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The Year in Review, Part 2: Thunderbolt’s hits and misses

[And now, please give your warm welcome to guest blogger Thunderbolt, who shares with us her year-end review! –javabeans]

Has this happened to you? You’re reading a book on the bus or train and all of a sudden you burst out laughing. Everyone’s staring but you can’t stop grinning. And all because that line you just read was so unexpectedly funny.

Here’s another scenario. You’re watching one of the hit kdramas of 2006 and after being entertained for the first eighteen episodes or so, you’re down to the last few episodes. And though you had been warned that it was going to be draggy from here, you had no idea how draggy. So now you’re climbing the walls. Your mood’s so foul from the plot shenanigans you want to hurl two cartons of rotten tomatoes at your TV screen.

That was my 2007. A year where I laughed and cried my way through dramas so good they made me even more of an addict. A year where I watched stuff that people were raving about and I shook my head and said, “Something’s seriously amiss with me because I. JUST. DON’T. GET. THE. HYPE.” I raved, I ranted, and just like that, a year has gone by. Here’s my “hits and misses” (how original a title, right?^^) roundup for 2007.

THUNDERBOLT’S SONG OF THE DAY

Uhm Tae Woong – “사랑하지 말아줘” (Don’t love me) from the OST of Devil. Singing must run in the family. (Older sis is the “Korean Madonna” Uhm Jung Hwa.) [ zShare download ]

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

And it comes with a video! Live performance by actor/singer Uhm Tae Woong:

 


 
The gems

The best drama was one that I approached with some trepidation. Remembering how queasy I felt during the bloody scenes in two other 2007 medical dramas, I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy White Tower as much as I hoped to. But I wanted badly to watch this for Kim Myung Min. I knew he had the acting chops but I had no idea he would be this good. He was so chillingly convincing it made me shudder. Could a surgeon this brilliant also be this crooked? How could he, who commanded the awe of his subordinates and the respect (no matter how grudgingly given) of his peers, stoop so low (literally) in order to achieve his highest goals?

What a ride White Tower was. There was nothing superfluous about it. Want romance? It isn’t here. First love, skeletons in closets from bygone years, and numerous other side plots? All missing from the script. I can’t even recall the music because the writing, acting and direction were so good everything else was secondary. At the center of it all was one man: the actor Kim Myung Min and the character he played, Dr. Jang Joon Hyuk. (Just writing the doc’s name makes me instantly teary.) And then the rest of the cast. Lee Sun Gyun whose deep velvety voice I didn’t even notice this time because I was too transfixed by the tighter-than-taut plot to do much swooning. Byun Hee Bong, Lee Jung Gil, Kim Chang Wan, Lee Hee Do, Cha In Pyo… A fantastic cast that lifted an already superb script to give us the best drama of the year.

 
Coming in second is The Devil. I prefer to call it by its Korean name, Mawang, because… well, “devil” just brings up all sorts of connotations which my mother doesn’t like. (See, mom, I’m not such a rebel after all.^^)

I didn’t expect Mawang to be so good. Granted it was by the same writer-PD combo of that masterpiece I loved, Resurrection/Rebirth. With the same awesome lead actor, Uhm Tae Woong. But surely nothing could top Resurrection in its genre. And then I watched Mawang. Dang! I shouldn’t have been in such a hurry to vote in dramabeans’ “How was 2007 for you?” polls. How could my original choice for best thriller or action drama come close to this? I love the premise of the plot: a mysterious mastermind orchestrating events as though directing a play. A “devil” bringing an unsuspecting cast on center stage to perform a tragedy of Shakespearian proportions, act after act after act. Everything, every little thing, just fitted together. The meanings of the tarot cards (gosh, I love all that symbolism!), the references to Dante and Rodin, the music that made my heart ached (only after I understood what the lyrics meant, lol), the unexpectedly strong acting of Ju Ji Hun, the joy of watching Uhm Tae Woong and Shin Min Ah in a comfy relationship without the teeth-gnashing theatrics that normally accompany unrequited love… I was spellbound from beginning to end.
 

The other night I was editing the subtitles for Mixed-up Investigative Agency. I pored over the subs line by line and then out of the blue I laughed out loud. It was one of Mu Yeol’s lines (the character played by Lee Minki). A few dozen lines later, it happened again because of something that Hee Kyung said (the fortune-teller character played so wonderfully by Ye Ji Won). I didn’t have to watch the video to enjoy the sparkling wit of the dialogue; just reading the subs on notepad was enough to make me grin and giggle. That is the wonder of this little gem, so unjustly underrated and thus loved all the more fiercely by those who can appreciate its charm and cleverness. Third best drama of 2007.
 

