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Romantic-comedy drama recommendations

Since I’ve had a lot of requests for drama recommendations following You’re Beautiful, I thought I’d put this up as its own post. I may be spotty with some of the other genres out there, but I’m ALL about the trendy drama! The following is a list of my recommendations (and some that are not recs but merely possibilities) for trendies that have a similar tone and vibe to You’re Beautiful.

I’m sure many of you have seen many (maybe even all) of the dramas on this list. But some others who haven’t racked up as many drama-watching hours may want a guide to help them navigate the many, many offerings out there.

First, we’ll start with the other the Hong Sisters dramas…

 
DELIGHTFUL GIRL CHUN-HYANG (2005)

What it’s about: Modernized reworking of classic Korean folktale of a Romeo and Juliet-esque couple from Joseon times. Jae Hee and Han Chae-young are forced together at a young age, then fall in love as they mature.
Why you might like it: Jae Hee, Jae Hee, Jae Hee. Brilliant comic timing and heartfelt emotion. The situations are laugh-inducing and it’s a lot of fun; the couple bickers their way throughout but you can feel the love between them. Trademark Hong Sisters jokes — every episode ends with a sageuk parody that plays off the traditional folktale with a modern sense of humor.
Why you might not: This is my favorite Hong Sisters drama, but remember that it’s their first. If you’re watching it after seeing their others, keep in mind that what was fresh and new in 2005 may now seem common. Also, some people hate the second leads, particularly the male (even if it is a yummy Uhm Tae-woong!). Maybe it helps to remember that he’s based on the evil, possessive magistrate from the folktale.

 
MY GIRL (2005)

What it’s about: A girl who’s gifted at telling lies is hired to impersonate a long-lost granddaughter of an old, ailing rich man. Her warm, bubbly personality clashes with the old man’s cold, businesslike grandson, so naturally they fall in love.
Why you might like it: Super chemistry between Lee Da-hae and Lee Dong-wook. (Also: Lee Junki.) Lots of comedy, cute romantic moments, quotable lines.
Why you might not: I loved Lee Da-hae’s bubbliness, but some found her too much. The last few episodes get a little too angsty, and the big conflict is a little contrived. Still, it’s one of the better/best offerings in the trendy drama genre. If you liked You’re Beautiful, this is the first drama I’d recommend.

 
FANTASY COUPLE (2006)

What it’s about: Reworking of American film Overboard. A privileged, snobby heiress loses her memory, and the blue-collar worker she mistreated decides to get his revenge by pretending she’s his girlfriend. He brings her home and puts her to work.
Why you might like it: It’s less angsty than the other Hong Sisters dramas. Han Ye-seul completely reinvented her image with a great rich-bitch characterization; she doesn’t hold back and really goes for it. Quirky side characters like loopy Kang-ja add a fun touch. A subplot actively mocks Autumn Love Story.
Why you might not: The Anna & Chul-soo relationship is funny and cute, but not overtly romantic (perhaps this is a plus for some). I consider the directing to be the weak link, and while it isn’t outright bad, it veers into the slapstick. The writing is better than the iffy directing.

 
HONG GIL DONG (2008)

What it’s about: Fusion sageuk reimagining of Joseon hero Hong Gil Dong, a Robin Hood-like crusader for the poor. “Fusion” means that while the setting is in the 1600s, it has a modern sensibility and sense of humor.
Why you might like it: Kang Ji-hwan is awesome. He starts out a lazy, swaggering, troublemaking rascal, but that’s because Hong Gil Dong is an illegitimate son and therefore was unable to fulfill his dreams. His pairing with a cheery Sung Yuri is great, and she changed a lot of people’s minds about her acting, formerly deemed subpar. Jang Geun-seok plays a cool-headed prince. There’s comedy and wackiness, but also political machinations and a royal coup plot that adds complexity.
Why you might not: I liked the ending and wrote my big explanation in the finale recap, but many did not agree. Because this has more weighty plot matters, the humor scales back and the conspiracy takes over in the last third. I think it gets downright slow toward the end, before it picks up in the run-up to the finale. The humor is a little slapstick for my taste.

 
And then the rest, in no particular order:

 
FULL HOUSE (2004)

What it’s about: A girl’s debt-ridden friends sell her house for the money. She comes home from vacation to find that a surly movie star has moved in. Homeless and alone, she works as his maid to earn her keep.
Why you might like it: Rain and Song Hye-gyo are cute as a bickering couple, and this was one of the early “contract romance” dramas. It was huge in the ratings and is probably one of the most-watched early Hallyu dramas.
Why you might not: Don’t think too hard, or the logic might collapse (even the premise doesn’t quite hold up — your friends sell your house and you don’t fight back?). This is one of those “shut your brain off and enjoy” dramas; particularly toward the end, the plot stops making total sense in its efforts to keep the couple apart. The romance is cute but not necessarily romantic. Still, it’s an easy, mostly fun watch.

 
MY NAME IS KIM SAM-SOON (2005)

What it’s about: Like Bridget Jones, the lead is a 30-year-old who isn’t the typical pretty skinny girl that most guys go for. She’s loud, hot-tempered, and likes to eat. Her boss is a cold, unfeeling type with whom she agrees to a contract romance in order to get his mother off his back about marriage.
Why you might like it: It sounds typical, but the execution makes this great; it was a huge phenomenon and broke 50% ratings. At times funny, at times heartwarming, the writing is solid and Kim Sun-ah and Hyun Bin work great together. You should really see this drama if you’re a fan of rom-coms.
Why you might not: Maybe the hype has turned you off? I do think it gets built up too much, but it’s a very solid drama.

