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[2018 Year in Review] Sifting through mediocrity

It’s hard for me to look back at the year 2018 in dramaland with anything other than an overwhelming sense of disappointment. Whether it was plain revenge plots with a bizarre romance that came out of absolutely nowhere in Lawless Attorney, or just a complete train wreck of a show in Cross, it seemed like everything I watched this year managed to be a massive letdown.

Sure, you could argue this probably stems from my genre of preference generally being darker revenge thrillers, but even when I decided to dip my toes in the romance pool this year I managed to pick a decidedly mediocre Are You Human Too. Perhaps I was just cursed when it came to drama choices this year, and hopefully a new year means I won’t spend the majority of my drama-watching time questioning my life choices again.

But rather than stew on the negatives of the past year, why don’t we instead focus on the stuff dramas got right this year? Because even in what was a down year for me, there was still a fair amount of enjoyment to be had in between all the middling revenge plots. Let it be known that there will definitely be spoilers below.

Sketch

I’m going to start with a drama that as whole, still kind of disappointed me in the end, but had flashes of brilliance in there which elevated it to another level. The main crime-solving team in Sketch was pretty poorly written; with some baffling decisions being made throughout the show’s run. Given the fact that this team was ostensibly who we’re meant to be following and rooting for, it kind of made the overarching plot of the show fall flat. But it’s everything surrounding the main team that made this drama shine.

The villainous trio was the most compelling set of bad guys on television this year. Jung Jin-young absolutely slayed as Jang Tae-joon, the enigmatic apparent-mastermind (more on that later) guiding his mercenary through all sorts of nefarious deeds all in the name of some higher power. His presence commanded respect, and his nebulous ability to see the future provided him with an almost-god-like aura on screen. All I’m saying is that if Jang Tae-joon were a cult leader, I would probably join him.

And let’s be honest, it basically was a cult he was running. It’s not really surprising that an elite soldier whose wife was just brutally murdered would be swept up in it like Lee Dong-gun’s Kim Do-jin was. For his part, Do-jin was exactly the instrument Jang Tae-joon needed to carry out his mission — he was a loyal soldier who was unlikely to question the reason he was killing people. With the promise of being able to get revenge for his wife’s murder, Do-jin was willing to go to extreme lengths when he was given something to live for again.

But it obviously wasn’t long before Do-jin came to realize that the guy who can apparently see the future probably would have been able to see that Do-jin’s wife was going to be murdered. Of course this was not only the case, but Jang Tae-joon specifically chose not to intervene so Do-jin would be so bent on revenge that he would be willing to become a mercenary without question.

This really was the heart of what made their story so compelling. All this time, Do-jin killed people in the name of saving others from being killed — and that is essentially what Jang Tae-joon did to him too. He knew that by letting Do-jin’s wife die, he could then use Do-jin to save even more lives by killing others. The moral conflict of whether killing one person to save others was justifiable, and how to judge the value and worthiness of a life drove the two of them into one of the most gripping arcs of the year.

That’s not to mention the man who was actually pulling the strings of Jang Tae-joon all along. We found out fairly early that there was someone else behind the scenes, but he was shrouded in mystery for the longest time. Imagine my surprise when that man turned out to be Lee Seung-joo as Yoo Shi-joon, the brother of our sketch-drawing protagonist, with a much more refined ability to see the future than his sister.

Prior to the reveal, there was really no reason to suspect the prosecutor, who was effectively an extra member of the main team at that point. And yet, when his true nature was revealed, it all made sense. You could look back at every interaction he had over the previous episodes with a whole new perspective. It’s refreshing when a show can pull a twist off in such a way that you not only can’t see it coming, but upon reflection make you wonder how you didn’t realize it sooner.

All of this highlighted how much better the villains were written versus the main team. Give me a drama that just follows the three of them on their crusade for the greater good, instead of what I would describe as a borderline incompetent main team. The villains stole the show for me, and it’s sort of a shame that they got caught by a slip-up. If we’re being honest, the slip-up was absolutely not enough to make Rain’s character suspicious of Shi-joon. Alas, even well told stories sometimes get tripped up on the ending.