In fourth place is Time of Dog and Wolf. When I finished TODAW, I seriously thought of crowning it as my favorite of 2007. That was how much I enjoyed it (and because I hadn’t watched my top three yet). I thought I would die from the cliffhangers and having to wait one whole week to know what would happen next. The pace gave “pulsating” a new meaning, the music made my heart race and stop. But thrills aside (and TODAW executed those brilliantly in terms of suspenseful effect), I found the first few episodes boring and the plot initially farfetched. I couldn’t believe how incredibly easy it was for the Cheongbang Group or the NIS to outwit their opponents. Come on! But after the 6th or 7th episode, everything clicked and the drama took off. Lee Junki demonstrated again that he was an actor to watch. Although he overacted occasionally and could do without the numerous hairdo changes, his best moments in the drama gave me goose bumps. I hope he picks up an award or two for his role in TODAW.
 

Tying for fifth place: Dal Ja’s Spring and Surgeon Bong Dal Hee. I can give several “deep” reasons why I enjoyed these two dramas immensely (acting, plot, humor and so on) but I’ll just come straight to the point (even if it makes me sound utterly shallow… which I am) and name the two that really mattered to me: Lee Minki and Lee Beom Soo. Ha.

 

Herein begins my trembling…

And now for the ones that I didn’t get. As in they seemed widely loved but I didn’t get why they were so popular. And because I don’t understand their appeal (not fully) and am about to say why and thus provoke possible mass outrage, I’ll make this part as short as possible and then disappear. Maybe resurface with a new nick or something (although that might upset my namesake now frolicking in hamster heaven; RIP, thunderbolt…).

I watched Legend for four main reasons: Kim Jong Hak, Song Ji Na, Park Sang Won, and Choi Min Soo. Kim Jong Hak directed Eyes of Dawn and Sandglass, both written by Song Ji Na. I can go on endlessly about these two dramas (the dream cast, the sheer scale of production, the historical ripples, the heartbreak, etc.) but they are already so acclaimed I don’t need to. I loved Park Sang Won in Eyes of Dawn and he and Choi Min Soo were so good in Sandglass. And now both of them together with their Sandglass PD and writer were reuniting in Legend? Wow!

But something didn’t feel right from the start. I hated the first episode. The special effects felt amateurish and both Bae Yong Joon and Choi Min Soo made my hair stand with their creepy appearance (one all white flowing locks, the other so alien-like). I wailed when I saw Park Sang Won. Those dangling earrings!! He looked like a drag queen with a beard! Other things continued to niggle throughout the series. The Grecian attire of the priestesses and how their temple looked more Greek than ancient Korean. That mosquito-breeding (I swear those are larvae floating on top!) stagnant body of water around which the Goguryeo elders sat and yelled their heads off at each other. Dishy Chuh Ro’s original abode (before he became dishy) which looked like it came straight from that Disney staple, Beauty and the Beast. And the fact that he had a Darth Vader voice too (amazing how much echo you get from just wearing that mask). Jumuchi’s electrocuted hairdo (which I didn’t really mind because he was one of my favorite characters) and how quickly he and Dalbi fell in love (ah, that one I minded because it made no sense; hello, wasn’t she like just widowed?). The ordinariness of the four coveted symbols (one of them – I forgot which guardian it belonged to – looked particularly hideous). The ages of Dam Duk and Ho Gae (I about fell off my chair midway through the series when it dawned on me that Bae Yong Joon was playing a teenager).

I know. Artistic liberties and all. Stop griping. It’s a fantasy tale so cut it some slack. I honestly wouldn’t have minded so much if the writing was good. But it wasn’t and that was my biggest issue with Legend. This was the same Song Ji Na who wrote Eyes of Dawn and Sandglass? The plot felt loopy, the lines repetitive. I thought the story was headed in one direction (reuniting the four guardians and their symbols with the Joo Shin king) but the last few episodes took off like wayward horses and suddenly it was mostly politics. I won’t go into how I feel about the final episode since enough unhappiness has been expressed about it by even people who loved the drama.