 
GOONG (PRINCESS HOURS) (2006)

What it’s about: Modern Cinderella story with a twist, in that Korea is imagined as a monarchy; a handsome prince is the source of every young girl’s fantasy. A normal girl is forced to marry the prince because of a decades-old pact between their grandfathers. She is brought into the palace, where she starts out clumsy and out of place as she is trained to be a princess. The awkward couple gradually falls in love.
Why you might like it: Beautiful visuals, gorgeous soundtrack, amazing costumes. Yoon Eun-hye shot to stardom, as did Joo Ji-hoon, and this drama was a huge phenomenon with its young fanbase. The intriguing twist (an imagined Korean monarchy) adds interest to the opposites-attract romance. A gentle, caring second male lead makes for a good love triangle as Yoon Eun-hye is caught between the nice prince and the cold one.
Why you might not: The extension surely hurt the pacing of the later episodes, and this drama got downright sloooow. The political conspiracy was drawn out and sucked fun out of the latter half. The ending (which is a puzzler) feels sloppy. But the other elements are strong enough that it’s well worth a look.

 
WHAT’S UP FOX? (2006)

What it’s about: A 33-year-old woman has a one-night stand with a guy 9 years her junior — her best friend’s brother. At first they agree to ignore it, but they start to fall for each other and she fights the attraction because the age gap is such an obstacle, particularly when she’s being courted by a handsome, charming doctor her own age.
Why you might like it: This comes from the writer of My Name is Kim Sam-soon, and like that drama, the writing is solid and the acting very strong by leads Go Hyun-jung and the adorable Chun Jung-myung.
Why you might not: It has a mellower, low-key vibe with a realistic air, and it isn’t as outrageous or outright comical as some other rom-coms. The chemistry is great, but some people have a problem with the age gap. (I think they make it work.)

 
SOULMATE (2006)

What it’s about: A light, humor-filled drama about the modern dating world, told through the relationships of six main characters. Each person has a different dating philosophy, demonstrated by how they view the concept of soulmates. (Is fate something that comes to you, or are you in charge of making your own?)
Why you might like it: Super, super editing and plotting. The storytelling plays with nonlinear structure, and in earlier episodes, one half of the episode tells something from the main girl’s perspective, while the other half takes the guy’s perspective, and we see how the two halves fit together by episode’s end. Clever writing, great dialogue. Lots of fun. It’s short and sweet at 12 episodes, and was completely written in advance of its broadcast.
Why you might not: I love this drama to pieces, but it may be a little slick and fast for some others. It’s a little risque and definitely not as chaste as most kdramas, but I think that’s a welcome thing.

 
BAD FAMILY (2006)

What it’s about: When a family is killed in a car crash, the only survivor is a little girl who suffers amnesia. Her uncle hires a “fake family” to act as her family to help her recover until he can get to the bottom of the car accident.
Why you might like it: Hilarious! The fake grandpa flirts with his fake daughter-in-law. The fake uncle starts to like his fake niece. They all have to juggle their regular lives outside their family performance. Comedy abounds and Kim Myung-min, in a rare comic performance, is fantastic as an uneducated ex-gangster; Nam Sang-mi is in one of her more adorable roles. Heechul plays a runaway hired to be the fake brother. This drama isn’t as romance-heavy (although there is romance), and is more about the wonderful shenanigans of the fake family as they go from fighting all the time to forming actual bonds.
Why you might not: I remember hating the first episode, which was boring. But after that, I fell in love!

 
DAL JA’S SPRING (2007)

What it’s about: Perhaps inspired by the j-dorama “office lady” genre, this series features the romantic foibles of a 33-year-old professional woman who’s unpracticed in dating; Lee Min-ki becomes Chae Rim’s romance coach.
Why you might like it: Funny, sweet, adorable. Chemistry is great, Dal Ja is lovable, and Lee Min-ki is perfect. Lots of pop-culture parodies and funny situations. Best of all, it explores friendships and working relationships in addition to the romance.
Why you might not: It was extended by two episodes, and while I almost don’t even notice, it does slow a teeny bit. Chae Rim’s makeup and hair takes a little getting used to. But definitely worth a watch.

 
COFFEE PRINCE (2007)

What it’s about: (As if I have to even tell you!) A tomboyish girl who is regularly mistaken for a boy takes a job at a cafe whose concept is to hire only good-looking guys. She falls for her boss, who falls for her too — while thinking she’s a boy.
Why you might like it: Gong Yoo’s portrayal of conflict is complex and nuanced. Jeremy in You’re Beautiful took a comic bent, but Gong Yoo’s exploration of his feelings is wrought with emotion. Yoon Eun-hye dove into this character and made it her own. The other “princes” are great to watch, and the director injects a breezy, refreshing air to the atmosphere. Fantabulous music selection.
Why you might not: The extension hurt the ending, and the tension drops off toward the end. Otherwise, this is one of the shining highlights of the trendy kdrama.

 
THE STORY OF HYANG DAN (2007)

What it’s about: What Shrek did for the Western canon of fairy tales, Story of Hyang Dan does for traditional Korean folktales. A modern comic spin takes us through multiple folk stories while centering the plot around the one about Chun-hyang and Mong-ryong (which is the basis for Delightful Girl Chun-hyang). However, this drama twists the tale to speculate what would happen if Chun-hyang were a selfish brat and Mong-ryong fell for her servant girl instead.
Why you might like it: You like irreverent, humorous reworkings of classics, and/or light-hearted fusion sageuks. Choi Shi-won (Super Junior) and Seo Ji-hye have cute chemistry, and this is low-commitment at a mere two episodes. Modern parodies (Love Actually, Prison Break) are included among the folktale allusions (Iljimae, Shim Chung).
Why you might not: This is not a serious drama at all. It’s purely a short, entertaining goof. But cute and sweet all the same.