Misty

Speaking of blowing the ending, it’s time to talk about Misty! I’m mostly kidding, as I didn’t have as negative a reaction to the Misty finale as everyone else apparently did. Sure, it could probably be tidier, or they could have executed their idea a little bit better, but I think it’s still mostly fine as a cap to the story. Lost in the reaction to the ending, though, was the fact that the first 15-and-three-quarters episodes were absolutely fantastic.

It would be a travesty to start with anything other than Kim Nam-joo’s performance, because this entire show revolves around her, and she absolutely brought the house down. Her portrayal of Go Hye-ran, ruthless anchorwoman fighting not only to keep her position as the host of her network’s prime-time news show, but also to absolve herself from the allegations of murder thrown her way, is phenomenal.

Hye-ran was willing to go to any length to defend herself. This is why it was impossible to tell for sure whether or Hye-ran really did kill Kevin Lee. She was cold and calculated, but at the same time showed a relentless fire for bringing the truth to the people through the news. She even turned her would-be enemies into unexpected allies who were just as willing to fight for Hye-ran’s name.

All the while, Hye-ran’s personal life (murder allegations aside) spiraled completely out of control. A lesser person would have wilted under all the pressure, but Hye-ran’s undying resolve shone through and kept her on her feet. She never gave up in her battle to survive in an increasingly cutthroat environment. Kim Nam-joo brought this incredibly rich character to life week in and week out, and for my money, it’s the best performance of any actor, male or female, of the year.

That’s not to take anything away from Ji Jin-hee, who was excellent in his role as Hye-ran’s husband Kang Tae-wook. He was the quintessential nice-guy-who-always-finishes-last, and it becomes increasingly clear throughout the drama’s run that she never actually loved him. Despite this, he continued his oft rebuffed attempts at what you’d call a normal married relationship, and watched as she attempted to hide her infidelity from him.

Of course, the other man Kevin Lee is more than happy to rub her unfaithfulness in Tae-wook’s face. As Tae-wook grappled with how to handle his crumbling personal life, we got the pleasure of watching Ji Jin-hee’s heart-wrenching portrayal of a man trying to hold it all together. Truly tugging at the hearts of everyone watching, it’s not really all that surprising that he would snap. The moment of revelation for Hye-ran when she realizes what her husband has done, and his desperate attempts to pretend it never happened, are a masterclass by both actors.

And while those two were out trying to steal the show, even the supporting cast put on some memorable performances of their own. Jin Ki-joo’s rival reporter and heir apparent to Hye-ran’s role as host could have easily been a one-note challenger to Hye-ran, but she quickly evolved into a badass protégé in her own right. Jeon Hye-jin was great as a childhood friend of Hye-ran and the wife of Kevin Lee who frustrated the viewers as an obstacle to Hye-ran. Even Lee Kyung-young’s newsroom director is more well-layered and nuanced than you would expect of a secondary character, and his relationship with Hye-ran and the news in general is an interesting thread in the fabric of the show.

Add these excellent performances together, couple them with a well-paced, smart plot, add in a magnificent soundtrack (which the sound direction team used to absolute perfection), and Misty managed to deliver an enthralling drama. If they had managed to stick the landing, we’d be talking about it for drama of the year. As it is, I’d say it’s still very much worth a watch.

My Ajusshi

Of course, Misty would be hard-pressed to actually win drama of the year, because My Ajusshi exists, and well, that’s some tough competition. I’m going to come right out and say that I am massively IU-biased. I’m also very biased toward director Kim Won-seok. Suffice to say, I came in to My Ajusshi with incredibly high expectations. Which makes the fact that the show managed to exceed them quite an accomplishment.

