What happens when you mix the most popular genre in the Asian Drama World - Romance Comedies - with some of the most beloved people here on MDL (at least by me... <3 you guys!)?
You get the first article of MyDramaList's Monthly Staff Picks! In each article, our staff will pick their favorite drama or movie from that genre, as well as write a few words on why that is so.
Enjoy this article co-written by twelve amazing MDL staff members.
Cheer (Approval moderator and editor) recommends:
As some of you know, I am actually NOT a romantic comedies’ person. However, back in the day, I did watch some good ones. Every time I try to think of a good rom-com, It Started with a Kiss and its sequel They Kiss Again, always pop into my head. The story has been remade over and over again for the past 18 years and I never get tired of it. The plot centers on a high school girl who gets rejected by her cold-blooded crush... but under certain circumstances, her family moves into his house and they start living under the same roof. The reason I picked this version over any of the others is because it’s certainly the best executed one. Moreover, it also follows the manga closely - just like the recent Japanese remake Itazura na kiss Love in Tokyo. I also wanted to pick a Taiwanese drama since none of my fellow staff members did.
Practically, you need to first watch ' It Started with a Kiss' to get to 'They Kiss Again.' Although the first part was funny and cute, the sequel was what really sold me as it involves many new characters and super-hot chemistry between Ariel Lin and Chen Joe –who were in a real life relationship at the time. In short, this drama is the best version of Itakiss beside the anime. I know that 50 episodes for both seasons might seem like too much, but don’t let the length scare you. I can promise that it will be worth your time (but don’t kill me if it’s not!).
rosefae72 (editor) recommends:
All About My Romance is a political romantic-comedy starring Shin Ha Kyun (as Kim Soo Young) and Lee Min Jung (as Noh Min Young). Kim Soo Young and Lee Min Jung are members of opposing parties in the National Assembly. So, of course, they are totally at odds with each other in the beginning of the drama. This is nothing new, but the delivery of the lines and the shenanigans that these two get into make for a fun story.
This drama was a surprise for me. I didn’t watch it when it aired and had never even heard of it before. But I found it by chance and thought, “why not?” In the scores of dramas out there, it is difficult to find a show that is a gem and this is one of them. Were there flaws in this drama? Yes. But it left me happy at the end and the hijinks of the characters were fantastic. The second leads weren’t evil and catty, but were instead very human. There was a bit of a “family secret” subplot, but fortunately it didn’t overtake the main story. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to add an easy-to-watch romantic-comedy to their list.
Nana87 (Approval Moderator) recommends:
Let’s Eat is like a breath of fresh air. Sometimes it gets boring watching the same kind of dramas over and over. This drama is full of laughter, food, and a dash of romance. The story revolves around neighbors getting together through food. Every character in this drama is quite fun to watch, from the handsome boy next door to the hot lawyer boss who happens to have the longest crush that no one knows about. The romance in this drama is not huge but the little in it is nice to watch. What happens when you fall for the guy you dislike the most and on top of that there is an age difference? You’ll have to watch it to find out.
So if you’re looking for something light and refreshing this is the drama for you. Warning! There is lots of food porn in this drama. You will get hungry after watching this. Do not watch while hungry. You will probably gain weight after finishing this drama. XD Hope you enjoy this drama as much as I did.
MinMin (Trailer Staff) recommends:
My romantic comedy pick is actually my first drama, which is still one of my favorites even till this day. The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince is a classic. Coffee Prince revolves around a tom boy mistaken for a man-trying her hardest to be the head of the household for her family since her father passed- and a spoiled wealthy man who is just looking to get out of his arranged marriage proposals. Then, they meet on the street and end up helping each other out. The best reason to watch this is absolutely the chemistry; it’s amazing as we watch them try to overcome the misconceptions of their relationship dynamic. The cast is brilliant as the hired baristas liven up the drama with their continued antics. All in all, this is a must watch and I would recommend this to all drama addicts no matter what’s their cup of tea.