 
WHO ARE YOU? (2007)

What it’s about: A dad dies in an accident and is granted 49 days by a sympathetic Grim Reaper to come back using the body of a young man in a coma. He gets three hours a day to do for his daughter what he wasn’t able to do while he was alive. The body he “borrows” belongs to a cold businessman, and the three-hour body-jacking episodes turn the unsuspecting businessman’s life upside-down.
Why you might like it: Yoon Kye-sang is awesome. He does the body-switching surprisingly well, and his relationship to his ghost inhabitant develops with unexpected warmth.
Why you might not: The romance is funny and sweet, but mostly because of Yoon Kye-sang — Go Ara is rather flat. The drama gets off to a silly start, but get past the first few episodes and you may discover a gem.

 
LAST SCANDAL OF MY LIFE (2008)

What it’s about: Cinderella with a twist. An ordinary ajumma with a cheating husband and a kid runs into her first love, who is now a movie star (and faking his age as much younger). The movie star is horrified at how she’s let herself go over the years, but as they spend more time together when she is hired as his housekeeper, he sees past that and starts to fall for her again.
Why you might like it: Funny, fast-paced, and sweet! Rom-coms are often stronger in plot than in acting, but the benefit of having veteran actors is that they can ACT! Jung Jun-ho is fantastic as the pampered movie star, and Choi Jin-shil is winning as the ajumma.
Why you might not: If you’re still saddened over Choi’s death, you may not feel comfortable watching her last work. I personally think it’s a great way to remember her. If you don’t like the idea of watching an ajumma in love, well, you’re missing out!

 
BOYS BEFORE FLOWERS (2009)

What it’s about: Korean version of Japanese manga/anime/drama Hana Yori Dango. Poor girl gets a free ride to an exclusive, uber-rich high school ruled by the bored, privileged “F4” clique. She offends the leader, who makes it his mission to terrorize her and eject her from the school. Surprisingly, she stands up to him and fights back, and he falls for her.
Why you might like it: The premise is great. Lee Min-ho burst on to the scene with a star-making performance as the mean F4 leader, and the whole country fell in love with his character. He made the drama worth watching for me.
Why you might not: Out of all the dramas on this list, this is the one that I most hesitate to recommend (and it comes with a lot of caveats). Poor writing wasted the great source material. Often, it was riddled with poor acting. Poor directing. Middling musical selections were overused and badly applied. The production was so fraught with accidents that the live-shoot system exhausted everyone involved, and the time contraint really shows. Crazy, illogical plotting and a second half that drags make this a frustrating watch — but an addicting one. On the other hand, I don’t regret watching it, and the fandom craze was hella fun.

 
Other possibilities that I won’t/can’t vouch for, but that others surely will:

My Love Patzzi (2002): Jang Nara has two awesome guys chasing after her and the interactions are cute, but I don’t think you can take this drama seriously; it’s a real lightweight. It’s an update of the Korean Cinderella (Kongji & Patzzi), where the person everything thinks is the good girl is actually fake, and the rude, troublemaking girl is actually the one you root for. At 10 episodes, it’s a fast series.

Attic Cat (2003): One of the first dramas to have a couple cohabitate (or, as I call it, using the forced proximity device). If Jung Da-bin’s death interferes with your enjoyment of her roles, you may not want to watch. Like with many stories when the couple lives together, there are contrivances to get one of them to leave, then return, then leave again, which you may find tiresome.

Capital Scandal (2007): A little slapstick with the humor, this drama places leads Kang Ji-hwan and Han Ji-min in 1920s Korea at the time of Japanese imperialism.

Bottom of the Ninth with Two Outs (2007): The baseball motif works with the story of a 30-year-old single woman and her romance with her best friend. Low-key and naturalistic with strong dialogue, it may be refreshing for some or too slow for others.

City Hall (2009): Don’t listen to me, listen to the fervent praise of all the die-hard City Hallers! Strong, mature chemistry between Kim Sun-ah and Cha Seung-won make this one enjoyable if you’re hankering to see something more than the typical chaste trendy-drama kisses and hand-holding.

Brilliant Legacy (Shining Inheritance) (2009): Romance with plenty of dramatic, makjang elements. One of the year’s highest-rated dramas and a hitmaker, catapulting careers for Han Hyo-joo, Bae Soo-bin, Moon Chae-won and Lee Seung-gi.

 
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I like most of the dramas on here, but "Full House" and "MNIKSS" are both very overrated for me. They are heavy on emotional abuse and they have a lot of cheating going on throughout. It just leaves a bad taste in your mouth even if it's just a show.

Other than that, I've seen almost everything and can heartily agree!

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How addicted am I to Kdrama rom-coms if I've watched all of those and then some? LOL.

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JB, you still haven't watched City Hall?!!!?!!!

Listen, just give it a shot. Fast forward your way through ep 1-4, because starting with ep 5, things will change. It's a really intelligent drama, just the kind of drama I think someone like you could wrap her head and heart around.

It's great because the male lead is not only damaged but is also damaging and sinister. Most "damaged" male leads are actually good (Hwang Tae Kyung was the sweetest of them all--giving, caring, and nice), but the male lead in CH (CSW's character) is actually not a good guy. He is a politician, and the writers do not sugarcoat the kind of moral compass you need to win elections. But he is not evil -- just realistic. So when someone like that falls in love, it is a beautiful thing to watch. The love story is also really honest. Although Kim Sun Ah's talents are somewhat wasted here (she was used well in MNIKSS, imo), she is just perfect against Jo Gook's darkness. But don't think that realistic and honesty translate to dark and dreary: the entire love story is hardcore fairytale romance. So it is still your fav genre of rom-com!

