DRAMA ALERT!!!! These episodes were tough on our feelings weren’t they?
Emotional, heart-breaking, frustrating, angering. I think those were the feelings we all had watching this past weekends episodes. I don’t usually write blogs for later episodes of a drama, but I saw so much DRAMA going on in the AsianWiki comments for Start-Up! I don’t know if because this show was released on Netflix if it got a lot of new Kdrama fans but it seems people don’t understand how Kdramas are written. People don’t quite understand the first lead, second lead concept and are barely experiencing it for the very first time. Having been around watching dramas since 2012, and having seen second leads not get the girl for so long, has honestly made me numb to it. Newbies though, seem to be having a hard time accepting reality. I’m not here to criticize them though because I’ve been there. I’m here to talk about WHY Dosan is the lead and why Ji Pyeong is the second lead, and why it makes complete sense.
Our poor baby Ji Pyeong. He’s great, honestly I love the actor who plays him. If you failed to recognize his charms and potential in 100 Days My Prince, that was your loss! Sorry it took you guys this long! But he’s great, definitely been on my radar and I hope he gets a good lead role soon, he’s cute, handsome, charming, funny…I can go on, I love him. HOWEVER, we are talking about Ji Pyeong, honestly the character is probably closer to my type, he’s smart, intellectual, stylish, straightforward, rich (haha!) but let’s be real, just because he’s my type doesn’t mean he is Dal Mi’s type. He’s a human being though, he has flaws. He’s arrogant, he’s a know it all, he’s cold, he lacks tact, he has no friends, he’s a workaholic. Our man isn’t perfect, he’s cute but he isn’t perfect.
Let’s talk about Dosan now.
In my case, I have not been a fan of Nam Joo Hyuk until now, he’s personally too playful and boyish looking to be my type but his character has really grown on me. Nam Do San, is not a prince, FAR FROM IT. He’s not a rich chaebol, he’s clumsy, he doesn’t have a way with words, he’s awkward, emotional. The complete opposite of who we are used to seeing as a male lead in dramas. He has both good qualities and bad ones. He’s a coding genius, he has a close tight knit group of friends (which means he’s a good friend if he’s been able to keep them) he’s kind, he’s learned to be honest, he’s not selfish, he cares about the feelings of others. He’s not perfect though, just like Ji Pyeong he has human like flaws. He’s a bit slow, he lacks ambition, he lacks confidence, he doesn’t control his anger well, he’s an overly emotional guy, he has too many insecurities.
However, the question is, which guy is the right one for DAL MI. Not for me, not for you, but for the character of this drama and honestly, she’s definitely formed a bond and connection with the real Nam Do San.
Ji Pyeong didn’t even like Dal Mi! Not 15 years ago, and not at the start of the drama. He wrote those letters in exchange of Won Deok’s approval. Ji Pyeong’s character doesn’t need romantic love, he needs familial love. He grew up without feeling that type of love, and for him the most important person in his life has always been Won Deok, Dal Mi’s grandma. She showed him love, and care, and warmth. If he’s even a little bit human it’s because of her act of kindness. However, had he not crossed paths with Won Deok again, he would have remained ice cold, blunt, and friendless.
Dosan in a way is the opposite. He grew up with a family, a loving family, but with a toxic father. His father always shoving his own dreams into Dosan’s head from an early age, as an only child, all the attention went to him. What Dosan’s character needs, is not familial love, he has plenty, it’s not love from his friends, because he has plenty of that too, but rather love and support from someone who truly likes him for who he is, who will be there cheering him on, not because they are family and they must be there for him, not friends, but a romantic love, that shares the same dreams as him. He fell for Dal Mi because of her support for his dreams, her ambition, her confidence, everything he’s not.
Dal Mi on the other hand had been in love with a fictional character basically for 15 years. Nam Do San from 15 years ago that she was penpals with did not exist. It was a made up character written by Won Deok and Ji Pyeong. Though some of his feelings were expressed in the letters, he wrote those letters as his duty to Won Deok, had he really had feelings for Dal Mi back then, he would have introduce himself. He could have looked for her too all this time, and he didn’t. Had he also met Dal Mi as the girl working part time at a coffee shop, he honestly wouldn’t have fallen for her. He fell in love with the girl she was becoming once she gained confidence from Do San. Dal Mi got the courage to follow her dreams again after meeting Do San and becoming inspired by him starting up his own business. Had she not shown her awesome creativity and intelligence by becoming a CEO for SamSan Tech, he wouldn’t have ever been attracted to her because she wasn’t at his level.
