2013 Year in Review: Kdramas You Might Not Have Heard About

2013 Year in Review
Romance, Drama, Sagueks
              
 
I know; it has been awhile since I posted anything here but what better way to introduce myself to the new MDL users but at the end of the year and featuring dramas that most of you either haven’t heard of or watched. I purposely picked these dramas because there really isn’t enough written about them: good or bad. So what better way for you to not only get to know me but also the dramas I like to watch?                                                                                                  
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Written by Jung Ji Woo who wrote some of all-time favorite family dramas like Gloria, Family’s Honor, Stars Falling From the Sky and directed by Shin Yoon Sub from Rooftop Prince fame, comes one of the best, well-written, filmed, acted and directed (going to run out of adjectives) family dramas I’ve ever seen!! It stars Im Joo Hwan and Kang So Ra in the lead as Gong Jun Su and Na Do Hee, respectively. It also includes in the cast, Kang Byul (Mandate of Heaven), Choi Tae Joon (Adolescent Medley, Padam Padam), Shin So Yool (Reply 1997), Seol Hyun (Member of K-pop group "AOA"), and Hyun Woo (I Live in Cheongdam-dong).

I had mainly wanted to watch this because I LOVE Im Joo Hwan, surprisingly not for Tamra Island but because of What’s Up? I was more than happy when I heard he had the lead but like everyone else, I’m sometimes leery of long dramas because I get disappointed all of the time and long dramas are definitely a commitment. However, once I sat down and watched the first 20 episodes, I was totally hooked! For the first time ever, I watched a show, not just week to week but daily from a SBS streaming website. It even introduced me to Soompi! I not only watched it unsubbed but I even adjusted my work schedule to catch the early morning drama in my time zone. The love story of the leads is a complete love story: from meeting, falling in love, hardship because of their circumstances and finally to a wedding you may never see again. The interesting cast and additional stories definitely added to the drama. This is not just a must-see; it is a MUST-SEE!!


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Written by the writing team of Jang Young Cheol and Jung Kyung Soon (Empress Ki, Giant, History of the Salaryman) and directed by Yu In Sik (Giant, History of the Salaryman), it is definitely a drama of a different ilk. The cast includes Kang Ji Hwan (Coffee House, Lie to Me, Capital Scandal), Hwang Jung Eum (Secret Love, Can You Hear My Heart, Giant), Oh Yoon Ah (Childless Comfort, 21st Century Family), and Park Sang Min (Scandal, Giant, Soldier) in the main roles.

This has to be the BEST romance/comedy/drama I’ve seen this year!! It is so rare that you can watch a drama from beginning to end and say I was NEVER be bored!! This drama went from funny, to serious, back to funny without a hitch in the story!! I now totally believe in Kang Ji Hwan’s acting ability. Sure, I had liked him in various movies and have watched a couple of dramas that were watchable, but in this he totally shined as a consummate actor! He showed us joy, laughter, happiness, and even sadness very effectively! He is truly a comic genius. Hwang Jung Eum, I was already in love with her and my love affair will just continue! Her portrayal as Jae In was hysterical! I enjoyed watching her transform from the unsure of herself daughter of a powerful woman to a woman willing to do anything to save her man!
  

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Written by Choi Wan Kyu (Lights and Shadows, Midas, Swallow the Sun) and directed by Kim Keun Hong (Queen Seon Duk, Yi San, Jumong). This is a rare treat for me as it is a saguek and a medical drama. It stars Kim Ju Hyuk (Soldier, Lovers in Prague), Park Jin Hee (Fermentation Family, Giant), Nam Goong Min (Can You Hear My Heart, The Birth of the Rich), and Park Eun Bin (Operation Proposal).
                  
