Tuesday, January 14, 2014

164. Last 라스트 (2015) Korean

Yoon Kye Sang, Lee Beom Soo, Park Won Sang, Seo Ye Ji, Park Ye Jin 

Drama Rating: 9/10     Neck Score: A

Slow clap for this one, because I liked it.  All the characters were so complicated that you couldn't 100% like or hate anyone.  I would want to smack Tae Ho upside the head frequently, because he'd be an idiot.  I would also frequently feel sad or sorry or even want to side with Heung Sam, when he is 100% crazy.  That's the power of Lee Beom Soo.  Wow.  Even though I felt like the last two episodes were a bit rushed, it was a satisfying ending, as the fast pace seemed to work.  It was a good statement of greed, revenge, and obsession that the ending rush seemed to help more than hurt.  I also was impressed with Park Ye Jin.  I've seen her in less likable roles before which made me not care for her, but that is now a testament to her acting chops.  She took a character that could have easily been ruined and made it awesome.  So this drama gripped me from episode one, and kept me gripped to the end.  I laughed, cried (lots of times), felt super conflicted, angry, disgusted, bitter, and happy.  All of it.  It like put me through all the emotions.  And it had super awesome, incredibly violent fight scenes.  Like a ton of them.  Basically, it was about as good as this genre of drama can get.  I liked the dark, greedy, revenge, noir type drama.  Claps from me, I'm sad to see this one end.

163. Scholar Who Walks The Night 밤을 걷는 선비 (2015) Korean

Lee Joon Ki, Lee Yoo Bi, Shim Chang Min, Lee Soo Hyuk, Kim So Eun

Drama Rating: 6/10     Neck Score: A+++

So many beautiful vampires.  That's about all there was to this show.  It's plot was okay, but kind of draggy, as in they could have solved it sooner but they didn't.  They literally just ended up doing what they could have done so many episodes ago.  Sigh.  It was clearly about how hot Lee Joon Ki and Kim Soo Hyuk were.  It totally emphasized the sexuality of vampires.  They made scenes needlessly sexy, which was funny...well I rolled my eyes at the fan servicey sexiness of the scenes anyways.  It wasn't as bad as The Night Watchmen, but I did accidentally call it Night Watchmen all the time.  It has some similarities in the cheesiness department.  The biggest difference is that everyone in this one was a good actor, even Changmin, who I had my doubts about.  Sadly Changmin's character was a little sissy poo who caused a lot of the dragginess.  There was also everyone trying to sacrifice themselves for everyone else, blah blah blah.  I think by the end what saved it for me was how sympathetic they managed to make the villain while still making him an evil vampire.  Calling the Chief Minister out on his crap, "Are you even human after all of this?" and going on a rampage out of guilt when he killed someone he didn't mean to.  His conflict about emotions he didn't understand and dealing with hypocritical humans was nice.  The parts with him were about the only thing I liked about the ending, which was just weird.  I didn't get the need for a year gap or whatever it was they did to try and make the ending happy or whatever.  Also, props to Joon Ki for playing a human, a vampire, and a mix of the two so well, and looking so darn pretty as he did it too.  So it was okay, but super draggy/silly too.  But as a historical drama portraying vampires, it was decent.  It was one of the better vampire dramas I've seen (but is that really saying anything?)

160. My Beautiful Bride 아름다운 나의 신부 (2015) Korean

Kim Moo Yul, Lee Si Young, Go Sung Hee, Ryu Seung Soo, Park Hae Joon

Drama Rating: 8/10     Neck Score: A+++

I honestly can't call this show anything but My beautiful Banker, because that was what it was about.  That man is beautiful and bad-a.  Swoon.  The only bad part about this show was the fact that Go Sung Hee still can't act.  Dumb Do Ha ruined the ending scene with her bad acting, but whatever.  She wasn't in it that much.  I was also a bit upset with all the nothing that Lee Si Young's character did.  Detective Cha had the ability to be so bad-a cool, but after the awesome fight in the first fifteen minutes, she just sits there and does nothing, or just tries to convince the bank guy to not become a revenge vigilante but to work with the police.  So much wasted potential.  Also, I wanted somehow for the bride to die and bank guy to end up with police girl.  They could have consoled each other for their dead dumb significant others and been bad-a together, but of course that would never happen because stubborn loyalty and awesome faithfulness was at the very center of the back guy's being.  Really good action scenes, lots of interesting plot twists, nice snarky evil bad guys, realistic blood, a little rushed at the end (but after you kill off the only bad guy who really mattered, the rest was going to be lack luster) and some of the death scenes were just weird.  Slow mo car crash?  No, please.  Slow mo knife/metal pipe battles?  Acceptable, but does it have to be slow mo all the time?  So many hot necks in this.  Bank Guy = A+++  Scumbag Detective Boyfriend = A+++  That loan shark guy was an A even.  Rawr.  Lot of awesome fights, chase scenes, and gratuitous work out scenes.  My beautiful banker must be one of the most bestest men ever... except that his bride can't act, but no one is perfect.

159. High Society 상류사회 (2015) Korean

Uee, Sung Joon, Park Hyung Sik, Lim Ji Yeon

Drama Rating: 5/10     Neck Score: A 

This drama had potential to be a little different and edgy and stuff, but it unfortunately it ended super lamely.  Typical fall flat on its face.  I liked the evil male lead gold digger plot, even though it made for some awkward kiss scenes early on because they actually didn't have a real relationship.  They didn't even know each other and they were kissing and dating, haha, awkward.  I was therefor way more invested in the other couple, even though they are a more typical chaebol and candy type girl.  She at least had a backbone and wasn't really a candy girl since she wasn't opposed to the money thing either, even though she tried to be.  The non-romantic plot was super predictable, and the worst part was that it also ended lamely.  They kept building expectations and then they all feel flat at the end.  There really was not big struggle or contest between her sister and her, the dead brother plot ended super lamely too, and it was all wrapped up so quickly.  Not even amazingly.  I wonder if they were hoping for an extension and never got one, or what. But it just never reached its potential and was super cheesy at the end.  Oh well.  At least there is a lot of beautiful people in it and it is still a different sort of  chaebol drama.

158. When I See You Again 他看她的第2眼 (2015) Taiwanese

Jasper Liu, Mandy Wei, Jet Chao, Ivy Wei

Drama Rating: 6/10     Neck Score: A

Generally good for a drama about misunderstandings.  I liked how in the relationships at least, it was pretty realistic. The main couple were pretty polar opposite, and naturally that was going to cause problems.  He was one of those nerdy geniuses who don't like people so much, and she was a super friendly take action girl.  Then you have the couple who are both sick in their own way, physically and emotionally who relate to each other and find healing, but not before a bunch of ridiculous revenge drama.  The worst part of this show is that everyone had to be redeemed, which is an old Taiwanese favorite.  The problem is that when everyone is redeemed, the show gets preachy, moralistic, and makes you want to gag at the end.  I didn't mind that the mom and antagonist were redeemed and learned their lesson.  That was a given from the start.  They were setting up that from the beginning when they bothered giving them things like tragic backstories and cancer.  But when they are also redeeming the random bully kid from their past?  No, that is just gag worthy.  Why!?!  But honestly, as a drama it was very watchable, even though it was a bit draggy in how long misunderstandings dragged on, and way too much screen time for the 2nd leads (you know, the people they insisted on redeeming).  I think I angry tweeted the most about how stupid the mom was.  She was supposed to be this powerful, accomplished CEO, instead she was a a petty, emotional, and manipulable mess.  So dumb.  But hey, she was redeemed in the end, so she's going to get better (cue the gagging).  Still, I liked it.

