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Five drama recommendations… for when you want to go cheesy

One could argue that K-dramas, on the whole, have a level of cheesiness that is… well, special. Maybe that’s what pulled you into dramas, or maybe it’s something that you had to slowly get used to. No matter which camp you’re in, this list of some of our favorite cheesy dramas will give you a crash course in how to cringe over a drama and yet love it all the way through — curling toes and all.


Five drama recommendations… for when you want to go cheesy
Boys Before Flowers (2009)

 
Is there a list of cheesy dramas that’s complete without Boys Before Flowers? The answer, of course, is no, because this classically so-bad-it’s-good drama was not only the gateway drama for thousands of future fans, but it was just generally a wonderful mess that was impossible to look away from. Even when you knew it was ridiculous. Or when it made you want to pull out your hair. Or when you almost did a spit-take over some of the lines or things the drama tried to get away with.

If you’re new to dramas, this one is an absolute essential for the archetypal characters and gobs of tropes — there is one here for everyone, surely. You can also put on your drama sleuth hat and suss out all the ways Boys Before Flowers impacted dramaland (and lots of actors’ careers). But also, it’s totally worth just watching this as a fan. Take off your analytical glasses, shelve the critique, and just sit back and bask in the absolutely cheesy goodness. From F4 to the perm that will never be forgotten to some of the best cringe around, this drama is one for the ages. –@missvictrix
 

Five drama recommendations… for when you want to go cheesy
Scholar Who Walks the Night (2015)

 
I feel like I should preface this by saying that vampire fiction in general isn’t usually my thing (though I apparently make an exception when Lee Soo-hyuk is involved — see also: Vampire Idol). However, not only did I: 1) choose to watch Scholar in the first place and 2) finish it, but 3) I also very much enjoyed doing so. Sometimes for the reasons it wanted me to, and sometimes for reasons it didn’t intend.

One of my favorite things about Lee Jun-ki as an actor is that he fully commits to his role, no matter how cringeworthy. In fact, he seems to genuinely love playing cheesy action hero types, which is why it’s so much fun to watch him play them. He’s clearly having a blast, so you have fun, too, even when the show itself isn’t the greatest. Then you put him with Lee Soo-hyuk, with both dialing the dramatics up to 11, and there’s just a lot of fun to be had all around.

That said, at times Scholar also managed to hit all the right notes for me emotionally, and I think that’s why it worked overall. When it was good, it was really good, and when it was bad, it was super fun to laugh at. Does it number among my favorite shows? Definitely not. But do I have fond memories of watching it? Absolutely!

My recommendation: watch it with a friend/sibling so you can snark your way through it. –@mistyisles
 

Five drama recommendations… for when you want to go cheesy
Cinderella and the Four Knights (2016)

 
If a drama contains a reverse harem romance, I automatically know that there is going to be a high cheese factor, and Cinderella and the Four Knights lives up to that blanket assumption. Plus, as if the title didn’t give it away, the drama’s story is modeled after the Cinderella fairy tale, and it takes that inspiration literally.

Our Candy heroine Eun Ha-won (Park So-dam) is a poor high school student with an evil step-mother and sister, and a fairy godmother-like rich ahjussi offers her a sweet deal in exchange for moving in with his three grandsons (and their handsome bodyguard). All she has to do is straighten them out and convince them to live harmoniously — which is easier said than done.

The three grandsons do not get along, and the only thing that they can agree on is how they do not want to be living together under the same roof. So Ha-won has got her work cut out for her, but like every Candy, she’s up for the challenge and has her eye on the prize. And, of course, this wouldn’t be a reverse harem romance without a romance full of the classic tropes that we all either hate to love or love to hate. Surprisingly, Ha-won doesn’t end up with the pompous a-hole (Ahn Jae-hyun), as dramaland has conditioned us to expect, and she instead has her happily ever after with the brooding black sheep of the family (Jung Il-woo). –@daebakgrits

 

Five drama recommendations… for when you want to go cheesy
My Secret Romance (2017)

 
If ever there were a guilty pleasure cheeseball romance, it was this one, and if ever there were a drama to make you appreciate Sung Hoon’s wheelhouse, it’s also this one. He plays the stereotypical sexy chaebol who likes to playfully tease the object of his affection, and no, there is no nuance added here — it’s just 100% exactly what it sounds like. After a one-night stand with our heroine (Song Ji-eun), he meets her again a few years later… as her boss. Because this is dramaland, and handsome men always boomerang back into your life.

