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.


















































Tags: ,
583 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. 101 tweetie

    Looking forward to the results :)

  2. 102 Areki

    It would have liked one more poll: hottest bodyguard/minion/”younger brother”/subaltern

  3. 103 Kiara

    Oh what a year. Thank you so much JB, GF, HeadsNo2,gummimochi,kaedejun etc for all the recaps and articles on K-drama. <333333333333333333333.
    Looking forward to 2013.

  4. 104 Matt

    I’ll have to vote next year. Only seen one full 2012 drama in Nice guy so can’t make a qualified vote.

  5. 105 Lovebug

    Awww its this time of year, and for the first time I have watched the majority of dramas listed!!! (Yay going on my second year of drama watching and first year of simulcast watching).

    So honestly there were a lot of favorites this year, and watching with everyone versus maronthoning heigtened the experience. Though to a degree sometimes I think its easy to be swayed by fandom and recapper comments.

    My favorite drama’s are Probably – Queen InHyun’s man, Nice Guy, and Gaskital
    2 melos and 1 rom com, which is very suprising since I have typically shied away from melos. (Actually those are the only two melos that I finished this year).

    Queen InHyun’s man remains a pretty perfect drama to me. It should definetley win for best kiss – (Tip toe kiss!!!!) I also really liked their elevator kiss and the library kiss, and pretty much all their kisses!!! (pauses to fangirl). This couple was just plain awesome and adorable

    For Nice Guy I was late to the party but marathoned that sucker to catch up for the final 4 episodes. This drama was so good! I am thinking of recommending this as a intro to Kdramas for my non drama watching friends, since its avoids the cheese factor inherent in many rom coms.

    I really enjoyed Gaskital but wonder if that drama will really hold up for a rewatch. I think the acting by Joo won and Park Ki Woong was fantastic! But the story telling and character development wasn’t always coherent or complex enough to match the acting.

    Other notable mentions for me were: Arang and the Magistrate. Made me a fan of Lee Junki (sigh).
    King 2 Hearts – sometimes a bit corny and overnationalistic but awesome chemistry and acting by Lee Seungi (who I now see as a man, swoon)

    My actual favorite bromance was in Panda and the Hedgehog. It also contained a pretty fantastic sister brother combo and granpa-grandson – mance!

    According to the votes, I guess I have to breakdown and watch Answer Me 1997 as that seems to be a favorite.

    Thanks everyone for making this last Dramawatching year amazing!

    • 105.1 ajj

      ”My actual favorite bromance was in Panda and the Hedgehog. It also contained a pretty fantastic sister brother combo and granpa-grandson – mance! ”
      I almost forgot about Panda and the Hedgehog. I love those three combos too.

      • 105.1.1 Lovebug


  6. 106 Danna

    I see a better variety of winners in each category this year…I remeber that not being the case the last three years
    What a year this has been! But I had loads of fun…my only complaint..we really didn;t get that many good rom-coms did we?…..I can’t decide if this is because of a shift in dramasphere or my tastes….Since last year I’ve been leaning away from rom-coms in general despite that being my favorite genre when I started watching dramas

    Did anyone else want to pick every candidate for the best breakout category?

    • 106.1 Addylovesbwood

      I content with the results from this year. Last yr was totally a Lee Min Ho bias…City hunter being the best drama and LMH the best actor??? I still smh in disbelief

  7. 107 iviih

    I’m a bit sad that King of Dramas is here but Can we get married which aired 12 episodes already isn’t.

    It is turning one of my favorites together with QIHM, SUFBB and K2K.

    Funny thing : SJ is in CWGM and SUFBB lol

    I think the most epic romance was QIHM and K2H.

    Epic bromance: K2K and SUFBB

    Epic kiss: QIHM

    Epic chemistry: QIHM, K2H and NG

    Epic Villain: I have to say Shunji was really a villain I loved to hate.

    Disappointment of the year: BIG

    Overrated dramas: Moon Sun and faith (it was a good drama but people are overrating it because of LMH).

    I really liked Arang.

    And I really iked Answer me 1997, Nice guy but they didn’t move my heart…. like QIHM, K2H and SUFBB did.

    I can’t even choose between QIHM and SUFBB, but k2k come close.

    • 107.1 redfox

      it was a year of some awesome bromances. where are the sistancves? why are all the women so bitchy to each other? um, ok, Eun Soo and Noguk were friendly, but not a share all secrets always BFF friendly. who else? the shaman and Arang? accidental- or against the will friendly.

      the only time I have really seen a really awesome female best friend is Personal Preference. it is quite sad, boys all have their bros girls only have evil stepmothers and stepsisters.

      • 107.1.1 Ladytron33

        I agree! Good relationships between women are few and far between in k-dramas. I want some more wo-mance!

        I think that Eun Soo and Noguk had a pretty close relationship if you take social status and time period into consideration. But besides that, there wasn’t much else.

        Who else is soooooooo dead tired of the “evil” second female lead? Gah, how many women are actually like that in real life?

      • 107.1.2 opheliadrowning

        There are quite a few great female friendships in “Dalja’s Spring” and “Protect the Boss,” which partly might explain why I like those two dramas a lot.

      • 107.1.3 crazyajummafan

        Watch K2H to find sisterly love! Hang Ah and Jaeshin! Awesome!

      • 107.1.4 Annie

        The Woman Who Still Wants to Marry has nice friendships.

        This year, K2H didn’t have any antagonistic relationships.

  8. 108 Cassandra

    I love these polls. I always look forward to reading the tag lines.

  9. 109 Danna

    Sorry for double post…. But I just wanna add that I hope Santa will be paying a visit again this year and giving us his take on 2013 dramas…for me that was seriously the most fun review last year

    • 109.1 Danna

      also, how funny is it that two halves of the same OTP are each others biggest competition for the worst hair…I mean how on earth does one choose between NMW and HJE in FH2

      • 109.1.1 Addylovesbwood

        IKR!! I had to vote NMW 1st, clear my browser, then voted HJE!! I don’t know which sucked more I swear.

