Drama Ratings

 
Note: These are only series I’ve seen in their entirety. (I’ve seen a lot more series that I haven’t come around to finishing, whether it’s because I got bored, forgot, or couldn’t find the time. I haven’t “graded” those here.)

Also, I’ve separated ratings into how much I like something and how good I think it is objectively. Because there’s often a big difference. ;)

Because there’s nothing wrong with liking populist material. I just can’t quite bring myself to rate one, for instance, above something less “fun” but more substantial.

Javabeans‘s ratings in black. Girlfriday‘s ratings in blue.

K-DRAMA SERIES HOW MUCH I ENJOY IT vs. HOW I RATE IT (of 10)
49 Days (2011)
49일
Didn’t hate the ending, but it did make me think I’d given the drama way too much credit along the way. Decent effort at making a sentimental ghostly-possession story, mucky execution. (7 / 7) The writing carried the acting, but well enough for me to be swept along and care. Love the theme and tone, despite flaws in structure. (8 / 7) -GF
Air City (2007)
에어시티
Hot guys. Cold plot.
(5 / 5)
All In (2003)
올인
Gambling, intrigue, foreign locales—it was a blockbuster hit and people went crazy for Lee Byung-hyeon and Song Hye-kyo. It was almost swallowed by its own hype, but there’s a reason why every revenge/success/empire story tries to emulate this one. (6 / 7) –GF
Answer Me 1994 (2013)
응답하라 1994
Lovely small moments of friendship and family, buried under a mountain of sluggish, self-indulgent meandering. A ruthless editor would have done wonders. (6 / 7) Wonderful characters stretched thin in an endless tug-of-war that loses sight of the big picture. Heartwarming and nostalgic, but also makes you tear your hair out. (7 / 7) -GF
Answer Me 1997 (2012)
응답하라 1997
Nostalgic, witty, and sweet. Captures the pounding fervor and emotional extremes of youth with humor and heart. (9 / 9) This drama ran away with my heart and soul, probably because it felt like the story of my life, set to the soundtrack of my youth. Sharply written, with affection. (10 / 10) -GF
Arang and the Magistrate (2012)
아랑사또전
Creative universe built with a tightly plotted internal logic and a stirring romantic core. Quirky at times, dark at others, and sweetly satisfying. (9 / 8) Love the supernatural ‘verse with its own elaborate mythology, engrossing mystery, and leads bursting with romantic chemistry. A faster plot would’ve done wonders. (8 / 8) -GF
Athena: Goddess of War (2011)
아테나: 전쟁의 여신
You’d be surprised what two guys will do in the name of national security…over a girl. Starts out bloody and badass, but winds down into predictable and safe. (6 / 6) –GF
Attic Cat (2003)
옥탑방 고양이
One of the earlier cohabitation dramas that fired off a trend. Cute chemistry from the leads and funny situations, although the workplace storylines drag the thing down. (7 / 6) –GF
Baby-Faced Beauty (2011)
동안미녀
Plot and characters are familiar, and the heroine’s rather meek for my post-Sam-soon tastes, but it does the workplace setup and the cute noona-romance with a sweet, funny touch. (7 / 7)
Bad Couple (2007)
불량커플
Bursts out of the gate with peppy chemistry, then slows with tears and angst and The Dreaded Illness. Lost interest after episode 6. (6 / 5)
Bad Family (2006)
불량가족
Love it. Heart-warming and hilarious as this motley mock family becomes a real one, without dipping into cheesiness. Kim Myung-min is a hoot. (9 / 9)
Bad Guy (2010)
나쁜남자
I can’t heap enough superlatives for the drama’s assured directing, gorgeous visual appeal, music, acting, overall ambiance. Story drove me nuts. (7 / 7) The ending killed whatever love I felt for all of the above. (5 / 5) –GF
Best Love (2011), aka Greatest Love
최고의 사랑
Tight writing, hilarious scenarios, memorable acting, and a string of the wackiest, yet oddly appropriate metaphors I’ve ever seen in a drama. Feel-good and satisfying. (9 / 9) Pee-your-pants funny, killer cute, at times achingly romantic too. Hits that rom-com sweet spot. (9 / 8) -GF
Big (2012)
Like getting to the bottom of a tasty meal and finding a half-eaten worm. (6 / 4) Promising setup with body swap hijinks and a great cast, but fails to deliver anything but plot hodgepodge. Akin to an emotional drive-by. Perhaps more violent. (5 / 4) -GF
Biscuit Teacher Star Candy (2005)
건빵선생과 별사탕
Gong Yoo as a bleeding heart high school cutie and Gong Hyo-jin as a badass teacher? Sold! This one has comedy, a nice episodic pace, and most importantly, a lot of heart. One of my all-time faves. (10 / 8) –GF
Bottom of the 9th with 2 Outs (2007) aka 9 End, 2 Outs
9회말 2아웃
Two lifelong best friends turn 30 and take steps toward becoming adults…by shacking up together and denying their growing attraction. Yeah, good luck with that. Cute, sexy, and fun. (9 / 9) -GF
Boys Before Flowers
(2009)
꽃보다 남자
Such a hot mess, but a blast to watch. The fandom frenzy was sometimes more fun than the show itself. (8 / 5) It served up just the right amount of crack at every turn. By all accounts this should have been a disaster, but the sum of its parts is better than you’d think—you’ll be screaming at your screen while reaching for the next episode. (8 / 5) –GF
Brilliant Legacy (2009) aka Shining Inheritance
찬란한 유산
It’s the classic Candy Cinderella tale laced with just enough makjang elements to make it addictive. Nothing new, but a good family drama with a fresh-faced foursome in a compelling love square. (8 / 7) -GF
Can’t Lose (2011)
지고는 못살아
Cute and funny, proving that conflict can exist without crazies or baddies. Simple but sweet. (7 / 7) Cute earnest story about a couple whose marriage and divorce are just stops along the road to finding love. (7 / 7) -GF
The Chaser (2012)
추적자 The Chaser
A gripping political thriller with big ideas and a tense, well-woven plot. Worth a watch for the performances, though I wish the action was as good as the written material. (8 / 8) -GF
Chuno (2010) 추노 Visually breathtaking and characterized by sweeping grandeur, though a bit lacking in soul. (7 / 8)
Cinderella’s Sister
(2010)
신데렐라 언니
Marvelous start and stellar acting counter the heavy angst, but the frustrating plot slows to a near-crawl. (4 / 6) What began as a whimsical twist on a classic fairytale devolved into lots of soulful staring. Had enough plot for eight episodes, but at twenty, it stretched my patience thin, despite my love for the amazing cast. (7 / 6) –GF
City Hunter (2011)
시티헌터
It isn’t flawless, but it did everything I wanted it to and then some. Action, intrigue, humor, heart. (10 / 9) This show has ruined me. Now I want every drama to be as badass and heartfelt. Damn you, City Hunter! (10 / 10) -GF
Coffee House (2010)
커피프 하우스
Wacky, offbeat comedy with loose plotting and a light feel, though second half gets heavier. (7 / 7) Quirky characters and compelling main pairing, but it never hooked me completely. (7 / 6) –GF
Coffee Prince Store #1 (2007) 커피프린스1호점 Thoughtful rom-com hit that became a cornerstone for Hallyu. At times cheeky, at times poignant. Standout soundtrack. (9 / 9) Will forever be in love with Choi Han-gyul. The end. (10 / 10) –GF
Dal Ja’s Spring (2007)
달자의봄
Fresh and fun, with dashes of insight into modern (career-)womanhood, rife with Heroine’s romantic and professional foibles. Adorable main couple, great supporting cast, easy to zip through. (9 / 9)
Dating Agency Cyrano (2013)
연애조작단 시라노
Light on emotional heft, but angstless in a good way. Fun rapport between the agency family, breezy romance, and well-used cameos keep things zippy. (7 / 7) An example of a good movie adaption that’s light and quick on its feet, but it never really shot me in the heart. (6 / 7) -GF
Delightful Girl Chun Hyang (2005)
쾌걸춘향
High comedy factor with strong chemistry between the leads, playing teenagers forced to marry who fall in love later. Jae Hee is wonderful, and the directing is sharp. A sentimental favorite. (9 / 8)
Dr. Champ (2010)
닥터 챔프
Main pairing is cute beyond words, and the sports stories are surprisingly engaging. But the best thing about it? That camera. Made every shot moody, crisp, and stunning. (6 / 7) -GF
Dr. Jin (2012)
닥터진
This craptastic show is tons of fun to mock, with amazingly bad directing and laughable dissonance between intent and execution. And there’s no denying the idea itself was intriguing. But taken straight, as a drama? More pain than fun. (4 / 3)
Dream High (2011)
드림 하이
Adorable friendships, great handling of youthful foibles and the shark-infested showbiz waters. A showcase for its idol cast; if only they were better actors, it could’ve been even better. (9 / 8) A feel-good drama about chasing your dreams, full of sing-offs and dance-offs. Earnest in the best way. (9 / 7) –GF
Dream High 2 (2012)
드림 하이 2
Was it lazy, trying to ride Season 1′s coattails, or was it overambitious, trying to be everything and ending up with idol/dance-off/rivalry/romance hodgepodge? It tries both too hard and not enough. (5 / 4)
East of Eden (2008-9)
에덴의 동쪽
Epic, sweeping backstory that broke my heart. The adult storylines had great potential, but landed in a spin cycle of the same conflict for dozens and dozens of episodes. I watched with fervor but am still waiting for my refund for the hours I spent. (6 / 7) –GF
Emergency Couple (2014)
응급남녀
Touted as a divorced-lovers-reunite comedy, it’s awfully low on comedy. Slick and beautifully shot, but emotionally feels empty. (6 / 5) Not bad as a glossy medical drama; as a romance, the couple never convinced me they belonged together. Cute, but forgettable. (6 / 6) –GF
Empire of Gold (2013)
황금의 제국
An ever-shifting game of one-upmanship with three whip-smart characters who bring the world of dirty backdoor business deals to life. A fascinating look at how money corrupts, with memorable performances. (8 / 8) -GF
Exhibition of Fireworks (2006) 불꽃놀이 Started great with lots of comedy, went downhill with convoluted evildoers gumming up the works. Kang Ji-hwan is the only good thing here. (5 / 4)
Faith (2012)
신의
Absurd villains, repetitive conflicts, and a clumsy director bog down execution. At least the leads and their romantic connection hold up their end; the rest tends to plod along. (5 / 6) If there’s any show I wish could get a do-over, it’s this one. Only I wouldn’t sit through all the episodes again. (5 / 5) -GF
Fantasy Couple (2006)
aka Couple or Trouble
환상의커플
