Wow! What a year it has been! As 2015 draws to a close, it's time to look back on all that happened in Dramaland over the past year. As my first year blogging, it's been a great experience writing about what I love and connecting with other kdrama fans. I look forwardfor more exciting things next year.
Now for the list! This list includes all the dramas I watched that aired in 2015. This is my opinion of these dramas and does not reflect Korean or international ratings or the popularity of any particular drama among fans. This is just my minus list for most favorites. Here we go!
16. Hidden identity
Hidden Identity was a drama that I watched on a whim and ended up being very disappointed. The first two episodes had a really interesting premise, and I was really excited to see how it was all going to play out, but then it all came crashing down in episode three. Boredom and shoddy police work pretty much sums up the rest of this drama. Of course, Kim Bum was great, as were the other actors. It's the story that surrounds them that wasn't enough. My rating: 4/10 (hidden identity review)
Mask was definitely the melodrama of the year, but I was a little underwhelmed. There was a lot of anticipation around it and I was ready for some over-the-top melodrama. For me, it wasn't quite up to par with the excitement the rest of the fandom seemed to be experiencing.
It took me about six episodes to get into the drama. After that, Mask was interesting, but I couldn't connect with any of the characters on a deep level. I enjoyed a few moments of the couple afterwards, and it had some fantastic villains. I actually think this drama got better as time went on, and the last third was really good.
In the end, I always felt like this drama was supposed to be amazing, but it just felt like something was missing. So overall it was a decent watch, but something I'm not likely to revisit. My rating: 6.5/10 (mask review)
14. Daring Go Go
Sassy Go Go was a good watch. There's nothing new here, but it's cute, funny, and heartwarming. Throughout the drama, we see our students come together as a team to participate in a cheerleading competition. We see them struggle, grow and become closer friends.
Our main couple played by Lee Won Geun and Jung Eun Ji were really cute. And Ji Soo gave a wonderful performance as a continuation of his previous drama Angry Mom. All 12 episodes went by quickly and I'm glad I took the time to watch them all. My rating: 7/10 (shameless review)
13. Oh, I ghost
Oh My Ghostess was a cool little drama with lots of laughs and lots of cuteness. It had an interesting murder mystery, but I would have liked to see a little more of that specific plot point to continue the drama.
The drama relied heavily on relationships, but luckily that element was very strong. Jo Jung Suk, Park Bo Young, Kim Seul Gi, and Im Joo Hwan were amazing in their roles, and their performances really made up for the lack of a substantial storyline. Overall, there's a lot of fun with Oh My Ghostess! My rating: 7/10 (Crítica Oh My Ghostess)
12. Angry Mom
Angry Mom was a big surprise! I hadn't planned on watching it, but I decided to give it a try out of the blue, and I'm so glad I did. This high school drama was a bit darker but full of emotion. I loved the intense motherly love that was portrayed, and this world was filled with some interesting characters.
And, of course, we all got to see Ji Soo's incredible performance as the troubled Bok Dong. He has won the hearts of many fans and I look forward to his future projects. Angry Mom is a different kind of drama, and it really was a great find. My rating: 7/10
Yong Pal was a fun drama that I thought was a nice change of pace from what's out there. If you don't think too hard about some of the events that take place, the story is engaging with a great pace.
Yong Pal really felt fresh and exciting with a unique story. Joo Won was brilliant as always. It had some action, melodrama, romance and a little humor. In many ways it was like a modern day fairy tale. The episodes flew by and I was very sad to see it end. My rating: 8/10 (Review by Yong Pal)
10.Scholar who walks at night
Scholar Who Walks the Night was a very enjoyable drama. It wasn't perfect but it felt like an epic fairy tale and I would love to see more stories like this in kdramas. Lee Joon Gi was amazing as always. I couldn't have picked a more perfect tortured vampire. He dove into the role like all actors do. I found Lee Yoo Bi adorable as the young woman who finally won our vampire's heart.
I was also introduced to Lee Soo Hyuk as the evil vampire Gwi, and I was completely satisfied with his performance. Overall, Scholar Who Walks the Night hit all the right places, and I can definitely see myself revisiting this one in the future. My rating: 8/10 (Review of the scholar who walks at night)
9. Orange marmalade
Fans were divided on Orange Marmalade, but I am part of the group that loved this drama. I didn't watch the webtoon so I could easily appreciate the drama for what it was.
I really enjoyed the high school romance and I connected with vampires' struggle to fit into our society. I also loved the time jump into the past. It was nice to see the original brotherly relationship between our leads, Jae Min and Shi Hoo. The stakes were also high with the clash between classes and the conspiracy for evil vampires to take over.
I was sad to leave the past, but I easily returned to the present. It's hard to say which period I liked the most. The visuals and music on this one were excellent. There was so much beauty to see along with such a sweet story. My rating: 8/10 (Orange marmalade review)
This popular drama took a unique approach with an experimental documentary style. Personally, I fall into the camp that prefers the classic drama format. The first two documentary-style episodes felt a little slow for me, but luckily the setting and characters intrigued me enough to keep going. But things really kicked off in episode three, when the documentary style was scaled back in favor of a more traditional comedy format.
