Maybe it was on a cold Wednesday morning, maybe it was on a warm Sunday night. Maybe it was during Fall, maybe it was even during blooming Spring. We've all had the experience of coming across a drama like this. A drama that is so widely bizarre, it's almost the most clever thing there is. Almost.
These dramas twirl into your life like silent cyclones. You have no idea what is going to happen when you click on 'play'. Not a single clue. And then BAMN! The first gale hits you straight across your face and you're left wondering, "What the hell am I watching? When did I decide to destroy my life?"
The plot, the characters, the twists and turns, everything... everything is just absolutely crazy.
But you still stay.
Does this drama go into the "Dropped List"? Well, 70% of the time, not really.
In simple words ~ these dramas are so ridiculously bad, they're actually totally good. But hey, it isn't wrong to embrace the crazy, right?
After all, there is a method to everyone's madness.
So ladies and gentlemen here are my TOP 10 "so bad, but so good" dramas!
(Click on drama posters to get re-directed!)
WARNING: minor spoilers!
- Country: Japan
- Genre: Comedy, Romance, Mature
Sakura (Shinohara Ryoko) is a single 39-year-old woman. She works at a beauty salon as its vice manager. Sakura makes customers pretty, but she isn't interested in making herself pretty. She envies falling in love, but at the same time is afraid of falling in love. One day, at a party, Sakura meets Hiroto (Miura Haruma), who is much younger than Sakura. Hiroto is a bike rider and is attracted to Sakura.
Meanwhile, Rintaro (Fujiki Naohito) is a manager at a beauty salon where Sakura works. Rintaro likes making biting remarks, drinking alcohol and using his scissors.
I'd walked into this drama seeing the name, the poster, and the episode count. Initially, I'd thought that I'd see a sweet little Japanese Cinderella story, with obviously good-looking male leads *points at poster's direction*. I thought I'd be done with this in no time. Since it has 11 episodes, I thought it'd be short and simple. I mean 11 episodes, what major could happen, right?
WELL, IT HAPPENS!
See the tag #mature? Yeah, I'd missed that. Completely. And then I'd had my mind blown. You see, I'd seen a lot of Korean dramas before jumping on to Last Cinderella and by this time I was so accustomed to modesty that when I saw this drama... I was totally blown away!
This drama was so out there ~ Sometimes I felt like I was a complete prude. During some scenes, I couldn't help but think:
- "Wait, are they allowed to do that?"
- "Wait, do they have feelings for each other? Why do they have feelings for each other? Is this legal?"
- "Wait, why the hell am I still watching this?"
- "Should I drop this?"
- "What about your wife, dude?!"
- "One. More. Episode."
Trust me. My life literally revolved around these questions for the period of time I had spent watching this drama.
This drama was out there in many ways than one, such as:
- > The girl was older than one of the guys. A lot older.
- > There was nudity. HOLY SMOKES FOR THAT~
- > The secondary characters were messed up OML.
- > The second lead female was a bit of a nutter. (You'll know when you watch it.)
However, despite all the craziness in this drama, I still couldn't help but stick till the end. It was worth it as well. Depending on which ship you decided to sail on that is.
- Country: Taiwan
- Genre: Comedy, Martial Arts, School, Romance
- Year: 2015
- Episodes: 30
Moon River is the unofficial remake of BOF, guys. That has not been officially announced, but I'm just saying. The whole essence of this drama revolved around that of BOF, so do I still have to type its synopsis down? Yes? Okay, let's break it down!
Daughter of a martial artist teacher, Ming Xiao Xi (Tseng Pets), leaves her rural home village and moves to the city in order to attend her new school. A very prestigious school, mainly occupying the richest of kids *cough*no shocker*cough*
She's filled with hope, and totally ready for this new chapter in her life~ totally ready, especially with her toe socks. Wow, those toe socks~ but alas, on her very first day she ends up in a huge fight with the most popular boy club in the college. Heading this club are 3 guys, Mu Liu Bing (Lin Sam), Feng Jian Che (Ma Evan), and Dong Hao Nan (Xu Kai Cheng).