Flawed but enjoyable opposites-attract comedy. Its humor overdoes the slapstick, but the Hong sisters writers keep the plot moving. (7 / 7) I could never really get on this train, no matter how hard I tried. The humor lost me, and the chemistry never went past tepid. It didn’t help that I hated the main character. (4 / 4) –GF
Flower Boy Next Door (2013)
이웃집 꽃미남
Wistful, sweet, and thoughtful. The first half is pitch-perfect, balancing humor and insight; the second half drags. (7 / 8) A fun cast of quirky characters and a refreshing contemplative tone. Wish the plot hadn’t lost steam in the end. (7 / 7) -GF
Flower Boy Ramyun Shop (2011)
꽃미남 라면가게
Super cute camaraderie in the ramyun family. Jung Il-woo is a hoot. Plot spins its wheels a bit, but it’s sweet and funny. (8 / 8) Adorable spazztastic tale of young love, full of wit and heart. Cheeky in the best way. (9 / 8) -GF
Flowers For My Life (2007) aka I Came In Search of Flowers
꽃찾으러 왔단다
Criminally underrated. Witty with a touch of dark humor. Set in a funeral home, it gives lovely, quirky insights on life and death. (10 / 10)
Friends (2004)
프렌즈 / フレンズ
Joint collaboration between Korea and Japan. Pleasant, with gorgeous leads Won Bin and Fukada Kyoko, but unexceptional. (6 / 6)
Full House (2004)
풀하우스
One of the most popular cohabitation dramas out there—lots of bickering-as-courtship, cute couple moments. It’s overrated (plot becomes repetitive), but enjoyable. (7 / 6)
Gaksital (2012)
aka Bridal Mask
각시탈
Epic in the best of ways. This show has major stones, venturing dark and grim to fearless degrees. It’s not perfect—though its grand, stirring culmination more than makes up for earlier missteps. (9 / 9) It’s not often that dramas can be both wildly entertaining and deeply moving, but this is one fist-pumping gut-wrenching hero’s tale that does both and really well at that. (10 / 9) -GF
Gap-dong (2014)
갑동이
How I wish this serial-killer suspense mystery had more suspense and mystery. The slow pace and lack of surprise can be frustrating, but it offers an intensive psychological study of some damaged characters. (7 / 7)
Girl K (2011)
소녀K
At 3 episodes, this badass shoot-em-up revenge story tantalizes with hints of what a full drama could have done. Doesn’t have time to really get you in the heart, but sets up a great world. If this is the future of cable, I’m onboard. (8 / 8) BADASS. (8 / 8) -GF
God of Study (2010)
공부의 신
Cute stories for the kids, but I am no longer studying for my SATs, so the rest of it bored me to tears. (4 / 5) –GF
God’s Gift – 14 Days (2014)
신의선물 – 14일
Starts with a heart-pounding bang. Plot’s overly convoluted, but strong performances and speedy pace keep it exciting. What could go wrong? OH, THAT ENDING. (8 / 7) Clever, gripping mystery with sparkling performances from Lee Bo-young and Jo Seung-woo. Too bad the plot spun itself into a destructive tornado. (8 / 7) –GF
Gold Rainbow (2013-4)
황금무지개
Please don’t ask me why I spent forty hours watching this show. Then I’ll be forced to answer. Oh, who are we kidding; Jung Il-woo, it’s all your fault. I want my hours back. (6 / 4) –GF
Good Doctor (2013)
굿 닥터
The medical stories are laughably simple and the politics are tedious, but the growth and bonding amongst the hospital family makes for heartwarming human drama. (7 / 7)
Goong (2006)
aka Palace or Princess Hours
Beautifully executed but slow. Gorgeous rendering of fictional monarchy—if only the plot didn’t drag. (7 / 7) I loved the fusion-fairytale world and all the strangeness of an anachronistic set of values placed in modern society. Candy-coated, but all the sweeter for it. (8 / 8) –GF
Goong S (2007)
aka Palace S or Prince Hours
궁S
A reverse-Cinderella tale as an ordinary guy becomes a prince. Disappointing start and poor acting. Still, picked up toward end, inversely to its ratings. (5 / 5)
Gourmet (2008)
식객
Solid execution perhaps obscures a banal story, but Kim Rae-won makes this work. Predictable but enjoyable, like comfort food.
(8 / 7)
Green Rose (2005)
그린로즈
Who doesn’t love a Count of Monte Cristo revenge story? Dramatic thriller veers into over-the-top territory, but the underdog revenge plot can get addictive. Great romantic angst. (7 / 7)
Gu Family Book (2013)
구가의 서
Drama, I sentence you to 422 years of time out. Maybe I’ll like you better then… or maybe sucky endings last forever. (5 / 5) A whimsical spin on gumiho lore with a cute romance at the center. I had fun, but I also tore a lot of hair out. I’ll let you decide if the pain is worth it. (7 / 5) -GF
Haeundae Lovers (2012)
해운대 연인들
Cute chemistry, but the plot is completely insane. Both Kim Kang-woo and Jo Yeo-jung have been better in almost anything else they’ve done. (4 / 4) -GF
Heirs (2013)
상속자들
I know it’s popular… but why? A big tease, and then nobody got off. Rom-com drama blue balls. (6 / 5) Not funny enough to be fun, not weighty enough to bear its own crown of pain. Like one long angsty music video. (5 / 5) -GF
Hello! Miss (2007)
aka Hello Baby
헬로! 애기씨
Light and jokey, but not much emotional depth. Lee Da-hae can do (and has done) better. (5 / 5)
High Kick 3: Counterattack of the Short Legs (2011)
하이킥 3: 짧은 다리의 역습
Surprisingly well-drawn characters and relationships that mean something. Packs a lot of heart into those 20-minute episodes, and consistently, week after week. Slice of life and poignant. (8 / 8)
Hong Gil Dong (2008)
쾌도 홍길동
This fusion historical drama has action, comic gags, romance, political intrigue, betrayal—but lacks subtlety. The tone is uneven, but Kang Ji-hwan is wonderful. (7 / 7)
Hyang Dan Jeon (2007)
aka The Story of Hyang Dan, 향단전
Fun blending of folktales and modern humor in a fusion romantic comedy. Only two episodes, it’s a silly, Shrek-like goof.
(8 / 7)
I Am Legend (2010)
나는 전설이다
Started off so well, but suffered an identity crisis halfway through. (6 / 5) Why is a law drama masquerading as a rock ‘n’ roll drama? I have no idea. Got off to a great start, and I was humming the songs for weeks. But then it went nowhere…and really, really slowly at that. (5 / 5) -GF
I Do, I Do (2012)
아이두 아이두
Started with cuteness, chemistry, potential. Unfortunately, a slow place and business machinations nobody cares about drag it down. Nice overall character trajectories for our leads. (6 / 6) Lee Jang-woo is the only good thing about this show. (6 / 5) -GF
I Hear Your Voice (2013)
너의 목소리가 들려
Not a subtly crafted show, but compulsively watchable with an addictive pace. The legal stuff is unrealistic, but who’s watching this for the law? (7 / 8) The noona romance to end all noona romances. The cast of quirky characters is memorable, the show’s message heartfelt, and the couple rivals my favorites of all time. (9 / 9) -GF
I Miss You (2012-13)
보고싶다
A screaming, wailing, fucking mess. (3 / 4)
I Need Romance (2011)
로맨스가 필요해
A frank, stylish rom-com about friendship, love, sex, and dating that manages to be fun but not frivolous. (8 / 7) -GF
I Need Romance 2012 (2012)
로맨스가 필요해 2012
Fun, but didn’t manage to capture the magic of the first, both in the friendship department and in the romance department. (5 / 6) -GF
I Need Romance 3 (2014)
로맨스가 필요해 3
Sexy, feel-good romantic comedy with another relatable contemporary heroine, as the franchise promises. Not many noona romances are sizzling, but this one lights some sparks. (8 / 8) –GF
IRIS (2009)
아이리스
Some smoldering performances decorate this explosion-packed action series but the writing gets spotty. More style than substance, a fun ride with eye candy. (7 / 7) Been there, done that. But it’s definitely slick and fun, if you don’t care about gaping plot holes. (6 / 6) –GF
It’s Okay, Daddy’s Girl (2010)
괜찮아 아빠딸
Okay, this show isn’t good. It’s got the potential to be, but is marred by poor acting and weird pacing—it’s like a highlight reel of a longer family drama. Yet, oddly, it draws you in with its good-naturedness and warmth. (7 / 4)
Jeon Woo-chi (2012-13)
전우치
A solid B-list drama. Strengths are its light comedy and the hero’s cute backup team. The villains and romance are its weaknesses. (7 / 7) Good for the laughs, not so much for the effects. Cha Tae-hyun is winning as always. (7 / 7) -GF
Joseon X-Files (2010) aka Secret Investigation Record
기찰비록
FANTASTIC. Quite possibly genius melding of historical record and sci-fi mystery. (10 / 10)
The King 2 Hearts (2012)
더킹 투하츠
A surprising series that hit all my drama sweet spots: idealistic, funny, epic, and sweetly romantic. It could do with better finesse in many areas, but has so much heart that it’s bursting at the seams. (9 / 9) -GF
King of Dramas (2012-13)
드라마의 제왕
Light, funny, and acted with commitment. But what really makes it stand out is the fact that henceforth, I will always see dramaland through the lens of this show’s world. Not a little accomplishment. (8 / 8) What Would Anthony Do? (8 / 7) -GF
King’s Family / Wang Family (2013-14)
왕가네 식구들
Ridiculous characters, beat-you-over-the-head simplistic with its outrageous conflicts. This is makjang in the most dumbed-down way, but there’s a silly entertainment factor that kicks in once you stop caring or taking anyone seriously. (6 / 4)
The Last Scandal of My Life (2008)
내 생애 마지막 스캔들
What happens when first loves reconnect 20 years later… when one’s an ajumma and the other’s a movie star lying about his age? Hilarious, touching, and well-acted. Never a dull moment. (9 / 8)
Let’s Eat
(2013-4)
식샤를 합시다
Part food commercial, part drama, it’s an experiment that has more than a few storytelling hiccups. But the friendship between neighbors is endearing, and the characters are memorable. (7 / 7) –GF
Level 7 Civil Servant (2013)
7급 공무원
I’d said that the funny, flirty spy-romance movie should be made into a drama. I take it back. Silly in the extreme, with no sense to speak of. How are these people functional adults, much less national agents? (3 / 3) This drama didn’t exist. I don’t know what she’s talking about. (3 / 4) -GF
Lie To Me (2011), 내게 거짓말을 해봐 It’s like Drama blew its budgetary wad on the stars and forgot to provide a story. Some randomly cute couple scenes, but mostly so boring. (4 / 3) Drama Cliché Soup, thrown together in the most unimaginative way possible. (3 / 4) -GF
Love & Marriage (2008)
연애결혼
Cute story between an uptight divorce attorney and bubbly matchmaker. It’s like a meal of dessert. Sweet filler, but speedy, flirty fun. (7 / 7)
