Drama Reactions & Reviews
2012 Editors’ Picks [Year in Review, Part 6]
by | December 28, 2012 | 320 Comments

Annnnnnnd another year comes to a close.

Big thanks to our recap minions HeadsNo2, gummimochi, and kaedejun for sharing their reviews with us and joining the spirited discussion for the Editors’ Picks this year. There wasn’t even any hair-pulling, and only one person lost an eye! It’s been a great year for K-dramas and an even better one at Dramabeans because of all our readers, so thanks to you guys for making this community what it is. Okay, enough mushy stuff.

And the winners are…


Queen In-hyun’s Man OST – “내 남자, 김붕도” (My Man, Kim Boong-do) [ Download ]

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2012 Editors’ Picks




girlfriday: It was quite a year for dramas of all shapes and sizes, but few left the kind of impact that Gaksital did. If it had only been a historical drama about a painful era in Korean history; if it had only been a heart-wrenching tale of two friends torn apart by country; if it had only been a superhero chronicle about a larger-than-life figure… but it wasn’t. It was all of those things, and more. Sometimes a man becomes more than a hero when he gives the power of his mask to the people. And sometimes a drama becomes more than a story when it stirs your heart, reminds you of the importance of fighting for what you believe in, and makes you want to be that kind of hero every day.

Honorable Mentions: Answer Me 1997, Padam Padam, Shut Up: Flower Boy Band



Joo-won, Gaksital

javabeans: Joo-won did not immediately win me over in this role; I hadn’t connected with him in the past and I wasn’t sure I’d be with him emotionally here. There was also the matter of his difficult character, who by no means had his pathway cleared for him as an easy hero archetype. But as Gaksital unfolded and cast our hero into the throes of rage, injustice, anguish, love, and righteousness, the pieces of this fractured soul came together—in understanding, growth, and healing—all held together by the actor’s committed performance. Joo-won had a steep hill to climb, but he dove into this drama head-first, willing to do anything in service of the story. Has the hero role in a drama ever been so flawed and dark and potentially career-killing? No matter, because Joo-won seemed aware that the story trumped his ego, that the drama was bigger than his star moments. Bravo.

Honorable Mentions: Lee Beom-soo (History of a Salaryman), Lee Seung-gi (The King 2 Hearts), Song Joong-ki (Nice Guy)



Jung Ryeo-won, History of the Salaryman

HeadsNo2: Delightfully subverting well-worn gender tropes by being the exact opposite of everything we’ve come to expect in our drama heroines, Jung Ryeo-won cursed her way right to the top of every ‘Most Awesome’ list, ever. It takes a dedicated actress to deliver such a fun, no-holds-barred performance, made of equal parts running mascara, Kill Bill tracksuits, and an inherent lack of understanding for the plight of the poor. In all those instances, Jung Ryeo-won delivered a truly unforgettable bleeping performance by injecting heart and raw emotion into a character that could otherwise be very unlikable, but one which turned out to be utterly bleeping lovable.

Honorable Mentions: Ha Ji-won (The King 2 Hearts), Moon Chae-won (Nice Guy)




HeadsNo2: Gaksital was, among many good things, a director’s drama. Using the bleak backdrop of the Japanese occupation as the setting for a deeply moving tale of two friends on both sides of the divide, we ended up with a fast-moving, high-stakes drama that delivered a hero story filled to the brim with adventure and thrills. Orchestrated by a director unafraid to lead us into the depths of darkness (only to reward us with moments of fist-pumping glory after), this was a comic book adaptation with a completely unique look and feel, evident whether you’ve seen one frame or a hundred. Coupled with a fantastic score, this truly was a drama that lived and breathed on the frenetic energy of its directing hand, and one that really makes me miss hearing cries to the tune of: “Gaksitaaaaaaal!”

Honorable Mentions: Padam Padam, Queen In-hyun’s Man



Nice Guy

gummimochi: As a dramatic tale about a boy-next-door hero on a revenge path to bring everyone and everything down with him, Nice Guy fit the melodrama mold and also shook it up in interesting ways. Its fast-paced narrative kept things moving, though its trail of ambiguity and obscurity could leave you scratching your head if you thought too hard. Still, gorgeous directing and commanding performances from beautiful actors patched these holes to make this an engaging watch. We’ll never look at nice guys the same way again.

Honorable Mention: Padam Padam




javabeans: I love history. I love dramas. The two do not, however, always mix well. What makes for gripping television isn’t always respectful of facts, and fascinating history doesn’t always translate well to the screen. Gaksital not only did right by both of those facets, it also married the two in brilliant, heartbreaking fashion. Set amidst a painful period in recent history, the drama constructed a rich onscreen reality, made more vivid by its anchoring with trufax. The history was skillfully woven into the backdrop to complete the picture, but never took over for the narrative driving the show—because while the main story may have been fiction, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t real. Sometimes that vividness was so stark that it hurt a little to watch (or maybe a whole lot), but it wasn’t an indulgent, sadistic, or manipulative hurt. It was a hurt that highlighted some grim human truths, honored the lives from which it drew its inspiration, and reminded you of the dangers of forgetting.

Honorable Mentions: Arang and the Magistrate, Queen In-hyun’s Man



Answer Me, 1997

kaedejun: Comedies may be built on a set of amusing circumstances, but ought to also tap into an emotional center—that’s the case with Answer Me, 1997. Even with the crazy fandom wars (H.O.T! SechsKies!) and the students’ heightened reactions to simple problems (because things just tend to get overblown in high school) it had more heart than any drama I’ve seen all year. More than situations built for comedy, the moments that brought us laughs also connected the characters to each other, whether it was best friends, first loves, or family. It was as heartwarming as it was funny, though it doesn’t hurt that the show never failed to give my abs a healthy workout or make my cheeks sore from smiling.

Honorable Mention: History of the Salaryman




gummimochi: You can’t have a drama about an epic character like Gaksital and not include some awesome fight sequences. What could have been all flash and little substance, Gaksital instead took that same fight scene and intentionally used it to drive its storytelling to push the narrative forward. Beautifully shot, each scene was like watching frames from a comic book play out in a fluid motion. Every swing of a sword or a blow to the gut meant the difference between life and death. As a viewer, each cut to the arm was a cut to the heart. And when you can feel that on a visceral level, you know you’ve got a compelling and fantastic action series on your hands.



Answer Me, 1997

girlfriday: A high school drama may not seem like the likeliest vehicle for best screenplay of the year, but emotion is never as universal or raw, and stakes never so high, as when you first love, first hurt, and first experience change. Answer Me, 1997 did a lot of impressive things, like intricate plotting that took place in two or more time periods and jumped around with shifts in perspective; it had deft wordplay, visual punchlines, realistic situational comedy, and a slick draw in the delayed narrative reveal that would stab you in the heart when you least expected it. But all that was in service of something earnest and deeply personal, inasmuch as you couldn’t write that drama if you didn’t have an outpouring of love and nostalgia for your own youth. It was that touch that tapped into people’s hearts, and made the ’90s come alive for a new generation.

Honorable Mentions: Gakistal, Shut Up: Flower Boy Band



Park Ki-woong, Gaksital

HeadsNo2: Park Ki-woong put in a masterful performance as the torturously misguided Shunji Kimura in this year’s Gaksital, allowing us a rare glimpse into the heart of a man who left the world he knew for one much darker than he, or the audience, could have ever imagined. If eyes are the windows to the soul, his became a cage formed by self-loathing and fear – fear that he might never return to the way things were, despite all his sacrifices to get there. The fact that we could see that desperation literally seeping from his pores lent his role a sense of restrained immediacy that kept us on the edge of our seats, if only to allow the chills caused by his dead-eyed grins to more freely crawl up our collective spines.

Honorable Mention: Jo Jung-seok (The King 2 Hearts)



Lee Yoon-ji, The King 2 Hearts

kaedejun: Lee Yoon-ji is a force to be reckoned with. As the sister to the king, she managed to keep the grace of a royal while being sassy and modern, in the most lovable way. It didn’t hurt that she wasn’t afraid to tell Oppa when he was being an ass, and had one of the most bittersweet love stories of the year. She’s had her practice being a princess in modern-day Korea (see Goong), but here her dramatic arc took full advantage of her range, and gave her the chance to dig deep. Her ability to draw you in and make you care for her puts her with among the best of the year—where’s her headlining role?