Hessa (Approval Moderator) recommends:
First of all, I'm a big manga fan. I decided to try ‘Switch girl!’ because I was reading the manga at the time and it was quirky and entertaining. The story is about Tamiya Nika, a high school student, who only appears stylish and fashionable when she is in her “On” mode outside of the house. However, as soon as she goes back home she switches to her “OFF” mode, and becomes a sloppy, unladylike, farting weirdo. One day she meets a rude but pretty transfer student at school. He turns out to be Kamiyama Arata, the new transfer nerd with the ridiculous round glasses, who hides his face because he hates attention.
This drama is one of the funniest I have seen - complete with embarrassing moments, jokes, and FARTS. The romance is the kind you would get from a high school couple, but it is funny because both of them are the exact opposite. It is also funny how both of them struggle to keep their secret. It truly describes the agony of girls who work hard at being ladylike, when it's much harder than it seems. I really liked the first season of the drama because it followed the story in the manga, and the story was really weird (in a good way). As for the second season, I did not really enjoy it as much as the first one, but hey, it is still the weird ‘Switch girl!’.
Ari_Lee (Forums Moderator) recommends:
To make it short, "Queen In Hyun's Man" is about a scholar, Kim Boong Do, who lives during the time of King Sukjong's reign and travels 300 years into the future where he meets an actress named Choi Hee Jin.
Back in 2012 when this drama started airing, I was really hesitant to start it since I was already watching a very bad time traveling Romantic Comedy. Well, I started it anyways and I'm so glad I did.
Although "Queen In Hyun's Man" didn't have an original premise and there were certainly many cliches within its story, it was done in a way that somehow felt refreshing to me. I think the way the actors portrayed their characters had a lot to do with this. I thought they were a perfect fit for them and it helped that they had an off-the-charts chemistry with each other. This drama definitely has some of the best romance (and kiss) scenes in a K-drama. The directing and filmography were also well done. If you watch it, or have watched it, you'll know what I mean. And as if all the cuteness and romance wasn't enough, the drama also has an amazing OST to accompany it.
If you want to laugh, cry, shake your fists and almost die from all the cuteness and the romantic scenes it has, you should definitely give "Queen In Hyun's Man" a try.
YuanWei (editor) recommends:
The plot is pretty cliché in my opinion - an heiress gets her fortune stolen by her stepmother after killing her father. As a result, she has to cross dress in order to avoid being killed by her stepmother and to get her fortune back. However, she is accompanied by a very smart dog which helps her in many ways, including getting into trouble.
The reason to watch this is the dog. Really, the dog is funny, smart, and cute. The main leads have great chemistry in my opinion. The male lead is hot and cute. There are a lot of cute and very funny scenes, too. The OST is great. The story, though cliché, has its appeal. Yeah, there might be some stupid scenes in there, but hey, it's a Thai drama after all. It wouldn't be the same without. If you are new to Thai dramas like I was when I first watched it, give it a chance. You might enjoy it.
AmandaMarta (Trailer Staff) recommends:
Billed as the Korean (and male version) of Sex and the City, this romantic comedy depicts the lives of four accomplished urban professionals in their forties being friends since high school. The well-known writer Kim Eun-sook brings you on a journey to demonstrate these four best friends' lives of how they go through success, failure, love, and breakups.
Not only having a great cast along with Kim Ha Neul (My Tutor Friend), Kim Woo Bin (Heirs), and Yoon Se-Ah (Gu Family Book), A Gentlemen's Dignity generates an amusing, refreshing plot which delivers upfront modern man issues with an ensemble of truly hilarious and gifted actors. This character-driven rom-com has absolutely sold in their love plots, bromance, one-sided loves, crushes, and friendships. Each episode shares the past experiences of the main foursome. It’s a well-crafted and charming show.
SeRose (Editor in chief) recommends:
If I have to pick a single, fabulous, most perfect drama (okay maybe not MOST perfect, but pretty close to it), it's got to be Pasta. Lee Sun Gyun, Gong Hyo Jin, delicious food and a plot that doesn't get too bogged down in drama? Pretty much perfect. The plot is otherwise pretty ordinary: aspiring pasta chef starts from the bottom, and falls in love with the head chef, newly transferred to their high end and demanding restaurant. He falls in love with her. What puts this over the edge? The food, the hilarity, an array of handsome sou chefs, cactus flowers, and a pair of goldfish that somehow manage to live in a cacophony of pots and pans and oil explosions and, oh - did I manage Sun Gyun's delicious hip cock stance when barks out orders of "Vongole! Hana!" Everything about this drama is delicious. Please do give it a try.
