Finally got around to this

Following the cut you will find a ranking of my least to most favorite of the dramas (Japanese, Korean, and Taiwanese) that I finished this year.

I think the whole this is pretty safe, though I do make a few allusions to plot points. So, I'm just going to cover my bases and say potential spoilers for Coffee House, Dal Ja's Spring, Fantasy Couple, Gumiho: Tale of the Fox's Child, Hotaru no Hikari 2, Iris, Kekkon Dekinai Otoko, Liar Game 2, My Girlfriend is a Gumiho, Natsu no Koi wa Nijiiro ni Kagayaku, Oh My Lady, Playful Kiss, Prosecutor Princess, Shokojo Seira, Smile You, Smiling Pasta, Something Happened in Bali, Sunao ni Narenakute, Tsuki no Koibito, and Yankee-kun to Megane-chan.

It's one big ol' image. JSYK )

Final Thoughts: I have to say, 2010 was a bit of a disappointment for me on the drama front. Nothing I watched this year merited a five star ranking on my own personal Drama Rankings. Maybe I'm just getting bitter in my old age, because my top two dramas I adored yet just couldn't bring myself to call them nearly perfect. But honestly, I wonder if I rewatched some of those 5 star dramas if I wouldn't demote them now. I watched them when the world of dramas was still mostly shiny, new, and wonderful. I thought everything was great back then. AH WELL.

What I can say is that there was a crop of excellent female characters, it's just too bad they were stuck in such middling (Eun Young, Coffee House) or straight-up awful (Maemi, Tsuki no Koibito) dramas.

Here is hoping for better results next year! I'm going to start 2011 off by finishing up Joseon X-Files and then either Chuno, Secret Garden, Story of a Man, or City Hall.
So I watched the 3rd episode of Sunao ni Narenakute and am still really enjoying it. But there was one thing that stood out to me:

When Nakaji's tattoo-sharing ladyfriend told Haru that she had met him in Bali, all I could think was "WELL THIS ISN'T GOING TO END WELL."

Thanks to Something Happened in Bali I know exactly what happens to couples that meet there, and it'a not as nice as you might think!

Plus, the actress who plays this woman was Miwa from A Million Stars and we all know how well that ended for everyone. GOOD TIMES.  :D


SO, I finished Something Happened in Bali and quickly moved on to Fantasy Couple because I needed something as light-hearted and fun as Bali was depressing and soul-crushing.

Seriously, I don't believe any other drama has so nearly convinced me that the human race is nothing more than a collection of incredibly selfish and self-serving villains. At least in Maou there were some glimpses of good. In Bali, nothing of the sort. Even our heroine who began the show as a bright spot of spunk and determination despite her situation was soon revealed to be just as money-hungry as everyone else.

I don't think anyone on that show was capable of caring about anything other than their own feelings. Even for how much Jae Min loved Soo Jung, what mattered (in the VERY TRAGIC END) was how he felt. So even though I really wanted to root for him because he had been through so much and fought so hard, it was impossible. Love as no place in the world of Bali, because while Soo Jung claimed to love her pride was always more important. Better to take care of yourself than risk anything.

Liar Game 2 was pretty much what I expected it to be - a weak retread of the original series. Liar Game never really felt like a true drama to me, more like a very fun reality show. The problem that Liar Game faces is keeping people engaged. It's just as easy to get sucked in as it is to have your eyes glaze over. This happens for me whenever the games go on for multiple episodes. It all gets so convoluted that nothing makes sense and you just want Akiyama to win already because you know he will. That was the main issue with LG2, there were too many looooong games, especially that gold-smuggling one. It wasn't even that clever and just went. on. for.e.v.e.r.

That's why I think the movie is going to be really good. They have a small timeframe to work in and I'm sure they will make the best of it.

I just have ONE episode of Fantasy Couple left and I'm not going to be able to get to it for a couple of days and it's killing me. I just want Anna and Chul Soo to have their happily ever after already. The series chugged along so nicely in the beginning, but these last two eps have dragged. It's like the writers realized they wanted some angst so they threw in some half-cooked reason why the leads had to be apart.

It's mopey and not nearly as fun as the rest of the series was. If they wanted angst they should have done more with that girl who loved Chul Soo. Wasted opportunity in my opinion. She was so close to being wickedly evil but never quite reached it.

That being said, I'm pretty sure I want to do a post solely about Jo Anna, because she is AMAZING. What a great character.

Also, Smile, You got extended AGAIN. I'm already behind 5 episodes thanks to viikii hiccuping and links getting broken. I may cry.
REMINDER: Vote now in the Drama Boyfriend Playoffs. I'll leave the Conference Championships up through Friday.