Let’s start with Lee Ji-an, IU’s downtrodden, possible-sociopath temp worker. What a total badass. Ji-an, obviously hardened by her troubled past, walked all over the CEO of her own company, and plotted to get managers of the company fired (much more effectively than their other enemies can manage, I might add). Even when others tried to take her down a notch, like the female coworker who tried to blackmail her over her kiss with Lee Seon-kyun, or the loan shark basically holding her life hostage, Ji-an viciously bit back at them, refusing to be run over without a fight.

But she wasn’t just a down-on-her-luck girl struggling to survive for her own sake. What made her character even more special was her devoted care of her deaf, bedridden grandmother, whom Ji-an struggled to take care of with limited funds thanks to her enormous debt. Through this, and subsequently her relationship with Lee Seon-kyun’s character, we see Ji-an’s apparently icy heart is a lot softer than it first appeared. IU, who previously faced questions about her acting skills, silenced her detractors with a brilliant performance. She was not an actress playing a character, she was Lee Ji-an.

Lee Seon-kyun, for his part, also turned in a great performance as Park Dong-hoon. While I would say the character is less interesting than Ji-an, there’s still a hefty amount to dig through. Similarly downtrodden, Dong-hoon suffered through his wife’s unfaithfulness with the man he probably hates most in the world. He is chronically stepped on by others because of his desire to be a good, upstanding person. As Ji-an said best, he was “struggling through his life sentence of earnestness.”

Of course, their tragic connection to each other through their similarly depressing lives is what brought them together in the end. Their beautiful relationship was absolutely heart-warming to watch unfold. In a way, they were able to find something great in what was an otherwise crushing existence, and they were able to brighten each others’ lives as a result.

It serves as an interesting parallel to my year in dramas. Despite the constant wave of disappointment from the shows I watched, My Ajusshi was there to show me that there still was something that could warm my heart and keep me from losing all hope in dramas this year. It should probably go without saying, but I think everyone owes it to themselves to check out My Ajusshi. Here’s hoping that the disappointment of 2018 fades, and just like for Ji-an and Dong-hoon, being on the other side of the rough patch will be all smiles.

 
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I completely agree, this year was a major slump for me and I also prefer darker, crime/thriller shows and the ones we got where underwhelming at best and mediocre and disappointing at worst. Now that I look back at 2018, I didn’t watch barely as many kdramas just due to the plots not being interesting enough to keep me engaged. Oh well hopefully 2019 starts better

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Yeah, maybe that's why of the 31 dramas I have on my Watchlist on Viki, only 3 of them are kdramas and one of those is a rewatch. The rest are either Cdramas or Taiwanese. The only two kdramas that I even remember in a good way are Just Between Lovers (was that even this year? I don't remember) and Life on Mars. I dropped everything else without finishing. My three favorite dramas this year were actually Chinese and I had to "eat my words" about that because a year ago I was complaining DF had too many Chinese dramas - that comment was made without even trying a cdrama!

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I pick Age of Youth 2, and it turns out it aired on 2017. Lol So this year, me precisely most of it watched old kdrama so basically I do re-watch things to binge-watching. Some old kdrama, maybe not too old because some of it aired on 2017, but really are worth to re-watch.

P/s: I don’t Like Taiwan, Chinese @ HK dramas.

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Ha, that's what I said last year when a friend recommended a Chinese drama - "I don't like Chinese dramas!" Then I got hooked on Nirvana in Fire 2 and it's become my favorite drama ever.
I pretty much give every new drama at least a try.

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So that’s mean I will be you next year. Lol

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I really like Nirvana in Fire 2 and Liu Haoran. However, love, love, love Nirvana in Fire 1. Signal used to be my fave Asian drama. Now it's NiF1.

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I've tried to watch NiF1 4 or 5 times and just couldn't get into it. Perhaps next year (which is quite soon).

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I also just couldn't get through NiF... despite so many rave reviews!

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Ms. Linda, please try out Japanese Dramas. Generally speaking, you will be pleasantly surprised.

Merry Christmas!!!.

