2014 was the year that I watched a lot of Kdramas and Jdoramas live. I avoided marathon watching during the last quarter of last year (dark circles have formed under my eyes and it was getting harder to hide them with a concealer). It was a whole new adventure for me because I am the type to read reviews first before checking out anything. With live watching, the anticipation is much higher and I can’t do this bad habit of looking at the ending when the tension is really high.
A lot of reviews were already made about what we watched in 2014. Some resonates with my thoughts, others were quite the opposite. But for me, these are the Kdramas that I enjoyed for this year:
1. You From Another Star
Too much have been said and looking back, I think it was a bit overrated. However, I cannot deny the fact that it made me laugh, giggle and scream when I was watching it. Cheon Song-yi will be one of my most favorite KDrama characters of all time. Jun Ji-hyun really pulls off romantic comedies like no other.
2. You’re All Surrounded
I like the friendship and the senior-junior relationships. And yes, it was because of Lee Seung-gi’s and Cha Seung-won’s acting that I watched till the end. Not that the others were not good but they just seem to fade in the background with these two.
3. Fated to Love You
The snail couple, the wacky secretary, and the crazy family made this one memorable. Jang Hyuk and Jang Nara can really pull at your heartstrings. They made me laugh and cry and though there were some stuff that turned me off, the acting made me hold on.
4. Emergency Couple
The exes who picked up pieces of themselves after a nasty break-up found each other again. I liked how they developed and matured as people. It was fun and light.
5. I Need Romance 3
The female lead is one of the bitchiest I’ve seen in KDrama and I just can’t find it in me to sympathize with her. Why did I enjoy it? Sung Joon.
6. It’s Okay, It’s Love
This is my favorite drama for this year. It was unconventional, thought provoking yet fun at the same time. The chemistry between the leads is tempting me to ship them. The pacing and the acting are good as well as the writing.
7. Cantabile Tomorrow
I would have enjoyed this more if I did not watch the Japanese version. Too bad many viewers gave up too soon. Cantabile Tomorrow is less slapstick but more romantic. Character dynamics is more visible as well. And I really like Shim Eun-kyung’s dresses and dolls. =)
I’m still watching. Right now I like the direction it is taking. The characters are interesting and the pacing is good. So far the plot is engaging and I can’t wait for the last few episodes. Lee Jong-suk and Park Shin-hye are rebounding nicely.
I am very easy to please and not too critical. However, I have my limits and I can be disappointed too. These are the Kdramas that I tried to enjoy but I gave up on.
1. Doctor Stranger
It was good when it was starting. I like all the actors (except for that girl who has nine lives). Then I don’t know what happened. It was as if I looked away for a second and I looked back to see that everything was in chaos.
2. Pretty Man
Jang Geun-suk is pretty but I just didn’t feel him with IU. I stopped watching after half an episode.
3. She’s so Lovable
I love Rain. I really, really love Rain. I have so much love for Rain. If she’s so lovable, why I can’t I love her?
I did not watch a lot JDoramas this year because I was more focused on watching more Japanese movies. But I actually enjoyed some of them like:
1. Shitsuren Cholatier
This is full of unrequited love. Kinda reminds me of a novel that said that 4 out of 5 people are devastated by love. It was a bittersweet series that made me want to scream at the characters and tell them that it’s enough.
I had some issues with this one but Shun Oguri made me stay. Maybe it was the lighting or the soundtrack. Nevertheless, the supernatural premise is good and the cases are intriguing.
3. Wakamonotachi 2014
It was a remake and maybe a bit heavy for some. The ensemble cast was great though – Satoshi Tsumabuki, Eita, Hikari Mitsushima and the rest. A good drama that explored family relationships, adultery, friendship, etc.
4. Nobunaga Concerto
I’m really not into historical dramas but the time traveling part is nicely integrated. The characters are good and the scenes nicely done. It feels like watching an anime which is not surprising because the source material is an anime.
5. Itazura na Kiss: Love in Tokyo 2
It’s still running and so far so good. Yuki Furukawa and Honoka Miki look so good onscreen that some fans are shipping them already. I watched the other versions and my favorite was the Taiwanese one. I’m glad that they are following that one but with a much faster pacing.
2015 has started and I am still watching one KDrama and one JDorama. I will continue live watching as long as schedule permits it and maybe marathon some good dramas I missed this year like Misaeng, High School King of Savvy, Liar Game and N no Tameni in April. Overall, 2014 has been a good year for Asian drama fanatics. I hope this year will be a good one as well.