Drama Reactions & Reviews
Finding Merit in the Mediocre [Year in Review, Part 4]
by | December 31, 2008 | 75 Comments



2007 was a rich year for drama-land. There was something for everyone, whether your tastes ran toward dark thrillers (Devil), intense dramas (White Tower), heart-warmers (Thank You), off-the-wall eccentrics (Mixed-up Investigative Agency), trendy fare (Coffee Prince), romantic comedies (Dal Ja’s Spring), and so on.

2008, on the other hand… not so much.

Every drama has its good and bad points, but it’s a lot easier to decide how you feel about one when those qualities are expressed in the extreme — i.e., very good, or very bad. When everything is a muddle in the middle, though, it’s harder to draw the lines.

That’s why in contrast to last year’s “Best” and “The Rest” designations, this year I don’t really distinguish “good” versus “bad” — or even “favorites” and “hated dramas” — and can only grade on a spectrum. I call that spectrum “MEH” with the extreme poles representing “generally watchable” and “generally unwatchable.” It’s just been that kind of year.

SONG OF THE DAY

Painter of the Wind OST – “색” (Color) by JOO [ 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.

 

(Not in any particular order…)

THE LAST SCANDAL OF MY LIFE

(“MEH” scale: Very watchable)

RIP, Choi Jin-shil. You will be missed.

Last Scandal was one of the surprises of the year for me. I had written it off as a boring, stereotypical ajumma drama, and I was happy to find that I had been wrong. Is it original, inventive, wildly clever? Not at all (very few things are; and the truly original and inventive things are often also incomprehensible). It is, however, a fun, well-acted, and timely twist on the Cinderella story. It owed its success to the way it tweaked a very well-known tale just enough to give it a fresher take, spawning the “jumma-rella” (ajumma + Cinderella) genre. It is part escapist fantasy and part wish fulfillment for the largely female (and I venture to guess, mostly married) audience, who watched the ill-treated housewife stand up to her no-good, cheating husband (reflecting some of Choi’s real-life marital woes), come into her own as a person on the cusp of middle age, and find a real love who would cherish her as she deserved. And if that new love turned out to be a famous movie star, well, all the better!

The set-up was familiar, but the chemistry of lead actors Choi Jin-shil and Jung Jun-ho carried the drama. He constantly provoked her to gain her attention (and distract her from her woes), like an adolescent boy or overeager puppy, but met his match in this tiny, resilient woman. And it was nice to see a romantic comedy headed by two actors who could, well, act. Plus, it was funny.

I can see the point of people who find Choi Jin-shil’s character (Sun-hee) frustrating, and I hear that frustration. But perhaps this is where culture clash comes in, because Sun-hee is not an exaggeration of a beleaguered housewife who suffers at the hand of an overbearing husband. No, she is the reality for many women, and maybe this is a Korean peculiarity, but her character and her predicament (aside from the movie star romance) rang very true. In fact, I’ve long felt that the Sacrificing, Hard-working, Enduring Housewife is the backbone of Korean society, or at least the Korean family. Thankfully times are changing and women are certainly more independent than they used to be, and Last Scandal reflects this in a hilarious way.

Choi Jin-shil has long been recognized for her acting (and crying) talents, so she was reliably solid. (Her character started out weak with her husband, but grew a spine as she gained confidence and the series progressed, which was the point.) But it was Jung Jun-ho as the pampered actor who told stories with his longing gazes.

Unfortunately, due to Choi’s untimely death, plans for a second season have been tabled, and we will have to content ourselves with rewatching her here in her last work. Thank god it has a happy ending.

 
WHO ARE YOU?

(“MEH” scale: Fairly watchable, but could have used editing)

Who Are You OST – “Who Are You?” (bossa nova version) by Winterplay [ 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.

If a show grabs me or turns me off right away, that’s ideal — no need to waste time trying to decide. However, when the opening is tentative, I try to keep an open mind for several episodes.

Thank goodness I did with Who Are You. I could have dropped it at Episode 2 and forgotten about it, but something told me to keep going. It was Yoon Kye-sang switching manically between the stiff, cold CEO and the body-hijacking, jokey middle-aged dad that did it; he threw himself into both wildly contrasting roles, and then slowly, surely, brought those extremes together — all the while retaining a clear sense of which character he was acting at which point. No mean feat, and probably an exhausting one.

Yoon Kye-sang’s emotive acting kept me hooked, and it was a pleasure seeing his character evolve. Jin Yi-han is an actor on my “to watch” list, but he was too predictably written for most of the series (his only flashes of depth came at the very beginning and end, as a villain with a conscience). That was a flaw of making this series premise sustain seventeen episodes instead of the twelve or thirteen it probably should have been.

Two detractors keep this from being an outright hit: Go Ara‘s performance (passable, but sometimes flat) and secondary storylines that went on a little too long. I suspect this series could be a real winner in the hands of a fan with digital editing skills (and a lot of free time) — say, cutting four hours from the total running time and condensing the threads that were peripheral to the main story. (The main story being how the cold man opens up his damaged heart with the help of the happy-go-lucky goofball who inhabits his body and the goofball’s daughter, with whom he falls in love.) The ending was sweet but not saccharine, heartwarming, and satisfying (a rarity in the drama landscape this year).

 
HONG GIL DONG

(“MEH” scale: Fairly watchable, with sluggish segments)

Hong Gil Dong OST – “푸른 별” (Blue star) by Kim Hyung-joong [ 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.

Hong Gil Dong was too long. There, I said it.

The series started off fast and fun, and demonstrated the Hong sisters writing team’s love of cheeky humor and meta commentary. They do comedy well, but I think they’re edging too close to broad, slapstick fare. I loved Delightful Girl Chun-hyang and My Girl, but ever since Fantasy Couple, the Hongs have been outright corny. Yet the issue with Hong Gil Dong wasn’t the humor; it was when we got to the meat of the drama: the royal coup and establishment of a “new world.” The plot lingered far too long on the mechanics of the coup and got downright repetitive. I understand the need to lay out political machinations carefully, but when that translates to belabored conversations and repeated paranoid fits by an unhinged king, it’s time to move on. For a time, it felt as though we were stalling until the final stretch kicked in.

Undoubtedly, Kang Ji-hwan is the drama’s biggest asset. I can appreciate a good-looking star as much as the next person, but Kang’s appeal is in his (intense, completely invested) acting. In this drama, he took the slapstick, comic travails outlined by the writing team and turned the reluctant hero into a full-blooded person — flawed, conflicted, multi-dimensional.

