Thursday, December 24, 2015

Ajavilla: 2015 Roundup


A drama with action, mystery, humor, romance, and heart. Healer reminded me I have to kiss a lot of toads until I get my Prince.  Totally worth kissing all those toads to get my bad ass ninja.

Kill Me, Heal Me:

A whimsical look at DID which will enthrall you with Ji Sung’s remarkable performances of 7 different characters. A refreshing use of humorous gimmicks which will have you pee-your-pants laughing. The drama doesn’t get bogged down by boardroom antics nor the deep scared depressing  moments. The OTP have amazing chemistry. The OST enhances the depth and emotions of the characters. Think United States of Tara with a kdrama twist.

Hyde, Jekyll, and I:

The concept is thought provoking with big ambitions, but not enough to help the snail slow pacing, missed opportunities, and the drama’s wishy washy with characters and plot themes. There’s only one reason I stayed for this mess of a drama, I’m looking at you Hyun Bin. You’re lucky I still love you to death. 

A very pretty looking segeuk which tried to make an epic political drama with plot twist, intrigue, and a little romance on the side. As I said, it tries, but never hits intriguing on the political front and the romance is very reserved on one hand and creepy stalkerish on the other. 

Angry Mom:

Look out there’s a Momma Bear out to protect her club from the big bads. The drama takes a grim look into the world of school bullies with a sinister look into the corruption of the education system.  A dark sense of humor is weaved into the story, but is woefully lost during the second half for a more solemn tone. Notwithstanding the drama has a terrific cast and a solid story from start to finish. Plus it also has a Noona Romance and I will continue to ship it.

Divorce Lawyers in Love:

Delightful, endearing, and down right adorable is just a few words to describe this drama. The story is a simple set up of fluffy divorce cases, but it’s the A storyline woven into the case of the week which will hook you.  The drama isn’t over flashy with it’s drama tropes which is a plus. The romance is sweet, the second male lead is fascinating, and I could revisit these characters again in their new situations.  Come on drama gods, bring on season 2.


A coming of age story with a lot of rom-com. The drama had a bold beginning  with it’s mockumentary filming however took a different approach soon after the start. The change never hurt the core story of the drama, but it’s noticeable with it’s look and feel.  Over all, it’s an interesting and engaging drama. The writing is smart and witty with it’s use of using industry metaphors with lessons each character were facing. Kim Soo Hyun is hands down the winner of this drama as the socialty awkward newbie PD. The only downfall the drama has was the ever going lovelines. Playing with emotions is okay, but making your viewers frustrated and angry is not cool drama.

School 2015 – Who are You:

Bullies, twins, and young love oh my. School 2015 brings a more dramatic slice-of-life with its intriguing set up of swapping fate and mystery.  The drama starts off in a dark place as one twin is bullied to try to kill herself while her sister is keeping dangerous secrets. It isn’t only the twins dealing with difficulties as the girls’ classmates are also dealing with their own hidden secrets and problems.  The lovelines was never an issue as I see these characters as children who’s hearts will change multiple times before growing into adults.

My Unfortunate Boyfriend: 

This is a drama which wears its heart on its sleeve. The leads are adorable, the office stuff dull and skipable, but over all an enjoyable and charming drama. I took away from the drama that being unfortunate isn’t such a bad thing if your boyfriend is as hot as No Min Woo and so who cares what others think. 

Shine or Go Crazy:

Long ago in a far off dramaland of Goryeo, writers created a stupid prophecy about a Prince who would bring a river of blood and two princesses born from the energy of the North Star. These two princess’would lead our hero and the nation from the darkness to the light. No actually, it gets really dumb when you understand how the whole thing turns out. Jang Hyuk does his over the top acting, only it’s the quiet moments he delivers which will pull on your heartstrings. Oh Yeon Seo is adorably sweet and fun during the first half, but later gets boggled down with lame politics. Lee Ha Nui had a hard job being the third wheel to the OTP, but she was a strong and powerful character. She played the game of politics better than the males. The ending is bittersweet with the dumbest way to show how the OTP can be together.

Orange Marmalade:

A universe where vampires and human somewhat co-exist. A teenage boy falls in love with his classmate who happens to be a vampire. A confusing storytelling with the first and last half taking place in the present while the second half switches to Joseon period. The characters get a chance to develop into better people throughout the series. However, it’s the drama’s message at the heart of the story. These young kids accept people who are different and not to be afraid of it. Being unique or special should be celebrated and not hidden. I miss these kids, but I will always have the memories to think back fondly about the summer of 2015.