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Once I run through the almost 50 cdramas and Taiwanese on my "To Watch" list, then I'll go with Japanese. Though I have watched Kage no Gundan.
It might not take that long anyway because if I'm not interested the first 10 minutes I drop a drama and go on to something else.

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If you don't mind an oldie (1996) I do recommend "Long Vacation", a noona romance set up in the post-bubble Japan. I can't recommend it enough.

Also check out "Kekkon Dekinai Otoko", its humor even wittier and dryer.

Merry Christmas to you!

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I'm seconding both of the above recommendations. Also Pride, if you can find it. My favorite jdorama ever.

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You'll have to recommend something that's on either Viki or Netflix, Asiancrush or Tubi tv. But I'll try to find your rec'd on Search.

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My Ajusshi ♥ ♥ ♥

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Yeah Well, I'm with you on this... I thought last year sucked but 2018 managed to be worse. I like a good rom com but my favorite genre will always be thrillers and mysteries so I was thankful for Memories of the Alhambra although it came late in the game ... I was sorely disappointed by Are You Human Too but very surprised and delighted by its fluffy counterpart I'm not a robot.
Basically I only managed to truly love 3 shows this year ( not counting Alhambra): I'm not a Robot, Familiar Wife and The Ghost Detective ( which I'm among the minority here... but again the second half of W was heavily criticized here, I rewatched the show two weeks ago and nope, it still blew my mind big time so I'm resigned to always be in opposition with the vast majority of the beanies).

Can't say there was no drama I liked (such as Come and Hug Me, Thirty But Seventeen etc.)... but nothing truly blew my mind and most of them draaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagged a lot and ultimately got me bored or had an end that just didn't make any sense ( I'm looking at you Life on Mars... And I avoided Misty for that reason given the comments here). I haven't watched Mother and My Ajusshi yet nor Mr Sunshine... Lots of hype so I preferred to wait except for currently airing Memories of the Alhambra but again I'm really biased when it comes to this writer. She's in a class of her own.

Anyway, having an account on MyDramalist I can even tell the number of shows I dropped often near the end (7)... including popular-but-WHY-THE-HYPE? shows such as What's Wrong with Secretary Kim and 100 Days my Prince while ultimately finishing shows which should not exist (Lovely Horribly - WORST KISS SCENES EVER - Witch's Love notably)... But the truth is, I could have dropped a lot more had I even bothered to watch some. I think my biggest disappointment was UEE's current Family Show - My Only Ally. I invested over 20 hours of my precious time before dropping it. After the mastery that was Father is Strange, my first Weekender, which was just GREAT as a family drama, I went back and tried some others ( Five Enough, My Daughter Lee Bo Young)... These were good but never managed to equal Father is Strange... But then came My Only Ally... with its crazy ratings and I finally understand why people avoid these family dramas like the plague.

Sigh... Too many procedurals, not enough refreshing plots on screen. It was a fast food year in dramaland... Recycled plots everywhere and lots of "could have been stellar but manage to ruin itself" shows ( 30 but 17 is one such example of loosing its footing by dragging too much, Come and Hug Me never truly managed to create any doubt in the mind of viewers that its main character was a good guy... doesn't equal Hello Monster though I liked the romance)...

Blah blah blah...

Hoping 2019 is better.
I had a VERY VERY disappointing year in Animeland as well so I could not even vent my frustration watching animes. It sucked all around.

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I'm resigned to always be in opposition with the vast majority of the beanies

Actually it does not matter what others say, continue to go with what you like.

I always differentiate between (A) what is considered good (technically) and (B) what is enjoyed (the feels for the show are highly positive).

I find that I can like (B) shows which lack (A). I may wonder why I do, but I like what I like even if it's not 'good'.

It is possible that I recognise (A) and find that it is does not offer me (B). Regardless of how good a show is, I may still drop it.

The best deal may be having both (A) and (B) meet in a show, but having only (B) still keeps me happy and invested in dramaland.