Lovers (2006)
연인
Brisk start descends into weepy melodrama with birth secrets, family strife, and a Love That Cannot Be that’s more like a Love That Should Not Be. By the end I couldn’t stand it. Oh! The! Tragedy! (3 / 6)
Ma Boy (2012)
마보이
For being based on a big gimmick (pretty boy disguised as a girl star), this tween-targeted mini-drama displays surprising restraint with the gag—played more with sweetness than slapstick comedy. Doesn’t reinvent anything and the young cast is green, but there’s a nice simple story here. (7 / 7)
Man of Honor (2011)
영광의 재인
Cute players, but zero romantic chemistry, and the one-note story never goes anywhere interesting. (4 / 4) -GF
Mandate of Heaven (2013)
aka Joseon Fugitive Story
천명
A solid, heartwarming, well-paced fusion sageuk about a fugitive out to clear his name. Gorgeously filmed and packed with a bevy of awesome side characters who tend to outshine the hero and heroine. What it lacks in crack factor it makes up for with feel-good payoffs and consistency. (8 / 8)
Manny (2011)
매니
A cute premise and a light, episodic format keep this comedy watchable, but the romance angle is the least interesting. Why are the adults acting like kids? (6 / 6)
Mary Stayed Out All Night (2010)
매리는 외박중
Uber-boring. Worst drama I saw in 2010. (3 / 4) Not enough Cute in the world to cover up the crazy mess that is this drama. It sure does try though. And it fails. (4 / 3) -GF
Master’s Sun (2013)
주군의 태양
Smart use of ghost premise to drive the romance—a slow but steady burn, loaded with chemistry. Not quite crack-drama status, but satisfying and sweet. (9 / 8) A fantastic rom-com match-up in the leads. Everything else isn’t as sparkling as you want it to be, but there’s a lot to be said for a magnetic attraction. (8 / 8) –GF
Me Too, Flower! (2011)
나도, 꽃!
What a way to tank a promising series; watching its steady decline was a sad thing as the show lost focus on the characters we cared about. At first, it was unfairly underrated. By its end, deservedly so. But Yoon Shi-yoon is wonderful, despite being terribly miscast. (6 / 6)
Mi-rae’s Choice (2013)
미래의 선택
Agh, it could have been so sweet and interesting. Waffled around in indecision, and not even a cast of likable characters could perk up the cop-out of an ending. (6 / 5) W.T.F. (5 / 4) –GF
Miss Korea (2013-14)
미스코리아
Full of heart, despite a frivolous-sounding premise. Aimless heroine teams with desperate hero to become an underdog team worth rooting for. A sweet, if low-key, watch. (8 / 8) This drama caught me by surprise, but it had a breezy slice-of-life style that made it watchable, and a cast of characters that made it charming. (8 / 7) –GF
Miss Ripley (2011)
미스 리플리
Interesting character study of some unlikable personalities who draw you in with charged acting. Story loses its bite in the end, though. (7 / 7) Not nearly as dark as it sets out to be, but the swift pace makes it an easy-to-watch melodrama with engaging characters. (6 / 7) -GF
Mixed-up Investigative Agency (2007)
얼렁뚱땅 흥신소
Quirky, offbeat, extremely well-plotted. Strong acting, particularly by Yeh Ji-won. A comedy romp, treasure hunt, and mystery rolled into one. (9 / 9)
Monstar (2013)
몬스타
Had the makings to be really special, but fizzled in the end. Atmospheric with strong (though long) musical numbers. Too bad the dip at the end killed the already meandering pace. (8 / 7) Ultimately it didn’t live up to its potential, but it was a sweetly satisfying drama all the same, with good old fashioned teen angst and heart. (7 / 7) -GF
The Moon That Embraces the Sun (2012)
해를 품은 달
A straight-up juvenile romance, dressed up as a grown-up sageuk. The drama’s one-track mind keeps it from having depth or substance, but it’s easy to watch. (7 / 7) The conflict is laughably simple, but there’s a whole lot of pretty to keep you distracted for most of its run. (6 / 7) -GF
My Fair Lady (2009) aka Please Take Care of the Lady, 아가씨를 부탁해 Terribly written plot, even if the chemistry of the couple carries the drama. Skip. (4 / 4) What a waste of Yoon Eun-hye and Jung Il-woo. I felt zero chemistry between the leads, and the plot was so fluffy it evaporated. (4 / 3) –GF
My Girl
(2005-06)
마이걸
Fantastic fun, speedy pace. Super chemistry between the endearing lead couple. (9 / 8)
My Girlfriend Is a Gumiho (2010)
내 여자친구는 구미호
Super enjoyable, adorable chemistry, and great mix of the gumiho mythology with the rom-com bits. But somehow it’s only my No. 3 Hong sisters drama. (9 / 8) Show, you complete me. (10 / 10) -GF
My Love Patzzi (2002)
내 사랑 팥쥐
Short, cute drama with two too-perfect guys and a spunky heroine as an anti-Cinderella. Not very deep, but easy to watch. (7 / 6)
My Name Is Kim Sam Soon (2005)
내 이름은 김삼순
Poignant and funny, worth the hype. (9 / 9) This is the one to beat, in my heart of hearts. (10 / 10) –GF
My Princess (2011)
마이 프린세스
Who knew such a middling rom-com could be a turning point for Kim Tae-hee (and, to a lesser degree, Mr. Robot Hotness Song Seung-heon)? (7 / 6) Mediocre as far as rom-coms go, but the main pair is adorable and cheeky. (7 / 6) –GF
My Sweet Seoul (2008)
달콤한 나의 도시
Halfway between indie and trendy. Plotting is loose, but has a refreshing atmospheric feel and good directing. Unfortunately, I hate the main character. (6 / 8)
Myung-wol the Spy (2011)
스파이 명월
Could’ve been so wacky and hilarious, but changed its mind halfway through and tried for earnest angst. We got tedious moping instead. (5 / 5) What began as quirky absurdist humor ended up just plain absurd. (5 / 5) –GF
Nail Shop Paris (2013)
네일샵 파리스
A weird show, tonally—it’s a hodgepodge of crossdressing, flower boys, romantic comedy, melodrama, procedural, and paranormal. Anemic acting and strange writing make it a head-scratching experience. Song Jae-rim may be the only reason to watch this. (5 / 4)
A New Leaf (2014)
개과천선
(? / ?)
Nice Guy (2012) aka Innocent Man
세상 어디에도 없는 착한남자
Polished, suspenseful, addictively paced. Characters are whackadoo in the extreme, but intense and compelling. Not meant to be overthought; just go with the melo. (7 / 8) Dark and contemplative, with lead characters who are all fire and ice. Fun in a soapy way. (6 / 8) -GF
Nine: Nine Time Travels (2013)
나인: 아홉 번의 시간여행
The definite winner of the time-traveling genre, with a tightly written, complex (and yes, sometimes convoluted) plot that keeps you guessing. Intelligent and suspenseful. (9 / 9)
Oh! My Lady (2010)
오! 마이 레이디
Light and fluffy older-woman/younger-man, housekeeper-landlord romance. Choi Siwon’s charm carries the show. An easy, unchallenging watch. (6 / 6)
Ojakkyo Brothers (2011-2)
오작교 형제들
Cute, poignant relationships make you care about the characters, while the romance keeps you addicted. An example of family drama done right. (8 / 8) A funny, heartwarming drama about a family who gets turned upside-down when a stray little duckling waddles into their lives. (9 / 8) –GF
One Fine Day (2006)
어느 멋진 날
Akin to getting your eyes poked out. I watched for Gong Yoo, but even he could not save this train wreck of a drama that takes every cliché and makes it worse, if that’s even possible. (3 / 3) –GF
Only You (2005)
온리 유
Bleh. I can’t remember why I bothered. Han Chae-young is pretty, but Jo Hyun-jae is wasted. (4 / 3)
Oohlala Spouses (2012)
울랄라 부부
This marital body-swapper should have been uproariously funny. It had some amusing bits, but the couple was too aggravating to wish for reconciliation, thereby negating its entire point. (5 / 6)
Panda and Hedgehog (2012)
판다양과 고슴도치
A makjang dressed in cupcake clothing. Buy a cupcake and skip the drama. (3 / 3) -GF
Pasta (2010)
파스타
The couple is SO cute together, and individually very appealing. Yet there’s so very little plot. (6 / 6) Nothing happens. Ever. Although I would probably watch these two actors weave baskets for twenty hours, so… (6 / 5) –GF
Personal Taste (2010)
개인의취향
The jerky directing is the biggest flaw; the writing is engaging at parts but random in others. Lead couple is well-acted and have charming chemistry. (7 / 6) The untapped potential of this drama nearly kills me. But the main characters are fantastic and funny, and so damn cute. (8 / 6) –GF
Playful Kiss (2010)
장난스런 키스
Despite lack of conflict, the couple is sweet and Jung So-min lovable. But there’s so little story here. (6 / 6) It’s as undramatic as a drama can be, but the cute makes up for it…a little. Jung So-min carries it, although her character can be infuriating at times. (6 / 6) -GF
Poseidon (2011)
포세이돈
Choi Siwon and Lee Shi-young are an adorable matchup. Too bad this coast guard action thriller wants to be cooler than it is. (4 / 4)
Prime Minister and I (2013-14)
총리와 나
A warm, pleasant contract-marriage romance with cute rapport between the mismatched couple. A shame that the ending sputtered out so dully. (7 / 6) They make a sweet candy confection of a couple, but the drama played it so safe it never went anywhere remotely interesting. (6 / 6) –GF
The Princess’s Man (2011)
공주의 남자
Epic and stirring. Constant plot twists, tight political intrigue, and a strong Romeo and Juliet romance with stakes that actually feel life-and-death. (10 / 9)
Prosecutor Princess (2010)
검사 프린세스
Addictive and compelling tale of a modern Love That Cannot Be. The main couple is aces; the rest pales in comparison. It’ll make a Park Shi-hoo fan out of you, and you’ll thank me later. (8 / 7) -GF
Que Sera Sera (2007)
케세라세라
Took a few episodes to fall in love, but boy did I. Intense and unapologetic. Not for the casual watcher. Flawed but complex people drive this character drama. (9 / 9)
Queen In-hyun’s Man (2012)
인현왕후의 남자
Thrilling, romantic, adorable, and engrossing. One of the best of the time-traveler dramas. (9 / 9) Sweeps you up in the romance in a way that many dramas can’t achieve. Some glaring imperfections, but the tone is damn near perfect. (9 / 8) -GF
Queen of Reversals (2011)
역전의 여왕
A comfort-food workplace drama with a lot of heart. The heroine gets put through the wringer, but learns that there’s life after divorce, and maybe even love. (8 / 7) -GF
The Return of Iljimae (2009)
돌아온 일지매
Gorgeous. Poignant. Soundtrack and cinematography are exceptional. (10 / 10) Sweeping, romantic, poetic, and kickass too. I would watch this for a hundred episodes. And then watch it again. (10 / 10) –GF
Rooftop Prince (2012)
옥탑방 왕세자
