Monday, October 21, 2013

Kdrama's Hidden Gems

I am so excited to be invited to be a guest blogger on Crazy Ahjummas!  I have been following them for over a year now and am now ready to dip my toe into the blogging pool.  I did not realize what pressures you have when you decide to write your opinions for others to dissect.  Questions such as, What show would be the most interesting to blog, How do I format so much information?, and Oh my gosh what if I am super boring?, start rolling through my mind.  But my awesome friend Angela reminded me that this is all for fun, so I hope you will stay with me through all the ups and downs of blogging. Just a few things about me to start off.  I am the mother of three amazing children.  All of them are used to watching Korean tv now and can read subtitles like pros.  Along with my children, my mother, two sisters, and niece also follow all things South Korean.  We are slowly trying to expand the culture one family member/friend at a time.

 I have always had a great love for all things television so it was not a huge jump from watching anime to watching kdramas and from there my obsession has just snowballed.  In 2010 I started watching Boys over Flowers and then promptly worked my way through all the romantic comedies and when I ran out of those I started in on melodramas and revenge thrillers, then historical, and recently I have even become a huge fan of many of the daily dramas available.  I am pretty much willing to give anything a chance regardless of length or genre.  So I decided to write my first blog post on dramas that are currently airing that might have gotten lost behind all of the big media attention dramas like Heirs, Marry Him if you Dare, and Reply 1994.  These are dramas that I am thoroughly loving and that truly deserve more attention.  My Hidden Kdrama Gems!

Secret/Secret Love

This is my newest #1 must watch crack drama of 2013. The setup is pretty standard for a revenge story. We have a sweet heroine, Kang Yoo Jung, who takes the blame for a fatal hit and run caused by her fiancée, Ahn Do Hoon. She goes to prison for 5 years and expects to come out and resume her relationship with her oh so loving fiancée. Determined to make Yoo Jung pay for the murder of his girlfriend and unborn baby, our main guy Jo Min Hyuk vows revenge. After stalking her and making her life miserable for years he slowly starts to fall in love with her. And pretty much here is where we get the meat and potatoes of this drama. He starts to fall in love with the women who he believes is a murderer of his “one love”. This is not him having some strange feeling that she is innocent and after proving it he starts to have feelings for her. Oh no, this is a person who is stalking and obsessing so much that he starts to have a reverse Stockholm syndrome kinda love with the main girl. Which adds one awesomely messed up romance into a pretty standard setup.

Why you should watch this drama:

If you have not started this drama then do so right now! Stop reading this blog post and run for your PC! Regardless if you like revenge, melodramas, romance, you will be 100% addicted to this story by ep 5. It starts off slow but picks up so much speed plot wise that you will be frothing at the mouth waiting each week for the next episode. This script actually won an award for the best new screenplay which enabled it to be turned into a drama and the extra talent in the writing shows. Every character is meticulously developed and your emotions are completely engaged while watching this. And more then anything else you wonder how the writer is ever going to get these two people to hook up.

Secret Love Trailers #1 & 2


Ugly Alert

Synopsis: This is a truly amazing drama. I was hesitant to try this drama mostly because it has a really stupid title (yup I had a shallow moment), but after a lot of nagging from a kdrama friend I settled in to give Ugly Alert a try. The first several episodes were pretty standard kdrama plot wise. Sad things happen all around to the younger cast. There was a lot of anger directed in all directions and the sweet older stepbrother, played by the very talented Im Ju Hwan (What's Up), took the blame for something the younger brother (Choi Tae Joon ) unknowingly did in order to protect the younger brothers future. Skip ahead 10 years and Gong Joon Soo is out of prison and has to rebuild his life and relationship with his three siblings.