With 135 episodes, this is definitely not a drama that I would watch again. I thought it was well acted by all. I especially liked the fact that Heo Jun's character wasn't a squeaky clean, perfect character from the beginning but morphed into the great man that he became over time. I admit that I began watching this drama because of Nam Goong Min and Park Jin Hee, whom I’ve seen in several other dramas and movies, but this was only my second time seeing Kim Ju Hyuk (Heo Jun) and Park Jin Hee in a drama. I would be remiss in mentioning Go Doo Shim who played Heo Jun’s mother. As always, she is a consummate actress. I was especially impressed with Park Eun Bin (Da Hee, Heo Joon's wife) because there is a 20 year difference in their age (yeah, I was shocked too), but she held her own from start to finish. The rest of the supporting cast was great. There are a couple of the younger actors (who remain nameless) that I will be looking forward to in the future. Overall, this is a drama only medical and sageuk watchers would possibly appreciate.
                                                                           

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Written by Kim Yi Young (Dong Yi, Yi San) and directed by Lee Byung Hoon (Dong Yi, Yi San, Jewel in the Palace) and newcomer Choi Jung Kyu (recent Two Weeks). This is another saguek that will attract the lovers of historical dramas. It stars Cho Seung Woo (first drama, generally a movie actor), Lee Yo Won (49 Days, Golden Empire, Queen Seon Duk), Lee Soon Jae (Ugly Alert, Childless Comfort, King2Hearts), and Son Chang Min (Cruel City, Kid Gang).

Overall, I liked the drama. There were times when the story seemed to be repetitive and the constant persecution and denial of Baek Kwanghyun's (Cho Seung Woo) ability as a physician grated on my nerves. The medical procedures were interesting to watch, and I suggest never to be caught eating during some episodes. When the major focus was on the political intrigue, it did detract from the story greatly. However, when the focus was on medicine, it was great. It made me a BIG fan of Cho Seung Woo as I had never seen him before and since have watched several of his movies as a result of watching the drama. I loved the love story. It was so cute and pretty straightforward.  Would I recommend? Only for the hardcore medical saguek drama watchers. 

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Written by a bunch of newbies (this should have been a warning) but that is always not a bad thing and directed by Lee Chang Han (I Need Romance, Saranghae). It stars Park Sun Young (Immortal Classic, Crime Squad), Go Se Won (Rude Miss Young Ae 9-12, I'll Give You The Stars and The Moon). This is here as a warning…a warning NOT to watch this!!

If you are a true masochist who will enjoy watching two of the most “doormat” main characters ever, this is a drama to watch. However, if you are sensitive to subjects like spousal abuse, children being kidnapped/accidental killed, murders going unpunished, constant persecution of leads then this is not the drama for you.  I know the only reason I finished this was because of two of my twitter friends and my constant use of cat toys to throw at my television screen. In addition, the story line will have you questioning your sanity for even watching it in the first place. And here I thought that place in my psyche would be forever reserved by Fashion King!

Comments (104)

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  • Reply
    wisa 16 days ago

    loved Horse Doctor. Great Drama worth the 50 episodes.

  • Reply
    ROSE Aug 5, 2014

    they are very long dramas I'm afraid I would never watch them

  • Reply
    kit1186 Jun 6, 2014

    If you are comparing Crazy Love to Fashion King it must be bad so thanks for the heads up.

  • Reply
    hallyuholicmom May 2, 2014

    thanks for the warning NewKdramaAddict. i think the ghost of Fashion King and Thorn Birds (here i am thinking there are no more"doormat" character than Soo Jung Eun) will again haunt me through Crazy Love.

    • Reply
      NewKDramaAddict May 4, 2014

      It doesn't matter how much we warn people NOT to watch Crazy Love, they do!!

    • Reply
      LoveAsianWorld 8 days ago

      Is Crazy Love so bad? Why is there a warning NOT to watch it? O.O

  • Reply
    Biehl91 Mar 2, 2014

    Can't you guess my emotion landscape after I watched High Kick, then Secret, then IoM, then CYHMH, then FH 2, Golden Time in a succession?

    Full of HJE's galore, each with different kind of characters, genres, even appearances. She's such a great versatile actress. She can do practically EVERYTHING: melo, comedy, medical, family, romantic, epic historical, even thriller; become fat woman, a singer, competent doctor etc. Hilarious, sad, kind, haughty, warm, naive, mischievous, spoiled, optimist.

    So of course, I'm her fan now.

  • Reply
    girl_on_fire Jan 26, 2014

    Does anybody know of any dramas like Ugly Alert? (Other than Family's Honor)

    • Reply
      NewKDramaAddict Jan 26, 2014

      Ojakgyo Brothers is very good but long, 54 ep. 1% of Anything comes to mind as the romances are also separately developed but it is an older drama. The Wedding Scheme is decent and features 3 sisters. If Tomorrow Comes also comes to mind.

