KOREAN DRAMA RATINGS

DRAMA RATINGS:

Now I thought long and hard (well maybe not that hard really) about how to rate the dramas I have watched because I have noticed that most reviewers for Korean Dramas generally seem to use a 10 point system to rate the shows they have watched....

However I have always been a massive movie obsessive, even before I discovered Kdramas, and the most common point system to use generally for movies is always the 5 stars rating system, so I have decided to stick with that just cause it is what I am most familiar with.

I have written out a sort of Key below so hopefully this doesn't confuse anyone. Seriously, I reckon the 5 star rating system is way easier!

RATINGS KEY:

  •  1 Star:   Totally shit. Not worth watching. Turn it off!
  • 2 Stars:   Serious problems and issues, but still possibly a few redeeming factors to make it bearable...
  • 3 stars:    Solid fun drama, heaps of goodness to make it totally enjoyable, although objectively you can  see that really it's not actually all that great. (Think plot holes, a few boring storylines or characters....etc)
  • 4 stars:     Well made with a tight plot, perfect character relationships and story developments. Clever and heartfelt so that it grips you in a seriously emotional way.
  • 5 Stars:     That elusive PERFECT drama......does it really exist?  Is it really out there?

 

KOREAN DRAMA RATINGS:  (Totally bias & my opinion only...don't shoot me!)


1% of Anything:


Family bickering story closer to a low budget sitcom then an actual drama with actual plot. A bit old-fashioned but has a charming heroine who makes the looong running time worth it.
Really oddly totally addicting, but not actually because it is any good.
REVIEW:
3 Stars.




49 Days:

Beautiful drama with an intricate plot. The sadness is sometimes overwhelming but the sweetness and truly funny scenes more than make up for it. The last episode though deserves to be wiped from the very face of the earth and lost a whole star from the rating.
3 Stars.






Answer Me, 1997:
 Easy to watch and so. much. fun. with a charming heroine and bleeding-heart gorgeous hero. Begins to seriously drag by the three quarters mark however, such a shame considering the tightly written crackling beginning.
3  1/2 Stars.



Answer Me, 1994:
At first I thought I loved this one even more than the original, because I really loved all the side characters in the group so incredibly much, however I never got into the main love story in this one because as it turned out I really hated the main dude. This drama spends a lot of time throwing the viewer off the scent in the husband mystery but as a result the story itself suffers from not having a fully fleshed out lead love story. Also, she should have picked the other guy...
REVIEW:       2 1/2 Stars.


Arang & the Magistrate:                                                                                             

I loved this drama, but I can see that it lost its way a little towards the last few episodes, losing its fantastic momentum and spunk. But in saying that, it was also brilliantly realised visually, fascinating in regards to the full world it created with wonderfully memorable characters. A Magistrate in love, is a charming Magistrate indeed.
Adored it! So rich, lush and romantic!!
REVIEW:
 4 3/4 Stars.

Attic Cat:
Terrible, boring co-habitation drama which never lived up to the potential fun of the first episode. With a truly good-for-nothing hero and absolute doormat of a heroine, this story runs around in circles like a never-ending painful merry-go-round with no relief.
Took one of my favourite genres of co-habitation and bickering relationships and totally tanked it. Review:
1 Star



Bel Ami / Pretty Man:
Fizzy light romantic comedy fun, certainly could have used a slightly more fleshed out main love story but the rest of the drama is so silly and fun it still makes for a hilarious watch.  The side characters are just as interesting as the leads (with the second male lead possibly being the best thing about the whole thing) so this one is a fun ride. It is light as air though so check your brain off before watching!
REVIEW:   3 Stars.



Boys Before Flowers:

Undeniably addictive but sort of really bad for you. Filled with cringe-worthy cheese, and some totally crazy plotlines (or lack thereof) that come flying at you from every direction, this drama is still just so much fun nonetheless. Also, it seriously is a rite of passage so if you haven't watched it, go do it right now!
Also, Lee Min Ho is in it ....
"Alllmooost Paradiiiise!"  (It will make sense once you've watched it!)
3 Stars.




City Hunter:

Tight and exciting revenge drama with a heart, the less likely plot elements grounded by an undeniably engaging and believable performance from Lee Min Ho as a damaged but moral action hero.
4 Stars.




Coffee House:

A million episodes of nothing. No growth, no touching romance, no true comedy and definitely no likable characters, on top of that add a completely unnecessary time jump and forced romantic separation. What was the point of a single thing that happened in this drama I ask? I honestly have no idea what it was all for...

1/2 Star.