Honorable Mention: Park Shi-yeon (Nice Guy)



Shut Up: Flower Boy Band

javabeans: A drama about music having good music—you’d think it a foregone conclusion (and find, woefully, that assumption to be hasty in a number of cases). And Shut Up: Flower Boy Band does have a fantastic soundtrack, with a kickass rocker-songwriter as musical director (Lee Jae-hak of Loveholic) making keen musical choices. But elevating this case is how the music rounds out the drama both thematically and narratively, acting as a metaphor for these boys’ troubled journeys and expressing to us what they can’t always say in words. Not only does the music establish mood and provide narration for emotional beats, it even drives the action at times, becoming rather like a character in itself. A rough-around-the-edges, fiercely sensitive, emotionally charged, bleeding-heart, guylinered character with a badass swagger and a posse of loyal bros, of course. Nothing less would do.

Honorable Mentions: Answer Me 1997, Gaksital, What’s Up



Answer Me, 1997

gummimochi: Having one lovable, memorable character is an achievement in itself but Answer Me, 1997 was able to create and balance the lives of six friends from high school to adulthood, along with family members who were as pivotal to the story as they were. The performances were so tightly woven and in sync that it does more justice to highlight them as a group. Together they exemplified that true friends and family are there to cheer, comfort, and cry with you through the good times and the bad. Their personalities were each unique, but like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle — it’s only when you step back that you see the masterpiece they form together.

Honorable Mention: Shut Up: Flower Boy Band



Jo Jung-seok, The King 2 Hearts

kaedejun: This guy managed to get three hits in one year: In What’s Up he stole scenes as the stage-shy Byeong-gun; in The King 2 Hearts he stole scenes as the steadfast soldier with a heart of gold; and in Introduction to Architecture he stole scenes with a tiny sidekick role. This multitalented actor is just at the beginning of a promising career, and I can’t wait for him to spread his wings into other genres and show a broader audience what he can do. I’m betting stealing scenes will have something to do with it.


Jung Eun-ji, Answer Me, 1997

girlfriday: Answer Me, 1997 was chock full of breakout performances from a cast of fresh faces, but it was Jung Eun-ji’s relatable heartfelt turn as the Tony-Oppa-loving fangirl from Busan who anchored the show. Perhaps it was her actual youth that felt so immediate, but she captured that teenage exuberance that was the very essence of the drama, and at the same time managed to rattle off pages and pages of fast-talking dialogue like effortless conversation. She made us laugh in mortified horror or cry in earnest heartache, and even if YOU didn’t love Tony Oppa, didn’t you feel like the world might end if she couldn’t keep on loving him?

Honorable Mentions: Lee Jang-woo (I Do, I Do), Sung Joon (Shut Up: Flower Boy Band)



Ji Hyun-woo & Yoo Inna, Queen In-hyun’s Man

gummimochi: If there’s one thing that Queen In-hyun’s Man taught us, it’s that we should never lose hope in a well-written fairytale romance that transcends time and space. The electrifying connection between a brainy hero and an earnest heroine had a palpable chemistry that flew off the page and swept us along on their love story. By telling us that love is more than a card dealt by Fate, Boong-do and Hee-jin worked to earn their happily ever after, Fate be damned. It’s as if they told the ol’ fogey, “We create our own destiny.”

Honorable Mentions: Lee Jun-ki & Shin Mina (Arang and the Magistrate), Ha Ji-won & Lee Seung-gi (The King 2 Hearts)



Lee Seung-gi & Jo Jung-seok, The King 2 Hearts

girlfriday: Bromance had a great run this year—the six-way kind (Shut Up: Flower Boy Band), the sad kind (Gaksital), the go-to-hell kind (Equator Man)—but there was no better odd-couple this year than the bromance between a humorless, earnest soldier and his witty, immature king. At times they shared an awkward drink or even more awkward dating advice, and sometimes one had to lead a country while the other stood on the front lines of his battle. They were always disagreeing, but always standing on the same side when it mattered, proving that a king really is only as good as his most faithful soldier… even one who never laughed at his jokes. A friendship built on mutual misunderstanding was never funnier, and an allegiance to one’s king never more inspirational.

Honorable Mentions: The boys of Shut Up: Flower Boy Band



Kim Boong-do, Queen In-hyun’s Man

HeadsNo2: There were moments during Queen In-hyun’s Man where I just expected the dialogue to be overpowered by the sound of countless hearts set aflutter by the intelligent, resourceful, steadfast, and refreshingly blunt fish-out-of-water awesomesauce that was Kim Boong-do. In what seemed like forever, we had a romantic hero who could not have lived more dangerously if he tried (I’m pretty sure that almost killing yourself each time you want to time travel for a date must win about five trillion points on the Scorecard o’ Devotion), and more importantly, one who made his own choices. You know, choices not dictated by Fate but by feelings, which translated into something real and palpable – something (and someone) you just couldn’t help but root for. We all love you, Boong-do. Even if you’re a playboy.


Lee Kang-to / Gaksital, Gaksital

girlfriday: Not that we’re debating here (*whistles innocently*), but it’s hard to argue that any character beats Superhero Who Saved His Country. Just sayin’. That’s pretty much your all-kill in this category, especially if he’s the dark, complex, frighteningly raw, badass bad guy… who turns it all around to become the hero of the people. Okay, so there was that bout of torture (or two), the time he killed everyone’s brother, and the years he spent being a traitor to his country to feed his family and keep himself in snazzy suits. But certainly his redemption counts for more? He wins for biggest arc, biggest sacrifice, and biggest… … …horse.




kaedejun: A body-swapping drama should be interesting — but when one body’s in a coma and the other is stealing Coma Guy’s girl, and no one knows how the hell to switch them back, we’ve got a problem. This was billed as a romantic-comedy but the romance was fundamentally flawed and the comedy was… where was the comedy? It took a melodramatic twist and never looked back, and we didn’t want to either. We may have come for the cute and the chocolate abs, but that does not a satisfying drama make. Big disappointment.

Honorable Mentions: Dream High 2, Faith



Park Ki-woong as Shunji, Gaksital

gummimochi: A good villain will make you hate him. A great villain will blur the lines between good and evil to the point where you have to stop and ask if monsters are born or made. No other baddie this year swung that moral pendulum quite like Shunji, who firmly justified all of his evil acts in desperate determination to return to a lost innocence. Who knew that a quiet schoolteacher would eventually scorch you with a hot iron rod and kick a box of nails over repeatedly with a dull expression on his face? Just thinking about it still sends shivers down my spine.

Honorable Mentions: Yoo Oh-sung as Ki Chul (Faith), Eom Ki-joon as Jo Hyun-min (Ghost)



Lee Je-hoon, Fashion King

HeadsNo2: Sometimes it’s hard to swallow the fact that our favorite actors are capable of picking terrible projects, but there you have it: Lee Je-hoon picked a real dud in Fashion King. Even his vast amount of talent, his whole-body method of conveying the full emotional depth of his characters, just couldn’t elevate such miserable source material. One could argue that he gave his character nuance that most definitely could not be found on the page, and I’d agree with that person wholeheartedly. Let’s just hope he’s not scared away from dramaland forever when he returns from military service, so that I can use the interim to wipe away my tears of disappointment with tissues made from his countless critical accolades. First world problems.

Honorable Mentions: Jung Il-woo (The Moon That Embraces the Sun), Lee Hyun-woo (To the Beautiful You)



The Moon That Embraces the Sun

javabeans: A 40%-ratings drama in this day and age is a feat worth boasting about; there’s no denying that The Moon That Embraces the Sun earned the right to be proud of its achievement. It’s just that… well, it’s too bad the distinction couldn’t have been given to a better show. One with a solid plot, whose characters had dimension, which was sustained by a conflict stronger than the juvenile love story (some might call it obsession) at this one’s core. There was an awful lotta hype about a show that ultimately wasn’t about very much; it’s sorta like seeing a floofy puffball of a cat dunked in water and turning into a tiny sack of limbs—shockingly lacking in substance and maybe a little sad. (And don’t forget the ensuing hissing and wrath.) The Moon That Embraces the Sun wasn’t a terrible show, and it had a gorgeous look and a compelling cast. It’s just that we were promised so much, but opened up the packaging to find a lot of hot air.

