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Best Korean Drama 2014
2014 is another great year for Korean drama lovers. Cable channels such as tvN, JTBC, TVChosun strengthened their position by producing amazing dramas worthy to receive praises. They have more freedoms in broadcasting materials not acceptable in terrestrial channels. Moreover, their ratings competition are not as fierce as the big three channels so they are more flexible in their casting process. Many talented actors who might not get any chance to lead dramas in the big three, cast in the cable channels ~ proving that they're worthy to be lead actors.
The big three channels have also given the viewers great dramas this year. Starting from hit supernatural romantic comedy drama You Who Came the Stars which aired it'ss first episode early December last year. The popularity of YWCFTS is overwhelming that many other countries started to produce remakes of this drama. ABC America plans to broadcast the remake of this drama soon. People can't stop talking about Do Min Joon (Kim Soo Hyun) and Chun Song Yi (Jun Ji Hyun), hoping they can transform as Do Min Joon for one day or even half-a-day to experience his supernatural power.
Korean drama remake mostly is a hit or miss. Fated to Love You proved that it could be a huge success. Adapted from popular Taiwanese drama, FTLY reunited Jang Hyuk and Jang Na Ra who had sizzling chemistry. FLTY is a beautiful romantic comedy about two strangers who're forced to be together after their one-night stand. In the midst of their confusion and struggles, they realize their feeling towards each other is real.
It's quite hard to produce a drama discussing about mental illness, which is a still a hard topic to digest. It's Okay It's Love is a solid drama which takes the viewers in a roller-coaster ride. The characters in this drama (most of the time they don't realize) they suffers from mental illnesses. Things get really rough when the psychiatrist finds out that the man she really loves suffer from one because of the abuse and hard things he experienced when he was young. But love conquers all. This drama doesn't only focus on the main couple, but also their housemates who support & encourage them wholeheartedly.
When it's done right, mystery drama gives viewers a chill and challenges us to solve the clues to find the murderer / solve the case. Gapdong is one of the best mystery drama I've seen this year. It's really hard to find the culprit because everyone could be one. This drama definitely keeps us on the edge of our seats.
Affair is a very difficult drama plot, nobody in this world want to hear the world "affair" from their husband/wife. Let alone watching a drama focusing on the woman's affair with her husband's genius piano student. Secret Love Affair is not everyone's cup-of-tea. We need to open our mind that this is just a drama. It's aesthetically beautiful drama.
You Who Came from the Stars
You Who Came from the Stars is a fantasy rom-com about alien Do Min Joon who abruptly landed on the Earth 400 years ago in the Joseon Dynasty. Living alone for hundred years with his supernatural power which enables him to stop the time, Do Min Joon is a very cold man who doesn't want to care about people around him because he knows they will get old & die, leaving him alone again.
One fateful day he meets with top actress Chun Song Yi (Jun Ji Hyun) who's very blunt and keeps making troubles wherever she goes. It's very rare for her to meet a man who's very stoic and is not interested in her, so she challenges herself to conquer Do Min Joon's heart until they begin to fall in love with each other.
Facing a harsh reality that Do Min Joon will have to go back to his planet one day, Chun Song Yi is very anxious when that time comes closer. Nobody else cares her as much as he does, but thankfully, the ending of YWCFS is very satisfying.
YWCFTS spends a great deal of time solving the murder case of a famous actress, Han Yoo Ra. Chun Song Yi who"s in the same cruise ship on the day of her accident knows the culprit behind this case, but Lee Jae Kyung (Shin Sung Ro) uses all his dirty trick to ensure his secret is safe. His younger brother Lee Hwi Kyung (Park Hae Jin) is a kind-hearted man who protects Chun Song Yi since they're kids. As her childhood friend who loves Song Yi, he hides his feeling so his friend can find her true happiness. Unfortunately, Song Yi's best friend Yoo Se Mi (Yoo In Na) stabs her in the back. But after she finds out the truth, they begin to rekindle their friendship again.
Re-watch all your favorite scenes from YWCFT.