Full of pretending-to-forget-you moments, second lead syndrome (thanks to Kim Jae-young, who does it perfectly), embarrassing mothers, unforgettable loves, mistaken sons, and many a catch-fall, this drama is… well, cracktastic. You’ll hate yourself for watching it — and you might even hate it — but you also won’t be sorry? At least that was my feeling when it ended. –@missvictrix

 

Five drama recommendations… for when you want to go cheesy
An Empress’s Dignity (2018)

 
I had an absolute ball watching this wonderfully campy and makjang drama. I love a drama that completely embraces its ridiculousness and goes all out. From the Rocky-esque training montage where Tae Hang-ho inexplicably turned into Choi Jin-hyuk, to royal halmeoni whipping off her wig and throwing binyeos (hairpins), I knew it was going to be a wild and fun ride.

As always, Jang Nara is great. But poor Choi Jin-hyuk kind of gets shafted here. He’s technically the male lead, but he steadily loses relevance as the story progresses. For me, this somehow added to the highly amusing chaos of it all. And then there’s the absolute scene-stealer Shin Sung-rok who goes from villain to kind of the main lead because why not?

There’s murder, intrigue, family drama, birth secrets, revenge plots, redemption arcs – this drama has it all. It may not always make sense, but I was always entertained. And sometimes, that’s all you need. –@quirkycase

Five drama recommendations… for when you want to go cheesy

 
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I disagree with "Cindrella and the Four Knights". It had so many flaws with the first being Jung Il Woo's frizzy hair and grumpy face for the first 8 episodes or so. Plus, Ahn Jae Hyun played his role so well that half the audience felt his chemistry with Park So Dam was better but the drama decided to pair him up with So Na Eun who was an annoying SFL. Also, the drama lost steam after ep 10 and the SFL's scenes became untolerable, especially the one where she pretends to be unconscious in a swimming pool.

A big yes to "My secret romance". Though it was cheesy, Sung Hoon was hot and his chemistry with the FL was sizzling which made the whole drama a guilty pleasure.

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So true re: Ahn Jae Hyun. I dropped it as soon as I realized the direction the drama was going.

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This is funny because I thought Ahn Jae-hyun was such a bad actor that I was hoping and praying he wouldn't be end-game 😬. Not that the acting was great from anyone in this particular drama!

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Cinderella and the Four Knights had way too much brooding and not the entertaining kind. The characters were in their 20s engaging in young teenage angst.

I'm not sure if AJH did a great acting job...but his character had more fun interactions with the FL.

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All great recommendations for cheesiness. It’s a dramaland staple. I remember cringing my way through most of them (why, oh why, did I choose to watch - and finish - My Secret Romance is a mystery to this day). So I’ll try my best to give five different recs. They’re not necessarily good, nor do I necessarily like them, but I think they fit the criteria.

1. What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim?: It’s yet another chaebol/secretary romance with the theatrics turned up to a eleven. Park Seo-joon being a drama queen; Park Min-young as a girlboss with an exquisite wardrobe; childhood trauma; hidden identities; an uncomfortably pushy second lead; Kang Ki-young as the best character: this drama has it all (to irritate me) to make for a great sleepover binge with friends.

2. Shopping King Louie: It’s oh-so cringy, but unlike basically all my other recommendations, it’s actually GOOD. Featuring amnesiac chaebols, poor plucky candies, and plenty of lighthearted comedy, this is cringe and cheesiness at its finest. Also it has Seo In-gook and Nam Ji-hyun as the leads and what more can someone ask for?