Honorable Mention: Nice Guy



Arang and the Magistrate

girlfriday: It’s often only when a year has gone by that you realize how few dramas had a full vision of its own story world, and how few told a satisfying tale within the rules of that universe. So simple, and yet… le sigh. Arang and the Magistrate had perhaps the largest storyverse in dramaland this year, from heaven to hell and earth in between, filled with reapers, gods, fairies, ghosts, and even your local government magistrates—but no matter how wide it went in scope, it never lost its center. Though the mythology is what made it impressive, it was really one woman’s journey of self-discovery—and how the love of a magistrate changed her—that carried the heart of the show. Arang may have flown under the radar, but it was one of the sweetest and most satisfying rides of the year.

Honorable Mention: The Chaser



Brain fetus, Dr. Jin

gummimochi: It’s easy to get lost in a year filled with a plethora of time travel gimmicks that vary from golden vials, to talismans, to the hand of Fate. But Dr. Jin upstaged all of these with its own ingenious time slip mechanism: a gummi bear brain fetus. It reminded our hero Hyuk with a pleasant “zap” whenever it felt like he went astray from the course of history, or… anytime it wanted to. You shame us gummis everywhere, brain fetus. We’ll never be sure of what came first: the brain fetus or Dr. Jin. If anything, it’s certain that we’ll forever be wondering, WTF.

Honorable Mentions: Talisman (Queen In-hyun’s Man), Morally selective wormhole (Faith)



Kim Bum, Padam Padam

girlfriday: You wouldn’t think Method had anything to do with our admittedly cosmetic category, but give the man a brownie point for growing his own mane out for the role. (And another brownie point for nailing the perfect cascade of waves.) Because no matter how hot a hero looks with his flowing tresses blowing in the wind, Wig of Glory doesn’t quite have the same ring. Then again, it’s not like he could grow his very own angel wings, so maybe he had to get his Method fix somewhere. Better that than any other prison initiation.

Honorable Mentions: Lee Min-ho (Faith), Joo-won (Gaksital), Yoo Seung-ho (Arang and the Magistrate)



Park Yoochun, Rooftop Prince

javabeans: The troll doll hair qualifies as shameful, definitely, but kudos for Yoochun for wearing it so well. Er, not well, exactly, but with aplomb. Inasmuch as the hair had a function in this zany comedy to make the hero look extra-ridiculous (y’know, since the tracksuit and Joseon royal hat weren’t enough, or his absurd prince-out-of-water haughtiness) and to wring some laughs, I suppose we have to credit it as a success. Although, is succeeding in being horrible a real success, or is it just extra-horrible? Is this a winning look, or a losing one? Glorious ‘dos may prompt a litany of poetry, but it’s the shameful ones that ask life’s important questions.

Honorable Mentions: Hwang Jung-eum (Full House Take 2), Noh Min-woo (Full House Take 2)



Song Seung-heon, Dr. Jin

HeadsNo2: You can see it in most awards ceremonies – where the “best” of anything is more often than not just the “most” of something. Our minds tend to trick us in that we tend to praise “best acting” as someone who did the “most acting,” though Song Seung-heon proved that there is indeed a separation between the two by delivering the most heavily-acted performance of the year as the titular character in Dr. Jin. Passable performances need to at least fly under the radar to do their job, but here we got a case of an actor going above and beyond the call of duty to make sure the audience knew when he was very shocked, or very angry, or very confused. Is there something to be said about the fact that we always knew what he was thinking? I’d like to think that answer isn’t a yes or no, but a very firm “Derp.”

Honorable Mentions: Lee Shi-young (Wild Romance), Yoo Ah-in (Fashion Kin), Yoo Oh-sung (Faith)



Shin Won-ho, Big

javabeans: Zzzzzzzzzzzz.



*looks pretty*


*paycheck, please*


320 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. OmoLady

    wauw.. Thank you ladies, for this great year that you have shared with us!

    • 1.1 Ivoire

      Thank you!

  2. nova611

    i keep refeshing for KoD recap
    instead found this…
    thank you 2012…looking forward for better drama in 2013

    • 2.1 nova611

      sad cos best bromance didnt go to SUFBB

    • 2.2 ladyana2j

      yeah, same with me, keep refreshing because I KoD, I hope HeadsNo2 will give us recap soon, hope she is alright too.

      HeadsNo2, I am waiting so much for KoD recap, please… 🙂

  3. chane


    Best Drama
    Best Actor
    Best Action Drama
    Best Historical Drama
    Best Supporting Actor
    Best Character
    Best Villain


    • 3.1 CoH

      ikr :DDDD but it really deserved it!!! gaksital was just so captivating and heartbreaking T__T

    • 3.2 paspioma

      “He wins for biggest arc, biggest sacrifice, and biggest… … …horse.”


      Yayy!! for gaksital best drama indeed!!

    • 3.3 juniper

      Damn!! Why is it everytime I see just the word Gaksital, my heart flutters like crazy?? Now I can’t even watch the whole drama again without crying just thinking about it.

      • 3.3.1 thil28

        ikr! miss it so bad, best heartbreaking drama ever! totally agree with their picks for gaksital, joo won knocked it out of the ballpark, and so did the rest of the fantastic cast.

    • 3.4 JoowonLover:P


      I know, I’m so proud of Joo-won and the whole cast of Gaksital. I think they did an amazing job with this drama and left such an impact on my drama life 🙂 I still feel like fist-pumping when I see the words Gaksital…. I hope they sweep up alot of awards in a couple of days at the awards ceremony! Hwaitingggg~~~

    • 3.5 moon_and_hearts

      Super proud of Joo Won and Gaksital staff and cast! Hoping for same results in KBS Drama Awards (gaksital dominating)!

      • 3.5.1 xenni

        So sad to see comments below saying Gaksital is not-that-good of a drama when in fact it was not good, it was GREAT! But, I guess it’s a matter of personal preferences…sigh! Well, anyway agreed to all the Gaksital post, it REALLY is the best drama of this year, it was one hell of a ride, thanks ladies!:)

        • DayDreamer

          I respect everyone’s choices. Some of the shows raved about on this site are not my favorite either but everyone has their own tastes which is why I thought it was apt that 2012 was considered the year for large variety: everyone had something they liked.

          Now, personally, I loved Gaksital and also find it the best drama of the year so this review made me super duper happy. 🙂

    • 3.6 latteholic

      Woaah.. I didn’t know Gaksital would win so many categories in the Editor’s pick. I mean, not that I’m complaining. I’m wholehearterdly agree with the list! Now will it be too much to hope that this will translate to the year-end drama awards as well?

      Btw, best characters are two of my favorite characters from dramas this year. Kim Bong Doo made my heart drip into all kinds of butter, while Lee Kang To… ah I don’t want to write a thesis here… 😀

      • 3.6.1 latteholic

        *I meant, Kim Boong-do… dammit fingers! 😀

      • 3.6.2 seina miller

        Haha! I also want to write why Lee Kangto is my favorite character, but I don’t think there’s enough space here to write all about his awesomeness and basically my whole girl-crush on Joo Won, LOL!<3

        • S a r a h

          Sigh. Me too! I have scoured the internet for every Joo Won-related video just to satisfy my insane fan-girl appetite for Joo Won.

          He seems like a really nice guy. All his co-actors keep saying how funny he is, almost always opposite the drama roles he’s been having so far. Like in Baker King, he was this serious guy. Also in Ojakgyo Brothers, he was serious… and then in Gaksitaaaaaal, he was… well, he was brooding and hot and serious.

          Omo. I must stop here or I’ll keep going on and on! haha!
          Cheers Joo Won fan! 😀

    • 3.7 yunare

      Yipeeee, hooray for Gaksitaaaaaaal! So many awards and it really deserves all of them….

