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A sweet year of dramas [Year in Review, Part 6]

It was no easy task, trying to choose only five dramas out of an entire year of wonderful stories to write about in my year-end review. In the end, I decided to go with five shows that gave the viewers something a little different than we originally expected — dramas that seemed to be one thing before they started, yet turned out to be something entirely different. And I mean that in a good way, that each of these dramas subverted our expectations in some way that made us sit up and take notice.

It was a good year for dramas that gave us something a little different — there were so many shows that featured characters facing previously-taboo-for-television situations, or that behaved in ways we don’t expect in a drama. We saw dramas that discussed mental illness, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsession, murder, and many topics that usually don’t make it to our television screens… and while they weren’t often done well, occasionally we were offered a drama that really made us think about how we treat people, learn something new about the world, or feel strongly for characters that would previously have been straight-up villains.

As a pastry chef in my “real life” and someone who loves food and feeding people almost as much as I love dramas, I thought about what kind of desserts these dramas would be. They also happen to double as suggestions for something delicious to enjoy while watching each show — a sweet treat that matches the tone and feel of the drama… sort of like pairing a wine with your meal, but with dessert! And before you ask — yes, all of the treats pictured in this review were made by yours truly. Enjoy!

 

Sassy Go Go

Far from being the fluffy high school drama about silly immature cheerleaders that I expected, Sassy Go Go was about friendship, loyalty, love, and forgiveness. Two groups of kids at opposite ends of the school hierarchy went from mortal enemies to inseparable friends during the course of the show, which actually had very little to do with cheerleading and focused more on the evolving relationships between the kids. Sure, it had one of the cutest romances I’ve ever seen on a television screen, but that wasn’t all it was about – these kids had more heart, love, and fire in their souls than most of the adults around them.

But aside from Crinkles and Grumptopus and their mutual admiration for a certain spunky dancer, the thing that sticks with me most is the character arc of their archenemy. She was the kind of girl who would throw anyone and everyone under the bus to be successful… not because she wanted it, but because of the tremendous pressure from her overbearing mother. As the villain, she eventually crossed a line that most people could never forgive, but not only did our heroine and the rest of the kids forgive her, they welcomed her back into their circle of friendship with open arms. I felt inspired by those teenagers to be a better person to those around me, because forgiving someone who doesn’t deserve it is one of the most wonderful things a human being can do.

 

Sassy Go Go is: A key lime tart — light and airy, but with a fresh, tart tang that grounds it and keeps it from being overly sweet.

 

 

 

Ho-gu’s Love

For me, the biggest surprise of the year was probably Ho-gu’s Love, in terms of giving us a drama that was completely unexpected. What seemed at the outset to be a simple rom-com about a beta male pursuing an alpha female way out of his league actually turned out to give us some pretty deep and traumatizing subjects to explore. An assault survivor and a potential gay loveline were the main surprises, though the best thing about the show was Ho-gu himself, who seemed to be an immature manchild but turned out to be stronger and more capable than anyone dreamed he could be.

And far from being a snooty celebrity, our world-class swimmer heroine turned out to be struggling with the aftermath of date rape and the child that resulted, and Ho-gu was challenged to prove that he truly, honestly loved her, and had since their high school years. As a viewer, the hard part was watching her go through the stages of grief over the change in her life, and try to come to terms with her new situation. And through it all, there was Ho-gu, trying to be the pillar she needed even when she was pushing him away. Their relationship turned out the be one of my favorites of the year, because it too had a lot more going on under the surface than expected. These two and the adorable little family they created together will stay in my heart for a long, long time.

 

Ho-gu’s Love is: A multi-layered, fluffy Napoleon — unexpected layer after layer of crisp pastry alternating with a sweet filling, that as a whole, deliver a perfect balance.

 

 

 

I Remember You

I Remember You is one of those shows that I very nearly didn’t watch, despite being a huge fan of both Seo In-gook and Jang Nara — I’m just not the type to watch police procedurals for fun. But I decided to try it out just in case, and I’m so glad I did, because it was far from being a dry string of case after case while cops ran around trying to catch a killer ten times smarter than they were. I was hooked by the show about love, family, and a shared past that broke my heart in all the right ways. And that goes for all of the relationships in the show: father-son, brother-brother, or childhood friend-grumpy forgetful professor. This was one of the few dramas in which I cared about everyone’s feelings and connections.

The biggest surprise of the show was undoubtedly Park Bo-gum, whose ability to switch from childlike innocence and awe of his hyung to cold-blooded rage, was both impressive and chilling to watch. I don’t think any of us expected to fall in love with a morally complex character so easily, but Park made it not just easy, but inevitable. He even managed to steal scenes from Seo In-gook – not an easy feat, when Seo has a reputation of being a scene-stealer himself! But these two made brotherhood look so sincere and painful all at the same time, and I couldn’t get enough of them. Together they raised I Remember You from a good drama to an absolutely great one, and their relationship is right up there with our boys from School 2013 for me… and if you know how much I love those two, that’s high praise indeed!