Needless to say, with this plot setting~ a lot of fun and trouble is in store for our main female lead.
Once again, guys, I didn't know what I was getting myself into.
I'd cautioned myself during the beginning days of my Asian drama days~ to stay away from BOF no matter how many praises these fangirls cried out about that drama. I'd done research~ BOF was definitely not my cup of tea or coffee.
Then this popped up. To be quite honest, I'd not realized that this was very very close to BOF in the first half of episode 1 but then the similarities kept hitting me on my head with a large bat, and I realized... oh no.
For a second there, I wanted to give up. 30 episodes?! That's a lot of episodes! Enough episodes to have a dozen crap happen! But strangely, I kept watching it.
Yes, I can't deny, a lot of crap does happen. After all, our female lead is a martial artist, and our male lead is a super-rich and handsome guy. It is a set up made in the heavens~ destined to unravel like I had seen so many times before.
I dare say, dramas like this are always able to boost my confidence in a weird way~ by the end of it I'm always 99% sure that I'm a damn good fortune teller!
However, although I have mentioned that this drama is very similar to BOF, it is different in many ways as well. For instance:
- 1. Less angst. Trust me.
- 2. F4? More like F3.
- 3. No super rich and cruel mum.
- 4. The male lead in this has daddy issues. Not mommy issues.
- 5. A legit kick-arse climax.
- 6. The female lead isn't as emotionally stupid as in BOF in my opinion. No offense, everyone! ^_^''
- Country: Japan
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Manga, Romance
Year: 2005 & 2007
Episodes: 20 (Season 1 & 2)
Remember how I'd said that I had warned myself not to watch BOF no matter how many fangirls cried its praises? That didn't include Hana Yori Dango. I was just talking about the Korean and other remakes. (Especially the Korean remake. #SorryNotSorryLeeMinHo)
This manga/drama is so famous, I'm sure almost 90% of Asian drama viewers around the world know at least one of the remakes of this drama and what it is about. Therefore, I don't think there is a need for me to give out the synopsis, right?
However, I'm pretty sure you all also know why this drama is in the "So bad, but so good" list. It's because, Hana Yori Dango/ BOF/ Meteor Garden/ etc. all have every plot twist a drama can have. Which plot twist do you want to watch today? You name it. It has it.
If you love drama, and a crazy addicting melodramatically hilarious drama, look no further~ HYD will not disappoint.
I don't know about the rest of the remakes, but personally, I think HYD is the best out of them all.
- Country: South Korea
Genre: Comedy, Music, Romance
Done watching all of the versions of You're Beautiful? Have no fear, K-POP: The Ultimate Audition is here!
Tomboy, Ji Seung Yeon (Go Eun Ha) always wanted to become a hip-hop legend. Something that was a far cry from what her parents wanted from her. To major in classical music. Mainly piano. When Ji Seung Yeon fails an audition in the UK, she decides to come back home. Finally giving up. Through unexpected events, she finds herself being selected in a K-Pop audition, with her best friend. Faced with such an opportunity, Seung Yeon decides to dress as a boy to survive the ultimate audition and join the male idol group. During this journey, she meets the arrogant and selfish Kang Woo Hyeon (Park Yoo Hwan), the leader of the popular idol group, M2 ~ and more trouble ensues.
I am guilty. I knew what I was getting myself into before investing my time into this drama. A lower budgeted, loose adaptation of the extremely famous You're Beautiful & Fabulous Boys and this drama delivered!
All I wanted was to watch something like YB, in fact during those days I was on a "musical romance" search out. Before this, I had tried watching Monstar & Dream High because of their rave reviews. But I ended up dropping both of those disasters. I decided I needed a safe ground. Something similar to a drama I had watched before. Nothing that came out at me and screamed: "TAKE A CHANCE!" I mean, I had taken a chance~ twice~ and both times it was kinda ridiculous.
So with K-POP: The Ultimate Audition I went!
Needless to say, the plot totally surprised me ~ apart from the 'gender-bending K-pop band female main lead', 'horribly arrogant male lead', and a 'crazy female second lead' (amongst other things) this drama was very different. Unfortunately, these differences didn't make the drama any better.
