and together, and the experience of watching these two play lovebirds is like being immersed in unicorns and rainbows while hearts dance in my eyes. BUT. I seriously hate Show’s idea of humor; it’s lowbrow, insensitive to the max, and downright crass. When Show tries to be funny, I literally physically wince. So Many confused feelings about this show, seriously.

Grade: B

Review: here.

Seven First Kisses

A fun little parade of handsome, popular Oppas, who share the spotlight with the Main Star of the show, Lotte Duty Free. It’s a thinly disguised long CF for the store, but makes for a quick spot of drama fun nonetheless, with a new Oppa, new almost-kiss, and new kdrama theme or trope per episode. One of my favorites was the nod to makjangs in Taecyeon’s kimchi slap episode, but now I wish that Lee Jun Ki‘s episode had been sageuk-themed, so that he could’ve reprised his Moon Lovers role and swished around Lotte Duty Free in his mane of glory.

Grade: B

Flash Review: here.

The Liar And His Lover

A music-centric, youthy drama that tells a simplistic story, and requires a fair bit of suspension of disbelief, to enjoy. Lee Hyun Woo is a good actor in my books, but I found it hard to believe him as a music genius or as a romantic lead. Looking past that, though, Show puts a nice amount of focus on friendship, loyalty and dreams, which helps. The music is pleasant and the performances are earnest, which adds up to.. not bad?

Grade: B-

Flash Review: It’s coming!

The Best Hit

Show is laugh-out-loud funny in its early episodes with its fish-out-of-water time-travel hijinks, but loses the funny in its second half. I never bought into the OTP and didn’t think the OTP shared significant chemistry, but the recurring theme of found family warmed my heart sufficiently for me to want to finish this. Yoon Si Yoon is fantastic in this, as he always is.

Grade: B-

Flash Review: here.

Strong Woman Do Bong Soon OST – ᄉᅑᄅᅑᆼ에 α„ˆα…‘α„Œα…΅α†« α„€α…₯ᆯᄁᅑ요 (Feat. α„‹α…©α„‡α…³α„…α…©α„Œα…¦α†¨α„α…³)

SHOWS THAT FEEL SOLIDLY GOOD, BUT WHICH I JUST.. DIDN’T FINISH

These shows ended up in this section, mostly because I was actively following my mood, and didn’t want to force myself to watch anything that I didn’t quite feel like watching. The fact that I didn’t finish these shows has no bearing on their quality whatsoever. Just wanted to put it out there. πŸ˜‰

Defendant

I started this one because Ji Sung is amazing in just about anything, and he did not disappoint. I felt completely on board with Jung Woo’s rollercoaster of an emotional journey, and Uhm Ki Joon is suitably creepy in this, as Jung Woo’s tormentor. I even felt like Show consistently kept me on my toes, with each new piece of information revealed regularly shifting my understanding of the story’s context.

6 episodes in, this show felt like a solid A. I stopped watching because I found it just so hard to see Ji Sung suffering, so convincingly, every episode. *Heart. Break.*

Rebel: Thief Who Stole The People

I felt engaged with Rebel right away, it was so well-paced and interesting from the get-go. Plus, I loved Gil Dong’s parents, and felt acutely for the slaves, at the unfairness of the system.

Just 2 episodes in, this felt like a solid A. But, I drifted away from this one because I didn’t feel quite in the mood for a sageuk. That, and I really didn’t want Kim Sang Joong’s character to die.

Oh My Geum Bi

I’d heard that this one was solidly good, and dipped my toes into the first 2 episodes. Heo Jung Eun is fantastic as Geum Bi, while Oh Ji Ho is.. not bad.

2 episodes in, I felt like this might be a B+ or even A- drama, but wasn’t in the mood for a melodrama and ended up drifting off from this one.

SHOWS THAT I LOST INTEREST IN, SOMEHOW

Goblin

Show started off really strong for me, particularly with its epic sageuk backstory scenes. I enjoyed Gong Yoo and Lee Dong Wook as Shin and Reaper, and thought the two together were amusing with a nice side serving of pathos. I had trouble getting into the main romance, though, because I couldn’t quite feel the chemistry between Gong Yoo and Kim Go Eun. Eventually, though, the thing that made it hard for me to finish this show, was Show’s uber long, slow-moving episodes. I wasn’t in a reflective, introspective sort of mood (which would have suited Show’s ambience), and ended up leaving the show hanging, after 10 episodes.

I’m told that given the right mood, this one can be an excellent watch, so I might go back to it – uh, someday.

Legend Of The Blue Sea

This one started out super fun, with Jeon Ji Hyun’s mermaid-out-of-water antics being the highlight of every episode, for me. I also felt reasonably engaged by the OTP connection, even though it was the Joseon version of their characters that grabbed me more. On top of that, Jo Jung Suk’s cameo as a merman might be the funniest cameo I’ve seen, evar.

Still, at around the episode 9 mark, I started to lose interest in this show, and found that I didn’t feel very engaged by its story. I finished episode 9, but never mustered up the interest to go back.

Tomorrow With You

This show sounded promising, with its time-travel premise and its solid pair of leads. Unfortunately, I never got into the time travel concept of this show, and I also didn’t feel any OTP chemistry. I also found the writing frustrating, with our male lead frivolously using his trips to the future for shopping instead of mystery solving or death prevention.

After episode 5, I drifted off and never felt compelled to come back.

Live Up To Your Name

I generally don’t do well with medical shows, but found that this one’s medical bent was easier to digest than average. I liked how magical acupuncture was made to look, and I found both Kim Nam Gil and Kim Ah Joong solid in their roles. I also found their parallel journeys as doctors quite meaningful.

The thing is, this one never really grabbed me that deeply, so when other more heart-grabby dramas showed up, I fell off the wagon with this one and didn’t feel the inclination to go back. I got 8 episodes in, and might go back to this, er, eventually.

SHOWS THAT I DON’T THINK ARE WORTH THE EFFORT, TO BE BRUTALLY HONEST

KOREA

Father I’ll Take Care Of You

I started watching this one because of the Promised Cute between Lee Tae Hwan and Park Eun Bin, both of whom I have soft spots for. The thing is, just about every other character in this drama world is annoying, selfish and even rather screechy. I ended up fast-forwarding through a lot of the other characters’ scenes because it was just too trying to watch them be annoying. Sadly, I must admit that Lee Tae Hwan and Park Eun Bin don’t actually share that much chemistry after all, so even though their cute scenes should’ve been squee-worthy, I didn’t find myself squeeing very much at all.

Grade: B-

The Package

I found the main couple uninteresting – and sometimes downright unlikable – and the writing even rather manipulative on occasion, so much so that I was, at points, actually mad at this show. But, several of the ensemble characters were likable and interesting enough to keep me going. On the plus side, the music is pleasant, and France is very prettily shot.

Grade: C+

CHINA

The Fox’s Summer

I started this one thinking it was 21 episodes, and while I had some issues with Show’s idea of a feisty female lead, I found the OTP romance just cute enough to sustain my interest. The thing is, I finished episode 21 only to find that there was no ending, but that there was a second season of 23 episodes. And so I watched Season 2, which was much more draggy than Season 1. The plot cycled in place for a good chunk of Season 2, and the only reason I finished it is because my completist streak suddenly reared its unreasonable head.

At the end of a total of 44 episodes, I found myself dissatisfied with Show’s fast-dropping levels of cute, and I didn’t find myself very charmed anymore, by the OTP trajectory. Now, there’s apparently a Season 3 in the works, which I’m not planning to go anywhere near. Honestly, this would’ve been better off as a stand-alone, short, single season.

Grade: C

The Eternal Love

So cute and cracky at first, with an abundance of OTP Cute, and a whole lotta electrifying skinship to sweeten the deal. Unfortunately, Show tries to do too much with its story and implodes on itself with a very confusing, over-ambitious second half that then “resolves” with an ending that is as ridiculous as it is bemusing. Don’t get sucked in by this one, you guys.

Grade: C

Flash Review: here.

Goblin OST – Beautiful

ACTIVELY AVOID, IF YOUR DRAMA TASTE IS LIKE MINE

KOREA

Saimdang, Light’s Diary

I was mildly curious about this one, it being Lee Young Ae’s big comeback and all. Right away from episode 1, though, I found the story slow and plodding, and everything, rather old-fashioned. I was also frustrated with how servile Lee Young Ae’s character was, as our female lead. It didn’t help that I’m not the least bit interested in art. I bailed right after episode 1.

Hwarang

Show starts off quite promisingly despite its low-rent production values, with an epic bromantic arc and leads who appear interesting. Unfortunately, once Hwarang the institution is actually set up, everything started going downhill, to my eyes. I couldn’t get behind the OTP nor our leading lady, there was no bromance to speak of, and all the Hwarang activities felt random, cheesy, and almost irrelevant to the main story. I got 13 episodes in, before I realized that this was never going to get any better, for me.

Dropped Post: here.

Introverted Boss

Yeon Woo Jin is wonderfully faceted as our socially crippled male lead, while Yoon Park is good as his pleasant-but-really-not frenemy. Park Hye Soo is not nuanced enough of an actress to make the in-yo-face female lead actually likable, and this makes it really hard to root for the OTP. Worse, Show is clearly on the trajectory of curing our male lead’s actual phobia by simplifying his condition and recovery.

I got 4 episodes in before I ran out of goodwill and interest, with this show.

My Sassy Girl

I saw the original movie, and I think I don’t generally enjoy the “sassy girl” premise, because I don’t find the borderline bullying behavior of said sassy girl very charming. Still, I thought I’d give this a whirl because I like Joo Won and Oh Yeon Seo. Turns out I don’t feel much chemistry at all, between them. To be fair, Show’s production values and everything else seemed fine in a serviceable way. I just.. wasn’t feeling this one. I dropped out after just 2 episodes.

School 2017

Show has all the ingredients that ought to appeal to me, but it just never came together for me in a way that felt organic or engaging. I couldn’t bring myself to care about the school politics or the peer pressure arcs, or even the mystery of X, and, I couldn’t bring myself to care about the star-crossed bromance either. The romance wasn’t very appealing to me either, and Kim Jung Hyun ended up being the only reason I managed to finish 11 whole episodes of this one.

Dropped Post: here.

Revolutionary Love

I loved Si Won in She Was Pretty, but this was a huge disappointment. Si Won’s character is written as quite the imbecile, so much so that I didn’t find him appealing at all, as our male lead. To make matters worse, Show’s penchant for casual violence and exaggerated, manic, broad humor didn’t sit well with me. I didn’t hate what I saw, but I realized that if I stuck with this show, that it would most likely, at best, feel like an average watch for me. I dropped out after 2 episodes.

Temperature Of Love

Our OTP shares a warm, cracky chemistry, and Kim Jae Wook is dapper as our second male lead. But, there are quite a few unlikable characters in this drama world, which made the going harder than it needed to be. Also, by Show’s second half, I found our second male lead’s actions impossible to understand. Worse, I came across a spoiler and realized that one of the most awful characters in this drama world would actually get her bad behavior rewarded with a happy ever after with a guy who deserved much better. I bailed in the middle of episode 26 – and have been holding a grudge against Show ever since.

Dropped Post: here.

CHINA

My Mr. Mermaid

I thought I would like this, with Show’s bright and cheery world, and its focus on swimming dreams. I enjoyed it quite well for the first couple of episodes, but the swimming rivalry soon got Way Too Serious for my taste, and our cast’s greenness showed starkly under the demands of the more dramatic scenes. Despite the abundance of shirtless young men in swim gear, I really couldn’t see myself sitting through 36 whole episodes of this, and dropped out after 7 episodes.

Dropped Post: here.

JURY’S STILL OUT

KOREA

Money Flower

I thought revenge melos were so not my thing, but I am loving this, you guys. The pacing is tight, the writing feels assured, and Jang Hyuk is not only brilliant as our justice/revenge-seeking protagonist, but also, So Darn Sexy, so effortlessly, all the time. I literally feel like I’m always on the edge of my seat, even while I swoon at the Jang Hyuk schmexy.