I wish you would watch CH, JB! It's on Dramafever, so you don't have to go through the hassle of downloading files and getting subs, etc. And the last episode, especially the last few minutes, are so good, you will want to weep, not just because it is a fitting end, but also because you appreciate the writers for giving you exactly what you needed. You know, kind of like meta-love for great fan service.

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Thanks for the recommendations, JB... can't believe I have watched most of it... :P

Choon Hyang is one of my all-time favorite, although every time I re-watch it, I always skip ep 13-14 and jumped straight to later part of ep 15 (can't stand the ahjussi and separation scene...). But the ending was awesomeeee... and Jae Hee was great in it (not so much Han Chae Young...)

Soulmate is love. I love this drama to bits, although the meshing of the female lead's perspective and the male lead's take some getting used to. But then, it's engaging the mind... ^^ The only thing I can gripe about it is the ending... it seems like they're making it that way to prepare for a second season that never comes...

Last Scandal is another gem. Love the chemistry... it was fun, and the acting was fabulous.

The other dramas that I sometimes re-watch are Fantasy Couple, Coffee Prince and Full House.
Fantasy Couple: I love Han Ye Seul's character there, and the story unfolded nicely.
Coffee Prince: I love the chemistry between the leads... and I like the supporting cast too. "My Chan" always makes me smile... ^^ although not really like the pace near the ending... or the ending itself...
Full House is a fun ride... as long as you don't think about the logic...

Goong: watched it the first time and never went back to it. There are some parts I liked, the idea behind it is creative, but some other parts are excruciatingly slow...

BOF is a disappointment for me. I tried as much as I could, but I can only endure it until ep 20. It was messy and all over the place.

If we're talking about J-dorama, Hana Yori Dango would be the top of my list. I don't know how many time I have watched it, all season 1 and season 2. One of the dramas I put in my ipod so I can have access to it anytime there's traffic jam... :P (and somehow I prefer Tsukasa Domjoyi here to Gu Jun Pyo, and definitely Hanazawa Rui to Yoon Ji Hoo... :P)

I think I'm going to pick up Bad Family next... I dropped it off after the first 30 minutes, but maybe I have to give it another chance... ^^

Although at this time, I don't think anything can top You're Beautiful yet, seeing how obsessed I am by it... lolz... *this is the other drama I have in my ipod AND iphone besides HanaDan... :P*

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I guess I'm a romantic comedy junkie... I don't watch anything else XD I've seen half of the things on that list and that pretty much fills up everything I've seen lol.

I actually didn't like Lovers in Paris. I thought it was way too predictable, which took the fun out of the drama. Although the characters were lovable, especially Park Shin Yang. Yes the song was very very good... and it's in a lot of drama parodies too! (like YB) haha.

Haven't seen fantasy couple yet, but i must... from YB withdrawals. i've seen all of hong sister's dramas except for that one... and i didn't even know it was hong sisters until i was watching yb. i hope they come up with a new series soon :)

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haha, I was just thinking after I finished YB today:

"What am I gonna watch next?"

but you answered that!
I might give City Hall a spin.

(I think i've watched over half of these!haha.)

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Delightful Girl is actually one of my least favorite Hong Sister dramas. It started off really great but It gets way too melodramatic towards the second half. I had to force myself to finish as I just stopped caring what happened to these characters.

Soulmate, Hong Gil Dong, My Girl, Who are you?, and Last Scandal of my life are all a must. Java, I wish you had included Flowers for my life. No drama has yet to beat it in my eyes.

Guys, i'd recommend you stay away from Full House. Worst drama i've ever seen in my life and that's saying something.

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i didn't see most of it though...
But i don't like DAL JA’S SPRING ...
or maybe is because i never been a big fan of those younger boy+older female story.
I remember i fell asleep while watching the first 5 episode(cause it is too boring but i manage to watch)
I was really happy when i laugh at the 5th episode lol......
But i got bored till episode 7 and i decided to skip
to episode 14.....
meh..episode 14 is boring fr me too.....
than i skip to the end....
the ending is also those really typical type of ending....
blah.........

Brilliant Legacy is really nice....
But it is a totally different genre from You're Beautiful.
I agree that when you watch until the middle,romance is actually not the main focus in BL.
The best part of BL is the changes of the lead male character...
His slow changes....

Thanks for the recommendations,
I decided watch bad family and story of hyung dan..

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great recommendations JB
Now i'm in the middle of watching 9 ends 2 outs, and like you said i was in the 'some' part that find it slow... i really do want to watched it though, hearing praises thrown everywhere on open threads... i really need to lose my dvd remote while i'm watching this :P
i'm curious to see What's Up Fox, i never see it coz i wasn't familiar with the cast then, maybe i'll look up to it....
i'm surprised you didn't mentioned Tamra n Sol' Pharmacy JB, i'm sure many would like Tamra, and even though Sol's Pharmacy is Hella LONG, but it's the best weekend family drama i've watched so far...

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Successful story of a Bright Girl aka Myung-rang So-nyu Sung-gong Gi is also good

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Thank you! Am proud to say I have watched & enjoyed all of the above. Well, two just started - Soulmate & Bad family. My favorites & watch again are My Girl, Full House, delightful Girl CY, Fantasy couple, HGD. Yes, there are many out Kdramas to enjoy since I discovered the joy of Kdrama in 2007. I've even ignored many of my usual TV shows now to spend more time for Kdramas. Am glad SMILE is still there to enjoy. CREATING DESTINY is also fun to watch - ongoing now. Also enjoying INvincible Pyunggang, so far read read recaps only, it seems fun so am gonna go on watching that cos I love the cast.

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@11 Eve,

ITA -- Capital Scandal has that weird mix of slapstick and deadly serious. i think many people think it's all silliness and jazz age-fashions, but it has a very dark side, and really, that's the side i prefer.