But there were things I did like. The OST which I still can’t get enough of. Philip Lee who plays Chuh Ro with a presence that makes me do a double take and go slightly fangirly (just slightly, lol). Bae Yong Joon’s charismatic acting. His dedication despite his injuries. Lee Ji Ah who pulled off a surprisingly commendable performance after some act-y acting at the start. Choi Min Soo, black nail polish and bewildering “Now I’m wrinkled, now I’m not” transformations notwithstanding, who stole the show from even Dam Duk.

My final verdict? Legend’s quite good but there are much better period dramas out there.
 

Another drama that didn’t quite make it for me this year was Thank You. Which was a bummer because I really loved it for three-quarters of the series. It felt like a winner from Episode 1. Magical Blue Island. My favorite Gong Hyo Jin and Shin Goo (both of whom I first saw in that 2002 gem, Ruler Of Your Own World). Crackling chemistry between Jang Hyuk (who looked nothing like how I last remembered him in Please Teach Me English) and Choi Kang Hee. (Aside: I don’t understand when people say these two had no chemistry. I thought they had awesome chemistry! I thought he could never love another woman the way he loved her.) A winsome child actor whose acting made my jaw drop. Never mind that the medical scenes in the first few episodes were so sloppy and laughable (not that I laughed; I was too busy shielding my eyes from the blood that was splattering everywhere on screen). Never mind that this was written by Lee Kyung Hee whose last piece of work before Thank You was a real stinker. She did write Sang Doo! Go to School and Sorry I Love You, both of which I loved even if I thought the plots had a few holes. So I was cautiously hopeful. And I did feel so transported watching the first 12 episodes.

What went wrong then? I can’t pinpoint it exactly but starting from Episode 13 and especially in Episodes 14 and 15, I began to feel a growing dissatisfaction with Jang Hyuk’s character and with the writing (among other things). I found faults that weren’t apparent before. “Gee, stop posturing so much, Dr. Min!” It felt like Thank You had chosen to go down a very safe route, one that no longer held interest for me because I didn’t like how it left some things unresolved just so it could have that happily-ever-after ending that would please most people. I’ve read comments about how this drama was so uplifting and how it made you appreciate your loved ones, etc. But I didn’t feel uplifted at the end. I felt indignant and disappointed. I guess it’s my fault for switching affections midway and rooting for the second male lead instead of hottie Jang Hyuk. Don’t get me wrong. I liked Jang Hyuk and thought he delivered (for the most part). But oh, why did his character become so flat and predictable as the drama progressed?

Thus, after camping in the Thank You thread at soompi for weeks, I packed my bags sadly and left. Reading all the accolades there just made me feel so weird. Like my head needed examining because I was one of the rare few who couldn’t appreciate what made this a gem.
 

To end, 2007 was a great year for a kdrama addict. The ones I loved were really good and the ones I didn’t weren’t half bad at all. Thank you, sarahbeans, for your friendship and for the privilege of contributing a little something to your amazing blog.^^

 
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Thank you for the list. You did a great job. =D

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I'd have to really agree with Legend. Some of the episodes were like, "Wow, this is actually pretty good." and others were like, "wtf?" There were a lot of ups and downs and the last episode...well, I decided to stick it through till the last episode and it was so..so...

No words can really express my huge disappointment/annoyance. lol, it was just terrible. I expected something a lot stronger. =X

But nonetheless, thank you for your reviews! I loved reading it!! =] I think I have a new RSS Feed to subscribe too, hahaha

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Thanks for this wonderfully articulated post, dear thundie! I knew the year wouldn't be adequately wrapped up without mention of the big hitters like White Tower, Devil, Thank You, Time of Dog and Wolf etc., and you've highlighted their ups and downs beautifully. And I'm actually really glad to have someone not gushing all over Thank You for once. I don't doubt it's a great drama -- I HAVE watched some of it, and yes Seo Shin Ae is adorable, and I intend to finish it when I've got the time, but I haven't been as amazingly stirred as I've been led to believe... I'm really not interested in TODAW (I tried) but I think I've gotta make time for White Tower and Devil. Someday. When I have time. :)

muah!

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I can sort of see what you meant about Thank You towards the end. The ending was a little contrived but still, CUTE KID and JANG HYUK! Okay I was just being shallow there.

I don't think I gave MIA enough time to full appreciate it. Everyone's raved about how fantastic it is but the appeal was never quite there for me. While being very quirky and funny (and I usually love quirky and funny), it just didn't do it for me.

