Saturday, 8 March 2014

2014 Korean Dramas

I will consistently update this post with the Korean dramas I watch during the year. Being an avid Korean drama junkie since very long ago (since early 2000s) I hope to share my insight into another year of my drama watching addiction. (Click for 2013 Korean Recommendations)

Future updates on dramas will be on

Bride of the Century

Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Melodrama
Episodes: 16

Lee Hong Ki as Choi Kang Joo
Yang Jin Sung as Na Doo Rim/Jang Yi Kyung
Sung Hyuk as Jang Yi Hyun
Jang Ah Young as Lee Roo Mi

Taeyang Group is a large conglomerate run by the Choi family. The family has a curse passed down for a century, that the first bride of the eldest son will always die. Kang Joo is engaged to Yi Kyung who disappears right before their engagement party, lookalike, Doo Rim is brought in to take her place.

When I first heard of this drama I easily overlooked it but having some time I watched it (2015) and I loved it. I don't remember why I even easily overlooked it... I can guarantee you will enjoy this series, it is slow begin with but the pace picks up early on. I find the series held my attention in its entirety, which is uncommon as I usually drop dramas half way through. You won't be disappointed with acting, the cast is pretty spot on. Yang Jin Sung, the female lead, does an awesome job portraying two different personalities.

Pinocchio (피노키오)

Currently Airing

Genre: Melodrama, Romance
Episodes: 20

Main Cast:

Lee Jong Suk as Choi Dal Po/Ki Ha Myung
Park Shin Hye as Choi In Ha
Kim Young Gwang as Seo Bum Jo
Lee Yoo Bi as Yoon Yoo Rae


Ki Ha Myung and his family have been falsely accused.. His father is a firemen, he lead his crew into a burning building because the boss told them there was still two remaining staff in the building (specifically the boiler room) - the firemen enter and the building soon explodes as the petrol catches alight - the two men weren't actually in the building. The news covers the story - blaming the father (a guy in the neighbourhood who has Pinocchio Syndrome says he had spotted their father). 

The father is missing, Ha Myung's older brother goes to the news studio to try clear up the lies. Ha Myung and his mother go to the seaside/cliff, his mother jumps with him. Mother - dead. Ha Myung washes up on a beach and is taken in by an elderly man who thinks Ha Myung is his son - name change to Dal Po.

Dal Po becomes a news reporter to reveal the truth and find his older brother. Meanwhile, his older brother thinks Dal Po is dead... (I could go on but if this hasn't already convinced you to watch the series.. what else can I say)  

Mr Back (미스터 백)

Currently Airing

Genre: Comedy, Romance, Fantasy
Episodes: 16

Main Cast:

Shin Ha Kyun as Choi Go Bong/Choi Shin Hyung
Jang Nara as Eun Ha Soo
Lee Joon as Choi Dae Han
Park Ye Jin as Hong Ji Yoon


70 year old Choi Go Bong - arrogant large corporation owner suddenly becomes a 34 year old man after a car crash. He now has to find a way to retain his company, stopping his money greedy siblings from destroying his empire.


So far I quite enjoy the drama, it comical and has an actor cast (I can't watch those idol dramas anymore - with the exception of Lee Joon and a few others). The story has just become on the edge of the seat interesting.

NaeIl's Cantabile/Tomorrow's Cantabile
The first few episodes I found quite interesting but since I have lost interest... But I will continue watching when I have nothing to do.

She's So Lovable

Save yourself time by not watching. If you really are curious, I have recapped all 16 episodes. The most interesting part about this drama was the dog...

Fated To Love You (운명처럼 널 사랑해)

Currently Airing

Genre: Romance, Comedy
Episodes: 20

Main Cast:

Jang Hyuk as Lee Gun
Jang Na Ra as Kim Mi Young
Choi Jin Hyuk as Daniel Pitt
Wang Ji Won as Kang Se Ra


A chaebol is forced to marry a "pos-it" girl after a one night stand where she falls pregnant (there is more to the storyline than this sentence! I promise you won't regret watching this series).