AGAIN, I love Ji Pyeong, he’s just so mature, while Do San is young and inexperienced, so naturally, we find ourselves rooting for the handsome, mature man, but Dal Mi is young and inexperienced too. She finds herself most comfortable being casual, vulnerable, learning and making mistakes, with Do San.
There’s no doubt that Ji Pyeong’s letters, helped her, gave her a friend when she needed one the most, but right now, who she’s come to love is Dosan. He’s her best friend, her partner, her inspiration. That’s why they make sense.
ALL I WANT NOW IS FOR ALL OF THEM TO BE HAPPY. Yes, all of them, In Jae too. I can’t wait to see how the last 4 episodes unfold. Regardless of who ends ups with who, I care more about them all reaching their dreams, to see their hard work finally pay off. To see them all happy as friends, successful, and still dreaming on.
If this drama ends well, I think it will be in my TOP 10 list of favorite dramas of all time. Let’s hope it all does work out in the end!! Until then…
There’s something SO nice about those end of the year dramas. They always lift my spirits. This new drama definitely has allowed me to dream again, the dreams I had tossed to the trash when this pandemic began.
I had been looking forward to this drama from the moment it was placed on the radar. Suzy and Nam Joo Hyuk return to the Kdrama world with this intriguing drama about two young adults with BIG dreams. The only problem? They aren’t anywhere close to accomplishing those dreams, yet.
Seo Dal Mi (Suzy) is a part-timer college drop out, she still lives with her grandmother but hasn’t let go of her dreams of one day being the next Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg. We learn that she gets that inspiration and innovation from her deceased father, who also had big dreams, dreams way ahead of his time, but he lacked the support. His wife didn’t support his dreams, so she left him and took Seo Dal Mi’s older sister with her. Seo Dal Mi chose to stay by her father’s side and support him in starting up his own company. Her father was so close to accomplishing his dream when an unexpected accident happened and he ended up losing his life. Meanwhile, Seo Dal Mi’s mother remarried a wealthy rich man, and her older sister Seo In-Jae ended up benefiting from her step father’s wealth and even changed her last name. They both grow up to live very distinct lives. Won In Jae (Kang Han Na) lives a luxurious life and is the CEO of her own company that she started with the help of her step father’s money. Seo Dal Mi feels that she made the right decision, to stay by her father’s side, and her goal in life is to prove it to her mother and sister.
Meanwhile the two male leads of this drama are entangled by a lie that was told 15 years in the past, when Seo Dal Mi’s grandma took in an incredibly intelligent orphan teenager named Han Ji Pyeong. To cheer up her granddaughter from her parent’s divorce and her sister leaving, she asks the teen to write letters to her granddaughter pretending to be her admirer. The grandma and Ji Pyeong spend a year writing these letters together but under the name of a different person, the name of a random boy named Nam Do San that was on the newspaper for winning a Mathematical Olympiad game. So for the past 15 years, Seo Dal Mi has believed that a boy named Nam Do San wrote those letters to her for a year. She fantasizes of this mysterious boy for the next 15 years, thinking he was real and that he was her first love. She’s left wondering who he was, and what he looked like.
Flash forward, 15 years later, Seo Dal Mi, in order to save face, lies to her successful older sister, and tells her that she is actually starting up a business with this man named Nam Do San, and promises they will attend her sisters party. The real Nam Do San then enters the picture, but he is nothing like what she imagined. He’s smart for sure, but he’s not successful, his company can’t even get an investor. His office is a little shack he shares with his friends, and he was only able to afford the shack because he borrowed money from his parents.