  10. 110 judy


  11. 111 crizzyville

    i’m loving the descriptions gf.. they’re fun and creative.. i miss commenting on db.. it’s been a while now…

    These are my biased favorites of the year — Arang and the Magistrate and The King 2 hearts… mostly because they are the only once i watched until the end and loved to death (mostly due to my love for SMA and LSG… blame it to MGIAG! also HJW from SG)… i’m so happy both shows are doing so well in the polls

    as for most recommended here as i noticed are Answer me 1997 which i would be watching via cable (currently showing in our country).. I hope not to miss Gaksital (Joo Won is growing on me via 1N2D), and Queen In Hyun’s Man too…

    and can somebody if I Miss you is something I have to skip or watch?! i badly need a YEH fix and i’m soooo interested in seeing Yoo Seung Ho play the bad guy (i’m not so sure if i have to be sorry for not watching WBDS) let me know your thoughts…

    much love DB staff!!!

    • 111.1 pogo

      Hey girl, I Miss You is going to be quite hard to watch but as of episode 6 (2 episodes into YEH entering the picture as an adult) it’s pretty good, and also it’s YEH as you’ve never seen her before.

      I repeat, though: the event that separates our OTP as children is HIGHLY traumatic, so if you want to skip episode 3, I wouldn’t be against that.

      • 111.1.1 crizzyville

        Thanks for the heads up! If it’s a new YEH then i’m in it. Dont worry about being traumatic, i think i have been immuned to that kind (thanks to kdramas lol). But most definitely this will mean im the only one to enjoy this drama. I appreciate ur info

  12. 112 anicheung

    This was so freakin’ hilarious. I haven’t seen enough dramas this year to be able to vote properly (but I voted for some categories anyway), but I mostly went through the post just to see the color commentary. SO FUNNY! That’s what I love about these year-end things so much.

    I especially enjoyed the Bromance category and the Favorite Lead Pairing with the dig at the time-travel pairings. Awesome!

  13. 113 Redenzione

    First time voting! Such fun!

  14. 114 redfox

    umm….I have, like, a question.
    Horse ….kiss…..when did Kang To kiss the horse??? …
    Or was it forced.

  15. 115 kathy


  16. 116 Nallali

    And the worst mane of hair goes to…gasp! no s**t Sherlock! have you seen half the comments on FH2 recaps?

    I guess ‘The Chaser’ is only for a select few cuz u’ll be tearing ur hair out and reaching for a machete to get rid of some characters!

    And of cuz whenever QIHM is an option…landslide victory! Congrats to the playerest player of them all!

  17. 117 Moko

    Seriously, so many underrated dramas this year. I would pick most of them simultaniously. So hard to decide.

  18. 118 Thatgirl

    Dear Lee Minho

    What are you doing to me?! I’m trying to legitimately vote for Dramabeans Beanie awards but yet wether I thought any other drama was better than Faith or not, my heart is voting Faith anyways!

    Like seriously Faith wasn’t even really that good at all, If I wasn’t so bias to you I would have stopped watching by episode 8.


    • 118.1 redfox

      it is not a bias. he was really an asset to that …ummm…. rather plastic drama. his acting was so good you might actually get the impression the whole drama is good. he kinda fools you and distracts you.

    • 118.2 im_inadaze

      yes the drama was not that good but I really lurve Choi Young daejang..Lee Min Ho was really rocking this role, the woodalchi was so cute, King Gongnim was so confuse, scared and lost I want to be be his side and Queen Noguk was so awesome.
      Overall what won me over to Faith was those awesome people and their interaction that making me want to root for them.

    • 118.3 modest-goddess

      the directing sucked but Choi Young was a well written and interesting character and Lee Minho was great in that role. Actually all of the actors were good. The directing/fight scenes/ special effects were lacking.

      • 118.3.1 redfox

        static camera. no dynamics in the fight scenes. student film style.

  19. 119 Lilian

    Voted for all categories except Family Drama! Not that easy to decide after all….but the ones that stay in my mind long after it has ended are just a few like Answer 1997! And definitely Jung Il Woo was not utilised properly in The Moon The Embraces the Sun…

  20. 120 colors

    I had so much fun voting! Thanks!

  21. 121 loveDramabeans

    Almost the end of 2012. I didnt watch enough drama this year…but thank you all Dramabeans, you make my day with your funny comments!!
    Now know what to catch up in my spare time…

  22. 122 modest-goddess

    the Bromance category was hard for me to decide. So many epic bromances this year. Just thinking about them makes me want to rewatch the dramas.

  23. 123 WM

    Choosing one is the problem. There are so many that I needed at least two votes for. Equally as horrifyingly bad and some as wonderfully good.

  24. 124 adette

    alternately giggling at the descriptions and wanting to cry because I CAN ONLY VOTE FOR ONE in so many cases ;~;

  25. 125 Roxy

    Man I’m really trying to hold my laughter at some of the drama’s descriptions since I’m at class but… can’t… take… anymore… you girls never fail to crack me up!

  26. 126 DayDreamer

    Wow, this is so cool…awards on the site!! (*is a newcomer to this sort of stuff*)

    Loved the descriptions; I had a good laugh from it.

    I could only vote amongst the dramas I watched so my opinions are probably very skewed, heh.

  27. 127 tebz10

    OMG! Horsitaaallll is on the list!

  28. 128 tomiudge

    MOON/SUN: Twenty episodes so a king can get some?
    Lollll. I laughed so hard!!

  29. 129 Carole McDonnell

    Am watching Cheongdamdong Alice now and totally loving it. What a great drama!

