All About Love Stories: By Kate!

In case you missed it, we have yet another guest post series to enjoy, this month!

Unlike our previous guest post series, this one was kind of an accident, almost. I have Ele to thank for this one, because it was her innocent question about something, that made me casually talk about the off-the-top-of-my-head, hypothetical possibility of a guest post series on love, in the month of February, in honor of Valentine’s Day.

So many folks on Patreon responded enthusiastically to this idea, that I felt that it would be remiss of me, not to actually make it happen, come February.

And so, here we are. This month, we will enjoy a total of nine guest posts from patrons on Patreon, on the topic of love stories. The brief is pretty flexible, in that, each writer is free to go deep, or go wide, on anything around the topic of love stories in Dramaland. I feel like we have a lot to look forward to, this month! 🥰

You can check out Uyen’s inaugural post here, and Jaco_4950’s post here.

Today’s post is brought to you by Kate, whom you may have seen around the blog, as well as on Patreon. Like Jaco_4950 did in her post, today is the first time Kate’s introducing herself to us properly (YAY for proper introductions! 🤩). I’m so glad that we have this chance, to get to know her better!

I hope you guys enjoy!

~ KFG ❤️

Introduction 

So I know I said I don’t have time to do this but here I am typing away happily. How come I did not manage to make time for “year-end lists” or “How I got hooked on Kdrama” posts but the topic of LOVE stories made me crack my knuckles? Well, they might just be my favorite kind of stories 😊

I’ll start off with a bit of my origin story since I missed writing for the guest post series last month, and I haven’t really posted that much in general. Until now that is, anyway!

I live in Europe and work remotely for a scientific medical journal. I have a PhD in neurobiology though, and before I switched gears, worked in academic research for 10 plus years. I live in a rooftop apartment in a big city with my cat, Luci, and love traveling. I think I am not the only one who misses travelling these days. Let’s hope this pandemic will come to an end soon!

How did I tumble down the Kdrama rabbit hole?

“The 100”

I used to watch this American sci-fi show on the CW called “The 100”, which, for the first 4 seasons, was my favorite thing on television in a long time.

Its central themes were the morally grey choices in a post-apocalyptic world, and the relationships between the characters. Good stuff. It has since been butchered by the show-runner and has ended with a whimper.

Back then, I was involved with the passion of a 17-year-old fangirl. I discussed the show daily on a forum; I was a content creator for gifs and avatars/ icons; the whole nine yards. I even made friends from around the globe, the core group of which I have actually met up with in person, just before the pandemic.

So one day, a writer for an online TV review platform penned a couple of pieces about “The 100” and I started following her on twitter. When she started tweeting gif threads about “Crash Landing On You” (and other shows since then), I ran off to watch it and I was in love big time.

How was there this magical world of kdrama out there that I had never even heard of?

After a few hits and some misses in the shows I picked after that – I had no clue what I was doing – I came across KFG’s fabulous page, and it has been my trusty and much-loved guide through Dramaland ever since.

With very few exceptions, my opinions align perfectly with KFG’s opinions, so it made finding shows I love a whole lot easier. The added benefit of course, being this wonderful community of lovely people here, with so many good recommendations, and such wonderful insights!

I don’t really have a preferred genre in kdrama, but with the general state of the world teetering on the edge of dumpster fire, I find myself drawn to romance and fluff more than I used to be.

That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the occasional foray into other genres. I watched and loved “Sweet Home”, “My Name”, “Move to Heaven”, “Kingdom” and the amazing “Beyond Evil” in 2021.

“Beyond Evil”

However, the bitter lesson I have learned, is that if a show has the world “melodrama” in the description, I should run for the hills! The amount of ugly crying I have done for some shows.. Let’s just say it left me dehydrated and emotionally exhausted. Looking at you here, “Queen for 7 days”, “The Red Sleeve”, “Mr. Sunshine”.

I have watched an impressive (read: embarrassing) 88 shows in the last two years (to be fair, I dropped 15). I was also shocked by how many it actually was, when I compiled a list the other day, so maybe I could give Sean a run for his money after all. 😛

My bestie Sarah from “The 100” days has finally come around to watching kdramas with me, now so I no longer have to enjoy the fun all by myself. We zoom on our tablets, and stream the drama on our laptops, so we can ooooh and aaaah and squeeee together.

