9:53 pm - 12/08/2012

2012: Something for everyone? [Year In Review, Part 1]

Review extravaganza time!

I know: Already? It feels like just the other day I was killing myself to corral all my thoughts in coherent fashion in a monster review of 2011′s dramas, and already it’s time to lose sleep wrangling my thoughts together for 2012. Time sure flies when you’re having fun, or old. Guess which one I am?

These days I shy away from blanket statements like “This was an awesome year” or “This was a terrible year.” Dramaland has been putting out so much material that all the nuance gets sucked out of a flattening statement like that. If anything, 2012 was the year it overflowed with variety—so yes, there were terrible shows, and there were awesome shows, and there were shows every step in between. But thanks to the explosion of cable programming—aided by the launching of not one, not two, but four new cable stations boasting big drama lineups—there was just about something for everyone.

I’ll start with the non-drama series, since they’re a different format than our standard prime-time miniseries. It seems apt to talk about them together, to compare apples to apples. As with all years, I add the caveat that not all the year’s dramas are talked about in this post, but future reviews in our year-end series will do a pretty good job covering the spread.

Vampire IdolCollapse )

You’re Here, You’re Here, You’re Really HereCollapse )StandbyCollapse )
Ma BoyCollapse )
Color of WomanCollapse )

History of the SalarymanCollapse )The Moon That Embraces the SunCollapse )Dream High 2Collapse )

Shut Up: Flower Boy BandCollapse )Rooftop PrinceCollapse )Queen In-hyun’s ManCollapse )Dr. JinCollapse )GaksitalCollapse )I Do, I DoCollapse )BigCollapse )Arang and the MagistrateCollapse )Answer Me, 1997Collapse )FaithCollapse )Vampire Prosecutor 2Collapse )Nice GuyCollapse )Oohlala SpousesCollapse )

I’m setting these dramas off in their own section, because as of this writing they’re all still airing. But some are already near the halfway mark and next year’s a long way off, so I’ll touch on them briefly here.

I Miss YouCollapse )King of DramasCollapse )Jeon Woo-chiCollapse )School 2013Collapse )

Source: Dramabeans 

What did you think of dramaland this year?

The best
The worse
Didn't watch any
Old school dramas were the best anyway

My favourite by far this year (and one of my favourite period) was Arang. What about you guys?
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realme21 9th-Dec-2012 12:00 am (UTC)
All these dramas look so boring and unoriginal.
Where are my faves? I really want Kim Tae Hee, Kim Rae Won, Hyun Bin, Kim Sun Ah to team up again. Also, Rain and Song He Kyo? Where are they?

Please suggest to me something GOOD. Like when I finish the last ep, I could tell myself I didn't waste time watching it.
ayumikoshiro 9th-Dec-2012 12:08 am (UTC)
Rain's in the army, Hyun Bin just got back like a day ago.

I thought Queen InHyun's Man, Shut Up Flower Band Boy, and Reply 1997 were all different and really good.
itsprincess 9th-Dec-2012 12:01 am (UTC)
i liked shut up flower boy band but i was really annoyed at the girl they got for the lead. her acting was just so lackluster i couldnt believe any of the chemistry.
oh and rooftop prince was so hilarious and i got so mad when it got all serious.
ayumikoshiro 9th-Dec-2012 12:06 am (UTC)
I was way to sad this year so I skipped a lot of the melos

Halfway through Arang and King2Heats, then Gakisal started off so sad I couldn't even start. Since I'm watching I Miss You now I have no excuse anymore... gonna do a tissue marathon over Christmas break and cry over all the great melos I couldn't finish.
istalkalert 9th-Dec-2012 12:39 am (UTC)
GIRLLLLL, stop watching melos. Watch the good stuffff. Like King of Drama and Ghost =3

Edited at 2012-12-09 12:39 am (UTC)
xblackchristmas 9th-Dec-2012 12:09 am (UTC)