Uproariously funny once the time-travelers land in Seoul. First and last episodes are an interesting sageuk story, though they feel out of step with the stuff in between. Adorable cast. (7 / 7) Cute, but the tone never hit the right spot for me. Wish it went all-out on the funny instead of spinning its wheels with the needless drama. (5 / 5) -GF
Runaway Plan B (2010)
aka Fugitive Plan B,
도망자 플랜비
Wastes a lot of time in the beginning with flashy action and goofy comedy, but once it settles down, there’s a compelling conflict here. Rain does a fabulous job juggling emotions, action, and humor. (8 / 7) Overly simplistic plot, but the humor and the performances carry it. (7 / 7) -GF
Scent of a Woman (2011)
여인의 향기
A drama about death that’s not really about death. The main trio’s stories edge out the aggravatingly meddly second leads. (8 / 8) Uplifting story about a death sentence spurring the heroine to begin living. Often bogged down by needless plot circles, but the good outweighs the bad. (7 / 8) –GF
School 2013 (2013)
학교 2013
The understated, slice-of-life storytelling packs a surprising emotional punch. (8 / 8) One of my favorite onscreen bromances of dramaland. A good example of youthful stories told in a meaty way, with substance and heart. (9 / 8) -GF
Secret (2013)
비밀
Addictively paced, the show churns out a steady diet of extreme behavior committed by people who are either morally reprehensible or dumb. Often simplistically melodramatic, it’s at least a soapy, entertaining watch. (7 / 7)
Secret Garden (2010)
시크릿 가든
Well-acted, sharp dialogue, great chemistry. Beautiful to look at, but it’s a lot of slick veneer. Alas, I found it hard to connect with emotionally. (7 / 8) Runs the gamut from hilarious to infuriating. Stellar performance by Hyun Bin, but I never managed to fall in love with the characters. (7 / 7) -GF
Shark (2013)
상어
Starts out as a dark, pensive revenge game, but peters out into a rather ordinary and almost pointless melodrama. Revenge should be sweeter than this. (5 / 6) -GF
Shut Up: Flower Boy Band (2012)
닥치고 꽃미남밴드
Pitch-perfect. It’s rockin’ with music and brotherhood, but most of all it’s about the heart-tugging process of finding yourself. (10 / 10) The best and worst of what it means to be young and lost, told with raw energy and a beautiful sense of realism. (9 / 9) -GF
Sly and Single Again (2014)
aka Cunning Single Lady,
앙큼한 돌싱녀
At times silly and overly simplistic with rather broad comedy, but the core of the show is sweet and heartwarming. The main couple (and actors) buoy the show. (7 / 7) Not a deep drama, but it shows what fun a rom-com can be when the actors commit to the comedy. (7 / 7) –GF
The Sons of Sol Pharmacy House (2009)
aka My Too Perfect Sons,
솔약국집아들들
Hilarious, heartwarming family comedy about a family with four sons who each find love, with some help (and interference) from their boisterous family.
(8 / 7)
Soulmate (2006)
소울메이트
Witty, trendy, funny. Fabulous soundtrack and surprisingly tight plotting. Skillful use of chronology and narrative. (10 / 9) Feels like indie cinema in the form of a drama. Edgy, while still capturing a bit of whimsy and romance. (9 / 9) –GF
Standby (2012)
스탠바이
Oh, how I wished this were better. So many actors I love playing characters I didn’t care about. Ha Suk-jin carried this sitcom for me, and for that alone it was worth watching. But only just. (6 / 5)
A Star’s Lover
(2008-09)
스타의 연인
Pro: Choi Ji-woo and Yoo Ji-tae’s acting and great chemistry. Con: Everything else (slow, repetitive, predictable). (5 / 6)
Story of a Man (2009)
aka The Slingshot
남자이야기
Intense, thrilling, smartly woven together. Great balance of light and dark. Hits on all three points of acting, directing, writing—and it’s FUN. (10 / 10)
Strongest Chil Woo (2008)
최강칠우
This is not a good drama, but thankfully its outrageousness (intentional and otherwise) keep it entertaining. Alas its hilarity doesn’t come as frequently as one would like. (6 / 6)
Summer Scent (2003)
여름향기
Probably my favorite of the Season Dramas, because it’s a) not about incest and b) more about the realistic moving on from first love into the present. Atmospheric, and actually uses the feeling of summer in a palpable way. (7 / 6) –GF
Sungkyunkwan Scandal (2010)
성균관 스캔들
So cute and well-done. But, ran out of steam toward the end, curtailing the earlier addiction high. (8 / 8) Fantastic fusion sageuk world with gender-bendy shenanigans. Idealistic and addictive, but doesn’t deliver on all its setups. Makes up for it with bromance explosion of epic proportions. (9 / 8) -GF
Suspicious Housekeeper (2013)
수상한 가정부
A little mysterious, a little ominous, the drama turns out to be a heart-warming story of healing, growth, and bonding. Has some slowish moments, but refreshing in tone and message. (7 / 7)
Sweet 18 (2004)
낭랑18세
A breezy romance between a couple who marries first, then falls in love. Led by an adorable pairing (who became a real-life couple after this drama), the stakes are low and so are the dramatics, but the show keeps up a chipper tone as a sweet, innocent rom-com. (8 / 7)
Sword and Flower (2013)
aka Blade and Petal, 칼과 꽃
Overdirected and underwritten, with an ending that’ll make you want to throw your screen. The style actively works against substance. Often pretentious, sometimes insufferable. (3 / 4)
That Winter, the Wind Blows (2013)
그 겨울, 바람이 분다
Beautifully filmed, elegant schlock. Draws you in with its moody, almost dreamy melo touch, but the story it tells is nothing we haven’t seen in other (faux) incest-chaebol-takeover dramas. Disliked every character and the tiresome machinations. (5 / 7)
Thousand Day Promise (2011)
천일의 약속
Su Ae is commanding. Virtually no plot, just a grim progression of a disease with no hope at the end. Depressing and a little smug. (5 / 7) Compelling performances, but in the end you’re left wondering about the point of it all. (6 / 7) -GF
Three Days (2014)
쓰리 데이즈
As an earnest story about a president and his bodyguard, it succeeds. As a taut condensed-time thriller, it pretty much fails. Points for multifaceted characters, but I really wish the plot had been executed differently. (7 / 6) –GF
To the Beautiful You (2012)
아름다운 그대에게
I watched the whole thing and still don’t know why anyone did anything in this drama. It’s cute at times, but I’d trade that for story logic any day of the week. (3 / 3) -GF
Tree With Deep Roots (2011)
뿌리깊은 나무
Sharp writing, slick directing, stellar acting by Han Seok-kyu as Korea’s most famous king. Full of intrigue and thrills. (8 / 9)
Triple (2009)
트리플
Breezy and refreshing, but also slow. Tone feels like Coffee Prince, but lacks focus and direction. (6 / 5) What on earth was the point of this story? I still don’t know, and I watched every single episode. Seriously. Waste of a stellar adult cast. (4 / 3) –GF
Twelve Men in a Year (2012)
일년에 열두남자
A fresh concept and a fun way to explore singledom. But the execution leaves a lot to be desired, and the heroine always felt miscast. (6 / 5) -GF
Two Weeks (2013)
투윅스
Skillfully maintains compelling pace that tempers a breakneck fugitive plot with character development. Wonderful growth trajectory for the underdog hero. (8 / 8) A fugitive story with laser focus and a heartfelt redemption arc. It succeeds in making you feel like you’re along for the harrowing journey every step of the way. (8 / 8) –GF
Unemployed Romance (2013)
실업급여 로맨스
Took what could have been an endearing story of a couple’s reunion and told it upside-down and backwards. I like that it’s about an underdog hero and heroine, but it’s paced all wrong. (4 / 4) –GF
Unstoppable High Kick (2006-07)
거침없이 하이킥
Loosely plotted family sitcom featuring an adorable cast of future superstars. The problems are small, but the show’s heart is big. (8 / 7)
Vampire Idol (2012)
뱀파이어 아이돌
You don’t make a show about alien vampire idol trainees, then half-ass the camp factor. Props for taking all the best parts of a ridiculous concept and adding adorable relationships on top. Sweetly dim. (7 / 6) Messy and low-rent, but all the more endearing because of it. The cutest dose of zany this side of Vampiritus. (8 / 6) -GF
Vampire Prosecutor (2011)
뱀파이어 검사
Sexy and smart, this action-crime drama is more procedural than paranormal, but damn if the paranormal (Mr. Vampire Hotness) isn’t sizzling. (8 / 8) Slick procedural with a supernatural edge that leaves you chomping at the bit for more. (8 / 8) -GF
Vampire Prosecutor 2 (2012)
뱀파이어 검사 2
The crew is back, the dynamic is funnier, and the addition to the team is a welcome and heartwarming one. And yet, it doesn’t quite have the bite (or the punch or kick) of the first season. (7 / 8) Same vampire, less sizzle. (7 / 7) -GF
The Vineyard Man (2006)
포도밭 그사나이
Mildly amusing, but very ordinary. Oh Man-seok is great, Yoon Eun-hye is forgettable. If you’re a Yoon fan, skip it and see Coffee Prince instead. (5 / 6)
Warrior Baek Dong-soo (2011)
무사백동수
Breathtakingly badass and bromantic. Can get draggy at times. Just fast-forward to the fight scenes. (8 / 7) -GF
What’s Up, Fox (2006)
여우야 뭐하니
Good follow-up by writer of Samsoon. Go Hyun-jung is always a treat to watch, as is Chun Jung-myung. Not necessarily exciting, but humorous and witty. (8 / 8) So. Cute. (8 / 7) –GF
White Christmas (2011)
화이트 크리스마스
Hauntingly stark and beautifully shot. A compelling, psychologically tense character study with a flair for darkness that leaves you amazed, and a little scared. (9 / 9) -GF
Who Are You? (2008)
누구세요?
This drama is all heart. Surprisingly better than its silly start, it gets steadily better as you go along, and the body-swapping is both hilarious and meaningful. Yoon Kye-sang is a standout. (9 / 8)
Who Are You? (2013)
후아유
Watchable mix of mystery, paranormal, and procedural cases lightened up by intermittent comic beats. Neither as poignant nor as dark as I wanted it to be; lead couple lacks that spark. Decent showing, but leaves some of its potential unfulfilled. (7 / 7)
Will It Snow For Christmas? (2009-10)
크리스마스에 눈이 올까요?
First half of this romance melodrama is poignant, emotionally wracking, layered; second half gets too convoluted for comfort. Go Soo is marvelous. (8 / 7)
Wish Upon a Star (2010)
별을 따다줘
Pro: It’s unexpectedly charming. Con: Messy plot and weak secondary characters. Adorable kids and an appealing heroine keep it watchable. (8 / 6)
Witch Amusement (2007) aka Witch Yoo Hee