It’s the next best thing to actually, physically sharing a couch! I’m in Europe and she in Malaysia, so that would be tough to accomplish even without the pandemic. She tends to lean darker, so we started things off with “Beyond Evil” last year, a drama I might otherwise have postponed, since I’m a chicken when it comes to psycho-thrillers.

We moved on to “Stranger”, which we loved for all the scenes between Cho Seung-woo and Bae Doo-na but found ourselves a bit underwhelmed in general (sorry to all who love it!). “Flower of Evil” however, was right up our alley and we loved, loved, LOVED it!

So finally on to the actual topic of this rambling post,

❤️💖 KDRAMA LOVE ❤️💖

Kdrama love, in “Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo”

When it comes to love stories, I enjoy all the tropes genres, the soulmates, the enemies to lovers, the fake dating, the arranged marriages, the best friends to lovers, the bromances and womances, the close familial bonds! As long as the emotion rings true, I am all here for it.

I don’t need my love stories to be neat and clean like “Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo,” which I found to be breezy fun with an adorable Lee Song-Kyoung and a cute Nam Joo-Hyuk. They can be messy like “Start-Up,” which I liked a lot more than everyone else it seems lol (I did NOT think the second lead deserved the girl and I shall await your comments! 😉).

They can be painful and hard to watch like “Just Between Lovers,” a show that managed to break my heart several times (they made Jun-Ho suffer SO much in this). I also find myself entertained by ridiculous fluff such as “So I married an Anti-Fan.

I’m even in for the complicated-to-the-point-of-dysfunctional love stories (if given the time to be resolved) like “Goong,” which is a long slog to get through. Despite the evil side characters and mountain of contrived misunderstandings and miscommunications (I mean really, I’m rolling my eyes just thinking about it), for me it redeems itself through the true emotion between the leads.

“Lovers of the Red Sky”

Love stories I like can also be big, sprawling, epic love stories like “Lovers of the Red Sky.” I managed to ignore the complicated magic backdrop entirely, because I was completely mesmerized by the swoon-worthy romantic scenes of the too-gorgeous-for-words Kim Yoo-Jeong and Ahn Hyo-Seop.

I’m here for the silly “Secret Garden;” what an entertaining romp that is, and what a dreamy Hyun Bin! I smiled through the fun and whimsical “Secret Royal Inspector and Joy” (I desperately needed to see Ok Taecyeon as someone other than the evil psycho he plays in Vincenzo).

The quiet and understated love story “Because This is my First Life” warmed my heart (fun easter egg, Jung So-Min and Lee Min-ki show up in a cameo in What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim). I even love the barely hinted at love story in the high-speed-no-time-to-catch-your-breath action drama “Vagabond”.

“Because This Is My First Life”

I am here for it 💖❤️💖ALL💖❤️💖.

In general, I like to see some sort of acknowledgment of feelings around the halfway mark (at least to the viewer, not necessarily between the love interests), so Show can devote a decent amount of time on resolving whatever conflicts that stand in the way of eternal bliss, whether they be internal or external obstacles.

More time for the OTP sharing a screen and being adorable doesn’t hurt either, of course! Will-they-or-won’t-they is great fun, but if it’s drawn out too long with ever more ludicrous tropes to keep the OTP apart, I find myself getting bored and annoyed.

Whether I’m drawn to a story or not, is purely based on my emotional response to it. While on an intellectual level, I may appreciate such things as cinematography and production value, if it’s not hitting me in the feelz, it’s not for me. I guess everyone may be a bit like that, right?

This means I can be incredibly forgiving about plot holes and tropes if the chemistry of the OTP sweeps me off my feet and vice versa, or extremely nitpicky about details when I’m not feeling the love story. It is probably somewhat of a viewing lens, as KFG calls it, or romance-tinted goggles maybe. 😃

“It’s Okay To Not Be Okay”

I really 💖 loved 💖 and would recommend “It’s Okay To Not Be Okay”, which nails the near impossible feat of bringing together laugh-out-loud-funny, an incredible love story, and the pain and joy of living with an autistic sibling ,in a truly memorable drama (to this day, it’s my favorite kdrama).