I had issues with Jang Geun-seok‘s acting and the wooden way he conveyed the prince’s cool manner (he did better in Beethoven Virus). Sung Yuri held her own; this kind of exaggerated comic character suits her, because she’s fine with bold acting choices (subtle, mannered acting is where she runs into trouble).

The ending [SPOILERY] was controversial in that, well, we were expecting something more definitively happy. I wrote something of a defense in my last episode recap, and I still stand by it. However, with time to step back and think upon the series as a whole, I think there was a genuine expectation for a certain kind of ending, and the uproar was justified. The series went out on an uplifting note, but left a lingering bittersweet taste, and for that many fans felt shafted. [END SPOILERY-NESS]

As a fusion sageuk, this drama may not appeal to traditionalists, but it’s a great “gateway drug” for people like me for whom the traditional sageuk holds no appeal. I am still not a sageuk fan, but now I’m more likely to check them out, both fusion and traditional.

 
MY SWEET SEOUL

(“MEH” scale: Should have been Very Watchable, but turned out Unwatchable)

I’m still bitter about My Sweet Seoul. This should have been a good — possibly great — relationship drama, and I should have loved every minute of it, with its pleasant music, its contemplative pace, its pretty photography. Instead, it gave me nothing but aggravation because its main character was such a pill that she ruined everything else. I’ve liked Choi Kang-hee in the past, so it’s only partly due to her acting; the rest of the fault lies at the door of her self-centered, passionless, double-standard-totin’ character. I’ve already discussed my gripes in detail so I’ll let that catalogue of complaints rest here.

That distaste for the main character unfortunately colored my feelings for the rest of the drama, and by Episode 12, I couldn’t take it any longer. Not even my affection for Lee Seon-kyun (and, to a lesser degree, Ji Hyun-woo) could counter the pernicious effects of a hated protagonist, and I have never once been curious to know how the series ends. (From what I can tell, it’s a little bit happy and a little bit WTF.)

This is all too bad, because My Sweet Seoul was touted by SBS as a successful foray into a new subset of television shows: the “premium” drama. That means a higher focus on story and production quality, with perhaps less emphasis placed on gimmicks or manufactured twists/drama to keep the audience tuning in. A worthy endeavor as a whole; just not a success for me in this specific case.

 
LOVE & MARRIAGE

(“MEH” scale: Somewhat watchable; sweet like cotton candy, and disappears just as quickly)

I had a lot of fun watching Love & Marriage. I also recognize that it wasn’t really a “quality” drama, so to speak. I think the problem was that one key detractor of the drama was also one of its charms: that is to say, Kim Min-hee playing her character with over-the-top, bubbly enthusiasm. (Kim Ji-hoon didn’t do anything special, but he fulfilled his role as the handsome prime catch. I’m still waiting for him to break out and make bolder acting choices, since he caught my eye — and was much more interesting — in the darkly funny and poignant Flowers For My Life.)

The other issue would be the sugary storyline which satisfied my love of all things romantic, but kind of left me in overdose territory. You know, that vaguely dull feeling you have after eating an entire box of chocolates, not that I, uh, know personally what that’s like — I’m referring to how I assume one would feel after consuming such an appalling number of super-sweet confections.

This excessive cheeriness may tire viewers who like more conflict; after all, conflict is the heart of drama. As I mentioned with Last Scandal, a commonplace plot can often be made engaging with a twist. Here, however, the twist was not strong enough — romance with divorcées. It’s a fine jumping-off point, but I think the drama relied too much on that one conceit, which isn’t much of a basis for conflict.

So we got a happy, often amusing, lighthearted series that was easy to watch and left us unchallenged. Those who prefer their dramas more hardcore or intense will probably find Love & Marriage insipid. That’s cool. As for me, sometimes my mind wants to relax with something simple, and there’s value in that too.

 
GOURMET

(“MEH” scale: Easily, unprovokingly watchable)

Gourmet – “선물” (Gift) by Lee Juck [ 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.

Gourmet is another drama that was unchallenging but pleasant to watch. Filmed in beautiful locations around the scenic Korean countryside, it definitely benefited from shooting well in advance of its airdate. The plot never got terribly tricky or high-stakes, and there were no surprises — so I suppose in that context, it’s to the production’s credit that they still pulled out a well-made, highly rated drama. Even when the outcome is a foregone conclusion — as the many food battles of Gourmet were — a drama that makes the lead-up to that outcome satisfying has done its job. I mean, four episodes on a beef battle? Who would have thought that could be remotely interesting?

Perhaps because the plots themselves were mundane (e.g., the restaurant is in trouble, the chefs must please a finicky patron), it’s a good thing greater themes were at play, adding dimension to the stories. This aspect is probably the single biggest reason I kept watching Gourmet, and the “Food For Thought” sections in the recaps reflect that. The food competitions were repetitive, but at least they represented the character conflicts, so they served a purpose. The way food allows people to communicate with each other is a universal theme, and a foodie drama would be remiss if it did not acknowledge that.

Kim Rae-won — so engaging, so all-around appealing — was a highlight of this drama for me. He has such an easy, natural way of acting that doesn’t seem like acting at all, and he made his character entirely relatable. Nam Sang-mi was occasionally overacty but she did her part. A few peripheral characters were pretty exaggerated (the fey chef who measures everything; the Grand Chef himself, guardian of Korean royal cuisine), but I gave the drama a little leeway because it was a manhwa adaptation.

What this drama didn’t do, however, was engage the viewer on a gut level (or at least, I don’t think it had that effect — it certainly didn’t for me). The characters didn’t grip me personally: I never felt my heart leap/lurch/twist in response to their problems. Ironically, Gourmet is a drama about fancy haute cuisine, but it’s really more like a comforting bowl of chicken noodle soup. (Made with the best ingredients, and perhaps a pinch of a few unusual herbs, but still: chicken noodle soup.)

 
STRONGEST CHIL WOO

(“MEH” scale: Watchable, but only for the kitsch factor)

I am not certain what the makers of Strongest Chil Woo intended at the outset. Had they always aimed for a so-bad-it’s-almost-good effect? Or was that just lucky serendipity?

Because yes, this drama is ridiculous, but in a highly entertaining way. Villains were uber-villainous, the oppressed citizens were super-oppressed. Subtlety? HA! These assassins for hire had no use for diplomacy or savvy when they could just kill the villains, don’tcha kno? The first half was rife with such absurdities as horseback acrobatics, killer elephants, flaming bullwhips, and faux “skateboarding.” Not to mention Eric‘s getup as a mysterious masked Zorro — and his counterpart, the mysterious “Orroz” (my nickname given the backward “Z” the assassin carved into his victims’ chests). And we cannot forget those slow-motion, moonlight “transformation” scenes! So, so awesomely cheesy.