Big was really good except Lee Min Jung's acting and the ending,

Queen In Hyun's Man was sooooooooo cute and tear-jerker by the real chemistry,

Rooftop Prince is so-so--funny but not captivating,

and I'm currently watching Nice Guy, which both main leads are doing an impressively good job with their acting.

ceecile 9th-Dec-2012 01:56 am (UTC)
Nice Guy was great, it gets a little boring at the end imo.
My bb Song Joong Ki & Princess Moon Chae Won killed it though.
prdarkstar 9th-Dec-2012 12:13 am (UTC)
Shut up flower boy band was hands down the best of the year. So fucking perfect from beginning to end.
sweet16een 9th-Dec-2012 12:15 am (UTC)
I watched the Japanese version for JIN and JIN 2 and I liked it
I still don't understand how they made Dr. Jin in to a fail drama

I'm watching Miss You and Full House 2
I might start watching Reply 1997 sooner or later from your review
it sounds like might be good ^^
rinn1e 9th-Dec-2012 07:51 am (UTC)
bad writing, bad editing, bad directing, and 2 bad leads will easily kill a drama. The amazing thing is that it has good ratings... lol
gundae 9th-Dec-2012 12:24 am (UTC)
what is wrong with me? why did I like Big so much and King2Hearts not at all?
gundae 9th-Dec-2012 12:30 am (UTC)
has anyone here watched I Need Romance 2012? Haeundae Lovers isn't being mentioned, as well. both dramas I quite enjoyed.
dorkiilove 9th-Dec-2012 12:25 am (UTC)
Only 2 good dramas this year: Gakistal and Nice Guy.

Rest are flops tbh.
dorkiilove 9th-Dec-2012 12:26 am (UTC)
Althou king2hearts was pretty fab as well but :[[[ the bodyguard died so i downgraded it
asnindie 9th-Dec-2012 12:34 am (UTC)
This reminds me I still need to watch SUFBB and Reply.

rylee900 9th-Dec-2012 12:37 am (UTC)
This reminds me that I wanted to see Gaksital

Sufbb was just so good tbh MY FEELS
Queen In Hyun's man and Reply 1997 were great too
Idk everyone says Arang is so amazing but idk if I'm the only one who is like ehh
DH2 was the most disappointing thing.

Should I watch Faith or not, I'm half and half about it.

School 2013 is surprisingly good so far
I watch too many dramas tbh
I cannot watch Korean sitcoms, they are so unfunny tbh

(On a non K-drama note, I could not watch When Love Walked In (even for Mi) because it was boring as fuck and wtf was that dubbing.)
istalkalert 9th-Dec-2012 12:41 am (UTC)
Faith was boring. I even got bored of it from reading recaps. It was that bad. Lee Minho and the old lady lacked chemistry...

Arang was.... only okay for me. Couldn't even get past the first ep.
oonalala 9th-Dec-2012 12:41 am (UTC)
Am I the only one here who saw History of the Salaryman? That show was fantastic - it has absolutely everything going on in it! It's my second favorite next to SUFBB (which was flawless!)
yingmoon26 9th-Dec-2012 12:53 am (UTC)
This year I watched Reply 1997, Big, Faith, High Kick 3, King 2 Hearts, Nice Guy, Rooftop Prince. Watched a bit of Full House 2, Panda and Hedgehog, Golden Time, and Padam Padam.

Currently I've been watching I Miss You and King of Dramas, which so far are just ok. I Miss You's kid actors though; excellent stuff right there.

I think the first half of the year had more interesting dramas, the latter half has been so slow and meh. nothing that really caught my interest. Overall the year has been sort of lackluster minus a few exceptions here and there. 2011 was better for sure.

Edited at 2012-12-09 12:55 am (UTC)
misswaldorf I love K-Drama discussion9th-Dec-2012 12:55 am (UTC)
Gaksital –> My favorite drama this year. The ending was perfect. gaahh I still vividly remember everything.

Shut Up Flower BoyBand –> Friendship, heart, love, this drama a close second.

Queen InHyun Man –> Epic love story.

Arang and The Magistrate –> I’m more interested with Jo-Woon story rather than the lead love story.