157. Mask 가면 (2015) Korean

Joo Ji Hoon, Soo Ae, Yeon Jung Hoon, Yoo In Young

Drama Rating: 5/10     Neck Score: A

They took an already stupid show and turned it into complete and utter nonsense.  No surprising at all.  This show was seriously a addicting as crack, so overly dramatic and ridiculous that I couldn't help but want more.  It was already nonsense, but it ended way lamely.  It was like a crazy barrel roll of madness that suddenly took an abrupt nose dive down to boring nonsense town.  Boo.  Ok, so Suk Hoon (Yeon Jung Hoon) was the best and the worst villain ever.  But mostly just the worst.  He seriously needs to be added to the hated villains list, because, he is loathsome.  Smirking all the time.  But he did make me laugh all the time.  Every time he dramatically opened a door.  I'm laughing just thinking about it.  Min Woo (Joo Ji Hoon) might have been one of the best heroes ever though, in the honesty department anyways.  He always saw through people's crap and was super up front.  He was always just asking "what the shiz do you mean by that?" or calling out the crap with a "stop lying about this," etc.  Cute couple, lots of cute moments, but really too many moments of stupidity all around... except Min Woo was a pretty constant smart guy that no one listened to.  Anyways, it was both painful and addicting and then absurdly boring.  By the end no one cared what was going on at all and there were huge plot holes and they tried to redeem everyone and it was so bad.  All I wanted was an overly dramatic ending, maybe with a murder/suicide of the bad couple.  That would have been perfect.  Sigh of disappointment.  I just wanted it to stay the same kind of bad the whole time.  Was that asking too much?  Apparently.  Boo.

156. Drunken to Love You (aka Love You) 醉後決定愛上你 (2011) Taiwanese

Joseph Chang, Rainie Yang, Kingone Wang, Tiffany Hsu, Alien Huang, Tom Price

Drama Rating: 6.5/10     Neck Score: A

Probably the world's cutest OTP.  That's the only thing that makes this drama work.  You just fall in love with the main couple.  As for everyone else in the drama, they're actually not that bad, for 2nd male leads, 2nd 2nd male leads and crazy bitcas.  Kingone was a nice guy who messed up, Alien was a turd (and I love him unreasonably as an actor), but also an ok nice guy, and the bitca just didn't know how to give up because of her obsessive personality, but was still a nice person consistently, even though she made a lot of stupid decisions.  The biggest problem I had with it, is that I have Fall In Love With Me Syndrome, meaning that I don't trust Taiwanese dramas any more so at the first sign of crappy drama in the previews, and I panic and imagine the worst, making it hard to watch the next episode, but in this show's case, it was never that bad, and they were actually just tricking you into thinking it would be.  This is sort of a second in the series to Fated to Love You, and like it's predecessor, it is a roller coaster of draggy tiny drama.  The main couple can't be happy for more than two seconds because some random tiny drama happens.  It's frustrating as crap, but at least it never ACTUALLY gets Fall in Love With Me bad.  What makes it different from Fated is that Jie Xiu was a whole lot more mature than Cun Xi, who was a total butt.  In fact he was more like Lee Gun.  He was dedicated to making her happy from pretty much day one, and didn't take forever trying to figure out what he wanted and being hung up on "Anna."  I loved how quickly he got rid of that poster of Ai Wei.  Of course his being awesome and falling in love with Xiao Ru that quickly (but how could he not when she was that cool?) just made it harder to wait 18/30 episodes for them to get together because of all the stupid crap that went down.  But at least there was some cute in every episode to make up for the little bit of crap in nearly every episode.  Also, they have to make the ending cheesy and inappropriate. I'll take it, if it means that it is finally ending and I can get my happy ending for my dream OTP.

155. The Producers 프로듀사 (2015) Korean

Gong Hyo Jin, Cha Tae Hyun , Lee Soo Hyun, IU

Drama Rating: 9/10     Neck Score: C 

This show was both wonderful and frustrating as all get out.  That's because it had a very real life feel to it.  They were originally going for a mockumentary feel, but then sort of changed the focused based on ratings and stuff, I guess.  The four main characters were all super relatable, which was why we both loved and hated them.  I feel like while I might actually relate best to Joon Mo (Cha Tae Hyun), whether I like it or not, and that made him one of the more frustrating characters for me.  He kept keeping it to himself and not doing anything.  Boo.  I really don't think that they gave him enough screen time or focus at all.  I ended up super loving Cindy.  She was literally the best person in the whole show.  Her character was also the most dynamic.  Seung Chan (Lee Soo Hyun) was both adorable and so frustrating, like everyone.  I loved how petty he was.  That was one of the funniest parts of the whole show.  He'd get his petty revenge on people who made him mad or jealous.  It was hilarious.  Also Kim Jong Kook's plot line was the best romance in the whole show.  It kept things light and funny when all the crap was going on.  He did a good job with it too.  They left the ending open on purpose, but I think they copped out a little too much.  After all that crap we went through, they could have made the things that did wrap up wrap up a little more satisfactorily.  More kissing, sillies.  But besides that I actually liked the openness in general ok.

154. Ex-Girlfriend Club 구여친클럽 (2015) Korean

Song Ji Hyo,  Byun Yo Han, Lee Yoon Ji, Jang Ji Eun, Hwa Young

Drama Rating: 6/10    Neck Score: A

I'm sadder that this show was cancelled than I thought I would be.  I didn't like the episodes where everything started to go crappy, because it seemed like too much all at once, and then I heard that they had cancelled the show and so they were wrapping up quickly.  They did manage to make it not suck so much with the sudden shortening.  I am super shocked that it was doing so poorly in ratings, because I loved it.  I love Ji Hyo and Byun Yo Han was adorably amazing in it.  I also loved and hated the three exes at the same time, which is good.  It's just sad that it got a bit weird in the middle.  I was getting frustrated at the exes because the OTP was too cute and they were starting to get to the annoying point, but it was also so funny at the same time.  I thought because of how cray it was getting that ending it sooner would be good, but it still came off as a bit abrupt.  It was like they solved too much and not enough at the same time.  It was weird.  Not bad, just weird.  I still liked it.  I think the biggest reason I was dissatisfied was that it wasted too much time on drama that didn't matter and then only gave us superficial fixes to the rest.  Even our OTP was only given cutesy time while never getting into any real emotional depth in their relationship, which is why they still looked like best friends or a high school couple at best.  This is one of the problems with shortening shows, however with the way they were dragging out the love triangle and other annoying crap, I do have my doubts as to whether they were ever going to go there, even after they made a big deal about the sexy time earlier in the show.  I don't know, I still liked it, but the ending was decidedly lackluster and left me feeling a bit underwhelmed.

153. Warm and Cozy (aka Jeju Island Gatsby) 맨도롱 또똣 (2015) Korean

Yoo Yeon Seok, Kang So Ra, Lee Sung Jae, Kim Sung Oh

Drama Rating: 5/10     Neck Score: A

I was super disappointed in this drama.  I have raved about the Hong Sisters' dramas in the past, but really they aren't perfect and this might have been one of their worst written dramas.  They are good at the campy humor (such as the imaginations, etc.), the bathroom humor, and side couples, but plots are not their strong point and this show's plot was all over the place and sucky.  The male lead was all over the place and sucky too.  He couldn't be nice, consistent, honest or make up his mind for more than two seconds.  We wanted to like him, but all he did was frustrate us.  Like always, however, the side couples and characters were so much better.  I loved the black pearl couple.  I also loved the mayor.  He might be the best second male lead ever.  Kim Sung Oh is just an amazing actor and brought so much cute sincerity to the role.  Kang So Ra completely rocked the lead as well.  She is just great and I loved her, even when she was dumb and frustrating.  Yoo Yeon Seok actually did a great job with the stupid character he was given.  I think it would have been worse if it had been someone else who couldn't have brought that childishness to the role that made it slightly more forgivable.  As for the ending, this tweet just says it all:

MarlubsGD ‏@MarlubsGD  Jul 2
And then it ended in a gag fest. What the he-ack, cheesiness. Gaaaaag. #WarmAndCozy

151. Divorce Lawyer in Love 이혼변호사는 연애중 (2015) Korean

Jo Yeo Jeong, Yeon Woo Jin, Shim Hyung Tak, Wang Ji Won

Drama Rating: 3/10     Neck Score: A

All I can say is that I am glad it's over.  The show started out meh and ended blech.  A classic example of why shows should never be extended.  The only thing that kept if going was Yeon Woo Jin and Shim Hyung Tak, because they were both amazing.  Yeon Woo Jin just knows how do do cute, and Shim Hyung Tak is sexy and hilarious.  I could never connect with Cheok Hee (Jo Yeo Jong) and only came to tolerate her.  I think that was 50% writing and 50% that actress not being amazing.  The writing was what really bothered me.  If she's going to be a crazy bitca lawyer main lead, cool, but she was just a crazy, inconsistent, random, weird, and frustrating main lead.  Even by the end I didn't know who she was or had any way to connect with her as a character.  The writing was that bad.  The show was super draggy and absolutely stupid in both the subplots as well as the main plot.  Also, the love/hate relationship was probably the worst I've ever seen.  It made no sense.  In fact the entire show made no sense.  To the end I think I still like Wang Ji Won's second female lead, Soo Ah, better and that's saying a lot because she was lame at times too.  But really as a bitca she wasn't even anything at all.  All she did was lie once, feel super guilty about it, and then cry because it wasn't fair that she couldn't win him.  The mom was a bigger bitca than she was, with her manipulative ways.  Anyways, our male leads were amazing enough to keep some interest there, but really the show was so bad at the end that we were constantly just playing with our phones instead of paying attention.  The last episode seemed like it would never end, so... yay!  It's over!