I did wonder what compelled Eric to take this role, especially coming off a pretty good turn in last year’s intense Que Sera Sera. Actually, I wonder what Gu Hye-sun was thinking, too, since she’s proved she’s better than this. (So is Kim Byul, but she’s a secondary character so the casting isn’t as big a WTF. Lee Eon (RIP) did not make a huge impression here in his last drama — he sadly passed away the night of the wrap party after filming the final episode — but he will be much more happily remembered as the adorable lunkhead Min-yub in Coffee Prince.)

Alas, the drama sobered up in its second half and lost some of its zaniness, which was the whole reason I watched in the first place. Interestingly, the real breakout of the cast was Yoo Ah-in, the baby-faced Antique Bakery actor who channeled into his assassin character such intensity that it was jarring, because he was at that point the only actor still trying. (Gu Hye-sun stuck it out too, but her character was annoyingly bland.) Eric totally phoned it in, but I doubt he could have saved this snark fodder even had he given his most focused performance ever.

 
THE WORLD THEY LIVE IN

(“MEH” scale: Watchable until you fall asleep)

I liked The World They Live In. At first. It was another “premium drama” that showcased high production value and a highly anticipated lead coupling with Song Hye-gyo and Hyun Bin. The fast dialogue kept conversations brisk, the salty language was a refreshing change, the voiceover insights were thematically constructed.

But yunno, you can only be SO thoughtful and insightful and staid and studied. Because while it was nice the first several episodes, after a while, it got tiring. The voiceovers that framed the episodes (promoting themes like “innocence” or “professionalism”) became intrusive and, frankly, were overwritten. They began to come across as precious, trying too hard to be meaningful rather than actually being meaningful. I know this is rich coming from me — she who never met a simple thought she couldn’t expand into a paragraph — but in a drama, we don’t want voiceover essays.

Song Hye-gyo got some flak for her acting, but I don’t think her problem is a lack of ability, but a lack of… willingness?, perhaps, to dig deep and expose herself through her character. When playing the cool, professional drama PD, she was totally competent. It was when anyone tried to get more emotion out of her that I had difficulty connecting, and when you can’t connect with the main character of a relatively low-key drama, you’re pretty much toast.

Eom Ki-joon was always the most compelling part of The World They Live In for me; his jackass PD character was realistic, acted with flair (I think Eom really dug playing the bastard), and entertaining. But I wasn’t willing to plod through a lot of zippy talkety-talk and slow-moving plot to get to his scenes.

I never grew to dislike this drama, however; just lost interest in it. Of all of the dropped series this year, World is probably the one I’d try picking up again at a later point.

 
BEETHOVEN VIRUS

(“MEH” scale: Surprisingly watchable as a casual viewer)

Here’s where I diverge from my usual pattern, because I only saw the first four episodes with my full attention, then stopped following the drama. However, I did catch it a few times when flipping through the television stations, and when I dropped by my parents’ home, this was the drama they were usually watching. So the perspective I have on Beethoven Virus is one of a casual watcher and channel-flipper — in short, your average Korean television audience.

My parents are very indifferent drama-watchers, and care nothing for the pedigree of writers, or directors, or production companies, or any of the things I tend to discuss when dissecting a drama on this site. They only know what catches their attention between 9:55 pm and the 11 o’clock news. They channel-flip at every commercial break, and thus rarely ever watch an episode of anything in its entirety. Yet that does not bother them, because television to them — the average viewer — is just a pleasant way to spend the after-dinner hours.

Because of the haphazard way I caught the later episodes, I don’t have a good understanding of the chronology or even all the plot points of Beethoven Virus. I only know that when the TV was on, my parents and I would catch the drama while conversing, eating, reading, and otherwise going about our lives. And as this kind of viewer, Beethoven Virus was very watchable, and enjoyable — because all you had to do was follow the general plot and tune in whenever Kang-mae (Kim Myung-min, whom my parents got a huge kick out of) launched into one of his outrageous tirades.

I have the vague sense from reading comments that the ending did not meet with general viewer pleasure, and I can imagine a whole slew of scenarios where that could be true. However, when I caught the last episode, none of us had been keeping up with the plot but we all liked the ending.

This is not how I typically watch a drama, and I think most people who come online to read, follow, and post about their favorite series are watching with more interest and higher expectations than the casual viewer. However, it could probably do us all a little good to remember what drives the drama-making machine back in Seoul. My experience with Beethoven Virus was actually a nice reminder to me to keep things in a little perspective.

 
EAST OF EDEN

(“MEH” scale: Unwatchable)

East of Eden OST – “운명을 거슬러” (Opposing fate) by SG Wannabe [ 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.

Oh, irony. I was actually prepared to revise my initial (negative) opinion on East of Eden, because while it had been difficult getting into, it did become more engaging than I had expected. (Ugly scenery, clichéd storylines, and overacted, yes — but it made you want to know what happened next. What will happen with the birth switcheroo secret? But he hates him! But he’s his brother! But nobody knows that! Oh, now he knows!) Of course, as soon as I had made that mental adjustment, East of Eden really DID fly into the crapper and turned into everything I had assumed it would be at the beginning: overwrought, confusingly written, and a hotbed for internal drama. Judging from your comments, many of you are fed up too.

In fact, what with the current kerfuffle over the state of this drama, the actual plot doesn’t seem as interesting, does it? Writer switches, actors sniping at each other, people dropping out, repeated budget cuts… The theatrics are much more juicy behind the cameras than they are in front of them. And at least the tantrums and heated debate behind the scenes make sense, which is more than you can say for the drama itself.

 

A Star’s Lover: I’ll keep this short because this drama is still airing, but at six episodes I think I can weigh in. So far it’s a typical romance drama with a dash of humor. The story is not extraordinary, but this drama is carried by the execution and lovely cinematography, and enhanced with score that adds to the dreamy ambiance. I’m holding out hope that the diminished whimsy of recent episodes does not mean it will go away entirely. Choi Ji-woo is at home playing essentially herself, and Yoo Ji-tae, the veteran movie star, does great in his drama series debut.

 
Rivals (aka Powerful Opponents): Simply put, this drama was a waste of Chae Rim. And Lee Jong-hyuk. When one hears of a drama centering around rival Secret Service agents serving the president’s son, one might expect a certain level of professionalism to be shown by said agents, mixed with some danger and intrigue. What we got was two adults bickering like hormonal high schoolers and a wild, uncontrollable First Son who deserved to be smacked around a bit. The series attempted more humor than I would have thought but never struck the right balance between its (attempted) comedy and the action.

