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[Drama chat] Which drama do you wish didn’t exist?


It’s quite a statement to wish a drama straight out of its existence, but every now and then there really is a drama you wish never came to fruition. You read our responses in our recent Team Dramabeans staff AMA post — where we listed everything from Nevertheless to Melting Me Softly to Squid Game — and now it’s your turn!

Which drama do you wish didn’t exist?

 
Let the chatting begin!
 
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Have to appreciate the DB staff who chose a Melting Me Softly screencap to be the header here 👏👏.

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Ji Chang-wook has a number of dramas that shouldn't exist: Melting Me Softly, Backstreet Rookie, Lovestruck in the City.

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Yes and all 3 have made me scared of giving subsequent JCW dramas a try.

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I’m all Wookie burned by having sat through all eps of his latest full-aired drama: The Sound of Magic.

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That is on my list of to-be-watched but I haven't had the heart to press play. I guess that was a good decision?

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@miso2019 I liked The Sound of Magic, but I know I'm in a minority. I also generally liked Lovestruck, which apparently makes me a unicorn. But yeah, it's disappointing how many 'shouldn't exist' dramas he's in - enough to make me wary of him (or more likely his agency) specifically.

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As you know, I'm in agreement with you about Sound of Magic. Melting Me Softly was so obviously bad, sometimes something like Sound of Magic is worse.

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@miso2019 I think you made the right choice. For me, the show deals with mental illnesses in a very bizarre and inaccurate ways. And that was a major put-off for me. Apart from that, there are many issues with the story. I would have loved that I had skipped this one but alas, I didn’t. Perhaps it was the time I thought I was going to let go of my little hope for JCW’s redemption and it did its work.

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@elinor nah you aren’t alone. I personally like Lovestruck in the city so much. It has good story with solid script and packaging. JCW and KJW acting are whole new level there.

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@miso2019 I liked The sound of magic. (Well, most of it).

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But he is doing well in the actual drama: If you wish upon me... At least, among so many disastreous ones...

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Good to know. It's on my list and now I'm encouraged to try it out.

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Abyss, playful kiss, Tempted, Nevertheless.

I hated playful kiss and didn’t understand why people recommended it (very early kdrama days and internet recos). Lead was obnoxious and it was hard to watch the FL be treated so poorly and she was ok with it.

Abyss- what was that?

Tempted - goodness. They lost their plot very early on.

Nevertheless- wow. That shows ending. *flipped a few tables*

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Oh yes, please, can we consign Playful Kiss to oblivion? Do you know how long it took me to not unfairly hate Jung So Min? Because This Life Was My First. That long.

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Ah, yes, the Playful Kiss franchise in all its iterations that teaches little girls that domestic violence is a good thing.
Nailed it.

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Tempted & Nevertheless.
Hours of my life that I will never get back :')

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Am I the only one who doesn’t hate Playful Kiss? I mean I have a degree of bias as it was my first kdrama but I honestly don’t think it was that bad. I don’t think the hero behaves any worse than many other heroes that don’t get the same degree of scorn.

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I never realized so many people hate the Playful Kiss franchise until this post. Itazura na Kiss is my favorite manga, and I love the Taiwanese It Started with a Kiss and Japanese Mischievous Kiss: Love in Tokyo versions. The male lead was just the classic tsundere hero in every shojo manga.

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I actually didn’t like the Love in Tokyo version so much (for no real reason - I don’t find the actor who plays the ML super attractive which didn’t help) - I haven’t seen the Taiwanese one.

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I didn't really like the Korean version. But I did like the some other versions.

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I agree with you... I feel exactly the same. Because back then, and even back back the time from Playful kiss, (when i didnt even know Kdramas existed) Male leads were all a bunch of jerks, and nevertheless, people still love them, or remember those dramas with bilssfull admiration.
I dont get it.

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I liked Playful Kiss. It was entertaining and has a really nice cast of actors/actresses. If all the male (and female) characters in dramas need to be perfect boyfriend/girlfriend material all the time, it would get pretty boring to watch really quickly. In a more modern drama, Liberation Notes, the male character is interesting in part because he is imperfect and frankly, probably dangerous.