 

I Remember You is: An Italian cannoli — a tough outer shell that’s full of amazing soft sweetness on the inside.

 

 

 

 

 

Kill Me, Heal Me

Kill Me, Heal Me is probably the most obvious choice for a review about dramas that gave us something unexpected, what with not one, but seven personalities in the body of our hero. I was concerned that the show was trying to do too much, but casting Ji Sung turned out to be a stroke of genius. He played all seven of his personalities with skill, dignity, and a vulnerability that just plucked my heartstrings perfectly. Add in a heroine who had the grace and stubbornness to stick by him even when he was literally changing right in front of her eyes, and you have the recipe for a wonderful story.

Kill Me, Heal Me wasn’t without its flaws, but still it was a show that stuck with you, because of Ji Sung and his wonderful little family of personalities. Each one of them had a rich inner life and a purpose for existing, and were dependent on each other for support in difficult times, making it hard to choose a favorite. But for me, I’d have to say it was Se-gi, the tortured bad boy who was the first to fall for the heroine, whom I loved the most. It was Se-gi who taught us, and the hero himself, how to move forward from the past without fear.

 

Kill Me, Heal Me: Can’t be anything else BUT a rainbow-colored fruit tart — fruits of many different colors, each lovely on its own, but better when combined to create a perfect whole.

 

 

 

Heart to Heart

Heart to Heart was arguably my favorite drama of the year, though it flew under the radar for a lot of drama-viewers. But I just loved the characters so much — the flawed yet lovable hero played by Chun Jung-myung, the painfully awkward yet spunky heroine Choi Kang-hee, her overbearing love-interest-turned-near-stalker cop, and his perky admirer. The most interesting thing about all of these people was that they were all so different than their initial impressions, with much more depth and heart than what they showed to the world. In other words, they acted like real people.

Chun Jung-myung and Choi Kang-hee’s characters were definitely the highlight of the drama, both as individuals and as a couple. The hero’s arrogant bravado turned out to be nothing more than a shield he showed the world, while our heroine surprisingly had a lot of spark and stubbornness for someone who was terrified to even show her face to anyone, preferring to wear a motorcycle helmet to hide her constantly-blushing face. Seeing these two open up to each other, showing their vulnerability to each other and eventually, the world outside, was just such a beautiful experience. And together, they were so strong that they were able to conquer not only their individual demons, but the shared one that they’d unknowingly been carrying for most of their lives.

 

Heart to Heart is: A delicious, comforting bread pudding — something made from common ingredients that surprisingly warms you from the inside out. Even better, and more fitting, if it’s a little bit nutty.

 

