2014 was actually a strange year overall for me. Sometimes it felt so fast, but there were moments when I thought that time moved at the speed of a crawling tortoise. It was not a great year personally and even to the world’s population in general, but I am reflecting on what had happened to make 2015 a better year. Despite all the challenges, I come to realize that blessings come in small packets of full of warmth, just like some of the dramas which aired in 2014.
Without further ado, the dramas that made a change (or two) in my drama watching life in 2014..
Together we walk, hand in hand, until the end.
I am still wondering how on Earth I managed to follow this 51-episode drama closely, from the beginning until the end. Sure, it started in 2013 but had most of its episodes aired this year, so I still consider it this year’s drama. Okay, it’s just that I don’t really finish many of them this year, and Empress Ki might be the one to blame. I mean, it was a challenging ride, but a great one. So many twists and turns and I kept worrying about the recaps back then with various thoughts crossing my mind, like: “Would I be able to finish this?”, “OMG what were they saying? I couldn’t understand them!!”, and “I need new episodes ASAP ㅜㅜ”, just to name a few. But then, I managed to hang in there until the very end, part of it thanks to the amazing community of Empress Ki‘s fans. Spazzing about the drama improved my Korean by leaps and bounds, especially my reading skills since I spent most of the time scouring the Korean news portals and forums to get the latest news. I even stalked Empress Ki‘s Baidu forum despite being 99% illiterate when it comes to Chinese characters. The recaps were my labour of love, so when the drama ended, I kind of fell into some sort of drained state. No regret at all, because I am happy I have contributed something as a fan of Empress Ki through my blog.
If not for Belinda aka NewKDramaAddict, I might have put King’s Daughter, Soo Baek Hyang to my to-watch list but her constant ravings about the long, long MBC drama made me check it out in between of Empress Ki’s episodes and I was glad I did it. Beautiful, very beautiful. I have never thought that I would be able to finish a daily drama, but it was almost effortless for King’s Daughter. I marathoned 40+ episodes in less than a week, because it was that good! I loved and hated and cherished and despised and adored the characters. It was so easy for me to cry, even during happy scenes, because it was a drama full of heart. I get sentimental whenever I am reminded of the drama, and choking on my tears is still a common occurrence for me (like what I am experiencing while typing this part ㅠㅠ). I got sad whenever I tried to write a proper review, hence the draft is still marinating there silently. Another confession: I haven’t rewatched the final two episodes with subs, because I don’t want to bawl my eyes out again. Go watch it, you might find a keeper. Still not convinced to watch this gem with 108 episodes? Go read Bel’s review, because she’s the best fan to refer to for anything Soo Baek Hyang.
As the myth says; arm yourself with loads of food before you watch Let’s Eat. A wise advice indeed, because you only have one choice between stuffing yourself with food or get ready to drool when you watch Let’s Eat. Touted as a food p0rn drama, it lived up to its nickname because of those beautiful shots of dished that will make you wish you have a private jet to fly to South Korea at once to try out those yummy and mouthwatering dishes. Argh, even the mention about this drama makes me hungry! Some know-hows about living alone were also featured, since the leads were all single. Best thing about it? The pet dog with the name of Che Guevara, aside from the food.
Angel Eyes was just like a comfort food, a warm blanket, and a soothing song. It was another pretty drama that seemed too pretty to be true at times, but it was very heartwarming family drama. It showed how good people, not essentially your real family members, could give you good influence and nurtured you with good vibes. It also demonstrated how love could be expressed in various forms and degrees, and it was not limited to romantic love. The OST was amazing and it might be one of the best for this year. Last but not least: thank you for introducing me to the adorable Ddong-joo, show!
It started out with a bang, but Witch’s Romance suffered setback in the middle, especially in the development of relationship between the two leads. It happened with the sudden appearance of Polar Bear, Sr., who suddenly appeared out of nowhere and jumped straight into his ex-fiance’s life, the same woman who became a jilted bride when he left her at the altar without any explanation. Little did he know that his ex’s heart had been stolen by a young man, younger than him. Glad he caught up pretty soon(-ish? Not really.) but chose to become a jerk again in breaking the relationship. Anyhow, yeay for awesome sidekicks: sismance, bromance, you name it! Bonus for cool mom!