 
Iljimae: There’s been a tendency for some to assume that me mocking Iljimae is me mocking lead star Lee Junki. I’d like to say: That’s not so. (That goes for all series, actually.) I was interested in Iljimae because it was pretty and I’ve liked Lee Junki in the past, when he’s not overacting. I also like Han Hyo-joo even though she has a long way to go as an actress. But I found the drama alternately too silly and too melodramatic, and the characters too stock. I am, however, looking forward to MBC’s take on the same character in Return of Iljimae.

 
On Air: Shrill, grating, like nails on a chalkboard. This is a drama that turned me off from the get-go. Yeah, it went on to be a big hit and featured lots of star cameos, but those were casting stunts and not relevant to the plot. I disliked every single character, to the extent that I found myself rooting for them to all tear each other apart to save us the trouble. Perhaps the characters went on to develop depth; I was not going to sit through any more aural torture in mere hopes that they would. Self-indulgent and self-congratulatory, this drama is slick and polished on the surface, but lacks soul. And heart. Ratings say this was very watchable for most; it was unwatchable for me.

 
Tazza: I kept expectations low, so the first few episodes were more watchable than I thought they’d be. But I just couldn’t get over thirtysomethings playing teenagers — for one flashback it’s fine, but spending multiple episodes in that time period pushed it too far — and I was out. Also: It’s amazing how much Han Ye-seul has improved her acting and yet remains so far from good. Or maybe the bad southern accent made her seem that much worse.

 
Robber: Forgettable, and an unmitigated flop. I think Lee Da-hae is a talented actress, and she got to show some of her crying abilities here. Jang Hyuk has, for several straight projects, been playing up his rascally side with scoundrel characters. Both were wasted, both went on to bigger dramas, and both will probably only look back on Robber as a distant memory.

 

When Night Comes: What I said for Iljimae also holds true for When Night Comes — bashing the drama does not mean I’m bashing its stars, Kim Sun-ah and Lee Dong-gun, both of whom have done much better work than this. Kim was nominated for one of those end-of-year awards, but it seemed kind of like a duty nomination — or worse, a pity nomination. She’s had a rocky path after Samsoon, and fans were thrilled at her TV comeback. However, Night struck me much like Rivals — big names, contrived plot. It wasn’t UN-watchable — but rather, what was the point?

 
I Love You: Seo Ji-hye is lower-profile than other actresses of her age, but she’s one to keep an eye on. This drama seemed sweet and simple — accidental pregnancy leads to love between a May-December couple (she’s 21, Ahn Jae-wook plays 35). I liked it, but it was so placid that there was nothing about the plot or characters that pushed me to keep me going, so I didn’t.

 

Three Dads, One Mom: Ugh. I get that people enjoyed this show, and I think that’s great. I don’t think badly of anybody who likes a drama I find horrible; I just marvel at their patience and chalk it up to personal taste. I was pretty forgiving of this series, and stuck through five hours despite feeling pretty certain that it would not improve. Eugene looked adorable, but her character sure was naggy. Jae Hee — whom I love! — affected a baffling nasally whine for his character (was it a conscious choice to remind us he wasn’t the main lead?) Jo Hyun-jae has done better; here he seemed to be acting halfheartedly. I wanted to like this drama, if only for my soft spot for male camaraderie, and the lead trio (rounded out by Shin Sung-rok) was prime male-bonding territory. But I found Three Dads clunky and poorly written and, ultimately, unwatchable.

 
Painter of the Wind: I probably shouldn’t even weigh in on this one because I am so woefully behind. By all accounts this is an excellent series with stand-out acting, and one of the most beautiful-looking ones of the year. Moon Geun-young made good on her early promise as one of Korea’s best up-and-coming actresses, and found a way to stretch her formerly cute kid-sister image playing the cross-dresser in a way she couldn’t as a sexy starlet or grown-up woman (her attempts to mature her image in her late teens were largely unsuccessful). Still on the “to watch” list.

 
In conclusion…

2008 was not a great drama year. It was not a great year in general for the world, actually, so maybe we shouldn’t feel too upset about dramas specifically. I think we’re all looking hopefully to 2009 for an upswing, and by golly do we need one. Let’s hope that these things alternate years, which means next year should be AWESOME. (…right?)

Once again, I give my wholehearted thanks to Sevenses, thunderbolt, and Dahee Fanel for participating in this year-end review! I hope you enjoyed it too, because I love reading their witty insights, even — especially — when we disagree. Because hey, I’m not here to get you all to think exactly as I do. That would be no fun.

 
RELATED POSTS

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
SPONSORED VIDEO
75 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. anne

    yay! love everything you said
    2009 here we come!!!

     (0)


  2. gallivanter

    WORD.

    It hadn’t really occurred to me all year that everything was so blah…but looking back, I’ve seen just a couple dramas from this year. Everything else was 2007. Arguh. Well, I’m looking forward to Boys Over Flowers and there’s a couple other upcoming dramas that look interesting.

     (0)


  3. simi

    I think “MEH” pretty much sums up the 2008 k-drama season. Never have I ran away from so many dramas, so many times. Whether it was just bad (robbers/east of eden/one mom 3 dads), too sad ( la dolce) or just had that one actress you KNOW is gonna mess up the drama (kim haneul I see you)….it just was’nt happening this year. I did’nt want to watch strongest chil woo but I had a hellavah good time reading your summaries of it!! Hong gil dong and who are you where pretty much the only ones I truly enjoyed…pending painter of the wind (the subs! still no subs!) and capital scandal. I can only hope it gets better next year.

     (0)


  4. Kit

    I’ve always loved reading your insightful comments and critiques on various dramas. I look forward to the year in review posts the most as a guide to what I should watch.

    I’ve only dabbled in a few dramas in 2008 and have yet to finish any. So far I’ve loved Painter of the Wind and found Hong Gil Dong to be very entertaining but slightly confusing plot-wise. I disagree on your opinion of Beethoven Virus however finding the storyline to be quite unengaging while the music playing is all to obviously fake.

    In addition to the year in review posts will you also be doing those polls like you did in 2007 to see what the favourite dramas of your many blog readers are?

    Keep up the good work Javabeans! I’ll always visit for my daily dose of Kdrama goodness.

     (0)


  5. cc

    Great review javabeans!
    I’ve always loved reading your reviews.

    Happy New Year~ :)

     (0)


  6. Vieny

    I love ur opinion javabeans.hong gil dong will be my very best drama in 2008;-) coz i know kang ji hwan from this drama.thx a lot hong gil dong! i enjoy laugh with one mom n three dads.n i did enjoy iljimae..eye candy factor..and ljk acting was alright 4 me.

