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amta

I’m pretty late this year to post my year end review. It has been a busy year and so I blogged lesser than before and dropped more dramas than before. There was not a single drama that I can say I loved with all my heart and soul but there were quite a few that I have lots of affection for. I’m keeping it short as the blog already has a separate review section.

I have given grade to each drama which shows how much I loved that show. A+ gets most love, then A, A-, B+,B, B- and so on.

Can’t believe it’s my fourth year to write the year end review of dramas. Cheers!

In alphabetical order

Answer Me 1988

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The drama has 2 more episodes to go and I’m far behind in my watch but I’m loving this third instalment of the Answer Me series. It has what I expected it to contain — warmth, heart tugging moments, realistic characters and setting. It nails down the feel of the 80s. The family dynamics and friendships are beautifully drawn — between the younger generation as well as the three moms. I know the drama is still playing the game of who-will-be-the-husband but that was never my concern with the show. I got my dose of the qualities that I went in for. My one and only complaint: longer than required length of episodes. GRADE: A+


Girl Who Sees Smells

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If I have to sum up this drama in one word, that would be cute. Basically the drama is a romance-thriller-comedy but the super adorable couple of Yoochun and Shin Se Kyung is the main highlight. The serial killer plot line is thrilling and interesting but the cops are shown very incompetent. There are lots of loopholes and lazy writing at some places. Despite these flaws, I really liked the show because of the main leads (the couple is cute as well as very mature and honest with each other), the team of cops that grow on you and a top-notch performance by Nam Goong Min. It also made a nice use of the supernatural ability of our heroine where she can see smells, not to mention how beautiful it looks. GRADE: A


Healer

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A perfect combination of action, romance, thrills, emotions and humour. The show created a huge fan base. I never fell crazily in love but I enjoyed it a lot. The characters are awesome but what really stood out was the romance and hacker ahjumma. There were minor hiccups here and there but overall, Healer proved to be a great ride with almost never a dull moment. GRADE: A


Ho Goo’s Love

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Warm, adorable, heartwarming drama with a natural and realistic texture given to it, in the true tvN fashion. The story is good and the main couple shares a different type of dynamics. The second leads are equally good with an interesting arc. There is a cute baby to increase the adorableness quotient. The script keeps on peeling one layer at a time with each frame changing our perception about the characters. There is slapstick comedy as well. The show has depth and takes up serious issues and tries to give it a sensitive touch. All in all, ADORABLE. GRADE: A


I Remember You

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A very interesting drama with a complex central theme about whether monsters are born or created. It paints its characters with lots of depth and the story keeps on growing with each episode. The bromance between Seo In Guk and Park Bo Gum is heartbreaking and awesome. We get a badass female lead and a great performnace from Choi Won Young. Yes, there are incompetent cops but they gradually show growth as well. Despite tackling darker elements, the show also has space for good comedy. I was not too much interested in the episodic cases but the main plot was great. Also, romance takes a back seat and is allowed to show its presence naturally — a good and refreshing thing in my book. GRADE: A


Oh My Ghostess

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I was ready to give all my love to this show but its failure in convincing me with its love triangle ultimately reduced my affection. Oh My Ghostess takes an interesting premise of a ghost possessing our heroine and then falling in love with her boss. But it spent too much time with the spirit that our original heroine got too little time to shine. As a result, I did get what I wanted but it was rushed and very weakly explained. That major quibble aside, the drama was chock full of humour and pleasant characters. Park Bo Young is AMAZING as she portrayed shy and timid girl on one side and a bold and lusty on the other. Jo Jung Suk is awesome and the chemistry hits it out of the park. GRADE: A-


Oh My Venus

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This is a drama which rests solely on two things — charming chemistry between So Ji Sub and Shin Min Ah  and bromance. An easy watch with nice dollops of cuteness, fun, romance and some good lessons about maintaining your health. I liked that the drama never made fun of being overweight and also the second leads were never painted in a negative colour. The main couple was always honest towards each other and shared a very comfortable and mature relationship. The family story line is one of the most boring things I’ve seen in dramaland. The drama was more like it cast its leads first and then went to weave a plot around them to include romance and bromance. Everything was very light and artificial and so I was never invested in anything with my heart. It was like a cotton candy which tastes good while it lasts but the taste disappears when it’s over. GRADE: B+


The Producers

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I loved The Producers a lot. What drew me the most was the comedy — the show is very funny and made me laugh a lot. I liked the mockumentary approach of initial episodes but it was disappointing that it got dropped later on. There isn’t any major plot but the day-to-day life depiction of showbiz industry in a light, witty manner. I liked the characters and their camaraderie. The variety programming world is shown with clarity and each episode covered one theme at a time related to the issues of such systems. There is heart too. My complaint — the drama tried to fan the flames of the shipping wars and so it looked manipulative. Also, some actors got lesser screen time than I wanted. Anyway, all in all, The Producers clicked with me. GRADE: A


She Was Pretty

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A classic Korean rom-com with all ingredients that make us fall in love with them — a hard working and optimistic heroine, a cold hero, a caring second lead, lots of ballads to make the point, etc. I really liked the story of She Was Pretty and I’m glad the drama never made fun of the heroine or put too much emphasis on outer beauty. Even if she got a makeover, it was a natural thing and no one reacted in an over-the-top way. I loved the main pair and their romance. I know Choi Si Won‘s second lead was swoon-worthy but my heart was always with our main leads. It was a crack for many episodes but then as soon as the couple united, the drama lost steam and ran out of ideas. Also, Hwang Jung Eum was really good in her subtle scenes but totally annoying when she over-acted for being funny. I also didn’t like the way second female lead’s character and arc was shown. There was a lot of potential but was wasted. Still we got sister-mance which is a rare thing in dramaland. Overall, a romantic, light-hearted show that also gives the message that what matters is being pretty from the inside. GRADE: A-


Twenty Again

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I have so much love for this delightful and inspiring tale of a woman who step-by-step realises her worth and finds her lost self. It brilliantly teaches the lesson that  it is never too late to start living your life to the fullest. Choi Ji Woo gives a sparkling performance and there is no way we can save ourselves from the charm of Lee Sang Yoon‘s dimples. Choi Won Young provides another great combination of humour, narcissism and even gains sympathy at times. The show has great texture that provides warm, soothing vibe and the college setting is depicted perfectly. I loved the friendships, the one our heroine already had with her high school friends and the other one which she forms in her college. There is lots of heart and the romance, although taking a side position, is awesomely shown. Easily, one of my favourite dramas of the year. GRADE: A+


Village: Achiara’s Secret

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Kudos to this show for giving something new to dramaland. The plot is a murder mystery and the show successfully maintains the suspense throughout and carves interesting characters to populate its world. The village backdrop gives a very atmospheric and eerie feel and adds in making the drama refreshing. I would have liked more slick and tight execution and there is dearth of nail-biting tension many times. Our protagonist is very weak in terms of interesting traits and there were some things that were not clear or ended in unsatisfactory manner. The acting is superlative and there are lots of twists and turns for making Village: Secret Of Achiara an entertaining and different journey. GRADE: A-


Dramas that I dropped: Orange Marmalade, Mask, Yongpal, Warm And Cozy, Because It’s The First Time, The Time I’ve Loved You, Hyde Jekyll And Me, Falling For Innocence, Scholar Who Walks The Night

Dramas of previous years/ other languages that I watched: Office Girls, Full House (Thai), Three Musketeers

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