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I watched it when I was in eighth grade. At that age, I didn't know better and liked "cold" guys. I realize now that he was just mean lol. But it was one of my first dramas, and I loved it. I still love it for the memories it holds. But if watched it for the first time, at an older age, I may not have loved it as I did. To note though, I also watched BOF at that age, and could not finish it lol.

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Clearly, the ones that were already mentionned.

Otherwise, I dropped a lot of dramas, so I will mention only the ones I watched until the end.

The Emperor: Owner of the Mask : The most useless main leads
Do Do Sol Sol La la Sol : The worst ML ever written
Love Alarm 1 and 2 : it started the Song Kang's mania
Sisyphus: The Myth : it wasted the talent of their actors

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I forgot all about that Owner of the Mask drama. It was awful and has a lot of wasted potential. It relied to much on Yoo Seung Ho and Kim So Hyun as leads but had really poor storyline. They could not save that trainwreck.

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Love Alarm S2: I was looking forward to it only for me to not even finish as it got spoiled for me (the S2 leads lacked chemistry imho)

DDSSLLS: Hours of my life I would never get back :')))

Sisyphus: I watched it due to it being constantly talked about and I regret it sm (fr what was that ending)

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sisyphus and do do sol dol la la sol hurt me.

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Did you like them?

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LOL no. sisyphus was good for the first two episodes I think? and then it started getting ridiculous. I agree with you that it was wasted talent and potential. I was so excited about it at first and then it hurt me.

As for do do sol sol la la sol, I don't hate large age gaps and embraced the quirkiness in its entirety until that heinous ending of which we must not speak. The last few episodes hurt me so i pretend that that drama never happened.

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Pretty Noona
Alice
Alhambra (because the ending is frustrating)
Marry Me Mary (but because of @ndlessjoie I will cross this one out)

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Bride of Habaek

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Oh. Now, that’s a good (bad) one.

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I agree

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Butttttttttttt it was so much funnnnnnnn

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H O W

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Idk. I really enjoyed it when it was airing. I like the actors and it was fantasy. I know there are things to criticize like writing and acting and some bad CGI but it was fun for me.

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*puts @earthna in Special Club together with @carlybisek for her questionable love for Habaek*

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I loved it, too. We are a small club who appreciate it's weird, bad wonderfulness.

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Yes to Alice! I'm still trying to unsee the two episodes of that drama that I endured.

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You would have had a much more difficult time if you had stuck with it till the end. You may ask @leetennant for her opinion on it.

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I'll be writing a blog post on it once I've regained coherence.
If I invented time travel, the first thing I'd do is go back in time and stop that show from being made.

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🤣

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You saw only 2?? lucky you, i watch all and 2 yrs later, i am still angry, The annoying thing is I only watched because of my love for Hee sun.

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Another one that came to mind primarily because it was unbelievably boring: Soundtrack#1. I almost couldn’t believe the lackluster feeling I felt watching one of my fav actresses acting in this one.

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It's THE BEST. Some day my devotion will pay off and a new generation of watchers will love Marry Me Mary for the crazy ride it is.

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Maybe you should tell them it's one episode and just get them to watch the final 😛

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Yes, why wasting so many brain cells for the first 15 eps 😛

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I think you meant to say that the first 15 episodes were like a roller coaster of fun.

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By "rollercoaster" you of course mean "carousel" and by fun you mean "torture".
"Carousel of torture".

I mean, yes, of course!
"Rollercoaster of fun".

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🤣

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But LT, Mugy deserves some love and perhaps we should just refrain from pointing this fact out to future viewers.

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So it gets a pity vote? 😏

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Then you miss all the crazy trope salad, so no. 😝

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🙄

And I didn’t just choose this emoji, I rolled my eyes irl, too.

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THE BEST! I still love it to pieces. You cannot sway me. 🤣

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It's interesting that Memories of Alhambra is mentioned here because of the ending. I know some people don't like it and while the ending might not be that good, it's still one of my favorite dramas.
But i understand how the ending could ruin the whole drama for someone.

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It is a really really really good and suspenseful drama that just punched me on the face upon seeing its ending. Poor Hyun Bin, he should have had a better destiny. For me, this is the best HB’s performance and should get a Baksaeng.

