In 2013-2014, my drama watching was still going strong. It’s here that I started branching out to more genres, dipping my toes into other countries, and it will be the first time you see BL pop up in my watching history. We have flower boys, androids, salarymen, time travel, and a man known as Doctor’s Son. An exciting time in dramas and a lot of these I could see myself tossing aside my current watch list and giving them a thorough rewatch!
Ando Lloyd – A.I. Knows Love ?
Reiji Matsushima is a genius physicist. He realizes that he and his fiancé Asahi Ando will be killed because of the theory he advanced. One day, in the year 2013, Reiji dies in an airplane explosion. He was a handsome and world-famous professor who studied wormhole theories. It is a mystery whether his research on wormhole theory caused his death or not. His fiance, Asahi, is a capable career woman working at a large IT company. She is beautiful and smart, but she met Reiji and fell in love with him. Her days with Reiji were happy, but, one day, he dies, and somebody tries to kill her. Asahi doesn’t know why someone wants to end her life. Lloyd, who looks exactly like her dead fiance Reiji, suddenly appears in front of her. Lloyd came from the year 2113. His mission is to protect Asahi from any risky situations. Without Asahi’s knowledge, Lloyd fights to protect her. Lloyd doesn’t know what “love” is and doesn’t understand human anger or sadness. At first, Asahi doesn’t like Lloyd, but slowly her feelings change. Lloyd also begins to develop feelings for her
I watched this after I fell down a Kimura Takuya hole and binged all of his back catalog. It was weird to see him jump all around in age. This was him as a full older adult… who still manages to keep his mane of glory. A.I Knows Love was a fun and interesting drama with people missing in dimensions, hot killer robots, and well, Kimura Takuya. 😀
Jung Shi Hyun is a newly appointed under-boss of the drug cartel. He lives in the shadows. No one knows his true name. No one knows his identity except the ones he calls friends. When Jung Shi Hyun is accused of murder, he is determined to find out who really killed the girlfriend of Ji Hyung Min. But is it really only for himself? Or does he have another reason to find out who killed her?
Ji Hyung Min is a detective who is seeking revenge for the death of his girlfriend. He only has one suspect in mind, Doctor’s Son. He’s determined to catch him and kill him for what he has done. But no one knows what Doctor’s Son looks like or any details about him, so how is he supposed to know who he is and how to find him? He proceeds on a long journey to fight for justice.
I remember watching Cruel City as my Christmas show one year. All I wanted for Christmas was mobsters, prostitutes and undercover cops, I guess. Cruel City, also known as Heartless City was bleak, sad, and kick-ass. Doctor’s Son? SWOON. There were some amazing fight scenes here. If you’re looking for a happy ending, keep moving, but a fun, stressful, action-packed time? Yeah, this is Cruel City for you… especially if you can find a version that doesn’t blur out the back tattoo.
Flower Boy Next Door
This is a drama about a girl, Go Dok Mi who is a shut-in Miss Lonelyhearts type, who spends her days spying on the man living in next building. She is caught spying by her other neighbor, Enrique Geum. Meanwhile, Oh Jin Rok is the man who notices her from long ago, and knows everything about her and will fall in love with her.
Go Dok Mi is a ′city Rapunzel′ who never ventures outdoors, yet has her own set of charms that makes men go weak. Oh Jin Rok is a scruffy manhwa artist. Enrique Geum is a genius creative director, who is good-looking, stylish and bohemian and can′t get enough of soccer. He will form a love line with Go Dok Mi.
The last of the official Flower Boy series is probably my favorite. Yoon Shi Yoon as Enrique? It was a long cry from seeing him as the angsty runaway in Me Too Flower, but I loved him in both roles. Flower Boy Next Door was just so much fun to watch and now I’m wondering why I’ve never rewatched.
Nine: Nine Times Time Travel
Park Sun Woo works as an anchorman at a TV broadcasting station. He is in love with news reporters Joo Min Young, who is bright and honest. Park Sun Woo then obtains 9 incense items, which allows him to go back 20 years in time. Sun Woo travels to the past in an attempt to keep his family safe in order to change the world he lives in today. However, this is not without consequences for his actions in the past affects the lives of many in the present, including his crush.
