2009 — The Good, The So-so and the forgettable in Asian Dramas

What a year 2009 was! Like any other year before it, it was a time when the world had its fair share of triumphs and losses… of ups and downs…of turmoil and peace…

But despite the exciting things that had gone on in real life and in the real world, the year 2009 is also a time to rejoice for all asian drama addicts like us because after the starvation for good dramas that 2008 has left us with, 2009 opened with a bang and offered us a plethora of choices of series that we can enjoy over and over again…The kind that would leave us with a myriad of emotions after watching it ranging anywhere from giddy spazzing, inspired crying or sometimes just plain dry heaving…

Having said that, allow me to share my non-expert views on the dramas that I was able to watch for this year and the impressions that I had from watching the said series…

Since precious hours are spent on watching a long running drama, I have made it a point to write down my thoughts almost every year on the dramas that I got to watch for the year, perhaps as a reminder to myself if the time I indeed spent watching a series was well worth it or if I should have just spent that time learning a new hobby perhaps… SAY… stamp collecting…

Please take this review with a grain of salt as this is my own list and own opinion and in no way am I an expert critic nor reviewer but hopefully it will be helpful to some who would read this, especially for those who are taking their first foray into the world of asian drama watching and would like to know what sort of dramas are out there and were on display for the year that was… so here we go…

KDRAMAS
BOYS OVER FLOWERS

Talk about failed expectations… I guess this series tops my list among those dramas that I have greatly anticipated but which failed to deliver in terms of my belief of how good it could have become but sadly never got there…

It started out quite strongly… Such opulent and impressive setting, An addicting OST and don’t even get me started on the eye candies… Lee Minho was the greatest discovery ever since Neil Armstrong landed on the moon… They can say all the crap that they can about Kim Hyun Joong’s acting but to heck with it… To me he could have been a wax statue but I’d still have no complaints… (what can I say? I’m biased…) Top it off with Kim Bum’s devilish smile which is enough to melt any girls heart and Kim Joon who may not be as up there in terms of looks with the other three but who surely makes up for it with his charisma and screen presence…

That alone is enough reason for any girl to tune in if only to see what this series is all about and if it will live up to the hype it has promised …

For the first 12 episodes of this series, I would not have spent my Monday and Tuesdays anywhere else but glued on my laptop waiting for 9 PM to get my BOF fix along with my fellow addicts… To me, at that particular time during that short six weeks, it was time really well worth spent but sadly… Macau happened and from there, everything went downhill…

To give credit where credit is due, Episodes 1-12 of this series was pure entertainment… the pacing fast, the story humorous, the Hana Yori Dango magic alive and evident in each of the scenes that are shared by Goo Junpyo and Geum Jandi onscreen… but then, Jandi and Junpyo had to part ways after the barn scene in the ski resort and little did we know at that time that with that parting, we’d have to say goodbye too to the charm and appeal that has kept most of us glued to the first 12 parts of this series…

WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED? By the time episode 16 came around, I don’t even know if I am still watching the same series with the same scriptwriter… It seemed like she has lost steam in the middle of the drama and for lack of anything else to write, we get repetitive angst and scenes that are not as vital to the series that seem to drag on for ages from episodes 13-25 … The instrument playing, the angle on Yi Jung’s first love, the constant MTV’s that seem to not do anything at all to the advancement of the story but rather just to showcase the dramas OST… Everybody’s crying, everybody’s scheming, even Woo Bin tried to jump off a bridge for Heavens sake!

But the most irritating part for me was that just when Junpyo and Jandi’s relationship was about to take a turn for a deeper kind of connection, the writer broke them off which is part and parcel of the original story and which should be a factor that could have been played to enrich their relationship even more but then the brilliant writer (insert sarcasm here) got this stroke of genius that she has to drag it on for what seems to be an eternity until we barely get a glimpse of the OTP together onscreen before it is the end and that’s only when she decides to get them back together again… (Somebody get me a brown bag… I am getting flashes of the hell that I went through in Meteor Garden 2 all over again…)

Even if I am all about Hyun Joong, I still can’t take how the latter half of the series seem to revolve around him and Jandi rather than the story that should really be all about Jandi and Junpyo…

Don’t get me wrong… there were glimpses of the once good thing that BOF had been at the beginning at some latter points in the series… but then it was as if with that glimpse, a spark of hope is reignited in my heart that it could become the good thing it once was but alas… that is not bound to happen and as if the writer knows just where to hurt me, she lets me down time and time again and I am in for even more frustration and disappointment…