     (0)


  7. Ishida

    Yeah hope 2009 will be a better year for KDrama than 2008. For me, only few of them are worth watching (Painter of The Wind, La Dolce Vita, Fight, Who Are You? and Last Scandal).

    Friend Untold story is the most anticipated drama of 2009 for me, Hyun Bin & Kim Min-joon reunion since Ireland under the direction of the amazing pd: Kwak Gyeong-taek. I just hope the choice of the main actress will be what I want.

    And 2009 looks like of the year of women’s sageuks!

     (0)


  8. all4movies

    Thanks everybody for the annual recap. Some I agreed with and others not so much, but that’s half the fun. Anyways, all your hard work made some of this year’s so-so dramas more bearable.

    Let’s hope that 2009 proves to be a stellar one.

    (The bright side is that I am watching catching up on a lot of old stuff I never had time for. For example, I’m currently doing a Bae Doo Na retrospective of her movies and dramas. She’ll surely add some zing to an otherwise mostly bland drama year).

    Happy New Year Everyone!!!

     (0)


  9. GreenFreak

    ^simi: subs for Painter of the Wind at
    http://bimbibap.com/2008/11/painter-of-the-wind-english-subtitles/

    Thanks for the review!

     (0)


  10. 10 anastassia

    I have to say. After reading all the three reviews the one I has actually watch will be:

    Painter of The Wind and Who Are You?

    Painter of The Wind is one of the drama that will last long in your heart, mind and soul. Like any others thing in this world which is not perfect so did POTW. But it one of the most remarkable and excellent drama ever made despite a little flaw. Just loved it so much. Intense, funny, a dept and beautiful story.

    Ironic enough, I have heard about Go Ara from people who admired her and those who didnt like her acting. Usually when I heard reviews like that I will be lured, skeptical and has an untasted perception to begin with. I will be biased and the show will ruin because of that. But not with Who Are You. Go Ara despite her young age, showed us a promising talent as an actress. She can be develop further. Her emotions is deep and her eyes portrayed it all. Depth emotion. She act what In Young should be. Optimistic, stubborn and sometimes too out spoken and bold ( or people call rude in episode 1 to her father). What Who Are You? did what funny drama ususlly neglect. Character development. It move very subtly on that. The story itself might be not perfect as you said: we can used a little editing but either way, it a watchable and unique drama. What the writers did right was placing their main focus on character development rather than slapstick comedy and drama cliches. In fact, there’s a perfect balance of every genre. No melodrama, no cheap tactics. Just wonderful characters, a touching story, and refreshing writing. A must see.

    I will try Gourmet or Hang Gil Dong (maybe) in some next years when my kids clinging on my feet and I have noting to do.

    Last Scandal of my Life and La Dolce Vita seems promising and impressive but I didn’t know if it is for me.

    Thanks Sarah for the reviews!

     (0)


  11. 11 ripgal

    Great review..

    2008 was definitely a slum year for dramas, if compared to last year. But still, I stayed thru some of them and did find some unusually entertaining and endearing dramas, albeit not of the greatest quality..hehehe…

    Anywayz, thanks to dahee, thundie and sevenses for their reviews as well..
    Looking forward to a better year ahead ^^

     (0)


  12. 12 anon

    Hmmm… my taste suits better with your review. *okay*

    And yea, 2008 was no a good drama year. So sad.

     (0)


  13. 13 Luv

    Sarah, I waited to read your review together with sevenses, thundie & dahee :)
    Thank you all for the wonderful 4 parts… year in review.
    It’s so interesting to read them all one after another…all the different points of view.

    I have to agree with all that 2008 hasn’t been a great year.
    I tried to think of 5 completed dramas I really enjoyed watching and had a hard time finding the 5th one…lol…

    1.Painter of the Wind
    2.Women in the Sun
    3.The Last Scandal of My Life
    4.Who Are You?
    5.New Heart

    Hehe…had to settle for New Heart but I think it started the year before and ended in early 2008.

    I’m not really good with words so I can’t really explain my choices…hehe…but I tend to like dramas that can evoke some feelings :)

    Thank you for the amazing blog. It’s a joy to be here.

     (0)


  14. 14 Yay

    Bless your heart for not even mentioning La Dolce Vita.

    I think Who Are You is a lovely drama–probably one that I enjoyed the most.

    I really liked On Air (great character development, with very subtle romance).

    I came to dislike (yes, dislike) Beethoven Virus. I absolutely despise the romanticizing of cranky, rude older men for fresh, docile young girls. Machismo is so not appealing–or should not be in this day and age. I also came to find the latent gay tension between the Older Maestro and Younger Maestro annoying and distracting (it needed to be overt or not there at all).

    Right now I am loving Star’s Lover, and will stick it through if only to feast my eyes on YJT.

    I actually enjoyed this year’s spate of dramas–at least the ones I was able to catch.

    I am sad, though, that there was no Dal Ja’s Spring or Coffee Shop type of show that made me feel like I was walking around on star dust for a few hours after watching an episode. But then, I think shows like MNISS and Coffee Shop are rare treats, and such is life.

     (0)


  15. 15 nileey

    Happy New Year! Haven’t watch any dramas in 2008 except Hong Gil Dong. Looking forward for a better 2009 in terms of drama!

     (0)


  16. 16 it's all good

    Thanks for all reviews posted. Of the 4 reviewers, my taste is closely aligned to javabeans. As #13 Luv stated above, I like dramas that evokes my emotions.

    @#10 anastassia…*claps* I thought Go Ara did a good job too. I was a rebellious teenager myself and her harshness to her dad in Episode 1 really struck a chord with me. It made the story even more interesting and poignant. I don’t think I would have cared as much as I did when she and her ghost dad had their reconciliation if I wasn’t taken aback by her harsh words before he died.

    I liked the character developments in Who Are You as well, esp. Cha Seung Hyo…but I’m very YKS biased too. :-)

     (0)


  17. 17 taehee

    Thanks for the wonderful drama review.I agree with your opinion (Dramabeans) that 2008 had not been a good year for korean dramas unlike the previous years…probably due to the bad economy…..

     (0)


  18. 18 phiphi

    And so we can close the curtains for 2008!

    Thank you all for the 2008 reviews. It was interesting to see different opinions from different reviewers. The comments are also down right interesting & informative. We’re probably disagree at one point or another but we all agree on the final verdict – 2008 was pretty bad! Although, I wonder if the Korean viewers also share the same sentiments as ours here.

    For me, I need something that grab my attention and keep me interested for those first few episodes. A long child hood story or too many flash back will turn me off really quickly and it’s very hard to come back in again. Don’t know if I’ll have the time to check out some those better rated dramas…. may be not as Boys Before Flower is starting next week!