9 episodes in, this feels like a solid A, and I dread running out of new episodes.

Edit: Review is here!

I’m Not A Robot

I find that I mostly don’t jive with Show’s idea of funny, but Yoo Seung Ho and Chae Soo Bin are uber cute together, and I’m happy to keep on watching, to see how the OTP connection deepens.

8 episodes in, this feels like a potential B+.

Edit: Flash Review is here!

CHINA

Tientsin Mystic

I had no idea going in, what to expect with this show, but I had it on good authority that it’s gorgeously shot, interesting, and is a rare glimpse into Chinese mythology. I went into this without English subs, and the Chinese-speaking part of my brain did its best to make sense of the somewhat difficult Mandarin in this show.

On the one hand, this really is beautifully shot, and I find our main trio of characters likable and engaging. On the other hand, I wasn’t quite prepared for Show’s weird bent, which includes cults, zombies, magic savior babies and a whole lotta dead bodies. Eep.

9 episodes in, I’m now taking a break from Show, to reconsider how I feel about it all, and also, to wait for subs – which, incidentally, are coming.

The First Half Of My Life

Melodrama’s not usually my thing, but I am seriously loving this one, you guys. Our story feels thoughtfully written and conceived, and our characters feel like flawed, real people who are doing their best at life. I felt engaged right from the get-go, and as I get deeper into the show, I find myself wanting to watch more than the usual single episode, in one sitting.

Watching this makes me feel like I’m living vicariously through our protagonist Zi Jun as she takes each difficult step after her divorce, to rebuild her life and find a way to provide for her son. Her quiet voiceovers are eloquent and illuminating, and her thoughtful lessons become my thoughtful lessons as well. I especially love Zi Jun’s bestie Tang Jing, who might be the most awesome friend in the world. Plus, I never thought I’d say this, but Jin Dong is very suave and appealing in this.

22 episodes in, this feels like a solid A.

Edit: Flash Review is here!

2017/2018 SHOWS STILL ON MY LIST

My track record shows that I typically don’t do amazingly well in terms of actually watching the stuff that’s in this section, mainly because newer and shinier dramas keep appearing on my radar. But, for what it’s worth, here are the 2017 dramas that I’d like to check out.

KOREA

Seven Day Queen I was going to give this a miss because it sounds like a really sad story, but I can’t ignore the fact that this show has a strong fan-base, and a reputation for being a truly satisfying watch. Plus, I do love Park Min Young and Yeon Woo Jin.

Smart Prison Living I’ve enjoyed every installment of the Answer Me series, so I’m uber curious to see how the same PD will bring a prison environment to life.

Secret Forest Crime/legal dramas aren’t usually my thing, but I’ve heard too many times that this is a brilliant drama, to ignore it completely. I’m very curious to know why this show is topping so many people’s 2017 drama lists.

Rescue Me I don’t like creepy shows, and in particular, I don’t care for shows about cults, but I’ve also heard a lot about how this show is very gripping. I’m duly curious, and will likely at least dip a toe in this one, just to see.

Andante I hear on pretty good authority that this one’s quite a solid watch, plus I’ve always had a soft spot for high school dramas.

Bad Guys: City Of Evil I very much enjoyed Season 1 of Bad Guys, and am curious to see how Season 2 fares, different cast and all. Plus, I do have a soft spot for Ji Soo.

CHINA

Tribes and Empires: Storm of Prophecy On the upside, this is supposed to be gloriously beautiful, and quite gripping. On the downside, I’ve heard it gets super draggy after the 40ish episode mark. But I still wanna see the glorious beauty that everyone’s raved about, so this is pretty high on my list.

Nirvana in Fire 2: The Wind Blows in Chang Lin I uber loved Nirvana in Fire, and consider it an absolute masterpiece. I’m definitely curious to see what the same production team will do with this next installment, which is a bit of an off-shoot, carrying on the story about 2 generations after the original NIF cast.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

Did I do well? I did pretty well, didn’t I?

Given that I found myself in a drama and blogging slump that lasted almost 3 months, I’d say I didn’t do too badly this year.

With last year’s drama resolution firmly in mind, I didn’t spend too much time on meh dramas this year. In fact, I dropped more dramas this year, and that helped multiply my available drama hours. Plus, with the help of generous friends like you guys, I’ve been pointed in the direction of various interesting dramas that I might not have touched otherwise. So, you guys helped make my drama year better than it would’ve been otherwise. Thank you. ❀

Here’s to more happy drama hours, and more shared love in the dramaverse, in 2018! We drama fans gotta take care of one another, after all. πŸ˜‰

Fighting~!

Author: kfangurl

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

158 thoughts on “Year In Review: 2017

  1. Happy New Year, Fangurl! It sounds like an awesome year of blogging and drama-watching! I want to say that I truly appreciate and value your reviews and I continue to use them as a guide for selecting new shows. ……l have even dipped my toes into Chinese dramas, based on your recommendations😁😁!
    May 2018 offer you too many excellent dramas to review!

    P.S. Forest of Secrets is worth the stretch!

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    • Happy new year, dear Mary! ❀ Aw, thanks for your encouragement and kind words! It always helps to keep me going, to know that I've got supportive readers and friends like you! 😘 And, I am thrilled that you're venturing into C-dramas on my recommendation – I feel super important! πŸ˜‰ Also, thanks for the endorsement on Forest of Secrets. It really isn't my usual kind of show, but so many people have been raving about it, that I can't help but be curious.

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  2. Super detailed and interesting! You had an awesome drama year!!!
    I was part of the people who had a meh kdrama year but cdrama and jdramas made up for it so I’m a happy camper!
    See you in 2018!!!

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    • Thanks for enjoying the post, panda!! πŸ˜€ Yeah, I had a surprisingly good drama year, considering my drama slump! Sorry to hear that kdramas didn’t light up your 2017, but good to hear that C- and J-dramas helped! I’ve been enjoying exploring C- and J-dramas too, they are a nice change of pace from kdramas for sure πŸ™‚

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  3. Happy New Year! I can relate to you that I unintentionally went on a drama hiatus in the first half of the year and BTOB just so happens to grab my attention and so my kpop journey started since then. Though I was able to get back on dramaland through school 2017 and yep. Hehe. Anyways, Happy new year again! Hihih hope that the dramagos will be good to us in 2018

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  4. Happy New year! I have a long list of dramas to watch, thanks to this review, I am going to erase a few from my list but I am adding others.

    I am watching the Legend of the blue sea, I am in episode 14, but I am finishing other dramas faster than this one.

    I am also watching Married as a job, very good show and it’s teaching me, I already asked my husband for holidays off, jajaja. He took me to eat breakfast outside today, I am cooking lunch and dinner but still I win something jajja, you recommended this drama.

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    • Happy new year to you too, lonazul! πŸ™‚ I’m glad this post gave you some new drama possibilities! We drama fans gotta help one another out eh? πŸ˜‰ And, glad you’re enjoying We Married As A Job, I loved that one! I giggled at how you’re actually taking lessons from the show and applying it to Real Life! Who says drama-watching is a waste of time? πŸ˜‰ Yay that your hubs is taking you out for breakfast, that sounds lovely. ❀

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  5. Well I’d say you did awesome girl! The only dramas I really loved in 2017 are Circle and Tunnel and of course (as you know) I’m loving Money Flower. But truth I didn’t start many. I finished and appreciated Live up to your name and Secret Forest but didn’t love them as much as others. Much like you I try to follow my mood because otherwise I feel frustrated and unhappy haha. Reading your year end review I remembered I did watch a few episodes of Goblin and I was very much into its cinematography and initially intrigued by the characters but then I got bored. I think I’m one of those who simply doesn’t understand the writer. I never know what’s the point or where her characters are going. I feel like an alien when I watch her dramas lol (I had the same feeling with Secret Garden) but I do get a feeling that it’s a problem I have personally. I just can’t connect with her characters and stories. Also, I think I have the same issue you have with melodramas and dark genres but in my case it’s with romcom. I tend to get bored more easily with romcom and I rarely start them but sometimes when I do get into one. I realize β€œHey, I’m kinda loving this”. It’s just not a genre I’m drawn to. Your reviews however are making him want to add a couple to my list. It’s important to have lighthearted stuff too to rest a little from the β€œintense feels and emotions” lol. I think I’ll have to check out Go back couple (Love Jang Nara anyway) and 20th Century Boy and Girl since I find Kim Ji Suk to be very cute. I’m considering Rebel and The King Loves cause I’ve been craving a good sageuk. Thank you for this super helpful review and I hope you have a great 2018 😘

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    • DF! ❀ ❀ Happy new year!! Thanks for popping on by, yay that you enjoyed this post! πŸ™‚ I haven't seen Circle or Tunnel, but as you know, I am loving Money Flower too πŸ˜‰ THANK YOU, for taking the time to talk me into trying it out! I feel almost allergic to revenge melos coz I haven't yet found one that I truly liked. And yet, here I am, happily chomping my way through Money Flower, even as I swoon at the Jang Hyuk Handsome. 😍😍

      Thanks for the heads-up on Secret Forest. I think I didn't love Live Up To Your Name like many others did as well.. that's how I managed to fall off the bandwagon so easily. Once I got into Money Flower, I was like, “OH, RIGHT. THIS is what it feels like to be sucked into a drama properly!” ..And then I didn’t find myself so eager to go back to Live To Your Name after all! 😝 So.. I might not end up loving Secret Forest like everyone else, come to think of it. But, I’m still gonna give it a fair chance to blow me away. With these things, I never know until I try it for myself. πŸ™‚

      I couldn’t really get into Goblin either.. I appreciated how epic the sageuk backstory was, and I appreciated how lush the cinematography was, but the story and characters never truly grabbed me.

      Yes, I do think some lighthearted stuff is nice to have on your drama plate, and I do think Go Back Couple would be up your alley, especially since you love Jang Na Ra! 20th Century is lovely and light too. And, The King Loves is quite absorbing for its love story. If you’re looking for good sageuk politics, you should probably try something else πŸ˜›

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      • Once I got into Money Flower, I was like, β€œOH, RIGHT. THIS is what it feels like to be sucked into a drama properly!” ..

        I love this feeling!!! It’s not to often we find a cracktastic one! Many dramas are solid, and we can appreciate them right? but that feeling ahhh, the addiction lolol, its awesome

        Welp Secret Forest is actually really good, I just didnt looove it like others did. But I loved Bae Doo Na and its my first time seeing her. Her character was to me, the “heart” of the show and I found myself fangirling her a little. I really have nothing bad to say about the drama and I guess that’s a good thing.

        Speaking of sageuk politics, I started watching Rebel, the thief who stole the people, and I ranted and ranted for the first 7 eps cause despite it looking fun and not being awful I was bored, It felt too predictable, etc I was about to drop it but then suddenly Lee Honey’s character and portrayal grabbed me, then came Kim Ji Suk and he is damn mesmerizing too, and Im like, really? my Wangson can be this intense and tormented, and sexy and delicious? Long story short after episode 7, and due to these two, I started frantically marathoning and appreciating the rest of the drama too and now it’s safe to say I kinda love it lol! ,including the male lead, whose only flaw is, he cries too much and is kind of an ass to the female lead in the way Daegil was to Seolwah in Chuno, but he is not Daegil, so he comes off just annoying imo. But he does have sexy sexy chemistry with Lee Honey who unfortunately is not the lead 😦 It’s funny because its precisely when the story started focusing on the palace politics and the King that it grabbed my attention :p But anyway I won’t spoil more! in case you ever go back to it.