In my top 10 are surely also “Healer”, “Flower of Evil” and “Romance is a Bonus Book” but I’ll just ramble on a bit about two of my favorite rom-coms to finish this post. They are definitely on the lighter end of the spectrum, which is just what you need sometimes. 😉

If you haven’t seen them, beware, for Here there be spoilers:

[SPOILERS FOR WHAT’S WRONG WITH SECRETARY KIM & FIGHT FOR MY WAY]

What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim

(nothing actually, she is fabulous and I love her 😃)

This was brought up on many a Google search as the ultimate rom-com in the kdrama-world, and since I loved Park Min Young in Healer, this was an obvious early choice for me.

It was also the revelation of seeing Park Seo Joon for the first time and omg, this boy could charm anyone’s socks off, right? *swoons and flails*

I often struggle with the passive / submissive role sometimes given to female characters in kdrama, and tend to be more drawn to the ones with plucky female leads who stand their ground. In What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim, there are a few familiar tropes, such as him being the (seemingly) egotistical, rich and powerful CEO, and her, his executive assistant.

However, what makes it work for me, is that she is no wilting flower, and is presented as extremely good at her job. It’s made clear that he (and the company) can hardly do without her. The tragic backstory is a bit contrived but I feel that way about most “traumatic events that connect the OTP.” Also, have I mentioned that I can overlook a lot of flaws when I want to? 😃

I loved watching Young Joon (Park Seo Joon) realize his feelings, and being the one pining and seeking advice from his friend (their bromance is comedy gold). It’s not the girl who swoons and pines for her rich and powerful boss but the trope is put on its head.

Watching him come to the realization that he isn’t just freaked out by the fact that his trusty sidekick is leaving him after years, but that instead, he is in love with her, is really fun to watch.

She kisses him first! One of my pet peeves in kdrama is the male lead kissing the female lead without “obvious” or explicit consent; it makes me cringe sometimes.

However, here Kim Mi So (Park Min Young) isn’t just passively letting stuff happen to her; Show makes it clear that she wants him as well, and is an equal and active participant in the physical affection displayed.

Our leads are on equal footing in their relationship despite the outward difference in status. And what is probably the most enjoyable for me, is that this story does not immediately end when the main couple gets together.

Instead, you are shown their struggles of learning how to be in a relationship with each other. They are both growing together, and making concessions for each other, and it’s lovely to watch.

Is this show ridiculous, silly and over the top? Absolutely.

But it brings genuine sweetness and emotional payoff to your screens as well.

PS: It also doesn’t hurt that PSJ and PMY’s chemistry is OFF THE CHARTS.

When I watched this for the first time, my viewing lens for displays of physical affection had already been Kdrama-tized to the point that I almost fell off my couch in some of the romantic scenes.

This adjustment to the far tamer romantic scenes in kdrama, compared to US shows, always makes me think back to the director’s commentary for the Keira Knightly remake of Pride and Prejudice. That taking someone’s hand could be considered erotic, as people normally would wear gloves and there was no skin on skin contact ever.

So after years of watching mostly American TV shows, it is refreshing to swoon over a chaste (or in the case of What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim not-so-chaste) kiss. 😃

Fight for My Way

My favorite trope (apart from maybe arranged marriage) is friends to lovers. If I had to pick the ultimate friends-to-lovers story, this would probably be it.

Early on in the show, we see that for all intents and purposes, our two leads are already in a (platonic) relationship. They are really comfortable around each other and whatever happens in their lives, they run to share it with each other.

They may squabble like siblings, but the shift to realizing their romantic interest is organic and believable, and at times hilariously awkward.

What made me root for them, is just how close they are, and the adorable moments shown in flashbacks, of how these two have always been with each other in important moments of their lives.

Show does really well in bringing to life, the depth of their connection (even before the romance).

Early on, when Ae Ra is having an exceptionally crappy day, the way he shields her from the world by spreading his jacket around her, so she can hide and cry, just melted my heart. Just this one scene would have been enough to sell this love story, for me.

If you want a fun, fluffy, relatable and sweet romance that is so rewarding that you walk away with a big grin on your face, then this is perfect for you.

If you just want to witness how Park Seo Joon can go from adorable goofball one second to smoldering hot and swoon-worthy in the next, these two dramas are well worth a look (or two 😉)!