So if by opposition you mean what others like compared to what you do, that's fine. 😃

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I suggest you 'make believe' you never heard the hype about My Ajusshi. Imagine you had just come across a new Lee Sun-kyun series by chance with no prior knowledge. Also remember the '4 episode rule'. Watch far enough into the series to make a fair judgement of it.

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@ Mike: Trust me when I dropped shows, I didn't drop them after only 4 episodes. In fact, I should have, I would have wasted less time. Unfortunately apart from "About Time", all the shows I dropped were after at least 10 episodes >_< I dropped Secretary Kim one week before the end... That's how much I hoped against hope that this show would be enjoyable but NOPE. As for my Ajusshi and Mother... I'm thinking of waiting a couple more months so that I "forget" the hype ( I did that for Descendants of the Sun and... unfortunately having sat through the whole ordeal, my bitterness was over the roof - GIVE ME BACK MY TIME).

I learned my lesson though. This year was the last year I did that... After 15 years of K drama addiction, I no longer feel the need to brag about all the shows I've seen. Time is precious. If I have a doubt, I usually check the recaps here ( too bad all shows are not recapped) to have a good idea of if I could give a show a chance or not. That used to be one of my tactic... But now I'm thinking of using only this method of watching systematically except for shows I'm really anticipating ( on my short list now, the upcoming Zombie drama on Netflix and Yeo Jin Gu's Masquerade)

@growingbeautifully : Totally get what you said. I'm also seeking (B) first and foremost but often I find shows here which are praised like they're (A)s and (B)s while I don't get nor the (A)s nor the (B)s. Having had a very busy year, I now only follow what I truly enjoy and that's it.

It's easier than dropping books you actually bought.

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I just want to thank you again for recapping Player, which was by no means one of the best of 2018, but it was a favorite for me. Hope it wasn't too much of a chore for you.

I didn't watch Misty, but I can't imagine the disappointment of having 15.75 fabulous episodes followed by a bad ending.

Here's to an un-mediocre 2019!

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That ending, man, Tae wook was basic to the end. While it was crappy, it fit within his character.

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My Ajusshi is the reason I found most dramas this year mediocre and/or below average, hence I dropped them.

It's also the drama which made me reflect on how I was living my life. Thanks to Ji-An and Dong-hoon and whole Hoogye neighborhood who broke my heart several times but made sure it was whole again ♥️♥️♥️

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For me, 2018 was a "good" year for kdrama as I found strong preference for The Smile Has Left Your Eyes, My Ajusshi, Mr Sunshine, Mother, and Life on Mars. Those kept me watching. There were some others that were entertaining and a nice distraction from "real" life that I also enjoyed watching, but weren't necessarily special, such as Just Between Lovers, Hwayugi, 30 but 17, Are You Human, and Voice 2. The return of Seo In Guk in such a tense, psychological series (The Smile has Left Your Eyes) made the year of kdrama one I will remember for a long time. :-)

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Thank you. I think it wasn’t a bad year for kdrama too. There many not be as many great dramas with super interesting stories and good endings as we expected but we got to see amazing performances.
For me watching IU giving life to Ji An character was a blessing. Lee Sun Kyun was strong enough to make me glued to the screen with his breathing and walking. Seo In Guk taught me even eyes can talk. Junho showed me how it is to have a heart of gold under a straight face...
I can go on and mention so many more but it’s not needed.
And I’ll remember 2018 for the rest of my life because of MA.

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It was a super slow year for me too and I mostly watch rom-com. Really not that many shows really hit the way I would like, but the year is ending pretty good it seems like.

I was thinking about the ending of Misty and I decided that I'm fine with it for the most part. I've seen way worst ending in way worst shows, so I'll give them some brownie points. They just shouldn't have gave the impression that they were gonna live happily.

And I didn't watch Sketch but I'd totally watch a villain version of that show. But it doesn't seem like Korea does shows with bad people as the main characters. Probably censorship and all that.