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        • Yes, you’re so right – there are many good, solid dramas, but not many that will suck you in and make you giddy with happiness. Money Flower is so much more cracky than I would’ve ever imagined, I can’t thank you enough for pointing me to it, DF! ❀

          Bae Doo Na is great, I've had a soft spot for her ever since 2007's How To Meet a Perfect Neighbor. I wouldn't rewatch it now, because Park Si Hoo stars in it and I can't look at him the same anymore, but she was likable in it. I'm looking forward to seeing her again in Forest of Secrets! πŸ™‚

          That's so great, that you're enjoying Rebel! I'm pretty sure if I went back to it, that I'd end up liking it quite well. Plus, I've heard such good things about Honey Lee's portrayal in it. Plus, you know I've got a soft spot for Kim Ji Suk πŸ˜‰ Ahh.. perhaps I really ought to go back to it, and steel myself through Kim Sang Joong's character's inevitable death.. πŸ˜πŸ˜…

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  6. I think you missed out on a couple of good ones apart from the ones you mentioned (my rating in brackets)

    Korea –>
    Secret Forest . (A++)
    Avengers Social Club (A)
    Black (B)
    Duel (A)
    Circle (B+)
    Falsify (B+)
    Lookout (B)
    Man to Man (B)
    Chicago Typewriter (B)
    Mystery Queen (B+)
    Tunnel (A)
    Voice (A)
    Chief Kim (B+)

    China (for the ones you find subtitles for)
    Cambrian Period (A)
    King’s woman (A)
    Princess Agents (B+)
    Because of meeting you (B+)
    Across the ocean to see you (B-)
    Surgeons (A)
    To be a better man (A)
    Memory lost (B+)
    Qin Medical examiner (A)

    Taiwan –>
    Perfect Match (B-)
    Behind your smile (B-)
    King of Romance (B-)

    Japan had some very good ones as well but I am too lazy at the moment to look all the titles up again, unfortunately only a scattering of JDRAMA gets subtitles (not to mention official licences on international streaming sites)

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  7. I wasssss soo stunned 😲😲😲 to see that you include a love so beautiful in this list!!! Because when I finished it, I checked your page to see if you have reviewed it and manage to suit your style (we slightlllllyyyy have similar taste in genres and stuffs haha). And to my regret, its not available 😭😭😭 BUT BUT BUT. You manage to watched and like this oneeee! I will surely lurk your site everyday to check your update on this one! HAPPY NEW YEAR! πŸŽ‰πŸŽŠ

    P.S. I cannot believe that I manage to love with this one since its my first time to watch a Chinese drama. (Avid k-drama here!)

    – silentreader since 2016 πŸ˜„

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    • Lol, you made me giggle with your excitement, Silent! I’m so pleased that you enjoyed A Love So Beautiful, that was a show that gave me such warm fuzzy feelings. ❀ I actually finished it right before writing the Year-in-review post, so that's why I couldn't possibly have written a review any earlier. But, I'm hoping to post one for it soonish, I hope you'll enjoy it! πŸ™‚

      Also – if you're up for more Chinese drama, might I recommend you try Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms?? It's very different from A Love So Beautiful, so you won't feel like comparing. And, it's very cracky all on its own. I'm pretty confident you'll like it πŸ™‚

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      • Hi kfangurl! I didn’t expect to love another chinese drama! Its Love O2O! Do you have some drama recommendations that is similar to A love so beautiful and Love O2O? I think I am still not open to venture to any dynasty dramas yet. haha! Its just that I think I’m having a korean drought right now that no kdrama has entice me, so might as well dig in to other asian dramas! hope to receive your recommendations!

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        • Ooh! I’m glad you enjoyed Love O2O, I rather liked that one too! I know you said you’re into dynasty dramas.. but would you consider Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms? It’s kinda-sorta like the “in-game” portions of Love O2O, in that there’s fighting and fantasy. Mostly it’s an epic love story, and I loved it. I didn’t think I would love it that much, but it really grabbed me by the early teen episodes, and I was completely hooked.

          If you’re not ready for that and want something modern, you might want to try Taiwanese dramas Bromance &/or Just You. Both are cute, fluffy and feature endearing characters. But there is that OTT Taiwanese flavor to both. If you’re able to roll with it, both are fun watches. I hope that helps! πŸ™‚

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  8. What a great list.
    I’m fairly new to kdrama as I have mostly started watching this year, mostly due to a book slump.
    I’ve barely dipped into C dramas and not at all into J or T dramas, though curious about them.

    I get the mood thing. I started Jealousy Incarnate and Oh Hae Young in the summer but then paused and didn’t come back to them until very recently. I really enjoyed the quiet introvert hero in Hae Young, a bit different from other heroes and his joy in the extroverted heroine.

    Speaking of mood, Goblin is answering mine for this winter. The visuals and soundtrack and pacing feel very lush and textured, if that makes sense? Lol. Plus, I find I can’t take my eyes off of Gong Yoo. I keep seeing buzz for Between Two Lovers as being another great winter type watch and want to try soon.

    Very interested in Money Flower….but that one I feel like I need to be in the right mood for.
    Because This Life is My First is the first one I basically watched as released…with subs.

    Part way through Father is Strange, but already would like to see Lee Joon as another romantic lead, love the glasses, though doesn’t look like he does much of that.

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    • Welcome to the wonderful world of dramas, bev!! πŸ˜€ And yay that you learned the mood thing early – when I first got into dramas years ago, I somehow felt like I had to complete every drama I started, even if I hated said drama. That made drama watching a lot less fun.. I don’t know what I was thinking! πŸ˜‚

      Yes, I really enjoyed On Hae Young, and its quiet, introspective hero along with. πŸ™‚ Jealousy Incarnate was just ok for me, but lots of folks loved it. I know Goblin got a lot of mixed reactions. Some people loved it, and some hated it. So if it’s working for you, yay!

      I loved Father Is Strange, and I feel exactly the same – I want Lee Joon to do more romantic leading man roles. He’s very good! Also, fun tidbit – it just got confirmed that he and Jung So Min are dating. That ought to make their loveline in the show that much more squeeworthy, since they admitted that they met on-set. ❀

      I am loving Money Flower and find that it sucked me in immediately. You could try the first episode and see how you feel. If you find you're not in the mood for it, you can always shelve it for another time. I'm just trying to pace myself so that I don't run out of new episodes too soon. πŸ˜…

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      • I will definitely check out Money Flower. Fated to Love was my first kdrama and so have a big soft spot for Jang Hyuk and Jang Na-ra.

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        • Oh, FTLY was your first kdrama? That’s not a bad entry drama, I remember liking that quite well! πŸ™‚ Yay that you’ll be checking out Money Flower! Jang Hyuk is so brilliant in it that I just want EVERYBODY to see how good he is, in it! 😍😍😍 And if you enjoy Jang Na Ra, I thought she was pretty awesome in Go Back Spouses. I liked that one a lot, and it’s already done showing, so if you’re in the mood to marathon, you can. πŸ˜‰

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  9. Yayyyy! I love all your reviews as per usual even though I haven’t been able to keep up as much. But your insights and opinions are always right up my alley. Here’s to an awesome 2018 with better dramas, great reviews and more schexcy male leads.

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    • Great to see ya, Shountz! ❀ Glad that you enjoyed the post even though you haven't been able to watch as much drama. Here's wishing you more drama hours, more drama fun, and more drama squee, in 2018! πŸ˜‰πŸ˜˜

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  10. Happy New Year! May the Drama Gods look favorably upon us on 2018.^^

    A lovely, detailed (even if in a sorter format) look on what you’ve sampled this year. I always enjoy reading your views, even when I see things differently. πŸ™‚

    I had to laugh out loud on how our thoughts were more or less opposite on The Package and Because This Life is Our First. πŸ˜€ I throughly enjoyed the first and you more or less hated it. The other one if felt was… well, not totally ‘meh’, but pretty much forgettable despite of being well made.

    Melodrama is so not my thing these days but I’m quite tempted to take a peek at Money Flower. I’m just afraid it’ll turn out to be too pickled in makjang. I also might give a go at The First Half Of My Life, as it actually sounds quite interesting.

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    • Happy new year, dear Timescout!! πŸ˜€ Thanks for enjoying this year-in-review post! And yes, it’s so funny how we had opposite reactions to The Package and This Life is Our First! I didn’t hate The Package, but I did have my moments when I was really annoyed with the show, &/or the characters. And I realize that I never really warmed to the main couple, so that didn’t help. Still, the music was pretty, and so was France! πŸ˜‰

      I highly recommend both Money Flower and The First Half of My Life! I am loving both, even though they are different types of melos. Money Flower has that heightened reality feel about it, and I like that Jang Hyuk’s character is so shrewd and in control. The First Half Of My Life feels much more like real life, but with a polish and poetry about it that makes it feel.. eloquent. I met 2 besties for lunch last week and told them about The First Half Of My Life, and even though they don’t always jive with my drama tastes, they both love it. One is done with her watch (she marathoned like the wind!) while the other is happily immersed. It feels very different from the other melos I’ve seen, I do think it will appeal to you. Do give it a try! πŸ˜€

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      • My drama roster is uncommonly empty atm, I only have 2 currenly airing on it (loving Just Between Lovers btw), so I’ll give these a go and see what I’ll make of them. It’s really hard to come across molodramas that won’t make me want to throw things at the tv. πŸ˜…

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        • Yay that you’ll give them a whirl at least! πŸ˜€ I have a feeling that at least The First Half Of My Life will work for you. My 2 besties described it as quite gripping, despite it having a somewhat moderate pace. The acting is very solid, and the writing is good too. I so hope you’ll enjoy it too! πŸ˜€

          By the way, I’ve just added Just Between Lovers to my list. πŸ˜‰ Seems like I’m in quite the melo mood these days! πŸ˜†

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          • JBL doesn’t feel like a melo, probably why I like it. I also love the OTP, which doesn’t happen very often. 😊

            Oh btw, Forest of Secret was myvfave drama last year. It’s just so well put together and intelligent to boot. Some found it boring, mostly because it’s not thrill a minute action thingy and there is no romance. Both of which are just a big plus in my book. 😁

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            • Ah, interesting, and good to know! JBL was gonna fly beneath my radar, but suddenly, quite a few folks have been asking me to check it out. And now that you’re endorsing it too, I am bumping it way up the ol’ watch list!

              Good stuff to know about Forest of Secrets.. I’m long past the stage where I want romance in everything (even though I am still game for a good romance just about any day, heh), so I’m not fussed about there not being a romance in Forest. It sounds like a very cohesive, well-made drama, and I’m looking forward to checking it out! πŸ™‚

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              • JBL didn’t interest me initially but I’ve liked Junho in everything I’ve seen him in and and thus decided to check it out. Was quite surprised at how much I’m liking it. So far anyway.

                Ah-hem… I’ve got a fiew posts… on FoS. πŸ˜›

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                • Lol. I just realized that I haven’t seen Junho in.. anything? He’s listed as making a guest appearance in Uncontrollably Fond, but I bailed on that one halfway, so I don’t even know if I got to his cameo, ha. πŸ˜† I guess JBL will be my introduction to him!

                  Great that you’ve got FoS posts – I will definitely hunt them down when the time is right! πŸ˜€ Thanks for the tip πŸ˜‰

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        • Oh, me, too!! I am so immersed in Just Between Lovers, and I avoid melos completely! I think once you break with a preconception ex. no cdramas, no police procedurals, etc., it becomes easier to cross lines.

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          • This is true – which means I ought to be more open to medical shows, lol. But, I started with breaking my own “no revenge melo” rule, and am loving Money Flower as a result, so that’s working out well! πŸ˜€

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          • Oh yes, getting out of your comfort zone does pay at times, it’s just that korean melos have a habit of going overly makjang and I have a very bad ‘makjang allergy’. πŸ˜€ So far JBL has been lovely, though I could do without the side of chaebol shenanigans. *g*

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  11. I am fairly new to K dramas having started this year due to a book slump. I barely have touched on Chinese dramas and not at all with Japanese or Taiwanese dramas. I have been browsing on DF trying to decide what to sample.
    Because this life is my first is a first drama that I watched as it became available. I loved it but agree on the ending. Weightlifting Fairy and Fight My Way were a joy.
    The mom storyline in Go Back Spouse crushed my heart, but is exactly what many of us would do if given the chance with lost ones.