 

~~~

A huge thank-you to javabeans and girlfriday for letting me share my love of dramas every week — you two are amazing! Extra love to odilettante for being my soju and galbi buddy, and to Saya for being my sounding board. And to the readers, thanks for being there… hope I gave you something delicious to enjoy as we say goodbye to 2015 and usher in a new year — may it be one full of hope, love, and many good things to eat for all of you!

 
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LolliPip, yay on your review. Also, thank you for your recaps on Oh My Venus.

Fighting ☺

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Thank you for such a lovely review. Just reading it - I've eaten key lime tart, a cannoli and a rainbow fruit tart, and I don't care. It's a metaphorical feast of remembrance, and I get to be greedy guts!

And you just made me want to try a nibble of Napoleon and bread pudding too. Those aren't my normal desserts of choice either, but you've made them sound so good.

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I am so glad that 3 of my favourites of the year are mentioned (SGG,IRY and HGL). Definitely going to check out Heart to Heart now. It was already on my list but it has now jumped up a few spaces.

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Same here! Such compelling reviews! I whole-heartedly agree with reviews of the shows I've seen, so I will soon return to watching Heart to Heart AND making some 'comforting bread pudding' to enjoy with it.

Doesn't get much better than k-drama and dessert!

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Haha, same here. Made me happy to see those shows get some love. And the dessert pictures are absolutely mouthwatering!!! Makes me want to buy pastries and then marathon those shows again! Thanks for the reviews Lollypip!

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I am glad someone mentioned Heart to heart. That drama didn't get the appreciation it deserved. Probably too melodramatic at some places but the characters were amazingly well written and defined and showed one of the great lead chemistry i have seen so far. Also I loved loved its narration and direction.

P.S. : LolliPip, I look forward to your 'oh my venus 'recaps as much as the show itself! :)

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I can understand why a lot people didn't watch H2H but it's still a shame it's so underrated. It's so thoughtful and sincere.

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I'm a big fan of its OSTs

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I watched Heart To Heart too! I liked it, just that when you don't have enough beans to spread your love... =p

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Yeah, me too. It was in my top five as well, and had a really awesome OST!

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I also am sad H2H is so under-appreciated. I loved the show and like you said the chemistry between the leads was great. Their relationship felt much more relaxed and casual compared to most rom-coms out there which I really liked. Sad it doesn't get more recognition.

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Yeah for H2H !!! Loved the show and am glad that LollyPip mentioned it in her list!

Loved CJM and Choi Kang Hee in this show. They were adorable !

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I loved H2H...it's one of the few dramas that I watched watched this year and paid attention to...it was so adult and awesome...as in they acted like real people and not what someone imagines actual adults to do...yes..there are people that cowardly as to blame a child for a tragic event...but there are also people that love you no matter what and relationships should cause you to flower and not curl up and hide away..

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Love all your picks. I share the same sentiment with you, except for heart to heart. I haven't watch them yet.

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Awww the comparisons to the desserts are wonderful! The first 2 drama you wrote about up there really were the best surprises of the year. Those shows did so much more than the premise promised and they were so full of heart. Sassy Go Go literally with all the youthful spirit and Ho Goo's Love was simply a beautiful heartwarming drama with hilarious, kindhearted characters. Persobally felt like both dramas managed not to go down the cliche path and that was its best trait. SGG with their impressive bunch of relatable teenagers and moderately real issues and Ho Goo's love seriously just stunned me and made me so happy when they revealed that the loveline between our two leads were never one sided after all! Their flashback scenes were literally the cutest and I just couldn't help but smile everytime I see that she's just as madly in love with him as he is, and the show manages to tug our feelings and trigger the tears with how painful it was to see her think she isn't good enough for him when in the beginning all clues point to him being way out of her league.

Ah, after reading your review on I Remember You now I'm tempted to watch it. I'm just wondering though if it had a solid ending?

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It had more of an open ending but it was perfect for the show :) Because it was a kind of drama where it was hard to have a definite ending

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+1

It was the perfect ending for a smart show – trusting in the intelligence of its viewers to understand the meaning of the (largely symbolic) final scene.

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I see. Thanks Shirleen and alua :)

Sometimes I love those kind of endings more than if they just tied it up too nicely, depends on the story they set out. I was just worried if it didn't have a satisfying ending since I hate binge watching and having a crappy conclusion. If I follow it week to week - it's almost like you're forced to watch the ending and even if it's disappointing and I tell myself I'm thankful for at least a fun ride at some point of the drama. But when I watch it in one go, I'd rather not start at all haha.

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If you watch and feel unsure about the ending, just read the recap & comments on the final episode.

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debes do watch "I Remember You" it has a solid ending but it will leave you wanting a second season. Not because it felt unfinished our had an open ending but because the characters and story are so good you don't want to let it go. So Good Luck, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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well, continuation for Min is taht he went to the past and became a famous baduk player, ha ha. Hyun would be proud if he knew

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That's nice to hear. Thank you! Happy holidays to you too! :)

