I discovered your blog after watching Crash Landing on You and searching for reviews online. After that I immediately would read your reviews after watching a show and using your ratings for recommendations. I absolutely love your format and style of writing. I have some questions I am highly curious about.
What are the shows you have dropped which are not on the list of shows. This started after I watched Goblin and was searching for your take. It wasn’t on the list and learned reading one of your year end recaps that it was not for you. This got me curious to know which shows you have tried and dropped. No need to write any review or explanation, just a straight up list would be great.
What are shows you dropped but plan to continue. I read on one of your replies that you eventually plan to return to Dear My Friends (a show I loved) and Signal (I loved it as well.) What are famous shows that you have no intention of watching. I remember mentioning Kingdom. Are shows like Dr Romantic and Stranger included in this list?
They don’t have to be 100% complete and maybe they could also help as well by lessening the number of requests you get from new members wondering about some old shows.
Of course if this is too time consuming or not something you are interested in answering then no problem whatsoever.
Thank you again for the wonderful reviews.
I’m glad Crash Landing on You led you to my little corner of the interwebs, and I’m really happy to hear that you’re enjoying the reviews! ❤️
Thanks for the great question; you are absolutely right, there are a lot of shows that I haven’t written about, and it’s true that I often get asked about the same shows, because I don’t have a post dedicated to answering the question!
I’m going to take this opportunity to mention as many of those shows as possible, so that it will be a mystery no longer! 😃😉
REASONS I HAVEN’T REVIEWED THESE SHOWS
There are several different reasons why I might not have written about a show. The shows on this list all fall into one of the following categories:
1. I haven’t seen it yet – but I plan to. Despite my best efforts, it is literally impossible for me to watch all the shows that pique my interest in some way. This is how I haven’t watched some of Dramaland’s more iconic shows.
2. I haven’t seen it yet – and don’t plan to. Even though I run a drama blog, I don’t make it my business to attempt to watch everything that Dramaland has to offer, because that’s not humanly possible. Also, I want to watch stuff that I enjoy, and the truth is, not all shows appeal to me. I like to make exceptions for really good shows that happen to be out of my wheelhouse, but there are just some genres that aren’t my thing, and are unlikely to ever be my thing.
3. I attempted it – but it didn’t work for me and I didn’t write a Dropped post, either because I hope to give it another try sometime, or because I thought including a blurb in the year-in-review post would suffice.
4. I finished it – but somehow didn’t manage to get around to writing the review, either because I watched it before starting the blog (quite possible since I watched dramas seriously for 5 years before it occurred to me I might like blogging about them), or because I got busy with Real Life and newer shows, and never went back to write the review.
DRAMAS I HAVEN’T REVIEWED
Here’s my “status update” on 50(!!) shows – mostly, dramas that people tend to ask me about, and also, shows that I’d like to give shout-outs to, but which I’m unlikely to write reviews for. There are admittedly many more shows that I’ve either sampled or watched to completion, which I am not including in this list, because I gotta stop somewhere, yes? 😅
For easy reference, I’m putting everything in alphabetical order.
100 Days My Prince
This one flew under the radar for me, and even though I’ve heard a smattering of positive reactions to this one, it’s not enough to pique my interest, so I’m unlikely to check this one out.
A Little Thing Called First Love [China]
I attempted the first episode, but somehow this one doesn’t grab me. When I watched that first episode, I thought that most likely I was over the ugly-duckling-meets-cute-boy tropey drama set-up, but as it turns out, I’m enjoying True Beauty quite well right now, so I think there’s something about the execution that makes this one not pop, for me.
Arsenal Military Academy [China]
I’m partway through this show, and have paused it for now. It’s well-made and polished, and the premise is quite different, but I have to admit that it doesn’t grab me as much as I want it to. The high episode count (48 eps), and the slightly meandering slice-of-life style doesn’t help. 20 episodes in, I feel like I’ve been watching this show forever, and I’m still not even at the halfway mark yet.
I have good intentions about going back to this one, but my good intentions might not be enough. So far, this one feels like a potential B.
Autumn in My Heart
I liked this one better on my second viewing than my first. If you keep a firmly retro Hallyu lens on, this one is quite enjoyable in all of its angsty, heartachey romantic glory. Song Seung Hun is handsome, Won Bin is quite ethereal, and Song Hye Kyo is very fresh-faced and pretty. Atmospheric and old-school.
