Sunday, December 30, 2012

My Top 7 Dramas of 2012 [and Year-End Gifs Galore Party]

I know, 7 is a weird number for a list. Why not 5 or 10? And no, not because I'm obsessed with se7en either, but because 7 is my favorite number. I've always been associated with 7 all through my life. My college students ID is a square of 7 and my employee ID ended with four 7s. And don't get me started on my elementary to high school year. But.. when it comes to list your favorite things, shouldn't 7 be the perfect fit? Because you know you just want to add more to your top 5 list but you don't really want to go all the way to 10. So without further ado here goes my top 7 dramas of 2012 accompanied with gifs galore...

1. Gaksital

SURPRISEEEE!! Yes, I know this seems  to come from the left-field with the amount of Gaksital and Joo Won spazzings I have here in my blog. HA! But yes I'm sticking to my guns and letting Gaksital sail through to top the list of the dramas I've watched this year. And in case I didn't stress it enough in this blog, it also topped the list of my favorite dramas of all time. Granted, Gaksital was not a perfect drama. In fact, I still can recall some details and plot holes that felt a bit jarring: why the policeman in charge of trailing Kang To seems to always forget his main duty during pivotal moment? And how did Kang To managed to change into Gaksital's costume so quickly, was there a conveniently located magical phone booth in Gyeongseong that enables him to transform to Gaksital in just a split second? And how or rather where did he stashed his Gaksital costumes? [Some people have investigated deeply into this matter and come into the conclusion that the tightly-fitted pants seems to hold the clue..]
But man, despite its imperfections, did I enjoy the ride I took with it or what?! It's like riding the Sheikra at Busch Garden over and over and over again. First and foremost, I was swept away by the cinematography and the shot of every scene. The music also fit perfectly in every scene and heighten the moods. Every week I found myself jumping out from my scene and screaming at my laptop and i-phone (RIP, dear phone!) with its full-packed actions and suspense. The story is so dark and twisted but it carries a lot of heart with it as well. The main characters have one of the biggest character archs I've seen in drama and each character managed to pull me in, even the supporting characters were strong with their storylines. 
But most of all, what makes Gaksital so memorable for me is the message it carried. As someone who comes from a country that also went through the occupational era in the past, Gaksital reminds me of the sacrifices made by the freedom fighters in my country and to not take that freedom for granted. The message was delivered so tangibly that it struck something in me. I have never seen any drama/story that could stir that little-maybe-almost-none-love-for-own-country in me. And for being able to do that, Gaksital will remain with me for a long long time.. Yes, even though it trampled on my heart and left me bleeding on the floor with a phobia of box of nails at its EPIC ending!
What do you think is the one thing in a grown man’s life so precious that he must protect it with his life? I believe it’s love. I love Joseon, I love my hometown, I love my mother, my wife, my son. Watching those that I love be violated by the Japanese, how could I not feel rage? If you truly love Mok Dan, you put your life on the line to stay by her side and protect her, and fight the ones who would torment her - Yang Baek

2. Answer Me 1997 

After watching Gaksital [who I'm going to send my therapy bills to, btw]. I was in dire need of something light, funny, and heartwarming to bring my blood pressure and heart rate back to normal. Arang was cute and funny, but it's also quite dark [and I meant that literally as well]. It was then that I decided to follow everyone recommendation on Dramabeans and decided to watch Answer Me 1997. And I was so glad I did...
It has everything I look for in a drama. It’s really funny with surprising heart-filled moments. And it's so relatable and full of nostalgia that everytime I pick an episode randomly to rewatch, I just find myself transported back to my junior high year, to the land of walkman, tamagotchie, boybands craze and NOW album. I also love how well written and well-planned out the drama is. Yes, who's-the-daddy plot was getting a bit ridiculous at the end, but I'm so willing to overlook and even forget that little missstep and letting it sail through to number 2.
“This life that might leap anywhere — there’s no use avoiding or ignoring it. There’s just facing it and getting beaten to a bloody pulp. But at times life can surprise us with gifts that make our hearts flutter. And if we endure sadness, we are rewarded with happiness.”Yoon Jae

3. History of The Salaryman
video credit: OskaHD

It is difficult to pigeonhole History of Salaryman's genre, epecially when you've seen the wacky trailer. It is comedy, spy, rom-com, thriller, etc which all blend so well in one drama. It defies all the kdrama tropes, takes all the played out elements and reverses the effect! The heroine curses like a sailor and even though Lee Beom-soo as the male lead is not your usual drop dead gorgeous main lead, he is definitely won my heart with his portrayal of Versailles Yoo. Fun and charming little moments interspersed between the set up of the episodes. And the epilogues? They took the cake! The latter part towards the ending however suffered from extension and it got too drawn-out for my taste. But nevertheless, this drama is so quirky and offbeat that it will remain with me for a while
"S@%@#^%$%*** S@%@#^%$%*** S@%@#^%$%*** !!!" - Yeo Chi