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I like the ending but I really hope for season 2,
I hope the ending is how the pd wanted to said how he badly want a season 2

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and the main conflict is about finding his younger brother, in the end, he finds him

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Thank you for your reviews of Bubblegum!

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Love your review and your recaps!! Thanks for the delectable treats!! Keke~ I miss our Grumpy marshmallow!! XD

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Thank you for remembering "I Remember You". You found many gems here.

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Wish you would not limit to five. I depend on you guys a great deal esp recaps from past years so I know what to watch. I only discovered kdramas in 2015 when I accidentally caught ep 18 of maids and was hooked. Your site has provided an invaluable resource to me. Limiting year end to five is not good! I've read every single entry in your yearly recaps from 2007 to present Inc earlier shows. That's how I discovered Devil M awang and Ju Ji hoon etc.

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I loved all your picks, except I didn't watch Hogu's Love past the first couple of episodes. I might have to give it a retry.

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Yeah I dropped Hogu's Love after the first two episodes too. Though I have read only good things about it. Maybe I'll pick it up again in future.

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I watched most of it (I think I skipped an episode or two in the middle). I still think it had a promising start (first 6 or so episodes), but was ultimately left with a bad aftertaste. Really didn't care how they treated a number of issues and there was (frustratingly) almost zero growth in the characters.

It's also the show that has permanently put me off watching anything with Uee. Although High Society (which I couldn't even finish watching) certainly didn't help the matter either...

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I watched it all and I'm with you. It started off with a lot of potential (Uee's character especially); it was so sweet, quirky and charming but I hated how most of the show became dedicated to the more ridiculous plot lines in the drama.

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ahhh Heart To Heart is this warm muffin i want to hold in my hand. Thanks for writing about it! ??

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+1

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+2

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+ 100%

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+20 Alpha

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I'm so glad Hogu's Love got a mention! I loved it so much. Quirky and understated, but it absolutely captured me. Right up there as a favorite rom-com for me :)

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I really love Hogu's Love too!
Compared to Oh My Ghostess and Twenty Again, Hogu didn't get as much publicity here, but it's actually one of my fave for this year. It's really sweet and got my heart :)

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Thank you LollyPip for your fav desserts!!

And really appreciate you taking up Sassy Go Go! as well as KMHM.... I know many I Remember You fans are probably very happy now that you also gave a review on this drama.

Indeed Sassy Go Go! for me is THE underdog of the year, with the actual drama being so much more than the initially introduced premise. The bromance between Crinkles and Grumptopus is 1 of the few best ones I've seen on kdramaland these years, with both boys' acting skills very much on par with each other hence making this relationship so REAL that I care so much about each of them. Overall great acting by not just the main leads but the entire ensemble. A totally outstanding and realistic school drama.

I've not seen Ho Gu's Love and Heart to Heart, and only finished a few episodes of I Remember You. But because of the rage here about how good IRY is, I'll give it another try (not a great Jang Nara fan) mostly because of Seo In Guk and Park Bo Gum.

Really love reading your recaps here too so thank you LollyPip and happy holidays!

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I am so glad that you mentioned "I Remember You". It was underrated while it was airing, but so very much worth the watch. Seo In Gook was absolutely wonderful, the chemistry between the leads was believable, and the interactions between the entire cast made the entire show so enjoyable.
Just a solid drama all around.

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Ms. LollyPip, so you are a Pastry Chef in real life?, that explains a lot about your compassive and sweet voice as a writer.

Thanks for this year of recaps.

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Thank you Lollypip- I wholeheartedly agree with all five! of your recaps. There truly was something special about each one and I am so glad that dramaland took some risks this year. Especially with Heart to Heart. SPOILER ALERT:::::::::: I remember when the main couple have their first kiss and then double checking the episode number thinking that there is no way a kiss could be happening this early in drama land. Then I smiled contently and impatiently waited for the next episode. :-)

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I know!!!! I did the same thing lol... And what a great scene it was ;)

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What a great review! I love all the dessert comparisons. ^___^

I've only watched KMHM out of all these dramas. I need to watch moreeeee. ;)

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Your review on IRY makes me want to watch it again. I still listen to the OST bec it's wonderful and I'm to have discovered PBG in IRY. Thanks for the wonderful recaps this year Lolly!

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Only watched Sassy Go Go and I Remember You but your pastry comparison is lovely. And now i am hungry T T

Park Bo Gum is seriously good, isn't he? I am still surprised on how he could act that convincing in such a young age. He is even younger than me. Oh, and for every single cast in SGG, i am willing to share my cake for you all you sweet sweet show ❤

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I think I'll be willing to buy a whole cake each for the SGG cast. They were just too precious. Even with a perfectly good and well written script, a drama can really go downhill had a cast full of relatively rookies and young actors not known how to handle it well, but they were just excellent.

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Seriously, they deserve it. Sassy Go Go was a masterclass in characters who could all have fallen into the trap of being such archetypes that you were indifferent to them or didn't care what happened to them, but Jung Eunji, Lee Won-geun, Chae Soo-bin and Ji-soo in particular were pitch-perfect.