3. The Heirs: Full disclosure - I hate this drama with the force of a thousand exploding supernovae. I truly, utterly despise every aspect of this show from the depths of my cold black heart. HOWEVER, I think this could work as a cheesy (albeit, problematic) romp for folks who can overlook Kim Eun-sook’s foolishness and penchant for casting unconvincing 30-somethings as high schoolers.

4. True Beauty: I know it deals with some heavier topics of beauty standards and bullying. But with that given caveat, I’ll say that the rest of the drama is pure high school romance cheesiness. Featuring: TWO hot guys unabashedly in love with the FL (of both the bad boy and good boy varieties!), FL having the most horrible life ever, friends turned enemies, dramatic makeovers, embarrassing family drama, and a certain dance sequence in leopard print boxers.

5. 1% of Everything: Honestly, I barely remember anything from this drama except that it got so cheesy during times that I had to pause sometimes to stop being overwhelmed with cringe. So there’s that. Oh, and it’s another bratty chaebol overcoming his issues with the love of a good working-class woman. That’s a requirement in this setting.

I tried my best with these.

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@ladynightshade Two quick questions from me.
1. Who/which character/actor is Kim Eun-sook? (For the record, I have not watched Hair, the scenes/promos or anything else did not make me want to watch it but I noticed there were a lot of faces which I knew from their later works.

2. Which version of 1% of everything you are referring to? I have seen the new one (Ha seok-jin and saw one episode of the old version (The subbed version disappeared from YouTube in my region)

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@jillofalltrades:

1. I was referring to screenwriter Kim Eun-sook, not any actor. She wrote Heirs - as well as Descendants of the Sun, Goblin, Mr. Sunshine, and The King: Eternal Monarch.

2. It was the new version! I know the older version has Kang Dong-won back when he still did dramas, but I never got around to watching it.

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1. Ah! Thanks (There was a typo in my post it was "Heirs") Also I guess I have seen only Goblin so that is probably why I was not familiar with her name.

2. I also watched the same version. And I agree it was super cheesy on a few occasions.

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I totally loved all of these; watched them more than once! Definitely great entries in the cheese-fest line-up.

Agree that Shopping King Louie is a great show, and how could you not love Seo In Guk being the sweetest puppy (not to mention the bodyguard romance, and the ridiculous boss/second lead, and Nam Ji-Hyun being an absolute delight). If you're looking for something light and cute, that's where I'd start.

(I'm assuming you're referring to 1% of Something (that's how it's titled on Viki at the moment) with Ha Seok-Jin and Jun So-Min. That's the one I enjoyed.)(Ha Seok-Jin was clearly having so much fun being a bratty chaebol!)

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Shopping King Louie is a gem. It’s lighthearted fun personified.

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The only one of these I've sort-of seen is My Secret Romance, which I found enjoyable only by FFing so much that I couldn't actually keep track of the plot; I suspect I didn't miss much. It does indeed have some delicious Sung Hoon moments (swimming!) but he's also a stereotypical asshat boss and has one of the weirdest ML secret trauma/disabilities ever, which facilitates his abuse of the FL. @emsel is right about the reasons it's a guilty pleasure, though.

Otherwise, I'm going to take this and the comments as a "what NOT to watch" list 😆 and that's a valuable service, too. I like my cheese sharp, flavorful, and as an accent, not a main course.

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Hear hear, I had same impression of the shows listed above. I have watched (or partially watched) four of the above. (I have no interest in Boys over flower) And I enjoyed My secret romance in bits and pieces. (I liked Lee Soo Hyuk's vampire villain portrayal but I do not like Seguek themed shows)

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Oh yes, I hated myself for watching MY SECRET ROMANCE to the end. The second half was boring and I cringed so hard sometimes.
But I liked the plot idea and Sung Hoon was just too good looking.

As for BOYS OVER FLOWERS, I didn't get past the second episode. The hairstyles were just too bad.

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I agree with Secret Romance! It was so fun and cheap in the same time. But Song Ji-Eun and Sung-Hoon had a great chemistry.

For me, An Empress’s Dignity was not cheesy but completely makjang! This drama was so crazy...