마녀유희

Endlessly mockable, but in the fun way. Pure eye candy, no nutrition. (6 / 3)
Witch’s Romance (2014)
마녀의 연애
This cute workplace noona-romance does nothing different in the rom-com genre, but it hits all the sweet spots and has sizzling couple chemistry. (8 / 7)
The Woman Who Still Wants To Marry (2010)
아직도 결혼하고 싶은 여자
Breezy, witty. Touching and fun depiction of modern friendships and romance. (9 / 8) If you’re ever having a bad day, watch this drama. Instant pick-me-up, and crackling chemistry to boot. (9 / 8) –GF
Wonderful Season (2014)
참 좋은 시절
(? / ?)
The World They Live In (2008) aka Worlds Within
그들이 사는 세상
True to the title, the world is the most compelling thing about this drama. It’s an inside look at drama producers and directors, and while I never loved any of the characters, I did find them fascinating. (6 / 8) –GF
You From Another Star (2013-14)
별에서 온 그대
With its winsome comedy, sizzling chemistry, and a zippy story, it’s not hard to see why this became the rom-com sensation of the year. It’s got some plot holes, but still is one of the best rom-coms to come around in a while. (9 / 9) Lightning in a bottle. A case where its astronomical popularity is well-deserved and then some. (9 / 9) –GF
You’re All Surrounded (2014)
너희들은 포위됐다
(? / ?)
You’re Beautiful (2009)
미남이시네요
Hilarious situations, fast-moving plot, memorable characters. Park Shin-hye is adorable (if dim), but it’s Jang Geun-seok who kills it. (9 / 8) I never knew I wanted to be a cross-dressing girl/boy in an idol band…until this drama. It takes crazy up a few notches, but in the best way possible. (9 / 9) –GF
You’re Here, You’re Here, You’re Really Here (2012)
왔어 왔어 제대로 왔어
As insipid as shows get. I cut it some slack for being on a fledgling cable station with a minuscule budget, but ultimately it flops. Winning leads in a dull world. (4 / 4)
You’re the Best, Lee Soon-shin (2013)
최고다 이순신
Alternately adorable and aggravating; had all the parts of a cuter, funnier show yet failed to take advantage of its assets. Focused too much on the insufferables, not enough on the more enjoyable storylines. Not the worst family drama ever, but not the fun ride I wanted it to be. (6 / 5)
You’ve Fallen For Me (2011)
aka Heartstrings
넌 내게 반했어
Cute players, breezy, youthful vibe. But lacks anything resembling an interesting plot. (6 / 5) –GF

 

