I had a great year! I lived in Taiwan for the first six months, saw many K-pop concerts and Korean celebrities, returned to America, had a great summer at home with family and friends, found a good job, and even started this blog. Yay!
In classic blog fashion, this post sums up what I’ve done (or at least watched) over the past year.
It turns out that I’ve completed about 20 shows this year!
I know, I know. 20 really isn’t too many in the grand scheme of things, but I certainly enjoyed every minute of watching. There are hundreds more great shows that I’ve yet to watch, but that’s what next year is for! The great thing about Asian dramas is that I never need to look far for my next show to watch.
The dramas listed below are ones that I watched during 2013. Some of them might not have aired this year, but since they were part of my year, they made it onto my list!
My Top 5 Korean Shows from 2013
1. I Hear Your Voice
This show stole my heart.
If a show can make me simultaneously die of laughter, cuteness, and suspense, it deserves to be at the top of my list.
Not only did I love the protective Noona romance,
I also especially loved Lee Jong Suk.
If you haven’t already seen it, be sure not to miss I Hear Your Voice!
2. Master’s Sun
Master’s Sun came in as a close second to I Hear Your Voice.
This was another show that kept me highly invested from the very beginning.
The chemistry is spot-on. The plot and premise may have a few holes, but So Ji Sub and Gong Hyo Jin know exactly what they are doing. It’s a drama that deserves to be watched again and again!
I really, really enjoyed this show.
It may not be the most sophisticated drama, but I fell in love with all of the different characters.
I admit I’m a sucker for shows with a musical premise and the music in this is FANTASTIC! Each episode offers something a little different and I loved seeing the characters evolve while interacting with each other, both musically and personally.
The sweet romance between the two leads is also unique and entertaining.
Overall, this show made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Just what the drama doctor ordered!
4. Flower Boy Next Door
This is another warm and fuzzy show.
The plot is a bit strange, but I still enjoyed watching this oddball relationship develop.
Without a doubt, Yoon Shi Yoon steals the show with his cuteness.
Don’t we all wish this is what we see when we look out the window?
I liked Heirs, but I didn’t LOVE it. The story is mostly generic and I really wasn’t impressed by all the moping.
I did however LOVE Young Do, so I decided Heirs needed to be included in my top 5 from this year.
How can you not fall in love with this wonderful character?
I may not have loved the drama, but I still enjoyed watching and blogging about it. The hype was so big that it seemed like every blogger wanted to share her thoughts on the drama. It was certainly a fun experience!
My Top 5 Korean Oldies But Goodies
1. Last Scandal
Watching Last Scandal reminded me what it’s like to watch a fantastic drama. The chemistry between the leads is wonderful and I laughed during the entire thing. It’s nice to take a break every once in a while from some of the newer shows and explore the wide variety of excellent dramas that I missed at first glance.
2. My Girlfriend is a Gumiho
I’m not sure why it took me so long to finally watch this great drama. I think I had started it back when it first aired, but the cheesiness seemed like it would be too much for me. I’m so glad I gave this one another chance! I very much enjoyed my journey to Gumiho-land.
3. Runaway Plan B
I know, I’m rather late to this drama. It had slipped under my radar and for some reason it took me almost a month to finish. It was great fun though! Rain is perfectly in his element. I had such a wonderful time watching the cast fly around Asia, trying to fight through the very intricate plot lines. So many characters! So much backstabbing! So much action! It was such a different kind of drama than what I usually watch. I recommend it for anyone looking for a fun, exciting time.
4. What’s Up Fox?
What’s Up Fox brought us a Noona romance well before it was a popular trend. I really enjoyed watching this couple grow and deal with their 9 year age gap. It’s another fun show to watch!
5. Thank You
All three of the leads in this Jang Hyuk, Gong Hyo Jin, and little Seo Shin Ae are amazing in their roles. This drama focuses on a girl who accidentally contracts AIDs. Jang Hyuk plays a doctor who feels obligated to help and during his time with them, he slowly falls in love with the entire family. I had first stayed away from this show because I thought the premise was too sad, but it’s actually a very heartwarming story.
Choco-pie anyone? This drama certainly made me want to go out and buy some. Luckily I was living in Taiwan when I watched this so I could feast on as many Choco-pies as I wanted! Such perfect product placement.
My Top 3 Taiwanese Dramas
1. In Time With You
I love, love, love this show! Li Daren and Chen Youqing will forever live in my heart. While they may be blind when it comes to love, their story is beautifully told, captivating me from start to end. This was another drama I watched while in Taiwan and I loved being able to talk to my Taiwanese friends and co-workers about the show. This just added a whole other wonderful element to the drama watching experience.
Speaking of real life drama experiences, when I flew out of Taiwan I had a brief spazz attack when I realized I was checking my bag at the same counter where Li Daren had worked! So cool! It’s the little things that make me happy.
2. Meteor Garden
I FINALLY watched this classic. Meteor Garden essentially started the Asian drama craze and I’m sorry to say it took me this long to watch all of it. Hana Yori Dango was was first true drama love and every time I started Meteor Garden I couldn’t help but compare it to my encyclopedic knowledge of the Japanese show. I pushed myself this year and I think enough time had elapsed to allow me to really enjoy this show.
I will always love the Japanese version more though… I think it usually works that whichever version you saw first, you will love the most. I think it’s an unspoken rule in dramaland.
3. Autumn’s Concerto
Vanness Wu, what did you do to my heart? That’s right, you throughly melted it while I watched this show.
My Top 3 Korean Variety Shows
1. We Got Married Global Edition
I LOVE this show. It’s certainly the best variety show I’ve watched all year. Where else would you see 2pm’s Taecyeon look like he’s about to murder someone and FT Island’s Hongki showing off his nail art? Add in Mina’s crazy eyes and Gui Gui’s spectacular Engrish and you have the making for an amazing show.
2. Gag Concert
I can thank this show for bringing my sister and I much closer together. THIS SHOW IS HILARIOUS. If you need a quick laugh, go over to KBS World’s YouTube channel and watch a couple skits from Gag Concert. You won’t be disappointed!
My favorites include the Sistar29 and the King of Rating skits.
3. Infinity Challenge
I admit, I’ve only watched the first episode of this season, but what I’ve seen I’ve loved. Not only is G-Dragon in top form, but I found myself enjoying the entire cast. Each person brings something hilarious to the table and I can’t wait to watch more of Infinity Challenge in 2014
Who doesn’t love some Lee Jong Suk & Kim Woo Bin bromance?
King of Dramas
While not the best drama, I did love this look into drama production. I can’t look at product placement in the same way!
Siwon was also spectacular in his role.
Jo Won did an excellent job in his role.
I enjoyed watching this show, but not quite enough to move it to my Top 5 for the year.
(aka Started in 2013, but will finish in 2014)
Man from the Stars
This drama rocks.
After just 4 episodes I am already in love with this show. For now, this is my most anticipated drama for 2014.
Be sure to check out my recaps over on Soompi!
I am also really enjoying this show quite a bit! Bo Ton is ridiculous, David is beyond adorable, and Do Go Ma Te is impressing me with his changing persona. I think 2014 will bring a good end for this show.
Devil Beside You
This is a show that my friend has been telling me to watch FOR YEARS. It’s her favorite! It took me forever, but I finally started watching this show the other day. It’s so different from the Korean stuff I usually watch, but I love it all the same.
Mike He ❤
So that pretty much sums up my drama watching year. I can’t wait for all the new dramas to come in the new year!
What do you think? Did I do a pretty good job of drama watching? I’m always looking for new recommendations!
Happy New Year to you all! I hope you have a great start to 2014!
Thanks for reading!