2017 Year in Review

2017 is closing out on another good year of dramas.

Enhancing each series was the sense of community your insights and feedback built throughout the year. I thoroughly enjoyed these conversations and loved interacting with you! Nothing like watching together with like-minded lovers of kdramas.

I’m going to group the dramas I watched or blogged in 2017 in a straightforward manner:

Dramas I Loved:


* Chicago Typewriter – best series about friendship. Yoo Ah In was perfect and yummy, Lim Soo Jung was root-able, and Ko Gyung Pyo surprised me with emotional depth.
* Tunnel – best cop drama I’ve ever watched. The emotional content of this series never ceased to surprise me. It hooked me from start to finish. Breakout series for Choi Jin Hyuk.

Dramas I Liked:

* Legend of the Blue Sea – terrific couple with sparkling chemistry was the cornerstone of this enjoyable series. Lee Min Ho proved he still has “it” and Gianna Jun sparkled.
* Mad Dog – Intellectual game of chess between Team Mad Dog (the good guys) and Team Evil. Yoo Ji Tae was the star of the show and brought the emotion. Woo Do Hwan was good but his character was minimized in the last quarter of the series. Shout out to Choi Won Young who played villain Hyun Gi. I enjoyed this cad.
* Revolutionary Love – Choi Si Won finally got a leading man role. However his character was not fully rounded. Gong Myung’s character was the focus in the final quarter of the episode. Kang So Ra’s character was marginalized in the last quarter of the series. She started so strong and ended up as eye candy. Disappointing.
* Save Me – “Get the Girl Out of the Cult” drama. This was suspenseful and never boring. The cult was shocking and evil. The group of friends that worked to save the girl were rootable. I fell in love with Woo Do Hwan’s character, the knight in shining armor Dong Cheol. The girl, portrayed by Seo Ye Ji, was trapped by her mother’s dependency on pills and couldn’t flee the cult without her.
* Strongest Deliveryman – This show was about the independent work force of deliverymen and family eateries beating big corporation mega chain food. Ko Gyung Pyo had his turn as leading man and did an admirable job.
* Bride of the Water God – Nam Joo Hyuk was the leading man in this fantasy series based on the webcomic “Habaekui Shinboo” by Yoon Mi-Kyung (2012-2014). The story was solid but not great.
My Sassy Girl – Joo Won could only do so much with this decent period piece drama. I loved the adorable Prince Wonja (Choi Ro Woon) and secret help to team good Choon Poong (Shim Hyung Tak).
Lookout – Flawed but compelling revenge drama. Kim Young Kwang was riveting as the flamboyant character that made flawed ethical choices while driving his team to avenge wrongs. The YouTube video based on this character from Yasmin Abreu was superb.

Suspicious Partner – Ji Chang Wook was appealing as the lawyer with a secret past. Does anyone kiss better than Chang Wook? Nam Ji Hyun was a bouncy, fun love interest. Her secrets and his secrets made the road to love bumpy. Blending murder and romance wasn’t seamless for the writer who struggled with the balance.
My Secret Romance – This show was my guilty pleasure. Sung Hoon took a turn as leading man and proved he was capable. His kissing style is always a topic for discussion.
Tomorrow With You – Shin Min A had terrific chemistry with Lee Je Hoon. Writer Heo Sung Hye had a vision and keep that vision intact throughout the series. While I didn’t love every plot choice Writer Heo made, I was never bored and enjoyed that every episode that peeled the onion of this story.
Voice – Jang Hyuk played a vanilla police detective on the hunt for a serial killer. Voice had gratuitous violence, stymied characters, and logic gaps. But it was an often gripping ride to find a serial killer.

Dramas I Struggled With:

Criminal Minds – I don’t like procedural “crime of the week” dramas. Having an underutilized Lee Joon Gi in the cast did not mitigate this fact.

Favorite Actors


1. Yoo Ah In, Chicago Typewriter – Wig or short hair, Yoo Ah In is yummy man to look at. Even better, he is a spectacular actor.
2. Woo Do Hwan, Save Me – I loved his character. A knight in shining armor that would do anything to save the girl yet stepped aside when the leading man needed to rectify a past mistake.
3. Lee Je Hoon, Tomorrow With You – His eyes drew me to this character. Initially I didn’t like this character but he found love and was willing to do what it took to save her.
4. Lee Min Ho, Legend of the Blue Sea  – A top tier actor in a series worth of his talents. While the story wasn’t perfect, Lee Min Ho showed why he is a star.

Great Actors with Limited Characters

1. Jang Hyuk, Voice. Writer Ma Jin Won short changed Jang Hyuk’s character to a one note police detective. I didn’t want to diet on Jang Hyuk’s brilliance, I wanted to feast on it.
2. Ji Chang Wook, Suspicious Partners. This character was no “Healer”. Chang Wook gave it all he could but there was only so much that could be done.
3. Lee Joon Gi, Criminal Minds. This show didn’t utilize Lee Joon Gi at all. I was stunned they left his talents untapped.

Favorite Actresses


1. Shin Min A , Tomorrow With You
 – She has chemistry with every leading man. She’s likeable. She makes me feel the character.
2. Gianna Jun, Legend of the Blue Sea – She is beautiful, wears lipstick like it’s meant to be worn, had fabulous chemistry with EVERY character in the series, and was the other half of this enjoyable series.

Stoic Chicks I Dug
1. Le Ha Na, Voice. Writer Ma Jin Won short changed Le Ha Na’s character too. But I loved her unflappable response to overt harassment.
2. Lee Yoo Young, Tunnel. Professor Shin Jae Yi had an iron grip on her emotions. She was smart and figured out lots before the guys did.