     (0)


  19. 19 thunderbolt

    Loved reading this, Sarah. Thank you!

    “Every drama has its good and bad points.” I’ll bear this in mind and try to be less dismissive/judgmental in 2009. ^^

    (Like #14 Yay, I’m relieved you didn’t mention La Dolce Vita, although for vastly different reasons, bwahaha!)

     (0)


  20. 20 jastinel

    I just wish that Kim Sun Ah can do a better drama in 2009. She`s an excellent actress and all she need ism to work on a good project.
    Love you Suna….your still the best!

     (0)


  21. 21 Jo

    didnt anyone watch “Women of the sun”?
    My god, that was an awesome drama. i thought…
    im pretty sure that there were way more dramas that mentioned, we just forgot about them. not because they were bad, but this year was pretty hectic…presidential elections, soaring gas prices, economic downturn
    etc.etc.etc.

     (0)


  22. 22 XYZ

    If everyone is claiming East of Eden is SO UNWATCHABLE then why are the ratings for the drama so high. I only read your website for the recaps. Not for the rantings of you and everyone else.

     (0)


  23. 23 dc

    I have yet to hear a good explanation for why EOE is a good show. All the defenses have been angry, defensive, and attacking by EOE fans who are so blinded by their love of the drama that they assume anyone who dislikes it has a personal vendetta against the actors like SSH, LYH… If a fan could give a rational, reasonable explanation that says more than “OMG its so good you are idiots, you suck if you don’t agree with me!” i’d like to hear it. It might give EOE fans more credibility, because right now they all seem like angry fangirls.

    ” I only read your website for the recaps. Not for the rantings of you and everyone else.”

    Then why are you even commenting? If you don’t like the rantings don’t read them. Simple solution.

     (0)


  24. 24 meh

    2008 was a disastrous year for dramas…out of all the dramas mentioned, “A Star’s lovers” is the only one that caught my eye…tried a few of he dramas above and BIG MEHs!!! hopefully 2009 will be a better year.

     (0)


  25. 25 popcorn

    Wow I just realized I haven’t finished any drama of 2008. -_-

    I think I have to agree with your choice of word, “MEH”.

    *sigh* Time flies by so fast, 2009 is already here. A little bit saddened, a bit hopeful, and a bit hesitant I’m welcoming a new year! Happy new year!

     (0)


  26. 26 mari.

    MEH is a pretty good overall category to throw every 2008 drama into. nothing else quite captures the amazing suckage that dramas showed us. and i totally agree that Robbers was forgettable. I watched a few episodes of it and forgot all about it. Then a few days ago, I was surprised that Lee Da Hae had been in more than just EoE this year. forgettable? most deffff.

     (0)


  27. 27 Anonymous

    Thanks for the year end kdrama review, javabeans and everyone. I heartily agree with your general sentiment that 2008 was a lackluster, under performing year for kdramas. The only two dramas that I was hooked to from start to finish were Women of the Sun and Painter of the Wind (the ending was a bit eh? for me…). Anyways, it’s a brand new year with hopefully better dramas coming up!

     (0)


  28. 28 yen_nguyen

    when Beathoven Virus and East of Eden are set next to each other and “Surprisingly watchable” for BV, “unwatchable” for East of Eden, I feel excited, it makes me think about KMM and SSH sharing the MBC daesang Award ( fans are discussing about them alot)

     (0)


  29. 29 Amane

    I’ve got to agree that year 2008 is not a drama year..
    i have been watching and switchin dramas after certain eps (not more than 5 eps) and i simply gave them up over their typical and expected plot.
    I hope what happened in year 2008 wont be the same in year 2009.
    Thanks for all the reviews! ^^

     (0)


  30. 30 miae

    i am gonna watch last Scandal drama beans ..

    EOE buekkk!!..
    i become hate that especially after daesang

     (0)


  31. 31 Elaine

    Honestly, for 2008, I only truly enjoyed Painter of the Wind as a drama. Beethoven Virus was relatively enjoyable to watch too.

     (0)


  32. 32 xiahkixiri

    Agreed, agreed, agreed; 2008 = MEH to the max. However, I have Taiwanese and Japanese and older dramas, aswell, to keep me going, so I was by no means left with nothing to watch. Still.. lackluster, liek woah, and everybody’s hopes are riding on Hanadan to start off the year with a bang – a crazy lot to live up to, not just for 2 dramas and a manga, but for the kdrama industry! They must be kinda terrified.

    The only 2 series I completed this year were Hong Gil Dong and Who Are You; both were flawed, but made me love them enough so that I could accept the bad stuff, and waiting for them all to be finished/subbed before watching means that you can ride out the bad parts fairly quickly. I didn’t even bother starting almost all the rest of the dramas, I could just tell I wouldn’t go for them, with the exception of Worlds’, which should have been a breath of fresh air, but ended up stale and without spark. Such a disappointment.

    All 4 reviews have been SO much fun to read (and skipping through comments, 1st time I realised even you get bashed! Somehow, I was living under the delusion that only intelligent people really frequented this blog), and here’s wishing all you guys – and, you’re right, the world – a much more hopeful new year.

     (0)


  33. 33 ly22

    your reviews always entertaining Sarah, and thank you so much fo posting the

    bossa ver. of who are you, i was asking you about this song long time ago

     (0)


  34. 34 k john

    Thanks so much for the reviews — all four of them. I enjoyed each one! Just realized that Robbers was the only 2008 drama I watched. I’ve only read your recaps on everything else. (I enjoyed the first half of Robbers, not so much the rest, but kept watching to see what happened to the mother-in-law and thug. Loved them!) Oh, and kuddos to dc (#23).

     (0)


  35. 35 coco

    I only started watching Kdramas after stumbling on Coffee Princes while channel surfing late in 2007. This last year for me has been a sort of catch up, going back and watching hits from the past. Have to say I’ve not watched 2008′s offerings except Gourmet, which I enjoyed [biased view as I have a soft spot for KRW!]
    After reading your review I’m not sure what to watch from 2008!
    Thanks for everything. Happy New Year!

     (0)


  36. 36 asianromance

    i love your end of the year recap! I remember beginning the year with Hong GIl Dong-downloading the episodes and following your recap religiously while I was enduring one of the more stressful moments of my college career. It was exhilarating! And I can’t believe this year is over now!

    I think 2008 is only slightly worse than 2007. I thought 2006 was the best year-I felt excitement over the dramas even though I didn’t get a chance to watch them all. These past two years- most of the storylines were mosty ‘meh’ to me.

     (0)


  37. 37 movall

    Many thanks for the reviews, Sarah, Dahee_Fanel, Thunderbolt and Sevenses. It’s really interesting to know different points of view, love all of your recaps.