I do love Jang Hyuk, but this one promises to be a really heavy, difficult watch, so I’m not likely to check this out. Also, my friend Darla made this amazing tribute video that makes me feel like I’ve watched the show – without having to put in the hours.
I’m generally not big on medical dramas nor crime dramas, and this one is a mix of both, which is why I haven’t been keen to check this one out, even though Jang Hyuk’s in it. But, I’ve heard that this one is worth the watch, so I now have vague good intentions of checking it out. However, it’s not very high on my priority list, and my list of dramas to check out is longgg.
Boys Over Flowers
I got caught up in the furore when this one aired, and I lapped it up like everyone else. However, I can’t bring myself to rewatch this one now (I’ve tried). I can’t muster up enough affection for this drama to recommend it to others either.
I liked this one a lot when I watched it. This is quite possibly my favorite Lee Min Ho drama (if you didn’t know, I’m not a huge LMH fan). I found this cracky in all its melodramatic, action-oriented glory, and I found LMH’s City Hunter nonchalantly cool and badass. This one’s a pretty good time – as long as you don’t place a great deal of emphasis on the main loveline.
Dear My Friends
I honestly think this one is very, very good. Our veteran actors all shine in their own ways, and this is a rare story that allows older characters to take the spotlight instead of relegating them to the sidelines. It’s just that with Show’s exploration of aging, the meaning of life, and the inevitability of death, I chickened out at the E5 mark, and haven’t managed to go back to it yet.
I have good intentions about going back to finish this one. So far, it feels like a solid A.
Discovery Of Love
I finished this one, but I didn’t truly love it. Eric is amazingly schmexy in this (check out that bedroomy gaze. Flail.), which is why I finished it, but I honestly didn’t love the “modern city love” treatment of the loveline. It reminds me of 2011’s I Need Romance, which I also didn’t love. On the upside, I liked this more than I Need Romance. If you liked I Need Romance, you’d probably like this one. I’d rate this one a B.
Like I mentioned earlier, I’m not generally drawn to medical dramas, and this one is firmly a medical drama. I’ve heard so many good things about it over the years, though, that I have to admit I’m mildly intrigued. I might check this one out – someday.
I’ve had so many people ask me about this one. I’m sorry to say I haven’t seen this one, nor do I plan on watching it. Mainly, the premise doesn’t interest me, and I’m also not a fan of Ha Ji Won.
I know, I know. So many of you have asked me how I could possibly not have a Goblin post on the blog, given my affection for Gong Yoo. I tried to like this one, I truly did. I stuck with this for 10 episodes, before wandering off. This one just didn’t grab me. I liked the sageuk flashback bits, but the present-day stuff felt rather try-hard to my eyes, in the sense that everything felt a little overly scripted. For this reason, the bromance between Goblin and Grim Reaper didn’t grab me either.
I’ve been told that this one can be a very enjoyable watch, given the right contemplative mood, so I have vague intentions of giving this another try sometime. However, it is not high on my priority list.
Everyone raved about this one so much, that I decided to give it a try. I got about 4 or 5 episodes in before I decided that it wasn’t for me. I’d been told that the bromantic connection is The Thing that makes this worth the watch, despite the production being very rough around the edges. I failed to see the strong, cracky bromantic connection for the duration of my attempt to watch this show, and then the lack of sense-making eventually lost me.
I have fond cracky memories of this one. The production values lean low, since this is very retro, having aired in 2001, but I remember being completely sucked into the story. I also remember being very charmed by Bae Yong Joon’s suave character. As a bonus, A-list star Song Hye Kyo is a fresh-faced ingenue in this.
I realize that I haven’t truly enjoyed a Hong sisters drama in recent years. I dipped a toe into episode 1, but this one didn’t grab me, and I didn’t have the interest to continue.
I finished this one, but I didn’t love it as much as everyone else did. I found the initial episodes messy, and the middle episodes repetitive and therefore frustrating. It didn’t help that I also found Jo Jung Suk’s Hwa Shin aggravating and stubborn. The characters eventually grew on me, and I did find myself rather fond of them by the end, but I have to say that during the middle slumpy episodes, I found the secondary characters more interesting and engaging than our main trio. I gave this one a B.
Kill Me, Heal Me
I finished this, and just never got around to writing it the review it deserves.