    I also understand having to be in the right mood. I started both Jealousy Incarnate and Another Oh Hae Young in the summer but then paused and didn’t come back to them until very recently. I really enjoyed the quiet introvert hero in Hae Young. He was different than other heroes I have gotten to know.
    I have been interested in Money Flower, but been holding off because not sure it fits my mood.
    What has is Goblin, lol. The visuals and soundtrack and pacing feel very lush and textured, like a cozy blanket. Though maybe more melancholy than cozy. Plus, Gong Yoo. Can’t take my eyes off of him.
    I keep hearing buzz about Between Two Lovers being a great winter show and so may dive into that next.
    Only part way through Father is Stange , already want to see Lee Joon and his glasses as a romantic lead again, though doesn’t look like he does many of those.

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  12. Happy New Year dear Fan Girl! Wishing you the best 2018 full of joy and happiness. So glad you are actively posting again and I hope you enjoyed your sabbatical. Your year-end posts are a joy to read.

    2017 – Goblin was my favorite drama of the year as well as my favorite KDrama of all time – it just worked for me. Like Vivian I also liked CDrama Qin Medical Examiner – a lot gory in spots but well written – looking forward to Season 2 – the 3 leads have great chemistry. I also found Mystery Queen to be quite the ‘good little drama’ and I am anxiously awaiting Season 2. I do love a who-dun-nit. So it goes without saying that I also loved Stranger (Secret Forest). Both Bae Doo Na and Cho Seung Woo did an excellent job in their roles. Only one I truly regretted watching – Someone You May Know – that ending – yikes!

    I ended up doing a lot of re-watches this year. Goblin, NIF for the 5th time (will I ever get tired of this? answer – no, never), Queen In-hyun’s Man (how could this be better the 2nd time?), My Love from another Star and my favorite movie Runway Cop (I laugh hard – every time) filled in those stretches when nothing seemed to catch my attention.

    2018 – I am really looking forward to NIF 2 – just got through 12 episodes and it is starting to hum. So Fan Girl, do I watch as new episodes are released or wait and binge? What to do? For someone who loved NIF as much as I do (Big thanks to you for turning me onto this) this is a big decision LOL! And – Money Flower – it is so good that I have actually went back and watched all available episodes as it is that darn good. I only do this on really good dramas. In the process I picked up a lot of missed info that I can refer back to as we move forward. It is fabulous and Jang Hyuk is just brilliant in this. Hoping and praying that the writers do not let us down.

    As always – Love the site and love the reviews!

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    • Hey there phl! Great to see ya! Happy new year! πŸ˜€ I’m so pleased that you enjoyed this post!

      Sounds like you had a pretty good drama year too! I’ve added Qin Medical Examiner to my list, even though I am generally wary of anything that even hints at being a medical drama. But, with 2 endorsements so close to each other, I can’t not pay attention πŸ˜‰ I’ve heard positive reactions to Mystery Queen, so my interest is cautiously piqued. I also don’t generally seem to like kdrama takes on mystery-solving in general – not that I’ve tried all that many. Secret Forest is definitely on my list; it seems that everyone loves it, and your loving it just makes its case that much stronger πŸ˜‰

      I feel all kinds of proud, to be the one to turn you onto NIF, since you love it so much! 5 times and counting! πŸ˜€ I know people who’ve watched it something like 9 times, so you are not alone in the extreme NIF love 😁 I would watch it more myself too, if I wasn’t so distracted by other dramas that I’m curious about. As for NIF2, my suggestion – if it works for you – is to give it a break so that you can save up more episodes to watch. After all, if it’s starting to hum, you’ll find it harder to wait for new episodes and subs to be available? On the OTHER hand.. maybe you could do what you did with Money Flower, and just rewatch episodes while waiting.. I know rewatching the first few eps of NIF clued me in to a lot more details that I missed the first time around!

      PS: YAY that you are loving Money Flower! Jang Hyuk IS so brilliant in it. I can’t look away. 😍😍😍

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      • I know you do not like gory dramas and Qin Medical Examiner is right up there with CSI. You may not make it past the first 15 minutes of episode 1 LOL. Mystery Queen is a cute little drama made better with the great casting job.

        I am going to take your suggestion to re-watch NIF 2 as I go along to catch up. It’s working for Money Flower!

        Jang Hyuk – what can we say – he is really rocking this drama. I can’t look away either – he just draws you in with those eyes. I loved him in every drama he has ever been in. He just gets better and better. On my top 3 Best Actor List. The other actors in this as also doing well – Lee Mi Sook is so darn good in this – she is so cold – frostbite alert. She is putting the D in Dysfunctional – right up there with the rest of that crazy gang. I am also liking Park Se Young’s character development. Keeping my finger crossed on this one!

        So good to have a place to feel free to express our loves, likes and dislikes on the Drama World. I read all the posts and enjoy all the different viewpoints. Thanks!

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        • OHH. Thanks for the heads-up on gory, phl!! Yes, I generally am not a fan of gore. But.. I guess I still ought to at least give Qin Medical Examiner a try, since it comes highly recommended!

          YES, OMG Jang Hyuk is so magnificent in Money Flower. And Lee Mi Sook is excellent too. She’s very compelling, even in her character’s extreme dysfunction. I’m still only 9 eps in, so I still find Park Se Young’s character on the bland side. But I expect things will change as I progress a little further into the show. Crossing my fingers with you, that this one will stay awesome till the end!!

          It makes me happy that you’re enjoying this little corner of the interwebs.. YES, we all should feel free to express our likes and dislikes, and still be able to be friends and not want to kill one another, heh. I’m super pleased that this blog enjoys such a lovely, supportive community where it’s perfectly ok to agree to disagree. ❀ Thanks for being here! 😘

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          • I’ll third Dr Quin! πŸ™‚ It was one of my fave 2016 dramas and I watched it raw the first time around, ha. I don’t think it’s actually all that gruesome, I’ve seen worse in terms of gratuitous violence in kdramas. Drama is very good as a whole, though I did have a fiew quibbles with the ending. Nothing major though.

            The bickering Trio of Awesome is the true hart of the show, they had such great chemistry and were rather fun to boot. Loved all three.

            There is a 2nd season in the works but unfortunately not with the same cast. I guess Zhang Ruoyun, Jiao Junyan and Li Xian are now too big names to be cast in a little web drama.

            I’ve also read the book Dr Qin is based on, which was kinda helpful before the subs materialiseed, even if the drama does not fully follow the book’s storyline. E.g Da Bao (Junyan’s char) was a male in the book.

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            • Wow, that’s a big commitment, reading the book! You never fail to surprise me, Timescout! πŸ˜€ Sounds like Dr. Qin really is worth checking out, so it’s duly been bumped up the list πŸ˜‰

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              • Heh, I like crime stories, even in book format. So when I found out that the English translation of the novel was available @ one of the local net bookshops, I promptly bought it. πŸ™‚ It was pretty good.

                Here’s a fun, fanmade (nonspoilery) MV for our grumpypants medical examiner with his many faces and the iconic ‘princess stand’ for you. πŸ˜€ I wish I could understand the lyrics and text in the vid as I’m pretty sure they are relevant. There are couple of clips of ZRY’s earlier dramas in the MV as well. I think I know where most of them are from too, LOL!

                Hope this posts or you’ll have to dig it out from the spam folder again. *g*

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                • OMGGGG It’s the guy from Novoland!!! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ I’m sorry, that just tickles me to no end, I remember his startling blue contacts and womanly robes all too well!! πŸ˜†πŸ˜† What a surprise, I had no idea that the lead in Dr. Qin would be a familiar face, lol.

                  Thanks for the MV, it’s so funny! The lyrics are funny too, along the lines of “Don’t keep coming here everyday to insult my beauty; if I’m not your style, why do you keep pestering me everyday. Don’t keep coming here everyday to insult my beauty; but if you really do like me, why don’t you declare it loudly?” Bwahaha! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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                  • Yup, the Wingkind Empy himself. πŸ˜€ ZRY really has done rather varying roles and been consistently good in all of them. He was still pretty green in his 1st big outing in Black Fox and yet he did very well. I like the boy.^^ He’s got couple of dramas (that I know of) coming out sometime in the future, one is an epic historical and the other is a modern (romantic?) one. I’ll probably check out both of them.

                    I just knew the lyrics were funny. The whole thing has such a fun, cheeky feel to it. πŸ˜›

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                  • By the way, did you notice there’s another familiar face in the drama as well? Think Tientsin Mystic. *g*

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                    • I have to admit, I just couldn’t figure it out!!! The other faces go by too quickly and I had no idea who I was looking for. So I looked it up and figured out it was the guy who plays Guo De You in Tientsin Mystic! OMG I watched out for him in the vid, but could barely recognize him, he looks so different without his Tientsin Mystic hair! (I do love that hair, it looks great on him 😍) Heh, this was a fun game! πŸ˜€

                      The lyrics are hilarious and cheeky – especially when they keep showing him preening with his hands on his hips every time the refrain goes, “Don’t come here everyday to insult my beauty” πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ I think I do have to watch Dr. Qin, and soon, this is too funny!

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                    • Yes, that’s actor Li Xian aka the Young River God from Tientsin. *g* He does look quite different in Dr Qin.

                      Qin could be such a primadonna at times and the other two loved to take him down a peg or two every now and then, but in a friendly way, mind. πŸ˜€ That scene with the roses is laugh-out-loud funny btw. The first half of the show was quite humorous at times but the second half, which is mostly dedicated to Qin’s past and how it affects the present, is more serious and sombre.

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                    • He does look different! He was super hard to spot in the MV, but then I got a closer look at him in a scene, and that’s when it became obvious that it was him. πŸ™‚ Your persuasiveness knows no limits – despite the gore warning, and despite my aversion to anything with the word “medical” in it, I am now downloading Dr. Qin as I type this. You definitely are very influential, Timescout! πŸ˜‰ I’m hoping I’ll enjoy this one as much as you did! πŸ˜„

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                    • And now I’m worried. Just look at how it went with The Package! Well, here’s to hoping you don’t detest it at first glance. πŸ˜€

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                    • Hahaha!! That’s true! But I still have faith in you! I’m pretty sure I won’t hate it at first glance! πŸ˜‹

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  13. Thanks for that Fangirl. It’s nice to see that you have broadened your horizons beyond Korea.
    Here are the top Asian dramas i watched in 2017.
    10
    Falling for Soon Jung.
    Heartless City.
    Signal
    The Gentlemen of Wolgyesu Tailor Shop (my number one)

    9
    Ishi no mayu (j)
    man to man
    stranger
    woman of dignity

    I went back through my posts from here to see what Asian dramas I watched this year. It seems there
    are only a few I haven’t mentioned here, ie in this comment. Gee I only saw one japanese drama, and none from China, or elsewhere. I’ll have to try and make up for that in 2018. Although I have seen the first two episodes of Akira to Akira from Japan,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing your list, martin!! I find that I am enjoying Chinese dramas more than I ever expected to, so I do hope that you’ll find some to love in 2018! Here’s wishing you lots more wonderful dramas in the new year! πŸ™‚

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  14. A fabulous and insightful summary re 2017. Well done. Weightlifting Fairy – what more can be said. As for Money Flower – I think it’s exceptional. The actors are showing another side to what they have portrayed in other shows. With respect to Secret Forest, yes, you do need to have a look. There is some very fine storytelling and acting going on here. In terms of Lights Diary – I thoroughly enjoyed it. I thought it was superb. But, then I enjoy the arts. I also enjoyed the way the show weaved backwards and forwards re the various events and mysteries. Roll on 2018 along with your great reviews…

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    • Thanks for enjoying this post, sean! Glad that you loved Weightlifting Fairy too – it really is such an awesomely sweet show. ❀ And YAY that you are enjoying Money Flower! I rarely touch revenge melodramas, but as you said, this one is exceptional. And the actors are indeed hitting it out of the ballpark. Jang Hyuk is so brilliant in his restraint, sometimes I am simply in awe.

