Monday, December 23, 2013

Marathon Time: Korean Drama List

So I just watched a Korean drama in a day!  That's 16 + hours of kdrama watching in a day!  Now that the show is over, I am reflecting.  How did I get so engrossed in this drama that I watched it so fast and did nothing else (besides knit)?  More so, how do I KEEP getting so into kdramas that I end up not wanting to do anything until I finish the show?  The answer:  I am addicted to good stories.  Kdramas consistently create a good story.

The kdrama that I just finished is called Flower Boy Next Door.  It was very good, hence why I watched it so fast (I'm told that Nine is also good, so I'm about to watch that next).  Surprisingly, although I can barely stomach "chick flicks" or romance novels, as they bore me to death, there are many romantic kdramaties (Korean romantic comedy dramas) that I love.  I think the elongated story line forces there to be more to the plot other than "gotta get a man/woman" so that there is far more depth in the details than in a typical romcom movie.  I even tried watching Korean "chick flicks" and don't find them any more interesting than American ones (horror/action/thriller is my favorite).

But yes, I devour me some kdramas! The most important factor is that they are like long movies, in that they have endings.  Unlike most American TV shows that tend to go on as long as possible until cancelled, Korean dramas are made with a predetermined amount of episodes. They are expected to conclude at a certain point (although episodes can be added if the show is popular). Therefore, like movies, kdramas are a story that is easy to watch knowing that there will be a conclusion. This is how they get you addicted, because not only do you want to know what happens next, you want to know how the story will end.

In American shows, we are lucky to get an ending at all.  So many are simply taken off the air if they aren't popular enough.  I often wonder why (if a show is cancelled) can't production/writers and whatnot just give the show a few more episodes to wrap up?  At least if it is in a place within the story that can be easily wrapped up (writers are creative, they can figure it out).  But nope, it's like sudden death!  Don't even get me started on Emily Owens M.D.  I will always be bitter about how that "ended", it was such a great show!

I love the way that American Horror Story is made so that each season is a new story though.  That is the closest show that I know of that is similar to how Korean dramas are.  Except Korean dramas rarely have multiple seasons, just a bunch a different dramas (but you will find a bunch of the same actors in multiple different kdramas).

In case you didn't know, although kdramas are called Korean Dramas, they come in every genre (history, action, horror, thriller, crime, mystery, romance, comedy, melodrama, etc.) so there is a kdrama for everybody.  They are sub titled, not dubbed, so you will be forced to learn how to speed read and watch (and if you're me, knit) all at the same time.  Totally worth it though.

Anyways, like I said, I DEVOUR Korean Dramas.  Since I started watching them over this past summer, I have already completed 26.  26 kdramas in less than 6 months!  Wow, I really have no life :-)  So I thought I'd share the list of kdramas that I've watched.  This is what I have been doing with my life, in my spare time, and what I often forgo sleep for.

Note that these are in the order that I watched them, not in order of love, and does not include dramas that I haven't yet finished, except for Reply 94.  Reply is still airing, but this week will be the final episodes, therefore, it is basically complete so I will include it.  I already know hat it will end up being one of my favorites (Team Trash Oppa!).

Doris' Current List of Completed Kdramas
  1. Cheongdamdong Alice 
  2. Innocent man
  3. City hunter
  4. Boys over flowers
  5. Playful kiss
  6. Secret garden 
  7. Coffee prince
  8. You're beautiful
  9. My lovely Sam soon
  10. Dream high
  11. Moon embraces the sun
  12. Dream high 2
  13. Cyrano Dating Service 
  14. Full house 2
  15. 100 years inheritance
  16. You're the best lee Soon shin
  17. The Master’s Sun
  18. I hear your voice
  19. Secret
  20. Two Weeks
  21. Reply 1997
  22. Gu family book
  23. Shut up flower boy band
  24. Protect The Boss 
  25. Suspicious Housemaid
  26. Flower Boy Next Door
  27. Reply 1994
My number 1 favorite drama is Secret.  It is crime/suspense/drama/romance that is just so good I can't wait to watch it again.  Secret is about a girl who lives her life helping her boyfriend become a successful lawyer.  He then betrays her and has her take the fall for his hit and run that killed a girl. Meanwhile the man who is mad that the girl died (his girlfriend) wants to make the killer pay, and so much drama ensues.  I can't really think of an American show similar to this one, but it is slightly similar to Revenge, but i much MUCH better.