I've seen way too many high school dramas

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*too many otherwise promising high school dramas brought down a level or several by bad/indifferent acting, but Sassy Go Go was not one of those - this cast might have been rookies, but they could act!

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Indeed they made us fall in love with each and every character. Eunji, Won Geun, Soo Bin and Ji Soo were stunning indeed; but even those with less air time mafe the best out of what was given of them that made it so hard not to care.

Wonderful bunch of rookies, they have a long way ahead of them. I pray a great career for each and everyone of them. I didn't follow it weekly (watched ep 1 but then exams started) and quickly gobbled it all up right after ep 12 aired, and watched it all again with my mother haha. Anyway, I'm not entirely sure if they did liveshoot, but after stalking them during the withadrawal period it seems like they did (?) and it seemed like they hadn't prepared much before it started airing. But they all slayed it anyway, and more importantly, it looks like they all have formed some lovely and hopefully lasting friendship. I guess their youthful spirit and chemistry must have been true for it to shine and rub off to the audience to such an extent. :") I hope they all show up together during the end of year KBS awards.

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SGG has the cast that not just young but give youthful feeling to everyone, they're simple minded but also realize how the world is, they just really good and I find really relatable as a high school student.
high school drama can be fun and not all need a murderous intent

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Yup yup. Although a murderous story can be a hella lot of fun (Angry Mom was another one of on the top of my list this year), seeing such simple minded teens who are naive but they know just enough and they are slowly learning the unwritten laws of the world - like most teenagers in this world.

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I have expected at least thirty-thousand-word essay of I Remember You .... but yeah... just the sight of it at the top picture has turned me into a puddle of goo.

I can't fathom how much I love that show.. even after several months, I'm still loving every bit of it.

I love Seo In Guk's portrayal of Hyun... Sharp tongue and sexy brain, and not mention the fabulous wardrobe all drama long.

I love Jang Nara's Cha Ji an to pieces. I adore females who can stand tall among the male colleagues and strong enough to defend herself and smart enough to figure things out. This is for me my most favorite role of Jang.

Park Bo Gum... sigh... where to start?? When you were being pouty and childlike I wanted to squeeze your very cheeks.. and when you turned into a cold-blood psycho I was so scared I thought I stopped breathing. And this adoration continued to Reply 1988, and I love Taekkie so much even though I haven't watched the drama, not even a second.

And the OST... I looooooooooooooooooooooooove the Dear Cloud's Remember sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much!!

And I really wanted to talk about how much more I love this Show but I dun want to trash this site with my repeated comments.
All in all, I Remember You is definitely one of the brightest gem ever found in this 2015. And for that I than God and KBS for making it happen.

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Typo

"And for that I thank God and KBS for making it happen.

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Hi-5 girlfriend! I feel the same way! :D

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Yes, Heart to Heart and Sassy Go Go Go were some of my most satisfying dramas this year! Thank you for the caps Lollypip!

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LollyPip yay! You reviewed some of my favorite dramas in 2015

Heart to Heart - I will forever love this legitimately genuine, atypical, blushing couple, and their sarcastic terms of endearment, such an endearing, lovable couple;

Sassy Go Go - words fail me to describe what an unexpected pleasure this little gem of a high school drama was for me. It was a reason to rever and become addicted to Mondays and Tuesdays for six short weeks; definitely in my Top Three Dramas for this year

I Remember You - Another one of my Top Three Favorite dramas. So underrated but so true to itself, an unexpected gem and a real delight, that got me rooting so hard for the bromance. It had Park Bo Gum, and Seo In Guk, Choi Won Gun, a plot that never faltered, a tightly woven script, and a brilliant performance by each cast member. What's not to love?

And KMHM - The third of my Top Three Dramas for this year. It had Ji Sung, Ji Sung, Ji Sung, Ji Sung, Ji Sung, Ji Sung and more Ji Sung, need I say more?

Thanks LollyPip for your review, coincidentally four of the dramas you picked happen to be beloved favorites of mine!

Happy Holidays!

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I'm so glad you mentioned Heart to Heart -because like you, I was also surprised at how much I LOVED it. It was sweet and fun and deep and quirky and ahhh I could just keep going.

As a certified sugar addict - I loved the dessert pairings! Now I'm craving a cannoli....*goes off to find something sweet*

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Yay, Heart to Heart was also my favorite of 2015. Thank you to all of DB writers for all the recaps and reviews. You guys are my savior after a hard of work. Happy Holidays!

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LOL I suddenly imagined Lollypip looking like Kim Sam Soon.

Except for Hogu's Love, I thoroughly enjoyed all the dramas she listed above. Heart to Heart was my favorite rom-com of 2015. I had it as a tie between Heart to Heart and Oh My Ghostess but Heart to Heart won out only because Oh My Ghostess had the one two punch of Park Bo Young and Kim Seul Gi and Heart to Heart caught me more by surprise because I was not a fan of anybody in the cast.

Honestly though, Splash Splash Love was, hands down, my favorite for this year but it's only a drama special so... disqualified. lol

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Splish Splash Love was cute, but so full of clichés... I don´t think it was the best drama, and it was rather cheesy, but if you switch out your brain, it is quite cute.

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But it's my kind of cheesy! lol What can I say, I adore Kim Seul Gi immensely.

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Splash Splash Love has been killing me, these last ten days.

Yoon Doo-joon and Kim Seul-gi's chemistry is something else. I was expecting it to be cute and engaging, but I wasn't expecting those levels of scorching hot, even when they're fifty feet apart in a courtyard and have only set eyes on each other for the first time (now can someone please cast them together in something, please).