149. My Unfortunate Boyfriend 나의 유감스러운 남자친구 (2015) Korean

No Min Woo, Yang Jin Sung, Yoon Hak, Kwak Ji Min

Drama Rating: 5/10     Neck Score: A

I was pretty clear in my post what this drama was about.  No Min Woo being super sexy.  They seemed to have forgotten that halfway through and tried to up the drama stakes by giving the Bug more screen time.  That was a mistake.  It got super boring and lame when No Min Woo wasn't on the screen.  All we cared about in this drama was the OTP, not the stupid Bug second male lead.  The second female lead was pretty cool too.  The end.  Basically No Min Woo is a great actor because he pulled this character off, making us believe that he was really that innocent and awkward.  But they also still managed to make the love story cute and believable too.  The part that I loved that made this show have as high a rating as it does is how much our main couple grows.  She learns a lot, he learns a lot, they both make each other better and it's adorable.  Lizabreff complained that the ending was too tame compared to all the naughty awkward humor at the beginning, but since the characters had grown so much, that wasn't a surprise to me.  It would have been weirder if it had been that awkward.  The ending was slightly lamer than it could have been.  It also seemed rushed because they skimmed over a lot of things just showing the results and not the actual competition.  They also gave the Bug way too much time.  No one likes him, stop wasting our time.  So it was a delightfully weird drama, super cheesy and campy, but also a bit boring when the stupid second male lead suddenly hogs the screen.  Other than that I loved it.  It hooked me enough for it to be one of the few I looked forward to every week.

148. Murphy's Law of Love 莫非,這就是愛情 (2015) Taiwanese

Danson Tang, Ivelyn Lee, Jolin Chien, Jenna Wang

Drama Rating: 7/10     Neck Score: A

Slow clap for this drama.  It didn't really do all that crap that most Taiwanese dramas do.  In fact, it was the most consistently logical RomCom I've seen in a while.  It was probably a first for me that during the break up scene I was more inclined to say: "You go, girl!" than anything else.  Obviously I didn't want them to break up, but her reasons were so genuine and logical that I couldn't call her stupid, just cowardly.  The worst part of the whole show has to be how lame Jolin Chien's character was.  He was pointless to the point that I hated him.  He was just there.  He was a catalyst, not a character.  He never actually did anything but help her get together with the main dude, and not in a cool way either.  Anyways, Danson Tang is whew sexy.  Especially his stares.  Rawr.  So the whole show was about the ups and downs of relationships, and there was plenty of character growth for the main couple because of it.  That part was the best.  It was all about personal growth as well as growth as a couple.  It got a bit draggy in parts, but then made up for it with all too much sexiness and out right adorable.  It actually stopped at 19 episodes rather than continuing the draggy though, so points.  Ji Jia Wei (Danson Tang) is, in the cuteness factor, the best boyfriend ever.  Better still because he matures and really does become the best boyfriend, so then I can say he's just all around best boyfriend material.

147. The Girl Who Sees Smells 냄새를 보는 소녀 (2015) Korean

Park Yoo Chun, Shin Se Kyung, Nam Goong Min, Yoon Jin Seo

Drama Rating: 5/10     Neck Score: A

Slow clap for the worst police ever.  They should get an award for how stupid ALL the police work was in the ENTIRE show.  They were outright incompetent.  So much so that they were unable to do anything without the main couple.  What.the.heck.  This was tolerable in the beginning, when the police work wasn't that necessary for the plot, but by the end, it had us screaming in rage.  It also dragged out the ending to be super lame and annoying.  All I wanted was for it to be over, and it was not.  But, as bad as the writing and police plot of this show was, the main couple almost made up for it.  Yoochun has to be the cutest man in the world.  He pulls off aegyo and is a namja at the same time.  How does he do that.  But Nam Goong Min... how in the heck were we supposed to deal with that?  He's creepy.  Let's talk about how creepy he is while showing him without a shirt and being all sexy.  They would literally send such mixed signals about him, forcing us to be attracted to him against our wills.  But he seriously was amazing in his role too.  Yoon Jin Seo had some amazing parts... if the rottenness of the police didn't ruin a lot of them, she was still cool.  So basically we have a bunch of cool characters trapped in a crappy cop show with horrible plot writing, not necessarily bad other type, just in the flow of the story and plot devices.  Romance wise it was good, natural, cute relationship development, but the rest was super bad.  So it's good and bad at the same time.  Super enjoyable and then ridiculous.  Just don't take it seriously and you'll be fine.  More details about it in this post.  It definitely has tons of laugh out loud moments.  Both intentional and not so intentional, so it's fun.

146. Baby Faced Beauty 동안미녀 (2011) Korean

Choi Daniel, Jang Na Ra, Ryu Jin, Kim Min Seo

Drama Rating: 4/10     Neck Score: A

Why did I do that to myself?  There was so much to hate in this show, which is why we called it Baby Faced Bitcas.  No, I know why.  Lizabreff's mom kept gushing over Choi Daniel and telling me to watch it.  Well, she was right about that.  He is arguably one of the best and cutest male leads ever.  I am way in love with him.  In fact every one of the 4s in the 4/10 is him.  So is all of the A in the neck score.  If I could rate the show based just on Choi Daniel, it would probably be 12/10, I loved him so much, but he can only be on screen so often, and pretty much everything else was hateful.  Well, I liked Jang Na Ra's character okay, but she had so much crap happen to her that it was so painful to watch. But she did manage to make the typical melo situations a bit better with how practical she was, like when she had to break up with him to protect him (I swear that happens in every show) she doesn't go the "I hate you" or "I lied" route- the worst that she says is that he's an immature baby, which is only slightly true- so even though it's crappy melodrama, it's not as bad as it could have been.  But she also did a ton of super stupid things, so she will have to be on the hateful list at least sometimes for some stupid things, like even considering breaking up with Choi Daniel, dumb girl.  But seriously, I absolutely hated everyone else in the show, especially the other dude, Mr. Ji (Ryu Jin).  Every time he was on screen I felt urges to punch him in the face and shouted, multiple times, angry things such as a desire to kick him in the balls.  He will be an added addendum to my list of Second Male Leads Who Make Me Want to Punch Them In The Face.  Even the people who were supposed to be good, such as friends and family, were awful and made me so angry.  They were so stupid and selfish.  Yeah, that epilogue part and the end where they all had happy endings, I didn't like it because none of them deserved it, that's how much I hated them all.  Too much hate for me, I'm so glad it's over.  If it hadn't been for Choi Daniel, I would never and could never have made it through.  He's worth it... but that was a lot of crap I endured for him.

145. Oh! My Lady 오! 마이 레이디 (2010) Korean

Chae Rim, Choi Siwon, Lee Hyun Woo, Moon Jung Hee, Park Han Byul

Drama Rating: 8/10     Neck Score: A+

Omo, Siwon, you bias crusher!  Seriously!  He's just so completely sexy, adorable... everything!  This is a perfectly likable drama because you've got a completely likable and relatable lead, who has super ahjumma powers, and you've got Siwon, one of the sexiest peeps ever.  It's not so much a romance as it is a story about an immature star maturing and becoming a responsible, adorable dad with the help of the best ahjumma ever.  She's confident, quirky, big hearted, not afraid to stand up for herself, and generally just awesome, even if her character was pretty static.  At least she started out at a good point.  Also, that little girl was so cute.  Siwon's kids are totes going to be that adorable.  The end was a little weird.  I think they just kind of derped out trying to finish it.  Since the romance wasn't that strong to begin with, it was a bit blase at the end.  Still good though.  But the other dude.  Boo.  I didn't like him because he was all over the place.  Super self-righteous, prideful, cold and then suddenly good with kids and a nice person/busy body?  Can't keep it together with his wife but will bend over backwards to protect a random ahjumma that he randomly took a liking to?  Wut?  Whatever.  He was annoying, not because he was a bad guy, but because his character made no sense.  Also he was married, and he and his wife were the most frustrating couple in this.  Park Han Byul is the queen bitca.  I seriously think she is the best at playing bitcas because she is so hatable in every role.  Slow clap for her?  Anyways, to the important part.  Siwon's abs, Siwon's smile, Siwon + cutest little girl ever, Siwon's eyebrows, Siwon's decent acting.  This show was good.  Chae Rim was awesome.  Siwon was sexy awesome.  The end.