      Yes, it does look like I need to check out Secret Forest, it seems that everyone is endorsing it, and without reserve! Sounds like a rare gem indeed. And, that's great that you loved Lights Diary. I wasn't able to appreciate it, but it's great that you're able to show the drama some love, on behalf of those of us who weren't able to appreciate it. πŸ™‚ Here's wishing you a lovely 2018, with more excellent dramas to enjoy! πŸ™‚

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  15. I have tried watching SO MANY shows, seriously this year I found myself watching a few episodes, sometimes ever enjoying it but ultimately I would just drop it at episode 6. The only show I managed to complete this year was Rescue Me and I loved it so much. I plan on watching Chicago Typewriter, Black, Secret Forest and maybe Go Back Spouses. Wish me luck and a happy new year!! ^^

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    • Aw, sometimes we go through spells like those, where none of the dramas is doing it for us. Looks like 2017 was that season for you. But, glad that you loved Rescue Me, and that you’ve got a bunch of other dramas planned for your viewing pleasure! Happy drama watching, and happy new year! πŸ™‚

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  16. That’s an impressive list of dramas you watched. Of your list, I only completed Bong-soon, Suspicious Partner, Fight My Way and Legend of the Blue Sea. Ah, I also watched Jealousy Incarnate, but that’s not on your list. I dropped Goblin 4 episodes in cuz it was so boring and self-indulgent. I watched maybe 30 mins of Three Lives Three Worlds: Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms, cringed and bailed.

    You’re pretty generous with the k-version of The Liar and his Lover, I’d have filed it under Actively Avoid cuz it was pretty bad. Leads had zero chemistry and charisma, acting was meh, characterisation was poor, songs were k-poppy (the original Japanese group was a rock band), and there was a lot of unnecessary angst. Lee Hyun-woo can’t pull off the moody genius composer role and is such a downgrade from Sato Takeru.

    Hope 2018 will be a good drama year for you!

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    • Hi there, junny! Happy new year to ya!! πŸ˜€ Aw, that’s too bad that Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms didn’t work for you.. It took me a while to get super engaged, but I am a sucker for romance, and this one is ALL about the romance, after all. πŸ˜‰ I didn’t manage to get into Goblin either, so it’s nice to know that I’m not alone! I guess it’s one of those shows that you either love or don’t. So far, my attempts to love it haven’t been very successful. πŸ˜›

      As for Jealousy Incarnate, I did watch it actually.. but I included it in 2016’s post coz it finished airing before 2017 rolled around. That’s one where I didn’t love it as much as the average drama fan. πŸ˜› Oh, I had no idea that The Liar and His Lover was a remake! I guess that helped me temper my expectations, since in my mind, it didn’t have anything prior to live up to. I didn’t love it as much as some fans to, but I thought it was alright for what it was – without the context of the source material. I can see how a rock band would feel watered down, compared to the kpop that got served up. πŸ˜›

      Here’s hoping that 2018 will be a better year for us all – in life, and in dramas! πŸ˜‰ ❀

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      • See, I knew something was off about Jealousy Incarnate after I wrote it in, so it was a 2016 drama after all! Just goes to show how done with k-dramas I am.

        I like my romances, but couldn’t take Peach Blossoms and the leads seriously. I never want to see Mark Chao’s bland face on my screen ever. Xianxia as a genre is a bit of a joke to me, but I guess China had to try something new in between crap remakes of Jin Yong’s novels.

        I recommend Kanojo wa uso wo aishisugiteru if you haven’t seen it. Sato Takeru was excellent as Aki.

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        • Lol. I guess it does show that your heart’s moved on to other things – at least for now! πŸ˜‰ I didn’t get into Peach Blossoms properly until the early teen episodes, when the other character that Mark Chao plays showed up. I realize that Mark Chao appears bland in the earlier episodes because of how even-tempered his character Mo Yuan is. He’s much more interesting as Ye Hua, I felt. Still, if it didn’t work for you, no point forcing it. We all have different drama tastes and preferences, after all! πŸ™‚

          Thanks for the rec on Kanojo wa uso wo aishisugiteru – I haven’t seen it, and am now adding it to my J-list! πŸ™‚

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  17. i’m so happy to find your site because i think we have similar tastes in dramas, although i watch mostly chinese ones. i also loved 3L3W to bits (mostly mark chao hahaha) and went into serious withdrawal afterward.

    the eternal love was sooo good for the 1st half, but then completely fell apart. xing zhao lin though πŸ™‚

    i recently finished fox’s summer and totally agree with you. i marathoned through 1st season in 2 days (jiang chao is now my latest obsession). attempted to marathon through season 2 but ended up just fast forwarding most of it to get to the end. not sure why they need season 3, but i will probably watch it for jiang chao lol

    i need something cracktastic to watch next. will definitely put a love so beautiful on my watchlist now.

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    • Hi there, owlsatar! I’m glad you found me! I’ve only just started to explore Chinese dramas for the last couple of years, so I’m sure you’ve got a lot more C-drama experience than I do!

      It does seem like our drama tastes are rather similar, since we felt similarly on the C-dramas that I did watch! So, yes, do check out A Love So Beautiful! It’s one of those simple, cute and endearing shows that get under your skin, in spite of its simplicity. I’m starting to work on a review for it, and I still feel so fondly for the characters. ❀ I hope you end up enjoying it like I did! πŸ™‚

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  18. I feel like I’ve watched dramas till my eyes bled this year but I’ve still only watched maybe 1/4 of this list. Of the ones I did watch, I mostly agreed, especially in regards to Do Bong Soon. Show frequently teetered on the edge of brilliant and then detoured to a monastery or made some borderline-offensive gay shock joke. That OTP though! So great.

    I thought that Legend of the Blue was paint-by-numbers until Jo Jung Suk stole the entire drama with his cameo. That was amazing!

    The one drama I find I disagree with you on is I’m Not a Robot. Admittedly this is still ongoing. But so far I think it’s the genius Do Bong Soon missed. Its OTP, its treatment of gender and its use of metaphorical imagery are all amazing. So far the writers seem more restrained than Do Bong Soon and so they’re keeping the course in terms of the overall themes. It’s the one show at the moment that I’m truly loving.

    Re Goblin: My (minority) viewpoint is that it was beautiful but excruciatingly boring and the OTP was completely gross. Borderline paedophilia. I loathed it. It was a lesson to me that big ratings in Korea usually mean I won’t enjoy it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Forgot to mention: Stranger (Forest of Secrets) . It really was the best drama of 2017. Not just for its plotting, acting and characterisation but also for its coherence. It really was excellent.

      Re Jealousy Incarnate: this one was truly fantastic but suffered from an extension and didn’t end well. Overall though I have to say it was up there as one of the best dramas. Jo Jung Suk has really come down with Two Cops.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Also forgot to mention – Circle! How could I forget Circle? Maybe because it was much earlier in the year and I forgot it was 2017.

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    • Lol, oh dear, it seems that my eyes have a higher bleeding threshold than yours, Dame Holly! πŸ˜‚ I mean, considering that I even took a break from watching dramas, and STILL managed this list! πŸ˜±πŸ˜›

      About big ratings in Korea – I think I might be more or less on board with you, on this. I didn’t love Descendants of the Sun either, and it was huge in Korea – and pretty much the rest of the drama-watching world. But, it just never grabbed me. πŸ˜› Goblin didn’t grab me either, and part of it is because I had trouble rooting for the OTP. I wasn’t grossed out per se, but I did struggle to reconcile the pairing in my head, and I wasn’t very successful.

      I do agree that I’m Not A Robot is more restrained than SWDBS.. but then again, the humor in SWDBS was so low-brow that it doesn’t take a lot to be more restrained in comparison, does it? πŸ˜† I’ll keep your insights in mind as I progress on to more episodes. I’m only 8 episodes in (which only makes that 4 hours of story), so it’s early days yet, for me. Hopefully I’ll clue in and see the same brilliance that you see! πŸ™‚

      I have seen Jealousy Incarnate (it’s in my 2016 post, since it ended before 2017 rolled around), and although I didn’t love it as much as everyone else did, I must agree that Jo Jung Suk is great in it.

      Thanks for the endorsements on Secret Forest and Circle – those two dramas have been rated highly by just about everyone! I really do need to check ’em out! πŸ™‚

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      • I have a lot of thoughts on I Am Not A Robot. I’ve practically written three essays about it already on various other sites. But the show pretty well had me right at the beginning when she destroyed his ‘House of Cards’ to ‘Let The Sunlight In’. That’s pretty well the drama right there. His world is that house of cards and her place in his life will destroy it. But eventually he’ll realise he can see sunlight again.

        The show is full of those amazing visual metaphors and analogies. Also it’s super feminist and I’m a little burned by some of the gender issues in Asian dramas.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ah! I see what you mean, Dame Holly! Yes, that house of cards thing is an excellent visual metaphor indeed. πŸ˜€ I will dutifully adjust my lens when I dive into the next episode πŸ™‚

          Speaking of gender issues, I do agree that the portrayal of women in Asian dramas can be problematic. Which leads me to say.. would you care to try Chinese drama The First Half Of My Life? I am loving it, and it puts a lot of emphasis on putting the spotlight on being an independent modern woman. Plus, it’s written with realism, yet also with poetry and restraint. The female lead walks a difficult journey of divorce to independence, and in the process we see her find herself all over again, with the help of one of the best girlfriends a girl could ask for. ❀ Are you at least a little bit tempted yet? *hopeful*

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  19. Finally I found someone who has same taste in dramas as me!
    Since how many years are you watching dramas? I started on early 2016.

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    • Hi there dramajunkie! Glad to know that we share similar tastes in dramas! πŸ™‚ I started watching dramas in 2007, so it’s been about.. (eep!) 11 years now! πŸ˜…

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  20. Hello. It’s always nice to reflect and learn about what other drama fans feel about the past dramas watched. As always, I am impressed by how well you write your thoughts and share it with us.

    2017 was a busy year for me so I missed a lot of dramas that I wanted to watch, and like you, my dropping rate was a lot higher than the previous years, since my free time is very limited. Like you, I also dropped Temperature of Love, Goblin, Saimdang, and Introverted Boss for the same reasons. I also dropped The King Loves since I wasn’t in the mood to watch a sageuk but maybe I might return to it soon.

    I totally agree, Weightlifting Fairy and Because This is My First Life are also some of my favorite dramas of 2017. I also have the same thoughts about those two dramas. Too bad the ending of Because This is My First Life was a bit out of place for me, but the rest of the plot was excellent. My other personal favorites are While You Were Sleeping, Defendant (although I agree, it was very painful to watch), Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim, and Hospital Ship.

    Hope to see more reviews in the future, and hope for a great year for dramaland in 2018. Happy watching.

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    • Happy new year, Miguel! I’m glad you enjoyed this post! πŸ˜€ Looks like we felt very similarly about the shows that we did watch – which makes me wonder whether I ought to check out the ones you watched, that I didn’t. I gave While You Were Sleeping a pass coz I’d heard it was just alright, compared the writer’s previous works. And I gave Romantic Doctor and Hospital Ship passes as well, because I generally haven’t done well with medical themed shows.

      Yes, more reviews will be coming this year, thanks for enjoying them! πŸ™‚ Wishing you a great 2018, and more great dramas! πŸ˜‰

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  21. Hello πŸ‘‹ I love your reviews a lot and they have helped me a lot. I have Secret Forest and Seven Day Queen and Father is strange (Weightlifting Fairy is a 2016 drama to me πŸ˜…) as my favourites this year. Seven Day Queen, I avoided it at first because I thought it was sad and it is but it was full of warmth as well and the love story is so beautiful. I felt meh about Goblin, I finished it but thought it had too much PPL and repeated itself a lot and was too cutesy at points for a drama about life and death. I preferred the sad moments best. I liked BTIOFL especially the character So-Ji but I thought the writer was trying to tackle too many issues and the ending was not great. The romance in StrongWoman Do Bong Soon was the only good thing in that drama. I would recommend though from this year, the drama special Indivualist Ms Ji-young, it is like a shorter, more polished version of Flower Boy Next Door and I loved it.

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    • Hi there Kabsy! Thanks for enjoying the reviews – it always encourages me that others find the reviews useful! πŸ™‚

      I was going to avoid Seven Day Queen, but so many people have said that it’s a lovely and satisfying watch, that I feel like I can’t miss it πŸ˜‰ I’ve got Individualist Ms Ji Young on my list, but haven’t gotten around to it because I keep getting distracted by newer dramas. πŸ˜› But with your endorsement, I guess I should bump it up higher on my list!