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I thought there was a LOT of kissing (being so used to kdrama chasteness and all these actresses that don't want to risk their "pure" image). Another reason to love Kim Seul-gi – she'll give her 101%. Damn, I hope this girl gets into the film rather than drama business because she has got the acting chops for it.

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yeah, the skinship levels were through the roof, they did not skimp on any opportunity to get the leads in close proximity!

(and with that chemistry, it would be a waste not to, though they had it in spades even without the skinship)

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That scene at the beach near the end of the drama gave me all kinds of warm and fuzzies. It was so bittersweet and romantic. It literally gave me serious heartache. It was like watching the beach scene in Coffee Prince but all acted out without dialog.

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@Aigooo - yeah, when I realised just what he was doing, I almost howled. That scene was so perfectly played between the two of them.

And it really speaks to the power of chemistry - it's the thing that elevates scenes into believability no matter how cheesy they would be on paper (Sassy Go Go) or how absurd the entire premise would be (Splash Splash Love) otherwise.

Because without it, someone can be wearing a slinky dress and straddling her boyfriend in a chair, and all I'll think is 'awww, poor Yeo Jin-gu looks like such a puppy', not 'omg you, NOW KISS!!'

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Agree. It was cute... but cheesy/clichéd as hell. And I absolutely needed to switch off my brain (which, had it been any longer than 2 episodes, I would not have managed).

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2 episodes was just the right length to stay focused on the good stuff (the leads and the romance/character stuff) and not get bogged down in the usual sageuk side plots.

Sure, I wanted more at the end but a 16-episoder would probably dilute a lot of what I loved. And considering the king was a real-life figure, there was no other way to end it. But it was gorgeously shot and presented, especially their last scene together by the sea.

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Yeah, with 16 episodes I would have hated all the political scheming (I was rolling my eyes at the queen in the first part, in a 16 episode version, she would have been awful for at least 10!) and it would have been much harder to switch off my brain regarding the way the king was behaving (which was very, very, very modern – no way he would have *not* have slept with the girl back in those times).

But, I also watched Snow Lotus (also modern/sageuk combo, also cross-dressing), which, compared to Splash Splash Love, was just terrible (more clichés, less interesting/more obnoxious characters, actors nowhere near as good etc)!

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I guess the not-sleeping-with-her squared off with the idea that Sejong was a modern/progressive guy at heart, but then fusion sageuks - let alone sci-fi/fantasy fusion sageuks - aren't exactly hotbeds of authenticity.

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I'm with you. I love the OTPs though, and it makes me laugh out loud! The only really weak actor amongst all of them is the royal guard who turns out to be a musical prodigy. I love SSL, but glad that it's only two episodes because I don't think I can watch more of that particular actor.

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oh yeah, him. He's ok as the strong-but-silent type with limited screen time, but the limited screen time is a very good thing!

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It was really fun and really really cheesy, and sometimes, to the point of just being silly. But everyone needs a little light-heartedness, right? A few moments of splashing in puddles! I love Kim Seul-Gi. But I'd like to see her not just in slapstick comedy though - I think she's got depths and there were a couple of moments there, I thought the waters could run deeper.

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the real question is: does Cha Do Hyun, who lives as Perry Park, know, that power turned his secretary evil in the next drama? Or does HE have multiple personalitieis now?

I have no more words for IRY.
Funny, LollyPip, how you pick a similar way to compare dramas through food like I did.
Kill Me Heal Me is like that childhood favorite dish that might not be high cuisine and maybe weird things were put together, like I eat cucumber with ketchup or turnips with honey and cheese, but for some reason it was irresistable. and IRY is something I could eat every day - and there is only one thing. Raspberries. They do suck calcium out of the bones and make me weak, but I am fine with that. Raspberries are the best food in the world for me, and IRY is raspberries.

I am glad you mention Heart to Heart, because it was an interesting role for Choi Kang Hee. I don´t think I have been that curious about her characters before, though I always thought she was a sassy actress.

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Yes, you included Sassy Go Go! Thank you, LollyPip, I loved that drama to pieces. It was indeed so much more than everyone was expecting, and I never minded it wasn't about cheerleading at all.
For me, the relationships are what made tis drama: the OTP, the bromance, and the sweet friendship that enabled even the antagonist to go back to the group, I admire the show so much for that.
I also curiously happen to love lime tarts. Mmm, what a coincidence.
Everyone's being raving about I Remember You, soI might give it a try---although I don't think I'm ready to see Park Bo Gum play a serial killer, I love him right now as the innocent Taek and I can't really picture him as anyone else.

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Do watch Park Bo Gum in IRY, Believe me you won't be Disappointed!

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and just release the tension by screaming when his eyes turn evil. those moments were so chilling

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I'm still in disbelief about Sassy Go Go and how it managed to be so good despite all the odds stacked against it. And I'm another one who doesn't mind that it wasn't really about cheerleading, because what it was about was so much better.

Do watch IRY, I'm not a huge fan of kdrama procedurals on the Big 3 but IRY is a cut above (and really picks up once PBGshows up)

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oh, and I'm also a lime tart lover who's tickled pink that that was the dessert LollyPip assigned to Sassy Go Go!

anyway, do try IRY. I don't think PBG being Taek at the same time will cause much of a problem, since his character in IRY feels like a totally different person from Taek (as in, I sometimes have a hard time believing the same actor is playing both characters)