Coffee Prince:
Beautiful and affecting love story and relationship study. Funny, heartbreaking and very engaging, this drama has a truly lovely OST and a believable romance to make even the hardest critic swoon. It also deals with some intriguing concepts in regards to the central relationship (sort of) being between two men (or at least a woman pretending to be a man). The line, 'I like you. Whether you're a man, or an alien...I don't care anymore.' will forever be etched into my mind.
 Shame I am not really a fan of either Yoon Eun-hye or Gong Yoo (I know, I know don't hate me!) and also that towards the end things do get a bit stagnant, becoming reliant on some boring drama cliches such as the forced separation and time skip for no reason.      3  1/2 Stars.


DAMO:

Some of this is weird as hell and kind of stupid, whereas other parts are undeniably epic, breathtakingly  romantic and utterly intense enough to make you sob. It definitely could have been much (much) better but what it does do right, it does right. There are scenes in this drama that are so perfect that I wanted to cry and then other bits where I wanted to punch it in the face.
REVIEW:

3 1/2 Stars.



Delightful Girl Chun Hyang:


Charming beginning but it just repeated itself once too often in regards to plot. Also the main couple just weren't actually all that nice to each other meaning I couldn't really ever get fully invested in their brand of hate/love.
2  Stars.






Dream High:
Yes I know it is cheesy as hell, but it is also a beautiful coming of age story that is bittersweet, relevant, funny, romantic and inspiring. This has got to be one of the most perfect dramas I have ever seen, the characters are lovable and intricate in their flaws, with their relationships and story arcs compelling and satisfying.
REVIEW:
4  3/4 Stars.


Faith:
A small intimate and very beautiful love story pretending to be a grand fantasy epic. A damaged and flawed hero coupled with a sassy and strong heroine makes for a compelling drama, throw in some hammy villains, crazy time traveling, and fun costumes and you get one hell of a fun ride. Also, I think Choi Young is one of the most interesting, complex, damaged and romantic male characters around!  REVIEW:    4 Stars.   


Flower Boy Next Door:
Tackling a difficult and delicate subject in a very respectful way, this drama skillfully wraps its dark serious core in enough sugary sweetness and light comedy to reach a perfect balance between grounded realism and silly Flower Boy sensibilities. The storyline comes in second to the array of complex and charismatic characters, their compelling interactions and vast personal growth a truly engaging arc to witness. Also the romance is very slowly built and layered into a very beautiful emotional connection for the OTP. The end wavers a little but not enough for me to really care.  4  1/2 Stars.


Flower Boy Ramyun Shop:

Sweet and sugary with a cute romance. Not as much substance as others in the Flower Boys Series, but still a hell of a lot of fun. A light breezy watch.

3 Stars.








Full House:

I am not sure I have ever before spent so much time watching others cleaning. They cleaned and cleaned and cleaned..... and they fought and said horrible things to each other, and Rain wore some truly horrific outfits that made me want to vomit a little bit.
I didn't though.
2 1/2 Stars.




Gaksital:


A pretty harrowing experience at times, with a terse tight middle section that was unbelievably brilliant and intense. Floundered around a bit towards the end though and also suffered from a weak/bland heroine which lowered my rating a whole star from what it could have been.
REVIEW:
3 1/2 Stars.





Goong:

Looong winded and at times a struggle to get through. The OTP's occasional cuteness and the attention to detail in the royal costumes etc makes all the scheming bearable,  but by the time they finally makeout you may not be sure it was actually worth it. (But gosh it's a good kiss!)
REVIEW:  2 1/2 Stars.


Gu Family Book: 

 A mess of styles, plotlines and ideas all melded into one large ball of crazyness.....
Fun, but don't think too hard.
REVIEW:

2  3/4 Stars.




Haeundae Lovers:
Cute, fun and silly, this is a drama filled with warm lovable characters and ridiculous situations. A little bit of sizzle and a charming heroine and hero make this a fun ride. A little bit draggy towards the end but on the whole a good chuckle.
3 Stars.     REVIEW



Heirs:

Heaps of fun! At times lush and romantic and dreamy (California), at other times cold and cruel with way too much evil bullying (Korea), but with a very likable lead couple and a sizzling second male lead. Not the best drama ever but certainly some harmless fun with plenty of charm and sweetness!
REVIEW:

3 Stars.


Iljimae (Lee Jun Ki):

A total mess of a drama and yet, somehow there is still something engaging about it too. Could it be the star power that is Lee Jun Ki? Probably.
After a very shaky first half, this drama settles in to be a hell of a lot of fun, the long as you don't take it too seriously. REVIEW:
3 stars.