My second favorite is Master's Sun, it is comedic horror I think.  About a girl that can see ghosts after an accident.  She finds a man that when she is touching him, enables her to not see the ghosts, so she sticks by him (against his will).  It's kind of like Ghost Whisperer, but funny also.

Third favorite is Dream High.  If you like Glee or Fame, you'll like Dream High.  It's a dramatic musical comedy about kids at a musical arts high school trying to succeed.  This is where my love for IU's beautiful unique voice and my complete obsession with Kim Soo Hyun (such a great actor) began.  For kpop fans, this is a JYP show, so if you love him and his company's artists, they are all throughout the cast of this show.  I personally didn't know who any of these musicians were before this show, but I now love them all.  Suzy from Miss A, Taecyeon and Wooyoung from 2pm, my IU, JYP himself, etc.

Some other standout kdramas are; Innocent Man (oh the injustice, but it's so good), Coffee Prince (unique undiscriminating love story), Secret Garden (magical twist), Full House Take 2 (just a great dramcom), I Hear Your Voice (literally, he can hear people's thoughts and his dad's killer is on the loose), 2 Weeks (really thrilling, action, try not to get murdered), Shut Up Flower Boy Band (awesome soundtrack), Protect the Boss (hilarious, has a karate lady), Gu Family Book (learn what a gumiho is and the history of Lee Soon Shin), Suspicious Housemaid (is she a maid or a robot?).

Boys Over Flowers/Boys Before Flowers is being made into an American show.  If you're interested , maybe you want to watch the Korean version first.  There's also a Japanese version and possibly others.  It is kind of like Gossip Girl in that there are snobby rich people going to school.  The "flowers" are the hot guys (flower boys is what Koreans call pretty boys), there are 4, in case you need incentive.

100 Years Inheritance and You're the Best Lee Soon Shin are extremely long dramas with over 50 episodes, but they're both very good.  100 Years is horrible, in that what this girl is put through from her in laws is atrocious and disgusting.  But at the same time her evil ex husband is seriously super funny and is the biggest mama's boy you've ever seen!  The main girl's family is also hilarious, so it's not a depressing show at all imo.

You're the Best Lee Soon Shin is my favorite of the two, I love IU and the ending was good.  Had I watched Gu Family Book before this show, I'd have understood why her name was so weird.  But oh well, I like IU better than Suzy (lead of gfb) which is why I watched IU's show first.  My favorite scene, and what I had been waiting for the entire show, was of course IU singing Forgotten Season (originally sung by Lee Yong).  It's the most beautiful rendition of the song that I've heard.

The worse drama on my list in my opinion is Dream High 2.  The story line is non existent, I still don't know what the point of the drama was.  Every time it seemed like there was a plot, they would stop and change to another plot, and then just gave up on a plot altogether.  But it's worth the watch if you like musical things and talented singers.  I for one am super glad to have watched it if for no other reason than being introduced to kpop stars Ailee and Hyolin.  They are so amazing, like Korean versions of Christina Aguilara and Beyonce.  There are a bunch of other JYP kpop stars in the show as well, just like with the original Dream High.  JYP cracks me up still thanks to this show.  Jinwoon from 2am, the girl from T-ARA and the boys from the JJ Project are in this one.  If you like music, comedy, and want to complete the Dream High series (not that they are really related except by their names) watch Dream High 2.  If you want an good story that makes sense, watch a different kdrama.

This video isn't from the show, but a perfect example of why JYP is hilarious (even though he's being serious).  He's so corny, lol, love him.

Actually, whether it's a musical kdrama or not, you'll often discover plenty of good songs in the soundtrack (ost) of a kdrama.  That is how I find a lot of my favorite Korean songs, from kdramas.  I watch most of my kdramas on Viki because I like the timed comments, someone usually always identifies the songs for you.  

A Korean song is also the reason why I started watching kdramas.  While searching for kpop songs on Youtube I came across Baek ah Yeon - Daddy Long Legs, I loved the song a lot and the title said that it is from the Cheongdamdong Alice Ost.  I figured, if a kdrama included such a great song, the drama itself had to be just as good.  So I watched my first kdrama, was amazed, and became hooked. Gomowo (thank you) Daddy Long Legs for getting me into kdramas, I really saranghe (love) them!  

Anyone else got a kdrama addiction?  Wondering about them?  What are your favs?
Start your addiction, watch kdramas via online streaming at these (most common) sites:
-Viki  -Dramafever  -Hulu 


  1. Me too. I'm addicted as well, as you know (95 dramas and counting).

  2. I will be finishing - I Miss You - today. OMG will likely be added as a superfav. It's in the same category type as Secret.