And for the old stuff…

Autumn Story (2000)
aka Autumn Fairy Tale
가을동화
They’re siblings! They’re not! It’s the classic twisty melodrama, and one of the earlier ones that came before Winter Sonata (same PD) and made stars out of Song Seung-hun and Song Hye-kyo. –GF
Feelings (1994)
느낌
One of the earliest trendy dramas boasting a hip, young, good-looking cast. Probably the first college campus drama. The drama that spawned my love of all things Lee Jung-jae. I blame you, Feelings. –GF
First Love (1996-7)
첫사랑
Choi Soo-jong and Bae Yong-joon as brothers in love with the same girl…their entire lives. It did solidify my early love of Bae Yong-joon as the tragic bad boy, although that image didn’t last very long as he went on to be the headliner of his own dramas. –GF
Forever Yours (1998)
세상끝까지
Watched this because it was the re-team of Kim Hee-sun and Ryu Shi-won, and was sorely disappointed by the overwrought melodramatic fare that never made use of their adorable chemistry (see: Propose, below). –GF
Hotelier (2001)
호텔리어
Bae Yong-joon and Song Yuna (also with Kim Seung-woo and Song Hye-kyo) in an early hit, about the ins and outs of the hotel business. A Cinderella story, of course, with a little wheeling and dealing thrown in. –GF
Icing (1996)
아이싱
A direct rip-off of The Last Match (see below), it tried to re-create its success with recycled cast and story. See Jang Dong-gun with Lee Seung-yeon back when they were trendy young things.
Jealousy (1992)
질투
THE original trendy drama starring still-famous Choi Jin Shil and Choi Su Jong. Funny and cute, see the drama that started the trend. Lightning in a bottle, I think. It was all about the lead couple and the cracktastic will-they-won’t-they. –GF
Last Match (1994)
마지막 승부
Superstar Jang Dong Gun in one of his earliest roles, featuring an extremely young and new Shim Eun Ha! Spawned the sports-drama trend. I loved this drama. To an embarrassing degree. –GF
Popcorn (2000)
팝콘
Oh, this was a bad drama. Mediocre acting and all the typical cliches—she’s dying, he cries a lot—but it’s old-school Song Seung-heon, before he hit his big break.
Propose (1997)
프로포즈
One of my favorite old-school dramas. A trendy romance that followed in the vein of Feelings, and highlighted the burgeoning love between two best friends, played by Kim Hee-sun and Ryu Shi-won when they were both adorably young. –GF
Sandglass (1995)
모래시계
One of the highest-rated dramas ever, and one of the most highly regarded. Stellar cast, stellar writing, this swept the nation and deals with some intense historical events, such as the Gwangju Massacre of 1980. Still probably one of the best, even by today’s standards. I still have a cassette tape of the soundtrack. –GF
Star in My Heart (1997)
별은 내가슴에
Early Hallyu hit and one of the first Cinderella-story dramas. Over-the-top by today’s standards, but who doesn’t love a rags-to-riches romance? Every girl in Korea wanted to be her. Yeah… –GF
Tomato (1999)
토마토
Another Kim Hee-sun vehicle, with a man and a woman as (gasp!) roommates. Sadly, it veered away from the cute and went towards the melodramatic as the series went on. –GF
Wedding Dress (1997-8)
웨딩드레스
Lee Seung-yun and Kim Hee-sun as sisters who both want to be married. I remember it as being wildly popular back in the day, probably because of the stars, as the story is family/romance, and nothing groundbreaking. –GF
Winter Sonata (2002)
겨울연가
The quintessential Hallyu hit, which skyrocketed Bae Yong-joon and Choi Ji-woo to mystifying heights. There’s amnesia, incest, switched identities, life-threatening illnesses, and a lot of crying. A whole lot. –GF
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1,142 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. 701 shaolin

    can you pleeeaaasssseeee also categorize the romantic comedyies of korean drama in asceding order. since, you have watched so many, it should not be much of a problem i guess…. i badlyy want it!

     (0)


  2. 702 shaolin

    can you pleeeaaasssseeee also categorize the romantic comedies of korean drama in ascending order. since, you have watched so many, it should not be much of a problem i guess…. i badlyy want it!

     (0)


  3. 703 eny

    My favorit drama all time are :
    baker king kim tak goo, bridal mask, my girl, princess hour, sad love song, bad love, bad guy, green rose,queen seundeok, chun hyang

     (0)


  4. 704 eny

    what it’s mean the rating for gaksital is ?/?, just curious

     (0)


    • 704.1 Bluedelacour

      It means that there are no ratings yet I think they will write it soon ;)

       (0)


  5. 705 DarknessEyes

    ratings for Answer Me 1997 anytime soon? :)

     (0)


  6. 706 FeKimi

    Where’s the rating for my beloved Gaksital?

     (0)


  7. 707 Belle

    I love this! From what I’ve read, we’re really similar in tastes. Especially about lacking/crawling story lines or unappealing characters. Whenever I pick one of your (both of your) favorites, I’m never disappointed and can come back to this page and do nothing but nod and agree.

    I’m from France, but damn Kdramas are my guilty pleasure. I hope you’ll never stop posting! I love your point of view.

    First drama I ever watched was BOF, and I still laugh when I think of that hot mess. I followed it up with following Lee Min-Ho to City Hunter though – and I absolutely went bananas over that drama. It made me almost forget the horrible perm Lee Min-Ho had in BOF and even though ‘Almost Paradise’ will make me cringe forever, CH made up for a lot of bad moments in the past. Like dragging myself through the emptiness that is Playful kiss for the sake of cuteness.. Or Secret Garden.. where SO much potential was wasted. (But man did Ha Ji-Won look badass. Could I pull the leather shorts + sword fighting off? Probably best we never find out.)

    Wow rant alert. Didn’t mean to make this so long. Just wanted to ramble about your ratings but I think I lost myself somewhere in the middle. -insert witty drama reference here-

    Take care!
    Belle

     (0)


    • 707.1 pillowhead

      lol. I so agree with you. I have a unhealthy obsession with Lee Min Ho…… mmmmm…… Min Ho……… huh…

       (0)


  8. 708 Indigo

    I’ve been reloading and rechecking this page for days now. I simply adore these short poignant comments you add behind the ratings of shows and just can’t wait them for Gaksital, A Gentleman’s Dignity, Ma Boy and, most of all, Answer Me 1997.

     (0)


  9. 709 Annie

    I love your reviews and recaps and I have (productively!) decided to limit my choices to your top ratings. You guys haven’t updated this list in a while though, even though you’ve finished quite a bit of dramas already. Can you please update this soon? Heh, I’ve watched all the ones rated 8-9-10 and can’t wait for more :)

     (0)


  10. 710 mikan

    I agree on your “Lie To Me” comment/ratings.. I’m not surprised why I didn’t like it, but some people I know do loove it..Oh well~ And the old stuff reviews.. wow, I consider “Autumn In my Heart” and “Winter Sonata” as my ‘oldest,’ since former was the very first kdrama (I think) shown in my country..
    Thanks for this site =)

     (0)


  11. 711 Teejay

    I’ve been refreshing this page like crazy!
    I have a burning curiosity that needs to be sated, I absolutely must know your ratings for the round of dramas that just finished up, especially Answer Me 1997.
    It was certainly a 10/10 for me, and shot straight to first place on my list of favorite Kdramas.

    Thanks to tvN, 2012 has been an amazing year for Kdramas. Shut Up: Flower Boy Band & Queen In-hyun’s Man were standouts for me, with Answer Me 1997 reigning above all else. If it weren’t for dramabeans, I would have never picked up these 3 wonderful gems, as there wasn’t much hype or anticipation for their debut.

    I honestly don’t know what I would do without these reviews/recaps/ratings, as they’ve become the sole reason in helping me discover dramas I may not have considered before. I’ve also dropped many dramas that receive less than glowing reviews, so I can avoid unnecessary drama torture!

    My kdrama watching experience wouldn’t be as rich and satisfying as it is today, so I’d just like to say THANK YOU! C:

     (0)


  12. 712 Minka

    Guys, I’m dying here. When are you gonna put up the rating for Answer Me 1997, Gaksital and others? Don’t wanna push you or anything, but the curitosity is killing me. Hope you haven’t forgotten…

     (0)


  13. 713 Kara

    Love this

     (0)


  14. 714 gulsan

    Like many others, I have been waiting for your rating for Answer Me 1997 and Gaksital. I am really looking forward to it =) Many many thanks!

     (0)


  15. 715 POPS

    so…….. who has been watching Faith???

    I am really enjoying it and it has me quite interested in the history behind the drama regarding the King, Queen and General Choi Young.

    Therefore, as I am quite obsessive, I just did some wikipedia searching to find out more!!!

    Wikipedia says that King Gongmin was really upset when his wife died from childbirth and never recovered (so sad!), getting badly depressed etc .

    And then it said the following………..

    “Gongmin spent his remaining time pursuing boys and religious affairs”

    um…what????

    Also I found out that the very very porny movie ‘Frozen Flower’ is in part based on King Gongmins life!!!!

    so…..I guess he was gay then…

    Anyway…General Choi sounds pretty awesome in real life too according to Wikipedia!!! I just hope we get a happier ending for him and Eun Soo in the drama then the horrible real-life beheading!!!!