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'Misty' reminded me of a famous quote 100-ish years ago by Willam Dean Howells. "What the American public wants is a tragedy with a happy ending."
Misty was play a losing battle with expectation. The viewers were expecting a whodunnit crime solver show or a romance melodrama. They weren't expecting a Greek tragedy. Seen as a Greek tragedy, Misty's ending was on point.

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Yeah, which is why it didn't bother me. I don't need a happy ending to enjoy something. And when you think about it, there was no way they were going to live happily ever after. Tae-wook completely against his morals and Hye-ran believes in the truth. So you have to ask yourself how long would that happiness really even last.

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Thanks @regals. Here's wishing you a better drama experience in 2019!

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My problem with Misty it lacks effort to dig deeper the conflict. They abit focus too much on who is the killer.

I enjoy this year offering so much more than last year. Tv station start to offer something meaty, different, and cohesive. My Fav is definitely My Ajusshi. But it doesn't mean I won't enjoy the rest of offering. The end of year surprisingly give me joy with Children Of Nobody, Just dance and Sky castle despite it's flaws. KBS drama special is continue to be good from forgotten season, Long Goodbye, Dreamers, etc... Though I feels abit lose when there is no Kwon Hye Ji's script lol...

Mother, My Ajusshi, Live, Miss Hammurabi, The third charm, Hold Me tight, thank you 2018... There will be alot sageuk offering in 2019. Wowww... Hope 2019 will be better

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Mother was amazing, and I still have to watch Live, which is my list since the beginning.

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A late year entry in the "it was worth wading through all those bad dramas in order to find this" category is 'Matrimonial Chaos'. Also, the series 'You who forgot Poetry' didn't exactly have depths to it but it certainly was a balm to the spirit to watch. On the opposite end of the scale was 'Mother' whose quality made a brutal show endurable to watch.

Oh average, how many 'great' dramas do we typically get in a year? We probably did get our quota of 'great' series for 2018, it was the second-tier 'good' series that seemed to be below par this year.

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Matrimonial Chaps, APAD and Mother were all amazing shows in their own right. I’m glad you liked them! You’re right about the second tier shows being disappointing this year. Far too many lacked direction, plot and sticking power.

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Totally agree with you, Regals, my Ajusshi is the drama of the year, the best drama of the year and possibly the best Korean drama ever...
But anyway, coming back to your post. I also think most dramas in 2018 were a disappointment... I didn't even try to watch at least some 60% of them because from the beginning I knew they were no good, and also because I have a life, obviously... busy, busy, but yeah... most of what I check up through the beanies, I was not interested.
Curious about a little spoiler:
In Misty, did she kill the kevin something, yes or no?🙄
I always heard Misty critics, but more than the half I didn't understand because I didn't watch the show. The plot didn't catch my attention, although I read it was gorgeous to watch, most of the time. Anyway... no need to answer. Apparently it was implicit. I won't watch it either.
Congratulation on your post!!!!

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(BIG Misty Spoilers - so be warned)

What the viewers thought was the 'red herring' throughout the series was in fact the true killer after all. The husband. But he had done it accidentally, then in despair had attempted suicide that night (and failed), inadvertently leaving evidence behind that incriminated the wife. The series ended with the wrong man being convicted for the crime, the pair getting away with it, then the guilt-ridden husband commits suicide anyway.

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Whao this is actually not bad at all. In the name of bad people don't deserve happy endings. I might watch it now. Thanks, Mike!

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LOL...
Yeah, that's the thing. I don't know, I don't think if I watch misty, I would root for any of them. So, I pass. Happy or unhappy ending, I pass.
Thank you for the spoiler, Mike.

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Nobody is the series is entirely good or entirely bad. The killer was otherwise the most honorable man in Seoul, the wife was otherwise a crusading journalist, and the victim was a cad. The series was basically a 'Greek tragedy' where the players are cursed with an unalterable fate.

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To me, My Ajusshi is the best Korean drama ever. I will never forget it as long as I live.

In Ji An and Dong Hoon, they created the most swoony, romantic, powerful, unbreakable, life-changing couple relationship ever without them being lovers, family, or friends. They did it. They really did it!