Ji Sung is FANTASTIC in this, managing to make his multiple personalities actually feel like easily distinct characters, sometimes just by changing his gaze. It’s quite remarkable. Add on robust performances by the rest of the cast, and several thought-provoking themes around pain, healing and identity, and you’ve got yourself quite the gripping watch. I gave this one an A-.
Edit: Open Threads are listed here.
I don’t do well with horror, and this is why I’m unlikely to watch Kingdom, even though everyone has only good things to say about it. Maybe one day, when I’m feeling particularly brave.
Le Coup de Foudre [China]
I’m currently stuck at episode 11 out of show’s 35. I generally like slice-of-life, but this one felt extra slow and meandering to me. I feel like if I marathoned this, I’d like it better, so I might attempt that. It’s also very possible that I’ll get sidetracked by newer, shinier shows. 😛
Legend Of The Blue Sea
I liked the Joseon storyline in this show more than the modern one. I also wasn’t feeling significant chemistry between our leads. Essentially, after the initial mermaid-out-of-water hijinks, I started to lose interest. I wandered off after Jo Jung Suk’s very memorable cameo, and never felt the urge to go back.
Legend Of Fuyao [China]
I’ve had this one recommended to me a number of times, and I’ve even watched the first episode and enjoyed it fairly well. I just.. don’t yet have the fortitude to watch the whole thing, because, 1, it’s 66 episodes long, and 2, the various narrative pieces so far, especially the birth secret part, remind me quite a bit of other Chinese dramas I’ve watched, and therefore don’t feel very fresh, to my eyes. I have vague good intentions of giving this one another try.
I’d heard so many good things about this one, that I gave it a try despite not generally having an affinity for police dramas. I liked the first 2 episodes, but got derailed by the very bloody case in episode 3 which involves someone having their tongue cut off. Eep. 😳 I tried to get through E3, twice, but chickened out both times. I’m told that it’s fine to just skip the bloody E3 to watch the rest of the show, but I haven’t felt the urge to do so. Probably because I still hold it against Show, for scaring me. 😅
Medical Examiner Dr. Qin [China]
I’d heard lots of good things about this one, and so went into this with high hopes. I liked the teamwork and camaraderie just like everyone said I would, and I got a kick out of seeing Li Xian with a goatee. But I found the cases rather perfunctorily and conveniently written, which dulled my interest. I got 5 episodes in, before wandering off.
I was really into this one, and was mentally placing this show in A-territory, until I accidentally spoiled myself for the ending. And, since that ending didn’t jive with what I’d seen of a key character in terms of the writing and delivery, I couldn’t shake the feeling that the Big Twist at the end was likely shoehorned in for the shock value, rather than organically woven into the story from the start. With this strong suspicion hanging over my head, I couldn’t muster the interest to continue. For the record, I got 8 episodes into this one, before all this went down.
Here’s what I wrote about this show, in my 2018 year-in-review:
I tried to get into Mr. Sunshine because those who love this show love it a lot. I thought this one was beautifully and very expensively produced, with costuming that looked authentic to the times, and execution that felt cinematic. I also thought the actors were very solid in their deliveries. I liked Lee Byung Hun, Kim Tae Ri, Kim Min Jung and Byun Yo Han well enough, but it was Yoo Yeon Suk, with his tortured samurai vibe, that I found most arresting.
The thing is, I never felt fully pulled into this story, no matter how hard I tried. Some of the logic leaps (particularly in relation to the main loveline) niggled at me; I didn’t find myself particularly interested in the political aspect of our story, on which Show spends a fair bit of screen time; I realized that I wasn’t particularly gripped by these characters and their stories. The slow pace of the overall narrative didn’t help either.
I got 13 episodes into my watch, before I realized that I simply wasn’t looking forward to the next episode. That’s when I wandered off from this one, and haven’t had the inclination to go back, since. I’ve heard that Show gets really, really good from about the episode 19 mark, but.. I don’t know if I have the fortitude to actually get to episode 19.
13 episodes in, this one felt like a potential B or B+ to me. But, just know that lots of viewers consider this one an A.
My Girlfriend is a Gumiho
I watched this when it first aired, and loved it. It’s really cute and funny, but also manages to be moving and heartfelt. Lee Seung Gi is adorkably hapless, and Shin Min Ah is ethereal, beautiful and very winsome. This one made me laugh out loud, and then cry big fat tears. I’d give this one an A.