      • 3.7.1 yunare

        And lol for most acting….

    • 3.8 Miss D


      I’m so glad to see this drama get the praise it deserves! You all in the DB team have fabulous taste, just saying.

      Park Ki-woong definitely deserved to WIN because his performance was so heart wrenching! Even toward the last episodes, he exposed vulnerabilities which have us a glimpse of his grappling soul. He took the meaning of tortured soul to a new level.

      By the way, I was late catching the Gaksital train and ended up watching it at the same time as Full House 2. Let me just say BIGGEST MESSING WITH MY MIND EVER! I would go from watching him smile slyly as he tortured someone as Sunji and then see him smile to Manok as an idol and I had to stop myself from screaming at her to ruuuuuun. Overall, he is a fantastic actor.

      • 3.8.1 S a r a h

        haha! I was late catching the Gaksitaaaal (can’t write it without writing it that way, lol) train too!
        But I actually watched Full House 2 FIRST before Gaksitaaaaal, and I was like — Shunji?! I mean, Park Ki-Woong? Is that really you?

        He is such an amazing actor.

        Also, “He took the meaning of tortured soul to a new level.”
        Couldn’t have said it better. 😀

    • 3.9 vanessa

      HEHE I literally squealed in joy every time Gaksital won an award. <3 That drama….it gives me a boatload of feelings every time I think about it. Joo-Won and Park Ki Woong are stellar actors and their twisted bromance tore my heart (or what was left of it anyways) to shreds. Just the idea of how much Kang-to and every other admirable character had to sacrifice in that tense time really makes me emotional and reminds me constantly on why I love the drama so much!

    • 3.10 smiles

      Okay, i’m gonna watch this drama – AND IT BETTER BE EPIC!!! Lol

    • 3.11 readlead

      Finally, YES!!! Gaksital is totally deserve for all of that!!!

      Now really cant wait to see KBS Drama Award, I really hope joowon will win daesang, pkw will win best supporting actor/Excellence in Acting Award/Best Excellence in Acting Award, and gaksital for best drama.

      Actually I think Yoon Eun Hye is deserve to called as one of best perfomance actress of the year and I found park yochun is really great too in I Miss you but well… 🙂

      LOL at least acting award, cracks me up, hahahaha

      thank you for editor’s pick, this is the best kdrama award of the year so far! thank you!!!

      • 3.11.1 coby

        As I read the headline last night on facebook, I didn’t hit the link to read it, as I prepare myself for the heartbreak of Gaksital not getting the best drama of this year. But boy…



        if dramabeans didn’t, GAKSITAL will never forgive thee!

        Thanks for this site, my Kdrama life has never been better!

    • 3.12 manassuper

      The King 2 Hearts: Episode 20 2,347 Comments,The King 2 Hearts: Episode 19 863 Comments,The King 2 Hearts: Episode 18 2,298 Comments,The King 2 Hearts: Episode 17 761 Comments, The King 2 Hearts: Episode 16 2,340 Comments,The King 2 Hearts: Episode 15 308 Comments,The King 2 Hearts: Episode 14 781 Comments,The King 2 Hearts: Episode 13 445 Comments,The King 2 Hearts: Episode 12 1,558 Comments,The King 2 Hearts: Episode 11 379 Comments,The King 2 Hearts: Episode 10 687 Comments,The King 2 Hearts: Episode 9 187 Comments,The King 2 Hearts: Episode 8 304 Comments,The King 2 Hearts: Episode 7 233 Comments,The King 2 Hearts: Episode 6 269 Comments,The King 2 Hearts: Episode 5 169 Comments,The King 2 Hearts: Episode 4 210 Comments,The King 2 Hearts: Episode 3 157 Comments,The King 2 Hearts: Episode 2 183 Comments,The King 2 Hearts: Episode 1 164 Comments.BY the sheer value of comment and postive reviews it enough to beat Gaksital by a great margin.even the rcomment and postive reviews it got would belike 1/4 of what TK2H recorded.even an episode of TK2H take down Gaksital HALF OF IT’S 28 episodes…….it was most talked drama on dramabeans and recorded highest comments in the history of dramabeans if i am not mistaken….. it was rare drama with a refreshing concept very different from K-DRAMA conventional types like melodramas like nice guy. Queen In-hyun’s man, The Moon That Embraces the Sun,Arang and the Magistrate,Shut Up: Flower Boy Band ,make no mistake these are fabulous drama of melodrama,comedy,fantasy genere but very much the k-drama types we often encounter in K-dramaland but TK2H concept is rare and different from K-DRAMA TYPE…..SO HANDS DOWN TK2H IS THE BEST DRAMA FOR ME….ADDED TO THAT PERFECTION DISPLAYED IN ACTING BY THE MAN PLAYING ROLE FROMKING TO QUEEN TO ROYAL GUARD TOPRINCESS TO SECRETARY LEE SEON JAE, VILIAN KIM BONG GU WAS SPECTACULAR……I HAD TO CHOOSE THE DRAMA TAKES FIVE HONOURS INCLUDING BEST DRAMA,BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR AND ACTRESS,BEST ACTOR AND ACTRESSES,BEST VILLIAN…THE TEAM OF ACTORS WERE JUST THE BEST…….

      • 3.12.1 Addylovesbwood

        OMG!! You did your research well!! I had no idea K2H got that amount of comments! Earlier this year, I would have agreed with you 100% that K2H was indeed the best drama of the year especially when Rooftop won Best drama @ the soul international awards…. I was IRATE!!

        I also felt that way last year when City Hunter stole the Best Drama of the year awards…. just pure…Lee Min Ho bias!

        But after Gaksitaaaaal, I have to agree it truly is the best!!! and I don’t think DB is being biased in any shape or form.

        Soooo Happy for Joo Won and Park Ki Woong!!! I pray they have this much impact and bag all the awards at the KBS awards on Monday.

        I already know Gaksital will or has a high chance of winning best drama at the Kbs awards. The plot was awesome and the rating prove it!!

        Joo Won’s apparently supposed to re-act the ending scene of Gaksital. (HINT HINT)

        • manassuper


        • 4winkay

          Hey, chingu. Is this the one you’re talking about?

          I agree with you on King 2 Hearts. ‘Twas my favorite for 2012 not until I watched Gaksital. Its in this drama I fell for our Joo Won.

          I LOLed on the least acting part which is so true. He just slept the whole time. Poor Shin Won-Ho!

          Although, I would choose Equator Man for best melodrama but Nice Guy’s a good choice, too.

      • 3.12.2 SHema

        …and your point is?

        Yes, K2H post has a lot of comments but that doesn’t reflect the quality of the drama, if it’s down to comments, K2H trumps gaksital…but when it comes to the drama itself, well….Gaksital is a million miles ahead of K2H! You say that K2H is your choice of best drama yet you provide insufficient reasons to back up your praise, and in an effort to state your opinion, you post spam comment in a gaksital reply thread, we DON’T actually need to know the amount of comments in every single K2H recap because no one asked for it, if we want to we could just look it up for ourselves!

        • manassuper


          • manassuper


          • mikayla

            Hi manassuper, I’m not on anyone’s side but did you really have to post the # of comments for every K2H recap? When I saw your comment I thought it was an error because it was really confusing at first maybe you should have just written the latter half because you have some really great points about K2H…It was an enjoyable drama and the cast was awesome!!

            But, I do agree with the editors in pretty much every category, Gaksital for best drama, and Nice Guy for best melodrama and Answer Me 1997 for Best writing.

          • manassuper


          • mikayla

            Hi again, manassuper…no probs, happy new year!:)

      • 3.12.3 liza

        I also loved TKSH..happy ending,
        After my annoyance with the female lead in the first 9+ episodes, I loved faith…Happy ending.
        HAppy endings will do it for me.
        Queen..man, I love, I think of the drama and I remember the extra railroad scenes and the KISSES. The attraction between the leads was palpable. Even if their real life romance do not last, there is one guarantee, they will have fun before it hit the skids.( repeat, if it ever hit the skids)

        I am a relative newbie to this site, and I am almost 100% certain that I know the ” recapers'” genre prefences based on their individual recaps. Just once have I watched a drama based on the recaps, KOD and am so pleased that I will try Galsital based on this post, although if it is some melodrama, pain, suffering, loss, death, etc, etc, anything that will make me uphappy and cry I will simply take everyones’ word that it was the best thing right before sliced bread and say next.