I might always mock the name of this series. Nine: Nine Times Time Travel is not the easiest show to name, but man was it a rollercoaster to watch. One of those shows that you NEVER knew what was going to happen and if you did, the very next time he went back and time and changed the future? Everything changed. There were a lot of questions about what the ending meant but I feel like I’m okay with it. Or the rest of the show was twisty and weird, of course, the ending had to be the same.
Set in 1994, six university students from various provincial areas live together at a boarding house in Sinchon, Seoul, which is run by a couple with a daughter named Na Jung. The timeline moves back and forth between the past in 1994 and the present in 2013, making the viewers guess who will become Na Jung’s husband among the male characters.
I feel like I actually liked Reply 1994 more than the original 1997, but really there were parts I love about both shows. This one the ‘who does she choose’ was even less believable than the previous but that’s okay for me, I actually don’t love a love triangle. Trash Oppa though? Swoon, I could marry one of those myself. Plus the time in history they chose was very interesting and the episode with the shopping mall collapse? I cried SO HARD.
To combat rising violent crimes, the Police Chief asks Detective Oh Goo Tak to form a team consisting of criminals. Detective Oh Goo Tak is currently suspended from the police force for using excessive force. Detective Oh Goo Tak gathers team members: Park Woong Cheol who is a gangster, Lee Jung Moon who is the youngest serial killer with extraordinary intelligence and Jung Tae Soo who is a contract killer.
Also, Police Inspector Yoo Mi Young joins the team. She tries to have the guys work as a team by dealing with them rationally and sometimes emotionally.
Sometimes you watch a show because of the premise and sometimes? You watch it because the promos were dead sexy. I’ll just let you guess which one Bad Guys was. But the premise and the show was both awesome and sexy as hell. I loved the story of the various bad guys having to use their skills to work together in order to solve crimes.
Boss & Me
Big conglomerate president Feng Teng has a younger sister, with a very rare blood type, who needs a transfusion. He finds an employee at his company named Xue Shan Shan and asks her for a blood donation. Afterwards brother and sister are rather indebted to Shan Shan, but rather than using Feng Teng’s typical method of paying her off, his sister suggests sending her nutritious packed lunches so Shan Shan can recover from the blood loss and to make the thank you more personal. Shan Shan loves to eat and her enjoyment of the lunches, along with her general bright and sunny personality, slowly start melting cold Feng Teng’s heart.
Not only was cold Feng Teng’s heart melted, so was ours. This couple was just so cute! While I didn’t love the ending of the series (I actually read the online story this stemmed from) I did like that they turned her into a stronger businesswoman at the end. A couple of years ago I attempted a rewatch and fizzled out, but always meant to go back to it. These two are just too cute to never see on the screen again.
In A Good Way
In the summer of 1995, childhood friends Zheng Ren Wei and Lin Jia En took their college entrance exam. Zheng got into a college in Taipei and was ready to start an exciting life in the big city. Lin, unfortunately, failed the test and was stuck in the countryside. Bored out of her mind, Lin decided to go find Zheng and spend her 4th year of high school in Taipei as well.
This is one of those shows that made it to the list only because, as much as I loved the show (and I LOVED) watching the show, I HATED the last quarter of it. The writers took the series we knew and just, ugh, ruined it with forced separation. WHHHYYYYYYY. The show was so good up until that point! I remain bitter to this day.
Nail Shop Paris
A romantic comedy revolving around flower boy nail artists and the happenings around them. It will center the story of Hong Yeo Joo, the writer of an internet novel who dresses up like a boy and gets hired to work at a famous nail shop Paris filled with flower boy nail artists.
Another holiday watch for me. I’m not certain why I submit myself to such hot garbage on my holidays. Perhaps dramas see me looking and go “She’s already in a shit mood, why ruin our good stuff by having her watch it now? Send in Nale Shop Paris!” This drama was a mess. And the weird fantasy ending? Still my brain goes WTF??? They’re gumihos? ReallY? Go EFFF yourself, writers.