I'm watching White Tower right now and I love Kim Myung Min in it. Despite not being the most handsome actor out there, his acting is captivating. Loved him in Bad Family, love him in White Tower. The man's versatility just makes him all the more wonderful. The cast in general is solid in White Tower. Everyone is quite experienced and I haven't seen any of of that overact [Read more]

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yay for a different perspective :)
looking forward to catching up on some of the "devil" and such~

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i really enjoyed watching TODAW. it's one of my top favs this year. i thought that the acting was great, especially from Lee Junki <33 it was suspenseful, intense and exciting. at least to me :)
i enjoyed Surgeon BDH as well. Lee Bum Soo and Lee Yo Won were entertaining to watch. and all the other doctors and interns. the surgeries were interesting too.
and i really liked Thank You altho you didn't. one of my favs as well. i was hesitant to watch it but when i started i couldn't stop either ^^ i loved Jang Hyuk here. lol like alot of people do i'm sure ;)

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Oh there you are, TODAW and Legend! Haha! I wished I had more time to watch the rest! Ugh... Love your choices, Thunderbolt. ;)

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Oh you have to mention Bae Yong Jun's extremely awkward SMILE. I had goosebumps each time he tried to give a smile that is of a warm, friendly king. =/

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ha! well said and congrats on your post...
i haven't seen many of the dramas you mentioned above (except for thank you and dal ja's..) and now that i've read your take on them i'm convinced there are not for me...maybe one day if i'm awfully bored i'll check them out....

I totally, completly, agree with you on Thank You... I loved the beginning, then it lost me at episode 13 or was it 14? Wich is very frustrating, because it started sooo well... well as for the rest you said it all....

kudos on your post :P

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Hello! and welcome to dramabeans! =]
I thoroughly enjoyed your reading. Precise, with bits of dry humor here and there, just the way I like it. It's a nice variation with Sarah's pieces, as well. =)

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ah.thundie , so White Tower is still the best drama for you this year ^ ^ thx for the writer up . Kim Myun Min was just perfection as Dr Jang Joon Hyuck. White Tower is not just another hospital drama * it is THE DRAMA of the year. ! it has the most solid cast ensemble and the script really provide an arena for all the actors to *pit*their skills aganst each other . now i think no one can say a remake always pale in comparision to the orginal . White tower lives up to the expectation .*trust me that bar is really high because White Tower 's script is consider a classic .[note for those who are unaware : White Tower is adapted from the novel [白い巨塔 by japanese writer Toyoko Yamazaki.which was first published in 1963 and make into a movie and thrice into drama in japan , 2003 [Read more]

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Wonderful post, unni! *muak* I was lapping up every word. Hehe, I grinned over your comments on Thank You, because I was a lot more lenient on it in my post, but I must say that I agree 100%, as I do with pretty much everything else you wrote. You have good taste, haha.

And yay, Uhm Tae Woong video! *heart*

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Great entry! I agree with what you had to say about Legend. For me, it started out really great, but towards the end it died down, and episodes 23 and 24, I was left with feelings of disappointment and dissatisfaction.

Are there English subs available for White Tower? That one does look interesting, but after checking D-addicts, I didn't see any (unless the drama goes by an alternate name I am unfamiliar with).

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To say this... I agree and appreciate most of the choices/comments about this year's drama hit and misses. One of those that im glad to hear more rave about would be Mawang. I really really fnd that drama so smart, so riveting, just plain genius. Plus the fact it was made by same PD as Ressurection and the cast. Awesome acting by UTW and JJH, JJH did well to choose this one. As dark as it was and not everyone will like it but i found it really good. The songs on the ost, esp UTW's the one you picked. I loved.

TBDW, well let's just put it as im like you here that many LJK fans raved and raved but i couldnt see it. I really couldnt. I really felt bored to tears. I gave up at ep 7 to be honest. Nothing was really keeping me glued except for glimpses of JKH.

EIA, i loved! honestly wow! [Read more]

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thanks for the review! its always good to have more opinions :]

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Great job, thundie! The bit on Legend is hilarious. Even though I did not watch the drama, I can totally imagine the appearances of the characters that you described.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

[Oh yes, and also thank you for your hard work on the subtitles for Mixed-up Investigative Agency.]