In closing

Thank you, KFG, for creating this fantastic little corner of the interwebs, and for giving me this space to share my thoughts and feels! Thank you all, who’ve managed to read through this rambling post. I can’t wait to read everyone else’s! ❤️

~ Kate

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Timescout
1 month ago

Yup, I do know and I’m looking forward to it. 😄

Timescout
1 month ago
Reply to  Timescout

This was ment to @ beez, no idea how it ended up here. 🤔

beez
1 month ago
Reply to  Timescout

@Timescout – I saw it. 😆 And I’m so looking forward to “…Drapevine” 😆

I loved it when I watched it in spite of the fact that DramaFever’s subtitles were sorely lacking. I think I would’ve enjoyed it even more if it had given detailed subs with explanations (the way Viki used to do). So I’m hoping that Kocowa’s subs are better than the subs were when I watched it, and that a lot of different viewpoints will add more toward understanding some of the characters’ actions.

Timescout
1 month ago
Reply to  beez

Oh, I was totally obsessed with Grapevine when it aired. 😄 Wrote several gleefull posts about it too. It’s still one of my all time faves.

I seem to recall that all the subs were somewhat lacking regardless of the provider. One of the posters at Soompi forum translated several dialogues that the subbers didn’t quite manage to get right and so the true meaning of the conversations had got “lost in translation”. She provided other handy tidbits as well.

That Grapevien thread is still available and I think I’m going to browse it through when the time comes.

eda harris
eda harris
3 months ago

kate, what a delightful box of fresh belgium (these are my favorites) chocolates, all wrapped in lovely delicate paper full of hearts in different colors and sizes, with a huge pink bow on top – that is truly your article on love and that is what you gave us all for valentine’s day! big thank you.
you are an incurable romantic.
your writing streams like a wonderful free flowing, natural chatter with a close friend sitting next to you in a cozy coffee shop – i almost felt included. needless to say how much i enjoyed it.

kate
kate
3 months ago
Reply to  eda harris

Wow eda 🥰

Thank you so much, truly humbled by all the praise! I am indeed a hopeless romantic for better or for worse 😂

I love that you felt included! 😍

Shahz
Shahz
3 months ago

Kate, I so enjoyed this post! Quite a few of my favourites as well! Secret Garden is my favourite show. I love it for all its unbashed craziness.

Just so you know I cried ugly tears with Red Sleeve for days. I even rewatched the last two episodes to get closure and cried again. I am pretty tough normally but omg this show got under my skin and I ordinarily struggle with

kate
kate
3 months ago
Reply to  Shahz

Oh thank you 🥰

Now why would you rewatch the last 2 episodes of The Red Sleeve? lol 😭

I cry easily so I need to prepare myself with piles of tissues 😂 I can cry in any show 🙈

Ele Nash
3 months ago

Aw, Kate, you are a romantic girl after my own heart! OTP is everything and I agree, I can forgive an awful lot with a swoony OTP at the heart of it (I highly recommend It’s Okay, That’s Love which has flaws but the OTP is sparkling 💓) And funny you should mention Pride and Prejudice – my blog later in the month may mention that once or twenty times… 🥰

kate
kate
3 months ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

Ha, a fellow romance-goggles-firmly-in-place watcher 🤣 I love it! I look forward to your post then! 🤩

Jiyuu
Jiyuu
3 months ago

I absolutely loved Flower of Evil when it first came out. I think it’s the first kdrama I live-watched and was actively hounding my friends to watch it with me. The pacing and mystery reveals felt so fresh and the love story was moving. I have to admit that my enthusiasm waned considerably because of some noticeable logic lapses (and my standards aren’t high!) in the last stretch of the series—so much so that I haven’t gotten the courage to rewatch it again (which I usually do for shows that I loved as much as I initially did for Flower of Evil). Purely for the romance aspect, I agree with @Trent’s reasons on what makes it special. That’s why I haven’t removed it on my list of favorites too.

Park Min Young has great chemistry with everyone she’s been partnered with and I think her role in WWWSK is one of her most likeable (I love Healer but I had some minor issues with her character in it).

I’ve seen interesting reviews about So I Married an Anti-Fan and now that you mentioned it here, I might check it out next.

kate
kate
3 months ago
Reply to  Jiyuu

Hi! I also had some (small) issues with PMY‘s character in Healer.

Healer spoiler
They made her seem an incompetent headless chicken who sucks at her job 😬 and needs men to tell her what’s what 🙄

Don‘t expect too much from Antifan lol It’s completely silly. I have no clue why I enjoyed it 🤣

Jiyuu
Jiyuu
3 months ago
Reply to  kate

There are shows like that 🙂 Now I wanna check it out more. I like the female lead from what I saw in Tell Me What You Saw.

