The Last Dramas of 2015: A Recap

Hello my loves,

It is now 2016 and the time for new dramas is upon us. During the last month of 2015, I went on a drama watching spree. I was out of school and the archeological dig was on a break for the holidays. I was craving my favorite type of drama, the romance variety. I was completely struck with the dramas I watched.

First up: Noble, My Love

noble

This drama is one of my favorite of the year and of my drama watching career. This drama is packed full of moments that made me go aww. It is based off a webtoon and it is short sweet and to the love. Lee Kang Hoon is a man with money and power in the world. He hates animals and women who don’t follow his orders. Cha Yoon Seo is the exact opposite. She is a vet with a heart of gold. They get together under strange circumstance and the sparks fly. You can finish this drama really fast. I finished my second round of watching in a day. Some say that this drama is clique but I have to differ. This drama is full of great moments.

Second up: Oh my Venus

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I really did not think I would love this drama as much as I did. For the simple reason of the subject. This about a woman who weighs approximately 150lbs that is on a journey to lose weight. Her name is Kang Joo Eun who is trying to lose weight after the break up of a 15-year-old relationship. She enlists the help of Kim Young Ho known as John Kim the world famous trainer. The trainer not only captures her heart but her body as well. I really started to love this drama after the first two episodes. My heart was captured under the spell of Kim Young Ho. This had some intense sexual tension as well which is strange for a Korean drama. I adored this drama until the end.

And Last but not Least: She was Pretty

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I actually learned of this drama from my boyfriend who saw this on reddit. It is such a beautiful drama. Kim Hye Jin used to be a pretty girl when she was younger and the love of her childhood Ji Sung Joon used to be a fat scared little boy. Now that these two have grown up and the pretty became ugly and the ugly became pretty. The reason I love this drama so much is actually the relationship between Shin Hyuk and Hye Jin. The chemistry between the two is amazing and I was honestly pulling for him in the end. I was gutted that his heart was broken. Not the mention he is the first Korean with a beard I’ve seen.

 

Those are the dramas that I’ve been obsessed with in the last month of 2015. I’m hoping for some more amazing romance dramas in 2016.

Until Next Time!

Nerd Noona ❤

 

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Q&A

Once upon a time, Nerdnoona and Curlynoona were free at the same time and were chatting on Facebook (since chatting in person is a bit hard, being that they live 2,220 miles apart.) They decided to ask each other questions about Kdramas, because despite Curlynoona’s name, they are both, in fact, huge nerds.

Nerdnoona’s answers:

1. Drama you wished you’d never watched?

My Love from Another Star has ruined me forever for dramas. I have such a high expectation because of this amazing drama. But seriously, I don’t watch dramas that I don’t research a lot before hand!

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2. Drama you wish was your life?

This one is so hard! Girls in dramas get pulled by the wrist a lot and I have weak wrists. I would have to say Heirs. If I could live with Lee Min Ho, I would be the happiest girl ever.

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3.  Character you’d date?

Jeremy from You’re Beautiful. Its a no brainer. He is so adorable and innocent I could just eat him up!!!

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4. Character you’d marry?

Since I am a Lee Min Ho addict\, I’ll have to say Choi Young from Faith. He is so amazingly good looking with the long hair and rugged style.

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5. If you owned a makeup company, who is the idol or actor you’d want for your CF?

Jun Ji-Hyun. She has such a beautiful face. Her face leans towards strength rather than the more traditional Korean look of being innocent.

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Curlynoona’s comment: I recommended You from Another Star, so I take credit for her loving it so much. ‘Cause, you know, recommending it is almost the same as producing, writing, or acting in it, right? It almost makes up for forgetting to tell her to watch the Korean version of Fated to Love you with a teddy bear to hug in the sad moments and in a room with padded walls for when you need to scream at all the noble idiocy (or laugh uproariously at all the hilarity.)

Curlynoona’s Answers:

1. Favorite aww scene? 

Pretty much any moment Jin-Gu looks at Se-Young in Plus Nine Boys.

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2. Favorite bitch?

Kim In-Hee from Personal Taste. She was a horrible person with no idea of personal responsibility, but the great thing about her was there was never a moment you felt bad about hating her. In fact, I hate her so much that I’m going to insert a GIF of the leads kissing just to spite her.

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3. Favorite Mom?

I like this question, because there are so many articles about evil/domineering mothers in dramas and I think we should take more time to highlight the good ones. I think the mom from I Hear Your Voice was amazing. She never stopped believing in her daughter, and on a more day-to-day note, she’s a big reason why Hye-sung was this awesome:

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4. Best makeup and style?