High School King of Savvy was a surprise for me. I was skeptical about it at first, because the premise was so wacky and people would be so high not to notice a high school student cosplaying as his brother. Trust Seo In-guk to sell his character like no one else could and prove his ability to pull off two characters in one drama. Lots of office and school hijinks to keep me glued on the screen and stay with the characters until the end, witnessing their perseverance. If you need one more reason to watch, there’s Lee Soo-hyuk too!
I’m still reeling from the bad news I heard about Three Musketeers…but let’s talk about the good things first. It aired once a week and it was a painful wait each week! I had to restrain myself from thinking too much about it and sometimes waited to watch two episodes at once. Maybe it was just me, but the format made me lost focus at times, because I missed some details due to the gap between the episodes. I guess I was to be blamed for not paying attention while watching it. The romance bits were worth the (loooong) wait, not to forget the bromance! It was originally planned for three seasons, but tvn announced that there would be no Season 3 before deciding to nix the remaining seasons altogether. I am disappointed since I was looking forward for the following seasons, plus with the sort-of cliffhanger of the first season that suggested more excitement in store for next installment…but then, I might have to put aside my hope and be content with the broadcasted episodes (truth to be told, I’m not ready to be content at all :()
I might seem to be so mad at Secret Door through my review (which certainly looked like a rant more than a review) but I am still fond of the series. I had high hopes for the drama because of the star-studded cast and the potential decent storyline from the scriptwriter, but the drama went down a safe road, but still enthralling until the end. Maybe if I decided to marathon it, I might be more forgiving but I couldn’t help myself from following it while it was airing. The stars of the series were Lee Je-hoon, who carried the soul of Sado with all his heart despite being restrained by the script, and Park Eun-bin, who channeled the smart and layered Princess Hyegyeong. Not to forget, the mad king Han Suk-kyu and the cool ministers. It deserves all the love from the viewers who enjoy political debates and conflicts in dramas.
This was another surprise of the year for me, because watching Bad Guys might be one of the best decisions I made last year. Lots of fighting and some gory scenes since there were murders included in the series. It was more crime than procedural, with a dose of thriller. Yum. The ensemble cast, the plot, and the behind story were all engaging and it was a feast for the eyes because of its movie-like shots. So beautiful. I don’t want to spoil anything but it’s definitely a keeper, enough for me to consider it a replacement for the thing that did not happen in 2014: TEN3.
I guess marathoning dramas once in a while can be a good thing to do, just to break out from the usual live watching I prefer to do nowadays. Discovery of Romance was one of the few dramas I watched after it finished airing and yeah, I am still glad I decided to wait back then! Jung Yu-mi’s Han Yeo-reum might be one of my drama crushes of the year for 2014, because she was that awesome and real, as if she was a friend of mine. There were moments when I disagreed with her thoughts, but I had never hated her; in fact, she grew on me, to the point of feeling ashamed when I doubted her during one of the scenes in the drama. Girl power had been put into good use here, but that does not mean the guys were less than stellar! I rediscovered His Royal Hotness of Eric Moon in the form of smoldering Kang Tae-ha, and discovered the charms of Sung Joon through the lanky plastic surgeon Nam Ha-jin. A warning from me: don’t fall too hard for the side characters!
Truth to be told, I hesitated and had to think for hundreds of times before deciding that it would be better for me to marathon Misaeng after it ended. It was because of the potential tear jerking fact due to its realistic depiction of office life, and I didn’t really want to cry out loud. It turned out to be a good decision after all, not only because of the crying part, because moving on from the drama is damn hard! Although I binge watched the entire 20 episodes in less than one week, I still got attached to the characters. I cannot imagine how those who followed it closely coped with the post-drama feels (can someone tell me the exact term? I’m totally blank over here!!). The characters made me feel like pulling them into a big hug and also caused my blood to boil, as if I was sitting in a hot pot, but they were all proofs how good the drama was. Watch the specials and you will see the hard work behind creating the series, and do not forget to catch the cast in the talk show TAXI. You won’t regret it!