144. Angry Mom 앵그리맘 (2015) Korean

Kim Hee Sun, Kim Yoo Jung, Ji Hyun Woo, Ji Soo, Baro

Drama Rating: 8/10     Neck Score: A

This was an incredibly heavy show, especially in subject matter.  Definitely not for the faint in heart.  But it was really well done, and had plenty of cute stuff along with all the nasty yucky crap that was happening.  I guess I just get twice as angry if crap is happening to kids than if the same crap is happening to adults.  Sleeping with and killing students, not cool.  Using kids as pawns, not cool.  Ripping off schools, not cool.  So much not cool crap happening.  But I feel like the end was really good, and the moralizing good, and not too overly preachy.  I really like how the real hero of the story is the mom, just like the title indicates.  It's about a mom being fearless and making a difference.  The moral is that we need good moms and dads, and that is a cool message.  Ji Soo, who played one of the students Go Bok Dong, was just perfect.  Everyone was perfect.  So, while it was really hard to watch, especially at the beginning when like multiple students were dying and tons of crap was happening, it was worth it.

143. Super Daddy Yeol 슈퍼대디 열 (2015) Korean

Lee Dong Gun, Lee Yoo Ri, Lee Re, Seo Jun Young, Seo Ye Ji 

Drama Rating: 7/10     Neck Score: A+

I loved this show when it was about Yeol becoming a good dad.  I had a harder time with it when it was about the mom dying of cancer.  Well, it was part of the basic premise, so it's not like I wasn't prepared for it, but I just am so sick of people lying to protect people, and being a noble idiot because they think suffering on their own is better for everyone.  Boo that.  I did have a problem with that, but the truth is, for a drama about cancer, it was really realistic.  Going through all the stages of cancer with the being scared, trying to run away, giving up, etc. was annoyingly accurate, or seemed so.  I haven't actually had to deal with that, but it was more realistic than some others.  Also the ending was more realistic too.  No magical tie everything up nicely with a bow, but still good.  Lee Dong Gun is just great too.  So sexy, so perfect as a retired gone coach athlete.  Sexy with a little belly.  My favorite was the father/daughter relationship build.  That was just cute.

143. Unkind Women 착하지 않은 여자들 (2015) Korean

Kim Hye Ja, Chae Shi Ra, Do Ji Won, Lee Ha Na, Lee Soon Jae, Song Jae Rim, Kim Ji Suk

Drama Rating: 9/10     Neck Score: A

What I liked about this show was that it was about the women, and they were real women who were not afraid to get out there and be mean, and hurt each other, and then make themselves better because they realized that blaming other people just makes things worse and you don't progress, etc.  There were some infuriating parts, and some unrealistic parts, but on the whole I really liked how there was character progression, for pretty much everyone.  I was surprised that one of my least favorite parts was Song Jae Rim's character.  I liked him at first, because he's sexy, but then I realized that his character was a bit annoying and immature and I really hated how they drew out that tension with his romance.  But it's probably more because as sexy as Song Jae Rim is, I am absolutely in love with Kim Ji Suk.  Someday he will get the girl.  Goodness knows his character deserves it 9 times out of 10.  But I really loved how it was about a bunch of women who sunk pretty low on the crappy life scale, for lots of different reasons, and then they all pulled themselves up through their own efforts, and not because some man saved them.  The men were all very secondary in this, and that was perfect.  They were also all pretty sweet (even when they were immature and annoying).  It was a show about women, and it was the women who did everything.  I loved that.  I do have to say though, that the older sister's romance was adorable, and ahjussi was the sweetest man ever and I want a man just like him.  But he didn't solve her problems for her.  He let her be strong, and they worked as a team.  It was great.  And the friendship between the grandma and her "rival" was the cutest thing ever.  It's a great drama, especially if you have a mean sense of humor (which I do) and you think that snarky smack talk is funny (which I do) and you like a lot of character development, which is the best.  Nothing is worse than a static character... especially when it's a lead (and it's typically the female lead- boo sexist writing!) so yay for good character arcs!

141. Hero 히어로 (2012) Korean

Yang Dong Geun, Han Chae Ah, Son Byung Ho, Choi Chul Ho, Park Won Sang

Drama Rating: 9/10     Neck Score: B

Total dude show.  Post-apocalyptic, futuristic, and just fun.  I would have enjoyed it more if I had been consistent in watching it, but even though it was only 9 episodes long, I took like three months to watch it.  The best part about it is that our hero is so apathetic, immature, and disrespectful of everything.  Basically he is hilarious and just in it for the fun of it.  I loved how he chases the pretty cop around, getting into her business and stuff.  But it also has good character progression, because although he starts out just doing it for fun, or to help his cop crush, he starts seeing the injustice and doing it for the right reasons.  It's very Batman-esque though, complete with the black costume, mask vigilante thing, and his butler friend, who we called Alfred.  The fight scenes were either super fast, or slow-mo, so you know they are good stuff.  It was always funny and intriguing, and moves at a good pace.  In fact, they could have easily made it a full 16 episodes.  9 was just too few... even though scheduling made me watch it so spread out.  But that was because of time and my friend's schedule, and not because it was draggy or I didn't like it.  It was good.

140. Heard It Through the Grapevine 풍문으로 들었소 (2015) Korean

Lee Joon, Go Ah Sung, Yoo Joon Sang, Yoo Ho Jung

Drama Rating: 9/10     Neck Score: A

Wow, finally finished it.  It was so long (30 episodes) and so heavy that we couldn't get ourselves to finish it faster.  We just had to take it slow.  However, this was not because it was bad, it was because it was so good.  All of the characters were so dynamic and fully fleshed out that you both loved and hated them all.  I seriously had times of love and hate for pretty much everyone in the show, including the parents and main couple.  In fact I think every one of the main characters deserves a slow clap, especially the dad who played that hilariously detestable role so very well.  I do have to admit that I didn't know what was going on half the time.  Right up until the end of the show, I found it hard to follow the political or legal conversations.  Those ones in that cafe thing in Hansong where they always did those weird kaleidoscope shots.  The ending was good too, satisfying without wrapping everything up in an unrealistic bow.  Overall the show was a mash of realism and idealism, and the clashing of those two ideas.  As well as a battle of the generations, Confucian traditions, and class/social systems.  It was a very poignant statement about society and tradition.  It was very artistically done, and though I may not have understood everything, probably from the language and cultural barrier, I agree that it deserves all those awards that it won.  It's a solid, meaningful drama, even though it's long and heavy.

139. Blood 블러드 (2015) Korean

Ahn Jae Hyun, Ku Hye Sun, Ji Jin Hee

Drama Rating: 1/10     Neck Score: A

This show in a nutshell: 18 episodes of nothing really happening but lame stupidness and bad acting, and then everything you absolutely didn't want to happen being crammed into the last two episodes for a finale that is so epically and ridiculously bad that you are extra angry that you just wasted 20 hours of your life only to see everything you actually liked okay destroyed and ruined for forever.  This show took itself way too seriously, and was not only badly written, but also very, very badly acted. Well, maybe it was just Fish Face (Ku Hye Sun) who was actually bad at acting.  Everyone else just wasn't as good as they typically are because the script was so bad.  I think that Ahn Jae Hyun was just not ready for a lead role quite yet, especially one so demanding as a badly written vampire surgeon.  I used to play this game while watching where I imagined how different a scene would be if Jung Il Woo were actually playing the role.  It was different, but not any better, because even he couldn't save Night Watchman, so... but it was still a fun game.  But really, this show doesn't even make sense.  No one behaves in a remotely logical way, and they literally break every ethical code ever.  And not just the evil vampires, like the people who should know better too.  And where the heck did all the normal doctors go to?  They literally disappeared from view in the second half of the show.  Did they fire everyone who wasn't absolutely necessary to the plot to save money when they still were having crappy ratings and hence no extra sponsorship funds or something?  I'd believe it, because that is really how bad this show was.  I wouldn't have been sad either, if I were one of the fired secondary characters.  They had sense to jump ship and get cast in something better, I hope.  Whew, this was just so bad.  It might have started as good bad, but it was definitely just bad bad bad by the end.  The one thing that could have saved it was maybe killing everyone (as in the lead dude), but they didn't even do that.  They had to mess it up with an ambiguously (hopeful?) open ended mess.  Basically, this show is What.the.heck/crap/lame.

