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

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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

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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

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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 Midseries review—on to the romantic angst!

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Ten episodes into Reply 1988 and it still consistently tugs at the heartstrings in all the right ways possible. Nothing beats the family and friendship interaction, and I’m glad that it’s never lost under the romance. But this midseries review is for the romance side of the story. Our adorably clueless heroine is finally cluing in on his snobby guy friend’s apparent feelings for her; on the other side, our genius baduk player just vocally admitted to their friends that he likes her. And in the middle of this all is that snobby guy friend whose feelings have been growing consistently as he tries to be so subtle about it while secretly hoping that she finally catches on. But what would he do now that he knows his dear friend actually likes the girl that he likes? Prepare your hearts. Episode 09 was just a brewing storm. Episode 10 was the real hurricane.

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[Episode Squee]: Bubblegum—Midseries frustration

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I’m just dropping by for a quick mid-series review for this show, and not in a good way. It is still giving me the same frustrations I had over it back when I started. I honestly don’t know if it’s still going to pick up and give me something here. Come on, Show, you surely won’t waste this chance to be awesome with two great leads in tow, right?

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

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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

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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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