I’m sorry we have to break up..
Sorry Wild Chives and Soy Soup, I only want to keep the memories of the younger cast associated with you, thus I decided not to continue watching.
Many reasons made me try out A New Leaf, but I was slowly drifting apart from the show without realizing it and soon enough, I totally forgot to catch up with it. Maybe it was all because of my own drama taste, in which law drama is among my less favourite genre?
I swear I was looking forward to Joseon Gunman back then. It was the first sageuk in the summer (if I’m not mistaken) and it had a promising start. I was not sure what made me lost interest: was it because of the slow pace, or the tiring guessing games and hiding your past behind a pair of glasses?
The leads were my favourites, yet My Secret Hotel failed to make me stick with it until the (not so)bitter end. The murder mystery got pushed to the background and replaced with the tiring love triangle (or quadrilateral). So much potential but love trampled all things, even the potentially awesome sismance!
Endless Love’s writer was one of the reasons why people stayed off from the drama, but I thought I could survive anything..until I decided that it was too melodramatic for my taste. The leads suffered too much in the beginning and it was kind of aggravating to see the baddies triumphed over the good (and poor) leads.
I even attempted to recap Temptation but decided to stop doing so. This explanation might be a bit late, but I was so conflicted back then, torn between recapping and just following my instincts. It just felt wrong.
The Night Watchman’s Journal was another potential gone into..oblivion? The watchmen appeared a little too late and I struggled to continue watching…until I just decided to just chuck it away.
We might have a chance to reconcile in the future..
A Warm Word (9/20): I already know the ending but I am still interested to know how they work it out to reach such ending.
Miss Korea (8/20): I need to give this a proper watch one day!
Secret Love Affair (6/16): I am waiting for the day I can watch the bitches bitching around without batting and eyelid.
Fated to Love You (10/20): I need to get over the impression that this is a romcom and accept the fact that it can break my heart into tiny pieces.
Marriage, Not Dating (6/16): Gimme some happy mood, new year!
My Spring Days (4/16): Gimme some sad mood, new year!
We have potential..(and I’m looking forward to our encounter!)
God’s Gift – 14 Days * Yoona’s Street * It’s Okay, It’s Love * Mama * Blade Man * Liar Game * Pinocchio * Valid Love
It might work out if fate stays on our side..until the end comes.
I am a bit skeptical about Birth of a Beauty at this point, honestly. I want to enjoy the giddiness and childishness of the lead characters, but there’s this feeling of doom looming around. Maybe I’m just imagining it??
King’s Face actually gets better after it has escaped the initial (and not so pleasant) troubles pre-production. My interest still lies in Ga-hee and how she will turn into the scheming concubine in history from the supportive heroine she is in the drama timeline right now.
I don’t know what exactly makes Healer a hot stuff among drama fans right now, but I can vouch for the decent storyline. It keeps me guessing without giving too much clues at one time, yet it throws some new puzzle pieces to keep me glued to the screen. My hope is that they don’t turn Moon-ho into a bad guy, although his slightly twisted and dark expression when he’s mad with anger is so drool-worthy. Oh, don’t turn this into melodrama too~
I need to have Bong-soo/Jung-hoo/Healer and Young-shin/Ji-an on my screen!
I will keep my eye on you guys and your future projects!
tvn 만세! ㅋ
May 2015 brings more great dramas, more laughter, more tears, and more eye candies.
What’s your take on last year’s dramas?
Pictures credit to (in order of appearance): COSMOPOLITAN | allure | Singles | VOGUE | Singles | Harper’s BAZAAR | COSMOPOLITAN | Harper’s BAZAAR | SURE | Various Drama OST Covers and Posters | Healer | ELLE | marie claire | marie claire | ELLE |