K-Popcorn End-of-the-Year Review Pt. 2: K-Drama Favorites!

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We talked about K-Pop in 2014 it’s now time to talk about your Korean drama favorites of 2014! Although I ceased on the Korean drama watching, there were a few that I managed to watch and finish and love!

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I didn’t watch many 2014 K-dramas to start with so I can’t say much and therefore will only talk about the ones I did watch, but even if I did watch many 2014 K-dramas, I think my favorite would have to be ‘King of High School Life Conduct’ starring Seo In Guk and Lee Ha Na. There’s just something about that drama that really struck me and made me addicted and feel so fluffy and warm inside. I know that the drama was a bit controversial and some didn’t like it while others did and I was on the team that liked the drama. Prior to ‘King of High School Life Conduct’, I actually didn’t know who Lee Ha Na was, but after watching that drama, I now know of her existence and I actually really like her. I think she played her character Jung Soo Young in such a quirky and clumsy and dorky way that no other actress could have. She just fit it so well and portrayed Soo Young so naturally even though Soo Young is an awkward person, lol. I had already known who Seo In Guk was before this drama, but omg, this drama converted me to a huge Seo In Guk fan where at one point I was doing my research on him and watching whatever I could find of him. He’s just so talented and natural at acting it’s hard to believe that he originally debuted as a singer.

I think the reason I like this drama so much is because it had a little bit of everything. If you wanted comedy, you had comedy (and lots of it which is a huge bonus!). If you wanted romance, there was that love line between Min-seok and Soo Young. If you wanted some intense family drama, you had that with Lee Soo Hyuk’s character Director Yoo and his parents. If you wanted some caring and sweet family scene, you had that with Soo Young and her younger sister Yoo-Ah or Min-seok’s relationship with his father and grandpa. IF YOU WANTED SOME KISSES THAT HAD LIP ACTION, this drama had it all! Not only was the drama well-rounded and enjoyable, the soundtrack made the whole drama a lot better as well. All the OST tracks are just so beautiful and amazing and I absolutely loved how all the songs were played at the right time in the drama. The songs fit each scene that it was played in so well and so perfectly and ugh, that was part of the reason as to why the drama was just so good to watch. I know that some didn’t like the idea of a high school student being with an adult, but I looked beyond that and watched the drama not being bothered by that and easily grew into loving it. The cast were all amazing, the drama itself was great, the OST tracks are so good it was hard to NOT love this drama when everything about it was lovable. So to sum it all up, I absolutely love and adore ‘King of High School Life Conduct’ and would happily re-watch it one of these days.

‘It’s Okay It’s Love’ was also one of the other dramas that I enjoyed watching from 2014. I can’t say anything about the cast other than that they all played their roles really well, even Lee Kwang-soo who I think everyone perceives as a funny and playful guy from the way he’s introduced in ‘Running Man.’ Jo In Sung is not just a hot and good looking guy, but an actor that was capable of playing a character who had a difficult time differentiating imagination and hallucinations from reality. I had already voiced my thoughts and opinions on the drama so I won’t go into too much details about it in this post, but I think everyone can agree that ‘It’s Okay It’s Love’ was something different that we rarely see in K-dramaland. It revolved around all these different ideas and concepts such as mental health and illnesses, family, sex, psychiatry which are pretty heavy subjects that are not often brought up within K-dramaland so I think that’s what made ‘It’s Okay It’s Love’ so different and intriguing to watch. Of course, just like any other drama, it also had its own flaws and mistakes, but overall the drama did deliver in many different aspects. I’m not sure if I would give this drama another try, but I did like it the first time I watched it.

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I was never able to finish ‘Surplus Princess’ BUT I’m going to finish the drama some day since I only have I believe 2 more episodes to go. The drama sadly got cut because of what I believe is low ratings, but even though it was not widely popular, I really enjoyed it. It was witty, weird, random, and very funny. It wasn’t your typical Korean drama and that could have been why it didn’t appeal to many people or also because of the fact that not much was happening in the drama and it didn’t really have a solid foundation to build off of. Everyone in the drama was just kind of there and the love triangle was also super confusing and frustrating. But even with all of these flaws, I enjoyed ‘Surplus Princess.’ I remember watching the first episode and just thinking about how weird this drama was and then slowly falling in love with it as the episodes aired each week. I liked the cast and the drama was simple enough to follow, but I think that was also its main fault that it struggled with which ultimately lead to its downfall. Whatever the reason is, ‘Surplus Princess’ was a fun drama to watch and I’m sad that it wasn’t as popular as it should have been.