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I actually started marathoning Memories of Alhambra because of your comment. Just finished yesterday and still in the middle of reading the recaps lol. I was intrigued that by what you said about the ending. And turns out I loved it. I mean the ending could be better, but it’s not horrible? I hadn’t seen the appeal of Hyun Bin, even through Secret Garden and CLOY and never really like Park Shin-hye, so I just conveniently skipped Memories of Alhambra. It’s a marketing fail probably? I thought it will be a romance drama. I found a blog (https://bitchesoverdramas.com/category/memories-of-the-alhambra/) that pretty much explain the logic, extremely helpful. But yeah I’m glad I watched Memories of Alhambra. It’s unique. I really really like Hyun Bin here. This show is an eye opener. I pretty much think he’s in the same category as Song Joong-ki, that their good looks somehow glasses over their acting ability.

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I agree that HB shines very brightly there. But I just can’t believe you like the ending! 😭 It was really a WTF moment for me watching what Emma did to him. I can’t believe she did that!!!!!!!

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It’s probably due to the expectation I had prior to start watching. I expect it to be terrible, thought he was gonna die lol. At least he found peace? I even thought dying would probably be a better option for him rather than continue living miserably, he was on a suicide mission once already.

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Alhambra was so mean to viewers. I'm still salty over it. I warned my friend against it for this same reason.

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Warm and Cozy.

Ugh. More like bland and banal. It had all the markings for success: Hong Sisters, Yoo Yeon Seok, Kang Sora… yet how could they make these talented actors so unlikable?

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Warm and Cozy, which was neither warm nor cozy. Bin it!

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I've watched and finished every single Hong sisters drama except for Warm and Cozy, which I just couldn't finish. Its existence is ruining my streak unless I throw myself.

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It took me three years but I did it! And now I can scrub it from my memory and never think of it again.

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Which bean did you earn with this one obligation, shame or disappointment or was it the hat trick of all three?

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Lol I don’t know if I even counted it. I only finished watching it because I was watching with my sister who I believe actually ENJOYED it 🤯

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I am a Hong Sister's fan and I could not proceed for more than a couple of episodes. (That was my first show with Yoo Yeon Seok) so I avoided anything with him in it for long. :-D

Then I liked him first time in Hospital Playlist.

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Felt like the network needed a Hong Sisters' drama out of the blue, and which also promoted South Korea, so Warm and Cozy was the result.

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He Is Psychometric

The first 8 episodes were very good. Then the next 8 episodes were terrible.

I have probably watched far worse shows, or even dropped midway, but this one sticks with me and always springs to mind because I was watching the episodes cautiously one by one, by ep 8 I was sure of loving it, downloaded the rest and took it with me on a trip. I had no access to internet, nothing else to watch, and had to hate-watch it till the end.

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I could feel your pain just reading this. You must have been beyond disappointed and angry that you had to settle. The drop in mood must been worse than going over the cliff of doom.

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Exactly😂👌

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I could literally see you settling in and thinking ‘what is this’ watching episode 9 hoping it was just that episode that had gone off track but slowly accepting that it was going to be bad for the rest of the drama. I was crying with laughter reading that comment, thanks so much for sharing.

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Don't remind me of it! 😂😩 It was horrible!

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OMG! So true! I LOVED first 8 episodes and I watched 9th and partially watched 10th and dropped the whole thing.

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You were SO LUCKY!

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:-D :-D

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bruh really!? I loved that drama in its entirety

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Many people did. It had great reviews at the time. I'm usually rather weird 😄

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The Smile Has Left Your Eyes - really, really hated the ending. Felt I was set up.

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That was a great drama, I especially liked the ending.

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Ones I watched till the end:
Goodbye Mr Black - such promising leads and cast falls so flat, how and why did they bother,
Introverted Boss - terrible premise and FL actress just awful,
Jirisan - daft, and the resurrection of the ML was ludicrous.

Ones I watched at least 4 eps:
Abyss - so dumb and stupid,
Warm & Cozy - a snoozefest,
Heirs - so tiresome.