My Name is Kim Sam Soon
This is one of those times when I just can’t seem to love a show that everyone else loves. I finished it early in my drama journey, but it somehow didn’t steal my heart. I thought a rewatch might fix that, since I now have better drama-appreciating eyes (I like to think), but nope, as recently as last year, I still didn’t like it. I found Hyun Bin’s character too arrogant and annoying, and Kim Sun Ah’s character, too brusque. I also found Jung Ryeo Won’s second lead character presumptuous and entitled. Sorry folks. This one just wasn’t for me.
My Strange Hero
This one flew under the radar for me because the premise didn’t interest me. I’d dipped a toe into E1, but Show didn’t grab me. Granted, I was admittedly struggling with a touch of drama fatigue at the time, so it might land differently for me, if I were to try again. I don’t have active plans to watch this one, but I’m not writing it off either.
I actually loved this one, back in the day, and even watched it twice. Once on my own, and once with my sister, who also loved it. The thing is, I can’t quite figure out why I loved it.
Lee Sun Gyun’s Chef is very shouty, controlling and domineering, and Gong Hyo Jin’s apprentice chef is blithely, unabashedly smitten with him – that is, once she stops hating him for firing her. It sounds terrible, I know. But there’s something about this small drama world, with its small story about an underdog apprentice trying to make good as a chef, that really worked for me. I don’t know if I’d still love it if I were to watch it again now, but back when I first watched it, I would’ve given it an A-.
Here’s what I wrote about this show in my 2015 year-in-review:
So warm and cracky that I felt engaged right away. The stand-outs in this drama are really the well-written and excellently delivered characters, and their relationships. Lee Jong Suk and Park Shin Hye are wonderful both individually and together, and their easy chemistry consistently put a satisfied grin on my face. There are some logic fails to be sure, but those are heavily outweighed by Show’s positives.
I gave this one an A.
I don’t do well with horror, and I don’t do well with stories about cults. From what I know about this show, it’s hits some pretty real nerves, and is just the kind of stuff that might give me nightmares. I love my dramas, but not enough to risk nightmares, thank you very much. 😝😅
I loved this back when it first aired, and slurped it up like everyone else. More recently (maybe 3 years ago?), I attempted a rewatch for old times’ sake, and couldn’t get into it. I found our male lead character too much of an unpleasant, entitled jerk, and all the so-called thrilling close encounters just didn’t land the same way for me like they once did. The Hyun Bin Handsome used to be enough to blind me to everything else, but not anymore, I guess. I much prefer Hyun Bin in Crash Landing on You. 😉
Shine Or Go Crazy
Here’s what I wrote about this one in my 2015 year-in-review post:
Show is quite delightful, light and cracky in its earlier stretch, with strong performances by its leads and excellent chemistry almost all the way round. Unfortunately, Show takes a heavy, melodramatic turn in its latter episodes, and chooses a rather weak ending. Still worth the watch though, for the excellent performances by Jang Hyuk, Oh Yeon Seo and Lee Ha Nui.
I gave this one a B.
Save Your Last Dance For Me
I have very fond memories of this show, probably because this was only my second kdrama ever. I loved Ji Sung in this, and I lapped up all the melodramatic angst, mixed with romantic tension, that Show served up. Pure love, against all the odds? Yes, please, and thank you. Show gets draggy in its second half, but I didn’t care.
I got 3 episodes into this, before feeling the need for a break. From what I can see, Show is as good as everyone else says it is. It’s just not an easy watch at all, with all the serial killing going on. I have good intentions of going back to this one, so that I can gush about it, along with everyone else.
Six Flying Dragons
I made the mistake of watching this at the same time as Chinese epic Nirvana in Fire. For the record, Nirvana in Fire is a masterpiece among masterpieces, and it ruined me for dramas for a good while, after I was done. Also for the record, there are enough similarities between the two stories, to beg a comparison. I’m sorry to say that when placed side by side, I much preferred Nirvana in Fire, which felt much more intricately written, and much more polished than Six Flying Dragons.
I did try to like this one, though.
On my first try, I got up to episode 20, before taking a break. I then came back to SFD, and pressed on until episode 30. At the episode 30 point, I realized that I didn’t actually care about our characters, and decided that I didn’t truly want to watch 20 more episodes of this. I might go back to give this another try, if the mood strikes me, and perhaps third time will really be the charm.. but I wouldn’t hold my breath. 😅
Stairway to Heaven
A sobfest among sobfests, I think of Stairway to Heaven as being representative of Classic Hallyu, where melodramatic angst is the order of the day, and happy endings are for wusses. I finished this back in the day, and hated the ending, but I have to admit that while I was watching it, I genuinely wanted to know what happened next.