      PS: I agree, Soo Ji was awesome! ❀ But yeah. That ending was not the greatest.

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  22. Hi there ^_^ I am still waiting for your review of Pinocchio *winks* Great job with all your drama reviews. I am very impressed. Fighting!

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    • Happy new year to you! More dramas to watch! Cheers to another year of fangirling. ❀

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      • Happy new year! Thanks for enjoying the reviews, and thanks for patiently waiting for the reviews! πŸ™‚ I.. have so many reviews that I owe the world at large, that I can’t promise a review of Pinocchio will be coming soon, unfortunately. πŸ˜› But, I will do my best to keep on writing, and fingers crossed, I’ll be able to get some of those backlogged reviews languishing in my drafts folder out into the world! πŸ˜…

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  23. Kfangurl, you always go all out and I love it. I’m still in the Year 2016 with some of your suggestions, but I just finished K2. I wonder what you think of it. I loved it, but this is not the place to gush.

    I think my only disagreement is with Goblin. Probably because I looooves the soundtrack so much that I ordered it and it’s sitting in my car. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but Gong Yoo and his compadre saved the day, imo.

    And now I’m watching β€œmy sassy girl” against all logic, because I love Joo Won and he makes me happy. :-D. Thank you again for everything you do, and have an awesome New Year’s Day! (And whole new year!!!)

    PS- A+ to weightlifting princess, darn right!!

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    • Hey there sarah!! ❀ I'm so pleased that you enjoyed this post! πŸ˜€

      I'm rather amused that you loved K2, because.. I ended up dropping it. πŸ˜› Dropped post is here, if you’re curious to know the whys! Glad you enjoyed Goblin (even though I struggled and failed to), and that you’re enjoying My Sassy Girl (even if it’s against all logic!). Sometimes, we just need to follow our hearts – even if it doesn’t make sense to love a show that is widely panned, you should just soak in the happy, I say πŸ˜‰

      And of course, YES to Weightlifting Fairy’s A+! Show deserves all the love; it’s such a darling ❀ Happy new year to you, my dear. May 2018 be ever better for you, in life and in dramas ❀

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  24. Great read, but you are so right: There are just too darn many K-dramas coming out now to keep up with them, and we have to wade through too many generic, forgettable shows to fins one’s that fit our tastes. However, any year that gives me 4-5 great dramas to fall in love with is a great year in my book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a great way to look at it, Thomas! πŸ™‚ Any year that gives me 4-5 dramas to love is a great year – that makes 2017 a fantastic year for me! Coz I found SIX dramas to love. 😍 Thanks for that Thomas! You wise man, you πŸ˜‰

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  25. Buamdong Avengers Social Club was a fantastic show. A rare gem that has the comedy and the social commentary on point. I hope you get a chance to watch it.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I’m interested in what you think of Secret Forest. I really thought it was well done, but I have to admit I thought the ending was a bit convoluted much in the way the end of Signal wasn’t totally satisfying for me. Still such a solid watch when you have time.

    In addition to some you listed, I have Circle on my watch list. I think I might give Money Flower a go. I like JH but I need recommendations before I can start a long drama. I got burned on Father, I’ll Take Care of You which I also dropped.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heh, I’m curious to see what I think of Secret Forest too, so many people have raved about it! πŸ˜† Thanks for the heads-up about the ending.. I haven’t managed to finish Signal yet (gasp! I KNOW!), but I did think that it was very solid, from the few episodes that I did watch. I do plan to go back to it. And I do plan on checking out Secret Forest. Hopefully sooner than later! πŸ˜‰

      The good news about Money Flower is that it’s only 24 episodes, even though it’s a weekender. So, it won’t be as much of a time investment as the 50+ episodes that weekenders tend to be. So far, I am loving it, and JH is blowing it out of the water. He is breathlessly good. 😍

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Happy new year!thank u so much for this awesome review!! I feel our taste of drama is really like to each other,specially about those dramas that I already watched!like strong woman do bong soon,i just enjoy OTP relationship and whatever related to them just it!and thank you for recommending lots of new dramas!❀️❀️❀️

    Like

    • Happy new year to you too, Neda! I’m very pleased that you enjoyed my year-in-review post, and that it’s added to your list of dramas to check out! πŸ™‚ That makes me feel super useful, heh. πŸ˜‰

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  28. Happy New Year! I just found your site and I love it! I can’t believe how many dramas you have reviewed in this list. You are a super hero!

    Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Ju is one of my all time favorite dramas. It is seriously up there with Coffee Prince, I love it so much. I actually love it so much that I haven’t watched the last episode yet. I know! That is weird, I just didn’t want it to end.

    Live recapping I am Not a Robot now and I think it is pretty cute. It is a solid servicable drama with two adorable leads. It isn’t really pulling my heartstrings like say a Go Back Couple or a Fight for My Way, but it is a solid beach read drama.

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    • Hi there bahdoo, welcome to the site! Glad that you’re liking what you see, and hope to see you around here! πŸ™‚

      I know what you mean about staying away from a show’s last episode coz you just don’t want it to end. I’ve put off watching last episodes before, for the exact same reason, so you’re most definitely not alone! πŸ˜‰ What I will say, is that Weightlifting Fairy ended in a very satisfying way, so do go back to finish it up, when you feel up to it!

      I’m only 8 episodes into I’m Not A Robot.. so far, I’m liking it well, though I’m much more invested in other dramas I’m currently watching. But, I do see potential for it to grab me more, as the OTP connection develops and deepens, so I’m keeping an open mind – and heart! πŸ™‚ Kudos on committing to recaps, they are such a huge commitment! I can’t make the same commitment, so I admire anyone who does. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • OMG they are such a time suck! But I do feel a strong level of accomplishment once I finish one πŸ™‚

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        • Heh, I’m sure they are. Reviews already take me a fair bit of time, and that’s after I’ve stopped being too fussed about covering everything, and adopted a more stream-of-consciousness way of writing. I can only imagine how much time recaps would take me! 😝 That sense of accomplishment is well-deserved, fighting!

          Liked by 1 person

  29. Okay, you were right. An episode and a half into β€œMy Sassy girl.” 2017, and even Joo Won couldn’t rescue it. That princess, just the whole thing was awful. I bow to your judgment. Ugh. Awful!

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    • Lol. Oopsie. Sorry that didn’t work out for ya.. I wanted it to be good, coz I do like Joo Won, but, I’m coming to the reluctant conclusion that he generally doesn’t do romantic leading man roles super well (aside from Ojakgyo Brothers, where he was super melty with UEE). He’s somehow got this almost asexual vibe to him, a lot of the time, and that makes it hard for me to buy him as a romantic leading man. It was different in OB coz he was legit crushing on UEE at the time. Have you seen Ojakgyo Brothers, by the way? I do think you’d like it. It’s like an omnibus of 4 romances, packed into a single package, with family warm fuzzies on the side. And like I said, Joo Won is very melty in it. πŸ˜‰

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  30. Happy New Year! I was so happy to see that you posted a ‘Year in Review’ for 2017! Overall, I feel like we are in somewhat the same boat.
    This year wasn’t a big drama year for me. I found myself dropping shows that other people liked, couldn’t become invested in shows that I felt like 2016 me would have adored, and even stopped watching dramas for a while. However, this past fall I’ve sort of fallen back in love with the dramaworld after I found some really great dramas.
    I can’t wait to read your review on Strong Woman Do Bong Soon! I love the two leads on that show because they are cute beyond words, beautiful, and have great chemistry, but I agree that there were things in the show (mostly the humour) that were mishandled. For example, sexuality. I have yet to see a positive, nuanced or thoughtful portrayal of a gay character on any Korean drama (or of anyone who isn’t straight and cis), and this certainly wasn’t one. People actually commended the show for even talking about being gay, and although I guess it might start a conversation, I fear that it won’t be a good one.
    I also disliked Goblin, which is a show that everyone and their mother seemed to adore. I found the main relationship liked chemistry, and it made me uncomfortable because of their age gap. I guess I just didn’t understand why they made the female character a high school student? I understand that he’s 900 years old so anyone else is a baby compared to him, but it still feels wrong when Gong Yoo (who is lovely in it of course) is 38 and Kim Go-eun is 26. The whole thing felt like a massive, creepy power imbalance.
    I really enjoyed a lot of dramas this year though, and I would like to recommend Just Between Lovers, Save Me and Seven Day Queen.
    Just Between Lovers is currently airing with 8 episodes out, but so far it’s very beautiful. It’s a study in grief, but it’s not all gloomy. It has a thoughtful, melancholy vibe that never feels over-indulgent, and the acting is great down to the last character. It would be a little too slow and sad for me, but the two leads just lift the whole thing to this addictive, beautiful level. So far it’s one of my all-time favorite dramas.
    Save Me was very gripping and well acted and shot, and although I know you’re not a big thriller person, if there’s any thriller I could recommend this year, it’s this. There is something just so satisfying about watching a show were all its different aspects are so cohesive.
    Seven Day Queen was something I wanted very recently, and I didn’t really want to because I knew it was going to be sad as hell (which it was), but it was also interesting and tightly paced. The acting was good all around and it felt overall very balanced and thoughtful. I think it’s worth at least checking out.
    All the best in the new year! So happy to have you back and posting things again πŸ™‚

    Like

    • Happy new year to you too, Alena! πŸ˜€ Looks like you’re one of the many drama fans who found themselves in a bit of a drama slump this year, just like me! But, yay that you’re back enjoying dramas again! πŸ™‚

      I can’t believe that SWDBS actually got commended by people for touching on the topic of homosexuality. I mean, Show was downright disrespectful in its portrayal of the gay team leader. If there’s a kdrama that ought to be commended for touching on the topic, it should be family drama Life Is Beautiful. THAT show featured an actual gay couple, and was all kinds of sensitive and caring in its portrayal of the couple coming out to their families, and the emotions entwined in that whole process. If you haven’t seen that show, I highly recommend it. It’s such a lovely, warm fuzzies sort of family drama. I never wanted it to end, ever. ❀

      Thanks for endorsing Just Between Lovers, Save Me and Seven Day Queen! These were all shows I was going to avoid, for various reasons or another, but so many positive recommendations have been given to me about these 3 shows, that I'm growing more confident that I will enjoy them. I've even downloaded the available episodes of JBL, and hope to start on it soonish. πŸ™‚ You make a compelling case for it – it sounds lovely ❀ Thank you!

      Thanks for the warm welcome back, it's great to be back and posting again. This year is going to be pretty busy for me, especially moving house and all, but I'm gonna try and keep up with the watching and the posting, as much as I can! πŸ™‚

      Like

  31. It’s funny how I ended up lurking around here given that I watch primarily only c-dramas. That being said, I haven’t watched 3L3W, ALSB, or The Fox’s Summer at all! LOL. I really really enjoyed Let’s Shake It! ι’€ζŠ–ε§οΌŒι˜Ώιƒ¨οΌwhich is about an alien who crashlands onto Earth during the Tang Dynasty, and it goes from fluffy/hilarious to quite angst’s, heh. Has anyone recced The Advisors’ Alliance? I also would second the Dr. Qin Medical Examiner recs.

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    • Hi there, it’s lovely to meet you, meizhuang!! I’m super pleased that you found me, even though I’m still new-ish to the C-drama scene. I’m sure there are many more C-dramas that I need to see, so I’m looking forward to chatting C-dramas with ya! πŸ™‚ Let’s Shake It! ι’€ζŠ–ε§οΌŒι˜Ώιƒ¨οΌ sounds all kinds of ridiculous, but if you loved it, maybe it really is brilliant and I ought to check it out! πŸ˜‰

      And yes, I’ve had Advisors’ Alliance recommended to me. At the time, subs weren’t available, and I failed miserably at trying to watch it without subs. I think the Chinese is too dense for me (I’m working on it, and am improving, but I’m not quite there yet, clearly!). I randomly clicked on a scene in an early-ish episode, and the characters spoke 2 sentences. And I didn’t understand EITHER sentence. HAHA! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜† That’s when I knew I needed to definitely wait for subs for that one! I now see that there’s a Season 2 of Advisors’ Alliance. Is this a direction continuation? Or is it something like NIF2, which is more like an off-shoot?