    Come on Faith!!! I really need a happy ending or I may actually die!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     (0)


    • 715.1 ness36

      hello pops
      i just wanted to know as i have seen “frozen flower” too , and i m watching faith , does the gay relationship between the king and the general represents the friendship between the king and choi young in the drama???because i find it a bit too much so i was confused !!!
      me too i’m praying for a happy ending , make it a science fiction ending !!!!!!! but happy please !!!

       (0)


      • 715.1.1 POPS

        I know, ness36!!

        I also don’t really mind if the ending of Faith is totally Sci-Fi crazy the long as the General and Eun Soo end up happy and together!!! I am quite scared that they may not do this though!!! I don’t think I can handle a sad ending as I am loving the characters so much!! :(

        I am not sure if the King was really gay or not…. so I am also quite confused because all the history goes on about how much he loved Queen Nogook and how sad he was when she died….

         (0)


        • 715.1.1.1 ness36

          hello POPS ,
          did you enjoy the ending of faith?????all the fans were waiting for a hug or a kiss but even without them , i found it very adorable this gaze full of emotions , i feel somehow empty that this drama finished !!!i think i will miss LMH!!!! a lot !!!lol but moreover i will miss this kind of drama , hope will find a new drama soon

           (0)


          • 715.1.1.1.1 POPS

            Hello again ness36!!

            I totally LOVED the ending of ‘Faith’!!!! I was so worried it would have a sad ending but I thought it was lovely! though I am also very sad and empty now it is over!

            I thought the end with them just staring at eachother was really lovely and yes, full of emotions and love! It was very affecting and I think a really perfect end as it showed how deep their love for eachother was, something much more then just a physical bond.

            I will miss Lee Min Ho sooooo much!!! I wish he would be in a new drama straight away!!!!

            Faith is definitely one of my favourite dramas ever I think, so my new list is as below:

            (not in any order as that would just be too hard!!)
            Princess Man
            Faith
            Tamra the Island
            Dream High

            I have absolutely loved way more dramas then just the above but I think they are my top picks!! Dream High being there is probably just because it was the first one I ever watched so it holds a special spot in my heart!! :)

            what about your favourite’s ness36?

            I have just started watching Queen Inhyun’s Man now (only up to episode 2) and I am really enjoying it!!! Have you seen it?

            Have a nice day if you ever see this comment!! :)

             (0)


  16. 716 derdo

    Thanks for this post. I’m on the lookout for something to watch. Now I don’t know what to start with, given your recommendations. Really helpful.

     (0)


  17. 717 hirmah

    hi..
    watch innocent man i give 9.5/10 for epi 1 -10 (airing)really good drama i just start epi 1 last nite and watch til epi 10 nonstop.

    other drama . reply – 9.9/10 (great drama beginning til end i love this drama i watch 3 times already )
    faith – 9/10 (airing)
    arang & mjtrd – 8.5/10 (airing)
    five finger -9/10 (airing)
    may queen – 9/10 (airing)
    vampire prosecutor – 8.5/10 (airing)
    panda and hnd – 8/10
    Haeundae Lovers – 9/10
    watch real school also good drama i give 9/10 (i watch 2 times )
    a gentlement dignity – 8.5/10
    can love become money – 8.5/10
    big – 8.9/10
    glowing she 8/10
    I Do, I Do – 8/10
    I Love Lee Tae Ri -8.5/10

     (0)


    • 717.1 jat

      you’re so generous

       (0)


  18. 718 pillowhead

    I love your site. I just started watching Korean dramas a few months ago. I’m totally addicted.
    My first show was Shiny Inheritance, which lead me to My Girlfriend is a Gumiho, then King 2 Hearts. LOVED them. Watched Gumiho a couple times and I though Lee Seung Gi was awesome in King 2 Hearts. That show deserved so much more credit. So happy you agree. :D
    Then I discovered Le Min Ho. I’ve watched everything he’s been in just to look at his face. god. I want to kill myself.
    BUT, my favorite so far is Arang and the Magistrate. So perfect (except that crazy heaven’s garden with that weird lady tending to it). Great story and music too.

     (0)


    • 718.1 POPS

      Hah!! Pillowhead! I liked your comment!! :)

      especially ‘I want to kill myself’ because Lee Min Ho constantly also makes me feel this way!! which can be quite distracting when I am trying to watch a drama and concentrate …

      I got into Korean Dramas last year and everyone I knew said it would just be a phase but here I am a year and a half later still completely obsessively obsessed!! they are the best thing ever!!

      I am halfway through Arang and I am really enjoying it, it is quite different to other dramas I have seen and I find it quite refreshing. the bit where Arang follows the Reaper over the River Styx and down into the Cave was really visually beautiful! I still have lots to watch yet but I am really into it!

      Are you watching ‘Faith’? Because, just in case you didn’t know, it does have Lee Min Ho’s face in it!! also, its a really really good drama I think and, if it has an ending that is relatively happy and doesn’t kill me with torn apart love and sadness, I really think it will be one of my absolute favorite dramas ever!!!

      Anyway… I was babbling!! :)

       (0)


  19. 719 LILY

    where gaksital?my bridal mask.

     (0)


  20. 720 Lalo

    Okay, I’m now worried that you’re not going to update this page at all. But PLEASE DO, I’m dying to know your opinions on the latest dramas.

    SO, IF POSSIBLE; UPDATE THIS PAGE SOON. PRETTY PLEASE..:) I know I’m not the only one in this.

     (0)


  21. 721 Serena

    Hey guys, is there a reason why you haven’t put up the ratings for the recently finished dramas? Or did you just forget?
    Like many others here, I’m really looking forward to the ratings and I’d really appreciate if you did this soon. We Dramabeans’ fans are getting a little impatient here ;)

     (0)


  22. 722 Stephanie

    Dear Girlfriday and Javabeans,

    I think if you haven’t been able to rate Gaksital yet, after 2 months, it’s because the drama was so good and affected you so much that your feelings towards it just will not go away. I know they didn’t for me. Of course, the drama had its longueurs – just like you said, the scenes with the elders and old people – but it really is just because of how grand the rest of the drama was, both in terms of visuals and absolutely everything else, that this just couldn’t compare. In another drama these kinds of scenes (evil elders talking) would have passed incognito to your eyes, because they are just as boring as the rest of the drama and thus would have blended with the rest – I’m talking about Secret Garden, Ojakkyo Brothers, Biscuit Teacher Star Candy, Dream High…. and a whole lot more you gave 9 on 10 to.

    Granted, if we want to get technical there were, at first glance, some very annoying things about Gaksital – in terms of pace, for example, or how very little time did Kangto have to mourn his lover. But that’s just if we look at this drama at the first layer. Indeed, after all, Gaksital is not a drama that seeks to make you feel good, make you satisfied or give you what you want. Instead, it seeks to make you open your eyes and feel something, a something that was felt in the past, about Korea’s past, and a feeling that could be forgotten by younger generations who are increasingly disconnected from Korea’s past and stuck in short term Korea’s hyperconsumption trends.. In fact, just like Korea’s 20th century’s story, Gaksital is long, challenging mentally and emotionally, difficult, sometimes painful, sometimes not, and just like daily life it’s got its ups (friendship, love) and downs (treason, loss, death) which, if set on the tragic canvas of Japanese occupation, cannot help but make even the starkest of the daily joys painful, even the grandest of love and hope altogether incredibly heavy, painful and bittersweet….
    This drama does a good job at depicting the excruciatingly long and painful time we have to, as viewers, watch with helpless eyes and over and over for a long period of time, the sadistic and dark nature of the Japanese showa and those Koreans who decided to sell out to the Japanese empire, the death of heroes we have no time to mourn in a wartime setting, which is…. sorta kinda exactly like how Koreans during this period of History were feeling as the were LIVING it, don’t you think?

    In a nutshell: if Gaksital isn’t a 10/10, then none of the ones you have graded so far can be…. (and believe me, I have seen 98% of them already… sigh. I am a dramaddict :-) ). A drama that makes you FEEL what people really FELT in one of the darkest period of modern Korean History is something that has never been achieved in a 21st century Korean drama. I hadn’t been this seriously moved and affected that much by anything since Lee Chang-Dong’s 박하사탕, which I saw over ten years ago.

     (0)


  23. 723 kfan

    no review for Sung Yu-Ri’s films?? i think she’s one to look out for…

     (0)


  24. 724 aznddarko

    Hey,

    I was just wondering when you guys were going to update this page with new ratings? Cuz I’m really curious as to what rating you guys will give for “Answer Me 1997.” Please update!!!! :DD
    Thank you!^^

     (0)


  25. 725 Shima

    Waiting waiting waiting for your ratings for the latest recap’d dramas, especially Answer Me 1997! Hope you haven’t forgotten~!

     (0)


  26. 726 luna

    when are you guys going to update your ratings for dramas?

     (0)


  27. 727 rajesh

    i follow your ratings for nearly 2 years but one drama rating bothers me.. i know it is my own opinion but i want u to comment on that….
    In shut up flower boy band i loved the plot and the story but there is always a but in this drama.. whenever an emotional scene came it paced and i could not involve properly(though i am very emotional) not one time many times u can again see on emotional parts.. and get ended quickly….

     (0)


  28. 728 POPS

    Hola everybody!!!

    Calling all Australian drama fans, please please help me out with some information!!

    I am trying to find ‘Queen Inhyun’s Man’ to watch online with english subs and I can watch it on youtube but the quality is pretty bad…where does everyone else watch drama online? Or where do you download it?