Often times, I found myself wondering how no one could tell that Seung Yeon was a girl! Even her voice wasn't deep enough. Forget deep, it wasn't even high enough in a manly way. And don't even get me started with the second female lead ~ not only was she ridiculously delusional, she was also the living representative of the word "blackmail". The main lead? Yeah, sometimes due to his attitude, he wasn't any better.
But through it all, I still walked away from this drama with very happy feelings. I'll admit, most of them were because of Song Min Ho (WINNER). Yes, I spent a good amount of my time rewinding his screen times. Not ashamed.
- Country: South Korea / Japan
Genre: Drama, Romance, Comedy
Growing up with her grandfather, Jang Man Ok (Hwang Jung Eum), follows her grandfather’s footsteps by being a martial arts instructor at his very own institute. However, secretly, Man Ok dreams of being a fashion designer, so much so that she actually runs an internet shopping site~ all without her grandfather’s knowledge. In her grandfather’s absence, by chance her fate collides with the top idol group TAKE ONE’s members and she soon finds herself working as their personal stylist, moving into the band’s luxurious house and becoming the subject of admiration from both the members of TAKE ONE.
Don’t be fooled by how normal the characters look in the poster, guys. It’s all a lie. Their hairstyles are crazy! I guess one could say that their hairstyles made them look like they had come right out of an anime~ which makes sense because this drama was a joint production between South Korea and Japan.
I don’t think I’ve been freaked out this fast in the first episode of any drama I’ve watched till date, guys. To see both the first and second lead guys smooch each other~ was something I was not expecting. AT ALL.
I guess when I had started this drama, I had thought it would be something like Full House 1 (I’d seen the Thai version), but seeing that kiss~ I just knew that this drama was going to be one hell of a ride. And it was. One minute this was happening in the drama, and the next that was happening. (I’m trying not to give out spoilers). Sometimes I felt like I was watching two main female leads because the male lead sometimes portrayed very female characteristics (Sometimes even more than the female lead herself) However, one thing I can say is that the #SecondLeadGame is super strong in this one, to be honest.
- Country: Hong Kong
Genre: Vampire, Supernatural, Romance
Love in Time is a romance drama between a young university student who loves to budget and a 224-year-old half-vampire who has guarded his heart for 200 years due to his dark past. This almost Twilight-like drama showcases a simple love between two people that has crossed time and lives. Cold at first, then slowly melting into friendship and love this drama takes the route nearly every drama out there has taken, all the while adding a little supernatural in it. But how can this love survive when one cannot die, and the other slowly ages every day.
When I began this drama, both my cousin sister and my kid sister had already completed it and had nothing but praises about drama. Therefore, it was only natural I had very high hopes for this one.
When I began watching it, I could kind of see where my kid sisters were coming from, I mean the drama is every young girl’s dream~ a hot, arrogant vampire who isn’t nice to anyone else but to the nice, innocent female lead. But that couldn’t stop me from missing all the new potential the drama could have reached, nor could it stop me from spotting all the mistakes and plot holes.
All in all, by the end of the drama, I realized that if I had watched this drama when it had first aired (and I was younger) I definitely would have loved it just as much as my cousin and kid sister did.
Right now though, I see through the horrible vampire effects during their fight scenes, the lackluster in the plot, and the so-so romance between the couple.
Maybe knowing all of these issues with the drama was the reason why I asked myself why I was continuing every single time I clicked on the next episode option. There were issues, that much was obvious, but still~ with nine episodes, it was short, sweet and filled with addictive flaws. Kinda like that bad boy we know we shouldn’t like but secretly still do anyway.
- Country: Thailand
Genre: Mafia, Romance, Action, Comedy, School
The father of Ruthainark (Chalida) is in debt with a man called Lin Lang Ser (Tanin) who is a well-known member of the Hong Kong mafia. As the ugly duckling of the family Ruthainark is a very intelligent student but cannot compare with her elder sister's beautiful looks. In return of having Ruthainakr’s father a loan, Lin Lang Ser decides to accept the beautiful daughter as a payback for the high debts of her family. But when the day comes to pay his debt, Ruthainark’s father decides to run away with his eldest daughter. As a result of this Ruthainark is captured by Lin Lan Ser's men and brought to his mansion. Betraying Lin Lang Ser means death, so how does Ruthainark survive?