@ 44 Emi,

Oh, yes, Country Princess! aka Funny Wild Girl. thanks for mentioning. One of my all-time faves. What a plucky heroine (Bae Doo Na). and cool hero (Shin Sung Woo). definitely not your basic pretty people.

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omo omo !!! I have watch all these drama already !! They really are the best !! others that are not my favorite but are really great dramas ... more drama-comedy

18 vs 29- alot of work couple
Snow Queen - tearfully wonderful couple
Goong S - heartbreak loveable couple
when its at night - funny couple
The world they live in - awesome couple
Wonderful Life - sweet couple
New Heart - best couple
Shining Inheritance - this is the lead Kim Rae Won not Lee Seung Gi

As for Boys before Flowers I did not watch it when everyone was going crazy for it but in the end i did and it will be a great memory
Jandi did not know what she want the whold show but her sceans with Lee min ho is worth the watch JD/JP couple is one of the best

I just finish watch Your Beautiful kdrama wow I loved everymin
TK/GMN couple rocks ... i just melt when he says he name Go Mi Nam [email protected]@

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ICAM the best way to remember Choi Jin-Shil is to watch her @her best, as in Last Scandal. It's what I did (though by accident), and it's how I'll always remember her--forever young, forever beautiful, and forever in love.

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Sorry.....
Shining Inheritance – this is the lead Kim Jae Won not Lee Seung Gi

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Shining inheritance's lead is Lee Seung Gi, dramabeans is talking about the 2009 blockbuster, not the 2006(i think)'s show great inheritance

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Is it sad that I've only not seen 3 of those dramas and two of the 3 are because they're from before my k drama time and I didn't know that they exsisted?

Javabeans, please give city hall a try, at about episode 5, I fell in love. Liked it more than coffee prince, and that was my first (and only), wake up at 5 am, call in sick to watch this drama.

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I finished Fantasy Couple last night. It was pretty good, but I don't think the plot stretched to 16 episodes. It felt like there was significant padding in there. The climactic ending scene did not feel especially climactic, either - I wonder if there were filming/location/time constraints that played in. It was fine, but it didn't quite give me closure.

On the other hand, the drama took two characters that I basically despised simultaneously at the outset, and transformed them, and Anna's character was the first one I've seen who is supposed to be a fluent English speaker that actually sounds like she might be fluent. (Full sympathies to the actors here, and normally I grit my teeth and bear it, but huge bonus points for making it work. The scenes with native English speakers are about as painful as usual, though.)

The supporting cast is quite good, as well.

I felt Hong Gil Dong's ending keenly - I felt like somewhere the fluffy fusion saeguk I'd been promised had turned into an angsty tearjerker saeguk, complete with political machinations like whoa. The cast is excellent, but I couldn't quite figure out how we got from bathroom humor, elephant mysteries and comparing styles of ghosts between countries to everybody dying in a manner I considered particularly dumb.

Shining Inheritance has an It factor for sure - it's one of those dramas that shouldn't work nearly as well as it does. The male lead is particularly reprehensible for the first, oh, fifteen or sixteen episodes, which is a fricking long time to have an unredeemed lead. The second male lead is basically awesome, and I think he gets treated pretty poorly all around. The main character only sort of takes decisive action to change her life. It definitely inspires shouting and throwing things, and involves one of my least favorite tropes - the illness ex machina. And yet - yet! - I really enjoyed it.

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Delightful Girl Chunhyang is also my fave Hong Sisters drama. The storytelling was superb and the soundtrack was goosebump-inducing. And Bad Family is more of a family drama than a romantic comedy for me, but the family aspect was extremely touching. It's the kind of stuff that makes you cry from being so touched. And the "second leads" (if they can be called that since this wasn't really a romance) were a riot!

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Delightful Girl Chun-Hyang is by a long run, my favorite drama. I guess becase it's the only drama that made me stay up until three in the morning after watching the first episode, I couldn't stop. =]
Soulmate is a favorite as well. I can watch those escalator repeats with the same song playing over and over and over again for hours.

[Off to watch Bad Family] Fake Granddad flirting with fake granddaughter had it for me.

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It's like a who's who...

Wonderful list, I must say.

If had to choose the top TWO among the list above, as the top 2 k-drama romantic comedies evah, I would say:

1. Dal Ja Spring
2. My Girl.

Dal Ja Spring, to me, would be my pick for best k-drama romantic comedy. Every single episode is so great, so witty, so full of heart and so full of life, and Chae Rim is so wonderful in her role. Lee Minki is a perfect foil, calm and dedicated and worldly against Chae Rim's neuroses and mother/grandmother baggage. In this scene, Lee Minki says, "if you ask me to leave, I'll just leave..... but say something in the next three seconds, because if you don't tell me to leave in the next three seconds, then I'll take that as my permission to stay. One...two... three."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1NZ442df28

My Girl, on the other hand, I actually may like more than Dal Ja Spring (DJS is kind of a little too much female anthem-tique?). I would guess that the heart of this drama is the irrepressible spirit of Lee Da Hae, who is just perfect in this role. She is so delightfully sociopathic, and yet terribly open to being wounded by love - I could watch this drama again and again just to see her sing the Carrot Song.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnNNKqbgGPk&feature=related

***

I know this seems a little bit arbitrary, but I can't really call My Name Is Kim Sam Soon a romantic comedy, and the same goes for City Hall, Hong Gil Dong, Goong, Coffee Prince or even Bad Family.

To me, MNIKSS is a fairy tale set in modern times, and not really a comedy at all, although there are comedic elements. Hong Gil Dong is more of an action epic / love story, and Goong and Coffee Prince are more like a coming of age love story, rather than a romantic comedy. City Hall also, for me, doesn't quite make the cut as a romantic comedy, because while it starts off slap-sticky, it evolves quickly into something else entirely. And Bad Family is sort of a comedy, with a love story, but not quite the same thing?