This drama was still unique even after the format change as it never identifies a specific main pairing for any of the four characters. The four characters' feelings develop as the show progresses, and in many ways they become more confused. I loved the multiple interactions of the relationships and found them hilarious. It was all so refreshing and fun. My rating: 8/10 (Producer Review)
7. My love Eun Dong
This was a sweeping novel that totally had me hooked from beginning to end. Also, it has one of the best first episodes I've ever seen. I fell in love with our main couple Hyun Soo and Eun Dong when they were teenagers and watched them mature into adults. I loved the three groups of actors who played the couple.
The romance was intense with beautiful music and visuals to set the mood. This drama really flew by. I'm in the group that loved the ending, so for me it was just cool. My rating: 8.5/10 (My Love Eun Dong Review)
6. She was beautiful
She Was Pretty was one of the most successful romantic comedies of the year. He maintained wonderful charm and comedy throughout. Hwang Jung Eum was hilarious and endearing, Park Seo Joon brought his charm, and well, there's no one quite like Choi Siwon! I was never bored and I laughed a lot.
It also touched me on so many levels. Our characters were well developed and all wonderfully acted. It is also a drama filled with so many positive messages and it will definitely inspire you. She Was Pretty is everything I love about a drama. My rating: 9/10 (she was pretty review)
5. Girl who sees smells
Basically, I loved everything about the Girl Who Sees Smells. First of all, there's the rom-com vibe between our main couple, and they're just too cute! Being a bit lacking in feelings and emotions, Moo Gak (Park Yoo Chun) is fun to watch. And Cho Rim (Shin Se Kyung) was sweet, adorable, and relatable. This couple had fabulous chemistry and it was a real joy to watch.
Girl Who Sees Smells isn't exactly great or radically different, but it does what it takes to create an enjoyable ride from start to finish. It has comedy, romance, a murder mystery and a very funny bad guy played by Nam Gung Min. This drama touched my heart, and I only have amazing memories when I think of Girl Who Sees Smells. My rating: 9/10(The Girl Who Smells Review)
Healer is one of those really solid dramas that has very little to write home about. It has a little bit of everything: action, drama, mystery and romance. The story is well developed with an interesting mystery to solve and a great cast of characters.
Our main couple played by Ji Chang Wook and Park Min Young was perfect. They were phenomenal together with too many swoon-worthy moments to count. What a fun ride Healer was! My rating: 9/10 (healer's review)
3. Shine or Go Mad
Shine or Go Crazy has romance, humor, action and drama. I thought the pacing was wonderful, not a dull moment in all 24 episodes. Wang So (Jang Hyuk) and Shin Yool (Oh Yeon Seo) were a really fun couple and they really had amazing chemistry. They had an epic and predestined love that brought touching moments and a lot of joy.
And the intensity of palace politics really surprised me. It takes a lot to keep me interested in this sort of thing, but Shine or Go Crazy kept me glued to the screen during those conversations. It was a fun and exciting trip that I will always remember. And who can forget those beautiful words that Jang Hyuk brought to life when he called Shin Yool by his son's name: “Gae Bong ahhh!” My rating: 9.5/10(Review Shine or Go Mad)
2. O love of Ho Goo
Ho Goo's Love is an absolutely adorable and heartwarming drama. Choi Woo Shik really nailed the character of Ho Goo. All of his gestures really show how innocent and naive Ho Goo is. He was adorable and one of the nicest guys you could ever meet.
Misunderstandings abound in this drama, and the relationships are insanely complicated, but this drama got it right and kept it interesting. Byeon Kang Cheol (Im Seol Ong) was particularly funny when he tried to accept who he was and what his feelings were.
I loved all the characters and just wanted happiness for them. It was all really fun with just the right amount of feeling. My rating: 9.5/10 (Ho Goo love review)
And the number one drama of 2015 is...
1. We stir, we smoke
Kill Me, Heal Me is just an amazing drama. Ji Sung's portrayal of a man with multiple personality disorder was very engaging and really brought each distinct personality to life. I was very moved by Cha Do Hyeon's fight, but I still managed to connect with each personality and see their importance.
I was completely involved in this drama. He couldn't wait to see what Cha Do Hyeon's personalities would do and how he would clear them up. I was intrigued by her lost memory and loved watching her develop. And her relationship with Oh Ri Jin was hilarious yet absolutely sweet and romantic. Ji Sung and Hwang Jung Eum have incredible chemistry. I also shed some serious tears over this drama. If you haven't seen it yet, you really need to try it! My rating: 10/10 (Kill Me Heal Me review)
Here it is! My favorite dramas of 2015. There were so many great dramas this year!
Old dramas I completed in 2015
As a sort of year-end review, I thought I'd also include a list of older dramas I've completed this year (I've also included a 2015 special drama in this list, as I only include completed dramas in the above list). If a drama review is available, the drama title will be blue. Here they are divided into categories depending on how much I liked them:
love the rain
time between dog and wolf
sing of tomorrow
bride of the century
The Story of Kang Goo
protect the boss
tree with deep roots
Combining all the dramas, I completed 35 kdramas this year. Wow! This really is a lot of drama. It certainly was fun, and I look forward to the many offerings 2016 has in store!
How was 2015 for you? What was your favorite drama of the year?
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