Invincible Lee Pyung Kang
Well I am not sure why exactly I loved this drama so much, because I am not really sure whether it is good. At all. I am sure it is silly, strange, goofy and over the top, and yet it also has heart and charm and as far as fun sweet romantic-comedies go, I think it is pretty great. Nam Sang Mi and Ji Hyun-woo pretty much charmed my socks off with their bickering and made me adore what could have otherwise been a pretty ridiculous drama. Adorable!!
   4 stars.



Joseon Gunman
Beautiful, tense and heart-wrenching, this is edge of your seat epic and filled with emotion and action. A smart drama with a great story that twists and turns and never feels boring. The characters are amazing too, no one is black and white, everyone is layered and fascinating, even the bad guys. Also, it has the beautiful Lee Jun Ki and lovely Nam Sang Mi in it! Epic, romantic and intense. Perfect!
4 1/2 stars.  REVIEW



King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu:
So wonderful and heartwarming, but also a hysterical soapy melo. But the characters are layered and interesting and the romance is unexpected and the leads are totally perfect! It is long (30 episodes) but is so rewarding with some lovely messages hidden behind all the hysterics. Perfect! REVIEW:
4 stars.



Level 7 Civil Servant: 

Okay to be honest I never finished this one, I think I made it up to episode 5 or 6? So maybe I shouldn't be offering a rating here, but I also think providing a rating could be considered a service for any unsuspecting drama viewer trying to decide whether to give it a watch or not.
Don't.
 1/2 Star.



Liar Game:
This was a fast, fascinating watch, dark and mysterious and intriguing, if slightly cold. A psychological drama that twists and turns, revealing the layers of people they want to keep deeply hidden. With a heroine painted as naive, who really is just idealistic, a hero who is smart and cold and broken, and a villain who is smooth as fuck and stole the whole show away. Worth watching for him alone.   3 stars.

Ma Boy:

Oh gosh this is such a cute drama, short and definitely very sweet at only 3 episodes long. Breezy and summery and young, with a focus more on the cute comedy vibe then any serious angsting around.
Kim So-hyun is just gorgeous and I can't wait to see her in future projects. 4 Stars.





MASTER'S SUN:
Cute and fun at the beginning, but got seriously redundant towards the halfway mark when stuff literally stopped progressing and got stagnant. The leads are cute (at least at the start) but I never got particularly invested in their romance, mainly because they spent the whole drama sabotaging themselves. REVIEW:
2  1/2 Stars.


Mary Stayed Out All Night:
Everyone hated it but I think its great fun and loved it!!!
This is a fluff romantic comedy and nothing more. The OTP have loads of chemistry, the story is filled with cute and the OST is lovely. Some of the plot is truly insane but hey, just fast forward to all the couple scenes which are more than satisfying.
3 Stars.



Me Too, Flower!
Really lovely, deep and dark beginning. Fascinating characters just oozing chemistry and broken vulnerability and some great character study as our lead couple fall in love.
But once they get together it is slow, boring, annoying and totally redundant.
Absolutely worth a watch for the compelling first ten episodes and the suave and sexy Yoon Si Yoon who rocks it as the damaged hero.
Could have been so much better and lost points for the slack end run.
REVIEW   3 Stars.




MONSTAR: 
 This drama just takes itself a little too seriously for my liking, with everyone's teenage problems being presented like they are much worse then they are. Of course some of the issues are very current and relevant, but when they are sandwiched between boyfriend angst and unrequited love angst it can all get a little old....the main OTP is well cute though, so its still worth a watch just for the 'almost kiss' ... ... maybe. REVIEW   2  Stars.



The Moon that Embraces the Sun:
Starts off very promisingly during the kids section, until everyone grows up which just killed it for me. The OTP have no chemistry whatsoever and the side characters are boring and whiny. The love story was flat, I think in part due to the controlled palace setting which allows no opportunity for romantic interactions, and the heroine just wasn't all that likable. Could have been so much better as it had so much potential.
REVIEW:    2  1/2 Stars.



My Girlfriend is a Gumiho:

I am not a massive Lee Seung Gi fan so maybe did not enjoy this drama quite as much as I would have with a different male lead, but Shin Mina is luminous, and the plot is funny, heartfelt and so much fun.
3 Stars.








My Love from another Star:
Really sweet/cute/hilarious/heartrending/romantic/awesome beginning with a few very slow episodes towards the end. Worth it for a solid romance, a hilariously outrageous heroine and a rather dreamy romantic story.
REVIEW:   3 1/2 Stars.





My Love Patzzi: 

Total shameless fluff, a bit old fashioned but heaps of romantic comedy fun. A little bit of a convoluted struggle in the middle but picked up the pace towards the end. Nothing ground breaking but a total sweetheart of a male lead makes it well worth a watch.
REVIEW     3 Stars.







