Drama Reactions & Reviews
2012 Beanie Awards: Vote for your favorite dramas of the year
by | December 3, 2012 | 583 Comments

Can you believe it’s December already? I know the awards shows have started to come ’round again, but it always feels like This Time Of Year always sneaks up on me — as in, the time when we take a look back at the best, the worst, the weirdest, and the most surprising dramas of the past year.

Our so-called Beanie Awards have been a tradition on this site pretty much since the beginning, and you can take a look into the wayback machine to see the state of years past. Here’s the 2007 Polls, 2009 Polls, 2010 Polls, and 2011 Polls.

You know what else this means: We’ll be rolling out our annual Year End Review Extravaganza in the coming days and weeks as well! Keep an eye out for our reviews, and if you’re curious at past installments, here’s a Year In Review tag for your convenient browsing purposes.

On to the voting!



Limit your votes to your TOP 3 picks for the year.


















































583 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. 51 JoJo

    This was a hoot, thanks…made me realize just how much time I wasted in 2012 (and it ain’t over yet!)

  2. 52 kelinci biru

    How some my favorite of the year like a wife credentials and can we get married is not included?

    Im still going to vote : favorite kiss : boat kiss!
    Favorite character : Gyeol’s mom.

    it makes me so sad that its underrated

    • 52.1 risa

      I feel really sorry for A Wife’s Credentials because it’s such an underappreciated gem. I think very few beanies have seen it largely because it still isn’t fully subbed. I checked a couple of days ago and there are still 5 more eps. to go. A few kind souls at darksmurf’s site have taken on this labor of love but I doubt it’ll be done until early 2013. However, after the subs are complete, I think there’ll be more buzz about it– at least on DB’s Open Thread. (Special thanks to Rachel at dss for her outstanding work in making this available to non-Korean speakers.)

      • 52.1.1 Kelinci Biru

        Yeah. i know that. i watched it without sub, and still keep checking now and then.

        then, i watched again from the first episode and smiles and cry again. its too beautiful to overlooked..

        • epyc

          A Wife’s Credentials is one of the two best dramas for me this year. It is utterly a pity that nor many readers here has seen this beautiful drama.

          The other favrorite of mine this year – in fact the best EVER drama of my eight years of kdrama watching – is I Live in Cheongdamdong. This is a perfect drama in every sense bring you laughters in one moment then tears next. It has also the best bromances that no other dramas can top in my book. The slow-cooked romance is developed in the most natural possible way that melts you. Then, the creative and original artistic representation here is rare to find in other dramas.

          Hope one day both dramas will be fully subbed to be appreciated by more dramalovers.

          • risa

            Waaah!!! From everything I’ve heard, ILICDD is an incredibly special drama and I want to watch it sooo badly! I’d be more optimistic about someone subbing it soon if it weren’t a friggin’ 170 eps. long. It’s pretty impressive that a drama of that length has garnered such critical acclaim. Your comment makes me want to watch it even more…. TT TT

  3. 53 Maruja

    This year was amazing… This is soooooooo hard. I can’t decide on best drama! Shut up:FBB/Gaksitaaaaaaaaaal/Answer me 1997/Queen In-hyun’s man…


    • 53.1 Carole McDonnell

      me too. King of Dramas, QIHM, Faith, Arang. Sooooo hard to leave out one of those.

      • 53.1.1 nova611

        carole me three
        all of this minus Faith
        add Shut up FBB

  4. 54 pogo

    Still cackling over the options and what you guys wrote on them….2012’s been a pretty great year for kdrama – in an average year, there’s maybe one drama I want to rewatch once I’m done with it, but this year gave me a solid three (Arang, AM1997 and Shut Up Flower Boy Band….which should really get more love).

    And this is OT but many thanks to the ladies from the last OT thread who told me to start Love Rain from episode 5 onwards – I watched the first ep but got to skip a lot of boring thanks to you! It’s not so bad if you fast-forward most of the scenes of the parents together, and I love the amount of skinship there is (plus, 1-2-3 fountain kiss! And Jang Geun-seuk!).