  30. 130 Jo

    Cannot stop laughing at the descriptions and comments for the candidates in every category. =)))

    It’s a pretty cute way of looking back at the dramas of the year in all but five minutes, though. Can’t wait to see the results. 😛

  31. 131 Dix

    I think Wild Romance should be on the list for best drama. The title isn’t fitting but the story was nice and different. The stalker Ajumah story was weird and touching at the same time. Also our dumbo duo was entertaining throughout. You don’t find such combination in most dramas.

    • 131.1 AnotherFan

      I also enjoyed this drama (title matter aside) although it’s probably not in the best drama category for me. But it was refreshingly different and FUNNY and touching at the same time. I liked both the main couple and the secondary pair. Also really appreciated the ambiance – had that suspense thriller kind of feel weaving through the love triangle/story. And what can I say, it I LOVE Lee Dong Wook so that did it for me :-)

      • 131.1.1 Gasenadi

        Yes! Had forgotten how much that drama touched me. Really, some of my strongest sobs *sniff* were during this drama. And I really love tomboyish female leads.

  32. 132 Betsy Hp

    I actually watched enough to vote without feeling guilty! 😀 See, if you set goals and really, really work at it, dreams do come true! 😉

  33. 133 im_inadaze

    – My fave drama is Gaksitaaal!!! I watched quite a lot drama this year but always lost interest halfway, the story become boring, recycle plot, predictable ending etcetc you know the drill. So far the only drama that have a satisfying ending for me was Gaksital. Great ending, the writer not afraid to go all the way, even breaking up the otp in the process. Props to them.

    – And don’t get me started with how many drama with lackluster ending, like let’s say…BIG-disappointment, the most recent one was Nice Guy, everything is sets perfectly, until the last episode, it was like the writer already sets on something for the ending but back out the last minute for the lack of GUTS…cue MCW/SJK fans wants their happily ever after so they resort to last minute ridiculous plot.

    – My fave character in the drama so far is earnest bot Si-Kyung and Captain literal General Choi Young. They were just ridiculously good and earnest people and making me root for them.

    – And for the most persistent first love…LOL…I think almost all the KDrama suffer this syndrome. This also ruin most drama for me, seriously all the people you’ve met must you insist on that one particular person, the one you probably haven’t heard for about 10 to 15 years…lets get real!!!Get over it kdrama ppl!!

    – It’s ridiculous that all my fave alternate pair come from Gaksital, Shunji-Rie, there’s possibility. Rie-Bodyguard, that would be perfect, Rie-Gaksital, I like this better than the otp and lastly Shunji-Mokdan, Sunji would never turn wacko thus there wont be any story for us.

    – Most overrated goes to Reply Me 1997, I never get the craze, there were some honest and heartfelt part but that was it. I Also like the bit about Yoon-jae & Joon-hee.

    – Biggest waste of talent goes to….Gong Yoo and my other fave oppa, Lee Je-Hoon, Fashion King was tank so bad in term of ratings. I haven’t finish it yet, I try to stay away from all spoilers but ppl says nothing but bad things about it. I’m watching it slowly 1 episode every 3 or 4 weeks and waddaya know Lee Je-Hoon probably back from the army and get me a new awesome drama.

    • 133.1 Silverteem

      The ending for NG might be a bit disappointing, more so because it felt rushed, but as far as the direction of the plot: it fitted very well.

      Just as how Eun Gi puts it: “Memories are distorted…” Nothing is how it always seems.

      The ending wasn’t ridiculous. The execution was lacking. But the ending wasn’t ridiculous because it was “happy”. If that is your sole reason then you weren’t paying enough attention to the story.


    • 133.2 Annie

      Nice Guy and Answer Me 1997 are really overrated. I really liked Nice Guy until about episode 8 or… well I forgot when, but had to force myself to watch the rest.

      And 1997, I agree with you. Nothing special.

  34. 134 jubilantia

    I love the puns. You guys are awesome.

    There are so many dramas I haven’t watched/finished! AHHHHHHHH

  35. 135 AnotherFan

    Dramabeans, thanks for this! The year-end stuff on your site has got to be the best thing (or at least one of the best things) of the whole K-drama watching and adds so such to the experience.
    Love your site!!

  36. 136 weissman

    anything with Shin Min Ah

  37. 137 saehee

    I love that Maru is leading for Best Character. He is one messed up mofo, and that’s awesome. I think there’s something so fascinating about the idea of him even if in practice not everything delivered fully. On first glance he’s a very tried and true trope of melodrama, the “bad” guy who becomes marshmallowized through the power of love, but whether or not the writer intended it this way, there’s a persistent, immutable streak of wrongness in how he views love and the world that was so, so delicious to watch. He loves through obsession, possession, though the latter doesn’t seem so obvious at first because he marks his love through sacrifice rather than apparent aggression, but both things are in the same vein. Even in the end he hasn’t quite learned how to love as equals, though Eun-gi really does try to show him. He thinks “forgetting” is the only true way to change, but there’s something nearly cowardly about that. For me Nice Guy wasn’t about Maru’s journey toward redemption–it was a character study that ended just as he’s actually about to begin that journey.

    My favorite part of him is that he was allowed to continue to be flawed and, in some lights, very unlikable, instead of being this perpetually suffering hero who is merely misunderstood. So many dramas claim that their protagonists are “bad” but they never really quite earn that title. I would never want to know Maru in real life.

    The other aspect that really brought Maru to life is obviously the acting. I’ve had enough of bad boys who remain stoic all throughout the drama just to show how cool and broken they are–and even in the moment of epiphany or some climax, they’re just angrily ranting or kissing or crying. The scene in episode 19 where Maru cries is so indispensable to his character. He’s almost whimpering, face completely fallen, and it’s not typically manly (which is such a big no no for character types like him) but it’s so true to life and beautiful. Maru is NOT a dispassionate person by nature, we remember.

