[Year-end review, 2016]: Still in a relationship with dramas


This is already 5 months too late because I got so busy with life (school, internship, organization, personal), but I suppose I should still post it since I pretty much wrote a lot already.

Officially, in this site, I have been writing about dramas for almost two years now. But considering that I started in 2nd year high school, then that will be six years in total. (And I have been watching dramas since I was in Grade 2, so that accounts to almost 12 years of being an Asian drama fan–damn, I’m old.). One might wonder why I spend such time sitting in front of my laptop typing to the wee hours of the night when I could just spend those watching more shows, or maybe going out with friends. It’s a valid consideration, but I guess what I have always found delightful in writing these year-end reviews are not so much for people to read it, but for me to revisit the year that flew by. Every season offers a variety of shows to choose from, and it is always a delight to see how the industry tries on new trends in order to keep up with the changing audience. It is also laudable how some still attempts to maintain the old tropes because they fondly remind people of the wonderful earlier days. That said, it had been a good year, and as long as I feel strongly for these shows as I have in the past years, then that is a sure sign that I consistently love it still, and will probably do in the years to come. (P.S. Didn’t have a chance to edit, so all mistakes are mine!)

2015 Year-end review can be found here.

SPOILERS AHEAD though. Read at your own risk!

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[Series review]: Oh Hae-young Again—a dance between life and death


Oh Hae-young Again literally came out of nowhere for me. I’ve only barely heard anything about it, and was not even planning to pick it up, until I randomly downloaded it and thought that the pilot episode was pretty decent. By the 2nd episode, I was hooked; until the finale, I’d stay up late into the night for the raw copy of the episode and watch without subs. It was all I wanted to be for a romance drama, and then some. Within its world are people who are, in one way or another, broken and lost; all tangled up somehow in a certain trick of fate. At the center of it all is a man and a woman at different ends of emotional extremes—he, leading a miserable life with so much pent-up anger and inability to express emotion; she, fearless and had always kept her heart on her sleeve. Their relationship seems impossible and problematic, yet it only takes one courageous charge for happiness to be together. And while there were a little missteps, I reached the end of the drama satisfied and filled with love for this amazing show. I wouldn’t change anything else. || Rating (How rate it/How I liked it): 9/10.

(NOTE: The post contains spoilers. Read at your own risk).

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[Year-end Review, 2015]: Three cheers for dramaland


I feel lucky that I got exposed to a variety of dramas this year, and my level of drama knowledge had shot up a notch. I was, for the most part, embarrassingly stuck in rom-com. Not that rom-com is any less of a good kind of drama. I just think that if I am going to be a full-pledged drama fan, I must watch a number of genres. It was very amusing since where I used to be a viewer who only cares about the loveline, I’ve come to realize that dramas can work (and should work) when it is a multitude of other things. Romance is as good as all the other parts of a drama, but there’s nothing like watching something that has a touch of families unconditionally supporting one another, or strangers finding ally in the most difficult times. I love that Korean dramas have a lot of themes to offer. Each year comes with some that are to remain in the hearts of many, and some a lot of people drop after a few episodes. Some dramas might have lousy beginnings but gets better and better; some starts awesome and ends being a muddle of mess.

Nevertheless, no matter what I experienced in each of the dramas I’ve seen this year, there’s nothing like getting a once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience firsthand the thrill of being on the end of my wits, thinking all possible scenarios, until the new episode comes out.

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[Episode Squee]: Reply 1988—A story of family and friendship, with affection


I’m pretty sure I’d check out Reply 1988, the third installment to the Reply franchise. I have always been a fan of this franchise primarily because of its nostalgic theme, where it goes back to the past, in a certain period as a set-up that affects the overall circumstance of each family. The Reply series is also famous for its “husband hunt” theme, and it’s what makes the loveline in the show so intriguing. Majority of the viewers were sure that this third installment will fall through—what with the debacle with Hyeri as the lead girl who they think will ruin the show. But after the pilot episode, much of the fans took back their words, because 1988 turned out to be winning, and it’s certainly capturing hearts here and there, including mine.

Thus, with 6 episodes out, here are some of my first impressions because the coming weeks seems set to kill everyone’s heart. *sobs*

P. S. This one also contains spoilers.

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[Series Review]: She Was Pretty


It was a story of first love: in transition to the Bigger Picture—to a man and a woman finding each other again after 15 years, weaving their feelings more seriously this time. They went quite a ways, made complicated by a hidden identity. But what a sweet search that was, if it’s headed to The One. || Rating (How much I liked it/How I rate it): 10/8.

(NOTE: My reviews are filled with spoilers so read at your own expense.)

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[Series Review]: Sassy, Go Go


A series that is supposedly about cheerleading turned out to be darker than it should be. I felt kind of cheated because the teasers were lively and hinted at a simple high school rom-com, but the show apparently deals with school corruption, unhealthy academic competitions, and what drives a person to harm him or herself. Nevertheless, Sassy Go Go was a story hinged on using the essence of cheerleading (that is, cheering for people) in portraying the multifaceted relationship among teachers and students, families, friends, and a special someone. It was cheesy than cheeky, but the sentimental takeaway is what made it a worthwhile watch. And of course, Ji Soo. || Rating (How much I liked it/How I rate it): 8/6.

(NOTE: My series reviews are filled with spoilers so read at your own expense.)

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[Series Review]: Persevere, Gu Hae-ra


Gu Hae-ra was that drama that could have done so much more than it did. The story promises an angst-filled coming-of-age story about a group of young adults who are trying to make it in the music industry. It recreates famous songs, old and new, into renditions that are surely bound to be on loop every week. Where it fell through is the turning away from the unconventional and toning down the story to a love triangle. Nevertheless, the group’s performance and camaraderie made it a feel-good watch until the end. I’d come back for those musical performance any time. || Rating (How much I liked it/How I rate it): 7/7.

(NOTE: My series reviews are filled with spoilers so read at your own expense.)

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