    Help help!!!!

    thanks so much!! :)

     (0)


    • 728.1 jat

      dramacrazy.net

       (0)


      • 728.1.1 POPS

        Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!

         (0)


    • 728.2 Rule

      i download my dramas at daddicts.com, you find nearly all of them there,
      you can stream from dramacrazy.com or gooddrama.com besides there are many other sites.
      if you get dramafever or viki in your region then they have a wide variety too, all with eng subs

       (0)


      • 728.2.1 POPS

        thank you Rule!! :)

         (0)


  29. 729 Indigo

    Thank you guys for the ratings :) I waited so long and so eagerly for these. I didn’t realize you watched so many dramas during this short period. I was worried that you forgot to update this at all. But my worries were unwarranted. Thanks again.
    Also, now I feel relieved that I chose Arang And The Magistrate over Faith. Lee Min Ho is cute, but I’m not gonna sit through a drama with 24 episodes just to watch him.

     (0)


  30. 730 R

    Thanks for the new ratings, l love your comments on gaksital !!!

     (0)


  31. 731 POPS

    oh I know lots of people didn’t enjoy ‘Faith’ all that much but I totally LOVED it!!!

    So it makes me a little sad to see such a low rating for this drama but obviously everyone has their own opinions and I am the first one to admit I know absolutely nothing about good or bad directing so that side of things didn’t really mar my enjoyment of this drama, like I know it did for Javabeans and Girlfriday.

    I thought it was a really sweet romantic love story and the characters were really fleshed out (well the main ones anyway) and for me, I would have given it an 8 or 9 out of 10 considering how much I enjoyed watching it!!

    and yes…it is true I love Lee Min Ho and he is my favorite actor but I swear that’s not why I love this drama (although it certainly helped). :)

    Anyway…. thanks for your fantastic site which I couldn’t live without and for recapping Faith!!!!!!

    You guys are the best!!! :)

     (0)


  32. 732 Jilly

    Booh Gaksital got a worse rating than City hunter. They wre at least equally epic

     (0)


    • 732.1 Rashell

      Yeah, but no HEA for Gaksital! I know that was what made me love it a little bit less. But I doubt that was the same reason for GF and JB. LOL

       (0)


  33. 733 Rashell

    YAY! New drama ratings. I always love to see how my own personal ratings compare. Thanks JB & GF!

     (0)


  34. 734 daisychain

    I’m a bit surprised seeing the overall rating for Faith…

    I agree there were major flaws with that one – the flow and build-up of the storyline, the editing and directing and especially the cinematography.
    Yet on the upside it did follow a rather inherent logic and had a solid love story. The main characters were nicely drawn and mostly followed their characterisations. The acting from the leads was good (Ryu Duk Hwan!) and the overall wit throughout the show enjoyable.

    The personal rating is nothing to argue about, however you also rate how good you think something actually is – and a 5 and a 6 respectively seem a bit harsh. For the sake of it I’ll compare it to other LMH dramas: This rating makes Faith worse than Personal Taste and puts it on the same level as Boys Over Flowers – which I can see would be more enjoyable to watch but would hardly be an objectively better drama imho.

    Anyway, that’s just my opinion… Faith wasn’t as great as it could have been, better directing and a better build up of conflicts including a satisfying solution would have done wonders. But I do feel that a 5 is a bit harsh considering what else got 5 points ^^

    PS: I love this ratings-page and your recaps, I always come here choosing dramas to watch, so thanks so much for this wonderful site and all your effort!

     (0)


  35. 735 kcan

    Thank you so much for updating the ratings! You guys are the best.

     (0)


  36. 736 Jupitersnow

    I just wanted to say Thank you. I work over night and i spend a lot of time watching K-dramas. My list is close to 75 now and I was running out of series that were holding my intrest. I now have new adventures to watch! Thank you for your time in watching, writing and updating. Fighting Javabeans!

     (0)


  37. 737 Hailreign

    Wow javabeans is really awesome !
    I enjoyed various comments from different kinds of people from all walks of life!
    In my family , Im the lone kdrama patron and they dnt appreciate my great liking towards these all too mushy cutee cutee immature chinks that’ll never do me any good . that’s my according to my mom . Arrghhh ! All I could do is to pout ,!
    Mom will never understand the inspiration and happiness that kdramas’ giving me eversince I discovered them way back in 2000ish .. Im not sure exactly when but the very first kdrama Ive watched was Bright Girl and since then I was perfectly drawn at them lovelies !

     (0)


  38. 738 Thatgirl

    Looking back at these Dramas, would you guys want to change how you rated some of the older ones? Like say City Hunter, which was given a higher score than Gaksital, was it really better than Gaksital? And if not, would you guys change the score?

     (0)


  39. 739 Lola Loveless

    I burst into laughter when I saw your rating for ‘To The Beautiful You’

    To be frank, I found it quite hard to follow the storyline. Only thing that kept me sane half the time was Lee Hyun Woo, God bless his soul <3

    Anyway, loved reading the ratings. As always, keep up the good work ^.^

     (0)


  40. 740 starunique

    Hi dears
    I cant understand (10/9) … is this rating?
    what’s the meaning of it?
    when you said the ratings are OF TEN, Why the second digits are different … such as (3/3) or (7/7) (8/7) (10/9) ???
    please explain … Thanks Alot

     (0)


    • 740.1 kaka

      First number is how much they enjoy to watch it, second number is how good they think it is.

       (0)


  41. 741 boms

    Just curious as I was looking at your ratings and noticed that the lowest ratings you gave were 3′s. Made me curious as to what 1 would be on the scale of 1 to 10… what was the WORST drama you two have ever seen up to date?

     (0)


  42. 742 hana

    2 thumbs up to both of you. I’ve just finished Five Fingers. Adult act by Ji Hoon, fans of mine since Goong. Although I found it a bit boring at first but managed to finish it at the end. I would still consider this drama has its own value of life learning eventhough no sweet ending for JJH with JSY. Chae Si Ra showed tremendous acting skill, she put me in mixed feeling, hating her at first and very touchy at the end. Other actresses and actors are amazing too. I would say this is more to life drama rather than love drama in general. Now I’m looking forward to patiently wait for I Miss You. One of the kind I like as I adore the actors and actress as well. Thanks for all your sharing as well. Be well!

     (0)


  43. 743 starunique

    I chose and watched the Soulmate based on your ratings and viewer’s comments…. just waste of time… I disagree with your ideas about this drama… Perhaps it has been favorite by native ones … I watched it with english subs… anyway My rating: 2 of 10 points…

     (0)


  44. 744 POPS

    So I just finished ‘White Christmas’ which was totally awesome! Really creepy and every time you think the plot is going to start being a bit too obvious they switch everything around and it stays fresh the whole way through!!

    I think my favourite character was probably the deaf boy (whose name I have totally managed to forget) and I thought the actor was great at portraying a slightly creepy guy (stalker photos…what??!) and making me sympathise with him and care about him. He really had it very rough I feel and although I couldn’t always agree with everything he did I ended up really wanting him to survive and do well…… not really sure that anybody did very well by the end though….

    The other thing I have taken away from this drama is that Kim woo Bin is the coolest dude ever!!!

    Because of him I checked out some Vampire Idol and he was hilarious in that, and I have now started ‘School 2013′ as he is in that too (even if he is a big Douche Canoe bully in it..sigh) I luuurve him!!!! Yay for Kim Woo Bin!! I really hope I can see him in a lead role one day soon!!

     (0)


  45. 745 Fleur

    Hi, Dramabeans. Thanks so much for your ratings. Like many of us, I come here to check out the ratings list to see what to watch next. My favorites on your list are Sam Soon, Queen Inhyeon’s Man and Princess’s Man. Surprised not to see Jang Geum, Yi San, Dong Yi or Queen Seon Duk, which were the ones I watched after Sam Soon. Are they shows that you started and couldn’t get through?

    Thanks again,

    Fleur

     (0)


  46. 746 Alice

    I love boys over flowers, i am really crazy about this drama. I love GJP and GJD. I hope they bring season 2. Its the best of all kdrama i have watched.

     (0)


  47. 747 Alice

    I love kdrama, and my best is boys over flowers. I really love GJP and GJD. I hope they bring season 2 asap.

     (0)


  48. 748 noahssnail

    I really appreciate JB’s and GF’s comments and ratings. But the 10/10 for ‘Story of a Man’ is rediculous. Even though I like most of the actors, the story was weak, and the second half of the drama a pain in the xxx. Hate me for having endured such a bore. – So please JB, reconsider the rating.

     (0)


  49. 749 ausiAriel

    hello, nice rate and I think the best drama is reply 1997.. it’s the first drama that I can’t find/guest the ending..

     (0)


  50. 750 frecklefacedajumma

    I will come to this page for K-Drama recommendations in the future. Your ratings mirror mine on the shows I’ve watched so far so I figured I could trust your judgment. Just finished watching “Answer Me, 1997.” Very cute, I think my favorite line was when Yoon Jae told the puppy guy “I’m wearing a collar, you just can’t see it.” Something like that. A good kiss in a K-Drama is less about technique and more about how good the build-up was to that moment. This kiss was great, my new favorite. Thanks for the “recommendation”!

     (0)


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