It has been a long while that I have found a drama with characters so loveable!! This is a drama I look forward to every week. The drama balances serious with humour very well. I highly recommend this drama.

High School King of Savvy(고교처세왕)

Currently Airing

Genre: Comedy, Romance, High School
Episodes: 16 + 1 episode extension

Main Cast:

Seo In Guk as Lee Min Suk
Lee Ha Na as Jung Soo Young
Lee Soo Hyuk as Yoo Jin Woo
Lee Yeol Eum as Jung Yoo Ah


Lee Min Seok (Seo In Guk) is a high school student who plays for the hockey team. One day, he receives a phone call from his identical looking older brother to take his place at his workplace. He now has a struggle to balance school and work as well as two identities.


Honestly, I'm not up to date with this drama.. At first I was very intrigued with the story line (actually I was watching because of Seo In Guk). I have watched up to episode 8, the story so ffar has been light hearted yet fun but I heard the plot is more intense from episode 8 onwards. I will continue watching this drama once I have time.

Doctor Stranger  (닥터 이방인)

Currently Airing

Genre: Medical, melodrama, action, thriller
Episodes: 20

Main Cast:

Lee Jong Suk as Park Hoon
Jin Se Yeon as Song Jae Hee/Han Seung Hee
Park Hae Jin as Han Jae Joon
Kang So Ra as Oh Soo Hyun


As a child, Park Hoon and his father were sent to North Korea to operate on the prime minister to stop emanate war. His father completed the heart surgery successfully; stopping the move of America on North Korea. On their intended day of travelling back to South Korea they are ambushed and forced to stay in North Korea. Park Hoon becomes a genius chest surgeon like his father.

He takes his opportunity to flee to South Korea. Park Hoon begins to work as a doctor in top hospital Dongwoo University Hospital. To bring his love from North Korea, he does anything to make money.


[Ep 1-2]:
The storyline is intriguing. Honestly when I first heard about the drama, I was thinking "not another medical drama". I feel like the korean drama world has been milking the genre, similar to when they milked saeguk dramas after Moon Embrace the Sun was so popular.

I'm glad to say that so far the drama is not solely focused on the medical genre. The relationship between the two leads has caught my attention, I'm excited to see how it unfolds. The first episode was so jam packed with awesomeness, it was fast paced and included so much content. I was surprised as the first episode only introduced the two leads, only in the second episode we saw the two second leads.

[At completion]:

The storyline... the drama really did start off strong but lost momentum. The drama wasn't memorable. Overall, it wasn't the worst but not the best drama I have watched.

Gap Dong (갑동이)

Currently Airing

Genre: Crime, mystery, melodrama
Episodes: 20

Main Cast:

Yoo Sang Hyu as Ha Moo Yeom
Sung Dong Il as Yang Chul Gon
Kim Min Jung as Oh Maria
Lee Joon as Ryu Tae Oh
Kim Ji Won as Ma Ji Wool


1996, the city of Iltan: a young girl gets brutally murdered by an unidentified person known to the police officers of the city as "Gap dong". A total of nine serial killings within a 12km radius has occurred since 1993 by Gap-dong. Detective Yang Cheol Gon pins Ha Il Sik; an intellectually challenged man as Gap dong. His attempt to arrest the suspect fails as Ha Il Sik commits suicide to prove his innocence. His son, Ha Moo Yeom vows to capture the real Gap dong with his own hands.

17 years later, Moo Yeom is a police detective. After the statute of limitations on the case expires, Moo Yeom becomes resigned to the belief that Gap-dong is dead. But a series of incidents occur in the town once again with resemblance to Gap dong's crimes. Moo Yeom has found a reason to live again. 

Thoughts so far [Episodes 1-2]: 

The storyline was quite intriguing when I heard it. The series so far doesn't disappoint, but I'm not hooked yet. I will continue to watch this series and report again. Another plus is that there are a lot of familiar faces, in terms of veteran actors. 