Jiyuu
Jiyuu
3 months ago
Reply to  kate

I binged it over the weekend 😆😆😆 There were weak/awkward parts for sure (plus the most insecure side characters I’ve seen in a while) but I think we enjoyed it because of the leads. Neither were annoying individually and together they weren’t too cheesy.

kate
kate
1 month ago
Reply to  Jiyuu

Jiyuu, I must have missed your reply somehow :O So fun that you liked it LOL And indeed the side characters are mostly cringe inducing! Relieved you didn’t hate it 😉

Jiyuu
Jiyuu
1 month ago
Reply to  kate

Just saw this now too. I liked the main couple’s interactions a lot that I ended up rewatching a lot of parts in the middle episodes (5-11?). The male lead isn’t the most expressive of actors but among other things, I think I liked it too that once his character decided to trust the female lead completely, he didn’t waver (in terms of trust) anymore like other leads in other dramas do. Hah. This is a show that by all regular metrics “shouldn’t” be enjoyed but we did.

kate
kate
1 month ago
Reply to  Jiyuu

ikr? How refreshing to see less wavering than normal 😅
I have never seen the ML in anything else.
I agree, I liked it even though I didn’t think I would 😆. What are you watching atm? I need to check up on the current patreon thread, I’m so behind 🙈

Jiyuu
Jiyuu
1 month ago
Reply to  kate

Not sure if you know but apparently Anti-fan was pre-produced back in 2018 but had issues with distribution. I was wondering how they got to shoot in Japan during the pandemic and that’s how I came upon the story. The ML is married to Park Shin Hye in real life.

As for shows, I just finished Reset (which I know you didn’t like) and also Business Proposal (which I found hilarious but was lukewarm with the romance part). I’m tentatively following Our Blues (I tend to lose interest during the “long” wait for ongoing dramas) and also just started a modern c-drama called Love Designer. So far so good. It’s my third drama starring Dilraba since Christmas.

Have you ever watched Three Lives, Three Worlds, Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms (aka Eternal Love)? If you haven’t I think you’ll like it a lot. KFG’s review is sooo spot on. I prefer the subs of Viki over Netflix though.

kate
kate
1 month ago
Reply to  Jiyuu

Oh I had no clue, neither that the show had distribution issues nor that he is married to Park Shin Hye irl (I know next to nothing about the bts stuff 😉 ) I am loving Business Proposal so far (finished ep 6 last night) and find the leads and the romance adorable! <3
Thank you for the recommendation of Three Lives, Three Worlds, Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms (aka Eternal Love), I will put it on my watchlist (I started a random C drama that viki keeps recommending to me lol called “The Sword and the Brocade” but have only made it through the pilot so far. I watched the first episode of “Shooting Stars” and quite liked it.
And I know what you mean about losing interest during the “long” wait. I watched the first 6 episodes of “Prosecutor Doberman” in 2 days and have not caught up with the episodes released since then. I think I am more the binge type than episode per week type 😉

Jiyuu
Jiyuu
27 days ago
Reply to  kate

Oh. I just saw Sh**ting Stars and thought you’d like it too and wanted to recommend. Then I saw that you’d already seen it. 🙂

About The Sword and the Brocade… Hmmm. I’m wary of most Chinese dramas actually, even those that are fan favorites. I’d rather you bump up Eternal Love (Three Lives, Three Worlds, Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms) in your watchlist 🙂 Give it til the early teen episodes. I have a strong feeling you’d like it! Here’s KFG’s flash review: https://thefangirlverdict.com/2017/04/13/flash-review-ten-miles-of-peach-blossom-china/

Ah. But don’t read all the way down, just the initial few paragraphs.

kate
kate
26 days ago
Reply to  Jiyuu

too late! 😂 already around 22 episodes into Sword and Brocade. I hear you, I‘ve come across many that I ended up dropping.