Big –> Initially there’s nothing so terribly wrong/bad with the story, I’m still full of anticipation, until they CRUSH it in the last episode. So yeah…biggest disappointment of the year.

Dream High 2 –> LOL it’s a big joke. I don’t have any high hope for it so the disappointment wasn’t so big.
Still…at least they could um…I dunno try HAVING a coherent plot!?

Answer Me 1997 –> This one gets my vote for the most overrated drama of the year. Everyone was keep mentioning about how awesome it was, I'm watching with pretty high expectation. The second half of the drama full of unnecessary fan-service, the story became pointless.

Faith –> Choi Young Daejang…Lee Min Ho owns it. Not everyone cup of tea, but I really love it.

Nice Guy –> Disappointing. I swear to you the writer set it all for a tragic ending but back out for fan-service sake. I would love it better if they went all dark. It’s more fitting with the whole concept of the drama, which is an OBSESSION.

ceecile Re: I love K-Drama discussion9th-Dec-2012 02:01 am (UTC)
I would normally agree about Nice Guy but the writer also wrote A Love to Kill and look how that ended..
spread 9th-Dec-2012 01:11 am (UTC)
I wish there was a K-Movie post like this, or just more movie posts in general.
I don't care for dramas, at least not anymore...
ceecile 9th-Dec-2012 01:20 am (UTC)
Omg I didn't think this post would be popular considering the tl;dr crowd. I didn't turn off the notifications -_-
liferule91 10th-Dec-2012 05:31 pm (UTC)
it's a drama post people love them since they are so few and far in between
anconeous 9th-Dec-2012 01:26 am (UTC)
SUFBB is my favorite drama of the year, followed by Reply 1997 and King2Hearts.

I haven't had time to watch Gaksital and Queen Inhyun's Man yet, so I can't put them in my fave list.

Faith was a disappointed not because it was bad, but because it had the potential to be so much more. Lee Minho did great in it, though. I wonder how the show would've been if Lee Junki didn't have to drop it and leave for military service.

Nice Guy was a great show to watch. The leads did a fabulous job, but I don't think I'd watch it again. It's the type of show that's great because the hype carries it, as well as the anticipation for the next episode. Yet when it's done, I'm not particularly fond of it enough to want to watch it again.
quarryman28 I don't care that it's not over yet9th-Dec-2012 01:42 am (UTC)
My vote goes to King of Dramas. It's easily leagues above everything else I watched this year.
muhnaplusmuhna Re: I don't care that it's not over yet9th-Dec-2012 02:37 am (UTC)
Agreed. I love how refreshing and clever it is
joong_ki 9th-Dec-2012 01:50 am (UTC)
Goodness, I have only watched like three dramas this year but I have read the recaps for most of these. Gaksital is by far my favorite, I was sobbing during the wedding scene. So damn sad. Made me like Joowon far more than I did before.

Not even going to lie I haven't watched the last two episodes of Nice Guy and I can't muster the energy to watch them. I was really preparing myself for a sad ending that I didn't get. Song Joong Ki looked amazing though, so I liked Nice Guy more than I should have because of that. Lol.
muhnaplusmuhna 9th-Dec-2012 02:36 am (UTC)

It's rare for me to encounter a piece of work that resonates so strongly with me. Being a history student, I have to suspend my objectivity and watch just for the entertainment value. But this show? The reason why it has left such a deep impact was due to the realism behind the story. The characters' choices and behaviours befit their times.

I loved how they didn't shy away from the atrocities that happened, making the leads not the only tragic figures. Their world was historically believable and didn't seem as unnecessarily convoluted as let's say Moon/Sun. Dude, you're the King....you have absolute power...

I had other shows I loved, but there was something off about them. Even with the extension, Gakistal managed to tell a great story.

Here's to hoping King of Dramas continues to be awesome and then I'll lollygag over it next year :)

Oh and High Kick 3: best sitcom ever!