Anyway, I LOVE this kind of post by JB. So meaty, so juicy. It's like a brined Thanksgiving turkey, hot from the oven.

:D

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thanks so much Java beans, i agree with Coffe prince (still the most perfect for me), at the begining (I mean the first ep.) I didn't like, but then, i was totally fall for.

Since the end of "you are beautiful", I fell empty, like so much others, and I was looking for something else to see... I was thought in "Bethoven virus", just for JGS ^^, but i guess i have to start for Hong Gil Dong, in order to follow my inspiration...

Thanks again! and sorry for the English... I don't know how to speak or write in it... :( , but i try to do my best, since i found your page, and soompy... I think i'm so much better right now (about the learn) thanks to dramabeans.

:)
bye!

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javabeans, your taste is definitely mine!
your drama recommendation lists contain almost all of my favourite series.. hehehe..

really love Delightful Girl Choon Hyang and Bottom of the Ninth with Two Outs! it's very refreshing.. super chemistry between the lead n too much laughable scenes!

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@LL
As far as Kimura Takuya's show I just watched HERO and I really liked him in there. There is romance but it is not the focus as it is in Pride or Long vacation. But that's okay for me since I am happy just watching him. :-) I did really like the show though so I would recommend it. On the J-drama list I also just finished Buzzer Beat and I loved it. It is a romance and reminds me a lot of Long Vacation. Not Kimura, but with Yamashita Tomohisa who is also really easy on the eyes. Eye candy just abound in this one so I highly recommend it.

It is quite sad to me that I have watched almost all of the K-drama listed... maybe I really have an addiction problem my husband keep trying to not so subtly hint to me. Some other shows that are not on the list I have watched and pretty much stop sleeping b/c of them are:
Lovers- my first drama that got me started k-drama. A bit dramatic at the end but I still really like it.
Lovers in Prague
Queen of the Game
Surgeon Bong Dal Hee
Save the last dance- make sure you watch the scene after the credits at the last episod. Very important scene.

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I personally don't get how someone can recommend Full House, but not City Hall. I'm sorry but Full House was probably one of the worst dramas I have watched. It's like all eye candy and NO substance, and by the middle you get a stomachache. Firstly there is no plot...NOTHING happens besides jealousy and then love. BI and Song Hye Gyo each get jealous like 29384723 times and then finally FINALLY admit they like each other, and bam, the end. Absolutely no creativity. And the set up to their meeting was dreadful. How can it be possible that the friends sell her house like that? And how is it she takes it all so well? There must be some legal consequences for actions like that yet nothing happens and she has to work for Bi in order to get her house back. That is total nonsense. The friends are probably the most annoying characters ever - and the girl never even got a stomach! And we are supposed to believe she was pregnant?!?! I hate dramas like this the most. Just one silly plot of jealousy-love and that is all. No undertone of other story lines at all, and it gets extremely repetitive really fast.

Whereas City Hall was so much fun. There were many phases to the story and really showed character growth. It started off with the characters in certain positions, living their lives, and how their lives slowly got mingled, and then the very exciting election, and so forth. There are so many things that happen besides the romance and that is what keeps a drama interesting. Of course we also get our fix of romance and kissykissy-ness, haha. The depth that City Hall has is much more complicated and interesting than Full House could ever pull off.

That's the reason I like Shining Inheritance as well. It is quite outrageous in the plot but somehow it makes you believe it. Eun Sung was sometimes a teensy bit annoying, like at the end when she wouldnt accept Hwan for the longest time, haha, but mostly she was fine. And the subplots of the factory, the brother drama, and so on, made me seriously JUMP out of my seat. Every episode ended so fantastically that I immediately move to the next. Full House? No way. I could just guess what happened next. The only reason the drama is popular is because of the fact that Bi is popular. If this same plot were used with actors who were less popular, I bet the drama would have flopped. People would just start getting tired of the fact that the drama wasn't GOING anywhere.

So my point is instead of wasting time on Full house, people should try Shining Inheritance or City Hall!

I would really like to hear someone's opinions on why they don't like Shining Inheritance or City Hall, or why they do like Full House.

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I have watched the majority of the dramas. After YAB, I don't think I'm ready for another kdrama. When I do come back around, I might try out Soulmates, Last Scandal of My Life, or What's up Fox. To add to JB's preferred list, I think I would recommend Tamra, Biscuit Teacher and Star Candy, Hwang JinYi, and maybe Exhibition of Fireworks. For those looking for recommendations outside of kdramas, here it goes:

Jdrama: Hana Yori Dango (Season 1 & 2), Nobuta Wo Produce (makeover for the creepy girl), Meichan No Shitsuji (butler falls in love with his master), Mr. Brain (all star cast w/ just interesting info like House), Hana Kimi (cross dressing to go to an all boys school to be with her idol), and Zettai Kareshi (girl who eventually falls in love with her robot lover).

TWdrama: Silence (girl loses voice due to an accident, meets boy as she recovers, looses contact - years later as adults, they can't stop thinking of each other) and Fated to Love You (guy settles with the girl he accidentally impregnates and eventually falls in love with her)

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@68 The reason why Anna sounds like she's fluent in English is because the actress HYS was born in the US. But, yes, I know what you mean. When the character is supposed to have been born in an English-speaking country, you would expect the character to speak fluent English.

I've seen most of those from JB's list. My two favorites are Delightful Girl and Soulmate. I just love everything about them. Jae Hee is wonderful, and the chemistry between the two leads is fantastic. Soulmate, everything works brilliantly: the OST, the actors, the storylines, etc.

I admit, I was one of those who watch BOF. I only watched it because of Hana Yori Dango. If it hadn't been for the great Japanese version, I would have ignored it. Sadly to say, I never finished the Korean version.