The father of Ruthainark is in debt with a man called Lin Lang Ser who is a well known member of the Hong Kong mafia. As the ugly duckling of the family Ruthainark is a very intelligent student but cannot compare with her sister’s beautiful looks. Lin Lang Ser decides to accept her sister as a payback for the high debts of her family, but when the day comes to pay the debt the girl’s father decides to run away with his eldest daughter. As a result of this Ruthainark is captured by Lin Lan Ser’s men and brought to his mansion.
Unlike the other shows on the naughty list, while Cubic was terrible. AND IT WAS TERRIBLE. It was also crack that I couldn’t stop watching. Hours and hours I watched this train wreck because I couldn’t keep my eyes away from it. I bet if I could find it again? I’d sit here and watch it again. But it was TERRIBLE. Don’t watch it. Unless you’re drinking. Then do it and have fun.
Full House (Thai)
Aom is a writer who got swindled out of her house during her trip to Korea. She finds out that her house was sold to Mike and in an attempt to get her possessions back, she enters a contract marriage with Mike for one year. Though she lost everything, Aom remains optimistic and takes things in stride. What started out as a business relationship between the two becomes personal as they start to care for each other.
Remember when we were all crazy over that gif of these two eating an ice cream cone? No, let me see if I can remind you.
Yep, there was no one out there who could resist the Thai version of Full House after seeing this. And the show did not disappoint. I’m not a huge fan of the forced cohabitation trope, but (this version) was super cute.
Seo Jung Hoo is a special kind of night courier, known only as “Healer” by his clients. For the right price and with the help of a genius hacker, he gets his clients whatever they want, as long as it doesn’t involve murder. His latest job leads him to a second-rate tabloid writer, Chae Young Shin, and the successful reporter, Kim Moon Ho. He begins to uncover the mystery of his own shared past with the two reporters, thus putting them all in danger.
Another show where you go… who hasn’t heard of Healer? Who didn’t binge-watch and LOVE Healer? Ji Chang Wook and one of the best actress out there, Park Min Young, with romance, action and amazing fight scenes? If you don’t look at that pic and go, “yeah, I want to rewatch that.” Why are you even here? (Just kidding, MWAH.)
It’s Okay, That’s Love
Despite being a bit of a prickly pear, Jang Jae Yeol has become famous for authoring mystery novels and for hosting a popular radio show. While sitting on a talk show panel with psychiatrist Ji Hae Soo, it became clear to all that the two just rubbed each other the wrong way.
The unthinkable happens when Jae Yeol’s girlfriend plagiarizes his work, forcing him to lie low until the media storm blows over. Only then can he prove his innocence. Jae Yeol moves into a house he owns but rents out. One of the current tenants, is none other than Hae Soo, unwittingly making them roommates. Add to the mix Jo Dong Min, Hae Soo’s senior colleague and fellow psychiatrist, and Park Soo Kwang, a young man with Tourette’s Syndrome. As personalities clash, Jae Yeol and Hae Soo help the other heal from their deeply-rooted emotional scars.
Its Okay That’s Love is both enemies to lovers and forced cohabitation. It was a bit of a rough start, but the whole thing is so worth it. From where you were at the beginning, there was no way you could know where this show was going and where it was broke my heart. It ended up on a good night but the struggle to get there is well worth it.
Various contestants take part in a game show with a prize of 10 billion won. The contestants who can cheat the others wins the prize. Contestants include genius swindler Cha Woo Jin and naive college student Nam Da Jung.
This one was INTERESTING. Everyone was pretty awful and the puzzles were hard, but I found the whole thing fascinating.