      • 3.12.4 Alicia

        TK2H was a huge disappointment to me. The story was sooooo predictable. I surprised myself for predicting what’s gonna happen and whether the scene was stage or real. Maybe because I watched too many action dramas :/

        The concept was indeed good but somehow the storyline was draggy and boring. And the support actors shined more than the mains (the princess and the soldier. their love story was wayyyyy better than the one they create for the main actors)

    • 3.13 SHema


      Honorable Mention:

      Best Writing
      Best Music
      Most Glorious Mane of Glory – Joo Won

  4. chane

    Thanks ladies!:)

    This was a great year for K-dramas

  5. Annie

    LMAO with the Most and Least Acting Awards… I can’t breathe.

    • 5.1 risa

      I’m still guffawing at the Most Acting pic/write-up.

      • 5.1.1 latteholic

        I’m still laughing at HIS picture. I guess that’s the only thing I miss from the show.. Derp! face

    • 5.2 a_diva

      ikr! “least acting” award was too funny. laughed so hard waking up the household. poor shin won-ho–but really, i still can’t figure out what they were thinking to have him comatose or mia through the ENTIRE drama after he did the first few episodes.

      *shrugs and returns to laughing*

    • 5.3 momosa

      LOL! and yeah! Shin Won Ho for the Least Acting Award! At least he got something, he was awesome even in just 1 epi.

    • 5.4 Betsy Hp

      LOLing right with you. With a side of “aww” for Shin Won Ho because I think, if allowed, he could have done some acting. But then I look back up at the freeze frame of Most Acting and… LOL!

    • 5.5 jomo

      I actually had to read it three times.
      My non-fetus filled brain kept wanting to read an adjective after MOST, but then I saw who won and I guffawed!!

      And poor, baby Shin, with his sleeping and never talking and LEAST. Soooo funny!

  6. Big Unni

    Omo you guys are awesome! So happy you all felt the way I felt about Gaskital, but I feel undercut since there is no honorable mention for horsital….*pout*….lol. Thanks for another great year of doing what you do best…being beanies!

  7. Momi

    I didn’t really like Gaksital as much as everyone else. Sure it was exciting (that party crash scene was FLAWLESS) but I never really empathised with the leads. I never had the emotional draw to them as people as much as I connected to the other aspects like the citizens fighting back. Especially the love storylines — I just couldn’t really believe in them.

    That’s what happened to me with City Hunter too and I guess they’re just not my type of drama. I think they’re exciting but they never move me emotionally.

    PS: I still cried at both finales but that’s not an indicator of anything since I cry at everything lol

    • 7.1 Big Unni

      I agree with the lack of real romance. It wasn’t believable and it felt long and drawn out. I think he had more romance with the villan La-La and his stick baton thing….lol

      • 7.1.1 Kgrl

        Rather than say lack of real romance was the issue, it was rather the lack of a substantive and compelling female lead. Of course, this is not a story about love and female awesomeness, much like last year’s Tree With Deep Roots. Yet, I felt more awed by TWDP not b/c the story was better, the thematic message more inspiring, but b/c the female lead gave a better portrayal and the awesomeness of the lead veteran actors.

        Call me a feminist or too hasty to judge having only seen 8 eps of Gakistal, but if 1/3 of a drama doesn’t give me a convincing female lead character to root and empathize with…it’s hard pressed to get me personally invested in it. I love my female characters. Unfortunately, as good as Joo Won and Park Ki Woong was (from the episodes I’ve seen PKW had more nuance and subtly), there was still a slight disconnect.
        Granted, JW and PKW aren’t veteran actors that can make a predominately male story blow my mind, but the attempt was good.

        I applaud the dedication and conviction to bring such a drama to life. Regardless of how emotionally invested I was, 1/3 of the drama that I did watch showed the effort this production and cast put into it.

    • 7.2 nova611

      im with you @Momi
      i’ve watch it but not feeling anything
      maybe i watch too much HK drama regarding war between Jap before
      i feel their’s more real..more pain

      • 7.2.1 bishbash

        Korea endured the brute of Japan longer than HK did. Although there was this HK movie in the 90s about the fall of HK to Japan which I can never forget. Impactful that was.

        • Kgrl

          I think the worst would probably have to China’s experience with Japan in WWII and the Holocaust. If one has been to the Holocaust museum, learned and seen of the movies/history channel specials of the Nanjing Massacre, s/he would probably be less likely to be jarred by the depictions in Gakistal.

          Not to compare oppression, enslavement, and injustice done against a group of people, just to note that one watching a drama may be moved at different emotional levels based on insights from other historical oppressions.

    • 7.3 Noemi

      I agree…objectively I know that Gaksital was an incredible drama, but I never really connected with the characters on an emotional level. I think I appreciated the story more than I was actually absorbed by the story. I guess it’s just the genre. Although I also cried at Gaksital’s finale, like you 🙂

      • 7.3.1 observantzani

        I understand what you’re saying and I have to agree. I was thinking it would be Answer Me 1997 that would win Best Drama. Gaksital was great but there were jarring faults to be considered. To be honest Answer Me 1997 took me awhile to like but it’s very consistent and makes the character feel real.

        I think King of Dramas deserves some praise too. Si Won is a hoot as Hyun Min.

      • 7.3.2 Kayleigh

        I don’t think JB and GF are claiming to be objective with the Gaksital love since they occasionally pointed out it’s flaws in the recaps etc. But sometimes, something about a drama touches you and flaws be damned it becomed a firm favourite: hence the post title.

        Note to self: find time to marathon Gaksital and various other dramas missed this year so as to have greater credibility in this discussion.

    • 7.4 toritorisan

      I have to agree with Momi that I too didn’t like Gaksital and even Answer Me, 1997 all that much. I think the problem was that I watched it AFTER everyone was raving about it, that I went in with really, really high expectations (this happened with Moon Embracing the Sun too). But I do agree that Park Ki-Woong and Jung Eun-ji had stellar performances. For me, I loved the time traveling genres – and am sorry to see this trend ending. Faith was my favorite among all of them. Looking forward to all the new dramas starting in January and what will be the next trend for 2013.

      • 7.4.1 sajatokki

        Me too. I didn’t really like City Hunter, Gaksital, and Answer Me, 1997. Like you said I probably had very high expectations after hearing 1954086 times how perfect it is.

        Although yeah, objectively, I get why people like it.

    • 7.5 diorama

      *looks around sheepishly* Same here. Gaksital was a good drama, sure, but I never thought it was a great drama. Too many plot holes and one-dimensional characters (including the female lead) to feel like a coherent well-written drama. Not to mention that the everpresent kdrama elements of the First Love and the Sacrifice For Family took the zap right out of a really realistic storyline. Most of the time I felt that all that betrayal and torture and angst was just cranking the melodrama handle instead of creating a good story.

      On the other hand, that was a helluva emotional ride. *sniff*

      • 7.5.1 Vinn

        I’m really relieved (?) that I’m finding I’m not the only one who thinks this way. Helluva emotional ride, but I didn’t connect, and the whole time I was watching, I never craved to see the next episode. So, for me, not the best drama of the year (though for sure agreeing that it was best directed and a very, very good drama).

        That said – 2012 was a great year for variety (of dramas). It seemed if you liked comedies, 1997 was your pick, if you liked well written original romcoms you got InHyun, if you liked great acting in a new-ish style of melo you got Nice Guy. All in all, pretty awesome year.

    • 7.6 Kiara

      Not my favorite either, same thing with last year’s pick City hunter. No drama was perfect but I thought Queen Inhyun’s Man was almost perfect.

      • 7.6.1 elainestale

        almost. *cough*the-horrible-ending*cough*

        • Kiara

          Horrible? How?. Some may not like the ending but it was far from horrible.