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Around the time of the US election of 2016, I had been watching Orange is the New Black (US Drama set a women's prison). The politics of the country had become so dark and the entertainment as well. While Orange was a great drama, it left me drained and stressed just like US Politics. It was at the time that I discovered K-dramas. And, a world of cheesiness that I had thought had disappeared from entertainment was opened up to me! So, I embrace cheesiness. And, I hope that k-dramas will always retain that aspect in at least some of the dramas as it is one of the reasons k-dramas are special (at least to me). Cinderella and the Four Knights is great fun, completely diverting and silly. Boys Over Flowers taught me the definition of "second lead syndrome." Now I can't wait to hit play on the listed dramas. There is a place for thought provoking and challenging entertainment, but there is also a place for cheese. I'm so thankful for the cheese in k-dramas!

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Cheesy romance is not really my thing most of the time, but I do enjoy it once in a while. Makes for a nice fluffy weekend binge.

I agree with My Secret Romance, that is at the top of the list for me. And yes, I did finish it. And yes, I liked it... for the most part. I am guilty of fast-forwarding some of the stuff in the last few episodes. But you know all along that they will inevitably work it out and end up together, so the end is certainly no shocker. It was fun to watch.

I also agree with the general assessment of Cinderella and the Four Knights - which I also watched all the way through even when stuff got super cringey. I actually hated the SFL, she made my skin crawl the whole series... and I was kind of hoping the FL would choose the singer guy over the other two, but I guess the bad boy does usually win in these kinds of situations. The last episode of this one, where everybody is running around tying up the loose ends, is especially cheesy - Chairman Haraboji on his knees with a bouquet of flowers and all. I've said before, the best part of this one was the legos in the opening sequence...

Another one I found incredibly cheesy was Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol. Over the top cringe all the way through. I like some of the actors in this one, but the story was eye-rollingly horrible and the sugar level was off the charts in most of the scenes. Runaway chaebol, rich girl loses it all and has to cope, secrets about age, faking one's death, a year of pining over a lost love, having him walk back in and taking him back without a question, yappy fluffy dog... the trope river runs deep in this one.

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Do do sol sol was good for the sugar till then last two of three episodes. The END is something I am trying to pretend never happened.

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I agree. This is one where I wish I had the ability to stop watching a drama before it ends. Something in my nature won't let me drop them unless they are truly awful or really boring... but on this one, I really wish I'd stopped way before the end.

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I know!!! And I loved the first parts.

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I'm always down for a bit of cheese. And also down for occasionally letting it become my whole meal.

I have been going back and forth trying to decide if I should watch Boys Before Flowers. On the one hand - totally classic, a bit genre-defining, taste of old-school dramas from before I knew about them. On the other - almost everything else? Haha, but maybe I shouldn't judge before I watch.

Some of these others sound pretty delicious in their ridiculousness, but I would especially love to see Scholar Who Walks the Night. Lee Soo-hyuk seems like he was born to play a vampire, perched up there in that photo, and I'm always here for Lee Jun-ki getting his dramatics on.

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I actually watched the Chinese version of Boys Over Flowers (Meteor Garden) before watching the OG Korean one... I actually liked the Chinese one better... I never finished the original Korean one.

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I have a theory that whichever version a person watches first, that will be their favorite. I watched the Japanese version (Hana Yori Dango) first and while I definitely binge-watched the Korean BoF, HYD was to me far better. I mean, it's Matsumoto Jun and Oguri Shun! And I liked the FL in HYD muuuuuuuch better that the one in BoF.

I did watch the Taiwanese Meteor Garden later, mainly because of Vic Zhou.

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and i seemed to have followed your choices exactly and feel the same also. i loved the J version so much but feel all 3 are winners! just loved Meteor Garden too with all 4 main leads.

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I watched Taiwanese Meteor Garden first, but Hana Yori Dango is my favorite. I think the Japanese version is everyone's favorite no matter when you watch it because it's hands down the best version.