However, despite the failure of the storyline, there are still a lot of good things that I am thankful for for this series…

The awareness and frenzy after Lee Minho’s existence has been unveiled is one (greatness like his is meant to be known… can you just imagine if Lee Minho had not done BOF? His presence would still be only known by few which I think is really unfair to womenkind everywhere) Kim Hyun Joong enjoying MASSIVE popularity is second (like Minho, greatness such as his should be shared and enjoyed by a vast majority of people…) and yessiree… I guess I would not have to say it anymore… the OTP… the ship that I’ve been onboard on for the last year… the coupling that is simply known popularly by the name MinSun… Goo Hyesun and Lee Minho…

I could not imagine how bleak my 2009 would have been without the spazzing that this pairing has brought to me… the Behind the scenes moments that they have shared together which all MinSun sisters replayed time and time again obsessively… the stares and lines that they’ve exchanged in interviews that made us giggle like schoolgirls … the hopes and dreams that we so vicariously pinned on Hyesun since there’s no chance in this lifetime that Minho would be ours so we just tried to live it through her…

Sure, BOF has failed in making it to my list of top dramas that I would remember for its greatness… but if only for the three reasons I cited above and the mania that it has spurred while it was airing… BOF would always be a drama that I would remember sometimes frustratedly but more often than not with great fondness…

Rating: 3/5

QUEEN OF HOUSEWIVES

Ahjummas have never been more cool than in this series… Why can Koreans make a drama that seem to be a spin off of popular American TV shows like Desperate Housewives or Melrose Place and yet it never seemed to come across as being a rip off?

QOH is truly one series for 2009 that I have enjoyed from start to finish… I have always loved the concept of powerful women outplaying and outmaneuvering each other using their wits and intelligence (All hail women power) but sometimes it is just plain funny and entertaining to see some women resort back to the basics like a$$kissing and powertripping when all else fails…

Watching QOH is like watching a Pixar cartoon or a Disney animation where there is an underdog that dreams of being part of the “in crowd” and a Queen Bee who is currently reigning supreme with her hordes of supporters… In her quest to accomplish her dream, the underdog does everything in her power to make sure that she gets into the Queen Bee’s good graces not knowing that she has something within herself that could make her even more powerful than the Queen Bee if only she has spent more precious time looking inside herself rather than in her plotting and scheming to just be one of many…

At the beginning I cringe at every single thing that lead character Ji Ae seem to be doing just to be part of the in crowd at Queens Food (that scene at the bag shop where Sammonim returned Ji Ae’s gift only to find out it was a fake still has the power to give me nightmares)… There are times that I see a semblance of Drew Barrymore’s character in the movie Never Been Kissed in Ji Ae where they both plan and ponder over how it is to be part of what’s hip and yet despite that people just always seem to remember them for being Josie Grossie…

I have had little patience for Ji Ae’s character at the start… everything seems to be part of her comeuppance for being such a snob and a beeyatch during her reign in school as being the most popular one… I could relate to Bong Soon’s character and her feelings of resentment but gradually, the tables were turned and my heart began to understand what Ji Ae is going through…

What I loved most about QOH was how it unfolded each of the character in the show to show us the depth of their personalities beyond what seems to only be present in the surface…

At the end of it all, I love how it’s all about Family and Friendship and the values and ethics that a person holds dear to himself that makes or breaks his path towards the kind of person he wants to become and the success and failure that comes with it…

Another strength of this series is in it’s casting… I am so not used to seeing Oh Ji Ho as the whipped husband in any of his series but bias aside, I am starting to believe that as time goes by he really improves as an actor with the variety of roles that he has played and chosen… (ok… let’s just forget that Single Papa in Love ever existed…)

I have never known Kim Nam Joo prior to this series but Ahjumma cardigans and pink lipstick aside… I love how she owned Ji Ae and made the character as relatable as possible… Lee Hye Young is unquestionable in her role of Bong Soon… I loved her in Dal Ja’s spring, I loved her even more in this series… But I think due credit should be given to Choi Chul Ho for being a revelation in this drama… Majority of my LOL moments really came from his character of Joon Hyuk and that’s saying something when looking at it from another perspective, they could have made his character into the reincarnation of evil…