  5. 55 Ann

    Most dysfunctional bromance has to be in Equator Man. When else did you see a guy hit his best friend upside the head AND his father killed the bf’s father? Two generations of dysfunction! Not to mention an evil biological father.

  6. 56 Shai

    Honestly, 2012 Kdramas Have been Amazing!! I’ve really enjoyed this year but my Favs are QIHM, Arang, RTP, AM1997 πŸ™‚ But hey, thats me! Cheers !!

  7. 57 read210

    Am I the only one who hasn’t seen Gaksital πŸ™
    Oh well, finals end in a week and then I’ll just marathon it with tissues and ice cream.

  8. 58 ck1Oz

    Actually my most difficult decision was the bromance category. There were some pretty epic, memorable romance this year you know.
    I mean bromance. More memorable than the boy girl variety. How the heck am I supposed to pick 1???

    • 58.1 Danna

      tell me about it….we’ve had some really great bromances this year…even amongst the crazy dysfuntional ones like with Gaksital and Equator Man…though I honestly can’t believe Gentelmen’s Dignity is winning over SUFBB (K2H is understandable)…SUFBB was all about the bromamce!!!

    • 58.2 modest-goddess

      this was a hard category for me as well

  9. 59 annice

    Pity the drama I would’ve voted for in several categories isn’t available… But we can’t have all, I guess. πŸ™‚

  10. 60 mud

    I love this time of year! I think it’s also the combination of the holiday cheer creeping into my normally indifferent self. Ahh, to look back & reminisce about the good and the bad ones. I still gotta finish a few more dramas in the last few weeks to make a final decision, but I think 2012 has been a pretty decent year. Hurrah!

  11. 61 estelle

    My top 3 dramas of the year: The King 2 Hearts, Queen In Hyun’s Man and Answer Me 1997!

    Love the Beanie Awards! Thank you so much the Dramabeans team! πŸ˜€

  12. 62 ilukd

    OMG … I am Laughing like crazy in my office … Thanks Girlfriday …. You girls are just awesome

  13. 63 crazyajummafan

    @ girlfriday: May i know why Lee Jaeha was not considered as a candidate for favourite drama character? I thought his character was simply awesome!

    • 63.1 Pink Violet

      exactly what I was wondering about.Lee Jae ha was most definitely my favorite character this year.(i know he is in the best king category, but still!)

      • 63.1.1 crazyajummafan

        Maybe it’s because he’s too great! Will definitely will everyone hands down! The character was awesome and seunggi did a wonderful job portraying him!

  14. 64 Ace

    My top three this year all came from tvN! Shut Up: Flower Boy Band, Queen In-hyun’s Man, and Answer Me 1997. Then TK2H, Faith, and Arang. TEN, Hero, HOTS. Those are the ones I’ve watched from 1st to last episode. The ones I liked best from just reading the recaps (no plans of watching them) are Nice Guy and Gaksital.

    Looking forward to tvN Flower Boy Next Door to start off my 2013 right!

    Thanks for the poll JB. Also excited for all the good stuff you roll out for us here at DB during this time of year.

    • 64.1 Betsy Hp

      So, so, so right about TvN (what are they doing over there? and can they pass it on to the other channels?).

  15. 65 skies

    Choosing between Gaksital and Shut Up for Best Bromance nearly tore my heart apart.

    (oh and the Time Of The Year came way sooner than I wanted it too! I’ve only watched around 6-7 2012 kdramas thus far, I think I must have spent too much time catching up with 2011 offerings instead)

  16. 66 Isabelle

    Now I really feel that 2012’s ending because of this. I feel festive! :))

  17. 67 Sajen

    this year was hard for me but as I was voting I noticed I tended towards Answer Me 1997 over other shows I thought I had liked just as much if not more. Speaking of Answer Me 1997 I think I’m one of the few if not the only one who loved the whole thing, because well I got exactly what I wanted in the end

  18. 68 D

    oh so much fun reading the description!.. sad to say, i didnot watch any of the family/weekend dramas this year. and INR2012 should be included in the best kiss category .

    look forward to the year end reviews, will Santa be free to do again this year? he’s my favourite!!!!

  19. 69 c_gunawan541

    I wanna vote for I need romance 2012 and also the drama that’s currently airing in JTBC… Can we get married.

