Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Best of the Best......... So hard to choose only five!

So this has been an amazing year for dramas.  At least one drama stood out with every batch and there was never I time when I had nothing to watch.  However some dramas are just a step above the rest.  Usually for me that means that the writers are really good and can write a script that avoids a lot of the standard Korean Plot devices/and or turns them around so they feel fresh and new.
Incarnation of Money
IOM is a drama that is not sure what genre it is meant to be.  Comedy, Action, Suspense, & Revenge were all tossed into a bag, shook up, and out came this amazing drama which had me hooked from start to finish.  Written by my favorite kdrama writers, Jang Young Cheol & Jung Kyung Soon (Empress Ki, Giant, History of a Salaryman), they did not disappoint yet again.  Orphaned with amnesia at a young age Lee Cha-Don (Kwang Ji Hwan- Lie to Me, Coffee House) must face a world run by greed and bribery.  He starts as a prosecutor who is so dirty he even has a nickname in the underworld he supposedly arrests.  However when he regains his memory he sets off on a quest to get revenge against the man who took everything from him.
Why you should Watch it
This show is hilarious and suspenseful and all things wonderful all at once.  Also seeing the various character grow (either stronger or more evil depending on the character) is so interesting.  There is so much gray in all the characters that you dont know if you always support their actions, but you always want to watch more.  This is Kwang Ji Hwan's strongest acting in a drama to date.  He had me gripped from start to finish.  I literally cried when this drama ended and I had to delete it from my watching file on MDL.   I would also like to point out that this is the only top drama that was not on my favorite couples list.  It was so good that the romance did not have to be the focus.

Usually this is where I put a MV for the drama.  However since this drama was not widely spread through the subbed sites it kind of went under the radar (HULU JUST PICKED UP THE SHOW THIS MONTH AND YOU CAN NOW FIND IT FULLY SUBBED IN HD).  So instead I am going to show a clip that every Kwang Ji Hwan fan should enjoy.  Here he is  dancing oh so so so sexy.  ENJOY.

 I Hear your Voice
One of the biggest hits of the year, I Hear Your Voice was an instant success with its mix of comedy and suspense.   A thriller courtroom drama with fantasy and romantic comedy elements. It depicts the story of Jang Hye Sung (Lee Bo Young), a bold, sassy, and materialistic public defender who becomes a lawyer after overcoming poverty and painful memories from her childhood. Park Soo Ha (Lee Jong Suk), is a 19-year-old boy who reads other people’s thoughts and who has loved Hye Sung who since he was eight after she gave her testimony in his father's murder case.   This drama will have you on the edge of your seat as you watch them avoid a serial killer and attempt to overcome their age difference to find romance.  I know I am personally biased towards this drama since Lee Jong Suk is in my top 5 favorite actors, but you will not be sorry if you give this drama a try.  It will make you laugh, cry, and forever be scared of the Jackson 5's song "Ill Be There".
 Why you Should Watch It:
Lee Jong Suk could literally have chemistry with garden gnome statue and make it work for me.  He is just one of those actors that pulls you into his story regardless of what he wants you to believe.  Will I believe that he is a mind reading uber hot orphan who can do Jiujitsu?  Sure I will because I love him regardless of how implausible the plot is.

I did mention he could have chemistry with anything right?  Check him out looking romantic with a giant stuffed grizzly bear.  I swear some of the photography concepts can be so odd.
Ugly Alert
 Ugly Alert is a daily drama and while it has a solid fan base, it was under the radar for the average drama watcher.  About a boy who takes the blame for an accidental murder committed by his step brother.  Ten years later he is released and meets a lonely Choebal heiress Na Do Hee.  Following the initial trial of admitting that he is a felon they fall for each other and from start to finish continue to support each other through thick and thin.  Combined with an amazing supporting cast of very likable characters, this drama shows us that family can mean more then just blood relations.  And I for one enjoy a drama actually showing this rather then the concept that blood is the only thing worthy when it comes to family.
Why you Should Watch It:
Unlike 99% of other Korean dramas this one has their characters choosing to communicate and let each other know everything that is happening.  It has characters that put others needs above their own and also is the first time I have ever seen a Chaebol Korean family choose the good of people over the all mighty dollar.  Add in a slew of healthy normal relationships that you actually enjoy and some quirky friends and you have 130 episodes of pure gold.  From start to finish I loved this drama and the family that inhabited it.  I know that that many episodes can look daunting, but at only 35 min an episode the time goes by so quickly.