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Sassy Go Go was definitely my favorite drama of the year, (and I've seen a ton!) but my second fave was IRY. If you like bromance, you'll love it.

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You really should give it a try. Park Go Gum really played excellent in IRY. He could shift back and forth smoothly from cold-blood serial killer to innocent lovely Min in a second. His interaction with Seo In Guk was great.

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I love cannolis so I may have to check out I Remember You...

I love all your recaps, LollyPip and your job totally reminds me of My Lovely Sam Soon!

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I'm so glad you picked I Remember You. Speaking of I Remember You, may be I need to write a 600 words essay for it.

After reading your comments, I need to give a try for Sassy Go Go, Ho Gu's Love and Heart to Heart. I trust your taste.

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Thanks Lollypip. Reading you is such sweet dessert. Except for two, the rest have gone under the radar indeed. Glad to have some time to marathon.

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Hey LollyPip thanks a lot for your reviews. You picked the shows that I was waiting for in the year-end reviews.

IRY is my favourite show this year. I am one of the few still active on the IRY threads. I loved everything in IRY- from the brilliant actors, the intelligent writers to the awesome director who kept giving us amazing episodes week after week despite the abysmal ratings. My love for this show is still strong even after months since it ended!

KMHM was great mostly because of Ji Sung. He was stellar in his acting of 7 different personalities so much so that I really thought I was watching 7 different people!

Sassy Go Go was a very sweet show with adorable actors. I was a fan of Ji Soo from Angry Mom and Eun Ji since AM1997 but Mister Crinkly Smile was another welcome edition to my list of cute actors.

Hogu's Love doesn't get as much praise as it should. It tackled serious issues with a smile. I am looking forward to better things for the actor who played HoGu (I know him as 'dragon' from Fated to Love You and I think he was also in Rooftop Prince).

I have not seen Heart to Heart but I sure will watch it now that you have recommended it.

Now if only someone takes up Ex-Girlfriends Club. :)

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Plus the desserts were really apt! And you seem to be an awesome baker :)

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It's a little sad but rather apt that Seo In-gook and Jung Eunji are in two of the year's best and most underrated shows.

I really respect that both IRY and Sassy Go Go stuck to the stories they wanted to tell and didn't go chasing ratings.

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you should give eash of Ji Sung´s alters a dessert of their own!

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RUM and raisin ice-cream for Perry Park?

Strawberry cheesecake for Yona?

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tarte tatin for the sophisticated Yo Sub (that he will only stare), molten chilly chocolate volcano for Se Gi, flan for Cha Do Hyun, mystery truffle selection for Mr. X and marzipan Teddy for Nana/little DoHyunnie

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awesome! Those are spot-on.

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I love 4/5 dramas you have mentioned. They are indeed unique and special.I just didn't watch heart to heart. Maybe I will give it a try when I have less dramas on my plate.

P.S. you are a pastry chef in real life? That's so awesome. I wish i had a best friend who was a pastry chef lol.

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I'm among those few who squeed seeing IRY being reviewed here. I was waiting for at least one of you wonderful ladies to mention this awesome drama so I'm really glad it's one of your pastries, Lollypip! Those desserts look really good btw. I wanted to grab one of those tarts out of the screen and pop it in my mouth!
I agree with all you wrote about SGG & IRY. Esp IRY.
"But these two made brotherhood look so sincere and painful all at the same time, and I couldn’t get enough of them." This. Is exactly how I felt about those two bros. I started this drama solely for SIG, and didn't care much for PBG's character at first when he was still 'just' a random lawyer, but as the story unfolds he just...shone. Great acting from such a young actor.

And now after reading your delicious review, I have the urge to go and check out the other two shows I haven't watched, Hogu & HtH. Aside from craving for those pastries, of course.

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OMG THANK YOU for reviewing I REMEMBER YOU. I was slightly disappointed when no one chose IRY in their review list. So thank you!

I'm happy to see so much love here for my fav drama. Like a lot of other people, Park Bogum definitely brought this drama to a new level and made me fall in love with him.

Let's not forget Choi WonYoung and D.O for their superb and chiling performance. And the child actor who played Hyun. And the dad. And and and just about everyone else - the whole investigation team and the art gallery director. Props to the production team for putting a perfect cast together. Seriously one of the few dramas where literally i didnt think a single actor felt out of place (even the minor minor characters)

I remember how I had no interest in this drama when it first came out cause the poster just screamed cheesy police rom-com to me. So glad I stumbled across the fan video of Min and Hyun.

I should probably shut up now. But really, i urge those who haven't watched it yet to go watch it NOW.

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Lollipip!!!!!!!

Amazing! I knew you had amazing taste but this just confirmed it for me. For putting I Remember You and Sassy Go Go on your list, you, yes you are chocolate chip ice-cream. Dependable for a pick me up and always bringing me a smile while satisfying my sweet tooth. Amazing really.

I also loved Kill Me Heal Me. Shin Se Gi! Perry Park!! Ah Yona!!!! Love all seven of Ji Sung's personality. Loved them all to bits. And they were all so real and a part of Cha Do Hyun all at once. Loved how they did the resolution between Shin Se Gi, the last one standing and Cha Do Hyun. Nothing like Jerkyll, Hyde and Me. Crappy series. Kill Me Heal Me is kdrama multiple personalities done right!

I already have Hogu's Love and Heart to Heart queued on my play next list. I'll just move them up because I trust your judgement :).

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Loved every one of these barring "Ho-Gu's Love", which is now in my line up. I'm about to start watching Reply 1988 of which I've only read the recaps here on dramabeans. Loved your picks and as lots of commentators have said here am absolutely waiting with bated breath for each and every one of your 'Oh My Venus' recaps. That show and your recaps are becoming the highlight of my year.