Rumors are adrift that there would be a season 2 for this drama and I’m all for it… They say only good things deserve a sequel and judging from the fun I had while watching this entire series, I would say that for QOH a part 2 is something that was well earned and well deserved…

Rating: 3.5/5

TAMNA THE ISLAND

I used to hate saeguks… hate them with a passion… it was the kind of drama that I would not dare touch with a ten foot pole and yet there was something about Tamna that drew me to it making it an exception…

I could not rate this show and would not rate it due to the unfortunate fact that I am still scouring everywhere for the uncut DVD and has stopped watching when MBC butchered the editing so badly to shorten the episodes from the original 20 to 16 just because of ratings… However, I could not help but write about Tamna since the first 12 episodes that I watched were some of the best times I’ve ever had watching a drama for 2009…

I first started watching this series out of curiosity… the plot and setting seem fresh, young and fun and indeed it was but what a delight to discover that TAMNA is so much more…

The breathtaking scenery and cinematography…the OST that made me feel as if I am part of some great adventure and voyage unto unknown territory… the witty scriptwriting that more often that not had me chuckling… but most of all, I have to admit that the strength of Tamna lies mostly in it’s love story and the triangle that sorrounds its main characters namely William, Beo Jin and Park Gyu…

From the very beginning Seo Woo as Beo Jin has already captured my heart as the naïve pearl diver from Jeju who wants to have a life outside of that which she was boxed in and raised to do…The moment that she got together with Im Ju Hwan as Park Gyu… I was hooked and I kept watching and watching and watching until before I knew it… I have become a fanatic Islander too…

Although Pierre Deporte’s acting as William was sometimes a pain to watch… It all fades into the background whenever Park Gyu stares at Beo Jin longingly with hungry eyes whenever she shares moments with William and he becomes a lovelorn fool waiting for her in the sidelines…

It is that longing and pain and the sadness and happiness of a young, teenage love blossoming in front of my own very eyes that somehow drew me in into Tamna’s magical world…

The excitement that the appearance of these two men had brought to a once normal and ordinary girl’s everyday life as she makes the choice between a person whom she thinks she’s in love with and one whom she is really destined to love had me watching each episode with breathless anticipation that no wonder this series has created a manic fan base despite it’s low ratings…

CITY HALL

Best. Drama. I’ve. Ever. Watched. For. The. Year. PERIOD!

City Hall is like your first sip of beer… At the beginning, you find the taste a little weird or funny but the more you drink it, the more accustomed you grow of it and then that’s the only time that you can truly appreciate its flavor and you begin to understand why others can not live without it…

Major thanks to City_girl and mewific from the ulzzangs thread in PEX for introducing me to this drama… I have always been a big Kim Sun Ah fan but somehow the prospect of a drama set in politics even if it stars one of my most favorite Kactresses does not seem to have that much of a pull or come on for me…

Thank God they have discussed this series extensively on the thread that I was curious enough to try it for myself otherwise, I might be missing half of my drama watching life… (and I really mean that!)

I would not lie… I struggled through the first few episodes of this drama when they were setting up the plot and the characters of the series… But as Cha Seung Won and Kim Sun Ah’s chemistry slowly began to unfold with each episode… I was mesmerized and before I knew it… I was waiting for the upcoming episodes of this series already with breathless anticipation…

Every barbed remark and witty retort that Cha Seung Won and Kim Sun Ah exchange becomes the most genius piece of line I’ve ever heard… Every comedic and dramatic scene that they act on becomes a masterpiece and even if they are just standing so close together, their chemistry was so palpable that there are times I expected my laptop to just combust and burst into flames…

Cha Seung Won and Kim Sun Ah are truly actors and actresses in the truest sense of the word… They only have to stare at each other and I get butterflies in my stomach… They only have to make a face and I am doubled over in laughter… I have never cried as much watching any other series (except perhaps 14 sai no haha) but I cried not for the drama that the story is all about but rather because of the purity, depth and extent of love that Shin Mi Rae and the Deputy Mayor had for each other and the sacrifices they had to make along the way to fight for that love…

City Hall is a LOVE STORY in the purest sense… It does not try to be cutesy, but rather you get the kind of love that one can only dream to have in an entire lifetime…

It is the kind of drama that delivers scenes which would get you crying because of how much love is conveyed between the two protagonists and while you’re pulling out tissues to wipe your tears away, you are also giggling like a schoolgirl because you just can’t help but marvel at how they can still love each other despite the hurt and the pain…