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I totally agree about The Devil. I think it was one of most underrated dramas this year. I loved Resurrection (truly original and well done all around) so I knew I would love the Devil as well. Uhm Tae Woong was amazing and Joo Ji Hoon also did a really good job.

I really want to watch White Tower now...just gotta find it online now!

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i'm quite glad you didn't mention Coffee Prince. I really never got the major hype about it. I'll give it credit that it was different from the usual sort of clichéd dramas, but the plot was way too drawn out for my liking. Many times I've caught myself skipping through scenes. On the other hand, I highly recommend 9 Ends 2 Out. It's truly a gem. Not only is it quite different as far as korean dramas go but the chemistry between the two main characters gives it spark, and the events that happen in the drama makes sense. There isn't anything unreasonable/unrealistic; it makes you think about life and love in general. Glad to see a drama have that effect. Too bad it came out around the time Coffee Prince did. It really is an underrated drama.

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You're probably the first person I have ever read of who didn't fall in love with Thank You. And that's okay. I'm planning on watching it anyway. But thank you for enjoying Time of Dog and Wolf! I loved it, even though the ending was really confusing to me. These blogs are so fun to read.

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requiem ~ I am so glad that you mentioned 9 Ends 2 Outs. I really like that drama and have become Lee Jung Jin fan ever since!

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Very nice post, and very good writing! And I agree with you for the most part, actually.
I didn't have opportunity to watch White tower (I'm sooooooo behind on my k-drama watching),but I'll definitely try to move it up my "to watch" list ! I loved 'Thank You', despite its flaws, mainly because of Bom's wonderful acting. And I watched Resurrection and Devil just one after the other,so I had wonderful 40hours or so of bliss ! Wonderful dramas, and Um tae woong's acting really makes me believe in his characters !

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I am glad you guys mention 2 Outs on the 9th inning (9 Ends 2 Outs). In my opinion it was the best drama of 2007. Underrated like any other gem out there.

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Ah...thanks for mentioning the other dramas. Appreciate your insight!

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Wow. :) Congratulations thunderbolt, love your write-up. I have yet to watch Mawang. :P

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Pardon me javabeans for saying this but thunderbolt, r 'ya sure you don't want to do this drama review blogging thing more regularly? I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the dramas that i've missed this year.

You and many other commenters have seriously tempted me to run to the neighborhood Korean video store to rent White Tower. I've heard great things about WT but have never found the time to watch it. No, I lied. I'm a woman. I'm shallow. I like pretty things, especially handsome leading actors. Not that Mr. Kim Myung Min is unattractive; but seriously, he didn't appeal to me so i've sidestepped the series for a while now. But i know that i should make time to watch this series. Thanks for the recommendation. It's that good hah?

Mi [Read more]

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Oh gosh, I completely agree with you in regards to Thank You! I was nodding my head with every single point you made. Jang Hyuk's character got stale, while the second male lead became so well-rounded.....both were flawed, but the second lead become more "real" and interesting as the story progressed. I became more absorbed in the romance (or past romance) between him and the female lead rather than with Jang Hyuk. I was disappointed in the drama and when I read the soompi thread I couldn't relate at all to what people were writing. Glad to know I wasn't the only one.

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i haven haf time to watch the k dramas yet. bt i would wanna watch thank you! haha:) H.I.T is my fav drama too.

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Interesting entry, and interesting comments so far..( I usually come back to read the comments..:D )
I have my copy of White Tower, and I've seen at least 3 episodes before I got bored, maybe because the bad subtitles available..and I just can't erase the memory of Japanese version White Tower..It felt strange to see the doctors on different actors, I love the Jap version so bad..
But I agree that Kim Myung Min is a great actor, and I believe that I eventually will watch WT just because of him.

Is Surgeon BDH that good? Hmm, I'll keep it in mind, after I can finish Mawang, MIA and WT, maybe I will check it out..

TODAW, I liked it, but if I make my own favorite list, maybe it would be on the end of top ten. I agree that Lee Jun Ki made a drastic change and looked a bit more masculin [Read more]

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^ Agree..not many mentioned Capital Scandal and 9 end 2 outs..which were also my TOP FAVs this year..hehe..but I remember Thundie saying' she'd watched CS till Ep 13 or sumthing and stopped? hehehe...

Anywayz, I didn't watch all of the dramas you've mentioned (or should I say finish them?). I've only managed to finish Dal Ja's Spring and Thank You. Well, I choose to disagree about Thank You. Altho Jang Hyuk's character did change towards the end, I think that was one of the main points of the drama, and yet he did it beautifully, a gradual change, rather than an abrupt one. But again, maybe ppl expected more from him. hehehe...