Lyn - Destiny
Fated to Love You
Fated to Love You is a true romantic comedy fairytale which surpasses the original version of this drama. The plot is still the same ~ two strangers accidentally had a one night stand resulting in a pregnancy, then they're forced to get married for the sake of their unborn baby and pressure from the hero's grandmother. But the Korean version gave this drama it's own identity, it's refreshingly good.
Lee Gun (Jang Hyuk) hilarious laughter always put a smile on my face. Kim Mi Young (Jang Na Ra) sweet innocent smile warms my heart. She's known as a "post-it girl" but Lee Gun emphasizes that she's a super glue which always strengthens her. Lee Gun has a hereditary illness from his older generations that it's most likely he'll die in his 30s. After a tragedy happens, Lee Gun who doesn't want Mi Young to know about his family history decides to pull himself apart from her. He knows Mi Young also has a very loyal & supportive friend Daniel (Choi Jin Hyuk) who takes a good care of her & does his best to heal wound in her heart. He also gives her a brand new start as an artist, Ellie Kim.
Kang Se Ra (Wang Ji Won) is Lee Gun's girlfriend for more than 5 years. Because of her mother and her determination to be the best dancer, her relationship with Lee Gun fall apart. Lee Gun frankly tells her he doesn't love her anymore.
I'm still having FTLY withdrawal although this drama ended earlier this month. Missing the snail couple, Mi Young's and Lee Gun's awesome family, Lee Gun's laughter, Daniel and Se Ra who weren't really explored, the triplets who work at the prenatal class - baby store - dance class, Lee Gun's hilarious secretary and the amazing OSTs. This drama is a keeper!
Fated to Love You DVD (Director Cut) of will be released in December. Perfect for a Christmas gift for yourself or your friend who love Korean drama. Pre-order now on YesAsia
Megan Lee - Ready for Love
It's Okay It's Love
Another masterpiece from writer Noh Hee Kyung and PD Kim Kyu Tae who brought us gorgeous melodrama That Winter the Wind Blows last year.
It's Okay It's Love shows the imperfection of the characters which make them human like all of us, the viewers. Without realizing, majority of us suffer from some sort of illness and only the love & support from people around us can help us to be healed.
Mysterious writer Jang Jae Yul (Jo In Sung) witnessed a horrific tragedy when he was young boy. Unable to protect his mom he really loves, he "created" an imaginary character Kang Woo (portrayed magnificently by rookie actor EXO D.O [Do Kyung Soo]). He acts like a "hero" to this young boy, it takes a huge leap of faith & braveness from psychiatrist & his girlfriend Ji Hye Soo (Gong Hyo Jin) to break the truth to him who can only sleep in the bathroom because of his childhood trauma. Step-by-step, Hye Soo and people around him help him to forget Kang Woo & to move on from his trauma.
After she saw her mother cheated with another man, Hye Soo unable to feel any affection. Especially after she found out her boyfriend kissed another woman. Jae Yul heal her wounded heart & makes her believe in love again.
As the owner of a huge house, Jae Yul moves in with Hye Soo, Soo Kwang (Lee Kwang Soo) who suffers from Tourette syndrome and psychiatrist Jo Dong Min (Sung Dong Il) who still maintains his friendship with his ex-wife psychiatrist Jin Kyung (Lee Young Jin). Here he finally receives comfort & closure. They're very blunt, sometimes they fight over small things, but deep down they really care for each other.
It's so cute & sweet when Soo Kwang and Jo Dong Min sit on the couch like viewers watching Jae Yul and Hye Soo's kissing scene. Soo Kwang looks up to Jae Yul & loves to ask love advice from him. He becomes tougher & finds a woman who accepts him as who he is.
It's Okay It's Love is a frank realistic drama. The script is excellent, making the viewers think and re-analyze the characters in depth. I really love the closing quote from Jae Yul encourage the viewers to ask ourselves if we're okay and to say a warm "good night" to ourselves. Moreover, he tells us to always remember that we never be alone because there's someone out there praying for us. Beautiful messages giving hope to everyone. Amazing drama which worth all the praises.
This drama has amazing OSTs and background musics. My favorite is "Hero"