Will def give Eternal Love a shot!

seankfletcher
seankfletcher
3 months ago

I don’t think you rambled at all, Kate. You gave such a wonderful insight regarding those dramas that have become a part of you. I think I have watched every drama you have listed in your post 😊

I used to watch The 100 as well. I stopped somewhere in the middle of Season 3. I did have a good discussion with Lee Tenant, a good friend of The Verdict re her thoughts on the final season of The 100 a couple of years ago – in short, she did make me laugh when she said she would finally be free when it finished 😂

Like phl, I agree your breakdown of WWWSK is fabulous. I though show was delightful. I though IONTBO was something very special and the whole fairy tale/Tim Burton feel really worked for me. Because This Is My First Life is very special too. I kept my fingers crossed throughout that the writers wouldn’t blow it!

Now when we talk Pride and Prejudice, I like all the versions including the one with Zombies in it 😂 You make a great point when contrasting kdramas with how romance is portrayed in other shows. We can still enjoy a good show without the need for it to be overt. What is left to the imagination is still the most powerful way to engage us.

Oh, and I loved Vagabond too – Suzy proved a point and I would be very happy to see a second season 😎😎😎

kate
kate
3 months ago
Reply to  seankfletcher

Sean! 🙃 Thank you for your kind words!

I love that you call it a Tim Burton feel bc that’s exactly what it is. I wished at the time someone would show it to him 😂 He would love the stories and the drawings!

I still have to watch the zombie version of P&P but friends told me it’s fun, so I‘ll make sure to do that soon-ish.

Your friend is right about The 100, I abandoned it after 3 episodes of s07, I couldn’t keep watching. Friends who stuck it out to the bitter end used sinilar expressions to „finally free“ as well 😬

And hell yes to Vagabond season 2, wouldn’t that be great? 🤩

seankfletcher
seankfletcher
3 months ago
Reply to  kate

@Kate – Vagabond 2 would be awesome 😎😎😎

Timescout
3 months ago

Hi Kate! Glad to make your acquaintance. 🙂

I had to laugh reading about your involvement with the “100” fandom as that sounded so much like me about 15 years ago. 😀 Only with me it was couple of western shows in a row. Fun times. I still keep in touch with the core group of one of the fandoms. And yes, we’ve met more than once, though the last time for me was some years ago.

Romance isn’t really my genre (in general) but I do enjoy reading these posts, even if I don’t have any wise… or unwise words to add to these dicussions. 🙂

kate
kate
3 months ago
Reply to  Timescout

Hey timescout 👋

Sharing a fandom with others can be so much fun, right? ☺️

What are your fav non-romance dramas then, I‘m curious 🧐

Timescout
3 months ago
Reply to  kate

Most of my fave dramas tend to be slice-of-life, crime/mysteries and fantasy . So, here are some of them…

Korea : Avengers Social Club, Stranger, Heard it through the Drapevine, Heartless City, I Live in Cheongdam-dong, Mawang, Resurrection, Yoo Na’s Street. My gateway drama, The Legend will always have a place in my heart. 🙂 Hmmm… I just realised that all of these (apart from Stranger), actually have varying degree of romance in them. 😀 It’s not the main thing in any though, nor the main draw for me.

Japan: Yasashii Jikan, Unnatural, Juhan Shuttai, Seirei no Moribito, Beach Boys

Mainland China: Of Monks and Masters, Ever Night, Joy of Life, The Untimed, The Imperial Coroner, CrossFire

kate
kate
1 month ago
Reply to  Timescout

Oh thanks so much for the recommendations!! 🙂

Timescout
1 month ago
Reply to  kate

You are welcome! But these spelling mistakes, sheesh. Heard it through the Grapevine… “drapevine” ha. And it should be The Untamed… “The Untimed” would make it a totally different drama. 😂

beez
1 month ago
Reply to  Timescout

@Timescout – Are you aware that KFG is sponsoring a group watch of I Heard it Through the Drapevine soon? 😁

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 month ago
Reply to  beez

@Beez – I am def in on that GW as I have never seen it before.

Timescout
1 month ago
Reply to  beez

My reply to you somehow went to the bottom of the reply pile. 😅 But yeah, I’m aware and will be rewatching it.

J3ffc
J3ffc
3 months ago

Hi Kate (fellow scientist here!). OK, second post in a row where CLOY was the gateway drama. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised…it’s the only K-drama that I have ever overheard other people talking about in the real world (a haircutting emporium). I had to skip the bottom part of the post since I’d not seen either drama, but will probably go ahead and punch play on Secretary Kim one of these days), but your other observations are so spot on. Gently, though, I’d note that

Whiny Stuff You Really Don’t Need to Read
I’d really have preferred spoiler warnings around Start-Up, which I haven’t seen. Second lead swooping is so rare in the wild I’d have loved to have been surprised by that one.