My Name is Sim Sam-soon:

Wasn't really into this. I felt like the hero didn't experience enough growth to endear him to me, and I found it a little difficult to fully care about the characters. In saying that though, I watched this one with dodgy subtitles, so maybe make your own judgement.

2 Stars.







Oh My Lady:
No chemistry between the OTP at all, the noona romance falling flat with no passion or true connection. In saying that though, the premise is cute and easy to watch and the male lead is charming enough for the both of them (and you can just stare at his pretty face if you're into that sort of thing). Absolutely empty and forgettable, but not annoying or offensive. An easy quick watch.
 2 3/4 Stars.



Personal Taste:

I love Lee Min Ho but could never get fully invested in this drama. I hated the female lead and the only enjoyable part was the 'Game Over Kiss'. I am not sure if anyone should watch the whole drama just for that moment though.

2 1/2 Stars.






Playful Kiss:

I watched it through because I kept expecting something to happen.....but it didn't.
I am not sure if the female leads ample charms are really enough to make this a decent drama.

2 Stars.




Pride and Prejudice:
The plot is intriguing and fascinating with layers and layers of darkness and sadness. Not all of the layers make total sense (Coincidences Ahoy!) but you get sucked in deep anyway. The romance starts of perfect, fiery, intense and filled with emotion, but then cools off to make way for the main story arc filled with killers, regret and grief.
I kind of loved this drama, it made me cry and feel so intensely for this set of quirky broken characters. Also Choi Jin-hyuk is in it.
3 3/4  Stars.  REVIEW


The Princess Man:
Gorgeous, tightly plotted, epic and heartrendingly romantic. I adored this drama and think it is one of the best Saguek's I have ever seen. All the court conspiracy and backstabbing is nicely balanced by the desperate 'Romeo & Juliet' style love of the OTP and some truly memorable supporting characters. Overall this is such a well crafted, beautiful drama.
4 3/4 Stars.



Prosecutor Princess:
Ugh. I hated the heroine with a fiery passion and couldn't even finish this drama. She was so beyond selfish and self-centered that she even bordered on not being a decent human being.
Gross.
1 Star.




Queen Inhyuns Man:
Perfect, just unbelievably perfect. Overwhelmingly romantic with well crafted lovable characters who are so very easy to invest in and care about.  Just beautiful.  REVIEW:
4  3/4 Stars.




Return of Iljimae (Jung Il-woo):

I admit I never finished this one. It just seemed to take itself a bit too seriously for me and I got so bogged down in the overly detailed narration and sloooow buildup that I then found the ridiculously silly aspects too jarring to accept (think baby-eating giants and whiny sideways walking men...stupido).
2 stars.




Runaway Plan B:
Total mentalness at the beginning, Rain's character being too slick and sleazy to be very likable (not to mention he had zero chemistry with his leading lady). After awhile things slow up though and his character expresses some real emotion and vulnerability which got me invested again, but really it was the cop's cute side romance which was the romantic drawcard. I watched this drama and enjoyed it because it was a huge over the top flamboyant action mess.....and was actually pretty fun! But not good, definitely not good. REVIEW:  2  3/4 Stars.


School 2013:
Another one I never finished (don't shoot me!) its grimness and repetitive storyline battling against my total love of Kim Woobin and eventually winning, resulting in my dropping the show.
REVIEW:
1  1/2 stars.



Secret Garden:

I never finished this one either though I got pretty close. The lack of growth from the hero was a huge turn off for me as I felt his absolutely horrible nastiness just didn't wear off fast enough for me.
 I admit it was hilariously funny in the beginning though, but not enough to keep me invested in the romantic plights of such a horrible man.
2 Stars.






Shut Up Flower Boy Band:
I watched this one right to the end and then wondered why I did. I felt like it was trying to tap into that coming of age story or lost youth vibe, but for me it just seemed like a story about a bunch of boys with an annoying tendency to constantly cause themselves trouble because of their lack of respect for anyone around them. The only likable character was Sung Joon's but his romance with the female lead was so lacking in chemistry or real emotional chemistry that I didn't even care if they ended up together or not. REVIEW:
2 stars.


Sungkyunkwan Scandal:
Charming and heaps of fun.
Too bad I fell in love with the second male lead...... meaning I just couldn't concentrate on anything else the entire running time.   Its up to you whether you think that trauma of loving the wrong man is worth it....it nearly killed me and is not an experience I would willingly repeat.
3 1/2 Stars.