4. Queen In Hyun's Man
Queen In Hyun's Man is a wonderful rom-com disguised in a slick fusion sageuk. I was first took in by the time-travel premise (which hasn't been overused at that time), but found myself falling in love with the romance between the two leads. The writing is solid and the chemistry between the two leads is palpable. Kim Boong-do [even though he's a player :D ] still made my heart drip into all kinds of butter and Hee-jin will forever be the teacher I look up to shall a Joseon man come my way and ask me to guide him on how things work in the new world *sly smile*. I belong in the group of people who question how the drama tries to solve the problem in reuniting our OTP, though [don’t shoot me!]. But looking back, I’m content with the way the show ended. I guess I can try to forget the minor hiccup before the ending, because the show is really wonderful.
“It’s been unfair for me to suffer, so I was going to slap you when we met again, but now that you’re crying, I can’t even scold you. You’re such a player. A natural born player.”Hee Jin

5. Arang and the Magistrate
video credit: Svetik

I really liked the drama and the ethereal world it created.  In a way it feels like a good old fairytale version of Hercules [why, yes I'm looking at you Mr sexy, brooding Grim Reaper!].  It contains some life lessons and thought-provoking philosophical debates on life, death, the afterlife and rebirth, and layered with the warmth and charm of your average romantic K-Drama. Arang's character did frustrated me towards the end with her noble idiocy and the ending seems to be long-winded for me. However, I still enjoyed the ride it took me on. We slowed down towards the end but I was happy to see where I ended up with it! 
Memory? Yeah, there’s one thing I do remember. That terrifying horror in the moment of Lee Seo-rim’s death — I remembered that! Even if the truth of my death lies there, right now I’m so scared I can’t go. When I want to know, I’ll go. Not you! When I want to know! That’s when I’ll go! But that’s not now.”Arang

6. King of Dramas

King of Dramas is a fun, fun drama and one that I could easily earned higher position on my list [even from its name, you feel like it should be up there]. But since there's still another 2 episodes left, I will weigh in my thoughts later, because it's the ending part that will either break or make it for me. I'm loving this drama so far especially for being my own digital copy of "K-Dramas guide for Dummies". So many metas and inside joke, and I'm digging the way it undercuts almost every serious moment with comedy, the slowly budding romance between the leads, AND the secondary characters. Kang Hyun-min has to be one of the zaniest yet lovable character I've seen in dramas: he is really shallow, vapid, and vain. Props to Siwon for willing to go there and look absurd! Now I hope the two final episodes will deliver and won't be too melo or taking the noble idiocy route... but then again maybe that's what Anthony wants...
"I may not believe anybody in this world, I may not even believe in myself sometimes, but that me believes in you." - Anthony

7. King 2 Hearts
video credit: ayachan

Dear King 2 Hearts, if only your villains were not so bizzare and caused me to tune out, and if only you went a little bit easy on the awkward engrisshh and awkward actings from the extras.. I might have loved you more. Because what is not to love about you? I loved your premise, I loved your heroine [who is so badass!], I love your lead's transformation, I loved the romance, the humor, the action, and I loved your second leads [a sassy princess and a steadfast soldier]. But I'm so sorry that those things cannot overcome the irksomeness of your villains aaand awkward moments, and therefore I have to put you in the bottom of my list this year. But hey, at least you make the list! :) 
“Every single morning I will give you a kiss as revenge. Every single day, I will follow you like a stalker and buy you everything you want. I am never going to cheat on you. You’ll be the only one in my eyes. From now on, I’ll never let you cry even one tear. I’m going to make you the happiest queen in the world. Until the day I die to the point of disgust, I’m only going to love you as revenge. Can you handle it, your highness? I’m officially proposing to you right now.” - Jae Ha

So that's all I got to say for this year dramas (or at least for those that make the list). Now I'll be off to prepare myself for watching 'Peach Drop'... So, Happy New Year! And I hope 2013 will be another year full of good if not great dramas for everyone! Bye!

1 comment:

  1. I also really enjoyed Bridal Mask! It also topped my favorite Drama's of all time. Waiting for 7th Grade Civil Servant was hard, but it was worth it.