Hotel King(호텔킹)

Currently Airing

Genre: Romance, drama
Episodes: 32

Main Cast:

Lee Dong Wook as Cha Jae Wan/Jayden
Lee Da Hae as Ah Mo Ne
Im Seul Ong as Sun Woo Hyun
Wang Ji Hye as Song Chae Kyung
Lee Deok Hwa as Lee Joong Goo
Kim Hae Sook as Baek Mi Nyeo


A love story between an heiress who tries to save her father's legacy, the one and only 7 star hotel in the nation and the hotel manager who becomes an enemy to his own father who abandoned him in order to help the heiress.

Recap and thoughts so far [Episodes 1-4]: 

So one of my all time favourite pairings in any korean drama would have to be Lee Dong Wook and Lee Da Hae. My Girl still remains as one of the dramas I find myself watching over and over again. A guilty pleasure you may call it. The storyline is cliche but I can't help but love the drama, it holds a dear spot in my heart. For this reason when I heard that these two were starring in a drama together I was ecstatic. My eyes glistened like those manga characters when they swoon at the sight of their crush.


Ah Mo Ne's father the CEO of CIEL hotel has been murdered, but the death was deemed a suicide. Right before his death he had called Mo Ne to apologise and warn her to not trust anybody, shortly after he falls to his death from his hotel office (some mysterious person was in the room at the time - most likely Lee Joong Goo's lackey). Mo Ne rushes home from America, she misses her father's funeral (there were people chasing after her so that she could not be able to enter Seoul).  

Jayden/Cha Jae Wan was abandoned by his father at birth leaving his mother died shortly after, he had to fend for himself since a very young age. Lee Joong Goo finds him in New York (1991) and takes him back to Korea. Joong Goo tells him that his father is Mo Ne's father. Right before the murder he had confronted him about being his son. Jae Wan believes that the "suicide" was because he could not admit the truth - his thoughts change as he gets to know Mo Ne and how highly she speaks about her father. He has the aim of taking the hotel away from Mo Ne (brain washed by Joong Goo much?)

Mo Ne not for one second believes the report. She finds medication belonging to her father in his office. The prescribed medicines should not be taken together because they cause hallucinations (set up~). She declares at a company celebration/party/gathering that her father's death was not a suicide, providing the medication as proof. 

Mo Ne continues to put a brave face although she is scared. She won't let anyone take her father's hotel from her. She has found an ally in Baek Mi Nyeo although she doesn't completely trust her. 

Thus was the important parts so far~ So far I am not hooked but I will continue watching because I like the pairing. Although I can probably predict the ending... please prove me wrong drama.

You Who Came from the Stars/My Love from the Stars (별에서 온 그대)

you who came from the stars review

Finished Airing 

Genre: Romance, Comedy, Sci-Fi
Episodes: 21

Main Cast:

Kim Soo Hyun as Do Min Joon
Jun Ji Hyun as Cheon Song Yi
Park Hae Jin as Lee Hwi Kyung
Yoo In Na as Yoo Se Mi


Do Min Joon an alien who travels to Earth but loses his chance to return home is stuck on Earth for 400 years as he awaits for his next opportunity to travel back to his planet. He avoids forming connections with any humans for the most part until he meets Cheon Song Yi. He has three months left on Earth... Will he leave or stay for love?

My Opinion:

I enjoyed this drama very much. I loved Cheon Song Yi's personality, I laughed so hard when she was rapping in the car (parody of GD & Jung Hyung Don's "Going To Try"). There are other little parody scenes woven into the drama, which were very funny and light hearted e.g. Heirs. If you haven't watched this yet, I highly recommend it. How can you say no to Kim Soo Hyun?

Her Lovely Heels (여자만화 구두)

her lovely heels review

Currently Airing Finished

Episodes: 10
Genre: Romance

Main Cast:

Han Seung Yeon (Kara) as Shin Ji Hoo
Hong Jong Hyun as Oh Tae Soo


Shin Ji Hoo has a crush on her co-worker, Oh Tae Soo. Tae Soo does not believe in love but unexpectedly grows fond of Ji Hoo.