      Like

      • Season 2 IS a continuation of S1, BUT I think watching S1 on its own would actually also work. But subs are out for S1!

        Thanks for replying! There are subs for the first half of Let’s Shake It! on A Virtual Voyage, if you’re ever curious. Its brand of humor might be on the WTF side, but I still loved it, hehe.

        Like

        • Thanks for clarifying, meizhuang! I was wondering what S2 was about. I’m really glad subs are out for S1.. this one’s been on my list for quite some time now! I hope S2 will get subbed too. If the Chinese is anything like S1, I’m gonna need subs for S2 too! πŸ˜…

          Thanks for the tip on subs for Let’s Shake It! It actually sounds so ridiculous that it could be great. πŸ˜† I’ve put it on my list for later, thanks for the rec! πŸ™‚

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  32. Everyone here is making want to watch ALL the dramas lol It seems 2017 wasn’t such a bad year for dramas after all. Hi everyone, and thanks for making me add more dramas to my never ending list πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  33. You are so lucky to have six dramas you really love in 2017. I, on the other hand, is not. There wasn’t a single show in 2017 that I would consider my favorite. Specifically, no show last year was worthy of my A and above.

    I did have several dramas that came close. I graded them A-. They are, in order of preference.

    Tomorrow With You — it was the beautiful directing that made this at the top. The lengthy single takes are by far the best I’ve seen in kdramas.

    The Liar and His Lover — it was the friendship and the struggles of young kids in the music industry that made me fall in love with it. The second OTP was also so adorable.

    Rescue Me — It was creepy. It was gripping. It had such great villains. It was something I’ve never seen kdramas do.

    Because This Is My First Life — It was the issues they address that made this worthy.

    Forest of Secrets — It was intelligent. The writer did his/her research. It didn’t take its viewers intelligence for granted.

    Shows I would have loved if that big streaming network didn’t disrupt my viewing habits
    Agree if Youth 2
    Wise Prison Living
    Bad Guys 2
    Women of Dignity

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    • Happy new year, Drawde!! πŸ˜€ Sorry to hear that not a single show managed to snag your A rating, but A- isn’t at all bad, I say! Out of my 6 that I love, 4 of them are A- dramas, come to think of it! πŸ˜‰

      I couldn’t make it all the way through Tomorrow With You, but it’s good to hear that the directing was beautiful. Thoughtful directing is definitely something that I’d love to see more of in kdramas in general πŸ™‚ And YES, the secondary couple in The Liar and His Lover was very cute! I liked them a lot more than the OTP, actually. I’ve got Rescue Me and Forest of Secrets on my list, and I hope that I’ll enjoy them as much as you did!

      I haven’t seen the other ones you mentioned, but Age Of Youth 2 is worth a watch, especially if you loved the first season. Bummer about how that big streaming network is messing up quite a few drama-watching schedules among drama fans. At least eventually the shows will become available *counts small mercies* πŸ˜…

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  34. it’s january 3, 2018 .. happy new year to you and your family, friends and readers. loved reading your year end review, comments and your replies. (sorry, i skipped on the cdramas reviews. ). i dropped long dramas 60- 120 hrs, Rebel, theif whole stole the people and Father is strange were exceptions.. i watched most of the sagueks but i’ll gave my thumbs up to Rebel – it was deserving of the mbc year (9) awards too. Father was strange..was the only family drama that truly shows family members love for each others ( couple/parents/ siblings) . Money Flower – i’m hooked with this drama too.. while waiting new episodes, rewatch previous episodes and VOICE, – kfangurl , can i make a request.. can you do a PURE PRETTY or should i say (PURE SEXY- hehehe) review of JANG HYUK. thank you in advance and looking forward to your 2018 reviews. Take Care and Fighting!!!

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    • Hey there, Simple, happy new year to you too! Thanks for enjoying this year-end review – and the comments too! πŸ˜€ And, YAY that you’re on the Money Flower train!! Jang Hyuk is just 😍😍😍 As for a post on Jang Hyuk, I did one a few years ago, which you can find here. Come swoon with me! πŸ˜‰ ❀

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      • kfangurl, dongsaeng, thank you very much for the jang hyuk swooning… it’s high time to update (since 2013) the jang hyuk review for money flower. I got burn with the last picture… very very hot.

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        • Tee hee. That last picture is hawt, isn’t it? 😍😍😍 Jang Hyuk is just so schmexy.. ❀ I get what you mean about an update.. let me see how inspired I get, watching Money Flower. Coz, y'know, all that research takes a lot of.. er, dedication. πŸ˜‰

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  35. Happy New Year and thanks for such a comprehensive review!!! I’m totally going to check out Money Flower and a couple of the others. Suspicious Partner I’ve already re-watched and I’m just holding myself off from watching it again, I absolutely love it so much. It’s such a looooooong wait till Ji Chang Wook comes back but hey we can at least say ‘next year’ now, right?!

    Have you started watching Just Between Lovers with Junho and Won Jin Ah? Because that is EXCELLENT. There’s some randomness (honestly, the only near-seamless drama where everything flows that I’ve watched is Healer), but these two leads are superb and the story is so engaging.

    Anyway, I’m pleased to have some new shows to try out! Look forward to seeing more of your reviews in 2018 πŸ™‚

    Like

    • I’ve just gone back and read some of the comments…..

      Also glad to see that you’ve put Just Between Lovers onto your list. I totally recommend it, the OTP is perfect (as is the OST) and the female lead is awesome, plus the women in the show are very well written which is a massive plus for me. It doesn’t feel like a melodrama? although I was expecting to feel the sads throughout the show and I haven’t. I’m a bit disappointed as I started watching because I was in a mood to bawl my eyes out for hours on end and that hasn’t quite happened lol. It’s a very beautiful show, however, and incredibly moving on many levels. I also appreciate on a personal level the subjects they tackle, which they do sensitively and in good taste. It also fills my need for a really wonderful romance and OTP which is the core of any show for me. I am a sucker for a good falling in love story!

      Fight My Way was super and so enjoyable and you know my feelings on Hwarang hehehe which we were opposites on! Because This Is My First Life…..thinking about some of her actions now still leaves me feeling massively uncomfortable on how that was written, but *shrugs* I guess I have to be in the minority sometimes in believing it really wasn’t all that as a show. LOVED WFKBJ though, ah my first Kdrama, lucky me ❀ that, Suspicious Partner and Fight My Way are must-watches.

      Because I started watching Kdrama late in 2017, I've got a lot of catching up to do! Honestly though, what seems to grab me isn't what gets everyone else. Goblin, While You Were Sleeping, Strong Woman Do Bong Soon, that kind of supernatural, paranormal, superheroics, mermen type stuff doesn't interest me at all so I've not watched it. This was a reason to also miss out I'm Not A Robot, although I don't mind sci-fi type things so much. I was also going to give it a miss because I read some reviews that said it was totally misogynistic and lots of women saying they were uncomfortable with it. But that was earlier on and reading the comments on here make me want to give it a go as things seem to have progressed. So I may give it a go and experience something different.

      Thinking further, the other near-seamless storytelling show aside from Healer for me was Reply 1988 (and I agree with your other comment btw, that the writers were trying for realism but gah it felt unfinished still *wails*). I've yet to watch anything from 2017 that matches those two.

      Thanks once again!

      Like

      • Happy new year to you too, dd! (heh, may I call you dd?) Glad you enjoyed this year-in-review post, and yay that you’ll be checking out Money Flower! It’s been surpassing my expectations, and I am mesmerized by Jang Hyuk. 😍 Heh. As if you couldn’t already tell! πŸ˜‰

        Yes, Just Between Lovers has been endorsed so often since I posted this year-in-review, that I just had to add it to my list. Plus, I do seem to be in quite the melodrama mood, with my favorite dramas on my plate at the moment both being melodramas. Since you mentioned kinda wanting a good cry, have you watched Dear My Friends? I personally haven’t made it to the end of that one yet, but it’s excellent. I drifted off because I knew if I didn’t, that Show would have me ugly-crying for sure, it’s so matter-of-fact about death, and I had grown affectionate of all the elderly protagonists. I think it would suit for a good cry sort of mood. πŸ™‚

        As for I’m Not A Robot, I personally haven’t felt that Show has been misogynistic. But as we know, opinions and reactions can vary widely, for the same show. I do think it’s cute and promising, so I think it’s worth a whirl, to see if you like it enough to stick with it.

        And yes, Answer Me 1988 is just so lovely. ❀ Lingerie Girls' Generation gave me AM88 vibes in a very good way, so if you haven't checked that one out, I do think you'd enjoy it. πŸ™‚

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  36. Hi Fangurl! I love your writing. I feel like I have a concrete take-away from each show you cover. After the Moonlight high of 2016, I was able to sustain that high with Weightlifting Fairy but the rest of 2017 was mostly flat line. I worked hard to look for the next kdrama high only to revert back to previous shows. Thank goodness I got the MDBC DVD set to relive the fun through the extra bts clips.
    Weightlifting Fairy and Goblin felt like a 2016 shows for me but I understand your system. For 2017, Weightlifting Fairy will always be on my rewatch list for whenever I need a feel good show. The OTP are just adorably sad and funny together. The story is great for reliving those “younger years”. LOL! Goblin was one of my biggies too. Goblin had beautiful scenery, haunting music, intriguing sageuk background (and boy did I look for that next cracky sageuk), and Gong Yoo’s smooth voice! The plot was a bit drawn out but I appreciated the cgi (minus the purple tongue ghost). I one-eye watched it sometimes while doing other stuff but overall, it was beautiful.

    As for the rest of 2017, I totally get what you said about the industry looking at the commercial aspect of dramaverse rather than crafting a well made show. I’ve started up and dropped a lot of shows this year: Rebel, My Sassy Girl, Revolutionary Love, Chicago Typewriter, Strong Woman, Suspicious Partner, Circle, Bride of the water god, there might be more since I can’t remember them all.
    And I’ve managed to finish some: Ruler, Seven Day Queen, Liar and his Lover, While you were sleeping, Fight My Way, The King Loves, Because this is our first life, Strongest Deliveryman,
    I even got into oldies: I hear your voice, Moorim School, Coffee Prince, School 2013, Page Turner, Splish Splash Love, Cinderella and Four Knights, Doctor Stranger, Train to Busan, I Remember You, BoF, Kill Me, Heal Me, W, Oh My Ghost, Runway Cop…not sure what else
    Still working on these ones: Just Between Lovers, Hwayugi, Go Back Couple, I am not a robot.
    Now that I’ve made this list, it’s quite a lot. I’m hoping Hwayugi will provide the next cracky drama.
    Seven Day Queen is probably the most cracky of the bunch on my list. It’s tragic but intense and engaging and very well made. Not visually dark at all. Of all the shows, I hope you give Seven Day Queen some love. All the characters had a piece of my heart. I plan to watch Secret Forest and I’m going to take up your suggestion for Money Flower. It sounds engaging too. Thank you for your entertaining and thorough posts. Have a wonderful New 2018 Year!

    Like

    • Hey there, Waiting! Happy new year to you too! πŸ˜€ Thanks for your kind words about the reviews, it’s very encouraging to know that you find them useful! πŸ˜€

      Sorry to hear that 2017 wasn’t an amazing drama year for you, but you certainly did finish some good dramas! Seven Day Queen wasn’t previously on my list, but I’ve seen so much love for it, that I became curious and popped it on the list. And then when this post went live, so many of you guys have been urging me to give it a try, that I am now absolutely looking forward to checking it out! πŸ˜€ Yes, I likely will have to serve up my heart on a plate, but now I’m actually looking forward to doing it, lol.

      I hope you like Money Flower – I’ve been enjoying that one a lot! ❀

      Like

  37. Happy New Year! Apropos of nothing, Fangirl, but your man (I think he’s still your man?) Gong Yoo is in a new movie on Netflix, called “Age of Shadows.” It’s about the resistance fighters in Korea circa late 1920s-early 1930s. Have you seen it? Quite grim, of course, but well-done, and, once again. Gong Yoo can’t seem to avoid getting on the train!