138. Ho Goo's Love 호구의 사랑 (2015) Korean

Choi Woo Shik, Uee, Im Seul Ong, Lee Soo Kyung

Drama Rating: 9.5/10     Neck Score: A

Omo, I loved this drama!  It was so cute!  Ho Goo is literally the best man in the whole world! Also the writers did an amazing job with this.  It was beautifully written.  I never thought I would love a story about misunderstandings so much!  But I did!  Even when they tried to trick us it was good!  Also, not just fluffy crap stuff, it had some meat to it as well, with the whole single motherhood, rape, "gayness," and celebrities getting away with crap because they can.  I definitely just loved every moment of this.  Also, that baby!  That baby was so cute! Slow clap for this show's writers and cast, because I loved it!  I even wrote a really long post about it when it first came out.  So for more details, see this post here.

137. Shine or Go Crazy 빛나거나 미치거나 (2015) Korean

Jang Hyuk, Oh Yeon Seo, Lee Ha Nui, Lim Ju Hwan

Drama Rating: 6.5/10     Neck Score: A

This was a very entertaining sageuk, probably because it was not focused on being historically accurate to events, but on an engaging story line.  Also, it had some super stellar actors such as Jang Hyuk and Lee Ha Nui.  The costuming was also super awesome and beautiful.  However it suffers from the typical kdrama complex where the ending just kind of went to crap.  It got super cheesy, wrapped up too quickly, suddenly became boring, broke up the main couple for no reason whatsoever after they finally got together, and then tried to patch it up with an ambiguous band aid of an ending to imply that somehow they will be together, but not really, maybe in the next life?  I don't know what it means, but seriously the second half of the last episode just made me roll my eyes, yawn, repeatedly say "this is so dumb" and tweet about how it was so dumb.  Also, there was way too much Luscious Locks (Lim Ju Hwan).  He was so dumb, his hair was bad, and we hated his face.  He needed to be in this show way less.  We don't care about him, especially when they cut away from our OTP to show him giving up on the girl for good.  They even wasted our time at the very end to show him fixing his life, like we care.  This was HeyCurdy's first drama obsession, and literally first Kdrama she started and sat all the way through, so the ending was extra devastating for her.  But since the beginning was super cheesy, I guess I should have guessed the ending would be too.  But that was 24 episodes, how did they expect me to remember that?  It was very deus ex machina, cheesy, drawn out, and kind of lame, which is sad because it was so good for the first two thirds to three fourths of the show.  Ah well, that's fairly typical for a kdrama.  At least it wasn't Night Watchman bad.  Compared to that, this was a great show.  At least everyone could act.  Also Jang Hyuk = one of the sexiest men who have ever lived.

136. Hyde, Jekyll, and I 하이드 지킬, 나 (2015) Korean

Hyun Bin, Han Ji Min, Sung Joon, Lee Hyeri, Lee Won Keun

Drama Rating: 2/10     Neck Score: A

For a drama about Seo Jin, they really focused on everyone except Seo Jin.  They had a huge long series of episodes that were completely about Dr. Derp Face (aka Sung Joon) and a hugely drawn out, lame, mopey, crappy bunch of episodes about how stupid bitca Robin didn't want to disappear.  It was absolutely lame and dumb.  I never loved this show to begin with.  It never had gripped me like Kill Me Heal Me did, where I wanted the next episodes to be out from the first week.  I watched it because I love Hyun Bin.  Hyun Bin did a very good job, but I am worried that he will never make another drama again because this was so awful.  I've also decided once and for all that I do not love Han Ji Min as an actress.  She's just not that good.  She lost out to Hwang Jung Eum (who I think is guilty of over acting during comedy and is only good at melodrama) with her underacting.  She was just not very good and having an annoying character at the same time made it worse.  So pretty much everything about this show was bad except Hyun Bin.  And only Hyun Bin as Seo Jin, because Robin's character was so lame, annoying, and unnecessary (and played so well by Hyun Bin) that I just hated him the whole time too.  So really this show deserves the 2/10 I gave it.  I had so much potential (with Hyun Bin being cast in it) and it lived up to none of it ever.  Not even once.  It was pretty lame from the beginning and became absolutely horrible by the end.  What were they even thinking?  At least Hyun Bin is hot... as Seo Jin.  That hair and those glasses were the only things helping me through, but they weren't in it enough to save anything.  Boo!

135. Kill Me, Heal Me 킬미,힐미 (2015) Korean

Ji Sung, Hwang Jung Eum, Park Seo Joon, Oh Min Seok, Kim Yoo Ri

Drama Rating:  7/10    Neck Score: A+

Ok, while this was completely makjang with the whole set up- I mean the birth secrets and corporate drama were off the charts- this was completely enjoyable to watch.  It's probably all Ji Sung.  I know it is.  Park Seo Joon was good too, even if he had to be the annoying oppa.  But Ji Sung!  He was amazing!  How he played every character with perfect emotion!  Right down to those eyes which they had to emphasize so much (Ji Sung does have super gorgeous eyes).  What I liked best was that it was always exciting and didn't make me want to chew my arm off ever.  Each of the multiple personalities were so lovable (I'll be honest and admit that I was also one of the many who were swept away by Shin Se Gi's animal charisma), so much so that when they all went away at the end I cried!  I was watching it at like 2am and was therefore more susceptible to tears, but still, it was touching.  Not a super huge fan of Hwang Jung Eum.  She can overact at times.  Usually in the "comedy" roles.  She was annoying as heck at the beginning, but I think she mellowed out a bit when the melodrama serious stuff rolled in.  I actually was fine with her at the end.  Anyways, yes there are lots of ridiculous and probably psychologically unsound things, but they managed to make it seem a little more plausible than other similarly DID themed shows that might have happened at the same time, so it was hard not to compare... I did try, but I just liked this one better.  Like a million times better (I still love you Hyun Bin!).  Even if some problems seemed to be magically wrapped up at the end... they were the less important ones so I was glad they weren't dragged out at least.  And can I just saw that Ji Sung's jaw line makes me very happy.  It's so sexy!

134. Boarding House 24 하숙 24번지 (2014) Korean

Kim Kwang Kyu, Park Se Mi, Ken, Kim Dong Joon, Im Hyun Tae,  Kim Sa Eun, Min Do Hee, Jo Hyun Young

Drama Rating: 5/10     Neck Score: A

So, that was cutely weird.  Also a bit annoying.  It had potential that was wasted, especially where writing is concerned and being an idol sitcom didn't always have the best acting, but was sincerely cute at least.  Once again the last episode left so much to be desired.  They got the couples I wanted together, mostly, but not really enough to actually satisfy anyone.  I don't see the purpose of those time jumps!  I have no idea why they thought it would be a good idea to suddenly have it be a year later, even if they were setting that up in the beginning.  Give me a better reason than that, because it sucked.  Anyways, can I say something about Im Hyun Tae, aka High Top?  I wrote a whole post about him actually.  Basically he was the best, and I really like his group Bigflo too.  Especially him.  He was one of the peeps that saved the show for me.  I liked everyone, but some of the story-lines were just not doing it for me, such as wasting their time with a love triangle when they should have given more time to the love line or square that they dropped to leave that couple only with hints at maybe someday getting together, but maybe not.  Hope is not enough, writers, you had one job and copped out on the last episode... not that your writing was that amazing anyway.  It's not like this was going to get extended or anything, so I don't know why you rushed through the ending in that randomly weird way.  Blah blah blah, same old story again.  Also, stop trying to trick people when the story is that predictable, cause lame.

