I started watching dramas in 2011 and so I’m comparatively a newbie in dramaland. At first i marathoned all the classics (okay, not all but most of them) and then started watching them as they aired; which was fun as i got to join the hype and discussions and waiting for the next episode, when not knowing the things ahead was really interesting.
So here I’m reviewing the dramas that premiered in 2012, in the order of watching them:
This was the most anticipated drama for me: Hong Sisters, Gong Yoo, Interesting premise!! As soon as I started watching it, I realised that it was way different in tone from the previous shows by the writers. Their usual style (which I love) was replaced by a breezy and low-key mood (also good). At first, I tried to like it and I did like it with all cuteness and characters. But soon enough, it felt like things were going nowhere, or everywhere. The drama was throwing darts at random, thinking that may be one will hit the target. But alas, the plot lines never did something good, except giving us some fine moments here and there. Still, I was waiting for the day when the guys will regain their soul. And Shin Won Ho will wake up from the bed (he completely impressed me in the single episode he acted in) and in the end, he never did come back. Even in the last frame, we see Gong Yoo as Kyung Joon and that was enough to make this drama utterly disappointing for me. At last, Big was left nothing but a showcase of Gong Yoo’s awesome talent and he was amazing in the drama, by the way. The drama wanted to give the message (or so I believed) that love is not done by face, but by soul and itself never proved it. I was not rooting for Gong Yoo-Lee Min Jung pair, but for Kyung Joon-Gil Da Ran and the drama didn’t give that to me, at least not in a convincing way. I will be happy to erase this drama from my memory.
Finally: Biggest disappointment of 2012.
This was the first melodrama for me as I used to stay away from the genre for reasons best known to everyone. But Song Joong Ki in his first main leading role, with other attractive cast consisting of Moon Chae Won and Park Si Yeon brought me to give this a try. And, I’m happy to report that I completely enjoyed it. It was well-paced, stellarly acted, not a weep-fest, had a thriller like intriguing tone and very stylish. As much as I liked everyone here, I was never emotionally involved with the characters. They were too fictional and crafted for having any connection with them. Also, although the chemistry was palpable between the OTP, it never won my heart. It was an entertaining ride and the soundtrack was great as well. In short, it was a simple story, but wrapped in a complex cover.
Finally: Very Good.
THE KING 2 HEARTS
This drama is the perfect example of deftly handling so many genres into one: romance, action, melodrama, comedy, thriller: name any type and The King 2 Hearts has everything and that too with finesse. Yes, it was not perfect as far as the political plot lines are concerned, but what it did awesomely was the emotional depth, heart-tugging moments and the brilliant execution. The characters were well written and apart from the OTP (which totally rocked), I loved the second leads’ love story more. And the drama gave me another actor to add to my favorites list: Jo Jung Suk. The camaraderie was amazing and each and every actor acted superbly.
ANSWER ME 1997
The show has so much heart!! I simply love this, it brilliantly crafts emotions, fun, friendship, nostalgia, love, affection, family. Awesomeness written all over it. I was not at all aware of the fan-craze shown in the drama, but that factor never took away the enjoyment I had while watching Answer Me 1997. It is indeed the first drama that brought tears in my eyes and I loved the perfection with which all relationships were shown. I did some homework in order to understand the meta elements and that made the journey much more interesting. So much warmth and so much love. The main credit goes to the writing and direction, and of course the cast is excellent. The drama is free from colorful themes and looks more real with characters that look closer to our life.
Finally: One of the best dramas ever!!
QUEEN IN HYUN’S MAN
Many dramas are touted as romantic, but Queen In Hyun’s Man is what I call romantic in the truest sense. On entering into this show, I could literally feel that love is in the air. We got one of the best couples of dramaland and a hero who was intelligent and graceful, who always thought before action. I loved their story which was epic as it involved time that separated them. And the deuc ex machina thrown in at the end didn’t bother me at all as the drama was all about the greatness of the love between the OTP, and that they successfully crossed all hurdles that came in their way.
THE KING OF DRAMAS
Easily one of the best comedies of 2012. It was so much fun and had awesome characters, each having importance in the narrative. The King Of Dramas gave us an insight into the drama world and it was interesting to watch behind the scenes drama about the shows that we watch. I loved the way Anthony solved the problems one by one in the most eccentric ways. Kim Myung Min is terrific as always and Jung Ryu Won and Choi Si Won are equally adorable and great. LOVED IT. And yes, the drama is completely feel good.