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I was so disappointed with INTROVERTED BOSS. The same writer as MARRIAGE, NOT DATING which is one of the great romcoms. How could so talented a writer mess things up so badly?

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holy Introverted Boss felt like a fever dream

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Ugh Goodbye Mr Black is so bad with that casting. I still can't believe it

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I totally agree about Introverted Boss, I had to force myself to finish that one, and I hated the FL the entire time. I may have missed a couple of details in the story (although there didn't actually seem to be that many details in that story...) because i was fast forwarding her scenes so I didn't have to watch her talk.

I also wasn't amazed by Abyss, but at least I could finish that one without using fast forward. Mostly.

I hated my way through Nevertheless, too, and Do Do Sol Sol... owes me many hours of my life back.

Others I was not impressed with include When the Camellia Blooms (snoozefest) and Something in the Rain/Pretty Noona - that one I kept watching just to see psycho-eomeoni in action. I love the actors in these, but this was not one of the best choices for any of them.

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Oh I liked Jirisan. For some reason, the show felt worm and I remember most of the positive scenes on the show. The ending could have been better. Still I like it.

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1. Wind and Cloud and Rain.
1. Royal Gambler.
2. Boys Before Flower, Heirs and co., and the dramas that followed the same male and female lead characterizations during that time of the year when such storylines made massive waves. I know how grateful I am to myself that I never had the avenue to watch them then and now.
3. Penthouse 3
4. Squid Game.
5. The Road : Tragedy of One.
6. Personal Taste.

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Unpopular opinion: Squid game was really disappointing & frustrating

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You need another?
I find it amusing when my friends who have never seen kdramas but only watched Squid Game tell me I'm missing a lot by not watching it. Me, a veteran kdramas viewer. I just laugh at them and their glaring ignorance as they could never understand how Squid Game wasn't it for me.

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Personal Taste!!! I watched that full (don't know what possessed me to)

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I loveeeee Personal Taste. Best Lee Minho drama for me lol

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I want to say Dr. Jin, but reading the recaps were really fun 🤷🏻‍♀️
Mama Fairy and the Woodcutter always stood out to me as offensively bad, whereas Melting Me Softly was comically bad, and hence, a little more tolerable (the JCW x Yoon Se-ah makeout sesh wasn't too bad either). I wouldn't go so far as to wish away Melting Me's existence. It has this unique role as a universally agreed bad drama.
Instead, I think I'll do MCW a favor and wish away Mama Fairy, Criminal Minds and Goodbye Mr Black from her filmography.

Honorable Mention: I Miss You

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Melting Me Softly is kind of like Habaek and About Time in that you have the Survivor's Club brought together by being in the tranches together and surviving the war*. And you're now bound by that experience in a way that brings you together.

*I did not in fact survive the war when it comes to Melty. I lost that war.

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And I was wisely, Switzerland.

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@HeadsNo2 was hilarious. Her recaps made Dr. Jin into a comedy. I miss her.

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It's hard for me to say that I wish a drama straight up didn't exist at all. What if it caused some kind of wrinkle in the universe and wiped out some of my favorite dramas also? And I think most dramas have some thing(s) about them that is(are) good, even if the drama as a whole is not.

That said, my least favorite drama I've ever watched is Bride of Habaek. If Nam Joo-hyuk's wardrobe stayed and the rest of that drama disappeared quietly, I don't think anyone would be that heartbroken. It was an interesting idea, but failed on almost every front. Most of the characters were pretty annoying, the writing wasn't really doing it for me, the story had the strangest pace ever, most of the time I couldn't tell if the leads were supposed to be into one another, and the ending felt forced. But I would totally wear that floral suit. Just saying.

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I understand why you would not like Bride of Habaek and I agree with most of your points. Particularly with Nam Joo Hyuk's wardrobe as Habaek and that mane of hair. Beautiful.
But the rest has a lot of room for improvement.

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The only drama I’ve really liked Nam Joo-Hyuk in is Weightlifting Fairy. It seemed to suit his personality the most. He just didn’t strike me as a math/computer genius in Start-Up and I thought he misplayed Baek Jin in 25/21- if he’d played the character as less typically earnest and with more signs of ambition and self-centeredness his character’s actions at the end may have been more understandable

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Ditto this.