The most satisfying ending… the BEST OST that adds and does not detract from the story… the best balance of comedy and drama… the best chemistry ever in its lead actors… The hottest kissing scenes… If only for that, City Hall tops my list of best drama for this year…

But you know what the funny part is? Remember how I said I’m not all about politics? This drama proved me wrong…

The more I watch the series, the more I appreciated it for it’s entirety rather than just the lovestory… It stirred patriotic emotions in me that I never thought even existed… I felt sad at the state of the city that Shin Mi Rae was living in and I applaud her courage and bravery for being gutsy enough to bring change to an otherwise rotten political landscape despite the sacrifices that she has to make…

Somehow, I remembered the Philippines and I couldn’t help but wish that some day we’d get our own Shin Mi Rae too whose intentions would truly be for country and not for selfish reasons… one can only hope this 2010…

Rating: 5/5

LADY CASTLE

Oh the catastrophe that was Lady Castle… I don’t even know where to begin…

I have waited for this drama with bated breath and great anticipation perhaps because it is Yoon Eun Hye’s comeback vehicle and she always has the best choice when it comes to her dramas…

Add to that the fact that I am coming straight from the Queen of Housewives bandwagon and Yoon Sang Hyun was simply a delight to watch in that series that I somehow had the feeling that I am in for as much fun as I had while watching him in QOH… Sadly, the YEH-YSH equation did not seem to match up and with that the series seem to be headed for failure…

The first few episodes of the series was Blah… mediocre at best with some entertaining moments thrown in for good measure coming from Yoon Sang Hyun mostly… I was waiting for the series to take off… to have its moment of genius that would change it from a show that you watch to just pass time with to one that you’re really looking forward to watching and seeing… but 8 episodes into the drama, I have accepted my fate that it would never come…

If there’s one good thing about the series, it is Moon Chae Won and her acting… I have not been able to watch Brilliant Legacy but I am pleasantly surprised at how the girl can still act stellarly in a series that has such a flimsy material… for that I give her props…

Jung Il Woo was such a cutie also in the first few episodes of the series…until the scriptwriter turned his character whiny and gave him that bad perm job then even that simple pleasure that I derive from this series seem to have been taken away from me…

The plot twists seem scattered… everything Haena does make her appear somewhat dimwitted rather than noble and there was just something about the characters that do not connect with the audience…

I guess for the most part, I will remember Lady Castle for the atrocities that pass off as clothes that the stylist of this series made YEH wear to make her appear as a chaebol but sadly just comes across to most of us as alien…

This series is something to be watched perhaps when you’ve ran out of options but to me for the most part, this series is forgettable…

Rating: 2/5

YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL

Ahhh… just reading through the title of this series is enough to bring a smile on my face…

If City Hall is all about the kind of love that stirs your passion and emotions, You’re Beautiful is cotton candy and pink roses and a floaty white dress that you wear while strolling hand in hand with the man you love in a flower garden…

It brings such warm, gooey, sunshiney, marshmallow feelings…the kind you get when you’ve had your experience of first love when everything seems to be magnified ten times and your emotions tend to overrule every single logical thought that you have in your head…

This series is pure delight from start to finish… Formulaic yes but somehow the genius that are the Hong Sisters were able to give this drama a fresh twist that despite the fact that we could have seen some of the scenes in other series, it looks and feel new to our senses…

The entire cast was delightful to watch in their portrayals… each and every single one of them and I do not mean just the four that make up AN JELL… every single character seem to bring something to the table… He Yi, Manager Ma, President Ahn, the stylist coordinator, AN JELL’s fangirls and the list goes on and on…

You’re Beautiful is not really a series that would grip you with its depth… come to think of it, its mostly fluff but it sucks you in and pulls you into the story and perhaps for the most part the success of this series can be attributed to that…

The great musical scoring is one thing that I love about this series too… It seems to stir your emotion even more when you come to a vital part and Mi Nam and Tae Kyung are just staring at each other and then you hear the first strains of Ottokadyo or Without Words that seem to tip you over the edge wherein you sob like a baby or squeal like a loony spazzing over them…

You’re Beautiful might not be a perfect series but it delivers on all of the factors that makes one addicted to a drama series…