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‘Let’s Eat’, which was the very first drama that I ever recapped, ended in 2014 so I guess I can touch upon that as well even though it started airing in 2013. It’s been a while since I’ve last seen it so my memories of it have vanished by now, but from what I remember seeing and watching, the drama was simple but it had a purpose and foundation to it. It followed through with what it said it was going to do which was show us Lee Soo Kyung’s journey from a lonely and awkward person to a fulfilled and satisfied neighbor. I’m glad that ‘Let’s Eat’ delivered in that aspect and didn’t get carried away. I liked the cast (especially my Yoon Doojoon hehe) and felt like everyone did a solid job. There wasn’t much to the drama and the majority of the time all we saw was the cast eating all these very delicious and yummy food and meals, but it was still a good drama and just like every other tvN drama had sweet and emotional scenes that just made you feel so fluffy and warm inside. I’m glad that out of all the dramas I could have recapped first, I chose ‘Let’s Eat’ because it was simple, nice, cute, and funny. It also had a little bit of everything and wasn’t difficult to follow up on. Sources say that there will be a second season of the same show so let’s hope that the same actors and actresses get casted for the second season! I need more of my Yoon Doojoon please!

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I’ve talked about dramas from 2014 that I enjoyed so far so I guess I can go on to talk about dramas that I was disappointed with. I’m sad that ‘The Three Musketeers’ was not as enjoyable as I had anticipated and wished it was. It was just boring and flat and dull. The drama had a story line and something to work off of, but I think the execution to getting there was what was its main problem. The cast was fine and everything else was good, but the drama was not doing it for me and it was such a struggle recapping the drama because I didn’t have any passion or interest in wanting to (which is why I eventually stopped lol). There were some things that were noteworthy such as the relationship between Prince Sohyun and Princess Yoon-seo which I absolutely adored and loved! They were such an awkward couple, but that was what made them both so compatible, adorable, and cute and if I’m going to be honest, they were the main reason I continued to watch the show. I was curious to see how the princess who only wished for her husband’s love and affection would be able to earn it, but sadly I didn’t finish the drama so I won’t know until then, but the love line between the prince and princess was a motivating factor that pushed me to watch the drama when I didn’t want to. I don’t have much to say about ‘The Three Musketeers’ other than that the teaser made it look a lot better than it actually was which is why I was disappointed (stupid teaser haha). I think this is my learning lesson that I should not watch teasers for a korean drama ever. That’s why they’re called teasers – they tease you.

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The last drama that I’ll touch upon for this post will be what would have been my favorite Korean drama of 2014 but isn’t – ‘My Secret Hotel.’ I get so depressed – SO DEPRESSED – when I think about this drama and the potential it had to be something amazing. It started out so beautiful, so emotional, so simple, so delicate and then slowly turned into something totally different, annoying, frustrating, and disappointing. I really don’t want to blame the change in the writers for this, but the drama just changed so drastically once the new screenwriter took over. It was like I was watching a totally different drama with a whole new set of characters. When I say that the drama started out beautiful, I truly mean that with so much passion. The cinematography was off the charts (LOOK AT THAT SCREEN SHOT ABOVE! The lighting and scenery and omg I had to pause while watching this scene because my eyes hurted from too much beautiful), the cast were all so so good with Jin Yi-han and Yoo In Na’s weary face expressions that spoke so many volumes and clearly expressed how they felt about the past and their relationship, the music was just so beautiful and touching. The beginning was perfect. The second episode was what really got me hooked because it had this amazing ability to focus on the what is (the present) and at the same time the what was (the past between Jin Yi-Han and Yoo In Na’s characters) without putting too much weight on one than the other. The execution was so simple but great. The way Goo Hae Young and Nam Sang Hyo would speak about their past and pretend like they didn’t care about it when really it was killing them inside to fix what they once had was executed so nicely and amazingly and there were so many feels all over. And then things just went downhill as the drama progressed and everything started to change and I just grew more and more frustrated with each episode and found it harder and harder to enjoy the drama. ‘My Secret Hotel’ is one of those dramas that I have yet to finish (which I will get to doing sometime one of these days), but I don’t think I’ll be able to get over how beautiful it started out as and just the huge potential it had to continue being amazing and beautiful. It’s so heart-breaking knowing that the drama could have been much much better, but failed to be in the end. It’s a depressing thought, but ‘My Secret Hotel’ wasn’t a bad drama by all means. Even though I was disappointed in the drama, I’m pretty sure others enjoyed it and they have their reasons for that like how I have my reasons in being disappointed with ‘My Secret Hotel.’ We’ll never know what the drama could have turned out like with the original writer, but for what it was and ended up being, ‘My Secret Hotel’ was decent but it definitely could have been amazing.

So that’s a wrap up on my thoughts and opinions on the dramas I watched from 2014. What were some of your favorites from 2014 and which dramas disappointed you? Comment down below and discuss away!

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