I've only seen half of Mawang, TODAW and SBDH..gosh..maybe they bored me out towards the middle. Esp TODAW, I know a lot of ppl loved this drama, and praised [Read more]

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Thanks for the reviews. I have only seen a few of the top picks you listed. I did enjoy 9 ends and 2 outs this year immensely! White Tower was amazing and Bong Dal Hee was great too. Dal Ja's Spring was a fave great to see Chae Rim and yes Lee Min Ki did a great job. I watching an older drama with him in it "I really really like you" with Eugene and it is a nice reprieve from the usual angst, tragic sad dramas. I will have to be on the look out for the other dramas listed as Must sees. As for Thank You, it was good but didn't rivet me as much as White Tower, Dal Ja, or Surgeon Bong Dal Hee did. Props to everyone enabling me to keep up my Kdrama fix! Because of it, I understand my Korean friends, culture much better as a result. I love Korean food and I want to go back to have the pojan [Read more]

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Thank you for all the encouraging comments. *blush* It still feels kinda surreal to come to this blog and see my name up there. Thank you for the honor, dear sarahbeans. Muah!

#2 Stawr, you agree with me!^^ I was honestly nervous about how people would feel about my Legend comments. But sarah said I should write with conviction and I did. I was just worried about getting "convicted" for my convictions, lol. Given that Legend was three years in the making, was so incredibly costly, and had a PD and writer of such pedigree, I felt really let down by the result. By comparison the battle scenes in Immortal Yi Soon Shin were way more realistic and impressive.

*4 merriwether, I love quirky and funny too. (It's one of the reasons I'm a Lee Na Young fan because I think she's queen of [Read more]

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I loved Mawang! Although I didn't manage to catch every single episode, it's crazy how everything fits, was carefully creepily put together by this awesome intelligence it's just mind-blowing. and it's so creepy everytime I take over the tv for it mum's like why are you watching this! But then again she doesn't like Heroes either.

I'm so glad for KBS World, because channel-hopping led me to episode 7 of Dal Ja's Spring, and I was really lucky cos that's a bit of a turning point for Taebong, and I was so instantly hooked I had to look for the synopses of the episodes I missed, which led me to Javabeans' blog in its early days and since then... everything's changed.

White Tower didn't seem to me like something I'd usually watch, but your recap is tempting me seriously. With the double [Read more]

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#14 Marzy, I was pretty negative about TODAW's first few episodes and thought the plot insulted my intelligence (not that I'm intelligent by any means but please do not treat me like a dummy and take me for a ride with those "roll your eyes" plot developments). And then someone said "Abracadabra" and I was hooked. Just like that. I found the premise of "L'heure entre chien et loup" (when dusk becomes night and you can't tell whether the creature you're seeing is a harmless dog or a dangerous wolf) fascinating. The story became really gripping and the acting was all-round excellent. Sure it's a thriller about secret agents and thugs and revenge but it also addresses issues of identity and loss and trust. It's worth the ride if you hang in there.^^

#18 requiem, I didn't mention Coff [Read more]

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*throws stones at Thundie*. hahahaha..XD
It's alright, Beans and I will forgive you..hopefully you'll be smitten after Hong Gil Dong?

Again, maybe I should give TODAW a benefit of a doubt and try it out. Since I had the same feeling while watching the first few eps, I had ppl encouraging me to continue from Ep 7 onwards because all the goodness and excitement started from there. Alright, I think I should watch it...hehehe..will try to download it tonight. hehehe..

And I forgot to mention MIA, I did watch the first 2 eps. Again, they were interesting and different, which I really applaude the writer, for having able to nail such an intriguing and unique plot in a subtle and interesting way. I'll try to finish the drama (provided that I have enough time sighs....my life is Kdrama Kd [Read more]

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love the review. by far Dal Ja spring is my most favorite, love the story line and the acting. i like Mawang as well. Currently, i am watching Thank You, i am at ep.10 so far so good. I have no desire to see the Legend at all. don't know why, Bae Yong Joon just does not appeal to me at all. Hmmm...white tower sounds interesting that might just be my next "target" by the way, anyone watching BAD LOVE??? love this blog...Happy New Year to Everyone!!!