Despite a few missteps, I thought A Witch’s Romance had great styling for both the male and female cast. The guys especially, really, because often I have a hard time believing some of the things men are required to wear on shows- like ascots. I just don’t believe a 25 year old man, anywhere, is going to regularly where an ascot in his normal everyday life. On the ladies side, I especially liked how the lead female’s hair and makeup got less harsh as the show went on to show that she was becoming less guarded. The show also gave us a lot of moments to see everyone dressed up and dressed casually.

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I don’t remember that last one from the show, but it’s hilarious.

5. Couple that you wish happened but never did?

Second lead syndrome is a regular occurrence for me, so instead of listing every time I’ve had it I’ll just name a couple that was only in my head: Park Gyu-Dong and Kin Na-Na from Monstar. Is that weird? Maybe that’s weird…

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Out of touch

Odds and Ends

I feel a little lost right now in the kdrama world. I’m gonna just throw out some odds and ends that are haunting my brain. I have a problem with depression, which you’ve probably heard me mention if you’ve looked at my art blog, and sometimes it makes getting anything done, including simple things like blogging, feel like earth-shattering tasks. But I hope I can blog more frequently, and my little cuz Nerdnoona will put more beauty stuff up. As for me, I hear Oakland has a Korea town (although it’s a little manufactured) so I thought I might go there and see if there are any cool skin care products. There are also a good amount of Korean Markets in Oakland. My best friend lives above one that seems pretty great, but every time we go in there she feels guilty because she’s buying ingredients to make Japanese food. I tell her most shops are pretty okay as long as you’re giving them money to purchase goods and services, so I don’t think it’ll be an issue. Anyhow. Actual drama thoughts follow, some spoilers.

Roommate

Roommate sort of imploded, but maybe they’ll realize with the second season that stars abruptly leaving upsets fans, and that at the very least they need to give goodbye episodes. I’m going to watch the new episodes because some of the new roommates seem pretty interesting.

High School King of Savvy

High school King of Savvy ended a few weeks ago, and that was a good wholesome serving of awesomely weird. Plots that pair together two characters who are at heart both very strange, despite major surface differences and one being more socially apt has long been one of my weaknesses. It’s lucky the two leads were so out-there. No one thinks the show is trying to encourage typical 27-year-olds to marry 17-year-olds. My only complaint was Jin-Woo’s resolution. I would have liked more for him, less rushed. My theory is he was supposed to end up with the younger sister, but someone realized she had better chemistry with the friend (they were adorable) and looked like an 8 year old next to Jin-Woo. There also should have been more bromantic scenes, like Min-seok bringing Jin-Woo chicken. Let’s be honest, that’s the relationship a lot of people were watching the show for, anyway.

Fated to Love You

Ending more recently was Fated to Love You. I’m glad it took a detour from the original, but the illness thing was just too stretched out. The pain over losing the baby was done amazingly well, and I really appreciated the sensitive way it was handled. But the forced separation for no real reason is one of the worst staples of drama land. It made sense in the original Taiwanese version (for multiple reasons, the main one being that Se-ra’s character did something way more evil.) Gun’s character in that version was still a little bit of a self-centered jerk before Mi-Young left (he started out practically schizophrenic, in my opinion. Sometimes he was sweet, and sometime he was so unlikable I couldn’t stand him and couldn’t stand the girl for putting up with his crap.) Mi-Young’s character in the Taiwanese version didn’t have the inner steel that the Korean version had, and the years abroad were really needed for her to become a stronger, self confident person. But our Mi-young was already a fighter, already extremely lovable, and our Gun was pretty amazing and in love. I know the separation had to happen, but it went on far too long. Oh, also, the end was cute and all, but it was as if someone sat there with a checklist trying to make sure every last person got a happy ending. Also, the whole drugging people thing…I accepted it as funny in the show, but it’s really not. Gun and Mi Young were married, they wanted to be intimate, so I guess I’m just supposed to laugh at the fact that they were drugged to prevent them from using protection so that they’d get pregnant again. But, uh, when I just write it out like that, it seems really creepy.

Discovery of Romance

I’m sort-of watching Discovery of Romance, but with reservations. I’m not always keen on more realistic romances. I watch TV to escape real life. That said, I don’t hate it but I need the characters to be more honest and open with themselves and with each other, so that they can be more likable. I pretty much liked them all at first, and then with every episode every character but Joon-ha and Sol did something extremely shady. Maybe this will be another show where I’m more focused on the side romances. I really don’t mind realism, but it bothers me when “realism” is a code word for everyone begin horrible and every awful thing that could happen, happening. That’s why I tend to avoid Frank Miller comics. But, this is a funny show, and I’ll wait and see what happens.

