Another year is going to end and another year is coming in less than 24 hours. Sounds pretty fast, right? Many dramas started and ended, some being better than the others and a few went down the lane pretty miserably. Rambles aside, this year is pretty much a good and bad year for me. The reasons, in no particular order…
The birth of imperfect chaebol, kick-ass stuntwoman, friendly heiress, bad-tempered Hallyu star, and ‘daddy long legs’ director. Redefining the power of Hyun Bin and Ha Ji-Won together, the fairy tales got told in a different colour, causing the whole world to be suck into the cotton candy world of Kim Joo-Won and Gil Ra-Im’s modern-but-classic love. Minus the evil step mother, you got a heartless mother-in-law here.
Following his big success with the fairy tale above, the man witnessed his success through the endless CF offers and double release of his movies: Come Rain, Come Shine and Late Autumn. Kdrama addicts pretty much cried their hearts out when he went to his military service in March. The biggest surprise? He announced his break up with his girlfriend Song Hye-Kyo, earning cries of sadness from their shippers but tears of hope from the Joo-Won and Ra-Im’s fans.
Oh, the love and the hate…the breakthrough of a drama with a different theme: death. 49 Days got pretty much the attention of fans until it dropped the ending, which made them exploded with anger. Nevertheless, in this drama, Lee Yo-Won made a spectacular comeback after Queen Seonduk; Jo Hyun-Jae robbed all the girls’ (and probably some of the boys’) hearts, and again, Bae Soo-Bin had to give up his girl.
Scheduler Jung Il-Woo
Talking about 49 Days isn’t complete without its scheduler, Jung Il-Woo. He proved that he’s more than his pretty face, and it’s not too much to say that this year is his year. After earning praises for his role as Scheduler and his undeniable chemistry with his noona Lee Yo-Won, he transformed into chaebol ramyun chef in Flower Boy Ramyun Shop. Hardworking boy isn’t going to rest in the nearest time; he’s confirmed to don his sageuk garb again in next year’s The Moon that Embraces the Sun.
Baby Faced Beauty
The cute Jang Na-Ra playing the cute and feisty Lee So-Young. Reason to love her: she pretty much defined the cute couple with her dongsaeng ‘husband’ Daniel Choi. Reason to resent her: she also looked so good with ‘poker face master’ President Ryu Jin. Kim Min-Seo might be a total villain throughout the story, but she’s pretty much a lucky girl, considering her endless arrays of pretty clothes. After all, she’s a fashion designer in this drama.
One of the most overrated dramas of 2011, this drama was based on a manga, but it managed to live up to (and more than) people’s expectation of it. Lee Min-Ho added stars to his resume through his role as Lee Yoon-Sung, the hero in disguise. Park Min-Young became his partner Kim Na-Na, both in action and love. It managed to be one addictive story of its time because of the endless daddy issues (as in,” Who’s my real dad?”-Yoon Sung) until the death of certain someone. Their chemistry is undeniable as fans celebrated in joy when it was revealed that Lee Min-Ho and Park Min-Young started dating. Perhaps, their winning in SBS Drama Award might be another reason for their shippers to dance in joy. Praying for the best for them, both for the award and their relationship!
The Greatest Love
Another overrated drama, it started out slow in rating but soon picked up the interest of the viewers, both for the storyline and the writers: Hong sisters. Dokko Jin and Gu Ae-Jung shined and captured the people’s hearts, while Cha Seung-Won and Gong Hyo-Jin rose in popularity. Not to be forgotten, the dorky doctor Yoon Pil-Joo who earned the love of Pil-Joo team for his loyalty towards Ae-Jung. Plus, no one could resist Yoon Kye-Sang with his glasses on, right?
Riding his popularity from his drama last year Sungkyunkwan Scandal, he doesn’t need any drama in the first half of 2011 to be featured in so many magazines. Following his filming for movie Penny Pinching Romance and drama Tree with Deep Roots, Joong-Ki decided to focus on his acting and left the variety show Running Man. He’s so much missed by his fans and his return to the show as guest attracted the attention of many. His role as young King Sejong earned praises after he showed another side of him in the drama. After Penny Pinching Romance, he’s started filming his next movie Wolf Boy alongside actress Park Bo Young.
Myung Wol the Spy
It started with a promising plot, but due to several internal conflicts around the production team and the actors, it ended with mixed reactions from the viewers. Some were bashing endlessly, while there were some who supported the team wholeheartedly. Unexpected news: it was announced that this drama was dropped from any nomination for KBS Drama Awards. Pretty much upsetting news since they’re some aspects and people who deserved the nominations.