    Anyway, maybe not a nice guy, but what a guy.

    • 137.1 Sweetcaroline

      Amazing post! I wish that he wins for Best Character as well…Maru is definitely a very interesting one.

    • 137.2 RealKDramaaddict

      You should see Rain crying in A Love to Kill too.

    • 137.3 missjb

      @137, saehee: i love your analysis about kang maru. One thing I really saw, actually maru naturally is a nice guy, but not so much as a good guy??? Haha he is not nice to people because he realyy doesn’t want to attached to people and depend on him. We has saw him he actually regret for makes JH depends on him too much. He learned that and me thinks that’s one of the reason he tried to refuse EK who are amnesiac. But the 2nd time he doesn’t want to repeat the same mistakes and this time he help EK but he helped her until he can stand up for her own feet, so when he left her, he can be independent, and not repeat the same mistakes like he did to Jae Hee.
      For me, Nice Guy is about a guy, who are trying to fix his own mistakes from the past, before he actually start his journey and start all over again. Ahhh how much I learned from watching him. He is really the best and most fav character this year for me,
      because I can’t get tired for studied his character.

    • 137.4 Silverteem

      Nice analysis.

      And you hit home a point.

      Maru is a “complete character” because he’s not just the classic hero who defies the odds and come out the victor. He is a layered character, and surprisingly he just happened to be LUCKY towards the end. He did not achieve epiphany and suddenly got saved. He chose to live and thus he was able to live, he knew his actions and its consequences all along. This is even best seen towards the finale: his natural instinct of possessive protection, until the end, was still there. So yes, he was still flawed. But flawed guys can be happy too. Nice Guys do get their happy endings, no one is perpetually unlucky, everyone can get that stroke of luck too. Maru’s life story is all about his damn luck, but ultimately one good break (hardly a break because he missed death by a needle thread), is all he needed to turn around his life.

      I also like how he pandered towards the end… Easily Maru could have ended w/ Jae Hee, but nothing in life is certain, so he ends up with Eun Gi instead (in which his relationship with isn’t exactly the healthiest either). There is a touch of the bitter reality on his character that makes him root-able.

    • 137.5 Gasenadi

      Tremendous insight, thanks.

  38. 138 jyyjc

    omgomogmg i have to go to school now but i’ll be back. ust hear to comment on the fact that horsital is up there HAHAHA.

    • 138.1 Jyyjc

      K just voted. LOL Omg the captions for the romantic lead couples.

      I wish Can we get married was up there but oh well. And it was so hard to choose whose talent was most wasted. They all were!

  39. 139 fionnula

    Hmm… you know Kdrama land has not been too interesting when you’ve only watched 2 of the dramas listed from start to finish (King of Dramas hasn’t finished yet).

    I do feel that the majority of people here seem to only watch the trendy dramas with their favourite actors. Anyone into historical dramas?

    I can’t believe that there were more votes for Jung Il Woo in most underused actor than Lee Beom Soo! Is that because people don’t know who Lee Beom Soo is, or is it because he’s an ajusshi? Someone, please explain this truly odd phenomena to me!

    I’m hoping next year will bring some truly character-driven dramas similar to King of Dramas. We can always hope that the networks are considering only the best and interesting stories…

    p.s. I think this may be my longest post on db.

    • 139.1 auzakia

      It has been a pretty terrible year for Sageuks. You had Faith, Dr. Jin and Moon/Sun which were all crap. Queen Insoo is said to be pretty great, but there are just no subtitles available.

      Just look at the list, DB even had to put Gaksital with historical dramas and my head just bursts when seeing Faith listed, even if it is technically right.

      And I find it quite ironic, that they put Jung Il Woo under wasted talent, as the man has no talent at all.

      But I stopped caring a long time ago, this site is just getting worse with every freaking year.

      • 139.1.1 addylovesbwood

        sorry you feel that way. I understand how you feel. I sometimes feel that way about other sites when i see their polls. its like wtf?? DR. Jin is best drama of the year?? lool.. but I think the polls on DRAMABEANS is quite accurate and a little less “Idol” biased than other websites.

        I’m not a huge fan of Jung Il Woo but I wudn’t say he is talentless (especially not when my sister is around). Considering that he’s been a lead before then took 2nd lead in METS is what makes it a waste of talent.

      • 139.1.2 crazyajummafan

        Then why come here?????

  40. 140 beggar1015

    For Best Nonhuman Character I would like to nominate The Refrigerator from May Queen. Followed by Mario, also from May Queen.

    If you’ve seen the show you know exactly what I’m talking about.

    • 140.1 addylovesbwood

      Lmaoooo!!! they advertised the crap out that refrigerator.The 2nd best nonhuman character in May Queen would be the Floor that woman keeps falling on. lol

      • 140.1.1 Jyyjc


  41. 141 blondie

    Wow, Nice Guy is my favourite drama of the year…. I don’t like melodramas but I’ve been crazy for NG. ^_^ Also Love Rain is full of emotions, kisses and very romantic scenes, but Queen In Hyun’s man is my overratted drama.

  42. 142 daye

    HAHAHA omg.. i thought i was going to keel over and die from laughing at the descriptions. you guys are the best

  43. 143 Katherine

    I think the clear winners will be Answer Me 1997, Queen In Hyun’s Man, Gakistal, King 2 Hearts & Nice Guy [Well they’re my choices along with Rooftop Prince].
    I have to say this year was actually quite good with the variety of different dramas and quality. The only major let down for me this year was BIG [It pains me still to this day thinking about that show – GONG YOO !! *tears*.]

  44. 144 Miss D

    Hahahaha best description ever:

    “Nice Guy: We get it. You’re angry”


    Voting was so hard because there were so many dramas tht I just loooooved. I just need Gaksital and Reply 1997 to win something and I’ll be happy.