Stranger / Secret Forest
Legal thrillers aren’t my usual cup of tea, but Show’s wide and gushy fanbase has me intrigued. I need to check this one out, just to see for myself, how fantastic this one is. And then hopefully I’ll like it enough to go on to Season 2, which I hear is just as good.
Strangers From Hell
I don’t do well with horror, and the synopsis doesn’t pique my interest enough for me to want to give this a try. Sorry, folks. 😝
I was absolutely going to give this a miss as well, because like I keep saying, I don’t do well with horror. But whaddya know, Lee Do Hyun is in this, and I recently loved him to bits in 18 Again (so good, y’all. 😍 Go watch it, if you haven’t!), and my friends have been telling me how good this is, so.. I might just talk myself into giving this at least a toe-dip – with the proviso that I get to run away without looking back, if I feel the need to. 😝😅
Update: Flash Review is here.
An early healing drama, Thank You is a warm melodrama that is very much worth the watch. Jang Hyuk and Gong Hyo Jin both put in excellent performances, and Seo Shin Ae is precocious and wonderful as Gong Hyo Jin’s character’s daughter, who’s been diagnosed as HIV-positive. Bonus points to Show for being set on a rural island instead of the busy streets of Seoul.
The Greatest Love
This is one of the earlier Hong sisters dramas where I started to realize that their shows weren’t working for me the same way they used to. I finished this one, but didn’t love it. It’s been almost 10 years since this aired, so my memory is hazy in terms of why I didn’t take to this one. I think it’s one of those times when k-humor just didn’t jive with me. I also didn’t (and probably still don’t) like the man-child type of male lead. 😝😅
The Pillow Book [China]
I loved Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms, but didn’t much care for the loveline between Feng Jiu and Di Jun, and so have no plans to check this one out. I’ve also heard that the production values are comparatively lacking, in this one.
The Untamed [China]
So many fans have urged me to check this one out; it is that much loved. I am admittedly intimidated by the high episode count (50!), because when I did my episode 1 toe-dip, I didn’t get very far. 😝 Everything looked quite cheap and cheesy to me, but to be fair, I attempted E1 while in the midst of a bit of a drama slump. I have good intentions of giving this another, fairer, chance.
Time Between Dog and Wolf
With its 2007 vintage, Show looks dated in comparison to its newer cousins, but this one was solidly engaging and heartfelt all the way through, whereas many newer shows in a similar genre lose the plot partway through. In particular, this is an excellent showcase of Lee Jun Ki‘s acting range.
Tree With Deep Roots
Really solid, and highly educational too, Show paints a compelling picture of how King Sejong developed the Hangul writing system, fighting against opposition, and against all odds. Han Suk Kyu, Jang Hyuk and Shin Se Kyung are all excellent in this. Highly recommend.
While You Were Sleeping
I’ve heard good things about this one, but when I tried out episode 1, it reminded me too much of I Hear Your Voice, which is by the same writer, and which also stars Lee Jong Suk. I couldn’t shake the same-old, same-old feeling, and opted not to continue. I haven’t completely written off the possibility of giving this another try, but it’s not high on the priority list.
An iconic Hallyu classic, Winter Sonata is a show that’s managed to grab my heart, each time I’ve watched it. I watched it twice early in my drama journey, and then rewatched it some years later. Yes, it gets angsty and melodramatic in the second half, and yes, there are some terrible characters in this, but there’s something so ethereal about the OST, and something so pure and enduring about the idea of our OTP’s Fated Love, that I lap it up anyway.
This list isn’t comprehensive, of course. But I do hope that this helps to clear up most of the questions you guys might have, about what I think of various dramas. Of course, things might change if / when I get around to checking out some of these shows. If that happens, and I write about them, I’ll come back to this post to update with links to reviews (or dropped posts, heh).
Do feel free to share your thoughts about these dramas in the comments. Who knows, you just might intrigue me enough to bump some of these shows up my list? 😉
I hope this list helps!
1. If you feel that I missed anything, or if you have your own insights that you’d like to share with the rest of us, do tell us about it in the comments!
2. Do you have a question of your own? Drop me a comment here or on the Dear kfangurl page, or send me an email!