High school-love on

I don’t generally mind when a show is once a week instead of twice, but this little gem is suffering from the format. It doesn’t seem like it was written to be shown this way, and the fact the it keeps getting preempted shows that it’s not really being cared for by the network. This issue is especially blatant right now, because the show is still setting up it’s conflicts about Seul-Bi needing to return to being an angel (or reaper), the situation at school, the two boys unknowingly being step brothers, forming a tentative friendship, both liking Seul-Bi and, I don’t feel like this when I’m actually watching, but when I think about the plot, it feels like it’s creeping along. Especially the romance. I understand completely why she can’t entirely admit she likes Woo-Hyun, but he’s already confessed to her, and she’s sorta, kinda, maybe given out the vibe that she’s not offended by the idea. That kind of thing is not satisfying to veiwers! If the show was being broadcast twice a week, it wouldn’t feel that slow. We’d have pretty quickly gotten most of the info we need. I gotta tell you, with this being preempted so often, I’m having My So Called Life flashbacks. That should date me for you.

Surplus Princess

Another quirky once a week drama. I like it! I think this baby has way more substance that it;s been given credit for. So far, weird, perverted, adorable, sweet, slightly evil mermaid is one of my favorite heroines on air right now. And I like that it actually is really hard to tell who the lead male is. Of course I’m shipping her with Hyun-Myung because he has eye-crinkles when he smiles because she’s developing an actual friendship with him instead of just liking him because he’s hot, unlike her feelings for Shi-Kyung. Also, Hyun-Myung deserves a nice girlfriend who won’t dump him the moment she starts to climb the social ladder. He also needs someone to push/pull him along into the real world instead of sitting in his room writing masterpiece cover letters. I don’t hate Shi-Kyung, especially when he’s smiling and laughing with our lead, but there’s something about him that’s a little odd. The face-blindness explained some of it, but I can’t help but feeling there’s something else. I’m hoping next week the plot moves a little more zippily. Not saying its dragged, but it is not a fast moving show by any means.

Plus nine Boys

I don’t speak Korean, but I’m gonna guess that’s a terrible translation, especially since it doesn’t explain what the show is about at all. What would be better? Age ending in Nine Boys, which I’ve seen, is another no, because at that point you might as well hand out a summery of the plot as the title. The Terrible Nines? That’s not really a phrase- forget it, the name sucks, but the show itself is great. 39 year old romance: I really, really want to solve the mystery of what happened! What made that sweet lady reject his proposal that way, in front of everyone? And while I think we’re pretty clear that’s not his daughter, she gets pretty uncomfortable when the topic of her marriage comes up, so I think there’s another story, there. 29 year old romance: I really, really hope this one works out, but he deserves to suffer a bit first. I know he’s sorry for what he did. I also know that they saw the scene differently- he didn’t feel insanely bad when she saw him kissing that other girl, but he didn’t feel good about it; however, she remembers him not caring how hurt she was and even smirking as the car drove away. I think he also doesn’t realize how much she liked him at that time. This seems like the one and only time he’s ever actually been in love with someone, but his jerkiness was so complete in the past that I totally understand why she doesn’t believe he’s serious. I mean, he really truly was just working his way around campus/work and included her along the way. So sure, he realized soon after that that he liked her, but if he’s going to prove to her that he’s sincere, he’s got to resist going back to his playboy ways out of frustration. 19 year old romance: This kid totally deserves whatever his “destined girl” is gonna unleash on him. How happy am I that she’s not some shrinking belle? Maybe she can get him to stop taking “meaningful” instagram selfies everywhere, while she’s at it. 9 year old romance: I expected this to be annoying, but it’s actually kinda cute. The kid is acting like a jerk to everyone, but especially his little “girlfriend” now that he’s not doing too well in show business. I was afraid this was going to put a lot of adult behaviors onto little kids, but the romance is playing out just like in real life, little kids who are close friends mimicking adult behaviors but still having childish thoughts and motivations. She just wants him to be nice like he used to so they can play and have fun, and he wants her to like him better than that Do Min Joon kid who everyone else thinks is better than him. And in the meantime, they hold hands occasionally and call each other boyfriend and girlfriend. I’m okay with that.

It’s Okay, it’s love

I have some mental health issues myself, so I’m very sensitive about how they’re handled. I held off on watching this until I got some feedback on the level of realism/sensitivity involved. I’m hearing good things…what do you guys think?

Trot Lovers Series Review

Some General spoilers ahead.

Trot lovers finished recently, and as it is a series I had recommended to Nerdnoona among others, I wanted to talk a little about what worked and what didn’t.

What’s frustrating about the series is that basically, the whole thing worked until a certain point. It was a simple show, competent, not reinventing the wheel, but going through predictable moments in sweet, sometimes hilarious ways. There was a rude, spoiled lead male, an amusing second lead male, a down-on-her-luck hardworking lead female, lots of people conspiring to keep her from succeeding, and an adorable child. The bickering relationship between the leads didn’t do it for some, but I thought it was cute. Although none of the parts of the story really departed from the tried and true drama cliches, the music and the individual characters were interesting enough to keep you watching. I especially enjoyed the moments President Jo seemed to be breaking the 4th wall.