    Favorite dramas of 2012 (I can’t decide which one is the best as it all depends on my mood…)

    – I need romance 2012 (Realistic romance, I love “I need romance” series, please bring 3rd season and 3rd season should be as good.)
    – Can we get married (Reality vs love aka Moms vs son/daughter in laws)
    – Answer me 1997 (Didn’t really care until the 2nd part of the story.. lighthearted but intensely good with the angst in the 2nd half)
    – History of Salaryman (so underrated, hilarious and LOVE the 2nd pairing….)

    It happens that most of them are cable dramas. Cable dramas are on full power.

    Notable dramas (Didnt become my favorite but simply entertaining)
    – Gentleman’s dignity (fun, enjoyable, entertaining but easily forgotten after watching..good for snacking)
    – Gaksital (addicted to it for the beginning parts but for some reason, it didn’t grab my attention in the later parts)
    – Queen Inhyun man (so sweet but for some reason, i don’t really care about the story)
    – The chaser (daddyyyyyyyyyyy, it totally gets me but a bit too intense)
    – To the beautiful you (it’s like Gentleman’s dignity, fun, cute but easily forgotten.. I don’t care enough for the characters)

  20. 70 p3rk3le

    these are always fun ^^

  21. 71 sPark*

    Before I come back and comment on my choices, WHERE IS I LIVE IN CHEONG DAM DONG???? :O Then again…I can’t blame it for not having more fans because there are no subs around. SIGH but STILL awesome drama needs more love <3

  22. 72 jomo

    I LOVE this post every year.
    I was surprised how many of my choices agreed with the masses.
    One show I could simply not get into – at the time anyway – was Gatiskal.
    Maybe I will give it a try later on…

    • 72.1 nova611

      same here
      i dont know why
      i just feels like its not my type/genre

  23. 73 Jlee

    LMFAO. I think I died laughing at the mini comments beside the choices.

    Thanks so much DB, hahahahhahahahha~

  24. 74 Nana

    Answer Me 1997’s best show of the 2012th.

  25. 75 antonia

    ok my favorites dramas (the ones that cracked me up, and made me really obssesed) are Ghost and Full House Take 2, why isn’t FHT2 nominated so i could vote for best comedic drama, best bromance, best lead couple and fave drama?
    btw i loveeeee NMN’s curly hair, you just have to watch the drama and you’ll understand why!

    • 75.1 jini kazma

      I find it weird that Ghost is not popular among the other show, & yet it was really a unique and outstanding drama, maybe if there was a “plot” category?!

  26. 76 karen

    you should totally do a category of “drama with the most epic soundtrack”

    and i nominate Nice Guy, i mean try listening to bueno hombre, blue moon, or lonely without having this epic feeling at whatever you’re doing

    i was listening to lonely while cooking, and LOL….. the vegetables flew up every time there was a dun ah,

    • 76.1 modest-goddess

      I loved the soundtrack for Faith

    • 76.2 elainestale

      man i would be tied between gaksitaaaaal or nice guy’s ost…….. hmmmm

      • 76.2.1 Lixie

        I missed the best soundtrack category too!!! I would like a best main song too!

  27. 77 Joyybrn

    Gosh! That fast! It’s going to have new batch of dramas after next month.πŸŽŽπŸ˜–πŸ˜­πŸ˜ƒ
    But it’s ok another year to anticipate, this year I greatly enjoyed most of the drama, and thanks to dramabeans I got to have beat choice of drama. More power!

  28. 78 duy

    it is not listed but i would definitely vote TEN for best drama. ans best everything! and would you consider making a best story, a best music and a best cinematography poll? maybe?

  29. 79 Carole McDonnell

    oh my gosh! The descriptions you guys had for some of those categories had me laughing so hard!!!!

    That said, how could you guys forget Ooh la la spouses in the most disappointing category? I’m still recovering from that one. OR is disappointment defined by “pre-viewing expectations versus bad execution”? I guess no one really was having super expectations for Ooh la la…but still…. ugh

    • 79.1 Gasenadi

      Definitely should’ve added Ohlala to that Most Disappointing category. Or perhaps make a new category for Most Horrendously Insulting Ending.