MY. FIRST. THAI. LARKON!
YAS! SWEET MEMORIES!
Alright, I’ll try to be brief and informative here (I’d typed everything out already but then the page decided to act up and I lost all my writings #defeated).
These are the reasons why it was ‘bad’:
- > People seriously were stupid in the drama, trying to pull Ruthainark as the ‘ugly’ sister. I couldn’t help but wonder whether they really wanted us to think that Ruthainark was uglier than her sister. That was totally not true. I truly believe that during plots like these it’s best if a proper girl is kept for the role rather than placing Miss Universe in place of Ugly Betty. It’s almost like watching a cross-dressing drama where it’s so obvious that the guy is, in fact, a girl. Or watching Lee Min Ho in Personal Taste passing off as being gay when it’s so bleeding obvious that he is a certified Alpha Male. A very straight one at that.
- > The female lead was so irritatingly obnoxious, I almost threw my patience out the window when she initially met Lin Lang Ser and acted like a tough brat.
- > The romance factor was so MIA. I tried, I tried really bad to feel the romance~ but the two main leads acted more like a big brother/sister or a dad and daughter. It’s not because they looked physically different in age, but their chemistry just was not cutting it. In fact, most of the time I paid more attention to Lin Lang Ser’s second in charge’s love life.
- > Some sideline plots were a little all over the place, sometimes it felt like I was in a shoot-out game and everyone had suddenly decided to fire all at once, right in one direction. Bullets~ from every single direction. Lord save me, which one do I even worry about?
(Trying so hard not to spoil things. #ASpoiler’sTrueChallenge)
While there were quite obviously things that personally pricked at my comfort, I still continued to watch this drama because although bad, it was also really very good at holding onto my curiosity.
It came to a point where I really wasn’t digging the lead couple’s chemistry. I always kept looking for something more, but still, instead of giving up I continued watching because things (non-romance related) were beginning to get juicy.
That aside, I also have to admit, although the main female lead was obnoxious, she was still very bright. To see her win fights 3 out of 2 times, against all her opponents was also very interesting.
- Country: Japan
Genre: Romance, Life, School, Drama
Year: 2013 & 2015
Episodes: 30 (Season 1&2)
Based on the manga "Itazura na Kiss" by Kaoru Tada. At a high school entrance ceremony, high school student Aihara Kotoko (Miki Honoka), who isn't that smart, notices pretty boy Irie Naoki (Furukawa Yuki). She falls in love with him immediately. Kotoko initially doesn't express her feelings to him, but finally, has a chance to tell him how she feels. Unfortunately, Naoki turns Kotoko down, saying "I don't like dumb women."
One day, Aihara Kotoko's house is severely damaged by a meteorite. Until the house is rebuilt, Aihara Kotoko and her father decide to live with her father's friend. When Aihara Kotoko moves to her new temporary house, she is surprised to learn that Irie Naoki lives there as well.
Those of you who don’t know this drama, please stand up!
*hears the chairs’ legs begin to drag against the floor*
Sit your butt down! Y’all liars!
I’ve seen almost every version of this drama released, guys: the Korean disaster, the Taiwanese version that I found quite alright, the Thai masterpiece (#SexyMike) and then this version ~ Itazura Na Kiss ~ the flawed but well-done version of the anime turned drama.
You might think, “Why the Japanese version? Why not the rest?”
Well, the Korean version was honestly just a disaster ~ I felt very helpless and depressed while watching that version. No offense to Kim Hyun Joong but oh Lord was his character the most emotionless, indecisive jerk ever! And that too, for the most part of the drama as well!
I really wanted Oh Ha Ni (Jung So Min) to end up with the second lead, and since the Korean version was my very first version, I actually thought she would! Right until the umbrella rain scene in the last part of the drama anyway.