Meanwhile, Han Ji Pyeong, went from orphan, to one of the wealthiest men in Korea, a super well known professional investor. Although he didn’t write the letters on his own, he feels a responsibility to Seo Dal Mi and vows to her grandmother that he will help Seo Dal Mi save face at this party and make the REAL Nam Do San show up. So after 15 years, Dal Mi finally meets this Nam Do San, and they both find themselves instantly smitten. In her case, believing she finally met her first love, and in his case, finally meeting someone that believes in him and thinks he’s cool.
AH! I REALLY WANT THESE TWO CHARACTERS TO SUCCEED. SO BAD.
I guess I see myself in them, we all have these dreams, these goals but they sometimes seem almost impossible. I love how both of them are determined to succeed, even when people have told them NO, even when they have been criticized for being hopeless dreamers.
I look forward to seeing their romance develop, and see how far they get with this lie. She’s bound to find out he’s not the one that replied to her letters. Her sister is also going to find out that Dal Mi was lying all this time. Han Ji Pyeong will inevitably regret not telling Dal Mi the truth from the start and revealing that it was actually him who wrote those letters with her grandmother.
I highly recommend you guys start watching this drama, trust me, it’s not a boring storyline, rather its kind of inspiring. The OST is already AMAZING too. I also really like the humor and the cinematography. It feels so fresh, so motivating! Will you join me in watching Start-Up on Netflix? I hope you do! I am sure it’s going to be a SUPER fun ride.
I can’t believe Summer is nearly OVER here in California! However, another season means…NEW KDRAMAS! While I’m waiting for Flower of Evil to end (Really good drama recommendation if you aren’t watching it already) I had to find a replacement so that I won’t feel as empty when it’s over. I stumbled upon Lies of Lies and said “Eh, let’s give it a try even if I’m not familiar with the actors”. This drama, like Flower of Evil, draws me in because it focuses more on adult relationships. Not your teenage first love infatuation stories, but rather serious relationships with an older cast and how these older characters navigate their challenges. To me, that’s something I enjoy watching from time to time. Yes, first love, silly romcoms are fun, entertaining and lovable, but it’s also nice to see “love” from a different point of view, in this case, from a divorced man’s perspective, and from a woman who was abused in her previous marriage.
This drama focuses on the main character Ji Eun Soo played by the very beautiful actress Lee Yu Ri (I want to look like her when I’m 40!). Ji Eun Soo had it all, a good job and good looks, this attracted the son of a chaebol family, it seems he pursued her and eventually married her. This should have been the happy ending, Cinderella gets the prince, the fortune, but that’s not what happens to Ji Eun Soo. She ends up discovering this chaebol prince is an evil violent man, who physically abuses of her. She discovers she’s pregnant with his child and tries to run away from her husband, but he ends up finding her, dragging her back home and almost attempts to kill her. We don’t know what exactly happens next, but she ends ups waking up on the floor of the apartment with a knife in her hand and her husband now dead on the ground. Without being able to prove her innocence, she is then sentenced to prison for 10 years for murdering her husband. Having to give birth at a prison, and then later giving away her baby to her evil mother in law who says she will give her baby a better life.
Ji Eun Soo spends the next 10 years in prison waiting to reunite with her daughter, her only motivation these past 10 years to keep enduring the pain.
Meanwhile, Kang Ji Min, played by Yeon Jeong Hun, is a journalist. Him and his wife keep trying to have children but it seems his wife is infertile and she suffers several miscarriages, so they end up adopting a baby, Ji Eun Soo’s baby. For awhile they are a happy family, until Kang Ji Min discovers his wife is cheating on him. Their marriage falls apart and they get a divorce, leaving Kang Ji Min to finish raising his daughter alone.
Kang Ji Min and Ji Eun Soo’s lives intertwine when Ji Eun Soo comes out of prison looking for her daughter and finds out Kang Ji Min is now the adoptive father of her child. She decides that the only way she can be close to her daughter is by become her daughter’s step mother, so she plots to make Kang Ji Min fall in love with her.
I am in love with the chemistry between these two characters and the chemistry they both have with their daughter.
Ji Eun Soo is a kind, caring, creative woman, so there’s no doubt that Kang Ji Min WILL fall in love with her, in my opinion, he will fall helplessly in love. Kang Ji Min is also a very charming, sweet caring man, the complete contrast of her ex husband who would beat her up, so I think although she is planning on doing this for her daughter, she will end up falling for Kang Ji Min, and end up regretting lying to him and using him for her advantage because he will love her the way she always deserved to be loved.