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For me, now it's the Thai version my favourite :p

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I support this theory as well, Meteor Garden is firmly in my heart as #1, next I watched HYD and then BOF. HYD is my least favorite.

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Not for me. I first watched the Korean version. Then started Meteor Garden and could not finish the first episode. Then I watched Hana Yori Dango and it was my favourite version... until the Thai version arrived (very recently). The Thai version is deeper... and darker... and I loved listening to the podcasts of Wit and Folly dissecting the Hero/Heroine journey.

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The Thai version gave the best redeemption arc to the ML.

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I tried watching the Japanese one first (Matsumoto Jun being one key reason) but the FL's rape attempt being ordered by the ML was my bottom line. I could not watch one more scene after that.

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I’ve watched Scholar a number of times and loved it, cheese and all.

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I have a special relationship with "My Secret Romance". Apologies to everyone who loves this drama. It was one of the first kdramas I watched (luckily, not the first, because it would be the last) and I absolutely hated it. The rudeness, the grabbing, the heroine without agency, the cobra-strike-like kissing, the flashbacks, entitled wanna be girlfriends... I was cringing so much I could not enjoy a moment of it. Funnily, that is one of the rare dramas that I re-watched in full. After watching many other dramas, I wanted to check if it was really that bad or if I have just not been ready for it. I bore it better the second time, but it was still not my thing. For me Something About 1% does it instead. Same director, still cheesy, still arrogant male lead ;) yet one of my favourites.

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WHAT'S WRONG WITH SECRETARY KIM ended up being way cheesier than I thought it would be. In fact, there were a few places I literally had to pause watching because I was cringing so hard it hurt. Of course, the premise from the start--that a woman needs to quit her job because she wants to get married, and that her boss (and the writers) assume that means she must ultimately want to marry said boss--was kindof icky, but the show gets away with that and all the cheesiness that follows because the main actors just completely give into it. And they had some excellent kiss scenes. So I do have to applaud them for all that.

DESCENDANTS OF THE SUN: It's not just the romance that's super cheesy in this one (I still cringe at the mere memory of that resurrection scene after the FL spends an entire year thinking the ML is dead), but the intense nationalism, rah-rah military tone, and the extreme veneration of doctors as saintly geniuses are pretty cringey, too. And yet, I slurped this one up. Everyone is just so pretty, and the second leads have a genuinely compelling story. Plus, the one-crisis-after-another plot is very addictive.

I also thought that TRUE BEAUTY and EXTRAORDINARY YOU tried very hard *not* to be cheesy, but still ultimately ended up resting on nothing but tropes.

Finally, BUSINESS PROPOSAL is extremely cheesy by design, but because that's baked into the plot and styling, it's very fun almost all of the way through.

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I am a Song Joong-Ki fan, and I did watch Descendants all the way through - but it is not on my all-time favorites list. I did find parts of it to be kind of cheesy, but mostly I was just over it before it got to the end. And yes, I agree - the end of the one-year mournfest was very cringeworthy. But much like our battle-worn characters, I had already been through so much cringe up to that point that it did not have a very dramatic impact. I didn't actually care if the characters got to end up together, that is how much I was un-engaged from the story by the end. I was more worried about the two sunbaes - the doctor and the nurse.

There are just too many other series that were done better, for Descendants to be on my list.

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I have to disagree about Boys over Flowers. That drama is a study in abuse and gaslighting. 100% on My secret Romance though. It was so ridiculous, lol. An Empress's Dignity is up there too.

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If you want cheesy, I highly recommend Shining Inheritance (you have to get through the first few episodes of unrelentingly terrible things happening to the heroine). The bridge kiss in that is one of the cheesiest things I have ever seen (a bridge! At sunrise! With sweeping music!), and yet I loved it.

Also; 50ish episode family dramas are an excellent source of cheese. My Father Is Strange and Once Again are both good fun.

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FATHER IS STRANG and ONCE AGAIN remain my favorite weekenders- and ONCE AGAIN also had some wonderfully poignant moments that could bring tears to your eyes.

