Cherry here again, at the end of another drama year. I got some quality drama-watching time in this year, even though I didn’t watch nearly as many as some of the others *cough*Amber&Pamela*cough*. I’ll admit up- front that I didn’t watch — or at least, I didn’t finish — some of the more popular dramas of the year (My Love From Another Star and Fated to Love You, I’m looking at you), but that said, I ended up finding some all-time favorites, so it all works out in the end. And here we go!
Misaeng (Incomplete Life)
Not only is this my favorite drama of the year, it’s also now one of my top five of all time. I almost didn’t watch it, since a story about salarymen and -women in a large company really doesn’t seem all that interesting. And what a loss that would have been. Truly. I mean, I’d never have met our kid, Jang Geu Rae, and watched his journey from lost intern to valued member of the team. Or Manager Oh, grumpy and burned out hero to Jang Geu Rae (and me, truth be told). Or Dong Shik. Or Geu Rae’s fellow interns, Young Yi, Baek Ki, and Seok Yul. Their experiences felt so real and true that I found myself, on more than one occasion, finishing an episode with tears running down my face, only to head right into the next one, because as hard as their road was, even when it got dark, and I didn’t know how they’d pull through, their stories of friendship and teamwork gave me hope and inspiration. Wow, that sounds extra cheesy, doesn’t it? But it doesn’t make it any less true.
It’s Okay, That’s Love
Pre-Misaeng, this was my top-of-the-year drama, and even though it got displaced, it’s still way, way up there in my estimation. Jang Jae Yeol and Ji Hae Soo aren’t perfect, they each have their own issues (some more serious than others) and prickly personalities that sometimes clash, but once they got together, they were so obviously right for each other, it was a joy to watch. It was great to see a couple so sure that they belonged together and so supportive of each other as they worked their way through the ups and downs of their lives (and boy, were there up and downs).
Listeners of the podcast will recognize this as my Adorable Show, starring my Adorable Couple. While it’s not perfect — there are several storylines and characters I’d have loved to have fast-forwarded through — it hit just the right comfort-watch note with me. One of the main things I liked was that once Jung Da Jung and Seo Jae Woo decided that they belonged together, there wasn’t much that could shake them, which meant I could just sit back and enjoy them being adorable together, for the most part. In a year full of my own, personal stresses, that’s just what I needed.
Let’s just get it out of the way up front. This drama was pure food porn. The way Soo Kyung, Dae Young, and all the others ate and talked about the food gave me cravings every episode, and it’s one of the things I loved about it, but that wouldn’t have held my interest on its own — it also had characters and a plot that kept me amused and interested (although I could have done without the “mystery”). Watching Soo Kyung, Jin Yi, and Dae Young get to know each other and create their own little community, and get a little romance along the way, was really satisfying.
The well-choreographed, and beautifully shot, fight scenes and twisty mystery plot drew me in, but what kept me watching were the three-dimensional characters and the unexpected friendships that developed among them.
And that wraps it up for the year. Hope you all had a good drama-watching 2014, and here’s hoping our 2015 is just as good!