I often hear that Sageuk is king in the drama industry. It is the staple big ratings maker and if you get a popular one you can even get higher then 30% of the ratings. So when they choose to make one they tend to put a lot of money behind it as well as some serious time. It is uncommon to find one that is under 20 episodes.
Gu Family Book:
This drama is a great one to start with if you are not used to historical dramas. It is easy to understand and kind of dumbs down a lot of the politics. It also has a super cute OTP and some great visual effects and directing. I personally would say you should watch it for Choi Jin Hyuk, nicknamed Papa Gumiho, who skyrocketed to fame for his role in this drama. And Lee Seung Ki and Suzy had some really great chemistry and were a couple you could root for.
Gu Family Book Trailer:
Papa Gumiho MV (does contain spoilers) - enjoy the pretty.
Jang Ok Jung
I went into this drama not really expecting to like it. They were taking the story of Queen In Hyeon and doing a switch to see the story from the Jang Ok Jung's viewpoint (for those of you who dont know, she is the usual villainous to the story). Kind of the equivalent of trying to make people sympathetic for the evil stepsisters of Cinderella. The first few episodes were a little slow for me, but once the main couple started interacting I was hooked. Was it because they were "meant to be", was Kim Tae Hee's acting so stellar i instantly wanted the best for her? ................ Nope it was for one reason and one reason only:
PLEASE WATCH (THERE ARE NO SPOILERS): This is the reason you should watch this drama the things he can do with his mouth:
Yoo Ah In stole the show with his portrayal of King Sook Jong, a character usually overlooked in the story. His sexy and ruthless King dominated ever scene he was in and made me really care about what happened in the story. I would even watch it again he was that good. So work through the politics and court intrigue because this show is worth every minute after around episode 5.
King's Daughter Soo Baek Hyang
King's Daughter is my current cracktastic drama of the moment. It is a daily drama (30 min episodes) Monday through Friday, and I cant get enough. All the actors are top notch and I would even say that they are better then the majority of the actors in the prime time dramas. The story is very thorough and engaging and I have absolutely no complaints so far at ep 46.
The hidden daughter of the king, Solnan grows up poor but happy. Her sister Solhi finds out about her royal past and stills her sisters place as the lost princess. What ensues is a wonderful tale of fated love, strength, loyalty, and one sociopath evil sister who will stop at nothing to keep her royal place. I would suggest this drama to anyone who wants to watch a good story. It is not to confusing and flows at a very fast pace but at the same time makes you really understand and enjoy all the characters. I literally sub stalk this drama every day!
I could not find a trailer to show so instead I put the opening scenes of the drama up. You can instantly feel the intensity of these actors and hopefully it will convince you to give it a try.
I was so excited when Empress Ki was announced. Not only does it have one of my all time favorite female actresses as the lead ( Ha Ji Won - Secret Garden, King Two Hearts) but it is being written by my all time favorite, most epic, writing team of all time. They also wrote Incarnation of Money, History of a Salaryman, and Giant, three dramas that are all at the top of my MDL list in rating.
Empress Ki is the story of a girl from Goryeo who receives the love both from a King and an Emperor and later becomes the Empresses of Yuan. With its super fast pace, great acting, brilliant OST, and some amazing chemistry between all three leads, we are fully engaged into their world and their emotions each week. If you are looking for a historical drama that does not dwell on the back story and has lots of action then I would suggest this drama.
Empress Ki Trailer
Knife and Flower (also known as Sword and Petal)
How can one describe the despair I experienced with this drama. It had all the elements of a great drama. Good actors (I love Choi Min Soo so so so so so so so much after Warrior Baek Dong Soo and Faith) and it had some of the most stunning cinematography out of any drama this year. So what went wrong? First, I have rarely watched a historical drama this boring. The characters, who on paper and should have been really interesting (It was one of the bloodiest Coup's in Korean history), falls flat. And instead of action we get a whole lot of staring into the camera (I swear the whole cast must have eye issues from not being able to blink on screen) and lackluster dialogue that made no sense. I kept thinking that it has to get better but was left disappointed over and over. Save your 16 hours and instead watch anything else. This drama was a huge dud.
Cruel Palace - War of Flowers
I really hoped this drama would be interesting. A cruel story that depicts the battles between concubines within the royal palace who turn to the dark side in their bid to gain love and power from the king. It centered around the royal concubine Jo So Yong as she tries to gain the attention of King In Jo with her beauty and wit to control the power of the Joseon. It was over acted by almost all the actors (I can only assume that is what the director was going for) and while there were moments where all the politics were interesting those were overshadowed by how much political maneuvering went on in the drama. I like politics and it even had to much (without any break or other storyline) for me to really enjoy.
Counting these since the went several months into 2013.
Horse Doctor - Such a slow drama. Made it 10 episodes in and it just bored me to tears. I guess I just don't care about historic vets.
Jeon Woo Chi - I was surprised that I was not more into this drama. I am a sucker for mystical storyline and hijinks. But because of all the distracting flying martial arts and so so characters I was just bored and after I had not gone past episode 8 in six months I added it to the dropped pile.
I hope you enjoyed reading about some of the dramas I enjoyed this year. I am hoping to have various categories such as Comedy, Melodrama, Family Drama, Favorite OST, Best Kiss, ect throughout the month so keep checking back for new posts.