Elisabetta (Editor) recommends:
I’m not much into love triangles or rectangles, most of the time they are downright annoying, So I was surprised that I enjoyed this octangle so much. There is no unnecessary melodrama, nor does anyone feel like a third-wheel attached to a match made in heaven. Instead, you get 8 intriguing characters, whom you can shuffle and pair-up to your heart’s content. Until the final episodes nothing is really set in stone and it’s hard to predict who will end up with whom.
The cores of the show are heroes and heroines that are quirky, mysterious, but at the same time highly relatable. All of them are, in some way or another, stuck with their lives and a chance meeting in the elevator is a start of a much desired change for them. The friendship that formed between those different people was fun to watch and I wish I could bond with someone in that way too.
I love the drinking spot; they set up at hoc - something you would rather expect on a shabby rooftop, not in their fancy skyscraper. Yay, Panda!
I’ve started to watch this show for its exquisite cast and I wasn’t disappointed. They were able to show potential in every pairing and some of them had great chemistry with each other. The dialogs are witty and the plot twists and turns in the most unexpected ways. So, if you are tired of usual drama clichés and crave for something a little bit different, this is the right show for you.
Sleepninja (Forum Moderator) recommends:
My choice for romantic comedies is Phoo Yai Lee Gab Nang Ma AKA Headman Lee and Miss Ma. This drama is about a famous model that inherits her Grandmother's land out in the country after she passes away. Malinee is a sweet girl, but she's rather high maintenance. Therefore, she has no interest in farm life. According to her Grandmother's will, the only person she is allowed to sell her land to is Headman Lee. She heads out to her Grandmother's house to find Headman Lee and sell the land.
If you haven't already figured it out, hilarity ensues. This rich lady was not prepared for life in the country.
I greatly enjoyed the comedy in this lakorn. The cast was well chosen and I greatly enjoyed the ensemble of funny and interesting characters. I watched this drama right after seeing the female lead play an antagonist in Namtan Mai. It was quite a shock to see how well she can switch up the role of someone so awful to the role of protagonist. In my opinion, this drama was well-paced with adequate amounts of humor, drama, and romance.
As I mentioned before, the casting was really well done for this lakorn. The leads portrayed their characters well, but as usual, my favorite characters are always the side characters. Malinee's friends were a great source of humor and camaraderie throughout this series. The character that shined the most for me was none other than little Pued, played by Richard Ghiani. His character was so adorable and charming! :3
1. The antagonist is named Dick...let's just say that his name is all you need to know about his personality. ;)
2. The theme song is weird. REALLY weird. Yet, you will find it stuck in your head and might even hum along. I would catch myself humming it and would face palm. lol
Anyways, I think that this lakorn is a great lakorn to start with if you are new to Thai drama. Or even if you are just looking for something funny and light to watch. ^^
Skye (Creator & Admin of MyDramaList) recommends:
I wasn't originally planning on participating in this article. I figured there wouldn't be any point since 11 other staff members had already written their recommendations, and I didn't want this article to become too long either. However, when I found out that no one had picked My Girl, I knew I just had to give in. I'm sure you're wondering why that's the case... What makes My Girl so special that I'm writing this at nearly 3am in the morning? Well, simply put, My Girl was my first. It's my first Kdrama, my first romance comedy, and one of the few dramas that i've actually bothered to rewatch. So what makes it so special? Watch it and find out ;)
Well that's all. I hope you enjoyed the first MyDramaList Staff Picks. Which Asian drama or film is your favorite romance comedy? Which one of the dramas on this list will you check out? For the next article, what topic do you recommend we go with?
Also, since I (Skye) don't say this often enough, i'd like to quickly say thank you to our wonderful, selfless, staff members who work so hard here on MDL. They've dedicated so much of their precious time to making MDL run smoothly. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you to all the MDL staff (including those not in this article). You're the best guys.