My Opinion:

So far I have enjoyed this series. Each episode is 15 minutes, so it is an easy watch. Very cute storyline that makes you root for Ji Hoo from the get go.

20's/Twenty Years Old (스물살)

20s review

Finished Airing

Episodes: 4
Genre: Mobile Drama, Romance, Teen

Main Cast:

Lee Ki Kwang (B2ST) as Lee Ki kwang
Lee Da In as Kim Hye Rim


Hye Rim falls for Idol Ki Kwang. They try to hide their relationship but are soon discovered. Will they stay together?

My Opinion:

I liked this Mobile/Mini drama. Although it was short I did enjoy the ending. I felt satisfied. The story line isn't overly complicated and the pace was good.

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  1. So far I have watched almost all dramas you described here. I'm not interested in mini or mobile drama, so only left with Fated to love you and Gap dong.

    I'm not sure with Fated to love you since I got hooked with the taiwanese drama back in 2010 and I'm not fond with remakes because all have failed my interest so far.

    Hanazakarino Kimitachihe is better than Hana Kimi or To The Beautiful You.
    Itazura na Kiss is better than It Started With a Kiss or Playful Kiss.
    Meteor Garden is better than Boys Before Flowers or Hana Yori Dango.

    So I always have the stereotype that the first one is better.

    I do want to check out Gap Dong, the synopsis is interesting for me, but I have put it off because it is a serious drama and I always want some rom-com for laugh. Maybe I'll check it out later.

    Thanks for the reviews.

    1. I have also found that I enjoyed the originals much more. I watched Fated to Love You without watching the Taiwanese version, so that could have been a major contributor as to why I enjoyed it.

      Have you watched the more recent dramas (the ones airing currently), I have been enjoying Pinocchio. It's light hearted but also heart wrenching.

      You should check out the dramas from earlier on (2004). In my opinion, they are on another level to the ones airing now. The dramas from back then have a soft spot in my heart.

    2. Yeah, too bad I have watched Fated to Love You way back before so that's why I decided not to watch this korean ver. After all, so far I'm not really impressed by Jang Nara's romance acting ever since her pairing with Janghyuk in 2002 "The Successful Story of a Bright Girl" I like the drama but the romance was disappointing. I have watched several others and She didn't seem to be in love with her loveline in any of her roles.

      Definitely, I watch Pinocchio ever since 1st episode and following tight every week. It's currently my favorite drama and I'm not that easy in marking one as my favorite just like I crown only the impressive ones i.e. Full House (2004) or Endless Love (2000) and several others.

      Endless Love (2000) is the first korean drama I watched and I have watched quite a lot of after that. I'm not sure how many in time span 2000-2004 but recently I found a complete list of korean drama from 2005-2014 and after counting I found that I have watched 145 korean dramas in the last 10 years (2005-2014).

      I'm running out on romantic comedy to watch nowadays, but still avoiding the serious one because I'm in a lot of stress. Can you recommend me some good ones?

    3. Yeah her acting in successful story was VERY cringe worthy/chalkboard-finger-nail-scraping.. the satoori made it even worse. LOL... Even Jang Hyuk was cringe worthy back then.

      Let's hope Pinocchio keeps up with the good pace, I find I get bored mid way in dramas often these days. The momentum always seems to slow down and every scene becomes to feel like a time filler.

      Wow you've watched so many dramas. It's nice to know I'm not the only obsessed one out there. I feel as though you would have watched most of the dramas that I've watched. But here are some romantic comedies I have enjoyed:

      - My name is Kim Sam Soon (2005)
      - My girl (2005) - I constantly re-watch this one when I'm bored - not the best story line but I always get drawn back in
      - Delightful girl Choon Hyang (2005)
      - Princess Hours (2006)
      - Monstar (2013) - high school/music/light hearted
      - Queen In Hyun's Man (2012) - I quite liked this one, not too bad, from memory the story wasn't too serious - happy ending/comedic
      - Reply 1997 (2012)

      Any dramas you would recommend for me to start watching? Quite bored atm since I'm on break from uni.