Whenever someone asks me to recommend a K-drama, I always tell them to watch Delighful Girl Chun-Hyang and Soulmate. I can never get tired of watching these two.

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thanks for the list! I've already watched a bunch of them but I really have to give a shout out to

BAD FAMILY, DELIGHTFUL GIRL CHUN HYANG, and LAST SCANDAL OF MY LIFE. Seriously. Watch them now!!! Especially, Bad Family, there is a scene where KMM dances like a mad man...i fell out of my chair.

I've yet to see What's up Fox and Dal Ja's Spring and Hyang Dan but the premise sounds great.

Why isn't WONDERFUL LIFE and SMILE,YOU on here? On the other hand, BOF, My Girl (especially) and halfway through GOONG was pretty disappointing. I couldn't take it anymore no matter the hype.

And Full House debuted 5 years ago? Snap. I'm old.

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there is a facebook page for youre beautiful. it is yab international fan club.
you should join

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@75 Unny -

Hehe, you wanna know something interesting?

I actually liked Full House.

Full House was one of the first box sets that I bought (the lavender Special Edition - Director's Cut), and I guess there is a nostalgic element involved, along with the fact that it was one of the first k-dramas I watched so that I didn't have very much to compare (and so at the time, it is possible that I thought it was better than it actually was), but I think Full House deserves some merit.

1. Full House had heart. All the ludicrous scenes aside, all the over-acting / yelling by Rain, all the ridiculous see-sawing between jealousy and angst, the characters got my empathy. And that goes a very long way to making something watchable.

2. Beautiful people help soften the blow. Rain, God bless him, is no Kim Myung Min. But what he did was act enough (or just be himself enough) so that I felt something, and while that "something" wouldn't be equivalent to watching an award winning performanace, the fact of the matter is that Rain and Song Hye Gyo candied up the screen and I didn't mind so much.

3. Really, Full House wasn't about Rain, it was about Song Hye Gyo, and that girl can act. She isn't the best actress in the world, but Full House needn't be measured by those standards. She did a perfectly acceptable job given the writing and the story, and since the story and the writing was really about her, it was good enough to be watched.

4. The story, however silly, still made me want to see what happened. However it happened, somewhere along the way, Full House took my attention and kept it until the end.

5. And finally, Full House had enough cute moments that made the other less palatable moments bearable. If you pile on enough cuteness, enough of the 3 Bears Song reprises, or the cleaning / cooking scenes, you will soon forget everything else.

=)

Anyway, I can't compare City Hall to Full House, as they are really different. But I think you can definitely appreciate (and like) both dramas without being inconsistent.

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Tanx. It really help to follow K drama. I'm definitely going to start.

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I pretty much agree agree with your list, Javabeans ~ although I was one of the very few who didn't get into Coffee Prince. I watch almost the first half but lost interest afterwards...

How is Brilliant Legacy / Shining Inheritance... I like Lee Seung Gi and Han Hyo Joo... but I'm kinda turned off by the makjang elements.

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@75 Unny

it might have been an oversight since there are a lot of rom-coms out there and I'm not sure if javabeans has even finished watching it yet. and it would be sort of weird to recommend something that one hasn't finished watching.

even as a fan of city hall, I actually liked Full House. it was the first or second drama I had ever watched in full. Looking back, I don't think it's a great drama for the seasoned k-drama rom-com addict but it's a great starter drama to kick off the kdrama obsession. it had all the great cliches you don't see much in non-asian television. the leads are good to look at. acting is passable. there are some hilarious moments in the drama along with some really emotional ones. and i think there is something really poignant about a girl so attached to the house her father built. and the soundtrack is beautiful. the tracks are very recognizable. sometimes i may watch a drama and then forget how the music sounded like....but the ost for this really stays with you. it's like the ost for you're beautiful or my girl.

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1) Choonhyang
2) Soulmate
3) My Girl
4) Attic Cat
5) Kim Sam Soon

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i am a proud java-beaner!! i'm so proud to say that i HAVE watched ALL the dramas you reccomended, and some from the other (can't vouch for) list! i watched a lot of the reccommended dramas while you were watching/recapping, and i truly think the reason i've come to appreciate so many of these dramas is because your efforts and awesomeness in explaining better the nuances of each episode you saw have made watching along not only enlightening and perennially insight-provoking, but also damn damn damn addicting!!!!!

i'm a.... 4 (?) year old java-beaner, even when this wasn't your domain yet, and for AAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL the hard work, and the good times (and for my YAB addiction right now):

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOOOUU!!!

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Whaaat? No 명랑소녀 성공기? 결혼하고 싶은 여자 (the original) is also underrated.

완벽한 이웃을 만나는 법 got bad towards the end, but I would put this on the list before half that crap.

Not exactly a lot of romance, but if you like comedy and can appreciate actors older than 35, you know, who are old, married and have kids and aren't plastics, 강남엄마 따라잡기 was fun to watch.

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thank u JB i was one of the first to ask you for recommendations. thank u for that descriptive likes and dislikes in every drama you are recommending....i really praise u. i dont know how you do it but you did!!!!!! i love your work...thank u for everything!!!!

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thanks for the recommendations jb (watched only 7 out of your list). i have been marathoning korean dramas for the last 1.5 years (what took 5 to 7 years of airtime) and managed to more or less catch up at least on most of the key dramas. now i can pick and choose those that did not catch my attention the first time round.

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lol, gotta point out the "hella", NORCAL REP

i totally agree with your boys over flower review!