I admire your inventiveness in finding a drama buddy to squee with! I have learned, painfully, to quit mentioning K-dramas to my research team (although I occasionally lapse, like when I showed a coworker that hilarious K-dramaaddiction video with Amy and Ben, and she expressed an interest in Mr. Queen from the clip).

Thanks for sharing the great post and being a now-vocal part of the Verdict Community. It’ll take all of us to even get started on putting out that dumpster fire….

kfangurl
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  J3ffc

Ah, just jumping in to assure you that the second lead does not, in fact, get the girl in Start-up! Which is why I hadn’t thought a spoiler warning was necessary, when I edited this post. It’s just that LOTS of viewers felt that they preferred the second male lead to the male lead. Sorry for alarming you unnecessarily!! 😛😅

J3ffc
J3ffc
3 months ago
Reply to  kfangurl

Thanks for the clarification!

kate
kate
3 months ago
Reply to  J3ffc

heya, J3ff! So sorry about StartUp. Basically what Kfangurl said! Still, I feel terrible 😣 I will be more cautious in the future and gigure out spoiler tags!

spoiler tag test
I think I just did 👀

Please go and watch WWWSK 🤩 I hope you will love it!!

and yeah, ngl, I was really missing the shared experience when i was watching kdrama all by myself in 2020 lol Having a buddy to squee with makes everything so much more fun!! 🥰

J3ffc
J3ffc
3 months ago
Reply to  kate

@kate, oh, please don’t feel bad! Going back and re-reading I see what you meant – instead, I apologize for being dense (this is what happens when I read and comment in my insomniacal fugue in the middle of the night). To make up for being unnecessarily critical, I’d mention you could also see Ok Taecyeon in the oh-so-slight-but-still-fun Bring It On, Ghost. Fairly given a B by kfangurl, it is also fun for its numerous Let’s Eat cameos.

Thanks for the W3SK thumbs up and enjoy those spoiler tags. I have way too much fun with those.

kate
kate
3 months ago
Reply to  J3ffc

I have my eye on Bring it on, Ghost 👀
Thanks! I habe watched the trailer 3 times I think 😂

Natalia
Natalia
3 months ago

Dear Kate! Such a fun read, especially since it seems we have the same favourite shows when it comes to love stories: Fight for my way is in my top 10 dramas, together with It’s OK to not be OK, and I also found Secretary Kim to be such an enjoyable show. Also, I just loved, loved Flower of Evil. If it weren’t for serious time zones constraints, I think I would apply for membership in your kshows’ team with Sara!

kate
kate
3 months ago
Reply to  Natalia

Thank you!

haha, applications welcome I guess? lol I would need to check with Sarah first 🤔😂

FOE is on my „shows to rewatch“ list. I totally ignored all flaws and logic fails the first time around, that’s how smitten I was with the actors‘ performances.

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
3 months ago

Kate – that was great! As I am also a fan of Park Seo Joon, I quite enjoyed your write up of Secretary Kim and Fight. Good job you. I re-watch these when I am in the mood for something sweet.

I have to tell you that I just appreciate your use of this phrase “with the general state of the world teetering on the edge of dumpster fire“. Thanks for that laugh! We all need to laugh more.

kate
kate
3 months ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

Thank you! 🥰

Yeah we all can use some more laughs these days, right? These 2 fluffy romcoms are like comfort food ☺️

uyen
3 months ago

Your post was so great, Kate! I totally loved some of the ones you mentioned like Just Between Lovers, Move To Heaven, Because This Is My First Life, Weightlifting Fairy, It’s Okay To Not Be Okay. Goong was one of the earliest kdramas I watched too hehe, and I still have a soft spot for the contract marriage trope. I am here for the friends to lovers trope, have to check out Fight For My Way!