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Love your review Thunderbolt. This is such a good idea to have javabeans, you, and Dahee Fanel do the year end reviews.

It's nice to read different people's perspective on their favorite dramas.
Yes I am one of the many who absolutely adore Thank You..hehehe. I do feel uplifted after watching and had one of the best drama watching experience while watching Thank You. Thank You was by far my favorite drama of 2007. I actually like the transformation of Dr Min. I do agree that Suk Hyun's transformation was nicely done and made him more sympathetic. I love the grandma character too..she is so deliciously flawed yet so real.

I tried watching Mawang but couldn't get into it. I missed Time of Dog and Wolf when it played on TV here...but based on your review I might try to d/l it and watch [Read more]

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hmm...am thinking of downloading White Tower..
very good job, thunderbolt!

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I loved all the drama! Especially, Time of Wolf and Dog! Pretty much all the drama you mentioned! Oh Dal Ja's Spring is one of a kind! I LOVE IT! haha...
Thank you so much! I found out Time of Wold and Dog from you! The title is a bit weird, then when I ran out of dramas, I decided to watched it and I was amazed!
I just finished watching Snowflower! It's awesome! I think you can only watch it on veoh.....
Thanks a lot!

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I totally feel the same way when you say “Something’s seriously amiss with me because I. JUST. DON’T. GET. THE. HYPE.” (*cough* *cough* Coffee Prince) It has happened a lot for me and I feel like I'm gonna be up in flames from all the fans.

I haven't watched all of the drama's you've mentioned but I liked Thank You because of the cheesy easy way out ending where the cute little kid doesn't die. Perhaps its because I've watched wayyyy too many Japanese dramas about some sort of handicap the main actor has, where they die at the end and we all learn to appreciate life more. But it was a little boring in some parts and I just wanted to yell at the screen for Gong Hyo Jin to stop being such a pushover!

I did enjoy TODAW and yes the first episode was terrible with horrible ove [Read more]

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hehe.. i totally agree with you on what you said about "Legend." -- especially the Philip Lee part. He is dashing and enigmatic with his highlights and quiet demeanor. =D Not to be mean or anything, I only tuned into the drama when I knew that he would be in it-- even if it was only for a second... ((yea yea, pathetic, i know... but he's something else...))

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#28 djes, oops. Did i say that Mr. Kim Myung Min is not handsome? Did i really? ^^ scrolls up to check comments^^ Well, i said that he's not unattractive. Ok ok, my sincere apologies. Girl, it doesn't matter what this loony commented... as long as he's eye candy to you and many others, all is well with the world. The man is an accomplished actor. I loved him in Bad Family. But the pictures that i've seen of him from White Tower just doesn't do him justice. I'm planning to watch White Tower sometimes next year. I promise that i'll totally check him out this time. Somehow, i feel it's highly probable that i'll crawl back here and ask for your and thundie's forgiveness. I'm easily swayed by intelligent men.
P.S.: Uhm Tae Woong i get. Definitely has screen presence and talented [Read more]

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Surgeon Bong Dal Hee was a good show! Sometimes, I even feel scared when Dr. Ahn stares hard at Dal Hee. Haha.

I still think Thank You was a good show. It was so heart-warming and heart-wrenching at the same time. I love Shin Goo and Seo Shin Ae! :)

Anyway, thank you for this awesome review! :)

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yeah i'm glad i'm not alone. I like The Devil, mainly because of it's dark plots. They actually mention lots of small little things i'm interested in. Dealing with philosophical issues of mind and body, etc.

I guess i haven't taken the time to watch other dramas, like time of dog and wolf. Maybe because it just doesn't interest me. -_- It's hard to find a drama that will leave an after affect on me. And i am not much for romance dramas, for one thing, they are way to predictable, Main reason why i continued to watch The Devil. It was different. I also liked some of the medical dramas they came up.

I like how dramas are now not just focusing on the "love hate relationships" but also addresses more important issues of psychological and philosophical stand points, even if they were to [Read more]

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#34 ripgal, ouch! Isn't it bad luck to throw stones at your friends just before the new year? Hehe. Okay, I'll try to watch the final episodes of Capital Scandal soon. *wink* Did I write a Duelist review? I can't remember, oops. I know I rarely post reviews at soompi because that place's so huge and I feel self-conscious about my (bad and incoherent) writing. And yes, I do have a little personal blog where I rant, rave and ramble about many things (mostly k-related) and occasionally throw in a review. There's a particularly scathing one of Full House there but don't read it if you love that drama because you'll hate me.^^ Lots of Thank You gushing there too before my disappointment with the drama kicked in. Here's the link (registration required):
[Read more]

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**Ahh..ripgal begs for Thundie's forgiveness** New Year's around the corner, oopss.. in fact it's only a day away. I should be a good girl. winkz winks..
(do you even still check this post? hahaha..)