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dalja's spring!!!!!!!!!!

have to agree with the list! happy to say i've watched most of them (often steered away from sageuk dramas, but if i change my mind, i'll refer back to this list)

seeing this list makes me feel old too, since i was able to watch them almost the same time it was aired in korea hehehehhe

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JB, I love your list. And thanks for including "City Hall." It really offers a mature relationship and the best drama ending (in my humble opinion, of course).

By the way, does "Alone in Love" count as a trendy drama? I'd recommend it too.

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I've watched almost half in the list. and there's some that I was hesitate whether to watch or not, but as you're listing it, I guess I'll give it a try later. am pretty sure it'll be enjoyable. the ones that I'm following right now is Iris and Smile, You. Not disappointed at all at those two, at least for now.

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CITY HALL!!! CITY HALL!!! CITY HALL!!!
I'm still waiting for the recaps, got stuck on episode 11, and my mom's copy isn't all that good (f***ing subs, so ungrammatical)

For Goong, it went like that since the manhwa is still not finished...
...and *spoiler* (sorry, can't help myself), the divorce still went through, and Chae-gyeong left the palace (therefore not bingoong anymore).
But the conspiracy with the Daebi (Yool's mother, the former hwangtaejabi) did (in a way) exist in the manhwa, Jungjeon (or in the drama Hwanghu; Shin's mother) always suspecting her...

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Yeah... I've seen most of those on that list too. I can't believe I've seen so many KDramas... I love it. And who ever suggested Nodame Cantabile as a J-Drama is absolutely right. That drama and it's special are AMAZING. Loved it.!!!!

I too would like to add my voice to those supporting Shining Inheritance/ Brilliant Legacy. I just finished it over on DramaFever and I have to say I thought it was amazing. I got super drawn into the story of all the characters. Besides Seung-mi's witch of a mother, I never really felt that one character was eeeevil and the other was gooood. I felt they all had their flaws and vices which made it believable for me. (I was very surprised by this drama and it's quickly become one of my favorite of all time.)

And if that's not good enough for you... Bae Soo Bin is absolutely delicious. And I fell in love with him in this drama. I am now watching his new one because of it and I can't wait to see Bisung either.

Finally... Someone who is older than I am to drool over! ;)

ETA @93 Rovi... you can watch City Hall at Drama Fever with minimal ads. They have all eps. :)

@83 Annon- I totally agree with you. Full House was my first KDrama. And it was an excellent intro to this amazing world. I can't ever get Rain doing the 3 Bears dance out of my head... hahahahahahahaha...

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Like most of the people here, I've watched about half of the drama's listed here. I've read your drama ratings and have been using them as guide as to what to watch. I've always loved your recommendations and although I might disagree with some of your analysis, on some I do agree with your views. I'm such an addict for Romcoms that I'm always scouring the net for new shows to watch.

Right before YAB finished, I was already wondering what drama to watch and so I checked the fansubbing sites and also the dramas that were currently recapped here. And I found that Smile, You to be the perfect follow up to my romcom addiction. After reading your first recap, I immediately downloaded the episodes. Reading dw4p and soyjoy's weekly recaps were so much fun that I might have read each recap about 3 times. (I read your Story of a Man and YAB recaps almost the same number of times if not more) . There is something to be said about dramas that gets me hooked just by reading the summary or recaps (of course its also due to you JB, and your guest bloggers' talents and skills in organizing, writing and analyzing the dramas, that I soooo wonderfully enjoy reading the recaps and watching the dramas). And so I want to thank you girls for taking the time and sharing with us your talents and passion for Kdramas.

Oh and I have to say, before YAB I didn't know that 2 of my favorite kdramas were written by the Hong Sisters. I must have watched Delightful girl Choonyang and My girl over a dozen times. Although I get frustrated with the big conflict I've always loved the great chemistry between the leads. I am now adding YAB to that list :) Thanks again!

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"My name is Kim Sam Soon" is the BEST kdrama ever. The chemistry between the two leads (Hyun bin and Kim sun ah ) is so believable that I really thought or rather hoped that they were dating in real life. Also, kim sun ah really knows how to do comedy. I've watched the drama 3x now, and it still makes me burst out laughing.

As for the worst drama ever, I think I would give that to BOF. Yes you heard me. Although lee min ho is very yummy, the female couldn't act for her life. Her acting was always over the top, and she seemed so weak. I thought the female lead was suppose to be strong!

Finally, I really enjoyed You're beautiful. Very funny.
Shin woo oppa forever :)

if monicaaar is reading this...HI!!~~~~

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Thanks for the list, you totally rock. I'm going through You're Beautiful withdrawl symptoms and need another drama fix, hehe.

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I had almost watch all the dramas that you had recommend here. Like Coffee Prince, Chun Hyang, Goong, MNIKSS, Fantasy counple, My girl, Full house, Bad family, BOF and ect And i agree with what you had said and the rating... kekekeke

Just yesterday, i was looking through you rating and recaps and to see what drama should i watch while waiting for something fun again... As I can see that we almost have the same taste in dramas.. ^^

So, right now... Im watching Soulmate since yesterday and planning to continue it again.. Its really really nice. One episode and im hook. I love it.. Can't wait to finish it.. kya~~~~~

Thanks JB..

P.S:
Can't wait to see on how you gonna rate You're Beautiful.. I have been going to your rating page since its ending... Hahahaha Even before reading this post, i went and see it... lol

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I mean this in the nicest way possible.

Way to kill whatever free time I had, Java. And here I thought, with You're Beautiful ending, I'd actually get some work done... ;p

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Wow. I'm drawn to wanting to watch Soulmate & Bad Family having read your description now. Thanks :-) Kim MyungMin as an uneducated gangster sounds like I HAVE TO watch it.

Personally I loved Coffee Prince loads.Best K-drama OST ever. Hands down. Even the non-official OST soundtracks. Great emotions running there, superb acting, great chemistry btw the leads & very nice writing there.

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