I would never forget Jang Geun Seuk’s facial expressions and the way he exchange sarcastic remarks with He Yi, Shin Woo’s kind eyes and pitiful one sided love… Jeremy’s bubbliness and cuteness that makes the series even more delightful to watch and Park Shin Hye’s portrayal of a naïve nun turned man turned woman …

I guess with that, this drama makes it to my top list since undoubtedly, it has left its mark not just in mine but I bet in many of its audiences hearts…

Rating: 4/5

HE WHO CAN’T GET MARRIED

I have made snippets of reviews for this series since I have just watched it not more than two weeks ago but I am surprised to see how it has ranked quite low in most of the reviews for the dramas for this year…

I have not watched the original version of the drama which stars Abe Hiroshi so I have no point for comparison and boy am I thankful because personally, I truly enjoyed watching He Who Can’t Get Married in it’s entirety…

Like I mentioned in previous posts… Watching the series was like taking a leisurely walk… one where you don’t need to hurry but rather wherein you try to stop and enjoy each of the scenes you see and then when you put it together, only then will you get a full appreciation of the entire landscape that you have just passed through…

I guess this series struck a chord in me because there is always the need for people to conform… Being a non-conformist living in a world that you have to adjust to must be pretty scary for someone like Jo Jae Hee and yet he has come to a point where he understood himself enough that he does not even feel afraid anymore and somehow in the process, it is the world that has become afraid of him…

I particularly love the scenes where Jae Hee and Moon Jung were already dating and he is letting her in to his world little by little… That part comes across as being endearing to me rather than being selfish because like him, I also have days when I want to be by myself and being with company really does feel burdensome even if that person is someone that you want to spend the rest of your life with… Isn’t it a true love match if you indeed find a person who would understand that need without questioning?

I love how the lesson of this show is all about breaking the rules of conformity… it is a celebration of one’s uniqueness… of a person’s individuality and how no matter how weird you think one is… there is always a chance for acceptance coming from that of another person of everything that makes you, you…

One of the best lines that I have heard from a series for this year came from this drama…

“I have stolen away your loneliness… from now on, you don’t have any more reason to be lonely”

And isn’t that what love is? The chance to make that of another person happy and to take away the sadness that seem to have come from his past and the promise of making a life together where you both build new beginnings…

RATING: 3/5

THAT FOOL

If not for Hwang Jung Min, I would perhaps say that That Fool is pretty forgettable, formulaic fare but since the man practically breathed Goo Dong Baek and carried the whole drama on his shoulders… he was able to elevate the status of this series from being “seen this before” to something emotionally relatable and heart tugging if not just because of his portrayal in this series…

Everytime Dong Baek smiles or wipe his nose or eyes in that endearing, naïve way of his my heart aches and cheers for him to triumph in the end and for life to give him a break and in the best way possible by giving him an unattainable superstar who had transformed herself to becoming the love of his life in the person of Han Ji Soo…

I don’t know what kind of actors school Hwang Jung Min went to but the kindness in his eyes really hits me where it should whenever he begins his self sacrificing dialogues and when he tries to hide his hurt away from the once selfish Ji Soo… I have never been as involved with any other male lead in any other series that I could not even care less what happens to the lead female star as long as they end up together…

Kim Ah Joong is sure gorgeous but Hwang Jung Min ate her alive in all of their scenes for this series… (the girl has serious killer legs though and her bod? GAHHHHHHHHH!!! I’d die to have her body)…

Han Sang Chul who plays Ji Soo’s younger brother is such eye candy too and reminds me of a younger Binnie but somehow I just cringe whenever he ends up screaming at almost all of his scenes….

In the end, That Fool is pretty entertaining fare… one where you can spend an hour each day immersed in its storyline and somehow feel that you’ve done some good just watching Dong Baek rub some of that niceness on you… (hehehe!)

