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Top Korean Dramas of 2011: End of Year Review
5. Flower Boy Ramen Shop
I started watching Flower Boy Ramen Shop for one reason: Jung Il Woo! I was introduced to this young actor through 49 Days. Here, there is a love triangle involving Il Woo, who falls in love with a noona (older sister). Here, he takes on the lead role and see how his character evolves from a spoilt rich brat to someone who is willing to sacrifice for love. The earlier episodes are more fluffy and did not keep me attracted at first. For me, the best scenes are definitely from the middle parts onwards. Stay on for the lovely ending.
A Person Like You by Jung Il Woo (Flower Boy Ramen Shop OST)
4. Protect the Boss
This drama has a very interesting premise as it is unlike other dramas, including Royal Family, where chaebols are usually portrayed as cool, an elite class and smart. Here, Jisung plays the lead character, Jihoon, an heir to a huge conglomerate. However, his character suffers from anxiety whenever he has to speak in public and he is not exactly the typical type of boss. Choi Kang Hee, plays his secretary who literally protects her Boss! Kim Jaejoong of JYJ takes on the role of Jihoon's cousin in his first acting role on Korean television. So far, he has appeared in Japanese dramas only. My favourite parts in this drama are when the cousins are fighting childishly. Hilarious!
지켜줄께 I'll Protect You by JYJ JaeJoong (Protect the Boss OST)
3. Vampire Prosecutor
Vampire Prosecutor is another favourite of mine. I have always loved detective stories and shows with mystery, and twists and turns. The drama plot does provide a lot of this and does provide a realistic side too in the sense that the law is not always all encompassing as sometimes, someone who has committed a wrong, can still be found innocent at court. Another plus ploint are the cast. Yun Jung Hoon is really charming and effective in this lead role as the prosecutor who became a vampire. The drama goes on to show how he uses this distinctive characteristic to help him solve the crimes that comes his way. I also love this drama because of his other team members. They provide lots of laughter and the cast as a whole has great chemistry!
Crazy For Love (사랑에 미쳐본다) by Lee Jung (Vampire Prosecutor OST)
2. The Princess' Man
After watching Park Shi Hoo in Iljimae, I have always felt that he should be given a lead role to play. Finally, I got to watch him in The Princess' Man where he plays the hero! Here, he leads us through a rollercoaster of emotions as the story to put it simply, is Korea's version of Romeo and Juliet, as his character and the lead female's character are torn apart because of family rivalry.
I Love You Too by Baek Ji Young (The Princess' Man OST)
1. Scent of a Woman
My favourite drama for the second half of 2011 has to be Scent of a Woman! Awesome acting by both Kim Sun Ah (famous from My Name is Kim Sam Soon starring Hyun Bin too) and Lee Dong Wook. The story also creatively incorporates the tango dance into various scenes and this helps to showcase the great chemistry between the leads. There is also a good second lead actor in the form of Uhm Ki Joon. The only failing point of this drama is probably the unnecessary scenes involving the rich supporting female character and her various schemes to keep Ji Wook (Dong Wook's character) with her.
Other 2011 Korean Dramas Which I Have Watched
There are several other Korean dramas which grabbed my attention. Among these, some deserve a mention. Heartstrings was a drama which I anticipated as it hasthe cast of one of my favourite Korean dramas, You're Beautiful. However, this drama is not as captivating as the plot is too repetitive. The best scenes in my opinion are when they are practising for their performances especially when it's a fusion of both traditional and modern music. Jung Yong Hwa has improved since You're Beautiful as he is more emotive. It also helps that his character here is more developed. I also watched Warrior Baek Dong Soo. The drama would have been much better if some of the cast had not over-acted, while some under-acted. There were also too many unnecessary fighting scenes!
Another drama which is interesting is I Need Romance. Unlike most shows which usually end of with the couple being together, here the main plot is what happens after the couple has been together for a few years. Many realistic plots are weaved into the story including affairs. In some ways this drama is quite daring. And, through this drama, I was introduced to actor Baek Sung Hyun. However, there were some parts which I didn't like, such as when the main female character imagines too much and wavers too much between her 2 love interests.