      • 79.1.1 Anduril

        That would be a good category, although I think Big could be the winner for that category.

  30. 80 amhrancas

    ahhh, it’s my favorite time of the drama year!! *files votes* Thank you to everyone here at DB for all your work this past year, too.

  31. 81 kaeseorin

    tvN dramas did extremely well this year, it was hard to pick between them.

  32. 82 lennah-chan

    Queen In Hyun’s Man is the best this year for me. To my 6-year-all-time favorite drama, QIHM is that good!!! QIHM is # 1 for me!

  33. 83 KZ

    As a guy, Shut Up Flower Boy Band has got to be the best bromance I’ve ever seen in K-Drama because it’s the most realistic bromance portrayed in my opinion. After an episode, it always made me miss my homeboys since we’re all in college now.

    • 83.1 jomo

      Awww! I hope you can see then at break.

    • 83.2 Danna

      Yes, Shut Up is hands down the best, most realistic bromance

  34. 84 addylovesbwood

    I’m much happier with the results on this site compared to all the other polls, with the teenagers voting faith and dr.jin as best drama of the year.

    It took a while to go thru this polll, my goosh soo confusing, soo hard to choose!!

    I’m surprised Answer me 1997 did very well. It was a great drama, just not my favorite along with QIHM. very good dramas.

    still haven’t voted for best lead couple or best bromance…aiiisssshhh so confused. It’s sad that I’ve seen 95% of all the dramas listed on here…. I need a LIFE!!!

    Stuck between: BEST BROMANCE. was able to narrow down to 4. I can’t narrow down any further


    BEST LEAD PAIR: narrowed down to these 3. stuck.

    FAITH: So did ours.

  35. 85 Julyssa

    It was so hard picking just 3 dramas! Gah!

  36. 86 owl

    So much fun to vote and see the results! Wow, there are STILL so many kdramas to watch just from 2012 – will I ever catch up? (Givin’ it my best shot.) Not to mention all the previous years!

    This was my first kdrama year, and I am gaining experience in selective taste (for not all kdramas are the same). Even though eye candy pretty much overrides flawed plot for me nearly every time (i.e. Faith and Love Rain) cuz that’s pretty much the point, But sometimes, like after suffering through a few entire kdramas drag by drag I can make myself hit the ‘off’ button . Progress. On the other hand, fluff ‘n stuff is often just what the doctor ordered, plot be dammed πŸ™‚

    Thanks dramabeans for the best fansite ever
    Kdramaland has been the best real fake year of my life, coffee, coffee, coffe, pjs, sleepless nights, eye candy and all! I look forward to more escape-ism with all my fellow beaners –

    ~ Fighting ~ \/ *smiling*

    • 86.1 AnotherFan

      Love your post. Captured exactly my state of mind as well especially that last paragraph.

  37. 87 Cindy

    Made me want to rewatch Queen In Hyun’s Man and Answer me 1997!

  38. 88 qianik


  39. 89 Grace

    I can’t believe Shut Up Flower Boy Band has only been in my life for this year, because it feels like it’s been my favorite drama forever. Perfect pitch and story-telling, emotional without getting sappy, great music, characters who make sense and stay themselves while growing and evolving – it’s my favorite drama of all time. SUFBB ν™”μ΄νŒ…!

  40. 90 Ponpon

    HAHAHAH XD those descriptions made my night, so hilariously true! Despite having been following this blog since 2008, this is the first time I’ve voted for one of these polls because the descriptions are to die for πŸ˜€ Thanks for the laugh and for making this post so brilliantly, can’t wait to see the results πŸ™‚ Keep up the good work XOXO

  41. 91 SandrOu

    “Horsitaaaal” mouhahaha so funny Totally forget this horse

  42. 92 opheliadrowning

    Arang for all the awards. It’s not just one of my favorite Kdramas, I would say it’s become one of my favorite shows ever, whatever language or country or broadcasting station.

    On a different note, since we have a “best bromance” can we have a “best ladymance” or similar, too? I’d love to see the celebration of female friendship as well if we’re going to give a shout out to the guys.

    • 92.1 jandoe

      “Ladymance” – yes totally agree!