He may be no Cha Seung Won in the looks category but what oppa Jung Min lacks in looks this actor sure does make up for in talent and heart…

Rating: 3.5/5

JDRAMAS

MEI CHAN NO SHITSUJI

Oh the kitsch and fun that was Mei Chan no Shitsuji… Watching this series was like watching Hana Kimi all over again except this time there are more females…

What I wouldn’t give to have someone as hot as Hiro as my butler but like all Jdramas go, the plot of this drama seems to be exaggerated, over the top and out of this world (which is understandable since it is a manga adaptation) but boy… it sure does make up for mindless entertainment…

Mei Chan No Shitsuji definitely has its share of squee worthy moments brought about mainly by the triangle and OTP It also had a lot of ROTFLMAO moments and the suspense sometimes just gets to you… (I was tempted enough to scour the manga to see the mystery behind Lucia’s character) …

It is not a drama which would increase your IQ by even 1 percent so if you’re looking for that kind of drama this might not be for you but if you’re just looking for a relaxing, fun watch I suggest pick up this jdrama and enjoy the hilarious ride that it will give you…

Rating: Average

BUZZER BEAT

Yamapi aside… I think I would have enjoyed this series too because of its very solid storyline (thinks about it…) Ok… scrap that… Yamapi is a MUST for me to have enjoyed the series that much…

Buzzer Beat was such a welcome surprise… I was expecting a drama anchored solely on the sport plotline but it turned out to be a love story set amidst a basketball backdrop…

Finally a Jdrama that depicts relationships the way that it should be depicted… I love the dose of realism that one gets in this series and how it tackles the age old dilemma of lovers everywhere which is that of ambition vs. love, and boy am I happy to see that in the end the characters get both… (Why, oh why do we even have to choose? Can’t we really have both?)

I truly enjoyed this series from start to finish… the development of the lovestory between Riko and Naoki did not seem contrived… they started out as acquaintances, then friends before finally becoming lovers and I love how the story walked us through all of those developments like we’re all really part of that journey…

Aibu Saki is such a good actress that I loved her in Absolute Boyfriend but hated her with a passion in this series… and don’t even get me started on the Yamapi-Keiko pairing which has now seemingly progressed to being real which perhaps goes to show how much chemistry they have onscreen and offscreen…

Topless guys, comedy, angst and squee worthy scenes this drama seem to have a little bit of everything and it still comes out as neatly wrapped and packaged with a whole lot of substance until the very ending…

Rating: GOOD

TDRAMAS:

I have started on Autumns Concerto, Black and White, ToGetHer and My Queen but have been only able to watch the first couple of episodes so no reviews for tdramas…

So what about you ? What’s your pick for this year?

Looking forward to more interesting fare for 2010 and to more interesting dramas that would come our way in this year to come

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About donnapie

Kdrama fanatic, Kim Hyun Joong obsessed, MinSun shipper, closet writer
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3 Responses to 2009 — The Good, The So-so and the forgettable in Asian Dramas

  1. germaineora says:

    Hi there! I’m from the Philippines and while searching for kdramas i stumbled upon your blog and read through your reviews and I’m enjoying it. As we all know k dramas are so addicting I have sleepless nights… hehe.. I agree through most of your ratings. I loved City Hall so very much, not just the story but for Kim Sun Ah and Cha Seung Won, the chemistry sizzles and I just love watching them so in love. I have not seen QOH but I’ll try because you said so. ha ha! I hope you continue writing… God Bless!!!

  2. Kerstin says:

    I do enjoy my doramas and taiwanese dramas but lately I’ve been more hooked up on korean dramas. I can’t even explain why, as it just happened to be that way. My first dramas were manga adaptions so I really have a big heart for these film versions. I tend to follow the actors from drama to drama, not essentially but it sure helps if I know one of the actors. Sometimes I’m a bit dumb as I follow even the worst actor/actress as long as I like him/her. So often I suffer from watching really ridiculous and stupid dramas just out of the love for the actor/actress.

    2009 I watched only 2 and a half Taiwanese dramas, the half one was absolutely brilliant, one was ridiculous and the other one was…I don’t know.

    ToGetHer, I watched this because I have a really soft spot for Rainie Yang, I’ve seen her in Meteor Garden, Meteor Rain, Devil beside me, Why why love and Miss No Good and I like her, she is a decent actress and I think she is cute with a sometimes annoying voice. In ToGetHer she plays a serious character and I thought she did a good job. Than there was George Hu as second male lead and he was gorgeous, but the big negative thing in this is: Jiro Wang. Don’t get me wrong I love Jiro Wang, he’s good looking, I adore him but he can’t act, seriously he can’t!
    The chemistry between Jiro and Rainie was cute and I liked them together and I enjoyed both but I’m indifferent towards this drama. I can’t say I didn’t like but I can’t say I liked it either.
    3 out of 5.

