[2020 Year in Review] My 2020 dramas as comfort food
Ah, 2020. This year has been frustrating, stressful and, at times, really freaking scary. And though I worry for any and all drama cast and staff members working during the COVID madness, I’m thankful for them. I’ve always had dramas to turn to, and this year was no different. Whether they were squeeworthy or maddening, satisfying or disappointing, these dramas gave me the sense of normalcy that’s kept me sane.
My theme this year is comparing my list of dramas to some of my favorite comfort foods. Because *sigh* it’s been a long year, and I’ve stress-eaten, I’ve stress-binge-watched, I’ve stress-eaten-and-binge-watched — you get the picture. And if there’s anything better than a nice warm meal, it’s an hour of a good rom-com. Or, in some cases, a really bad rom-com (but we’ll get to that later). These aren’t all the shows I’ve seen in 2020, but they’re the ones I felt the need to write about. So here we go!
Chocolate – Obviously, chocolate
This wasn’t exactly an amazing show, but there was always something warm and inviting about it. Once we got past some of the more dramatic episodes and we settled into the quiet hospice setting, everything fell into place. I loved the main couple, the staff, the patients, and how they all found ways to connect through food and love. The ending left me a bit puzzled, but it wasn’t enough to leave a bad taste in my mouth; I still think of Chocolate fondly.
Crash Landing on You – Fancy ramyun
Every year, there’s at least one drama that gives you everything you want and more. For me, that was Crash Landing. Whenever I’d sit down to watch another episode, I’d think to myself, “Ah, this is why I love K-dramas.” I could never really explain why I liked Crash Landing, just as I could never explain why I like ramyun. It’s just so good.
Itaewon Class – A cup (or two) of coffee
I could’ve gone with the bar theme, but I don’t really drink alcohol. I do drink coffee, and I drank quite a lot of it when I binge-watched Itaewon Class. In one weekend. And in that one weekend, I decided that it was my favorite drama of the year. I don’t know if it was because I watched it at the right time or because my love for Park Seo-joon was stronger than ever — but boy, did it strike a chord within me. I wanna watch it again just thinking about it.
Hi Bye, Mama! – Fresh baked cookies
Hi Bye, Mama! is the type of show I probably would’ve dropped had I not been recapping it. I thought it was way too depressing, especially going into the second half. But that’s the great thing about recapping; it forces you to power through. I’m glad I did power through, otherwise I would’ve missed out on a lovely story about family and loss and healing. Definitely flawed, but lovely nonetheless.
Kingdom 2 – Classic popcorn
Gahhh, I could watch Kingdom forever and ever. It is the perfect late night watch, being all kinds of epic and scary and downright AMAZING. Admittedly, I’ve watched both seasons at least five times (each), and I still haven’t gotten bored of it. The history behind the zombies is dark and fascinating, making me want to know everything about this world and the characters in it.
The King: Eternal Monarch – A whole bag of salt and vinegar chips
Why chips? Because they’re not super good for you, but they’re super addicting. The King pretty much stomped on all my expectations for it, making it my biggest disappointment of the year. At the same time, once I knew what I’d gotten myself into, I had a lot of fun with it. Around Episodes 13 and 14, the story even got cool, which was a plus. Usually dramas have strong beginnings and meh endings, and this was the complete opposite.
It’s Okay to Not Be Okay – A mountain of rice
Before I watched Itaewon Class, It’s Okay was definitely my top favorite. It’s still a close second, because this drama took me places. I was in love with the fairy tale aesthetic, the dark fairy tale princess and her naive prince. And having that aesthetic meld with the characters’ harsh reality — perfection. The, uh, twist near the end was not perfection, but I was willing to forgive.
Record of Youth – Unseasoned porridge
I finished this entire drama and I don’t know how or why. I mean, it was fine. It had its cute moments, its gratifying moments… But that’s all it was, was fine. The main pull for me was Park Bo-gum’s journey as an actor, and that storyline got resolved, like, midway. After that, the story didn’t know what to do with itself and just ended. Not the goodbye I wanted for Bogummy, that’s for sure.
Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol – Cotton candy (melted by my tears)
You know, I had a whole rant planned for this section, but it’s not even worth it. Do Do Sol Sol, I loved you, and you betrayed me. That’s all there is to it.
Start-Up – Corn dogs
I was sure to love Start-Up, as Park Hye-ryun is one of my favorite screenwriters. Her last few projects (The Lee Jong-seok Trilogy) were all fantasy, so this was a nice departure. It still had her magic touch, but it also brought back the realness and sweetness that was in Dream High. Though this did start some crazy fan wars, I appreciated the second male lead having the childhood backstory while the first male lead got to start on a clean slate.
Speaking of a clean slate, I’m looking forward to that new beginning in 2021. I happily bid 2020 adieu, while still remembering the dramas that came with it. Not only am I thankful to have dramas, but to also have Dramabeans as a home away from home. Everyone stay safe and happy; hope your next drama watch is a good one!