Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Kmuse's End of Year Countdown - The Worst of 2014

I am officially calling 2014 the year of the "blah" drama.  So many of them were not necessarily bad, but they were not really good either.  Pretty much I finished them out of a sense of obligation for my Facebook discussion groups.  So if a drama actually made it onto my "sucks" list, it was pretty gosh darn terrible. 

Most Boring - A New Leaf
This was the most boring use of an amnesia plot in 2014 ever.  What seemed to be a huge (comedic??) change of life due to amnesia storyline ended up being a cranky workaholic man meets girl, man gets amnesia, man is a bit nicer person/lawyer, man politely leaves law firm (and I do mean politely), and then man does some lawyering (while keeping amnesia) after leaving the original firm.  And if you think I left out the part where guy has any kind of romantic relationship with girl, then you would be dead wrong.  Even the sexy voiced trifecta of Kim Myung Min, Kim Sang Joong and Jin Yi Han could not make this drama bearable. For those of you who have not started this drama just save yourselves the time and take a Valium.  At least then you have a chance of having interesting dreams.
Best Cast that was Poorly Used - Big Man
I love Kang Ji Hwan and was excited to see him in another revenge style drama.  His previous revenge drama in 2013, "Incarnation of Money" was one of my favorites so I knew Kang Hi Hwan had it in him to play a wonderful intricate scary character.  We received a pretty good setup, rich family uses an orphan (who has the same blood type as their son) as an involuntary donor for a heart transplant.  They fake that he is their long lost son (so they can have official guardianship) and attempts to kill him and steal his heart.  Unfortunately things fell apart from then on.  It became a weird mix of attempted murder that fails, then attempted framing, which also fails, then.........nothing?  You kept expecting Kang Ji Hwan's character to suddenly be street smart and follow through on his threats of payback.  Instead the plot meanders around for 16 episodes and then ends with a whimper.  It truly was a shame since I really wanted to enjoy this drama.  Instead save your time and go check out Incarnation of Money.  You will thank me afterwards.
 Biggest Bag of "Eh" - Endless Love
No Romance, No Revenge, Annoying Heroine.  Enough Said.
Biggest Disappointment - Doctor Stranger
Doctor Stranger had so many things stacked against it.  A convoluted plot, writers who could not decided what direction to go while being swayed by angry netizens, and a lead actress who even Lee Jong Suk could not make likable.  It was doomed by episode 5.  But Lee Jong Suk and his adorable puppy ways kept me watching for the full run.  I think the biggest problem with the drama was the writers (despite the fact that I truly dislike Jin Se Yun).  They tried to chuck too many ideas into one drama.  North Korean spies, doppelgangers, genius doctors, hospital turf wars, political presidential intrigues, the list was endless.  It also did not help that the writers were obviously trying to up ratings by giving into the fans and changing the script.  The whole thing just turned into a giant mess and a task even Lee Jong Suk's charisma couldn't overcome.
Drama I Most Wanted to go Nuclear On - My Secret Hotel
 Those of you who follow The Crazy Ahjummas over the last year, know that Dongsaeng and I recapped this disaster of a drama.  For three months we suffered through a plot that was obviously written by tweens.  How else do you explain that the whole 16 hours were based on a simple misunderstanding and a female lead who refused to make a decision and ended up treating both men horribly.  Some people should just be alone, and I think that the leading female in this drama is one of those people.  Rather than happily ever after, i foresee a couple years of arguing and a second speedy divorce in their future.
 Worst Switch to an Adult Cast - Wild Chives and Soybean Soup
I adored the first half of this drama.  The young OTP (One True Pairing) had amazing chemistry and the plot was interesting and well developed.  Then came the dreaded time jump and a whole new adult cast.  A new cast that did NOT have any chemistry, or even really resembled their younger counterparts (the leading man was significantly taller as a teenager.  Guess he had some unfortunate mid twenties shrinkage.  And they excused the huge differences in the girl as plastic surgery)  Obviously fans, and the TV station both agreed that this was a bad drama, because they cut the show by almost 20 episodes.  The ending is rushed (due to the cuts) and a lot of the threads of the story were never finished. But really it didn't matter since I had tuned out weeks before.  It was sad since it started with so much promise.
Worst Plot Twists - Fall In Love With Me
You know a drama is bad if a half dressed Aaron Yan can't hold your interest.  And it is not like he did naked fan service only once or twice.  He was constantly shedding down to his boxers in a desperate attempt to keep people watching this train wreck.