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I haven’t watched Weightlifting and 25/21 but I did watch him in Radiant / Dazzling with Han Ji Min and he was fantastic. Don’t read the synopsis or reviews though, this is one show you have to go in blindly.

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Oh, and started bride of Habaek and couldn’t get through two episodes…

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Did you even make it to ep2? That was some achievement there. I saw the boar and I stopped watching.

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That scene with the boar attack was my first WTF moment as a Kdrama watcher. Hit pause and rubbed my eyes.
Admittedly, I hit play again and watched to the end but I ascribe that to my newbie watcher status at the time. It was quite a trope salad of mixed genres.

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*sends Alluvial_Fan to the survivor club*

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Love the phrase “trope salad” 👍

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That is about as far as I made it- what a waste of time

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LOL!

I hate myself a little bit for typing this, but I actually enjoyed Bride of Haebak. However, I would absolutely agree that it's Nam Joo-hyuk's worst performance/part and the writing is all over the place.

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I hate that enjoyed it too!!

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I loved the sets. I still want to live in her house.

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YES! How do people who don't have a lot of money still have such amazing houses in dramaland? The windows in that place still have my heart.

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I enjoyed enough things about it that I watched the whole thing. Generally, dramas don't have to be good for me to find them entertaining, and I was never bored. But when I look back on the whole thing, I think they missed the mark in most places, and I wish they had made some different decisions.

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I will have to politely disagree with this one because apart from the Boar in ep1, NJH and his fantasy wardrobe is also too fantasy for me I couldn’t help lol every time I saw him in his god costumes.

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I was the same 😂

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Oh I didn't mean his god costumes. They were a bit over the top and I don't have strong feelings about them either way. I meant after that other goddess gives him a bunch of clothes to wear and he is in a different suit in pretty much every scene after that. I've always been into suits, and his were beautifully androgenous and gorgeously patterned. It's still the drama wardrobe that I would want the most, out of all the ones I've seen on women or men.

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I hated Bride of Habaek, but I shipped Krystal Jung and Gong Myung's characters, so I only cared about their storyline.

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They were a great pairing, but I also found both of them pretty annoying at various points. They were much better together than individually, for me.

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I will not include the ones I dropped. So for recent dramas it is Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol (hate it), Arthdal Chronicles (so much wasted potential), and Luca (did not like it) for me.

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Oh Arthdal! Good shout. Criminal waste of talent, awful pacing, bizarre story and such dark lighting that we squinted at our screens for 16+ hours. :( My eyesight has never been the same…

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Should we sue the production crew for ruining our eyesight? 😇

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Oh, jeez! Arthdal 😖
I had managed to forget how insultingly awful that was.

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It was! It had such a great cast but horrible story

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Arthdal was truly alarmingly awful in so many ways, and as others have said, such a waste of soooo much talent. Can't believe they're actually making more of it.

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Season 2 is unnecessary imo.

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Yeah, sometimes you just need to cut your losses and run.

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Agree so I do not understand why they are even making one. If they want to spend money, they might as well fund a different drama with better story.

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Absolute Boyfriend could have explored so many interesting themes about authenticity, agency, and love; not only did it not, but it turned the FL into a weepy, passive mess at the mercy of boring cardboard villainy and tropes. It also squandered Yeo Jin-goo, which is a crime.
Do Do La La F F U should have been smothered in the cradle for the reasons others have mentioned (I have only seen moments of this one but he pretended to be dead? WTF?). It squandered Lee Jae-wook's first turn as ML, which is a FELONY.
Woori the Virgin was deeply stupid, cringey, demeaning, and worst of all, not funny.
Pretty Noona/Something in the Rain: no words, just HULK SMASH for this one.

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I already removed Woori the Virgin from my mind but that should also be included in my list.

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Absolute Boyfriend was only watchable because of Yeo Jingoo as Ken, and lots of people dropped before then. Which is why I really need to see him in a Bad Boy role!

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Pretty Noona/Something in the Rain was even more frustrating than Bride of Habaek because I kept expecting it to correct course all the way to the end.