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YAY for Sassy Go Go finally making it into a year-end roundup ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ and thank you so much for the recaps too!

It really was the unexpected gem of the year for me - rookie cast+high school setting+ a writer with no known hits AND a lead time of less than a month from casting to premiere date leads to at least one element going sour, but everyone outdid themselves - especially the four leads, who made it all look so effortless. And the level of detail often evident in the way things were shot, framed and positioned is rather amazing, in hindsight.(also it makes me giggle that you made it a key lime pie, since lime/lemon-flavoured desserts are my favourite type)

I also started watching I Remember You properly a couple of weeks ago, and it was everything Gap-dong tried to be but ultimately wasn't. Also, Seo In-gook/Park Bo-gum are blowing my mind. It makes me grin to think that they'll both be Answer Me alumnae now!

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<I Remember You is one of those shows that I very nearly didn’t watch, despite being a huge fan of both Seo In-gook and Jang Nara — I’m just not the type to watch police procedurals for fun.

Police procedurals are often so same-same that I'm rarely interested in them. Didn't know anything about Seo In-gook and sort of didn't care for Jang Nara, so I had no intention of watching this at all. I did try the first episode, which didn't hook me so I didn't continue. But I skimmed the recaps (oh the power of procrastination!) and everyone's comments made me feel I was really missed out on something. So more than half way through the drama, I started watching (with ep 10). And loved it. Because it was a smart show. With smart characters. Seo In-gook was lovely. Jang Nara was lovely (more characters like hers please! Park Bo-gum was a standout as well. And once the drama finished (wonderfully, in smart manner that made me feel the drama writers respected their viewers), I went back and marathoner all the episodes I had missed.

Nothing better than to be proven wrong with a drama that, on paper, you have zero expectations for but in reality end up loving! Plus, this is one of literally only two dramas that I enjoyed this year (so manner others I dropped!).

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*MISSING out on
*marathoned
*so MANY others

:-P

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Wow, beautiful review!
I loved all shows you mentioned... we probably have a similar taste :--) ... and that's also maybe why for the first time I regret that the choice has been limited to 5... ;--)

PS Ha, I also had Kim Sam Soon reaction as some other readers :--)
And your recaps are always so warm... Thanks for your hard work this year!!!

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Thank you so much for these sweet and lovely reviews Lollipip :D :D
They were so well-written (I love the dessert analogies) and reminded me of my favourite things about the dramas I knew.

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LollyPip, I was hoping that you'll choose Bubblegum to tell about...Anyway, thanks for you recaps for Bubblegum. Well, this show doesn't need to be additionally praised to remain the best show in 2015 at least for me.
Thanks fot this selection. KMHM was great show.

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Thank you for the wonderful review! It's my favorite thus far. I love the dessert-drama analogy you made - it's vastly creative. :)

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Oh we have the same taste, I haven't watch Hogu out of five but I agree that 4 give long lasting impression,
what differ about KMHM is the last casting minutes, since I am a fan of Ji sung and Hwang Jeung Um while have so much interest with Park Seo Joon (he's handsome), I don't expect it to be so deep.
I really hope this show is pre-produce because after watching it, the writer clearly have direction and want to tied the beginning to the ending, it just they have no one to act until the last 2 weeks (feel kinda like miracle for the Production team if the were me).
The editing is messy but they manage to capture many memorable place out of nothing, such as the graffiti, the Oh house, and do hyun house (I like the design). The character is really different but manage to find their way for the viewer, who knew we gonna love Perry park the ahjussi.
KMHM also manage to gives a mystery every episode so people can keep guessing for the entire waiting period and the lovable sibling (I still remember Ri-On parallel world thinking)
Sasssy gogo also manage to strip my heart, lee won geun played the hearts right, that dude can be a real player. SGG is just a high school drama that really about teens, as silly its get, I remember laughing about dumpling with 3 of my friend and get scolded crazily because the teacher things nothing funny about it.
IRY is nice and season 2 candidate (serious!), I like the tone and the acting that gives more layer to just a criminal minds esque drama, all the cast is brilliant, even the young D.O and the adult counterpart, the brother and overly looking young younger brother is just match, jang nara is badass even if she's small.....

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heart to heart was my top 3 this year along with Punch, Heart to Heart, Missing Noir, Valid Love.

Heart to Heart totally guinene, endearing and full of heart.

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Thank you for your sweet review, miss Lollypip. I always love to read your recap.
So glad that someone finally write about I Remember You. That was a really great drama that knows exactly where it heading and not afraid to do that. My favorite scene would be all scenes when our 3 resident psycopaths met, ate, and talked. There's always so much tension between them that I'm surprised nothing combusted in the room. And the complicated, painful, yet heartwarming relationship between those 2 brothers just add a cherry on top of an already wonderful show.

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YES. Punches fist for Hogu's Love.

Thanks!

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Hey, thanks for including Hogu's love in your review. It is definitely one of the most underrated dramas this year!

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Yay! So glad someone wrote about IRY. Seo In-gook and Park Bo-gum were amazing but I also really loved Jang Nara in this. I feel like the female leads in cop/thriller shows tend to fall a bit flat for me but Jang Nara's character was just wonderful. She could put up a fight (despite her small stature), use her brain, and wasn't underestimated by her male colleagues - not something you see often in a drama. She probably was my favorite female character of the year. All I want for Christmas is a season 2 reunion...

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