    Hi my sweetheart, omo I just realized that this one’s also a Rainie drama!!! That I forgot that she was playing in it, is proof that it didn’t had a big impression on me. Show Luo was ridiculous. Am I going to watch this again? Well I guess not. Is this proof of my blind loyalty to Rainie? Hmmm yeah am I going to watch her next project with Wu Zun (Love of my life), yeah…
    2 ½ out of 5

    Black & White
    I’ve got to say I haven’t finished this yet but it’s due to the missing hardsubs episodes. Do I plan to continue watching this? Hell yeah!!!
    Why? Because it is gorgeous to watch, the best, and I’m repeating myself, the best Taiwanese drama I’ve ever seen, best scenery, best story, great lead actors. Zai Zai is riveting, rocking and Mark Zhao is great!!! A must watch.
    5 out of 5

    Doramas
    Atashinchi no Danshi
    Man this dorama was crap but funny, total nonsense but cute, and I watched it nevertheless. Maki is cute, and Osamu sexy as hell!!! Loved him
    3 ½ out of 5

    Buzzer Beat
    My man Pi and my girl keiko!!!! This one was cuuuuuuute, sizzling chemistry between Pi and Keiko and the other cute pair Shuji and Mai…and a loathsome second female lead who I hated, really hated. The story’s just bla but the love story is cute, lovable and adorable…and of course it helps that there are a lot of hot men in a locker room.
    4 out of 5

    Mr. BRAIN
    Kimutaku, my first drama with him, but I’m totally smitten with him and his funny ways to solve all the crimes. Ayase Haruka (Hotaru no Hikari!!!) as his cute, but slightly clueless assistant who has a major crush on him. Great drama!!! Funny, interesting, but got a bit predictable as the cases came in. My lovely Hiro is also in this and he’s sooo cute as the whimsical, heroical detective! A must watch
    4 ½ out of 5

    Mei-Chan no Shitsuji
    Hiro!!!! As a butler!!! I would employ him anytime and the guy who played his brother and completed the love triangle. The story is totally absurd, the setting in a fantasy school, but lots of Eye Candy…strange that Osamu was so ugly in this one but rocked the handsome in atashinchi no danshi…
    4 out of 5

    Orthros no Inu
    Somehow the story looked better than the drama turned out to be. Nishikido Ryo and Takizawa Hideaki as two man with godlike powers. One has the power to heal every illness with his hands while the other one has the ability to kill – with just a touch of his hand and the will to do it.
    3 ½ out of 5

    Samurai High School
    This ones a gem. Wonderful lead Actor Miura Haruma. Great Story and the episodes were good, humorous but also with the element to think about it deeply. It’s not a show where you want to park your brain away. The Police man is funny (Kaneko Nobuaki, the guy from Buzzer Beat who joined the team, the asshole who made a move on Pi’s girlfriend)
    4 ½ out of 5

    Tokyo DOGS
    Hiro and Shu Oguri. Do I have to say more? The Hana Kimi boys united in this police drama. Shu Oguri is an adorable actor, the changes from cold, distant cop to being nit-picky bout the smallest things is hilariously adorkable!! Loved it.
    4 out of 5

  3. Kerstin says:

    I hope you don’t get the feeling that I’m spamming the site but I’m really happy that I’ve found yet another great site to discuss asian dramas.
    So here are the k-dramas I watched in 2009: Sorry for the bad English writing as I’m not so good with it.

    Assorted Gems
    This was a really good drama, I loved it til the later episodes, but the time lapses lost me and the ending was strange and lacklustre. But still for 35 or more Episodes I was madly in love with this series, the characters their relationships with each other, it was really a gem for me and I was happy I tried this one. My ratings for this out of 5 would be 4 ½

    Boys before Flowers
    What a fun ride this drama was. Nothing can stop my love for the original source as I love Hana Yori Dango to pieces!!! The manga (due to online scans), the anime, the Japanese, the Taiwanese version of this and also the Chinese Mainland version, I liked/loved all of these, so it was only naturally for me to watch this one as well. And I didn’t got disappointed! Lee Min Ho is such a cute Hottie and a great actor, who shined so much that it hurt my eyes – cudos to the Actress who played his mom. That women was scary, evil and it was portrayed brilliantly!!! Kim Hyun Joong can’t act at all, but I didn’t care because his character is just eye candy for me. No one of the other Rui actors got to me, and Kim Hyun Joong wasn’t an exception. I adored our OTP and although I didn’t loved Goo Hye Sun as much as her Japanese counterpart, I loved the chemistry between her and Lee Min Ho.
    So I’m not gonna rate this as I’m too biased towards it backstory  (6 out of 5)