I watched the first episode of Wallflower/Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge/Perfect Girl Evolution/WHATEVER (I'm going to stick with Wallflower since that's how the majority of my flist refer to it) and I think I might have hated it. It was pretty insane. Now, I don't mind insane. I adored Hana Kimi after all. But this just felt like a giant mess.

The entire episode was just so manic. I felt like they were cutting to different camera shots and scenes every 5 minutes. They never let your eyes just rest and follow a scene through. It was like a kid who'd had too much soda. The drama was bouncing off the walls. I'll give it one more episode and put it aside, I have other things I want to watch.

Of course, I could just be hyper sensitive given the other drama I'm watching is Something Happened in Bali which is about as polar opposite a drama as you could get. Maybe I'm experiencing drama hypothermia.

Speaking of Bali, MAN is it depressing. It makes you kind of lose faith in humanity. Everyone is either evil or irrevocably damaged. Not exactly an uplifting story. No wonder I don't watch that many melodramas (or really any at all). This is getting really tough for me to trudge through and I know it's only going to get worse. D:

Smile, You made me cry again. I'm very grateful that Jung In's father has finally grown up. I like how they've dealt with it though, he's still very much the same man, he just finally feels some responsibility for his actions and his family. I'm very concerned, however, at what Hyun Soo's mother is cooking up.

VAMPIRE DIARIES is back tonight. I'm not at all ashamed at how excited this makes me.

ETA: OH, but to prove I don't rot my brain all the time, I am reading A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (he also wrote The Kite Runner) and it's wonderfully written but completely heartbreaking.
First, if you haven't voted here, go now! I need help classifying all our great drama boyfriends.

I saw the new Sherlock Holmes movie this weekend and it was very fun. Granted, the extent of what I know about Holmes canon can be summed up here. But I did see it with [ profile] csense_ilinmn who has been reading the stories since we were in diapers and she loved it too. There are hints of the original, she told me, but it is very much a Hollywood take on the whole thing.

The actual 'mystery' was pretty lacking, but the effects were great. I'm really glad I saw it on the big screen. Having said all that, Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law were fantastic. They MADE the movie.

Finally had some time to clean the house today. I feel a lot better. One of the many things I hate about winter is not being able to open the windows. Everything feels so stale. Yuck.

Up through episode 8 of What Happened in Bali and am really enjoying it (and dreading what is to come, of course). But really, Korea, isn't it a little early to start busting about the flashbacks? Especially for stuff that happened about two scenes ago.

Also, none of So Ji Sub's suits are tailored properly and it's driving me crazy. He constantly looks like a little kid trying on daddy's clothes.
Yesterday, I made a deal with the devil [ profile] dangermousie (along with several others). If I agreed to watch Something Happened in Bali she would watch any drama of my choosing. I hemmed and hawed and eventually jumped in despite the staggering number of dramas I already want to watch and my instinctive nature to stay away from dramas that I know are going to stab me in the gut. But it was too good an opportunity to ignore, because now I can make her watch Vineyard Man which, for all its flaws, I adore a ridiculous amount. The story is hackneyed and the production values are non-existant, but that just makes me love it MORE. I don't think I've ever inhaled a drama like I did Vineyard Man. The love story between Taek Gi and Ji Hyun is simply delightful. It makes my heart go all doki-doki.

ANYWAY, [ profile] dangermousie has stayed away from it because the male lead is less than a super model. This is very true, but Oh Man Suk was able to infuse Taek Gi with so much country charm by the end of the series you want to marry him. He's pretty much my ultimate drama boyfriend. But that begged the question - who would everyone else choose? I know [ profile] darkeyedwolf is partial to Taek Gi herself and [ profile] sailorgaia would choose Oh Dal Gun from Bad Family in a heartbeat, but what about the rest of the flist (that watches dramas, of course)?

To ease my curiosity (and waste some time) I decided to put together the Drama Boyfriends Playoffs (in honor of the upcoming NFL playoffs - GO COLTS!). I'm not sure how I'm going to split everyone up (Jdrama conference? I dunno), but I know I want to use some kind of seeded selection so I need votes!

Comment with your TOP 12 drama boyfriends ranked from favorite to not-quite-as-favorite in the comments. Hopefully that will give me enough overlap to have something to go on.

My Example:

1. Taek Gi (The Vineyard Man)
2. Taro (Utahime) 
3. Han Kyul (Coffee Prince)
4. Mars (ToGetHer) 
5. Woo Wan (Capital Scandal)
6. Hyun Soo (Smile, You)
7. Halu (Pride)
8. Eiji (Bara no nai Hanaya)
9. Dal Gun (Bad Family)
10. Gil Dong (Hong Gil Dong)
11. Buchou (Hotaru no Hikari)
12. Hwal (Triple)



November 2012

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