    • Reply
      girl_on_fire Jan 26, 2014

      Thanks but I also have seen Ojakgyo Brothers and The Wedding Scheme. I will check out If tomorrow comes though!! Thanks for the rec!

    • Reply
      xrutti Jan 31, 2014

      What about High Kick Through The Roof, it's have 126 episodes, but each ep is just 20 minutes, it's very interesting and funny drama, i finished it right now, the end was soo unexpected... but this drama worth to watch :)

  • Reply
    Letty Jan 24, 2014

    AWWW when you said Fashion King, LOL yeah that end was WTH!!!!!! So could have saved my time on that one.

  • Reply
    FlowerDreamStar Jan 22, 2014

    Horse Doctor ??? One of my favourites. I was addicted in this drama but ep's 46, 47, 48 and 49 were boring, really boring. But it's one drama that I recommend.
    The male main role was amazing (I'm bad with the names). We need that kind of men on earth.
    The ost can be amazing :3

    • Reply
      NewKDramaAddict Jan 22, 2014

      Totally agree!! It was a shame that go that far and blew away making it rating of 9; I also dropped my rating to 8 because of those last episodes! Cho Seung Woo. We may NEVER see him in a drama again; he prefers movies. Watch some of his movies, he is AMAZING!!!

  • Reply
    chante Jan 21, 2014

    I was very disappointed with Crazy Love. It was the first drama I watched that was that long. I drop it around the 70th something episode and went back to it when it was over just to watch the last ep. Just felt like what was the point to the whole drama

    • Reply
      NewKDramaAddict Jan 21, 2014

      But you have to admit, the level of nastiness is one I never want to see again. Even all of the evilness in Yellow Boots was overshadowed! I don't think that would have happened if I hadn't seen Crazy Love.

  • Reply
    medzyify Jan 19, 2014

    I really injoy watching Incarnation of Money. They portry their character very wel.I seen it 2x already.. i luv it

  • Reply
    BB26 Jan 19, 2014

    I wanna watch horse doctor but it's too long and college is killing me like T-T

    • Reply
      NewKDramaAddict Jan 19, 2014

      There's always the summer break! It will still be around :-D

    • Reply
      BB26 Jan 19, 2014

      Hhahahah I know :P

    • Reply
      kit1186 Jan 19, 2014

      Yeah college is annoying at times when you want to be at home watching dramas all day.

    • Reply
      lirei_yuni_007 Jan 22, 2014

      i second the motion

  • Reply
    my3views Jan 19, 2014

    Thank u 4 your insightful and informative evaluation. I was really surprised and pleased to know that there where others that appreciated UA & IOM. Your article brought into light the gem quality of these dramas peaking peoples interest to watch these dramas that might otherwise not have. These dramas definitely deserved credit and support

    • Reply
      NewKDramaAddict Jan 19, 2014

      Thank you! Everyone who knows me knows I watch fewer of the popular ones unless they are completed so I can just marathon watch them. There are exceptions but daily dramas are definitely my passion!

    • Reply
      my3views Sep 20, 2014

      I have since watched Horse Doctor from you list of recommendations and have also very much enjoyed it, again thanx so much.

  • Reply
    xxpopopxx Jan 18, 2014

    Ugly Alert seems like just the drama I was looking for ! Your review and the comments here is really tempting me to take on this giant of 133 eps drama! Thanks for the review !

    • Reply
      PrettyCarEye Jan 19, 2014

      Hehe ... NKDA has that effect on you when she's enthusiastic about a show. She made me commit to watching another 100+ ep drama after I swore up and down to myself that I wouldn't! hehehe

  • Reply
    iaznaB Jan 18, 2014

    Even tho i liked Hwang Jung Eum in Secret (secret lover,wtv u wanna call it), i didn't want to see Incarnation of Money because the main actor looks too adult-ish(?).

    But i think i'm gonna give it a try. Maybe, just maybe... i will like it.

    • Reply
      NewKDramaAddict Jan 18, 2014

      Oh my, you must be young to think Kang Ji Hwan is too adult-ist.

  • Reply
    trueturquoise Jan 18, 2014

    Thank you for this post. Based on your recommendations I am now putting Ugly Alert and Incarnation of Money on my plan to watch list! :)

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