    Yes, 2008 was such a MEH year of Kdrama, but thanks to that I’ve got introduced to Jdorama and got time to fall in love with some older amazing Kdramas that Javabeans’s recommended ^^

    For 2008, I followed HGD, Who Are You, Last Scandal and Love Marriage. The rest of 2008, some I did not have time to catch (POTW, Woman of the Sun), some – like Dahee, I abandoned them after the 1st or 2nd episode, or even didnt bother to watch (name EOE) Those crazy days of HGD and I am still bitter/frustrated about its unbalance. But I donot complain coz it was then I’ve known Kang Ji Hwan. I really enjoyed Last Scandal and Love Marriage, but the best of 2008 for me till now, is Who Are You. May be I change my mind after watching POTW or Woman of the Sun ???
    Thanks again, everyone, for recommending rare germs of 2008.

    Happy New Year 2009, welcome Boys Before Flowers, The Return of Iljimae, and TRIPLE (gosh, I still can’t believe 3 hotties gonna be there).

     (0)


  38. 38 sonam

    I really enjoyed On Air. Some cameos like the baseball player were so unnecessary …the time could have been used on the four main leads and the ending was kind of rushed.
    When I have time I am going to watch My Sweet Seoul just for the leading lady. I like her a lot. And she dresses so cool. I also want to watch Gourmet just to lay eyes on Kim Rae Won’s wonderful face.

     (0)


  39. 39 Jane

    Thanks for the review. Yeah…2008 really sucks compared to 2007.

    I also was looking forward to a coffee prince type for 2008– no luck until “Terroir” recently. I am HOOKED!!!! Although Terroir way different plot- but is in a sort of similar to coffee prince with the coffee and wine issues compared.

    Sometimes I would rewatched Capital Scandal over and over again..that was how bad 2008 was. Nothing could match up to Capital Scandal…well maybe Beethoven’s Virus.

    Anyways— EOE totally sucks major…BIG TIME.
    Started out really good. But then went into love lines of SSH and LYH TOOO MUCH!!!!
    Only watched it for Lee Da Hae–now she’s gone— so EOE will be gone from my hardrive too —after ep 40/

    -I really enjoyed Powerful Opponents— yeah I do agree that it was a waste on Chae Rim and Lee Jong Hyuk.’s talents.
    -When Night Comes is silly at times- but still enjoying it. On ep 6- english sub not released up to ep 6–so still waiting.
    -Still watching Worlds Within- on ep 7—thought about giving up–but still am watching gradually. Hyun Bin is great in here. Song Hye Gyo character is confusing at times.
    -Beethoven’s Virus- still watching up to ep 12. BEST SERIES OUT OF 2008 FOR ME.
    *Tried On Air : gave up on ep 2 and skipped around. Too chaotic.
    “Tried La Dolce Vita: gave up on 1 and skipped around. Plot was good. Just didn’t like Lee Dong Wook with the lead actress.
    _Now- I might give Tazza, Robbers (for LDH) a try.

    Hope 2009 will be a better year.

     (0)


  40. 40 Astralyz

    Thanks alot for all of the 2008 K-Drama reviews on this blog..although I do not watched some of those best dramas and also my opinion on some others that you’re not really like is different (e.g: On Air)..but anyway it’s nice to read your comments.
    My Best 2008 K-Dramas so far are only 3 : On Air, Lawyers Of Korea (LoK), Why Did You Come To My House (WDYCTMH)….
    Lee Sung Jae was so good as Han Min Gook that I started to find his other works after watching LoK.
    WDYCTMH (Kim Ji Hoon, Lee So Yeon) is another good dramas but yet so few people pay attention on it.There are no English fansubbers interested in this drama.So far, it is only the chinese sub available.KJH and LSY are not that popular but they are both good actors. It’s also because of this drama that I started to find Kim Ji Hoon’s other works and watched Love Marriage. However, I still like this one more…

     (0)


  41. 41 alodia

    Thanks to you and to everyone who did their reviews. I’m not as big a dramawatcher as you guys but I love watching Korean dramas. I always have one after another (but it will take me weeks, even months to finish one). I always go here ever since I discovered this site to get “recommendations” of dramas to watch.
    I was a little late with K-drama addictions too, so i only get to watch some older dramas last 2007. It was 2008 when i started watching dramas that are currently airing / just started airing. But i guess i was a little bit unlucky stumbling through the kdrama world this year. How i wish i was into dramas last 2005,2006,2007 when the best dramas were shown. Could have been exciting following MNIKSS, Dal Ja’s Spring, H.I.T and the likes, real time.

    I won’t repeat things you’ve said.. but it’s fun reading because most, if not all, holds true to me.

    And thank you for saying this about When Night Comes: “It wasn’t UN-watchable — but rather, what was the point? “. As a big fan of Kim Sun Ah, I can’t find the words to describe how I feel / see that drama. And you phrase it just right. You’re right that we are all thrilled to see our Samsoon back after all the brouhahas. Not a complete disappointment but she deserves better. Hope 2009 will be a better year for her. At least she was able to come back this year. Good enough (…but with a big sigh!).

    And yeah, wonder why you haven’t mentioned La Dolce Vita? I would have love to read your opinions about that because I’m starting to watch it.

    Happy New Year to you! And we are all looking forward to 2009 dramas with you!

     (0)


  42. 42 ovette

    lol you forgot LA DOLCE VITA and all the reviews didnt mention WOMEN IN THE SUN which i think is one of the best dramas of 2008…

    thank you!

     (0)


  43. 43 javabeans

    Thanks everyone for the comments! Hope you’ve found the reviews helpful. I know many may not agree with me and that’s totally cool; I’m very happy that most everybody was able to express the differences civilly and reasonably. I do try to keep it in mind that taste is subjective, even (or especially) when I am dying to make fun of something.

    As for specific questions/comments:
    #10 anastassia and #16 it’s all good: I agree that Go Ara’s character was relatable — i liked her very much. I don’t think the acting, on the other hand, made as much of the character as she could have. I think she did a decent job — she just didn’t measure up to the emotiveness of Yoon Kye-sang.

    #13, Luv, babe! It’s an honor to feature your gorgeous artwork! Like you, I also like “like dramas that can evoke some feelings.” The most disappointing ones are the ones that leave you blank.

    #14 Yay, #19 thundie, #41 alodia: I didn’t mention La Dolce Vita because I wasn’t a fan. I didn’t watch enough to make a definitive statement, but while I agree that it seemed well-made and intense, I also landed on the side of “This may be a wee bit too pretentious for me” — which is why, I suspect, thundie was glad I didn’t say my piece about it! lol.

