The Year That Was – 2014 Volume Uno: Best of K-Dramas

Wow, hard to believe but this marks just over 1 year of hardcore drama watching.  First exposed to Secret Garden via Netflix a couple years ago, it took some time (and free time) in order to finally jump in to the magic of Kdramaland.  I come to this “official kdrama watcher tag” by my first experience live-streaming, aka watching shows that haven’t been recommended in some critical consensus because they are still airing, which can also mean #loomingdissapointment.  But I’m in no position to complain, as my first “live” drama just happened to be the small, modest You Who Came From the Stars.  I like the symmetry that my first drama and first live drama just happen to be the most popular trendy dramas of the past 5 years.

yoo in ah

Key to crazy drama hits – Yoo In Ah?

Both set viewer records domestically and abroad, while proving their worth far after the final episode through parodies, tours, references, and commentary from news outlets.  At this point you may be thinking, “wait, I thought this post was going to discuss the year’s best dramas, not some girls experience watching massive hits.” Well if y’all would just calm down, my stream of conscious thoughts will eventually catch up so take Xanax and chill/scroll down.

AAA secret garden from the stars

My misappropriated point is this.  With both shows I was giddy for watching/experiencing something new.  The former being a K-Drama or long-form rom-com and the ladder being the feeling of watching a drama with an international online community, all while only barley grasping how huge the show actually was.  Thusly, my biased for these shows were/are obviously impacted.  Both shows have many problems that keep if from being a “perfect drama”, and yet I shall look upon these dramas with fondness and happy nostalgia pains for all that it lead to, namely this blog and the online drama community.

With all that sappiness outta the way let’s move onto the the good, bad, and ugly of 2014 in dramaland.  This year I watched 18 dramas.  I count watched dramas as anything where I watched the majority of episodes in 2014, either by calendar dates (Pinocchio), or it was so bad I dropped (Greatest Marriage).  Two currently airing dramas I’m loving, (Healer and Valid Love) won’t have enough episodes aired in 2014 to allow inclusion, but considering my happy dance when each episode is uploaded, expect their inclusion for 2015’s list.

Honestly I’m not sure If I could ever see myself completing more then 20 dramas (live) annually because there is whole lotta crap to wade through in order to get the gems.  Though when you do find those few precious few shows that surpass expectations, it can make any so-so year feel suddenly one to remember.

Because I feel the sudden need to acknowledge all these shows I put around a days worth of time and subtitle reading skills to, I’ve decided to follow the People Republic of Boulder suit and give everyone a trophy/award.  Like is my want, not all awards are created equal.  In addition, the shows are grouped together and in two main cate–, eh well you’ll figure it out. Onwards!

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Korean Pop Culture Obsessions: Notting Hill (Updated!)

Notting hill koreans

Ever wonder why in certain dramas people only seem to reference Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie in reference to Hollywood movie stars? Well it’s that train of thought that started me down this pop-culture rabbit hole.  Unfortunately, the “Brangelina Effect” is too tall an order for me to tackle at this moment. Instead, I’ll discuss my findings of another Hollywood treasure, the 1999 Rom-Com Notting Hill.

Now Notting Hill is very near and dear to my heart.  When I used to work for a movie theater, we each had name tags indicating our favorite film, so I went with the “hip” answer by choosing Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Royal Tenenbaums, and Run Lola Run. Fantastic films in which to lord over the average theater patron with my faux cinematic pretentiousness, but put a gun to my head and out comes Notting Hill every time.

Because I literally watch this movie once a season without fail, I am fine-tuned to notice any references (be it real or imaginary) that crop up, so when Secret Garden‘s Oska played “She” (Notting Hill’s equivalent of “My Heart Will Go On”), I always wondered if the Korean reception for the film surpassed even America’s or Britain’s.

So this is the result of my exhaustive “research”, and I’ll touch on some conclusions upon finishing, so dig into some tasty mayo yogurt and enjoy!

notting-hill

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