Let's just say that the double identity plot was by far the most sensible of its plot twists.  Yes, yet another look-a-like storyline (maybe we should just keep all twin/lookalike plots out of our dramas in 2015.) that bombed.  Sadly, when coupled with a one expression leading lady (she was bad even for a Taiwanese style actress) and writers who had no plot plans past double the Aaron Yan screen time, we ended up with fake cripples, evil adoptive families, and a marriage to the wrong girl.  It was horrible, even by over the top Tdrama standards.  If you suddenly feel the urge to watch, save yourself the torture and just go google 16 hours of Aaran Yan fan MV's on youtube.  You will have a better time.
Characters That Bombed in 2014
Jin Se Yeon - Doctor Stranger
 How can one bad actress be in so many melodramas with so many talented leading men?  Then successfully manage to fail in terms of chemistry every single time?  Unless you were under a kdrama proof rock, you heard about the huge dislike of Jin Se Yun as the romantic lead opposite Lee Jong Suk in "Doctor Stranger".  Just a rule of thumb, if you are a so so actress to begin with, don't attempt to play a drama that involves doppelgangers since you can barely pull off one persona, let alone two.  There is a reason everyone doesn't mind seeing her die in all her dramas.  
Go Sung Hee - The Night Watchman's Journal
 If you are the weak link in a drama that has built its whole concept in an over the top, on purpose (most of the time) bad acting style, then you pretty much should just call it quits as an actress.  OK, OK, I know that I usually give a three chance rule to all actresses and actors, but Go Sung Hee was really really bad.  So bad that she even failed to successfully act like herself.  Yup, there was a small segment when she had an evil doppelganger.  It was a HUGE failure.  Go Sung Hee has the lead in the upcoming drama "Spy" opposite Jae Joong and I am really praying that somehow her character in TNWJ was all a huge joke and she can really act. 
Jo Yoon Hee - The Kings Face
I know this drama is only half way through its airing, but Jo Yoon Hee is bringing down my poor #1 bias's drama so she gets an evil eye from me.  
With her perpetual cranky continence, Jo Yoon Hee is incapable of acting anything but, well, cranky.  I know I am not alone in wishing she would just get replaced mid drama by a better actress.
Ji Hyun Woo - Trot Lovers
I really really wanted to like Ji Hyun Woo's first character after coming off his military enrollment.  However they pretty much lost me when they gave him the worst hair color ever in the history of kdramas.  It was an ugly ash blond whitish mess which washed him out and always made him look tired.  Add in a mediocre development and a go no where plot (I am choosing to have amnesia about the amnesia segments in this drama.  They don't count as plot) and I officially declare it a flop of a character.  Let's hope he lands a better drama in 2015 with hopefully much better hair.
Nam Goon Min - I Need Romance 3, Wild Chives and Soy Bean Soup, Secret Hotel
I know that my dislike for this actor is completely irrational.  I don't know why, but whenever he is on screen I have this intense physical reaction that usually involves me grinding my teeth, tensing my shoulders, and verbally yelling at my computer.  But since I have such a bad reaction to him he goes on my list.  Again, there is no logical explanation to this since he does not seem to be a totally bad actor, but I just don't like him.  It probably doesn't help that he also starred in two of my least favorite dramas of the year.  I swear it is just happenstance that they coincide............or is it???
This concludes my list of worst of the worst for 2014.  What were some of your least favorite dramas?Feel free to leave your list in the comment section below.  Or come follow The Crazy Ahjummas on Facebook or Twitter for info on all our newest recaps, posts, and to join in our kdrama discussions. https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-crazy-ahjummas/336988683021748?fref=ts 

Related End of Year Posts
Kmuse's End of Year Countdown
Best Secondary Characters of 2014 -


  1. Thank God, except for The Secret Hotel and Trot over, rest are not on y TWL, mainly thanks to you Amber. I am also having second thought about the above two now.

  2. Oh my gosh, I loved this. I agreed with you on most of this -- with the exception of Nam Goong Min, who I really adore. But everything else was perfect. Yesterday, some other site had their worst of the year list and i disagreed with everything so intensely that i thought it best to unsubscribe from their blog. Because obviously we weren't seeing eye to eye. With your list, however, wow! You totally nailed everything i hated 1on the end..and gave them a funny funeral....uh..with the exception of Nam Goong Min ;-) Have a greaat new year

  3. Thanks, Amber, I pruned two dramas off my wait list after reading this article. The 2014 dramas I enjoyed the least were Be Arrogant (5/10), Her Lovely Heels (5/10), Love Cells (5/10), and 20 Years Old (4/10).


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