Friday, March 21, 2014

Flashback Friday - The Noona Edition

We all know that the kdrama theme of the year is definitely noona/younger man romances.  As a viewer you see them left and right, with no end in site for this cougar trend.  But where did the noona romance start?  It was actually way before Cha Chi Soo romanced Yang Eun Bi in Flower Boy Ramyun Shop.  So I decided that I would give you avid kdrama addicts a list of classic noona tales, just in case you are like me and need some good  suggestions to help supplement your watching list.  Please keep in mind that some of these dramas are really old so the quality is not going to be HD, but if you overlook that for the story then you wont be disappointed.   If you have any questions on where you can find these dramas, or if I have missed any that you would like to share with the community, be sure to leave a comment.

-Snow White 2004-
This is actually one of my top suggestions for those of you who have watched all of the regular favorites and are starting to search deeper into the drama vault.  Even though it is not a 10 rated drama, I still thoroughly enjoyed it and would happily watch it again.  So sit back and enjoy some big hair and pretty boys in this sweet and funny romance about a younger brother falling for his older brothers best friend.
Ma Young Hee has been in love with her best friend Han Jin Woo since the first time they met in high school. Han Jin Woo, on the other hand, does not see Young Hee's love for him and blindly goes out with other girls in front of her. On a trip to Japan, Young Hee meets a young man on the street who takes her back to his apartment since she is drunk. Young Hee accuses this man of raping her even though he didn't, but before she can rightfully press charges, he runs away as the government officials of Japan chase him down for an expired visa. Upon returning to Korea, Jin Woo stops by her apartment and introduces his younger brother, Han Sun Woo who just happens to be the young man she met in Japan. Jin Woo asks if Sun Woo may stay at her place, and Young Hee accepts out of love for Jin Woo. The story unfolds as a sudden high school classmate of Young Hee, Jang Hee Won, begins to court Jin Woo.

-Biscuit Teacher and Star Candy 2005-
This drama has an amazing cast of future top stars, Gong Yoo (Coffee Prince, Big) and Gong Hyo Jin (Masters Sun, Greatest Love) star together as a student and thug teacher.   (Hmmmmm was Flower Boy Ramyun Shop a rip off of this drama...  never thought about it but the plots are somewhat similar in the beginning.) And as a person who is not a huge fan of Gong Yoo (EEEEK ducking from everything thrown at me by rabid Gong Yoo fans), this is one of the few dramas I actually enjoyed him in.  Again, this is not ever going to be on my all time favorites list, but those of you willing to hunt down the subs will not be disappointed
A tough teacher with an attitude and her cute student have an exciting time at school.
Na Bo Ri was a legend in high school for being a troublemaker and getting into fights. Then one day she gets expelled from school for being involved in a fight. After overcoming numerous hardships, she gets a job as a substitute teacher at her old high school. She is excited with the fact that she will be able to meet her old teacher, Ji Hyeon Woo, whom she has had a crush on for years. But a womanizing troublemaker in her class, Park Tae In, keeps getting her into trouble. Tae In is a smart and an athletic student. From Tae In’s point of view, he dislikes Bo Ri because she isn’t smart, but at the same time, has a headstrong personality. As his relationship with his teacher turns for the worst, he gradually becomes attracted to her through a series of complicated events...

-What's Up Fox 2006-
At the time this drama aired, it was actually considered a bit racy.  It actually indicates that the characters not only talk about sex, but actually go past the hand holding stage of Korean courtship and have sex before marriage.  I would probably compare it to the I Need Romance dramas with a Noona theme.  When the main girl, Go Byeong Hee, accidentally sleeps with her best friends younger brother, Chul Su, chaos erupts in everyone's lives.  At times the drama can get a bit slow, but the budding relationship between the two opposites is still very entertaining and I would definitely call this drama a hidden gem.
Single 33 year-old Go Byeong Hee works as a reporter for a sex magazine. She wants more romance and a more respectable life but isn't sure how to get it. 24-year-old Park Chul Su, mechanic and world traveler, is the younger brother of Byeong Hee's best friend. He's free spirited and not concerned with what the world thinks. One night the two old family friends get drunk and wake up in bed together. Go Byeong Hee wants to forget it ever happened, especially since a good marriage prospect has just made an appearance. Unfortunately for her, Chul Su has other ideas.

-My Queen 2009-
I decided to add in this Tawianese drama in my list since the kdrama remake is just around the corner, starting in April.  My Queen (the first 2/3rds of the drama) is actually one of my favorite Tdramas.  It has a plucky heroine who is funny and plagued with relatives trying to marry her off.  Then we have Ruan Ethan (one of my favorite Tleading men) as the young twenty-something entrepreneur that enters her life initially pitying her.  But pity soon turns to love and moves him to change her opinion on dating younger men.  I will let you know that this drama suffers from what I call the Tdrama curse.  Tdramas are renowned for their need to throw in a good six episodes of nonsense drama (deathly diseases, cancer, dying relatives, amnesia, etc to keep the OTP apart for longer then needed).  Watch accordingly, you have been warned.
Shan Wu Shuang (Cheryl Yang) is a 33 year old magazine reporter who devotes herself to her career after her fiancee Yun Hao (Wen Sheng Hao- Office Girls) leaves her. Lucas (Ethan Ruan) is a 25 year old romantic who barely scrapes by doing odd jobs. When he ends up helping her on an assignment, the two begin to fall for each other, despite their age difference. But when Yun Hao returns to Taiwan hoping to rekindle his romance with Wu Shuang, she doesn't know who she should trust: the former love who knows her inside out, or the young romantic offering her a fresh start.

That completes my list of classic noona dramas. What do you think?  Do these stack up against the current older women, younger man dramas?  Are you done with the trend or do you still want to see more socially forbidden love?  Be sure to let me know your thoughts and also tune in for my top 5 kdrama countdown this week.  A certain noona/jail-bait drama takes up several spots in my favorites list.


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  1. Ooh. Didnt know about Snow White. Where can I find it?

    1. The only place I have found is on Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I keep requesting Dramafever to add it to its older dramas since I would love a cleaner copy. Who knows if I keep requesting every year maybe someday it will become a reality.

    2. I wouldn't hold my breath. We can't even get them to stop holding Bride of the Century hostage over the weekend ; )

    3. True, and it looks like they are going more towards Taiwanese and Japanese dramas rather then backlog stuff. Which also works for me since i like that stuff as well.


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