They showed that two people of the opposite age, gender, background, social class, everything, could reach out to each other and really understand each other, support each other, and love each other as human beings. No one is alone, and no matter how bad life gets, there is always someone else out there who has been where you are, and you will be ok.

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I love every single word you wrote in this comment. 😍
And yes, I loved that they loved each other without being directly "something" to each other.
*Spoiler*
And the show left us with the doubt, are they gonna get together now? Are they best friends? Are they gonna be married? Work together again, see each other only once in a while?? I mean, for me the most logical conclusion is that they will get together for the rest of their lives in a man-woman relationship (maybe children included), and I am not even romantic, but 100% sure I cannot be, sadly.
Now the most important thing is, they will be there for each other being a source of strength and love and compassion, and that in itself is amazing.
How many of us live a sad life because people around us is ruthless or indifferent, and the few people we like or love, they live far away? It is so hard to find someone to empathize, let alone someone to love....
So, yes, my Ajusshi is a story that gives you hope. Even if you are 44 like Dong hoon, you can still find your soul mate.

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I don't know if I agree. I think they are soul mates but not necessarily romantic mates. I never really got the feeling Dong-Hoon was romantically interested in Ji-An, but they understand each other. They share the same morals, it's more of a life lesson that all it really takes is showing a little care and consideration for someone can and will change someone's life. Dong-Hoon was able to give Ji-An a network of support which she desperately needed. I just finished watching Dance Sports Girl, where (Spoilers) one of the girls on the team doesn't turn out as great in life, she lacked the emotional support and decides pretty much to escape.

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Life on Mars, The Guest, and A Hundred Million Stars Falling From the Sky were pretty good, too.

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I loved LoM 💕💕 I hope someone mentions it!

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Misty was very promising but the glaring plot hole in the first two episodes really turned me off. I'd be very happy to continue if someone can come up with a plausible explanation to how Kevin Lee is not recognisable to Go Hye Ran until they met at the airport, even then she seemed not to make the connection that this guy from the past is actually Kevin Lee. How can this be? I was so annoyed by this that I DNF the drama despite loving the performance of the female lead and JJH

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My Ahjusshiiiii!!!!! MINE!!!!!!! They have to sweep all the daesang like seriously how could they not!! aaaAAAa

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OUR Ahjussi 😂😍

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HAHAHAHAH nu

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Ugh, the worst thing a good drama can do is to decide to commit suicide in the last 15 minute. My biggest disappointments include:
Misty
Cheese in the trap (No more need be said)
Missing Nine (it was good until everyone decided to have a rooftop party with the murderer)
Black (really by erasing our lead everything gets solved?! It made the whole show meaningless)

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To be fair Cheese went bad in the last 6 episodes or so. It still makes my skin crawl and I'm glad I didn't sit through the ending.

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I couldn't get very far into Cheese--had to quit it was so terrible. I liked Misty, and the ending was apt in my opinion. Missing Nine was 2017--but it was horrible anyway.

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@regals This review is fantastic! 💕 I agree that this year a lot of the dramas were mediocre, tropey and lacking a tight story and pacing till the end. But you should try out Children of Nobody because it’s seems like you’ll love it. It’s amazing so far.

I haven’t watched My Ahjussi or Sketch yet but you’ve perfectly encapsulated my feelings for Misty. The ending left more to be deserved, but overall, it was an incredible drama with complex and layered characters and absolutely stellar performances. It never lost its steam, atmospheric tension or pacing, and for that it has to be applauded.

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This year was just a disaster. But mainly because of my habits. Tried so many dramas and only finished a handful, I've got to get better at this time management thing. The worst thing after not watching a Kdrama for a few weeks, is to get back, the slump is awful. And then so many dramas were just plain boring and time-consuming.
But I'm hella glad I finished some of the best dramas. My Ajushi and Noona Buy me Food. There's also Just Between Lovers and My Secretary Kim.
I was meaning to start over Misty but what's with the confusing ending?? I loath those. I honestly was not expecting it to have a happy closure; a story like that shouldn't end with rainbows and a clear sky. But deceiving me with a happy ending until the last half hour is definitely a NO. Ha

Here's to a better 2019! With lots of joy and good health. Cheers!