Favorite Songs

1. Writing Our Stories by SG WANNABE, Chicago Typewriter, this song embodies this show.

2. Why Would I Do This by CoffeeBoy, Legend of The Blue Sea , makes me happy every time I hear it.

Favorite Series Videos
1. Legend of The Blue Sea captures the charm of this show.

2. Voice captures the grit of this show.

Asian drama fan. I watch and blog dramas on https://kjtamusings.wordpress.com/.

Tagged with:
Posted in Year End Review
13 comments on “2017 Year in Review
  1. Jane Tilly says:

    I concur with your 2017 review. There were some awesome dramas, actors and OST selections. I agree that some great actors with character limitations which in turned limited these stars’ ability to shine 🌟. I think there were several dramas in your “like” list that had limitations keeping them off the “love” list. Oh that we could give the writers and PDs real-time advice … OR … so I think.

    I’ve enjoyed my guilty pleasure of watching kdrama with KJT and crew this year! KJT, thank you for providing your blog for us to share our bias. I enjoy your recaps, written and video, and the opportunity to read others’ comments and to leave my own. 👏😋. THANK YOU‼

    Like

    • I was surprised how few made my “love” list. Your statement there were several dramas in your “like” list that had limitations keeping them off the “love” list is spot on.

      KJT, thank you for providing your blog for us to share our bias.
      JT, it is my pleasure to share this blog. Thank you for adding your voice. Happy New Year!

      Like

  2. I totally forgot to watch Legend of the Blue Sea. I sure hope I have the time in 2018 now that you have jogged my memory. I do not watch too many modern K dramas but I do agree about the struggle to watch Criminal Minds. Lee Jun Ki needs to find a good drama before 2020 this past few years have been spectacularly off the mark for him. I also mean to catch up on Chicago typewriter. Since Six Flying Dragons, Yooh Ah In is one of my favourite actors and after I watched his portrayal of Prince Sado in the movie The Throne, I was convinced of his awesome acting abilities. As always thanks for the awesome recaps you put out through the year, I didn’t bother to watch some shows I just read your recaps 🙂 Here’s to an awesome 2018

    Like

    • Lee Jun Ki needs to find a good drama
      Agreed. Finding the right vehicle is apparently not an easy task. I’ve noticed my favorite actors struggle with this for years. I wonder if I only had a sample script or two, would I be able to discern hit or miss?

      Six Flying Dragons, Yooh Ah In is one of my favourite actors and after I watched his portrayal of Prince Sado in the movie The Throne, I was convinced of his awesome acting abilities
      I got started with Six Flying Dragons then got sidetracked and didn’t finish it. I haven’t seen The Throne. He is superb, characters seem to ooze from him.

      As always thanks for the awesome recaps you put out through the year, I didn’t bother to watch some shows I just read your recaps 🙂 Here’s to an awesome 2018
      RB, always wonderful to have you share your insights, make recommendations, let me know how things are going, etc. Thanks 🙏for the end of the year comments…here’s to 2018…may we both love what we watch! 📺

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Kay says:

    Some really great dramas listed here! There were some truly memorable dramas this year as well as some terrific performances. I enjoyed reading through your recaps this year and appreciate all of your hard work 🙂 Here’s to a great 2018!

    Like

    • I enjoyed reading through your recaps this year and appreciate all of your hard work 🙂 Here’s to a great 2018!
      Back at you Kay! I saw that your comment that you were watching Six Flying Dragons. I got sidetracked and haven’t restarted it but I loved what I watched. Looking forward to your review. Happy New Year!🎊🎊

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Beez says:

    kjt your mini summarizations here are spot on as usual. But for the shows I didn’t see, your notes are killing me! They’re making me want to re-visit the ones I watched and somehow squeeze in the ones I didn’t.

    I’m going to start “Save Me” tonight! I’ll be checking your recaps on it after each episode.

    By the way that’s an excellent video on Lookout and showcases the lead actor’s skills so well. I seem to remember an even better video of yours at the end of the final recap.I’ll have to add that actor (as soon as I memorize his name) to my short list of Jang Hyuk, Yoo Ah in and Ji Sung of the ones that nail it on another level.

    Happy 2018! So happy you do what you do!

    Like

    • Jane Tilly says:

      Beez, the lead in “Lookout” was Kim Young Kwang, who is also in psychological thriller “White Christmas”.

      Like

      • Beez says:

        @JT – I added White Christmas to my list when you mentioned it before. You mean, it’s not a warm and fuzzy, cuddle-up with hot chocolate or egg nog watch?

        Thanks for the name – Kim Young Kwang

        Like

        • Jane Tilly says:

          Beez, I already learned that kdramas with “Christmas” in the title are not necessarily warm, fuzzy or even have anything to do with the holiday that celebrates the birth of our Savior.

          You will some outerwear that is warm and fuzzy, the mention of Christmas and even the birth of Jesus in “White Christmas”, but it is not a feel good holiday drama. “White Christmas” is psychological thriller that takes place between Christmas and New Years. Feel free to cuddle up to hot chocolate ☕ or egg nog 🍵.

          Like

          • Beez says:

            I remember now! We talked about it before because I compared it to teen slasher movies and you explained it’s not like that. Sorry, I’d forgotten.

            Like

    • By the way that’s an excellent video on Lookout and showcases the lead actor’s skills so well.
      The video creator did a superb job on that one. Song selection was key.

      Happy 2018! So happy you do what you do!
      Happy New Year to you too! 🍾🎊 Thank you for making this an interactive blog!

      Like

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