I cannot wait to see how their relationship develops, if she gets to finally get closer to her daughter, and how Kang Ji Min’s ex wife reacts to the new woman in his life!
Can these troubled souls find happiness in each other?
Hopeless romantics, I feel you, there’s nothing worse than trying to find a good movie or show to watch and being left with the same old classics to simply rewatch. It seems like lately, at least in Hollywood, no one is making movies for the hopeless romantics anymore and the ones they attempt to write, just don’t have that spark that older classics like 13 going on 30 did! Well, that’s exactly why I love Korean dramas, they are some of the few shows out there that can still make anyone swoon and sigh and feel like there might still be hope to have that dream like love story!
Here is my personal list of the Top 10 Best Dramas for the hopeless romantic souls!
Extraordinary You is a new one, this one came out in 2019. At first sight, this drama may look like it’s only for a very young audience. The characters are high school students, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve been out of high school for longer than you want to admit. However, this drama beautifully depicts that 첫사랑 or “first love” notion in a very untraditional way. The characters in this drama aren’t simple high schoolers, they are characters living in The World Of Comics! Yes, the lead character Eun Dan Oh realizes she not only isn’t the lead character of her life, but of the comic she’s living in, she’s just a mere extra! (I can relate). Everyone has a character “set up” in the comic, and they are basically bound to it. Even when the characters become self aware, and they start wanting to change their own storyline, their set up holds them back from making any progress! Imagine being a character in a comic, who is simply there to support the leads, whose set up is to die from a weak heart, and never truly receive the love they deserve? Everything is hopeless until the mysterious no named boy shows up, giving our homegirl Dan Oh a reason to keep trying to change her characters fate.
This one is an oldie but a goodie. Like real good. So good, I’ve watched it like 4 times, and that’s a lot for me who can’t typically rewatch dramas I’ve already seen. This drama came out in 2012, but they have yet to write another one like this one. The story is about a young man named Kang Ma Roo, he’s a medical student and he has a younger sister who is sick that he must take care of. He is also very much extremely infatuated with his childhood friend Jae Hee, he would do anything for her, and he does, this innocent man, decides to take the blame for a crime Jae Hee commits. He spends time in prison while the woman he loves and took blame for, becomes the wife to a rich old man!
Trying to cope with the betrayal, he makes some questionable choices in his life, however, Kang Ma Roo’s life eventually intertwines with Jae Hee’s again when he ends up saving her step daughter, chaebol heiress Eun Gi on a plane. He seeks revenge, so he plots to seduce Jae Hee’s step daughter, and bring Jae Hee down. However, he ends up realizing that what he felt for Jae Hee wasn’t true love, or love at all. Eun Gi begins to fall in love with him and deeply, and by the time Ma Roo realizes he sincerely loves her too, he is already too deep in his lies and knows the truth would only hurt Eun Gi. This drama has it all, love, revenge, thrill, comedy, action, and sweet moments. You will be glued to the screen, and still think about this drama for years to come. I mean, it’s been 8 years for me and it still tops my list of favorite Kdramas of ALL TIME.
My goodness, I don’t even know where to begin with this one. THIS drama will live on as one of the best Korean dramas in history. There’s a reason why there’s still so much hype for it. The writer and director of this drama really outdid themselves. I think something else that makes this drama so perfect has a lot to do with the cast, and the perfect chemistry between the two leads.
This is the story of a woman named Seri, who although she is an heiress there is much more to her than meets the eye. She had a rough childhood and she has practically no ally or friend in her life. People are just around her because they are her subordinates and she’s the one that gives them a paycheck, but still, she is at least very successful at running her company, Seri’s Choice. Through a crazy accident, she finds herself lost in a forest, thinking she is still somewhere in South Korea, but to her surprise, she finds out she is actually in communist North Korea! She encounters a soldier who discovers she has trespassed into North Korea. Together they plan how to get her back to South Korea, but little do they know how difficult that parting will ultimately be. This drama is everything. ALL the characters were so wonderfully written and casted, you will fall in love with all the secondary characters in this drama but without them outshining the leads and their beautiful timeless story. This drama is long distance relationship taken to a whole new level, a love separated by borders that absolutely can’t be crossed.
