My Top Ten of All Time (so far, Fall 2017)
**FIRST: I'M A PRODUCTION WHORE. That's why the majority of these are newer dramas. There are some great older ones I've enjoyed, but they don't make my all time list due to production value which does impact my viewing experience, no matter how great the story line and acting may be.**
These are my top ten kdramas of the ones I've watched so far: these had it all-- acting, story, gorgeous cinematography and on point direction. They all hit all of my emotions too-- each one had moments that made me laugh and ones that made me bawl like a baby-- each. one. I'm not one to cry super easily, but these kdramas got the water works going. I'm still fairly new to the genre, though I've already watched my fair share. These are the shows I can't forget about, the ones I plan to rewatch in a year, even though I've not been much of a re-watcher since Buffy.
Korean Drama - 2016, 18 episodes
Let go of your expectations of what society or women or men should be or shouldn't and watch this as a person who longs for the same things we all do in life. Oh Hae Young is such a heartbreakingly honest character; impulsive, yes, but only in her desire to make the most of life. It's refreshing to see her behaving so directly, letting her emotions have their say.
The side characters are zany at times, but her mom (as silly as she may have seemed sometimes) is the character that really struck a chord with me. I just GOT her and I believed everything she said or did. This is a beautiful drama. Enjoy.
Korean Drama - 2016, 16 episodes
Duh. People who don't like Goblin tend to be the same kind of people who can't enjoy anything that has gotten too popular. Luckily I'm too old to worry about that kind of crap, and I like what I like, no apologies. The writing is my favorite part of this thing, though it is, without fail, one of the most beautifully shot series of all time (Korean or otherwise), and the acting was top notch too. Add a soundtrack that perfectly fits the emotions of the scenes and the character development on screen, and honestly? It's pretty near flawless for me, though like many dramas it may slow down just a bit here and there.
There's a reason it's so many people's favorite and nearly a year after it aired, it's still one of the top ten dramas being watched on dramafever each week. It's a masterpiece, straight up. The first ep introduces you to the characters perfectly, making promises that are absolutely fulfilled by the end of the final ep.
Korean Drama - 2016, 20 episodes
I adore this bite-sized piece of magnificence in the shape of a kdrama. So many heart-skip-a-beat moments, actual laugh out loud moments, and even a few tears here and there. You'll never root for a main couple harder than in this one. I only wish it'd been a bit longer because I just didn't want it to end. I'll follow this writer and director anywhere.
Korean Drama - 2014, 20 episodes
This kdrama was the third one I ever watched, and it's responsible for my addiction. It was so good, when I wasn't watching it, I was thinking about it and planning my next opportunity to get to it. I fell in love with Ji Chang Wook and never looked back. The story and suspense are great, but it's the moments with his character and the main girl that make this worth a rewatch (probably one where I fastforward through much of the backstory and corruption, if I'm being honest, though that was all enjoyable the first time through).
Korean Drama - 2015, 16 episodes
Hot psychos and an intense Korean Sherlock solving cases and standing a little too close to the main girl (who is no slouch herself; girl is tough, even if it took a few episodes to showcase it). High production values, strong script, solid acting and direction make this one a rewatch for sure.
Korean Drama - 2016, 16 episodes
Signal is so beautiful, so well shot and written-- it's like watching a series of films that happen to be connected. The OST is emotionally traced in my heart-- just hearing those few notes on the piano, and I'm right back with them, wanting to see the three united, somehow, someway. I don't know if I want a season 2, I'm worried it'll mess with what we already have, but if the same writer is attached, count me in. This one had me ugly crying in spots, straight up. But it delivers on hope, so it's worth the watch.
Korean Drama - 2017, 16 episodes
Another movie quality experience delivered in episodic television. Make sure you give it a fair chance-- I had to push a bit past the first couple of episodes, but the payoff, oh baby. I was invested emotionally in these characters and their outcomes in both time settings-- and Yoo Ah-in, fogeddaboudit. He is just so lovely...
Also, one of THE hottest kisses in all of kdramaland happens in this series.
Korean Drama - 2017, 40 episodes
I'm a Ji Chang Wook fan, unabashedly-- and he delivers here again. We see hints of his ability to do comedy in Healer, but here, he just goes for it. And it's wonderful. Great chemistry between the leads and a fun mystery in the background.
Probably my favorite thing about this series? The side characters, the little family they form a few episodes in, meeting at his house, each character playing their role to make this one of the most touching dramas, making you feel like you're a part of it all too.
9. Reply 1997
Korean Drama - 2012, 16 episodes
A down-to-earth less goofy (with some goofy moments tossed in) family drama. There are still some plot twists and frustrating moments (dragging out the will-they-or-won't-they line a bit too long for my tastes), but what they lack in pacing, they deliver in production value, acting, and HEART. I've yet to watch the other Reply series, which is why this is the only on the list. This one confirmed that I have to give the other two a try.
Korean Drama - 2016, 16 episodes
Beautiful production and some skipping heartbeat moments. I never felt bored, the pacing in this one was perfect. I laughed out loud so much in this one, I can't help but think of it as more comedy than romance, though the romance was fun too. Loved all of the winter coats later in the series, and the beautiful shots of the city at night.
11. Go Back Couple
Korean Drama - 2017, 12 episodes
Honorable mention: this is still airing, but that's how good it is. I'm going NUTS waiting for the next ep to come out each week. It's the kind of drama you just wait for and you get your snacks and turn out the lights, turn off the phone, and, like it's an EVENT. It hits all the right notes for me, pure addictive kdrama crack!