So yeah, there really wasn’t any ‘good’ in the drama anyway (subjective opinion)
The Thai version, Kiss Me ~ No seriously, Mike. Kiss me. *blinks* *clears throat* Back to the topic!
The Thai version is by far my favourite version of this drama. Kudos to the production team for making Ten Ten a human in it. I really liked that he openly felt jealous, cried for the girl and regretted doing stupid things whenever he hurt the girl. Bottom line, the Thai version was almost all good and no bad. (#Season2SoonHopefully)
The Taiwanese remake, on the other hand, doesn’t really shine very brightly in my memory. In fact, the most important thing I remember in that version is the honeymoon scene. Boy, was that scene on fire. Overall though, the drama was alright. I liked it. It’s just that I liked the Japanese and Thai version better. (subjective opinion)
Thus, I picked Itazura Na Kiss, because in this drama ~ although there are most of the usual flaws and Irie-kun is still an emotionless alien of a human being, he and the overall drama was a great blend of hot and cold~ just enough to make me feel happy inside.
Genre: Romance, Crazy Romance
Shi Xiao Nian (Zhu Nicole) is a third-rate cartoonist living an ordinary life. Until one day Gong Ou (Pan Zi Jian), a rich CEO of an IT company, suffering from paranoid personality disorder, captures her and asks her to return their child, which she “supposedly” gave birth to 3 years before. He utilities every mean to force an answer and to pursue her, including low-EQ techniques. But as he faces her gentleness and courage, they fall in love...
I know, I know. You must all be thinking “Why this show? Why not something else? Really?”
Yes, guys. Really.
This drama is absolutely crazy~ in fact, I think everyone in this drama has some sort of psychological problem. Almost everyone is despicable in some form or another. And the male lead? He’s one of the most psychotic, unpredictable and cruel main lead’s I’ve seen so far. Sometimes I felt like I was watching a Wattpad Werewolf story on screen, just without the Werewolf factor. (Shout-out to all my Wattpad users!) I can’t blame this drama, though, It does warn people. And so when I walked into this, I knew what I was taking on.
The funny thing about it really is that no matter how much craziness it threw at me, not matter how crazy it got (Except this one thing) I really didn’t get mad at all.
Throughout the drama, I was so much in shock about whatever it was that was occurring in the drama, I actually ended up enjoying the large dose of craziness that is called “I Love My President Though He Is a Psycho”
- Country: Taiwan
Genre: Drama, Family, Friendship, Romance
Because of one simple word from a soothsayer, Pi Ya Nuo (Lai Megan) has been raised as a boy all her life. By chance, she saves underworld mob boss Du Zi Feng (Chen Baron) and his sister. His sister falls in love with Pi Ya Nuo at first sight. Things get complicated when she becomes "sworn brothers" with the mob boss, just as her 26th birthday comes closer, and with it, her chance to finally live as a woman. As her 26th birthday approaches, she must decide if she wants to return to a woman or continue to be Du Zi Feng's best pal.
Oh boy was there something about this drama that just kept making me press ‘next’ until I ended up binge watching the whole drama in just 2 days!
When I had begun watching this drama, I had been warned to leave my brain in the fridge while watching it. Although that warning freaked me out, I didn’t care. I was high on the cross-dressing game~ just having finished You’re Beautiful, Fabulous Boys, and Coffee Prince ~ this was my fourth watch in that genre and boy was this a completely different concept!
I’m sure everyone who has watched this will agree with me when I say that this drama was cheesy! In fact, it was really, really, really cheesy! And also very cliché!
But dang did it keep me hooked onto it right till the end.
I must admit, I did skip the parts where Bii and his love interest’s plot line were shown. I just wasn’t interested in their angle, as bad as that sounds.
Something that I was extremely impressed with was Megan’s acting and dressing style. She really did do a great job looking and dressing like a boy! So much so that sometimes it made me comfortable watching her and Baron being so close and comfortable. Not because I was uncomfortable watching something that looked like BL but because I found Megan so much more attractive than Baron. (#SorryNotSorry)
And that was my top 10 'Bad but Great Dramas' drama list. Let me know if you have any on your list that I have not mentioned here! Thanks for reading!