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Once again….❤️

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Father is Strange is soooooo good. I don't remember it being particularly cheesy, though.

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It depends what you consider cheese, really, it’s pretty trope-laden - it’s definitely not the cheesiest weekender out there though, just the first really good one that came to mind.

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I really liked Shining Inheritance. It made me make Han Hyo Joo as one of my 3 favorite Korean actresses at the time. Also, I called Lee Seung Gi Mushroom Head because of his hairstyle. I felt bad for the other guy, in this show and in Dong Yi he went through 88 episodes and still couldn't get with Han Hyo Joo.

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Jang Nara has been great in many things but never better than in AN EMPRESS'S DIGNITY.

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I liked her in that but my favourite is her role in "Sell your haunted house"!

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She was fabulous there too.

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I think most kim eunsook's dramas are cheesy and could be on any list lol

I had a lot of fun watching My ID Gangnam Beauty.

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I believe Strong Woman Do Bong Soon and Oh My Venus are also pretty cheesy. And in my standard, i can count Doctors as a cheesy drama...
I only watched few cheesy dramas but why does it feel like i have watched a ton of them?
Do cheesy dramas give that kind of effect to you?😂

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Heh, good ol' Doctors. I enjoyed it, and then my friend mentioned to me -- do you know, everyone who gets sick somehow has a neurological problem. They pulled plot to the point where you'd think that everyone had neurological problems -- far beyond coincidence. So yeah, that was really cheesy.

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I agree with Strong Woman Do Bog soon being cheesy. Min min and Bong soon being cheesy was my FF signal. I was wondering if it was written by a 12 year old (the love scenes)

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I love Last Empress, it is one of my all time favorites- because Shin Sung Rok is crazy-evil-lovable-punchable-awesome. Plus, the whole thing of having a show own its craziness is delightful. I do love to have an extra-cheesy drama every once and a while, like eating decorative frosting by itself.

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I'll join the chorus in favor of My Secret Romance's cheesy goodness - it's like a fondue pot of cliche, strange plot points and cringe, yet oh, so satisfying. I'll also throw in Oh My Venus as a cheese board that includes fat suits, random English language phrases, secret chaebol and year-long disappearances among it's crazy, yet also kind of endearing, mix.

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I just loved Boys Over Flowers for all the reasons @missvictrix mentioned, the best one being the perm that will never be forgotten! they did the cheese so well!
another one is The Scholar Who Walks The Night. totally agree with @mistyisles about Lee Jun-ki! He is just awesome in everything and i loved watching this one. Also throw Lee Soo Hyuk in it and whats not to love? Cheese is so good to eat! and i love saeguks a lot so it was a winner for me.
don't get me started on An Empress's Dignity. just plain loved it! also agree with @quirkycase. her comments are great. sit back and just enjoy the goodness in front of you. And yes Choi Jin-hyuk did get shafted in his role. Just where is he? i need him back on my screen soon too. Shin Sung-rok rules!

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forgot to say Jang Nara can do no wrong. love that lady.

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Scholar introduced me to Lee Jun Ki and after the scene with the squirrel I had to find out more about him.

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Well now I’m intrigued..a squirrel and Lee Jun Ki??

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If by cheesy you mean you can turn off your brain and not care if it doesn't make sense, then VAGABOND is that drama for me right now. Does it take itself seriously? Absolutely! Do I take it seriously? No.
But gosh my Lee Seung Gi fan heart is happy. And I kind of adore Suzy even if her range of acting is limited.

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SHOPPING WANG LOUIE
SHOPPING WANG LOUIE
SHOPPING WANG LOUIE
(Just look at my profile picture, It screams "cheese but good". Watch this show if you love yourself)

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo
Fight For My Way
You Are My Spring
Coffee Prince

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Cheesy*

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Boys Over Flowers was my gateway drama and I've watched it SIX times. I love the old school hijinks, childish teasing that we used to think were romantic; evil mom, the crazy but loving family, the unsupervised teenagers in matching luxury cars, the slow motion formation walk, all of it!