Same with Do Do Sol. That was a betrayal.

Melty and Backstreet Rookie had bad written all over them, so I didn't watch. Arthdal, same.

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My Secret Romance - which DB staff is actually recommending in a recent post -- was a total waste of time. Good-looking cast, wooden acting, poor plot.

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I loathed every single part of Secret Romance, it was horribly regressive in every way.

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Yes! Pretty Noona is soooooo frustrating because I held that little hope that she would make better judgments as she aged. Alas…

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*joins the act of hulk smashing*

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'Do Do La La F F U' had me cackling HAHAHA I couldn't agree more!!!

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I read the weecaps of Woori the Virgin hoping it would be a wild, self aware, cracktastic ride, and it was for like a hot second before it tanked so so so hard. At least I never have to waste my time watching it now.

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Start-Up. I liked it, but the online vitriol spewed at the drama was appalling. It soured my watching experience and associated the show with negativity. I wish the drama existed before the Internet.

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Huh interesting, I watched it solo and didn’t lurk or participate in online discussions. I found out about the online vitriol way later lol
Good thing I stayed away tbh

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Oh, what vitriol?

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It seemed a lot of people were unhappy that Han Ji-pyeong didn’t end up with Dal-mi, which would be perfectly fine but it went a little excessive I think

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Oh wow

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actually, if I remember correctly, it was about whether Ji-pyeong or Dosan was the worse human being

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There was a similar issue with Greasy Melo (Wok of Love) when it aired where a certain actor's fan base convinced themselves of something that was clearly not in the text and then got ENRAGED when their imaginary scenario never appeared on screen.

I still have the scars.

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Yuppp. Glad to see I’m not the only who thinks this way.

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I liked Start Up but I also didnt like the unnecessary online hate. The story was good as it was and understood why it was the way it is.

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So true. I loved that drama and enjoyed both leads, but thought the writing made it very clear from the start where Da-mi's heart lied. It wasn't the type of drama--*cough*Reply1988*cough*--where the writing is clearly designed to jerk viewers around until the very end as to who the FL would end up with. So the on-line vitriol took me by complete surprise. It's a shame because it's now impossible to think of that drama without remembering that vitriol rather than the story itself.

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Right, it was clear where Dalmi's heart lies so the online hate was uncalled for. It showed disrespect for the writer and everyone in that drama.

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The problem for me was that Dalmi’s feelings were manipulated by lies and nostalgia. She had idealised the imaginary Dosan and the namesake just slid in there without much effort and stayed there. I might be in the minority on this but I find Nam Joohyuk uninteresting and highly overrated. Suzy is not that much better. The captivating performances were by Kim Seonho and Kim Haesook.

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Ditto this. As the time passed and I watched it the second time (which made me feel much better because I tried to watch it objectively on the romance front), I concluded that my strong bias for JP over DS the first time was because 1) NDR played the young JP (NDR often plays the ML’s younger self); 2) NDR’s and KSH’s acting are consistent and believable; 3) KSH’s storyline is complex and he lived up to that by his acting and that outshone many characters in the story, the FL and ML included (his acting was on par with the actress who played halmeoni); and lastly, the writer did a good job at, though she was pretty obvious from the beginning whose heart Dal-mi chose), playing with viewers who Dal-mi was gonna choose by the end (eg, she told halmeoni she would choose the past Dosan over the present one, SML got his own confession scene and he nailed it, SML was more mature and many times acted in the best interest of ML and all involved).

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And I’d also like to mention the breaking point t that made me unable to see DS in a good light: his fight scene with JP after his teammate asked him to give them the hard truth what the problem was that they signed the acphiring contract. This was what I felt despite the fact that in the second rewatch I saw Dal-mi much compatible with DS than JP after his return (aka acquired maturity) from the US.

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I respect ur opinion on the story and the actors. What I didnt like was the unnecessary hate online and drama that ensued. Yes Dalmi may have been deceived at the beginning but both JP and DS was in on it. JP even instigated it. So it still leaves the question I still do not agree with the unnecessary hate online.

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I like the actors and NDR did a great job as young JP. Yes I agree that DS is compatible with Dalmi.

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