  45. 145 buldut

    K2H. REPLY 1997. GAKSITAAL. are the best 3 dramas for me this year. I really want to vote Lee Jae Ha for my favorite character, but he isn’t one of the nomination of fave characters :(

    • 145.1 addylovesbwood

      I voted K2h, Gaksital and A Gentleman’s dignity as best drama.

  46. 146 pigtookie

    wham, 2012 just delivered so many dramas to my taste compared to previous years.

    my favorites (i can’t possibly choose 3):
    Answer Me 1997 (year favorite)
    History of the Salaryman
    King 2 Hearts
    Shut Up Flower Boy Band
    What’s Up
    Nice Guy
    Queen In Hyun’s Man

    I notice I didn’t start out watching any of these dramas for any actor/actress (with exception of Yoo Inna from variety and Song Joong Ki), though I left loving these casts.

    I need to watch the Chaser :)

  47. 147 annnsow

    the villain in History Of The Salaryman?
    Baddest female villain ever!

  48. 148 kimchi pop

    omg its december? I need to catch up on some dramas!

  49. 149 tapioca pearl

    Ahh, another year gone so fast???!!!! I’m pretty sure I’ve only watched less than ten dramas from this year. My top three are Gaksital, History of the Salaryman, and the King 2 Hearts. Am finally watching Queen In-hyun’s Man and currently enjoying King of Dramas, so depending on how those go, my top three might just change.

  50. 150 fun²


    Jae Hee.

  51. 151 Celest

    It was so hard to pick for best drama this year. I either really liked it or really hated it. Very few middle ground.

    My vote for that category went to Gaksital, QIHM, and the 3rd one was so hard to pick but it eventually went to Padam Padam. Others that could have easily been on this list for me was History of a Salaryman, Answer me 1997 and What’s Up.

    I gotta admit, some of the choices I picked because of the captions.

    PADAM PADAM: bromance + angel + prison bitch = broangel guardian bitchmance
    DR. JIN: On the upside, I can send you back in time before you watched this. Downside: brain fetus.
    DR. JIN: Ours transcended sense

    But despite the weirdess that was Dr. Jin, DH2 is STILL the worst drama imo of the year. I lasted half the first episode. As for the worst hairdo, you might as well have put all the leads for Full House 2

    And when I saw the Time Machine one, the first thing I thought of was the Tardis…but wait!wrong country lol

  52. 152 exquisitemelody

    After doing this poll, I’ve realized that there are so many other very good (and better) dramas besides Moon/Sun yet I still find it being my favorite!!

    For some reason, I really just did not understand King 2 Hearts. Didn’t finish it out.

    Rooftop was good at the beginning and at the end.

    I think if I actually watched Answer Me 1997 and Nice Guy, they would probably top my list (haha, just read recaps!)

    • 152.1 Kiara

      Love your comment :). I sometimes feel like that about my favorite movies. Sometimes its not the best in terms of quality but its got heart and I can go back and watch it over and over.

  53. 153 Sam

    The descriptions are HILARIOUS!
    I choked on air at this: “Best King: Fashion King: Ironically, of course. Though I do have the best Rolexes.”
    Funnily enough, even though this year had some amazing dramas, and actually my fave (Gaksitaaaaaal was just too good), the question I struggled with was the WTF drama of the year. There have been some truly crappy dramas this year. Ended up going with Dr. Jin though. Chose the Gummy Bear for the last question too LOL.

    Anyway, I’d just like to say thank you to the writers, and the regular commenters here at DramaBeans. I’ve been watching dramas for two years, and I’m so glad I found this site. I have very few people I can talk to about dramas, and the ones that do watch it have (in my opinion) awful taste in them. The polls show how a lot of us have similar taste, as my answers are a lot of people’s answers too. So, even though I don’t always comment here, it’s great having a place I can go to for my drama gossip and chat. Weirdly, I feel like I know some of you here. Thank you for adding to my drama experience and making it so enjoyable (you guys saved me through Dr.Jin). Keep up the great and hilarious work! :)

  54. 154 Kiara

    I think Historical dramas should be split into 3 categories to be fair.

    1 coventional sageuks
    2 fusion sageuks
    3 modern history.

    I have a hard time comparing The Horse Healer to Arang or Gaksital. They are so different imo.

    • 154.1 skies

      That’s a good idea, except….. there would be too few sageuks in each category. For example, Gaksital was the only period/modern history drama to air this year.

  55. 155 JC

    Going through this poll made me realize how many amazing dramas of all sorts there were in dramaland this year.
    Although in the end (maybe because it just wrapped), Nice Guy managed to collect most of my votes. 😛
    Although I feel like if this poll were in a month, King of Dramas would sweep for me, at the rate it's going.

    • 155.1 ajj

      cheers we both voted Dr Jin for WTF and picked Gummy bear too.

  56. 156 clichique

    good god can i just vote for everyone for the worst hair??

    but good god Full House 2 wins all the awards for that. seriously someone should fire the hairstylist.

    though…. rooftop troll doll. ROFLMAO.

  57. 157 ilikemangos

    Wow! I’m surprised K2H isn’t as up there along queen in hyuns man or answer me in favorite drama.
    I guess it all boils down to taste, but i thought DB was most alive during the K2H era — explosive thread.

    • 157.1 jae

      it’s OK… TK2H is for mania ^^
      Ha Ji Won & LSG… they are the best!
      Eun Shi Kyung, you will be unforgetable..

      I hope in 2013 will come similar drama like it

    • 157.2 Addylovesbwood

      I’m actually pretty surprised K2H did this well on the poll. You’d think everyone wud hv forgotten about the early winter dramas.