    #21 Jo: I started Women In the Sun and was bored by it. I heard from others that it was really good, so I tried to go back to it, but the story didn’t grab me. What i find interesting is that some people rave about how awesome Lee Hana was in it, and others are saying she was pure crap. I don’t know how to reconcile those two opinions.

    #22 XYZ, #23 dc: I totally get why East of Eden caught on, and I explained that I did think it made you want to know what happened. That’s something not every drama can do. It also has, however, a lot of detractors, and wild, preposterous stories and characters earn the eye-roll from me. I kinda agree, though, that I haven’t really heard a good defense of Eden. I’d be interested in hearing a calm, rational, thoughtful defense of the show that did NOT attack detractors. Anyone?

    #36 asianromance: Yep, 2006 was a good year, too. I think we got used to being treated with lots of good dramas in quick succession, which is why 2008 was that much more disappointing to me.

    #41 alodia: I’d like to see Kim Sun-ah doing something better, too. I don’t need another Samsoon — Samsoon was great, she was great, she can move on — just something that isn’t quite so throwaway.

     (0)


  44. 44 ayay

    happy new year JAvabeans,,
    thanks for all your review
    last year (2008) wasn’t a good enough year for me esp. for the kmovie
    I only watched..
    1. Golden Bride
    2. I love You (I watched it because there’s Hwany and I skipped all nonHwany things)
    3. East Of Eden
    4. 1M3D (but I upset with the ending, not good enough)
    5. On Air
    this year I hope it would be so much watchable (as you said) dramas
    and looking forward for HYD korean version

     (0)


  45. 45 nomad

    thanks for your year end review javabeans! i’ve been waiting for it to see what drama tops your list :)

    i know you didn’t like Terroir, but i’m surprisingly enjoying the drama so far. i just hope it will keep my interest till the end.

    i’m so looking forward to 2009 dramas and of course your recaps! let’s see what drama you’ll end up recapping this year :)

     (0)


  46. 46 Javafiend

    Re: comment by XYZ@22

    Wonder if this person realizes that a drama’s ratings are based on native Korean viewers while most of this blog’s readers are outside of Korea and therefore tend to have different perspectives? (rolls eyes)

     (0)


  47. 47 Dewi Astuti

    hi javabeans,
    i think you should watch On Air again and you can change your mind. The first episode is not to good, but after that is very good.

     (0)


  48. 48 bbm

    thanks javabeans, thunderbolt, sevenses and dahee fanel for your great review…
    unfortunately, due to the lack of good internet connection in my country, i only watch a few of the 2008 dramas…
    Hong Gil Dong (because i happened to have KBS world at the time) is quite funny and Kang Ji Hwan… oh Kang Ji Hwan…
    1momn3dad, meh i just caught a glimpsed and i switched the channel…
    Who Are You is simply nice, i got a crush on YKS from the show ;)
    Gourmet i only watched the first episode n got bored (sorry…)
    i’m fairly behind on POTW and BV, but i promise myself i will catch up sooner or later.
    and i don’t have the patience to watched >30 episode drama, it’s too demanding for me (sorry EOE).

    Looking forward to the next Iljimae… :P

    Let’s hope for better dramas in 2009!!

     (0)


  49. 49 May

    Happy New Year! Your “MEH” scale,or should I say spectrum, really puts into words how I felt about 2008 dramas.

    I watched Hong Gil Dong for two reasons: Kang Ji-hwan and the Hong sisters. And I was with this drama up until the very end. Unfortunately, I still can’t help but feel gypped by the ending. No amount of rationalizing or distance has helped in that regard (even your final recap, as good as it was, didn’t help me).

    In all my years of kdrama viewing, East of Eden is my biggest disappointment. Perhaps my expectations were too high, I don’t know. It’s interesting, there seems to be a certain contingent of fans who take it very personally if you criticize this drama. All I can say is that I did watch this, hoping with each episode it would get better. I could go on for pages about story structure, themes, character development, etc, not to mention some of the performances, explaining why I find it to be such a letdown. But really this is just my subjective opinion, so in the interest of peace I’ll spare everyone.

     (0)


  50. 50 Amber

    Thanks so much for the reviews.
    I would totally agree that 2008 wasn’t the best drama year.

    So far i’ve only watched :
    Hong Gil Dong – I love the drama.I would say it was interesting at the starting.kang ji hwan and sung yuri really captured my heart.Hong sister did a good job with HGD but i expected more of them after watching Delightful Girl Chun-hyang and My Girl(which are 2 of my favourite dramas).The ending wasn’t the greatest since i’m the kind of person who goes for happy ending compared to an open/sad ending but i find it much more meaningful this way.Definitely worth watching.

    Who Are You – I gotta say Who Are You exceeded my expectation.I really love how Yoon Kye Sang potray his character here.Go Ara acting wasnt bad either.The storyline was lovely.i wouldnt say it’s perfect but reasonably good enough to keep me watching till the end.I’m definitely keeping my eyes out for Yoon Kye-sang in his new drama.

    Love & Marriage – The storyline was kinda typical.The 2 main leads still have lots of space for improvement.The drama is more of a light hearted drama which makes me feel all heartwarming at times.

    Beethoven Virus – I would say Beethoven Virus is one of the entertaining dramas i watched this year..Different plot which revolves around music unlike most dramas which revolves around romance.Kim Myung Min did a great job potraying Kang Mae.Jang Geun Suk also improved in his acting compared to Hong Gil Dong.I totally love the chemistry between the supporting actors and actress especially the grandpa and Yi Deun scenes.

    On Air – I didnt find Han Ye-seul acting really good.it was acceptable only.I would say some parts of the drama was really boring and i had to force myself to continue it till the end.Too much dramas going on and i didnt felt the love going on between the 2 couples in the story.

    The World We Live In – Started off quite fast paced.I find this drama really realistic to the extend that some might not grasp the meaning of the drama.(i’m not saying it’s a bad thing)..somehow the story really pulls me in.hyun bin acting was reasonably good in this drama.song hye gyo didnt really show her acting ability with this drama though.

    East of Eden – I find it disappointing.i expected much more of this drama.the storyline didnt really captured my heart in the begining but i thought i needed time to open up to this drama.apparently after watching half of the drama.each time hoping the drama was worth watching..i decided to drop it.the acting wasnt really great.To me it was a disappointment.i dont know about other’s opinion but that’s how i felt about EOE.

    Well i might conside watching POTW since it has many good reviews.XD
    Hopefully 2009 will have something better in store for us drama fans.

     (0)


Add a Comment

Name (required)

Mail (will not be published)

Website

 characters available. Comments will be truncated at the word limit.