      • 92.1.1 owl

        Yes, cuz I’d give Lady Choi a high five highkick as the Queen’s bodyguard. Wait! Add High Doctor, and you’ve got a threesome ladymance, oh yeah~

    • 92.2 pogo

      hey bb! Long time no see since the Arang recaps ended, but I agree, it’s shocking how quickly it became one of my all-time favourite shows EVER, too.

      I was not expecting any more than pretty when I heard that Lee Jun Ki and Shin Mina were doing a drama together, but what we got was magic.

      • 92.2.1 opheliadrowning

        Hey! Good to see you on the boards! I haven’t been commenting much lately because I no other drama has filled the Arang-shaped hole in my heart. Or the ones I’m enjoying now aired years ago (like Dalja’s Spring, which I’m totally loving).

        But yeah, Arang is up there on my list. I just loved everything about want it to win all the awards, but if not all the awards, how about at least “Most Underrated,” which it is currently leading? VOTE VOTE VOTE!

        And as fans can we vote for another pairing of LJK and SMA together in a modern drama perhaps? I would love that so hard.

        • pogo

          lol did you even have to ask, of COURSE it was my most underrated of the year, and Arang my fav. non-human <3

          And I know reuniting in kdramaland is rare, but I badly want LJK and SMA to do another drama together. Or even a movie – I'll settle for a movie, as long as they get to have a proper kiss in it!

          **obviously my priorities are perfectly straight**

    • 92.3 anicheung

      I just wish there were more “ladymances” in dramaland for us to vote for. But we so rarely get to see them that whenever I do find a good one, I give it a special place in my heart even if the series itself wasn’t the best.

      Faith had great “ladymance” between Lady Choi, Noguk and Eun Soo. Last year there was the fun and crazy dysfunctional “ladymance” between Noh Eun-seul, Ice Cream, and Miss Wrestler from Protect the Boss. And even if the relationship hadn’t been very focused on, I think that The King 2 Hearts developed the friendship between Hang-ah and Jae Shin pretty well. Ah, oh yes, and our idol girls from Dream High 1 (despite some first half rivalry). And I’m sure there were others too from series I haven’t seen…

      But there should be more of a cult following for these female friendships, cause dramaland is so lacking in them. I guess female leads just don’t appeal to audiences as much if they’re not the poor and pitiful Cinderella type with no friends… -.-

    • 92.4 Gasenadi

      Right? Hadn’t thought of that, but we really could use a “best ladymance” or sisterhood. Mmmm, now you’ve got me thinking. Besides QIM’s sidekick, who else could go in that category? Shaman in Arang, maybe.

  43. 93 Aparna

    I dont know if someone has mentioned this already. But Arang didnt give up immortal life right? Or did I forget something from the drama? As far as I know it is Eun Oh who will give up a place in heaven and ask to be reincarnated.. Hmmm.. The comment on the fav immortal character question was weird..

  44. 94 mtoh

    GF style…yeahhhhh. Sometimes I really needed 3 choices…
    Uhhhh, this is harder then exam, love divided!

  45. 95 mintchocostrawberry

    WOW! Is it that time of the year again when we vote on the Beanie Awards? Too bad I missed a lot of dramas this year because I persistently pursued something…my dream! πŸ˜€

    Anyway, I’ll be looking forward to another fun year in k-dramaland with Dramabeans!

  46. 96 Amberscube

    I so love the descriptions…

  47. 97 chocopie83

    first time cable dramas win big? πŸ™‚

  48. 98 SoyB

    Some of your descriptions had me in stitches… And funny how put into a poll and compared to the rest, QIHM’s time travel device actually made the most sense to me.

    And for the most awful hairdo – we should have been allowed to pick more than one!!!

  49. 99 bluehachimitsu

    YES!! It’s that time of the year again !

  50. 100 Ladymoonstone143

    Gosh, can’t believe it is the time of the year already. This year though, just had a handful kdrama that I watched but will probably catch up with some that has good reviews. I am laughing so hard with the descriptions of the drama…one of my favorite aside from voting.

    I think I have to put Answer me 1997 on my list. Haven’t seen that yet…

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