        • Betsy Hp

          Must. Defend. Ending! 😉 I know it’s uber-contested, but I honestly adored the ending. It worked on all levels for me, including logic. Because silk and ink don’t create time warps. Neither does plastic and wire. It wasn’t the phone, it was her call. And I thought that was beautiful.

          • Saturtledaisy

            Well put!! At first I was confused about the phone working, but then I realized it wasn’t the phone, but the call.

            Still, the ending felt a little weaker in logic than the rest of the series (maybe a little more far-fetched) but in retrospect it’s quite beautiful~

    • 7.7 Alexandra

      I love historicals… but felt/thought Gaksital was average and I seriously disliked the main actress.

      • 7.7.1 Momi

        mte I love historicals. I liked Tree with Deep Roots a lot better from last year and the love story in that was also marginal. I think it was just on the whole a better drama.

      • 7.7.2 toritorisan

        I like historicals too and am enjoying The Horse Doctor a lot more over Gaksital. Not sure if The Horse Doctor is not mentioned because it is still airing into next year. But it’s storyline is very similar to Dong Yi or Dae Jang Geum about an underdog that works his way to the top. Definitely an underrated drama.

        • Kiara

          I’m enjoying Horse Doctor too. Its predictable just like the writers past work but its got heart. I watched it when I feel like it but I’m not addicted like I did with Tree With Deep Roots last year.

    • 7.8 pogo

      I have to agree- I like Gaksital, Joo-won and Park Ki-woong are amazing in their respective roles and I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve cried while watching, but I never really connected to the love story, somehow. It’s easy to see how this drama has so much emotive pull over so many given its subject matter, but I think that’s what makes me care about it at all.

    • 7.9 Mar

      I too am firmly on the ground, NOT on the Gakisital bandwagon. I was at first interested because of the historical perspective, but the first episode itself just left me thinking, yeah, I”m never going to make it through this drama. I tried. I see a lot of comments from those that are not in love with it that they did not connect with the characters. Perhaps that was it for me too, idk, exactly. I was always just thinking as I was watching…what’s the big deal. It just was not my cup of tea. I never connected with the lead actor in particular. I never could understand his appeal. But maybe that is personal taste. I also see some reference City Hunter and that maybe the ‘type’ of show is not for them. That is not the case for me. City Hunter had big gaping wound plot holes but I still loved it. You can get past some of that if the show and characters engage you I guess.

    • 7.10 Betsy Hp

      I think it does come down to type of drama preferred. I wouldn’t put Gaksital into a list of historical dramas or romance dramas. I think if you went into it looking for those things you’d be disappointed. Because the history and romance are only used to shape what the drama is really about: good vs. evil.

      And, just like City Hunter last year, Gaksital does an amazing job exploring good vs. evil. (A better job even, I’d say.) That does mean you get some flat characters, because they’re more filling an archetype than being a full-fleshed person. (The female lead fell hardest into an archetype-role, I think.) But if it serves the story’s thrust, that can be okay. (Which in this case, I think she did.)

      Again, it’s personal preference as to what type of drama gets you right in the heart. But if good vs. evil is your thing, Gaksital was seriously awesome. Kang-to vs. Shunji was like nothing I’ve seen all year. And Gaksital made sure it was their conflict (with each other and with themselves) that stayed front and center.

      Which is my long-winded way (sorry!) of saying I can see why it’s not everyone’s favorite drama, but I can also see why it is Dramabeans’ favorite.

  8. kaeseorin

    omg so dead at the last one.
    it looked like the kid had promise too. :/

  9. Ann

    OK, I was gong to whine about you not picking Park Ki-Woong as best actor, but then you gave him best supporting and best villain! I guess that is good enough.

    I was surprised A Gentleman’s Dignity did not get a bromance honorable mention. I guess that shows my preference for 40 year olds over high school boys. Doesn’t looking purty together count as bromance? :p

    • 9.1 niKai

      now that you mention it. The ahjusshis and the younger group of friends in A Gentleman’s Dignity should at least be in honorable mentions. hehe. Even if the drama was pointless, I always love the first minutes of each episode.

    • 9.2 Vinn

      Oh yeah, they were totally my vote for Best Bromance. Ahjusshi bromance winnnn!

      Imma say that about Shinhwa soon 😡

  10. 10 eevee

    I almost died when I read the end. Genius! You all are such a great and hilarious team of writers! Happy 2013!!!

  11. 11 Mari

    Wonders what’s going to replace Gaakkkiiitalll shout next year? I now that you guys gave Araaaaang a try but somehow Gaksital stuck around.
    Anyhow, thank you ladies for these last 6 months, I can officially say I’m a Kdrama addict & Dramabeans fan. 🙂

    • 11.1 Mari

      Now= know.. Woman check your spelling before you hit submit!

  12. 12 Devi

    what the…?? prosecutor min and his drama not in list? okay, I accept it and congrats for gakistal.

  13. 13 Mystisith

    It was an easy work indeed. But if I were him I would have died of frustration: “Give me something to chew on!”
    I will never understand: Sometime people are miscast and you can’t do anything much as a writer (Jin, Faith). Here they had a wild card in their game and they dropped it. Mind boggling.

    • 13.1 Mystisith

      It was supposed to be a reply to the comment #8 about Shin Won-ho: Honorable mention for waste of talent.

  14. 14 Kauaitone

    I think it’s clear what the best dramas of the year were. 🙂 It’s too bad shut up: flower boy band didn’t get just a bit more “bests.” I hope tvN continue the awesome streak of flower boy dramas next month. *crosses fingers*

  15. 15 paspioma

    LOL @ Dr Jin, a gummi bear brain fetus…WTF?

    • 15.1 Addylovesbwood

      I was seriously praying Dr.Jin would get worst/biggest disappointment of the year!

      • 15.1.1 D~

        The difference is that the expectations for Jin weren’t as high as for Big, I guess.

        I had accepted that Jin wouldn’t be anything special (well gummibrainfetus aside) early on in the drama, but Big seemed so promising x–x And then… it just… wtf happened? That’s just WORSE, tricking you into believing you’ll get something good out of the drama and then just not delivering.

      • 15.1.2 toritorisan

        Dr. Jin was my biggest disappointment… After watching the Japanese version, I was expecting big things for the Korean version since they have more budget for special effects, music, costuming, A-list stars, etc… But whoever re-wrote the storyline really failed – it was way too political and lost the point of Dr. Jin’s journey as a doctor. 🙁

        Big wasn’t too big of a disappointment – just the ending actually. For me, the last few dramas the Hong Sisters wrote fizzled in comparison to their earlier works, so I wasn’t expecting much to begin with.

  16. 16 crazedlu

    Yeeeeaah. Gaksitaaaal! I was thoroughly obsessed with Gaksital’s story. Loved it and I literally capped every scene for the archives — the show was so beautiful.

    Thanks javabeans, girlfriday, HeadsNo2, gummimochi, and kaedejun for all the recaps and fun. It was a good year of dramas. Cheers, 2012!

    Please please please be amazing, 2013. (School 2013’s already on my list of forever faves. Heh.) Onwards!

  17. 17 UJ

    Hahahahahahhahaha I am lmao over the most acting win LOL.. SSH definitely did the most acting.. And what an appropriate pic to go along with the win :p
    Aaah I cannot explain how happy I am that Kim Bong Gu was picked as the best character… Gaaah he is a perfect guy.. And he did the most for his lady love.. And his lady love was way awesome too…
    Yoochun’s troll doll hair hahahhaha… He is my bias but damn the hair was bad XD
    Big was definitely the biggest disappointment, no doubt abt it…
    Answer me 1997 was such a pleasant surprise.. I never expected to get so hooked to this drama^^
    History of a salaryman was one of the drama this year which had a solid A+ in the acting department.. The kickass, swearing heroine is something we need more in the kdrama world.. She was so fun to watch 😀 kudos to JR for picking this role… A lot actress may shy away from such a character…
    Araang and the magistrate was so much fun to watch!! I just wished more people had seen it…
    MTETS was addiction for its first half.. The second half went down the drain.. And I for the life of me don’t understand why JIW picked this drama after the awesomeness that was flower boy ramyun shop.. I am thankful Joo Won rejected this role though.. Even though it would have been another mega hit for him..
    And lastly I dunno what more to add about GAKSITAAAAAAAAL… This post here is pretty much a gaksital appreciation post and a pinch of other dramas lol… Joo Won is a sweetheart and i wish him all the best for the new drama.. And PKW is someone I will look out for.. He was wonderful as Shunji.. I was really impressed by him!
    Overall this was a good year for dramas.. It gave us some of my all time favorite ones… And some insanely bad dramas that I will remember my entire life.. Dr. Jin was a constant source of laughter… And Heads was good sport for recapping the whole series… Thanks for that ^^

    • 17.1 D~

      Wait, you mean Kim Boong-Do… right? I thought Kim Bong Gu was the cookie-villain-monster from K2H o-o.