Phun has a girlfriend but his father wants him to date his friend’s daughter. Phun’s little sister, Pang, is obsessed with boys’ love. Phun’s father doesn’t listen to Phun well but adores his little sister Pang. So Phun needs to convince Pang that he has a boyfriend so that she can help talk their father out of the idea of dating his friend’s daughter. Noh is in need of a higher school budget for his school club or he will be in huge trouble. Phun knowing he is able to help Noh out with his problem decides to ask Noh to become his fake boyfriend in exchange for helping Noh raise funds for his Music Club. However, the two 17-years-old high school boys eventually fall in love after the deal brought them closer together.
My love of Love Sick is no surprise. It’s on my favorite BL series post (whoops, spoiler) and the pairing of Phun/Noh also appear on my favorite BL couple post. This was the story that sailed a thousand BL Fans, and I am happily one of them.
Marriage, Not Dating
Wealthy plastic surgeon Gong Ki Tae is a successful and happy bachelor who does not want to find himself a wife. He believes that his life is perfectly planned, and being single is the only option he accept. However, his family is badgering him to marry. In an effort to get his parents off his back about the constant string of blind dates and marriage prospects, Ki Tae purposely brings Joo Jang Mi home to meet his parents posing as his girlfriend, certain that they’ll never approve of her.
This is a great show. While you get to love the main couple looking back I always think of the mom storyline. You think she is going to be the WORST and realize that no, she’s not terrible, she’s a victim of circumstances and you love her growth just as much as the main story. Which makes sense as that actress is amazing.
Misaeng: Incomplete Life
Jang Geu Rae has played the game of Go since he was a child. When his plans of becoming a professional Go player fail, the down-and-out Geu Rae is forced to take an office job as an intern set up for him by an acquaintance’s recommendation for him to a large company called One International.
On his first day of work, Geu Rae meets an eager fellow intern An Yeong Yi as they both try to please their new boss, Section Chief Oh Sang Shik, and keep up with the ambitious employee Jang Baek Ki. But they quickly find that their department is a little different from the others.
Geu Rae does his best at his new job while trying not to lose his humanity along the way.
Where do you start with Misaeng? This series is as close to perfect as you can get.
Plus Nine Boys
There is a common Korean belief that anything plus nine (gu in Korean) is always “cursed” and brings about more hardship than usual, including the ninth year of every decade in one’s life.
Gu Gwang Soo is 39 years old. He was once the brilliant PD of the nation’s top live music program. But his fall from grace occurs when members of an indie band he’d cast drop their pants onstage and flash the entire country during a live broadcast (based on a real-life incident on MBC in 2005). Gwang Soo often thinks about his ex-girlfriend Joo Da In who suddenly broke up with him one day and left him heartbroken. When they meet again, she is a single mother whose life revolves around her young daughter.
Kang Jin Gu is 29 years old. He has two younger brothers, Min Gu and Dong Gu. Jin Gu is a tour planner for a large vacation travel agency, and he’s popular, self-assured and carefree. Jin Gu falls into a one-sided love for the first time in his life when he confesses his feelings to his friend and co-worker Ma Se Young, but she tells him that she likes someone else, and he doesn’t know how to deal with being friend zoned.
Kang Min Gu is 19 years old. He is a hot-tempered high school senior and judo athlete. Min Gu dreams of going to his dream college on a judo scholarship, which means giving his all to win a gold medal in his competitive matches. Min Gu keeps running into a cute but mysterious girl named Han Soo Ah all over town, and he decides that they’re fated to be together. But Soo Ah has the entire district’s high school boys swooning over her.
Kang Dong Gu is 9 years old. He is a child actor who got famous doing food commercials because of his healthy appetite. Dong Gu suddenly feels threatened when, for the first time ever, he loses a job to a new rival child actor and finds himself in a career slump. The precocious Dong Gu has also been secretly dating 8-year-old child actress Jang Baek Ji for the past two years, but she dumps him for his rival.
This is a great story with a surprising indie OST. I liked the story of the brothers, especially the second oldest. (This may be where I learned my love of Kim Young Kwang.) I liked that not all the stories end happily or where you expect them to. I don’t think a ton of people watched the series, as it wasn’t a straight romance and premiered on a cable network before they became the bigger networks they are now. Which is a bummer because more people should see it.