But then the show took a nose dive. There were a few moments when I felt the show had jumped the shark: Jang Joon-hyun’s amnesia was the big one, but I think the characterization of Park Soo-in was really the first sign there was trouble. Soo-in first appeared as a sympathetic bad-guy. We understood why she was the way she was; in short, she seemed redeemable. But then, Soo-in started making choices that put her further and further away from that girl who was simply suffering because of a controlling mother and had never been taught how to deal with her issues. She started being pretty dang evil, of course mostly over a man, and she assumed that Jo Geun-woo wasn’t with her simply because of Choi Chun-hee. Soo-in crossed the place of no return, in my opinion, but there were hints that the writer’s still considered her redeemable.

Continue reading

Lie to Me review

I just finished Lie to Me. I’m talking about the one starring  Yoon Eun Hye  and Kwan Ji Han, not the one starring Tim Roth (although I highly recommend that if you’ve never seen it.)

Anyway, I think this is the way Lie to Me came about (warning, mild, non-specific spoilers ahead):

Writer A: I thought of some really fantastic kiss scenes.

Writer B: Oh yeah? A lot of them?

Writer A: Tons. Amazing ones.

Writer B: So I guess we better think of a plot for the show to put these kisses in.

Writer A: …Huh? Oh, yeah, whatever. We can just throw something together. I’m going to get back to work on these kiss scenes.

Writer B: Okay. I’ll try to find some amazing actors. I guess it might be better to figure out what they’re doing before hand so we don’t end up wasting talent…

Writer A: Or we could just wing it.

Writer B: That’s a good idea, too…

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed watching the show, but it’s not well-crafted. There are conflicts inherent to the plot that make sense with the characters and their choices, that are resolved surprisingly quickly only to be replaced by conflicts that were obviously quickly manufactured and don’t make sense. Sang-Hee, second lead and the main lead’s younger brother, seems present only to provide someone for the writers to heap unfortunate circumstances on, and when they aren’t interested in doing that, his character just doesn’t show up. In the second half of the series he barely has any time with Ah Jung, Yoon Eun Hye’s character. Isn’t the point of the second lead to provide some tension between the leads?

The last third of the story was just a bit unfortunate. The main conflict was resolved, which is something that doesn’t serve a story when you’ve got 4 or so episodes left. The questioning about Ah Jung perhaps misusing the power inherent to her government position due to her relationship with Ki Joon was boring, but made sense. It made so much sense that I was a little confused about why neither character had thought about how their dating clandestinely would look. Regardless, it made sense for the plot, but it was handled haphazardly and then poof, it was gone.

Then, because getting rid of every conflict isn’t great when you have 2 or so episodes left, another random major plot point was created and this one didn’t make any frigging sense what so ever.

In the end, if you like the main actors (and how could you not) give it a shot. Don’t watch it for Sung Joon  as Sang Hee, because it will leave you either wanting to sweep in there and kidnap him to get him away from all this nonsense, or wanting to put the poor boy out of his misery. And if you like kisses and don’t mind them being built on a slightly wobbly foundation, this is the drama for you.

Two sentence reviews on last week: Roommate, We Got Married, You’re All Surrounded, High School King of Savvy, Trot Lovers

Roommate

I still love roommate, but what was up with the last episode? It was disjointed, unfocused, and- well- kinda boring.

We Got Married

Key and Arisa

The end is near. How cute of Key and Arisa to try to convince us they like each other romantically; I’m not buying it, but cute.

Heechul and puff

These two really seem to care for each other. They make me dread the next episode because I know it will feel like a couple I ship is breaking up.

You’re all Surrounded

A little drawn out, a little angtsy, but with bromance, romance, and interesting characters to spare (possible little brother seems surprisingly smart,for instance.) If the next two episodes deliver, You’re All Surrounded will go in my “flawed but worth watching” file.

High School King of Savvy

I LOVE THIS SHOW way too much to be objective about these last two episodes, which I have re-watched about 8 times each. But now, since a couple has been formed and it’s only episode 8, I’m expecting all the secrets to come out and the whole thing to spectacularly fall apart.

Trot Lovers

My first impression of this show was that while it was entertaining it consists of pretty people, a great sound track, and an adorable child actress, all wrapped up in way too many cliches. I was worried that it couldn’t remain interesting; in the last two episodes, however, I felt it began using those cliches creatively enough to feel fresh.

P.S. (I can break my own two sentence rule if I want to, nyah nyah) The songs in Trot Lovers so far are just gorgeous.

(I like the version in the show better, but couldn’t find it)

 (Wait ’til she gets into it)