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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Not So Serious Review – High School King of Life Conduct

High School King of savvy life conduct min suk get off my laen

Thank you very Kamsa HSKoS! Finally, my belated review on the surprise show of the summer, oh my how I will miss this world, the characters, and SIG!  Perhaps my want to still be in this universe is why I am a week late in writing the wrap-up for the show (though it probably more to-do with life conducting my lack of blogging time, but, shhh that sounds much too boring).

Before I turn into a mushy puddle of complete and utter Seo In Guk Teen Beat fangirling, let me say this drama boasted one of the all-around greatest drama ensembles I’ve seen in quite some time.  Not only were they crackling with chemistry, able to bounce off one an other,  and featured people who were human instead of the too-perfect saint devoid of personality or the equivalent of Hitler’s spawn.  Most all characters were given more than just one trait and often had their own side arcs that ran parallel to the main story, which is easier said then done, especially with your typical K-Dramas.

High School King of savvy life conduct Selca kim and teens high school king of savvy e16 singing

But enough with this actual review nonsense, considering Soo Young (Lee Ha-Na) was always overly stretching her bungee jumping metaphor, let’s add to the amusement park ride analogy by delving deeper into these side-characters, or shall I say side-show characters…

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High School King of Life Conduct – Halftime Review

Note: This article discusses plot points through episode 8.

Considering we are halfway (definitely, maybe, depending on extensions) with the TvN drama, thought I would update my overall feelings on how this show is doing thus far. Savvy?

King of High School Life Conduct Episode

Oh dear-y, I haven’t gone this head over heels for a rom-com since My Love from the Star*, and even then I fully believe this will be the better drama when it’s all said and done.

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I Watched So You Don’t Have To: June Drama Premiers – Savvy Trot Gunman

Joseon Gunman Trot Lovers

So this last drama cycle should be deemed a  disappointment, with no crazy successes (MLFTS), cult obsessions (SLA), or even so bad/crazy its good (God’s Gift, though for a couple weeks Doc Stranger was vying. Then the complete suckiness took hold).  So with the next cycle gearing up, I figured I would try watching the first weeks worth and deduce the critical and popular reaction.  Then three months later we can all see how wrong I’ll be, Yay!  I will try to keep everything organized so people can use this as a guide if need be.

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