Surplus Princess:
Gosh I just adored this drama, it is funny, charming, sweet, romantic and crazy, all rolled into one. Yes the episode cut made the ending feel a little rushed, but even despite this I thought it was still one of the best dramas of 2014.
I loved the kookiness of the story and adored the romance, but most of all I liked the care and effort that went into all the characters who populated the drama, creating real full and hilarious people to love!
4 stars.   REVIEW





Tamra The Island:
This drama entrapped me within its charming world in every way possible and I am not sure I will ever recover from the effects of the lovely central romance. Filmed beautifully on location in Tamra, this drama brings you possibly the most lovable characters ever created in Beo-jin and her family, as well as one of the absolute best male leads of all time, a truly swoon worthy romantic hero. (But lets not even mention that French guy) REVIEW:
4 3/4 stars.


Time Between Dog and Wolf:

This is a tightly wound thriller with a hero worth caring about. The action is tense but not over the top, the story is deeply character driven and immersing, the plot winding and unpredictable. Korean Drama action thriller at its best.REVIEW:

4 1/2 Stars.



Tree With Deep Roots:

Here we have a truly serious Saguek.
No really, I mean it is a serious one.

3 stars.



Trot Lovers:
Cute and light with some fantastic musical numbers, this romantic comedy takes every single kdrama cliche plotline and somehow manages to fit them within these 16 episodes! It is actually quite impressive! Fast moving with very likable leads, this drama never quite got my heart beating and although not a deeply romantic ride, it was still a light good fun watch.
3 stars.




Two Weeks:
Starts off a little cold as an action packed thriller with a rather unlikable hero fighting for survival and then grows into a story with true heart (so much heart!) as the layers are peeled away to reveal a truly moving journey of redemption. One of the best action characters of recent dramas in my opinion and maybe even just plain one of the best characters period. Review:
 4 Stars.

Vampire Idol:

I haven't finished this one because there are no bloody English subs beyond episode 7. But from what I have seen this is a truly ridiculous, charming and ultra silly sitcom.

3 stars.







Warrior Baek Dong-soo:
 
Ugh....could have been so good but is peopled with way too many boring side characters and the flattest romance to ever take place ever. The bromance promises way more than it ever gives, never hitting the right note in terms of the leads heartfelt frenemy relationship.
Also Baek Dong-soo himself was a bit of a tool....
REVIEW: 

2 1/2 stars.




White Christmas:
 Perfect, perfect perfect! 
Dark, cold and clinical, this is a horror mystery with a difference. A true character study into the dark recesses of the human mind, this drama was compelling and at times truly scary, with characters who are layers and layers deep. Fascinating and engaging.
 REVIEW:
4  3/4 Stars.




WHO ARE YOU: (2013)
I kind of loved this show! It wasn't spectacualr but had a lot of heart and very likeable characters with a lot of emotional Feels. Some of the ghosts were creepy, but mainly it was a little sweet and sometimes bittersweet drama about living on and letting go. 
REVIEW:

3 1/2 Stars.





You're Beautiful:
Silly and bumbly, this drama is heaps of fun nonetheless. The romance is never heart-pounding but the OTP are sweet in a bickery kind of way, and to be honest, you just can't go wrong with the whole girl dressed as a boy pretending to be rockstar angle.....too much fun.

3  1/2 Stars.










8 comments:

  1. well, in my personal point of view, I think that Answer me 1997 and Boys Over Flower need a better punctuation, have you seen Love Rain?

    ReplyDelete
  2. No, I haven't seen it yet but I do really enjoy Jang Guen Suk. Is it worth checking out? I get seriously upset if dramas don't have happy endings though...
    Also I adore romantic stories.. is Love Rain very romantic?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love Rain is cute...
    I think for me it's good.
    It's just that I find Yoona's acting a bit.... (I don't know) lacking perhaps. No offense to Yoona's fans.

    Jang Geun Suk did great. And he's so handsome I can't stop staring. (haha!)


    I skipped episodes of their parents. BTW, Yoona look stunning on her wedding gown.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh I really kike Jang Geun Suk as well! I might have to check it out then!
    I first saw him in Mary Stayed Out All Night which everyone always says is horrible but I really enjoyed it!! It was so cute!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great review. Please add heartless city to your list

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Geegee for reading! ! :-)
      Actually I haven't seen Heartless City yet but it's definitely on my list.... it's a reaaaally long list though so I am not sure when I will manage it but I will try!! :-) I have heard such good things about it!

      Delete
  6. i totally agree with you on Sungkyunkwan Scandal drama point hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh XP i loooooooooved the second male lead more (the first one was good but comparing to this one naah @@)
    i was hoping for anything to happen so they can be together but i was disappointed =_="
    keep it up =)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Should watch heart strings too....

    ReplyDelete