I Remember You/ Hello Monster:

The drama takes a different approach to your normal Kdrama crime by trying to understand the philosophical question of what makes a serial killer. The drama gives us a better insight on these “villainous” characters making it hard to not feel horror and sympathy towards them. The cast put a lot of depth and feeling to each character, including your guest actors. The music was pretty spot on enriching the storytelling.  It’s ashame the lack of attention the drama didn’t receive because a season 2 should happen.  Come on drama gods … make this happen.


The Virtual Bride:

Free feel to skip the Monsters-n-Laws and most of the other family problems. It isn’t until the end of the drama, those scene are watchable.  The OTP is the shinning light in the darkness. I found them super cute and enjoyable as they became more enchanted with each other. It isn’t the worst thing I’ve seen, nor will it make you any smarter either.

The Scholar Who Walks the Night:

A fusion Joseon-era vampire romance with tons of cheese. This was really the Lee Jun Ki show with his ability to accept the ridiculous and act the heck out of it. Lee Soo Hyun gets a call out too for his villainous vampire, which could have come off as cheap. Instead, these two were able to make me believe this world of vampires. Changmin was charming and I agree he should only do sageuk dramas. (I saw the horrible Paradise Ranch). Kim So Eun held her own when the drama finally gave her something to do in the later half. Lee Yubi sadly got the short end of the stick which is no fault of her own. It’s a shame the way the drama wrote her character. The biggest downfall was the 20 episodes which the drama could have tightened everything up into 16 episodes.  Yet, it was a fun and magical adventure of romance.

Falling For Innocence / Falling in Love with Soon Jung:

A humorous, heartfelt, & alluring drama. A story about a ruthless businessman and his chance at living a long life with a heart transplant. Yes, it’s sounds like it should be full of KDrama tropes all up in this story, but it is and it isn’t. Jung Kyung Ho is the break out performance. There something charming to see him turn from hardass businessman to a marshmellow man in love. It’s not surprising I fell head over heals in love with him. The relationship with the OTP starts off odd, but it’s the progression of the feelings these two develop over the course of the series which pulls your heartstrings.

Cheer Up / Sassy Go Go:

Sweet and cute pretty much sums up this drama.  However, I still don’t understand why a cheerleading squard needed to be created. The girl had money and brains which pretty much is all you need to get into an Ivy League University. Lastly, I hate you drama for having a prefect love triangle. I will not choice between them. You can’t make me!!!!

Twenty Again:
You’re never too old to start the road to self-discovery. I enjoyed the adventure of this series. No Ra and Hyun Seok can get frustrating with their choices, but there is something charismatic about their characters you can’t help but forgive them.  You root for No Ra and hope she get to have all the things she wasn’t able to have or enjoy the last 20 years.  Delightful Highlights include: Lee Sang Yoon’s dimples and the childish bickering of the OTP.

She Was Pretty:

Meh.  Take it or leave it. Not overly impressed with the storyline. The chemistry between Hwang Jung Eum and Park Seo Joon was better when they were Brother and Sister which speaks for a bit of the writing. Siwon was magnetic on screen with his goofy antics, but I loved his character during those quiet moments towards the end of the series. The notable aspect of the drama was the bond of friendship between the females which is a rare animal in dramaland. Brownie points for this profound friendship. 

Warm and Cozy:

This drama never really hits the fast and witty narratives nor the unforgettable and quirky characters of the Hong Sisters previous dramas. It’s suppose to be a twist on an old fable, but instead the drama comes across as a series of advertisement for vacationing on Jeju Island. Maybe the Hong Sister should take their own advise for a little R&R and go on vacation. As for the cast, they deserves a do over with a better story. Anyone with me?

The Girl Who Sees Smells:

An delightful and fun drama with cartoonish police work. I ended up falling behind while it was currently airing which wasn’t any fault to the drama. It’s the adorable couple with their cute and endearing antic which had me marathoning the last half of the drama. The performance by Namgoong Min as our evil bad guy was down right creepy and wonderful. Why does he have to be an evil serial killer? Darn you drama for giving him a new calling. 

Six Flying Dragons, Oh My Venus, and Answer Me 1988 were not included in this Roundup. As all these dramas hasn't ended, I don't want to review it until the drama has finished it's story. I will do a special Roundup for those dramas.