I only started watching dramas seriously a few months ago, and with the numbers of those I have watched accumulating, I thought that it would be easier to just name a few that I have TRULY enjoyed rather than run through the recaps. There are some amazing recaps on dramabeans.com for those who are wanting to read recaps in detail. After each drama is a link to a song featured in the drama, just right click on link, open in new window and press PLAY.
1) The City Hall: My uncontested favorite so far. Kim Sun-Ah and Cha Seung Won are simultaneously funny and especially good in this. Lovely chemistry. Beautiful music. A modified Cinderella story of a lowly secretary to unlikely beauty pageant queen to a reluctant Mayor. A moody, intense, determined, and flawed Prince Charming. Both poignant and bittersweet at times, with a final episode that will forever be in my memory.
2) Fated to Love You: Once I gave Taiwanese dramas a chance, I was super glad I did. Chen Qiao En and Ethan Ruan star in this funny story of what happens when two people who seemed so incompatible become matched by destiny. Again, great on-screen chemistry. Strong focus on family. A drama that made me cry over and over again. Notable is Qiao En’s acting in the first 20 minutes of Episode 17. Watch it, you’ll see.
3) Autumn’s Concerto:I know, I KNOW, I am more of a K-drama fan as a whole, but again a Taiwanese drama occupies my third favorite spot. Ady An and Vanness Wu star in this series about a poor girl and a rich boy who fall in love despite the odds. Add a little amnesia to the mix (courtesy of a brain surgery), and you have an interesting mix. For once, a Mommy Villain that was so not the villain after all (how novel!). Not to mention that Xiao Xiao Bin as their son is incomparable and OOZING with cuteness.
4) My Lovely Sam Soon: Yes, Kim Sun Ah appears twice on my list. I adore Sam Soon. She is flawed, charming, and totally relatable to an average woman, And of course, Hyun Bin’s presence did not detract me either. I think that her character in this film is what inspired me to want to be a baker.
5) Boys Over Flowers:Okay, before drama fanatics burn me at the stake, I want to justify why BOF made my Top Five. Although the acting was sometimes over the top (mainly by Gu Hye Sun), this was an entertaining series. It was my first, so it will always have a place in my heart. And everyone has to admit that Lee Min Ho was amazing in this- Gu Jun Pyo could have been a cartoonish character if he had been played with less depth than Min Hosshi invested in him. The character was not likable in the beginning: he was a bit violent, and overbearing. But Lee Min Ho’s portrayal made him the bad boy everyone wanted to fall in love with. The shoot locations were beautiful, and the soundtrack was memorable (as it should be as it was drilled into our heads the first half of the series!). Love it or hate it, everyone felt something.
6) Proposal Daisakusen:One Japanese drama made my top list (though I have watched a few and was entertained by them all). The story of Rei (Nagasawa Masami) and Ken (Yamashita Tomohisa) was poses some serious questions: What would you do if the love of your life was marrying someone else? And then, what would you do differently if you were given a chance to go back in time to change the future? This drama was short (only 12 episodes, including the Special), and sweet. One that I have since then watched more than once.
7) Personal Taste:: The first drama I watched as it was being aired, or at least as close to it as I can get while waiting for subtitles. Son Ye Jin (girl crush!) and Lee Min Ho was a special combination. Although the writing and directing were choppy and awkward at times, and the music did not always fit, this pairing made me come back for the next episode over and over again. Their chemistry was lighthearted and funny, and they were able to feed off each other in the more emotional scenes. And seriously, who can resist a bumbling woman with a talent for power tools, and a man that has a smile that will melt butter posing as gay? LMH matured in this drama, thanks to SYJ. Episodes 8-11 are perfection. Memorable quote: “I’ve deliberated for a long time about what I can do in thanks to you. I wanted to say that I love you. But I didn’t have the courage, so I decided to become a man instead.”(Kae-In’s daily forecast for Jin Ho) Don’t miss the EPIC kiss at the end of Episode 10! Seriously, DON’T.
8) Coffee Prince: I liked this drama, I really did. Yoon Eun Hye was funny as a boy, Gong Yoo was so handsome and just adorable. Their chemistry was good. Great music for sure. Really excellent ensemble cast. Highly recommended.
9) You’re Beautiful: Another drama that involves cross-dressing as a boy. But the premise was good, Park Shin Hye was studying to be a nun (I KNOW!) when her twin brother has a botched surgery. She is convinced to join his band until he recuperates. Sounds simple enough, until we meet the leader of the band, Jang Geun Seok. What happens through the drama is funny, and touching. Great second (and third) leads, and the birth of the pig rabbit! A must see.
10)My Girl:Rounding out my list is one of the Hong sisters’ best works. Lee Dong Gook and Lee Da Hae were fantastic in this drama. Witty, lovable, and addictive, the series’ fast pace made it an easy watch.