Why you should watch this drama:
The #1 reason you should give this drama a try, other then the amazing cast and writing, is that it does something that I have never seen a kdrama do. It has the characters actually communicate. Maybe for you newbies to kaddiction you dont understand how amazing this is. But it is a well known fact that couples, family members, and friends in kdramas will not talk about anything important which leads to a huge mess of a miscommunication and angst. Ugly Alert actually has a scene where a chaebol president admit that the company is negligent and asks for forgiveness without being blackmailed or forced. After watching hundreds of dramas this is truly a first for me. This drama is full of beautiful moments that touch your heart and it successfully tells the story of how family can mean more then just blood ties.
If you still are on the fence and are saying to yourself, Amber it is 120 episodes, why would I invest that much time into a tv show. Then I would reply and say, watch it for the romance! There are so many super romantic, I just want to squeeze this drama's imaginary cheeks, moments that you will be riding the romantic comedy high for days to come. The OTP is adorable and rarely have I seen such a truly beautiful and solid relationship in a kdrama. Actress Kang So Ra brings our gutsy heroine to life by playing the chaebol heir apparent Na Do Hee . Willing to always step up and do the right thing, she gives her all in her relationship with Gong Joon Soo and is willing to take the good and the bad in order to stick by her chosen love. The show does not only has a great OTP, but successfully has each of the siblings enter into a relationship that I am wanting to root for. I am just over 80 episodes into this drama and have not been disappointed. This is a no filler episodes drama which has plenty of well scripted plot that will keep you entertained from start to finish.

This is a series of kissing scenes from Ugly Alert since it did not have a teaser:)

Potato Star 2013QR3

Synopsis: This show is kind of the wild card in my recommendations. Directed by Kim Byeong-Wook of the High Kick series fame, we follow the hijinks of the No family and their coworkers. There is also something involving a meteor heading towards earth named Potato Star 2013QR3, but at this point it has not really been mentioned much.

Why you should watch this drama:
The #1 reason to watch this drama is because of Yeo Jin Goo (Moon Embracing the Son, I Miss You, Giant, and so many other dramas that it would be hard to name them all) and Ha Yeon Soo (the breakout actress from Monstar). We are used to seeing Yeo Jin Goo do the more serious and dramatic crying roles. I cant think of another drama where he was not used for his ability to express angst and sorrow. So it was a wonderful surprise to discover that he can do comedy. He plays the super dry character Hong Hye-Sung who is a computer genius. He moves in next door to our plucky and hardworking heroine Na Jin-A and is mistaken as the local serial killer. I wont give more details since I dont want to take away from the scene when you watch it. But it truly is comedic gold.

The second reason to watch this is for the heir apparent of the No family. No Min-Hyuk played by Ko Gyung-Pyo (Flower Boy Next Door, Operation Proposal) is a hilarious self absorbed twit who likes to live his life through sound bites that he spews out without thinking. And his obsession with his Harvard education and lack of any real skills (at least so far) make for some really hilarious scenes. He takes our cute little heroine under his wing since he told everyone that Innovation is hiring people without educational skills. And of course the uneducated guinea pig, Jin-A, and she is put through horrible situations that no sane person would put up with..
I personally am loving this show, but keep in mind that it is a comedy, and Korean comedy is not everyone's cup of tea. Imagine you are watching the US show Modern Family, then add in over the top physical humor, more poop jokes then you thought could be put in a drama, and characters doing things that no sane person would ever think to do, and you have Potato Star. Give this drama a couple episodes to win your heart and you might be surprised at how amusing Korean humor can be.

Potato Star Trailers and Teasers

I hope you enjoy the dramas I have recommended and I look forward to posting reviews on the upcoming TvN drama Basketball.

Trailer #1

Trailer #2

I really hope it is as exciting as the trailers make it look. 

Your Kmuse


  1. Thank you for reminding me of all the dramas I am missing out on! You know I trust you intrinsically when it comes to dramas, so on the ever growing "to watch" list they go! AWESOME first post chingu!!!

  2. You are the reason I started watching Ugly Alert and Secret and agree whole heartedly that they are "hidden gems". I now have added Potato Star to my "to watch" list and can't wait to start Basketball! Looking forward to reading more of your blogs. You are a great addition to the Crazy Ahjummas and can't wait to read more. :)

  3. EEEEE Secret!!!!! That was such an emotional show for me, thank you so much for mentioning it and giving the recognition it deserves.


We love comments! Just please remember to keep it clean and keep it nice or you won't survive the moderation round.