As I expected, 2018 was a very slow year for Korean drama since most of the staple male leads went to fulfill their military service. Anyway, here are my Top 10 picks. As usual, the only criterion is my level of enjoyment.
#1 The Beauty Inside
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
The story told of a love that accepted one another– flaws and all. It was through another person’s love that each character learned to come to terms with their own peculiarities. It made me think how absurd it is how people usually say that before you can love someone, you need to love yourself first. If you’re in that depressed state and trapped in your own thoughts of inferiority, I don’t think you will able to save yourself unless someone/something external validates your existence. It’s like you’re in darkness with no concept of light. Someone has to show you love first and introduce you to the light. (In real life, Jesus did that.😛)
#2 My ID is Gangnam Beauty
Genre: Romance, Comedy
I admit Astro’s Cha Eunwoo was the reason I picked this up but it sure didn’t disappoint. I don’t know why there are a lot of Korean dramas tackling self-acceptance this year. Perhaps it’s really an issue in Korean society. Again, it took the another character to help the female lead to learn to appreciate herself. Cha Eunwoo’s character is the ‘ideal guy’ type. He is rich, popular and extremely good-looking. He is aloof and mysterious. He ignores the advances of other girls and only has eyes for the female lead. And what’s best is the fact that he liked the female lead even before her cosmetic surgery. What this tells me is that people need someone credible, someone so amazing to love us first at our ugliest for us to see our worth. (Again, I can’t think of anyone but Jesus. Heh.)
#3 Parting Left
Genre: Drama, Family
In brief, this is about how women are screwed up by the men in their lives and how they rise above the mess through finding comfort in each other and standing on their own two feet. I like the characterization and dialogues in this. The women were portrayed realistically too in that I can’t entirely hate or love any of the characters. Everyone was flawed and you see them struggling in their own way. It’s a good slice of life that doesn’t have that grime indie films have. I like that it isn’t crass.
#4 Come and Hug Me
Genre: Suspense, Drama, Romance
It reminds me of my ultimate favorite K-drama, I Can Hear Your Voice. The son of a serial murderer falls in love with the daughter of one his father’s victims. The acting isn’t all that but the plot and production make up for it. This could’ve been better if they were able to cast more seasoned leads but anyway, this is still definitely going to be in my list of Top Dramas of 2018.
Genre: Romance, Melodrama
My heart flutters every episode. It’s a noona-dongsaeng love story that highlights the strength and beauty of their love. Unlike Something In The Rain which is heavy on the drama, this series is light and sweet. Also, the locations featured are picturesque. It made me want to visit Cuba!
#6 I’m Not A Robot
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
The characters are adorable. The scene where they kiss under the clear umbrella is the most memorable for me. As expected, I enjoy rainy day settings. It’s so cute how the guy felt conflicted because he thought he fell in love with a robot. I also like the aspect that he was able to overcome his extreme allergy to physical contact because he became comfortable with her.
#7 Longing Heart
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Whatever your love fetish is I think you’ll enjoy this. The situations creatively switch from your typical school romance among same age students, to older woman-younger guy, to female student-male teacher, then to same age adults. This drama was well-written to tie up all these scenarios into one cohesive story and just 3 main characters. 👍 I thoroughly enjoyed this.
#8 Something in the Rain
Genre: Melodrama, Romance
It’s a simple noona-dongsaeng love story. The guy falls in love with his older sister’s best friend. The story focuses on the emotional and social struggles the couple faced. Personally, I thought the conflicts presented were too forced. I don’t really get why they were problems in the first place. So what if the girl is more financially stable? So what if the girl is older? So what if it’s your sibling’s best friend? The male lead is the only level-headed and admirable character in this. I like how straight-forward he is about his love for her. The other characters keep making things complicated unnecessarily.
#9 Judge VS Judge
Genre: Law, Crime, Romance
The producers capitalized on Dong Ha’s ability to portray ambivalent characters as seen in his previous drama, Suspicious Partners. It’s hard to be fully convinced whether he’s a good or bad guy until the end. Yeon Woojin also carried over his introversion from Introverted Boss. His subtle sweetness is cute to watch.
#10 Suits (Korean Version)
Genre: Law, Crime
It’s pretty much the same story line adapted in a Korean setting, which worked well because it felt more relatable. I didn’t mind that some of the spunk and nuances got lost in translation.
Sweet Revenge 1& 2
Wednesday 3:30 p.m.
Hymn of Death