Scent of a Woman
Who dares to deny the talent of Kim Sun-Ah? The talented actress returned to the small screen as Lee Yeon-Jae, a woman who decided to live her life to the fullest after finding out about her cancer. Fresh from the army, Lee Dong-Wook continued his league as the heartthrob, playing the indifferent director who soon fell head over heels for Yeon-Jae. Tango linked both of them, but there’s more: the second lead also knew how to tango! Yep, he’s Choi Eun-Seok, the awkward doctor who was shipped with Malbok, a dog.
Protect the Boss
Probably one of the best, different from the normal kdramas if not for its extension. A humorous drama featuring Ji Sung as one of the craziest chaebol ever, Choi Kang-Hee as the most badass secretary ever, Kim Jaejoong as the kindest evil cousin ever, and Wang Ji-Hye as the funniest love rival ever. That pretty much explained why this drama set a different league from its cousins and siblings. Not to forget the only spoiled President ever found in Kdrama land: Cha Bong-Man.
At one point, this drama was inspiring. At another point, it was just scary, with all the revenge plot and I-was-weak-but-I-can-be-scary-too acts by Yum Jung-Ah. She made people wanted to root for her, but later, her mysterious background piqued the interest of finishing the drama. Ji Sung pretty much won over with his innocent looks, but he’s not that innocent as lawyer Han Ji-Hoon, who helped out his saviour and angel Kim Mi-Sook to plot the revenge towards her evil mother in-law. But the ending was.. a bit weird.
Tree with Deep Roots
Hands down, the best drama of 2011, and probably all the time. Song Joong-Ki shouted in anger. Han Suk-Kyu cursed freely. Jang Hyuk floated in the air. Shin Se-Kyung didn’t utter a single word. It sounded weird, but this drama was filled with everything needed for an enjoyable drama: nerve-wrecking plot, awesome cinematography, and amazing actors. Even the actors with smallest roles shined under the spell of a great drama. 24 hours didn’t go into waste for such a spectacular sageuk.
This year is his breakthrough year; starting with White Christmas, he secured his role as a quiet pianist in MBN’s drama What’s Up before fighting his heart out as an assassin in SBS’s Tree with Deep Roots. Following his dramas, he joined aboard MBN’s sitcom Vampire Idol. This model-turned-actor totally exceeded the expectations of many and he’s currently sought after. It’s not impossible for him to go further in his acting career, considering what he has showed and what he has yet to show to his audiences.
Don’t judge a drama by its title; maybe that’s one of the reasons for this drama to have such a beautiful title for a dark-themed drama. The line-up for its casts were of models-turned-actors and actors such as Kim Sang Kyung, Baek Sung-Hyun, Kim Young-Kwang, and Hong Jong-Hyun. Get ready to watch it continuously and be surprised at the performances of the young actors. They’re so good for new and rising actors, especially the girls: Esom and Lee El.
The drama that witnessed the comeback of much anticipated couple from their unrequited relationship from the drama You’re Beautiful: Jung Yong-Hwa and Park Shin-Hye. Fighting over the ratings with other dramas in the same slot, it didn’t exceed 10% but proved to be popular with the overseas fans with the buzz on the internet. Due to Park Shin-Hye’s accident, the drama was cut down to 15 episodes. However, their fans were still happy to see their dream couple finally ended together. Another reason to watch it: Kang Min-Hyuk.
The pros: many dramas to be watched. The cons: too many dramas to be watched. The launching of new cable stations provided more variety for the viewers to choose for, but it got messy when there are too many dramas to be watched. Some of the dramas had great storyline and promising actors, hence attracted the attention of the viewers. I Need Romance, Vampire Prosecutor, and Flower Boy Ramyun Shop were some of cable dramas who were the talks of the internet ‘town’. It’s not impossible if the main three stations might meet several new competitors in the coming years.
Well…looking back at this, I realized that I didn’t watch that many dramas this year. Probably, after I’ve straighten up my matters, get a better internet connection, and my time management gets better, I’ll be able to watch more and finish those dramas I haven’t (Princess’ Man! I’m talking about you~). 2012, I’m looking forward for more good dramas, although it’s possible to encounter some mediocre ones!
Deal with it ^^;
*Special shout out to the wonderful people who came here and spazzed with me 🙂 You made my year a tad more amazing than last year! Thanks^^