  18. 18 shepo

    i wonder,,how much they pay Shin Won Ho??

    • 18.1 Addylovesbwood

      How much do they pay for cameos?? Basically, he was a cameo in the drama.

  19. 19 Ankita

    hahahahah…loved the Most Acting and Least Acting categories!

  20. 20 mari

    oh Song Seung-heon, why can’t he stick to modeling and cfs…

    I wanted to watch the fetus drama because Jaejoong is in it but Song Seung-heon’s acting is so scary. ;(

    dying@ last 2 awards

    • 20.1 Saturtledaisy

      lol ‘the fetus drama’.

      But really, Song Seung Heon’s acting is not the scariest thing in this drama =P

  21. 21 Stardust

    I love all the awards presentation!! hehehe Great timing and warm up to the TV awards on Sunday night and Monday too…

    Thank you so much all the staff and fellow readers at dramabeans! I have come here almost 2 years and really benefitted from all the recaps so that I could sift through and be cleverly ( heehee) selective by only watching the best dramas, and have someone to poke fun at bad ones with.. Reading again through the recaps to better appreciate and understand all those that I loved, and saving time to read through recaps so I could skip those I started but couldn’t bear to continue ( yes I am talking about you TTBY )..

    Happy wonderful New Year everyone!! =D Here’s to 2013!

  22. 22 Noelle

    HA! Oh Big… So glad I didn’t watch you.

  23. 23 whimsicalnet

    aw…. 2012 was such an awesome year and I got to spend part of it here. Thanks for the review and being the awesome folks u guys are. HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!

  24. 24 Mawiie

    So I’ll ask the question we’re all dying to know: who lost an eye? Over what? xD

  25. 25 Cynthia

    This has been a great end-of-year drama review! Thanks to all our talented reviewers.

    LOVED “Least Acting” and “Mane of Glory”!

  26. 26 asdjfkl

    Remembering the last editor’s pick it feels like City Hunter again lol. But I think that Gaksital deserves this one. imo

  27. 27 Merrily

    I don’t think Answer Me 1997 deserves Best Writing. That drama was undeniably done well, but there were too many overdone plot devices. It was very obvious who would be her husband, but the show continued to use that dumb device to drive the tension of the show. The writing had also utilized repetitive use of detaining information from the viewers by cropping scenes, etc. Great writing can still make the viewers in agony of suspense even when nothing was held back. Of course, there were good writing in there – some scenes really touched me – but, in my opinion, it was not the best.

    Gaksital deserved the all accolades it earned here at Dramabeans.

    • 27.1 BellaMafia

      yes.. i thought the same thing too..

    • 27.2 Jinsight

      Definitely agree with your Answer Me comment. The writing was very shallow and predictable, and I never found any of the characters aside from Joon Hee to be interesting. The main character ended up more with a non-stop mouth rather than any meaningful dialog.

    • 27.3 starrs

      I respectfully disagree. I believe the mystery of the husband was never truly a mystery to begin with – the point was that if you really thought about the story, you would know who he was. There were clues peppered throughout the episodes.

      Big fat props to the writers for being able to transport me back to when I was a teenager fangirling over NSYNC. But by far the shining point of AM1997 was the dialogue – so smart and witty – and I think that this is what the writers deserve lots and lots of awards for. SO. GOOD. You never really got these pointless ramblings or monologues that made you go WTF? at the end. And the meta! It was glorious.

  28. 28 rainbow

    Awesome post 🙂

  29. 29 Vdiddy

    Though I enjoyed Gaksital to a point, I never did connect emotionally to it the way I did to King 2 Hearts. That was the show for me this year, both character wise and story. It pulled me in and held me for the whole twenty episodes. No other drama really came close.

    • 29.1 estelle

      Totally agreed. I laughed, cried, and lived with The King 2 Hearts.

    • 29.2 madqueen

      Me too… quality wise, TK2H is good, but not excellent. However, I was riveted by the characters, acting and story, the emotional connection and impact the drama had on me was second to none. I was completely immersed in the drama for each and every episode.

    • 29.3 Saturtledaisy

      Agreed~~~! I was completely and immediately taken away by the K2H, while I never managed to connect in the few episodes I saw of Gaksital. I still plan to give Gaksital another try, though.

    • 29.4 Joy

      I totally concur! I did like Gaksital and very impressed with Park Ki Woong’s acting. If anything they should have given him Best Supporting Actor.(Best Villain here @ DB Woohoo!) However, in my opinion the romance department lacks of depth. I love the King 2 Hearts! The two leads won my heart. Lee Sung Gi’s performance improved a lot. Love the romance between them, the Mama Queen, the bromance, the supporting leads, the villain, the rare story of North and South Korea and last but not the least, the comments/commenters they were the best for me. 🙂

  30. 30 pigtookie

    Very nice picks for best actress, and best character (not the most obvious, but I whole heartedly agree). Jung Ryeo Won (and Lee Bum Soo) was so on fire in that drama! And Kim Boong Do is certainly one of the most winning characters in a while. When Joo Won/Kang To yahhh and Song Joong Ki were announced to be leading man status with those character descriptions, I was initially thinking they had big shoes to fill, but job well done.
    Comedy – baaaah. AM1997 made me laugh and cry so much. I’ll miss its witty comedy.
    Gaksitaaaaal congrats for sweeping the titles! Quite deserved in my opinion.
    Melo- the nice thing is, it took all some overused drama tropes (revenge, amnesia) and spun them into ways that were fresher than the cliches we were expecting.
    a big fat LOL at the Most/Least Acting categories.

  31. 31 Dita

    Such a great year, isn’t it??
    Well, thanks JB, GF, and the other minions for the great jobs!! I mostly agree with u’all.. although some of us might not agree. But it always nice to know what you think about the dramas.
    Hopefully next year will be even greater year! 🙂
    Fighting!! Happy New Year for all DRAMABEANS mania…

  32. 32 Mystisith

    Funny than this year the 3 shows defended by dramabeans are ones that I didn’t see: Gaksital, Reply 1997 and Nice Guy.
    On the other hand, I agree about the worst ones whole heartedly.

    • 32.1 cv

      You aren’t the only one. I didn’t watch all of them from beginning to end. I started with recaps…watched a few episodes but just never got into it.
      Oh well, I hope 2013 dramas will be as good as this year or even better. ^^

      I’ll have to agree…. BIG was a Biiiiig disappointment. The end. LOL

    • 32.2 Ash

      Same here. Never picked up Gaksital – too stressful a viewing experience – and dropped the other two. Naturally.

      Pretty pleased to see all the love for King 2 Hearts and Queen In-hyun’s Man, though. Jo Jung-seok, Lee Yoon-ji, and Jung Ryeo-won basically ran away with my heart and never looked back, so yay for them, too.

      And nothing for you, Dr. Jin. Except maybe some tears of laughter. Most Acting should be an award show staple.

  33. 33 sally_b

    MOST ACTING…. derp.

    hahahahahaha!!! Thanks gals…loved all the recaps this past year. Thanks so much for your hard work.
    Viva La 2013 ~!

  34. 34 Byul

    lolololol i LOVE the last award:D i do feel like gaksital could have given up oneeee of its awards to queen in hyun’s man since i watched both and loved both just as much, but i feel like the rest were fair:) thank you SOOO MUCH for an amazing year dramabeans, love you all!