133. Couple or Trouble 환상의 커플 (2006) Korean

Han Ye Seul, Oh Ji Ho, Kim Sung Min, Park Han Byul

Drama Rating: 6/10     Neck Score: B

Not the Hong Sisters' best drama, but a million times better than the movie it was based on (Overboard, 1987, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell).  But can I just say Oh Ji Ho's arms.  Mmmmm!  He spent half the show in sleeveless shirts and it was wonderful.  So it's a jerk rich girl falling overboard and getting amnesia, and this poor handyman dude deciding to get revenge on her by saying they were dating and making her do housework at his place until he gets his money's worth.  The best part about it was all the side characters.  The three nephews were adorable, especially the youngest one.  Kang Ja was amazing, I love love loved her.  The Ahjumma/Ahjussi romance was amazing (Bbangoo!) and I (not so) secretly loved Billy (the second male lead) until he became a butt at the end.  He was just so funny!  His nightmares were seriously the best part of the show.  It was definitely good, but still definitely an early work by the Hong Sisters.  At least it didn't have a year gap like we were so worried about.  I hate them year gaps.

132. Mr. Baek 미스터 백 (2014) Korean

Shin Ha Kyun, Jang Na Ra, Lee Joon, Park Ye Jin, Jung Suk Won

Drama Rating: 5/10     Neck Score: A

It was ok, but I just wasn't really into it that much.  I think the only thing that made this show work at all, with a ridiculous premise of an old man suddenly growing younger, is that Shin Ha Kyun could pull it off.  The old man in a younger man's body was good.  I liked those little details, such as him not knowing technology and things like that.  But I felt way more sympathetic to the son the whole time.  He just got the short end of the stick, being sad and then losing chances, etc.  I just wanted them to develop their relationship and not spend so much time on the romantic relationship, which was cute and I didn't hate it.  But I wanted more father son bonding time, and not the weird bonding time they came up with, like that awkward snow fight.  Also I didn't know about that Manager Hong chick for the longest time.  I thought that she was in love with the dad and still making plays at the son, which is gross.  But I warmed up to her.  The hardest part was that the bad guy is so hot.  He's the hottest guy in the show, but he's so bad, but not really.  But him in those glasses, seriously.  Rawr, Jung Suk Won, rawr.

130. Sweden Laundry 스웨덴 세탁소 (2014) Korean

Song Ha Yoon, Changjo, Kim Ian

Drama Rating: 6/10     Neck Score: B

This was a cute, fluffy little drama that was pretty enjoyable to watch.  It's completely family centered, as it is about this middle child trying to help her family and help people.  It's super cheesy because she is given the ability to read people's problems when she touches their laundry.  However, if you want something cute and lighthearted, it's good for that, even if the family drama went a bit cray cray with birth secret type crap and the love plots never really amounting to much.  At least not all of them.  Whatever.  I still liked it ok.  Cheesy, cute, funny, fluffy etc.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

129. Healer 힐러 (2014) Korean

Ji Chang Wook, Park Min Young, Yoo Ji Tae, Kim Mi Kyung

Drama Rating: 9/10     Neck Score: A/B-

Okay, so there were so many turtlenecks in this, but this drama was so good that I didn't really have time to complain about them that often.  That is a clear sign of a good drama.  I think it did a really good job of balancing everything out.  It had the perfect amount of action, great chemistry between not only our OTP but everyone in the show- seriously we just loved everyone in the show!- and plot twists that actually made sense.  Its overarching theme about humanity was so beautiful and made the ending so much more satisfying.  Also, it actually had a pretty good ending, unlike at least 85% of dramas that go pthbt in the last episode or two.  It had me hooked from episode one, and kept me hooked every week until it was too hard for me to wait.  It was so hard to wait every week.  I've never been so invested and I usually get fairly invested in the good dramas.  I could go on for forever about this one.  It was pretty amazing.  I feel weird about giving a perfect score to it, but I would feel weirder giving a not perfect score.  Seriously.  Awesome.  More praisey type words.  For more details (and some spoilers) I wrote two posts about it.  The spoilers are all in this one, so if you are looking to watch it for the first time just read this one for now.

128. Pinocchio 피노키오 (2014) Korean

Lee Jong Suk, Park Shin Hye, Kim Young Kwang, Lee Yu Bi

Drama Rating: 8/10     Neck Score: A

What a consistently good drama!  I was blown away by Park Shin Hye, who I typically think is just ok or even blah, but she was so good in this one and had amazing chemistry with Lee Jong Suk.  Hurray for them.  What I liked about the show the most (at the moment) was that the characters developed well and the plot developed well.  It was very well written in the fact that we got hints of what was going down from the beginning and there wasn't a sudden change in direction, any dragginess, or any real ridiculousness.  I'm not saying it was perfect, but it was solid and I respect that.  The ending was super delightful.  It was paced well and tied all the loose ends well, and just left you with a smile.  That's how they are supposed to end, even if the must use a time jump, so long as it's not a dumb one or a "can only fix the problem with a time jump" type deal.  I liked it.  The only thing I wanted to know was how long Hyung has to stay in jail for.  That's the only thing I missed or they didn't tie up, but I guess it's not that important (only it is, because I loved Hyung).

127. Birth of a Beauty 미녀의 탄생 (2014) Korean

Han Ye Seul, Joo Sang Wook, Jung Gyu Woon, Wang Ji Hye

Drama Rating: 6/10     Neck Score: A

The thing that makes this show work is how flippin' adorable the main couple is.  But they are pretty much the only likable people in the entire show.  Well Secretary Choi and the PD chick and maybe the mom and friend are ok, but everyone else in the show are evil murderers or just plain stupid (Oppa and Granny).  I loved their revenge comedy stuff from the first half, and I love love loved them falling in love and being cute together, but then when it got serious it got draggy, and I really hated how they kept the other chick around for like ever.  She was one of the worst, evilest bitca ever, and she needed to be punished harder than she was.  I shouted hateful things at her every time she was on the screen.  Also Wiener Thinker and Dog Poop Face (the other men in the show) were just annoying, evil, and dumb.  So much hate for everyone else and so much love for the main couple.  It made it a bit hard to watch because there was so much ew, but then there was also so much cute that it was never as bad as we thought it was going to be, so it was a weirdly good and bad drama at the same time.  Definitely over-the-top ridiculous in plot, but full off adorableness at the same time.  Well, it is what it is.

126. The King's Face 왕의 얼굴 (2014) Korean

Seo In Guk, Shin Sung Rok, Jo Yoon Hee, Lee Sung Jae, Kim Gyu Ri

Drama Rating: 6/10     Neck Score: A

This drama was half boring and half so infuriating that I was screaming at the screen.  It was only those two options, there was really nothing in between.  But it did have basically the entire cast of Gaksital in it.  Just switch out Joo Won and Park Ki Woong for Seo In Guk and Shin Sung Rok and it's pretty much the same cast.  This was basically a dramatized history, which is super fascinating and stuff, but long and boring.  There were too many year jumps that slowed things up too much every time things did get exciting.  That's the problem with dramatizing history, you have to stick to the facts (which of course you should, because it's wrong and bad if you don't) and that draws things out and makes things generally less exciting.  Then there are the evil peeps.  I hated Kim Do Chi, which is so weird to say because I love Shin Sung Rok, but he was so good at playing that turd faced evil fanatic dude that I would scream at him whenever he was on screen.  And seriously that ending scene was just ridiculous.  I don't know.  Anyways, Seo In Guk was amazing, but to sum this show up: Gwanghae is awesome, but went through so much crap that all we could do was scream in frustration multiple times every episode.  Also, comparing this to Jung Yi, which is also about Gwanghae, that prince sure has a lot of first loves who dress like boys.  Weird.

