2015 Year in Review

2015 Review

I can’t believe 2015 is closing out. This year I watched more dramas and blogged less (typically 4-5 days a week) and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I loved your feedback through comments throughout the year.

I’m going to group the dramas I watched or blogged in 2015 in a straightforward manner:

Dramas I Loved:
* Healer – excellent story, superior couple with a emotional connection that sizzled, all driven by a hero and actor (Ji Chang Wook) that captured my heart.

Dramas I Liked:

* Angry Mom – Gritty and gripping a Mom returns to high school to stop her daughter from being bullied and finds a mess of corruption and evil that is difficult to beat. This drama balanced violence, campy humor and a true good versus evil story. I fell in love with the young actor, Ji Soo.
* Divorce Lawyers – Chinese drama about 2 lawyers that fall in love though he can’t admit it. I loved the couple, they were smart and challenged each other every step of the way. There was tenderness for each other. I never thought I’d like her parents but they evolved too.
* Divorce Lawyer in Love – I couldn’t stand the drama initially but the writer and actors turned it around. The couple turned out to be one of my favorites. She was thoroughly modern and he was thoroughly supportive. I’ll never forget when she whipped out the selfie stick for the engagement pictures as formal pictures were a waste of money in her opinion. He pouted his way through the pictures.
* The Producers – drama mockumentary with some excellent story points but lacked an emotional connection between the 4 leads. More clever than compelling. I was drawn to IU’s character.
* High Society – This was a BOGO drama – buy one get one – for couples. Our leading couple was a bit dry and a bit stiff. The secondary couple was fun and sometimes more compelling than the leading couple. The foursome’s friendship made this show work.
* Young Pal – Best character Kim Tae Hee has ever played. I loved her revenge episodes. She rocked the steely stare. Joo Won saved the leading lady in the beginning and the end of the series. Too bad his story line was not that gripping.
My Love Eun Dong – The leading man, Joo Jin Mo was the lynchpin of the series.  He was compelling and the stronger component of the couple. Thoroughly enjoyed the 3 decades story. Did I mention that Jin Mo was fabulous? I cannot forget his laser eyes.
Pinocchio – The one thing I remember this series for is the adult kisses Lee Jong Suk drew from Park Shin Hye. Never thought I’d see a real kiss from Shin Hye.
* She was Pretty – Almost perfect until the latter third when the story line petered out as the second lead all but disappeared and our couple got together with 2 victory lap episodes. Loved Choi Si Won, the second leading man.
* Shine or Go Crazy – Story had some superb moments and some clunkers. Jang Hyuk continues to amaze me with his acting talents. What is Jang Hyuk’s impact on any drama he’s in? Elevate the drama and other actors around him.
* Mask – Gripping, complex, compelling in the beginning but lost focus in the latter third. Leading man played by Ju Ji Hoon was my favorite actor and character.
* Heard it through the Grapevine – Almost perfect series that waned when the focus shifted from the family to the law firm in the latter part of the series. I enjoyed watching each episode. You had to think to sort out the bevy of characters, the law firm croonies, and the complex evolving lawsuit story.

Dramas that were OK:

Boy Sitter – The leads had nice hair.
* Warm and Cozy – Not much substance to this story. A miss from the Wong sisters who have delivered terrific dramas in the past but lately seem to be struggling to create good dramas. Lovely setting.
* The Time We Were Not in Love – I was thrilled for this remake. Unfortunately the story just wasn’t gripping even with the terrific Taiwanese blueprint to follow. Our leads had terrific chemistry leaving no doubt that if they just got out of their own way, they would be together. The second leads never had a chance. The standout support actor was L.
Late Night Restaurant – each episode has a story line and character introduced. This made some episodes strong and others not. I liked the premise. This was a quiet character driven series where each episode lived or died by the writing.
* Cheer Up – Pleasant but unsubstantial. Ji Soo deserves a leading man role in his next drama.
Hyde Jekyll Me – this drama had moments. Driven by a writing team that had pacing and story issues, Hyun Bin could not save this drama even though he was good (but not great). The ending phase had the emotional punch.

Favorite Actors

1. Ji Chang Wook, Healer – I fell in love
2. Joo Jin Mo, My Love Eun Dong – He was hard to forget after the series was done, he was that compelling.
3. Jang Hyuk, Shine or Go Crazy – Best actor in Korea. Not the best series, but Jang Hyuk elevates anything he is in.

Favorite Actresses

1. Park Min Young, Healer – the perfect counterpoint to him. She was independent and not simply a damsel in distress.
2. Kim Tae Hee, Young Pal – best character ever for Kim Tae Hee.  During the revenge episodes her steely stares, clipped no nonsense dialog, her seemingly clairvoyance to discern her enemies intent to defeat them, was wonderful to watch.
3. Park Shin Hye, Pinocchio  –  the most adult character for Shin Hye. Finally a decent kiss from the actress. More importantly, she delivered emotionally on the mark scenes.


Asian drama fan

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8 comments on “2015 Year in Review
  1. Kay says:

    Looks like you enjoyed a lot of great dramas this year. I loved many of the dramas on your list including Healer, Pinocchio, and Shine or Go Crazy. My favorite drama this year was definitely Kill Me, Heal Me. I hope you find some great dramas in 2016!

    • kjtamuser says:

      I’ve still got Kill Me, Heal Me on my to watch list. So many dramas…too little time. I’ve enjoyed your blog in 2015 and look forward to reading it in 2016!

  2. marchair says:

    I liked your reviews. Some of them cracked me up. Watched most of them and agreed with your take. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Prettysup says:

    I just started watching K dramas early this year so most of those I watched are older dramas. But I did enjoyed Healer, KMHM, SOGC, My beautiful bride, I remember you and now The Merchant. Hope to see more exciting dramas in 2016.

    • kjtamuser says:

      Welcome to loving kdramas. They are fun and addictive! I agree, let’s hope 2016 has excellent dramas for us to enjoy. Thanks for commenting!

  4. junny says:

    If you enjoyed Late Night Restaurant, perhaps you might like to check out Shinya Shokudo – the original Japanese drama from which LNR was adapted (Shinya Shokudo has 3 seasons and a film, and is itself adapted from a manga of the same name).

    Joo Jin-mo is a very compelling actor indeed.

    • kjtamuser says:

      I do enjoy watching the originals and often find them better than the shows they inspire. I will add it to my to-watch list. Thanks for the suggestion and comment!

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