Natalia
Natalia
3 months ago
Reply to  uyen

Oh Uyen, do check it!

kate
kate
3 months ago
Reply to  Natalia

yes, please do watch it, it’s a lot of fun and the romance is very sweet 🥰

kate
kate
3 months ago
Reply to  uyen

Oh thanks, Uyen 🥰

I also have a huge soft spot for arranged marriage. If you haven’t already and don’t mind zombie apocalypse (lots of violence and gore), Happiness has a teally cute „contract marriage“ scenario as well 😂

Su San
Su San
3 months ago

LOVE your post, especially your description of viewing through a romantic. It is so fun to connect with others who have fallen down the rabbit hole! I have bookmarked SO many clips from Secretary Kim in YouTube that it now has its own playlist.

Looking forward to seeing PSJ in the Marvels movie, aren’t you?

Thanks again….❤❤❤

kate
kate
3 months ago
Reply to  Su San

Thanks, Su San! ☺️

I love that you have a YT playlist for WWWSK clips 🤣😍
I should make one as well lol 🤔

I will need to keep an eye out for PSJ‘s new movie, definitely 😉

JJ
JJ
3 months ago

Hey Kate – Yay for the proper introduction 🙂 Love! LOVE!!! LOVE your post. OMO! I cannot believe someone else in this space who loved “The 100”, too, well, until Season 4. Why did they ruin that amazing Show?

I LOVED Start Up! I am still puzzled why it gets soooo much not love. I agree, I do NOT think the second lead should have gotten the girl either. He had his chance, he blew it and he lost her. Not that he shouldnt find someone, he just was not for our FL!!!

I love it you have a Kdrama Bestie, too !!!! Thats sooooo fun you two Zoom on the Tablets and watch the Shows together! Must talk to Shahz about this 🙂

OMO! You have sooo many Shows I love as well. YAY! Is Flower of Evil that good? The title alone scares me 😬

Awesome post!

Trent
3 months ago
Reply to  JJ

JJ – I loved Flower of Evil (I had it in #3 spot on my ranking of 2020 shows). I think it succeeds for me personally not just because it’s got a lot of cliff-hangers and plot-twists (KFG marked it down because of its logic gaps, which didn’t bother me as much), but because it’s a really good character study of the ML (Lee Joon-gi is excellent), and also because I think it has just the best married couple love story that I’ve yet run into in a kdrama. I just love Lee Joon-gi and Moon Chae-won together in this. (You might have to FF in a few spots, though. It is a serial killer drama).

JJ
JJ
3 months ago
Reply to  Trent

@Trent – Hmmmmm, maybe Shahz will watch it with me?!?!!!!!

Shahz
Shahz
3 months ago
Reply to  JJ

I have already watched it and loved it despite its flaw. Acting for both leads was on 🔥.

kate
kate
3 months ago
Reply to  Trent

Oh I so agree about Lee Joon-Gi 😍
What a tour de force performance, I was absolutely floored how good he was. I went on a google search and immediately watched Lawless Lawyer just bc of him lol

The depiction of the married couple is indeed really detailed and wonderful!

Natalia
Natalia
3 months ago
Reply to  JJ

JJ, Flower of Evil is really good, despite some obvious plot holes.

kate
kate
3 months ago
Reply to  JJ

Thank you, JJ! 🤩

Yes, I was quite obsessed with The 100 for the first 4 seasons and still liked season 5. What a shame they ruined it 😔

StartUp spoiler
Completely agree about the second ML in Startup. It was all a bit too little too late with him. Also wasn’t thrilled when ML wanted to come clean but second ML wanted to keep up the charade 🤷‍♀️

Imo FOE is really THAT good, yes 🥰
There is overly sappy romantic score for our couple which I found at odds with the rest of the overall tone of the show but it’s such a minor gripe, I feel silly for even mentioning it! lol

Yay for kdrama besties to share the experience with 🥳

Trent
3 months ago

Kate — Love the introduction, and what a great post about love stories, too! Bonus: you’ve got a bunch of shows that are my favorites, as well, and most of the ones I haven’t seen are on my list. (I definitely need to get to Weightlifting Fairy, Fight for My Way, and First Life soon, for instance…). Thanks for sharing!

kate
kate
3 months ago
Reply to  Trent

why thank you, Trent ☺️

Yes do give those a try, I really think they’re worth a watch! Especially when you need less drama and more happy fluff 🙃

j3ffc
j3ffc
3 months ago
Reply to  Trent

FWIW, I absolutely adored Weightlifting Fairy, and from what I’ve seen on your blog and comments, I think you’d dig it, too. And hey, it’s perfect counterprogramming for the Olympics!