Now, I'm done.

prlsb4swiine 10th-Dec-2012 02:37 am (UTC)
i really really loved the ending of Gaksital, it was incredibly realistic and I'm glad they didn't shy away from being too dark or sad because that time period was dark, and they depicted it as closely as they could and I appreciated that.
but there were also quite a few moments here and there where I just couldn't help but guffaw uncontrollably.
hina 9th-Dec-2012 02:55 am (UTC)
Excellent, a drama post.
Does anyone know where I can dl Reply 1997 subs? Either soft-subs or hard-subbed.
I'll be without internet for like a month, so I'm stocking up on dramas I missed.
onichick Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee DRAMAS!9th-Dec-2012 04:18 am (UTC)
SUFBB-Was my jam. I love that show. I love everything about it. Haters can eff off.

Queen Inhyuns Man-Also very very very high on my list of loves. Possibly in #2 spot for fav ever.

King 2 Hearts- 6 months after I finished that drama Im still effected. Loved the hell out of that show.

Moon/Sun-If you ship the main couple you love it. If you are neutral or hate it, your life will be pain.

Dream High 2- I have never yelled at my computer so much in my life.

Big-I have shunned it. Its sitting in the corner until further notice

Vampire Prosecutor 2- MY TITS STILL ARENT CALM! *hypervenilates into a bag* I love that show. And if there isnt a 3rd season I am kicking someone's ass.

Arang-I wished I had more feels for it but I didnt. It was pretty. Well acted. I just couldnt connect to it.

Faith- Oh my probelmatic drama I want to love. I love 2/3 of it and I am incredibly pissy at the remaining 1/3


Nice Guy-I enjoyed it as I watching it but now I am just kinda meh about it. Although Joongki and Chaewon is love.

King of Dramas-rocking my socks every which way

I Miss You- I disconnected a lot after the adult cast came it. But its well acted and stuff.

Can we get married- Annoying but I still love it

shocko_o 9th-Dec-2012 04:23 am (UTC)
haha well i loved the dramas of this year. where the plot and themes weren't consistently good (Gaksital, AM1997, H. of Salaryman, K2H, etc) like Shut Up Flower Boy Band or even Queen In Hyun's Man, they had so much heart and awesomesauce that I couldn't help but love them.
Fave: AM1997. a zippy, hilarious, heartful ride that made it worth waiting ~8 weeks for every new episode. i love the storytelling format (a lot of show not tell) and wonderful fresh faces.
King 2 Hearts/Gaksital/Queen In Hyun's Man - bring on the drama. I fell out of the excitement towards the end but still a terrific ride and leaves a strong impression on my mind. at times witty, at times winning, and makes my pump my fists in the air.
Shut Up Flower Boy Band - a little low key imo but quite perfect and heartwarming. i love the character dynamics and relationships, the roughness, and the whole vibe.
History of Salaryman - so hilarious, so. much. fun. It derails towards the end but that's not enough to spoil my fond memories of this show. This also goes for What's Up (I love a good underdog story with fantastic characters, but not enough time to develop all those storylines!).
Nice Guy - relied on recaps due to school so missed out on a lot but their acting is fantastic.
Arang's not the story for me, which sucks since I was all ready to love it.

On the kpop side, these definitely got me watching out for EunJi, Hoya, and L.
Thinking of watching (those that are completed): The Chaser, I Live in CheomDamDong, White Christmas.
modestgoddess79 9th-Dec-2012 04:45 am (UTC)
this was my first year watching dramas as they aired (well as they were subbed).

Loved SUFBB, Answer Me 1997, Gaksital and Faith
Enjoyed King2Hearts, Nice Guy, Arang
Moon/Sun was ok, story dragged but I stayed for the man candy.
Big the ending pissed me off and made no sense.

Planning to watch School 2013, Queen In Hyun's Man and Vampire Prosecutor 2.
kris_kt 9th-Dec-2012 05:41 am (UTC)
Not a big fan of melodramas and this year was so full of it I couldn't care to watch any ..
currently I'm watching King of Dramas,I really like it is not the best thing ever and not as funny but is quite entertaining and refreshing ~
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