Twenty Years Old
Two twenty-year-olds, Kim Hye Rim and Lee Ki Kwang, who attended the same middle school, meet again coincidentally after many years as a college student and an idol group member. Lee Ki Kwang is a member of popular idol group falls in love with Kim Hye Rim, his old friend from same middle school who has never dated before, as the two try to keep their love a secret from the rest of the world.
This is a fangirl’s dream come true.
You’re All Surrounded
Eun Dae Gu, Uh Soo Sun, Park Tae Il and Ji Gook – otherwise known as the P4 – are the new recruits in the violent crime unit at Gangnam Police Station. These rookies are neither enthusiastic nor passionate about their new jobs and have joined the crime squad for varying but unbefitting reasons. They are lead by an erratic and hot-headed Seo Pan Suk who wants nothing more than to wash his hands of the incompetent new recruits.
There is more to like in this show than a shirtless angsty Lee Seung Gi… let me think a minute as to what that might be. No, this is a great show, its well written and has some of the best female characters out there. I remember this was one of the few dramas I ever recapped and it was so much fun. (A shit ton of work, but fun.)
Ghost Seeing Detective Cheo Yong
Yoon Cheo Yong, has been able to see ghosts since birth. Once the ace of the violent crimes unit, seven years ago he lost both his family and his partner in a traumatic incident that caused him to quit his department. Now he works as a district cop, but without any interest or will to engage with the world; “starved for love,” he’s completely lonely. Then one day, he accidentally talks back to the ghost of a high school girl, and things get complicated. The show follows Cheo Yong as he works with his female detective partner and that ghost girl to solve mysterious cases.
This is not the show I thought it was. There’s another ghost-seeing detective out there, but he may have been a prosecutor. For some reason I can’t find it on my list and I can’t remember what it was called to hunt it down, but I can say this show is just as terrible. It’s right there in the last line, he, another detective, and a ghost girl solve crime together. I think this is the one where he has a magical knife that helps him fight ghost crime… but no idea where it came from, how he got it, or you know, any other world-building. (Pretty sure it’s this one, could also be the ghost seeing prosecutor though.)
Flower Grandpa Investigation Unit
A group of three detectives in their twenties turn into 70-year-olds overnight and with the help of a senior detective try to find their youth again.
Even now, I’m not sure why I watched this crazy pants….oh wait, yes I do. This is when I had a huge thing for Heechul from Super Junior. I’m not certain why he hasn’t acted again except yes, again I do, this show was a big fact case of what the heck??? I think it was trying to cash in on two popular trends, the Flower Boy drama series and the grandfather variety show Grandpas Over Flowers. Someone probably saw the two, thought “I have an idea!” and then was fired six months later.
Cha Yoo Jin is a third-year student in a school of music majoring in piano and dreaming of becoming a world-renowned conductor. He seems to be perfect with his good looks, natural-born musical talent, and his father, who is a world-renowned pianist. He is unable to travel to Europe due to a childhood trauma that gave him a fear of flying. Meanwhile, Seol Nae Il (meaning: Seol Tomorrow) is a free-spirited and 4-dimensional character who is also a genius pianist. Due to her unpredictable personality, she causes all kinds of trouble, but when it comes to piano, she boasts exceptional talent. She constantly annoys perfectionist Cha Yoo Jin with her unique mental world but her lovely charms make her irresistible.
This drama actually wasn’t so bad. I liked them. What I didn’t care for, and continues to give me a bad taste in the mouth was the push of the romance. They had no chemistry together, and the way the hero was written, if later they break up, deciding that all along they should have just been friends, and he comes out as gay? I’d TOTALLY buy and would be fully here to support. But by trying to force these two to be a couple? Just blech.
Louis is a centuries-old vampire who appears to be a teenager. He has fallen in love with Seo-young, a high school student with extraordinary blood. Together, they trek through the land of the vampires to retrieve a long-lost flower.
Is Vampire Flower as bad as it sounds? Yes, yes it is.