125. Pride and Prejudice 오만과 편견 (2014) Korean

Jin Hyuk, Baek Jin Hee, Choi Min Soo, Lee Tae Hwan

Drama Rating: 7/10     Neck Score: A+

I loved this show, but I have to admit that I didn't understand what was going on half of the time, and was extremely frustrated the other half of the time.  Especially when Curly Mullet and Ahjussi would talk, I really just didn't get what they were talking about with their metaphors and plots within plots.  Also, what the heck ending.  It was all like creepy atrsy weirdness and then they threw in a 30 second piece of fluff with a 3 year jump to make sure we know that it is also a happy ending... what?  Seriously.  The final episode was so good until all the what suddenly happened.  It was frustrating and realistic and then it was suddenly magically over... lame.  But as a whole I still liked this show a lot, and not just because of Choi Jin Hyuk and Lee Tae Hwan (although those are really good reason right there), I liked the intricate plot, all the characters, the level of intensity, and stuff.  I especially liked the Dragon (Prosecutor Lee) couple.  So funny and cute!

124. Bitter Blood ビター・ブラッド (2014) Japanese

Sato Takeru, Watabe Atsuro, Kutsuna Shiori, Fukikoshi Mitsuru

Drama Rating: 8/10     Neck Score: A

Da na na na na na na na na na... Do you ever shine?!?  Do you ever shine... that song is still stuck in my head.  I loved this show, even though it had the creepiest bad guy ever, who had a Sawish type sense of creepy humor and some unexplained revenge desire.  Anyways, he was annoying, but this show was amazing.  It was literally the perfect blend of cop drama and cop comedy.  There was always something hilarious going on at the same time as something intense.  The whole team was just amazing, with their own quirky personalities and each having an episode kind of dedicated to them.  It's a bit serialish, with a case each episode, but with an overarching creepy bad dude they have to defeat at the end, etc.  It was a good, short, hilarious, action packed cop/detective show.  A good watch.  Also, this theme song is the best.  Also the MV version is cool too, with Sato Takeru featured in it too.  Yes!

123. Liar Game 라이어 게임 (2014) Korean

Kim So Eun, Lee Sang Yoon, Shin Sung Rok

Drama Rating: 8/10     Neck Score: A+

I rarely am so intensely into a show, but this one was consistently intense.  A little formulaic, but in a good way, as in every week had one story arc of intenseness.  Every week's episodes = one round of the game, so each week had a nice build and climax, while still giving us more clues.  Best part though is Shin Sung Rok being absolutely crazy.  I loved him so much, especially as he made me hate and love his character at the same time.  How could he be sympathetic and batshiz crazy and evil and sexy all the same time?  Also Lee Sang Yoon was sexier than I've ever seen him in this one.  He pulled off the bad boy thing well, which I was skeptical of at first.  I was delightfully engaged in this show the whole time, so I could count that as a success.

122. Modern Farmer 모던파머 (2014) Korean

Lee Hong Ki, Park Min Woo, Lee Si Un, Kwak Dong Yeon, Lee Ha Nui

Drama Rating: 7/10     Neck Score: B

I just need to forget the last 15 min, because they tried to be funny and it failed, which is weird because it was only time they've ever failed at being funny, in my opinion.  It was like they didn't know how to end it, especially in the romance department, so they tried to make it cyclical.  Whatever, it was a super lame that bumped this show from a 8 to an 7.  I think it didn't help that I had to wait a whole week for the final episode due to a scheduling thing, which heightened the anticipation for nothing.  But this show was still amazing.  I have not laughed so much at something in a very long time, everyone was awesome, and the running jokes were hilarious.  This show was truly delightful, but had a hard time wrapping up, so we'll just pretend that never happened and love the rest of the show for it's hilarious and perfect comedy.

121. Phantom 유령 (2012) Korean

So Ji Sub, Lee Yeon Hee, Uhm Ki Joon, Kwak Do Won, Song Ha Yoon, Choi Daniel

Drama Rating: 8/10     Neck Score: A

Blow my mind, why don't you!  Amazing!  I usually predict everything before  it happens, but not so much in this one.  Especially in the first few episodes.  Tricked us.  Then they kept trying to trick us, but we did figure things out a bit better once we got more familiar with the style.  It's more like an American cop show than a Korean drama.  The style of tropes that is, although it's still very Korean.  Also, there are just so many awesome people cast in it.  I started it for So Ji Sub, Choi Daniel, and Uhm Ki Joon (aka Grumpy Cat) but I ended up just loving Kwak Do Won (who I hated in Good Doctor).  Man that dude is a good actor.  Crazy Cow was my favorite character, and I thought I was going to hate him.  That just shows you how much the first two episodes tricked me.  Also this has about as much romance as 3 Days, in the fact that it really doesn't have much of a romance, at least not the one that you are going to expect.  It just keeps wishy washing around with the main romance, but that is not even a problem.  I would give it a higher rating, but there were a few holes in the plot, even though it was pretty much awesomely written, and there was some frustration (especially with a few of the tiny plot arcs that were suddenly too predictable), but really, I just loved this show.  Except I am now really paranoid about cyber security, which I was already super big into.

120. Go, Single Lady! 真愛遇到他 (2014) Taiwanese

Ady An, Mike He, Shin, Zhang Xianzi, Fu Xinbo

Drama Rating: 8/10     Neck Score: A-

I think the only thing wrong with this show is some dragginess.  Other than that, Mike He is amazing.  Seriously, Fangjiang Yu is one of the best male leads ever.  He's up there with Lee Gun in awesome leads.  I've never seen such an optimistic, hard working, nice, honest, and real chaebol type male lead.  This couple is one of my favorite ever.  I do like how they even set up the lamer plot points from the beginning, so it wasn't sudden birth secrets, we knew they were coming from the start, which made them more bearable.  Like most Tdramas, it did get draggy, both at the beginning and the end, and went dumb at the end, but not to the FILWM or even Autumn's Concerto extent.  It just got a little draggy and ridiculous separation and then it ended just as cute as ever.  I love love love how cute and funny this couple was.  Also, randomly Wei Chang turned out awesome too.  Shin doesn't have a yucky neck, but he does have a slightly weak chin, which is made to look worse because he's so tall he always has to look down, but even if he isn't that hot, his character made up for it a hundred score.  This show was just full of awesome people and was a lot of fun to watch.

119. Queen of Reversals 역전의 여왕 (2010-2011) Korean

Kim Nam Joo, Jung Joon Ho, Park Shi Hoo, Chae Jung An

Drama Rating: 3/10     Neck Score: D

This should be called Queen of Turtlenecks.  Ugh.  I think absolutely everyone in the entire show wore a turtleneck at least once.  Sadly the main men wore them all the time.  Especially Park Shi Hoo.  I'm sorry dude, I love you but... no.  No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no!  Jung Joon Ho pulled them off way better than Park Shi Hoo and he's an ahjussi.  I basically just didn't really like this show anyways and so the overuse of turtlenecks made me really not like it.  It was the premise that I didn't like.  From the moment she married that Bong Junsu dude this show was doomed for me.  It's basically about a family getting split apart because that couple wasn't good for each other, and that's just not my cup of tea.  I don't care how passionate her new romance was, I hated it all.  Especially when there was also a kid involved.  Just not my favorite premise and then there were all those turtlenecks... at least there was Little Guy and the brother from Cunning Single Lady to make it watchable.  And Manager Mok.  I liked him at least. And that hot cop guy- rawr… hated that bitca… this could go on for forever… I loved seeing the bitca boss cry at the end… etc. It’s a love/hate type show, but mostly was just meh.

118. Tomorrow's Cantabile 내일도 칸타빌레 (2014) Korean

Joo Won, Shim Eun Kyung, Go Kyung Po, Park Bo Gum, Bae Min Jung

Drama Rating: 7/10     Neck Score: B

This was actually a very well done drama, but I always got so angry at it that I'd have to force myself to watch it every week, until I realized that I was relating too much to Joo Won's character Cha Yoo Jin.  It was like seeing myself (in a highly dramatized and exaggerated form) back in high school or early college years.  I would just get so pissed at everyone who messed with him that it was hard to watch.  I found myself getting so freaking annoyed at that adorable other guy that I couldn't stand him.  I wanted to like him as a person, but he kept just making me angry.  Sigh.  That's what I get for going through a grumpy cat type phase just like Yoo Jin, with the whole not expressing feelings, not liking skinship, thinking everyone is an idiot, not wanting to get close to people... I never had a traumatic past or a bad relationship with my father though (my dad is pretty cool).  Anyways, once I figured out that I was able to appreciate it to the fullest.  There are so many good characters, and everyone acted all the parts so well.  With Nae Il's character being so quirky and childlike, there was a big danger of her being annoying, but Shim Eun Kyung did a great job of keeping her cute, funny, and realistic.  Also I might be in love with Go Kyung Po even more now.  That guy is adorable and has a great neck.  Worst part about this show was actually all those flippin' turtlenecks that Joo Won kept wearing.  WHY!!!!!!  Other than that there were a lot of cute clothings.  And huge props to their classical music soundtrack.  They very cleverly used a lot of really good pieces that enhanced the show.  That might have been the very best part of the show.  So much good music.  If you know and love classical music this show will be a lot better and more meaningful.  If you don't, then it will just be average I guess.