Anywayz, yeah, you better finish the last 3 eps of CS, while on the other hand, I'll try to squeeze in time for TODAW and Mawang. Your review just made me want to finish up both the dramas..arhhh.. the thing is I don't have the time!! >.

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Great review, thunderbolt! I don't think you were too hard on Thank You at all.
Tealeaf and hm, welcome to the "disappointed with Thank You club" (thunderbolt and I discovered our kindred spirits on a previous Robbers' post). I guess I've reached a point in my kdrama-watching where a heartwarming family story just isn't enough. I, too, got tired of Jang Hyuk's stale character (even though I am a JH fan) and was much more drawn to the complex and interesting Shin Sung Rok. When a drama leaves me rooting for the other guy and fails to, through the writing and acting, convince me that I should, at least, try to understand why she ended up with guy that she did, I just can't recommend it. Never mind my disappointment and irritation with Gong Hyo Jin's doormat & Shin Goo's mentally disa [Read more]

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Hi thunder,

Well I had to have a little giggle when you wrote about Legend. I got thoroughly scolded when I almost immediately ranted about that Disney fantasy world. Such Flashes and bangs and strange looking people. and a totally out ranked in acting BYJ. I thought he was a walking mannequin. How is in the world they could give him the Best Actor Award the other night is leaving me speechless. Well I admit I loved him in Hotelier but since then he has just been a business man accumulating a lot...A LOT of money. I loved 'White Tower'. I loved 'Seoul' which has not been mentioned here I think. I enjoyed Coffee Prince. Have lots to say re the way Gong Yoo got into the delicacy of his role. But not now. this is just to reply to your illuminating remarks re Legend. Loved it. Yo [Read more]

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Thundie! My apologies for nearly missing both yours and Dahee's post! Bad Bad E! Gosh a simple experiment with Dahee's pen name led me to her post here! Gosh!

That aside, I wasn't surprised with your ratings above as you have said some earlier but enjoyed reading above put so succintly grouped together! Also so happy to see Surgeon Bong Dal Hee getting good mention as well as my Kim Myung Min in White Tower (again Bad Bad E, still have not watched, WILL soon! I know how awesome it must be and the *EXTREMELY SHALLOW* part of me wanting some romance in my dramas is making me putting it off, it's always "Next in line" then after watching something else it gets "Next In line" yet again!!! How useless can one get and I call myself an ardent Kim Myung Min fan! Aigooooooooooooo Can't wait t [Read more]

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#45 ripgal, yes, I check the comments regularly, hehe. They are lots of fun to read. So many dramas and so little time. Tell me about it!^^

#47 hjk, Lee Junki has always appeared "masculine and ass-kicking" to me so his role in TODAW wasn't a revelation. People tend to look at his face and conclude he's feminine but he really isn't. At ALL. I love it when he kicks ass because he's so good at it! He trained in martial arts long before he entered showbiz. And yes, I was part of the WITH S2 team that worked on the TODAW subs. I had severe withdrawal pangs when TODAW ended because I missed working on the subs. Did you like the subs, btw, hehe?^^ (what a question, thunderbolt! *bonk*) About MIA, I watched a bunch of subbed NG clips last night and my MIA love just bubbled over. I l [Read more]

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Thundie! Mienne! I totally didn't know! I don't come on daily here and when I do, I sometimes get lost wanting to see older posts. When you and Jusash mentioned earlier that Dahee did a roundup of year's post, I thought you both meant the one in her personal blog which I've read much earlier and again so blur didn't know she wrote one here! Then yesterday, after finishing off an extremely busy day, wanted to just read some posts and was checking on blogs section thought, hey what if I type someone's name in Google search would their blog turn up? Other than more famous people like Dramabeans (OK I'm quite unsavvy in tech stuff aiyo! *blush*) And the first name that I thought of was Dahee Fanel so I keyed her name in and voila, I ended up here at Dramabeans! Then whatayaknow then saw [Read more]

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