    • 34.1 Byul

      i also thought that qihm deserved the writing award more than answer me did…both were amazing, answer me had me laugh so hard, but i think in the end, qihm was a complete package with just the right things being said and done, if that makes sense…

      • 34.1.1 lennah-chan

        I totally agree with you. I also think that QIHM deserves the award for best writing. It has a solid storyline from episode one to the last. And the attention to every detail in the drama is superb. I’m rewatching QIHM for already the nth time but I’m still discovering something about the story. I know others have pointed this already but for me this is one of many examples why this drama was written excellently, it was when Kim Boong-do asked in episode 1 if he’s alive or dreaming and Hee Jin answered in episode 16 that he’s really and he’s alive. If that is not a good writing, I don’t know what is.

        QIHM is #1 on my Kdrama list replacing my 6 years all-time-fave drama.

        • lennah-chan

          I mean *real not really. Sorry.

    • 34.2 Lovebug

      I agree having just rewatched Queen Inhyun’s Man I still believe it was the best drama of the year (and should have gotten best writing in particular). I really enjoyed Reply to me, but felt it was a bit uneven towards the end.

      I really enjoyed Gaskital but I don’t feel as attached to it now that time has gone by. There were some weak points that keep it from being the best of the year for me.

  35. 35 zashi

    Yay so Gaksital and Answer Me 1997 is the tops this year. I agree!

  36. 36 Noemi

    LOVED Jung Ryeo-won as Yeo-chi…glad to see her as best actress! Between History of the Salaryman and King of Dramas, Jung Ryeo-won has had a great year, as far as memorable characters go.

  37. 37 WeWe

    i just realized that DB choices for Best Character, Kim Boong Do and Lee Kang To, both have the same partner in crime…The Horse….which sometimes be the scene stealer


    • 37.1 D~


  38. 38 Kes

    Most acting and Least acting are the best categories EVER. XD

    Can I nominate the guy from that Prince and the Pauper movie? I can never recall his name, but he played Shin in Goong as well. HE was acting his guts out. YUM SCENERY DELISHUSS

  39. 39 bebe

    Somewhere in my mind I knew you were going to mention the gummie brain fetus. You have never failed to make me smile.

  40. 40 kathy

    thank dramabeans for one to recap gaksital and now for all these deserved awards…
    no other drama left me wanting for a 2nd part, however with gaksital i felt an emptiness when it was over..

  41. 41 Danna

    Am I the only one that did not watch one time travel drama this year….Pretty glad I didn’t actually

    Wow, looks like Gaksital sweeped all the bests…not surprised there since it was so well loved…I’m still only upto ep 6 and while I do think its a good show, I’m just not that emotionally invested just yet…can’t help but feel that most of the actors (except Park Ki Woong who is amazing) needs to dial it down a bit…I remember feeling the same with City Hunter last year too
    my pick for favorite drama is still King 2 Hearts also for favorite lead couple and secondary OTP….Gaksital is most badass and favorite period show though and definitely Shunji for best villain…favorite comedy would be King Of Dramas with no competition there…best melodrama and best ensemble is Nice Guy… best actor Song Joong Ki and actress would be Moon Chae Won…favortie fantasy drama and romance is definitely Arang….best supporting actor would be Lee Sung Min since he was so awesome in so many shows this year and Answer me for best high school show…SUFBB for best bromance not only for this year but for any year ever

    • 41.1 shoesrgreatrite

      you should really try watching Queen In hyun’s man. Its not like the other 2 time travelling drama that suck…… It’s..amazing, breathtaking, heart wrenching, chemistry-filled romance all the way..if that’s the kind of drama you enjoy though 🙂

      • 41.1.1 sally_b

        Ditto this ^

        I’ve downloaded the show to watch again and again…smart AND sexy male lead…..feisty, kiss-stealing female lead = PERFECT. (do watch)

    • 41.2 estelle

      I agree with you. My favourite drama is TK2H, favourite OTP is the wonderful King Jae Ha and Hang Ah, and secondary OTP is Princess Jae Shin and Earnest Bot *sobz*.

    • 41.3 pogo

      The big surprise about Nice Guy is the fact that its two incredibly unlikable leads are played by such incredibly likeable actors.

      Oh, and it didn’t hurt that they had great chemistry too – the drama might have been a bit of a crackfest, but between SJK, MCW and Park Shi-yeon, it did keep me on the edge of my seat.

  42. 42 DarknessEyes

    yes I totally agree… Gaksital was freaking amazing and probably is my favorite drama now.

  43. 43 Mystisith

    Now, I have to defend A Gentleman’s Dignity for best bromance: Super Oppas stuck together for more than 20 years even with girls putting the Bronx in their friendship. Dedication!

    • 43.1 liza

      @ Mystisith or anyone with the answer.

      I am tryin hard to learn the colloquialisms used in the responses/post, trying to reason out which drama can be shortenned to klo, hkkr kink.(just ex.) Sometimes, I simply give up trying to come up with the names of the drama. That being said, I am extremely curious for a myriad of reasons the meaning of “putting the bronx”.

      I take it that there is a negative connation.
      Please explain, as I would so want to have my finger on the pulse of all these little sweet sayings.
      Thanks .

      • 43.1.1 Mystisith

        @liza: It’s a word by word transcription of a slang expression used in the 80’s in France: When people knew the US only by the cops TV shows. You could have the feeling than the Bronx in NY City was the perfect generic example of a war zone. Hopefully, the Mayor Mr Giuliani did a wonderful job against criminality and we changed to “It’s Beirout out there!” in the 90’s. Nowadays you could say “It’s like Marseilles in New Year’s Day.”: Not a flattering description but true nonetheless.

  44. 44 shoesrgreatrite

    Last year most awards drama went to city hunter, this year was gaksital. Both are heart pumping,action-filled dramas that are filled with emotion threads. I’m seeing a pattern here……..

  45. 45 JoowonLover:P


    This is, by far, my favorite post of all times on DB! Bravo to Gaksitaaaal! I think they definitely deserved it, what a roller coaster of events, beautifully written into a timeless story! I think Joo-won, PKW and the rest did a fantastic job. I look forward to seeing more of their works (esp Joo-won’s Level 7 Civil Servant :D). Hwaiting!!!!!!!

    Thanks again DB ladies for another wonderful year! Cheers to 2013!!

  46. 46 Sintia

    Hurrah for Joo Won is the best actor and Gaksital is the best drama. I totally agree.
    Thank you very much for the all recaps.
    Happy New Year!

  47. 47 tazzy

    Everything that got the Best Awards aside from Salaryman is a drama I have watched…. actually the ONLY dramas I have watched from this year.

    I discovered some great actors this year! Hope I get to watch more awesome Joowon ^^ and SungJoon in 2013 😀

  48. 48 quincy

    Kudos to Jung Ryeo Won for accepting the role of Baek Yeo Chi and carrying the character with so much gusto, innocence and sincerity!

  49. 49 bimbobunny

    “Most shameful mane of shame”

    Oh. My. Lordy. Lord.

    You come up with one of the funniest, if not FUNNIEST things on here that I’ve ever read. What a lovely year it’s been and thanks for your reviews/recaps/news and overall thanks for EVERYTHING DB FAMILY! <3

    and I see Gaksital, took away a lot of titles^^ I haven't seen it yet, but it is on my list to watch.

  50. 50 TiaC

    Yaaaay! Thanks for another year of fun JB, GF, KJ, GM, and HN2!

    Couldn’t agree with your selections better. Gaksital, Answer Me, Padam Padam, QIHM, and Shut Up FBB all made 2012 for me, so I’m super happy to see them gobbling up the wins and honorable mentions here!

    Also? I LITERALLY (as in, this actually happened) did a spit take when I saw the “award” for “Most Acting” for Mr. Handtowel. Fantastic! Hands down best category ever.

    Here’s to Dramaland in 2013. Cheers!

    • 50.1 absolute

      I second this comment! Haha

      Thanks so much Dramabeans staff!

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