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    • Happy new year, Blenny!! πŸ˜€ And yes, Gong Yoo is still my man.. or, er, one of my main men, lol. He’ll always be a classic, enduring k-love of mine. ❀ I haven’t seen Age of Shadows yet, but I plan to! Great to know that it’s well done. And, I have no doubt that Gong Yoo is great in it. Heh. I’m biased, but he has been consistent, after all. πŸ˜‰

      Like

  38. Pingback: Flash Review: A Love So Beautiful [China] | The Fangirl Verdict

  39. Reblogged this on The Sunny Town and commented:
    As always, kfangurl manages to sum up my drama year. I totally agree w/ those I was actually able to watch in 2017.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Happy New Year! There are many dramas from your list I didn’t watch yet, so I’ll be referring to this post for sure! Thanks πŸ™‚

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  41. Happy 2018th!

    Wow, each year I’m amazed at how much dramas you manage to squeeze in and write reviews for. Well done, you πŸ˜€ Personally, I felt I did pretty good in 2017, managing to finish 12 dramas altogether (13 if you count one remnant from 2015 which I picked up and finally finished) and that’s a good result for me. I also feel like I was pretty content with the dramas I watched this year, even though the general consensus seems to be that 2017 dramas were lacking. For me, it was a year like any other drama-wise.

    As for the dramas you still have on your list, I’d recommend Seven Day Queen and Save Me/Rescue Me which I both managed to watch. Seven Day Queen was solid, with a sweeping love story and an intriguing villain. Save Me, however, ended up as one of my favourite dramas of the year. Though I guess if you don’t like creepy, distressing shows, it might not be your thing. But as a fan of horror, I enjoyed how dark and frightening it was at times.

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    • Happy new year to you too, dear Indigo!! πŸ˜€ Thanks for stopping on by!

      Heh, it does seem like I have a slight drama problem, eh? I honestly don’t know how I managed to check out so many dramas in 2017.. though I do think part of it is coz I was faster to drop dramas if I wasn’t having a good time. I used to give a show at least 4 eps – or 8, if we’re talking about the half hour ones – but this time, I sometimes only gave a show one hour, before I decided I was going to move on. πŸ˜› 13 dramas is more than one a month – which, if you’re busy with RL, is quite an achievement! πŸ˜‰

      I’m definitely planning to watch Seven Day Queen, but am hesitant to dip more than a toe in Save Me, coz I’m a little spooked that people are describing it as dark and frightening πŸ˜› I think you’re a braver soul than me, most likely! πŸ˜… But we shall see – who knows, I just might surprise myself, and love Save Me after all? πŸ˜‰

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      • It’s entirely up to you to whether you feel like watching Save Me or not, but I would like to clarify that it’s frightening not because of violence but rather because of the whole psychology behind it. It’s most of all just mentally distressing. But like I said, it might not be your thing anyway, so don’t feel pressured by my recommendation πŸ™‚

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        • Aw, I’m not pressured by your recommendation, Indigo! It’s just that SO MANY people have praised this show, that I’m more than a little curious. In spite of my original intention to let this one slip under my radar, I think I’m curious enough to cautiously dip a toe in, and see if I’m drawn in like so many other people before me πŸ™‚

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  42. Hi!
    Have you watched a Korean drama special called “Individualist Ms. Ji Yeong”? or now is better known as the “The Happy Loner”? It came out in the year of 2017 and has only 2 episodes.

    It is about a young girl who is cold to everyone she meets, and because of her unpleasant personality she can’t form a relationship with anyone, be it with co-workers or her boyfriend. Anyway, she doesn’t mind being alone or so we are lead to believe. Her happiness of being left alone at all times, abruptly ends when she meets her neighbor, Byuk-soo.

    He is the opposite of her. Now, quite a warning about his character he might come across as loud and childish, but when it is explained to us why he is the way he is, it doesn’t feel at all forced (at least for me) because there are people like him out there.

    One of the main reasons why I like about this special, is that these two main actors managed to make their characters feel so human.
    To say that is just a story of two people that are opposites of each other, is one way to look at it.
    But, I think there’s more than that. This special shows the positive and negative aspects of our female and male protagonists.

    However, you’ll have to be in a special kind of mood to watch this drama special. Because while it has cute and “mildly humorous” moments, it has more drama than anything.

    Anyways take care, and let’s hope that you will give this special a chance!

    Like

    • Hi there Verity Rose! Thanks for the recommendation on Individualist Ms. Ji Young πŸ™‚ This one’s been mentioned to me a couple of times, so I had it vaguely on my watch list. But, you’re the first one to really break it down like this, and I’m intrigued enough that I’m downloading the 2 episodes as I type this. Here’s hoping that I’ll end up enjoying it as much as you did! πŸ™‚

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  43. I second that you should watch seven day queen. But do it when you’re in a melo slower feel and want to feel the feels haha.

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  44. It’s been pretty hard to relate to year-end reviews for 2017 because I admittedly did not watch much last year.. and once again, I’m late in doing up a review LOL. I can count the number of shows I’ve seen from this list with my fingers hahaha. Do check Forest of Secrets, I liked that one. It’s hard to avoid the crime/legal aspect since that’s what the show’s premise is built on, but maybe it would be better to focus on the justice system and how it affects lives and society in various ways. Especially with this drama. Just my two-cents, I hope you’ll like it! Rebel was really slow-paced, but I eventually finished it although I did hold it off for quite a while. One of the more decent sageuks for the year, but takes time getting into. Kim Sang Joong and Honey Lee though. Thanks for this and I’m glad you had a pretty nice drama year overall πŸ™‚

    P.S. Sorry I haven’t been dropping by much, December was quite a hectic month for me. And I’m late but happy new year!

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    • Happy new year, Jas! πŸ˜€ Never to late for new year wishes, I say! I feel ya – sometimes life gets busy, &/or the drama offerings just don’t interest you, and you end up watching not a lot of dramas. I think that happened to me in 2013 or so. But yay that you watched and liked Forest of Secrets; everyone’s been raving about that one, so I am curious about it. Great to know you liked it! πŸ™‚ I’ve heard that Rebel is pretty good, and that Kim Sang Joong and Honey Lee are amazing in it, so I might have to go back to it sometime. Hopefully you’ll find some of the dramas I listed interesting enough to check out, when time allows. Of course, I do think you ought to prioritize getting some Jin Dong on your screen, via The First Half Of My Life! πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  45. Hello! Thank you for your great reviews of all different types of dramas, I really appreciate the variety to introduce to us every time. I myself enjoy watching dramas, but the site I use is very slow and laggy. What site do you use to watch these dramas? Thank you again for your amazing work and clarity in writing! πŸ™‚

    Like

  46. I’ve been reading your blog since 2016! I even have it in my bookmarks bar for super easy access haha but thank you so much for your reviews! Even though I don’t always agree with them I thoroughly enjoy reading your opinions. Have an awesome 2018 and let’s hope we get even better dramas this year!

    p.s I hope you finish I am a Robot because it finishes next week and it’s honestly just so cute and the main characters are adorable together! Also the Santa Maria Team! I love everyone’s connections on that show it’s just so heartwarming.

    Like

    • I have never heard of Rescue me . But it sounds intriguing.

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    • Hi there Apollo!!! Thanks for enjoying the blog all this time! πŸ˜€ And, how cool, that the site gets its own little piece of real estate on your bookmarks bar! πŸ˜€

      I am enjoying I’m Not A Robot, so I definitely see myself finishing this one! Glad you’re enjoying it too! πŸ™‚

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  47. Hey kfangurl! I just happened to stumble upon your website whilst looking for good, solid reviews on kdramas, and I must say how exquisitely well-structured your review system is – there is no distaste or spite in any of them, and that appreciative-but-not-really-my-style opinion is so hard to find these days. Everyone just verbally abuses everyone without thinking, but you don’t, and that what I really admire. I like how you don’t go with the flow but give your honest opinions on dramas that weren’t so great just overrated e.g. Goblin. Such opinions are quite unpopular if I must say. I like that we share the same view on those types of shows. As for your list, I couldn’t be more surprised, it made a lot of sense. Anyways, kudos to you for taking the time to write out these absolutely wonderful reviews, and here’s to 2018!

    P.S. Please watch Rescue Me. After reading a few of your reviews, I understand that you’re not the scary, gory type of gal and so am I. damn, I get scared of animated movies, but oh my Lord, Rescue Me is one of the most life-changing dramas I have watched. I was quite daunted by the theme of it revolving around a cult loosely based off Christianity (I am Christian fyi) and I heard that it was quite controversial as well due to the strong content of it. BUT, I decided to give it a go, and am I a changed person or what? From start to finish, this drama never ceased to amaze me, the cast was amazing: their acting so natural and fitting to the entire story, especially Seo YeJin, that girl embodies her character effortlessly. The storyline was breath-taking, each episode leaving you anxious for the next and the unravelling of the sick system is revealed quite impeccably, not too strong episode by episode. The situation was very realistic as well, where the main focus was trying to rescue someone out of the cult, rather than building upon a romantic relationship for example, because that is just not possible if that were to happen in real life. The Busan accent is also very manly, and Woo Do Hwan and Taecyeon’s bromance is not too cringy but believable and genuine. You may have some disagreements with the ending, but I won’t spoil that for you, once you finish the series we can ramble about it, I found that their were a few gaps but maybe that’s what the Producer wanted?

    Anyways, I think my P.S. note is way longer than my actual message but whatever.

    Thanks again!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw! Thanks for your kind and encouraging comment, iloveanswers! πŸ˜€ I’m very pleased to know that you’re enjoying the blog, and I hope you’ll continue to enjoy the reviews! πŸ™‚

      Thanks for explaining more about Rescue Me, I’ve been putting off checking it out, for exactly the reason you mentioned. I’m just not into creepy shows. And the topic of cults isn’t quite my thing as well. Thanks for sharing more about it, it does sound like an intriguing show, based on your experience of it. I will definitely check it out! πŸ™‚

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  48. Hello! first of all, Happy 2018 and congrats, i stumbled upon this blog accidentally and I LOVED IT! your reviews are very accurate and detailed, I just went through all my favourite dramas to check your opinion πŸ™‚ 2017 was actually my first kdrama year, and it all started because of Goblin, so I would advise you to keep going on that one because the middle part goes very slow but the last 3/4 episodes, oh my! it could be an unpopular opinion but I really loved the ending and the overall reflections behind the drama. Other dramas that were not in your list that I adored to bits were Chicago Typewriter, that definitely makes it to the top three and Lookout, such an interesting and well performed drama (Kim Young Kwang was extraordinary in this and such an eye candy)! I look forward to your review of I’m not a Robot, i’m watching it as well. Kudos!

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    • Hi there Catherine! Welcome to the blog, I’m glad you found me! πŸ˜€ Also, glad you had a great first year of kdramas! I have good intentions about going back to Goblin, but it might take me a while to get back into it, since it specifically requires me to be in a contemplative mood. Life’s going to be extra busy this year, so I don’t know how much space to be contemplative I’ll have! Chicago Typewriter is also on my list, I hope I’ll enjoy it as much as you did. In the meantime, I’m still enjoying I’m Not A Robot, and I’m glad you’re liking it too! πŸ™‚

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      • Oh but one more thing! After reading your review, I finally watched Nirvana in Fire and OMG it was probably the best 50+ hours of my life!! thank you!!

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  49. I am really an avid reader of your reviews and trust your opinions on most of the dramas that I watch so I’m still really waiting for your review on Queen for 7 Days. I hope you’ll really take time to watch it..

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    • Hi there Abby! Thanks for enjoying the reviews! ❀ I still have Seven Day Queen on my list, and plan to check it out. Life's been very hectic of late (my family's moving house & it's just crazy right now), and I find it hard to watch much drama at the moment (sob). But, I hope to get back into a more normal rhythm in about a month or so. πŸ™‚

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