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You pretty much stated how I felt about Misty.

Last year was a really bad year in k-dramas for me, but I was quite satisfied with 2018's offerings. I added two dramas to my top 5 list and two more to my top 10 list. All in all, there were around 12-15 dramas I thought were either good, very good, or amazing.
Here's to an even better 2019!

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I know this is a very unpopular opinion, but I didn't really like My Ahjussi. It wasn't bad, and the acting was good, but I didn't like the plot, it just seemed too contrived and unrealistic. Misaeng was a much better and more realistic workplace drama IMO.

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My personal motto is to not react with a "you're wrong, omg, you are so so wrong!" so I will respect your personal opinion even as inside my head I screech and counter with incoherent arguments that MA isn't just a workplace drama, and and and.....

Anyway, you are entitled to your view, and we all bring and see different things in our media.

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You are my hero! Reading your cm made me smile n forget what I just saw!
My motto is the same and well, that should be everyone’s but sometimes I feel every atom in my body is screaming when I see such a comment!
As Lee Sun Kyun said “ My Ahjussi is a life story.” And that says everything. ❤️ #peace

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Please we need more opinions that go against the grain here! Thanks for sharing!

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I liked My Mister, Misty, Are You Human?, I'm Not a Robot, What's Wrong With Secretary Kim, and Familiar Wife. But the only one that made my "watch again list," was My Mister. I especially liked the interaction between the three brothers and how they were so different yet so bonded to each other. Dong Hoon was a person I would have liked to work with--he was so kind to his fellow workers, something that is lacking in this day and age. There are still other 2018 dramas that I haven't watched yet, so I'll have to save my "best" list until later. The biggest downer of 2018 for me was the demise of DramaFever--that threw my viewing life into turmoil!

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I haven't watched either Sketch or My Ajusshi (yes, the latter is absolutely next on the list), so I read a lot of this with one eye closed, but you've convinced me to go back to Misty - I LOVED the first six episodes, but then I caught wind of all the dissatisfaction about the ending and never picked it back up.

Also, I highly recommend Just Between Lovers if you haven't tried watching it. I think it'd be down your alley. And I hope 2019 is a better drama year for you! :)

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Action or mystery? I choose the return to romance but not an end in itself and trivial, but embellished with literary quotations, flashes of genius, pure poetry. Basically, without this season finale, without ENCOUNTER, maybe I would have seen this year even darker than you saw it, but this drama warmed my heart and returned my smile.

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Sketch: I also remember my surprise when they revealed the top villain was FL's prosecutor brother (He was so soft looking/talking too). I loved Lee Dong-gun/Do-jin and Jung Jin-young/tae_joon the most- yeah, villains were more interesting.

Misty: People might've wanted a happy ending (like couple got together again after husband/Tae-wook's jail term, or died together?), but I think ending was done well.

My ajusshi - I have no words- it was so excellent.

And I like we have a few "healing drama" (even though they don't claim such) now (so end of this year is not so bad) -My Strange Hero, Clean With Passion, Mama Fairy, Happy to Die, Red Moon, Blue Sun (I hope), Top Star Yoo Baek.

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I believe some people's passion can be seen through their work, Kim Won Seok is one of those people. May the genuine spark he have never disappears.

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I liked When Time Stopped this year but I've totally lost interest in k-dramas I'm more interested in k-pop now + Korean's treatment of their stars is abhorrent at times.

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I did as well. And the ending was very, appropriate. It made sense to the overall plot.

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I wonder why there are no recaps, does nobody watch KBS-W?

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Kim Hyun Joong had a troublesome past involving his ex and their child. He does not get a ton of attention here.

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