117. My Lovable Girl 내겐 너무 사랑스러운 그녀 (2014) Korean

Jung Ji Hoon (Rain), Krystal Jung, Cha Ye Ryun, Kim Myung Soo (L)

Drama Rating: 2/10     Neck Score: A-

Why is this show so dumb?  I should have know better.  No plot about a dude falling for his dead girlfriends younger sister is any good, and this one was no exception.  Ugh, the things I do for my biases.  I'm talking to you, Kim Myung Soo!  Seriously, I love Rain, but it was L that got me to watch this against my better judgement.  I mean Rain what hot and all, but I just wanted to punch him in the face the whole time.  Also there was zero chemistry between him and Krystal.  They could both act pretty good, but it still felt like he was her actual oppa.  Ew.  Every time they had any skinship it felt yucky to me.  Also, super mope central.  This show was nothing but moping.  I couldn't even force myself to pay attention while watching it, and literally only watched the parts when L and Krystal were together.  The worst part is that it just didn't turn dumb, it was dumb from the start, the moment that Rain's character didn't tell her the truth.  The end.  It was a case of serious second male lead syndrome, especially since L acted more like the typical butt headed male lead while also acting like the sweet second male lead, while Rain was just a wishy washy lying dumbo.  Well, pretty much everyone in this show was dumb, so yeah, I hated it.  It was boring, lame, mopey and just not a good drama at all.  They couldn't even give me the one couple I liked, Director Kang and the stepmom.  Theirs was the only romance I cared about, and they had to snatch it away with some crap about the dad not cheating but really being a nice dude.  Whatever, that's total crap.  Stupid show.  At least most of the necks were hot... despite the horrible abuse of turtlenecks and creepy scarfs.  Kim Jin Woo needs to stop playing d-bags though, because that man is so hot.  His chin and neck were killing me every time he was on screen.

116. Fated to Love You 운명처럼 널 사랑해 (2014) Korean

Jang Na Ra, Jang Hyuk, Choi Jin Hyuk, Wang Ji Won

Drama Rating: 9/10     Neck Score: A

I was so loyal to the Taiwanese original, that I put off watching this one, especially since his hair was so bad.  Also I heard he had an annoying laugh.  But then, I heard enough good things to make me give it a chance.  Omo.  I loved it!  That's one thing that can be said for remakes, they do have a chance to polish and fine tune, it doesn't always happen that way, but it is a possibility.  This version is very Korean, so that is already going to make it different.  Also, the main couple is much older.  Instead of a pair of 26ish year olds, we have some 30s to late 30s peeps.  This gives it a whole different flavor because instead of accidents, mistakes, and coercion there is a lot more conscious decisions.  Cun Xi was a sweet, but hot tempered and immature man who didn't know what he wanted, while Lee Gun is a sweet, childish, and self-sacrificing man.  He takes responsibility and doesn't flip flop around, which is one of the things that drove us crazy in the other version.  Just make up your mind Cun Xi!  Well, as bad as Lee Gun's hair was at the beginning, I fell in love with him so completely!  I don't think I have ever fallen in love with a male lead quite as much as I did with Lee Gun.  He's handsome (when he got his hair cut... whew!), dorky, sweet, and just generally awesome, even when he makes some dumb decisions like lying for his love's sake (oh Korea and their noble idiocy).  Then there is Choi Jin Hyuk as the other man, Daniel Pitt, who is also sweet, handsome, and generally awesome, and you have an overload.  Seriously, both men were so well dressed!  (Those vests and open necked button ups!  Ah!)  Even when it was pulling at our heartstrings (it literally made Lizabreff cry, and she never does) we loved it.  So many feels!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

115. Blade Man 아이언맨 (2014) Korean

Lee Dong Wook, Shin Se Kyung, Han Jung Soo, Kim Gab Soo

Drama Rating: 4/10     Neck Score: B

Ok... that was... ok... um... not sure what else to say about it.  It had potential but then... it was all never fulfilled.  Even cruelly crushed under the oppressive weights of stereotypes.  They wanted something different and interesting?  Then why did they fall back on every trope ever?  Also it was horribly written.  Let's end every episode with a cliffhanger where something bad, usually revealing his Blade Man identity, happens, only to either just skip passed it without really explaining how he got out of the situation except some lame little "the sun blinded everyone" and move on.  Impossible.  "You wrote a bad drama, Pete." If they had just kept it to 16 episodes, without bringing already dead people back to turn it into a completely predictable makjang fest love triangle of mopey self-depressing crap, it might have been ok.  At least a 6/10, but this... I'm not even sure it deserves 4.  It was so bad.  It was boring and lame, and didn't use the blade thing enough... dumb.  At least we had Han Jung Soo playing Secretary Ko.  He was the only thing that saved this show at all.  The only reason to give it a 4.  He deserves a 10 alone (maybe along with Lee Joo Seung who played the little brother so well, even if his character was written so pitiably and with no real point except to be pitiable).  That was one huge problem.  Everyone was so two-dimensional, with no character depth or improvement, besides some sob story attached to their psychological problems. Total crap.

114. My Secret Hotel 마이 시크릿 호텔 (2014) Korean

Yoo In Ah, Jin Lee Han, Nam Goong Min, Lee Young Eun

Drama Rating: 5/10     Neck Score: A

Well, things went a little bit cray cray.  I admit it took a while for me to get into it... to the love story, not the murder mystery part.  I liked that part, but I felt like it didn't get enough screen time.  And it didn't.  Overall it was a likable drama, but just very sloppily put together.  Especially the love story, which they dragged out way too long, making us so frustrated and hating on the main girl because we thought it was all her fault, and then only finding things out until the last minute.  There was way not enough payoff at the end... sad day.  But one thing that this show had a good amount of was beautiful clothing.  Boy, was everyone dressed super well!  I wrote a whole post about it, I was so in love with everyone's fashion!  Especially the main dude's best friend, who wore the best suits and also happened to be the handsomest man in the show.  So really, it was just badly written, but the main writer died after only writing like 4 episodes... so it wasn't going to reach it's full potential anyways.  I still liked it, but it was frustrating as all get out with how much they withheld and made everyone so wishy washy and flip floppy, not giving us quite enough hints in some aspects.  I am proud to say that I called almost every one of the twists before it happened (even if it was only moments before with some of them... in the last episode which is way too late to reveal things... but anyways) so, ta da!  Pat myself on the back.  I did like the whole murder mystery theme.  I wish that it had been more prominent in the show.

113. Plus Nine Boys 아홉수 소년 (2014) Korean

Kim Young Kwang, Oh Jung Se, Yook Sung Jae, Choi Ro Woon, Kyung Soo Jin, Yoo Da In

Drama Rating: 8/10     Neck Score: A

So painful, funny, and sweet.  Painful because it is so relatable.  It's the story of four boys facing what could be the worst year of their life.  There is a superstition that the years ending in 9 are bad luck years, and in this family all four boys are in their something-ninth year, from the 39 year old uncle to the 9 year old youngest son.  We've all had those times when everything seems to be going wrong.  I said it before, but I honestly just related with every character, so it was super painful and emotional to watch at times, but then it was also super cute and funny.  I thought the ending was a little too nice in some aspects, but as it is also a lot of open ends, you can't say that it is not also realistic.  Also, that kid.  Choi Ro Woon is amazing.  Acting like a kid who can't act!  Mind blowingly good.  Also he made me cry at the end.  Seriously this kid!  I loved him the most maybe (and I seriously like all the actors in this show).  Not sure why it was only 14 episodes, but I don't feel like it was rushed or anything, so that's cool.  16 might have dragged, so maybe it was a good thing.  Anyways, I liked it, even if it made my heart hurt  for these boys in their awkward, unlucky year.