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. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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! πŸ™‚

  4. 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.

  5. 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. πŸ˜›
    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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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. πŸ™‚

      • 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!

  8. 158 ladymoxie

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

  9. 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.

  10. 160 dduk

    DEAD. at horsital… OMG.

    • 160.1 Addylovesbwood

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

      • 160.1.1 Minea

        ^ hilarious! Hahaha.

  11. 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!)

  12. 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.

  13. 163 tinatot

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

    ANSWER ME 1997! <3

  14. 164 malta

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

  15. 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. πŸ™ 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!

  16. 166 memememe

    gaksital alll the wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!

  17. 167 rabbitsfortea

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

    Well, that was fun!

  18. 168 haaruka

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

  19. 169 eternalfive

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

  20. 170 ladysarahii

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

  21. 171 jat

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

  22. 172 mafilee

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

  23. 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.

  24. 174 PollyRose

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

  25. 175 JenJen

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

  26. 176 pamela

    this is fun! hahaha

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 181 Ditu3ka

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

    Love, love your answer. LOFL

  32. 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.

  33. 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

  34. 184 welwelwel

    horsital is epic . *vote*

  35. 185 idless

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

    • 185.1 anonymous

      I totally agree.

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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 ^^

  39. 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.

  40. 190 Lilly

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

  41. 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?)

  42. 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!

  43. 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.. πŸ˜›

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

  44. 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!

  45. 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. πŸ˜› Certainly got a kick out of reading all the descriptions. πŸ˜€

  46. 196 Riri

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

  47. 197 topper

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

  48. 198 woofox


  49. 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. (:

  50. 200 Eliza Bennet

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

Add a Comment

Stay civil, don't spoil, and don't feed the trolls! Read the commenting policy here.

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