I think that's why I can tolerate the cheese and the mixed-up storylines of modern dramas and end up liking shows that other beanies don't. Definitely gives me a different perspective on how other cultures consume entertainment and appreciating a different kind of very addictive art.

All together now: ALLLLLMOOOST PAAARADIIIIIIISE

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Hmmm...maybe there is something to this. My introductory drama was Mischievous Kiss.

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I wouldn’t say the drama was cheesy but if season two of Extraordinary Attorney Woo happens, our restaurant trio better be back too

I absolutely loved their utter bewilderment about dating haha
Especially their assertion that Hairy’s failure at his date with Sunshine was to do with his lack of lawyer puns 🤣🤣🤣
I need more of this
More food & lawyer puns pls!

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Oh wait I’d also like to nominate Sh**ting Stars for having one of the most cheesiest villains. That rich sasaeng ajumma’s revenge scheme was on a whole other level.

Becoming the actor’s housekeeper so she can make his food salty lol
Her rationale that he will forever be traumatised from eating salty food ever again… hahaha wtf?!
But the real question…can he still eat KIMCHI?!

Also I think she’s forgetting the obvious…
It’s not the salty food hon, he’ll forever be traumatised from having another housekeeper lol

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My Secret Romance seems so cliched and a rehash of the Cinderella plot, but I have to admit that I totally enjoyed the drama. It was very cute and Song Ji-eun is very cute.

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Really enjoyed this thread. Let’s admit it that everyone does need some cheese to make our lives better.

Sung Hoon has indeed become the cheesy king these few years with his look and antics. But my favorite is his pairing with Shin Hye-sun (before she hit it big time) in the weekender Five Children. So cheesy, so adorable and so fun. When I have nothing better to do and need a cheesy fix, I’ll go to YT to watch their scenes. Yes, you don’t need to watch all 50 or 60 episodes. Some kind soul fans put up a series of the-two-only scenes from beginning till ending.

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I’ve always wondered if i should consider myself lucky or uninformed for not ever watching Boys Before Flowers? It’s in every other drama discussion ever! An Empress Dignity is beyond cheesy, it’s makjang on crack meets soju bomb - not that i’ve never had any 🤣

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I wondered this too and decided to take a peak and then I had to run away. The violence against the main lead is beyond horrible and the subject can be triggering. But if you can leap over that and enjoy the show for what it is then it may be worth it so you can understand the inside jokes here and the parodies in dramas.
At least watch the classic 4F scene. You will never get the song out of your head.

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Lucky. Definitely lucky. I say that without direct experience because I haven't watched it, but everything I've ever read about makes me think that for me, watching it would be like the infamous scene in A Clockwork Orange where the protagonist is forced to see violent images with his eyes held open so he can't even blink.

I'm a woman well into middle age. I've lived every goddamn trope of misogyny, psychological abuse, and outright violence against women being cast as 'romantic.' The fight goes in IRL, but I'm done with that when it comes to entertainment.

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Hometown Cha-cha-cha is basically a Hallmark movie stretched out over 16 hours so I think it fits the bill.

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If we're going back to Boys Over Flower era, I'll recommend You're Beautiful. The elements that make it cheesy are the FL's orphanage background, the cross-dressing trope, the now very dated make-up, and hairstyle, and the over-the-top a little cruel ML (Jang Keun-Suk) competing with the nice SL, to name a few. Still very entertaining.

The Secret Life of My Secretary is pretty great as well. Similar to the more recent Business Proposal.

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Cinderella was adorable and made me a Jung Il woo fan for life. I really had fun binging this last year. Unbelievably, I haven’t seen any of the others (nor am so really compelled to). I’m surprised The Last Empress made this list from what I read in recaps. I’m all for cheesiness, though, and so the ones that I’ve seen which would probably fit are:

The secret life of my secretary (all hail the fish cult)
Business Proposal
1% of Something/anything
Her Private Life
Fated to Love You (lots of melodrama, but there were several scenes that were OTT cheese—the first night she sleeps in his house for instance).
Weightlifting Kim Bok Ju
Shooting Stars

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