6 highly rated Korean dramas I dropped.
The title says it all. For this article I considered only standard length Korean dramas aired on broadcast TV (no shorts, specials or web dramas) rated an 8 or above on MDL.
The order of adjectives people.
Eps completed: 10 of 16
What I liked: The friendships and the beautiful cinematography. This story had good bones. The writer had a strong opening. Reaper Kim was amazing. Whenever he and the goblin were being all out of touch bro’s of the cosmos it was extremely entertaining. *Most* of the historical flashbacks were perfect. That’s a story I would have loved to watch in more detail.
What I didn’t like: The biggest issue for me was that I never believed the Goblin and Ji Eun Tak were in love. They meant a lot to each other, yes but even after he confessed his romantic feelings for her their romance was tepid at best and felt more like a friendship. The second biggest issue was the Goblin himself. This is a very flat character. He had his moments when he was funny but any time emotion was involved he almost always froze up. Gong Yoo’s delivery during emotional scenes was largely monotone. Sunny’s character suffered from the same fatal stoicism. This disappointment is amplified because if you’ve ever seen Gong Yoo or Yoo In Na in anything else you know they are both excellent actors who could have pulled off a thousand times more. I was also disappointed in Kim Go Eun’s character. She was not nearly as interesting as she should have been. She hangs with celestial beings and ghosts for Pete's sake. After seeing the actress in Cheese in the Trap where she played a real person it almost hurt to watch her play the stereotypical too young acts even younger pure innocent barely exists except in relation to a man drama heroine.
Final thoughts: I would have loved a story just about the Goblin and Reaper Kim. And FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY; Lonely and Great is not proper English. It should be Great and Lonely.
Do you think they could have all fit in the tub? I think they could.
Eps completed: 6 of 16
What I liked: This show had a balance between the dark and the funny that is rarely seen in Kdramas. Normally the best you can hope for is that they manage to balance the transition from funny act one to heartbreaking act two. IOTL crosses the streams so well that you find yourself laughing at times when as a decent person you probably shouldn’t be. The beginning of the show found the humor in our tragic humanity. The performances were all great.
What I didn’t like: It didn’t take long for this show to start to buckle under the weight of its own complexity. The story shot out in all directions leaving the viewer to try to slough through a whole lotta plot. What had been a refreshing look at interesting people quickly became a bland retelling of tragic pasts and tropes I could see coming a mile away. Yawn. The show sold itself as a mature look at love but I didn’t get that vibe. Just more gimmicks.
Final thoughts: I didn’t make a conscious choice to drop this. I watched episode 6 and just never went back.
Dimples do not pop. Eeeeewwwww.
Eps completed: 10 of 16
What I liked: So Ji Sub and Shin Min Ah could both muster chemistry with a fricking door so that was fantastic to watch. I loved that they showed Kang Joo Eun as a viable and serious love interest for Kim Yeong Ho even before she was skinny. Her character, though a little turned up for dramatic effect, is pretty realistic and very relatable. In fact, most of the characters were really great. The humor was spot on.
What I didn’t like: The story. When the plot focused on the characters and their relationships all was well. Just after the halfway mark, they decided to dig DEEP into the basic chaebol BS starter kit and that’s where they lost me. it took over the plot and that’s no fun. Also. the little blowing kisses cheek pop thing they did made me imagine giant pimples every time and it was gross.
Final thoughts: I’m not mad at it. I really enjoyed the episodes I did watch, have it rated at an 8 and I am happy to know I didn’t waste six hours of my life on something that wouldn’t have entertained me.
If only the plot could have been as simple as this color palette.
Eps completed: 5 of 20
What I didn’t like: Everything else. And I do mean EVERYTHING else. In five short episodes, this drama tried to be ten different shows. Seriously this show has SEVEN different tags. It’s almost as if the writer had a handful of unfinished scripts laying around and needed to sell something so it got stitched together into this Frankenstein’s monster of a way too much going on for it’s own good drama. It’s all very contrived. The editing was atrocious too. Flashbacks in the middle of flashback? Oh my god, please stop.
Final thoughts: I tried to watch it twice. Stalled out at the same spot both times.
BRO! I know!
Eps completed: 4 of 16
What I liked: There were a lot of pretty boys and Byung Hee is hilarious and awesome. The music was great too.
What I didn’t like: Pretty much everything else. I didn’t look too hard at the MDL page and didn’t realize Lee Min Ki’s role was a guest spot and he was only in two episodes. I was unhappy when his character left the show. This was way back before I realized that despite his dashing good looks and hypnotic voice, Sung Joon is not an actor I enjoy. Maybe it’s because I knew a guy like this when I was in high school. I knew a dozen guys like this character and Sung Joon did not capture the raw energy of a troubled talented teenager. There were scenes where he did well but overall I felt he kept missing the mark. Most of the other cast were little more the set dressing. The villains were vanilla and the female lead didn’t have a discernible personality. She was pretty and nice but that’s not a personality.
Final thoughts: I didn’t give this one much of a chance but I was so bored by it that I honestly doubt I ever will.
Eps completed: 8 of 16
What I liked: The first 8 episodes. Despite being pretty standard fare it was well done and enjoyable. The characters were fun the story was ridiculous but engaging. It was a solid first half. Even Lee Hong Ki was turning in a good performance which at the time was sort of surprising.
What I didn’t like: My enjoyment of this drama came to a screeching halt with just one line. Don’t worry I’m not posting spoilers. I had rather liked the female lead and I respected her about as much as one could respect a person who allows themselves to be treated poorly and even falls for one of the people treating them poorly. Not a lot, but it was there. Then she said something that robbed me of that little bit respect I did have for her and made my inner feminist rage. Not only that but it was a bit much for what had happened in the story up to that point. After that, I just could not watch it.
Final thoughts: Boo. BOOOO!!!!!