    City Hall
    Kim Sun Ah and Cha Seung Won, man these two were dazzling in their roles! Although I didn’t love City hall that much, I’m gonna have to applaud these both for making this rather boring drama watchable. They had soo much chemistry going on, it was beyond believable. 3½ out of 5

    Creating Destiny
    Eugene and Ki Tae Young, I don’t know why I even started this one. I guess it was because of Eugene’s good looks or something like that. I watched this one til the bitter end, but boy sometimes I felt like a pervert or a masochist for even bothering watching it. The first episodes were on the borderline of boredom. No chemistry between the leads, an unconvincing story, unlikeable side characters (the mom, the second female lead). It got better later on with the leads getting chemistry and being cute and the friendship between the fathers was adorable, the rest was utterly forgettable and the story and the series dragged me along. 2 ½ out of 5.

    Heading to the ground
    I admit it: I’ve got a soft spot for Go Ah Ra and Jung Yun Ho is HOT. But this drama wasn’t really good. The beginning was promising but when the story made some strange turns it got bad, the double cutting down to 16 didn’t help this either. Somehow maybe the premise was wrong. As I started to watch this I thought it was about a young lad who got a lot of talent for soccer but had a lot more of bad luck coming along. I thought it was about him reaching his goal in being a player in a famous league. I wanted to see him grow into this fine man, but then there were so many unbelievable things happening, that I lost interest in it. I mean I finished it but I will not remember it. 2 out of 5.

    Invincible Lee Pyung Kang
    I got lost in the middle and the drama lost me. The story looked so promising with the legend premise. The leads had zero chemistry. That’s why there is no rating.
    Smile, you
    Kyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa let me squeal in glee for this drama. Man did I love this in the beginning and in the middle..but then the MOM drama happened and then the ILLNESS. Gosh how I hated these storylines. The amazing chemistry between Lee Min Jung and Jung Kyung Ho, the cutesy they showed. Lee Kyu Han, I adore you for playing this whimsical guy, I hated you in the first two episodes but than I loved you, you had no chance against Jung Kyung Ho, but you tried your hardest!!! Lee Chun Hee, oh Chuni!!! Do I have to say more?!? You lit up my screen. 4 out of 5

    Tempted again
    Team Park Kyu all the way!!!!!! Man did Im Joo Wan lit up the screen? Check yes. Did he put a magic spell on me with his eyes, his actions, his undying love for Beo Jin? Check, hell yes!!! Did I wanted to be Seo Woo? Yeaaaaaa, squeal. Love, love, loved this.
    The cast was superb, the scenery was gorgeous, the story ok, but the love story and every other relation between the tamra people was so appealing and good. The directors cut is brilliant.
    10 out of 5

    That fool
    Watching Hwang Jung Min act was a revelation. Everything else was bla still the love for Hwang Jung Min carried me to the end. 3 out of 5.

    The Sons of Sol Pharmacy house
    This was my first longer series, 54 episodes and I really really liked it. The actors were fine, the story heartwarming and lovable and the little dramas watchable.
    4 out of 5

    Triple
    I’ve got no idea why I liked this. But I thought it had a fresh appeal, although nothing much happened and I disliked the ending. The cast was so good (the Smexy Lee Jung Jae, the Voice Lee Gyun Sun, and the versatile Yoon Kye Sang) but some actors – Yoon Kye Sang!!! were wasted. Still I discovered Song Joong Ki and Min Hyo Rin.
    3 ½ of 5

    Will it snow at Christmas?
    The reasons to watch this one are Go Soo, Go Soo, Go Soo, Kim Soo Hyun, Song Joong Ki and Nam Ji Hyun. This melodrama was my first time seeing Go Soo, and he is brilliant! Han Ye Seul, was likeable in Fantasy Couple but here she was indifferent to me. The parents drama was ok but the Mom drama was atrocious!
    3 out of 5

    You’re beautiful
    The Hong Sisters masterpiece highly entertained me to no end!!! Loved loved loved Park Shin Hye and Jang Geun Suk!!! How adorable they were, soooo good.
    5 out of 5

    I’ll be back with j-dramas and t-dramas 🙂

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