This drama came out in 2018 and it was one of the highest rated Kdramas that year. It’s super fun, if you’re a fan of romantic comedies, this will be a perfect match for you. If this is your first historically based drama, you will be very intrigued by the interesting customs, culture and clothes from Joseon era!
It’s a bit hard for me to explain the plot of this drama without giving too much away. The drama is about a crowned prince of the Joseon Dynasty, his father overthrew the last king and caused a lot of pain to a lot of people. He has despised his position as crowned prince since, and refuses to consummate his marriage with the Vice Premier’s daughter. Joseon is undergoing a terrible drought and they blame it all on the crown prince for not consummating his marriage, so they pressure him even more. The Crowned Prince becomes angry that they are only blaming him and only pressuring him so he decides to make a decree that every single person in Joseon must marry by a deadline. Every single person. (I would cry). A woman named Hong Shim finds herself shocked by this absurd decree, she is the oldest unmarried woman in her village and the men left to choose from in the village are not exactly the ideal man for her or for anyone. She refuses to marry and they sentence her to 100 floggings. The crowned prince is then found by Hong Shim’s father, injured and suffering from amnesia after being ambushed by assassins. Hong Shim’s father not knowing who this man is, but taking advantage of his amnesia, says he is Hong Shim’s fiancé and that they will marry, all to avoid his daughter getting painfully flogged. This is how Hong Shim, and ordinary girl, finds herself in a marriage with the crowned prince of Joseon! Trust me, it seems complicated but it’s really not, it’s a really nice drama, with laughter and romance. Who doesn’t want a prince, at least for 100 days?
I love this drama so, so much and you will too. This drama just recently won Best Screenplay and The Grand Prize at the 56th Baeksang Art Awards. Not to mention cutie Kang Ha Neul’s award for Best Actor. This drama is absolutely gorgeously written. I’m not too big of a fan of mystery thrillers, but this one managed to combine mystery and romantic comedy perfectly. Which means this drama will keep you on the edge of your seat, but also give you enough romance that leaves you wanting to find a true love like this one.
Story takes place in a town called Ongsan. A single mom named Dong Baek moves to the town to start a new life, people judge her for nearly anything, but she becomes the center of attention when she decides to open up a bar named Camellia, time goes by and her business continues to grow and she remains in Ongsan with her son Pil Gu. Meanwhile Yong Sik, an Ongsan native, is transferred from his police position in Seoul back to Ongsan, and he happens to encounter Dong Baek and falls in love at first sight knowing very little about her, especially the fact that she is a single mom.
However even after he finds out, he has fallen for her so much that he isn’t willing to give her up for that kind of reason. He pursues her so honestly and sincerely its comical. Dong Baek is so taken aback by it at first, haven’t ever been the one to be pursued in her whole life. In the meantime, there is a serial killer in Ongsan called The Joker, who they haven’t been able to find since he committed several homicides. Dong Baek is then caught up in the whole mess since she was the only witness of one of the several murder crimes. It’s up to Yong Sik and his crew to figure out who the killer is before the killer sets his eyes on Dong Baek once more.
I’m telling you, you won’t regret watching this drama, it’s one for the books.
This one is quite similar to When The Camellia Blooms because it’s also good at mixing up good romance, comedy and some thrill! It’s a total swoon worthy drama, I mean Lee Jong Suk (WE MISS YOU) he’s a total hottie and well known actor in Kdrama world, he’s known for his amazing chemistry with the leading actresses he has worked with, this one is no exception!
This is the story of a woman named Nam Hong Joo who at first appears to be a nobody who just lazes around but is actually a well known reporter on leave from work. She has the ability to dream about future events, she’s tormented by these dreams since not all of them are good and there is nothing she can do to stop them from coming true. That is until she meets the literal man of her dreams, a man she dreamt about and he changes the outcome of a dream she had already believe to be set in stone. It turns out he too has these types of dreams. They team up to ultimately understand why these dreams are happening and why he has the ability to change them.