    • 157.3 Mawiie

      Hehehe it’s fun to see all of us “leftover Hearties” who still can’t move on xD I’ve been waiting for this poll since May honestly LOL

      But I agree that since the drama aired in the first half of the year and other really popular and good dramas came after (Namely Gaksital, Nice Guy and AM1997 who were both a hit domestically and internationally), K2H fared pretty well in the poll. It’s still my favorite of the year, but I do get why the dramas who are sweeping the poll are in those positions.

    • 157.4 Minea

      My thoughts exactly. I can still remember the time when the recap was just up and not even a couple of minutes passed, the comments are already in the 50s. Those were some crazy times. Loved every moment of it. :)

      • 157.4.1 random person

        I remember those times too. They were good times! =D Hitting 500+ comments per episode was normal, >1k if the episode was epic (and there were a couple of epic ones).

        • Minea

          Yes! Good times, indeed. Towards the last few eps, 2k comments were pretty much standard. We couldn’t stop spazzing about it, right? And the comments were pretty long and very insightful. I think K2H still has the record of having the most comments ever in Dramabeans.

          • ilikemangos

            Yup. Haha.
            Now that i think about it, it definitely was a mania drama.
            Not as popular, but the people that loved it were such lovely and passionate individuals. *sigh*
            I want that time again, ahha.
            Here’s to hoping 2013 brings a show that’s as riveting as K2H in my heart.

          • flour

            DB should make a “most-spazzed” category on the list, based on the comments! JAEHA LIVES FOREVSSS <3

    • 157.5 crazyajummafan

      Yes, definitely the most spazzed and discussed drama in the history of DB I think! I just loved the highly intellectual and insightful and also witty comments! Missed them so much, guess what? I’m re-reading the recaps and comments again!!!!

      Well fellow Hearties, there’s always next year and I hope that we’ll meet again in Seunggi’s new drama, The Gu Medical Book!

  58. 158 ladymoxie

    Everytime I hear/read/see Shi-kyung, I always cry *sniffs*

  59. 159 hanie


    Gosh, now that most of this year dramas are up there, I kinda realized I watched freaking a lot of them. Especially on the WTF category. Fail.

    I wish we can vote up to 3 for other categories too. And I mean, I like SUFBB’s kiss & QIHM’s, I can’t pick!!! ahh the dilemma….

    • 159.1 Addylovesbwood

      Right, its hard to choose 1 drama because there are so many that are just as good and just as bad as others. each category should allow us to pick 2 favorites.

  60. 160 dduk

    DEAD. at horsital… OMG.

    • 160.1 Addylovesbwood

      whats more funny is I voted for it!!! hahahaa

      • 160.1.1 Minea

        ^ hilarious! Hahaha.

  61. 161 jat

    Is it me or it’s a tough choice this year? I watched most of the dramas and it is really hard to decide. My favourite is Gakstikal, I love everything in the drama but not so the couple love story. I am not into the couple and seeing the vote, I think everyone also think pretty much the same. Queen In Hyun’s man, Kim Bong Do is my favourite character of the year, what a player he stole my heart too. If I live in Joseon era I think I wont mind being one of his concubines. and the third one is a Answer me 1997, being a kpop fan myself that girl is a mentor. I wish it is a top 5 and I can add the king 2 heart and flower boy band too. I always love a badass heroine and a hot guitarist in a band that also sings ballad. what about Lee min Ho oppa? Now that what I call a big disappointment. Even with my love ( alot ) to Min Ho oppa, I cant love the drama.

    • 161.1 canxi

      It really was hard to decide. It’s a nice problem to have but man, I was literally making pros and cons lists in my head. “But this had this…and then there was that….”

    • 161.2 Addylovesbwood

      Faith did suck at first, but redeemed itself somewhat towards the end.

      The only award faith deserves is best OTP. LMH and KHS were awesome together!! She’s LMHs best leading lady.

      • 161.2.1 jat

        yeah I know, I watched the drama till the end though I only read recaps in the middle.But in the drama I only saw choi young always look like he’s head over heels with Eun soo but she always refrain herself from falling for him. they were too busy saving each other’s live and send her back to modern time that we only have romantic scenes close to the end.

      • 161.2.2 owl

        Agree. I felt their chemistry from the very beginning (Yes, I know she stabbed him right off the bat. Minor detail.) I really think she raised the stakes for their dynamic on screen to work, and for me, it did. Loved their scenes together gah! (Add a wudalchi or two for bonus scenery!)

  62. 162 canxi

    That fucking Bromance poll is always the hardest for me. I was about to cry. D':

    • 162.1 Addylovesbwood

      it was hard to choose between my F44 ahjussis and Kangto/Shunji pair. I voted F44

      • 162.1.1 canxi

        Aw man, yeah! But then I thought about how I didn’t even finish A Gentleman’s Dignity and how Kangto/Shunji were so messed up/sad *cry*. In the end I went with Shut Up! since they touched me the most with their friendship and love of music and they were really sweet and awesome.

  63. 163 tinatot

    OMG. it’s that time of the year when dramas are being rounded up. can’t wait for the annual reviews! 😀 go team dramabeans! 😀

    ANSWER ME 1997! <3

  64. 164 malta

    I wanted to vote for everyone under ‘breakout performance.’ They were all so great!

  65. 165 oftheshore

    Maybe it’s just me, maybe I have a slight drama fatigue, but this year has been somewhat – not disappointing – just slightly underwhelming, I guess? QIHM, Answer Me and Gaksital, for example, were solid, and King of Dramas is shaping up to be good, but there was just so much wasted potential it makes me want to cry. :( There were also dramas that left good overall impressions, but were just so throughly flawed (don’t want to give examples)…Still, there were some really great, original characters this year that were sometimes better than the dramas they were part of – eg. the couple in K2H, the badass plastic surgeon in Faith, or the caring beta male in IDID.
    Finally, on a completely different note, the bromance jokes nearly made me fall of my chair. Thanks, girls!

  66. 166 memememe

    gaksital alll the wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!