And another reason is that the skinship in this drama is often and adorable.  I found this other great MV but for some reason it would not load so if you want to see some clips of all three couples in the drama check out

Secret Love
The most dysfunctional show by far this year, we watch the OTP Min Hyuk and Yoo Jung fall in love despite a whole psychological slew of reasons that they shouldn't.  Taking the blame for killing Min Hyuk's pregnant girlfriend, Yoo Jung serves five years in prison.  Determined to get revenge Min Hyuk stalks her day and night when she gets out.  And what does every good Korean stalker do?  Why fall in love with the person they are obsessed with of course.  Just usually they wait until all the misunderstandings are cleared up first.  Unlike other Korean lead characters, Min Hyuk starts to fall for her while he is still under the impression that she is a murderess.
Why You Should Watch It:
This show makes you cheer for the leading man even though you are pretty sure he should be in prison for his intense level of creepy stalking (seriously in the US he would have been arrested a billion times over for his level of stalking).  I love how the writers always keep us feeling like the relationship is just a tad bit warped and wrong and that we are also a bit of both for hoping the leads get together.  This drama was the eppitamy of guilty pleasure and I loved every dysfunctional minute of it.
     They were so connected in with each other and had amazing timing and chemistry.         
 The oxygen left the room anytime they were together on screen.
Heartless City 

Set in the underground world of Seoul's drug cartel, Heartless City is the story of one man's attempt to win against gangsters and cops alike.  It delves into the dark and cynical life of Doc Son and the workings of a city run by drugs, greed, and violence.  I love that this show is trying to actually bring something new to the drama world.  So often the characters of dramas are toned down bad guys but this drama you see all of the sins of all the players both the supposed bad guys and those.  
Why you should watch it:
The haunting music, the amazing side characters, and a gritty knife yielding hot lead make this drama a must watch.  Not to mention the steamiest kiss/sex scene I have ever seen in a drama.  If you are looking for something different, something that you have not seen already then give Heartless City a try.  I guarantee by episode four you will be hooked.

This is the scene that hooked my for the long hall.  There is nothing sexier then a man in a suit taking down 15 hardened thugs all on his own.  

School 2013
  I know that I said that this was my top 5 but really there is no way I can not have this drama in my best of list.  It was one of the very first dramas of 2013 and if it can stick with you 50 dramas later and still have a major impact on your emotions then that deserves  a ten on my list.
At the start of 2013 two models turned actors (Lee Jong Suk and Kim Woo Bin) starred in an ensemble cast in a drama called School 2013.  Starting out as a story about students going through the rigors of school in Seoul, the plot quickly centered on the relationship between the two best friends turned enemies.   I laughed and cried with them as they went through the trials of betrayal and forgiveness and their chemistry together was tangible.  Never have I wished for two guys to be a couple then these two.   And in my mind they are off somewhere married to sisters and living in a huge communal home staying BFF's forever.
Why you Should Watch It:
Remember how I said Lee Jong Suk could have chemistry with anything???  Well put him together with Kim Woo Bin who has his own brand of macho charisma (it is kind of getting hit over the head with a shovel, you will respond to him regardless of whether you think he is attractive or not) and it is electrifying.  
And since we are totally breaking all the rules I am going to add two MV's to showcase this couple.  Did I mention that I Ship them so so so so so much.  Months later when they were on running man (clip 1) I totally squealed along with them as the touched and jumped so cutely because of brain freeze.. 


 Clip 2

Dramas That Came So Close:
 If this year had not had so many AMAZING dramas, then these three would definitely have made the cut.  I loved each and every one of them and would suggest they get put on your "must watch" list ASAP.
Masters Sun
Great supernatural romantic comedy from the Hong Sisters.  My only complaint is that they could have made use of the OTP's chemistry a little more and given their kiss scenes a bit more sizzle.

A roller coaster drama that makes your brain hurt trying to figure out all the time lines (but in a good way).  My only complaints is that I really don't like the lead actress (thankfully the male lead was so good that he did not need her to carry much wait in the story) and the ending made my mind go around in circles for days.

Two Weeks
A great drama starring Lee Joong Ki we get to watch a bad guy become a better person because of a daughter he never knew he had.  Combining great action, plot timing, and acting we get everything in this drama.  My only complaint is that some of the supporting characters were not fleshed out very well.  Everyone else seemed just a bit slow compared to the lead.

 The ends my list of the best of the best in the year 2013.  I cant wait to ring in the new year with a dramathon and the beginning of  a new list.  Be sure to check in later this week as I write my last blog post of 2013, The hottest khottie actors of 2013.


1 comment:

  1. So many dramas I still have to watch! I hope 2014 proves to be another amazing drama year, but even if it's not, that's okay because I have so many of 2013 to catch up with ;)


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