There’s also a second lead, super cute guy, but just watch it for yourself, you may develop second lead syndrome!
This drama is also an older one, it came out in 2013, but it truly does qualify as a classic. The popularity of this drama was immense during its prime time. Jun Ji Hyun is easily one of the best actresses in Korea, so this drama was guaranteed to do well but it did more than well because of the likability and quality acting from all the supporting actors/actresses too.
This drama is about an alien named Do Min Joon, ( I know, he doesn’t look anything like your typical depiction of aliens in America) who arrives on earth during the Joseon Dynasty and fails to return back home. He remains stuck on Earth for 400 years, having to switch identities often since he ages differently than humans. He ends up meeting a famous actress named Cheon Song Yi, who reminds him of someone he had met 400 years back. He saves her once, and then again, and then he can’t help but get himself involved in her life even though he promised himself to not get close to anyone since he would have to leave Earth shortly. Cheon Song Yi is quite the handful too, she gets herself in a lot of trouble but deep down isn’t the stuck up top actress she wants everyone to believe her to be, she is a caring person, sure a bit of an airhead, but she ultimately has a big heart that doesn’t just crave fame but rather seeks friendship and warmth.
You’ll love it, I promise, even if he is from another star.
This drama is every fangirls dream, I suppose it was written as an ode to the fangirl. This drama is sweet, romantic, and the chemistry between the leads is fantastic, and it has a good message in the end.
This drama is about a grown woman who at first sight appears as nothing other than a super professional, art curator. It looks like she has her life completely together, her style is on point, she’s got a career and everything. However, she has a secret life, one so secret and private that no one must know about, she’s a fangirl! I’m not talking about the casual fan either. I’m talking about the kind that runs a fan club, who follows her bias to get good photos of him, and has a house full of posters, art, merch of her favorite Kpop idol. Everything is going well and according to her plans, until she meets Ryan Gold, who becomes the director at the gallery she works in. They go through a couple misunderstandings and eventually Ryan learns her secret, but she remains unaware. Ryan begins to take interest in her and her little side hobby of fangirling.
This drama is beautiful because it doesn’t shame the fangirls, rather it encourages us to find someone who supports us and loves us for who we are, even if we have silly hobbies. It also gives us hope of one day finding true love, and fangirling over the man who wins our hearts instead of simply being a fangirl for someone we don’t know. There is hope for us, we can find our Ryan Gold.
This drama made me cry several times. It’s funny, it’s heart warming, and it makes you really think about life.
This is the story of a girl named Woo Seo Ri who was 17, she was in school, she was happy, she had a best friend and they would wonder about what their lives would be like when they turned 30 years old. Woo Seo Ri was a violin prodigy and her future looked bright, that is until she got into a big accident and ended up in a coma for 13 years. Gong Woo Jin had a secret crush on Woo Seo Ri when they were both 17, but he became a very aloof person after he believes he was to blame for the accident that happened 13 years back. They end up meeting again after she wakes up from a coma, but both without knowing each others identities and the past they both shared. This drama is about friendship and healing, and falling in love with the very person who helps you heal and grow.
We are finally at the end of our list. Doctor John is a drama that changed my outlook on life. It wasn’t afraid to talk about controversial topics, but allowing you to see the different sides of the spectrum. I personally am a big fan of medical dramas and shows, this one focuses on anesthesiologists. I’m used to seeing dramas about cardiologist or neurosurgeons, but never about those who specialize in pain. The cases are unique and new to viewers. However this drama isn’t just about medical cases, it’s about allowing yourself to be loved, cared for, and cherished even if you think you aren’t deserving of it or that your situation, or health may be a burden to others. It’s also about terminal illnesses and how to cope with the pains of life, both physical and mental.
This drama is focused on a doctor named Cha Yo Han, who is really good at his job, but ends up in prison for making a questionable choice with a patient’s life. The drama also revolves around Kang Shi Young, a very warm doctor who also made a choice in her past with a patient’s life that still haunts her. The two doctors end up having to work together in the same department.
This is one quality drama I highly recommend.
Where You Can Watch It: Viki
Well there you have it, so many swoon worthy dramas to choose from! I feel confident that at least one drama on this list will become a new favorite for you. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!