  67. 167 rabbitsfortea

    I think this is the first time I actually watched/KNOW of most of the dramas on the list to comment 😛

    Well, that was fun!

  68. 168 haaruka

    Just had to comment this before I take time to cast my vote. OMG, EPIC DESCRIPTION EVAAAAAR. DYING.

  69. 169 eternalfive

    Was so tempted to choose Moon/Sun for Best King just because of the description. XDDD

  70. 170 ladysarahii

    LOL @ Shunji being the run-away bad guy in this poll.

  71. 171 jat

    Javabeans, Girlfriday , everyone! are we missing something here? no best OST?

  72. 172 mafilee

    Queen Inhyun man still give me goosebumps…best for this year 2012…

  73. 173 whimsicalnet

    my first time voting. i think it is a good year for drama. for one, it got me watching Kdramas which i stopped cos of the sob-fest impressions. So this year’s dramas are a nice spread and change for me.

  74. 174 PollyRose

    For the best nonhuman dna category, I think the Jade Emperor should come as a package deal with his goat :)

  75. 175 JenJen

    so many good ones this year! so difficult to choose~ (but also quite a few less-than-stellar ones as well)

  76. 176 pamela

    this is fun! hahaha

  77. 177 reallycool

    Tons of great dramas this year like History of a Salaryman which I didn’t expect, Nice guy, King2Hearts, Gaksital. Also for those that haven’t watched Padam Padam give it a go. I don’t think it got the attention it deserved.

    • 177.1 Gasenadi

      Absolutely! Everyone! Even if it doesn’t win any prize, etc., please watch Padam, Padam. You won’t be sorry.

  78. 178 Eulaliee

    As for me, there has been only two dramas that really stuck onto me this past year.

    Beginning of this year, January, Shut Up Flower Boy Band. Everything about it was amazing – the acting, the bromance, the teen angst, the underdogs. I think we can all relate to it because we as human beings can get lost and wander for a while before we really and truly find that something that sparks us to continue to live.

    & then there was Gaksital. Nothing I say can even describe how amazing this drama was. All I know is that it TOPPED my top three. I also think that Nice Guy was pretty amazing too along with Arang.

    I tried watching Moon/Sun and did eventually finished it but… somehow I just didn’t get into that crazed but of course, I watched every single episode because of MY JUNG IL-WOO.

  79. 179 Nida89


    1. Can we please add Seo Eun Gi to favorite character, because she amazing and perfect and the only redeeming character for the first half of that drama.

    2. For best alternative pairing *ahem* my otp for gaksital *ahem* I would like to add my vote towards an alternative universe pairing between Rie and Shunji living happily ever after.

  80. 180 Adralyn

    Favorite post of the year! I look forward to voting since you started it! I crack up at your taglines for the shows and why to vote for them.

  81. 181 Ditu3ka

    I just realized I watched so amyn k-dramas this year !!!!

    Love, love your answer. LOFL

  82. 182 Sarah

    SUFBB, Reply 1997, QIHM, Padam Padam for all the awards tbh! I’m surprised Nice Guy is leading in so many categories. I really should just stick to cable dramas.

    • 182.1 canxi

      I think it’s because it’s still fresh in many people’s minds and hearts,lol. It was great! But, I don’t think it’s my favorite compared to some of the other choices there were,lol.

  83. 183 stefaniesugia

    i haven’t watched a lot of dramas; but so far my best choices goes to Nice Guy, Answer Me 1997, and The Moon that Embrace the Sun. looking forward to watching King 2 Hearts, Rooftop Prince, and Missing You :D:D

  84. 184 welwelwel

    horsital is epic . *vote*

  85. 185 idless

    King 2 Hearts will always have my vote. And Shunji-kun.

    • 185.1 anonymous

      I totally agree.

  86. 186 asianromance

    LOL! Love the descriptions, especially the part where you had
    Lee Jang Woo: Noona-killer
    Yeon Woo-jin: Killer-killer


    I may have to spend an entire week deciding my votes – too many good dramas this year and some that I heard were good but I didn’t get the chance to watch.

  87. 187 anvesha

    The hardest category for me to decided was the bromance one…

    And lol @ Mane of Shame, “Hwang Jung-eum: What’s your excuse?” No, really. What was going on in the mind of her stylist??? I agree with every single comment of yours in that category.. I kept asking myself the same thing when I watched those.

  88. 188 Dara

    Only Kang Ma-ru (Nice Guy) and Han Jung-woo (I Miss you) stay clear in my mind this time around so 2012 is a fav melo year for me ^^

  89. 189 random person

    Dramas I watched (or tried to watch) this year:

    Dr Jin (dropped after 10 mins of first episode) – just couldn’t believe anything could be this bad.

    The Chaser – super underrated amongst the online English-speaking crowd, probably for want of more “famous” actors. Plot was very intense and you would never know who was going to win – the balance kept tilting until the last episode *but* the finale was pretty rushed. I still love Haera and all the dysfunction in the chaebol family, but the scenes with the cop-dad were sometimes too emo for my taste. Best parts of The Chaser: acting, suspense and the dialogue.

    Queen In-hyun’s man – really cute story. Love the time-travel device.

    Faith – *sigh* So much potential.

    Moon/sun – After the episodes with the child actors, I fast-forwarded to Kim So Hyun’s scenes. Somehow he just lights up the screen. Okay, I mean, sets it on fire.

    TK2H – THIS. I see this as my personal discovery of 2012. Never really paid attention to it until ep. 5 recaps were posted here, then gave it a shot. Got totally, hopelessly addicted. I found it to be very rich and original, with themes of hard power (Bong Gu) versus soft power (The king), persistence, vulnerability being the foundation of cooperation, and with unique characters I never thought I’d see in a K-drama. Also discovered LSG’s amazing acting, especially in the later (darker) episodes. Bonus: nice ending. Would rather Shi Kyung have lived but bittersweet endings stick a lot more. It has been months and I still have a deep impression of this show. OST was great too. Taeyeon, K-will and that instrumental piece “Two hearts”. You have to look them up on youtube if you haven’t heard these tracks!

