Top Korean Dramas of 2013: Second Review
5. You're The Best, Lee Soon Shin
This drama features IU in her first lead role as Lee Soon Shin, since her supporting role in Dream High. If you know a little about Korean history, you will realise that she has the same name as a famous general. Hence, she is frequently ridiculed because of her name. The older cast is generally great, and Lee Mi Sook, who plays experienced actress, Song Mi Ryeong, is no stranger to Korean dramas. I also find the side stories of Soon Shin's two older sisters (acted by Yoo Inna and Son Tae Young) interesting as they have different personalities and stories of their own. Overall, despite the length of the series (estimated to be 50 episodes), it has been a breeze to watch!
Jo Jung Seok - I Love You So Much (You're The Best, Lee Soon Shin OST)
4. Gu Family Book
Choi Jin Hyuk and Lee Yeon Hee appear in the first two episodes of this drama and showcases a tragic forbidden love story between a gumiho (male this time) and a human. He is a gumiho who wants to become a human for the woman whom he loves, only to end up being betrayed. The tragic couple has a son, Choi Kang Chi, whom is played by Lee Seung Gi. Ironically, Lee Seung Gi was also in a previous drama revolving around gumiho. This time though he is the one who has links to the mythical creature. The ending might not please everyone though so watch with an open mind.
Lee Sang Gon (of Noel) - My Love is Hurt (Gu Family Book OST)
3. Jang Ok Jung: Live in Love
Jang Ok Jung has a fresh pairing of actress Kim Tae Hee and actor Yoo Ah In. It is also a new spin on the conflict in the palace between royal concubine, Jang Ok Jung (played by Kim Tae Hee) and Queen In Hyun(Hong Soo Hyun). So far it has been easy to watch and reminds me of Princess' Man with the mistaken identity scene in the first episode. I also love the creative spin on making Ok Jung a fashion designer! It is refreshing when the female lead is not just focused on falling in love but has a career to look forward too (even in the Joseon period). Unfortunately, midway through the drama, it spirals down towards a tit-for-tat situation between the ladies in the palace. The appearance of Jae Hee was supposed to increase conflict as he is also in love with Ok Jung but I was disappointed as his role was not fully fleshed out.
Rumble Fish - Season of Love (Jang Ok Jung OST)
2. Mandate of Heaven
I've always liked Lee Dong Wook and was most impressed with his performance in Scent of a Woman. Here, he impresses me again with his role as an innocent doctor who gets framed for murder. The little girl, who plays his daughter, is also a scene-stealer along with the little boy who takes on the role of Grand Prince! Song Ji Hyo of Running Man fame also stars as a fellow medical practitioner in the palace who tries to help him along the way. And to round up the main cast, 2AM's Seulong takes on the role of the Crown Prince. Surprisingly, he is doing a convincing job as a prince who is stuck in a political world where the truth is manipulated leaving him helpless.
Junsu (JYJ) - Foolish Heart (Mandate of Heaven OST)
1. Nine: Nine Times Travel
This drama stars Lee Jin Wook whom I first noticed from the drama, Spy Myung Wol. The show starts of a bit confusing but slowly gets its pace and footing right as it progresses. Park Hyung Shik (from ZE:A), is an upcoming young actor whom I have noticed in many recent series. Here, he also steals some screentime as the younger Park Sun Woo while Jo Yoon Hee takes on the role of the female lead here. After the initial first 4 episodes, I started looking forward to this series each week and the mysteries are slowly resolved during his time travels to his past! Good mysteries are hard to find and I like how it is done here.
Lee Ji Hye - Nine Scents (Nine: Nine Times Travel OST)
Other Dramas Which I Have Watched
All About Romance
This drama's setting revolves around politics. Hence, at times when the focus is on politics, I tend to lose interest. However, I like the chemistry between the main characters and I finished watching the entire drama because of the main couple, played by Lee Min Jung and Shin Ha Kyun. It is not a must-watch though but give this a try if you have the time!
She is WOW
She is WOW is a drama by tvN. Unlike the typical Korean dramas, this drama will run for 12 episodes, with each only about 45 minutes compared to the typical 16-20 episodes of 60+ airing time. Jo Hyun Kyung acts as actress Jo Ara. She is married to news announcer Gong Jung Han and they put on a false front as a happily married couple with their rebellious son, Min Kyu. Adding on to the complicated premise is a good-looking neighbour whom Ara is attracted to.
The Queen of Office
This drama stars Kim Hye Soo, an established actress in Korea. However, this is my first time watching her. She does fit the character perfectly. And Oh Ji Ho, is the perfect foil with his character's cabbage patch hair! The first two episodes so far have been a good laugh. As the drama progresses though, maybe it will move into more meaningful plots as it is supposed to show us the divide between permanent and contract workers. For me, I stopped watching after three episodes. It isn't bad but it also doesn't keep me interested.
When A Man Loves
Song Seung Hoon stars as a gangster with a heart and Shin Se Kyung plays Seo Mi Do, an ambitious girl who is entangled with Song due to her father's debts. With so many other better dramas around, I have given up on following this.
Tiffany (Girls' Generation) - One Step Closer (All About Romance OST)
More Info on Korean Dramas
- Older Women, Younger Men: In Asian Dramas
- My Favourite Songs From Korean Dramas (2013): First ...
- Top Korean Dramas of 2013: First Review
- Top Korean Dramas of 2012: End-of-Year Review
- Top Korean Dramas of 2012: Mid Year Review
- My Favourite Songs From Korean Dramas (2012)
- Top Korean Dramas of 2011: End of Year Review
- Top Korean Dramas of 2011: Mid Year Review
- My Favourite Songs From Korean Dramas (2011)
- Top Korean Dramas of 2010
- Top 3 Korean Dramas in 2009
More by this Author
The Hallyu fever is definitely still going strong. In the many popular Korean dramas that we watch, there are lots of Korean songs which stand out and continue to remain in our minds, even long after the series has...
In Asian dramas it is more common to see the usual older man-younger woman pairing. However, in recent years we see more dramas doing the opposite!
Visiting Korea during the winter season