    • 189.1 random person

      Can’t believe I forgot about Nice Guy.

      Loved that show. It was a revenge tale with hope, told with style and executed with finesse. Maru is an icon.

  90. 190 Lilly

    Ha! You know you are all just jealous of Hwang Jung-eum’s hair, lol.

  91. 191 Kim Yoonmi

    I hate melos. Famous for that, so I skipped them, especially when there are logic errors for the sake of dramatic tension which makes me lose it and automatically hit the back button before I know what I’m doing.

    That means I skipped QIHM after I was 1. bored stiff with the first episode and 2. Fell asleep during the second and third episode. Blech. Acting wasn’t there for me. I kept trying to direct the thing.

    Nice Guy I lost it after several logic errors.

    Love Rain, I plain skipped. I don’t like the director.

    Several dramas fizzled except for The King2Hearts. (Which should get most illogical title of the year), History of a Salaryman, I Need Romance 2012 and Answer Me 1997. They all delivered on their promises in interesting ways.

    This does not mean that I disliked Faith or Arang and the Magistrate. I just think the endings were a bit hamfisted and could have delivered better. I know I’m upset when I’m making up better endings. Live Shoots.

    Biggest Fizzle was Moon Sun where I thought that the novel was better and much more atmospheric and I also thought that the child actors were better than the adults.

    I watched pretty much all of the Historical dramas except Gakistal. Again, not into melos and again, tried the first two episodes and was looking elsewhere. Not my type of drama.

    Horse Doctor still feels like rewatching Dong Yi. As if Dong Yi had a long lost brother. I wish the writer would push herself as she did on other projects.

    Queen Insoo, I know no one is really watching, but I kinda like that.

    King of Dramas is the one I’m particularly watching for. And hoping it won’t screw up. Jeon Woochi is the other drama I’m watching… though the plotting in the first two episodes is scattered.

    Answer Me 1997 was pretty much a perfect drama with no lag, it just needed to work out the daddy issues earlier (I figured it out by Episode 7–the cellphone scene v. the coffee was my tip off), so I put that as a solid 1.

    History of a Salaryman is 2. Tight scripting and acting to the very,very end.

    The King 2Hearts is 3.

    For spot number 4… I’m not sure, I’d put in Runningman, which would win the number 1 spot if they got (I know I’m hammering this) Yoon Eun Hye. Not a drama, but their making fun of dramas was some of the best work.

    I Need Romance is probably 5 or 6. I wanted to strangle the grandmother in that, but that wasn’t an option on the list. People also disliked the ending because they were “I need to know” but I thought that was a stronger statement, and for being that brave as well as having a DECENT Adopted person in it for once, that’s not emoing and angsting all of the place, it needs to be in the top ten list for the bravery over social issues it raised.

    • 191.1 Kim Yoonmi

      Oh and I’d probably be the only one that actually got and *liked* the ending of Big. Well me and two other people.

      In addition, I actually recognize it’s not the best Hong Sister’s drama, BUT I rather see a half failure trying new techniques in writing than to site through same old boring *cough* Horse Doctor *cough* plot devices because the writers are afraid to try something new.

      Sp for the most courageous in the industry award goes to the Hong Sisters (funny ones). They tried to fix the problems that Dramabeans often complains about and Dramabeans hated the guts out of them trying exactly what they asked for…


      Oh and I wish Korean dramas would stop lying about abortion being illegal in Korea. It isn’t. Two dramas lied about it this year.

      • 191.1.1 Annie

        Oh which ones? Not I Do, I Do, right?

        • Gasenadi

          I think Ohlala was one. It wasn’t exactly portrayed as illegal but, for some reason, it came off as a lot more difficult to obtain for some recent (legislation?)

  92. 192 ajj

    Gosh I died laughing ..just lol.I seriously almost voted for Dr Jin as best comedy. And wow pompadour of glory and mane of war? epic!

  93. 193 h0ns

    In every pole, my favorite dramas are always K2H, AATM and QIHM ^^ those three are the most unforgettable drama for 2012.

    and I just wondering why Arang didn’t make it to the Action/ Thriller category? just saying.. 😛

    Now, cant wait for the end year review.. ^^

  94. 194 Rexy

    Yay! I always have a great time reading the punchlines of the voting choices. One of my favorite times of the year! I can’t wait to read the year-end review extravaganza!

  95. 195 Qwerty

    For the what on earth?!? catagory I had such a hard time picking! I scrolled down and I was like, that one! Oh wait, that one was ridiculous too! Oh wait…that one was awful, and so was that one!!! There were some great ones and some just crazy ones this year. 😛 Certainly got a kick out of reading all the descriptions. 😀

  96. 196 Riri

    your little descriptions had me laughing but I expect Answer Me 1997 to take the largest piece of cake.

  97. 197 topper

    My beanie award goes to the folks at DB who consistently dole out LOLs.

  98. 198 woofox


  99. 199 Jackeline

    Oh dear… I most definitely spent more time laughing like a crazy person than actually voting. The descriptions, I just can’t… xD I was going to quote here some of the ones that had me laughing for a whole few minutes, but that’d make this way too long.

    But in the end, I’d say these two dramas were the “it” dramas for me this year:
    Queen In-Hyun’s Man
    Answer Me 1997

    And these were plenty good as well, just not the whole way through:
    King 2 Hearts
    Nice Guy
    King of Dramas

    Anyway, super excited to see the results in the end. Thanks for an awesome year, Dramabeans. (:

  100. 200 Eliza Bennet

    I have laughed out more than a few times while reading.
    Thanks for this. Seriously girls you are the best!

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